God is Great!!!

God is Great!!!


The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities when they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work.

They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.

His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.

On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in.

One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center.

It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall.

He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow.

An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it.

The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry.

The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle.

Her face was like a sheet.. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?”

The pastor explained.

The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were.

These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria the woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth.

The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave.

Her husband was going to follow her the next week.

He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church.

The pastor insisted on driving her home that was the least he could do.

She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve.

The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great.

At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison.

He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride.

They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story – submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways.

God is Great!!!



3 Qs

The Three Questions

King Akbar was very fond of Birbal. This made a certain courtier very jealous.

Now this courtier always wanted to be chief minister, but this was not possible as Birbal filled that position.

One day Akbar praised Birbal in front of the courtier.

This made the courtier very angry and he said that the king praised Birbal unjustly and if Birbal could answer three of his questions, he would accept the fact that Birbal was intelligent.

Akbar always wanting to test Birbal’s wit readily agreed. 

The three questions were

1. How many stars are there in the sky?
2. Where is the centre of the Earth?
3. How many men and how many women are there in the world?

Immediately Akbar asked Birbal the three questions and informed him that if he could not answer them, he would have to resign as chief minister.

To answer the first question, Birbal brought a hairy sheep and said? There are as many stars in the sky as there is hair on the sheep’s body. My friend the courtier is welcome to count them if he likes?

To answer the second question, Birbal drew a couple of lines on the floor and bore an iron rod in it and said? This is the centre of the Earth, the courtier may measure it himself if he has any doubts.

In answer to the third question, Birbal said counting the exact number of men and women in the world would be a problem as there are some specimens like our courtier friend here who cannot easily be classified as either. Therefore if all people like him are killed, then and only then can one count the exact number.




Birbal Stories!!!


Pandit Sevaram

One day a Brahmin by the name of Sevaram asked Birbal for help.

He said that his forefathers were great Sanskrit scholars and that people used to respectfully refer to them as Panditji.

He said that he had no money nor need for wealth; he was content living a simple life. 

But he had just one wish. He wished people would refer to him as Panditji too.

He asked Birbal how he could achieve this.

Birbal said that the task was fairly simple.

If the Brahmin followed his advice word for word, this task could be achieved.

Birbal advised the Brahmin to shout at anyone who would call him Panditji from now on.

Now the children who lived on the same street as the Brahmin did not like him since he scolded them often.

They were just waiting for an opportunity to get back at him.

Birbal told the children that the Brahmin would get really irritated if they would start calling him Panditji.

The children started calling him Panditji and the Brahmin as advised by Birbal started shouting at them.

The children spread the word to all the other children in the neighborhood that Sevaram hated being called Panditji, so they in turn all started calling him Panditji.

After a while, Sevaram got tired of scolding them but everyone already was used to calling him Panditji.

Hence the game was over but the name stuck.



Birbal Returns!!!


One day, when Akbar and Birbal were in discussions, Birbal happened to pass a harmless comment about Akbar’s sense of humor. 

But Emperor Akbar was in a foul mood and took great offense to this remark.

He asked Birbal, his court-jester, friend and confidant, to not only leave the palace but also to leave the walls of the city of Agra.  Birbal was terribly hurt at being banished. 

A couple of days later, Akbar began to miss his best friend. 

He regretted his earlier decision of banishing him from the courts. He just could not do without Birbal and so sent out a search party to look for him.

But Birbal had left town without letting anybody know of his destination.  The soldiers searched high and low but were unable to find him anywhere. 

Then one day a wise saint came to visit the palace accompanied by two of his disciples.

The disciples claimed that their teacher was the wisest man to walk the earth. 

Since Akbar was missing Birbal terribly he thought it would be a good idea to have a wise man that could keep him company.

But he decided that he would first test the holy man’s wisdom.

The saint had bright sparkling eyes, a thick beard and long hair.

The next day, when they came to visit the court Akbar informed the holy man that since he was the wisest man on earth, he would like to test him.

All his ministers would put forward a question and if his answers were satisfactory he would be made a minister.

But if he could not, then he would be beheaded. The saint answered that he had never claimed to be the wisest man on earth, even though other people seemed to think so.

Nor was he eager to display his cleverness but as he enjoyed answering questions, he was ready for the test.

One of the ministers, Raja Todarmal, began the round of questioning.

He asked “Who is a man’s best friend on earth?”  To which the wise saint replied, “His own good sense”.

Next Faizi asked which was the most superior thing on earth? “Knowledge”, answered the saint.

“Which is the deepest trench in the world?” asked Abdul Fazal. And the saint’s answer was “a woman’s heart”.

“What is that which cannot be regained after it is lost?” questioned another courtier and the reply he received was ‘life’.

“What is undying in music” asked the court musician Tansen. The wise saint replied that it was the “notes”.

And then he asked “which is the sweetest and most melodious voice at night -time? And the answer he received was “the voice that prays to God.” 

Maharaj Mansingh of Jaipur, who was a guest at the palace asked, “What travels more speedily than the wind?” the saint replied that it was “man’s thought”.

He then asked, “Which was the sweetest thing on earth?” and the saint said that it was “a baby’s smile”. 

Emperor Akbar and all his courtiers were very impressed with his answers, but wanted to test the saint himself.

Firstly he asked what were the necessary requirements to rule over a kingdom, for which he was answered ‘cleverness’.

Then he asked what the gravest enemy of a king was.

The saint replied that it was ‘selfishness’. 

The emperor was pleased and offered the saint a seat of honor and asked him whether he could perform any miracles.

The saint said that he could manifest any person the king wished to meet.

Akbar was thrilled and immediately asked to meet his minister and best friend Birbal. 

The saint simply pulled off his artificial beard and hair much to the surprise of the other courtiers.

Akbar was stunned and could not believe his eyes. He stepped down to embrace the saint because he was none other than Birbal.

Akbar had tears in his eyes as he told Birbal that he had suspected it to be him and had therefore asked him whether he could perform miracles.

He showered Birbal with many valuable gifts to show him how happy he was at his return.



Birbal Missing!!!

Birbal fighting with Akbar!!!


Birbal was missing. He and the emperor had a quarrel and Birbal had stormed out of the palace vowing never to return.

Now Akbar missed him and wanted him back but no one knew where he was.

Then the emperor had a brainwave.

He offered a reward of 1000 gold coins to any man who could come to the palace observing the following condition.

The man had to walk in the sun without an umbrella but he had to be in the shade at the same time.

“Impossible,” said the people.

Then a villager came carrying a string cot over his head and claimed the prize.

“I’ve walked in the sun but at the same time I was in the shade of the strings of the cot,” he said.

It was a brilliant solution. On interrogation the villager confessed that the idea had been suggested to him by a man living with him.

“It could only be Birbal!” said the emperor, delighted.

Sure enough it was Birbal and he and the emperor had a joyous reunion.



Odd Man Out!!!

Odd Man Out!!!


One fine morning, a minister from Emperor Akbar’s court had gathered in the assembly hall.

 He informed the Emperor that all his valuables had been stolen by a thief the previous night.


Akbar was shocked to hear this because the place where that minister lived was the safest place in the kingdom.


He invited Birbal to solve the mystery. Akbar said “It is definitely not possible for an outsider to enter into the minister’s house and steal the valuables.


This blunder is definitely committed only by another minister of that court.” Saying so, he arranged for a donkey to be tied to a pillar.


He ordered all the courtiers to lift the donkey’s tail and say “I have not stolen.”


Birbal added “Only then we can judge the culprit.”


After everyone had finished, he asked the courtiers to show their palm to him.


All the courtiers except Alim Khan had a black patch of paint on their palm.


Birbal had actually painted the donkey’s tail with a black coat of paint.


In the fright, the guilty minister did not touch the donkey’s tail at all.


Thus Birbal once again proved his intelligence and was rewarded by the king with 1000 gold coins.