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."

The Servant Maid's Prayer

Lord of pots and pans and things,
Since I've not time to be
A saint of lovely things,
Or watching late with Thee.
Or dreaming in the dawnlight,
Or storming heaven's gates.
Make me a saint of getting meals,
And washing up the plates.
Although I may have Martha's hands,
I have a Mary's mind,
And when I shine the boots and shoes,
Thy sandals Lord, I find.
I think of how they trod this earth
What time I scrub the floor.
Accept this meditation, Lord
I haven't time for more.
Warm all the kitchen with Thy love,
And light it with Thy peace.
Forgive me all my worryings,
And make my grumblings cease.
Thou, who loved to get man food,
In home or by the sea,
Accept this service that I do,
I do it unto Thee.

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging, seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit...
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Success is failure, turned inside out.
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell, how close you are,
It may be near, when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight, when you're hardest hit...
It's when things go wrong, that you mustn't quit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Lesson on Never Giving Up

Thomas Alva Edison was interviewed by a New York Times Reporter, after his 700th attempt to invent the light bulb.

The journalist remarked to Edison, "How does it feel to have failed 700 times?"

Edison replied, "I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated all the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work!"

What are we listening for?

Two friends were walking down a crowded city street. All around them, buses roared, horns beeped, and trams rattled.

The first man, a zoologist, turned to his friend, and said " Can you hear those cicadas?"

His friend exclaimed "What?! How can you hear cicadas amongst all this noise?"

The first man took some coins out of his pocket and dropped them on the pavement. Nearly every head in the crowd turned to look where the sound had come from.

He said to his friend: "See? We only hear what we listen for..."

Nelson Mandela

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure about you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Nelson Mandela, in his inaugral speech, 1994

The Two Wolves

 A conversation between a grandfather and his grandson, after the September 11 terrorist attacks...

The grandfather says: "I have two wolves barking inside me. The first wolf is filled with anger, hatred, bitterness, and mostly revenge.The second wolf inside me is filled with love, kindness, compassion, and mostly forgiveness."

"Which wolf do you think will win?" enquired the grandson.

The grandfather responded, "Whichever one I feed."

Dr Wayne Dyer, "The Power of Intention"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Saw Jesus

I saw Jesus last week.

He was wearing blue jeans and an old shirt.
He was up at the church building;
He was alone and working hard.
For just a minute,
he looked a little like one of our members.
But it was Jesus,
I could tell by his smile.

I saw Jesus last Sunday.
He was teaching a Bible class.
He didn't talk real loud or use long words,
But you could tell he believed what he said.
For just a minute,
he looked like my Sunday School teacher.
But it was Jesus,
I could tell by his loving voice.

I saw Jesus yesterday.
He was at the hospital
visiting a friend who was sick.
They prayed together quietly.
For just a minute,
he looked like Brother Jones.
But it was Jesus,
I could tell by the tears in his eyes.

I saw Jesus this morning.
He was in my kitchen
making my breakfast
and fixing me a special lunch.
For just a minute,
he looked like my mom.
But it was Jesus,
I could feel the love from his heart.

I see Jesus everywhere,
Taking food to the sick,
Welcoming others to his home,
Being friendly to a newcomer
and for just a minute
I think he's someone I know.
But it's always Jesus,
I can tell by the way he serves.

May someone see Jesus in you today.

(Author Unknown)

I Asked for Strength...

I asked for strength and
God gave me difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for wisdom and
God gave me problems to solve.

I asked for prosperity and
God gave me brawn and brains to work.

I asked for courage and
God gave me dangers to overcome.

I asked for patience and
God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.

I asked for love and
God gave me troubled people to help.

I asked for favors and
God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted
I received everything I needed.

My prayers have all been answered.

(Author Unknown)

The Man of Galilee

I am the man of Galilee
I came to Earth to set you free.
For you I came, For you I died,
For you I paid the highest price.
Because you are precious,
More precious than words.
And that is why,
I came to Earth.

(I wrote this! 27-April-2010)

The Oak Tree

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew

(Johnny Ray Ryder Jr)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Walk On

To talk with God, no breath is lost,
Talk on.
To walk with God, no strength is lost,
Walk on.
To wait on God, no time is lost,
Wait on.

No Time

I knelt to pray, but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I hurried off to go to work,
The bills were overdue.

And so I said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty now was done,
My soul could be at ease.

All through the day, I had no time,
To speak a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me, I feared.

No time, no time, too much to do,
This was my constant cry.
No time to give to those in need...
At last, it was time to die.

And when before the Lord I came,
I stood with downcast eyes.
Within His hands he held a book,
It was the book of Life.

God looked into his book, and said
"Your name I cannot find,
I once was going to write it down,
But never found the time".

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Story of Two Friends

There were two friends, Bill and Bob. They were walking in the desert, and got into a disagreement. Bill slapped Bob on the face, and without saying a word, Bob knelt down and wrote in the sand...


They patched up their differences and carried on. They came to a waterhole, and they both jumped in for a swim, but Bob started to drown, and Bill came to his rescue and saved his life.

Bob went and carved into the rock...


Bill asked why he had written in the sand before, but this time he'd carved it into the rock.

Bob replied, that when someone wrongs us, we should write it into sand where the winds of time can blow it away.

But when someone does good to us, we should etch it into stone, so that we always remember and be thankful.

Some Gems from Mother Teresa

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love."

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and in reach of every hand."

"We are all pencils in the hand of God."

More Riddles from the Bible

What kind of man was Boaz before he got married?

Who was the greatest female financier in the bible?
Pharoah's daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

Who had the first motorcycle in the Bible?
Moses. He tore up the desert in his Triumph.

Who was the first baker in the Bible?
Paul, when he went to Phillipi.

The Scars of Life

Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida , a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His father, working in the yard, saw the two as they got closer and closer together.

In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father, but it was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived.

His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And on his arms, were deep scratches where his father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved.

The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have big scars on my arms too. I have them because my Dad wouldn't let me go."

We can all identify with that little boy. We have scars too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.

In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

God has blessed you, so that you can be a blessing to others. You just never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going through.

Never judge another person's scars, because you don't know how they got them.

Right now, you need to know that God loves you, and that others love you too -

Enough to not let you go.

(Source Unknown. Sent to me in an email)

The Cracked Water Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

 At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of
what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other
pot's side?'

"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path,
and every day while we walk back, you water them.'"

"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.

Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us have cracks and flaws, but God can still use us to make something beautiful. Look for the good in others, and love them, despite their imperfections.

Riddles in the Bible

Who was the greatest financier in the bible?
Noah. He was busy floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
Samson. He brought the house down.

Which bible character had no parents?
Joshua. Son of Nun.

Let Go and Let God

As children bring their broken toys, with tears for us to mend,

I brought my broken dreams to God, because He is my friend.

But then, instead of leaving Him,

in peace, to work alone

I hung around, and tried to help,

with ways that were my own.

At last, I snatched them back again,

and cried "How could you be so slow?".

"My child", he said "What could I do?

You never did let go".

(Lauretta Burns, 1957)

High Class Church

One Sunday morning, an old cowboy entered a church just before the service was to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and cowboy boots that were very worn and ragged.

In his hand he carried a worn-out old hat, and an equally worn-out old bible.

The church he entered was in a very upscale and exlusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. It had high cathedral ceilings, ornate statues, beautiful murals and stained glass windows, plush carpet, and velvet-like cushioned pews. The building must have cost many millions of dollars to build and maintain.

The men, women and children of the congregation were all dressed in the finest and most expensive suits, dresses, shoes and jewellery the old cowboy had ever witnessed.

As the poorly dressed cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted him. No one welcomed him. No one offered a handshake. No one spoke to him. They were all appalled at his appearance, and did not attempt to hide the fact. There were many glances in his direction as the others frowned and commented among themselves about his shabby attire. A few chuckles and giggles came from some of the younger members.

The preacher gave a long sermon about hellfire and brimstone, and a stern lecture on how much money the church needed to do God's work. When the offering plate was passed, thousands of dollars came pouring forth. As soon as the service was over, the congregation hurried out. Once again, no one spoke or even nodded to the stranger in the ragged clothes and boots.

As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him. Instead of welcoming him, the preacher asked the cowboy to him a favour. "Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what He thinks the appropriate attire for worshipping in this church" the preacher said. The old cowboy assured him he would do that, and left.

The very next Sunday morning, the old cowboy showed back up for the service wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots and hat. Once again, the congregation was appalled at his appearance. He was completely shunned and ignored again.

The preacher noticed the man still wearing his ragged clothes and boots, and instead of beginning his sermon, stepped down from the pulpit and walked over to where the man sat alone. "I thought I told you to speak to God before you came back to our church", the preacher said.

"I did" replied the old cowboy.

"If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire should be for worshipping in here?" asked the preacher.

"Well sir", said the old cowboy, "God told me that He wouldn't have the slightest idea what was appropriate attire for worshipping in your church. He says He's never ever been in here before".

(Source unknown. This came to me in an email.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you may win some false friends and some true enemies
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you
Be honest and frank anyway.

Transparency may make you vulnerable
Be transparent anyway.

If you find peace and happiness, others may be jealous
Be happy anyway.

What you spend years building, may be destroyed overnight
Build anyway.

The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow
Do good anyway.

People who really want help, may attack you if you help them
Help them anyway.

Give the world the best that you have, and it may never be enough
Give the world your best, anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God
It is never between you and them,

(Found on the wall of Mother Teresa's Home for Children, in Calcutta)