31 March 2013

posted 28 Mar 2013, 02:17 by C S Paul   [ updated 28 Mar 2013, 02:21 ]

31 March 2013
  • "Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." — William Blake
  • "Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." — David Lloyd George
  • "I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately triumph than to triumph in a cause that will ultimately fail." — Jim Elliot 
  • "Would that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest; heaven so real that we must have men there; Christ so real that our supreme motive and aim shall be to make the Man of Sorrows the Man of Joy by the conversion to him of many." — J. Hudson Taylor.
  • "If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow." — Chinese proverb 
  • "You are wise when you learn from your mistakes. You are wiser still when you learn from others' mistakes." — Rob Acker 
  • "The experience of resistance and frustration is often an indication that you are doing the wrong thing." — Brian Tracy 
  • "Every person is working for him or herself." — Brian Tracy 
  • "He who never walks except where he sees other men's tracks will make no discoveries." — Unknown 
  • "Success is a marathon, not a sprint." — Unknown 
  • And, "If it's going to be, it will be up to me." — Unknown 
  • "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" — God (Jeremiah 32:27, NIV).
  • "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths" — God (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).

Never be late

A parish priest was being honored at a dinner on the twenty-fifth anniversary  of his arrival in that parish. A leading local politician, who was a member of the congregation, was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner, but he was delayed in traffic, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited.

"You will understand," he said, "the seal of the confessional, can never be broken. However, I got my first impressions of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I can only hint vaguely about this, but when I came here twenty-five years ago I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first chap who entered my confessional told me how he had stolen a television set, and when stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer. Further, he told me he had embezzled money from his place of 
business and had an affair with his boss's wife.

I was appalled. But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that, and I had, indeed come to, a fine parish full of understanding and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and give his talk.

"I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived in this parish,"

said the politician. "In fact, I had the honour of being the first one to go to him for confession."

Moral: NEVER EVER BE LATE 

Reality of Life


This is a story of four people called Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was some important work that had to be done, and Everybody was sure that 
Somebody would do it. 

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry because of this, since it was Everybody's job. 

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody understood that Everybody wouldn't do it. 

It ended with Everybody blaming Somebody as Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Oooops.............Got it? ;)

If You Didn't  Read Again

In Case I'm Gone

— Source Unknown
One day a man's wife died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the husband was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't anymore.

No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute."

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye and say "I love you."

So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage, children with bad report cards, dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep—like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them? It's so very important to let every one of your friends know you love them, even if you think they don't love you back.

For one day we will all be gone.
       

Opportunity Comes to Pass ...

As Jesus said, "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work."  

Once upon a time a city dweller moved to the country and bought a farm with a cow. In no time his cow went dry. When he told this to the neighbouring farmer, the farmer was surprised as this cow had always given lots of milk.

The city man was surprised, too, and told the other farmer how considerate he had been of the cow. He said, "I never took more milk than I needed. If I only needed a quart, that's all I took. If I didn't need any milk, I didn't milk her that day!

"What the man didn't realize is that, to keep a cow producing milk, he needed to take what she had to give.That's kind of like life, isn't it? If we don't use the gifts we have, we may lose them. 

And if we don't take the opportunities for service, for growth, for spiritual enrichment while we have them, we may lose these opportunities too.

Remember: "Opportunity comes to pass, not to pause!"


DID YOU KNOW ?

  • 1 in 5,000 north Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.
  • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of lemons contain more sugar than 1 kg of strawberries.
  • 1,525,000,000 miles of telephone wire are strung across the Unites States.
  • 1.7 litres of saliva is produced each day. In Discovery Channel, its a quart.
  • 10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.
  • 10% of human dry weight comes from bacteria
  • 11% of the world is left-handed.
  • 2 and 5 are the only prime numbers that end in 2 or 5.
  • 203 million dollars is spent on barbed wire each year in the U.S.
  • 22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank accounts in the next hour.
  • 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their buttocks.
  • 25% of a human's bones are in its feet.
  • 259200 people die every day.


Just for laughs

God's Will

A farmer was on his way to town to buy a cow. On the way he stopped for a brief visit with his neighbor who was a Christian. 

"Where are you going today," the neighbor asked. 

"I'm going to town to buy a cow." 

Well actually, the Christian neighbor instructed, you ought to say, "the Lord willing, I'm going to town to buy a cow." 

God's Will "What do you mean, I have the money, they have the cow, I'm going to town to 
buy a cow." 

With that, he resumed his walk. Just before reaching the town, the farmer was mugged, his money stolen, and he was left unconscious by the side of the road. When he finally came too, and realizing all his money was gone, he started to limp back towards home. 

The Christian neighbor saw him coming, and hastened to help. After hearing the story, the Christian farmer asked, "So now what are you going to do?"

"Well, the Lord willing, I'm going home."

A Timely Help 

An old man lived alone. He wanted to dig his potato garden, but it was very hard work and his only son, who would have helped him, was in prison for bank robbery. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his predicament.

Shortly, he received this reply: "FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, Dad, don't dig up the entire garden, that's where I buried the money." At 4 A.M. the next morning, a dozen policemen showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any money.

Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asking him what to do next. His son's reply was, "Now plant your potatoes, Dad. It's the best I could do from here."


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.

CHAPTER I

The morning after the bacchanalia in the saloon of the palace, the divan was covered with young patricians. Maxentius might come, and the city throng to receive him; the legion might descend from Mount Sulpius in glory of arms and armor; from Nymphaeum to Omphalus there might be ceremonial splendors to shame the most notable ever before seen or heard of in the gorgeous East; yet would the many continue to sleep ignominiously on the divan where they had fallen or been carelessly tumbled by the indifferent slaves; that they would be able to take part in the reception that day was about as possible as for the lay-figures in the studio of a modern artist to rise and go bonneted and plumed through the one, two, three of a waltz.

Not all, however, who participated in the orgy were in the shameful condition. When dawn began to peer through the skylights of the saloon, Messala arose, and took the chaplet from his head, in sign that the revel was at end; then he gathered his robe about him, gave a last look at the scene, and, without a word, departed for his quarters. Cicero could not have retired with more gravity from a night-long senatorial debate.

Three hours afterwards two couriers entered his room, and from his own hand received each a despatch, sealed and in duplicate, and consisting chiefly of a letter to Valerius Gratus, the procurator, still resident in Caesarea. The importance attached to the speedy
and certain delivery of the paper may be inferred. One courier was to proceed overland, the other by sea; both were to make the utmost haste.

It is of great concern now that the reader should be fully informed of the contents of the letter thus forwarded, and it is accordingly given:

"ANTIOCH, XII. Kal. Jul.

"Messala to Gratus.

"O my Midas!

"I pray thou take no offense at the address, seeing it is one of love and gratitude, and an admission that thou art most fortunate among men; seeing, also, that thy ears are as they were derived from thy mother, only proportionate to thy matured condition.

"O my Midas!

"I have to relate to thee an astonishing event, which, though as yet somewhat in the field of conjecture, will, I doubt not, justify thy instant consideration.

"Allow me first to revive thy recollection. Remember, a good many years ago, a family of a prince of Jerusalem, incredibly ancient and vastly rich--by name Ben-Hur. If thy memory have a limp or ailment of any kind, there is, if I mistake not, a wound on thy head which
may help thee to a revival of the circumstance.

"Next, to arouse thy interest. In punishment of the attempt upon thy life--for dear repose of conscience, may all the gods forbid it should ever prove to have been an accident!--the family were seized and summarily disposed of, and their property confiscated. And inasmuch, O my Midas! as the action had the approval of our Caesar, who was as just as he was wise--be there flowers upon his altars forever!--there should be no shame in referring to the sums which were realized to us respectively from that source, for which it is not possible I can ever cease to be grateful to thee, certainly not while I continue, as at present, in the uninterrupted enjoyment of the part which fell to me.

"In vindication of thy wisdom--a quality for which, as I am now advised, the son of Gordius, to whom I have boldly likened thee, was never distinguished among men or gods--I recall further that thou didst make disposition of the family of Hur, both of us at the
time supposing the plan hit upon to be the most effective possible for the purposes in view, which were silence and delivery over to inevitable but natural death. Thou wilt remember what thou didst with the mother and sister of the malefactor; yet, if now I yield to a desire to learn whether they be living or dead, I know, from knowing the amiability of thy nature, O my Gratus, that thou wilt pardon me as one scarcely less amiable than thyself.

"As more immediately essential to the present business, however, I take the liberty of inviting to thy remembrance that the actual criminal was sent to the galleys a slave for life--so the precept ran; and it may serve to make the event which I am about to relate the more astonishing by saying here that I saw and read the receipt for his body delivered in course to the tribune commanding a galley.

"Thou mayst begin now to give me more especial heed, O my most excellent Phrygian!

"Referring to the limit of life at the oar, the outlaw thus justly disposed of should be dead, or, better speaking, some one of the three thousand Oceanides should have taken him to husband at least five years ago. And if thou wilt excuse a momentary weakness, O most
virtuous and tender of men! inasmuch as I loved him in childhood, and also because he was very handsome--I used in much admiration to call him my Ganymede--he ought in right to have fallen into the arms of the most beautiful daughter of the family. Of opinion, however, that he was certainly dead, I have lived quite five years in calm and innocent enjoyment of the fortune for which I am in a degree indebted to him. I make the admission of indebtedness without intending it to diminish my obligation to thee.

"Now I am at the very point of interest.

"Last night, while acting as master of the feast for a party just from Rome--their extreme youth and inexperience appealed to my compassion--I heard a singular story. Maxentius, the consul, as you know, comes to-day to conduct a campaign against the Parthians. Of the ambitious who are to accompany him there is one, a son of the late duumvir Quintus Arrius. I had occasion to inquire about him particularly. When Arrius set out in pursuit of the pirates, whose defeat gained him his final honors, he had no family; when he returned from the expedition, he brought back with him an heir. Now be thou composed as becomes the owner of so many talents in ready sestertii! The son and heir of whom I speak
is he whom thou didst send to the galleys--the very Ben-Hur who should have died at his oar five years ago--returned now with fortune and rank, and possibly as a Roman citizen, to-- Well, thou art too firmly seated to be alarmed, but I, O my Midas! I am in danger--no need to tell thee of what. Who should know, if thou dost not?

"Sayst thou to all this, tut-tut?

"When Arrius, the father, by adoption, of this apparition from the arms of the most beautiful of the Oceanides (see above my opinion of what she should be), joined battle with the pirates, his vessel was sunk, and but two of all her crew escaped drowning--Arrius
himself and this one, his heir.

"The officers who took them from the plank on which they were floating say the associate of the fortunate tribune was a young man who, when lifted to the deck, was in the dress of a galley slave.

"This should be convincing, to say least; but lest thou say tut-tut again, I tell thee, O my Midas! that yesterday, by good chance--I have a vow to Fortune in consequence--I met the mysterious son of Arrius face to face; and I declare now that, though I did not then
recognize him, he is the very Ben-Hur who was for years my playmate; the very Ben-Hur who, if he be a man, though of the commonest grade, must this very moment of my writing be thinking of vengeance--for so would I were I he--vengeance not to be satisfied short of life; vengeance for country, mother, sister, self, and--I say it last, though thou mayst think it would be first--for fortune lost.

"By this time, O good my benefactor and friend! my Gratus! in consideration of thy sestertii in peril, their loss being the worst which could befall one of thy high estate--I quit calling
thee after the foolish old King of Phrygia--by this time, I say (meaning after having read me so far), I have faith to believe thou hast ceased saying tut-tut, and art ready to think what ought to be done in such emergency.

"It were vulgar to ask thee now what shall be done. Rather let me say I am thy client; or, better yet, thou art my Ulysses whose part it is to give me sound direction.

"And I please myself thinking I see thee when this letter is put into thy hand. I see thee read it once; thy countenance all gravity, and then again with a smile; then, hesitation ended, and thy judgment formed, it is this, or it is that; wisdom like Mercury's, promptitude like Caesar's.

"The sun is now fairly risen. An hour hence two messengers will depart from my door, each with a sealed copy hereof; one of them will go by land, the other by sea, so important do I regard it that thou shouldst be early and particularly informed of the appearance of our enemy in this part of our Roman world.

"I will await thy answer here.

"Ben-Hur's going and coming will of course be regulated by his master, the consul, who, though he exert himself without rest day and night, cannot get away under a month. Thou knowest what work it is to assemble and provide for an army destined to operate in
a desolate, townless country.

"I saw the Jew yesterday in the Grove of Daphne; and if he be not there now, he is certainly in the neighborhood, making it easy for me to keep him in eye. Indeed, wert thou to ask me where he is now, I should say, with the most positive assurance, he is
to be found at the old Orchard of Palms, under the tent of the traitor Sheik Ilderim, who cannot long escape our strong hand. Be not surprised if Maxentius, as his first measure, places the Arab on ship for forwarding to Rome.

"I am so particular about the whereabouts of the Jew because it will be important to thee, O illustrious! when thou comest to consider what is to be done; for already I know, and by the knowledge I flatter myself I am growing in wisdom, that in every scheme involving human action there are three elements always to be taken into account--time, place, and agency.

"If thou sayest this is the place, have thou then no hesitancy in trusting the business to thy most loving friend, who would be thy aptest scholar as well.

MESSALA."

to be continued

The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

Chapter 15 CONTINUED

A man had the problem of conquering feelings of irritation toward persons with whom he was associated. For some people he had a very profound dislike. They irritated him
intensely, but he conquered these feelings simply by making an exhaustive list of everything he could possibly admire about each person who annoyed him. Daily he attempted to add to this list. He was surprised to discover that people whom he thought he did not like at all proved to have many pleasing qualities. In fact, he was at a loss to understand how he ever disliked them after becoming conscious of their attractive qualities. Of course, while he was making these discoveries about them, they, in turn, were finding new and likable qualities in him.

If you have gone through life up to this point without having established satisfactory human relationships, do not assume that you cannot change, but it will be necessary to take very
definite steps toward solving the problem. You can change and become a popular person, well liked and esteemed, if you are willing to make the effort. May I remind you as I
remind myself that one of the greatest tragedies of the average person is the tendency to spend our whole lives perfecting our faults? We develop a fault and we nurse it and
cultivate it, and never change it. Like a needle caught in the groove of a defective record on a gramophone, it plays the same old tune over and over again. You must lift the needle
out of the groove, then you will have disharmony no longer, but harmony. Don't spend more of your life perfecting faults in human relations. Spend the rest of your life perfecting
your great capacities for friendliness, for personal relations are vitally important to successful living.

Still another important factor in getting people to like you is to practice building up the ego of other persons. The ego, being the essence of our personalities, is sacred to us. There is in every person a normal desire for a feeling of self-importance. If I deflate your ego and therefore your self-importance, though you may laugh it off, I have deeply
wounded you. In fact, I have shown disrespect for you, and while you may exercise charity toward me, even so, unless you are finely developed spiritually, you are not going to like
me very well. 
 
On the other hand, if I elevate your self-respect and contribute to your feeling of personal worth, I am showing high esteem for your ego. I have helped you to be your best self and therefore you appreciate what I have done. You are grateful to me. You like me for it.

The deflation of another person's ego may be mildly done perhaps, but one can never evaluate how deep the depreciation goes from even a remark or an attitude that is not meant to be unkind. Here is the way in which ego is often deflated.

The next time you are in a group and someone tells a joke and everybody laughs with appreciation and pleasure except yourself, when the laughter has died down say patronizingly, "Well, that is a pretty good joke all right. I saw it in a magazine last month."
Of course it will make you feel quite important to let others know of your superior knowledge, but how does it make the man feel who told the joke? You have robbed him of the satisfaction of having told a good story. You have crowded him out of his brief moment in the limelight and usurped attention to yourself. In fact you have taken the wind out of his sails and left him flat and deflated. He enjoyed his momentary little prominence, but you took it away from him.

Nobody in that group is going to like you for what you did, and certainly not the man whose story you spoiled. Whether you like the joke or not, let the storyteller and the others enjoy it. Remember he may be a little bit embarrassed and shy. It would have done him good to have received a response. Don't deflate people. Build them up and they will
love you for it.

While writing this chapter I enjoyed a visit with an old and dear friend, Dr. John W. Hoffman, one-time president of Ohio Wesleyan University. As I sat with him in Pasadena, I
realized once again how much this great personality has always meant to me. Many years ago, on the night before my graduation from college, we had a banquet at our fraternity
house at which he was present and made a talk. After dinner he asked me to walk with him to the president's house.

It was a beautiful moonlit night in June. All the way up the hill he talked to me about life and its opportunities and told me what a thrill awaited me as I entered the outside world.
As we stood in front of his house he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Norman, I have always liked you. I believe in you. You have great possibilities. I shall always be proud of you. You have got it in you." Of course he overestimated me, but that is infinitely better than to depreciate a person.

It being June and the night before graduation and excitement being in my heart, my sentiments were pretty close to the surface, and I said good night to him through a mist of tears which I tried to conceal. It has been many years since then, but I never forgot what he said nor how he said it on that June night long ago. I have loved him all across the years.

I discovered that he made similar statements to many other boys and girls long since become men and women and they, too, love him because he respected their personalities and was constantly building them up. Through the years he would write to me and to others congratulating us on some little thing that we had done, and a word of approval from him meant much. Little wonder this honored guide of youth has the affection and devotion of thousands of people whose lives he touched.

Whomever you help to build up and become a better, stronger, finer person will give you his undying devotion. Build up as many people as you can. Do it unselfishly. Do it because you like them and because you see possibilities in them. Do this and you will never lack for friends. You will always be well thought of. Build people up and love them genuinely. Do them good and their esteem and affection will flow back toward you.

The basic principles of getting people to like you need no prolonged and labored emphasis, for they are very simple and easily illustrate their own truth. However, I list ten practical rules for getting the esteem of others. The soundness of these principles has been demonstrated innumerable times. Practice them until you become expert at them and people will like you.

1. Learn to remember names. Inefficiency at this point may indicate that your interest is not sufficiently outgoing. A man's name is very important to him.

2. Be a comfortable person so there is no strain in being with you—be an old-shoe, old-hat kind of individual. Be homey.

3. Acquire the quality of relaxed easy-goingness so that things do not ruffle you.

4. Don't be egotistical. Guard against giving the impression that you know it all. Be natural and normally humble.

5. Cultivate the quality of being interesting so that people will want to be with you and get something of stimulating value from their association with you.

6. Study to get the "scratchy" elements out of your personality, even those of which you may be unconscious.

7. Sincerely attempt to heal, on an honest Christian basis, every misunderstanding you have had or now have. Drain off your grievances.

8. Practice liking people until you learn to do so genuinely. Remember what Will Rogers said, "I never met a man I didn't like." Try to be that way. 
 
9. Never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulation upon anyone's achievement, or express sympathy in sorrow or disappointment.

10. Get a deep spiritual experience so that you have something to give people that will help them to be stronger and meet life more effectively. Give strength to people and
they will give affection to you.
 
to be continued

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