30 June 2013

posted 27 Jun 2013, 20:16 by C S Paul

30 June 2013

Quotes to Inspire

  • "Nurture your mind with great thoughts for you will never go any higher than you think." — Benjamin Disraeli
  • "The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time." — Abraham Lincoln
  • "Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward." — Henry Ford
  • "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." — Mother Teresa
  • "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." — Nelson Mandela
  • "The key is not to prioritize what is on the schedule, but to schedule your priorities." — Stephen Cove
  • This world is God's workshop for making men in. -- Henry Ward Beecher
  • The whole of creation, with all of its laws, is a revelation of God. -- Dean William Ralph Inge
  • Walk boldly and wisely....There is a hand above that will help you on. -- Philip James Bailey
  • Whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not, secretly all nature seeks God and works toward him. -- Meister Eckhart

A Tale of Two Seas

Sitting in the Geography class in school, I remember how fascinated I was when we were being taught all about the Dead Sea.

As you probably recall, the Dead Sea is really a Lake, not a sea (and as my Geography teacher pointed out, if you understood that, it would guarantee 4 marks in the term paper!)

Its so high in salt content that the human body can float easily. You can almost lie down and read a book! The salt in the Dead Sea is as high as 35% – almost 10 times the normal ocean water. And all that saltiness has meant that there is no life at all in the Dead Sea. No fish. No vegetation. No sea animals. Nothing lives in the Dead sea. And hence the name: Dead Sea.

While the Dead Sea has remained etched in my memory, I don’t seem to recall learning about the Sea of Galilee in my school Geography lesson. So when I heard about the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and the tale of the two seas – I was intrigued.

urns out that the Sea of Galilee is just north of the Dead Sea. Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea receive their water from river Jordan. And yet, they are very, very different. Unlike the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee is pretty, resplendent with rich, colorful marine life There are lots of plants. And lots of fish too. In fact, the sea of Galilee is home to over thirty different types of fishes.

Same region, same source of water, and yet while one sea is full of life, the other is dead. How come?

Here’s apparently why. The River Jordan flows into the Sea of Galilee and then flows out. The water simply passes through the Sea of Galilee in and then out – and that keeps the Sea healthy and vibrant, teeming with marine life.

But the Dead Sea is so far below the mean sea level, that it has no outlet. The water flows in from the river Jordan, but does not flow out. There are no outlet streams. It is estimated that over 7 million tons of water evaporate from the Dead Sea every day. Leaving it salty. Too full of minerals. And unfit for any marine life.

The Dead Sea takes water from the River Jordan, and holds it. It does not give. Result? No life at all.

Think about it.

Life is not just about getting. Its about giving. We all need to be a bit like the Sea of Galilee.

We are fortunate to get wealth, knowledge, love and respect. But if we don’t learn to give, we could all end up like the Dead Sea. The love and the respect, the wealth and the knowledge could all evaporate. Like the water in the Dead Sea.

f we get the Dead Sea mentality of merely taking in more water, more money, more everything the results can be disastrous.

Good idea to make sure that in the sea of your own life, you have outlets. Many outlets. For love and wealth – and everything else that you get in your life. Make sure you don’t just get, you give too.

Open the taps. And you’ll open the floodgates to happiness.

Make that a habit. To share. To give.

And experience life. Experience the magic!

Blessed and Fulfilled Life

You were created by Almighty God to live a blessed and fulfilled life.

But so many people live far below the level of what God truly intends for them simply because they don’t see how it could happen.

But the truth is you have to believe before you are ever going to see something take place in the natural.

You have to look with your eyes of faith because the provision, healing and miracle that you need is already available in the supernatural realm.

You might say, “Well, I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to look with my eyes of faith.”

The way you open your eyes of faith is by reading and meditating on the Word of God.

His Word deposits strength and faith inside you and illuminates your heart.

His Word causes your faith to grow so you can believe His promises.

And when you believe it, then you will see it because all things are possible for those who believe!

Today, feed your faith by meditating on His Word. Declare His promises over your life.

Keep moving forward with an attitude of faith and expectancy knowing that He has victory in store for your future!

Hebrews 11:3 says “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible”.

Fruits of Labour (Hard Work)

here once lived a rich businessman who had a lazy and fun loving son. The businessman wanted his son to be-hard working and responsible. He wanted him to realize the value of labour.

One day he summoned his son and said: today I want you to go out and earn something, failing which you wont have your meal tonight.The boy was callous and not used to any kind of work. This demand by his father scared him and he went crying straight to his mother. Her heart melted at the sight of tears in her sons eye.

She grew restless. In a bid to help him she gave him a gold coin. In the evening when the father asked his son what he had earned, the son promptly presented him the gold coin. The father then asked him to throw it into a well. The son did as he was told.

The father was a man of wisdom and experience and guessed that the source of the gold coin was the boys mother. The nest day he sent his wife to her parents town and asked his son to go and earn something with the threat of being denied the night meals if he failed. This time he went crying to his sister who sympathized with him and gave him a rupee coin out of her own savings.

When his father asked him what he has earned the boy tossed the rupee coin at him. The father again asked him to throw it in a well. The son did it quite readily. Again the fathers wisdom told him that the rupee coin was not earned by his son. He than sent his daughter to her in-laws house. He again asked his son to go out and earn with the threat that he shall not have anything for dinner that night.

This time there was no one to help him out; the son was forced to go to the market in search of work. One of the shopkeepers there told him that he would pay him two rupees if he carried his trunk to his house. The rich mans son could not refuse and was drenched in sweat by the time he finished the job.

His feet were trembling and his neck and back were aching. There were rashes on his back. As he returned home and produced the two rupee note before his father and was asked to throw it into the well, the horrified son almost cried out. He could not imagine throwing his hard-earned money like this. He said amid sobbing. Father! My entire body is aching.

My back has rashes and you are asking me to throw the money into the well. At this the businessman smiled. He told him that one feels the pain only when the fruits of hard labour are wasted. On earlier two occasions he was helped by his mother and sister and therefore had no pain in throwing the coins into the well.

The son had now realized the value of hard work. He vowed never to be lazy and safe keep the fathers wealth. The father handed over the keys of his shop to the son and promised to guide him through the rest of the life.

Million Frogs

A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs!

The farmer replied, “There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs – millions of them. They all croak all night long and they are about to make me crazy!”

So the restaurant ownerand the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant, five hundred at a time for the next several weeks. The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs.

The restaurant owner said, “Well… where are all the frogs?”

The farmer said, “I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise! 

Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember, it’s probably just a couple of noisy frogs. Also remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark. Have you ever laid in your bed at night worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)

Did you know ?

  • A five and a half year old weighing 250 pounds was exhibited at a meeting of the Physical Society of Vienna on December 4, 1894. She ate a normal diet and was otherwise in good health. The problem: she wasn't able to sweat. 
  • A flea can jump 350 times is own body length. (say..you jumping the length of a soccer field)thanx seraph 
  • A flock of sheep grazed during Woodrow Wilson's term. Their wool was sold to raise money for the Red Cross during World War I.  
  • A fly always jumps backwards for a quick getaway when you try to hit it. 
  • A fly hums in the middle octave, key F.  
  • A foal is a baby horse.  
  • A full moon is nine times brighter than a half moon. 
  • A full-grown bear can run as fast as a horse.
  • A human being loses an average of 40 to 100 strands of hair a day. 
  • A human has a bone just after the spine ends, which helps proves that humans once had tails (possibly).  
  • A human head remains conscious for about 15 to 20 seconds after it is been decapitated. 
  • A human's scent membrane in the nose is about the size of a postage stamp. A dog's is about the size of a handkerchief. It's olfactory lobe is also 4 times that of a humanThanx liz chell 
  • A humming bird flaps its wings up to 90 times in one second or over 5000 times a minute. 
  • A hummingbird weighs less than a penny

Just for laughs

Trouble with mice

Three Pastors were having lunch together at a diner. The first Pastor said, "Ya know, since summer started I've been having trouble with mice in my church. I've tried everything--noise, spray, cats--nothing seems to scare them away. The second Pastor then said "Yea, me too. I've got hundreds living in the basement of the church. I've set traps and even called an expert to get rid of them, yet they still won't go away." With a grin on his face, the third Pastor said, "I had the same problem so I baptized all mine and made them members of the church... Haven't seen one back since!!!" 

Old Bible

A collector of rare books ran into an acquaintance who told him he had just thrown away an old Bible that he found in a dusty, old box. He happened to mention that Guten-somebody-or-other had printed it. 

"Not Gutenberg?" gasped the collector. 

"Yes, that was it!" 

"You idiot! You've thrown away one of the first books ever printed. A copy recently sold at auction for half a million dollars!" 

"Oh, I don't think this book would have been worth anything close to that much," replied the man. "It was scribbled all over in the margins by some guy named Martin Luther." 


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 IX continued

Next night, about the fourth hour, Ben-Hur stood on the terrace of the great warehouse with Esther. Below them, on the landing, there was much running about, and shifting of packages and boxes, and shouting of men, whose figures, stooping, heaving, hauling,
looked, in the light of the crackling torches kindled in their aid, like the laboring genii of the fantastic Eastern tales. A galley was being laden for instant departure. Simonides had not yet come from his office, in which, at the last moment, he would deliver to the captain of the vessel instructions to proceed without stop to Ostia, the seaport of Rome, and, after landing a passenger there, continue more leisurely to Valentia, on the coast of Spain.

The passenger is the agent going to dispose of the estate derived from Arrius the duumvir. When the lines of the vessel are cast off, and she is put about, and her voyage begun, Ben-Hur will be committed irrevocably to the work undertaken the night before. If he is disposed to repent the agreement with Ilderim, a little time is allowed him to give notice and break it off. He is master, and has only to say the word.

Such may have been the thought at the moment in his mind. He was standing with folded arms, looking upon the scene in the manner of a man debating with himself. Young, handsome, rich, but recently from the patrician circles of Roman society, it is easy to think of the world besetting him with appeals not to give more to onerous duty or ambition attended with outlawry and danger. We can even imagine the arguments with which he was pressed; the hopelessness of contention with Caesar; the uncertainty veiling everything connected with the King and his coming; the ease, honors, state, purchasable like goods in market; and, strongest of all, the sense newly acquired of home, with friends to make it delightful. Only those who have been wanderers long desolate can know the power there was in the latter appeal.

Let us add now, the world--always cunning enough of itself; always whispering to the weak, Stay, take thine ease; always presenting the sunny side of life--the world was in this instance helped by Ben-Hur's companion.

"Were you ever at Rome?" he asked.

"No," Esther replied.

"Would you like to go?"

"I think not."


"I am afraid of Rome," she answered, with a perceptible tremor of the voice.

He looked at her then--or rather down upon her, for at his side she appeared little more than a child. In the dim light he could not see her face distinctly; even the form was shadowy. But again he was reminded of Tirzah, and a sudden tenderness fell upon him--just so the lost sister stood with him on the house-top the calamitous morning of the accident to Gratus. Poor Tirzah! Where was she now? Esther had the benefit of the feeling evoked.
If not his sister, he could never look upon her as his servant; and that she was his servant in fact would make him always the more considerate and gentle towards her.

"I cannot think of Rome," she continued, recovering her voice, and speaking in her quiet womanly way--"I cannot think of Rome as a city of palaces and temples, and crowded with people; she is to me a monster which has possession of one of the beautiful lands, and lies there luring men to ruin and death--a monster which it is not possible to resist--a ravenous beast gorging with blood. Why--"

She faltered, looked down, stopped.

"Go on," said Ben-Hur, reassuringly.

She drew closer to him, looked up again, and said, "Why must you make her your enemy? Why not rather make peace with her, and be at rest? You have had many ills, and borne them; you have survived the snares laid for you by foes. Sorrow has consumed your youth;
is it well to give it the remainder of your days?"

The girlish face under his eyes seemed to come nearer and get whiter as the pleading went on; he stooped towards it, and asked, softly, "What would you have me do, Esther?"

She hesitated a moment, then asked, in return, "Is the property near Rome a residence?"


"And pretty?"

"It is beautiful--a palace in the midst of gardens and shell-strewn walks; fountains without and within; statuary in the shady nooks; hills around covered with vines, and so high that Neapolis and Vesuvius are in sight, and the sea an expanse of purpling blue dotted with restless sails. Caesar has a country-seat near-by, but in Rome they say the old Arrian villa is the prettiest."

"And the life there, is it quiet?"

"There was never a summer day, never a moonlit night, more quiet, save when visitors come. Now that the old owner is gone, and I am here, there is nothing to break its silence--nothing, unless it be the whispering of servants, or the whistling of happy birds, or the noise of fountains at play; it is changeless, except as day by day old flowers fade and fall, and new ones bud and bloom, and the sunlight gives place to the shadow of a passing cloud. The life, Esther, was all too quiet for me. It made me restless by keeping always present a feeling that I, who have so much to do, was dropping into idle habits, and tying myself with silken chains, and after a while--and not a long while either--would end
with nothing done."

She looked off over the river.

"Why did you ask?" he said.

"Good my master--"

"No, no, Esther--not that. Call me friend--brother, if you will; I am not your master, and will not be. Call me brother."

He could not see the flush of pleasure which reddened her face, and the glow of the eyes that went out lost in the void above the river.

"I cannot understand," she said, "the nature which prefers the life you are going to--a life of--"

"Of violence, and it may be of blood," he said, completing the sentence.

"Yes," she added, "the nature which could prefer that life to such as might be in the beautiful villa."

"Esther, you mistake. There is no preference. Alas! the Roman is not so kind. I am going of necessity. To stay here is to die; and if I go there, the end will be the same--a poisoned cup, a bravo's blow, or a judge's sentence obtained by perjury. Messala and the procurator
Gratus are rich with plunder of my father's estate, and it is more important to them to keep their gains now than was their getting in the first instance. A peaceable settlement is out of reach, because of the confession it would imply. And then--then-- Ah, Esther, if I could buy them, I do not know that I would. I do not believe peace possible to me; no, not even in the sleepy shade and sweet air of the marble porches of the old villa--no matter who might be there to help me bear the burden of the days, nor by what patience of love she made the effort. Peace is not possible to me while my people are lost, for I must be watchful to find them. If I find them, and they have suffered wrong, shall not the guilty suffer for it? If they are dead by violence, shall the murderers escape? Oh, I could not sleep for dreams! Nor could the holiest love, by any stratagem, lull me to a rest which conscience would not strangle."

"Is it so bad then?" she asked, her voice tremulous with feeling.

"Can nothing, nothing, be done?"

Ben-Hur took her hand.

"Do you care so much for me?"

"Yes," she answered, simply.

The hand was warm, and in the palm of his it was lost. He felt it tremble. Then the Egyptian came, so the opposite of this little one; so tall, so audacious, with a flattery so cunning, a wit so ready, a beauty so wonderful, a manner so bewitching. He carried
the hand to his lips, and gave it back.

"You shall be another Tirzah to me, Esther."

"Who is Tirzah?"

"The little sister the Roman stole from me, and whom I must find before I can rest or be happy."

Just then a gleam of light flashed athwart the terrace and fell upon the two; and, looking round, they saw a servant roll Simonides in his chair out of the door. They went to the merchant, and in the after-talk he was principal.

Immediately the lines of the galley were cast off, and she swung round, and, midst the flashing of torches and the shouting of joyous sailors, hurried off to the sea--leaving Ben-Hur committed to the cause of the KING WHO WAS TO COME.

to be continued