Saturday, July 31, 2010

Black bear crashes in runaway car

This past week in Denver, CO, a black bear attracted by the smell of a peanut butter sandwich managed to open the door of a car, climb in and got stuck, knocking the gear stick into neutral and sending the car rolling down a slope into trees.

The blare of the car horn alerted the members of the Story family who realized 17-year-old Ben's Toyota was no longer parked in the driveway of their home in Larksspur near Denver.

When they went to explore they discovered the car and trapped culprit at the bottom of the hill -- a giant bear with teeth bared and claws tearing through the car's interior.

The bear was trapped inside the car for two hours before police were able to release the animal who ran off into nearby woods.

Ben and his sister Becky said the bear was likely lured into the car by a certain scintillating scent.

"There was a peanut butter sandwich in the back seat," Ben told reporters, adding that his car was ruined.

Here is the actual news.

.

Having absolute power


This post is for those infant readers only. Grown ups - this post is not for you.  That means you grown ups need to stop reading this - NOW.

Ok - now that the grown ups are gone, my infant friend, do you feel like you have no control over your life? Do your mommy and daddy make you do and wear things you absolutely hate? Are you at the bottom of your family's power structure? I'm here to tell you that all this can be a thing of the past. By following my ten simple rules, you'll be wearing the diaper and the pants in the family in no time!

Rule #1 - You have absolute power.
Repeat this to yourself on a daily basis. You are the ruler of your universe. Your parents are there to serve you, not the other way around. You have unlimited power over them.

Rule #2 - Cry.
Tears are your biggest asset in your arsenal against your parents. If you don't like something, cry! Parents have absolutely no defense against this wet onslaught. They will do anything to get you to stop. This is especially useful in public places. For maximum effectiveness, increase volume every fifteen seconds.

Rule #3 - Be cute.
This is your number one defense mechanism. You're going to pull a lot of crap most people would never get away with, and your cute factor is the only thing allowing this. Flash a smile, and your parents will go weak in the knees with gushing admiration of your blessed existence, even after you've just broken half the stuff in the house.

Rule #4 - Keep them weak.
I don't care if you have to set an alarm clock for yourself, but you need to wake your parents up at least three times a night. A rested parent is a strong parent, and that means bad news for you. The more weary they are, the more malleable to your intricate plans of global domination.

Rule #5 - Pee on them.
Once out of every ten diaper changes, you should let loose your golden stream of glory. This shows them who's boss, and keeps them on their toes. If you can, aim for the face for maximum effectiveness. At the very least, you should be able to cover yourself as well as a portion of your parent's clothes. This works well for those situations where they've put you in an embarrassing outfit, or they're in a hurry to get somewhere

Rule #6 - Make them carry you.
Do not let them put you down! This is very important. The moment they realize you can get around by yourself, they will no longer want to carry you. If you are put on the ground, see rule #2. Your parents are strong, and there's two of them. They can carry you forever.

Rule #7 - Smack them around a little.
Parents are under the false impression that we have very little control over our arms and legs. Use this to your advantage! Every now and then, just randomly slap them in the face, and then smile and laugh. They may curse a little, but I guarantee no harm will come to you. They are powerless against the smile and laugh combination.

Rule #8 - Grandparents love babies.
Capturing this key demographic can bring you joys beyond your wildest expectations. Toys, food, and attention can all be yours when you manipulate this segment of the population. Gramps will even let you watch the Spice channel if nobody else is around!

Rule #9 - Siblings exist for your amusement.
Your brothers and sisters are the court jesters in your vast kingdom. They are there for your personal entertainment, and nothing more. Laugh at their crazy antics, but the moment they get out of line with that "the baby gets all the attention" crap, pull their hair. One word of warning though. Make sure a parent is nearby when you do this, as siblings are immune to your cute defense mechanisms. Be sure to cry, so your parent is alerted to your mortal danger.

Rule #10 - No private time.
This is perhaps the most important rule of them all. Do not let your parents have private time! If you hear these evil words uttered, alarms should go off in your head. Nothing good can come from private time. At the very least, private time rejuvenates them, making them more resistant to your powers. And in the worst possible scenario, private time could lead to a new baby replacing you as the ruler of the house! This event needs to be stopped at all costs!

That's it, friends. Follow these simple rules and you should have a long and fruitful reign as ruler of your household.

You have the power!

.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ketchup


A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone.

It was the pastor’s wife who asked to talk to the woman.

But the daughter said ever so sweetly, “Mommy can’t come to the phone to talk to you right now. She’s hitting the bottle.”

.

Shine on

Disappointment grabs hold of your tender heart.
Don't allow it to hang on too long.
You weren't born to be sad or born to blue.
You were born to ever shine on.

Loneliness drops you in a deep, empty hole.
Don't forget there's a place you belong.
You weren't born in darkness or born to be lost.
You were born to ever shine on.

Mistakes and false steps, shatter your confidence.
Don't believe that you'll always be wrong.
You weren't born defeated or born to stay down.
You were born to ever shine on.

You're a symphony of light, a grand design.
Don't transgress to a life without song.
You were born to a Promise, born to love.
You were born to ever shine on.

.

Hope

My eyes have never beheld what I believe I will one day possess.

My hands have never touched hands damaged in crucifixion, yet I believe I will one day touch them.

My feet have never touched pavement of gold, yet one day I fully expect to walk on such streets.

My mind has never understood the mysteries of God, yet there will come a day when it will all make sense.

So until then, I will rejoice in what I do not possess because I have something that will carry me in confidence until that moment arrives. What will carry me is the belief that the Father has fully paid my sin debt which gives me the freedom to love and follow where He leads.

I don’t need to see it or hold it in my hands to believe that it is real.

Some say seeing is believing - but for me it’s the opposite. Belief comes first, seeing will come soon enough.

I am willing to wait.

That gift is hope.
 
.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The cave dwellers



Long ago, or maybe not so long ago, there was a tribe in a dark, cold cavern. The cave dwellers would huddle together and cry against the chill. Loud and long they wailed. It was all they did. It was all they knew to do. The sounds in the cave were mournful, but the people didn't know it, for they had never known joy. The spirit in the cave was death, but the people didn't know it, for they had never known life.

But then, one day, they heard a different voice. "I have heard your cries," it announced. "I have felt your chill and seen your darkness. I have come to help."

The cave people grew quiet. They had never heard this voice. hope sounded strange to their ears. "How can we know you have come to help?"

"Trust me," he answered. "I have what you need."

The cave people peered through the darkness at the figure of the stranger. He was stacking something, then stooping and stacking more.

"What are you doing?" one cried, nervous.

The stranger didn't answer.

"What are you making?" one shouted even louder.

Still no response.

"Tell us!" demanded a third.

The visitor stood and spoke in the direction of the voices. "I have what you need." With that he turned to the pile at his feet and lit it. Wood ignited, flames erupted, and light filled the cavern.

The cave people turned away in fear. "Put it out!" they cried. "It hurts to see it."

"Light always hurts before it helps," he answered. "Step closer. The pain will soon pass."

"Not I," declared a voice.

"Nor I," agreed a second.

"Only a fool would risk exposing his eyes to such light."

The stranger stood next to the fire. "Would you prefer the darkness? Would you prefer the cold? Don't consult your fears. Take a step of faith"

For a long time no one spoke. The people hovered in groups covering their eyes. The fire builder stood next to the fire. "It's warm here," he invited.

"He's right," one from behind him announced. "It's warmer." The stranger turned a saw a figure slowly stepping toward the fire. "I can open my eyes now," she proclaimed. "I can see."

"Come closer," invited the fire builder.

She did. She stepped into the ring of light.

"It's so warm!" she extended her hands and sighed as her chill began to pass.

"Come, everyone! Feel the warmth," she invited.

"Silence, woman!" cried one of the cave dwellers. "Dare you lead us into your folly? Leave us. Leave us and take your light with you."

She turned to the stranger. "Why won't they come?"

"They choose the chill, for though it's cold, it's what they know. They'd rather be cold than change."

"And live in the dark?"

"And live in the dark."

The now-warm woman stood silent. Looking first at the dark, then at the man.

"Will you leave the fire?" he asked.

She paused, then answered, "I cannot. I cannot bear the cold." Then she spoke again. "But nor can I bear the thought of my people in darkness."

"You don't have to," he responded, reaching into the fire and removing a stick. "Carry this to your people. Tell them the light is here, and the light is warm. Tell them the light is for all who desire it."

And so she took the small flame and stepped into the shadows.

.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A prayer


Dear God,

I ask you to bless my friends reading this right now

Lord, show them a new revelation of Your love and power.

Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment.

Where there is pain, give them Your peace & mercy.

Where there is self-doubting, release a renewed confidence in Your ability to work through them.

Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, patience, & strength as they learn submission to Your leading.

Where there is spiritual stagnation, I ask You to renew them by revealing Your nearness, and by drawing them into greater intimacy with You.

Where there is fear, reveal Your love, and release to them Your courage.

Where there is a sin blocking them, reveal it, and break its hold over my friend's life.

Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders, and friends to support, and encourage them.

Give each of them the ability to recognize the demonic forces around them, and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it.

.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Growth potential

At many places, especially at work, individuals are literally hobbled by low or incorrect expectations. In many instances, the mind set of a co-worker or supervisor can restrict an employee's ability to become an excellent performer.  Here is a true story.

A young lady went to work for a company immediately after graduating from college. She seemed extremely talented but unbelievably timid.

She was assigned to a division-level marketing department where she assisted in the production of advertising and collateral material. Her supervisor associated her shyness with a lack of technical and conceptual skills. As a result, she was never included in brainstorming or planning sessions. The supervisor thought she was best suited to simple graphics layout and paste-up.

Frustrated that her talents were squandered on simple tasks, she applied to the corporate marketing department. The vice-president reviewed her resume and transferred her without interviewing her at length. His concept of the young lady was positive and assigned her to a series of important, key projects. She performed magnificently.

A few months later, the original supervisor was in the vice-president's office admiring the new corporate ad campaign. The project consisted of television and radio commercials, full-page ads for national publications and complete press kits.

The supervisor asked, "What kind of a Madison Avenue rain-maker worked this kind of magic?"

The VP replied, "This was all completed by that young lady you sent me. That was the best move I ever made!"

.

The nature of scorpion


Back in India, there was this Hindu man who saw a scorpion floundering around in the water. He decided to save it by stretching out his finger, but the scorpion stung him. The man still tried to get the scorpion out of the water, but the scorpion stung him again.

A man nearby told him to stop saving the scorpion that kept stinging him.

But the Hindu said: "It is the nature of the scorpion to sting. It is my nature to love. Why should I give up my nature to love just because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting?"

Moral:
Don't give up loving.
Don't give up your goodness.
Even if people around you sting.

.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Math homework excuses


Schools are about to start, and math still remains as the most dreaded subject for a good chunk of students.  If students are unable to do their math homework, traditionally they have given excuses such as, "The dog ate my homework." Students are constantly working on new excuses for not doing their math homework.  The new list includes the following:

I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.

Today is Isaac Newton’s birthday.

I could only get arbitrarily close to my textbook. I couldn’t actually reach it.

I have the proof, but there isn’t room to write it in this margin.

I was watching the All Star Game and got tied up trying to prove where the foul lines converged.

I have a solar powered calculator and it was cloudy.

I locked the paper in my trunk but a four-dimensional dog got in and ate it.

I couldn’t figure out whether i am the square of negative one or i is the square root of negative one.

I took time out to snack on a doughnut and a cup of coffee. I spent the rest of the night trying to figure which one to dunk.

I could have sworn I put the homework inside a Klein bottle, but this morning I couldn’t find it.


PS: I am sure none of my past students would ever need these excuses.  Am I right?

.

The gift of insult


Here is a story for you to think of, when you are faced with insults from others.  

There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.

One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent. He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed. No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move.

Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior's challenge. As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face. For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed.

Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. "How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away?"

"If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it," the master replied, "to whom does the gift belong?"

.

Prayer for rain


As a drought continued for what seemed an eternity, a small community of farmers was in a quandary as to what to do. Rain was important to keep their crops healthy and sustain the way of life of the townspeople.

As the problem became more acute, a local pastor called a prayer meeting to ask for rain.

Many people arrived. The pastor greeted most of them as they filed in. As he walked to the front of the church to officially begin the meeting he noticed most people were chatting across the aisles and socializing with friends. When he reached the front his thoughts were on quieting the attendees and starting the meeting.

His eyes scanned the crowd as he asked for quiet. He noticed an eleven year-old girl sitting quietly in the front row. Her face was beaming with excitement. Next to her, poised and ready for use, was a bright pink umbrella. The little girl's beauty and innocence made the pastor smile as he realized how much faith she possessed. No one else in the congregation had brought an umbrella.

All came to pray for rain, but the little girl had come expecting God to answer.

.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Merry Christmas in July


Today evening (July 25th), many places celebrate 'Christmas in July'.  As we are familiar that Christmas occurs in December and is, in general, a time of gift-giving and holiday cheer. Christmas in July celebrations are held in July to provide a second joyful celebration in the year.

In the southern hemisphere, Christmas in July is the name given to social events with a winter Christmas theme, as July is generally the coldest month of the year.

In the northern hemisphere during the summer months the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave the atmosphere of cooler temperatures, gift giving and holiday spirit. To satisfy this, some people throw parties during the month of July that mimic the holiday of Christmas. The features of Christmas in July include Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods and gifts. Nightclubs often host parties open to the public.

There are a variety of events held tonight in and around Atlanta.  Wish you a 'Merry Christmas in July'.

.

Fundraising


A minister concluded that his church was getting into serious financial troubles. While checking the church storeroom, he discovered several cartons of new bibles that had never been opened and distributed.

So at his Sunday sermon, he asked for three volunteers from the congregation who would be willing to sell the bibles door-to-door for $10 each to raise the desperately needed money for the church.

Peter, Paul and Louie all raised their hands to volunteer for the task.

The minister knew that Peter and Paul earned their living as salesmen and were likely capable of selling some bibles.

But he had serious doubts about Louie who was a local farmer, who had always kept to himself because he was embarrassed by his speech impediment.

Poor Louis stuttered badly. But, not wanting to discourage Louis, the minister decided to let him try anyway.

He sent the three of them away with the back k seat of their cars stacked with bibles.

He asked them to meet with him and report the results of their door-to-door selling efforts the following Sunday.

Anxious to find out how successful they were, the minister immediately asked Peter, "Well, Peter, how did you make out selling our bibles last week?"

Proudly handing the reverend an envelope, Peter replied, "Using my sales prowess, I was able to sell 20 bibles, and here's the $200 I collected on behalf of the church."

"Fine job, Peter!" The minister said, vigorously shaking his hand. "You are indeed a fine salesman and the Church is indebted to you."

Turning to Paul, "And Paul, how many bibles did you sell for the church last week?"

Paul, smiling and sticking out his chest, confidently replied, "I am a professional salesman. I sold 28 bibles on behalf of the church, and here's $280 I collected."

The minister responded, " That's absolutely splendid, Paul. You are truly a professional salesman and the church is also indebted to you."

Apprehensively, the minister turned to Louie and said, "And Louie, did you manage to sell any bibles last week?"

Louie silently offered the minister a large envelope. The reverend opened it and counted the contents.

"What is this?" the minister exclaimed. "Louie, there's $3200 in here! Are you suggesting that you sold 320 bibles for the church, door to door, in just one week?

Louie just nodded.

"That's impossible!" both Peter and Paul said in unison. "We are professional salesmen, yet you claim to have sold 10 times as many bibles as we could."

"Yes, this does seem unlikely," the minister agreed. "I think you'd better explain how you managed to accomplish this, Louie."

Louie shrugged. "I-I-I- re-re-really do-do-don't kn-kn-k now f-f-f-for sh -sh-sh-sure," he stammered.

Impatiently, Peter interrupted. "For crying out loud, Louie, just tell us what you said to them when they answered the door!"

"A-a-a-all I-I-I s-s-said wa-wa-was," Louis replied, "W-w-w-w-would y-y-y-you l-l-l-l-l-like t-t-to b-b-b-buy th-th-th-this b-b-b-b-bible f-f-for t-t-ten b-b-b-bucks ---o-o-o-or--- wo-wo-would yo-you j-j-just l-like m-m-me t-t-to st-st-stand h-h-here and r-r-r-r-r-read it t-to y-y-you?"

.

The apple basket



One day an elderly man entered into a hospital. He was grumpy from being on medication and the nurses thought him to be insane, as he yelled for his wife to get the apple basket. By the time they had checked him into his room the nurses were exhausted from the fight he was putting up.

"Sir you have to calm down we are doing everything we can for you" they would try to explain.

"I don't need your help" the grumpy man would yell "I want my apple basket". He finally slept. The nurses sighed with relief and talked among themselves whether they should call the hospital psychologist about the old man and his obsession with the apple basket.

As they talked and laughed about the situation the wife came in carrying the basket of apples. They looked kind of stunned as she asked if she could see her husband and deliver his basket. Sure, they agreed as they watched her slip past into his room.

Curiosity consumed them over the next few weeks as they tended to the elderly man. He was eaten with cancer and the doctors had given him no hope of survival. He turned out to be a very calm, happy man once he had his basket. His wife, they noticed, would come in with apples and go out with apples and the curiosity grew even more till one nurse couldn't stand the suspense.

One night as he was nearing the end, the nurse sat down in a chair by the wife." May I ask why do you have that apple basket? I just don't understand the significance."

"I am an apple farmer by trade he sighed. From the time I was 20 till the day I do die I will forever have my apples." The nurse nodded thinking she understood. He just likes his work, she thought, assured now he was a little bit crazy.

As she started to leave, the old man asked her to sit down. "At age 20 I was saved, I accepted the Lord as my Savior." Oh no, the nurse thought. Here comes the lecture on religion. The old man continued. "The day I accepted the Lord as my Savior I got this basket, and each time I had a problem or concern that I could not handle, I put an apple in the basket un-shined."

"Why?" the nurse said shaking her head.

"Because it reminded me to give those problems to the Lord for him to shine. See my basket now, he stated. As my problems disappear so do the apples. As I get new problems, ones I cannot handle alone, I put an apple in."

The humble nurse looked into the basket... only one apple was there.

With that, he took a big breath and grabbed his wife by the hand and faded into eternal sleep. The wife paused for a moment and got up from her place to take from the basket the last remaining apple. She whispered in his ear that his reward awaits him in heaven.

The nurse stayed still and asked with tears in her eyes, "what do you think his riches will be?"

The wife knew what they were, eternal life with Jesus Christ. But she could see the concern and sadness upon the young nurses' face and handed her the apple and said "the biggest apple pie you can imagine!"

That was the day the young nurse was "saved," and from that day on she too always had a basket of apples by her bed.


.

The story of Michael Akers






Michelle Akers
-a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics
- member of the 1999 World Cup Champion team
- named the 1999 Century Player of the Year.

Michelle Akers is the claimed to be the best women’s soccer player on the planet. Her team, the United States of America, was the 1996 Olympic gold medallists and the 1991 World Cup champions. But life for Michelle doesn’t consist of only victories and honors, she sick, and she’s holding on by the very will and courage that brought her to be the outstanding soccer player that she is. This sickness that Michelle is battling is known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS).

It all began in 1991, immediately after the first ever Women’s Soccer World Championship in China. Michelle began to feel tired and lethargic but thought nothing of it for her travel and career schedule had been extremely hectic throughout the previous months. She brushed it off as nothing and went on with her busy schedule of soccer practices, public appearances and many long plane flights. But as time went by Michelle Akers began to become more and more worn out than usual. This concerned her and she decided to see a doctor. As the doctor advised, Michelle rested for about a month and then returned to her much loved life of soccer.

Two years had passed when Michelle Akers collapsed during a game and realized that she was sick, not just tired or run down, but really sick. After various tests consisting of echocardiograms, heart stress tests, blood tests, and many others, Michelle was finally diagnosed with Mono, then Chronic EBV, and finally six months later in the spring of 1994, CFIDS.

Michelle now had to accept the fact that this was going to change her life. She couldn’t just take some pills and return to her normal life, this would be a battle that she would have to fight for the rest of her life. Many unwanted changes soon came into play.

At her worst, Michelle Akers was barely able to function or complete day to day activities. It was an extreme effort to do laundry, prepare a meal, or attempt the exercise bike for a mere five minutes. Many times, just doing those small chores knocked her out for days or even weeks.

At her best Michelle could play 15-20 minutes of a 90-minute soccer match, sometimes even that being too much for her. This was the hardest thing for Michelle to accept. Before experiencing CFIDS, Michelle Akers soccer traing was more than anyone else on the team, pushing herself to extremes, and getting away with it. Now Michelle found herself working out less and lighter than everyone and often not being able to participate in practices.

The symptoms that Michelle Akers faced were overwhelming and sometimes almost unbearable. They included: migraines, neck pain, night sweats, poor sleep, weight loss/gain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. Sometimes this would force her to stay in bed for days at a time while she could be playing in a World Championship, or signing autographs and speaking to her millions of fans. During these long hours in bed, Michelle often found herself asking what had happened to that strong, dynamic, tireless Michelle Akers, and would she ever be seen again?

This is when Michelle realized that she had to make some mental changes as well as all the physical changes. She began to grow closer to God and realized that with his help she could get through anything. In her book, Michelle states “The moment that I just rest, rest in the strength of God’s perfect grace- is the moment that I overcome. The moment I am whole again.”

The mental changes that she went through were just the thing that Michelle needed to prepare her for the upcoming 1996 Summer Olympics. She performed like the Michelle that had no fears, the Michelle that outdid everyone, and they won the gold. But this victory came at great cost for Michelle, each game drained her to the point of near collapse. The team doctor had Michelle hooked up to IV’s after every game.

Michelle may not be the soccer player she was before 1991, she may not be outdoing all her teammates, but Michelle has certainly become a person of determination and inner-strength that many people have turned to for inspiration and hope.

Here is how this athlete talks to God: “Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior. I am your child, liberated and depending on your power. Therefore, Christ, this is YOUR day, to be lived for YOUR glory. Work through my eyes, my mouth, and through my thoughts and actions to carry out your victory . . . and Lord, do that all day long. Amen.”

.