12 May 2013

posted 9 May 2013, 20:40 by C S Paul

12 May 2013

Quotes to Inspire

  • The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams.
  • The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself. - Benjamin Franklin 
  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Mahatma Gandhi
  • Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published every day, like those of a baseball player.
  • When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.
  • Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.
  • Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them.
  • We've all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it's more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors. 
  • Forget injuries, never forget kindness.- Confucius
  • We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain. - Helen Keller 
  • What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of the next thing you need to do.
  • Forgiveness is the final form of love. That’s nice.
  • There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. - Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  • Seek to do good, and you will find that happiness will run after you. 

What can god do with 57 cents?
A True and Inspiring Story by Author unknown

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it "was too crowded." "I can't go to Sunday School, "she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday School class. The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus. 

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kind hearted pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting which read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school. For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. 

But the story does not end there! A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for 57 cents. Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00 a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends. 

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300 and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "acres of Diamonds"---a true story. It goes to show you "What God CAN Do With 57 Cents."
---------------
A first-hand account of this story is in a sermon delivered December 1, 1912 by Russell H. Conwell, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia.  Rev. Conwell said the little girl's name was Hattie May Wiatt 

The tide pool
-- By Kathy Anne Harris

The middle-aged man parked his car at the top of the cliff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The early Spring sun was hanging low on the horizon, a warm silver-yellow. Lemony foam purled atop the incoming tide, as waves broke gently on the beach.

Slipping his hands into the pockets of his jacket, Jeremy walked over to the ledge. A cold breeze, heavy with a salty mist, brushed over and around him, ran phantom fingers through his hair, as he descended the steep sand and wood stairs to the beckoning beach.

There was a lovely tide pool circled with boulders and tucked away behind a bend in the cliff side that few visitors to the beach would ever discover. A tiny ribbon of sand abutted the rocks and provided enough room for him to sit at water's edge. He sat down, leaned back against a large smooth rock, and gazed into the clear water of the tide pool. Each time a wave stretched out and collapsed on shore a ribbon of seawater would pulse into the pool then trickle back toward the ocean.

Colorful anemone and starfish moved slowly in their isolated world. Watching them usually managed to calm him. However, today he found himself on the other side of "usually managed." It was the kind of day where things that happened in the past, resurface, wanted or not! Nothing unique to the human race, just the usual emotions that assail us all: grief, anger, sadness, loneliness, shame… And this is where Jeremy came to work things out in his mind, if possible.

He did not hear the tinkling chime of disintegrating waves on sand. Nor the cries of the gulls overhead. Where the stairs bottom out on the sands of a nice sized beach, a family was playing fetch with their black, Labrador Retriever. He did not hear their laughter, or the excited bark of the dog.

His chest felt tight and weighted down. It was difficult for him to breath. He got to his knees and bent over the tide pool. Unbidden, tears welled up, and he wept. The sound of a crab scuttling over rock and sand drew his attention. He looked down and saw the crab disappear into a rock crevasse. He then studied his reflection in the still water. How ragged he looked, he thought. How worn down. He took a deep, settling breath and found the weight around his chest had lifted.

Another wave broke on the beach, a rivulet flowed into the pool and the water shivered. Jeremy reached out and dragged his fingers across the rippling surface. In moments the tidal pool was still and there, at his side, reflected in the pool was an angel. A grand being, with heavy, flowing wings the colour of sunlight on pearls. And light pulsed from the angel like the flame of a candle. Such an image only the Divine could sculpt for it was beyond human beauty, The visage that regarded Jeremy was radiant with grace and the angel's countenance was like none Jeremy could describe. No such emotion or like expression had every played across a human face.

Jeremy trembled and all thoughts fled him, save for the presence of the angel. "Why?" he said, as he turned to the heavenly being at his side.

"I am an emissary, sent by the Creator, to be with you at such times as He decrees.

"As you sat here, your breathing was labored and you felt a heaviness inside of you."

Jeremy nodded.

"That weight was my presence with you, as I lifted the burden in your heart."

"The tears you wept, I gathered unto myself. I will present them to our Lord and he will return them to the heavens, to bless all things on the earth that flourish when gentle rains fall.

"The joy that will lift you up as you return to your world today will come as I embrace your spirit, to accompany me briefly, on my flight heavenward.

"And when it is your time to leave this place, I will hold your soul--for we will both be heaven bound, and my wings will take you home."

Jeremy shook his head. "But why am I allowed to see you? To hear you? Why was this done for me?"

The angel smiled. "It was allowed more for me. He gave me these few moments with you as a gift. A glorious token of His love... For it is an angel's heart's desire to be given time to commune with humans openly. To see one another with our eyes and to speak together with words."

"Will I remember my visit with you?"

The angel's eyes flashed the colours of sunrise. "Whether you shall recall our meeting I cannot say... that decision rests in our Lord's hands."
~*~
Jeremy did not remember, but the vision he beheld, and the words he heard, his spirit-soul will never forget.
~~**~~
Kathy Anne Harris lives in central, sunny California, where she shares her life with her husband and their furry family. She works full time for a living, and she writes in order to live fully.

The sneeze

They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing ... and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would NOT pray during the commencements - not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine ... until the final speech received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, "GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!" And he walked off stage ...

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.

This is a true story; it happened at the University of Maryland


The hot water bottle

A TRUE STORY By Helen Roseveare, Missionary to Africa

One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all that we could do, she died leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying, two-year-old daughter.

We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive. We had no incubator. We had no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.

A student-midwife went for the box we had for such babies and for the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly, in distress, to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates. "...and it is our last hot water bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk; so, in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over a burst water bottle. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways. All right," I said, "Put the baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm."

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with many of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got chilled. I also told them about the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died. During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt consciousness of our African children. "Please, God," she prayed, "send us a water bottle. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, the baby'll be dead; so, please send it this afternoon." While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, " ...And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?" As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, "Amen?" I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything: The Bible says so, but there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time that I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the veranda, was a large twenty-two pound parcel! I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone; so, I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then, there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children began to look a little bored. Next, came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - - that would make a nice batch of buns for the weekend. As I put my hand in again, I felt the...could it really be? I grasped it, and pulled it out. Yes, "A brand-new rubber, hot water bottle!" I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!" Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone: She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, "Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?"

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday School class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. One of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child -- five months earlier in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "That afternoon!" "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24
-----
Helen Roseveare, a missionary from Northern Ireland, included this true story in her book "Living Faith." She has written about the revival that took place in the 1950's in what was then the Belgian Congo. She has been associated with WEC (World Evangelization for Christ) at www.wec-int.org/


Did you know ?

  • A cheetah is the fastest animal, clocked in at: 70mph.  
  • A chef's hat is tall and balloons at the top so as to counteract the intense heat in the kitchen. The unique shape allows air to circulate around the scalp, keeping the head cool.
  • A Chicago law forbids eating in a place that is on fire.
  • A chicken who just lost its head can run the length of a football field before dropping dead.
  • A chimpanzee can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, but monkeys can't.
  • A citizen of Calcutta, India , grew the fingernails on his left hand to a length of 76 inches.
  • A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are known as fingers.
  • A cockroach can live nine days without its head before it starves to death. 
  • A cockroaches favourite food is the glue on the back of stamps. 
  • A company, Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song "Happy Birthday".
  • A Cornish game hen is really a young chicken, usually 5 to 6 weeks of age, that weighs no more than 2 pounds.
  • A cough releases an explosive charge of air that moves at speeds up to 60 mph.
  • A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
  • A cow produces 200 times more gas a day than a person. 
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out. 
  • A crocodiles tongue is attached to the roof of its mouth. 
  • A cucumber is 96% water. 

Just for laughs
Wedding

During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer. 

"Look, I'll give you $100 if you'll change the wedding vows. When you get to me and the part where I'm to promise to 'love, honour and obey' and 'forsaking all others, be faithful to her forever,' I'd appreciate it if you'd just leave that part out." He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied.

The day of the wedding came, and the bride and groom arrived at that part of the ceremony in which the vows are exchanged. When it came time for the groom's vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said, "will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?" The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, "Yes." Then the groom leaned toward the pastor and hissed, "I thought we had a deal."

The pastor put the $100 bill into his hand and whispered back, "She made me a much better offer." 

 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."


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Five 

Messala sends a letter to Valerius Gratus about his discovery that Judah is alive and well, however Sheik Ilderim intercepts the letter and shares its contents with Judah. He discovers that his mother and sister were imprisoned in a cell at the Antonia Fortress and Messala has been spying on him.

Ilderim is deeply impressed with Judah's skills with his racing horses and is pleased to choose him as charioteer.

Simonides the merchant comes to Judah and offers him the accumulated fortune of the Hur family business, of which Simonides has been steward. Judah Ben-Hur accepts only the money, leaving property and the rest to the loyal merchant. They each agree to do their part to fight for the Christ, whom they believe to be a political savior from Roman authority.

A day before the race Ilderim prepared his horses and Judah appoints Malluch to organize his support campaign for him. Meanwhile, Messala organizes his own huge campaign, revealing Judah Ben-Hur's real identity to the world as an outcast and convict. Malluch challenges Messala and his cronies to a vast wager, which, if the Roman loses, would bankrupt him.

The day of the race comes. During the race Messala and Judah become the clear leaders. Judah deliberately scrapes his chariot wheel against Messala's and Messala's chariot breaks apart. Judah is crowned winner and showered with prizes, claiming his first strike against Rome.

After the race, Judah Ben-Hur receives a letter from Iras asking him to go to the Roman palace of Idernee. When he arrives there, he sees that he has been tricked. Thord, a Saxon, hired by Messala, comes to kill Judah. They duel, but before it is over Ben-Hur offers Thord four thousand sestercii to let him live. Thord returns to Messala claiming he has killed Judah - so collecting money from both Messala and Judah, returning to Rome to open a wine shop. Being supposedly dead, Judah Ben-Hur goes to the desert with Ilderim to plan a secret campaign.


PART V - CHAPTER IV  

Ilderim returned to the dowar next day about the third hour. As he dismounted, a man whom he recognized as of his own tribe came to him and said, "O sheik, I was bidden give thee this package, with request that thou read it at once. If there be answer, I was
to wait thy pleasure."

Ilderim gave the package immediate attention. The seal was already broken. The address ran, TO VALERIUS GRATUS AT CAESAREA.

"Abaddon take him!" growled the sheik, at discovering a letter in Latin.

Had the missive been in Greek or Arabic, he could have read it; as it was, the utmost he could make out was the signature in bold Roman letters--MESSALA--whereat his eyes twinkled.

"Where is the young Jew?" he asked.

"In the field with the horses," a servant replied.

The sheik replaced the papyrus in its envelopes, and, tucking the
package under his girdle, remounted the horse. That moment a
stranger made his appearance, coming, apparently, from the city.

"I am looking for Sheik Ilderim, surnamed the Generous," the stranger said.

His language and attire bespoke him a Roman.

What he could not read, he yet could speak; so the old Arab answered, with dignity, "I am Sheik Ilderim."

The man's eyes fell; he raised them again, and said, with forced composure, "I heard you had need of a driver for the games."

Ilderim's lip under the white mustache curled contemptuously.

"Go thy way," he said. "I have a driver."

He turned to ride away, but the man, lingering, spoke again.

"Sheik, I am a lover of horses, and they say you have the most beautiful in the world."

The old man was touched; he drew rein, as if on the point of yielding to the flattery, but finally replied, "Not to-day, not to-day; some other time I will show them to you. I am too
busy just now."

He rode to the field, while the stranger betook himself to town again with a smiling countenance. He had accomplished his mission.

And every day thereafter, down to the great day of the games, a man--sometimes two or three men--came to the sheik at the Orchard, pretending to seek an engagement as driver.

In such manner Messala kept watch over Ben-Hur.

to be continued

The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

Chapter 17 

How to Draw upon That Higher Power FOUR MEN WERE sitting in the locker room of a country club after a game. Talk about golf scores drifted into a discussion of personal difficulties and problems. One man was especially despondent. The others, his friends, realizing his unhappy state of mind, had arranged this game to get his mind off his difficult situation. They hoped a few hours on the golf course might afford him some relief.

Now, as they sat around after the game, various suggestions were offered him. Finally one of the men arose to go. He knew about difficulties, for he'd had plenty himself, but he
had found some vital answers to his problems. He stood hesitantly, then laid his hand on his friend's shoulder.

"George," he said, "I hope you won't think I am preaching at you. Really, I'm not, but I would like to suggest something.

It's the way I got through my difficulties. It really works if you work at it, and it's this. 'Why not draw upon that Higher Power?' "

He slapped his friend affectionately on the back and left the group. The other men sat mulling this over. Finally the discouraged man said slowly, "I know what he means and I
know where the Higher Power is. I only wish I knew how to draw upon it. It's what I need all right."

Well, in due course he discovered how to draw upon that Higher Power, and it changed everything for him. Now he is a healthy, happy man.

The advice given at the golf club is really very wise. There are many people today who are unhappy and depressed and just not getting anywhere with themselves or with conditions. And they do not need to be that way. Really they don't. The secret is to draw upon that Higher Power. And how is that done?

Let me tell you about a personal experience. When quite young I was called to a large church in a university community and many of my congregation were professors in the university as well as leading citizens of the city. I wanted to justify the confidence of those who gave me such an outstanding opportunity and accordingly worked very hard.
As a result I began to experience overstrain. Everyone should work hard, but there is no virtue in overtrying or overpressing to such an extent that you do not work efficiently. It is somewhat like making a golf shot. Try to "kill" the ball and you execute the shot poorly. 
You can do likewise in your job. I began to get rather tired and nervous and had no feeling of normal power.

One day I decided to call on one of the professors, the late Hugh M. Tilroe, a great friend of mine. He was a wonderful teacher, and he was also a great fisherman and hunter. He
was a man's man, an outdoor personality. I knew that if I did not find him at the university he would be out on the lake fishing, and sure enough there he was. He came ashore at my
hail. "The fish are biting—come on," he said. I climbed in his boat and we fished awhile.

"What's the matter, son?" he asked with understanding. I told him how hard I was trying and that it was getting me down nervously. "I have no feeling of lift or power," I said.
He chuckled. "Maybe you're trying too hard."

As the boat scraped the shore he said, "Come in the house with me." As we entered his cabin he ordered, "Lie down there on that couch. I want to read you something. Shut your
eyes and relax while I find the quotation." I did as directed, and thought he was going to read me some philosophical or perhaps diverting piece, but instead he said, "Here it is. Listen quietly while I read it to you. And let these words sink in. 'Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.'" (Isaiah 40:28-31) Then he asked, "Do you know from what I am reading?"

"Yes, the fortieth chapter of Isaiah," I answered.

"I'm glad you know your Bible," he commented. "Why don't you practice it? Now relax. Take three deep breaths—in and out slowly. Practice resting yourself in God. Practice depending upon Him for His support and power. Believe He is giving it to you now and don't get out of touch with that power. Yield yourself to it—let it flow through you.

"Give your job all you've got. Of course you must do that. But do it in a relaxed and easy manner like a batter in a big- league ball game. He swings the bat easy-like, and doesn't try
to knock the ball out of the park. He just does the best he can and believes in himself because he knows that he has lots of reserve power." Then he repeated the passage again."
'They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.' "

That was a long time ago, but I never forgot that lesson. He taught me how to draw upon that Higher Power, and believe me, his suggestions worked. I continue to follow my friend's advice, and it has never failed me in the more than twenty years that have passed since then. My life is crowded with activity but that power formula gives me all the strength I need.
 
A second method for drawing upon that Higher Power is to learn to take a positive, optimistic attitude toward every problem. In direct proportion to the intensity of the faith
which you muster will you receive power to meet your situations. "According to your faith be it unto you," (Matthew 9:29) is a basic law of successful living.

There is a Higher Power, and that Power can do everything for you. Draw upon it and experience its great helpfulness.

Why be defeated when you are free to draw upon that Higher Power? State your problem. Ask for a specific answer. Believe that you are getting that answer. Believe that now,
through God's help, you are gaining power over your difficulty.

to be continued

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