Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last day

The essence of our last class was about death (and hence few posts about death this week) and we talked about the following questions:

"If today was the last day of your life, how would you like to live it?"

“Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and He were to say to you, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’ what would you say?”

Let us follow the lecture tomorrow and ponder few more about it.

We may not get much time, since BBS is scheduled for tomorrow.

Your BRS answers are due tomorrow.  Hope you were able to do it without any difficulty (it looked easy this time).

Project CARS: By next Sunday (Feb 7th), pick a Bible character you want to follow.  We will talk bit more about the project.

An engine of kindness

Kindness is listed in the Bible as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit comes into you, you receive the free gift of kindness.  You can show random acts of kindness everyday to your fellow human beings and the joy you thus receive is immaculate.

Below is a true story of kindness I came across, followed by few Biblical verses on kindness:
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My good thing happened when I was 18 years old (and I'm now 40). I was trying to drive home to Maryland from visiting friends in Texas. I was going up the road and all of a sudden my car would just not go. It was a Sunday and cold outside. So very, very cold. The only person I could get hold of was an old man who supposedly owned a tow truck.

When he got to me, I thought he was too old to even hook up my car. He was probably around age 75 or older, and he was freezing, too. The old man was pretty deaf, so to talk with him, I had to scream, practically! But we talked and we talked. He talked my ear off, and I talked his off. I told him I had no money to fix anything seriously wrong with the car, so if the news was bad, I would have to junk it and take the bus home.

He towed my car to a small Texas town about an hour's drive from the middle of nowhere where I had broken down. So, I checked into a motel. The next day, the auto shop called and said I needed a new engine in my car! My motor had blown up! I asked if I could just leave the car there for them—they could have parts since the shell of the car was fine. (It just had a lot of miles.)

They said no--the man who towed the car in told them to put in a new motor and send me on my way! I told them I could not afford to pay for that. They said that the old man who came out to get me that Sunday owned the auto repair shop and was filthy rich! He said just to give me a new motor and whatever else I needed and tell me to come get the car.

When I picked up the car, there was a note that told me to just do nice things for people when I got into a better position in life and it would always come back to me. That was what he wanted me to do as payment for the new motor. He would not let anyone tell me how to contact him. He had told the repair shop people that our conversation was the most invigorating he'd had in years and I was the first young person who hadn't ignored him in years.

Now, every time I see someone in need I try to do all I can for them. I will never forget this man's generosity and care for his fellow human being! I will always do what you ask me to do, and I know you are up in heaven watching since I was only 18 at the time and now I'm 40, but never got to say thanks! Who knows, maybe the internet has reached heaven!

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Verses on Kindness

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (Proverbs 12:25)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Epehsians 4:32)

“God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.” (Romans 2:4)

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

“[God] has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” (Acts 14:17)

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

“… the incomparable riches of [God's] grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)

“When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:4-6)



Credits: Dorene Simonds

Terrible time

I’ve just had the most awful time,” said a boy to his friends.

“First I got angina pectoris, then arteriosclerosis. Just as I was recovering, I got psoriasis. They gave me hypodermics, and to top it all, tonsillitis was followed by appendectomy.”

“Wow! How did you pull through?” sympathized his friends.

“I don’t know,” the boy replied. “Toughest spelling test I ever had.”

Friday, January 29, 2010

Eight lies of a mother


I came across this story about the eight lies of a mother.
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This story begins when I was a child:

I was born poor.
Often we hadn't enough to eat.
Whenever we had some food, Mother often gave me her portion of rice.
While she was transferring her rice into my bowl,
she would say:
"Eat this rice, son! I'm not hungry."

This was Mother's First Lie.

As I grew, Mother gave up her spare time to fish in a river near our house; she hoped that from the fish she caught, she could give me a little bit more nutritious food for my growth.
Once she had caught just two fish, she would make fish soup.
While I was eating the soup, mother would sit beside me and eat what was still left on the bone of the fish I had eaten.
My heart was touched when I saw it.
Once I gave the other fish to her on my chopstick but she immediately refused it and said,
"Eat this fish, son! I don't really like fish."

This was Mother's Second Lie.

Then, in order to fund my education, Mother went to a Match Factory to bring home some used matchboxes which she filled with fresh matchsticks.
This helped her get some money to cover our needs.
One wintry night I awoke to find Mother filling the matchboxes by candlelight.
So I said,"Mother, go to sleep; it's late: you can continue working tomorrow morning."
Mother smiled and said,
"Go to sleep, son! I'm not tired."

This was Mother's Third Lie.

When I had to sit my Final Examination, Mother accompanied me.
After dawn, Mother waited for me for hours in the heat of the sun. When the bell rang, I ran to meet her..
Mother embraced me and poured me a glass of tea that she had prepared and brought in a thermos.
The tea was not as strong as my Mother's love.
Seeing Mother covered with perspiration, I at once gave her my glass and asked her to drink too. Mother said,
"Drink, son! I'm not thirsty!".

This was Mother's Fourth Lie.

After Father's death, Mother had to play the role of a single parent.
She held on to her former job; she had to fund our needs alone. Our family's life was more complicated. We suffered from starvation.
Seeing our family's condition worsening, my kind Uncle who lived near my house came to help us solve our problems big and small.
Our other neighbors saw that we were poverty stricken so they often advised my mother to marry again.
But Mother refused to remarry saying,
"I don't need love."

This was Mother's Fifth Lie.

After I had finished my studies and gotten a job, it was time for my old Mother to retire but she carried on going to the market every morning just to sell a few vegetables.
I kept sending her money but she was steadfast and even sent the money back to me.
She said,
"I have enough money."

That was Mother's Sixth Lie.

I continued my part-time studies for my Master's Degree.
Funded by the American Corporation for which I worked, I succeeded in my studies.
With a big jump in my salary, I decided to bring Mother to enjoy life in America, but Mother didn't want to bother her son; she said to me,
"I'm not used to high living."

That was Mother's Seventh Lie.

In her old age, Mother was attacked by cancer and had to be hospitalized.
Now living far across the ocean, I went home to visit Mother who was bedridden after an operation.
Mother tried to smile but I was heartbroken because she was so thin and feeble but Mother said,

"Don't cry, son! I'm not in pain."

That was Mother's Eighth Lie.

Telling me this, her eighth lie, she died.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The helmet




Here is a story I read, and thought it would fit into our discussion about various kinds of love.

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A girl and boy were on a motorcycle, speeding through the night.  They loved each other a lot..

Girl: " Slow down a little.. I'm scared.."
Boy: "No, it's so fun.."
Girl : "Please - its so scary.."
Boy: "Then say that you love me"
Girl: "Fine..I Love you..can you slow down now?"
Boy: "Give me a big hug.."

The girl give gave him a big hug.

Girl: "Now can you slow down?"
Boy: "Can you take off my helmet and put it on? It's uncomfortable and it's bothering while I drive."

The next day, there was a story in the newspaper:

A motorcycle had crashed into a building because of brake failure.  There were two people on the motorcycle, of which one died, and other who wore a helmet survived with minor fractures.

The guy while driving fast found out that the brakes were broken. He didn't want to let the girl know, because he knew that the girl would have gotten scared. Instead, when he was told the last time that she loved him and got a hug from her, he gave her his helmet so that she could be safer than him.
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This could be classified as Agape, since the boy was willing to sacrifice his life for the safety of the girl.

The golden box




A man punished his 5-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became even more upset when the child pasted the gold paper so as to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy." The father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He spoke to her in a harsh manner, "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?"

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full." The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the father kept that gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. And whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems he would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

Moral: Each of us have been given a golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our parents, children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold. And the possessions that do not cost money are worth far more than all the "things" money can only buy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Your value




Once upon a time, Mercury, the messenger of roman gods, was tickled by a strange idea. He became anxious to know how human beings estimated his worth in comparison to other gods.

So, he disguised himself as a man and came to the earth. Roaming about, he came to the house of a sculptor where he saw idols of various gods, including his own.

Then he approached the sculptor and asked, "What price would you charge for the idol of Juno, the goddess of marriage?"

The sculptor replied, "two dollars".

Again, Mercury asked, "What for the idol of Jupiter, the chief of gods?"

"Five dollars", replied the sculptor.

"And how much for Mercury?" asked the god.

"Oh that. I shall give that free if you buy the other two", was the reply.

Mercury was cut to the quick and disappeared.

Moral: It's not you, but others who judge your true value.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tounge twisters



A big bug bit a bold bald bear and the bold bald bear bled blood badly.

Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons -- Balancing them badly.

Can you can a canned can into an uncanned can like a canner can can a canned can into an uncanned can?

If you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.

Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.

Finally, below is the World's Hardest Tongue Twister, according the Guiness Book of World Records.  Try it:
The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.

Gifts



Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.  All of us, we exchange gifts with our friends.  The gifts to your friends need not be very expensive, instead they need to be appropriate and timely. These days, when we think about gifts, most of us think about a wrapped package with something valuable inside it.  Here are eight gifts you could provide your friend(s) without any cost.

1) THE GIFT OF LISTENING - But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response or doing something else while listening. Just listening.  Sometimes that's all a good friend needs from you - somebody to listen to, what they want to say by providing your time and undivided attention.

2) THE GIFT OF AFFECTION - Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3) THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER - Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

4) THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE - It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5) THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT - A simple and sincere, "You look great in blue," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.

6) THE GIFT OF A FAVOR - Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.  A favor to somebody else could be remembered for a lifetime.

7) THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE - There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8) THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION - The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Parenthood

Here are some tips for parents.

Parents: People who bare infants, bore teenagers, and board newlyweds.

If it was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor!

Shouting to make your children obey is like using the horn to steer your car, and you get about the same results.

The smartest advice on raising children is to enjoy them while they are still on your side.

The best way to keep kids at home is to give it a loving atmosphere - and hide the keys to the car.

The joy of motherhood: What a woman experiences when all the children are finally in bed.

Life’s golden age is when the kids are too old to need babysitters and too young to borrow the family car.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he/she is really in trouble.

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of grandchildren.

There are three ways to get something done: Do it yourself, hire someone to do it, or forbid your children to do it.

Cleaning your house while your kids are at home is like trying to shovel the driveway during a snowstorm.

There are only two things a child will share willingly: communicable diseases and his mother’s age.

Adolescence is the age at which children stop asking questions because they know all the answers.

An alarm clock is a device for awakening people who don’t have children.