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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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FRANCINEJUST STAY IN THE RACEFrancine

There was once a young French woman named Francine who desperately wanted to be accepted by high society. Her husband was a common worker, but they managed to get invited to an elegant ball. Francine, feeling that she had to make an impression on the people at the ball, borrowed a beautiful necklace to wear from a wealthy friend. She was well accepted by the high-class people at the ball and the evening would have been a total success if it had not been for one small problem...Francine lost the borrowed necklace. To keep from having to tell her wealthy friend and risk certain embarrassment, she talked her husband into replacing it. Her husband had to borrow nearly 40,000 francs from every possible source he knew just to pay for the replacement. Francine gave the replacement to her friend without telling her what had happened.

Francine and her husband both worked two jobs to pay back the money they had borrowed to replace the necklace. They had to sell their home and live in the slums. Finally, after 10 long years, Francine and her husband were able to pay the last of their debt.

One day, Francine ran into the wealthy friend who had loaned her the necklace. The woman hardly recognized Francine because she looked so rough and old from all the hard work. Francine confessed to the wealthy woman that she had lost the borrowed necklace and had been working extremely hard for the past 10 years to pay for its replacement. The wealthy woman shook her head and explained to Francine that the one she borrowed had been made out of fake gemstones, not of real diamonds; it was worth less than 50 francs.

Francine and her husband had worked and suffered all those years simply because Francine had tried to keep up appearances.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. " (Gal. 1:10 NIV).

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward