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.

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20 October 2019

posted 19 Oct 2019, 03:09 by C S Paul

20 October 2019

Quotes to Inspire
  • "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
  • "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." — Charles Dederich
  • "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." — Wayne Gretzky
  • "Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it." — Mark Twain
  • "Most of the important things in the world have been accompanied by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." — Dale Carnegie
  • "Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open." — Unknown
  • "The last thing one knows is what to put first." — Blaise Pascal
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." — Albert Einstein
Accidental Angel 
Scott Shaunfield  
   
When I was in school, I participated in an undergraduate internship with a hospital chaplain. This largely consisted of me visiting with specific hospital patients and then discussing the interaction with the chaplain. I had no specific training in this, and introducing myself to strangers was not one of my natural talents.

On one particular visit, I cautiously entered a darkened room to find an elderly man lying in the bed. There was no one else in the room, and I initially thought he was sleeping. When I moved closer to the bed, I realized that he was very much awake, but also very confused and anxious. He desperately wanted to communicate something, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. He seemed weak and frail, and I couldn’t tell if he was in pain, or just scared. I knew nothing about this man’s life or history, and I felt totally helpless. He obviously didn’t want me to leave, but I felt so lost and uncomfortable that I had to leave the room after only a couple of minutes.

The next time I was at the hospital, I was assigned to make follow up visits with the same list of patients. I expected my time with the confused man to be just as short as the last time...if he was even still alive. It seemed pointless to frustrate myself trying to interact with someone so disoriented.

As I arrived at the room, the first thing I noticed was that the lights were on. His daughter was there visiting with him. He was sitting up in the bed and much more alert. I introduced myself to the daughter and explained that I had come by before. Addressing the patient, I then suggested that I was certain he didn’t remember me at all.

He corrected me immediately, saying “I remember you. You were the angel that gave me hope in my darkest hour!” I would have thought his memory was delirious, but he then accurately recounted enough details of our first meeting to remove any doubt of his clarity. I was so amazed that, once again, I didn’t know how to respond. We talked a little more, I told him I was glad he was feeling so much better, and we said goodbye.

In the brief moment of my initial interaction with this inconsolable patient, I had no idea what to say or what to do. I knew of nothing I could offer him. I did absolutely nothing to help this man... except show up. I may never be able to explain it, but somehow he found in me something he needed at a critical point in his life, just because I was there.

I have thought about this encounter often over the past 25 years. It has shaped the way I see life, the way I see myself, and the way I see others. It has influenced not only my career path, but also the decisions I make on a daily basis. It makes me want to offer whatever kindness I can to others, and I try to recognize and appreciate the kindness that others share with me. Obviously, we can’t know the impact our actions, or even just our presence, will have on life.

I don’t know who he was. I don’t know his name, where he came from, or what happened to him after that. It took years of hindsight for me to recognize the gift he had given me, so I didn’t even know to thank him at the time.

So a stranger in the form of a frail old man changed the rest of my life with a single comment. Who was the angel to whom?

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.”

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

A Lesson in Faith - The Charles Blondin Story 
-- Author unknown

The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is.

Blondin's greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat.

He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times... each time with a different daring feat - once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!

A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across - one dangerous step after another - pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes.

Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd's applause was louder than the roar of the falls!

Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?"

The crowd enthusiastically yelled, "Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!"

"Okay," said Blondin, "Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow."

As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!

This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But... their actions proved they truly did not believe.

Similarly, it is one thing for us to say we believe in God. However, it's true faith when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
-----
Note: In August of 1859, Blondin's manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin's back across the Falls.
Don't Worry
Author Unknown

Years ago, I was enthralled as I listened to a pastor who for several years had faithfully served the church. His executive responsibilities had taken him all over this country. As he concluded his message, he told of one of the most frightening, yet thought-provoking, experiences of his life.

He had been on a long flight from one place to another. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: Fasten your seat belts. Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened."

As he looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive. Later, the voice of the announcer said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us."

Then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.

The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. 

He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.

Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. 

She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and every thing within her small world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity,when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The minister could hardly believe his eyes.

It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark,our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.

The child replied, "'Cause my Daddy's the pilot, and he's taking me home."

There are many kinds of storms that buffet us:
• Physical,
• Mental,
• Financial,
• Domestic, and...
Many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.

Let us remember... Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control and taking us home... so Don't Worry.

Just for Laughs
Ring, Ring

A fellow showed up at church on Sunday morning with his ears painfully blistered. 

After services, the concerned preacher asked, "What in heaven happened to you?" 

"I was lying on the couch yesterday afternoon watching a ball game on TV and my wife was ironing nearby," the man explained. "I was totally engrossed in the game when she left the room, leaving the iron near the phone. The phone rang, and keeping my eyes glued to the television, I grabbed the hot iron and put it to my ear." 

"So how did the other ear get burned?" the preacher asked. 

"Well, I had no more than hung up and the guy called again."


Did you Know ?
  • Austin High School in Texas has removed candy from its vending machines. Now some enterprising students are earning $200 per week dealing in black market candy. 
  • In 2004, Virgin Atlantic Airlines introduced a double bed for first class passengers who fly together. 
  • The world's largest book, "Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey" is in a Chicago public library. The book measures 5 feet tall by 7 feet wide when open. It weighs 133 pounds. 
  • 55% of Americans claim they would continue working even if they received a $10,000,000 lottery prize. 
  • A ten year old mattress weighs double what it did when it was new, because of the -ahem- debris which is absorbed through the years. That debris includes dust mites (their droppings and their decaying bodies), mold, millions of dead skin cells, dandruff, animal and human hair, secretions, excretions, lint, pollen, dust, soil, sand and a lot of perspiration, of which the average person loses a quart per day. Good night! 
  • About 20% of gift cards never are redeemed at the full value of the card.
  • The second Saturday in September is usually a popular time for weddings. Not in 2004, as most couples did not want their anniversaries on September 11. 
  • Mel Gibson has personally earned almost $400,000,000 from his movie "The Passion of the Christ". 
  • The company that manufactures the greatest number of women's dresses each year is Mattel. Barbie's got to wear something. 
  • All radios in North Korea have been rigged so listeners can only receive a North Korean government station. The United States recently announced plans to smuggle $2,000,000 worth of small radios into the country so North Koreans can get a taste of (what their government calls) "rotten imperialist reactionary culture". 

13 October 2019

posted 12 Oct 2019, 05:11 by C S Paul

13 October 2019

Quotes to Inspire
  • "Successful people form the habit of doing what failures don't like to do. They like the results they get by doing what they don't necessarily enjoy." — Earl Nightingale
  • "An 'enemy' is someone that God puts in our path that is most in need of our love; not retaliation or retribution or harm or insult." — John Carmody
  •  "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." — Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Germany in Hitler's Era
  • "To see what is right and not do it is a lack of courage." — Confucius
  • "If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe." — Woody Allen
  • "The price of wisdom is above rubies." — Solomon
  • "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary." — Unknown
  • "Don't put off to tomorrow what you've already put off until today." — Unknown
  • "No matter how good an idea sounds, test it first." — Henry Bloch
  • "Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • "The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny." — Albert Ellis
  • "I'm not in competition with anybody but myself. My goal is to beat my last performance."— Celine Dion
Give time to our family
-- Author unknown

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”

Prable of Distrust
-- Author unknown

This is a story about a man called Joseph, who had the misfortune to get caught in a serious flood. The water was rising all around him and was soon up to his knees. He climbed the staircase to the first floor but still the water rose. It wasn't long before the water was up to his waist and he looked out of the window to see what was happening to his neighbours.

A boat was passing and the occupant shouted, "Hey, Joseph! Quick, climb aboard my boat and I will take you to safety." Joseph smiled and replied, "Thank you very much, but I have had a word with God and he will take care of me. You use the space on your boat to help others less fortunate than myself." Soon the boat was out of sight.

The flood would not stop and the water continued to climb. Joseph was forced onto the roof of his home and he surveyed the catastrophe below him.

A helicopter flew over Joseph and a man used his microphone to tell Joseph that worse was yet to come. He threw a rope down to Joseph and cried, "Quick Joseph, climb up while you still have a chance!" Nevertheless, Joseph had been a good man all his life and placed his faith in the Lord, so he declined the offer, requesting that they go in search of other people. "You don't have to worry about me," he shouted, "I have spoken with God and he will not let me die."

The helicopter flew away and the waters rose and rose until finally it was all over. Joseph was taken from this earth.

As stated earlier, Joseph was a good man, so naturally he was taken to the pearly gates to meet St. Peter. On entering heaven he was taken and introduced to God who welcomed him with open arms. But, Joseph was not content and asked God, "I am confused my Lord. I have been a devout follower my entire life, and never once have I strayed from your chosen path. I believe I was too young to die now. I prayed to you and asked you to save me, but my faith let me down. How could you have been so cruel?"

And the Lord replied, "What do you mean I let you down? I sent you a boat to save you, and a helicopter as well."
------
So often we try to help each other, but our efforts are met with distrust or total apathy. So little faith... especially when we try to lead people to the word of God, and His plan for them. But, often we fail to get the message across. 

"You can lead the horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." However, as faithful disciples, it is the wish of our Lord that we keep trying.

Dropped Chalk

-- Author unknown
 
There was a professor of philosophy there who was a deeply committed atheist. His 
primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn't exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone against him because of his reputation. At the end of every semester on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!"

In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, "Because anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. 

Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can't do " it." And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students would do nothing but stop and stare. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago there was a freshman who happened to enroll. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about his professor. He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought. Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith...he hoped.

Finally, the day came. The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, "You FOOL!!! If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!"

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken. The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall.

The young man who had stood, proceeded to walk to the front of the room and shared his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God's love for them and of His power through Jesus.

Sleeping Through The Storm
A Parable-like Story -- Author Unknown

A young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep through a storm."

This puzzled the farmer... but he liked the young man.  So he hired him.

A few weeks later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm ripping through the valley.  He leapt out of bed and called for his new hired hand, but the young man was sleeping soundly.

So they quickly began to check things to see if all was secure.  They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened.  A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace.

The farmer and his wife then inspected their property.  They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements.  He sees that the bales of wheat had been bound and wrapped in tarpaulins.

The tractor had been moved into its garage. The barn was properly locked tight. Even the animals were calm and had plenty of feed. All was well.

The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man's words, "I can sleep through a storm."

Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for any storm.  So when the storm did actually break, he was not concerned or afraid.  He could sleep in peace.

Moral:::

If we tend to the things that are important in life,if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business. 

Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight. We will never wallow in the agony of 'I could have, I should have.' 

We can sleep in a storm.

And when it's our time to go, our good-byes will be complete.


Acts of Kindness
-- Author Unknown

He was driving home one evening, on a two-lane country road. Work, in this small mid-western community, was almost as slow as his beat-up Pontiac. But he never quit looking. Ever since the Levis factory closed, he'd been unemployed, and with winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home. It was a lonely road. Not very many people had a reason to be on it, unless they were leaving. Most of his friends had already left. They had families to feed and dreams to fulfill. But he stayed on. After all, this was where he buried his mother and father. He was born here and knew the country.

He could go down this road blind, and tell you what was on either side, and with his headlights not working, that came in handy. It was starting to get dark and light snow flurries were coming down. He'd better get a move on. You know, he almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road. But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe, he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill that only fear can put in you. He said, "I'm here to help you m'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm. 

"By the way, my name is Joe."

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough Joe crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt. As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down her window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid. Joe just smiled as he closed her trunk.

She asked him how much she owed him. Any amount would have been alright with her.
She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not 
stopped. Joe never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Joe added "...and think of me".

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight. A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The cash register was like the telephone of an out of work actor, it didn't ring much.

Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Joe.

After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get her change from a hundred dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. She wondered where the lady could be, then she noticed something written on a napkin. There were tears in her eyes, when she read what the lady wrote. It said, "You don't owe me a thing, I've been there too. Someone once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here's what you do. Don't let the chain of love end with you."

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could she have known how much she and her husband needed it ? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard. She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's gonna be alright, I love you Joe."

Did you know ?
  • The lead singer of The Knack, famous for "My Sharona," and Jack Kevorkian's lead defence attorney are brothers, Doug and Jeffrey Feiger. 
  • One out of three employees who received a promotion use a coffee mug with the company logo on it. 
  • In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first (and only) home run. 
  • Pinocchio is Italian for "pine eye". 
  • All of the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" read 4:20. 
  • Dogs and cats consume almost $7 billion worth of pet food a year. 
  • The Pentagon has twice as many restrooms as necessary. When it was built, segregation was still in place in Virginia, so separate restrooms for blacks and whites were required by law. 
  • If you stretch a standard Slinky out flat it measures 87 feet long. 
  • Each year, over 1,000,000 people fail to itemize out the mortgage interest deduction on their income taxes. Last year, this amounted to $473,000,000 in taxes. 
  • In 1998, more fast-food employees were murdered on the job than police officers. 
  • Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer. 
  • Only 14% of Americans say they've skinny dipped with the opposite sex. 
  • "60 Minutes" on CBS is the only TV show to not have a theme song or music. 
  • Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace. 
Just for Laughs

An artist asked the gallery owner if anyone had shown interest in his paintings. 

"I've got good news and bad news," she said. "The good news is that some guy 

inquired if it would appreciate in value after you died. When I told him it 

would, he bought all 15 of your paintings."

"And the bad news?"

"The guy was your doctor."

6 October 2019

posted 4 Oct 2019, 22:45 by C S Paul

6 October 2019

Quotes to Inspire
  • "The seeds of our death are present at the moment of our conception." – Dick Innes
  • "A father may know best, but a mother cares best, and children will pick caring over knowing every time." – Eric Fellman
  • "If humans evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?" – Unknown
  • "One person with passion is better than forty who are merely interested." – Thomas K. Connellan
  • "Virtue does not consist so much in abstaining from vice, as in not having an affection for it." – W.T. Eldridge
  • "You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." – Oliver Goldsmith
  • If you want a baby, have a new one. Don't baby the old one. - Jessamyn West.
  • Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. - Proverbs 19:18
  • "If you haven't the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you." – T.S. Eliot
  • Someone once said to Helen Keller, "What a pity you have no sight!" Helen Keller replied, "Yes, but what a pity so many have sight but cannot see!"
  • "God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me!" – Cited by Andy Chap
  • "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength." – Ralph Sockman

A 4-Year-old's Letter to God
A True Story -- Author unknown

There is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the U.S. Postal Service somewhere...

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God, so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could, so she dictated these words:
....................................................

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith.
(written by the mother of Mer Claire)
....................................................

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to: God in Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.

A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had. Yesterday there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand.

Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers, titled, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

....................................................

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.

"Love, God"

4-Finger Pianist

This story will inspire you... to realize how anyone can overcome adversity!

What do you do when you’re born with two digits on each hand and your legs are amputated at the knees when you’re three? Well, if you’re Hee Ah Lee, you become a concert pianist. She is quite a pro at it now, and you’ll love hearing her play... watch this video below:

Hee Ah Lee was born with sever physical deformities. She only had two fingers on each hand. And her legs ended at her knees. Her doctors didn’t expect her to live.

But she did live. At the age of six she started to play piano. At the time, her four fingers were very weak. She couldn’t even hold a pencil. Her mother hoped playing piano would strengthen her grip.

It worked. But more than that, Lee found a calling. She now tours the world, playing for stunned audiences. She plays pieces that would be difficult for able-bodied pianists.

TRUE Story according to TruthorFiction.com

The videos are real and Hee Ah Lee is Authentic. It is the story of a mother and a daughter who have overcome odds from the very beginning.

Lee’s mother became unexpectedly pregnant while married to a disabled man.  Doctors told her that because of a medication she had been taking her child would not be normal.  She elected to continue with the pregnancy and in 1985 in Seoul, South Korea, little Hee Ah Lee was born with only two fingers on each hand, disfigurement of her legs, and slight brain injury.  The hospital told Sun that she could not care for the child at home and relatives wanted her to place the child for adoption in a foreign country.  Sun thought her baby was beautiful, however, and was determined that she would live a successful life.

When Lee was a pre-schooler her mother decided that she wanted her daughter to take piano lessons and for two reasons.  One was that she felt it would help her strengthen her hands so she could hold a pencil.  The other was that she felt that if she could master the piano, she could master anything.   For six months piano schools turned them down then the one teacher who did accept the task got discouraged and wanted to quit.  It became a three-month contest of wills between mother and daughter that led to a confrontation in which Sun actually threw her daughter on the floor in frustration.  She said Lee got back up on the piano bench and for the first time played the children’s song she had been trying to learn.  That was the turning point and one year later Lee won the grand prize in a piano concert for Kindergartners. It was at age 7 that Lee won Korea’s 19th National Handicap Conquest Contest and was presented with her award by the President of Korea.

Today Lee is 22, has won numerous awards, and is a widely traveled concert pianist with more than 200 appearances.  Her first album titled “Hee-ah, a Pianist with Four Fingers” was to be released in June, 2008.

Lee gives tribute to her mother for challenging her to master the piano and said that although her training was difficult, “as time went by, the piano became my source of inspiration and my best friend.”

A Story of Miracles by 
By Marta C., 7th-grader

The staff at Inspire 21 was extremely pleased to receive this inspirational story about miracles from a remarkable 7th-grader. We hope you enjoy her story as much as we did.
______________

When I was only 18 months old, I was diagnosed with lead poisoning. I was supposed to end up in the hospital in a wheelchair.

My parents told me that the day I was brought into the hospital, my face was yellow and I wouldn't stop crying. The doctor said it was permanent. But in just one month, I
went back to the doctor, and he said the lead poisoning was completely gone. My parents had prayed for me throughout the whole month, hoping it would go away.

My dad always drank. My older brother and I always got scared of him when he came home drunk. One day, my dad had to go to the hospital because he drank too much. He was in the hospital for one month, and I prayed every day for him to get better. My dad was in pain and agony, and no medicine made him feel better. By the time my dad was able to come home, the doctor said he had one year to live. My dad is now 52, and it has been six years. My dad stopped drinking when I got into second grade. It was a miracle. Ever since, my dad never drank again.

The doctor told me 11 years ago that I would be in a wheelchair, unable to talk, see, move or do anything. Yet in second grade, I was entered in a Talented Artist Program; in fifth grade, I was in honors classes; in sixth grade I was in a play and on two softball teams; and in seventh grade, I am in a play, am president of my class, and I am in a Documentary Film Club.

I thank God every day for the blessings he gave me. He is what motivates me and inspires me every day. He inspires me to be the best I can. My parents' love for me also inspires me to be the best of the best. I love God and my family.

A Night on Call - true story
 
By Ofc. Dave Gomez

In the Police Academy they told us over and over again to be ready for anything when we show up on a scene. As I am driving around in my patrol car a citizen calls 911 to report an issue in my city. The dispatcher takes the call, talks with the caller, and translates the conversation into a call type and a sentence or two that comes across my computer screen on what I need to respond to and where.

The dispatcher looks and sees the address is in my area and comes over the air to let me know I have a call holding. I acknowledge to her that I am en route to whatever call she has put in my que. She assigns the amount of officers depending on the call type. A fight situation might need 4 officers where as a vandalism report usually only needs one officer. The dispatchers have to use their best discretion on translating what is told to them over the phone into how many officers will go to the call. There are about 20 different call types that include traffic accidents, lost kids, property checks, drunk drivers, and welfare checks just to name a few. The dispatchers are awesome and they really watch out for our safety and do a great job.

En route to the call I always think through the scenarios of what might possibly happening so that I can formulate a plan of action. Sometimes a call comes across where it seems there will be a battle and it turns out to be nothing. Some times a call comes across that seems very small and it turns into a huge deal.

Last night I was dispatched as a single responder to a traffic hazard call.

The caller told dispatch there was a dead dog in the road that was causing a traffic issue. Fortunately it was 11pm on a smaller street and I knew there couldn’t be too much of a traffic issue so I was in no hurry. While driving to the call I didn’t even give it a second though. My plan was to get to the scene, move the dog to the side of the road, and let animal control know they needed to pick it up in the morning. I was already finished with the call before I got there and did not even contemplate there could possibly be more to the story.

As I approached the area I turned on my spotlight and easily found the dog as it was a large retriever dog and was right in the middle of a two lane road. I turned on my overheads (blue and red flashing lights) so no one would run me over as I was moving the dog. One truck approached and went around me pausing briefly to look at the dog on the roadway. I was putting on rubber gloves to move the dog when a smaller passenger car approached and came to a stop right next to the dog. As I looked inside I saw a woman in her late 40’s open the window and lean out to look at the dog. I was about to tell her to move on as she was blocking the only route around my patrol car. As I approached her she put her head back into her seat, covered her face with her hands, and started uncontrollably sobbing. I was not sure if she really loved dogs or if this was her dog that had been hit. I approached her window and asked her if it was her dog that was on the road. She could only slightly nod her head yes through her tears. I asked her to move over to the side of the road so that other traffic could pass and I would be right there to talk to her.

I moved the dog to the opposite side of the road from where the lady had parked and turned my car around and parked directly behind the lady. I approached the vehicle and gave her a moment to calm down because I couldn’t understand anything she was saying through her sobs. Once she could talk she explained that her son was in the military and had been killed last month. She explained this was his dog, “Charlie” and that it was the best reminder she had of her dead son. She broke down sobbing again as she tried to explain to me that she didn’t know how she would tell her two grandchildren that Charlie had been killed such a short time after their father had been killed. At this time I had to take a step back and compose myself and try and be as strong as I could for this poor lady. In the end all I could do was put a hand on her shoulder and tell her I was sorry for her loss.

The lady had a 15 year old son in the car with her. The 15 year old was being very brave himself and trying to comfort his mom as best he could. I asked her if she had any family close by she would like me to call for her and she said she just moved here recently to be by the grand-kids and didn’t have family here. The 15 year old did not have a license and could not drive her home like I would have liked. I told her I would follow her home to make sure she got home safe as I was very concerned for her.

Before we left the scene she asked if I would take the collar off Charlie so that she could bury it and remember him. I told her of course I would get the collar for her. I took Charlie’s collar off him and placed it in a small brown paper evidence bag. I went to the opposite side of the car and gave the bag to the 15 year old who was quietly sitting in the passenger seat. I explained to the 15 year old as I gave him the bag that he would have to be the man of the house tonight and take extra good care of his mother. He bravely took the bag and placed it under his seat where his mom could not see it and said he would do his best to take care of her.

I followed her to her house which was very close and made sure she made it home safe. I waved goodbye and cleared my call so that I would be available for the next call to come across my computer screen.

A short while later I ended up transporting a young lady to jail for a probation violation. It is about a 15 minute drive time to the jail from any place in the city and I often talk with my passengers. This young lady began to tell me how rough her month and year had been. I told her the story about the dog in the road that I had just come from and her attitude quickly changed. While still upset she was going to jail she decided some people have much tougher problems.

I signed up for this job because of the adventure and the excitement. You never know what will be at the address you are going to and I love every bit of it.

It will be a while before I go to a traffic hazard call without thinking of Charlie the dog who was a much bigger story than could fit onto two lines of my computer screen.

Did you Know ?

Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?

A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right!  And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

Q: Why do ships and aircraft use 'mayday' as their call for help?

A: This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning 'help me' -- and is pronounced, approximately, 'mayday.'

Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?

A: In France , where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'egg.' When tennis was introduced in the US,  Americans mispronounced it 'love.'

Q. Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?

A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X.  Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document.  The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?

A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously.  When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host's glass with his own. 
  
Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer 'in the limelight' was the centre of attention. 
  
Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?

A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud.  If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?

A. When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game 'golf.'  So he had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned  (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her.  In French, the word cadet is pronounced  'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into 'caddie. 
  
Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'.  When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig.  And it caught on.

Just for Laughs

Prayer Before an Exam

Mike was studying for a test one evening. He was very quiet for a long time. So naturally his parents became curious. When they checked on him, they overheard this prayer:

Now I lay me down to rest,
And hope to pass tomorrow's test.
If I should die before I wake,
That's one less test I have to take

Publish Sermons

After a particularly inspiring worship service, a church member greeted the pastor.

"Reverend, that was a wonderful sermon. You should have it published."

The pastor replied, "Actually, I'm planning to have all my sermons published posthumously." "Great!" enthused the church member. "The sooner the better!"

29 September 2019

posted 28 Sep 2019, 08:31 by C S Paul

29 September 2019
Quotes to Inspire
Quotes from Mother Teresa
  • "I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?" - 1974 interview.
  • "The poor give us much more than we give them. They're such strong people, living day to day with no food. And they never curse, never complain. We don't have to give them pity or sympathy. We have so much to learn from them." - 1977 interview.
  • "I choose the poverty of our poor people. But I am grateful to receive it (the Nobel) in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone." - Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, 1979.
  • "I have never been in a war before, but I have seen famine and death. I was asking (myself) what do they feel when they do this? I don't understand it. They are all children of God. Why do they do it. I don't understand." - Beirut, 1982, during fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas.
  • Abortion "is murder in the womb ... A child is a gift of God. If you do not want him, give him to me."
  • "In time, they will start killing grown-up people, disabled people and so on." - On abortion.
  • "When I see waste here, I feel angry on the inside. I don't approve of myself getting angry. But it's something you can't help after seeing Ethiopia." - Washington, 1984.
  • "God will find another person, more humble, more devoted, more obedient to him, and the society will go on." - Calcutta 1989, after announcing her intention to retire.
  • "I was expecting to be free, but God has his own plans." - Calcutta 1990, when the sisters of her order persuaded her to withdraw her resignation.
  • "Please choose the way of peace... In the short term there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread. But that never can, nor never will justify the suffering, pain and loss of life your weapons will cause." - Letter to George Bush and Saddam Hussein, January 1991.
  • "The other day I dreamed that I was at the gates of heaven. And St. Peter said, 'Go back to Earth, there are no slums up here.'" - Quoted as telling Prince Michael of Greece in 1996.
Got the Right Compass?
By Boanerges John‎ 

In 1804, the British ship HMS Apollo was leading a convoy of 69 merchant vessels to the West Indies on a route that put them parallel to the coasts of Spain and Portugal, about a hundred miles from land. A storm arose on Sunday, April 1. Even though it was April Fools’ Day, the captain was unconcerned because his compass assured him he was well into open sea. But in the wee hours of the morning, the ship wrecked against the jagged rocks of the coastline.

Jolted from their hammocks, the crew ran to their posts and tried to save the ship from the cold sea. The waves crashed over the hull, flooding the ship from above amid the screams of shipmen still below.

As night gave way to dawn, the surviving crew were amazed to find themselves not a hundred miles from land, but wrecked against the Portuguese coast, which was littered with the debris from many of the other ships in their convoy. Of the sixty-nine vessels traveling with HMS Apollo, forty were wrecked, some with total loss of life. It was one of the greatest disasters in the history of British maritime shipping.

The captain of HMS Apollo faced court-martial, but he was acquitted when it was learned that the fault lay not with him - but with the ship’s compass.

Because the Apollo had taken on a large iron tank, the magnetism of the compass was thrown off just a little - just four degrees - and the error accumulated day after day. As leader of the convoy, the captain had unwittingly led the others to shipwreck because his compass was defective.

Unfortunately many of us are living shipwrecked lives because of a defective compass. The Bible is the only compass we can count on for accurate and precise directions that enable us to navigate the treacherous waters of everyday life with confidence.

Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

We can always trust the Word of God. We can always count on what it says. If that is true, then why do we constantly doubt God? When a storm hits, why does our default emotion tend to be fear instead of faith?

You may have heard the familiar old Chinese saying, “There is a good dog and a bad dog fighting within each of us. The one that is going to win is the one we feed the most.” The same is true when it comes to faith and doubt. We weaken our doubt by strengthening our faith in God. The Word of God feeds the new nature God gives us when we surrender our lives to Him. As that new nature grows stronger, the old sinful nature becomes weaker … and as that old nature becomes weaker, our faith in God grows stronger.

A steady diet of the Word produces a strong faith. Read the Bible each day. Memorize a verse of Scripture each week. The more of the Bible you have in your heart and mind, the stronger the compass of His truth grows.

Now is the time. Check your compass.

I Pray the Lord my Soul to Keep
-- By Kathy Anne Harris

It was blistering hot even though the sun had set two hours earlier.

Prone on the ground, Seth crawled through dry grass and dusty earth. Soil and weeds clung to his clothing. Gnats and mosquitos clamored on skin that the dirt and leaves left exposed.

In his eyes was reflected the hot glare from exploding mortar shells--and the haunting glow of flares as they blossomed in the canopy of night. Heat from the fires singed his lungs and fanned crisply on his flesh.

Yet there was another fire that blazed bright. And even his fellow soldiers couldn't see that deeply into his mind and heart--to the flame of fear.

For the most part Seth could bank the embers, but sparks shot up, every now and then. The fear was not specific. It did not belong to any particular thought.

The world he lived in now was alien to him; unlike anything in his life he had ever experienced. Moreover, the land was foreign, and held no welcome.

Seth had enlisted when he turned 20. He had no wife. No children. He did leave his folks, and younger brother back in the states. There was no grand job waiting for him, as he wasn't sure what he wanted to do by way of a career. Joining the Army was his first priority. There would be time later to figure out what he wished to do with his life

Being in the military wasn't something he'd been planning, but after 9-11, Seth felt it was where he belonged. His decision to join the armed forces did not come without a price. Just as his country stood divided on The United States' involvement--so, too, did his family. Some were proud of him; others were angry... awash in disbelief.

Many people could not reconcile the reality that those in the military--the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Army--might be placed in harm's way. They may have to fight to defend themselves. Or fight to protect the lives and freedom of others. If it were not so, they wouldn't be called the "armed forces." There'd be another term, perhaps, the "peaceful troops."

He knew when he enlisted, what the dangers of serving for his country may bring. Still, it didn't make it any easier for him at times like this. Fear and uncertainty rode the tidal wave of Seth's emotions, as did resolve, pride, and purpose.

As he inched along the ground, a creature skittered through the brush a few inches from his face. Seth turned his head to the side and in that moment, when the air around him lit as bright as a lightning strike, he saw his friend convulse as metal and lead tore threw his body. From behind him, Seth heard his commanding officer shouting orders to break cover and find shelter.

Seth quickly stood, then began to run. Somewhere in the dark a woman screamed--a fellow soldier. As adrenaline pumped through him like electricity in his veins, he didn't at first notice the searing wound in his own back. When he stumbled, the pain jolted him. He reached back, felt the wound, and his hand came away wet. He tumbled to the ground, just shy of a sandy berm.

In disbelief and shock, he pulled himself behind some large rocks abutting the banked earth. Time slowed down as Seth's thoughts raced. What had he done to leave his mark in this world? His love for his parents and brother flushed through his senses. Vistas of the land that was his country played in front of his mind's eye...

His heart beat irregularly and extremely fast. The pain in his back had spread, enveloping his entire body. He bowed his head. A tear slid down his cheek as he began to pray. As his shallow breathing ebbed, so did his life force.
~*~*~
"Sometimes what a person thinks may be important, is not anything close to the contribution he or she leaves." The voice was hushed, and came from an officer standing over him. "A person may think that they will have a job that makes a difference in the world…research, teaching, or sculpting a masterpiece."

The officer lowered himself to the ground, next to Seth. "But to save a country, a life, an ideal, or a freedom. To change the world of a child…" his voice was carried on a sudden breeze and Seth lifted his head so that he might see better.

The officer continued, "If you inspire even one person. To be an example by giving of yourself as fully as any human could -- with your life. Those are the actions that make a difference. Those are the sacrifices that leave a mark in the world." The officer scanned the darkness, then stood.

Weak and weary, Seth could no longer hold his head up, but the words spoken to him threaded through to his heart, his soul. Seth smiled.

Seth's shallow breathing stopped, and he slid away.

"Your prayer has been delivered to your family... the comfort given to them. A soldier who fought at your side will forever be changed by the life you led--the sacrifice you made. Your countrymen will hear of your bravery and many will alter the path of their lives." He stood and extended his hand.

When Seth reached out, the air around him came alive, like a breath on his skin. When he grasped the hand offered to him, the pulse of a luminous wing caught his eye. He gazed up; the soldier was there no longer. A soldier had never been there. An angel had. And in the angel's eyes, light from the stars glittered in irises of deep indigo.

The angel's wings unfurled and a lucent glow, like that from a torch on a garden wall, radiated outward. A zephyr, as fresh and calming as a garden of flowers, emanated 'round the angel and Seth. And a voice, as unlike any sound a human had ever uttered, bid Seth to come. And he did...

Fizzit Momma
-- Author Unknown

A friend of mine recently shared a little "parable in real life" that God sent her several years ago. When her son was quite small, he had a small stuffed gorilla that he wagged around with him everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE he went. She could sometimes sneak it away for a quick laundering during nap time, but Heaven help her if her son awoke before his friend "Rilla" was out of the dryer! As such '"loveys" will do, Rilla's seams gradually began to weaken and his stuffing began to leak.

As she tells it, "Poor old Rilla was in desperate need of some corrective surgery, not to mention a stuffing transplant. One day, John waddled up to me and held up his battered, beloved Rilla and said, 'Mommy, Rilla's broked.' I explained that I would be happy to fix Rilla up, a little new stuffing, some seam reinforcement, and he would be 'all better' again.

John held Rilla out toward me, and said 'Fizzit, Mommy!' But, when I reached down to take the little gorilla in my hands, I found that it had a two-year-old firmly attached to it. As all parents know, a tug-of-war with a two-year-old is frequently a losing proposition, and is ALWAYS accompanied by loud cries and copious tears. Finally, in exasperation, I said, 'I can't fix it until you let go of it!!!' And just at that moment, the Spirit of God tapped me on the shoulder, as it were, and I realized that God was waiting for me to let go of several things, too."

This is one aspect of Christianity that I suspect will always be a struggle for many of us, "tis not I, but Christ liveth in me". It's so hard for us to get out of his way and let him "fizzit" in his own good time, because we're living in the present moment and He is living in eternity.

Waiting on the Lord, whether it is for healing, for understanding, or a much needed job, is not an easy task. But, I truly believe it is essential for all of us to be as patient with Him as He is with us.

Is Packaging Important ?
-- Author Unknown

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" He then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realizing his father was very old, he thought perhaps he should go to see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make the arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he was reading, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words... "PAID IN FULL".

How many times do we miss blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?

I trust you enjoyed this. Pass it on to others. Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

NOT - Just for Laughs

Joe Cosity 

Here's a type of resume/career direction you may want to avoid...

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it - mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

Next, I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was too exhausting.

Then, I tried to be a chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.

I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

Next, was a job in a shoe factory. I tried but I just didn't fit in.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian - until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

So, I retired and I found I am perfect for the job!

What job has God perfected you to perform?

But be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. -2 Timothy 1:8

Did you Know ?

  • A Boeing 767 airliner is made of 3,100,000 separate parts. 
  • Only 6% of the autographs in circulation from members of the Beatles are estimated to be real. 
  • The time spent deleting SPAM costs United States businesses $21.6 billion annually. 
  • John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, loved to skinny dip in the Potomac River. 
  • La Paz, Bolivia has an average annual temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it has never recorded a zero-degree temperature. Same for Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas, Chile. 
  • 41% of Chinese people eat at least once a week at a fast food restaurant. 35% of Americans do. 
  • A Wisconsin forklift operator for a Miller beer distributor was fired when a picture was published in a newspaper showing him drinking a Bud Light. 
  • G-rated family films earn more money than any other rating. Yet only 3% of Hollywood's output is G-rated. 
  • Richard Hatch, winner of the first "Survivor" reality series, has been charged with tax evasion for failing to report his $1,000,000 prize. 
  • The entire fleet of Unicoi County Tennessee's salt trucks was rendered out of commission in one accident. All three trucks were badly damaged when one of them began skidding down a road, causing a chain reaction accident. Officials blamed road conditions. 
  • More people study English in China than speak it in the United States of America (300 million). 
  • Fast food provider Hardee's has recently introduced the Monster Thickburger. It has 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat. 

22 September 2019

posted 21 Sep 2019, 03:12 by C S Paul

22 September 2019
Quotes to Inspire

  • "Kindness is the oil that takes friction out of life." – Author Unknown
  • "Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep." – Denis Waitley
  • "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
  • "Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." — Alan Alda
  • "We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." — Cynthia Ozick
  • "The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what the man or woman is able to do that counts." – Booker T. Washington
  • "The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."  Roger Bannister, runner
  • "If the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail." – Unknown
  • "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." – Nelson Mandela
  • "Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish."  Jean De La Fontaine
Help Somebody
Author Unknown

It was a cold winter's day that Sunday. The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car that fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked to the church.

As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He was almost laying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you couldn't see his face.

He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet, with holes all over them, his toes stuck out. I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the Church.

We all enjoy fellowship for a few minutes, and then someone brought up the man who was laying outside. People snickered and gossiped, but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me. A few moments later church began. We all waited for the Preacher to take his place, and to give us The Word, when the doors to the church opened. In came the homeless man, walking down the aisle with his head down.

People gasped and whispered and made faces. He made his way down the aisle and up onto thepulpit. When he took off his hat and coat my heart sank. There stood our preacher... he was the "homeless man."

No one said a word... the room was silent and still.

Then the preacher took his Bible and laid it on the stand.

"Folks, I don't think I have to tell you what I'm preaching about today." Then he started singing the words to this song...

"If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody that he's traveling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain."

Only in Texas ... The Power of Prayer

Texas Beer Joint Sues Local Church over Lightning Strike!

A bar called Drummond's in Mt Vernon, Texas, began construction on an expansion of their building, hoping to "grow" their business.

In response, the local Southern Baptist Church started a campaign to block the bar from expanding with petitions, prayers, etc.

About a week before the bar's grand re-opening, a bolt of lightning struck the bar and burned it to the ground!

Afterward, the church folks were rather smug—bragging about "the power of prayer."
The angry bar owner eventually sued the church on grounds that the church, "Was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, through direct actions or indirect means."

Of course, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise.

The judge read carefully through the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's reply. He then opened the hearing by saying: "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but it appears from the paperwork that what we have here is a bar owner who now believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not."

Reported as a true story. I report. You decide!

Heaven Scent
A TRUE STORY - Author Unknown

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean section to deliver the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it" he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk; she would never talk; she would probably be blind; she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation; and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of drugged sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live - and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.

David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements, Diana remembers "I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said, 'No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say. Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!'"

As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.

Because Danae's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort - so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultra-violet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later - though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero.

Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted. Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, whatsoever, of any mental or physical impairments. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more - but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Danae closed her eyes and again asked, 'Do you smell that?' Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain." Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest - and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.
-------------
This heartwarming story began its Internet life around April 1998, after having appeared under its original title, "Heaven Scent," in Miracles in Our Midst, a 1997 compilation of inspirational tales. It's a "true" story in the sense that there is such a child, and the tale of her premature birth and subsequent battle for health was a real one... according to Snopes.com.

How much does a prayer weigh?
-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."

It was some time later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.

Have a blessed day!

Did you know ?
  • CBS's fine for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" in the 2004 Super Bowl show was $550,000. This could be paid with only 7.5 seconds of commercial time during the same Super Bowl telecast. 
  • In September 2004, a Minnesota state trooper issued a speeding ticket to a motorcyclist who was clocked at 205 mph. 
  • Al Gore's roommate in college (Harvard, class of 1969) was Tommy Lee Jones. 
  • In her later years, Florence Nightingale kept a pet owl in her pocket. 
  • The New York Jets were unable to find hotel rooms for a game in Indianapolis recently because they had all been booked up by people attending Gencon, a gaming convention. 
  • China is the world's largest market for BMW's top of the line 760Li. This car sells for $200,000 in China - more than almost all people in China make in a lifetime. 
  • Each year, sixteen million gallons of oil run off pavement into streams, rivers and eventually oceans in the United States. This is more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez. 
  • An employee of the Alabama Department of Transportation installed spyware on his boss's computer and proved that the boss spent 10% of his time working (20% of time checking stocks and 70% of the time playing solitaire). The employee was fired, the boss kept his job. 
  • Solid structures (parking lots, roads, buildings) in the United States cover an area the size of Ohio. 
  • Physicists have already performed a simple type of teleportation, transferring the quantum characteristics of one atom onto another atom at a different location. 
  • George Washington spent about 7% of his annual salary on liquor. 
  • Each year, more people are killed by teddy bears than by grizzly bears. 
  • If you disassembled the Great Pyramid of Cheops, you would get enough stones to encircle the earth with a brick wall twenty inches high.
  • Nearly one third of New York City public school teachers send their own children to private schools. 
  • The New York City Police Department has a $3.3 billion annual budget, larger than all but 19 of the world's armies. 
Just for laughs 

Ice cream is good for the soul
Unknown

Last week I took my children to a restaurant.  My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.

As we bowed our heads he said,  "God is good. God is great.  Thank you for the food,  and I would even thank you more if  Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all!

Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country.  Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"
As I held him and assured him  that he had done a terrific job and  God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said,
"I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer."

"Really?" my son asked.

"Cross my heart," the man replied.

Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."
 
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment  and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his 
sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. 

With a big smile he told her,  "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."

15 September 2019

posted 15 Sep 2019, 02:13 by C S Paul

15 September 2019
Quotes to Inspire
  • "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." – Corrie Ten Boom
  • "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • "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
  • "Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." – Henry Ford
  • "In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. But if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." – Warren Buffet
  • "Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprise? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."  Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862
  • "There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking." – William James
  • "Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things I am tempted to think there are no little things." – Bruce Barton
  • "Failure is a part of success. There is no such thing as a bed of roses all your life. But failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it." – Hank Aaron
  • "Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones." – Sir Winston Churchill
  • "No matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody helps you." – Althea Gibson
  • "Faith is a bird that feels the dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark." – Scandinavian proverb.
  • "Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not." – Samuel Johnson
  • "A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." – Thomas Watson Jr.
  • "How come you never see this headline: 'Psychic wins lottery'?" – Jay Leno

God's hands
Author Unknown

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.

Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy was sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful. Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

-----
Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are there helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.

Remember, God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. And He'll always be there to love and guide you on to great things. Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than the things you acquire.

Is your hut burning?
-- Author unknown

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect Him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. Then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost.

He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We  saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground-it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it.

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9& Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
 
God's wings
Author Unknown

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast.

Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." Psalm 91:4

God's coffee
-- Author unknown

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite -- telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups."
 
"Now consider this," he continued... "Life is the coffee. The jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."
 
God brews the coffee, not the cups... Enjoy your coffee!  

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have."

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.

Speak kindly... and leave the rest to God.

Did you know ?
  • According to Bristol zoo, the Howler monkey's growl is so loud, it can be heard 5km (3.3 miles for u Americans) away.  
  • According to German researchers, the risk of heart attack is higher on Monday than any other day of the week. 
  • According to Hammurabi's Code, the penalty for medical malpractice was to cut off the doctor's hands. 
  • According to Illinois state law, it is illegal to speak English. The officially recognized language is "American." 
  • According to L. Frank Baum, the name Oz was thought up when he looked at his filing cabinet and noticed one drawer marked A-G, a second tagged H-N, and a third labeled O-Z. 
  • According to the film's animators, you'll see 6,469,952 black spots every time you watch 101 Dalmatians.  
  • About 75% of the people in the U.S. live on 2% land.  
  • About 80% of the city was burned in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
  • Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands. 
  • According to an Old English system of time units, a moment is considered to be one and a half minutes.  
  • According to National Geographic, Mt. Everest grows about 4 millimeters a year: the two tectonic plates of Asia and India, which collided millions of years ago to form the Himalayas, continue to press against each other, causing the Himalyan peaks to grow slightly each year 
  • According to Scandinavian folklore, trolls only come out at night because sunlight would turn them to stone.  
  • According to the 1900 U.S. Census, there were: 596,000 carpenters, 280,000 laundresses, 220,000 blacksmiths, 134,000 tailors, 102,000 shoemakers, 42,000 porters, 37,000 stonecutters, 25,000 millers, 8,000 bootblacks, and 7,000 furriers 
Just for laughs

Children's Bible Statement

The following statements about the Bible were written by children and have not been retouched or corrected.

1. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery. 

2. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony. 

3. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. 

4. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. 

5. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. 

6. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic Genitals. 

7. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients. 

8. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. 

9. Moses died before he ever reached Texas. 

10. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. 

11. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him. 

12. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. 

13. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives, and 700 porcupines. 

14. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption. 

15. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. 

8 September 2019

posted 6 Sep 2019, 22:08 by C S Paul

8 September 2019

Quotes to Inspire

  • "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
  • "The highest reward for your toil is not what you get for it, but what you become by it." – John Ruskin
  • "Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." – Albert Einstein
  • "Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what's urgent, learn to focus on what is really important." – Stephen Covey
  • "One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again." – Abraham Maslow
  • "How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these." – George Washington Carver
  • "Remember: Flattery is like perfume. Sniff it, don't drink it!" – Unknown
  • "The end never justifies the meanness." – Cited in Bits & Pieces
  • "No matter what your past may have been, everyone can have a clean future. Talk to God about it. He has the answer." – Unknown
  • "You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jeremy's Egg
-Author Unknown

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa's Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Teresa's for a consultation.

As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!"

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here."

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. "Oh God," she said aloud, "here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy."

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris' face turned red. She stammered, "Wh-Why, that's very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat."

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them, "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"

Yes, Miss Miller!" the children responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them. That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here." A small girl in the first row waved her arms. "That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes that is new life, too" Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine."

Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. "My Daddy helped me!" he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy's, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?" Flustered, Doris replied, "but Jeremy - your egg is empty!" He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too!"

Time stopped. When she could speak again. Doris asked him, " Do you know why the tomb was empty?"

"Oh yes!" Jeremy exclaimed. "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!"

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

The Folded Napkin
-Author Unknown

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag.

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.

Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.

"We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."

"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?"

Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK," she said. "But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is." Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup."

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something For Stevie".

"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is New Years day , the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!" I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. "First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. "There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. "Happy New Year!"

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table.

Best worker I ever hired.

Thank You, Lord
-Author Unknown

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud.

Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced.

Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest.

Thank you, Lord, for life.

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.

Did you Know?
  • Earth’s atmosphere is the only atmosphere discovered till date that human can breathe in.
  • Earth’s atmosphere was formed from gases pouring out from volcanoes.
  • Jupiter has no surface for a spacecraft to land on because it is made mostly from helium gas and hydrogen. The massive pull of Jupiter’s gravity squeezes the hydrogen so hard that it is liquid.
  •  On the moon’s surface are large dark patches called seas – because this is what people once believed they were. They are, in fact, lava flows from ancient volcanoes.
  • Quasars are the most distant known objects in the Universe. Even the nearest is billions of light years away.
  • Humans are the only primates that don’t have pigment in the palms of their hands.
  • It’s possible to lead a cow upstairs…but not downstairs.
  • Dogs have four toes on their hind feet, and five on their front feet.
  • A cockroach will live nine days without it’s head, before it starves to death.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet.
Just for Laughs

Glad It’s Done

Gladys was the preacher's wife and accompanied her husband each Sunday to church. 

One particular Sunday when the sermon seemed to go on forever, many in the congregation fell asleep. 

After the service, to be sociable, she walked up to a very sleepy looking gentleman. 

In an attempt to revive him from his stupor, she extended her hand in greeting, and said, "Hello, I'm Gladys Dunn." To which the gentleman replied, "You're not the only one!" 


1 September 2019

posted 31 Aug 2019, 00:19 by C S Paul

1 September 2019

Quotes to Inspire 
  • Experience praises the most happy, the one who made the most people happy. Karl Marx
  • Think of all the beauty still left around you, and be happy. Anne Frank
  • You are only ever unhappy, when you focus upon what you don't have. Patrick Combs
  • A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. - Hugh Downs
  • The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions. Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Happiness in simplicity can be achieved with a flexible mindset and nine hours sleep each night. - Dalai Lama
  • Every day there is only one thing to learn: how to be honestly happy. Sri Chinmoy
  • Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age. -Christopher Morley
  • Happiness comes from good health and a bad memory. Ingrid Bergman
  • The purpose of our lives is to be happy. Dalai Lama
  • Unconditional acceptance of others is the key to happy relationships. Brian Tracy
  • I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. - Martha Washington

Brooklyn Bridge 
 
The Brooklyn suspension Bridge that connects New York and Long Island is a spectacular structure. Along with the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge has proven itself as one of New York’s most recognizable and photogenic landmarks. we could regularly see this beautiful hanging structure across the water body in many famous Hollywood movies such as Spiderman, Godzilla, Fantastic four, The seige etc.

Not only it is famous for its proven strength and scenic beauty, the True Life Story behind Brooklyn is really inspirational.

Year 1869, was a vital year in the life of Engineer John Roebling, it was in this year he came out with his idea to build a spectacular bridge to connect Long Island with New York. Since there was no other bridge of its magnitude at that point of time the experts rejected his idea saying that it was an impossible feat. The whole world was against his idea and told him to drop his plan.

Roebling’s Intuition kept telling him that his vision was right about the bridge. The only support he had for his idea was his son Washington, who at that time was an upcoming engineer. They together prepared a detailed plan and recruited the necessary team. Though they were well prepared for bottle necks, a tragic accident occurred at the site killing Roebling. This incident happened few months after the bridge building work had started. Normally anyone would have given up. But Washington wanted his father’s vision come true.

Fate was so cruel that Washington suffered brain damage and was injured to an extent where he became immobile. He could neither walk nor talk or even move. As usual the experts who claimed the bridge cannot be built started raising questions about the continuation of the project. There was an uproar about scrapping the construction project terming that Washington was not in a position to extend his services. But these did not deter Washington. He was clear about his objective.

He depended entirely on his wife to communicate. He used his only moving finger to communicate to her. He developed a code to make her understand his communication. Initially everyone thought he was foolish. His instructions were interpreted by his wife and passed on to the engineers. She spent the next 11 years assisting Washington Roebling for bridge’s construction. Finally, the bridge was completed and inaugurated on 24th May 1883, the day on which Washington Roebling was on his death-bed. On the same day 150,000 people crossed the bridge.

Roebling had not just made a bridge that looked incredibly strong, it also turned out to be just as strong in reality. But even after the inauguration, many New Yorkers were not convinced the bridge was safe. So as to prove the doubters wrong, a caravan of circus animals – including a herd of 21 elephants – across the bridge in 1884.

Brooklyn Bridge stands as a spectacular land mark and is standing tall with an Inspirational True Life Story behind it for people who face obstacles in their life.

A Box Full of Kisses
-- Author Unknown

The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight, and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy."

The man was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found out the box was empty. He yelled at her, stating, "Don't you know, when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside? The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and cried, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty at all. I blew kisses into the box. They're all for you, Daddy."

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

Only a short time later, an accident took the life of the child. It is also told that her father kept that gold box by his bed for many years and, whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each one of us, as humans beings, have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses... from our children, family members, friends, and God. There is simply no other possession, anyone could hold, more precious than this.

Nothing is more precious than the beauty of a child's perception. Please consider sharing this short story with loved ones. Thank

Winds of Forgiveness
- Unknown -

Winds of Forgiveness Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.” They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.”

Winds of Forgiveness The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The friend replied, when someone hurts us we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

Winds of Forgiveness Awesome! Without forgiveness, there is no future. We could add to the statement in several ways without changing its basic meaning:  Without forgiveness, there is no freedom. Without forgiveness, there is no recovery. Without forgiveness, there is no healing. This joy is as abundant, as rich and as unlimited as the Lord’s abundant forgiveness of us. It is my prayer that you would experience this forgiveness, practice this forgiveness and, in so doing, receive this joy.

Honesty Story of an Emperor
Author Unknown

Once there was an emperor in the Far East who was growing old and knew it was coming time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or one of his own children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It has come time for me to step down and to choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One seed. It is a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from
this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring to me, and the one I choose will be the next emperor of the kingdom!"

There was one boy named Ling who was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole story. She helped him get a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Ling kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing.

By now others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go, and to take his pot, and to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.

When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other youths. They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor.

"Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!"

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front.

Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!"

Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and
flowers. When you found that the seed would not grown, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

Did You Know ?
  • June 5, 1909: Indy stages its first race. As construction crews toil below, the racers soar high above the surface—in gas balloons. Fisher’s balloon race draws nine starters, including himself. The winner spends more than a day in the air, alighting 382 miles away, in Alabama.
  • 1911: Forty-six cars enter the first “500-mile Sweepstakes,” 44 show up, and 40 qualify. Qualifying consists of sustaining 75 mph for a quarter-mile down Indy’s front straight.
  • Paying $1 each for grandstand seats, 80,200 spectators turn out for the first 500.
  • Henry Ford is among the honorary judges for the 500-mile inaugural.
  • Of the 23 car makes represented in the inaugural 500, only ?three survive today: Buick, Fiat, and Mercedes.
  • Approximate 80,000 components come together to make an F1 car. The cars have to be assembled with cent per cent accuracy. If it were assembled 99.9% correctly, it would go on the track with 80 components wrongly placed.
  • F1 car engines complete their life in about two hours of racing. Just compare this with normal engines which go on serving us faithfully for decent 20 years.
  • An average person has over 1,460 dreams a year which is about 4 dreams every night!
  • On a clear night ,the human eye can see between 2000 to 3000 stars in the sky.
  • Do you know the similarity between human body and a banana? You will be amazed to know that 50% of human DNA is same as in banana!
  • The human body has enough iron in it to make 3 inches long nail.

Just For Laughs

Flying Sermons

The pastor's wife is often his best friend... or severest critic. Realizing that her pastor husband did not have a good feeling about the sermon he had just delivered a few moments earlier, she asked, "So Honey, how do you feel about the service today?"

"It was a good worship service," he responded in a somber tone, "the sermon just never got off the ground."

Before she could stop the words from coming out of her mouth, she replied, "well, it sure taxied long enough!" 

Acting Up In Church 

One Sunday in a Midwest City, a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. 
       
Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. 
       
Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"


25 August 2019

posted 23 Aug 2019, 22:17 by C S Paul

25 August 2019

Quotes to Inspire 

  • "Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done." – Harriett Beecher Stowe
  • "It really doesn't matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. You have things to do and you want to move on."  Author Unknown
  • "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take" – Wayne Gretzky
  • "Every generation of Americans [and others] needs to know that freedom exists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." – Pope John Paul II
  • "The price of greatness is responsibility." – Sir. Winston Churchill
  • "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." – Indian Proverb
  • "You must be the change you want to see in the world." – Mahathma Gandhi
  • "The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." – Winston Churchill
  • "We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God." – Dwight L. Moody
  • "If it is desirable that our children be kind, responsible, pleasant and honest, then those qualities must be taught—not hoped for." – James Dobson
  • "When your only tool is a hammer, you see every problem as a nail." – A. Maslow
  • "You can wash your hands but not your conscience." – Yiddish Proverb
  • "Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius."  An Wang

Dashrath Manjhi, the Man who Moved a Mountain

Written By: Mousumi Kumar Saha    

“When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic but that steeled my resolve.” Dashrath Manjhi

Almost five decade ago, a landless farmer Dashrath Manjhi from Gahlor Ghati, of Gaya (a district of Bihar) resolved to end the difficulties of his villagers by shouldering a near impossible task of slitting a 300-feet-high hill apart to create a one-km passage.

His village would nestle in the lap of rocky hills for which villagers would often face gigantic troubles for crossing small distance between Atri and Wazirganj, the outskirts of Gaya town. He started hammering the hill in early 1959 in the memory of his wife, who could not be taken to the nearest health care center on time for the immediate treatment as the nearest road that connected them to the city was 50km long.

He knew his voice will not create any reaction in the deaf ear of the government; therefore, Dashrath chose to accomplish this Herculean task alone. He sold his goats to purchase chisel, rope and a hammer. People would call him mad and eccentric spirited with no idea of his plans. Unfazed by his critics’ discouraging remarks, Dashrath hammered consistently for 22 long years to shorten the distance from 50km to 10km between Atri and Wazirganj. The day came when he stepped through a flat passage — about one-km long and 16-feet wide — to his dream, ‘the other side of the hill’.

After this impossible accomplishment, Dashrath Manjhi became popular as the‘mountain man’. On August 18, 2007, he breathed his last after fighting cancer at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences. He got state burial on the following Saturday evening.

Some invaluable lessons to learn from this Legend

1. He never got panicked by measuring the whole task at once; instead, he started keeping his tiny steps one by one, faced difficulties on its encountering and progressed while solving them one by one. There is no point thinking much about the task that looks seemingly unconquerable and impossible; nobody completes them in one step. What matters the most is your small steps through which you reach there. So focus on your task and accomplish them with great care.

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” ― Molière

2. Patience is the greatest virtue that leads us to success. Dashrath Manjhi cut through the hill for long 22 years. His patience give him the courage to overcome extreme pain, frustration, disappointments and personal loss.

“Patience. A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.” Ambrose Bierce

3. Dream the impossible! Dashrath Manjhi dreamt of making a walkway through two arrogant and treacherous rocky hills. He planned accordingly, accomplished the task and walked his dream. He was a legend who taught us to dare to dream the impossible. If you keep working on, the near-impossible task will seem a lot easier tomorrow.

“Whether an idea becomes a reality or not, does not depend so much on whether it is possible — but on how great the desire for it is.” ― Edmond Danken Sailer

4. Attitude matters! Don’t ever blame difficulties if you crumble if front of them; it is not the difficulties but the attitude that lets you down. If Dashrath Manjhi could triumph over difficulties, it was his attitude that kept him stay focused and going.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ― Winston Churchill

5. Stay positive! Your positive thoughts and words initiate you to reach your destiny along with your own values.

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

6. Don’t lose heart if people call you mad and crazy for you unique thoughts. The same people appreciate you, promote you and example your tale for encouragement on successfully completion of your plans. When Dashrath Manjhi began working on his plan, people called him mad and discouraged him with impossibilities, but these same people appreciated him and used the way that he created.

“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.” Richard M. Nixon

Are you proud or embarrassed of your dad ?

Author Unknown

On the first day, as President Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up. 

He was a rich aristocrat .

He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family .”

And the whole Senate laughed; they thought they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln. But Lincoln and that type of people are made of a totally different mettle.

Lincoln looked at the man and said, ”

Sir I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many others here….

Because the way he made shoes; nobody else can. He was a creator .

His shoes were not just shoes; he poured his whole soul in it. I want to ask you, have you any complaint?

Because I know how to make shoes myself. 

If you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes .

But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. 

He was a genius, a great creator and I am proud of my father”.

The whole Senate was struck dumb. 

They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was.

He was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard.

Moral of the story

Are you proud or embarrassed of your dad and what he used to do for a living?

“No one can hurt you without your consent.”

” It is not what happens to us that hurts us. It is our response that hurts us.”

To give service to a single heart with a Single Act of Kindness is greater than a thousand heads bowing in Prayers…..

Bruised Apples

Author Unknown

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. Well, as such things go, one thing led to another. The sales meeting lasted longer than anticipated.

Their flights were scheduled to leave out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and they had to race to the airport. With tickets in hand, they barged through the terminal to catch their flight back home. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table, which held a display of baskets of apples. Apples flew everywhere.

Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding, all but one. He paused, took a deep breath and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him and told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight.

Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the floor. He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl at the apple stand was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping or to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them into the baskets, and helped set the display up once more. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $20 for the damage we did. Are you okay?” She nodded through her tears.

He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister….” He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, “Are you Jesus?”

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: “Are you Jesus?”

Do people mistake you for Jesus? That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace. If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by the fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Celebration of Life

Author Unknown

On my way home from coaching basketball yesterday, I was listening to WGN; my favorite talk radio station out of Chicago. I could tell right away that there was something wrong by the somber mood of the speaker. There had been a plane crash. Two small planes collided into each other over a northern suburb of Chicago. What made the story hit close to home was that Bob Collins, the morning show man for WGN, was the pilot of one of the planes and had been killed. (I’m sure that many readers have tuned in “Uncle Bobby” on their car radios in the Midwest.) Later that night, as I made my 40 minute drive to my third shift job, I listened as the station reminisced and paid tribute to a man who was loved by many. They told story after story, describing him as the ultimate friend, and a man who had lived life to the fullest. Genuine love and affection poured in from all over the country. The more I listened about how this man had influenced those around him, the more discouraged I became.

Why you ask?

I was discouraged because I wanted to know why we as a culture, wait until somebody has passed away before we tell them how much we love them? Why do we wait until someone’s ears can’t hear before we let them how much they mean to us? Why do we wait until it is too late before we recall the good qualities of a person? Why do we build someone up after they have gone into eternity? What good does it do then! We share memory after memory, as we laugh, cry, and think back about what was positive in a person’s life. Yes, it does help us cope with the grief of losing someone that was special to us. And yes it does bring those who are coping, closer together. But as we lovingly remember this person, our words fall short of the ears that most needed to hear them.

Just once I would like to see a celebration of life, instead of a gathering of death. A celebration where stories are told, eyes mist over, laughter rings out; and as the speaker concludes his or her loving tribute, the person they are honoring rises from their chair and gives them the biggest bear hug! Wouldn’t that be something! The special person gets to hear the stories and come to the realization that they have made a difference on this earth. And all this is done well before they leave their earthly bodies and go into eternity. And when the inevitable funeral finally comes, we can say good bye with the knowledge that they knew exactly how people felt about them while they were here on earth.

I now have a stronger resolve to tell those around me how much they mean to me. I am going to let my wife know just how loved and appreciated she is, not only by my words, but also by my actions. I am going to play Batman with my four year old more often, and in the middle of our romping, I am going to grab him, hug him tightly, and tell him how thankful I am that he is my son. I am going to sneak into my sleeping toddler’s bedroom, place my lips on his chubby cheek, and thank God for the bundle of joy he has brought into my life. Each day I will make a point to tell both of my boys how much I love them, whether they are four or eighteen! From there, I am going to let family and friends know the tremendous impact they have had on my life. And last but not least, I am going to let the high school players I coach know that I look forward to each and every minute that I get to spend with them in the gym.

Do you love someone? Then tell them! Has someone been an influence in your life? Then give them a call! Has someone made a difference in your life? Then write them a letter or send them an email! Don’t let another day go by without letting that person know. There is something special about a written letter that expresses feelings of love towards another. I don’t know about you, but I have letters and cards from people that I have saved for years, and from time to time, I get them out and reread them. They can turn a depressing day into one where you realize just how blessed and loved you are.

Life is too short to leave kind words unsaid. The words you say, or the letter you write, might just make all the difference in the world.

A Promise is a Promise

Author Unknown

A man’s wife called him, “How long will you be poring over that newspaper? Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?”, he tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene.

His only daughter Sindu, looked frightened, tears were welling up in her eyes, in front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with Curd Rice.

Sindu was a nice child, quite intelligent for her age, she has just turned eight, she particularly detested Curd Rice. His wife and her mother were orthodox and believed firmly in the ‘cooling effects’ of Curd Rice! He cleared his throat, and picked up the bowl.“Sindu, darling, why don’t you take a few mouthfuls of this Curd Rice? Just for Dad’s sake, dear? And, if you don’t, your Mom will shout at me.”He could sense his wife’s scowl behind his back. Sindu softened a bit, and wiped her tears with the back of her hands.

“OK, Dad. I will eat – not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But, you should…” Sindu hesitated, “Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?”

“Oh sure, darling’.“Promise?”

“Promise.”

He covered the pink soft hand extended by his daughter with his and clinched the deal.

“Ask Mom also to give a similar promise”, his daughter insisted, his wife slapped her hand on Sindu’s, muttering, “Promise”, without any emotion.

Now he became a bit anxious. “Sindu dear, you shouldn’t insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items, Dad does not have that kind of money right now. OK?”

“No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive.”

Slowly and painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity, he was silently angry with his wife and her mother for forcing his child to eat something that she detested. After the ordeal was through, Sindu came to him with her eyes wide with expectation, all our attention was on her.

“Dad, I want to have my hair shaved off, this Sunday!’ was her demand.

“Atrocious!” shouted the wife, “A girl child having her hair shaved off? Impossible!” 

“Never in our family!” her mother rasped. “She has been watching too much television, our culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV programs!”

“Sindu darling, why don’t you ask for something else? we will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head.”

“No, Dad. I do not want anything else”, Sindu said with finality.

“Please, Sindu, why don’t you try to understand our feelings?” he tried to plead with her.

“Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice.” Sindu was in tears. “And you promised to grant me whatever I ask for, now, you are going back on your words. Was it not you who told me the story of King Harishchandra, and its moral that we should honor our promises no matter what?”

It was time for him to call the shots. “Our promise must be kept.”

“Are you out your mind?” chorused his wife and her mother.

“No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honor her own, Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled.”

With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face, and her eyes looked big and beautiful. On Monday morning, he dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch his hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved, he waved back with a smile.

Just then, a boy alighted from a car, and shouted, “Sinduja, please wait for me!”

What struck him was the hairless head of that boy. Maybe, that is the in-stuff, he thought.

“Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed!”

He stood transfixed and then, wept. He said “My little Angel, you have taught me how selfless real love is!”

Did you know ?

  • A pregnant goldfish is called a twit 
  • A quarter of raw potato placed in each shoe at night will keep the leather soft and the shoes smelling fresh and clean. 
  • A quarter of the horses in the US died of a vast virus epidemic in 1872. 
  • A state law in Illinois mandates that all bachelors should be called master, not mister, when addressed by their female counterparts. 
  • A word or sentence that is the same front and back (racecar, kayak) is called a "palindrome".  
  • A young lady named Ellen Church convinced Boeing Air Transport that her nursing skills and love of flying would qualify her to assist with the passengers and emergencies. She became the first known stewardess. 
  • A zebra is white with black stripes. 
  • ABBA GOLD has been in the UK charts for over 280 weeks, thats over 5 years 
  • Abdul Kassam Ismael, Grand Vizier of Persia in the tenth century, carried his library with him wherever he went. Four hundred camels carried the 117,000 volumes. 
  • Abe Lincoln's mother died when the family dairy cow ate poisonous mushrooms and Ms. Lincoln drank the milk. 
  • About 10% of the world's population is left-handed.

Just for laughs

Our children's Sunday School classes were presenting their end of the year program for the congregation - telling about the life of Jesus.

When it came to the part about Jesus' miracles, one little boy said, "Yes, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead!" The teacher urged him to tell us more.

He said, "Well, Jesus told them to open the tomb, and then He said, 'Lazarus, come out!' And it's a good thing he didn't just say 'Come out!' because there would have been a stampede of dead guys."

Needless to say our congregation enjoyed the presentation very much. 

18 August 2019

posted 16 Aug 2019, 23:48 by C S Paul

18 August 2019

Quotes to Inspire 

  • "In order to be a leader, a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence. Hence, the supreme quality for a leader is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible." – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th US President
  • "In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings." – Ann Landers
  • "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings." – Hodding Carter
  • Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung 
  • A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. Mohammed 
  • Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin. – Unknown
  • People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner of later to find time for illness." – John Wanamaker
  • "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." – John Wooden
  • "Reputation is what you are in the light; character is what you are in the dark." – American Proverb
  • "Nothing would be done at all if a man or woman waited until they could do it so well that no one could find fault with it." – John Henry Newman
  • "Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes"  Emily Dickinson
  • "Do not wait for leaders–do it alone, person to person." – Mother Teresa

Karoly Takacs : A Hero, An Inspiration

You’ve probably never heard of him. However, in Hungary, he’s a national hero – everybody there knows his name and his incredible story. After reading his story, you’ll never forget him…
In 1938, Karoly Takacs of the Hungarian Army, was the top pistol shooter in the world. He was expected to win the gold in the 1940 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.

Those expectations vanished one terrible day just months before the Olympics.While training with his army squad, a hand grenade exploded in Takacs’ right hand, and Takacs’ shooting hand was blown off.

Takacs spent a month in the hospital depressed at both the loss of his hand, and the end to his Olympic dream. At that point most people would have quit. And they would have probably spent the rest of their life feeling sorry for themselves. Most people would have quit but not Takacs. Takacs was a winner. Winners know that they can’t let circumstances keep them down. They understand that life is hard and that they can’t let life beat them down. Winners know in their heart that quitting is not an option.

Takacs did the unthinkable; he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and decided to learn how to shoot with his left hand! His reasoning was simple. He simply asked himself, “Why not?”

Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have – a world class right shooting hand, he decided to focus on what he did have – incredible mental toughness, and a healthy left hand that with time, could be developed to shoot like a champion.

For months Takacs practiced by himself. No one knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t want to subject himself to people who most certainly would have discouraged him from his rekindled dream.
In the spring of 1939 he showed up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship. Other shooters approached Takacs to give him their condolences and to congratulate him on having the strength to come watch them shoot. They were surprised when he said, “I didn’t come to watch, I came to compete.” They were even more surprised when Takacs won!

The 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of World War II. It looked like Takacs’ Olympic Dream would never have a chance to realize itself. But Takacs kept training and in 1944 he qualified for the London Olympics. At the age of 38, Takacs won the Gold Medal and set a new world record in pistol shooting. Four years later, Takacs won the Gold Medal again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Takacs – a man with the mental toughness to bounce back from anything.

Winners in every field have a special trait that helps them become unstoppable. A special characteristic that allows them to survive major setbacks on the road to success. Winners recover QUICKLY. Bouncing back is not enough.Winners bounce back QUICKLY. They take their hit, they experience their setback, they have the wind taken out of their sails, but they immediately recover. Right away they FORCE themselves to look at the bright side of things – ANY bright side, and they say to themselves, “That’s OK. There is always a way. I will find a way.” They dust themselves off, and pick up where they left off.

The reason quick recovery is important is that if you recover quickly, you don’t lose your momentum and your drive. Takacs recovered in only one month. If he had wallowed in his misery, if he had stayed “under the circumstances,” if he had played the martyr, and felt sorry for himself much longer, he would have lost his mental edge – his “eye of the tiger” and he never would have been able to come back.

When a boxer gets knocked down, he has ten seconds to get back up. If he gets up in eleven seconds, he loses the fight. Remember that next time you get knocked down.

Takacs definitely had a right to feel sorry for himself. He had a right to stay depressed and to ask himself “Why me?” for the rest of his life. He had the right to act like a mediocre man.
Takacs could have let his terrible accident cause him to become permanently discouraged, to take up heavy drinking, to quit on life alltogether, and maybe even to end his own life. He could have acted like a loser.

But Takacs made the DECISION to dig deep inside and to find a solution. To pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers always search for an escape.

Next time you get knocked down, DECIDE you will act like a winner. DECIDE to act like Takacs. Get up quickly, take action, and astound the world!

Who Packed Your Parachute?

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We mayfail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful     that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. 

Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat
missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and
parachuted into enemy lands. 

He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the or   deal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience. One day, when Plumb and    his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're   Plumb! You   flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were      shot down!" 

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I    guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't     be here today."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering    what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: A white hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers.I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning,  how are you or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just       a sailor."


Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels    
of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.


Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?"

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his 
emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. 

He called on all these supports before reaching safety. His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead. As you go through this week, this month, this year... recognize people who pack your parachute!


My Father's Clothes

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

What my father wore embarrassed me as a young man. I wanted him to dress like a doctor or lawyer, but on those muggy mornings when he rose before dawn to fry eggs for my mother and me, he always dressed like my father.

We lived in south Texas, and my father wore tattered jeans with the imprint of his pocketknife on the seat. He liked shirts that snapped more than those that buttoned and kept his pencils, cigars, glasses, wrenches and screwdrivers in his breast pocket. My father's boots were government issues with steel toes that made them difficult to pull off his feet, which I sometimes did when he returned from repairing air conditioners, his job that also shamed me.

But, as a child, I'd crept into his closet and modeled his wardrobe in front of the mirror. My imagination transformed his shirts into the robes of kings and his belts into soldiers' holsters. I slept in his undershirts and relied on the scent of his collars to calm my fear of the dark. Within a few years, though, I started wishing my father would trade his denim for khaki and retire his boots for loafers. I stopped sleeping in his clothes and eventually began dreaming of another father.

I blamed the way he dressed for my social failures. When boys bullied me, I thought they'd seen my father wearing his cowboy hat but no shirt while walking our dog. I felt that girls snickered at me because they'd glimpsed him mowing the grass in cut-offs and black boots. The girls' families paid men (and I believed better dressed ones) to landscape their lawns, while their fathers yachted in the bay wearing lemon yellow sweaters and expensive sandals.

My father only bought two suits in his life. He preferred clothes that allowed him the freedom to shimmy under cars and squeeze behind broken Maytags, where he felt most content. But the day before my parents' twentieth anniversary, he and I went to Sears, and he tried on suits all afternoon. With each one, he stepped to the mirror, smiled and nodded, then asked about the price and reached for another. He probably tried ten suits before we drove to a discount store and bought one without so much as approaching a fitting room. That night my mother said she'd never seen a more handsome man.

Later, though, he donned the same suit for my eighth grade awards banquet, and I wished he'd stayed home. After the ceremony (I'd been voted Mr. Citizenship, of all things), he lauded my award and my character while changing into a faded red sweat suit. He was stepping into the garage to wash a load of laundry when I asked what even at age fourteen struck me as cruel and wrong.

"Why," I asked, "don't you dress 'nice,' like my friends' fathers?"

He held me with his sad, shocked eyes, and searched for an answer. Then before he disappeared into the garage and closed the door between us, my father said, "I like my clothes." An hour later my mother stormed into my room, called me an "ungrateful child," a phrase that echoed in my head for years to come. 

As I matured I realized that girls avoided me not because of my father but because of his son. I realized that my mother had scolded me because my father could not, and it soon became clear that what he had really said that night was that there are things more important than clothes. He'd said he couldn't spend a nickel on himself because there were things I wanted. That night, without another word, my father had said, "You're my son, and I sacrifice so your life will be better than mine."

For my high school graduation, my father arrived in a suit he and my mother had purchased earlier that day. Somehow he seemed taller, more handsome and imposing, and when he passed the other fathers they stepped out of his way. It wasn't the suit, of course, but the man. The doctors and lawyers recognized the confidence in his swagger, the pride in his eyes, and when they approached him, they did so with courtesy and respect. After we returned home, my father replaced the suit in the flimsy Sears garment bag, and I didn't see it again until his funeral.

I don't know what he was wearing when he died, but he was working, so he was in clothes he liked, and that comforts me. My mother thought of burying him in the suit from Sears, but I convinced her otherwise and soon delivered a pair of old jeans, a flannel shirt and his boots to the funeral home.

On the morning of the services, I used his pocketknife to carve another hole in his belt so it wouldn't droop around my waist. Then I took the suit from Sears out of his closet and changed into it. Eventually, I mustered the courage to study myself in his mirror where, with the exception of the suit, I appeared small and insignificant. Again, as in childhood, the clothes draped over my scrawny frame. My father's scent wafted up and caressed my face, but it failed to console me. I was uncertain: not about my father's stature - I'd stopped being an ungrateful little twerp years before. No, I was uncertain about myself, my own stature. And I stood there for some time, facing myself in my father's mirror, weeping and trying to imagine

... as I will for the rest of my life ...

the day I'll grow into my father's clothes. 

Passing the Torch

John LeBlanc

Most of you know that both my dad and my father in law died in the same week this past July. Since then my wife and I have been busy literally selling the farm my parents lived on and disposing of all the farm equipment and 75 years accumulation of business, farm and personal stuff. Just going through it is a long process, not to mention disposing of it.


I found a few really neat things I had not seen since I was a kid right away. I decided then and there that there would not be any wholesale removal of anything. The memories those things brought back were just too valuable.

After many hours, days and weeks of blood, sweat and tears literally, on the top shelf of my Dad's workshop covered with dirt daubers and spider webs was a Gerber baby food jar. Inside it was a key ring. On the key ring was a Nickel alloy almost round magnet the size of a dine and about 4 mm thick. 

My dad was a radiator repairman and welder. One of the problems right after WWII was radiators had a lot of iron parts on them that caused repair problems. Dad needed a handy magnet to sort out these parts. His uncle was a metallurgist at a local refinery and made that magnet for him. As a kid I always remember it on his key ring. About 10 years ago I asked what happened to it and he told me he did not know.

He obviously put it in a safe place. I found it.

Dad, it is on my key ring just like it was on yours. 

The torch is passed.

When it came time to do the same thing at my father in law's house my brother in law "I just can't do it" is what he told me. Too sensitive of a guy. My dad took that sensitivity out of me with a little strip of leather and the admonition to "suck it up and take it like a man". 

My Dad's parents were both killed when he was 16 in 1932 in the midst of the depression. Dad knew what "suck it up and take it like a man" meant. He had been there, done that. I often thought of him telling me that and it got me through many a dismal hour in my youth, the U S Army, at Philmont and all along life's path.

I even passed it along to my daughters. My 23 year old is often heard telling her whining friends to "suck it up and take it like a man" and they do!

Anyway, the time came to clean out my father in law's attic. He notoriously saved EVERYTHING, packaged it in an appropriate box or bag, tied it with string and labeled it. This was brought to my attention when my wife and I had our first child (the 23 year old) and she was ready to start coloring with Crayolas.

Grandpa fetched my wife's coloring books and Crayolas from the attic where he put them some 35 year earlier.

OK, I approached my brother in law about cleaning out the attic. He told me he just couldn't put his mind to it that it was too painful and anyway almost everything up there was mine. He told his sister she could have anything that was up there. 

True my wife had put a lot of baby stuff in her dad's attic as ours is not very big so we got after it. 

Yesterday we started working on the attic. Besides five computers that belonged to her brother and three degrees worth of engineering notes and texts stored there we also found his Cub Scout uniform from 50 years ago.

She also found a silver tray and coffee and tea service that she had never seen before. The note in the box told that it was her great grandmothers. We had it appraised today at $500.00. It is not the monetary value, but the fact that it is a family heirloom she had never seen or heard about.

Today I found her brother's A. C. Gilbert No 6-1/2 Erector Set complete with instruction booklet and the electric motor and gear box. Mine gave up the ghost long ago and what is left of the "customized" parts is in some landfill. If you have never built things with an Erector Set, you just have never lived.

I don't think the gear box on the motor drive would pass OSHA standards today but back then kids didn't go sticking their fingers into gears to see what it would do. We knew without trying.

Since he told me the stuff was all mine I am enjoying playing with MY Erector Set even though his name is written on the box. I just got off the phone from telling him how much fun it was to play with it again after a 50 year hiatus.

I told him that when I got through playing with MY new toy, he could borrow it someday so long as he returned it the same day. No overnight loans. I did not want him to become attached to it.

In reality, I'll clean it up and give it to him for a Christmas present. In the meantime, I'm gonna make him sweat. I'll throw in his Cub Scout uniform for good measure. He doesn't even know I found it.

His daddy always put the things into the attic and Gene and Susan had no idea where or what was there. The attic was their dad's sanctum sanctuary.

Now I am the custodian of the attic. 

And again, the torch is passed.

Did you know ?


  • Beer was the first trademarked product – British beer Bass Pale Ale received its trademark in 1876.
  • Playing-cards were known in Persia and India as far back as the 12th century. A pack then consisted of 48 instead of 52 cards.
  • Excavations from Egyptian tombs dating to 5,000 BC show that the ancient Egyptian kids played with toy hedgehogs.
  • Accounts from Holland and Spain suggest that during the 1500s and 1600s urine was commonly used as a tooth-cleaning agent.
  • Julius Caesar was the first to encode communications, using what has become known as the Caesar Cipher.
  • The first mention of soap was on Sumerian clay tablets dating about 2,500 BC. The soap was made of water, alkali and cassia oil.
  • The first animal in space was the female Samoyed husky named Laika, launched by the Soviets in 1957.
  • In 1958, the US sent two mice called Laska and Benjy into space.
  • In 1961. the US launched a male chimpanzee called Ham into space.
  • In 1963, the French launched a cat called Feliette into space.
  • Pork is the world’s most widely-eaten meat.
  • In Denmark there are twice as many pigs as people.

Just for Laughs

A sweet grandmother telephoned Mount Sinai Hospital.  She timidly asked, "Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?"  

The operator said, "I'll be glad to help, Dear.  What's the name and room number?"

The grandmother in her weak tremulous voice said, "Holly Finkel, room 302.

The Operator replied, "Let me check.  Oh, good news.  Her record says that Holly is doing very well.  Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back as normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged Tuesday."

 The Grandmother said, "Thank you.  That's wonderful!  I was so worried!  God bless you for the good news."

 The operator replied, "You're more than welcome.  Is Holly your daughter?"

 The Grandmother said, "No, I'm Holly Finkel in 302.  No one tells me squat."

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