10 March 2013

posted 7 Mar 2013, 19:21 by C S Paul

10 March 2013


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Words of Wisdom

  • "The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity." – Zig Ziglar
  • "The impossible is often the untried." – Jim Goodwin
  • "A person all wrapped up in himself makes a very small package." – Anon
  • "He who throws mud loses ground." – Anon
  • "The older we get the more we realize that service to others is the only way to stay happy. If we do nothing to benefit others, we will do nothing to benefit ourselves." – Carl Holmes
  • "People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner of later to find time for illness." – John Wanamaker
  • "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." – John Wooden
  • "Reputation is what you are in the light; character is what you are in the dark." – American Proverb
  • "Nothing would be done at all if a man or woman waited until they could do it so well that no one could find fault with it." – John Henry Newman
  • "Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes" – Emily Dickinson
  • "Do not wait for leaders–do it alone, person to person." – Mother Teresa
  • "You control your life by controlling your time." – Conrad Hilton
  • "A thought a day is a worthwhile investment of time. A word from the Creator, as recorded in the book of books, The Holy Bible, makes the best reference." – Unknown.
  • "One day at a time—this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone: and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering." – Ida Scott Taylor
  • "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." – Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President

The Wooden Bowl
Author Unknown

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. We must do something about Grandfather, " said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor. So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four year old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food when I grow up." The four year old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note: 

I've learned that, no matter what happens how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. 

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. 

I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch, holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

Honesty Story of an Emperor
Author Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Pound Of Butter
Author Unknown

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he  found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court.

The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure. The farmer replied, amour Honour, I am primitive. I don't have a proper measure, but I do have a scale." The judge asked, "Then how do you weigh the butter?" The farmer replied "Your Honour, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker."

What is the moral of the story? We get back in life what we give to others.

Whenever you take an action, ask yourself this question: Am I giving fair value for the wages or money I hope to make?

Honesty and dishonesty become a habit. Some people practice dishonesty and can lie with a straight face. Others lie so much that they don't even know what the truth is anymore. But who are they deceiving? Themselves--- more than anyone else.

Honesty can be put across gently. Some people take pride in being brutally honest. It seems they are getting a bigger kick out of the brutality than the honesty. Choice of words and tact are important.


Things do not always go according to plan
Author Unknown

A pretty woman was serving a life sentence in prison. Angry and resentful about her situation, she had decided that she would rather die than to live another year in prison. Over the years she had become good friends with one of the prison caretakers.

His job, among others, was to bury those prisoners who died in a graveyard just outside the prison walls. When a prisoner died, the caretaker rang a bell, which was heard by everyone.

The caretaker then got the body and put it in a casket.

Next, he entered his office to fill out the death certificate before returning to the casket to nail the lid shut. Finally, he put the casket on a wagon to take it to the graveyard and bury it.

Knowing this routine, the woman devised an escape plan and shared it with the caretaker. The next time the bell rang, the woman would leave her cell and sneak into the dark room where the coffins were kept.

She would slip into the coffin with the dead body while the caretaker was filling out the death certificate. When the caretaker returned, he would nail the lid shut and take the coffin outside the prison with the woman in the coffin along with the dead body. He would then bury the coffin.

The woman knew there would be enough air for her to breathe until later in the evening when the caretaker would return to the graveyard under the cover of darkness, dig up the coffin, open it, and set her free.

The caretaker was reluctant to go along with this plan, but since he and the woman had become good friends over the years, he agreed to do it. The woman waited several weeks before someone in the prison died.

She was asleep in her cell when she heard the death bell ring.

She got up, picked the lock of her cell, and slowly walked down the hallway. She was nearly caught a couple of times. Her heart was beating fast.

She opened the door to the darkened room where the coffins were kept. Quietly in the dark, she found the coffin that contained the dead body, carefully climbed into the coffin and pulled the lid shut to wait for the caretaker to come and nail the lid shut.

Soon she heard footsteps and the pounding of the hammer and nails. Even though she was very uncomfortable in the coffin with the dead body, she knew that with each nail she was one step closer to freedom.

The coffin was lifted onto the wagon and taken outside to the graveyard. She could feel the coffin being lowered into the ground.

She didn't make a sound as the coffin hit the bottom of the grave with a thud.

Finally she heard the dirt dropping onto the top of the wooden coffin, and she knew that it was only a matter of time until she would be free at last. After several minutes of absolute silence, she began to laugh.

She was free! She was free!

Feeling curious, she decided to light a match to find out the identity of the dead prisoner beside her. To her horror, she discovered that she was lying next to the dead caretaker.

Many people believe they have life all figured out..... but sometimes it just doesn't turn out the way they planned it.


Did you know ?

  • "Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, La Allah Il Allah, La Allah Il Allah U Mohammed Rassul Allah" is heard by more people than any other sound of the human voice. This is the prayer recited by muezzins from each of the four corners of the prayer tower as Moslems all over the world face toward Mecca and kneel at sunset. It means: "God is great. There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God."
  • "Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.
  • "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson was the first video to air on MTV by a black artist.
  • "Conservationalists" & "Conversationalists" (18 letters) are the longest non-scientific transposals (word formed from another by changing its letters).
  • "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
  • "Duff" is the decaying organic matter found on a forest floor.
  • 1 and 2 are the only numbers where they are values of the numbers of the factors they have.
  • A chameleon's tongue is twice the length of its body. 
  • A Cheetah at full speed takes strides of 8 meters.
  • A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year.  
  • A decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.  
  • A dentist invented the Electric Chair.

Just for laughs

Need Directions

A man hated his wife's cat and he decided to get rid of it. He drove 20 blocks away from home and dropped the cat there. The cat was already walking up the driveway when he approached his home.

The next day, he decided to drop the cat 40 blocks away but the same thing happened. He kept on increasing the number of blocks but the cat kept on coming home before him. At last he decided to drive a few miles away, turn right, then left, past the bridge, then right again and another right and so on until he reached what he thought was a perfect spot and dropped the cat there.

Hours later, the man calls his wife at home and asked her, "Jen is the cat there?"

"Yes, why do you ask?" answered the wife.

Frustrated the man said, "Put that cat on the phone, I am lost and I need directions."

Pull, Buddy, pull

An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a desolated area. Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong horse named Buddy. He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, "Pull, Nellie, pull!" Buddy didn't move.

Then the farmer hollered, "Pull, Buster, pull!" Buddy didn't respond.

Once more the farmer commanded, "Pull, Coco, pull!"
Nothing.

Then the farmer nonchalantly said, "Pull, Buddy, pull!" And the horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch.

The motorist was most appreciative and very curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by the wrong name three times.

The farmer said, "Oh, Buddy is blind and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn't even try."

The Bishop

We were celebrating the 100th anniversary of our church, and several former pastors and the bishop were in attendance. 

At one point, our minister had the children gather at the altar for a talk about the importance of the day. He began by asking, "Does anyone know what the bishop does?"

There was silence. 

Finally, one little boy answered gravely, "He's the one you can move diagonally."


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Four

Judah Ben-Hur trains for five years in the Palaestra in Rome and becomes the heir of the deceased Arrius. Judah goes to Antioch on state business. On the voyage, he learns that his real father's chief servant, Simonides, lives in a house in this city, and that his father's possessions had been entrusted to him. He pays a visit to the house and tells his full story to Simonides, who demands more proof. Ben-Hur replies he has no proof, but asks whether they know the fate of Judah's mother and sister. He says he knows nothing and Judah Ben-Hur leaves the house with an apology. Simonides hires his servant Malluch to spy on Judah to see if his story is true and find more information. Malluch meets and befriends Judah in the Grove of Daphne and they go to the games stadium together. There, Ben-Hur finds his old rival Messala racing one of the chariots, preparing for a tournament.

A prosperous Arab of Antioch, Sheik Ilderim, announces that he is looking for a chariot driver to race his team in the coming tournament. Judah, wanting revenge on Messala, decides to drive the sheik's chariot and defeat Messala. Meanwhile, Balthasar and his daughter Iras are sitting at a fountain in the stadium. Messala's chariot nearly hit them but Judah intervenes. Balthasar thanks Ben-Hur and presents him with a gift. Judah heads to Sheik Ilderim's tent. The servant Malluch follows him there, and along the way they talk about the Christ and Malluch relates Balthasar's story of the Magi. They realize that the man rescued at the fountain was the same Balthasar that saw the Christ's birth.

Back at Simonides' house, Esther, Simonides and Malluch talk together, and conclude that Ben-Hur is who he claims to be, and that he is on their side in the fight against Rome.

Messala realizes that Judah Ben-Hur has been adopted into a Roman home and his honor has been restored. He threatens to take revenge.

Meanwhile, Balthasar and his daughter Iras arrive at the Sheik's tent. With Judah they discuss how the Christ, approaching the age of thirty, is ready to enter public ministry. Judah takes increasing interest in the beautiful Iras.


Part Four - CHAPTER XVI

"If I could answer you," Balthasar said, in his simple, earnest,devout way--"oh, if I knew where he is, how quickly I would go to him! The seas should not stay me, nor the mountains."

"You have tried to find him, then?" asked Ben-Hur.

A smile flitted across the face of the Egyptian.

"The first task I charged myself with after leaving the shelter given me in the desert"--Balthasar cast a grateful look at Ilderim--"was to learn what became of the Child. But a year had passed, and I dared not go up to Judea in person, for Herod still held the throne
bloody-minded as ever. In Egypt, upon my return, there were a few friends to believe the wonderful things I told them of what I had seen and heard--a few who rejoiced with me that a Redeemer was born--a few who never tired of the story. Some of them came
up for me looking after the Child. They went first to Bethlehem, and found there the khan and the cave; but the steward--he who sat at the gate the night of the birth, and the night we came following the star--was gone. The king had taken him away, and he was no more
seen."

"But they found some proofs, surely," said Ben-Hur, eagerly.

"Yes, proofs written in blood--a village in mourning; mothers yet crying for their little ones. You must know, when Herod heard of our flight, he sent down and slew the youngest-born of the children of Bethlehem. Not one escaped. The faith of my messengers was confirmed; but they came to me saying the Child was dead,slain with the other innocents."

"Dead!" exclaimed Ben-Hur, aghast. "Dead, sayest thou?"

"Nay, my son, I did not say so. I said they, my messengers, told me the Child was dead. I did not believe the report then; I do not believe it now."

"I see--thou hast some special knowledge."

"Not so, not so," said Balthasar, dropping his gaze. "The Spirit was to go with us no farther than to the Child. When we came out of the cave, after our presents were given and we had seen the babe, we looked first thing for the star; but it was gone, and we knew we were left to ourselves. The last inspiration of the Holy One--the last I can recall--was that which sent us to Ilderim for safety."

"Yes," said the sheik, fingering his beard nervously. "You told me you were sent to me by a Spirit--I remember it."

"I have no special knowledge," Balthasar continued, observing the dejection which had fallen upon Ben-Hur; "but, my son, I have given the matter much thought--thought continuing through years, inspired by faith, which, I assure you, calling God for witness,
is as strong in me now as in the hour I heard the voice of the Spirit calling me by the shore of the lake. If you will listen, I will tell you why I believe the Child is living."

Both Ilderim and Ben-Hur looked assent, and appeared to summon their faculties that they might understand as well as hear. The interest reached the servants, who drew near to the divan, and stood listening.

Throughout the tent there was the profoundest silence.

"We three believe in God."

Balthasar bowed his head as he spoke.

"And he is the Truth," he resumed. "His word is God. The hills may turn to dust, and the seas be drunk dry by south winds; but his word shall stand, because it is the Truth."

The utterance was in a manner inexpressibly solemn.

"The voice, which was his, speaking to me by the lake, said, 'Blessed art thou, O son of Mizraim! The Redemption cometh.

With two others from the remotenesses of the earth, thou shalt see the Savior.' I have seen the Savior--blessed be his name!--but the Redemption, which was the second part of the promise, is yet to come. Seest thou now? If the Child be dead, there is no agent
to bring the Redemption about, and the word is naught, and God--nay, I dare not say it!"

He threw up both hands in horror.

"The Redemption was the work for which the Child was born; and so long as the promise abides, not even death can separate him from his work until it is fulfilled, or at least in the way of fulfilment. Take you that now as one reason for my belief; then give me further attention."

to be continued

The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

Chapter 15

How to Get People to Like You 

WE MIGHT AS well admit it, we want people to like us.

You may hear someone say, "I don't care whether people like me or not." But whenever you hear anyone say that, just put it down as a fact that he is not really telling the truth.

The psychologist, William James, said, "One of the deepest drives of human nature is the desire to be appreciated." The longing to be liked, to be held in esteem, to be a sought-after person, is fundamental in us.

A poll was taken among some high-school students on the question, "What do you most desire?" By overwhelming majority the students voted that they wanted to be popular.
The same urge is in older people as well. Indeed it is doubtful if anybody ever outlives the desire to be well thought of, to be highly regarded, or to have the affection of
his associates.

To be master of the art of popularity, be artless. Strive deliberately after popularity and the chances are you will never attain it. But become one of those rare personalities
about whom people say, "He certainly has something," and you can be certain you are on the way to having people like you.

I must warn you, however, that despite your attainments in popularity you will never get everybody to like you. There is a curious quirk in human nature whereby some people just
naturally won't like you. 

A quatrain inscribed on a wall at Oxford says: "I do not love thee, Dr. Fell, The reason why I cannot tell; But this alone I know full well,  I do not love thee, Dr. Fell."

That verse is very subtle. The author did not like Dr. Fell. He didn't know why but he just knew he didn't like him. It was most likely an unreasonable dislike, for undoubtedly Dr. Fell
was a very nice person. Perhaps if the author had known him better he would have liked him, but poor Dr. Fell never did become popular with the author of those lines. It may have been due simply to a lack of rapprochement, that baffling mechanism by which we either do or do not "click" with certain people.

Even the Bible recognizes this unhappy fact about human nature, for it says, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18) The Bible is a very realistic book and it knows people, their infinite possibilities as well as their imperfections. The Bible advised the disciples that if they went into a village and after trying their best to get along with people still couldn't do so, they were to shake off the very dust of the village from their feet—"And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them." (Luke 9:5) This is all by way of saying that you will be wise if you do not let it too seriously
affect you if you do not achieve perfect popularity with everyone.

However, there are certain formulas and procedures which, if followed faithfully, can make you a person whom other people like. You can enjoy satisfactory personal relationships even if you are a "difficult" person or by nature shy and retiring, even unsocial. You can make of yourself one who enjoys easy, normal, natural, and pleasing relationships with others.

I cannot urge you too strongly to consider the importance of this subject and to give time and attention to its mastery, for you will never be fully happy or successful until you do.

Failure in this capacity will adversely affect you psychologically. To be liked is of profounder importance than mere ego satisfaction. As necessary as that is to your success in life, normal and satisfactory personal relations are even more important.

The feeling of not being wanted or needed is one of the most devastating of all human reactions. To the degree to which you are sought after or needed by other people will you
become a fully-released person. The "lone wolf," the isolated personality, the retiring individual, these people suffer a misery which is difficult to describe. In self-defense they
retire ever further within themselves. Their ingrowing, introverted nature is denied the normal development which the outgoing, self-giving person experiences. Unless the
personality is drawn out of itself and can be of value to someone, it may sicken and die. The feeling of not being wanted or needed produces frustration, aging, illness. If you
have a feeling of uselessness, if nobody needs or wants you, you really ought to do something about it. It is not only a pathetic way to live but is serious psychologically. 

Those who deal with the problems of human nature constantly encounter this problem and its unfortunate results.

For example, at a Rotary Club luncheon in a certain city two physicians were at my table: one an elderly man who had been retired for several years, the other the most popular
young doctor in town. The young doctor, looking frazzled, dashed in late and slumped down with a weary sigh. "If only the telephone would stop ringing," he complained. "I can't
get anywhere because people call me all the time. I wish I could put a silencer on that telephone."

The old doctor spoke up quietly, "I know how you feel, Jim," he said. "I used to feel that way myself, but be thankful the telephone does ring. Be glad people want and need you."
 
Then he added pathetically, "Nobody ever calls me anymore. I would like to hear the telephone ring again. Nobody wants me and nobody needs me. I'm a has-been."

All of us at the table who sometimes feel a bit worn by numerous activities did a lot of thinking as we listened to the old doctor.

to be continued
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