22 October 2017

posted 21 Oct 2017, 09:31 by C S Paul
22 October 2017

Quotes to Inspire
  • "Most of the important things in the world have been accompanied by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." — Dale Carnegie
  • "Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open." — Unknown
  • "The last thing one knows is what to put first." — Blaise Pascal
  • "Do not wait ... the time will never be just right ... start where you stand ... and work with whatever tools you may have at your command at the moment ... and better tools will be found as you go along." — Napoleon Hill
  • "To be prepared is half the victory." — Miguel de Cervantes
  • "Strength: Those who say 'I can't' and those who say 'I can' are both right. There is no way we can do anything worthwhile if we say and believe we can't. The power to achieve is in the 'I can!'" — Ray Lammie
  • "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." - Paul the Apostle
  • "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." — Albert Einstein
  • "Pressure is what turns coal into diamonds." — Unknown
  • "People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates." — Thomas Szasz
  • "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." — Charles Dederich
  • "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." — Wayne Gretzky
  • "Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it." — Mark Twain
Can Anybody See God?
-- Author Unknown

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God.

"Susie, can anybody ever really see God?" he asked. Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: "No, of course not, silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him."

Time passed, but his question still lingered, so he approached his mother: "Mom, can anybody ever really see God?" "No, not really," she gently said. "God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see him."

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. 

They were having a great time together -- it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor as the day ended.

The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him.  On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly: "Granddad, I - I wasn't going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I've been wondering about a long time. Can anybody, can anybody ever really see God?"

The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. "Son," he quietly said. "It's getting so I can't see anything else."
---
 "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." -- Psalm 19:1-4

A Lesson in Faith - The Charles Blondin Story 
-- Author unknown

The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is.

Blondin's greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat.

He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times... each time with a different daring feat - once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!

A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across - one dangerous step after another - pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes.

Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd's applause was louder than the roar of the falls!

Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?"

The crowd enthusiastically yelled, "Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!"

"Okay," said Blondin, "Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow."

As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!

This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But... their actions proved they truly did not believe.

Similarly, it is one thing for us to say we believe in God. However, it's true faith when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
-----
Note: In August of 1859, Blondin's manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin's back across the Falls.
Don't Worry
Author Unknown

Years ago, I was enthralled as I listened to a pastor who for several years had faithfully served the church. His executive responsibilities had taken him all over this country. As he concluded his message, he told of one of the most frightening, yet thought-provoking, experiences of his life.

He had been on a long flight from one place to another. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: Fasten your seat belts. Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened."

As he looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive. Later, the voice of the announcer said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us."

Then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.

The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. 

He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.

Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. 

She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and every thing within her small world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity,when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The minister could hardly believe his eyes.

It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark,our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.

The child replied, "'Cause my Daddy's the pilot, and he's taking me home."

There are many kinds of storms that buffet us:
• Physical,
• Mental,
• Financial,
• Domestic, and...
Many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.

Let us remember... Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control and taking us home... so Don't Worry.
Accidental Angel 
Scott Shaunfield  
   
When I was in school, I participated in an undergraduate internship with a hospital chaplain. This largely consisted of me visiting with specific hospital patients and then discussing the interaction with the chaplain. I had no specific training in this, and introducing myself to strangers was not one of my natural talents.

On one particular visit, I cautiously entered a darkened room to find an elderly man lying in the bed. There was no one else in the room, and I initially thought he was sleeping. When I moved closer to the bed, I realized that he was very much awake, but also very confused and anxious. He desperately wanted to communicate something, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. He seemed weak and frail, and I couldn’t tell if he was in pain, or just scared. I knew nothing about this man’s life or history, and I felt totally helpless. He obviously didn’t want me to leave, but I felt so lost and uncomfortable that I had to leave the room after only a couple of minutes.

The next time I was at the hospital, I was assigned to make follow up visits with the same list of patients. I expected my time with the confused man to be just as short as the last time...if he was even still alive. It seemed pointless to frustrate myself trying to interact with someone so disoriented.

As I arrived at the room, the first thing I noticed was that the lights were on. His daughter was there visiting with him. He was sitting up in the bed and much more alert. I introduced myself to the daughter and explained that I had come by before. Addressing the patient, I then suggested that I was certain he didn’t remember me at all.

He corrected me immediately, saying “I remember you. You were the angel that gave me hope in my darkest hour!” I would have thought his memory was delirious, but he then accurately recounted enough details of our first meeting to remove any doubt of his clarity. I was so amazed that, once again, I didn’t know how to respond. We talked a little more, I told him I was glad he was feeling so much better, and we said goodbye.

In the brief moment of my initial interaction with this inconsolable patient, I had no idea what to say or what to do. I knew of nothing I could offer him. I did absolutely nothing to help this man... except show up. I may never be able to explain it, but somehow he found in me something he needed at a critical point in his life, just because I was there.

I have thought about this encounter often over the past 25 years. It has shaped the way I see life, the way I see myself, and the way I see others. It has influenced not only my career path, but also the decisions I make on a daily basis. It makes me want to offer whatever kindness I can to others, and I try to recognize and appreciate the kindness that others share with me. Obviously, we can’t know the impact our actions, or even just our presence, will have on life.

I don’t know who he was. I don’t know his name, where he came from, or what happened to him after that. It took years of hindsight for me to recognize the gift he had given me, so I didn’t even know to thank him at the time.

So a stranger in the form of a frail old man changed the rest of my life with a single comment. Who was the angel to whom?

Daddy’s Empty Chair
-- Author Unknown

A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. 

When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two  pillows.

An empty chair sat beside his bed.

The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. “I guess you were  expecting me," he said.

“No, who are you?” said the father.

The minister told him his name and then remarked, “I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up,”

“Oh yeah, the chair,” said the bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?”

Puzzled, the minister shut the door.

“I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said the man. “But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day, four years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest...’”

‘Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky, because He promised, ‘I will be with you always.’ Then just speak to Him in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’”

“So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon.

“Did he die in peace?” the minister asked.

“Yes. When I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But, there was something strange about his death. 

Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?”

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “I wish we could all go like that.”

Just for Laughs
Ring, Ring

A fellow showed up at church on Sunday morning with his ears painfully blistered. 

After services, the concerned preacher asked, "What in heaven happened to you?" 

"I was lying on the couch yesterday afternoon watching a ball game on TV and my wife was ironing nearby," the man explained. "I was totally engrossed in the game when she left the room, leaving the iron near the phone. The phone rang, and keeping my eyes glued to the television, I grabbed the hot iron and put it to my ear." 

"So how did the other ear get burned?" the preacher asked. 

"Well, I had no more than hung up and the guy called again."

Did you Know ?
  • A ten year old mattress weighs double what it did when it was new, because of the -ahem- debris which is absorbed through the years. That debris includes dust mites (their droppings and their decaying bodies), mold, millions of dead skin cells, dandruff, animal and human hair, secretions, excretions, lint, pollen, dust, soil, sand and a lot of perspiration, of which the average person loses a quart per day. Good night! 
  • About 20% of gift cards never are redeemed at the full value of the card.
  • The second Saturday in September is usually a popular time for weddings. Not in 2004, as most couples did not want their anniversaries on September 11. 
  • Mel Gibson has personally earned almost $400,000,000 from his movie "The Passion of the Christ". 
  • The company that manufactures the greatest number of women's dresses each year is Mattel. Barbie's got to wear something. 
  • All radios in North Korea have been rigged so listeners can only receive a North Korean government station. The United States recently announced plans to smuggle $2,000,000 worth of small radios into the country so North Koreans can get a taste of (what their government calls) "rotten imperialist reactionary culture". 
  • Austin High School in Texas has removed candy from its vending machines. Now some enterprising students are earning $200 per week dealing in black market candy. 
  • In 2004, Virgin Atlantic Airlines introduced a double bed for first class passengers who fly together. 
  • The world's largest book, "Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey" is in a Chicago public library. The book measures 5 feet tall by 7 feet wide when open. It weighs 133 pounds. 
  • 55% of Americans claim they would continue working even if they received a $10,000,000 lottery prize. 
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