Saturday, May 15, 2010

A prayer

Dear God, before I go to sleep
And end another day,
I'm happy that you're always here
To listen while I pray.

Please bless my special family, Lord,
Whom I love as much as you.
Please help me to be good for them
The way you'd want me to.

So God, please watch me as I sleep,
But Lord, before I do,
It's good to know you're loving me
As much as I love you.

Good night God.

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Copier is down

A copy machine at a community college was known for its inefficiency.
Tired of taking flak for its poor performance, the department secretaries added the following note:

The Copier Is down.
Yes -- We have called for the service technician.
No -- They will not get here today.
No -- We cannot fix it ourselves.
No -- We don't know how long it will take.
No -- We don't know what caused it.
No -- We don't know who caused it.
Yes -- We are keeping it.
No -- We do not know what you are going to do.

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Photo session

Let us plan on getting together after church to take our class picture. Last Sunday, we could not click due to two reasons:

1.  Anabella was not available
2.  We did not have anyone to shoot a picture.

This Sunday, let's see if we can make it.  Come dressed up and bring your cameras as well.

See you tomorrow.

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Keys to living

Life Isn't Fair
No matter how good we get at this business of living, none of us gets out of it alive. Frustrating, isn't it! Life doesn't always deal us a good hand and doing our best doesn't always pay off with a positive.

Suffering
Growth is seldom easy and pain is an integral part of our human condition. Everybody hurts. It's just that some of us are better actors in hiding the pain we feel. Seldom if ever - are all of our ducks in a row.

Loneliness and Alikeness
Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, "We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness." We have all known moments of apartness and empty loneliness. Embracing that reality is essential if we are to cope effectively.

Personal Responsibility
We each have a choice to be either a death-peddler or a life-giver. We are responsible for the choices we make. We can become most of what we wish to be if we are willing to change and pay the price.

Self Worth
A poster reads, "God don't make junk." People are special and each is, "Beautiful in his/her own way." We are more than our accomplishments!

People Need People
Life is not meant to be lived in isolation. All of life occurs within relationships. We need to know we are needed and so do those we need.

Mystery
Life is not just one big problem to be solved. Rather, it is a mystery to be experienced, all the more meaningful and beautiful when it is shared and celebrated with other persons who are committed to "growing deep, not just tall!"

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Wrong location


A new business was opening and one of the owner's friends wanted to send flowers for the occasion.

They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card; it said, "Rest in Peace".

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.

After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist said, "Sir, I'm really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, ‘Congratulations on your new location.'".

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Don't know too well

A courier express delivery man tried to deliver a package that required refrigeration, but found no one home. He went to the house next door and told the woman who answered that he had a package for neighbor.

"Oh, she works Monday through Friday and every other Saturday,"said the woman, "and some Sundays. She leaves about 7:40 in the morning and gets home around 5:30, unless she goes to the store, in which case it's closer to 7. And she's going to the store tonight because her kids are coming to visit - one all the way from California!"

When she paused to take a breath, the courier asked if she would accept her neighbor's package.

"Oh, no, I can't do that," she said. "I don't know her that well."

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Parachute Paradigm



You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one parachute. How would you react?

Pessimist: you refuse the parachute because you might die on the jump anyway.

Optimist: you refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes just like this before.

Procrastinator: you play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.

Bureaucrat: you order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.

Lawyer: you charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.

Doctor: you tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make your next appointment.

Sales executive: you sell them the parachute at top retail rates and get the names of their friends and relatives who might like one too.

Internal Revenue Service: you confiscate the parachute along with their luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.

Engineer: you make them another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.

Scientist: you give them the parachute and ask them to send you a report  on how well it worked.

Mathematician: you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.

Philosopher: you ask how they know the parachute actually exists.

English major: you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.

Computer Science: you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as  a human being could.

Economics: you plot a demand curve by asking them, at regular intervals,  how much they would pay for a parachute.

Psychoanalysis: you ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.

Drama: you tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute.

Art: you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.

Environmentalist: you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.

Sports Fan: you start betting on how long it will take to crash.

Auto Mechanic: as long as you are looking at the plane engine, it works fine.

Surgeon General: you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.

Association of Tobacco Growers: you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown that jumping out of a plane is NOT harmful to your health.

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Better than Einstien

At the conclusion of the sermon, the worshipers filed out of the sanctuary to greet the minister. As one of them left, he shook the minister's hand, thanked him for the sermon and said, "Thanks for the message, Reverend. You know, you must be smarter than Einstein." Beaming with pride, the minister said, "Why, thank you, brother!"
      
As the week went by, the minister began to think about the man's compliment. The more he thought, the more he became baffled as to why anyone would deem him smarter than Einstein. So he decided to ask the man the following Sunday.
      
The next Sunday he asked the parishioner if he remembered the previous Sunday's comment about the sermon. The parishioner replied that he did. The minister asked: "Exactly what did you mean that I must be smarter than Einstein?"
      
The man replied, "Well, Reverend, they say that Einstein was so smart that only ten people in the entire world could understand him. But Reverend, no one can understand you."

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Self improvement

Those things that one cannot improve in himself or in others, he ought to endure patiently, until God arranges things otherwise.

Nevertheless when you have such impediments, you ought to pray that God would help you, and that you may bear them kindly. Endeavor to be patient in bearing with the defects of others, whatever they are; for you also have many failings which must be borne by others.

If you cannot make yourself be as you would like to be, how can you expect to have another person be to your liking in every way? We desire to have others perfect, and yet we do not correct our own faults. We would allow others to be severely corrected, and will not be corrected ourselves.

We will have others kept under by strict laws, but in no case do we want to be restrained. And so it appears that we seldom weigh our neighbor in the same balance with ourselves.

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Bumper Sticker




A certain woman went down from Washington DC to Richmond, VA and ran over a nail, which punctured her tire and left her stranded by the side of the road.  After raising the hood of her car and tying a scarf to her radio antenna, she locked the door handles and sat in the car, praying for the Lord to send help!

By chance, there came a limousine that way with a bumper sticker that read, "Smile, God Loves You!"  When the occupants saw the stranded woman, they passed by in the far lane -without smiling.

And likewise, there came a sports car with a CB radio and a bumper sticker saying, "Honk If You Love Jesus!"  The man who was driving passed by in the far lane without honking and without using his CB to tell the Highway Patrol about the woman's dilemma.

But, a certain working man, as he traveled to his job, came to the spot where the woman was and, when he saw her raised hood, white scarf, and flat tire, he had compassion on her.

He stopped his old beat-up pickup - which had no bumper sticker - and crossed the four-lane highway, and offered to change the tire.  The woman opened the door and gave him the key to the trunk.  The man took out the spare tire, jacked up the car, removed the flat tire, and replaced it with the spare.   When he finished, the woman tried to pay him.  He refused the money saying, "If my wife were stranded on the highway with a flat tire, I'd want some Good Samaritan to stop and help her out."  He returned to his bumper-stickerless truck, smiled, and drove away.

Food for thought:
Which of these three was neighbor unto her who had a flat tire?

Treasure


A family had a very beautiful vase that was a family heirloom.

Their little girl had been told that "it is our family treasure."

One day there was a loud crash.  The little girl began to wail. Her mother ran into the room and found her daughter crying and the vase broken.

She asked her daughter, "what is wrong?".

"I broke the family treasure", she cried.

Her mother picked her up and said, "Yes, but you are all right."

When the girl became a woman she said, "I found out that day that I was the real family treasure."

Moral:
You are the real treasure of the family.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Late tomorrow

Readers - I may be late in posting something online tomorrow morning.  It's just that I am going to be focusing on something else till that time.

Have you experienced the stress before an interview?  Well, that's exactly what I am going through right now :-)

After a gap of nearly 5 years, I am attending a serious interview.  To be honest, I have actually forgotten how to attend one.  During the past 5 years, I was on the other side of the table, interviewing various candidates for numerous jobs.  The lesson I learned from this is that one should always keep his/her tools sharpened at all times. Good luck to me!!

If I were to give some tips for candidates, I may readily have several.  I just plan to apply those same tips. Let's see how it goes.

As soon as I am done, I shall post something here tomorrow.

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Learning from Christ

A young girl 16 years old drove her car to the grocery store. Her mother was raking the yard.  It was a fall day.  When the girl came back from the grocery store, she hadn't been driving long and wasn't familiar with how to use the car that well and she was going far too fast.

When she came to the intersection that turned towards her house there were some wet leaves that had blown out into the road and she skidded on the wet leaves and she slid into a tree and was thrown into the steering wheel with her chest and her head went through the wind shield.  The car door opened and she fell out on the ground.  

Her mother up the street raking leaves saw the entire thing. She heard the tires screech and watched the car hit the tree. She ran down the street with all of her strength.  She fell down and pulled her daughter's bleeding face up into her hand.  As she looked down into her daughter's face, here is what the girl said to her before the mother could say a word.

The little girl looked up at her mother and said, "Mama, I'm going to die.  Mama, I'm going to die."

Her mother responded, "No you're not honey! You're not going to die!  Everything is going to be all right, just stay calm."

A neighbor ran out onto her porch and the mother yelled, "Call an ambulance."  The neighbor ran back in and called for help.

The daughter said, "Mama, I going to die."

The mother again replied by saying, "No you're not honey."

This happened three times. The girl kept saying she was going to die.  Her eyes were wild, blood was in her face.

Again she said, "I'm going to die!"


"You're not going to die honey!", said her mother.  "I promise you the ambulance is on its way you're going to be all right."

At this point, the little girl looked up at her mother and said, "Mama, you taught me how to dress. Mama, you taught me how to put on my makeup.  Mama, you even taught me how to dance.  But Mama, you never taught me how to die!"

And she died in her mother's arms.

Food for thought:
Christ in our life can make the difference. Christ can teach us how to lead a good life, before we say our final goodbye.

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Mother's heart

A little girl was sitting on her mother's knee. She was very fond of her mother.

She called her, her "very own mother," and like one who was rejoicing over very precious treasures she was touching, one after the other, the features of her mother's face with her little fingers--her mother's lips, her eyes, her cheeks, her hair.

After a while she said, "Mummy, can I see your heart?" The mother said, "I don't know about that, but you can look into my eyes, and see if you can see anything."

The child climbed up and peered in; and then she cried out gleefully, "I can see your heart, Mummy, and there is a tiny girl away in there, and it's me!"

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Prayer without ceasing

A servant girl said that she prayed all the time.  The preacher asked her how she did this.

She answered, "When I open my eyes in the morning, I ask God to open the eyes of my understanding.

When I am dressing I ask God to clothe me with His righteousness.

When I wash my face, I ask God to wash all my sins away.

When I begin my work, I pray for strength equal to my tasks.

When I kindle the fire, I pray for God to revive the fires of my soul.

When I sweep the house, I pray for God to cleanse my heart of all impurities.

When I prepare a meal, I pray for God to feed me with the manna from heaven.

When I am busy with the little children, I pray for God to give me the spirit of a little child."

She had indeed learned how to "pray without ceasing."

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Simple puzzles

  1. Take 2 apples from 3 apples. What do you have?
  2. How many animals of each species did Moses take with him in the Ark?
  3. Some months have 30 days, some months have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?
  4. If a doctor gives you 3 pills and tells you to take one pill every half hour, how long would it be before all the pills taken?
  5. I went to bed at eight o'clock in the evening and wound up my clock and set the alarm to sound at nine o'clock in the morning. How many hours sleep would I get before being woken by the alarm?
  6. Divide 30 by half and add ten. What do you get?
  7. If you had only one match and entered a COLD and DARK room, where there was an oil heater, an oil lamp and a candle, which would you light first?
  8. A man builds a house with four sides of rectangular construction, each side having a southern exposure. A big bear comes along. What color is the bear?
  9. A farmer had 17 sheep. All but 9 died. How many live sheep were left?
  10. If you drove a bus with 43 people on board from Chicago and stopped at Pittsburgh to pick up 7 more people and drop off 5 passengers and at Cleveland to drop off 8 passengers and pick up 4 more and eventually arrive at Philadelphia 20 hours later, what's the name of the driver?

God and Satan

In the beginning God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God’s great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry’s and Krispy Kreme. And Satan said, “You want chocolate with that?” And man said “Yea.” and woman said, “And another one with sprinkles.” And they gained 10 pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt that woman might keep the figure that man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane, and combined them. And woman went from size 2 to size 6.

So God said, “Try my fresh green salad.”

And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing and garlic toast on the side. And man and woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, “I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.”

And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then brought running shoes so that his children might loose those extra pounds.

And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And man and woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.

And Satan created McDonald’s and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, “You want fries with that?” and man replied, “Yea! And super size ‘em.” And Satan said “It is good.” and man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created HMOs.

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Weight of prayer

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a small town grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. John Longwise, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.

Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?" Louise replied "Yes sir!"

"OKAY," he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."

Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down (on an old balance scale).

The grocer staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scale. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with great amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and placed on the scale and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to John as he said, "It was worth every penny of it."

It was sometime later that John Longhouse discovered his scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much weight prayers carry.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kind Eyes

A story I came across:

Early in the eighteen hundreds an old man stood along a riverbank. It was the middle of a dark, Winter’s night in Virginia and the ice cold water was raging. There were no bridges or ferries across the river. The only way to cross safely was on horseback, so the old man waited patiently until he saw four riders approaching. As the first three riders rode up and crossed the river, however, the old man said nothing. It was only when the last rider came to the riverbank that he asked for a ride across. The rider kindly agreed and offered the old man a hand up on his mount. After making it to the other side of the rushing river he helped the old man down and questioned him on why he hadn’t asked any of the previous riders for help.

The old man said, "I looked into the eyes of each man as they rode past and saw that their hearts were cold. I knew that they wouldn’t help an old man. Your eyes were kind and I knew that you would help me. Thank you for the ride." The fourth rider, President Thomas Jefferson smiled at the man and then rode on towards his home.

After reading that story I prayed to God. I asked Him to help me to nurture the goodness in my own heart. I asked Him to help me to develop a caring soul and a giving spirit. I asked Him to fill me with His love so that anyone who looks into my eyes will find them kind. I am sure too that when Thomas Jefferson entered into the light of Heaven the angels were cheering. They were cheering not because he had been President of the United States. They were cheering instead for every ride he gave, kindness he shared, and good thing he did in his life here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alone

As I sit beside the ocean's shore
And watch the setting sun
I ponder things about my life
Am I the only one?

Not a soul in sight that I can see
I sit here all alone
The emptiness of God's green earth
Not a thing to hear me moan.

What can I do to make me whole
And make things seem alright
I turn to God and cry to Him
Why can't You see my plight?

I know it's wrong to question You
About these things I fear
Help me let go and trust in You
Give you the wheel to steer.

I look upon the setting sun
In awe of Your great scene
The colors are so beautiful
The water looks so clean

You help me know, You're there with me
My faith grows more each day
I give to You my heart and soul
For All these things, I pray.

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Three hermits

Once upon a time there was a bishop whose learning and wisdom brought him great honors. People everywhere praised his ability to preach and teach. His congregation grew, and he gained great respect in his town as a man of God.

Finally his notoriety spread all the way to the halls of the Vatican. He received word that the Pope would very much like an audience with this great spiritual giant. The town was enthusiastic about this unprecedented opportunity for one of their own. The bishop, too, felt his sense of self importance swell. When the day of departure arrived, the townspeople swarmed to the docks to see him and his entourage off to Rome.

The weather and winds were with the ship as she sailed off. After a few days of travel, the captain pointed out to the bishop a tiny island off in the distance. "That," he said, "is the home of the three hermits." (In those days some people had chosen to cut themselves off from all of society in order to better serve and love God.) "It is said that they are the holiest men in the land," continued the captain.

The bishop, his vanity poked and his interest piqued, asked if there might be time for him to visit the hermits. Since the winds and weather had been so favorable, the captain indicated that they would have no problem stopping for a visit and still making their scheduled appointment in Rome.

Soon the bishop, dressed in his splendid robes and surrounded by his advisors, boarded a rowboat that carried them off to the little island. As soon as the bishop stepped on the sand, the three hermits prostrated themselves in front of him. After blessing them the bishop asked, "What do you spend all of your time doing here in this desolate place?"

"We spend our time seeking to better love God," responded one of the hermits hesitantly.

"And what are you studying?" queried the bishop.

The puzzled hermits looked at each other and did not respond.

"Simpletons," thought the bishop, and he decided to waste no more time with the hermits.

"Let us say the Lord's Prayer, and then I will be off," said the bishop with a yawn. Again the hermits looked at each other in bewilderment.

You mean you do not know the Lord's Prayer?" the bishop cried in amazement.

The hermits shook their heads no.

"Then how can you seek him?" he muttered.

The hermits lowered their heads apologetically and said, ????? "Oh sir, if it would help us to love God more, we would be pleased to learn".

The bishop, with an air of patronage, replied dryly, "At least I can teach you this," and he begin to recite the Lord's Prayer. He then encouraged the hermits to repeat it after him.

They were very slow learners. For several exasperating hours the bishop sat with the hermits, going over and over the words until each could haltingly make their way through the exercise.

The bishop quickly said a prayer over the three hermits and tumbled back into the rowboat. The entourage made their way wearily back to the ship.

"Well?" the captain asked.

"Sheer idiots, mindless morons, a waste of my time," spat out the bishop. "Let's get under the wind!"

As the crew raised the anchor, one of the sailors cried out for the captain. "Ahoy! Men off the starboard bow," he shouted.

It was the three hermits, and to the astonishment of everyone on board, they were walking towards the ship on the water! Once on board they bowed low before the bishop, and with heads hung low one of them said, "Your excellency, we desire for you to teach us how to love our Savior more, but we are ashamed to say we have forgotten the last line of the prayer you taught us."

Then the bishop, humbled to his core, got down on his knees in front of the three hermits and said, "My brothers, you have no need of me to teach you anything. Give me your blessing and I will go in peace."

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 09

Today we met in the class and reviewed your final exam answer sheets.  I take it that none of you have any questions related to your grades.

In my view, all of you are winners.  All of you have your own strenghts and weaknesses, and participated in our class activities.

It's only because of the current Sunday school evaluation method that I had to give 1st prize and 2nd prize to some of you.  If I were to grade you my way, I would have awarded you either an A+, A, B+ or B. The first or second place only means that you met certain criteria during a snapshot in time.  This method of evaluation does not indicate the true potential of a student.

Just because you won first of second, it does not mean that you are the best.  There are others who neither won first nor second; but are extremely hardworking and brilliant. Most importantly, you learned few things about God and hopefully those things remain in your mind for years to come.

We discussed The Lord's Prayer and hopefully that was helpful.

Your BRS grades are posted on our class notice board.

We could not have our photo session today, and we shall have it on some other Sunday.

On the card, I wrote few things I thought were related to you.  The gift cards you received is a token of appreciation from my side, for being good students.  Spend it wisely.

Have a nice week.  Don't worry about Sunday school class this year anymore; instead focus on that assignment and AP coursework you are taking.

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Happy Mothers Day


During the past few days, you may have noticed numerous posts related to Mothers day here.

It's only because Mothers day is such a wonderful occasion to remember our mothers and give thanks to them.  Mothers day, during the past years, has only gained much popularity and lot more people celebrate it around the globe by placing reverence.

Personally,

The first person I ever fell in love with was my mother - we all have.

I used to blindly believe my mother when I was little and her words were always golden to me - we all do.

My mother was my first teacher; she used to narrate stories of morals and wisdom to me, both from the Bible and outside - we all enjoyed it.

During my process of growing up, morals and wisdom from those stories guided me; they have only yielded me success so far. Mother reflected the love and joy of teachings of Jesus Christ into my life.  Whatever goodness I have developed during my growth (if any) can totally be attributed to my mother - and I am extremely thankful to my mother.

Few years ago, I lost my mother and I deeply miss her.  For those of you who still have your mothers, I earnestly request you to see their value, appreciate their sacrifices, and enjoy the love and comfort they provide you.

If you can talk to your mother, you are blessed.  If you can see her, touch her and spend time with her, you are further blessed.  Use the time you have to enjoy the gift of your mother and be thankful to God. I have also lost both my grandmothers. If you have them, consider to be blessed ever more. Take time to wish them as well.

This mothers day, find time to spend with your mother (whether biological or not) and let her know how much you love her. All she is expecting from you are few kind words from your heart and you can certainly provide her that.

I wish all mothers a happy and peaceful Mother Day.

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