Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Four Boys

There were four young boys, having fun and driving go-karts.

The first boy took off, doing zig-zags. The second and third boys took off doing the same. They all thought it was great fun.

The fourth boy, tried to do zig-zags too, but he lost control and crashed into a ditch and hurt himself.

When the other boys saw what happened, the first boy felt sorry he'd started it, and the second and third boys felt sorry that they had followed.

Remember in life, that our actions don't just affect us. They affect others, too. Sometimes we may get away with doing things, but our brother may not.

And you never know whose following along behind...

The Carrot, The Egg and The Coffee-Bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She didn't know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, Mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

But the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a soft heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life and flavor, to them?

Which one are you? The carrot, the egg, or the coffee bean?

True Friends

True friends are a gift from God....Where would we be without them?

A true friend stands behind us when we're right.

Stands in front of us, when we're being threatened, and says "Hurt me, not him".

Stands beside us when we're down, and reaches out to help us up.

Take Heart...

Failure is a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.

The only battle we can't win, is the battle we don't want to fight.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Parable of the Pencil

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.

"There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."

"One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand."

"Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil."

"Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make."

"Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside."

"And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write."

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.


Put yourself in the place of the pencil.

1.) If you allow God to work in your life, and share your gifts with others, you will be able to do many great things.

2.) You will have to face problems and pain from time to time. These will help to make you stronger.

3.) If you go to God for forgiveness, He can help you correct your mistakes.

4.)The most important part of you, is on the inside. In your heart and your mind.

5.) In every situation and experience, you must conduct yourself like a child of God, because others are watching and learning from you.

The Empty Jar

A professor stood in front of his philosophy class, with some items before him. When class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large, empty jar, and began filling it with golf balls. When they reached the top, he asked the class if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He gave the jar a shake, and the pebbles rolled into the spaces around the golf balls. He asked again if the jar was full.

Again, they agreed that it was.

Then he picked up a box of sand, and poured it into the jar, and it filled all the spaces between the pebbles. He asked yet again, if the jar was full. The students replied with a resounding "Yes!"

Then, he produced two cups of coffee, and poured them into the jar, filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

When the laughter subsided, the professor said to them "I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things: God, family, your children, your health, good friends, and your passions. If all else was lost, but they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter, like your house, your car, your job. The sand is everything else - the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. It's the same with life. If you put all your time and energy, into the small stuff, you'll never have room, for the things that are important."

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Race

"Quit, give up, you're beaten", they shout at you and plead,
"There's just so much against you now, this time you can't succeed,"
And as I start to hang my head, in front of failures faced,
My downward fall is broken, by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will, as I recall the scene,
For just the thought of that short race, rejuvenates my being.

A children's race, young boys, young men, I do remember well,
Excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn't hard to tell.
They all lined up, so full of hope, each thought to win the race,
Or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watching from the sides, each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his Dad, that he could be the one.

The whistle blew, and off they went, young hearts and hopes afire,
To win and be the hero there, was each young boy's desire.
And one boy in particular, whose Dad was in the crowd, was running,
Near the lead, and thought "My Dad will be so proud."
But as he sped straight down the field, across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win, did lose his step and slip,
Trying to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,
And mid laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.

But as he fell, his Dad stood up, and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, "Get up, go win the race"
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that's all,
And ran with all his might and mind, to make up for the fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and win,
His mind went faster than his legs, he slipped and fell again.

He wished then he had quit before, with only one disgrace
"I'm hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn't try to race"
But in the laughing crowd he searched, and found his father's face
That steady look that said again "Get up and win the race.
So up he jumped to try again, ten yards behind the last,
"If I am going to gain those yards, then I have got to move real fast"
Exerting everything he had, he regained but eight or ten,
Still trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat, he lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye,
"There's no sense running anymore - three strikes, I'm out, why try?"
The will to rise had disappeared, all hopes had fled away,
So far behind, and error-prone, a loser all the way

"I've lost, so what?" he thought, "I'll live with my disgrace,"
But then he thought about his Dad, whom soon he'd have to face,
"Get up" the echo sounded clear, "Get up and take your place,
You were not meant for failure here, get up and win the race."
With borrowed will "Get up" it said "You haven't lost at all,
For winning is not more than this - to rise each time you fall.

So far behind the others now, the most he'd ever been,
But still he gave it all he had, and ran as though to win.
Three times he'd fallen, three times he rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner, as he crossed the line first place,
His head held high and proud, No falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen runner crossed the line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer, for finishing the race,
And though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud.
You would have thought he'd won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his Dad he sadly said, "I didn't do so well"
"To me you won" his father said, "You rose each time you fell."