29 September 2013

posted 26 Sep 2013, 20:06 by C S Paul

29 September 2013

Quotes to Inspire

Quotes from Mother Teresa
  • "I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?" - 1974 interview.
  • "The poor give us much more than we give them. They're such strong people, living day to day with no food. And they never curse, never complain. We don't have to give them pity or sympathy. We have so much to learn from them." - 1977 interview.
  • "I choose the poverty of our poor people. But I am grateful to receive it (the Nobel) in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone." - Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, 1979.
  • "I have never been in a war before, but I have seen famine and death. I was asking (myself) what do they feel when they do this? I don't understand it. They are all children of God. Why do they do it. I don't understand." - Beirut, 1982, during fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas.
  • Abortion "is murder in the womb ... A child is a gift of God. If you do not want him, give him to me."
  • "In time, they will start killing grown-up people, disabled people and so on." - On abortion.
  • "When I see waste here, I feel angry on the inside. I don't approve of myself getting angry. But it's something you can't help after seeing Ethiopia." - Washington, 1984.
  • "God will find another person, more humble, more devoted, more obedient to him, and the society will go on." - Calcutta 1989, after announcing her intention to retire.
  • "I was expecting to be free, but God has his own plans." - Calcutta 1990, when the sisters of her order persuaded her to withdraw her resignation.
  • "Please choose the way of peace... In the short term there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread. But that never can, nor never will justify the suffering, pain and loss of life your weapons will cause." - Letter to George Bush and Saddam Hussein, January 1991.
  • "The other day I dreamed that I was at the gates of heaven. And St. Peter said, 'Go back to Earth, there are no slums up here.'" - Quoted as telling Prince Michael of Greece in 1996.

Fizzit Momma

A friend of mine recently shared a little "parable in real life" that God sent her several years ago. When her son was quite small, he had a small stuffed gorilla that he wagged around with him everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE he went. She could sometimes sneak it away for a quick laundering during nap time, but Heaven help her if her son awoke before his friend "Rilla" was out of the dryer! As such '"loveys" will do, Rilla's seams gradually began to weaken and his stuffing began to leak.

As she tells it, "Poor old Rilla was in desperate need of some corrective surgery, not to mention a stuffing transplant. One day, John waddled up to me and held up his battered, beloved Rilla and said, 'Mommy, Rilla's broked.' I explained that I would be happy to fix Rilla up, a little new stuffing, some seam reinforcement, and he would be 'all better' again.

John held Rilla out toward me, and said 'Fizzit, Mommy!' But, when I reached down to take the little gorilla in my hands, I found that it had a two-year-old firmly attached to it. As all parents know, a tug-of-war with a two-year-old is frequently a losing proposition, and is ALWAYS accompanied by loud cries and copious tears. Finally, in exasperation, I said, 'I can't fix it until you let go of it!!!' And just at that moment, the Spirit of God tapped me on the shoulder, as it were, and I realized that God was waiting for me to let go of several things, too."

This is one aspect of Christianity that I suspect will always be a struggle for many of us, "tis not I, but Christ liveth in me". It's so hard for us to get out of his way and let him "fizzit" in his own good time, because we're living in the present moment and He is living in eternity.

Waiting on the Lord, whether it is for healing, for understanding, or a much needed job, is not an easy task. But, I truly believe it is essential for all of us to be as patient with Him as He is with us.

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

I Pray the Lord my Soul to Keep
-- By Kathy Anne Harris

It was blistering hot even though the sun had set two hours earlier.

Prone on the ground, Seth crawled through dry grass and dusty earth. Soil and weeds clung to his clothing. Gnats and mosquitos clamored on skin that the dirt and leaves left exposed.

In his eyes was reflected the hot glare from exploding mortar shells--and the haunting glow of flares as they blossomed in the canopy of night. Heat from the fires singed his lungs and fanned crisply on his flesh.

Yet there was another fire that blazed bright. And even his fellow soldiers couldn't see that deeply into his mind and heart--to the flame of fear.

For the most part Seth could bank the embers, but sparks shot up, every now and then. The fear was not specific. It did not belong to any particular thought.

The world he lived in now was alien to him; unlike anything in his life he had ever experienced. Moreover, the land was foreign, and held no welcome.

Seth had enlisted when he turned 20. He had no wife. No children. He did leave his folks, and younger brother back in the states. There was no grand job waiting for him, as he wasn't sure what he wanted to do by way of a career. Joining the Army was his first priority. There would be time later to figure out what he wished to do with his life

Being in the military wasn't something he'd been planning, but after 9-11, Seth felt it was where he belonged. His decision to join the armed forces did not come without a price. Just as his country stood divided on The United States' involvement--so, too, did his family. Some were proud of him; others were angry... awash in disbelief.

Many people could not reconcile the reality that those in the military--the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Army--might be placed in harm's way. They may have to fight to defend themselves. Or fight to protect the lives and freedom of others. If it were not so, they wouldn't be called the "armed forces." There'd be another term, perhaps, the "peaceful troops."

He knew when he enlisted, what the dangers of serving for his country may bring. Still, it didn't make it any easier for him at times like this. Fear and uncertainty rode the tidal wave of Seth's emotions, as did resolve, pride, and purpose.

As he inched along the ground, a creature skittered through the brush a few inches from his face. Seth turned his head to the side and in that moment, when the air around him lit as bright as a lightning strike, he saw his friend convulse as metal and lead tore threw his body. From behind him, Seth heard his commanding officer shouting orders to break cover and find shelter.

Seth quickly stood, then began to run. Somewhere in the dark a woman screamed--a fellow soldier. As adrenaline pumped through him like electricity in his veins, he didn't at first notice the searing wound in his own back. When he stumbled, the pain jolted him. He reached back, felt the wound, and his hand came away wet. He tumbled to the ground, just shy of a sandy berm.

In disbelief and shock, he pulled himself behind some large rocks abutting the banked earth. Time slowed down as Seth's thoughts raced. What had he done to leave his mark in this world? His love for his parents and brother flushed through his senses. Vistas of the land that was his country played in front of his mind's eye...

His heart beat irregularly and extremely fast. The pain in his back had spread, enveloping his entire body. He bowed his head. A tear slid down his cheek as he began to pray. As his shallow breathing ebbed, so did his life force.
"Sometimes what a person thinks may be important, is not anything close to the contribution he or she leaves." The voice was hushed, and came from an officer standing over him. "A person may think that they will have a job that makes a difference in the world…research, teaching, or sculpting a masterpiece."

The officer lowered himself to the ground, next to Seth. "But to save a country, a life, an ideal, or a freedom. To change the world of a child…" his voice was carried on a sudden breeze and Seth lifted his head so that he might see better.

The officer continued, "If you inspire even one person. To be an example by giving of yourself as fully as any human could -- with your life. Those are the actions that make a difference. Those are the sacrifices that leave a mark in the world." The officer scanned the darkness, then stood.

Weak and weary, Seth could no longer hold his head up, but the words spoken to him threaded through to his heart, his soul. Seth smiled.

Seth's shallow breathing stopped, and he slid away.

"Your prayer has been delivered to your family... the comfort given to them. A soldier who fought at your side will forever be changed by the life you led--the sacrifice you made. Your countrymen will hear of your bravery and many will alter the path of their lives." He stood and extended his hand.

When Seth reached out, the air around him came alive, like a breath on his skin. When he grasped the hand offered to him, the pulse of a luminous wing caught his eye. He gazed up; the soldier was there no longer. A soldier had never been there. An angel had. And in the angel's eyes, light from the stars glittered in irises of deep indigo.

The angel's wings unfurled and a lucent glow, like that from a torch on a garden wall, radiated outward. A zephyr, as fresh and calming as a garden of flowers, emanated 'round the angel and Seth. And a voice, as unlike any sound a human had ever uttered, bid Seth to come. And he did...

How Much Do You Want It To Be?
      By Michael Josephson 

The founder of a company needed to choose his successor. He studied resumes and talked to references, but he decided to ask only one question during the final interview: "How much is 2 + 2 ?"

Ann, the first candidate, worried that there was a trick but she answered straightforwardly. "There's only one correct answer: it's four."

Terry, who had an engineering background, was more creative. "Depending on whether you're dealing with positive or negative numbers," he said, "the answer could be plus four, zero, or minus four."

Chuck, the last candidate, looked the questioner in the eye and whispered, "How much do you want it to be?"

While Ann and Terry took different approaches, they were both looking for an honest answer. Chuck, on the other hand, wanted the questioner to know that he was willing to say or do whatever it takes to succeed. Some employers may find this combination of creativity and moral flexibility highly attractive. I'd show him the door.

You see, Chuck is a manipulator and rationalizer, and they don't make good employees. They search for excuses rather than solutions, and they are more concerned with looking good than doing it right.

People like Chuck, who are adept at inventing justifications that sound good but aren't true, are simply clever liars and, eventually, they will be found out. Remember, an employee that will lie for you will lie to you.

Without conscience there is no credibility; without credibility there is no trust; and without trust there is no future.

Is Packaging Important ?
-- Author Unknown

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" He then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realizing his father was very old, he thought perhaps he should go to see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make the arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he was reading, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words... "PAID IN FULL".

How many times do we miss blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?

I trust you enjoyed this. Pass it on to others. Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

NOT - Just for Laughs

Joe Cosity 

Here's a type of resume/career direction you may want to avoid...

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it - mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

Next, I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was too exhausting.

Then, I tried to be a chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.

I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

Next, was a job in a shoe factory. I tried but I just didn't fit in.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian - until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

So, I retired and I found I am perfect for the job!

What job has God perfected you to perform?
But be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. -2 Timothy 1:8

Did you Know ?

  • A Boeing 767 airliner is made of 3,100,000 separate parts. 
  • Only 6% of the autographs in circulation from members of the Beatles are estimated to be real. 
  • The time spent deleting SPAM costs United States businesses $21.6 billion annually. 
  • John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, loved to skinny dip in the Potomac River. 
  • La Paz, Bolivia has an average annual temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it has never recorded a zero-degree temperature. Same for Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas, Chile. 
  • 41% of Chinese people eat at least once a week at a fast food restaurant. 35% of Americans do. 
  • A Wisconsin forklift operator for a Miller beer distributor was fired when a picture was published in a newspaper showing him drinking a Bud Light. 
  • G-rated family films earn more money than any other rating. Yet only 3% of Hollywood's output is G-rated. 
  • Richard Hatch, winner of the first "Survivor" reality series, has been charged with tax evasion for failing to report his $1,000,000 prize. 
  • The entire fleet of Unicoi County Tennessee's salt trucks was rendered out of commission in one accident. All three trucks were badly damaged when one of them began skidding down a road, causing a chain reaction accident. Officials blamed road conditions. 
  • More people study English in China than speak it in the United States of America (300 million). 
  • Fast food provider Hardee's has recently introduced the Monster Thickburger. It has 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat. 


by Lew Wallace

Part Six 

Simonides bribes Sejanus to remove the prefect Valerius Gratus from his post, as a service to Ben-Hur. Soon after the accession of the new prefect, Pontius Pilate, Ben-Hur sets out for Jerusalem to find his mother and sister. Pilate orders a review of the prison records which reveals great injustice and that Gratus was deliberately trying to conceal the existence of one walled up cell. Pilate's troops reopen the cell and find that there are two leprous women inside - Judah's mother and sister. They are released and stop for a while at the old vacant Hur house. Here, they find Judah sleeping on the steps, and they offer thanks to God. They don't wake him but weep that, as lepers, they are to be banished, never seeing him again. They leave.

Amrah, the Egyptian maid that once served the Hur house, discovers Ben-Hur, wakes him, and they are reunited. Amrah reveals that she has stayed in the Hur house for all these years. She had also kept in touch with the loyal Simonides and discouraged many potential buyers of the house because they thought she was a ghost. They pledge to find out more about the lost family. Judah discovers an official Roman report about the release of two leprous women. Amrah hears rumors of the mother and sister's fate.
Meanwhile, a plan is approved to use funds from the corban treasury, of the Temple in Jerusalem, to build a new aqueduct. This is seen as sacrilegious by the Jewish people, who petition Pilate to veto the plan. Pilate sends his soldiers in disguise to mingle with the crowd. At the appointed time, they massacre the protesters. Judah kills a Roman guard in a duel, and becomes a hero in the eyes of a group of Galilean protesters.


"A woman of Israel, entombed here with her daughter. Help us quickly, or we die."

Such was the reply Gesius, the keeper, had from the cell which appears on his amended map as VI. The reader, when he observed the answer, knew who the unfortunates were, and, doubtless, said to himself, "At last the mother of Ben-Hur, and Tirzah, his sister!"

And so it was.

The morning of their seizure, eight years before, they had been carried to the Tower, where Gratus proposed to put them out of the way. He had chosen the Tower for the purpose as more immediately in his own keeping, and cell VI. because, first, it could be better lost than any other; and, secondly, it was infected with leprosy; for these prisoners were not merely to be put in a safe place, but in a place to die. 

They were, accordingly, taken down by slaves in the night-time, when there were no witnesses of the deed; then, in completion of the savage task, the same slaves walled up the door, after which they were themselves separated, and sent away never to be heard of more. To save accusation, and, in the event of discovery, to leave himself such justification as might be allowed in a distinction between the infliction of a punishment and the commission of a double murder, Gratus preferred sinking his victims where natural death was certain, though slow. That they might linger along, he selected a convict who had been made blind and tongueless, and sank him in the only connecting cell, there to serve them with food and drink. Under no circumstances could the poor wretch tell the tale or identify either the prisoners or their doomsman. So, with a cunning partly due to Messala, the Roman, under color of punishing a brood of assassins, smoothed a path to confiscation of the estate of the Hurs, of which no portion ever reached the imperial coffers.

As the last step in the scheme, Gratus summarily removed the old keeper of the prisons; not because he knew what had been done--for he did not--but because, knowing the underground floors as he did, it would be next to impossible to keep the transaction from him.

Then, with masterly ingenuity, the procurator had new maps drawn for delivery to a new keeper, with the omission, as we have seen, of cell VI. The instructions given the latter, taken with the omission on the map, accomplished the design--the cell and its unhappy tenants were all alike lost.

What may be thought of the life of the mother and daughter during the eight years must have relation to their culture and previous habits. Conditions are pleasant or grievous to
us according to our sensibilities. It is not extreme to say, if there was a sudden exit of all men from the world, heaven, as prefigured in the Christian idea, would not be a heaven to
the majority; on the other hand, neither would all suffer equally in the so-called Tophet. Cultivation has its balances. As the mind is made intelligent, the capacity of the soul for pure enjoyment is proportionally increased. Well, therefore, if it be saved! If lost, however, alas that it ever had cultivation! its capacity for enjoyment in the one case is the measure of its capacity to suffer in the other. Wherefore repentance must be something more than mere remorse for sins; it comprehends a change of nature befitting heaven.

We repeat, to form an adequate idea of the suffering endured by the mother of Ben-Hur, the reader must think of her spirit and its sensibilities as much as, if not more than, of the conditions of the immurement; the question being, not what the conditions were, but how she was affected by them. And now we may be permitted to say it was in anticipation of this thought that the scene in the summer-house on the roof of the family palace was given so fully in the beginning of the Second Book of our story. So, too, to be helpful when the inquiry should come up, we ventured the elaborate description of the palace of the Hurs.

In other words, let the serene, happy, luxurious life in the princely house be recalled and contrasted with this existence in the lower dungeon of the Tower of Antonia; then if the reader, in his effort to realize the misery of the woman, persists in mere reference to conditions physical, he cannot go amiss; as he is a lover of his kind, tender of heart, he will be melted with much sympathy. But will he go further; will he more than sympathize
with her; will he share her agony of mind and spirit; will he at least try to measure it--let him recall her as she discoursed to her son of God and nations and heroes; one moment a philosopher, the next a teacher, and all the time a mother.

Would you hurt a man keenest, strike at his self-love; would you hurt a woman worst, aim at her affections.

With quickened remembrance of these unfortunates--remembrance of them as they were--let us go down and see them as they are.

The cell VI. was in form as Gesius drew it on his map. Of its dimensions but little idea can be had; enough that it was a roomy, roughened interior, with ledged and broken walls
and floor.

In the beginning, the site of the Macedonian Castle was separated from the site of the Temple by a narrow but deep cliff somewhat in shape of a wedge. The workmen, wishing to hew out a series of chambers, made their entry in the north face of the cleft, and worked in, leaving a ceiling of the natural stone; delving farther, they executed the cells V., IV., III., II., I., with no connection with number VI. except through number V. In like manner, they constructed the passage and stairs to the floor above. The process of the work was precisely that resorted to in carving out the Tombs of the Kings, yet to be seen a short distance north of Jerusalem; only when the cutting was done, cell VI. was enclosed on its outer side by a wall of prodigious stones, in which, for ventilation, narrow apertures
were left bevelled like modern port-holes. Herod, when he took hold of the Temple and Tower, put a facing yet more massive upon this outer wall, and shut up all the apertures but one, which yet admitted a little vitalizing air, and a ray of light not nearly strong enough to redeem the room from darkness.

Such was cell VI.

Startle not now!

The description of the blind and tongueless wretch just liberated from cell V. may be accepted to break the horror of what is coming.

The two women are grouped close by the aperture; one is seated, the other is half reclining against her; there is nothing between them and the bare rock. The light, slanting upwards, strikes them with ghastly effect, and we cannot avoid seeing they are without
vesture or covering. At the same time we are helped to the knowledge that love is there yet, for the two are in each other's arms. 

Riches take wings, comforts vanish, hope withers away, but love stays with us. Love is God.

to be continued