Appearances can be deceiving

Not everyone is as pure as he seems. Like black oyster harvesters. They plant a plastic bead in an oyster and replace it in its environment. The oyster proceeds to coat the plastic with its mother of pearl and voila a black oyster. Genuine through and through? No!

Worldly associates are like that. Look good outside. Inside not the real thing.

A Father’s Emotion

One night a wife found her husband standing over their newborn
baby’s crib. Silently she watched him. As he stood looking down
at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions,
and deep thought of their son’s future: disbelief, doubt, delight,
amazement, enchantment, skepticism.

Touched by this unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused,
with eyes glistening she slipped her arms around her husband.

“A penny for your thoughts,” she lovingly whispered in his ear.

Encouraged and moved by his wife’s interest in his thoughts, he
replied, “It’s amazing! I just can’t see how anybody can make a
crib like that for only $46.50!”

The following ad appeared in a southern US newspaper:

Single Black Female seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I am a very good-looking girl who loves to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping, and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I’m yours. Call xxx-xxxx and ask for Daisy.

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the local Humane Society about an eight week-old black Labrador retriever.

Blue ringed octopus of Australia. May be the most poisonous creature of the seas. Flash on the beaches like a neon light hoping to attract an unwary prey. In most cases its sting is fatal.

The world can be like that.

An engineer, a psychologist, and a theologian were hunting in the wilderness of northern Canada. Suddenly, the temperature dropped and a blizzard was upon them.

They came across an isolated cabin, far from any town. The hunters had heard that the locals in the area were quite hospitable, so they knocked on the door to ask permission to rest. No one answered their knocks, but they discovered the cabin was unlocked and they entered.

It was a simple place … 2 rooms with a minimum of furniture and household equipment.
Nothing was unusual about the cabin except the stove.

It was large, pot-bellied, and made of cast-iron. What was strange about it was its location … it was suspended in midair by wires attached to the ceiling beams.

“Fascinating,” said the psychologist. “It is obviousthat this lonely trapper, isolated from humanity, has elevated this stove so that he can curl up under it and vicariously experience a return to the womb.

“”Nonsense!” replied the engineer. “The man is practicing the laws of thermodynamics. By elevating his stove, he has discovered a way to distribute heat more evenly throughout the cabin. ”’

With all due respect,” interrupted the theologian,”I’m sure that hanging his stove from the ceiling has religious meaning. Fire LIFTED UP has been a religious symbol for centuries.”

The three debated the point for several hours without resolving the issue. When the trapper finally returned, they immediately asked him why he had hung his heavy pot-bellied stove from the ceiling.

His answer was succinct. “Had plenty of wire, not much stove pipe.”

A group of elderly, cultured gentlemen met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties, to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests.

When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box. The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink.

When architect Sir Christopher Wren designed the interior of Windsor Town Hall near London in 1689, he built a ceiling supported by pillars. After city fathers had inspected the finished building, they decided the ceiling would not stay up and ordered Wren to put in some more pillars.

England’s greatest architect didn’t think the ceiling needed any more support, so he pulled a fast one. He added four pillars that did not do anything — they don’t even reach the ceiling. The optical illusion fooled the municipal authorities, and today the four sham pillars amuse many a tourist.

Nino Lo Bello, European Detours (Hammond)

The visitor to the zoo noticed one of the keepers sobbing quietly in a corner and on inquiry was told that the elephant had died.

“Fond of him, was he?” the visitor asked.

“It’s not that,” came the reply. “He’s the chap who has to dig the grave.”

Source unknown

A lady sat in the psychiatrist’s office while the doctor gently attempted to determine why her family wanted her committed.

“Now, tell me,” he said, “what is your trouble?”

“It’s just that … just that … well, doctor, it’s just that I’m so fond of pancakes.”

“Oh,” the doctor replied, “is that all? Why, I’m quite fond of pancakes myself.”

“Oh, doctor, really?” the lady said excitedly. “Then you must come over to my house. I have trunks and trunks full of them.”

The boss joined a group of his workers at the coffee urn and told a series of jokes he’d heard recently. Everybody laughed loudly. Everybody, that is, except Mike.

When he noticed that he was getting no reaction from Mike, the boss said, “What’s the matter, Mike? No sense of humor?”

“My sense of humor is fine,” he said. “But I don’t have to laugh. I’m quitting tomorrow.”

Fake bank notes are becoming more popular. Isn’t it annoying when we try to purchase something only to find the bank note is of no value. Yet who can we blame ? – is it not our own responsibility to check the bank notes when we accept them, – certainly more and more retailers are using Counterfeit pens and machines to detect fake bank notes.

The point is there are True notes worth the face value, and they are fake notes that are worth nothing. – The fake notes are hard to detect, for they are a very good likeness, and yet isn’t it the same with false religion?

Yes, false religion is becoming more and more popular, and while it claims to have a face value, – the true worthlessness of it is hidden. Also it is hard to detect, for it is a good likeness, – and hard to detect for many people.

How do we detect True religion ? (Isaiah 2:2-4) Well the House of Jehovah is certainly becoming firmly established, – just look at the year book to see the increase. (Rev 17:1, 5) (Isaiah 2:3) Invite others to examine the notes in the light of the Scriptures, – just as some retailers hold up a bank note to the light – we can use the light of the Scriptures to examine false religion.(John 15:19)

A family of five was rushed to the hospital to have their stomachs washed out after the cat with whom they had shared a meal of mushrooms suddenly began to have stomach contractions.

While members of the family showed no signs of illness, the doctor still had
them rushed to the hospital.

When they returned home they found the cat feeling well, after having produced five kittens.

The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene hampered him and he asked his home office to hire a plane.

Arrangements were made and he was told to go at once to a nearby airport, where the plane would be waiting. When he arrived at the airport, a plane was warming up near the runway.

He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot
swung the plane into the wind and they soon were in the air.

“Fly over the north side of the fire,” yelled the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.”

“Why?” asked the pilot.

“Because I’m going to take pictures,” cried the photographer. “I’m a photographer and photographers take pictures!”

After a pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the instructor?”

— old aviation joke (been around for a long time)

When the 1960s ended, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district reverted to high rent, and many hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They had children and got married, too, though in no particular sequence. But they didn’t name their children Melissa or Brett. People in the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing Frisbee with little Time Warp or Spring Fever. And eventually Moonbeam, Earth, Love and Precious Promise all ended up in public school. That’s when the kindergarten teachers first met Fruit Stand.

Every fall, according to tradition, parents bravely apply name tags to their children, kiss them good-bye and send them off to school on the bus. So it was for Fruit Stand. The teachers thought the boy’s name was odd, but they tried to make the best of it.

“Would you like to play with the blocks, Fruit Stand?” they offered.

And later, “Fruit Stand, how about a snack?”

He accepted hesitantly. By the end of the day, his name didn’t seem much odder than Heather’s or Sun Ray’s. At dismissal time, the teachers led the children out to the buses. “Fruit Stand, do you know which one is your bus?”

He didn’t answer. That wasn’t strange. He hadn’t answered them all day. Lots of children are shy on the first day of school. It didn’t matter. The teachers had instructed the parents to write the names of their children’s bus stops on the reverse side of their name tags. The teacher simply turned over the tag. There, neatly printed, was the word “Anthony.”

Luanne Oleas in Salinas, Calif., Reader’s Digest

Two gas company servicemen, a senior training supervisor and a young trainee were out checking meters in a suburban neighborhood. They parked their truck at the end of the alley and worked their way to the other end. At the last house a woman looking out her kitchen window watched the two men as they checked her gas meter.

Finishing the meter check, the senior supervisor challenged his younger coworker to a footrace down the alley back to the truck to prove that an older guy could outrun a younger one.

As they came running up to the truck, they realized the lady from that last house was huffing and puffing right behind them. They stopped immediately and asked her what was wrong.

Gasping for breath, she replied, “When I see two gas men running as hard as you two were, I figured I’d better run too!”

A man was out of work, but finally got a job in a circus, playing the part of a gorilla. Every day he soared over the circus on the trapeze, twisting, turning and chanting to the delight of the crowd.

One day he slipped and fell into the lion’s cage directly below. Though unhurt by the short fall, he was frightened by the lion and began to scream. “Help! Help! Get me out of here!”

The lion came up to him and said, “Be quiet, you fool, or we’ll both lose our jobs.”

Napoleon’s genius had been attributed to many things, but, above all, he was a superb natural leader of men. Like any wise leader he was aware that his own success would have been nothing had his men not been willing, even eager, to follow him.

Obviously he could not know and personally inspire every man in his vast army, therefore he devised a simple technique for circumventing this difficulty. Before visiting a regiment he would call the colonel aside and ask for the name of a soldier who had served well in previous campaigns, but who had not been given the credit he deserved. The colonel would indicate such a man.

Napoleon would then learn everything about him, where he was born, the names of his family, his exploits in battle, etc. Later, upon passing this man while reviewing the troops, and at a signal from the colonel, Napoleon would stop, single out the man, greet him warmly, ask about his family, compliment him on his bravery and loyalty, reminisce about old campaigns, then pin a medal on the grateful soldier.

The gesture worked. After the review, the other soldiers would remark, “You see, he knows us–he remembers. He knows our families. He knows we have served.”

— Bits & Pieces, October 17, 1991.

An old man was relaxing at his hundredth birthday party when a reporter went up to him. “Sir, what is the secret of your long life?”

The man considered this for a moment, then replied, “Every evening at 9 p.m. I have a glass of port.
Good for the heart I’ve heard.”

The reporter then asked, “That’s ALL?”

The man smiled, “Well, canceling my voyage on Titanic sure didn’t hurt.”

The captain of a great ocean liner had begun as a cabin boy years earlier and gradually worked up to his high position. He had become one of the most respected men on the high seas.

His assistant, who had served with him for years, observed and emulated his every move. But one thing about the captain puzzled him: every morning the skipper went to his cabin, opened the top drawer of his desk, took out a small slip of paper, read it with intense concentration, returned the paper to his desk, and locked the drawer.

After many years, the captain retired and his assistant took command. The first thing he did was open that drawer to discover what was on that slip of paper. The paper had but one sentence on it: “Port is left; starboard is right.”

A lawyer had successfully handled a difficult law case for a wealthy friend. Following the happy outcome of the case, the friend and client called on the lawyer, expressed his appreciation of his work and handed him a handsome Moroccan leather wallet.

The lawyer looked at the wallet in astonishment and handed it back with a sharp reminder that a wallet could not possible compensate him for his services. “My fee for that work, ” acidly snapped the attorney, “is five hundred dollars.”

The client opened the wallet, removed a one-thousand dollar bill, replaced it with a five-hundred dollar bill and handed it back to the lawyer with a smile.

A violinist noticed that his playing had a hypnotic effect on his audiences. They sat motionless, as though they were in a trance. He found he had the same effect on his friends’ pets. Dogs and cats would sit spellbound while he played.

Wondering if he could cast the same spell over wild beasts, he went to a jungle clearing in Africa, took out his violin and began to play.

A lion, an elephant, and a gorilla charged into the clearing, stopped to listen, and sat mesmerized by the music. Soon the clearing was filled with every kind of ferocious animal, each one listening intently.

Suddenly another lion charged out of the jungle, pounced on the violinist, and killed him instantly. The first lion, bewildered, asked, “Why did you do that?”

The second lion cupped his paw behind his ear. “What?”

Autumn leaves look good too. But are dead and are just waiting to fall.

Don’t judge by outward appearances. Some people look and sound good but inside are filthy and rotten.

Like furniture, modern and antique. Modern looks like real and solid wood, but in most cases is only imitation or a veneer.

Value of something

Most of us have had occasion to buy used cars before. We know that one needs to be careful when making such a purchase.

A new coat of paint can hide a lot of blemishes, can’t it? So the true value of the machine is not determined only by how it looks.

We can compare Christians to automobiles like that. Is the engine working properly? What about the drive train?

We might look good to others because we’ve put a coat of paint on our Christianity, but what does Jehovah see?

Obviously he sees the insides and knows the truth of the matter. We are only fooling ourselves by painting over our problems and not repairing them properly. What is our real motive for serving God?


A driver did the right thing, stopping at the school crosswalk even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman behind him went ballistic, pounding on her horn and screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to
drive through the intersection with him. Still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed and placed in a cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the
booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, “I’m awfully sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him I noticed the “What Would Jesus Do” license plate holder, the “Follow me to Sunday School” bumper sticker, the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk and the “My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter” decal on your back window. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.

Not judging by appearances

One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus, and
drove off along the route. There were no problems for the first few stops –
a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.

At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on. Six feet eight,
built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground.

He glared at the driver and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” and sat down at the back.

Now, the driver was five feet three, thin, and basically weak?

Naturally, he didn’t argue with Big John, but he wasn’t happy about it.

The next day the same thing happened – Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the one after that,
and so forth.

This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. Finally he could stand it no longer.

He signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff. By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what’s more, he felt really good about himself.

So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said,
“Big John doesn’t pay!,” the driver stood up, glared back at the passenger,
and screamed, “And why not?!?”

With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, “Big John has a bus

The cookie thief

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

Although engrossed in her book, she happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the greedy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half,as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought … oh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She couldn’t recall having ever been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing even to look back such a thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
And sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize,she realized with grief,
That she was the in fact the ingrate and the thief.

Expensive tea

A group of elderly, cultured gentlemen met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties, to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests.

When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box. The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea.

The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope it will be a reminder to all that the good things in life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly.


The history books are full of stories of gifted persons whose talents were overlooked by a procession of people until someone believed in them.

Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read.

Issac Newton did poorly in grade school.

A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he had “no good ideas”.

Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college, and Werner von Braun failed ninth grade algebra.

Haydn gave up ever making a musician of Beethoven, who seemed a slow and plodding young man with no apparent talent — except a belief in music.

Mental associations

This story illustrates the importance of mental associations in making decisions.

A high school in Virginia offered a course called “Home Economics for Boys.”

Needless to say, it got little attention. So the following year it was renamed “Bachelor Living.”

You guessed it! The effect was overwhelming — 120 boys promptly signed up. The curriculum never changed. It still offered traditional instruction in cooking, sewing, laundry, and money management. But it needed the right image before the students would give the class a second look.

Only the Best

Often we become so wrapped up in our own business that we have blinded ourselves to the sacrifices others make for us, the kind of sacrifices that only those who love us would make:

There was a couple who had celebrated their golden anniversary with a big party. Presents were exchanged, and congratulations were expressed before they got in their car and drove home.

When they got home the woman made her way into the kitchen. As was her custom, she brewed some tea, and took out a loaf of bread, one of which she had baked daily for years. She cut off the heel, warmed it, and buttered it for her husband before cutting another slice for herself. Then she served him the warm bread.

Now, this guy who had been married for fifty years loved his wife greatly, but the stress of the day had taken its toll. And he blew up.

He said, “Honey I love you. You know that. But quite frankly this is it. For more years than I can even count, you have baked bread for me every day. But you always give me the heel. You always pass off that crusty piece of bread, that heel on me. I have had it! I won’t take it anymore!”

And this is true – she looked at him, blinked back the tears and said, “But honey, that’s my favorite piece.”


A mule dressed in a tuxedo is still a mule.

Small boy icecream

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?”

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. “How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.

Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.

The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies – her tip.

Soap maker

A Christian and a soap maker went for a walk together. The soap maker said, “what good is religion? Look at all the trouble and misery of the world!

Still there, even after years thousands of years — of teaching about goodness and truth and peace. Still there, after all the prayers and sermons and teachings. If religion is good and true, why should this be?”

The Christian said nothing. They continued walking until he noticed a child playing in the gutter.

Then he said, “Look at that child. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on that youngster. Of what good is soap? With all the soap in the world, over all these years, the child is still filthy. I wonder how effective soap is, after all!”

The soap maker protested. “But soap cannot do any good unless it is used!”

“Exactly!” replied the Christian.

Validated parking ticket

We’ve all heard stories about wealthy people being viewed with suspicion because of the way they were dressed. These are most often told as true, but usually can’t be validated.

So, let’s take them as what they are, parables. Here’s such a story:

This wealthy man didn’t like the way the bank manager looked at him. Like he’d crawled out from under a rock, according to him. This was due to the fact that he was in the construction business and worked regularly on site. So he was pretty dirty when he came into the bank.

He came into the bank to cash a small check that someone had given him. It was less than $100 and so he had no intention of depositing it.

Taking the money, he asked the teller to validate his parking ticket, so as to save the 50 cent fee. She refused since had not “conducted a transaction” by making a deposit.

He informed her that he was a substantial depositor and again requested validation of the ticket. She again refused and he asked for the manager, who also refused.

This caused the man to move all his accounts to another bank. Because of their judging by appearances, this bank lost a valuable customer.

Now this story is not actual fact, only a parable. But many of us have at times encountered just such an attitude.



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