February 19, 2012

posted 18 Feb 2012, 03:27 by C S Paul   [ updated 18 Feb 2012, 06:12 ]

February 19, 2012

Laughter the best Medicine

How can laughter help a relationship?

People who incorporate humor and playfulness into their relationships are able to drop some of their inhibitions and defensiveness. 

This allows them to enjoy more spontaneity and a deeper emotional connection.

When laughter and humor are used to defuse conflict, negative emotions like resentment and anger don’t get a chance to build up. 

In fact, laughter and a shared sense of humor are nothing less than essential for strong and healthy relationships.

The Love Parable

Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived; Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all the others, including Love.

One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean.

So, all the feelings prepared their boats to leave.

Love was the only one that stayed. She wanted to preserve the island paradise until the last possible moment.

When the island was almost totally under, Love decided it was time to leave. She began looking for someone to ask for help.

Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. Love asked, "Richness, Can I come with you on your boat?" Richness answered, " I'm sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere."

Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who was passing in a beautiful vessel. Love cried out, "Vanity, help me please." "I can't help you", Vanity said, "You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat."

Next, Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, "Sadness, please let me go with you. " Sadness answered, "Love, I'm sorry, but, I just need to be alone now."

Courtesy of GospelGifs.com

Then, Love saw Happiness. Love cried out, "Happiness, please take me with you." But Happiness was so overjoyed that he didn't hear Love calling to him.

Love began to cry. Then, she heard a voice say, Come Love, I will take you with me." It was an elder.

Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the elder his name.

When they arrived on land, the elder went on his way. Love realized how much she owed the elder.

Love then found Knowledge and asked, "Who was it that helped me?"

"It was Time", Knowledge answered. "But why did Time help me when no one else would?", Love asked. Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."

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Trust Me

They tell the story of a mountain climber, who desperately wanted to conquer the Aconcagua, He initiated his climb after years of preparation. However, he wanted the glory all to himself, therefore he went up alone. He started climbing.

The later the hour, the darker it became. He did not prepare for camping but decided to keep on going. Night fell with heaviness at a very high altitude; visibility was zero, everything was black. There was no moon and the stars were covered by the clouds.

Color Animation: Trusting in Jesus

As he was climbing a ridge at about 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell. Falling rapidly he could only see blotches of darkness that passed. He felt a terrible sensation of being sucked in by gravity. He kept falling, and in those anguishing moments good and bad memories passed through his mind.

He thought certainly that he would die. But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half. Yes! Like any good mountain climber, he had staked himself with a long rope tied to his waist. In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air, he had no other choice but to shout, "HELP ME GOD, HELP ME!"

All of a sudden, he heard a deep voice from heaven... "What do you want me to do?"

"Save me", said the climber.

"Do you really think that I can save you?"

"Of course my God", said the climber.

"Then cut the rope that is holding you up", God said.

There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man just held tighter to the rope. The rescue team says that the next day they found a frozen mountain climber holding strongly to a rope... TWO FEET FROM THE GROUND!

How about you, how trusting are you in the rope? Why didn't or why won't you let go? I tell you, God has great and marvelous things for you. Cut the rope and simply trust in Him.

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

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.


The young Israelite proceeded then, and rehearsed his conversation with Messala, dwelling with particularity upon the latter's speeches in contempt of the Jews, their customs, and much pent round of life.

Afraid to speak the while, the mother listened, discerning the matter plainly. Judah had gone to the palace on the Market-place, allured by love of a playmate whom he thought to find exactly as he had been at the parting years before; a man met him, and, in place of laughter and references to the sports of the past, the man had been full of the future, and talked of glory to be won, and of riches and power.

Unconscious of the effect, the visitor had come away hurt in pride, yet touched with a natural ambition; but she, the jealous mother, saw it, and, not knowing the turn the aspiration might take, became at once Jewish in her fear. What if it lured  him away from the patriarchal faith? In her view, that consequence was more dreadful than any or all others. She could discover but one way to avert it, and she set about the task, her native power reinforced by love to such degree that her speech took a masculine strength and at times a poet's fervor.

"There never has been a people," she began, "who did not think themselves at least equal to any other; never a great nation, my son, that did not believe itself the very superior. When the Roman looks down upon Israel and laughs, he merely repeats the folly of the Egyptian, the Assyrian, and the Macedonian; and as the laugh is against God, the result will be the same."

Her voice became firmer.

"There is no law by which to determine the superiority of nations; hence the vanity of the claim, and the idleness of disputes about it. A people risen, run their race, and die either of themselves or at the hands of another, who, succeeding to their power, take possession of their place, and upon their monuments write new names; such is history.

If I were called upon to symbolize God and man in the simplest form, I would draw a straight line and a circle, and of the line I would say, 'This is God, for he alone moves forever straightforward,' and of the circle, 'This is man--such is his progress.' I do not mean that there is no difference between the careers of nations; no two are alike. The difference, however, is not, as some say, in the extent of the circle they describe or the space of earth they cover, but in the sphere of their  movement, the highest being nearest God.

"To stop here, my son, would be to leave the subject where we began. Let us go on. There are signs by which to measure the height of the circle each nation runs while in its course. By them let us compare the Hebrew and the Roman.

"The simplest of all the signs is the daily life of the people.

Of this I will only say, Israel has at times forgotten God, while the Roman never knew him; consequently comparison is not possible.

"Your friend--or your former friend--charged, if I understood you rightly, that we have had no poets, artists, or warriors; by which he meant, I suppose, to deny that we have had great men, the next most certain of the signs. A just consideration of this charge requires a definition at the commencement. A great man, O my boy, is one  whose life proves him to have been recognized, if not called, by God.

A Persian was used to punish our recreant fathers, and he carried them into captivity; another Persian was selected to restore their children to the Holy Land; greater than either of them, however, was the Macedonian through whom the desolation of Judea and the Temple was avenged. The special distinction of the men was that they were chosen by the Lord, each for a divine purpose; and that they were Gentiles does not lessen their glory. Do not lose sight of this definition while I proceed.

"There is an idea that war is the most noble occupation of men,and that the most exalted greatness is the growth of battle-fields. Because the world has adopted the idea, be not you deceived. That we must worship something is a law which will continue as long as there is anything we cannot understand. The prayer of the barbarian is a wail of fear addressed to Strength, the only divine quality he can clearly conceive; hence his faith in heroes. What is Jove but a Roman hero? The Greeks have their great glory because they were the first to set Mind above Strength. In Athens the orator and philosopher were more revered than the warrior. The charioteer and the swiftest runner are still idols of the arena; yet the immortelles are reserved for the sweetest singer.

The birthplace of one poet was contested by seven cities. But was the Hellene the first to deny the old barbaric faith? No. My son, that glory is ours; against brutalism our fathers erected God; in our worship, the wail of fear gave place to the Hosanna and the Psalm.

So the Hebrew and the Greek would have carried all humanity forward and upward. But, alas! the government of the world presumes war as an eternal condition; wherefore, over Mind and above God, the Roman has enthroned his Caesar, the absorbent of all attainable power, the prohibition of any other greatness.

"The sway of the Greek was a flowering time for genius. In return for the liberty it then enjoyed, what a company of thinkers the Mind led forth? There was a glory for every excellence, and a perfection so absolute that in everything but war even the Roman has stooped to imitation. A Greek is now the model of the orators in the Forum; listen, and in every Roman song you will hear the rhythm of the Greek; if a Roman opens his mouth speaking wisely of moralities, or abstractions, or of the mysteries of nature,

He is either a plagiarist or the disciple of some school which had a Greek for its founder. In nothing but war, I say again, has Rome a claim to originality. Her games and spectacles are Greek inventions, dashed with blood to gratify the ferocity of her rabble; her religion, if such it may be called, is made up of contributions from the faiths of all other peoples; her most venerated gods are from Olympus--even her Mars, and, for that matter, the Jove she much magnifies. So it happens, O my son, that of the whole world our Israel alone can dispute the superiority of the Greek, and with him contest the palm of original genius.

"To the excellences of other peoples the egotism of a Roman is a blindfold, impenetrable as his  breastplate. Oh, the ruthless robbers! Under their trampling the earth trembles like a floor beaten with flails. Along with the rest we are fallen--alas that I should say it to you, my son! They have our highest places, and the holiest, and the end no man can tell; but this I know—they may reduce Judea as an almond broken with hammers, and devour Jerusalem, which is the oil and sweetness thereof; yet the glory of the men of Israel will remain a light in the heavens overhead out of reach: for their history is the history of God, who wrote with their hands, spoke with their tongues, and was himself in all the good they did, even the least; who dwelt with them, a Lawgiver on Sinai, a Guide in the wilderness, in war a Captain, in government a King; who once and again pushed back the curtains of the pavilion which is his resting-place, intolerably bright, and, as a man speaking to men, showed them the right, and the way to happiness, and how they should live, and made them promises binding the strength of his Almightiness with covenants sworn to everlastingly. O my son, could it be that they with whom Jehovah thus dwelt, an awful familiar, derived nothing from him?--that in their lives and deeds the common human qualities should not in some degree have been mixed and colored with the divine? that their genius should not have in it, even after the lapse of ages, some little of heaven?"

(to be continued)

Just for Laughs

Important Document

A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

"Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?"

"Certainly," said the young executive.

He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."

 Kid Prayer I

A little boy's prayer: "Dear God, please take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we're gonna be in a big mess."

The Funeral

A young preacher was asked by the local funeral director to hold a grave-side burial service at a small local cemetery for someone with no family or friends. The preacher started early but quickly got himself lost, making several wrong turns.

Eventually, a half-hour late, he saw a backhoe and its crew, but the hearse was nowhere in sight, and the workmen were sitting to one side, eating lunch.

The diligent young pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Taking out his book, he read the service. Feeling guilty because of his tardiness, he preached an impassioned and lengthy service, sending the deceased to the great beyond in style.

As he was returning to his car, he overheard one of the workmen say: "I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years and I ain't never seen anything like t

Building Program

There is the story of a person who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program.

The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets.

Power of Positive Thinking

Chapter 5 (continued)

I once knew an unhappy sort of fellow who always said to his wife at breakfast, "This is going to be another tough day."

He didn't really think so, but he had a mental quirk whereby if he said it was going to be a tough day, it might turn out pretty well.

But things really started going badly with him, which was not surprising, for if you visualize and affirm an unhappy outcome, you tend thereby to create just that type of condition.

So affirm happy outcomes at the start of every day, and you will be surprised at how often things will turn out so.

But it is not sufficient to apply to the mind even such an important affirmation therapy as I have just suggested unless throughout the day you also base your actions and attitudes upon fundamental principles of happy living.

One of the most simple and basic of such principles is that of human love and good will. It is amazing what happiness a sincere expression of compassion and tenderness will induce.

 My friend Dr. Samuel Shoemaker once wrote a moving story about a mutual friend, Ralston Young, famous as Redcap No. 42 in the Grand Central Station in New York.

He carries bags for a living, but his real job is living the spirit of Christ as a redcap in one of the world's greatest railway stations. As he carries a man's suitcase, he tries to share a little Christian fellowship with him. He carefully watches a customer to see if there is any way in which he can give him more courage and hope. He is very skillful in the way he goes about it too.

One day, for example, he was asked to take a little old lady to her train. She was in a wheel chair, so he took her down on the elevator. As he wheeled her into the elevator he noticed that there were tears in her eyes. Ralston Young stood there as the elevator descended, closed his eyes, and asked the Lord how he could help her, and the Lord gave him an idea. As he wheeled her off the elevator, he said with a smile, "Ma'am, if you don't mind my saying so, that is a mighty pretty hat you are wearing."

She looked up at him and said, "Thank you."

"And I might add," he said, "that sure is a pretty dress you have on. I like it so much."

Being a woman, this appealed to her, and despite the fact that she was not feeling well, she brightened up and asked, "Why in the world did you say those nice things to me? It is very thoughtful of you."

"Well," he said, "I saw how unhappy you were. I saw that you were crying, and I just asked the Lord how I could help you. The Lord said, 'Speak to her about her hat.' The mention of the dress," he added, "was my own idea." Ralston Young and the Lord together knew how to get a woman's mind off her troubles.

"Don't you feel well?" he then asked.

"No," she replied. "I am constantly in pain. I am never free from it. Sometimes I think I can't stand it. Do you, by any chance, know what it means to be in pain all the time?"

Ralston had an answer. "Yes, ma'am, I do, for I lost an eye, and it hurt like a hot iron day and night."

"But," she said, "you seem to be happy now. How did you  accomplish it?"

By this time he had her in her seat in the train, and he said, "Just by prayer, ma'am, just by prayer."

Softly she asked, "Does prayer, just prayer, take your pain away?"

"Well," answered Ralston, "perhaps it doesn't always take it away. I can't say that it does, but it always helps to overcome it so it doesn't seem like it hurts so much. Just keep on prayin', ma'am, and I'll pray for you too."

Her tears were dried now, and she looked up at him with a lovely smile, took him by the hand, and said, "You've done me so much good."

A year passed, and one night in Grand Central Station Ralston Young was paged to come to the Information booth.

A young woman was there who said, "I bring you a message from the dead. Before she died my mother told me to find you and to tell you how much you helped her last year when you took her to the train in her wheel chair. She will always remember you, even in eternity. She will remember you, for you were so kind and loving and understanding." Then the young woman burst into tears and sobbed in her grief.

Ralston stood quietly watching her. Then he said, "Don't cry,missy, don't cry. You shouldn't cry. Give a prayer of thanksgiving."

Surprised, the girl said, "Why should I give a prayer of thanksgiving?"

"Because," said Ralston, "many people have become orphans much younger than you. You had your mother for a long,

long time, and besides you still have her. You will see her again. She is near to you now and she always will be near to 2*you. Maybe," he, said, "she is right with us now—the two of us, as we talk."

The sobs ended and the tears dried. Ralston's kindness had the same effect on the daughter as it had had on the mother. In this huge station, with thousands of people passing by, the two of them felt the presence of one who inspired this wonderful redcap to go around this way spreading love.

"Where love is," said Tolstoy, "God is," and, we might add, where God and love are, there is happiness. So a practical principle in creating happiness is to practice love.

(to be continued)

 Did you know ?

·         Global sales of pre-recorded music total more than $40 billion.

·         In 1972 Leslie Harvey of Stone the Crows died after being electrocuted onstage in England. In 1976 Keith Relf, who used to play for The Yardbirds, was electrocuted by his guitar while playing in his basement. During a mid-performance in 1994 Ramon Barrero, a Mexican musician famous for playing the world’s smallest harmonica, inhaled the harmonica and choked to death.

·         DVD discs are the same diameter (120mm) and thickness (1.2mm) as a Compact Disc (CD) but a DVD can store 13 times or more data.

·         When killed in battle, Japanese officers were promoted to the next highest rank.

·         During the 1991 Gulf War, the Allies dropped more than 17,000 smart bombs and 210,000 dumb (unguided) bombs on Iraqi troops.

·         Land mines cause 24,000 deaths a year.

·         In 1997, the US maintained 13,750 nuclear warheads, 5,546 of them on ballistic missiles. See today’s figures.

·         In 1932, when a shortage of cash occurred in Tenino, Washington, USA, notes were made out of wood for a brief period. The wood notes came in $1, $5 and $10 values.

·         The world’s largest coins, in size and standard value, were copper plates used in Alaska around 1850. They were about a metre (3 ft) long, half-a-metre (about 2 ft) wide, weighed 40 kg (90 lb), and were worth $2,500.