6 May 2012

posted 4 May 2012, 05:52 by C S Paul

6 May 2012

Laughter The Best Medicine

Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone 
Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.

Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions can improve the quality of your love relationships— as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends. Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to b
ring more humor and laughter into your life.

Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life.

Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, as you might with working o
ut, and build from there. Eventually, you’ll want to incorporate humour and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything you do.

Ears

"Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother asked. When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.

When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother's arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.

He blurted out the tragedy. "A boy, a big boy ... called me a freak."

He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. "But you might mingle with other young people," his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.

The boy's father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? "I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured," the doctor decided.

Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by.

Then, "You are going to the hospital, Son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it's a secret," said the father. The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later he married and entered the diplomatic service. "But I must know!" He urged his father, "Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him." "I do not believe you could," said the father, "but the agreement was that you are not to know ... not yet."

The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come ... one of the darkest days that a son must endure. He stood with his father over his mother's casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother -- had no outer ears.

"Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut," he whispered gently, "and nobody ever thought Mother less beautiful, did they?" Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what that can be seen, but what that cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what that is done but not known.


Graduation Speech

Mary Schmich


ADVICE, LIKE YOUTH, PROBABLY JUST WASTED ON THE YOUNG

June 1, 1997

Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Two

Biblical references: Luke 2:51-52

Judah Ben-Hur is a prince descended from a royal family of Judaea. Messala, his closest childhood friend, the son of a Roman tax-collector, leaves home for five years of education in Rome. He returns as a proud and avaricious Roman. He mocks Judah and his religion and the two become enemies. Judah decides to go to Rome, as Messala had, for military training but use his skills to fight the Roman Empire.

Valerius Gratus, the fourth Roman prefect of Judaea, passes by Judah's house. As Judah watches the procession, a roof tile is loosed, falls into the street and hits the governor. Messala betrays Judah, who is arrested. There is no trial; Judah's family is secretly imprisoned in the Antonia Fortress and all the family property is seized. Judah vows vengeance against the Romans. He is sent to become a slave aboard a Roman warship. On the way to the ship he meets Jesus, who offers him water, which deeply moves Judah.  



CHAPTER VII continued

The person spoken of was quite venerable in appearance. Thin white locks fell below the edge of his
full turban, and a mass of still whiter beard flowed down the front of his coarse gray gown. He came slowly, for, in addition to his age, he carried some tools--an axe, a saw, and a drawing-knife, all 
very rude and heavy--and had evidently travelled some distance without rest.

He stopped close by to survey the assemblage.

"O Rabbi, good Rabbi Joseph!" cried a woman, running to him.

"Here is a prisoner; come ask the soldiers about him, that we may know who he is, and what he has 
done, and what they are going to do with him."

The rabbi's face remained stolid; he glanced at the prisoner, however, and presently went to the officer.

"The peace of the Lord be with you!" he said, with unbending gravity.

"And that of the gods with you," the decurion replied.

"Are you from Jerusalem?"

"Yes."

"Your prisoner is young."

"In years, yes."

"May I ask what he has done?"

"He is an assassin."

The people repeated the word in astonishment, but Rabbi Joseph pursued his inquest.

"Is he a son of Israel?"

"He is a Jew," said the Roman, dryly.

The wavering pity of the bystanders came back.

"I know nothing of your tribes, but can speak of his family," the speaker continued. "You may have 
heard of a prince of Jerusalem named Hur--Ben-Hur, they called him. He lived in Herod's day."

"I have seen him," Joseph said.

"Well, this is his son."

Exclamations became general, and the decurion hastened to stop them.

"In the streets of Jerusalem, day before yesterday, he nearly killed the noble Gratus by flinging a 
tile upon his head from the roof of a palace--his father's, I believe."

There was a pause in the conversation during which the Nazarenes gazed at the young Ben-Hur as at a wild beast.

"Did he kill him?" asked the rabbi.

"No."

"He is under sentence."

"Yes--the galleys for life."

"The Lord help him!" said Joseph, for once moved out of his stolidity.

Thereupon a youth who came up with Joseph, but had stood behind him unobserved, laid down an 
axe he had been carrying, and, going to the great stone standing by the well, took from it a pitcher 
of water. The action was so quiet that before the guard could interfere, had they been disposed to 
do so, he was stooping over the prisoner, and offering him drink.

The hand laid kindly upon his shoulder awoke the unfortunate Judah, and, looking up, he saw a 
face he never forgot--the face of a boy about his own age, shaded by locks of yellowish bright
chestnut hair; a face lighted by dark-blue eyes, at the time so soft, so appealing, so full of love and 
holy purpose, that they had all the power of command and will. The spirit of the Jew, hardened though it was by days and nights of suffering, and so embittered by wrong that its dreams of revenge took in all the world, melted under the stranger's look, and became as a child's. He put his lips to the pitcher, and drank long and deep. Not a word was said to him, nor did he say a word.

When the draught was finished, the hand that had been resting upon the sufferer's shoulder was placed upon his head, and stayed there in the dusty locks time enough to say a blessing; the stranger then returned the pitcher to its place on the stone, and, taking his axe again, went back to Rabbi Joseph. All eyes went with him, the decurion's as well as those of the villagers.

This was the end of the scene at the well. When the men had drunk,and the horses, the march was resumed. But the temper of the decurion was not as it had been; he himself raised the prisoner from the dust, and helped him on a horse behind a soldier. The Nazarenes went to their houses--among them Rabbi Joseph and his apprentice.

And so, for the first time, Judah and the son of Mary met and parted.

to be continued

His House

It was a cold Sunday morning when members started arriving at church, snow flakes had just fallen, people were rushing in to get inside. To the warmth, to the dry sanctuary.

As the members were walking in they were astonished to see a homeless person laying on the sidewalk by the front door. He was bent over all covered up with an old black trench coat, that had many holes in it. His shoes had holes in it and you could see his socks filthy from months of grime on them. The man had a black hat on that covered his face. His hands filthy with dirt from probably digging in a garbage can some thought.

As the members made their way into the sanctuary, they were all discussing how this horrible filthy man, had the nerve to sleep at THEIR church doors! Finally the pianist started playing and the members all sat down in their seats. They were all looking around, wondering where the Pastor could be. You could hear people whispering, saying, "Pastor Joe is probably telling that homeless man he needs to leave the property." "What would visitors think if they seen him."

All of a sudden, you could hear a gasp! The homeless man was walking down the middle of the church aisle, he made his way to the front, and then to the platform!!! When the homeless man got to the microphone. He said "Good morning, how are you all?" The homeless man was their Pastor Joe! Not a word was said, no one moved all around. Even the pianist stopped playing.

Then Pastor Joe said, "Did any of you see Jesus outside this morning?" "He was cold, He was dirty, His clothes were filthy!" However no one asked Him into HIS house."


Did You Know ?

  • The first city in the world to have a population of more than one million was Rome.
  • The most populated city in the world – when major urban areas are included – is Tokyo, with more than 37 million residents. See world’s largest cities
  • Tokyo was once known as Edo.
  • The pin that holds a hinge together is called a pintle.
  • Eskimos use refrigerators to keep food from freezing.
  • MasterCard was originally called MasterCharge. More at credit cards
  • Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon with his left foot first.
  • The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.
  • Lightning strikes men about seven times more often than it does women.
  • Women make up 49% of the world population.
  • About 50% of Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace. This is called propinquity.
  • The pleasant feeling of eating chocolate is caused by a chemical called anadamide, a neurotransmitter which also is produced naturally in the brain.
  • From the Middle Ages until the 18th century the local barber’s duties included dentistry, blood letting, minor operations and bone-setting. The barber’s striped red pole originates from when patients would grip the pole during an operation.
  • The US nickname Uncle Sam was derived from Uncle Sam Wilson, a meat inspector in Troy, New York.

Power of Positive Thinking

 by Norman Vincent Peale


Chapter 6 (continued)

A prominent manufacturer was afflicted with tension, in fact, he was in a very high-strung frame of mind. As he himself described it, "he leapt out of bed every morning and immediately got himself into high gear. He was in such a rush and dither that he 'made his breakfast on soft-boiled eggs because they slid down fast.'" This hectic pace left him fagged and worn at about midday. He sank into bed every night exhausted.

It so happens that his home is situated in a grove of trees.Very early one morning, unable to sleep, he arose and sat by the window. He became interested in watching a bird emerge from his night's sleep. He noticed that a bird sleeps with his head under his wing, the feathers pulled all around himself.

When he awakened, he pulled his bill out from under his feathers, took a sleepy look around, stretched one leg to its full length, meanwhile stretching the wing over the leg until it spread out like a fan. He pulled the leg and wing back and then repeated the same process with the other leg and wing, whereupon he put his head down in his feathers again for a delicious little cat nap (only in this case a bird nap), then the head came out again. This time the bird looked around eagerly, threw his head back, gave his wings and legs two more big stretches, then he sent up a song, a thrilling, melodic song of praise to the day, wherewith he hopped down off the limb, got himself a drink of cold water, and started looking for food.

My high-strung friend said to himself, "If that's the way the birds get up, sort of slow and easy like, why wouldn't it be a good method for me to start the day that way?" He actually went through the same performance, even to singing, and noticed that the song was an especially beneficial factor, that it was a releasing mechanism.

"I can't sing," he chuckled, "but I practiced sitting quietly in a chair and singing. Mostly I sang hymns and happy songs.Imagine, me singing, but I did. My wife thought I was bereft of my senses. The only thing I had on the bird was that I did a little praying, too, then, like the bird, I felt like some food, and I wanted a good breakfast—bacon and eggs. And I took my time eating it. After that I went to work in a released frame of mind. It surely did start me off for the day minus the tension, and it helped me go through the day in a peaceful and relaxed manner."

A former member of a championship university crew told me that their shrewd crew coach often reminded them, "To win this or any race, row slowly." He pointed out that rapid rowing tends to break the stroke and when the stroke is broken it is with the greatest difficulty that a crew recovers
the rhythm necessary to win. Meanwhile other crews pass the disorganized group. It is indeed wise advise—"To go fast, row slowly."

In order to row slowly or to work slowly and maintain the steady pace that wins, the victim of high tempo will do well to get the co-ordinating peace of God into his mind, his soul, and, it might be added, into his nerves and muscles also. 
 
Have you ever considered the importance of having the peace of God in your muscles, in your joints? Perhaps your joints will not pain so much when they have the peace of God in them. Your muscles will work with correlation when the peace of God who created them governs their action.
Speak to your muscles every day and to your joints and to your nerves, saying, "Fret not thyself." (Psalm 37: 1) Relax on a couch or bed, think of each important muscle from head to feet, and say to each, "The peace of God is touching you."

Then practice "feeling" that peace throughout your entire body. In due course your muscles and joints will take heed.

Slow down, for whatever you really want will be there when you get there if you work toward it without stress, without pressing. If, proceeding under God's guidance and in His smooth and unhurried tempo, it is not there, then it was not supposed to be there. If you miss it, perhaps you should have missed it. So definitely seek to develop a normal, natural, God-ordered pace. Practice and preserve mental quiet. Learn the art of letting go all nervous excitement. To do this, stop
at intervals and affirm, "I now relinquish nervous excitement—it is flowing from me. I am at peace." 

Do not fume. Do not fret. Practice being peaceful.To attain this efficient state of living, I recommend the practice of thinking peaceful thoughts. Every day we perform a series of acts designed to care for the body properly. We bathe, brush the teeth, take exercise. In similar fashion we should give time and planned effort to keeping the mind in a healthy state. One way to do this is to sit quietly and pass a series of peaceful thoughts through the mind. For example, pass through the thoughts the memory of a lofty mountain, a misty valley, a sun-speckled trout stream,
silver moonlight on water.

At least once in every twenty-four hours, preferably in the busiest part of the day, deliberately stop whatever you are doing for ten or fifteen minutes and practice serenity.

There are times when it is essential resolutely to check our headlong pace, and it must be emphasized that the only way to stop is to stop.

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."


Adequate Etiquette

At a very important banquet, on one occasion, a guest turned to the woman seated next to him.

"Did I get your name correctly?" he asked. "Is your name Post?"

"Yes, it is," the woman said.

"Is it Emily Post?"

"Yes," she replied.

"Are you the world-renowned authority on manners?" the man asked.

"Yes, Mrs. Post replied.

"Why do you ask?"

"Because," said the man, "you have just eaten my salad."

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