23 June 2013

posted 20 Jun 2013, 20:35 by C S Paul

23 June 2013

Quotes to Inspire

  • If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake.
  • While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.
  • An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.
  • You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.
  • I have come to realize that all my trouble with living has come from fear and smallness within me.
  • Remember... A good friend will help you move. A really good friend will help you move a body - let me know if I ever need to bring a shovel.
  • It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  • Don’t look back. Something may be gaining on you. 
  • When you die, God and the angels will hold you accountable for all the pleasures you were allowed in this life that you denied yourself. 
  • Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers. 
  • At first we hope too much, later on, not enough. 
  • Genius is eternal patience. - Michelangelo Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene. 

Story of the Turtle Family…

A turtle family decided to go on a picnic.. The turtles, being naturally slow about things, took seven years to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second year of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last!

For about six months they cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. Then they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left.

Three years passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five years… six years… then on the seventh year of his absence, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, ‘See! I knew you wouldn’t wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt.’

Lesson: Some of us waste time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we do nothing ourselves

Enjoy Life now!..

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to cook food & then I remember she used to cook for us.
One night in particular when she had made dinner after a long hard day’s work, Mom placed a plate of bread, jam and extremely burnt toast in front of my dad.

I was waiting to see if anyone noticed the burnt toast.

But Dad just ate his toast and asked me how was my day was at school.

I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember I heard Mom apologizing to dad for the burnt toast.

And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burnt toast.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burnt.

He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your momma put in a long hard day at work today and she was really tired.

And besides…

A burnt toast never hurts anyone but harsh words do!”

“You know son, life is full of imperfect things… & imperfect people…. I’m not the best and am hardly good at anything. I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.

What I’ve learnt over the years is :

To accept each others faults and choose to celebrate relationship. ”

Life is too short to wake up with regrets…

Love the people who treat you right and have compassion for the ones who don’t…


It has an expiry date ….   

The Barber Shop

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation and talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: “I don’t believe that God exists.”

“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.

“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.”

The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.”

“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber.

“I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!”

“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.

“Ah, but barbers DO exist! That’s what happens when people do not come to me.”

“Exactly!” affirmed the customer. “That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! Because people do not look to God for help is why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.”

Why we shout when in anger

A saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked.

‘Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?’

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’

‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’ asked the saint

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.Finally the saint explained, .

‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’

The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

He looked at his disciples and said.

‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return. They may end up in divorce courts, for instance.’

Did you know ?

  • 85,000,000 tons of paper are used in the United States each year.
  • A 1,200-pound horse eats about seven times it's own weight each year. 
  • A 1.5 oz. milk chocolate bar has only 220 calories. A 1.75 oz. serving of potato chips has 230 calories. 
  • A 10-gallon hat actually only holds about 3/4 gallon.  
  • A 14-year old French girl had extraordinary electrical power. With a gentle touch she could knock over heavy pieces of furniture and people in physical contact with her received an electrical shock. 
  • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. A quarter has 119.
  • A female mackerel lays about 500,000 eggs at one time. 
  • A female swine or sow will always have an even number of teats or nipples.  
  • A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months. 
  • A fingernail or toenail takes about 6 months to grow from base to tip. 
  • A fish's memory span is 3 seconds.

Just for laughs

Minister’s Son

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we'll talk about it." 

After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father's study where his father said, "Son, I've been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut!" 

The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair...." 

To which his father replied...."Yes, and they WALKED everywhere they went!" 

 3,000 Year Old Mummy

An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural-history museum. 

"I've just discovered a 3,000 year-old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!" the excited scientist exclaimed. 

To which the curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out." 

A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. "You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?" 

"Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, '10,000 Shekels on Goliath'." 


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.

PART V - CHAPTER VIII  continued

"What then?" asked Simonides. "If the King come poor, will not my master, of his abundance, give him help?"

"Help him? To the last shekel and the last breath. But why speak of his coming poor?"

"Give me, Esther, the word of the Lord as it came to Zechariah," said Simonides.

She gave him one of the rolls.

"Hear how the King will enter Jerusalem." Then he read, "'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion.... Behold, thy King cometh unto thee with justice and salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.'"

Ben-Hur looked away.

"What see you, O my master?"

"Rome!" he answered, gloomily--"Rome, and her legions. I have dwelt with them in their camps. I know them."

"Ah!" said Simonides. "Thou shalt be a master of legions for the King, with millions to choose from."

"Millions!" cried Ben-Hur.

Simonides sat a moment thinking.

"The question of power should not trouble you," he next said.

Ben-Hur looked at him inquiringly.

"You were seeing the lowly King in the act of coming to his own," Simonides answered--"seeing him on the right hand, as it were, and on the left the brassy legions of Caesar, and you were asking, What can he do?"

"It was my very thought."

"O my master!" Simonides continued. "You do not know how strong our Israel is. You think of him as a sorrowful old man weeping by the rivers of Babylon. But go up to Jerusalem next Passover, and stand on the Xystus or in the Street of Barter, and see him as he is. The promise of the Lord to father Jacob coming out of Padan-Aram was a law under which our people have not ceased multiplying--not even in captivity; they grew under foot of the
Egyptian; the clench of the Roman has been but wholesome nurture to them; now they are indeed 'a nation and a company of nations.'

Nor that only, my master; in fact, to measure the strength of Israel--which is, in fact, measuring what the King can do--you shall not bide solely by the rule of natural increase, but add thereto the other--I mean the spread of the faith, which will carry you to the far and near of the whole known earth. Further, the habit is, I know, to think and speak of Jerusalem as Israel, which may be likened to our finding an embroidered shred, and holding it up as a magisterial robe of Caesar's. Jerusalem is but a stone of the Temple, or the heart in the body. Turn from beholding the legions, strong though they be, and count the hosts of the faithful waiting the old alarm, 'To your tents, O Israel!'--count the many in Persia, children of those who chose not to return with the returning; count the brethren who swarm the marts of Egypt and Farther Africa; count the Hebrew colonists eking profit in
the West--in Lodinum and the trade-courts of Spain; count the pure of blood and the proselytes in Greece and in the isles of the sea, and over in Pontus, and here in Antioch, and, for that matter, those of that city lying accursed in the shadow of the unclean walls of Rome herself; count the worshippers of the Lord dwelling in tents along the deserts next us, as well as in the deserts beyond the Nile: and in the regions across the Caspian, and up in the old lands of Gog and Magog even, separate those who annually send gifts to the Holy Temple in acknowledgment of God--separate them, that they may be counted also. And when you have done counting, lo! my master, a census of the sword hands that await you; lo! a kingdom ready fashioned for him who is to do 'judgment and justice in the whole earth'--in Rome not less than in Zion. Have then the answer, What Israel can do, that can
the King."

The picture was fervently given.

Upon Ilderim it operated like the blowing of a trumpet. "Oh that I had back my youth!" he cried, starting to his feet.

Ben-Hur sat still. The speech, he saw, was an invitation to devote his life and fortune to the mysterious Being who was palpably as much the centre of a great hope with Simonides as with the devout Egyptian. The idea, as we have seen, was not a new one, but had come
to him repeatedly; once while listening to Malluch in the Grove of Daphne; afterwards more distinctly while Balthasar was giving his conception of what the kingdom was to be; still later, in the walk through the old Orchard, it had risen almost, if not quite, into a resolve. At such times it had come and gone only an idea, attended with feelings more or less acute. Not so now. A master had it in charge, a master was working it up; already he had exalted it into a _cause_ brilliant with possibilities and infinitely holy.

The effect was as if a door theretofore unseen had suddenly opened flooding Ben-Hur with light, and admitting him to a service which had been his one perfect dream--a service reaching far into the future, and rich with the rewards of duty done, and prizes to sweeten and soothe his ambition. One touch more was needed.

"Let us concede all you say, O Simonides," said Ben-Hur--"that the King will come, and his kingdom be as Solomon's; say also I am ready to give myself and all I have to him and his cause; yet more, say that I should do as was God's purpose in the ordering of my life
and in your quick amassment of astonishing fortune; then what? Shall we proceed like blind men building? Shall we wait till the King comes? Or until he sends for me? You have age and experience on your side. Answer."

Simonides answered at once.

"We have no choice; none. This letter"--he produced Messala's despatch as he spoke--"this letter is the signal for action. The alliance proposed between Messala and Gratus we are not strong enough to resist; we have not the influence at Rome nor the force here. They will kill you if we wait. How merciful they are, look at me and judge."

He shuddered at the terrible recollection.

"O good my master," he continued, recovering himself; "how strong are you--in purpose, I mean?"

Ben-Hur did not understand him.

"I remember how pleasant the world was to me in my youth," Simonides proceeded.

"Yet," said Ben-Hur, "you were capable of a great sacrifice."

"Yes; for love."

"Has not life other motives as strong?"

Simonides shook his head.

"There is ambition."

"Ambition is forbidden a son of Israel."

"What, then, of revenge?"

The spark dropped upon the inflammable passion; the man's eyes gleamed; his hands shook; he answered, quickly, "Revenge is a Jew's of right; it is the law."

"A camel, even a dog, will remember a wrong," cried Ilderim.

Directly Simonides picked up the broken thread of his thought.

"There is a work, a work for the King, which should be done in advance of his coming. We may not doubt that Israel is to be his right hand; but, alas! it is a hand of peace, without cunning in war. Of the millions, there is not one trained band, not a captain. The mercenaries of the Herods I do not count, for they are kept to crush us. The condition is as the Roman would have it; his policy has fruited well for his tyranny; but the time of change is at hand, when the shepherd shall put on armor, and take to spear and sword, and the feeding flocks be turned to fighting lions. Some one, my son, must have place next the King at his right hand. Who shall it be if not he who does this work well?"

Ben-Hur's face flushed at the prospect, though he said, "I see; but speak plainly. A deed to be done is one thing; how to do it is another."

Simonides sipped the wine Esther brought him, and replied,

"The sheik, and thou, my master, shall be principals, each with a part. I will remain here, carrying on as now, and watchful that the spring go not dry. Thou shalt betake thee to Jerusalem, and thence to the wilderness, and begin numbering the fighting-men of Israel,
and telling them into tens and hundreds, and choosing captains and training them, and in secret places hoarding arms, for which I shall keep thee supplied. Commencing over in Perea, thou shalt go then to Galilee, whence it is but a step to Jerusalem. In Perea, the desert will be at thy back, and Ilderim in reach of thy hand. He will keep the roads, so that nothing shall pass without thy knowledge. He will help thee in many ways. Until the ripening time no one shall know what is here contracted. Mine is but a servant's part. I have spoken to Ilderim. What sayest thou?"

Ben-Hur looked at the sheik.

"It is as he says, son of Hur," the Arab responded. "I have given my word, and he is content with it; but thou shalt have my oath, binding me, and the ready hands of my tribe, and whatever serviceable thing I have."

The three--Simonides, Ilderim, Esther--gazed at Ben-Hur fixedly.

"Every man," he answered, at first sadly, "has a cup of pleasure poured for him, and soon or late it comes to his hand, and he tastes and drinks--every man but me. I see, Simonides, and thou, O generous sheik!--I see whither the proposal tends. If I accept, and enter upon the course, farewell peace, and the hopes which cluster around it. The doors I might enter and the gates of quiet life will shut behind me, never to open again, for Rome keeps them
all; and her outlawry will follow me, and her hunters; and in the tombs near cities and the dismal caverns of remotest hills, I must eat my crust and take my rest."

The speech was broken by a sob. All turned to Esther, who hid her face upon her father's shoulder.

"I did not think of you, Esther," said Simonides, gently, for he was himself deeply moved.

"It is well enough, Simonides," said Ben-Hur. "A man bears a hard doom better, knowing there is pity for him. Let me go on."

They gave him ear again.

"I was about to say," he continued, "I have no choice, but take the part you assign me; and as remaining here is to meet an ignoble death, I will to the work at once."

"Shall we have writings?" asked Simonides, moved by his habit of business.

"I rest upon your word," said Ben-Hur.

"And I," Ilderim answered.

Thus simply was effected the treaty which was to alter Ben-Hur's life. And almost immediately the latter added,

"It is done, then."

"May the God of Abraham help us!" Simonides exclaimed.

"One word now, my friends," Ben-Hur said, more cheerfully.

"By your leave, I will be my own until after the games. It is not probable Messala will set peril on foot for me until he has given the procurator time to answer him; and that cannot be in less than seven days from the despatch of his letter. The meeting him in the
Circus is a pleasure I would buy at whatever risk."

Ilderim, well pleased, assented readily, and Simonides, intent on business, added, "It is well; for look you, my master, the delay will give me time to do you a good part. I understood you to speak of an inheritance derived from Arrius. Is it in property?"

"A villa near Misenum, and houses in Rome."

"I suggest, then, the sale of the property, and safe deposit of the proceeds. Give me an account of it, and I will have authorities drawn, and despatch an agent on the mission forthwith. We will forestall the imperial robbers at least this once."

"You shall have the account to-morrow."

"Then, if there be nothing more, the work of the night is done," said Simonides.

Ilderim combed his beard complacently, saying, "And well done."

"The bread and wine again, Esther. Sheik Ilderim will make us happy by staying with us till to-morrow, or at his pleasure; and thou, my master--"

"Let the horses be brought," said Ben-Hur. "I will return to the Orchard. The enemy will not discover me if I go now, and"--he glanced at Ilderim--"the four will be glad to see me."

As the day dawned, he and Malluch dismounted at the door of the tent.