Saturday, April 24, 2010

Apr 25


This is what we will discuss tomorrow - Stand up for what's right even if you stand alone.

Anabella contacted me today and would be presenting her CARS project tomorrow.  We will go over **possible questions** for exam as well.

I was told that there would not be any general session today.  There is going to be a teachers' meeting after the class.  Also, I need to be somewhere to attend a B'day party by 2:00 PM.  So, as soon as you wrap up church, do come into the class.

Hopefully you know by now that the new timing for church is 8:30 AM (means another 30 additional sleeping minutes).

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Climb - till your dreams come true

Often your tasks will be many,
And more than you think you can do.
Often the road will be rugged
And the hills insurmountable, too.
But always remember,
The hills ahead
Are never as steep as they seem,
And with Faith in your heart
Start upward
And climb 'til you reach your dream.
For nothing in life that is worthy
Is ever too hard to achieve
If you have the courage to try it,
And you have the faith to believe.
For faith is a force that is greater
Than knowledge or power or skill,
And many defeats turn to triumph
If you trust in God's wisdom and will.
For faith is a mover of mountains,
There's nothing that God cannot do,
So, start out today with faith in your heart,
And climb 'til your dream comes true!

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Key to life - Will Smith

Listen to Will Smith explain the key to life - Running and Reading.



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Writing on the wall

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.

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Mount Everest


Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Mount Everest. On May 29, 1953 he scaled the highest mountain then known to man-29,000 feet straight up. He was knighted for his efforts.

In 1952 he attempted to climb Mount Everest, but failed. A few weeks later a group in England asked him to address its members.

Hillary walked on stage to a thunderous applause. The audience was recognizing an attempt at greatness, but Edmund Hillary saw himself as a failure. He moved away from the microphone and walked to the edge of the platform.

He made a fist and pointed at a picture of the mountain. He said in a loud voice, "Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I'll beat you the next time because you've grown all you are going to grow... but I'm still growing!"

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Love - explained

Why do we close our eyes when we sleep? When we cry?
When we imagine? When we kiss?
This is because the most beautiful things in
the world are unseen.

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird
and when we find someone whose weirdness
is compatible with ours,
we join up with them and fall in
mutual weirdness and call it love.

There are things that we never want to let go of,
people we never want to leave behind,
but keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world,
it's the beginning of a new life.

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt,
those who have searched and those who have tried.
For only they can appreciate the importance of the people
who have touched their lives.

A great love? It's when you shed tears
and still you care for him,
it's when he ignores you and still you long for him.
It's when he begins to love another and yet you still smile
and say I'm happy for you.

If love fails, set yourself free,
let your heart spread its wings and fly again.
Remember you may find love and lose it, but when love dies,
you never have to die with it.

The strongest people are not those who always win
but those who stand back up when they fall.

Somehow along the course of life,
you learn about yourself and realize
there should never be regrets,
only a lifelong appreciation of the choices you've made.

A true friend understands when you say, I forgot,
waits forever when you say, just a minute,
stays when you say leave me alone,
opens the door even before you knock and says can I come in?

Loving is not how you forget but how you forgive,
not how you listen but how you understand,
not what you see but how you feel,
and not how you let go but how you hold on.

It's more dangerous to weep inwardly rather than outwardly.
Outward tears can be wiped away while secret tears scar forever.

In love, very rarely do we win
but when love is true, even if you lose,
you still win just for having the tingle of loving someone
more than you love yourself.

There comes a time when we have to stop loving someone
not because that person has stopped loving us
but because we have found out
that they'd be happier if we let go.

It's best to wait for the one you want than settle for one that's available.
Best to wait for the one you love than one who is around.
Best to wait for the right one
because life is too short to waste on just someone.

Sometimes the one you love turns out to be the one who hurts you the most,
and sometimes the friend who takes you into his arms
and cries when you cry
turns out to be the love you never knew you wanted.

If you really love someone never let go,
don't believe that letting go means that you love best,
instead fight for your love,
that's what true love is.

Laugh to your heart's content; you cannot go
through life without it.

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I am a soldier

I am a soldier in the army of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is my commanding officer.
The Holy Bible is my Code of Conduct.
Faith, prayer, and the Word
are my weapons of warfare.
I have been taught by the Holy Spirit,
trained by experience,
tried by adversity and tested by fire.

I am a volunteer in this army
and I am enlisted for eternity.
I will either retire in this army
at the rapture or die in this army;
but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out.
I am faithful, reliable, capable and dependable.
If my God needs me, I am there.
If He needs me in the Sunday school, to teach the children,
work with the youth, help adults or just sit and learn,
He can use me because I am there.

I am a soldier.
I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up,
pumped up, picked up or pepped up.
I am a soldier.
No one has to call me, remind me,
write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.
I am a soldier.
I am not a wimp.
I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders,
praising His name, and building His kingdom!
No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food,
cards, candy or give me handouts.
I do not need to be cuddled,
cradled, cared for, or catered to.
I am committed.
I cannot have my feelings hurt
bad enough to turn me around.
I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

When Jesus called me into this army, I had nothing.
If I end up with nothing,
I will still come out ahead.
I will win.
My God has and will continue
to supply all of my need.
I am more than a conqueror.
I will always triumph.
I can do all things through Christ.
The devil cannot defeat me.
People cannot disillusion me.
Weather cannot weary me.
Sickness cannot stop me.
Battles cannot beat me.
Money cannot buy me.
Governments cannot silence me and hell cannot handle me.
I am a soldier.
Even death cannot destroy me.
For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield,
He will promote me to Captain
and then allow me to rule with Him.
I am a soldier in the army,
and Im marching, claiming victory.
I will not give up.
I will not run around.
I am a soldier, marching heaven bound.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Best Friends


This is supposed to be a true story:
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10th Grade-
As I sat there in English class,
I stared at the girl next to me.
She was my so called 'best friend'.
I stared at her long, silky hair,
and wished she was mine.
But she didn't notice me like that,
and I knew it. After class,
she walked up to me and asked me for
the notes she had missed the day before.
I handed them to her.
She said 'thanks' and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
I want to tell her, I want her to know
that I don't want to be just friends,
I love her but I'm just too shy,
and I don't know why.

11th grade-
The phone rang. On the other end,
it was her. She was in tears,
mumbling on and on about how her
love had broke her heart.
She asked me to come over because
she didn't want to be alone, So I did.
As I sat next to her on the sofa,
I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine.
After 2 hours, one Drew Barrymore movie,
and three bags of chips, she decided to go home.
She looked at me, said 'thanks' and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
I want to tell her, I want her to know that
I don't want to be just friends,
I love her but I'm just too shy,
and I don't know why.

Senior year-
One fine day she walked to my locker.
'My date is sick' she said, 'he's not gonna go' well,
I didn't have a date, and in 7th grade,
we made a promise that if neither of us had dates,
we would go together just as 'best friends'.
So we did. That night, after everything was over,
I was standing at her front door step.
I stared at her as She smiled at me
and stared at me with her crystal eyes.
Then she said- 'I had the best time, thanks!'
and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
I want to tell her,
I want her to know
that I don't want to be just friends,
I love her but I'm just too shy,
and I don't know why.

Graduation-
A day passed, then a week, then a month.
Before I could blink, it was graduation day.
I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel
up on stage to get her diploma.
I wanted her to be mine-but
she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it.
Before everyone went home,
she came to me in her smock and hat,
and cried as I hugged her.
Then she lifted her head from my shoulder
and said- 'you're my best friend, thanks' and
gave me a kiss on the cheek.
I want to tell her, I want her to know
that I don't want to be just friends,
I love her but I'm just too shy,
and I don't know why.

Marriage-
Now I sit in the pews of the church.
That girl is getting married now.
and drive off to her new life,
married to another man.
I wanted her to be mine,
but she didn't see me like that,
and I knew it.
But before she drove away,
she came to me and said 'you came!'.
She said 'thanks' and kissed me on the cheek.
I want her to know that
I don't want to be just friends,
I love her but I'm just too shy,
and I don't know why.

Death-
Years passed, I looked down at the coffin
of a girl who used to be my 'best friend'.
At the service, they read a diary entry
she had wrote in her high school years.
This is what it read:
'I stare at him wishing he was mine;
but he doesn't notice me like that,
and I know it. I want to tell him,
I want him to know that
I don't want to be just best friends,
I love him but I'm just too shy,
and I don't know why.
I wish he would tell me he loved me!'
'I wish I did too...'
I thought to my self, and I cried.

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Smart

My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more then one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes-- I guess he didn't know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head--
Too proud of me to speak!

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Credits: Shel Silverstein

Never let go

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. 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 great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Dad wouldn't let go."

You and I can 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 you go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you.

You are a child of God.

He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way.

But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack.

That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful.
He did not and will not ever let you go.

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A prayer

Pardon my muddy feet,
God of raindrops and wriggle worms.
I've been outside,
Splashing in puddles like a child,
trying to rediscover your creations:

Cloak of fog, spider web weavings,
Birds of different feathers
dining peacefully together.

I get too busy to enjoy it.

Thank you for this mud -luscious day
when I am brought to my knees in awe,
The best place to meet you--
as any child knows.

I plan to pray barefoot from now on,
curling my toes and stretching toward you,
becoming like a child,
as you encourage,
so each day can be a whole-body experience.

For it is because of you,
That I am.

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Christian monk

After returning from the university in Tokyo, a monk asked his master if he had ever read the Christian Bible.

 "No," replied the master, "Please read some of it to me."

The monk opened the Bible to the Sermon on the Mount in St. Matthew, and began reading. After reading Christ's words about the lilies in the field, he paused. The master was silent for a long time.

"Yes," he finally said, "Whoever uttered these words is an enlightened being. What you have read to me is the essence of everything I have been trying to teach you here!"

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Silence

Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out.

The first monk said, "Oh, no! The candle is out."

The second monk said, "Aren't we not suppose to talk?"

The third monk said, "Why must you two break the silence?"

The fourth monk laughed and said, "Ha! I'm the only one who didn't speak."

Searching for God

A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him. "Master, I wish to become your disciple," said the man. "Why?" replied the hermit. The young man thought for a moment. "Because I want to find God."

The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river, and plunged his head under water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the master finally pulled him up out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath. When he eventually quieted down, the master spoke. "Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under water."

"Air!" answered the man.

"Very well," said the master. "Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just wanted air."

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The Great Physician

Jesus referred to himself as a "physician" or "doctor," once in the sense of "spiritual healer" and once in the sense of "physical healer."

Know that:

  • God can use you to your full potential.  
  • The SON is shining and He can certainly use you. 
  • You aren't the message, you are just the messenger.  
  • In the circle of God's love, God is waiting to use your full potential. 
  • Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. 
  • Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly; Leave the rest to God. 

10 Things to understand:

1. God wants spititual fruits, not religious nuts.

2. There is no key to happiness.  The door is always open.

3. Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.

4. Do the math - count your blessings.

5. Faith is the ability to not panic.

6. If you worry, you didn't pray.  If you pray, don't worry.

7. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home everyday.

8. The most important things in your house are the people.

9. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still.  God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

10. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

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Circus



Here is a story of giving that I came across:
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Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus. Finally, there was only one family between us and the ticket counter.

This family made a big impression on me. There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. You could tell they didn't have a lot of money. Their clothes were not expensive, but they were clean.

The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by- two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about the clowns, elephants and other acts they would see that night. One could sense they had never been to the circus before. It promised to be a highlight of their young lives.
The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be.

The mother was holding her husband's hand, looking up at him as if to say, "You're my knight in shining armor."

He was smiling and basking in pride, looking at her as if to reply, "You got that right."

The ticket lady asked the father how many tickets he wanted. He proudly responded, "Please let me buy eight children's tickets and two adult tickets so I can take my family to the circus."

The ticket lady quoted the price. The man's wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man's lip began to quiver. The father leaned a little closer and asked, "How much did you say?"

The ticket lady again quoted the price. The man didn't have enough money. How was he supposed to turn and tell his eight kids that he didn't have enough money to take them to the circus?

Seeing what was going on, my dad put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill and dropped it on the ground (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!).

My father reached down, picked up the bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket."

The man knew what was going on. He wasn't begging for a handout but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate, heartbreaking, embarrassing situation. He looked straight into my dad's eyes, took my dad's hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied, "Thank you, thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family."

My father and I went back to our car and drove home. We didn't go to the circus that night, but we went home happily instead.

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Gift

A man was talking to his friend about what to do for his 50th wedding anniversary. The friend asked, "What did you do for your 25th?"

He said, "I took my wife to Hawaii."

The friend then asked, "What are you thinking about for your 50th?"

He said, "Well I was thinking of bringing her back."

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Teaching

One day in heaven, the Lord decided He would visit the earth and take a stroll. Walking down the road, He encountered a man who was crying. The Lord asked the man, "Why are you crying, my son?" The man said that he was blind and had never seen a sunset. The Lord touched the man who could then see and was happy.

As the Lord walked further, He met another man crying and asked, "Why are you crying, my son?" The man was born a cripple and was never able to walk. The Lord touched him and he could walk and he was happy.

Farther down the road, the Lord met another man who was crying and asked, "Why are you crying, my son?" The man said, "Lord, I teach at the Sunday school."

And the Lord sat down and cried with him.

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Vocab

Stressing the importance of a good vocabulary, the teacher told her young charges, "Use a word ten times, and it shall be yours for life."

From somewhere in the back of the room, came a small male voice chanting, "Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda."

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Reason for tears

A man and woman were recently celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

While cutting the cake, the wife was moved after seeing her husband’s eyes fill with tears.

The wife took his arm, and looked at him affectionately.

“I never knew you were so sentimental.” she whispered.

“No . . . No . . .” he said, choking back his tears, “That’s not it at all. Remember when your father found us in the barn and told me to either marry you or spend the next 50 years in jail?”

“Yes,” the wife replied. “I remember it like yesterday.”

“Well,” said the husband, “Today I would have be a free man.”

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The talking frog


A woman was out golfing one day when she hit her ball into the woods. She went into the woods to look for it and found a frog in a trap.

The frog said to her, "If you release me from this trap, I will grant you 3 wishes." She did and the frog said, "Thank you, but I failed to mention that there is a condition to your wishes. Whatever you wish for, your husband will get 10 times more or better!"

The woman said, "That's okay." For her first wish, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

The frog warned her, "You do realize that this wish will also make your husband the most handsome man in the world, and women will flock to him."

The woman replied, " That's okay, because I will be the most beautiful woman, and he will only have eyes for me." So, WOOOSH - she became the most beautiful woman in the world!

For her second wish, she wanted to be the richest woman in the world. The frog said, "That will make your husband the richest man in the world, and he will be ten times richer than you."

The woman said, " That's okay because what's mine is his and what's his is mine." So, WOOOSH - she became the richest woman in the world!

The frog asked her what she would like for her third wish. She said, "I'd like a mild heart attack."

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Paper clip


Georgia was divorced and trying to raise her two sons when the Gulf War broke out. She heard about soldiers in the service who had no family and needed pen pals. Letters addressed to "Any Soldier" were distributed by commanding officers who noticed any soldiers getting little or no mail. Georgia wrote to 25 such soldiers almost daily, most of them men.

Keeping up with 25 pen pals on a daily basis almost consumed Georgia's time and talents. She sent poems, little stories, and words of hope and encouragement. When there were time constraints, she would write one letter and copy it for everyone. Greetings were sent whenever she knew about a special event, like a birthday.

One day, Georgia received a letter from a soldier that was depressed and discouraged. She pondered as to how she could help lift his spirits. It was then that she noticed that at work there were paper clips of various colors. Georgia took one of the yellow paper clips and photo copied it in the palm of her hand. She sent this picture with the paper clip with the following message: "This yellow paper clip that you see in my hand represents a hug that I am sending to you. You can carry this paper clip in a pocket or anywhere, and whenever you feel down, you can just touch and hold it and know that somebody cares about you, and would give you a hug if she were there." Georgia sent a copy of this picture along with a paper clip and the message to each of her other correspondents. After the war ended, Georgia received one of the pictures of her hand holding the yellow paper clip, and on the back were over 150 signatures of people that had been given her "hug."

During the years, Georgia named other paper clips. Pink came to mean a kiss, green was for good luck, and so on. Years later, Georgia was giving a class as part of a seminar for positive thinking. She shared with the members of the class her paper clip symbolism, and made a bracelet of multicolored paper clips for each of them. One of the women exclaimed, "So you're the one!" The class member told Georgia that she was visiting her brother and needed something to hold papers together. She had noticed a yellow paper clip on the refrigerator held there with a magnet. She borrowed the paper clip for her papers. When the brother saw it, he grabbed it and scolded her, and told her never to touch the yellow paper clip again. Now she knew why.

No one will never know how far her message has spread, nor how many lives have been touched by a simple yellow paper clip.

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Touchstone


When the great library of Alexandria burned, the story goes, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book; and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers.

The book wasn't very interesting, but between its pages there was something very interesting indeed. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the "Touchstone"!

The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold. The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles that looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: The real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold.

So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing pebbles.

He knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebble hundreds of times. So, when he felt one that was cold, he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this but none of them was the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick up a pebble. Cold - throw it into the sea. Pick up another. Throw it into the sea.

The days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months. One day, however, about midafternoon, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. He threw it into the sea before he realized what he had done. He had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away.

So it is with opportunity. Unless we are vigilant, it's easy to fail to recognize an opportunity when it is in hand and it's just as easy to throw it away.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Fees


With airlines adding fees to fees, this could be next... Get used to the phrase, "In the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down. To start the flow of oxygen, simply insert your credit card … "



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Father

A group of guys took a trip to France and decided to attend Mass in a small town, even though none of them understood French. They managed to stand, kneel, and sit when the rest of the congregation did, so it wouldn't be obvious they were tourists. At the end of the Mass, the priest spoke and the man sitting next to them stood up, so they got up too. The entire congregation broke into hearty laughter.

After the service they approached the priest, who spoke English, and asked him what had been so funny. The priest said he had announced a birth in the parish and had asked the father of the newborn to stand up.

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WWJD

While waiting in line to check out at a Christian bookstore, a man asked the clerk about a display of hats with the letters WWJD on them. The clerk explained that WWJD stands for "What would Jesus do?" and that the idea is to get people to consider this question when making decisions.

The man pondered a moment, then replied, "I don't think he'd pay $17.95 for that hat."

.

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Getting in

The Answer

A pastor was giving the children’s message during church. For this part of the service, he would gather all the children around him and give a brief lesson before dismissing them for children’s church.

On this particular Sunday, he was using squirrels for an object lesson on industry and preparation. He started out by saying, “I’m going to describe something, and I want you to raise your hand when you know what it is.” The children nodded eagerly.

“This thing lives in trees (pause) and eats nuts (pause)…” No hands went up.

“And it is gray (pause) and has a long bushy tail (pause)…” The children were looking at each other, but still no hands raised.

“And it jumps from branch to branch (pause) and chatters and flips its tail when it’s excited (pause)…”

Finally one little boy tentatively raised his hand. The pastor breathed a sigh of relief and called on him. “Well…,” said the boy, “I *know* the answer must be Jesus … but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me!”

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Which room?

Most of you must have heard this puzzle.  If you have heard this, try solving it once again. If this is your first time, try solving it.  If you have heard this before, see if your memory serves you right.


A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms"

Room #1: Full of raging fires
Room #2 Full of assassins with loaded guns
Room #3 Full of lions that haven’t eaten in three years

If he approached you to pick a room for him, which room would you recommend?

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Dog's duties

A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children began discussing the dog’s duties.

“They use him to keep crowds back,” said one youngster.

“No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.”

A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dogs,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrant.”

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Tune a Fish

Visiting his friend’s dorm room, Pat asked, “Hey, Chris! How’s your new pet fish doing? You told me he was really something special.”

Chris replied, “To tell you the truth, I’m really disappointed in him. The guy who sold him to me said I could teach him to sing like a bird.”

“You bought a fish because you thought you could teach him to sing like a bird? I can’t believe it!”

“Well, yeah,” said Chris. “After all, he’s a parrot fish.”

Pat reminded him that he might be able to teach a parrot bird to sing, but was never going to get anywhere with a parrot fish.

“That’s what you think!” Chris answered. “He can sing all right. The thing is, he keeps singing off-key. It’s driving me crazy. Do you know how hard it is to tuna fish?”

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Check is in the mail

A guy from Czechoslovakia was visiting his cousin the lawyer in Wyoming, and they went for a hike in Yellowstone Park.

While they were hiking they were attacked by 2 bears, one male and one female. The male bear dismembered and ate the Czechoslovakian guy, but the lawyer managed to escape.

He ran straight to the nearest Rangers station, and told them what had happened, and they sent out a group of rangers to see what was going on.

Sure enough, the Rangers arrived at the place that the lawyer mentioned, and there were the female and the male bears. So one of the Rangers took his rifle and shot the female.

The other Rangers asked “Why did you shoot the female? He said that the MALE ate his friend”

The Ranger answered, “Would you believe a lawyer if he told you that the Czech is in the male?”

Friend


And after all had been created and was neatly arranged, He looked down upon the people of the earth and said;

"I cannot be there to comfort them in their sorrow,  I can't be there to wrap my arms around them. I am here and yes, they will feel my presence but they'll need something more."

He paused for a moment and then said:

"I will create for them someone they can see and touch, I will make this person understanding and compassionate, thoughtful and caring. She won't need to be overly intelligent, just sensitive to others needs.  She will have a warm heart and gentle hands and all the time in the world, or so it will seem to those she comforts.  Time will mean very little to her it will never be too late nor too early.  She will be a very blessed individual and many will love her and come to her door often. She will have to be something very special to take my place because I love my children very much.  I want them to have only the best for they will have many trials and will need a strong shoulder."

And so he created this individual after much thought and time. Then he said, "I must give her a name,"

He paused for a moment more and then said:

"One of my greatest creations, I shall call her a Friend."

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Gossip


A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended. Later the woman responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorry and went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage.

"Go to the marketplace," he said, "and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road."

Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told.

The next day the wise man said, "Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me."

The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown the feathers all away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand.

"You see," said the old sage, "it's easy to drop them, but it's impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip. It doesn't take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong."

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What do u hear?


A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, "I hear a cricket."

His friend said, "What? You must be crazy. You couldn't possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!"

"No, I'm sure of it," the Native American said, "I heard a cricket."

"That's crazy," said the friend.

The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed.

"That's incredible," said his friend. "You must have super-human ears!"

"No," said the Native American. "My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you're listening for."

"But that can't be!" said the friend. "I could never hear a cricket in this noise."

"Yes, it's true," came the reply. "It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you."

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

"See what I mean?" asked the Native American. "It all depends on what's important to you."

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God is in control

Last Sunday, we had our church elections.  During our class I learned that many of you were closely following the church elections.  You even knew how many people were eligible to sit in the general body.  If someone you wanted to win did not win, don't worry.  This is God's house we are talking about. Pray for those who have been asked to do His work.

No matter who won the elections,

1. Our Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Remember: It's God who is in control; not the elected officials.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Managers


If Jesus had sent his twelve disciples for psychological testing this might well be the reply he would have received:

Thank you for submitting the resum├ęs of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have taken our battery of tests. We have run the results through our own computer systems.

After having arranged personality interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant, it is the opinion of our staff that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the enterprise. They have no team concept.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper.

Andrew has no qualities for leadership.

The two brothers James and John place personal interest above company loyalty.

Thomas shows a skeptical attitude that would tend to undermine morale.

Matthew has been blacklisted by the Jerusalem Better Business Bureau.

James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus, definitely have radical leanings, and registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.

One of the candidates however, shows real potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, responsible and manages cash well. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man.

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Get behind me


A preiest's wife went to the department store and bought a very expensive red dress.

When she went home her husband, the priest asked, "How come you bought this expensive dress?"

"When I tried it on, I got tempted by Satan", said the wife.

“When you were trying it on why didn’t you say, ‘Get behind me Satan?’”

She said, “I did say ‘Get behind me Satan,’ but satan got behind me, and said 'You look lot better from behind as well.'  I looked in the mirror and he was right."

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Church signs


Below are some church signs across the US. 



I liked this one.


:-)







and this one.. 

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B-U-S-Y


Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said, “We can’t keep Christians from turning against God but we can distract them from God. Let them go to church, but let us steal their time so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do,” said the devil: “Distract them from maintaining that vital connection with Jesus throughout their day!”

“How shall we do this?” his demons asked.

“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. “Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear the still, small voice of God. Entice them to play the radio or iPod whenever they drive, to keep the TV, DVD, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, and every kind of newsletter and promotion offering free products, services and false hopes. Let them stand in lines for hours for the latest cell phone or Harry Potter book forgetting about God. Let them be seduced by glitzy advertising that will lure them away from God. Fill their world and their minds with trash so that they will not have room for God. Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.

Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep wives and husbands too tired to love each other after their work. Give them headaches too! If they don’t give each other the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly! Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!

Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so they will believe that outward beauty is what’s important, and forget that loving God and neighbor is what is really beautiful.

Give them Santa Clause to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death.

Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Let them think that attending a sports event is more important than keeping holy the Lord’s Day and treating the sport stars as if they were bishops. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation.

Keep them busy, busy, busy! It will work! It will work!”

It was quite a plan! The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there, having little time for their God or their families.

Their little secret was to keep everyone “BUSY” meaning: Being Under Satan’s Yoke.

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Credits: Geraldine Harris and Kristen Maddox

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Drivers manual



Mom gave her daughter a drivers manual, who just turned 15.

On the way to town one day, she was coaching her as she drove. Mom told her to study her book, instead of talking on the cell phone, so as to be ready when it came time to get her driver's permit.

"Oh," the daughter said, "I already know everything in the book."

"You do?" mom asked.

"Yep", said the daughter, very smugly.

The mom thought, "OK, we'll just see about that. I'll give her a hard one."

So she asked her, "How many feet does it take to stop the car if you are driving 60 miles an hour and have to slam on the brakes real hard?"

"One," replied the teenage daughter.

"What?" asked the surprised mom, "One?!"

The daughter repeated her answer and then because of the confused look on mom's face, she added, "Only one, Mom. You always told me never to use my left foot on the brakes, only use my right one."

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Class on Apr 18


In our last class, we were in a bit relaxed mode.  Alex presented Elijah for the CARS project and you all graded it.  Anabella could not come to class due to some domestic problems.  Sherine and Sherlyne did not show up since their mom was not feeling well.

You did not have anything to to other than to relax and listen to the 'Shroud of Turn'.  It was interesting to note that all of you had read up on it prior to the class and had the basic knowledge.  Therefore, my task was easier than I anticipated.

While discussing general topics, one of you brought up the topic about General Body meeting going on inside the sanctuary and the requirement about confession.  Then, we discussed the importance of Holy Confession, how seriously you should part take in it, Holy Confession being one of the Sacraments.  

During early days of Christianity, confession was done in public where one would read out the list of sins to the entire congregation.  Later, this practice was changed to a more private mode.  During my childhood days, I had to go through Holy Confession in order to receive Holy Qurbana on Sundays.  I remember those days when all my fellow friends would look at me in awe whenever I received Holy Qurbana.  It was not done very often, but on such occasions a person was considered to be purified of all sins.  Holy Confession is essentially spiritual cleansing and is part of Jesus Christ's healing ministry.  It has to be administered with proper respect.  

One of you mentioned in class that confession was required to be present in the general body.  You even asked me whether it was ok to go for confession for the sake of general body.  I liked that question.  I do not blame you for even having such a thought. If that's what has gotten into your mind, after observing elders, let me explain my views on it.  

There was speculation that in our last Sunday's general body, there would be voting during elections.  Voting happens when there is more than one person for a particular post.  Few candidates came forward to serve our parish and wanted to make sure they won this elections.  Our new bylaw signed by Thirumeni arrived last week and in one section it talks about the eligibility for a member to sit in the general body.  The exact phrase is as follows: 

"The Parish Assembly of St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Atlanta shall be the supreme forum of the Parish and shall consist of all eligible men and women who are 21 [twenty one] years old or above, Confess and receive Holy Qurbana (Holy Communion) at least once a year subject to limitations as defined by this document elsewhere."

Now, with the arrival of the new bylaws someone decided to start that 'one year period' at of some random date. There was a hurry to implement the newly arrived bylaw and this was the very first item on their list.  In order to win suitable votes (in case of voting), people were requested to go through the confession channel to secure their seats inside the general body hall. I was also asked by more than couple of people to go confess in order to get my name in the confession register, but my consciousness did not agree to that; further, I had our Sunday school class to take care of.  At the end of the class, I was happy that you asked me that question and I was able to answer that.

In a nutshell, going through confession without actually having the proper repentance is similar to undergoing a brain surgery when there is no defect on your brain.  It would do harm rather than blessings.  Confession when done with proper repentance can fetch you blessings.  

One story that comes to my mind about confession goes like this: during confession, one man said to the priest, "Father, I stole a rope".  The priest mentioned what to do in order to compensate for his sin.  But what the man failed to mention was that there was a cow at the end of the rope.

Who knows, at the rate at which we are getting westernized, soon we may have drive thru confession, something that resembles the video below:  




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Answered: The Lord's Prayer



While saying the prayer, 'Our Father', if God answered, it could go somewhat like this:

Our Father who art in heaven.

Yes.

Did I hear a voice?

You did.

As soon as I begin to pray somebody interrupts me, I’ll start again. Our Father who art in heaven.

Yes.

You’ve interrupted me again.

But you called me. You said ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ So here I am.

Oh my God!

You sound surprised.

I didn’t expect you would answer.

But when you pray to me don’t you expect me to listen?

Yes, but I don’t expect you to talk to me.

Now that I am talking to you what did you want to say?

I wanted to say the prayer that your Son Jesus taught us to say.

Good. Lets start it.  Say that prayer.

Our Father…

What a lovely way to begin praying. I am indeed your Father. Fathers like to be close to their children but sometimes you pray to me as if I am not interested, or you pray to me just in case all those things you heard about me really are true, in case you really will have to meet me when you die. Can you start believing today that I really am your Father, and that I really do love and care about you?

Yes Father, I believe that you love and care about us.

Jesus called me Abba. Do you know what Abba meant in Jesus’ language at that time?

I’ve head that it means ‘Daddy’

Yes, I wish you would look on me as your Daddy.

Yes I know you are a Daddy to all of us.

I’m glad you said ‘us’ because I am the Father of everyone.

That’s why Jesus said to call you ‘Our Father’.

That’s it.

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed by thy name.
What does hallowed mean?

You don’t know what you say when you’re praying! ‘Hallowed be thy name’ means may God’s name be held holy, may God’s name be respected.
Thank you for the respect for my name. What a pity that people abuse the name of my son Jesus Christ so much. That hurts, after all he did for humanity.

I am sorry Father, Hallowed be thy name, and hallowed be the name of Jesus.
Thy kingdom come.

When you pray that my kingdom may come, what are you praying for?

I’m not exactly sure how to describe it but what I want to say is that I wish the world were a better place.

Indeed. When people love others and forgive, and allow me into their lives, then my kingdom will come.

We badly need your kingdom to come Father. Look at the trouble in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Northern Ireland. Look at all the disagreements between people down here in the south too, with nearly one murder every day now.

Yes, my kingdom has partly come, but has not fully come. The Celtic Tiger is not the answer to all problems, only the coming of the kingdom of God. What will bring about my kingdom?

Thy will be done, as it is in heaven.

Precisely. What is my will?

It would be easier if you told me. It makes me angry when someone is killed tragically or dies painfully and people talk about the will of God.

It makes me angry too. It is not my will that people suffer like this. Why do people talk about me as if I’m a monster? I do not will bad things for you. I will only the best for you. I am your Father and I want only the best for you.

What do we mean then when we pray that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven?

Really it is the same as the previous prayer ‘Thy kingdom come.’ Once again it is praying for love and forgiveness to take over on earth. How much longer must I wait before my will be done in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, north and south Ireland?

Why isn’t your kingdom coming and your will being done in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ireland?

Because people are only partly obeying my will. People are stubborn and have not converted their minds to my way of thinking. You must bend your mind, convert your mind to my way of thinking, convert your mind to my will. Only then will everyone have peace, happiness and contentment.

How do we bend our minds to your will and convert our minds to your way of thinking?

Convert your mind to my way of thinking by learning more about how I think. I do not think as man thinks. Where do you learn about my way of thinking?

In the Bible, in the Scripture readings we hear at Mass, in preaching, in the teaching of the Church.

Yes, allow my word which you hear in all of these different ways to become part of you so that you will think like me, and not think as the world thinks. Then my will will be done in your life and my kingdom will come in your life. If you do not know the Bible you do not know what my will is, and then my kingdom will not come.

Yes, Father. I will make an effort to get to know your will for us which is revealed to us in the Bible.
Give us this day our daily bread

Judging by the look of you, you seem to get enough bread every day.

Now Father, we are praying as Jesus told us to.

Yes. You are praying that you will have enough to eat and enough of everything else, a roof over your head.

If it means a roof over our head, we certainly need to pray for our daily bread when we consider all the people in our world who live in poverty, and many homeless. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Yes I certainly want to forgive you your trespasses and sins. The false prophets and prophetesses of these times have forgotten that I am a God of forgiveness. If they read the Bible they would see.
I was interested that you said ‘as you forgive those who trespass against you.’ Have you forgiven so-and-so?

I was afraid you’d bring her up. I am still hoping that she will emigrate to the North Pole.

What’s the point in saying the prayer if you don’t mean it?

Sometimes, Father, I think ‘as we forgive those who trespass against us’ is the most difficult part of the prayer.

Perhaps your problem is that you are waiting for a feeling that you have forgiven. Instead of waiting for a feeling, make a decision to forgive. Forgiveness is a decision. Decide today to forgive her.

(Looks at watch) This prayer is going on for longer than I expected.

Yes, usually you don’t pray for long enough.

Okay, Father, I will decide today to forgive her.

Good.

And lead us not into temptation.

Its funny asking me not to lead you into temptation. When did you ever need me or anyone else to take you by the hand and lead you into temptation? If you take few extra drinks, you bring the temptation on yourself.

Stop Father, that’s enough.

Pray to avoid the temptations you can avoid, and to resist the temptations you cannot avoid. When the temptation comes to you, the important thing is what you do with the temptation, how you react.

Yes, Father.
Deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the Kingdom, Power and Glory Forever and ever.

Yes, there is a lot of evil around. But entrust your life to me and no matter what happens that is against my will, you need not worry. Sometimes you can do a lot yourself to prevent evil having its way. All you need for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. When you look for justice for yourself and others, you are delivering the world from evil yourself.

We’ve had quite a chat today.

We certainly had. Let’s finish together.

(Both together) Amen.

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Credits: Fr Flor McCarthy

The wooden bowl


A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor". So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed their dinners together.

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when you get old." The four year old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Starting point

A man died and met Saint Peter at the pearly gates. Realizing Saint Peter was a wise and knowledgeable person, he said, "Saint Peter, I have been interested in military history for many years. Tell me who was the greatest general of all times?"

Saint Peter quickly responded, "Oh, that's a simple question. It is that man right over there," as he pointed nearby.

The man said, "You must be mistaken, Saint Peter. I knew that man on earth. He was just a common laborer."

"That's right, my friend," replied Saint Peter. "But he would have been the greatest general of all time -- if he had been a general."

Every one of us is created with natural abilities and an internal compass that guides us toward a particular focus for our life. That's only the starting point; the next step is ours. We have an obligation to expand that potential to its ultimate destiny.

The lonely sunflower


A man journeyed to the mountain top in search of enlightenment.

He left all his belongings and possessions behind, and went only by himself. At the mountain top, he breathed deep, looking around just in time to catch a most Beautiful Sunrise coming over the horizon. He thought, surely this is where I belong, and he decided to stay. But, first he thought it right that he should return below and properly store and save all of his past possessions, for they represented his past life, which he would need no more.

When he returned to his home he gathered all his possessions, pictures, and momentous from childhood. He thought to himself, I do not need to store these, for I have moved from childhood. I do not need the things of my childhood. I will bury them.

So, he dug a hole, placing all his childhood possessions inside. Thinking about this, he decided that he could also place the things of his youth there, for he would not need them anymore either. He returned home and gathered his school work and other possessions from his youthful endeavors. He brought them back to the hole, and placed these things in it too. Now, he thought of his adulthood achievements, holdings, belongings, and possessions, the tools of his career. Again, he realized that he would not need these things any longer either. So, one more time he returned home, gathered all the things of his adulthood, returned to the hole, and placed them there as well, burying his last remaining possessions.

Once finished, he started back up to the mountain top. After a while, he stopped to look back at the hillside where he had buried his things. He saw only one lonely sunflower swaying in the wind where he had left the freshly covered dirt.

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Sacrifice

One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early, parked his car, and got out. Another car pulled up near him, and the driver told him, "I always park there. You took my place!"

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That's my seat! You took my place!"

The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit. You took my place!"

The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still said nothing.

Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change.

Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.

Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?"

The visitor replied, "I took your place."





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