March 18, 2012

posted 18 Mar 2012, 04:23 by C S Paul
March 18, 2012

Laughter the best medicine


Laughter heals the body and mind, laughs and smiles are enjoyed best when shared with others. 

Laughter encourages better communication. 

Laughter charges our immune system in which in turn helps us resist disease.

Laughter stimulates the body. A good hearty laugh stimulates your organs, soothes tension and tummy aches, improves the immune system, relieves pain and increases overall personal satisfaction, according to a Mayo Clinic advisory on stress.

Laughter fights infections. Research has found that higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin (an antibody that fights infections organisms entering the respiratory tract) were found in the saliva of people who watched funny videos or had experienced good moods.

 Laughter boosts killer cells. After watching an hour long video of slapstick comedy, researchers have found that the “natural killer cells” which seek out and destroy malignant cells more actively attacked tumor cells in test tubes. These types of effects lasted up to 12 hours.

 Arm yourself with the power of laughter and you’ll be ready to take on whatever challenges life brings your way.


The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. We must do something about Grandfather, " said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor. So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.

 Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

 The four year old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food when I grow up." The four year old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.


The Three Trees

 Author Unknown

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!"

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. "I want to be travelling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world!"

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world."

Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his ax, the first tree fell. "Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" The first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his ax, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me," he muttered. With a swoop of his ax, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feedbox for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river. Instead she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."

Many, many days and night passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." her husband whispered.

The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful." she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain.

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew she was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything.

It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

The next time you feel down because you didn't get what you want, sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.


An Unspoken Bible

 Author Unknown

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally is wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian recently while attending college. 

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and So Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. 

The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before! 

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, an Elder is slowly making his way toward Bill.

Now the Elder is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying To themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. 

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane.

All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The minister can't even preach the sermon until the Elder does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone.  

Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read." 

 Just for Laughs

 Kid Prayer 

A five-year-old said grace at family dinner one night. "Dear God, thank you for these pancakes . . . " When he concluded, his parents asked him why he thanked God for pancakes when they were having chicken. He smiled and said, "I thought I'd see if He was paying attention tonight."

The Secret Burden

A much loved-minister of God once carried a secret burden of long- past sin deep in his heart. He had committed the sin many years before, during his Bible school training. No one knew what he had done, but they did know he had repented. Even so, he had suffered years of remorse over the incident without any sense of God's forgiveness.     

A woman in his church deeply loved God and claimed to have visions in which Jesus Christ spoke to her. The minister, skeptical of her claims, asked her, "The next time you speak to the Lord, would you please ask Him what sin your minister committed while he was in Bible school." The woman kindly agreed.

When she came to the church a few days later the minister asked, "Did He visit you?" She said, "Yes."

 "And did you ask Him what sin I committed?" 

"Yes, I asked Him," she replied 

"Well, what did He say?" 

"He said, 'I don't remember.'"



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 VI - continued

To say truth now, the Roman under the unprovoked storm had the young Jew's sympathy; so that when he reached the corner of the house, the latter leaned yet farther over the parapet to see him go by, and in the act rested a hand upon a tile which had been a long time cracked and allowed to go unnoticed. The pressure was strong enough to displace the outer piece, which started to fall.

A thrill of horror shot through the youth. He reached out to catch the missile. In appearance the motion was exactly that of one pitching something from him. The effort failed--nay, it served to push the descending fragment farther out over the wall. He shouted with all his might. The soldiers of the guard looked up; so did the great man, and that moment the missile struck him, and he fell from his seat as dead.

The cohort halted; the guards leaped from their horses, and hastened to cover the chief with their shields. On the other hand, the people who witnessed the affair, never doubting that the blow had been purposely dealt, cheered the lad as he yet stooped in full view over the parapet, transfixed by what he beheld, and by anticipation of the consequences flashed all too plainly upon him.  

A mischievous spirit flew with incredible speed from roof to roof along the line of march, seizing the people, and urging them all alike. They laid hands upon the parapets and tore up the tiling and the sunburnt mud of which the house-tops were for the most part made, and with blind fury began to fling them upon the legionaries halted below. A battle then ensued. Discipline, of course, prevailed. The struggle, the slaughter, the skill of one side, the desperation of the other, are alike unnecessary to our story. Let us look rather to the wretched author of it all. 

He arose from the parapet, his face very pale. 

"O Tirzah, Tirzah! What will become of us?" 

She had not seen the occurrence below, but was listening to the shouting and watching the mad activity of the people in view on the houses. Something terrible was going on, she knew; but what it was, or the cause, or that she or any of those dear to her were in danger, she did not know.  

"What has happened? What does it all mean?" she asked, in sudden alarm.

 "I have killed the Roman governor. The tile fell upon him." 

An unseen hand appeared to sprinkle her face with the dust of ashes--it grew white so instantly. She put her arm around him, and looked wistfully, but without a word, into his eyes. 

His fears had passed to her, and the sight of them gave him strength.  

"I did not do it purposely, Tirzah--it was an accident," he said, more calmly. 

"What will they do?" she asked.  

He looked off over the tumult momentarily deepening in the street and on the roofs, and thought of the sullen countenance of Gratus.

If he were not dead, where would his vengeance stop? And if he were dead, to what height of fury would not the violence of the people lash the legionaries? To evade an answer, he peered over the parapet again, just as the guard were assisting the Roman to remount his horse.  

"He lives, he lives, Tirzah! Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers!"  

With that outcry, and a brightened countenance, he drew back and replied to her question.  

"Be not afraid, Tirzah. I will explain how it happened, and they will remember our father and his services, and not hurt us."  

He was leading her to the summer-house, when the roof jarred under their feet, and a crash of strong timbers being burst away, followed by a cry of surprise and agony, arose apparently from the court-yard below. He stopped and listened. The cry was repeated; then came a rush of many feet, and voices lifted in rage blent with voices in prayer; and then the screams of women in mortal terror. The soldiers had beaten in the north gate, and were in possession of the house. The terrible sense of being hunted smote him. His first impulse was to fly; but where? Nothing but wings would serve him. Tirzah, her eyes wild with fear, caught his arm.  

"O Judah, what does it mean?"  

The servants were being butchered--and his mother! Was not one of the voices he heard hers? With all the will left him, he said, "Stay here, and wait for me, Tirzah. I will go down and see what is the matter, and come back to you." 

His voice was not steady as he wished. She clung closer to him. 

Clearer, shriller, no longer a fancy, his mother's cry arose.He hesitated no longer.  

"Come, then, let us go."  

The terrace or gallery at the foot of the steps was crowded with soldiers. Other soldiers with drawn swords ran in and out of the chambers. At one place a number of women on their knees clung to each other or prayed for mercy. Apart from them, one with torn garments, and long hair streaming over her face, struggled to tear loose from a man all whose strength was tasked to keep his hold. Her cries were shrillest of all; cutting through the clamor, they had risen distinguishably to the roof. To her Judah sprang--his steps were long and swift, almost a winged flight--"Mother, mother!" he shouted. She stretched her hands towards him; but when almost ouching them he was seized and forced aside. Then he heard some one say, speaking loudly, 

"That is he!" 

Judah looked, and saw--Messala. 

"What, the assassin--that?" said a tall man, in legionary armor of beautiful finish. 

"Why, he is but a boy."  

"Gods!" replied Messala, not forgetting his drawl. "A new philosophy! 

What would Seneca say to the proposition that a man must be old before he can hate enough to kill? You have him; and that is his mother; yonder his sister. You have the whole family."

 For love of them, Judah forgot his quarrel. 

"Help them, O my Messala! Remember our childhood and help them.

I--Judah--pray you." 

Messala affected not to hear.

 "I cannot be of further use to you," he said to the officer.

"There is richer entertainment in the street. Down Eros, up Mars!" 

With the last words he disappeared. Judah understood him, and, in the bitterness of his soul, prayed to Heaven.  

"In the hour of thy vengeance, O Lord," he said, "be mine the hand to put it upon him!"  

By great exertion, he drew nearer the officer.  

"O sir, the woman you hear is my mother. Spare her, spare my sister yonder. God is just, he will give you mercy for mercy."  

The man appeared to be moved. 

"To the Tower with the women!" he shouted, "but do them no harm.

I will demand them of you." Then to those holding Judah, he said, "Get cords, and bind his hands, and take him to the street.

His punishment is reserved."

(to be continued)

  Power of Positive Thinking

 by Norman Vincent Peale

Chapter 6

Stop Fuming and Fretting 

MANY PEOPLE MAKE life unnecessarily difficult for themselves by dissipating power and energy through fuming and fretting.

Do you ever "fume" and "fret"? Here is a picture of yourself if you do. The word "fume" means to boil up, to blow off, to emit vapor, to be agitated, to be distraught, to seethe. The word "fret" is equally descriptive. It is reminiscent of a sick child in the night, a petulant half-cry, half-whine. It ceases, only to begin again. It has an irritating, annoying, penetrating quality. To fret is a childish term, but it describes the emotional reaction of many adults.

The Bible advises us to "Fret not thyself..." (Psalm 37: 1)

This is sound advice for the people of our time. We need to stop fuming and fretting and get peaceful if we are to have power to live effectively. And how do we go about doing so?

A first step is to reduce your pace or at least the tempo of your pace. We do not realize how accelerated the rate of our lives has become, or the speed at which we are driving ourselves. Many people are destroying their physical bodies by this pace, but what is even more tragic, they are tearing their minds and souls to shreds as well. It is possible for a person to live a quiet existence physically and yet maintain a high tempo emotionally. Even an invalid can live at too high a pace from that standpoint. The character of our thoughts determines pace. When the mind goes rushing on pell-mell from one feverish attitude to another it becomes feverish and the result is a state bordering on petulance.

The pace of modern life must be reduced if we are not to suffer profoundly from its debilitating over-stimulation and super-excitement. This over-stimulation produces toxic poisons in the body and creates emotional illness. It produces fatigue and a sense of frustration so that we fume and fret about everything from our personal troubles to the state of the nation and the world. If the effect of this emotional disquiet is so pronounced physically, what must its effect be on that deep inner essence of the personality known as the soul?

It is impossible to have peace of soul if the pace is so feverishly accelerated. God won't go that fast. He will not endeavor to keep up with you. He says in effect, "Go ahead if you must with this foolish pace and when you are worn out I will offer my healing. But I can make your life so rich if you will slow down now and live and move and have your being in me." God moves imperturbably, slowly, and with perfect organization. The only wise rate at which to live is God's rate. God gets things done and they are done right and He does them without hurry. He neither fumes nor frets. He is peaceful and therefore efficient. This same peace is offered to us —"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you..." (John 14:27)

In a sense this is a pathetic generation, especially in the great cities because of the effect of nervous tension, synthetic excitement, and noise; but the malady extends into the country districts also, for the air waves transmit tension.

I was amused by an old lady who, in talking about this matter, said, "Life is so daily." That remark certainly spoke volumes about the pressure, responsibilities, and tension of daily life. Its persistent, insistent demand upon us is provocative of pressure.

One wonders whether this generation of Americans is not so accustomed to tension that many are in the unhappy state of not being comfortable without it. The deep quietness of woods and valleys so well known to our forefathers is an unaccustomed state to them. The tempo of their lives is such that in many instances they have an incapacity to draw upon the sources of peace and quietness which the physical world offers.

(to be continued)

Did you Know ?

  • Approximately 1,100 U boats were sunk or lost during World War II.
  • Although the two-finger V for Victory sign is synonymous with Winston Churchill, it actually was the idea of a Belgian refugee in London, Victor De Laveleye.
  • Chemical and biological warfare have been used long before World War 1. During the Peloponnesian War in the 5th century BC, Spartans used sulfur and pitch to overcome the enemy.
  • One out of every two casualties of war is a civilian caught in the crossfire.
  • In 1955, the richest woman in the world was Mrs Hetty Green Wilks, who left an estate of $95 million in a will that was found in a tin box with four pieces of soap.
  • Liliane Bettencourt, the daughter of L’Oreal’s founder, has been the richest woman in the world for most of the past decade.
  • There are more than 9 million millionaires and about 800 billionaires in the world – depending on how the stock market did today.
  • In 1865, Frederik Idestam founded a wood-pulp mill in southern Finland, naming it Nokia. It rapidly gained worldwide recognition, attracting a large number of workforce and the town Nokia was born. In 1898, the Finnish Rubber Works company opened in Nokia, taking on the town name in the 1920s. After WWII, the rubber company took a majority shareholding in the Finnish Cable Work. In 1967, the companies consolidated to become the Nokia Group. The recession of the 1990s led the group to focus on the mobile phone market.
  • The Space Shuttle always rolls over after launch to alleviate structural loading, allowing the shuttle to carry more mass into orbit.
  • The word “biology” was coined in 1805 by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
  •  Most of the air is about 78% nitrogen gas. Only 21% consists of oxygen. The remaining 1% consists of carbon dioxide, argon, neon, helium, krypton, hydrogen, xenon and ozone.
  • Argon is used to fill the space in most light bulbs. Neon is used in fluorescent signs. Fluorescent lights are filled with mercury gas.
  • Hydrogen gas is the least dense substance in the world. 
  • Water expands by about 9% as it freezes.