7 April 2013

posted 4 Apr 2013, 23:26 by C S Paul

7 April 2013

Quotes to Inspire

  • "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein, Scientist
  • "You mend your automobile on the spot when something breaks. Don't let your life be going on with something crippled in it." — John Wanamaker
  • "Every artist was first an amateur." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." — Albert Einstein
  • "Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God, but faith puts God between us and our circumstances." — F.B. Meyer
  • "Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict." — Unknown 
  • "Winners are losers who got up and gave it one more try." — Dennis DeYoung
  • "Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." — Albert Einstein
  • "You can't shake hands with a clenched fist." — Indira Gandhi
  • "He that cannot pray, let him go to sea, and there he will learn." — John Trapp
  • "Thought is creative. You create your entire life with your thoughts, hour by hour and minute by minute." — Brian Tracy
  • "A great flame follows a little spark." — Dante Alighieri
  • "Success is never ending, failure is never final." — Dr. Robert Schuller
  • "We don't love others when we find them beautiful, we find others beautiful when we love them." — Josei Toda
  • "Great love and great achievements involve great risks." — Tenzin Gyatso
  • "What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give." — P.D. James
  • "If everything in our youth were easy, with no challenges, we would not be prepared to face the grand challenge of life as an adult." — Ray Lammie
  • "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." — Thomas A. Edison

Oatmeal Kisses

The baby is teething-the children are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat dinner without him. Okay, one of these days you'll shout: "Why don't you grow up and act your age!" and they will, or "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do...and don't slam the door!"...and they won't.

You'll straighten up their rooms neat and tidy...bumper stickers discarded...spreads tucked and smooth ... toys displayed on the shelves...hangars in the closet...animals caged, and you'll say out loud: "Now I want it to stay that way!" and it will...You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in it 
and you'll say, "Now there's a meal for a company." and you'll eat it alone.

You'll say, "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around, no pantomimes, no demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?"...and you'll have it. No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent, no more dandelion bouquets, no more iron-on patches, knotted shoestrings, or tight moots.

Imagine, a lipstick with a point, no babysitter for New Year's Eve, washing clothes only once a week, no P.T.A. meetings, carpools, blaring radios, Christmas presents out of toothpicks and paste. No more "Wet Oatmeal Kisses". No more toothfairy giggles in the dark, or knees to heal.

Only a voice crying..."Why don't you grow up?"... and the silence echoing ......."I did."
 
I Hope You Dance

Not too long ago I had "one of those days." I was feeling pressure from a writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple days and the toilet was clogged. I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine.

By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner.

Deciding on Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed a Tupperware container from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned. My husband isn't a picky eater, but even HE won't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars.

Really frustrated now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition free: hot dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty tug. The bag didn't open. I tried again. Nothing happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a hearty wrestle. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom.

Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the bag, and it was empty.

It was the final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream. "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!" My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage: an open can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans and on quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips.

My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process! I stared. I fumed. Pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile. Eventually I had to laugh. And finally I decided to join him. 
I, too, took a leap onto the chips. And then I danced.

Now I'll be the first to admit that my husband's response wasn't the one I was looking for. But the truth is, it was exactly what I needed. I didn't need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has God ever stomped on your chips? I know that, in my life, there have been plenty of times when I've gotten myself into frustrating situations and I've cried out for help, all the while hoping God would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess I've made of things.

What often happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in the manner that is best for me after all. Sometimes I can see right away that God's response was the best one. Sometimes I have to wait weeks of months before I begin to understand how and why God answered a particular prayer the way He did. There are even some situations that, years later, I'm still trying to understand. I figure God will fill me in sooner or later, either this side of Heaven or beyond.

Do I trust Him? Even when He's answering my prayers in a way that is completely different from my expectations, even when He's dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping-can I embrace what He's offering?

Can I let His joy adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of the dance He's dancing with my needs in mind?

I'll be honest with you: Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I'm working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the older I get the more I realize that He really does know what He's doing. He loves me and I can trust Him.

Even when the chips are down.

Provided by Free Christian Content.org


You Have My Place

One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early parked his car, and got out. Another car pulled up near him, and the driver told him, "I always park there. You took my place!" The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, That's my seat! You took my place!" 

The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing. After Sunday School, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit. You took my place!" 

The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still said nothing. Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?" 

The visitor replied, "I took your place." 

Provided by Free Christian Content.org


Just Push
P= Pray U= Until S= Something H= Happens


A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.

So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down; his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: "you have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved. "Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. "Why kill myself over this?" he thought. "I'll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough."

And that is what he planned to do, but he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. "Lord," he said, "I have laboured long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.

And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. 

Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. Now, My friend, I will now move the rock."

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves mountains.

When everything seems to go wrong ... just P.U.S.H.!

When the job gets you down ... just P.U.S.H.!

When people don't react the way you think they should... just P.U.S.H.!

When your money looks "gone" and the bills are due... just P.U.S.H!

When people just don't understand you ... just P.U.S.H.!

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

Did You Know

  • 28% of Africa is classified as wilderness. In North America, its 38%.
  • Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
  • Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
  • Sherlock Holmes NEVER said "Elementary, my dear Watson", Humphrey Bogart NEVER said "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca, and they NEVER said "Beam me up, Scotty" on Star Trek.
  • 90% of bird species are monogamous; only 3% of animals are.
  • 90% of New York City cab drivers are recently arrived immigrants.
  • 98% of all murders and rapes are by a close family member or friend of the victim.
  • 98% of the weight of water is made up from oxygen.
  • 99% of the pumpkins sold in the US end up as jack-o-lanterns.
  • A full-grown pumpkin has about 15 miles of roots. A ghost writer pens an anonymous book. 
  • A giant squid has eyes that can grow up to 20 inches in diameter. (Now think of how big your computer screen is..)
  • A giraffe and rat can go longer without water than a camel can. 
  • A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue. i know some people who can do some amazing stuff too.
  • A goldfish has a memory span of 3 seconds. 
 

Just for laughs

Gonna be a bear

In this life I’m a woman.  In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear.  When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate.  You do nothing but sleep for six months.  I could deal with that. 

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid.  I could deal with that too.

When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (how are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cure, cuddly cubs.  I could definitely deal with that.

If you’re mama bear, everyone knows you mean business.  You swat anyone who bothers your cubs.  If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling.  He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!

Kenny

A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100.  The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.  The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad  news, the donkey died."

Kenny replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that.  I went and spent it already."

Kenny said, "OK then, at least give me the donkey."

The farmer said, "What ya gonna do with him?"

Kenny, "I'm going to raffle him off."

Farmer, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

Kenny, "Sure I can.  Watch me.  I just won't tell anybody he is dead."

A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

Kenny,  "I raffled him off.  I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made a profit of $898."

Farmer, "Didn't anyone complain?"

Kenny, "Just the guy who won.  So I gave him his two dollars back."

Kenny grew up and eventually became the chairman of Enron.


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

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.

BOOK V CHAPTER I continued

About the time the couriers departed from Messala's door with the despatches (it being yet the early morning hour), Ben-Hur entered Ilderim's tent. He had taken a plunge into the lake, and breakfasted, and appeared now in an under-tunic, sleeveless, and with skirt scarcely reaching to the knee.

The sheik saluted him from the divan.

"I give thee peace, son of Arrius," he said, with admiration, for,in truth, he had never seen a more perfect illustration of glowing,powerful, confident manhood. "I give thee peace and good-will.

The horses are ready, I am ready. And thou?"

"The peace thou givest me, good sheik, I give thee in return.

I thank thee for so much good-will. I am ready."

Ilderim clapped his hands.

"I will have the horses brought. Be seated."

"Are they yoked?"

"No."

"Then suffer me to serve myself," said Ben-Hur. "It is needful that I make the acquaintance of thy Arabs. I must know them by name, O sheik, that I may speak to them singly; nor less must I know their temper, for they are like men: if bold, the better of scolding; if timid, the better of praise and flattery. Let the servants bring me the harness."

"And the chariot?" asked the sheik.

"I will let the chariot alone to-day. In its place, let them bring me a fifth horse, if thou hast it; he should be barebacked, and fleet as the others."

Ilderim's wonder was aroused, and he summoned a servant immediately.

"Bid them bring the harness for the four," he said--"the harness for the four, and the bridle for Sirius."

Ilderim then arose.

"Sirius is my love, and I am his, O son of Arrius. We have been comrades for twenty years--in tent, in battle, in all stages of the desert we have been comrades. I will show him to you."

Going to the division curtain, he held it, while Ben-Hur passed under. The horses came to him in a body. One with a small head, luminous eyes, neck like the segment of a bended bow, and mighty chest, curtained thickly by a profusion of mane soft and wavy as a damsel's locks, nickered low and gladly at sight of him.

"Good horse," said the sheik, patting the dark-brown cheek. "Good horse, good-morning." Turning then to Ben-Hur, he added, "This is Sirius, father of the four here. Mir, the mother, awaits our return, being too precious to be hazarded in a region where there is a stronger hand than mine. And much I doubt," he laughed as he spoke--"much I doubt, O son of Arrius, if the tribe could endure her absence. She is their glory; they worship her; did she gallop over them, they would laugh. Ten thousand horsemen, sons of the desert, will ask to-day, 'Have you heard of Mira?' And to the answer, 'She is well,' they will say, 'God is good! blessed be God!'"

"Mira--Sirius--names of stars, are they not, O sheik?" asked Ben-Hur, going to each of the four, and to the sire, offering his hand.

"And why not?" replied Ilderim. "Wert thou ever abroad on the desert at night?"

"No."

"Then thou canst not know how much we Arabs depend upon the stars. We borrow their names in gratitude, and give them in love. My fathers all had their Miras, as I have mine; and these children are stars no less. There, see thou, is Rigel, and there Antares; that one is Atair, and he whom thou goest to now is Aldebaran, the youngest of the brood, but none the worse of that--no, not he! Against the wind he will carry thee till it roar in thy ears like Akaba; and he will go where thou sayest, son of Arrius--ay, by the glory of Solomon! he will take thee to the lion's jaws, if thou darest
so much."

The harness was brought. With his own hands Ben-Hur equipped the horses; with his own hands he led them out of the tent, and there attached the reins.

"Bring me Sirius," he said.

An Arab could not have better sprung to seat on the courser's back.

"And now the reins."

They were given him, and carefully separated.

"Good sheik," he said, "I am ready. Let a guide go before me to the field, and send some of thy men with water."

There was no trouble at starting. The horses were not afraid. Already there seemed a tacit understanding between them and the new driver, who had performed his part calmly, and with the confidence which always begets confidence. The order of going was precisely that of driving, except that Ben-Hur sat upon Sirius instead of standing in the chariot. Ilderim's spirit arose. He combed his beard, and smiled with satisfaction as he muttered, "He is not a Roman, no, by the splendor of God!" He followed on foot, the entire tenantry of the dowar--men, women, and children--pouring after him, participants all in his solicitude, if not in his confidence.

The field, when reached, proved ample and well fitted for the training, which Ben-Hur began immediately by driving the four at first slowly, and in perpendicular lines, and then in wide circles. Advancing a step in the course, he put them next into a trot; again progressing, he pushed into a gallop; at length he contracted the circles, and yet later drove eccentrically here and there, right, left, forward, and without a break. An hour was
thus occupied. Slowing the gait to a walk, he drove up to Ilderim.

"The work is done, nothing now but practice," he said. "I give you joy, Sheik Ilderim, that you have such servants as these.

See," he continued, dismounting and going to the horses, "see, the gloss of their red coats is without spot; they breathe lightly as when I began. I give thee great joy, and it will go hard if"--he turned his flashing eyes upon the old man's face--"if we have not the victory and our--"

He stopped, colored, bowed. At the sheik's side he observed, for the first time, Balthasar, leaning upon his staff, and two women closely veiled. At one of the latter he looked a second time, saying to himself, with a flutter about his heart, "'Tis she--'tis the Egyptian!" Ilderim picked up his broken sentence--

"The victory, and our revenge!" Then he said aloud, "I am not afraid; I am glad. Son of Arrius, thou art the man. Be the end like the beginning, and thou shalt see of what stuff is the lining of the hand of an Arab who is able to give."

"I thank thee, good sheik," Ben-Hur returned, modestly. "Let the servants bring drink for the horses."

With his own hands he gave the water.

to be continued


The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

Chapter 16

Prescription for Heartache

"PLEASE GIVE ME a prescription for heartache."

This curious and rather pathetic request was made by a man  who had been informed by his doctor that the feelings of disability of which he complained were not of a physical
nature. His trouble lay in an inability to rise above sorrow.

He was suffering from "an ache in his personality" as a result of grief.

His doctor advised him to secure spiritual consultation and treatment. So continuing to use the terminology of medicine, he repeated his question, "Is there a spiritual prescription
which will reduce my constant inner suffering? I realize that sorrow comes to everyone and I should be able to meet it the same as others. I have tried my best but find no peace."
Again he asked with a sad, slow smile, "Give me a prescription for heartache."

There is indeed a "prescription" for heartache. One element in the prescription is physical activity. The sufferer must avoid the temptation to sit and brood. A sensible program
which substitutes physical activity for such fruitless brooding reduces the strain on the area of the mind where we reflect, philosophize, and suffer mental pain. Muscular activity
utilizes another part of the brain and therefore shifts the strain and gives relief.

An old country lawyer who had a sound philosophy and much wisdom told a sorrowing woman that the best medicine for a broken heart is "to take a scrubbing brush and get down on your knees and go to work. The best medicine for a man," he declared, "is to get an ax and chop wood until physically tired." While this is not guaranteed to be a complete cure for heartache, yet it does tend to mitigate such suffering.

Whatever the character of your heartache, one of the first steps is to resolve to escape from any defeatist situation which may have been created around yourself, even though it
is difficult to do so, and return once again to the normal course of your life. Get back into the main stream of life's activities. Take up your old associations. Form new ones.

Get busy walking, riding, swimming, playing—get the blood to coursing through your system. Lose yourself in some worthwhile project. Fill your days with creative activity and
emphasize the physical aspect of activity. Employ healthy mind-relieving busyness, but be sure that it is of a worthwhile and constructive nature. Superficial escapism through feverish activity merely deadens pain temporarily and does not heal, as, for example, parties and drinking.

An excellent and normal release from heartache is to give way to grief. There is a foolish point of view current today that one should not show grief, that it is not proper to cry or
express oneself through the natural mechanism of tears and sobbing. This is a denial of the law of nature. It is natural to cry when pain or sorrow comes. It is a relief mechanism
provided in the body by Almighty God and should be used.

To restrain grief, to inhibit it, to bottle it up, is to fail to use one of God's means for eliminating the pressure of sorrow.

Like every other function of the human body and nervous system, this must be controlled, but it should not be denied altogether. A good cry by either man or woman is a release
from heartache. I should warn, however, that this mechanism should not be used unduly nor allowed to become a habitual process. Should that happen, it partakes of the nature of
abnormal grief and could become a psychosis. Unrestraint of any kind should not be allowed.

to be continued
 
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