21 October, 2012

posted 17 Oct 2012, 08:43 by C S Paul   [ updated 17 Oct 2012, 08:44 ]

21 October, 2012

THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL

Author Unknown

A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

"While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It's on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you'd be mad at having to do it again."

She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
"Where is your little brother right now?"
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.

She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear--he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!

She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, "I love Mommy," surrounded by a heart.

Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall


Priorities

Provided by Free Christian Content.org 

I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No. 
Patience is a by product of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is earned. 

I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No. 
I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you. 

I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No. 
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me. 

I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No. 
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful. 

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. God said No. 
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things. 

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as God loves me. 
God said... Ahhhh, finally you have the idea. 


Just A Few Drops

Author Unknown 

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt several farmers before it was through. Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn't see some rain soon... we would lose everything. 

It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort...trying to be as still as possible

Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches, thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed. Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for an hour. He would walk carefully to the woods, run back to the house. Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen...as he was obviously doing important work and didn't need his Mommy checking up on him). 

He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked, being very careful not to spill the water he held in them...maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked close as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his little face but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much higher purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site. Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him...he didn't even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand. 

When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house, to a spigot that we had shut off the water to. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle began to creep out. He knelt there, letting the drip, drip slowly fill up his makeshift "cup," as the sun beat down on his little back. And it came clear to me. The trouble he had gotten into for playing with the hose the week before. The lecture he had received about the importance of not wasting water. The reason he didn't ask me to help him. 

It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His little eyes just filled with tears. "I'm not wasting," was all he said. 

As he began his walk, I joined him...with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job. 

I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save another life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by other drops...and more drops...and more. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride. 

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That miracles don't really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that...I'm not going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm...just like the actions of one little boy saved another

I don't know if anyone will read this...but I had to send it.... To honor the memory of my beautiful Billy, who was taken from me much too soon.... but not before showing me the true face of God, in a little sunburned body

 


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Four

Judah Ben-Hur trains for five years in the Palaestra in Rome and becomes the heir of the deceased Arrius. Judah goes to Antioch on state business. On the voyage, he learns that his real father's chief servant, Simonides, lives in a house in this city, and that his father's possessions had been entrusted to him. He pays a visit to the house and tells his full story to Simonides, who demands more proof. Ben-Hur replies he has no proof, but asks whether they know the fate of Judah's mother and sister. He says he knows nothing and Judah Ben-Hur leaves the house with an apology. Simonides hires his servant Malluch to spy on Judah to see if his story is true and find more information. Malluch meets and befriends Judah in the Grove of Daphne and they go to the games stadium together. There, Ben-Hur finds his old rival Messala racing one of the chariots, preparing for a tournament.

A prosperous Arab of Antioch, Sheik Ilderim, announces that he is looking for a chariot driver to race his team in the coming tournament. Judah, wanting revenge on Messala, decides to drive the sheik's chariot and defeat Messala. Meanwhile, Balthasar and his daughter Iras are sitting at a fountain in the stadium. Messala's chariot nearly hit them but Judah intervenes. Balthasar thanks Ben-Hur and presents him with a gift. Judah heads to Sheik Ilderim's tent. The servant Malluch follows him there, and along the way they talk about the Christ and Malluch relates Balthasar's story of the Magi. They realize that the man rescued at the fountain was the same Balthasar that saw the Christ's birth.

Back at Simonides' house, Esther, Simonides and Malluch talk together, and conclude that Ben-Hur is who he claims to be, and that he is on their side in the fight against Rome.

Messala realizes that Judah Ben-Hur has been adopted into a Roman home and his honor has been restored. He threatens to take revenge.

Meanwhile, Balthasar and his daughter Iras arrive at the Sheik's tent. With Judah they discuss how the Christ, approaching the age of thirty, is ready to enter public ministry. Judah takes increasing interest in the beautiful Iras.

Part Four - Chapter IV

Scarcely was Ben-Hur gone, when Simonides seemed to wake as from sleep: his countenance flushed; the sullen light of his eyes changed to brightness; and he said, cheerily,

"Esther, ring--quick!"

She went to the table, and rang a service-bell.

One of the panels in the wall swung back, exposing a doorway which gave admittance to a man who passed round to the merchant's front, and saluted him with a half-salaam.

"Malluch, here--nearer--to the chair," the master said, imperiously.
 
"I have a mission which shall not fail though the sun should. Hearken! A young man is now descending to the store-room--tall, comely, and in the garb of Israel; follow him, his shadow not more faithful; and every night send me report of where he is, what he does, and the company he keeps; and if, without discovery, you overhear his conversations, report them word for word, together with whatever will serve to expose him, his habits, motives, life. Understand you? Go quickly!

Stay, Malluch: if he leave the city, go after him--and, mark you, Malluch, be as a friend. If he bespeak you, tell him what you will to the occasion most suited, except that you are in my service, of that, not a word. Haste--make haste!"

The man saluted as before, and was gone.

Then Simonides rubbed his wan hands together, and laughed.

"What is the day, daughter?" he said, in the midst of the mood. "What is the day? I wish to remember it for happiness come. See, and look for it laughing, and laughing tell me, Esther."

The merriment seemed unnatural to her; and, as if to entreat him from it, she answered, sorrowfully, "Woe's me, father, that I should ever forget this day!"

His hands fell down the instant, and his chin, dropping upon his breast, lost itself in the muffling folds of flesh composing his lower face.

"True, most true, my daughter!" he said, without looking up. "This is the twentieth day of the fourth month. To-day, five years ago, my Rachel, thy mother, fell down and died. They brought me home broken as thou seest me, and we found her dead of grief. Oh, to me she was a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-Gedi! I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey. We laid her away in a lonely place--in a tomb cut
in the mountain; no one near her. Yet in the darkness she left me a little light, which the years have increased to a brightness of morning." He raised his hand and rested it upon his daughter's head.

"Dear Lord, I thank thee that now in my Esther my lost Rachel liveth again!"

Directly he lifted his head, and said, as with a sudden thought, "Is it not clear day outside?"

"It was, when the young man came in."

"Then let Abimelech come and take me to the garden, where I can see the river and the ships, and I will tell thee, dear Esther, why but now my mouth filled with laughter, and my tongue with singing, and my spirit was like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices."

In answer to the bell a servant came, and at her bidding pushed the chair, set on little wheels for the purpose, out of the room to the roof of the lower house, called by him his garden. Out through the roses, and by beds of lesser flowers, all triumphs of careful attendance, but now unnoticed, he was rolled to a position from which he could view the palace-tops over against him on the island, the bridge in lessening perspective to the farther shore, and the river below the bridge crowded with vessels, all swimming amidst the dancing splendors of the early sun upon the rippling water. There the servant left him with Esther.

The much shouting of laborers, and their beating and pounding, did not disturb him any more than the tramping of people on the bridge floor almost overhead, being as familiar to his ear as the view before him to his eye, and therefore unnoticeable, except as suggestions of profits in promise.

Esther sat on the arm of the chair nursing his hand, and waiting his speech, which came at length in the calm way, the mighty will having carried him back to himself.

"When the young man was speaking, Esther, I observed thee, and thought thou wert won by him."

Her eyes fell as she replied,

"Speak you of faith, father, I believed him."

"In thy eyes, then, he is the lost son of the Prince Hur?"

"If he is not--" She hesitated.

"And if he is not, Esther?"

"I have been thy handmaiden, father, since my mother answered the call of the Lord God; by thy side I have heard and seen thee deal in wise ways with all manner of men seeking profit, holy and unholy; and now I say, if indeed the young man be not the prince he claims to be, then before me falsehood never played so well the part of righteous truth."

"By the glory of Solomon, daughter, thou speakest earnestly. Dost thou believe thy father his father's servant?"

"I understood him to ask of that as something he had but heard."

to be continued

Freckles

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws.

"You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" a girl in the line said to the little fella. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles, she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful!"

The boy looked up, "Really?"

"Of course," said the grandmother. "Why, just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles."

The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma's face, and softly whispered, "Wrinkles." 


Power of Positive Thinking

 by Norman Vincent Peale


Chapter 9 - continued

One of the best illustrations of this technique strategy against worry was a scheme developed by a businessman. He was a tremendous worrier. In fact he was fast getting himself into a bad state of nerves and ill-health. His particular form of worry was that he was always doubtful as to whether he had done or said the right thing. He was always rehashing his decisions and getting himself unnerved about them. He was a post-mortem expert. He is an exceptionally intelligent man,in fact a graduate of two universities, in both instances with honors. I suggested that he ought to work out some simple method that would help him to drop the day when it was over and go ahead into the future and forget it. I explained the gripping effectiveness of simple, dramatized spiritual truth.
It is always true that the greatest minds have the best ability to be simple, that is, they have the capacity to work out some simple plans for putting profound truths into operation, and this man did that in connection with his worries. I noticed that he was improving and commented on it.

"Oh, yes," he said, "I finally got the secret and it has worked amazingly well." He said that if I would drop into his office sometime toward the close of the day he would show me how he had broken the worry habit. He telephoned me one day and asked me to have dinner that evening. I met him at his office at closing time. He explained that he had broken his worry habit by working out "a little ritual" that he performed every night before leaving his office. And it was very unique. It made a lasting impression upon me.

We picked up our hats and coats and started toward the door. By the door of his office stood a wastebasket and above it on the wall was a calendar. It was not one of those calendars where you see a week or a month, or three months, it was a one-day calendar. You could see only one date at a time, and that date was in large print. He said, "Now I will perform my evening ritual, the one that has helped me break the worry habit.

He reached up and tore off the calendar page for that particular day. He rolled it into a small ball and I watched with fascination as his fingers slowly opened and he dropped that "day" into the wastebasket. Then he closed his eyes and his lips moved, and I knew that he was praying, so was respectfully silent. Upon finishing his prayer he said aloud, "Amen. O.K., the day is over. Come on, let's go out and enjoy ourselves."

As we walked down the street I asked, "Would you mind telling me what you said in that prayer?"

He laughed and said, "I don't think it is your kind of prayer."

But I persisted, and he said, "Well, I pray something like this: 'Lord, you gave me this day. I didn't ask for it, but I was glad to have it. I did the best I could with it and you helped me, and I thank you. I made some mistakes. That was when I didn't follow your advice, and I am sorry about that. Forgive me. But I had some victories and some successes, too, and I am grateful for your guidance. But now, Lord, mistakes or successes, victories or defeats, the day is over and I'm through with it, so I'm giving it back to you. Amen.' "

Perhaps that isn't an orthodox prayer, but it certainly proved to be an effective one. He dramatized the finishing of the day and he set his face to the future, expecting to do better the next day. He co-operated with God's method. When the day is over, God blacks it out by bringing down the curtain of night. By this method this man's past mistakes and failures, his sins of omission and commission gradually lost their hold on him. He was released from the worries that accumulated from his yesterdays. In this technique this man was practicing one of the most effective anti-worry formulas, which is described in these words, "...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Other practical anti-worry techniques may suggest themselves to you, and I should like to hear of those which after careful use prove effective. I believe that all of us who are interested in self-improvement are fellow students in God's great spiritual laboratory. Together we work out practical methods of successful living. People from everywhere are kind enough to write me about their methods and the results attained. I try to be helpful in making tested methods available to others through books, sermons, newspaper columns, radio, television, and other media. In this manner there can be developed a great many people who have the know-how for overcoming not only worry but other personal problems as well.

To conclude this chapter in a manner designed to help you go to work now to break the worry habit, I list a ten-point worry-breaking formula.

1. Say to yourself, "Worry is just a very bad mental habit. And I can change any habit with God's help."

2. You became a worrier by practicing worry. You can become free of worry by practicing the opposite and stronger habit of faith. With all the strength and perseverance you can command, start practicing faith.

3. How do you practice faith? First thing every morning before you arise say out loud, "I believe," three times.

4. Pray, using this formula, "I place this day, my life, my loved ones, my work in the Lord's hands. There is no harm in the Lord's hands, only good. Whatever happens, whatever results, if I am in the Lord's hands it is the Lord's will and it is good. 

5. Practice saying something positive concerning everything about which you have been talking negatively. Talk positively. For example, don't say, "This is going to be a terrible day." Instead, affirm, "This is going to be a glorious day." don't say, "I'll never be able to do that." Instead,affirm, "With God's help I will do that."

6. Never participate in a worry conversation. Shoot an injection of faith into all your conversations. A group of people talking pessimistically can infect every person in the group with negativism. But by talking things up rather than down you can drive off that depressing atmosphere and make everyone feel hopeful and happy.

7. One reason you are a worrier is that your mind is literally saturated with apprehension thoughts, defeat thoughts, gloomy thoughts. To counteract, mark every passage in the Bible that speaks of faith, hope, happiness, glory, radiance.Commit each to memory. Say them over and over again until these creative thoughts saturate your subconscious mind. Then the subconscious will return to you what you have given it, namely, optimism, not worry.

8. Cultivate friendships with hopeful people. Surround yourself with friends who think positive, faith-producing thoughts and who contribute to a creative atmosphere. This will keep you re-stimulated with faith attitudes.

9. See how many people you can help to cure their own worry habit. In helping another to overcome worry you get greater power over it within yourself.

10. Every day of your life conceive of yourself as living in partnership and companionship with Jesus Christ. If He actually walked by your side, would you be worried or afraid? Well, then, say to yourself, "He is with me." Affirm aloud, "I am with you always." Then change it to say, "He is with me now." Repeat that affirmation three times every day.
 

A Piece of Cake

 Author Unknown

A little boy is telling his grandma how everything is going wrong.....school, family problems, severe health problems, etc.Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake. She asks her grandson if hewould like a snack,which, of course, he does.

"Here, have some cooking oil."

"Yuck" says the boy.

"How about a couple raw eggs?"

"Gross, Grandma!"

"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?"

"Grandma, those are all yucky!" 

"Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves, but when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! 

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why he would let us go through such bad and difficult times, but God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! 

We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!"God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sun rise every morning. 

Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. If you like, sendthis on to the people you care about. I did. 

Hope your day is a "piece of cake!

 

Just for Laughs

Substitute Preacher

A supply speaker was invited to fill in while the pastor was on vacation. He began his sermon by saying, "Today I'm just substituting for your Pastor, I kind of feel like the cardboard you temporarily place in the window while the glass is being repaired." Then he went on with his sermon.

At the end of the service, while shaking hands with parishioners, one said, "Remember what you said about feeling like a cardboard replacement? Well you shouldn't feel that way at all. Today you were a real pain."


Did you Know ?

  • Great Britain was the first county to issue postage stamps, on 1 May 1840. Hence, UK stamps are the only stamps in the world not to bear the name of the country of origin.
  • Napoleon‘s christening name was Italian: Napoleone Buonaparte. He was born on the island of Corsica one year after it became French property. As a boy, Napoleon hated the French.
  • John Rolfe married Pocahontas the Red Indian Princess in 1613.
  • Only one of the Seven Wonders of the World still survives: the Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • A house fly lives only 14 days.
  • A dog was the first in space and a sheep, a duck and a rooster the first to fly in a hot air balloon.
  • The Big Five is a group of animals of Africa: cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino.
  • The oldest breed of dog is the Saluki.
  • The bee hummingbird of Cuba is the smallest bird in the world.

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