13 July 2014

posted 11 Jul 2014, 07:08 by C S Paul   [ updated 11 Jul 2014, 07:11 ]

13 July 2014

Quotes to Inspire

  • "Every generation of Americans [and others] needs to know that freedom exists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." – Pope John Paul II
  • "We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God." – Dwight L. Moody
  • "If it is desirable that our children be kind, responsible, pleasant and honest, then those qualities must be taught—not hoped for." – James Dobson
  • "When your only tool is a hammer, you see every problem as a nail." – A. Maslow
  • "You can wash your hands but not your conscience." – Yiddish Proverb
  • "Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius." – An Wang
  • "There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking." – William James
  • "Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things I am tempted to think there are no little things." – Bruce Barton
  • "Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe." – Winston Churchill
  • "Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." – Henry Ford
  • "In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. But if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." – Warren Buffet
  • "Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprise? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." – Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

Spilled Apples
-- Author Unknown

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their families that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner.

In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of baskets of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding. All but one. He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved goodbye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.  He was glad he did.

The 16 year old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping, and no one to care for her plight. The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them into the baskets, and helped set the display up once more. As he did this, he
noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $20 for the damage we did. Are you okay?"

She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."

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

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

Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would.  Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church.  It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day. You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Let us live like we are worth the price He paid.  Think about it.

Something for Stevie
By Dan Anderson – a fiction piece 

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 Thanksgiving, 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 Thanksgiving.'

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. 
  
Plant a seed and watch it grow. AMEN!

Sack Lunches
-- Author Unknown

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.  It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read.  Perhaps I
will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  I decided to start a conversation.  "Where are
you headed?" I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

"Great Lakes Air Base.  We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq," he answered.

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars.  It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard the soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  "No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch.  Probably
wouldn't be worth five bucks.  I'll wait till we get to Chicago."

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers.  None were buying lunch.  I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill.  "Take a lunch to all those soldiers."  She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.  Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.  "My son was a soldier in Iraq... it's almost
like you are doing it for him."

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.  She stopped at my seat and asked, "Which do you like best - beef or chicken?" "Chicken," I replied, wondering why she asked.

She turned and went to the front of plane, returning  a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. "This is your thanks."

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.  A man stopped me.

"I saw what you did.  I want to be part of it.  Here, take this."  He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, "I want to shake your hand."

Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain's hand.  With a booming voice he said, "I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.  Once, someone
bought me a lunch.  It was an act of kindness I never forgot."  I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.  A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago, I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.  Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.  Another
twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.  I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars.  "It will take you
some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich.  God Bless You."

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.  As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.  These soldiers were giving their all for our country.  I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little.

*********

A U.S. veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'"  That is Honor... and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.


Purple Glove Movement - True
By Kate Duffy

It was 20 degrees at 7 am on that Monday morning in Harvard Square. I was mad that I had just missed the bus, and was standing out in the freezing cold, waiting for the next one.

I had been called for jury duty, and was headed to the courthouse to ask for a postponement since my husband was in the hospital about to have surgery. My mind was filled with anxiety and negative thoughts. "Why didn't I leave two minutes earlier?" "What if they don't let me postpone?" "What could go wrong with my husband's surgery?" "Will I get to him before it starts?"

Among the others at the bus stop was a woman in her 50's wearing a dowdy hat, an old pair of boots and a dark coat, but she had no gloves. Another woman who looked to be in her mid 20's approached the older woman and said, "Your hands must be freezing cold. You'll get frostbite in this weather." She dropped her heavy backpack to the ground at the feet of the older woman, bent down, and began rummaging around inside her pack. The older woman looked down and said, "Oh no, that's OK, I'm fine."

The younger woman continued to toss things around in her backpack and the older woman kept repeating, "Don't go to any trouble, I'll be fine." After what seemed like many minutes, the younger woman pulled out a tangled mess of bright purple yarn, and inside was a pair of purple gloves. She took the older woman's hands and gently placed a glove on each hand, covering one finger at a time. It was like watching a play. The older woman said "Thank you, you're so sweet."

Observing this act of kindness gave me this amazing, warm feeling inside. You see, I knew from one of the Attitude Vitamin calls that both the giver and receiver of an act of kindness, as well as anyone who observes the act, experience an increase in their serotonin levels. Not only does the serotonin make you feel good, but it also strengthens your immune system. It's amazing to me that just by watching or hearing about someone doing something nice for another person, you're improving your health and strengthening your immune system.

So as cold as I was, I knew that the longer the digging in the backpack went on, the more serotonin we were all getting! Just five minutes earlier, I was aggravated and feeling sorry for myself, and I was able to replace those feelings with hope, optimism, and confidence. It confirmed my belief that we really do control our attitude.

I'm sharing this story with all of you because I want to raise your serotonin and bring you good health. It also motivated me to go out and buy 5 pairs of bright purple gloves to have in my bag, just in case I run into someone in need on a cold day.


Did You Know ?

  • Penguins can jump 6 feet in the air.
  • A goup of kangaroos is called a mob.
  • Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
  • All polar bears are left handed.
  • A crocadile can't stick its tounge out.
  • Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
  • A woodpecker can peck 20 times per second.
  • Our eyes remain the same size from birth onward, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
  • The Barbie doll’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
  • The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.
  • Ants never sleep!
  • When the moon is directly overhead, you will weigh slightly less.
  • Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, never called his wife or mother because they were both deaf.


Just for Laughs

Lead us into Temptation

After starting a new diet, I altered my drive to work to avoid passing my favorite bakery.

But this morning I accidentally drove by the bakery and as I approached, there in the window were a host of goodies.

I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, "Lord, it's up to you, if you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, please create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery."

And sure enough, on the eighth time around the block, there it was!


Typing Error

A forestry-service employee was recording the rainfall in his area. One drizzly day, his thoughts were apparently elsewhere as he typed "thirty three inches" instead of "thirty-three hundredths of an inch" into the computer.

It was obvious that the machine had been programmed by someone with a sense of humor, for this message quickly appeared on the screen: "Build the ark. Gather the animals two by two."



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