22 July 2012

posted 19 Jul 2012, 21:01 by C S Paul   [ updated 26 Jul 2012, 10:08 ]

22 July 2012

Important Question


During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: 'What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. 

I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. 

Absolutely, said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello". I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.


The Park Bench

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree. Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, for the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day, A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.

He stood right before me with his head tilted down and said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight, with it's petals all worn, not enough rain, or to little light. Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away. But instead of retreating he sat next to my side and placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise, "It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too. That's why I picked it; here it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead. Not vibrant of colors, orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave. So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need." But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, he held it mid-air without reason or plan. It was then that I noticed for the very first time that weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun as I thanked him for picking the very best one. You're welcome, he smiled, and then ran off to play, unaware of the impact he'd had on my day. I sat there and wondered how he managed to see a self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree. How did he know of my self-indulged plight?

Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight. Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see the problem was not with the world; the problem was me. And for all of those times I myself had been blind, I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine. And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose. And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand about to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.


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 III (Continued)


There is no wiser providence than that our occupations, however rude or bloody, cannot wear us out morally; that such qualities as justice and mercy, if they really possess us, continue to live on under them, like flowers under the snow. The tribune could be inexorable, else he had not been fit for the usages of his calling; he could also be just;  and to excite his sense of wrong was to put him in the way to right the wrong. The crews of the ships in which he served came after a time to speak of him as the good tribune. Shrewd readers will not want a better definition of his character.

In this instance there were many circumstances certainly in the young man's favor, and some to be supposed. Possibly Arrius knew  Valerius Gratus without loving him. Possibly he had known the elder Hur. In the course of his appeal, Judah had asked him of that; and, as will be noticed, he had made no reply.

For once the tribune was at loss, and hesitated. His power was ample. He was monarch of the ship. His prepossessions all moved him to mercy. His faith was won. Yet, he said to himself, there was no haste--or, rather, there was haste to Cythera; the best rower could not then be spared; he would wait; he would learn more; he would at least be sure this was the prince Ben-Hur, and that he was of
a right disposition. Ordinarily, slaves were liars.

"It is enough," he said aloud. "Go back to thy place."

Ben-Hur bowed; looked once more into the master's face, but saw nothing for hope. He turned away slowly, looked back, and said, "If thou dost think of me again, O tribune, let it not be lost in thy mind that I prayed thee only for word of my people--mother, sister."

He moved on.

Arrius followed him with admiring eyes.

"Perpol!" he thought. "With teaching, what a man for the arena! What a runner! Ye gods! what an arm for the sword or the cestus!--Stay!" he said aloud.

Ben-Hur stopped, and the tribune went to him.

"If thou wert free, what wouldst thou do?"

"The noble Arrius mocks me!" Judah said, with trembling lips.

"No; by the gods, no!"

"Then I will answer gladly. I would give myself to duty the first of life. I would know no other. I would know no rest until my mother and Tirzah were restored to home. I would give every day and hour to their happiness. I would wait upon them; never a slave more faithful. They have lost much, but, by the God of my fathers, I would find them more!"

The answer was unexpected by the Roman. For a moment he lost his purpose.

"I spoke to thy ambition," he said, recovering. "If thy mother and sister were dead, or not to be found, what wouldst thou do?"

A distinct pallor overspread Ben-Hur's face, and he looked over the sea. There was a struggle with some strong feeling; when it was conquered, he turned to the tribune.

"What pursuit would I follow?" he asked.

"Yes."

"Tribune, I will tell thee truly. Only the night before the dreadful day of which I have spoken, I obtained permission to be a soldier. I am of the same mind yet; and, as in all the earth there is but one school of war, thither I would go."

"The palaestra!" exclaimed Arrius.

"No; a Roman camp."

"But thou must first acquaint thyself with the use of arms."

Now a master may never safely advise a slave. Arrius saw his indiscretion, and, in a breath, chilled his voice and manner.

"Go now," he said, "and do not build upon what has passed between us. Perhaps I do but play with thee. Or"--he looked away musingly--"or, if thou dost think of it with any hope, choose between the renown of a gladiator and the service of a soldier. The former may come of the favor of the emperor; there is no reward for thee in the latter.

Thou art not a Roman. Go!"

A short while after Ben-Hur was upon his bench again.

A man's task is always light if his heart is light. Handling the oar did not seem so toilsome to Judah. A hope had come to him, like a singing bird. He could hardly see the visitor or hear its song; that it was there, though, he knew; his feelings told him so. The caution of the tribune--"Perhaps I do but play with thee"--was dismissed often as it recurred to his mind. That he had been called by the great man and asked his story was the bread upon which he fed his hungry spirit. Surely something good would come of it. The light about his bench was clear and bright
with promises, and he prayed.

"O God! I am a true son of the Israel thou hast so loved! Help me, I pray thee!"

to be continued



Power of Positive Thinking

 by Norman Vincent Peale


Chapter 7 continued

Students of modern dynamic thought are realizing more and more the practical value of the ideas and teachings of Jesus, especially such truths as the dictum, "According to your faith, be it unto you." (Matthew 9:29) According to your faith in yourself, according to your faith in your job, according to your faith in God, this far will you get and no further. 

If you believe in your job and in yourself and in the opportunities of your country, and if you believe in God and will work hard and study and put yourself into it—in other words, if you "throw your heart over the bar," you can swing up to any high place to which you want to take your life and your service and your achievement. Whenever you have a bar, that is to say a barrier, in front of you, stop, close your eyes, visualize everything that is above the bar and nothing that is below it, then imaginatively throw "your heart" over that bar and see yourself as being given lifting power to rise above it. Believe that you are experiencing this up-thrust of force. You will be amazed at the lifting force you will receive. If in the depth of your mind you visualize the best and employ the powers of faith and energy, you will get the best.

Naturally in this process of achieving the best it is important to know where you want to go in life. You can reach your goal, your best dreams can come true, you can get where you want to go only if you know what your goal is. Your xpectation must have a clearly defined objective. Lots of people get nowhere simply because they do not know where they want to go. They have no clear-cut, precisely defined purpose. You cannot expect the best if you think aimlessly.

A young man of twenty-six consulted me because he was dissatisfied with his job. He was ambitious to fill a bigger niche in life and wanted to know how to improve his circumstances. His motive seemed unselfish and entirely worthwhile.

"Well, where do you want to go?" I asked.

"I just don't know exactly," he said hesitantly. "I have never given k any thought. I only know I want to go somewhere other than where I am."

"What can you do best?" I then asked. "What are your strong points?"

"I don't know," he responded. "I never thought that over either."

"But what would you like to do if you had your choice? What do you really want to do?" I insisted.

"I just can't say," he replied dully. "I don't really know what I would like to do. I never thought it over. Guess I ought to figure that one out too."

"Now, look here," I said, "you want to go somewhere from where you are, but you don't know where you want to go. You don't know what you can do or what you would like to do. You will have to get your ideas organized before you can
expect to start getting anywhere."

That is the failure point with many people. They never get anywhere because they have only a hazy idea where they want to go, what they want to do. No objective leads to no end.

We made a thorough analysis, testing this young man's capabilities, and found some assets of personality he did not know he possessed. But it was necessary to supply a dynamic to move him forward, so we taught him the techniques of practical faith. Today he is on the way to achievement. 
 
Now he knows where he wants to go and how to get there. He knows what the best is and he expects to attain it and he will— nothing can stop him.

to be continued

Just for Laughs

Dumber than buffalo

The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep. 

Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemosabe, look towards sky, what you see?"

The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars." 

"What that tell you?" asked Tonto.

The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says,

"Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.  

Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.

Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.

Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.

Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

What's it tell you, Tonto?"

“You dumber than buffalo chip.   Someone stole the tent."


The clever dog

A man decided to go on a safari. He took his faithful pet dog along for company. One day the dog starts chasing butterflies and before long he discovers that he is lost. So, wandering about he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch.

The dog thinks, "Oh Boy, I'm in danger now."  Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by,  and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dog exclaims loudly, "Man, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?"  Hearing this the leopard halts his attack in mid stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew", says the leopard. "That was close. That dog nearly had me."

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes. But the dog saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The cat is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine."

Now the dog sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks," What am I going to do now?"

But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers pretending he hasn't seen them yet. And just when they get close enough to hear, the dog says, "Where's that monkey. I just can never trust him. I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard, and he's still not back!!"



Did you know ?

  • A typical athlete’s heart churns out 25 to 30 litres (up to 8 gallons) of blood per minute.
  • 24 of the known 118 elements are found in your body – see What the average human body contains
  • We have four basic tastes plus umami. The salt and sweet taste buds are at the tip of the tongue, bitter at the base, and sour along the sides; umami is a mixture of tastes sensed along the center of the tongue.
  • Not all our taste buds are on our tongue; about 10% are on the palette and the cheeks.
  • Unless food is mixed with saliva you cannot taste it.
  • The liver is the largest of the body’s internal organs. The skin is the body’s largest organ.
  • On average a hiccup lasts 5 minutes.
  • Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.
  • Your middle fingernail grows the fastest.
  • Your finger nails grow at 1 nanometre per second (0.000 000 001 m/s). Your hair grows at 4 nanometres per second (0.000 000 004 m/s).
  • It takes about 3 months for the transplanted hair to start growing again.
  • About 13% of people are left-handed. Up from 11% in the past.


Come Apart and Rest A While

According to tradition, the apostle John had a hobby raising pigeons. On one occasion a fellow church leader who was returning from a hunting trip stopped by John's place and found him playing with one of his birds and gently corrected him for wasting his time.

John, noticing his friend's hunting bow, said that the string was loose whereupon the man replied, "Yes, I always loosen the string of my bow when it's not in use. If it stayed tight, it would lose its resilience and fail me in the hunt."

"And I am now relaxing the bow of my mind," said John, "so that I may be better able to shoot the arrows of divine truth."

Work is important. We need to eat and we need to take care of our family, but over busyness can be a curse. Without sufficient rest and relaxation we will eventually lose our health and not be able to work efficiently. And without taking time to nurture and be nurtured in loving relationships, life becomes empty and meaningless.

We need to follow the advice of Jesus when he said to his disciples, "Come apart and rest a while." Or as somebody else put it, "Come apart and rest a while before you come apart."



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