21 April 2013

posted 18 Apr 2013, 21:28 by C S Paul
21 April 2013

Quotes to Inspire

  • To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.- Saren Kierkegaard 
  • History has repeatedly been changed by people who had the desire and the ability to transfer their convictions and emotions to their listeners. - Dale Carnegie
  • If you must compromise, compromise up. -Eleanor Roosevelt 
  • Life happens at the level of events, not words. 
  • is very difficult to give away kindness. It keeps coming back to you. 
  • An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. ~Niels Bohr
  • There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth -- not going all the way, and not starting. – Buddha
  • Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
  • "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead, anthropologist
  • "This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in." – Theodore Roosevelt
  • "How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to change the world." – Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
  • "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." – Booker T. Washington


It's the struggle in life that makes us strong
Author Unknown

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.


An "Aussie" story
-- Author unknown

Years ago a hardworking man took his family from New York State to Australia to take advantage of a work opportunity there. Part of this man's family was a handsome young son who had aspirations of joining the circus as a trapeze artist or an actor. This young fellow, biding his time until a circus job or even one as a stagehand came along, worked at the local shipyards which bordered on the worse section of town.

Walking home from work one evening this young man was attacked by five thugs who wanted to rob him. Instead of just giving up his money the young fellow resisted. However they bested him easily and proceeded to beat him to a pulp. They mashed his face with their boots, and kicked and beat his body brutally with clubs, leaving him for dead. When the police happened to find him lying in the road they assumed he was dead and called for the Morgue Wagon.

On the way to the morgue a policeman heard him gasp for air, and they immediately took him to the emergency unit at the hospital. When he was placed on a gurney a nurse remarked to her horror, that this young man no longer had a face. Each eye socket was smashed, his skull, legs, and arms fractured, his nose literally hanging from his face, all is teeth were gone, and his jaw was almost completely torn from his skull.

Although his life was spared, he spent over a year in the hospital. When he finally left, his body may have healed but his face was disgusting to look at. He was no longer the handsome youth that everyone admired.

When the young man started to look for work again he was turned down by everyone just on account of the way he looked. One potential employer suggested to him that he join the freak show at the circus as The Man Who Had No Face. And he did this for a while. He was still rejected by everyone and no one wanted to be seen in his company. He had thoughts of suicide.

This went on for five years. One day he passed a church and sought some solace there. Entering the church he encountered a priest who saw him sobbing while kneeling in a pew. The priest took pity on him and took him to the rectory where they talked at length. The priest was impressed with him to such a degree that he said that he would do everything possible for him that could be done to restore his dignity and life, if the young man would promise to be the best Catholic he could be, and trust in God's mercy to free him from his torturous life. The young man went to Mass and communion every day, and after thanking God for saving his life, asked God to only give him peace of mind and the grace to be the best man he could ever be in His eyes.

The priest, through his personal contacts was able to secure the services of the best plastic surgeon in Australia. There would be no cost to the young man, as the doctor was the priest's best friend. The doctor too was so impressed by the young man. Whose outlook now on life, even though he had experienced the worst, was filled with good humor and love. The surgery was a miraculous success. All the best dental work was also done for him.

The young man became everything he promised God he would be. He was also blessed with a wonderful, beautiful wife, many children, and success in an industry which would have been the furthest thing from his mind as a career, if not for the goodness of God and the love of the people who cared for him.

This he acknowledges publicly.

-----
Note This story has circulated the Internet for many years and has been attributed to Paul Harvey as its writer. According to TruthorFiction.com, this is not a true story (the story originally stated it was about the actor, Mel Gibson, and inspired the movie he directed, titled, "The Man Without A Face"). 


A Texas Angel
Laura Estes

Date: Week before Christmas, 2004 
Place: Central Texas

All I really wanted for Christmas was to do something to support our troops. I prayed on this goal daily until I thought I had received an answer, about how to help the troops. I started searching and found a great list of troops requesting things and current addresses from the website: www.anysoldier.com

My Christmas Wish started as a yearly donation drive in which my school gathers and donates items to the military. The drive took two months to complete and the community was very willing to help us in our efforts.

This year, we gathered enough for many troops and started wondering how much it would cost to send all of it overseas. Very expensive, as it turned out.

As I lugged all the heavy packages to the Postal Annex with my three year old son in tow, I ran out of hands. There was an older gentleman who held the door for me. He was a tall, slender man with wavy silver grey hair, warm, brown eyes, and a deep, richly toned, melodic voice. (If the description seems silly, allow me to explain. I am a singer, music teacher and voice teacher, so I pay particular attention to how someone sounds when they speak, their diction, any accent, and even any inflection I detect in their voice.)

He asked many questions about where the packages were going, did I have family in the military, why I had decided to do this project in the first place. I laid out the complete story to him and explained the compelling feeling that The Lord was calling me to task. Although I did not currently have family in the military, many in my family on both sides had served proudly over the years. I related the information about the website: www.anysoldier.com.

He then asked what could he do to help. I explained that it would be expensive and a couple of dollars to help pay for postage would be very much appreciated. I was caught off guard when he said he would.

We talked about life, our soldiers, family, my work, and religion while each care package was carefully weighed and sealed with all the proper customs forms. He was an adept listener and good conversationalist. It was a cold, crisp, December evening and the day turned quickly to evening so I offered to get us all coffee next door at the Starbucks. When I returned, he was still there. By now, there was a small crowd of people entering into the Postal Annex with the same questions. I answered them as they came and went, busily running after the next errand on their list. With less than a week before Christmas, most people just flew by. Not this man, he waited patiently, drank his coffee, and just took the time to speak with me like he had all the time in the world. It turned out, he happened to be a veteran. He, Charles, had also served our country proudly some years ago. Charles said he never received any packages. The packages were finally ready to be mailed off. When the total came up, it was $170.00!! My mind reeled! I didn’t have that kind of money and was lost in my train of thought that the packages would have to wait until I could get more money.

Without so much as a word, Charles quickly paid for the entire mailing!!

I was too stunned to speak, but stumbled to find the words as I realized what had happened.

I said, “no, I can’t accept this kind of gift.”

I was concerned that he might not also have this kind of money and it would put his family at a hardship.

Then, one lady told me plainly that:”I was being foolish not to accept this man’s generosity and such an attempt would ruin his blessing.”

I finally relented. I was so overcome with a grateful, thankful heart. My eyes welled up with tears. Everyone in the room suddenly got quiet. This complete stranger had fulfilled my Christmas Wish! As I pondered this fact and how the day was shaping up, I remember thanking him repeatedly, not finding just the right words to express my deepest gratitude.

After chasing my three-year-old around, I was yet offered up another blessing from another complete stranger. This man removed a necklace with a gold cross and offered it to my son.

“Such amazing gifts, did I really deserve this”, I silently wondered.

I said we ,”just couldn’t take his necklace”, but relented when others told me it would interfere with his blessing. I didn’t know what to say. We put the necklace around my son’s neck. One lady told me it was “her father’s way” and “that was that.”

The overwhelming evidence of love, compassion, and willingness to help and give left me speechless. Others in the room were overcome as well. Tears welled in their eyes and the air was suddenly transformed and thick with emotions. None of us, it seemed, had experienced the good side of the human spirit in quite some time.

Charles then handed me an envelope. I just shook my head in disbelief.

“Whatever is in this envelope, I can’t accept”, I said.

“Oh yes you can”, Charles began, “because you deserve it. Do something for yourself and spread some Christmas cheer.”

“I can’t...”, I said.

Charles looked into my eyes and calmly said,” Everything is going to be okay.”

“Open it after I leave”, I was instructed.

We again spoke for a few minutes. “Thank you…for everything Charles”, I said. Walking out the door, he said, “Have a Merry Christmas” and then he quickly disappeared into the night.

By this time, most people had left and it was near closing time. I went to the bathroom as we were leaving and then remembered the envelope.

I opened it and nearly fainted!! Inside was $500.00 dollars!Based on the previous mailings, it was about the amount I needed to mail the remaining care packages I had left at the house.

I was more than stunned and began to cry. I came out and told the employees the contents. We were all in awe in light of the recent events. I explained to them if they saw Charles, to please report to him that I was spending the money on the postage to send the packages and some Christmas Cheer. They said they would.

The next day, I went back and happily mailed most of the remaining packages, 50 or more, so it is a large task. I also spread some Christmas cheer by buying cake slices for some children and others nearby.

Charles, wherever you are, I think you would be pleased to know that because of you, hundreds of American troops will receive just what they wanted this holiday season. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I experienced the very unexpected, most amazing Christmas gifts I have ever received or ever would receive.

Everyday Heroes

Charles and men like him are everyday heroes, angels on earth in a sense.

The man who offered his necklace to my son. People who do extraordinary things for complete strangers to save a life, lend a hand, or extend to them a helpful gesture. I’m so glad there are EVERYDAY HEROES. From the agencies which comprise of Homeland Security, police, firefighters, special agents, coastguard, soldiers, army, navy, air force, marines, and all the people left in this world like Charles.

Please share this story about the power of prayer and everyday heroes.

Sincerely, 
Laura Estes 
Music & Voice Teacher, Proud Supporter of our soldiers

Angel at Presbyterian Hospital
A TRUE STORY -- Author Unknown

A couple of Wednesdays ago, I got an evening phone call from the pediatric ICU at Presbyterian Hospital, in Charlotte, NC, where I work as a child life specialist. Usually when they call at night, it means something bad has happened. This, however, was different. My coworker told me that the most amazing thing had just happened and she just had to call to tell me.

We had a patient who has really grown up in and out of the hospital. All the staff knows her and her family. She had been in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for about a month, and had been intubated - on life support. She was not doing well. The doctors had approached mom about taking her off life support the Saturday before. Mom was okay with it, and said that she'd been through so much and if was her time to go she wanted to honor that. So they had taken her off.

It was Wednesday and she was still alive. Amazing. The doctors approached mom about taking off her oxygen mask. Mom was supportive, and began praying over her daughter. The mother of another young patient who was in the bed next to her began praying with her.

The nurse practitioner went to the nurses’ station to chart that she had taken off the oxygen mask. While doing so, she looked up at the security monitor that videotapes the double doors leading into the PICU. It records anyone who may be waiting outside the doors to get in since it is a secure unit. She saw a man standing there, and it looked a little funny to her, so she decided to walk down the hall to open the double doors personally. When she opened them, no one was standing there.

She walked back down to the nurses station to finish charting, assuming he had walked away, but saw him still standing there on the monitor. So she opened the doors with a button near the nurses’ station and leaned over to see him walk in, but no one was standing there.

She pulled over another nurse and both stood staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. The nurse practitioner leaned in closely to look at the man on the monitor and said, 'Oh my gosh. That's an angel. You can see his wings!'

They said that the sun starting shining so brightly and the whole PICU was strangely filled with light. They said he was a tall man and you could see wings behind him.

They pulled over all the staff of the PICU and the two praying mothers and everyone was staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. Crying, everyone pulled out their camera phones to take pictures, but no one could get it to show up on their camera. The mother of the girl pulled out her camera phone and finally got a picture of the angel who was guarding the doors to the PICU. He turned out as a man of light. I have attached the picture from her phone.

The girl was later discharged from the hospital to go home.
A Miracle.

This story makes me so grateful for the way that God reveals himself to us, and the how Great He is really is.

Did you know ?

  • 40% of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.
  • 43.7% of all statistics are made up right on the spot
  • 48% of astronauts experience motion sickness.
  • By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.
  • One in ten people live on an island.
  • 84% of a raw apple is water.
  • A 17 year old girl from Miami, Florida started to sneeze on 4th January'66 ant continued till 8th June'66.
  •  A 6 pound sea-hare can lay 40,000eggs in a single minute.  
  • A 7-year study, which concluded in the summer of 2000, found that 33 U.S. deaths were caused by rottweilers, pit bulls were responsible for 27 deaths.
  • A bat is the only mammal that flies. 
  •  A bathometer is an instrument for indicating the depth of the sea beneath a moving vessel. 

Just for laughs

Mummy Get Up

My two-year-old daughter, Paige, was with her mother while her older sister was being examined by a dentist. Paige kept herself busy playing with toys in the waiting room until she noticed that her mom was resting, her eyes closed. With about six other patients waiting, Paige marched up to her mother, looked her straight in the face and shook her shoulder. "Mommy," she yelled, "wake up! This is not church!" My wife, Lani, woke from her doze to the sound of other patients laughing.
Free Christian Content.org


Prayer Before an Exam

Mike was studying for a test one evening. He was very quiet for a long time. So naturally his parents became curious. When they checked on him, they overheard this prayer:

Now I lay me down to rest,
And hope to pass tomorrow's test.
If I should die before I wake,
That's one less test I have to take

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.


CHAPTER II  continued

Ilderim read the letters a second time, and refolded them in the linen wrap, and put the package under his girdle.

The exercises in the field continued but a little longer--in all about two hours. At their conclusion, Ben-Hur brought the four to a walk, and drove to Ilderim.

"With leave, O sheik," he said, "I will return thy Arabs to the tent, and bring them out again this afternoon."

Ilderim walked to him as he sat on Sirius, and said, "I give them to you, son of Arrius, to do with as you will until after the games. You have done with them in two hours what the Roman--may jackals gnaw
his bones fleshless!--could not in as many weeks. We will win--by the splendor of God, we will win!"

At the tent Ben-Hur remained with the horses while they were being cared for; then, after a plunge in the lake and a cup of arrack with the sheik, whose flow of spirits was royally exuberant, he dressed
himself in his Jewish garb again, and walked with Malluch on into the Orchard.

There was much conversation between the two, not all of it important.One part, however, must not be overlooked. Ben-Hur was speaking.

"I will give you," he said, "an order for my property stored in the khan this side the river by the Seleucian Bridge. Bring it to me to-day, if you can. And, good Malluch--if I do not overtask you--"

Malluch protested heartily his willingness to be of service.

"Thank you, Malluch, thank you," said Ben-Hur. "I will take you at your word, remembering that we are brethren of the old tribe, and that the enemy is a Roman. First, then--as you are a man of business, which I much fear Sheik Ilderim is not--"

"Arabs seldom are," said Malluch, gravely.

"Nay, I do not impeach their shrewdness, Malluch. It is well, however, to look after them. To save all forfeit or hindrance in connection with the race, you would put me perfectly at rest by going to the office of the Circus, and seeing that he has complied with every preliminary rule; and if you can get a copy of the rules, the service may be of great avail to me. I would like to know the colors I am to wear, and particularly the number of the crypt I am to occupy at the starting; if it be next Messala's on the
right or left, it is well; if not, and you can have it changed so as to bring me next the Roman, do so. Have you good memory, Malluch?"

"It has failed me, but never, son of Arrius, where the heart helped it as now."

"I will venture, then, to charge you with one further service. I saw yesterday that Messala was proud of his chariot, as he might be, for the best of Caesar's scarcely surpass it. Can you not make its display an excuse which will enable you to find if it be light or heavy? I would like to have its exact weight and
measurements--and, Malluch, though you fail in all else, bring me exactly the height his axle stands above the ground. You understand, Malluch? I do not wish him to have any actual advantage of me.
I do not care for his splendor; if I beat him, it will make his fall the harder, and my triumph the more complete. If there are advantages really important, I want them."

"I see, I see!" said Malluch. "A line dropped from the centre of the axle is what you want."

"Thou hast it; and be glad, Malluch--it is the last of my commissions. Let us return to the dowar."

At the door of the tent they found a servant replenishing the smoke-stained bottles of leben freshly made, and stopped to refresh themselves. Shortly afterwards Malluch returned to the city.

During their absence, a messenger well mounted had been despatched with orders as suggested by Simonides. He was an Arab, and carried nothing written.

to be continued


The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

Chapter 16 continued

After many years of reading the Bible and being intimately connected with all the phases of the lives of hundreds of people, I wish to state unequivocally that I have found this
Biblical promise to be absolutely true. It applies even to this world. People who really practice living on a Christlike basis have the most incredible things happen to them.

This passage also relates to the state of existence of those now living on the other side and our relationship, while we live, to those who have preceded us across that barrier which
we call death. I use the word "barrier" somewhat apologetically. We have always thought of death as a barrier with a concept of a separatist nature.

Scientists working today in the field of parapsychology and extra-sensory perception and experimenting in precognition, telepathy, clairvoyance (all of which were formerly
considered paraphernalia of the cranks, but which are now of sound, scientific usage in the laboratories), are expressing themselves as believing that the soul survives the barrier of 
time and space. In effect, we are on the edge of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history which will substantiate, on a laboratory-exploratory basis, the existence of the soul and its deathlessness.

For many years I have been accumulating a series of incidents, the validity of which I accept and which bear out the conviction that we live in a dynamic universe where life,
not death, is the basic principle. I have confidence in the people who have described the following experiences and am convinced that they indicate a world impinged upon or
intertwined with our own through the meshes of which human spirits, on both sides of death, live in unbroken fellowship. The conditions of life on the other side, as we
know them in mortality, are modified. Undoubtedly those who have crossed to the other side dwell in a higher medium than we do and their understanding is amplified beyond ours, yet all the facts point to the continued existence of our loved ones and the further fact that they are not far away, and still another fact implied, but no less real, that we shall be reunited with them. Meanwhile, we continue in fellowship with those who dwell in the spirit world.

William James, one of America's greatest scholars, after a lifetime of study said he was satisfied that the human brain is only a medium for the soul's existence and that the mind as now constituted will be exchanged at last for a brain that will allow the owner to reach out into untapped areas of understanding. As our spiritual being is amplified here on
earth and as we grow in age and experience we become more conscious of this vaster world all around us, and when we die it is only to enter into an enlarged capacity.

Euripides, one of the greatest thinkers of antiquity, was convinced that the next life would be of infinitely greater magnitude. Socrates shared the same concept. One of the
most comforting statements ever made was his remark, "No evil can befall a good man in this life or in the next."

Natalie Kalmus, scientific expert in technicolor, tells about the death of her sister. The following account given by this scientifically trained woman appeared in the inspirational
magazine Guideposts.

Natalie Kalmus quotes her dying sister as saying, " 'Natalie, promise me that you won't let them give me any drugs. I realize that they are trying to help relieve my pain, but I want
to be fully aware of every sensation. I am convinced that death will be a beautiful experience.'

"I promised. Alone, later, I wept, thinking of her courage. Then as I tossed in bed on through the night, I realized that what I thought to be a calamity my sister intended to be a triumph.

"Ten days later the final hour drew near. I had been at her bedside for hours. We had talked about many things, and always I marveled at her quiet, sincere confidence in eternal
life. Not once did the physical torture overcome her spiritual strength. This was something that the doctors simply hadn't taken into account.

"'Dear kind God, keep my mind clear and give me peace,' she had murmured over and over again during those last days.

"We had talked so long that I noticed she was drifting off to to sleep. I left her quietly with the nurse and retired to get some rest. A few minutes later I heard my sister's voice
calling for me. Quickly I returned to her room. She was dying.

"I sat on her bed and took her hand. It was on fire. Then she seemed to rise up in bed almost to a sitting position.

" 'Natalie,' she said, 'there are so many of them. There's Fred... and Ruth...what's she doing here? Oh, I know!'

"An electric shock went through me. She had said Ruth. Ruth was her cousin who had died suddenly the week before. But Eleanor had not been told of Ruth's sudden death.

"Chill after chill shot up and down my spine. I felt on the verge of some powerful, almost frightening knowledge. She had murmured Ruth's name.

"Her voice was surprisingly clear. 'It's so confusing. So many of them!' Suddenly her arms stretched out as happily as when she had welcomed me! 'I'm going up,' she said.

"Then she dropped her arms around my neck—and relaxed in my arms. The will of her spirit had turned final agony into rapture.

"As I laid her head back on the pillow, there was a warm, peaceful smile on her face. Her golden-brown hair lay carelessly on the pillow. I took a white flower from the vase
and placed it in her hair. With her petite, trim figure, her wavy hair, the white flower, and the soft smile, she looked once more—and permanently—just like a schoolgirl."

The mention of her cousin Ruth by the dying girl and the evident fact that she saw her clearly is a phenomenon that recurs again and again in the incidents which have come to
my attention. So repetitive is this phenomenon and so similar are the characteristics of this experience as described by many that it amounts to a substantial evidence that the people
whose names are called, whose faces are seen, are actually present.

Where are they? What is their condition? What sort of body have they? These are questions that are difficult. The idea of a different dimension is probably the most tenable, or it may be more accurate to believe that they live in a different frequency cycle.

It is impossible to see through the blades of an electric fan when it is in a stationary position. At high speed, however, the blades appear to be transparent. In the higher frequency or the state in which our loved ones dwell, the impenetrable qualities of the universe may open to the gaze of one passing into the mysteries. In deep moments of our own lives it is entirely possible that we enter to a degree at least into that higher frequency. In one of the most beautiful lines in English literature, Robert Ingersoll suggests this great truth, "In the night of death, hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing."

to be continued
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