SUNDAY MAGAZINE



SUNDAY MAGAZINE

 Bringing you a selection of Quotes, Inspiring Short Stories, Humor, Well known Classics in Serial form, Matters of general interest, and of course, Articles contributed by YOU.

Your valuable comments on the content and suggestions for improvement of "Sunday Magazine" and the website in general, will be very much appreciated.




26 February 2017

posted 23 Feb 2017, 22:52 by C S Paul   [ updated 24 Feb 2017, 04:21 ]


26 February 2017

Quotes to inspire
  • We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. - unknown
  • We expect more of ourselves than we have any right to.- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  - unknown
  • Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity they think of you.  unknown
  • The real tragedy of life is not being limited to one talent, but failing to use that one talent.  - unknown 
  • Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. - Jesse Jackson 
  • Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. Will Rogers 
  • Life is a promise; fulfill it- Mother Teresa 
  • You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. - Indira Gandhi 
  • Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. - Swedish proverb 
  • There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Just don’t respond with encores.  unknown
  • The door of opportunity won’t open unless you do some pushing. - unknown
  • True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. - Oprah Winfrey
The mouse trap

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said "I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many! people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry.


A foot has no nose
by Ellen K. Kuzwayo

Of the many interactions I had with my mother those many years ago, one stands out with clarity. I remember the occasion when mother sent me to the main road, about twenty yards away from the homestead, to invite a passing group of seasonal work-seekers home for a meal. She instructed me to take a container along and collect dry cow dung for making a fire. I was then to prepare the meal for the group of work-seekers.

The thought of making an open fire outside at midday, cooking in a large three-legged pot in that intense heat, was sufficient to upset even an angel. I did not manage to conceal my feelings from my mother and, after serving the group, she called me to the veranda where she usually sat to attend to her sewing and knitting.

Looking straight into my eyes, she daid "Tsholofelo, why did you sulk when I requested you to prepare a meal for those poor destitute people?" Despite my attempt to deny her allegation, and using the heat of the fire and the sun as an excuse for my alleged behaviour, mother, giving me a firm look, said ""Lonao ga lo na nko" - "A foot has no nose". It means: you cannot detect what trouble may lie ahead of you.

Had I denied this group of people a meal, it may have happened that, in my travels some time in the future, I found myself at the mercy of those very individuals. As if that was not enough to shame me, mother continued: "Motho ke motho ka motho yo mongwe". The literal meaning: "A person is a person because of another person".

My Sons Would Know

The story is told of a father who took his two boys one afternoon to play miniature golf.

The father walked up to the man at the ticket counter and said, "How much is it to get in?" The young man replied, "Three dollars for you and three dollars for any kid who is older than six. We let them in for free if they are six or younger. 

How old are your two?" The father replied, "This one is three and the other one is seven, so I owe you $6.00." 

The young man at the ticket counter said, "Hey mister, did you just win the lottery or something? You could have saved yourself three bucks if you would have told me that the older one was six. I wouldn't have known the difference."

The father replied, "Yes, that may be true, but the boys would have known the difference."


Puppies

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy. 

"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies." 

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money." The boy dropped his head for a moment. 

Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. 

"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?" 

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle, "Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. 

As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little fur ball appeared; this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up.... 

"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would." 

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands." 

The world is full of people who need someone who understands. Do you understand? 

Provided by Free Christian Content.org


Did you know ?
  • In a nod to astronauts, Texas is the only state that permits residents to cast absentee ballots from space. 
  • Eleven top executives of the Direct Marketing Association (the telemarketers' group that is trying to kill the federal "Do Not Call" list) have registered for the list themselves. 
  • An iceberg the size of Long Island, New York, has broken off Antarctica and has blocked sea lanes used by both ships and penguins. 
  • In 2003, the Transportation Security Administration dropped a requirement that air marshals pass a marksmanship test. Some applicants were even hired after they repeatedly shot flight attendants in mock hijacking episodes. 
  • As of January 2004, the United States economy now borrows $1,500,000,000 each day from foreign investors. 
  • A Costa Rican worker who makes baseballs earns about $2,750 annually. The average American pro baseball player earns $2,377,000 per year. 
  • Former keyboard player for Jethro Tull David Palmer is now a woman named Dee Palmer. He waited until his wife died before going through with his longtime desire for a sex change. 
  • During Bill Clinton's entire eight year presidency, he only sent two e-mails. One was to John Glenn when he was aboard the space shuttle, and the other was a test of the e-mail system. 
  • Homing pigeons use roads where possible to help find their way home. In fact, some pigeons followed roads so closely that they actually flew around traffic circles before choosing the exit that led them home. 
  • A snowflake can take up to a hour to fall from the cloud to the surface of the Earth.
  • Only 5 percent of the ocean floor has been mapped in as much detail as the surface of Mars. 
  • The only people whose likenesses adorn Pez dispensers are Betsy Ross and Paul Revere. 
  • Pain is measured in units of "dols". The instrument used to measure pain is a "dolorimeter". 

Just for laughs.

In a minute

A man was taking it easy, laying on the grass and looking up at the clouds. He was identifying shapes when he decided to talk to God.

"God," he said, "how long is a million years?"

God answered, "In my frame of reference, it's about a minute."

The man asked, "God, how much is a million dollars?"

God answered, "To me, it's a penny."

The man then asked, "God, can I have a penny?"

God answered, "In a minute."

Dear God ...

If you give me a genie lamp like Alladin, I will give you anything you want except my money or my chess set. Raphael

My brother is a rat. You should give him a tail. Ha ha. Danny

Please send Dennis Clark to a different camp this year. Peter

Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. Larry

I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over. Sam

Sin of lying

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Quite a few hands went up.  

The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only 16 chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."

19 February 2017

posted 17 Feb 2017, 20:49 by C S Paul

19 February 2017

Quotes to Inspire
  • "Strength: Those who say 'I can't' and those who say 'I can' are both right. There is no way we can do anything worthwhile if we say and believe we can't. The power to achieve is in the 'I can!'" — Ray Lammie
  • "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." — Paul the Apostle (Philippians 4:13)
  • "Pressure is what turns coal into diamonds." — Unknown
  • "People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates." — Thomas Szasz
  • "If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe." — Woody Allen
  • "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." — Unknown
  • "Friendship is a candle whose flame glows brighter when the hour is darker." — Unknown
  • "A real friend is when you can sit alone together and never say a word … and walk away feeling that you have had the best conversation." — Unknown
  • "Transformation through reconfiguration: We become transformed to the express image of Christ through the reconfiguration of our thinking, habits, and all else we do, say and believe. Believe me; it takes courage to do so." — Pete Patterson
  • Forgiveness is man's deepest need and highest achievement. -- Horace Bushnell
  • "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." — Edmund Hillary
  • "I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders." — Jewish Proverb
  • "When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." — Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • "Do not wait ... the time will never be just right ... start where you stand ... and work with whatever tools you may have at your command at the moment ... and better tools will be found as you go along." — Napoleon Hill
  • "To be prepared is half the victory." — Miguel de Cervantes

Puppy Love

-- By Bill McCartney

We jog, run, camp, fish, and build furniture. But, do we ever cross the line?

I'm Bill McCartney... It's 4th and Goal!

I know men who can take raw wood and a few nails and create a family heirloom. And then there are those of us who can listen to a sputtering engine and pinpoint the problem without even popping the hood. Other guys fly fish or fry up a gourmet meal.

Some of us are music lovers, avid readers and huge pet fans. These interests help fulfill us, but sometimes we can get caught up filling our days... and evenings... and weekends... pursuing activities that leave our families in the dust.

Take our interest in man's best friend. Our animals are companions for kids, protection for the home and just plain furry fun for the whole family. But, with all the extras and supplies available, there can be a tendency to get a little carried away.

We've got doggy beds, doggy diet chow, and special canine clothing. People primp their pooches, put them up in pet hotels, and even take them to counselors, when they're not sure what's dogging Fido. Things can easily get out of hand.

While we enjoy our outside interests and hobbies, do we let these "extras" become sore spots in our lives? Do they absorb far more time, energy and money than we should be sacrificing?

Any diversion can draw us away from the relationships that make life worth living. Let's ask ourselves what's more important, fulfilling our own needs or being a father to our children? What will they remember longer? The shiny wax job on the classic 'vette? Or, all those times we got on the ground and wrestled around with them?

Guys, we can take our hobbies to the extreme, pouring money and time into efforts that have no lasting value. Anything we put ahead of our wives and children, whether a pedigreed pooch, a workbench full of tools, or a super-deluxe convertible, says something about who we are, as men. Let's keep first things first and stay clear of anything that pulls us away from our first priorities as fathers and husbands.

"...Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." -- Philippians 4:8

~~~~~~~~~

Former head football coach of the University of Colorado, Coach Bill McCartney is the founder and former president of Promise Keepers. Currently he is the founder and chairman of The Road to Jerusalem ministry.


Nothing is written

Roger Darlington

My all-time favourite film is "Lawrence Of Arabia" and, if I have a favourite scene from the movie, then I guess it is the one of Lawrence's triumphal return from the Nefud desert, having gone back to rescue the Arab Gasim. The crossing of the Nefud desert is considered impossible, even by the local Arabs, but Lawrence persuades them that, in this way, they can take the Turkish port at Aqaba from the rear.

Having carried out the superhuman feat of traversing this furnace, it is discovered that one of the Arabs, Gasim, has fallen off his camel and is no doubt dying somewhere back in the desert. Lawrence is told that any idea of rescue is futile and, in any event, Gasim's death is "written". When Lawrence achieves the impossible and returns with Gasim still alive, Sherif Ali admits to him: "Truly, for some men nothing is written unless they write it".

As an impressionable teenager when this film was first released, I was stunned by Lawrence's courage and unselfishness in going back into the hell of the Nefud to attempt to find a man he hardly knew among the vast expanse of a fiery terrain and I was so moved by the sense of purpose of a man who is determined to take nothing as "written" but to shape his own destiny. This sense of anti-determinism and this belief that anything is possible has stayed with me always and continues to inspire me in small ways and large.


Nothing Beats Family

By Ridgely Goldsborough

I stepped into my hotel room to a pleasant surprise. Lots of room surrounded an inviting king-size bed, flanked by overstuffed armchairs that rested against sliding glass doors that opened onto a private patio. A small dining table sat next to a kitchenette with a separate sink, refrigerator and coffee machine. "Wow," I thought to myself. "Nice place."

I love hotels - from the Holiday Inn Express to the Ritz-Carlton and everything in between. I love to enter a clean room, hang my clothes and gaze out the window, walk out in the morning knowing that each afternoon when I return, someone else will have made the bed. I like in-room dining and the way they greet you so professionally. "Nice to have you with us again, Mr. Goldsborough." Very cool.

The problem is that unless Alison travels with me, I never sleep well in hotels. I miss my family. Even though Linus and Camille, at ages 4 and almost 2, find a way to interrupt even the best night's sleep at home, still, I'd rather be with them. I'll take Linus clamoring over me at five AM or a kick in the chin from Camille over the finest linens and a chocolate on my pillow. When I'm on the road I yearn for my loved ones.

I'm deeply troubled by the number of parents who wake up too late with the realization: "My children grew up too fast. In the hustle-bustle of career and corporate rat race, I missed their childhood." What they fail to say but too often inwardly think causes me even more pain: "...and I barely even know them."This applies to couples as well - so in a hurry to get who-knows-where - a destination seldom defined. Relationships turn into co-habitations, romance into convenience. Very disturbing.

A hundred years from now, no one will remember the size of your bank account, the car you drove or the square footage of your house. The world might differ greatly however, based on your impact in the life of a small child. Your life will most certainly improve, if you pay attention to your significant other, make the choice to put her or him first. Your example will benefit the rest of us. Our world cries out for role models and heroes of every day living. What could you do today to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you? What will you do tomorrow? And the next day?

Think of one specific action that you can take, and take it. Then think of another one and take that, too. Challenge yourself to find new ways to express your appreciation and love on a daily basis. It will pay off ten-fold at home.

On those slightly stressful days when the grass looks a little greener and you feel like maybe you need a break, remember this. Room service will never kiss you goodnight!


The house with the golden windows

-Unknown

The little girl lived in a small, very simple, poor house on a hill and as she grew she would play in the small garden and as she grew she was able to see over the garden fence and across the valley to a wonderful house high on the hill - and this house had golden windows, so golden and shining that the little girl would dream of how magic it would be to grow up and live in a house with golden windows instead of an ordinary house like hers.

And although she loved her parents and her family, she yearned to live in such a golden house and dreamed all day about how wonderful and exciting it must feel to live there.

When she got to an age where she gained enough skill and sensibility to go outside her garden fence, she asked her mother is she could go for a bike ride outside the gate and down the lane. After pleading with her, her mother finally allowed her to go, insisting that she kept close to the house and didn't wander too far. The day was beautiful and the little girl knew exactly where she was heading! Down the lane and across the valley, she rode her bike until she got to the gate of the golden house across on the other hill.

As she dismounted her bike and lent it against the gate post, she focused on the path that lead to the house and then on the house itself...and was so disappointed as she realised all the windows were plain and rather dirty, reflecting nothing other than the sad neglect of the house that stood derelict.

So sad she didn't go any further and turned, heart broken as she remounted her bike ... As she glanced up she saw a sight to amaze her...there across the way on her side of the valley was a little house and its windows glistened golden ...as the sun shone on her little home.

She realised that she had been living in her golden house and all the love and care she found there was what made her home the 'golden house'. Everything she dreamed was right there in front of her nose!


Did You Know ?

  • A kangaroo can't jump unless its tail is touching the ground.
  • Dolphins don't automatically breath; they have to tell themselves to do it.
  • Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours per day.
  • A flamingo can eat only when its head is upside down.
  • No other animal gives us more by-products than the pig. These by-products include pig suede, buttons, glass, paint brushes, crayons, chalk and insulation to name a few.
  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The father of medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
  • Although modern images & descriptions of India often show poverty, India was one of the richest countries till the time of British in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by India's wealth and was looking for route to India when he discovered America by mistake.
  • India has the most post offices in the world !
  • The largest employer in the world is the Indian railway system, employing over a million people !.   
  • The World's first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

Just for Laughs
The Minister and the Taxi Driver
Unknown

A minister has just died and is standing in line waiting to be judged and admitted to Heaven.

While waiting he asks the man in front of him about himself. The man says, "I am a taxi driver from New York City." 

The angel standing at the gate calls out next and the taxi driver steps up. The angel hands him a golden staff and a cornucopia of fruits, cheeses, and wine and lets him pass. The taxi driver is quite pleased, and proceeds through the gates. 

Next, the minister steps up to the angel who hands him a wooden staff and some bread and water. 

The minister is very concerned and asks the angel, "That guy is a taxi driver and gets a golden staff and a cornucopia! I spend my entire life as a minister and get nothing! How can that be?" 

The angel replies, "Up here we judge on results—all of your people sleep through your sermons—in his taxi, they pray." 

12 February 2017

posted 10 Feb 2017, 22:41 by C S Paul


12 February 2017

Quotes to Inspire

Words of Wisdom

  • "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." – Paul Boese
  • "An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots." – Unknown
  • "It's amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions." Unknown
  • "Technology is like a steamroller. If you're not on the steamroller, then you are destined to become part of the road." – Bits & Pieces
  • "You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere." – Charles Kettering
  • "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist." – Louis Nizer
  • "Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age." – Jeanne Moreau
  • "What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you." – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Thank you, Lord

A newly arrived soul in Heaven was met by St. Peter. The saint toured the soul around Heaven. Both of them walked side by side inside a large workroom filled with angels. St. Peter stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all the petitions to God said in prayer are received". The soul looked at the section, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets from all the people of the world.

They walked again until they reached the 2nd section, and St. Peter told the soul, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are packed and delivered to the persons who asked for them down on earth." The soul saw how busy it was. There were so many angels working in that room, since so many blessing were being packed and delivered to Earth.

Finally at the farthest corner of the room, the soul stopped at the last section. To the surprise of the soul, only one angel stayed there idly, doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledging Section," St. Peter told the soul. "How is it that, there is no work here?" "That's the sad thing," St. Peter answered. "After the people received the blessings they asked for, very few send their acknowledgments". "How does one acknowledge God's blessing?" "Simple," St. Peter answered. "Just say, "Thank you, Lord."

Thank you Lord, for giving me the chance to share this message with others and also, for giving me so many wonderful people to share this with.

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

The Homeless Person
-- Author- Unknown
The parking lot filled rapidly on Sunday morning as members of the large church congregation filed into church. As usually happens in a church that size, each member had developed a certain comfort zone - a block of space within those four church walls that became theirs after the second or third sitting.

It was as much a part of their church experience as the recliner was to the television at home. Some of the older members had been sitting in the same row on the same side for several decades. A team of oxen could not have moved them to the opposite side of the church.

One morning a stranger stood at the edge of the parking lot near a dumpster. As families parked cars and piled out, they noticed him rummaging through the trash. "Oh no! I don't believe it," whispered a lady to her husband. "That's all we need -- a bunch of homeless people milling around here."

One worried little girl tugged on her dad's sleeve. "But Daddy..."

Daddy was busy sizing up the bearded stranger, whose baggy, outdated trousers and faded flannel shirt had dusted too many park benches.

"Don't stare at him, honey," he whispered, and hurried her inside.

Soft music filled the high-ceiling sanctuary as churchgoers settled into their usual spots. The choir sang an opening chorus, "In His presence there is comfort ... in His presence there is peace...".

Sunlight suddenly flooded the center aisle. The double doors swung open and the homeless man, sloppy and stooped, headed toward the front.

"Oh no, it's him!" somebody muttered.

"What does he think he's doing, anyway?" snapped an incredulous usher.

The stranger set his bagful of dumpster treasures on the very first pew which had been upholstered in an expensive soft teal fabric just three months ago. The music stopped. And before anyone had a chance to react, he ambled up the stairs and stood behind the fine, handcrafted oak podium, where he faced a wide-eyed congregation.

The disheveled stranger spoke haltingly at first, in a low, clear voice. Unbuttoning and removing his top layer of clothing, he described Jesus, and the love He has for all people.

"Jesus possesses a sensitivity and love that far surpasses what any of us deserves."

Stepping out of the baggy old trousers, the stranger went on to describe a forgiveness that is available to each and every one of us...without strings attached.

"Unconditionally He loves us. Unconditionally He gave His very life for us. Unconditionally and forever, we can have the peace and assurance that no matter who we are, where we've come from, or how badly we may have mistreated others or ourselves, there is hope."

"In Jesus, there is always hope."

"You see, my friends, it is never too late to change," the man continued.

"He is the Author of change, and the Provider of forgiveness. He came to bring new meaning to 'life'."

Men and women squirmed as reality hit them like an electrical current. The stranger tugged at his knotted gray beard, and removed it.

"I'm here to tell you that we are loved with a love far beyond human understanding, a love that enables us to accept and love others in return." Then tenderly he added, "Let's pray together."

That wise pastor - under the guise of a homeless "nobody" - did not preach a sermon that day, but every person left with plenty to think about.

You're Better Than That
Michael Josephson 

Todd was an angry nine-year-old being raised by his mom after his dad abandoned the family. Not knowing how to handle his anger, she sent him for the summer to live with his grandparents on a farm. When Todd screamed at his grandmother, his granddad immediately pulled him outside where he showed him a two-by-four, a box of two-inch nails and a big hammer. He told Todd that every time he lost his temper he would be sent outside and that he couldn't return until he pounded a big two-inch nail all the way into the two-by-four.

After about a dozen trips to the "nail shed," Todd began to control his temper more and pound less. After a solid week of self-control he proudly announced that he had learned his lesson.

His grandma said, "Not yet," and she took him to the shed. She told him to pull out all the nails he had pounded in. After two hours Todd told his grandma he was finished.

She smiled and put her arm around him as they surveyed the bent nails and the holes in the two-by-four. Then she said: "Your temper may have helped you pound in those nails but it didn't change anything, did it? Pulling out the nails didn't do much good either. It's like saying you're sorry. Sorry doesn't fix the holes."

"Here's the thing, Todd. Anger makes holes that sorry can't fix. You can't do much about old holes, but you can stop making new ones. Remember, every time you do something mean and nasty you're putting a hole somewhere, in someone. That's what your dad did to you. Please don't do that to anyone else. You are better than that."

My Attorney

After living a "decent" life, my time on earth came to an end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table. As I looked around I saw the "prosecutor." He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me. He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen. I sat down and looked to my left and there sat my lawyer, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed familiar to me. The corner door flew open and there appeared the judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as he moved across the room. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. 

As he took his seat behind the bench, he said, "Let us begin." The prosecutor rose and said, "My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell." He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and in the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't look at anyone, even my own lawyer, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about. As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at my representative who sat there silently not offering any form of defense at all. I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life, couldn't that at least equal out part of the harm I've done? Satan finished with a fury and said, "This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise. 

When it was his turn, my lawyer first asked if he might approach the bench. The judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned him to come forward. As he got up and started walking, I was able to see him in his full splendor and majesty. I realized why he seemed so familiar. This was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior. He stopped at the bench and softly said to the judge, "Hi Dad," and then he turned to address the court. "Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won't deny any of these allegations. And yes the wages of sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished." Jesus took a deep breath and turned to his Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, "However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has accepted me as his Savior, so he is mine." My Lord continued with, "His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from me. Satan still does not understand yet. This man is not to be given justice, but rather mercy." 

As Jesus sat down, he quietly paused, looked at his Father and replied, "There is nothing else that needs to be done. I've done it all." The judge lifted his mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from his lips... "This man is free. The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed." 

As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, "I won't give up, I'll win the next one." I asked Jesus as he gave me my instructions where to go next, "Have you ever lost a case?" Christ lovingly smiled and said, "Everyone that has come to me and asked me to represent them has received the same verdict as you, Paid in Full." 

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

Did You Know?

  • According to market research firm NPD Fashionworld, fifty percent of all lingerie purchases are returned to the store. 
  • On EBay, there are an average of $680 worth of transactions each second. 
  • The Eiffel Tower shrinks 6 inches in winter. 
  • The first FAX machine was patented in 1843, 33 years before Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone. 
  • 72% of Americans sign their pets' names on greeting cards they send out. 
  • In an effort to encourage the use of nuclear energy, the United States lent highly enriched uranium to countries all over the world between 1950 and 1988. Enough weapons-grade material to make 1,000 nuclear bombs has still not been returned by such countries as Pakistan, Iran, Israel and South Africa. 
  • There are an average of 18,000,000 items for sale at any time on EBay. 
  • The New York Times reports that in February 2004, 62% of all e-mail was spam. 
  • U.K. telecom provider Telewest Broadband is testing a device that hooks to your PC and wafts a scent when certain e-mails arrive. 
  • In 1993, David McLean developed lung cancer. He died on October 12, 1995. McLean's death made him the second Marlboro Man to die of lung cancer. Another actor, Wayne McLaren, died in 1992 at the age of 51 from lung cancer. 
  • There is a bar in London that sells vaporized vodka, which is inhaled instead of sipped. 
DOMINATED MEN

God looks over the millions of people and says 'Welcome to Heaven. I want the women to go with Saint Peter, and the men to form two lines. Make one line of the men that dominated their women on earth, and the other of men who were dominated by their women.'
There's much movement, but eventually the women are gone and there are two lines. The line of the men that were dominated is 100 miles long. The line of men that dominated women has only one man.

God gets angry and says, 'You men should be ashamed of yourselves. I created you in my image and you were all dominated by your mates. Look at the only one of my sons that stood up and made me proud. Learn from him!'

He turns to the man and says, 'Tell them, my son. How did you manage to be the only one on that line?'

The man says, 'I don't know, my wife told me to stand here.' 

GOD WILL PROVIDE

A young woman brought her fiance home to meet her parents.After dinner,her mother told her father to find out about the young man.

The father invited the fiance to his study for a talk.

'So what are your plans?' the father asked the young man.

'I am a biblical scholar,' he replied.

'A Biblical scholar.Hmmm,' the father said. 'Admirable,but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?'

'I will study,' the young man replied, 'and God will provide for us.'

'And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring,such as she deserves?' asked the father.

'I will concentrate on my studies,' the young man replied,'God will provide for us.'

'And children?' asked the father. 'How will you support children?'

'Don't worry, sir, God will provide,' replied the fiance.

The conversation proceeded like this, and each time the father questioned, the young idealist insisted that God would provide.

Later, the mother asked, 'How did it go, Honey?'

The father answered, 'He has no job and no plans, and he thinks I'm God!' 

5 February 2017

posted 2 Feb 2017, 21:39 by C S Paul


5 February 2017

Quotes to Inspire

  • "It is not what you do to live, but what you live to do." – Unknown
  • "If you don't take a chance you don't have a chance." – Unknown
  • "Our doubts are traitors / And make us lose the good we oft might win / By fearing to attempt." – William Shakespeare
  • "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away." – Unknown
  • "If football taught me anything about business, it is that you win the game one play at a time." – Fran Tarkenton
  • "The virtue of man ought to be measured, not by his extraordinary exertions but by his everyday conduct." – Blaise Pascal
  • "The best way to predict your future is to create it." – Erich Fromm
  • "Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe."– Winston Churchill
  • "A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction." – Rita Mae Brown
  • "If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." – Bishop Desmond Tutu
  • "You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose." – Lou Holt
  • "Most battles are won [or lost] before they are ever fought." – George Patton, US Army general
  • "The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. The just make the best of everything they have." – Unknown
  • "Football: A game where a whole group of big, strong players run around like crazy for two hours while millions of people who really need the exercise sit and watch." – Unknown
  • "We always have time for the things we put first." – Paul Johnson
  • "The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us." – Unknown

Daddy’s Empty Chair
-- Author Unknown

A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two  pillows.

An empty chair sat beside his bed.

The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. “I guess you were  expecting me," he said.

“No, who are you?” said the father.

The minister told him his name and then remarked, “I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up,”

“Oh yeah, the chair,” said the bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?”

Puzzled, the minister shut the door.

“I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said the man. “But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day, four years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest...’”

‘Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky, because He promised, ‘I will be with you always.’ Then just speak to Him in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’”

“So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon.

“Did he die in peace?” the minister asked.

“Yes. When I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But, there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?”

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “I wish we could all go like that.”

Define What You Have In Mind
-- Author unknown

Have you ever heard the quote by Mark Twain "The world owes you nothing, it was here first?" A conversation I had today with one of my students got me thinking. Why does everyone think we're just entitled to success? The truth is...

You don't deserve anything.

Yet, you deserve to have it all.

Does that make sense? Two opposites, that at only the highest level of awareness - can you sit at both completely comfortable and content being in both realties. Because both are true. The world is unfortunately set up for your failure. All the odds are against you? But aren't there promises blatantly scribed in the worlds most ancient scriptures proclaiming we are and we become what we seek.

This isn't the Law of Attraction.

I'm not about the "woo woo" --- Really. I'm not!

Here's what I am saying. Today you have the option to become whatever you want. You have the option to design the life. And your current situation is the direct consequence by your design (or default) in the past.

And I'm talking about specifics.

My aunt and I were speaking yesterday about the power of prayer. Now, we may not have the same God (if you need one, I can introduce you to mine)... but I think we can both agree on the power of prayer.

A young man was telling a story in a book about how for months he prayed to God asking for a bicycle and a desk. Discouraged and in tears one night, this kid sought his God to question Him "Why are you forgetting me? I've been praying ever so diligently" God responded; "You've asked for nothing, I have no idea what bicycle you want, there are thousands of varieties...and you desk? How big? What color? Do you want a chair too?"

The boy stirred up his faith and his Design Cap and captured his dream bike and desk on paper. He wanted an American bike (was from Asia) and a desk made of Philippine mahogany. After some time in thought, he went back to sleep.

The best part of the story was a few months later he had the exact bike he wanted and the desk he longed for.

What do you want? Looking for a spouse? Have you clearly written down exactly what your ideal spouse looks like, sounds like, does for a living, their body type, race, occupation?

How about your dream business or clientele? I know for me, when I am designing my life - I don't ask for just "more customers" What kind of customers do you want? I want those that are absolutely in love with my product. That refer me their colleagues. Ones that will reorder religiously.

This works for everything!

Once things are clearly defined and you realize that as much as you are worth every bit to receive this (oh, and that's so important) now you have to set your sights on accepting it into your life.

There is nothing that will stomp on a dream or a vision or a plan than lack of faith and crossed arms. Open wide.

There is a common phrase we hear so often "Ask and you shall receive," but they sometimes leave out the next portion "Seek and you shall find."

The next step is to seek the information. Seek the prospects (business or romantic LOL!). To seek is to act. To act is to win.

Be a winner!
Buy The Milk
Author Unknown

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had spoken about "listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice."

The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?" After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray,"God, if you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply, so he started on toward home. But again, the thought came to him... buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel, and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. So, he stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, "Turn down that street." This is crazy, he thought, and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will".

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark, like people were already in bed.

gain, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. "Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid."

Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door and said, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but, if they don't answer right away, I am out of here."

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?" Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep.

The man asked, "What is it?"

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk and said, "Here, I brought this to you," he said. The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.
The man was following following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk." His wife in the kitchen yelled out,"I ask him to send an angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man's hand. Then he turned and walked back toward his car and tears were streaming down his face. He knew then that God does still speak to people... and answer prayers.


Can Anybody See God?
-- Author Unknown

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God.

"Susie, can anybody ever really see God?" he asked. Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: "No, of course not, silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him."

Time passed, but his question still lingered, so he approached his mother: "Mom, can anybody ever really see God?" "No, not really," she gently said. "God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see him."

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. They were having a great time together -- it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor as the day ended.

The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him.  On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly: "Granddad, I - I wasn't going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I've been wondering about a long time. Can anybody, can anybody ever really see God?"

The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. "Son," he quietly said. "It's getting so I can't see anything else."
---
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

-- Psalm 19:1-4

Did You Know ?
  • A mark twain, a nautical measurement of depth, is equal to twelve feet. 
  • A McDonald's straw will hold 7.7 ml, or just over one-and-a-half teaspoons of whatever you are drinking.
  • A person who is lost in the woods and starving can obtain nourishment by chewing on his shoes. Leather has enough nutritional value to sustain life for a short time. 
  • A person will die from total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death will occur about 10 days without sleep, while starvation takes a few weeks. 
  • A piano leg went through the floor of the white house in 1948 during President Truman's term. 
  • A hinny is the offspring of a female donkey. 
  • A googol is a 1 followed by 100 zeros. Mathematician Edward Kasner supposedly asked his nephew Milton Sirotta to suggest a name for the number, and he came up with this word.  
  • A grasshopper needs a minimum temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be able to hop.  
  • A group od geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group in the air is a skein. 
  • A group of crows is called a murder. 
  • A manned rocket can reach the moon in less time than it used to take to travel the length of England by stagecoach.  
 Just for laughs


Why do doctors and lawyers call what they do practice?

Why is abbreviation such a long word?

Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on your radio?

Why is a boxing ring square?

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

How do they get the deer to cross the highway at those yellow signs?

How did a fool and his money get together in the first place?

Family Problems ?

Two men met recently and struck up a conversation. One was telling the other about some problems he was having with one of his kids.

After a while the other guy said, "You think you have family problems? Get a load of my situation. A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter and we got married. Later, my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter my stepmother and my father became my stepson.

"Also, my wife became mother-in-law of her father-in-law. Then the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father's son, but he was also the son of my wife's daughter, which made him my wife's grandson. That made me grandfather of my half-brother.

"This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the sister of my son, my mother-in-law, is also the grandmother. This makes my father the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father's wife.

"I am my stepmother's brother-in-law, my wife is her own child's aunt, my son is my father's nephew and I am my own grandfather. Wow! You think you have family problems."1

I don't know about you, but now I'm utterly konfuzed with a capital "K"!

29 January 2017

posted 26 Jan 2017, 20:59 by C S Paul



29 January 2017

Quotes to Inspire

  • "Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise." – Sophia Bedford-Pierce
  • "I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better." – G. C. Lichtenberg
  • "In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • "To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart." – Unknown
  • "Anger is only one letter short of danger." – Unknown
  • "You will never know how high you can jump until you reach a failure point." – Robert Schuller
  • "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." – Michael McGriff, M.D.
  • "There are two kinds of people who don't say much: Those who are quiet and those who talk a lot." – Ideas for Better Living
  • "Have you ever noticed that common sense is not very common?" –  Unknown
  • "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him." – Unknown
  • "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." – William James
  • "It is not length of life, but depth of life." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Doll And A White Rose
- V.A.Bailey -

I hurried into the local department store to grab some last minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself. I would be in here forever and I just had so much to do. Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished that I could just sleep through Christmas. But I hurried the best I could through all the people to the toy department. Once again I kind of mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys. And wondered if the grandkids would even play with them.

I found myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy about 5 holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I could not seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for. I watched him turn to a woman and he called his aunt by name and said, "Are you sure I don't have enough money?"

She replied a bit impatiently, "You know that you don't have enough money for it." The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes. And then she left the aisle. The boy continued to hold the doll.

After a bit I asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, "It is the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it." I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He said "No, Santa can't go where my sister is. I have to give the doll to my Momma to take to her."

I asked him where his sister was. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said "She has gone to be with Jesus. My Daddy says that Momma is going to have to go be with her." My heart nearly stopped beating.

Then the boy looked at me again and said, "I told my Daddy to tell Momma not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store." Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to. He pulled out some pictures he'd had taken at the front of the store. He said "I want my Momma to take this with her so she don't ever forget me. I love my Momma so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me. But Daddy says she will need to be with my sister."

I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking I reached into my purse and pulled out a hand full of bills. I ask the little boy, "Shall we count that money one more time?" He grew excited and said, "Yes, I just know it has to be enough." So I slipped my money in with his and we began to count it. And of course it was plenty for the doll. He softly said, "Thank you Jesus for giving me enough money." Then the boy said, "I just ask Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll, so Momma can take it with her to give to my sister and he heard my prayer! I wanted to ask him for enough to buy my Momma a white rose, but I didn't ask him, but he gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Momma. She loves white roses so very very much."

In a few minutes the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier about a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and the Mother was in serious condition. The family was deciding on whether to remove the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story.

Two days later I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I could not forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected. Later that day, I could not help myself and I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home where the young woman was. And there she was holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store. I left there in tears, my life changed forever. The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. And in a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of that little boy to pieces.

The Quilt
-Author Unknown

As I faced my Maker at the last Judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives, like the squares of a quilt, in many piles.

An Angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life.

But as my Angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares were. They were filled with giant holes! Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I had endured, (which were the largest holes of all).

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Others had a tiny hole here and there, other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune.

I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My Angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air. Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light and the scrutiny of truth. The others rose each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.

My Angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I had spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully; each time offering it up to the Father, in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it had been.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with eyes wide. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded through the many holes, creating an image.

The face of Christ.

Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said,

"Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you...Welcome Home My Child"

Your Wish Is My Command
-- by Joyce Shafer

From fiction-story dialogue to contemporary meta-spiritual reference, this utterance says a lot. But how many understand its impact on their experiences?

The fictional story with which most of us are familiar had Aladdin's genie grant him three wishes. In the movie, "The Secret," it's stated that the original story has no limit on the number of wishes that can be wished for.

It's easy to accept unlimited wishes but... realizing what the genie's response means, as it applies to the Law of Attraction, may take a bit more thought.

This week I spoke with someone who's fairly new to this type of information. She accepts it but as soon as any challenge appears in her life, even a small one, old programs bite her on the bumper sticker... only her bumper sticker doesn't read, "Shit Happens," hers is missing a key letter.

She insisted she can't move forward until she has 'Every Last Detail Detailed.' (Quoting Mike Litman again), "You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going."

She commented her age is involved (it isn't), you have to have money (not a lot), have to have flyers (not true) and... her list of have-to-haves went on until I interrupted her.

We discussed how for around $30 she can get business cards printed. Then we discussed the free ways she can advertise her services, such as attending networking events, being a guest speaker at local meetings, contacting all of the former clients who were highly impressed with her skills and work ethic, plus a few other ideas that came up.

We talked about how every single emotionally charged thought she has causes her "personal genie," (a.k.a. the quantum field of potential), to respond to, "Your wish is my command," without censoring whatever thought-form she sets into motion.

She acknowledged that every time she spins herself into a negative vortex, she gets more of the same. I asked her if she's able to do that for experiences she doesn't desire to have... then think of how she would feel about doing it for what she wants to expand more of into her life.

I also suggested that instead of focusing on what she feels needs to be changed, she focus on what it feels like to live her dream.

It's interesting that she can accept responsibility for creating negatives in her life, yet assumes that responsibility for positives comes from outside her.

When Aladdin tells the genie his wish, he doesn't ask the genie how it's going to get accomplished... he knows it will. (If there was anything Aladdin needed to do to assist his genie, I'm pretty sure he'd do it.) It's the same for us. We muck up the process when we doubt it will happen... (nothing good happens to me), doubt how it can happen... (I have to control every detail all the while disclaiming my inner genie's power), and doubt we're worthy to have our wish granted (we place limits
on receiving).

When we place limits on what can happen...(maybe I'm not worthy) and how it can happen...fear of the unknown future, we simultaneously set limits on allowing it into our lives.

At one point, the woman said her genie wasn't doing his job right. "Just remember," I reminded her, "it's you who tells your genie what to do." As you go through the moments of your day, imagine hearing, "Your wish is my command," for every thought or word from you. Kind of makes you want to pay better attention to this, doesn't it?

what is the purpose of life?
Taken from the "Rick Warren Interview" -- by Paul Bradshaw

[Note: Rick Warren is author of best-selling book, "Purpose Driven Life," and pastor of Saddleback Church in California. This is an incredible short interview - You will enjoy the insights that he has, with his wife having cancer and him having 'wealth' from his book sales.]

People ask me, “What is the purpose of life?” And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
 
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body -- but not the end of me.
 
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
 
We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.
 
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. 
 
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. 
 
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness. 
 
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems: 
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.

That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. 
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. 
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. 
Painful moments, TRUST GOD. 
Every moment, THANK GOD. 

The Grocery List  
~Author unknown~

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store. Visualizing the family needs, she said: Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?" Louise replied, "Yes sir" "O.K." he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries." Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it." The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.

It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said: "Dear Lord, you know my Needs and I am leaving this in your hands". The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it."

Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs.

So many of us do not take advantage of the power God has given us. A prayer!

Did You Know ?
  • India has the world’s largest movie industry, based in the city of Mumbai .The B in “Bollywood” comes from Bombay, the former name for Mumbai.
  • Mumbai (Bombay) is India’s largest city, with a population of 15 million.
  • India has the world’s third largest road network at 1.9 million miles. It also has the world’s second largest rail network.
  •  Ever wondered why the date 15th August was chosen as the auspicious one? Going by the Indian belief in astrologers, one would like to think that there was something good about the stars that day. That would however be wrong. Lord Mountbatten, the newly appointed Viceroy chose the date 15th of August, to correspond with the 2nd anniversary of Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces, as per the information provided by his press secretary Campbell-Johnson. Lord Mountbatten however later revealed to veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, that the situation in India was slipping from his hands, and hence he decided to quit as soon as possible. The British originally agreed to give India her independence in 1948.
  • Today, India exports software to 90 countries of World.
  • The four religions born in India - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, are followed by 25% of the world's population.
  • 38% of doctors in America are Indians, 12% scientists in america are indians, 36% of NASA employees are indians,34% of microsoft employees are Indians and 28% ibm employees
  • The name 'India' is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river Indus as the Sindhu.
  • The Kumbh Mela is a huge Hindu religious festival that takes place in India every 12 years. In 2001, 60 million people attended, breaking the record for the world’s biggest gathering.
  • 15th August also marks the independence of three other nations - South Korea won its independence from Japan on 15th August 1945, Bahrain from UK in 1971 and Republic of the Congo from France in 1960.

Just for Laughs

A Sure Thing 

Three Pastors in the south were having lunch in a diner. One said "Ya know, since summer started I've been having trouble with bats in my loft and attic at church. I've tried everything--noise, spray, cats--nothing seems to scare them away. Another said "Yea, me too. I've got hundreds living in my belfry and in the narthex attic. I've even had the place fumigated, and they won't go away." The third said, "I baptized all mine, and made them members of the church... Haven't seen one back since!!!" 

Cleopatra's Skull.

I read about a lady who spent some time in Egypt and brought back a rather unusual story. She was at a bazaar on one of Cairo's side streets, and saw a skull being exhibited. She asked the proprietor about it. He told her it was the skull of Cleopatra.

Alongside that skull was a smaller one which piqued her interest.

When she asked about that one, the proprietor said: "That m'lady is also Cleopatra's—but as a child."


22 January 2017

posted 20 Jan 2017, 02:34 by C S Paul


22 January 2017

Quotes to Inspire

  • "That best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." – William Wordsworth
  • "I didn't get to where I am by thinking about it or dreaming about it. I got there by doing it." – Estee Lauder
  • "And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." – Anais Nin
  • "By perseverance the snail reached the ark." – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • "Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough." – Garrison Keillor
  • "What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" – William Morrow
  • "Opportunity never knocks; it is within you." – Denis Waitley
  • "There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those who wonder what happened!" – An old American military saying
  • "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse." – Florence Nightingale
  • "Those who travel the high road of humility are not troubled by heavy traffic." – Alan Simpson
  • "Everyone wants to be appreciated. So if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret." – Mary Kay Ash
  • "Better to be prepared and not called than to be called and not prepared." – Jim Wallace
  • "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names may break my heart" – Linda McCartney
  • "The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it's on ... a football field, in an army, or in an office." – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lesson of the snake
 
This very short and enlightening story is like a parable from the Bible. It teaches that it's never to late to learn a lesson in life... especially if it can save a life ---- Author unknown

A man was in his cabin in the middle of a terrible snow storm when he heard a feeble scratching at his door.

He opened it to see a half frozen rattle snake on his doorstep begging to be let in from the bitter cold.

The man said to the snake, “I’m not going to let you in! You’re a rattle snake and you’re going to bite me!”

“No I won’t,” hissed the snake. “Just bring me in and get me warm and I’ll be your friend for life.”

Well, the man let the snake come in and even allowed it to rest upon his chest by the fire to get warm.

When the snake was completely comfortable it bit the man on the neck.

As he was dying, the man said, “but you promised you wouldn’t bite me and would be my friend for life.”

The snake calmly replied... “but you knew I was a snake when you let me in.”

Safe in the Storm
- Author unknown

A young man named Paul related a childhood memory of growing up in West Texas, which is tornado country. Springtime brings tornadoes there. One day when Paul was three or four years old, the skies turned black and the wind began to roar. 

Paul's father hustled the five boys into the house and covered them with a mattress for protection from potential debris uprooted by the whirling winds. Paul peeked from under the mattress and watched his father standing by the window carefully watching the movement of the funnel cloud as it roared across the prairie.

Tensions rose. Fear gripped their hearts and Paul's heart pounded. Paul could not resist the urge to struggle out of the arms of his mother, race to the window, and wrap his arms around his father. 

He remembers the distinct impression that the safest place to be in a storm was standing next to his father. Storms do come. Stand next to your [Heavenly] Father. It's safe there!

The Brick
-- Author unknown

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door!

He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you?

Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic.

"Please, mister... please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop... " With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.

"It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts.

A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar.

The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message.

"Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts.
Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us.

It's our choice to listen or not.

Life In a Manure Pile
By Marsha Jordan

There was a time when my husband aspired to be a self-sufficient, back-to-the-land pioneer. He bought a windmill, some oil lamps, beehives, and a couple of pigs, which our son named Lois Lane and Clark Kent.

This dirty duo caused me many headaches, from the day we took them home. Although tied in gunny sacks and secured in the back of our pickup truck, the Houdini hoglets managed to free themselves , leap from the truck, and head for the hills. We eventually got the slippery little buggers safely home, but only after a rough and tumble scramble through the woods.

Lois and Clark were adventurous piglets who soon learned to scale their little pig house and jump off the roof to freedom outside the fence. Motorists on the busy highway near our home frequently reported seeing "two wild pigs" darting between cars. And more than once, I received angry phone calls from neighbors who found the pair digging up their flower beds.

I was usually the only one home when the pigs went exploring, so the job of luring them home fell to yours truly. How does one convince two full grown hogs to follow you? It requires a slop bucket full of cottage cheese, apple peels, and other goodies.

Once I had to trudge through waist-high snow, leaving a trail behind me of table scraps. By this time, L and C had become man eaters, so they followed close behind chomping at my heels.

Yes, pigs BITE - at least Lois and Clark did. And once they tasted blood, they preferred it to their usual diet.

That diet consisted of truckloads of stale bakery bread , sour milk from the dairy, and scraps from local restaurants. Keeping the pair of porkers fed was a big job. Lois and Clark ate a lot - and you can imagine what else they did - a LOT. The manure pile grew into a mountain which remained in the field long after Lois and Clark were transformed to bacon and pork chops and laid to rest in our freezer.

The following summer, I planted a huge garden. I lovingly weeded it, fertilized it, and tended it daily only to discover at the end of the season that my prized vegetables were dwarfed in comparison to the huge tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash that had sprung up from the manure pile.

Why am I telling you more than you cared to know about pigs and manure? Because there is something to be learned here (God has lessons for us everywhere, if we are willing to see them).

Most folks have felt the pain of seeing their hopes shattered and dreams destroyed. We all have felt at times like life is one big dung heap and we're living smack dab in the middle of a mountain of manure!

The Bible says that God can produce beauty from ashes. He can take the smelly, disgusting pile of manure that our lives can sometimes be - and He can grow some prize-winning, life-giving fruit (and veggies) from what looks to us like garbage.

So there is hope - even atop the manure pile. Just as the garbage in a compost heap makes a garden grow, the garbage in our lives can bring forth good things too that help us to grow.

We may wonder why God allows the manure to pile up in our lives, but I'm sure it's no accident or surprise to Him. The good news is that we don't have to climb that manure mountain alone. Trouble comes into every life, but we have a source of strength to uphold and guide us; and we have hope, the essential ingredient for making it through the dung heap.

So grab a shovel and start digging. There's a harvest on the other side.


Did you Know?
  • Men’s shirts have the buttons on the right while women’s shirts have the buttons on the left.
  • Human fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.
  • The Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt holds a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.
  • Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty years of age.
  • It takes approximately 2 million flowers for a bee to make 1 pound of honey.
  • Elephants have been known to remain standing after they die.
  • Dolphins can swim and sleep at the same time.
  • Armadillos have four babies at the same time, and they are always the same sex.
  • The bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps.
  • Snakes can see through their eyelids.
  • Buttermilk does not contain any butter.
  • The human brain is 80% water.
Just for Laughs

THEOLOGY AS EXPLAINED BY CHILDREN

The first book of the Bible is Guinessis, in which Adam & Eve were created from an apple tree.

Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark.

Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night.

Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.

Unleavened bread is bread made without ingredients.

Moses went to the top of Mt. Cyanide to get the 10 commandments.

The 7th commandment is 'Thou shalt not admit adultery.'

Joshua let the Hebrew in the battle of Geritol. 

David fought the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.

Solomon has 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.

The people who followed Jesus were called the 13 decibels.

The Epistles were the wives of the Apostles.

One of the opossums was St. Matthew.

Paul preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.

A Godly person should have only one wife. This is called monotony. 

15 January 2017

posted 13 Jan 2017, 02:36 by C S Paul


15 January 2017

Quotes to Inspire

  • "That best portion of a good man's life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." – William Wordsworth
  • "The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think we work for anybody but ourselves." – Brian Tracy
  • "You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." – Mary Pickford
  • "Every evening, write down the six most important things that you must do the next day. Then while you sleep your subconscious will work on the best ways for you to accomplish them. Your next day will go much more smoothly." – Tom Hopkins
  • "You don't get to control any outcome, only every choice you make along the way." – Stephen C. Paul
  • "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they might have planned for you? Not much." – Jim Rohn
  • "A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person." – Dave Barry
  • "The value of a relationship is in direct proportion to the time that you invest in the relationship." – Brian Tracy
  • "I would rather work with five people who really believe in what they are doing rather than 500 who can't see the point." – Patrick Dixon
  • "A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit." – D. Elton Trueblood
  • "When the morning's freshness has been replaced by the weariness of midday, when the leg muscles give under the strain, the climb seems endless, and suddenly nothing will go quite as you wish—it is then that you must not hesitate." – Dag Hammarskjol
  • "There is no traffic jam on the extra mile." – Unknown
THE POWER OF A LITTLE PRAYER
Tony K.

It was the end of a great day! My wife and I were on our way home. It was about midnight. We were both relaxed and enjoying the ride on a clear autumn night. I was driving our 1999 Mazda 626 down the highway and was preparing to exit onto a major 4 lane road. 

Sarah and I frequently pray as we travel, especially at night. We were both in a reflective mood and decided to pray about half way home. I had already finished praying to God. Sarah was still talking to Him as we started up the long exit ramp. She was asking Him for His protection on all her family who were also traveling home that evening. Little did she know we were about to become the recipients of that very protection. 

We both were watching the traffic light as we got about half way up the ramp. It was solid green. There were no vehicles in front of us so we simply rolled into the intersection at about 30 MPH, to make the sweeping left turn onto the other road. 

As we entered the intersection we saw a flash of light to our left and instantly heard a loud crash and felt a jarring impact. Our bodies were thrown to the right, then whipped back immediately to an upright position. I felt a sharp blow to my lower side and back as our car stopped dead in the intersection. It felt like somebody had hit me full force with a baseball bat. I just sat there, dazed and moaning. I could not believe what had just happened. 

I heard my wife asking me if I was OK. I told her my back hurt but otherwise I seemed to be alright. I asked if she was injured, expecting an answer involving neck pain. Praise God she was completely unhurt! I then realized that I did not have any neck trauma either. In spite of being violently slammed sideways we had no obvious injuries to our necks. 

The paramedics checked me over in the car then helped me out the passenger side because the drivers side was crushed shut. They checked me out in the ambulance and said I was OK except for some possible bruised ribs where the side impact door beam hit me in the back. I didn't even have to go to the hospital. 

Our car had to be towed away, (it had almost $10,000 damage), but we walked away! Amazingly, the 3 teenagers in the Blazer that hit us were also completely unharmed. The speed limit was 45 MPH on that road and the driver said she had a green light, so she would not have been slowing down before she hit us broadside in the intersection. There is no reasonable explanation for the lack of serious injuries for all of us, unless we believe in miracles! We do! 

There are a lot of things that don't make any sense about this whole thing. Looking back on the accident, and observing the damage to the vehicles, there are many things that I simply don't understand. This all should have been much worse! 

What I do know is this. Jesus saves.....in more ways than one! Jesus heard my wife's prayer for protection. He put an angel between the two vehicles to absorb the majority of the energy that would have sent some of us to the hospital with major injuries. His intervention saved lives that night. I walked away from an accident that other people, at other times, never did. Why? I can't answer that question. 

I don't know the mind of God and why He chooses to save one and not another at any given time. What I do know is that God is good all the time....and all the time God is good! His goodness and love never changes. He allows nothing bad to happen that is not ultimately for some good. He has a purpose for each and every one of us, and maybe we don't always understand it, but there is a reason for all things, good and bad, in our lives. 

I don't know why He chose to spare me and my wife this time, but we are very thankful that He did. He also extended His mercy to the 3 teens that we didn't even know and spared them too. I don't claim to know all the answers. All I can testify to is the fact that at the time of impact my wife was talking to God and asking for His protection, and we all walked away from this wreck with no serious injuries. The facts speak for themselves! What more can I say? 

GOD WAS THERE!
Name withheld by request

Last December 20th I had a experience that changed my life and nearly ended it. I had personal questions that were answered also that I had in my mind for a while. I had been feeling a little under the weather on the 16th of December and decided not to work that following Monday or Tuesday. I thought since I had a lot of sick days built up I may as well take advantage of them since I didnt really feel well. I had very little appetite and was just not energetic at all. 

That Tuesday night at 11:30 I decided to go to bed and get some sleep. I stood up and with the remote in my hand I turned the television off and at that point the world stopped and life ended. The next thing I knew I was in Barnes hospital in an ICU unit. I thought I was in a dream because everything looked wrong to me. I could not see very well or very clearly. I could see maybe ten feet and it was very very murky and cloudy looking. Giving it a dreamlike appearance. I saw people that I worked with and thought "hmmm I Ive never dreamed of them before! After about a few times of going in and out of consciousness, I came to my senses and realized that I was not dreaming! I really was here in the hospital! "How did I get here?" I thought. I wondered did I have wreck or what. 

I noticed that the television had the date as the 23rd of December on it. I was completely baffled about the whole thing. I noticed I was hooked to all kinds of electronic things. There was a red light on my finger and a wire that went into my chest to my heart. My legs were attached to a massage machine and my arm to a blood pressure machine that took readings every 15 minutes it seemed. "What happened to me?" My legs hurt really bad and I was weak. 

When I realized that I was REALLY in a hospital I thought "How did I get here? Did I have a wreck? I was lost. About 15 minutes after I had regained consciousness, a doctor came in and explained to me how I had been in a coma and how a lucky young man I was to be here. His words were very serious words, but the only thing I thought was what I was going to do when I get out. Later on during my hospital stay I learned from friends what had happened the four days that I was missing in my mind. I thought about God. God, in my view, did not let me die. 

He did an amazing thing in my book by saving my life. Here is what I am thnkful for. Life? Of course! But I am glad that God saw me when I was dying in my bed and before anyone had prayed a prayer about me, He acted! God, I now know, really loves me a lot! I didnt know that I was about to die that Tuesday night, but He did! He did NOT allow it. For whatever reason. Maybe He was just being Himself...nice! I loved Him and admired Him long before any of this thing happened to me.

What a Great Person He is! He defies logic to me. A Person Who can not only be smart and ever in control of things but He can be, and is, NICE!! He has been my Friend Who I have talked to for years and this is not the only time He has saved my life but that is for another time. I may not know who the beast is or false prophet or whatever. But I will go to my grave knowing that the God that I know really is a friend and that I am crazy about Him. By the way...He does love you deeply too. He will do for you what He has done for anyone. He really is No respecter of persons or any of the stuff we hold is high esteem. Thank Him that He is not. God...You are amazing! 

The Ticket
Author Unknown

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often? 

When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. 

The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand. 

Bob? Bob from church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A Christian cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little anxious to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow. Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd never seen in uniform. 

"Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this." 

"Hello, Jack." No smile. 

"Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids." 

"Yeah, I guess." 

Bob seemed uncertain. Good. "I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the rules a bit-just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. "Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?" 

"I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct." 

Ouch! This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics. 

"What'd you clock me at?" 

"Seventy-one. Would you sit back in your car, please?" 

"Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65." The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket. 

"Please, Jack, in the car." 

Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn't he asked for a driver's license? Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip. 

"Thanks." Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice. Bob returned to his car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read: 

"Dear Jack,
Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it - a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only had one, and I'm going to have to wait until heaven before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. . . Pray for me. And be careful. My son is all I have left. Bob" 

Jack...twisted around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived. 

Life is precious. Handle with care. 

An Unspoken Bible
Author Unknown

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally is wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian recently while attending college. 

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and So Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before! 

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, an Elder is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the Elder is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying To themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. 

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. 

All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The minister can't even preach the sermon until the Elder does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone. 

Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read." 


Did You Know ?
  • Cuteness and softness inspires aggression which is why we often squeeze things which we find cute or soft .Examples:Teddy bear,cheeks of a small baby .
  • The atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki ,Japan,by the United States on 9 August 1945 was code-named 'Fat Man'.
  • Do you know why chocolates melt in your mouth? It is because melting point of a chocolate is slightly below your body temperature so as soon as you put chocolate in your mouth ,it reaches its melting point. 10 more Facts about Chocolates
  • Do you know there is a world record even for the tennis balls held in a dog's mouth ! Current world record for the no. of tennis balls held in a dog’s mouth is 5.
  • Did you have a piggy bank when you were small? Do you know the name Piggy banks come from a clay called pygg from which jars were made for saving money in old times.
  • India produces more movies than any other country in the world and Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world?
  • Indians go out to the cinema about 3 billion times a year?
  • India has about 800 dialects and 15 major Languages?
  • Algebra, Calculus, and Trigonometry comes from India?

Just for Laughs

A CORRECT ASSUMPTION

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten The red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup. 

As she was 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, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a hold ing 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 very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, Naturally... I assumed you had stolen the car." 

SMARTEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD

A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and then he bailed out. 

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining. The doctor grabbed one and said "I'm a doctor, I save lives, so I must live," and jumped out. 

The lawyer then said, "I'm a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live." He also grabbed a parachute and jumped. 

The priest looked at the little boy and said, "My son, I've lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace." 

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, "Not to worry, Father. The 'smartest man in the world' just took off with my back pack." 

8 January 2017

posted 5 Jan 2017, 22:55 by C S Paul


8 January 2017

Quotes to Inspire

  • "To fly we have to have resistance." – Maya Lin, architect
  • "The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone." – Orison Swett Marden
  • "Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success." – Napoleon Hill
  • "The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none." – Thomas Carlyle
  • "If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too." – W. Somerset Maugham
  • "Evaluation of the past is the first step toward vision for the future." – Chris Widener
  • "When one door closes another one opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us." – Alexander Graham Bell
  • "If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth." – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • "It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes." – Louis Pasteur
  • "God does not ask your ability or your inability. He asks only your availability." – Mary Kay Ashe
  • "The human race is divided into two classes—those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, 'Why wasn't it done the other way?'" – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • "The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." – Robert M. Pirsig
The Chinese Farmer
-- Author Unknown

There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and, when all the farmer's neighbours sympathised with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'

A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, 'Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?'

Then, when the farmer's son was attempted to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'

Some weeks later the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg they let him off. Now was that good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

Perseverance
-- Author Unknown

Robert the Bruce became king of Scotland in 1306, when Scotland was at war with England—and not doing too well.

Legend tells how Robert took refuge in a cave to hide from the armies of England. While lying on a bed half dozing, he saw a spider trying to attach its web to a ceiling beam. 

Time after time, it tried and failed. However, on the seventh try, the spider succeeded. Inspired by this display of spider power, Robert went on to engage the English in a series of battles. They climaxed in the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn, at which Scotland won its independence. (Glad Tidings of Good Things)

Thought: Maybe like Robert the Bruce, you're in a cave of defeat. If so, then remember: "Let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9).

Make This An Adventure
By Charles F. Kemp (in The Disciple)

A young man was faced with a difficult job. He was anxious and concerned. 

An older friend, who was both wiser and more experienced, gave him this advice, complete in four words: "Make this an adventure."

It changed his whole perspective. What had been a problem was now a challenge. What had been a source of anxiety now became a source of excitement. 

He said he applied this bit of advice through the years to many different situations. It almost always gave them new meaning. 

The Donkey
-- Author Unknown

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

NOW... Here's the Epilog...

The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.

And... here's the Moral to the story...

When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.

Did you Know ?
  • Your right lung is bigger than left lung! The left lung is small so as to adjust heart in that part ! .
  • Human hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
  • You burn more calorie while sleeping than watching TV.
  • Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest. Yet another reason to loathe Mondays! A ten year study in Scotland found that 20% more people die of heart attacks on Mondays than any other day of the week. Researchers theorize that it’s a combination of too much fun over the weekend with the stress of going back to work that causes the increase.
  • Humans can make do longer without food than sleep. While you might feel better prepared to stay up all night partying than to give up eating, that feeling will be relatively short lived. 
  • Provided there is water, the average human could survive a month to two months without food depending on their body fat and other factors. Sleep deprived people, however, start experiencing radical personality and psychological changes after only a few sleepless days. The longest recorded time anyone has ever gone without sleep is 11 days, at the end of which the experimenter was awake, but stumbled over words, hallucinated and frequently forgot what he was doing.
  • The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air.
  • The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.
  • Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
  • It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body.
  • Every drop of blood in your body is filtered by your body over 300 times a day.
  • Babies are born with pink lungs but they darken in color as we breathe in polluted air.
Just for Laughs

SHORT N SWEET

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed between the pages. 

'Momma, look what I found,' the boy called out.

'What have you got there, dear?' his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: 'I think it's Adam's suit!'

Hush

Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together during church services. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had enough. 

'You're not supposed to talk out loud in church.'

'Why? Who's going to stop me?' Joel asked.

Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, 'See those two men standing by the door? 

They're hushers.' 

1 January 2017

posted 29 Dec 2016, 21:42 by C S Paul   [ updated 29 Dec 2016, 21:44 ]

Happy new year graphics

Perhaps your year will be all about professional growth. Or, maybe you want to focus on bettering yourself and your relationships. 

Whatever your goals for 2017, press forward, stay positive, and work hard. You can’t discover your potential if you don’t push yourself to succeed, learn, and achieve. 

Happy New Year 2017
  • “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
  • Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr
  • You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
  • “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
  • “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” – George Sheehan
  • “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot
  • “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Today’s patience can transform yesterday’s discouragements into tomorrow’s discoveries. Today’s purposes can turn yesterday’s defeats into tomorrow’s determination.” – William Arthur Ward
  • “Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” – Bernard Edmonds
  • “Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” – Benjamin Disraeli
  • “I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller
  • “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard
  • “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie
  • Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is love, enjoy it!” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
  • “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reach, don’t adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.” – Confucius
  • “Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” – Earl Nightingale
  • “Not every end is the goal. The end of a melody is not its goal, and yet if the melody has not reached its end, it has not reached its goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” – Karen Ravn
 Just Decide
- Unknown -

I was waiting to pick up a friend at the airport when I had one of those life changing experiences, the kind that you sometimes hear other people talk about, the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.
As I was straining to locate my friend amongst the line of passengers exiting the airport, I noticed a man coming towards me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe 6 years old) as he laid down his bags. He crouched down, and they gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other's face, I heard the father say, "Its too good to see you, son I missed you so much!" His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly,"Me too dad!"
Then the man stood up and gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe 9 or 10 years old) and while cupping his son's face in his hands said," You are already quite the young man. I love you very much." They too shared a very loving and tender hug.

While this was happening a baby girl was squirming excitedly in her mother's arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said "Hi, baby girl!" as he gently took the child from her mother. He kissed her face all over and then held her close to her chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

Submit After several moments, he handed his daughter to his eldest son and declared, "I have saved the best until last!" and proceeded to give his wife, the most loving kiss I ever remember seeing.

He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed "I love you so much." They started looking into each others eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn't possibly be.

I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in this wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm's length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, "Wow! How long have you two been married?" "We've been together 14 years in total and married for 12 of those." he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife's face."Well then how long have you been away?" I asked.  The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his smile,"Two whole days".

Two days?! I was stunned by the intensity of greeting, I had assumed he had been gone for at least several weeks - If not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace, "I hope my marriage is still that passionate after 12 years!"

The man suddenly stopped smiling and looked straight into my eyes and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he said something that just left me a different person. He said, "Don't hope,friend, just decide!" Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said "God Bless!" With that he and his family turned and strode away together.
I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walking away when my friend came up to me and asked," What are you looking at?" Without hesitating, and a with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, "My future!" "I wish I could be such a wonderful wife of such wonderful man."

 A Circle of Kindness Started by a 10 Year Old Girl
- Unknown -

I was shopping at my local supermarket., as I normally have for years.  One particular day, I had done about 2 weeks worth of shopping and was headed toward the register to pay for my groceries.  After the cashier had scanned my items and I had bagged them up, she stated that the total was $150.  

SubmitI reached into my back right pocket to grab the money to pay and noticed that there was no money in there.  I started to get nervous.  I knew my pocket book was in the car and I was sure I had put the money in my back right pocket. I look at cashier with wet eyes and a confused look not knowing what to do.  There were people behind me on the line. She told me to speak with the courtesy counter.  I laughed and said, "Really? It's cash, no one would hand that in!"  

I said I would be right back and ran to my truck to get out more money to pay my bill, money that was to be used to pay another bill.  I ran back inside and handed money to the cashier.  She again prompted me to ask the courtesy desk, "You never know..." she said.  I laugh and said "okay".  

I decided that there was no harm in checking so I walked up to a women behind the counter and said "I have to ask, did anyone turn in cash by any chance?". She asked "How much?".  My face then lit up.  "$200 in the form of one hundred dollar bills." I replied.  She said, "Actually, yes, someone did!".  I was so surprised! "Who? I want to thank them."  She points to a young girl about 10 years old and says, "She did."

I walked over to the mom and hugged her.  She said, "It wasn't me, it was my daughter".  I said "I know, I wanted thank you both, although she found it ... it's because of you that I got this back."  I was so happy, I was almost in tears. 

The next day at work, a person in another department offered me tickets to the circus.  He handed me 5 tickets. Almost instantly that young girls face popped in my head.  After work I went back to the supermarket and stopped at the courtesy counter and asked if they had any idea who that women was?  She smiled and said, "Yes, actually I do.  She is a friend of mine".  Oh good, I was so happy.   I asked her to do me a favor and pass along these 5 tickets to her and say thank you from me.

She told me that the family of the little girl who found my money don't have very much so they would really appreciate this.  She also said that they have 3 children, so five was the prefect number of tickets! "Wow," I thought.

At first, I had I felt a little weird bringing those tickets to the store but I am SO glad I did!
Lesson: Never think twice about doing something nice for someone. 

 A Shoe Seller Walks in the Shoes of Kindness
- Unknown -

Today, I felt terrible. My head was full of problems and confusion.  I decided to take a walk even though I didn't know where I would go. The most extraordinary thing happened when I was out on this walk.

I saw an old man sitting on a chair. He was a seller of second-hand shoes. I thought he looked at least 70 years old. He seemed so tired and nobody was buying his shoes. I wanted to give him something but I had not brought anything with me.

Then, a little girl came toward him. I heard the child say, "Grandfather, may I polish your shoes?" That old man took pity on her, smiled, and he gave her a  shoe to polish.
The girl said, "I polish the shoe because I need money to buy my brother a new school uniform." 

SubmitI heard this and tears came to my eyes. The old man answered, "Oh, little girl. Just stop doing this. Come with me, and I will buy you a uniform." Then they walked to a market (I followed behind) and he bought her a uniform.
 
The girl was so happy.  She said, "Thank you so much for doing this. May God bless you." Then she left, leaving the old man smiling.

He walked away from the market, but I stopped him. I whispered in his ear, "You are a hero! Thank you for your kindness!"  As I walked away, I glanced back, and I could see him still smiling.

I was blown away by the kindness I had just seen.  Someone who had so little themselves, was able to show such incredible generosity! Amazing! My own sadness had completely disappeared, chased way by the light of this kind act.

I began realizing that I have a lot to be thankful for. I hope, some day, I can show my appreciation of what I have by following the example of the old man who only had a little, but shared it so beautifully with someone who had nothing.

A 15 Year Blessing From A Homeless Person 
- Unknown -

This is a story that happened 15 years ago, but it has always stayed with me since then.
 
On the way back from work every evening, more often than not there would be a homeless man standing at the exit of the freeway.  He looked to be in his late 40's but was probably a lot younger. He had shoulder length straight black hair a short beard, and he was of average stature.
 
Submit His eyes were what struck me the most about him, they were brown and they had a sparkle. Like an inside light that was beaming out of his eyes.  His eyes, I thought, represented the man in general. People say they can tell a lot from a person’s eyes. It was certainly true in his case.  He always waved at every car, he was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing. 
 
Every day after work I would remember to gather any spare change, and put it aside to give to him if I saw him. A feeling of joy would come over me every time I saw him, as I came off the ramp.  He had that effect.
 
I’d quickly roll down my window and give him the coins. Occasionally the red light would be on for a minute, and we would ask each other about our day. His answer would always be the same, “I’m blessed!”.
 
I knew what his answer was going to be every time, yet I would still ask. It amazed me that even in his situation of being homeless he was so positive, and his answer would remind me of how blessed I was. A single mother of four amazing kids, with a place to call home and with a job to provide for my kids.
 
Then one day I was called into my boss’s office and was told that I was being laid off due to the economy.  A feeling of worry engulfed me, and for the rest of that day all I could think of was “how am I going to provide for my kids, how am I going to pay rent, what am I going to do?”
 
Needless to say that on my way home that day I was very sad and upset. I didn’t remember to look for my spare change and keep it ready like I usually did.  I wasn’t feeling the joy as I got off the ramp where the homeless man would be. Yet there he was as always, as I turned the ramp.  He set his eyes on me, while still smiling and waving at others.
 
Submit I’d hoped to catch the green light, but I missed it. While I was waiting for the red light to turn, he strolled over to my car.  He had a big smile he looked me straight in the eyes and said “today I will give you a dollar”.  He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a dollar bill.  I was blown away.  I burst into tears. I wanted to jump out of my car and hug him!
 
You see that day he gave me more than a dollar bill, he taught me a valuable lesson. No matter what material things are taken from you, no one can take away your choice to be joyful. My ride home was smooth sailing, I had lost my job, had no savings, but I knew I was blessed!
 
Every time I’m faced with challenges, I think of the homeless man’s valuable lesson and remember that I am blessed.

 Turning Fear Into True Compassion
-- Unknown -

This is a true story that happened to my friend Rekha...

Submit Rekha maintains an exercise regime that includes a brisk walk every morning around some gardens in our neighbourhood.  One morning, she was walking earlier then usual, daybreak was only just beginning to set in and it was still relatively dark.

As she was walking, a cyclist came up to her, snatched her handbag (containing her keys, phone and credit cards) and sped off with it! She ran after him shouting  "thief - thief".  A man further ahead must have heard her, or seen what had happened.  He was washing a car and had a bucket of water with him.  He grabbed the bucket and threw the water on to the cyclist.

The cyclist, caught off guard, drove off the pavement, and his bike fell over.  The other people in the park rushed over and surrounded him.  My friend Rekha was worried that the people would try and beat him up, as often happens in India, and so she pleaded with them not to hurt him.

She bent down and asked the man why he did this to her?  He was extremely repentant and explained that he was the son of a poor farmer and that this year their crops had failed.  He said that the money lenders had threatened to beat up his father and hurt their family if they didn't pay on time.  He said that he was absolutely desperate and didn't know what else to do.  He was very sorry.

Rekha was deeply moved by this story.  She could see that boy was young and he was so skinny and bonny.  She looked into the boy's eyes and said that she forgave him.  She then pulled out some money from her handbag and gave it to him.  She told him that stealing was wrong and that he shouldn't do it again.  He said he wouldn't.  He said he was from a good family and well brought up and that he had made a terrible mistake.

You may not know that........
  • Fireworks were banned and thus came into existence the Time Square New Year's Eve Ball that became highly famous for its illumination on New Year’s Day. It was in 1907 that the first ball was lighted up, made of wood and iron and weighing around 700-pound. The first ball was decorated with over a hundred 25-watts light bulbs. Time Square New Year's Eve Ball of today has come to weigh around 11,875-pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. The ball is designed by Waterford Crystal and adorned with nearly 2,668 Waterford crystals. The wartime restrictions became the reason for not lowering the New Year's Eve ball in 1942 and 1943.
  • The first month of the year in the Gregorian calendar- January has been named after God Janus, who holds two faces. One face of the God look backwards, while the other one look towards the future and represents the ‘spirit of the opening’.
  • An interesting trivia about the New Year is the wishes being written and collected from visitors to Times Square in New York City. Pieces of confetti strewn across the Times Square are picked up and used by visitors to the site for conveying their greetings and wishes for the New Year. The wishes are gathered and added to the ton of the confetti, which is eventually being showered on the crowd gathered in Times Square for celebrations marked to ring in the New Year.
  • People across different cultures are seen consuming different kinds of lucky foods for the New Year’s Day. Some people believe that eating fish, pork, legumes, lentils and cooked green can bring in good fortune in the upcoming year and hence they arrange for meals comprising the auspicious food for their celebrations on the New Year’s Eve. Consumption of chicken or lobsters is considered to bring in bad luck for the entire year because chicken moves backwards. It is widely believed that eating unlucky foods for celebrating New Year’s Day might cause a reversal of their good fortune. 
  • There is long-lived New Year tradition of burning effigies and dolls in several parts of the world on the eve of the New Year Day. Dolls are burnt to get rid of the evil spirits of the past and to wash away the bad memories. People in Puerto Rico, Colombia and Cuba ring in the New Year by putting on fire a life-size doll with the belief that by burning it they would also be able to bury the haunting and painful experiences of the past.
  • The practice of is not a few years old but its origin can be traced back to as early as the Babylonians. According to the data, nearly 40-45% of the people in the US take a pledge on the New Year’s Day. Most of the resolutions taken by people include issues such as weight loss, quitting of bad habits such as alcohol consumption and smoking. The research also throws up an interesting trivia about New Year resolutions. It is seen that merely a few stick to tjeir resolutions till the end of the first month of the New Year, while nearly 25% of the people forget about their resolutions before the end of January. 
  • A search on trivia related to New Year shows that there is a tradition of making the first baby born on the first day of the New Year as a symbol to signify the year. This practice was started by the ancient Greeks around 600 B.C. and has been in continuation till date. Some cultures also follow the norm of carrying a baby in a basket to pay tribute to the God of fertility- Dionysus. It is also meant for signifying the annual birth of the baby in some countries. 
  • People in countries like Mexico, Bolivia and Italy also follow a weird New Year tradition of wearing red underwear on the eve of the New Year. It is said to bring good luck for the entire year, while yellow underwear is also worn on the New Year’s Day as it symbolizes money. 
  • Some of the countries also follow the ritual of eating some lucky foods for the New Year. Spain has the ritual of eating twelve grapes-each for a month to bring about good fortune in the upcoming year. In Philippines, people prefer to eat food items in round shape to secure happiness and invite economic prosperity all round the year.
  • The common belief behind lighting up fireworks in some countries on New Year’s Day is that it not only illuminates the sky but also dispels bad spirits and unpleasant memories of the past.
  • Geographically, the world will be half way into 2014 when the time zone GMT or UTC enters the New Year. This time zone includes the United Kingdom, Ireland, Morocco, Iceland, and Western Sahara.
  • The most densely populated time zone is in the UTC offset of +8 hours. This time zone includes China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Western Australia with up to a quarter of the world’s population. About half of the world’s population will have begun 2014 at UTC+5:30 when India enters the New Year.
  • According to the records as found with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of vehicles stolen on the New Year’s Day is much higher than that registered on any other national holiday.
  • People across different parts of the world widely believe in the concept of fist footing. The first visitors one sees or the one who first person to step into the house after the clock strikes midnight is considered to bring either good luck or bad fortune. The first visitor is also expected to carry a gift that signifies wealth and prosperity.
  • New Year’s strange traditions also feature embracing of anything that comes in round or ring shape as such a shape is said to symbolize ‘completion of a full circle”. There is a popular belief in several cultures that shape of a ring brings in good fortune. Therefore, people prefer to consume cakes in round shape or donuts to attract wealth.
 Start this New Year with Something to laugh 

Bedtime Story Letter to God 

Darlene was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime story.

From the time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again. Finally she spoke up, 'Grandpa, did God make you?'

'Yes, darling,' he answered, 'God made me a long time ago.'

'Oh,' Darlene paused, 'Grandpa, did God make me too?'

'Yes, indeed, poppet,' he said, 'God made you just a little while ago.'

Feeling their respective faces again, Darlene observed, 'God' is getting better at it, isn't he?'

Help from God

A woman named Edna finds herself in dire trouble. Her business has gone bust, and she's in serious financial trouble. She's so desperate that she decides to ask God for help. She begins to pray...' God, please help me. I've lost my business, and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lotto.'

Lotto night comes, and somebody else wins it.

Edna again prays.... 'God, please let me win the lotto! I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well.'

Lotto night comes, and Edna still has no luck.

Once again, she prays, 'My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house, and my car. My children are starving. I don't often ask you help, and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE, just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order.

Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Edna is confronted by the voice of God Himself:

'Edna, meet Me halfway on this. Buy a ticket.'

Practical Religion - I

There is the allegedly true story of Father George who began his sermon early one Sunday morning by announcing to his congregation at St John's, Newbury, England, 'I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building programme. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets.'

Practical Religion - II

Father Michael, of St Mary's church began his sermon with this story: 'I was on a plane last week, from Edinburgh to London, when we ran into some very severe weather which resulted in turbulence. As it got worse, the passengers became more and more alarmed, and even the airline stewards began to look concerned.

Finally, one of them noticed that I had 'Reverend' in front of my name on the passenger list, so she approached me, and said, 'Sir, this is really frightening. Do you suppose you could, I don't know.........do something religious?'

'So I took up a collection,' retold Father Michael with a grin.

Something Missing - Missing Something?

Going over our church finances I found a receipt from a local paint store signed by someone named Christian. I wasn't aware of anyone buying paint, so I called the store to point out its mistake

'I'm sorry,' I told the manager, 'but there are no Christians here at St Mary's Church.'




25 December 2016

posted 23 Dec 2016, 03:33 by C S Paul



Merry Christmas animated with many colors
animated Christmas tree with lights
     
animated gif
25 December 2016

THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS 

taken from the classic

BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

BOOK FIRST - CHAPTER XIV

It was now the beginning of the third watch, and at Bethlehem the morning was breaking over the mountains in the east, but so feebly that it was yet night in the valley. 

The watchman on the roof of the old khan, shivering in the chilly air, was listening for the first distinguishable sounds with which life, awakening, greets the dawn, when a light came moving up the hill towards the house. He thought it a torch in some one's hand; next moment he thought it a meteor; the brilliance grew, however, until it became a star. Sore afraid, he cried out, and brought everybody within the walls to the roof. 

The phenomenon, in eccentric motion, continued to approach; the rocks, trees, and roadway under it shone as in a glare of lightning; directly its brightness became blinding.

The more timid of the beholders fell upon their knees, and prayed, with their faces hidden; the boldest, covering their eyes, crouched, and now and then snatched glances fearfully. Afterwhile the khan and everything thereabout lay under the intolerable radiance. Such as dared look beheld the star standing still directly over the house in front of the cave where the Child had been born.

In the height of this scene, the wise men came up, and at the gate dismounted from their camels, and shouted for admission. When the steward so far mastered his terror as to give them heed, he drew the bars and opened to them. The camels looked spectral in the unnatural light, and, besides their outlandishness, there were in the faces and manner of the three visitors an eagerness and exaltation which still further excited the keeper's fears and fancy; he fell back, and for a time could not answer the question they put to him.

"Is not this Bethlehem of Judea?"

But others came, and by their presence gave him assurance.

"No, this is but the khan; the town lies farther on."

"Is there not here a child newly born?"

The bystanders turned to each other marvelling, though some of them answered, "Yes, yes."

"Show us to him!" said the Greek, impatiently.

"Show us to him!" cried Balthasar, breaking through his gravity; "for we have seen his star, even that which ye behold over the house, and are come to worship him."

The Hindoo clasped his hands, exclaiming, "God indeed lives! Make haste, make haste! The Savior is found. Blessed, blessed are we above men!"

The people from the roof came down and followed the strangers as they were taken through the court and out into the enclosure; at sight of the star yet above the cave, though less candescent than before, some turned back afraid; the greater part went on.

As the strangers neared the house, the orb arose; when they were at the door, it was high up overhead vanishing; when they entered, it went out lost to sight. And to the witnesses of what then took place came a conviction that there was a divine relation between the star and the strangers, which extended also to at least some of the occupants of the cave. When the door was opened, they crowded in.

The apartment was lighted by a lantern enough to enable the strangers to find the mother, and the child awake in her lap.

"Is the child thine?" asked Balthasar of Mary.

And she who had kept all the things in the least affecting the little one, and pondered them in her heart, held it up in the light, saying,

"He is my son!"

And they fell down and worshipped him.

They saw the child was as other children: about its head was neither nimbus nor material crown; its lips opened not in speech; if it heard their expressions of joy, their invocations, their prayers, it made no sign whatever, but, baby-like, looked longer at the flame in the lantern than at them.

In a little while they arose, and, returning to the camels, brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and laid them before the child, abating nothing of their worshipful speeches; of which no part is given, for the thoughtful know that the pure worship of the pure heart was then what it is now, and has always been, an inspired song.

And this was the Savior they had come so far to find!

Yet they worshipped without a doubt.

Why?

Their faith rested upon the signs sent them by him whom we have since come to know as the Father; and they were of the kind to whom his promises were so all-sufficient that they asked nothing about his ways. Few there were who had seen the signs and heard the promises--the Mother and Joseph, the shepherds, and the Three—yet they all believed alike; that is to say, in this period of the plan of salvation, God was all and the Child nothing. But look forward, O reader! A time will come when the signs will all proceed from the Son. Happy they who then believe in him! 

Let us wait that period.


  Thoughts for Christmas
  • “A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away; While quite unselfish, it grows small.” - Eva K. Logue
  • “Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion." -  Ralph Sockman ~ (1889-1970), American religious leader.
  • “Except the Christ is born again tonight In dreams of all men, saints and sons of shame, The world will never see his kingdom bright. - Vachel Lindsay
  • "It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit." -- Isabel Currier 
  • "Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget." -- Hugh Downs 
  • "They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart." -- Mrs. Paul M. Ell 
  • "Christmas, my child, is love in action." -- Dale Evans 
  • “It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit.”  Isabel Currier
  • “A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away; While quite unselfish, it grows small.” - Eva K. Logue
  • “Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion." -  Ralph Sockman ~ (1889-1970), American religious leader.
  • “Except the Christ is born again tonight In dreams of all men, saints and sons of shame, The world will never see his kingdom bright. - Vachel Lindsay


sXmas_santahat_100-101 The Elves and the Shoemaker
by Brothers Grimm

A shoemaker, by no fault of his own, had become so poor that at last he had nothing left but leather for one pair of shoes. So in the evening, he cut out the shoes which he wished to begin to make the next morning, and as he had a good conscience, he lay down quietly in his bed, commended himself to God, and fell asleep. In the morning, after he had said his prayers, and was just going to sit down to work, the two shoes stood quite finished on his table. He was astounded, and knew not what to say to it. He took the shoes in his hands to observe them closer, and they were so neatly made that there was not one bad stitch in them, just as if they were intended as a masterpiece.

Soon after, a buyer came in, and as the shoes pleased him so well, he paid more for them than was customary, and, with the money, the shoemaker was able to purchase leather for two pairs of shoes. He cut them out at night, and the next morning was about to set to work with fresh courage, but he had no need to do so, for, when he got up, they were already made, and buyers also were not wanting, who gave him money enough to buy leather for four pairs of shoes. The following morning, too, he found the four pairs made; and so it went on constantly — what he cut out in the evening was finished by the morning, so that he soon had his honest independence again, and at last became a wealthy man.

Now it befell that one evening not long before Christmas, when the man had been cutting out, he said to his wife, before going to bed, "What think you if we were to stay up to-night to see who it is that lends us this helping hand?" The woman liked the idea, and lighted a candle, and then they hid themselves in a corner of the room, behind some clothes which were hanging up there, and watched. When it was midnight, two pretty little naked men came, sat down by the shoemaker's table, took all the work which was cut out before them and began to stitch, and sew, and hammer so skilfully and so quickly with their little fingers that the shoemaker could not turn away his eyes for astonishment. They did not stop until all was done, and stood finished on the table; and then they ran quickly away.

Next morning the woman said, "The little men have made us rich, and we really must show that we are grateful for it. They run about so, and have nothing on, and must be cold. I'll tell thee what I'll do: I will make them little shirts, and coats, and vests, and trousers, and knit both of them a pair of stockings, and do thou, too, make them two little pairs of shoes." The man said, "I shall be very glad to do it;" and one night, when everything was ready, they laid their presents all together on the table instead of the cut-out work, and then concealed themselves to see how the little men would behave. At midnight they came bounding in, and wanted to get to work at once, but as they did not find any leather cut out, but only the pretty little articles of clothing, they were at first astonished, and then they showed intense delight. They dressed themselves with the greatest rapidity, putting the pretty clothes on, and singing, "Now we are boys so fine to see, Why should we longer cobblers be?"

Then they danced and skipped and leapt over chairs and benches. At last they danced out of doors. From that time forth they came no more, but as long as the shoemaker lived all went well with him, and all his undertakings prospered.


 
sXmas_santahat_100-101 Christmas Day in the Morning
By Pearl S. Buck

He woke suddenly and completely. It was four o'clock, the hour at which his father had always called him to get up and help with the milking. Strange how the habits of his youth clung to him still! Fifty years ago, and his father had been dead for thirty years, and yet he waked at four o'clock in the morning. He had trained himself to turn over and go to sleep, but this morning it was Christmas, he did not try to sleep.

Why did he feel so awake tonight? He slipped back in time, as he did so easily nowadays. He was fifteen years old and still on his father's farm. He loved his father. He had not known it until one day a few days before Christmas, when he had overheard what his father was saying to his mother.

"Mary, I hate to call Rob in the mornings. He's growing so fast, and he needs his sleep. If you could see how he sleeps when I go in to wake him up! I wish I could manage alone

"Well, you can't, Adam." His mother's voice was brisk. "Besides, he isn't a child anymore. It's time he took his turn."

"Yes," his father said slowly. "But I sure do hate to wake him."

When he heard these words, something in him spoke: his father loved him! He had never thought of that before, taking for granted the tie of their blood. Neither his father nor his mother talked about loving their children--they had no time for such things. There was always so much to do on the farm.

Now that he knew his father loved him, there would be no loitering in the mornings and having to be called again. He got up after that, stumbling blindly in his sleep, and pulled on his clothes, his eyes shut, but he got up.

And then on the night before Christmas, that year when he was fifteen, he lay for a few minutes thinking about the next day. They were poor, and most of the excitement was in the turkey they had raised themselves and mince pies his mother made. His sisters sewed presents and his mother and father always bought him something he needed, not only a warm jacket, maybe, but something more, such as a book. And he saved and bought them each something, too.

He wished, that Christmas when he was fifteen, he had a better present for his father. As usual he had gone to the ten-cent store and bought a tie. It had seemed nice enough until he lay thinking the night before Christmas. He looked out of his attic window, the stars were bright.

"Dad," he had once asked when he was a little boy, "What is a stable?"

"It's just a barn," his father had replied, "like ours."

Then Jesus had been born in a barn, and to a barn the shepherds had come...

The thought struck him like a silver dagger. Why should he not give his father a special gift too, out there in the barn? He could get up early, earlier than four o'clock, and he could creep into the barn and get all the milking done. He'd do it alone, milk and clean up, and then when his father went in to start the milking he'd see it all done. And he would know who had done it. He laughed to himself as he gazed at the stars. It was what he would do, and he musn't sleep too sound.

He must have waked twenty times, scratching a match to look each time to look at his old watch -- midnight, and half past one, and then two o'clock.

At a quarter to three he got up and put on his clothes. He crept downstairs, careful of the creaky boards, and let himself out. The cows looked at him, sleepy and surprised. It was early for them, too.

He had never milked all alone before, but it seemed almost easy. He kept thinking about his father's surprise. His father would come in and get him, saying that he would get things started while Rob was getting dressed. He'd go to the barn, open the door, and then he'd go get the two big empty milk cans. But they wouldn't be waiting or empty, they'd be standing in the milk-house, filled.

"What the--," he could hear his father exclaiming.

He smiled and milked steadily, two strong streams rushing into the pail, frothing and fragrant.

The task went more easily than he had ever known it to go before. Milking for once was not a chore. It was something else, a gift to his father who loved him. He finished, the two milk cans were full, and he covered them and closed the milk-house door carefully, making sure of the latch.

Back in his room he had only a minute to pull off his clothes in the darkness and jump into bed, for he heard his father up. He put the covers over his head to silence his quick breathing. The door opened.

"Rob!" His father called. "We have to get up, son, even if it is Christmas."

"Aw-right," he said sleepily.

The door closed, and he lay still, laughing to himself. In just a few minutes his father would know. His dancing heart was ready to jump from his body.

The minutes were endless -- ten, fifteen, he did not know how many -- and he heard his father's footsteps again. The door opened, and he lay still.

"Rob!"

"Yes, Dad--"

His father was laughing, a queer sobbing sort of laugh.

"Thought you'd fool me, did you?" His father was standing by his bed, feeling for him, pulling away the cover.

"It's for Christmas, Dad!"

He found his father and clutched him in a great hug. He felt his father's arms go around him. It was dark, and they could not see each other's faces.

"Son, I thank you. Nobody ever did a nicer thing--"

"Oh, Dad, I want you to know -- I do want to be god!" The words broke from him of their own will. He did not know what to say. His heart was bursting with love.

He got up and pulled on his clothes again, and they went down to the Christmas tree. Oh what a Christmas, and how his heart had nearly burst again with shyness and pride as his father told his mother and made the younger children listen about how he, Rob, had got up all by himself.

"The best Christmas gift I ever had, and I'll remember it, son every year on Christmas morning, so long as I live."

They had both remembered it, and now that his father was dead, he remembered it alone: that blessed Christmas dawn when, alone with the cows in the barn, he had made his first gift of true love.

This Christmas he wanted to write a card to his wife and tell her how much he loved her, it had been a long time since he had really told her, although he loved her in a very special way, much more than he ever had when they were young. He had been fortunate that she had loved him. Ah, that was the true joy of life, the ability to love. Love was still alive in him, it still was.

It occurred to him suddenly that it was alive because long ago it had been born in him when he knew his father loved him. That was it: Love alone could awaken love. And he could give the gift again and again.This morning, this blessed Christmas morning, he would give it to his beloved wife. He could write it down in a letter for her to read and keep forever. He went to his desk and began his love letter to his wife: My dearest love...

Such a happy, happy Christmas!


sXmas_santahat_100-101 The Gold Slippers

--- Author Unknown

It was only four days before Christmas. The spirit of the season hadn't yet caught up with me, even though cars packed the parking lot of our local discount store.

Inside the store, it was worse. Shopping carts and last minute shoppers jammed the aisles. Why did I come today? I wondered.

My feet ached almost as much as my head. My list contained names of several people who claimed they wanted nothing but I knew their feelings would be hurt if didn't buy them anything.

Buying for someone who had everything and deploring the high cost of items, I considered gift-buying anything but fun. 

Hurriedly, I filled my shopping cart with last minute items and proceeded to the long checkout lines. I picked the shortest but it looked as if it would mean at least a 20 minute wait.

In front of me were two small children - a boy of about 5 and a younger girl. The boy wore a ragged coat. Enormously large, tattered tennis shoes jutted far out in front of his much too short jeans. He clutched several crumpled dollar bills in his grimy hands. The girl's clothing resembled her brother's. Her head was a matted mass of curly hair. Reminders of an evening meal showed on her small face.

She carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold house slippers. As the Christmas music sounded in the store's stereo system, the girl hummed along, off-key but happily.

When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed the shoes on the counter. She treated them as though they were a treasure.

The clerk rang up the bill. "That will be $6.09," she said. The boy laid his crumpled dollars atop the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally came up with $3.12. "I guess we will have to put them back, " he bravely said.

"We will come back some other time, maybe tomorrow." With that statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. "But Jesus would have loved these shoes, " she cried. "Well, we'll go home and work some more. Don't cry. We'll come back," he said.

Quickly I handed $3.00 to the cashier. These children had waited in line for a long time. And, after all, it was Christmas. 

Suddenly a pair of arms came around me and a small voice said, "Thank you lady."

"What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes?" I asked.

The boy answered, "Our mommy is sick and going to heaven. Daddy said she might go before Christmas to be with Jesus." The girl spoke, "My Sunday school teacher said the streets in heaven are shiny gold, just like these shoes."

"Won't mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these shoes?"

My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear streaked face. "Yes" I answered, "I am sure she will."

Silently I thanked God for using these children to remind me of the true spirit of giving." 'Tis the Season!! Remember that it's better to give than receive.



sXmas_santahat_100-101 CHRISTMAS WITHOUT THEM

- Corky Ferguson -

The night is clear and the air is crisp, snow falls gently on the ground. Tonight is Christmas Eve. Off in the distance I hear the voice of approaching carolers. They are too far away to hear the song they sing. I quickly close the door shutting out the sights and sounds of Christmas. Tonight is just too painful as I think of "Christmas Without Them".

Is Christmas ever the same when we are without our loved ones?

The traditions I have cherished since childhood have changed into something new and unexpected. As an adult, I find myself with feelings of a five year old, scared and alone. I have no mother or father to comfort me. Tears flow and I feel my heart breaking.

Sometimes, I find myself standing in the midst of strangers with tears running down my cheeks. Why is it so difficult to purchase candy canes and beautiful red bows? 

I catch the glimpse of the shoppers, as they try not to stare, while others, forgetting they are strangers, stop to offer a knowing smile of understanding. I begin to realize I am not alone with these types of feelings. All of a sudden the memories come flooding in.

How fortunate I am to have such wonderful memories of my wonderful parents and the times we shared. Just as quickly as the memories brought tears the same memories resurfaced to spread joy. Memories have a way of making the emptiness bearable. I remember. I smile.

My thoughts are once again returned to the children. Their sounds of singing grow closer. I open my door to find their half- frozen faces, smiling brightly at me.

Christmas without them may never be the same, but, from out of the darkness pleasant memories flood my heart. I can almost hear my parents voices telling me the story of this most holy night. Like a message from above, I listen as the children sing, "Sleep in heavenly peace".


sXmas_santawarning_100-100You may not know that........

  • Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve. Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.f
  • The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner. The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker.”f
  • In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas 
  • Christmas trees are evergreen trees, usually either a fir tree, pine tree or spruce tree.
  • It is believed that decorating Christmas trees originated in 16th century Germany when Christians would bring decorated trees into their homes.
  • The song Jingle Bells was written by James Pierpont in 1857.  It was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh” and was made for Thanksgiving.
  • Many years ago in England a traditional Christmas dinner included a pig head served with mustard.
  • The tradition of naughty children getting a lump of coal in their stocking comes from Italy.
  • THERE is no reference to angels singing anywhere in the Bible.
  • A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.
  • According to a 1995 survey, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.
  • According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans buy 37.1 million real Christmas trees each year; 25 percent of them are from the nation's 5,000 choose-and-cut farms.
  • American billionaire Ross Perot tried to airlift 28 tons of medicine and Christmas gifts to American POW's in North Vietnam in 1969.

sXmas_santalaughing_100-100 Christmas Present

A guy bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas.

After hearing about this extravagant gift, a friend of his said, "I thought she wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles."

"She did," he replied. "But where was I going to find a fake Jeep?"

sXmas_santalaughing_100-100 What animals were there when baby Jesus was born?

  • Matthew, six;  "There were sheep, horses and a crocodile outside the stable."
  • Ruby, six;  "At his birth there were oxens, a donkey, three camels, three birds - all white - and three cats, all black."
  • Hannah,  "There was a donkey, a sheep and cow there as well as Mary and Joseph. It sounds quite crowded."
  • Megan, six: "The animals who were there in the stable were oxens, donkey, cats and a lamb."
  • Valente, six: "There were camels, donkeys and cows around the stable and the wise men went to the manger to say hello to Jesus."
sXmas_santalaughing_100-100 Christmas Spirit


It was just before Christmas and the magistrate was in a happy mood. He asked the prisoner who was in the dock, 'What are you charged with?'

The prisoner replied, 'Doing my Christmas shopping too early.'

'That's no crime', said the magistrate. 'Just how early were you doing this shopping?'

'Before the shop opened', answered the prisoner.

sXmas_santalaughing_100-100 Three Wise Women (as opposed to Three Wise Men)


Do you know what would have happened if there had been Three Wise WOMEN instead of Three Wise MEN?

The WOMEN would have:

- Asked directions,
- Arrived on time,
- Helped deliver the baby,
- Cleaned the stable,
- Made a casserole, and
- Brought practical gifts (like diapers!)



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