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.




14 October 2018

posted 12 Oct 2018, 08:40 by C S Paul


14 October 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "If you want to know how to live your life, think about what you want people to say about you after you die—and live backward." – Author Unknown
  • "Pain is inevitable but misery is optional." – Barbara Johnson
  • "Good people are found, not changed. Recently I read a headline that said, 'We don't teach people to be nice. We simply hire nice people.' Wow! What a clever short cut." – Jim Rohn
  • "If you don't want anyone to know, don't do it." – Chinese Proverb
  • "You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." – Unknown
  • "Don't blame others for your failure to be fully accountable for your own life. If others are to blame, then you have given them control." – Bob Perks
  • "To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform." – Theodore White
  • To be upset over what you don't have, is to waste what you do have. – Ken S. Keyes, Jr.
  • "The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are. If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly and helpful to you. The world is what you are." – Thomas Dreier
  • "Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you." – Oscar Wilde
  • "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." – John Quincy Adams
  •  "If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." – C.S. Lewis
  • "The further backward you look, the further forward you can see." – Winston Churchill
Don’t Put it Off 
--Author unknown

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now... go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to... not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift... Thrown away... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance.'

Where Are the Nine?
 by Dick Innes

Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?"1

"You probably read about Paddy who was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place.

"Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey.

"Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

"Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one."

While we make jokes about such things, I wonder how often I pray, God answers, and I forget to say thank you ... or fail to even see that God has answered my prayer because it wasn't in the way that I wanted or expected it to be.

The fact is, when my prayer is sincere from the heart, God always hears and answers it. Sometimes the answer is "Yes," sometimes it is "No," and sometimes it is "Wait a while." And sometimes it is in a way that is totally different from what I expected.

The important thing is that we always thank God for hearing and answering our prayers regardless of the way in which they are answered because God always knows what is best for us. Let's not be like the ten lepers whom Jesus healed and only one came back to acknowledge and thank Jesus for healing him.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you always hear and answer my prayers in one way or another. May I always have a grateful heart and learn to thank you regardless of the way in which you answer my prayer. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
She Lied
--Author unknown

One day, when a seamstress was sewing while sitting close to a river, her thimble fell into the river. When she cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, "My dear child, why are you crying?" The seamstress replied that her thimble had fallen into the water and that she needed it to help her husband in making a living for their family. The Lord dipped His hand into the water and pulled up a golden thimble set with sapphires.

"Is this your thimble?" the Lord asked. The seamstress replied, "No."

The Lord again dipped into the river. He held out a golden thimble studded with rubies.

"Is this your thimble?" the Lord asked. Again, the seamstress replied, "No."

The Lord reached down again and came up with a leather thimble.

"Is this your thimble?" the Lord asked. The seamstress replied, "Yes." The Lord was pleased with the woman's honesty and gave her all three thimbles to keep, and the seamstress went home happy.

Some years later, the seamstress was walking with her husband along the riverbank, and her husband fell into the river and disappeared under the water. When she cried out, the Lord again appeared and asked her, "Why are you crying?'' "Oh Lord, my husband has fallen into the river!"

The Lord went down into the water and came up with George Clooney. "Is this your husband? The Lord asked.

"Yes," cried the seamstress.

The Lord was furious. "You lied! That is an untruth!" The seamstress replied, "Oh, forgive me, my Lord. It is a misunderstanding. You see, if I had said "no" to George Clooney, you would have come up with Brad Pitt.

Then if I said "no" to him, you would have come up with my husband. Had I then said "yes," you would have given me all three. Lord, I'm not in the best of health and would not be able to take care of all three husbands, so THAT'S why I said "yes" to George Clooney. And so the Lord let her keep him.

The moral of this story is: 

Whenever a woman lies, it's for a good and honorable reason, and in the best interest of others. That's our story, and we're sticking to it.

My father is the pilot
--Author unknown

A priest was on a long flight home after a Conference. The first warning of approaching problems came when the ‘Fasten Your Seat Belts’ sign flashed on.

After a while a calm voice said, “We shall not be serving beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please make sure your seat belt is fastened.”

The priest looked around the aircraft and saw that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive.

Later, the voice on the intercom said, “We are so sorry that we are unable to serve meals at this time… The turbulence is still ahead of us.”

And then the storm broke.

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

As the priest looked around he could see that nearly all the passengers were alarmed – except one little girl!

She sat calmly, feet tucked under her, looking at pictures in a book, oblivious of the turbulence around her. Sometimes she would close her eyes, and then she would go back to her book.

The storm blew over. When the plane landed and the passengers were disembarking, the priest approached the little girl and asked her why she was not afraid like the other passengers.

The little girl replied, “Cause my Daddy’s the pilot and he’s taking me home.”

There are many storms that buffet us…Physical, mental, financial, domestic and other storms that can darken our skies and throw us into turmoil.

Like the little girl, let us always remember: Our Father is the Pilot.

He is in control… He will take us Home… Don’t worry!

Did you Know ?
  • There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S. than there are 
  • The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700BC. More than 10,000 students from all over the world studied over 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
  • Sanskrit is the mother of all European languages. Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software (report in Forbes magazine, July 1987) 
  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to man. Charaka, the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Today Ayurveda is fast regaining its rightful place in society. 
  • A baby octopus is about the size of a flea when it is born.
  • A mole can dig a tunnel three hundred feet long in a single night.
  • Squirrels can climb trees faster than they can run on the ground.
  • Dairy cows can produce 25-30 gallons of saliva every day.
  • A Candlefish is so oily that it was once burned for fuel.
Just for Laughs

The First Stone 

Jesus saw a crowd chasing down a woman to stone her and approached them. "What's going on here, anyway?" he asked. One of the crowd responded, "This woman was found committing adultery and the law says we should stone her!" 

"Wait," yelled Jesus, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." 
       
Suddenly, a stone was thrown out from the sky, and knocked the woman on the side of her head. 
       
"Aw, c'mon, Dad ... " Jesus cried, "I'm trying to make a point here!"

7 October 2018

posted 5 Oct 2018, 21:15 by C S Paul


7 October 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "A holy life will produce the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine." – Dwight L. Moody
  • "The gospel is neither a discussion nor a debate. It is an announcement." – Paul S. Rees
  • "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done... Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow—perhaps it all will." – King Solomon,
  • "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." – C.S. Lewis
  • "If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too." – W. Somerset Maugham
  • "Do not blame anybody [else]for your mistakes and failures." – Bernard Baruch
  • "Your life is a gift from God. What you make of it is your presentation back to God." – Unknown
  • "Kind words can be short, but their echoes are endless." – Mother Teresa
  • "People of character do the right thing, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world." – Michael Josephson
  • "I have an irrepressible desire to live till I can be assured that the world is a little better for my having lived in it." – Abraham Lincoln
  • "One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before going to bed." – Bernard Baruch
  • "Solemn prayers, rapturous devotions, are but repeated hypocrisies unless the heart and mind be conformed to them." – William Law
Be An Encourager

By Jon Gordon

With so many people in the world telling us we can't succeed, we need to hear people telling us we can.

I remember my high school English teacher telling me not to apply to Cornell University because they wouldn't accept me and even if they did I wouldn't be able to do the work. (It's funny that I'm a writer now).

I almost didn't apply but a few days later I saw Ivan Foldfarb, a former teacher, in the hallway and asked him about Cornell. He said, "If you get in, then you go. You can do it." His words made all the difference. I applied, was accepted and majored in Lacrosse.? 

Too often we think it's our role to inject a dose of "reality" into someone's life. We think it's our job to protect people from the pain of failure and defeat. We think we must point out how bad the economy is and how horrible the job market is and how the sky is falling. We think that dreams were meant for others.? 

I say there are enough pessimists and "realists" in the world. The world doesn't need more negativity and impossible thinkers. The world needs more optimists, encouragers, and inspirers.

The world needs more people to speak into the hearts of others and say "I believe in you." "Follow your passion and live your purpose." "If you have the desire then you also have the power to make it happen." "Keep working hard." "You're improving and getting better. Keep it up." "The economy is tough but you can still grow your business." "The job market is not great but I believe you'll find the right job for you." "We've hit a lot of obstacles but we'll get the project finished." "Even if you fail it will lead to something even better." "You're learning and growing." ?

When it comes to encouragement I know that every one of us loves working for and with people who bring out the best in us. We love being around people who uplift us and make us feel great.

And while we'll always remember the negative people who told us we couldn't accomplish something, we will always cherish and hold a special place in our heart for those who encouraged us.? ?

Today I want to encourage you to be an encourager. So often the difference between success and failure is belief. And so often that belief is instilled in us by someone who encouraged us.

Today decide to be that person who instills a positive belief in someone who needs to hear your encouraging words. Uplift someone who is feeling down. Fuel your team with your positive energy. Rally others to focus on what is possible rather than what seems impossible.

Share encouragement. It matters and we all need it.

A Dose of Positive Attitude

- Author Unknown

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood... or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim... or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining... or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live... or I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Michael continued... "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read "He's a dead man. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. "Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity." Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

"Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. Matthew 6:34 states: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Enjoy each day, each breath and mostly... each and every friend.

And remember to start each day with an "attitude of gratitude!"

Building Your House
-
- Author Unknown

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked!

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.

Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow.

Build wisely!

Broken Wing 

A True Story by Jim Hullihan

Some people are just doomed to be failures. That's the way some adults look at troubled kids. Maybe you've heard the saying, "A bird with a broken wing will never fly as high." I'm sure that T. J. Ware was made to feel this way almost every day in school.

By high school, T. J. was the most celebrated troublemaker in his town. Teachers literally cringed when they saw his name posted on their classroom lists for the next semester. He wasn't very talkative, didn't answer questions and got into lots of fights. He had flunked almost every class by the time he entered his senior year, yet was being passed on each year to a higher grade level. Teachers didn't want to have him again the following year. T. J. was moving on, but definitely not moving up.

I met T. J. for the first time at a weekend leadership retreat. All the students at school had been invited to sign up for ACE training, a program designed to have students become more involved in their communities. T. J. was one of 405 students who signed up. When I showed up to lead their first retreat, the community leaders gave me this overview of the attending students: "We have a total spectrum represented today, from the student body president to T. J. Ware, the boy with the longest arrest record in the history of town." Somehow, I knew that I wasn't the first to hear about T. J.'s darker side as the first words of introduction.

At the start of the retreat, T. J. was literally standing outside the circle of students, against the back wall, with that "go ahead, impress me" look on his face. He didn't readily join the discussion groups, didn't seem to have much to say. But slowly, the interactive games drew him in. The ice really melted when the groups started building a list of positive and negative things that had occurred at school that year. T. J. had some definite thoughts on those situations. The other students in T. J.'s group welcomed his comments. All of a sudden T. J. felt like a part of the group, and before long he was being treated like a leader. He was saying things that made a lot of sense, and everyone was listening. T. J. was a smart guy, and he had some great ideas.

The next day, T. J. was very active in all the sessions. By the end of the retreat, he had joined the Homeless Project team. He knew something about poverty, hunger and hopelessness. The other students on the team were impressed with his passionate concern and ideas. They elected T. J. co-chairman of the team. The student council president would be taking his instruction from T. J. Ware.

When T. J. showed up at school on Monday morning, he arrived to a firestorm. A group of teachers were protesting to the school principal about his being elected co-chairman. The very first communitywide service project was to be a giant food drive, organized by the Homeless Project team. These teachers couldn't believe that the principal would allow this crucial beginning to a prestigious, three-year action plan to stay in the incapable hands of T. J. Ware.

They reminded the principal, "He has an arrest record as long as your arm. He'll probably steal half the food." Mr. Coggshall reminded them that the purpose of the ACE program was to uncover any positive passion that a student had and reinforce its practice until true change can take place. The teachers left the meeting shaking their heads in disgust, firmly convinced that failure was imminent.

Two weeks later, T. J. and his friends led a group of 70 students in a drive to collect food. They collected a school record: 2,854 cans of food in just two hours. It was enough to fill the empty shelves in two neighborhood centers, and the food took care of needy families in the area for 75 days. The local newspaper covered the event with a full-page article the next day. That newspaper story was posted on the main bulletin board at school, where everyone could see it. T. J.'s picture was up there for doing something great, for leading a record-setting food drive. Every day he was reminded about what he did. He was being acknowledged as leadership material.

T. J. started showing up at school every day and answered questions from teachers for the first time. He led a second project, collecting 300 blankets and 1,000 pairs of shoes for the homeless shelter. The event he started now yields 9,000 cans of food in one day, taking care of 70 percent of the need for food for one year. T. J. reminds us that a bird with a broken wing only needs mending. But once it has healed, it can fly higher than the rest. T. J. got a job. He became productive. He is flying quite nicely these days.

Did you Know?
  • The world's first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
  • India was one of the richest countries till the time of British rule in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus, attracted by India's wealth, had come looking for a sea route to India when he discovered America by mistake.
  • The Art of Navigation & Navigating was born in the river Sindh over 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word 'NAVGATIH'. The word navy is also derived from the Sanskrit word 'Nou'.
  • India is the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest Country in the world, and one of the most ancient civilizations.
  • The game of Snakes & Ladders was created by the 13th century poet saint Gyandev. It was originally called 'Mokshapat'. The ladders in the game represented virtues and the snakes indicated vices. The game was played with cowrie shells and dices. In time, the game underwent several modifications, but its meaning remained the same, i.e. good deeds take people to heaven and evil to a cycle of re-births.
  • The world's highest cricket ground is in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1893 after leveling a hilltop, this cricket pitch is 2444 meters above sea level.
  • India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world.
  • The largest employer in India is the Indian Railways, employing over a million people.
Just for Laughs

Last Request

An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, 'They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead.' 

Jesus is Watching

One night a robber broke into a home. While he was aggressively searching through a desk the robber heard a voice say, ''Jesus is watching you!” 

He yelled, ''Who said that?!'' 

Once again the robber heard the same thing, ''Jesus is watching you!'' 

The robber looked around the room only to see a parrot. He asked the parrot what its name was and the parrot replied, ''Arthur.'' 

The robber said, ''Ha ha! Who names a parrot that?!” 

With attitude the parrot laughs, ''Ha ha! The same person who named the pit-bull behind you Jesus!!" 

30 September 2018

posted 29 Sep 2018, 08:25 by C S Paul


30 September 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "It does not matter if we have material wealth. What really matters is—what do we do with it?" – John Wood
  • "If you've done big things in life you must expect to have excited some criticism. It's only people who've done precious little who get no criticism at all." – Margaret Thatcher
  • "Don't join an easy crowd; you won't grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high." – Jim Rohn
  • "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."– Ronald Reagan
  • "Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you would not have in your home." – David Frost, The Chicago Tribune
  • "Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks; and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks." – Phillips Brook
  • "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." – Maya Angelou
  • "The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides." – Henri-Frederic Amie
  • "Don't let your worries get the best of you, remember, Moses started out as a basket case"– Anonymous
  • "Our lives improve only when we take chances... and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves." – Walter Anderson
  • "One is a Christian 7/24/365 or he is but a tinkling cymbal." – Richard H. Jett
  • "It is the character of a brave and resolute man not to be ruffled by adversity and not to desert his post." – Cicero, Roman orator
Dash of Hope
-- by Linda Ellis

My poem, The Dash, is based on that little line on a tombstone, between the dates of birth and death. Ultimately, that dash is a symbol which represents every day we've spent alive on earth. Therefore, how you spend your "dash" is all that really matters. Following is an amazing story about someone whose dash truly made a difference.

Recently I heard about a little girl named Hope Stout. After learning more about her life, I couldn't help but feel it was not by coincidence, nor happenstance, that she had been named "Hope." It had to be attributed to fate. The compassion and generosity housed in her young heart made a lasting impression on me and countless others, and her legacy of love continues to bless lives every day. Though I never had the opportunity to meet her, I wish I had. It seems as though she was wise beyond her tender years and very, very special. When I tell people her story, I always say, "if this doesn't inspire you, I don't think there's much that could..."

Hope was a twelve-year old girl who was offered a "wish" in early December 2003 by the "Make-A-Wish" Foundation after being informed that she had a rare type of bone cancer. However, when she found out that more than 150 children in her area were waiting for their wishes to be granted, she unselfishly used her wish to ask that those children have their wishes granted. She also asked that it be done by January 16, 2004. Unfortunately, however, the organization informed her that her noble request could not be granted as the funds were simply unavailable. They calculated that they would need to raise more than one million dollars in thirty days in order to grant her wish. Disappointed, but not discouraged, she turned her dismay into an enthusiasm that inspired caring individuals to spearhead fundraising to help grant the wishes of the other children, and eventually hers as well. Newspaper columnists and reporters for radio and TV stations shared the story of this caring young girl who had touched the hearts of so many and as word spread, the community was challenged. Committees were formed and schools, corporations and various organizations assisted in raising money to help bring Hope's dream to fruition.

Though she lost her battle in 2004, knowing that her wish was going to come true, Hope lives on. Her heartfelt efforts were not in vain as they continue to help others, not only physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. At the initial fundraiser and gathering to celebrate her life, "A Celebration of Hope" on January 16, 2004, the announcement was made that they had indeed received donations totaling more than one million dollars on behalf of Hope Stout. Her wish had been granted!

Character counts - A Mitt Romney Story 
-- Author unknown

In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner of Mitt Romney at Bain Capital, had disappeared. She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high on ecstasy. Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was.

Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search.

He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York, and asked them to help find his friend’s missing daughter. Romney’s accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper.

Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could – prostitutes, drug addicts – anyone. That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees searching for her.

As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose.

Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney’s former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter’s life, saying, “It was the most amazing thing, and I’ll never forget this to the day I die.”

So, here’s my epiphany: Mitt Romney simply can’t help himself. He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not-so-consciously. He doesn’t do it for self-aggrandizement, or for personal gain. He does it because that’s just how he’s wired.

Many people are unaware of the fact that when Romney was asked by his old employer, Bill Bain, to come back to Bain & Company as CEO to rescue the firm from bankruptcy, Romney left Bain Capital to work at Bain & Company for an annual salary of one dollar. When Romney went to the rescue of the 2002 Olympics held in Salt Lake City, he accepted no salary for three years, and wouldn’t use an expense account. He also accepted no salary as Governor of Massachusetts. It would be interesting to see if he intends to not accept a salary should he become President of The United States.

Character Counts!

Chain of Love 
-- Author Unknown

One day a man saw an 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 old 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 which only fear can put in you.

He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan 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 the 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.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. 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 they needed, and Bryan 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 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 Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be.

Then she noticed something written on the napkin. There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.'

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

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 the lady 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 going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.'

Listening at Christmas, and Always
-- By Roger Darlington

A few years after I left my secondary school in Manchester, I was invited to help out with the school's Christmas Fair and I decided to have a go at being Father Christmas. I had recently grown my first full beard and thought that I would enter into the role by rubbing flour into my growth. Though I say it myself, I looked rather splendid and certainly I attracted lots of custom.

I was enjoying myself enormously, bringing a sense of magic to so many young children, but I was mystified by one young boy who paid for a second visit and then astonishingly for a third. The presents on offer were really pretty pitiful, so I asked him why he was coming to see me so often. He answered simply: "I just love talking to you."

It was then that I realised that, in many households, parents do not encourage their children to talk and really listen to them. This was a lesson that I have taken with me throughout my life. So, at home, at work, socially, always encourage family, friends, colleagues to talk about themselves and their feelings - and really listen.
Did you Know?
  • Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. While a bloodhound’s nose may be a million times more sensitive than a human’s, that doesn’t mean that the human sense of smell is useless. Humans can identify a wide variety of scents and many are strongly tied to memories.
  • Even small noises cause the pupils of the eyes to dilate. It is believed that this is why surgeons, watchmakers and others who perform delicate manual operations are so bothered by uninvited noise. The sound causes their pupils to change focus and blur their vision, making it harder to do their job well.
  • Everyone has a unique smell, except for identical twins. Newborns are able to recognize the smell of their mothers and many of us can pinpoint the smell of our significant others and those we are close to. Part of that smell is determined by genetics, but it’s also largely do to environment, diet and personal hygiene products that create a unique chemistry for each person.
  • The brain only makes up about 2% of our body mass, yet consumes more oxygen than any other organ in the body, making it extremely susceptible to damage related to oxygen deprivation. So breathe deep to keep your brain happy and swimming in oxygenated cells.
  • The brain is much more active at night than during the day. Logically, you would think that all the moving around, complicated calculations and tasks and general interaction we do on a daily basis during our working hours would take a lot more brain power than, say, lying in bed. Turns out, the opposite is true. When you turn off your brain turns on. Scientists don’t yet know why this is but you can thank the hard work of your brain while you sleep for all those pleasant dreams.
  • Women are born better smellers than men and remain better smellers over life. Studies have shown that women are more able to correctly pinpoint just what a smell is. Women were better able to identify citrus, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee smells. While women are overall better smellers, there is an unfortunate 2% of the population with no sense of smell at all.
Just for Laughs

Kids Prayers
Author Unknown
  • 3-year-old Reese: "Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen." 
  • A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am." 
  • One particular four-year-old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets." 
  • A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?" 

23 September 2018

posted 21 Sep 2018, 03:25 by C S Paul


23 September 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." – Babe Ruth
  • "When we fail to follow truth, instead of living fully, we end up dying slowly." – Dick Innes
  • "Symptoms are often a smoke screen to avoid facing reality." – Dick Innes
  • "God is merciful. When we have unresolved problems, he gives us symptoms." – Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  • "He who constantly looks back loses sight in one eye. He who never looks back loses sight in both eyes." – Russian Proverb
  • "Too soon old. Too late 'schmartz.'" – German Proverb
  • "One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, how big my house was, or what kind of car I drove. But the world may be a little better, because I was important in the life of a child." – Forest Witcraft
  • "To educate a person in the mind but not the morals is to educate a menace to society." – Teddy Roosevelt
  • "One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests." – John Stuart Mill
  • "I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference." – Ellen Goodman
  • "Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person." – Mother Theresa
  • "You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great." – Les Brown
  • "Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay." – Author Unknown
  • "Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly." – Robert Schuller
Now That's God
-- Author Unknown

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt several farmers before it was through.

Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn’t see some rain soon...we would lose everything.

It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year-old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort ... trying to be as still as possible. Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed. Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for an hour: walking carefully to the woods, running back to the house.

Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen...as he was obviously doing important work and didn't need his Mommy checking up on him). He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked, being very careful not to spill the water he held in them ... maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked close as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his little face, but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much higher purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site.

Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him...he didn't even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn lying on the ground; obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand. When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree.

I followed him back to the house to a spigot to which we had shut off the water. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle began to creep out. He knelt there, letting the drip, drip slowly fill up his makeshift "cup," as the sun beat down on his little back. And it came clear to me: The trouble he had gotten into for playing with the hose the week before. The lecture he had received about the importance of not wasting water. The reason he didn't ask me to help him. It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him.

His little eyes just filled with tears. "I'm not wasting," was all he said. As he began his walk, I joined him...with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job. I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save another life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, other drops...and more drops...and more suddenly joined them. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride.

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. Those miracles don't really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that... I'm not going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm... just like the actions of one little boy saved another.

I don't know if anyone will read this... but I had to send it out. To honor the memory of my beautiful Billy, who was taken from me much too soon. But not before showing me the true face of God, in a little, sunburned body. 

THAT'S GOD ~~~~~~

Have you ever been just sitting there and all of a sudden you feel like doing something nice for someone you care for? 
THAT'S GOD! He speaks to you through the Holy Spirit

Have you ever been down and out and nobody seems to be around for you to Talk to?
THAT'S GOD! He wants you to speak to Him.

Have you ever been thinking about somebody that you haven't seen in a long time and then next thing you know you see them or receive a phone call from them? THAT'S GOD! There's no such thing as coincidence.

Have you ever received something wonderful that you didn't even ask for, like money in the mail, a debt that had mysteriously been cleared, or a coupon to a department store where you had just seen something you wanted, but couldn't afford.
THAT'S GOD!  He knows the desires of your heart.

Have you ever been in a situation and you had no clue how it is going to get better, but now you look back on it?

THAT'S GOD! He passes us through tribulation to see a brighter day.

Don't tell GOD how Big your storm is. Tell the storm how Big your GOD is!

Please pass this along and share the Power of God.
In all that we do, we need to totally give HIM Thanks and our blessings will continue to multiply. NOW THAT'S GOD!

HAVE A BLESSED DAY - GOD LOVES YOU

Nestle, Not Wrestle ! 
-- Author unknown

Last year I watched Billy Graham being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on television. Oprah told him that in her childhood home, she use to watch him preach on a little black and white TV while sitting on a linoleum floor.

She went on to the tell viewers that, in his lifetime, Billy has preached to twenty-million people around the world, not to mention the countless numbers who have heard him whenever his crusades are broadcast. When she asked if he got nervous before facing a crowd, Billy replied humbly, "No, I don't get nervous before crowds, but I did today before I was going to meet with you."

Oprah's show is broadcast to twenty-million people every day. She is comfortable with famous stars and celebrities but seemed in awe of Dr. Billy Graham.

When the interview ended, she told the audience, "You don't often see this on my show, but we're going to pray." Then she asked Billy to close in prayer. The camera panned the studio audience as they bowed their heads and closed their eyes just like in one of his crusades.

Oprah sang the first line from the song that is his hallmark "Just as I am, without a plea," misreading the line and singing off'-key, but her voice was full of emotion and almost cracked.

When Billy stood up after the show, instead of hugging her guest, Oprah's usual custom, she went over and just nestled against him. Billy wrapped his arm around her and pulled her under his shoulder. She stood in his fatherly embrace with a look of sheer contentment.

I once read the book "Nestle, Don't Wrestle" by Corrie Ten Boom. The power of nestling was evident on the TV screen that day. Billy Graham was not the least bit condemning, distant, or hesitant to embrace a public personality who may not fit the evangelistic mold. His grace and courage are sometimes stunning.

In an interview with Hugh Downs, on the 20/20 program, the subject turned to homosexuality. Hugh looked directly at Billy and said, "If you had a homosexual child, would you love him?" Billy didn't miss a beat. He replied with sincerity and gentleness, "Why, I would love that one even more."

The title of Billy's autobiography, "Just As I Am," says it all. His life goes before him speaking as eloquently as that charming southern drawl for which he is known.

If, when I am eighty years old, my autobiography were to be titled "Just As I Am," I wonder how I would live now? Do I have the courage to be me? I'll never be a Billy Graham, the elegant man who draws people to the Lord through a simple one-point message, but I hope to be a person who is real and compassionate and who might draw people to nestle within God's embrace.

Do you make it a point to speak to a visitor or person who shows up alone at church, buy a hamburger for a homeless man, call your mother on Sunday afternoons, pick daisies with a little girl, or take a fatherless boy to a baseball game?

Did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you look when you're looking for what's beautiful in someone else?

Billy complimented Oprah when asked what he was most thankful for; he said, "Salvation given to us in Jesus Christ" then added, "and the way you have made people all over this country aware of the power of being grateful."

When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same person, he said, "Ruth and I are happily incompatible."

How unexpected. We would all live more comfortably with everybody around us if we would find the strength in being grateful and happily incompatible.

Let's take the things that set us apart, that make us different, that cause us to disagree, and make them an occasion to compliment each other and be thankful for each other. Let us be big enough to be smaller than our neighbor, spouse, friends, and strangers.

Every day, may we "Nestle, not Wrestle!"

The Pretty One
By Roger Dean Kiser

This was the last litter of puppies we were going to allow our Cocker Spaniel to have. It had been a very long night for me. Precious, our only black cocker, was having a very difficult time with the delivery of her puppies.

I laid on the floor beside her large four-foot square cage, watching her every movement. Watching and waiting just in case we had to rush her to the veterinarian.

After six hours the puppies started to appear. The first born was a black and white party dog. The second and third puppies were tan and brown in color. The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and white. "One, two, three, four, five," I counted to myself as I walked down the hallway to wake up Judy and tell her that everything was fine. As we walked back down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had been born and was now laying all by itself over to the side of the cage. I picked up the small puppy and laid it on top of the
large pile of puppies, who were whining and trying nurse on the mother.

Instantly Precious pushed the small puppy away from rest of the group and refused to recognize it as a member of her family.

"Something's wrong," said Judy.

I reached over and picked up the puppy. My heart sank inside my chest when I saw the little puppy was hare-lipped and could not close its little mouth. We had gone through this once before last year with another one of our cockers. That experience like to have killed me when the puppy died and I had to bury it. If there was any way to save this animal I was going to give it my best shot.

All the puppies born that night, with the exception of the small hare-lipped pup, were very valuable because of their unusual coloring. Most would bring between five to seven hundred dollars each. The next day I took the puppy to the vet. I was told nothing could be done unless we were willing to spend about a thousand dollars to try and correct the defect. He told us that the puppy would die mainly because it could not suckle.

After returning home Judy and I decided that we could not afford to spend that kind of money without getting some type of assurances from the vet that the puppy had a chance to live. However, that did not stop me from purchasing a syringe and feeding the puppy by hand. Which I did very day and night, every two hours, for more than ten days.

The fifth week I placed an ad in the newspaper, and within a week we had taken deposits on all of the pups, except the one with the deformity. The little guy had learned to eat on his own as long as it was soft canned food.

Late that afternoon I had gone to the store to pick up a few groceries. Upon returning I happened to see the old retired school teacher, who lived across the street from us, waving at me. She had read in the paper that we had puppies for sale and was wondering if she might buy one from us for her grandson. I told her all the puppies had been sold, but I would keep my eyes open for anyone else who might have a cocker spaniel for sale. I also mentioned we never kept a deposit should someone change their mind, and if so I would let her know. Within days all but one of the puppies had been picked up by their new owners. This left me with
one brown and tan cocker as well as the smaller hare-lipped puppy.

Two days passed without me hearing anything from the gentleman, who had placed a deposit on the tan and brown pup. So I telephoned the school teacher and told her I had one puppy left and that she was welcome to come and look at it. She advised me that she was going to pick up her grandson and would come over at about eight o'clock that evening. Judy and I were eating supper when we heard a knock on the front door. When I opened the door, the man, who had placed a $100 deposit on the dog, was standing there. We walked inside where I filled out the paperwork, he paid me the balance of the money, and I handed him the puppy.

Judy and I did not know what to do or say if the teacher showed up with her grandson. Sure enough at exactly eight o'clock the doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there was the school teacher with her grandson standing behind her. I explained to her the man had come for the puppy just an hour before, and there were no puppies left.

"I'm sorry, Jeffery. They sold all the puppies," she told her grandson.

Just at that moment, the small puppy left in the bedroom began to yelp.

"My puppy! My puppy!" yelled the little boy as he ran out from behind his grandmother.

I just about fell over when I saw the small child was hare-lipped. The boy ran past me as fast as he could, down the hallway to where the puppy was still yelping. 
When the three of us made it to the bedroom, the small boy was holding the puppy in his arms. He looked up at his grandmother and said, "Look Grandma. They sold all the puppies except the pretty one, and he looks just like me."

Well, old Grandma wasn't the only one with tears in her eyes that day. Judy and I stood there, not knowing what to do.

"Is this puppy for sale?" asked the school teacher.

"My grandma told me these kind of puppies are real expensive and that I have to take real good care of it," said the little boy, who was now hugging the puppy.

"Yes, ma'am. This puppy is for sale."

The lady opened her purse, and I could see several one-hundred dollar bills sticking out of her wallet. I reached over and pushed her hand back down into her purse so that she would not pull her wallet out.

"How much do you think this puppy is worth?" I asked the boy.

"About a dollar?" He replied.

"No. This puppy is very, very expensive... More than a dollar," I told him.

"I'm afraid so." Said his grandmother.

The boy stood there pressing the small puppy against his cheek.

"We could not possibly take less than two dollars for this puppy," Judy said, squeezing my hand. "Like you said, "It's the pretty one." She continued.

The school teacher took out two dollars and handed it to the young boy.

"It's your dog now, Jeffery. You pay the man."

I think it must be a wonderful feeling for any young person to look at their selves into the mirror and see nothing, except "The pretty one."

The Magic Letter
A True Story -- by Roger Dean Kiser

Once again, I had run away and really do not know why. I would walk out the gate to go to school and then keep walking, and walking, and walking. I had just turned eleven-years-old the week before. It was almost dark; I was tired, scared, cold, and all alone. I had not eaten all day and was afraid to turn myself into the police. I knew I would receive another beating once I returned to the Children's Home Society in Jacksonville, Florida. There was nothing for me to do, except keep on walking.

As darkness fell, I made my way over to the city park located on Park Street. I entered the darkened area and sat down on one of the wooden benches hoping to avoid the police cars. It was cold and I began to shiver uncontrollably. All was quiet except for the passing cars in the distance.

"Well, hello young man." A voice came from behind me.

I jumped, almost falling off the park bench. My heart was beating ninety miles per hour, and I could feel it thumping in the side of my neck. I gasp and I could hardly catch my breath. I looked up and saw a woman standing behind me in the shadows.

"You look cold," she said.

"I'm cold. I'm real, real cold." I continued to shiver.

"Here wrap this around you."

I watched as she took off her shawl and wrapped it around my shoulders.

"But ain't you gonna be cold now?"

"I'll be ok."

"Is there anything else you need?” she questioned.

"I sure could use some food."

"Follow me," she said.

I walked with her about twenty feet, then she stopped under one of the park streetlights.

She held out her hand and said, "Here, you take this letter and give it to the store owner."

I looked at her outstretched arm but saw nothing in her hand. "There's nothing in your hand," I told her.

"Roger, reach out and take the letter from my hand," she replied.

Slowly I reached out, acting as though I was taking something from her hand.

"Now close your thumb and finger and hold the paper tightly," she instructed.

I closed my thumb and finger as though I were grasping the letter.

"Take it to any store owner."

"What do I say to them?"

"Nothing," she replied.

"But what store do I go to?"

"It doesn't matter," she said, as she smiled.

I turned and began walking toward Five Points. Several blocks down the road, I came to a store with a woman sitting behind a counter. I opened the door, walked in, and stopped directly in front of her.

"Can I help you?" asked the woman.

I was hesitant to talk and had no idea what I should say. Very slowly I held out my hand toward her. I watched her face to see if she might think I was crazy or something.

"Is that for me?" she asked.

"Yes Ma'am.” I looked down at the floor.

She reached out and as her hand touched mine, I opened my tightly closed fingers and stood there waiting. She pulled back, smiled, and looked down at her hands.

She immediately turned and walked to the back of the store. I began to inch toward the front door for fear she might be calling the police. Just as I made it to the front door, I stopped as I heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw the woman holding a paper plate.

"Roger, here is something for you to eat."

"How did you know my name?" I asked her.

"It was on the paper."

"But there wasn't no paper. I didn't see no paper," I told her.

She smiled and motioned for me to eat by twirling her finger in front of her mouth. Within two or three minutes, I had downed the entire plate of food and several coca colas.

"Are you full?" she asked.

"Yes Ma'am."

"Then it's time for you to go."

I turned to leave when I felt her hand on my shoulder.

"Here, your paper. You almost forgot your letter," she said, holding out her hand.

Again seeing nothing, I held out my hand and closed my thumb and finger as though I were taking something from her. Tightly grasping nothing more than air, I walked out into the street and headed back to the park. When I arrived, the old woman was sitting on the park bench. "Did you eat?" she asked.

"Yes Ma’am, and I had two coca colas too."

"Good."

"How do you do that magic?" I asked her.

"It’s not magic."

"But how does everyone know my name?"

"It is written in the letter."

"Can I have the letter so I can be magic too?" I asked.

She reached out, took my hand, and opened my tightly closed fingers. Whatever was being held between my fingers, she took and placed into her apron pocket. "Would you help someone if they were hungry?" she asked me.

"Yes Ma'am.

"Would you help someone if they were hurt, cold or scared?"

"Yes Ma'am. I would be their friend."

"Roger, you are very lucky little boy. You will never need the magic letter," she responded.

She stood up, kissed me on the forehead, removed the shawl from my shoulders, and began walking down the sidewalk. I watched as she disappeared into the darkness.

Just for Laughs
 
Generation Gap

Without prior warning, friends of mine received their long-awaited adopted baby. 

At the first opportunity, they drove to the countryside to see their parents and show off their new son. 

After a wonderful visit, my friends started for home. 

Before they had traveled very far, however, they drove back to the farmhouse—where Grandpa stood at the door, smiling, holding their new baby.

Did You Know?
  • In summer in Uranus, the sun does not set for 20 years. In winter, darkness lasts for 20 years. In autumn, the sun rises and sets every 9 hours.
  • The Hiroshima bombs released 84 trillion joules of energy. A supernova releases 125,000 trillion trillion times as such..
  • The most distant galaxies (quasars) have red shifts so big that they must be moving away from us at speeds approaching the speed of light.
  • When light waves from distant galaxies are stretched out his way, they look redder. This is called red shift.
  • The moon’s gravity is 17% of the Earth’s so astronauts in space suits can jump 4 m high on the moon.
  • The moon is the only other world that humans have set foot on. Because the moon has no atmosphere or wind, the footprints planted in its dusty surface in 1969 by the Apollo astronauts are still there today, perfectly preserved.
  • With powerful telescopes, astronomers can see galaxies 2 billion light years away. This means we see them as they were when the only life forms in Earth were bacteria.
  • The slowest rotating planet is Venus, which takes 243.01 days to turn around.
  • The fastest spinning objects in the Universe are neutron stars – these can rotate 500 times in just 1 second.

16 September 2018

posted 14 Sep 2018, 22:15 by C S Paul


16 September 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "Don't wait. The time will never be just right." – Napoleon Hill
  • "Alexander, Caesar, and Hannibal conquered the world but had no friends.... Jesus founded his empire upon love, and at this hour millions would die for him.... He has won the hearts of men, a task a conqueror cannot do." – Napoleon
  • "You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures." – Charles C. Noble
  • "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found a way to serve." – Albert Schweitzer
  • "He who truly knows has no occasion to shout." – Leonardo da Vinci
  • "Foolish are the generals who ignore the daily intelligence from the trenches." – Author Unknown
  • "Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable." – Sidney J. Harris
  • "A lack of Bible study leads to 'truth' decay." – Unknown
  • "Your integrity will affect your destiny, don't leave home without it." – Clarence E. Hodges
  • "Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it." – Lou Holtz
  • "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." – Mohandas Gandhi
Breakfast at McDonald's 
Author Unknown

This is a good story and is true. 

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, and 3) and have recently completed my college degree. 

The last class I had to take was Sociology. 

The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. 

Her last project of the term was called, "Smile" The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. 

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally. 

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. 

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. 

I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. 

As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. 

As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was "smiling." His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. 

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. 

I held my tears as I stood there with them. 

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, "Coffee, is all, Miss", because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the warm restaurant, they had to buy something.) 

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. 

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. 

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you." I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did this for you because, God is here & working through me to give you hope." 

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. 

When I sat down, my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope." He held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. 

The events of that day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love. 

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?" 
I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. 

She began to read, and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God need to share to heal people and to be healed. 

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. 

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE 

So Love people and use things, not love things and use people. 

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. 

To handle yourself, use your head. 

To handle others, use your heart.

Appreciating Our Blessings
Author Unknown

Two old friends bumped into one another on the street one day. One of them looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, "What has the world done to you, my old friend?"

The sad fellow said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."

"That's a lot of money."

"But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear."

"Sounds like you've been blessed...."

"You don't understand!" he interrupted. "Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million."

Now he was really confused. "Then, why do you look so glum?"

"This week ... nothing!"

That's the trouble with receiving something on a regular basis. Even if it is a gift, we eventually come to expect it. Someone once suggested to me a way to test someone's character. Give him (or her) $5 a day for a month. Then stop, and see what his reaction is. The natural tendency is that if we receive a gift long enough, we come to view it as an entitlement. We feel hurt, even angry, if we don't receive it any longer.

It's the same way with the blessings God gives us every day. I don't deserve the comfortable home I live in, the beautiful scenery around me, the clean water that I drink. But after receiving these gifts (and a multitude of others) for years, I sometimes fail to be grateful. I've come to expect these good things. And when one of them is removed for a short while (like the water being cut off), I get upset.

Make an effort today to recognize the blessings you've come to take for granted. Focus on what you have rather than on what you don't have, and see if it doesn't improve your attitude.

"Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men" (Psalm 107:8).

God Lives Under the Bed
Author Unknown

I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, "Are you there, God?" he said. "Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed..." 

I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in. 

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2); there are few ways in which he is an adult. 

He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in t he sky because angels carry them. 

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? He gets up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. 

The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child. 

He does not seem dissatisfied. He hopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores. 

And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculates loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. "That one's goin' to Chi-car-go!" Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. 

His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights. So goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. 

He doesn't know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth, of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be. 

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never as happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. 

He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.
 
He is not obsessed with his work, or the work of others. His heart is pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. 

Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere.

And he trusts God. Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated" person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion. 

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions. 

It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care. 

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God. 

And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed. Kevin won't be surprised at all! 

SCARS OF LIFE
Author Unknown

Some years ago, on a hot summer day in South Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. 

His father, working in the yard, saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. 

From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved. 

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But lo o k at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Dad wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. Unfortunately, sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

Just for Laughs

One hot day a young seminarian was taking it easy in the shade of a walnut tree. After a time he started eyeing speculatively the huge pumpkins growing on vines and the small walnuts growing on a majestic tree.

Sometimes I just can't understand the ways of God, He mused. Just fancy letting tiny walnuts grow on so majestic a tree and huge pumpkins on the delicate vines!

Just then a walnut snapped off and fell smack on the seminarian's bald head. He got up at once and lifting up his hands and face to heavens in supplication, said:

"Oh, God! Forgive my questioning your ways! You are all-wise. Where would I have been now if pumpkins grew on trees!"

Did you Know?
  • The sun gets hot because it is so big that the pressure in its core is so tremendous – enough to force the nuclei of hydrogen atoms to fuse to make helium atoms. This nuclear reaction is like a gigantic atom bomb and it releases huge amounts of heat.
  • The nuclear fusion reactions in the Sun’s core send out billions of light photons every minute but they take 10 million years to reach its surface.
  • Giraffes have no vocal cords. 
  • Elephants have been known to remain standing after they die. 
  • An albatross can sleep while flying. 
  • A mosquito has 47 teeth. 
  • The first manned space flight was made in April 1961 by the Soviet Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1.
  • The heart of a star reaches 16 million °C. A grain of sand this hot would kill someone 150 km away.
  • Stars twinkle because we see them through the wafting of the atmosphere.
  • The sun weighs 2,000 trillion trillion tones – about 300,000 times as much as the Earth – even though it is made almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, the lightest gases in the Universe.

9 September 2018

posted 7 Sep 2018, 22:29 by C S Paul


9 September 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "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
  • "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
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.

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.

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.

Did you Know?
  • 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.
  • 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.
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!" 

2 September 2018

posted 31 Aug 2018, 23:00 by C S Paul


2 September 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better." – G. C. Lichtenberg
  • "In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • "To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart." – Unknown
  • "Anger is only one letter short of danger." – Unknown
  • "Kind words are like honey—enjoyable and healthful." – (Proverbs 16:24)
  • "It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water." -- Franklin P. Jones
  • "When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost." – Billy Graham
  • "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." – Abraham Lincoln
  • "Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." – Marilyn vos Savant
  • "It is not length of life, but depth of life." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise." – Sophia Bedford-Pierce
Things We Keep 
-- Author unknown

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it... and a father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my father died, and on that clear winter's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away... never to return. So, while we have it... it's best that we love it... and care for it... and fix it when it's broken... and heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage... and old cars... and children with bad report cards... and dogs with bad hips... and aging parents... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special... and so, we keep them close!

If there are some folks in your life that you think are 'keepers,' send this to them. Remember... good friends are like stars... You don't always see them, but you know they're always there. Keep them close!

The Teacup Story
~ Author Unknown 

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful cup. They said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the cup spoke. "You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, 'let me alone,' but he only smiled, 'Not yet.'"

"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the cup said,"and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.Stop it! I'm getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, 'Not yet.'"

"Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat!" the teacup said. "I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as He shook his head, 'Not yet.'"

"Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. 'There, that's better,' I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag.'Stop it, stop it!' I cried. He only nodded, 'Not yet.'"

"Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening, nodding his head saying, 'Not yet.'"

"Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, 'Look at yourself.' And I did. I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful.'"

"'I want you to remember, then,' he said, 'I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel,but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.'"

May we all see ourselves and God's creative mastery in this story of the teacup.

Bad by Name; Bad by Nature?
 by Nelson Mandela

During Nelson Mandela's 19 years imprisoned on Robben Island, one particular commanding officer was the most brutal of them all:

"A few days before Badenhorst's departure, I was called to the main office. General Steyn was visiting the island and wanted to know if we had any complaints. Badenhorst was there as I went through a list of demands. When I had finished, Badenhorst spoke to me directly.

He told me he would be leaving the island and added: 'I just want to wish you people good luck'. I do not know if I looked dumbfounded, but I was amazed. He spoke these words like a human being and showed a side of himself we had never seen before. I thanked him for his good wishes and wished him luck in his endeavours.

I thought about this moment for a long time afterwards. Badenhorst had perhaps been the most callous and barbaric commanding officer we had had on Robben Island. But that day in the office, he had revealed that that there was another side to his nature, a side that had been obscured but still existed.

It was a useful reminder that all men, even the most seemingly cold-blooded, have a core of decency and that, if their hearts are touched, they are capable of changing. Ultimately, Badenhorst was not evil; his inhumanity had been foisted upon him by an inhuman system. He behaved like a brute because he was rewarded for brutish behaviour."

Your Wish Is My Command
-- by Joyce Shafer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just for Laughs
An Answer to Prayer

A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left her work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication. She got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys in the car. 

She didn't know what to do, so she called home and told the baby sitter what had happened. The baby sitter told her that her daughter’s fever was getting worse. She said, "You might find a coat hanger and use that to open the door." 

The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground, possibly by someone else who at some time or other had locked their keys in their car. Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I don't know how to use this." 

So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within five minutes an old rusty car pulled up, with a dirty, greasy, bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag on his head. The woman thought, "This is what you sent to help me?" But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful. 

The man got out of his car and asked her if he could help. She said, "Yes, my daughter is very sick. I stopped to get her some medication and I locked my keys in my car. I must get home to her. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?" 

He said, "Sure". He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, "Thank You So Much! You are a very nice man." 

The man replied, "Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of prison today. I was in prison for car theft and have only been out for about an hour." 

The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud, "Oh, Thank you God! You even sent me a Professional!" 

Did you Know?
  • Life is known to exist only on Earth, but in 1986 NASA found what they thought might be fossils of microscopic living things in a rock from Mars.
  • Most scientists say life's basic chemicals formed on the Earth. The astronomer Fred Hoyle said they came from space.
  • Oxygen is circulated around the helmet in space suits in order to prevent the visor from misting.
  • The middle layers of space suits are blown up like a balloon to press against the astronaut's body. Without this pressure, the astronaut's body would boil!
  • The gloves included in the space suit have silicon rubber fingertips which allow the astronaut some sense of touch.
  • The full cost of a spacesuit is about $11 million although 70% of this is for the backpack and the control module.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living.
  • Chimpanzee DNA and human DNA is about 98.4% identical.
  • After eating too much, your hearing is less sharp. If you’re heading to a concert or a musical after a big meal you may be doing yourself a disservice. Try eating a smaller meal if you need to keep your hearing pitch perfect.
  • About one third of the human race has 20-20 vision. Glasses and contact wearers are hardly alone in a world where two thirds of the population have less than perfect vision. The amount of people with perfect vision decreases further as they age.
  • If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it. In order for foods, or anything else, to have a taste, chemicals from the substance must be dissolved by saliva. If you don’t believe it, try drying off your tongue before tasting something.

26 August 2018

posted 24 Aug 2018, 23:26 by C S Paul

26 August 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing." – Eugene Delacroix
  • "Ideals are like stars. We never reach them, but like the mariners on the sea, we chart our course by them." – Carl Schurz 
  • "Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light." – Source Unknown
  • "Samson killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass; everyday friendships are killed with the same weapon." – Ann Landers
  • "I believe in order to understand." – Augustine
  • "There is enough light for those who only wish to see, and enough darkness for those who are oppositely inclined." – From Pensees, by Pascal
  • "In all cases, the church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the church." – John Wesley
  • "Here is a test to see if your mission on earth is finished: If you are alive, then it isn't." – Richard Bach
  • "Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." – Lin Yutang
  • "Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for him." – Oswald Chambers
  • "When men believe God, they speak boldly. When they doubt, they confer." – A.W. Tozer
  • "Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness." – Unknown.
  • "There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, pure, simple, and useful life." – Unknown
Letter From God 
~ Author Unknown ~
Dear Child

I just wanted to remind you today of how beautiful you are because there is a father of lies who will try to deceive you. He will try to tell you that you are not good enough, not attractive enough, not thin enough, not strong enough, not smart enough, not righteous enough, and that you are simply unimportant to Me. He will try to tell you that you have broken one too many promises, that you have fallen one too many times, that you have lived one too many lies, and that you've been going in the wrong direction so long that it is pointless to turn back now. But guess what? YOU DO NOT BELONG TO HIM. HE IS NOT YOUR FATHER. I AM. You see, you are My creation. My workmanship. You have been borne of My thought, every part of you placed together by My hands.

You have My thumbprint upon you. You are a princess, did you know that? You are My child, the daughter of THE King! I look at you and see a precious, priceless pearl. There is no ocean I would not swim, no mountain I would not climb, no price I would not pay to have you and to be with you and call you my own. I already have. I have done all that I could, given all that there is. I desire to be with you every moment of every day. How I long for you to talk to Me every day. My love for you never grows cold. My promises are never broken (contrary to what he might lead you to believe). My character never changes. And you, my daughter have been made in My image. I love you dearly, unconditionally and completely. I understand every emotion that you have. I've been there. I count every tear that you cry. I know every hair on your head. And do you know what? I even know your weaknesses and your failures and your fears. I know those hidden parts of you that you wish would go away. Those dark corners of your world that you stuff deep down, praying that no one will ever see. I have already seen them and they will not change my love for you. Nothing will. I love your heart and I desire all of it. I just wanted to remind you today of how beautiful you are and how precious you are to Me.

With Unmeasurable Love, Your Heavenly Father

Scars For Life 
~ Author Unknown ~

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His mother in the house was looking out the window saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go." You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.

In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you. The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way.

But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful. He did not and will not - let you go.

The Bridge
~ Author Unknown ~

There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.

A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety.

But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed.

They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

Now if you comprehend the emotions which went through this man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ?

Hands Of The Master
~ 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 an old 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 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 what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

Perhaps 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 always graceful flowing music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful. The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit." "Keep playing." May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there, helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. Remember, God doesn't seem to call the equipped, rather, He equips the 'called.' Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than by the things you acquire.

Just for Laughs

My Evil Brother Was A Saint

There were two evil brothers. They were rich and used their money to keep their ways from the public eye. They even attended the same church and looked to be perfect Christians. 

Then, their pastor retired and a new one was hired. Not only could he see right through the brothers' deception, but he also spoke well and true, and the church started to swell in numbers. 

A fundraising campaign was started to build a new assembly. 

All of a sudden, one of the brothers died. The remaining brother sought out the new pastor the day before the funeral and handed him a check for the amount needed to finish paying for the new building. 

"I have only one condition," he said. "At his funeral, you must say my brother was a saint." 

The pastor gave his word and deposited the check. 

The next day at the funeral, the pastor did not hold back. "He was an evil man," he said. "He cheated on his wife and abused his family." After going on in this vein for a small time, he concluded with, "But, compared to his brother, he was a saint." 

Did You Know ?
  • Despite the many rat-infested slums in New York City, rats bite only 311 people in an average year. But 1,519 residents are bitten annually by other New Yorkers.
  • Dogs and cats consume over $11 billion worth of pet food a year!
  • Even if you cut off a cockroach's head, it can live for several weeks until it starves to death.
  • Even though there is a hump on their backs, camels have perfectly straight spines unless there is a physical deformity.
  • Sharks lay the largest eggs in the world.
  • Camels can go days without water. Rats can go longer.
  • Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.
  • Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living.
  • Chimpanzee DNA and human DNA is about 98.4% identical.
  • Deep sea clams can live to be more than 100 years old.

19 August 2018

posted 17 Aug 2018, 23:59 by C S Paul

19 August 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "Anger is only one letter short of danger." – Unknown
  • "Kind words are like honey—enjoyable and healthful." – King Solomon (Proverbs 16:24)
  • "It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water." – Franklin P. Jones
  • "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." – Anonymous
  • "You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Our Lord said, 'Feed my sheep.' He did not say, 'Count them.'" – Martin Buber
  • "Failure is the greatest opportunity to know who I really am." – John Killinger
  • "Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams." – Robert K. Greenleaf
  • "A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person." – Anon
  • "Accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you're the statue." – Anon
  • "When the going gets tough the tough get going." – Joseph P. Kennedy
  • "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up." – Vince Lombardi
  • "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." – Unknown
Satan called a convention 
~Author unknown~

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said, "We can't keep Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Savior. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, but steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do," said the devil: "Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" his demons shouted. "Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!"

"Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ. Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes."

"Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy!"

"And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences. Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!"

It was quite a plan! The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there, having little time for their God or their families and friends. Having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives. I guess the question is, has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge!

Does "busy" mean:
B-eing U-nder S-atan's Y-oke?

The Necklace
~Author unknown~

The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

Oh mommy, please, Mommy, can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.

"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere; Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?" "Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favorite." "That's okay, Honey, daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll, the brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper." "That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy, this is for you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is, with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't God good? Are you holding on to things that God wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities that you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing .... God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

The Grocery List  
~Author unknown~

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

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

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

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

Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs.

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


Did You Know ?
  • Introduced by the British, cricket is India’s most popular sport. 
  • Hockey is considered the national sport, and the Indian field hockey team proudly won Olympic gold in 1928.
  • Indians made significant contributions to calculus, trigonometry, and algebra. The decimal system was invented in India in 100 B.C. The concept of zero as a number is also attributed to India.m
  • The Lotus temple is one of the most visited temples in the world, with over 50 million visitors per year
  • Ayurveda, which was developed in India, is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind and the fastest growing alternative medicine system all over world.
  • Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia through the Buddhist missionaries.
  • Yoga also started in India – more than 5000 years ago.
  • India is home to 27 of the world’s UNESCO world heritage sites.
  • Every year India hosts around a thousand festivals!
  • The official name of India is the Republic of India. The name “India” derives from the River Indus, which most likely is derived from the Sanskrit sindhu, meaning “river.” The official Sanskrit name of India is Bharat, after the legendary king in the epic Mahabharata.
Just for laughs

You Shouldn’t Skip Church 

A country preacher decided to skip services one Sunday and head to the hills to do some bear hunting. As he rounded the corner on a perilous twist in the trail, he and a bear collided, sending him and his rifle tumbling down the mountainside. 

Before he knew it, his rifle went one way and he went the other, landing on a rock and breaking both legs. 

That was the good news. The bad news was the ferocious bear charging at him from a distance, and he couldn't move. 

"Oh Lord," the preacher prayed, "I'm so sorry for skipping services today to come out here and hunt. Please forgive me and grant me just one wish.... please make a Christian out of that bear that's coming at me. Please, Lord!" 

That very instant, the bear skidded to a halt, fell to its knees, clasped its paws together and began to pray aloud right at the preacher's feet. 

"Dear Lord, bless this food I am about to receive... in Jesus' name... Amen." 

12 August 2018

posted 10 Aug 2018, 22:24 by C S Paul

12 August 2018

Quotes to Inspire

  • "If the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail." – Unknown
  • "God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer." – Mother Teresa
  • "There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence transform a yellow spot into the sun."  Pablo Picasso
  • "A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind." – Albert Szent-Gyorgi
  • "None are so empty as those who are full of themselves."  Benjamin Whichcote
  • "Each one of us can work for a small change in the world around us." – Lamar S. Smith
  • "The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes." – Amy Grant
  • "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
  • "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.
  • "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
Footprints In The Sand
By Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”

Carrots, Eggs, And Coffee
-Author Unknown

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavour and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What's the point, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water - the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful. When the water gets hot, it releases its fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

(Somehow, wake up and smell the coffee takes on a whole new meaning)

A Story of Courage and Love
By Dave Kuzminski

Also published as "Butterfly Attack," "Butterfly Courage," "On Courage," "A Butterfly's Love," and "Now I Knew."

Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia in 1977, I saw a water puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on the part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud. As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked!

Yet I did nothing, for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn't have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me over and over again with all his might, still to no avail. For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in his attack.

Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly. This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the ground. That's when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only moments earlier.

He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle where he landed. Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me for his mate's sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was so large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious moments of life, should I have been careless enough to step on her.

Now I knew why and what he was fighting for. There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just for his mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do anything other than reward him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle. He had truly earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed. I left them in peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots when I later reached my car.

Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that butterfly's courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good things are worth fighting for.

Can I Borrow $100?
By Michael Josephson 

This is number one on my list of all-time favorite commentaries.

Tim was disappointed that his father didn't attend the last soccer game of the season, but he wasn't surprised. Tim was a mature 10-year old and he understood that lots of clients depended on his dad, a lawyer, who had to work most nights and weekends. Still, it made him sad, especially since this year he won the league's most valuable player award.

One evening Tim got up the nerve to interrupt his father's work at home to ask him how much lawyers make per hour. His father was annoyed and gruffly answered, "They pay me $300 an hour."

Tim gulped and said, "Wow, that's a lot. Would you lend me $100?"

"Of course not," his father barked. "Please, let me work."

Later, the father felt guilty and went to Tim's room where he found him sobbing. "Son," he said, "I'm sorry. If you need some money, of course I'll lend it to you. But can I ask why?"

Tim said, "Daddy, I know your time is really worth a lot and with the $200 I've already saved, I'll have enough. Can I buy an hour so you can come to the awards banquet on Friday?"

It hit his father like a punch to the heart. He realized his son needed him more than his clients did. He needed to be there for his son more than he needed money or career accolades. He hugged him and said, "I'm so proud of you, nothing could keep me away."

Lots of parents are stretched to their limit trying to balance business demands and family needs. It's always a matter of priorities. But if we don't arrange our lives to be there for our children, they will regret it—and after it's too late, so will we. 
This story is derived and adapted from one that was circulated on the Internet without attribution. The original source is unknown.

Just for laughs

Where Is the BC Located?
Author Unknown 

A minister’s widow, who was old-fashioned, was going camping for a week in California. She was nervous about the bathroom facilities and decided to write a letter to the campground owner. But as she was writing, she couldn't bring herself to write toilet. After much thought, the widow settled on bathroom commode, but when she wrote the word, it still sounded too coarse. Instead, she referred to the bathroom commode as BC after the first page of the letter: "Does the cabin where I will be staying have its own BC? If not, where is the BC located?" 

In the process of filing, the campground owner lost the first page of the letter. Without noticing, he left the remainder of the letter on the desk of his staff manager who found the letter and was baffled by the acronym. When he asked his wife what BC meant, she remembered the widow’s husband was once a famous Baptist preacher. "Oh, of course exclaimed the staff member. BC stands for Baptist Church!" He immediately wrote a response to the widow’s letter: 

Dear Madam, 

I apologize for the delay in answering your letter, but I have the pleasure of informing you that the BC is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. 

The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now there is a fundraiser planned to buy more seats for the basement of the BC. 

I would like to say that it pains me very much not to be able to go more regularly, but it is surely no lack of desire on my part. As we grow older, it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather. 

If you decide to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time, sit with you, and introduce you to all the folks. Remember, this is a friendly community." 

Best wishes, 

Ethan Smith 
Campground Manager 

Did You Know?
  • “In the early 1990's government licensed some private banks too. These were Global Trust Bank which merged with Oriental Bank of Commerce later, Axis Bank which was known as UTI bank earlier, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank. These were known as New Generation tech-savvy banks.“
  • The decimalization of the rupee took place in 1947. In this, the rupee was divided into 100 naya paisa (naya means new). The word naya was later on dropped in 1964.
  • At the time of independence, the division of the rupee was in annas. 16 annas used to make one rupee. The anna was further divided into 4 paisas or 12 pies. Nowadays, the rupee is divided into paisa and 1 rupee is equal to 100 paisa
  • Coins after Independence were made of cupro-nickel. It was followed by aluminum coins that were introduced in 1964. Stainless steel coins were introduced in 1988.
  • The Indian rupee symbol was adopted in 2010, that was created by D. Udaya Kumar. To create the symbol the Latin letter “R” and Devanagari letter Ra “?” is used and given two parallel lines representing the Indian National Flag.
  • 747-8 wingspan is as wide as two 737-700s end-to-end.
  • Engine thrust has grown from 43,500 pounds per engine on the early 747s to as much as 747-8 GENx-B2 engines are rated @ 66,500 pounds per engine.
  • The engine fan diameter of the 747-8 GENx is nearly the fuselage diameter of a B-29 bomber fuselage. 
  • One 747-8 GEnx-2B engine has approximately the same take-off thrust as all (8) engines together on the original B-52 bomber (PW YJ57-3).

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