15 July 2012

posted 11 Jul 2012, 22:11 by C S Paul   [ updated 11 Jul 2012, 22:42 ]
15 July 2012

Choices

WE HAVE TWO CHOICES:

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had 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 unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry 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 Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"


Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Jerry, 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," Jerry 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 will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life." 
I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant 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 Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. 

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry 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 did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, 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.

Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room 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 Jerry. "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, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'"

Jerry 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.


Judge by the Looks

 Author Unknown

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the president's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned.

"We want to see the president," the man said softly.

"He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped.

"We'll wait," the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do. "Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him. And he sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus". The president wasn't touched he was shocked.

"Madam," he said gruffly, "we can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery."

"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "we don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard." For a moment the lady was silent.

The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now.

The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don't we just start our own?" Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.

Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about!


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace


Part Three

In Italy, Greek pirate-ships have been looting Roman vessels in the Aegean Sea. The prefect Sejanus orders the Roman Quintus Arrius to take warships to combat the pirates. 

Judah is a galley slave rowing chained on one of the Roman warships. He had survived three hard years, fueled by his passion for vengeance. Arrius is impressed by Judah and finds out more about his life and his story. 

The ship is attacked by pirates and the ship is sunk. Judah uses a plank as a raft. Arrius surfaces besides him and the two of them hold on until a Roman ship appears and rescues them. They return to Misenum and Judah is adopted by the influential Arrius, becoming a Roman citizen.


Part three - CHAPTER II (Continued)

The tribune raised his hand in astonishment.

"A son of Hur--thou?"

After a silence, he asked,

"What brought thee here?"

Judah lowered his head, and his breast labored hard. When his feelings were sufficiently mastered, he looked the tribune in the face, and answered, "I was accused of attempting to assassinate Valerius Gratus, the procurator."

"Thou!" cried Arrius, yet more amazed, and retreating a step.

"Thou that assassin! All Rome rang with the story. It came to my ship in the river by Lodinum."

The two regarded each other silently.

"I thought the family of Hur blotted from the earth," said Arrius, speaking first.

A flood of tender recollections carried the young man's pride away; tears shone upon his cheeks.

"Mother--mother! And my little Tirzah! Where are they? O tribune, noble tribune, if thou knowest anything of them"--he clasped his hands in appeal--"tell me all thou knowest. Tell me if they are

living--if living, where are they? and in what condition? Oh, I pray thee, tell me!"

He drew nearer Arrius, so near that his hands touched the cloak where it dropped from the latter's folded arms.

"The horrible day is three years gone," he continued--"three years, O tribune, and every hour a whole lifetime of misery--a lifetime in a bottomless pit with death, and no relief but in labor--and in all that time not a word from any one, not a whisper. Oh, if, in being forgotten, we could only forget! If only I could hide from that scene--my sister torn from me, my mother's last look! I have felt the plague's breath, and the shock of ships in battle; I have heard the tempest lashing the sea, and laughed, though others prayed: death would have been a riddance. Bend the oar--yes, in the strain of mighty effort trying to escape the haunting of what that day occurred.

Think what little will help me. Tell me they are dead, if no more, for happy they cannot be while I am lost. I have heard them call me in the night; I have seen them on the water walking. Oh, never anything so true as my mother's love! And Tirzah--her breath was as the breath of white lilies. She was the youngest branch of the palm--so fresh, so tender, so graceful, so beautiful! She made my day all morning. She came and went in music. And mine was the hand that laid them low! I--"

"Dost thou admit thy guilt?" asked Arrius, sternly.

The change that came upon Ben-Hur was wonderful to see, it was so instant and extreme. The voice sharpened; the hands arose tight-clenched; every fibre thrilled; his eyes inflamed.

"Thou hast heard of the God of my fathers," he said; "of the infinite Jehovah. By his truth and almightiness, and by the love with which he hath followed Israel from the beginning, I swear I

am innocent!" 

The tribune was much moved.

"O noble Roman!" continued Ben-Hur, "give me a little faith, and, into my darkness, deeper darkening every day, send a light!"

Arrius turned away, and walked the deck.

"Didst thou not have a trial?" he asked, stopping suddenly.

"No!"

The Roman raised his head, surprised.

"No trial--no witnesses! Who passed judgment upon thee?"

Romans, it should be remembered, were at no time such lovers of the law and its forms as in the ages of their decay.

"They bound me with cords, and dragged me to a vault in the Tower. I saw no one. No one spoke to me. Next day soldiers took me to the seaside. I have been a galley-slave ever since."

"What couldst thou have proven?"

"I was a boy, too young to be a conspirator. Gratus was a stranger to me. If I had meant to kill him, that was not the time or the place. He was riding in the midst of a legion, and it was broad day. I could not have escaped. I was of a class most friendly to Rome. My father had been distinguished for his services to the emperor. We had a great estate to lose. Ruin was certain to myself, my mother, my sister. I had no cause for malice, while every consideration--property, family, life, conscience, the Law--to a son of Israel as the breath of his nostrils--would have stayed my hand, though the foul intent had been ever so strong.

I was not mad. Death was preferable to shame; and, believe me, I pray, it is so yet."

"Who was with thee when the blow was struck?"

"I was on the house-top--my father's house. Tirzah was with me--at my side--the soul of gentleness. Together we leaned over the parapet to see the legion pass. A tile gave way under my hand, and fell upon Gratus. I thought I had killed him. Ah, what horror I felt!"

"Where was thy mother?"

"In her chamber below."

"What became of her?"

Ben-Hur clenched his hands, and drew a breath like a gasp.

"I do not know. I saw them drag her away--that is all I know. Out of the house they drove every living thing, even the dumb cattle, and they sealed the gates. The purpose was that she

should not return. I, too, ask for her. Oh for one word! She, at least, was innocent. I can forgive--but I pray thy pardon, noble tribune! A slave like me should not talk of forgiveness or of revenge. I am bound to an oar for life."

Arrius listened intently. He brought all his experience with slaves to his aid. If the feeling shown in this instance were assumed, the acting was perfect; on the other hand, if it were real, the Jew's innocence might not be doubted; and if he were innocent, with what blind fury the power had been exercised! A whole family blotted out to atone an accident! The thought shocked him.


Did You Know ?

  • Golf the only sport played on the moon – on 6 February 1971 Alan Shepard hit a golf ball.
  • Bill Klem served the most seasons as major league umpire – 37 years, starting in 1905. He also officiated 18 World Series.
  • The oldest continuous trophy in sports is the America’s Cup. It started in 1851, with Americans winning for a straight 132 years until Australia took the Cup in 1983.
  • Volleyball was invented by William George Morgan of Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895.
  • A badminton shuttle easily travels 180 km/h (112 mph).
  • Ferenc Szisz from Romania, driving a Renault, won the first Formula One Grand Prix held at Le Mans, France in 1906.
  • In the Middle Ages the length from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow was called an ell.
  • A person remains conscious for eight seconds after being decapitated.
  • The first successful human sex change took place in 1950 when Danish doctor Christian Hamburger operated on New Yorker George Jorgensen, who became Christine Jorgensen.
  • The muscle that lets your eye blink is the fastest muscle in your body. It allows you to blink 5 times a second.
  • On average, you blink 15 000 times a day. Women blink twice as much as men.
Just for laughs

A man went to the local church and asked to join. The preacher said, "OK, but you have to pass a small Bible test first. The first question is "Where was Jesus born?" The man answered, "Longview." 

The preacher said, "Sorry...you can't join our church."

Soooooo....he went to another church and asked to join. The preacher said, "We would love to have you but you have to pass a Bible test first. Where was Jesus born?" The man said "Nacogdoches." 

The preacher said "Sorry...you can't join our church." 

Soooo....he goes to another church and asked to join. The preacher said, "That's great! We welcome you with open arms." 

The man said, "I don't have to pass no Bible test first?" 

The preacher said, "No." 

The man said, "Can I ask you a question?"

The preacher said, "Sure." 

The man said, "Where was Jesus born?" 

The preacher said, "Palestine." 

The man mumbled to himself "I knew it was in East Texas somewhere."


Power of Positive Thinking

 by Norman Vincent Peale


Chapter 7 continued

That this philosophy is of practical value is illustrated by the experience of a young woman whom I interviewed a number of years ago. She made an appointment to see me in my office at two o'clock on a certain afternoon. Being quite busy that day, I had gotten a little behind schedule, and it was about five minutes after two when I walked into the conference room where she was waiting. It was obvious that he was displeased for her lips were pressed firmly together.

"It's five minutes after two, and we had an appointment at 2 P. M.," she said. "I always admire promptness."

"So do I. I always believe in being prompt, and I hope you will forgive me for my unavoidable delay," I said with a smile.

But she was not in a smiling mood, for she said crisply, "I have a very important problem to present to you and I want an answer, and I expect an answer." Then she shot out at me:

"I might as well put it to you bluntly. I want to get married."

"Well," I replied, "that is a perfectly normal desire and I should like to help you."

"I want to know why I can't get married," she continued.

"Every time I form a friendship with a man, the next thing I know he fades out of the picture and another chance is gone by, and," she added, speaking frankly, "I am not getting any younger. You conduct a personal-problem clinic to study people and you have had some experience, and I am putting my problem right up to you. Tell me, why can't I get married?"

I studied her to see if she was the kind of person to whom one could speak frankly, for certain things had to be said if she really meant business. Finally I decided that she was of big enough caliber to take the medicine that would be required if she was to correct her personality difficulties, so I said, "Well, now, let's analyze the situation. Obviously you have a good mind and a fine personality, and, if I may say so,you are a very handsome lady."

All of these things were true. I congratulated her in every way that I honestly could, but then I said,

 "I think that I see your difficulty and it is this. You took me to task because I was five minutes late for our appointment. You were really quite severe with me. Has it ever occurred to you that your

attitude represents a pretty serious fault? I think a husband would have a very difficult time if you checked him up that closely all the time. In fact, you would so dominate him that, even if you did marry, your marital life would be unsatisfactory. Love cannot live under domination."

Then I said, "You have a very firm way of pressing your lips together which indicates a domineering attitude. The average male, I might as well tell you, does not like to be dominated, at least so that he knows it." Then I added, "I think you would be a very attractive person if you got those too-firm

lines out of your face. You must have a little softness, a little tenderness, and those lines are too firm to be soft." Then I observed her dress, which was obviously quite expensive, but she didn't wear it very well, and so I said, "This may be a bit out of my line, and I hope you won't mind, but perhaps you could get that dress to hang a little better." I know my description was awkward, but she was a good sport about it and laughed right out loud.

She said, "You certainly don't use style phraseology, but I get the idea."

Then I suggested, "Perhaps it might help to get your hair fixed up a little. It's a little—floaty. Then you might also add a little sweet-smelling perfume—just a whiff of it. But the really important thing is to get a new attitude that will change the lines on your face and give you that indefinable quality known as spiritual joy. This I am certain will release charm and loveliness in you."

"Well," she burst out, "never did I expect to get this combination of advice in a minister's office."

"No," I chuckled, "I suppose not, but nowadays we have to cover the whole field in a human roblem."

Then I told her about an old professor of mine at Ohio Wesleyan University, "Roily" Walker, who said, "God runs a beauty parlor." He explained that some girls when they came to college were very pretty, but when they came back to visit the campus thirty years later their beauty had faded. The moonlight-and-roses loveliness of their youth did not last.

On the other hand, other girls came to college who were very plain, but when they returned thirty years later they were beautiful women. "What made the difference?" he asked.

"The latter had the beauty of an inner spiritual life written on their faces," and then he added, "God runs a beauty parlor."

Well, this young lady thought about what I told her for a few minutes and then she said, "There's a lot of truth in what you say. I'll try it."

Here is where her strong personality proved effective, for she did try it.

A number of years went by and I had forgotten her. Then in a certain city, after making a speech, a very lovely-looking lady with a fine-looking man and a little boy about ten years of age came up to me. The lady asked smilingly, "Well, how do you think it hangs?"

"How do I think what hangs?" I asked, puzzled.

 "My dress," she said. "Do you think it hangs right?"

Bewildered, I said, "Yes, I think it hangs all right, but just why do you ask?"

"Don't you know me?" she asked.

"I see a great many people in my life," I said. "Frankly, no, I don't think I have ever seen you before."

Then she reminded me of our talk of years ago which I have described.

"Meet my husband and my little boy. What you told me was absolutely true," she said very earnestly.

"I was the most frustrated, unhappy individual imaginable when I came to see you, but I put into practice the principles you suggested. I really did, and they worked."

Her husband then spoke up and said, "There was never a sweeter person in the world than Mary here," and I must say that she looked the part. She had evidently visited "God's beauty parlor."

Not only did she experience a softening and mellowing of her inner spirit, but she properly used a great quality which she possessed, namely, the driving force to get what she wanted. This led her to the point where she was willing to change herself so that her dreams could be realized. She had that quality of mind whereby she took herself in hand, she applied the spiritual techniques, and she had a profound and yet simple faith that what her heart told her she wanted could be obtained by the proper creative and positive procedures.

So the formula is to know what you want, test it to see if it is a right thing, change yourself in such a manner that it will naturally come to you, and always have faith. With the creative force of belief you stimulate that particular gathering together of circumstances which brings your cherished wish to pass.



A Nice Way To Start the Day!

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

Six-year-old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten. 

Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad. He didn't know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove (and he didn't know how the stove worked!). 

Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky. And just then he saw Dad standing at the door.

Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was something good, but he'd made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But his father just watched him. Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process.

That's how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend or we can't stand our job or our health goes sour. Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can't think of anything else to do. That's when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him. But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to "make pancakes," for God or for others. 

Sooner or later we'll get it right, and then they'll be glad we tried... I was thinking... I could die today, tomorrow or next week and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that need rekindling or three words needing to be said, sometimes, "I love you" can heal & bless. Let everyone of your friends know you love them, even if you think they don't love back, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do.

Just in case I die tomorrow...



I'll Be Your Arms

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

Bob Butler lost his legs in a 1965 land mine explosion in Vietnam. He returned home a war hero. Twenty years later, he proved once again that heroism comes from the heart.

Butler was working in his garage in a small town in Arizona on a hot summer day when he heard a woman's screams coming from a nearby house. He began rolling his wheelchair toward the house but the dense shrubbery wouldn't allow him access to the back door. So he got out of his chair and started to crawl through the dirt and bushes.

I had to get there, he says. It didn't matter how much it hurt. When Butler arrived at the pool there was a three-year-old girl named Stephanie Hanes lying at the bottom. She had been born without arms and had fallen in the water and couldn't swim.

Her mother stood over her baby screaming frantically. Butler dove to the bottom of the pool and brought little Stephanie up to the deck. Her face was blue, she had no pulse and was not breathing. Butler immediately went to work performing CPR to revive her while Stephanie's mother telephoned the fire department. She was told the paramedics were already out on a call. Helplessly, she sobbed and hugged Butler's shoulder.

As Butler continued with his CPR, he calmly reassured her. Don't worry, he said. I was her arms to get out of the pool. It'll be okay. I am now her lungs. Together we can make it. Seconds later the little girl coughed, regained consciousness, and began to cry. As they hugged and rejoiced together the mother asked Butler how he knew it would be okay.

The truth is, I didn't know, he told her. But when my legs were blown off in the war, I was all alone in a field. No one was there to help except a little Vietnamese girl. As she struggled to drag me into her village, she whispered in broken English, It okay. You can live. I be your legs. Together we make it. Her kind words brought hope to my soul and I wanted to do the same for Stephanie.

There are simply those times when we cannot stand alone. There are those times when we need someone to be our legs, our arms, our friend.



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