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by Ken Waugh

In a little valley by a little stream stood a little chapel. Part of that little chapel was set off as a little flat and in that little flat lived Martin, the Pastor. Now Martin was famed for his sermons and people came from far and near to listen to him. For Martin so loved the Lord that it shone through in everything he said. Never was a person so devoted to God as was martin.

Now it so happened that in late winter it began to rain, at the same time it became unseasonably warm, which caused the snow on the surrounding hills to melt. Thus the little stream became a big stream, it then became a river and before long a lake. The rain continued without cease and before long the little chapel stood alone in a lake which became ever bigger and deeper. The water continued to rise and it wasn't long before Martin found himself sitting on the roof of the little chapel. But Martin had no fear for he knew the Lord would save him.

It wasn't long before the water was lapping at the eaves, and Martin was beginning to feel cold and miserable. Just then a boat came into view with two men in it. It pulled up alongside the chapel and one of the men invited Martin to jump in. But Martin refused, saying that the Lord would save him. So the men rowed away. The water still rose higher and very soon Martin found that it had reached his ankles so that he had to move and sit on the chimney. In the nick of time a helicopter came along and hovered above Martin. A rope ladder was lowered and a voice invited him to climb up to safety. Again Martin declined saying that the Lord would save him, so the helicopter flew away. The water continued to rise and Martin drowned.

Arriving at the gates of heaven he was met by St. Peter to whom he expressed his anger and disappointment at being allowed to drown.

You better take it up with God, said St. Peter, Wait here

Martin waited a few minutes and was then ushered into the presence of God.

"What is it?" asked God.

"I have been a good and faithful servant all my life, I have served you well and extolled the virtues of Christianity in the surrounding neighbourhood, so why did you let me drown?" replied Martin.

"But Martin" said God, "First I sent a boat and then a helicopter to rescue you, but you ref used their help. What more could I do?"

The moral of this story is, God can only help those who are willing to help themselves.


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