Saturday, October 23, 2010

Substitute

Today evening we attended a prayer meeting at Kevin Thomas' residence.

There, I was asked by the 7th grade teacher if I could handle her Sunday school class for tomorrow.  I agreed to it, and am planning to cover the portion 'Church History' to the 7th graders.

Honor - the true owner

Sadhu Sundar Singh had was doing a tour around the world. While in Europe, people asked him, "Do you feel proud, getting so much honor?"

The Sadhu's answer was: "No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me, but the Lord, who does the job."

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Worth

On a visit to the Beethoven museum in Bonn, a young American student became fascinated by the piano on which Beethoven had composed some of his greatest works. She asked the museum guard if she could play a few bars on it; she accompanied the request with a lavish tip, and the guard agreed.

The girl went to the piano and tinkled out the opening of the Moonlight Sonata. As she was leaving she said to the guard, "I suppose all the great pianist who come here want to play on that piano."

The guard shook his head. "Padarewski [the famed Polish pianist] was here a few years ago and he said he wasn't worthy to touch it."

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Flawed marble


We all admire perfection, and are disillusioned when things dont measure up. Often quick to reject that which is flawed, we dont realize that, in working in spite of the flaws, some of the world's most perfect masterpieces have been created.

In 1501, Michelangelo won a commission from the Florentine elders to work on the huge flawed block of marble. Other Florentine sculptors assumed the block would break under the strain of the huge gouge in its side. Yet Michelangelo was able to see behind the ruined surface something that no one else could see. With chisel and mallet, he worked around the flaw. Weeks, months, and years passed, as the master hammered and hewed the scarred stone, until finally there emerged from under his skillful hands the figure of a man which was said to be so perfect that it only lacked life.

After four years of painstaking carving, Michelangelo was able to release the beautiful image of "David" from flawed marble. In doing so he transformed the block rejected by others into the most striking sculpture in Florence. Davids eyes are watchful.  The veins in his hands and arms reveal his strength.  A stone rests in his right hand, his body, seems a reservoir of energy, standing poised for action.

When asked how he accomplished such an incredible transformation, Michelangelo said that "David" was already in the piece of marble.  He merely removed everything that wasn't "David", including the flaw.

In the same way envision yourself, your life as God wishes it to be, and remove everything that is not true to that image. In doing so, you will discover that inside every person, even the scarred ones, there is a masterpiece waiting to be brought to life by the hand of the Master.


Credits: Ken Sapp

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Doc - what?

Few quotes taken from actual medical records as dictated by physicians:

- By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped and he was feeling better.

- On the second day, the knee was better and on the third day it had completely disappeared.

- The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1983.

- Patient was released to outpatient department without dressing.

- Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

- The patient refused an autopsy.

- The patient has no past history of suicides.

- The patient expired on the floor uneventfully.

- The patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.

- She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.

- The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

- She is numb from the toes down.

- The skin was moist and dry.

- When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.

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Absolutely right

Two men who lived in a small Indian village got into a terrible dispute that they could not resolve. So they decided to talk to the town sage. The first man went to the sage's home and told his version of what happened.

When he finished, the sage said, "You're absolutely right."

The next night, the second man called on the sage and told his side of the story.

The sage responded, "You're absolutely right."

Afterward, the sage's wife scolded her husband. "Those men told you two different stories and you told them they were absolutely right. That's impossible - they can't both be absolutely right."

The sage turned to his wife and said, "You're absolutely right."

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Interesting logic

Feathers are light.
The sun gives off light.
Therefore, the sun gives off feathers.

All tables have four legs.
My dog has four legs.
Therefore, my dog is a table.

God is love.
Love is blind.
Stevie Wonder is blind.
Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

Time is money.
Money talks
Therefore, time will tell.

All men are mortal.
Socrates was a man.
Therefore, all men are Socrates.

I’m a nobody.
Nobody is perfect.
Therefore, I am perfect!



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Disclaimer - I do not claim to be perfect at all.  


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Vision

About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.

In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?

Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision.

With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.

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"All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to the day to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for the many act out their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence

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Sunny and nice

The weather is great these days - sunny and nice.  If you notice, nature is coloring all the leaves and beautifying the foliage. The best place to be now is the mountains - especially a drive towards Gatlinburg, TN.

We plan to work on our garden soon by planting few bulbs.  The sad part is pulling out all the annuals that are still looking healthy.

Halloween is around the corner and we put up a 8 ft inflatable ghost balloon in our front yard.

More to follow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paraprosdokian

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an earlier phrase, but also play on the double meaning.

Here are few examples:

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way; so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Do not argue with an idiot; he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you; but it's still on the list.

Light travels faster than sound; this is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Brigade usually uses water.

You're never too old to learn something stupid.

Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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The train of life

Some folks ride the train of life,
Looking out the rear,
Watching miles of life roll by,
And marking every year.

They sit in sad remembrance,
Of wasted days gone by,
And think the best is what once was,
And hang their heads and cry.

But I don't concern my self with that,
I take a different vent,
I look forward to what life holds,
And not what has been spent.

I want to see what's coming up,
Not look back at the past,
Life's too short for yesterdays,
It moves along too fast.

I want to feel the wind of change,
Blowing in my face,
I want to see what life unfolds,
As I move from place to place .

Life's best moments are yet to be,
And wait around the bend.
New relations and adventures,
That the future's sure to send.

So if the ride gets bumpy,
While you are looking back,
Go up front, and you may find,
Your life has jumped the track.

Years may blur your memories,
So you can't tell the details apart.
But nothing blurs the moments..
They are etched upon your heart.

The enjoyment of living,
Is not where we have been,
It's looking ever forward,
To another year and ten.

It's searching all the byways,
Never should you refrain,
For if you want to live your life,
You've gotta drive the train!

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Speed Limit

In western Atlanta, a State Police officer is parked on the side of a highway waiting to catch speeding drivers.  After a while, he spots a car puttering along at 20 mph.  

He thinks to himself,  "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies - two in the front seat and three in the back - wide eyed and white as ghosts.

The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"

"Ma'am," the officer replies, "You weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."

"Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly - 20 miles an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly.

The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that "20" was the Interstate number, not the speed limit.

A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error. "But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask - Is everyone in this car ok? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven't muttered a single peep this whole time." the officer asks.

"Oh, they'll be alright in a minute officer. We just got off Highway 120."

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Revenge

Once a church minister had a visitor - a furious wife walked into his office full of hatred toward her husband.

"I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me," the wife complained.

The minister suggested an ingenious plan, "Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that you're getting a divorce. That will really hurt him."

With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!"

And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting "as if." For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, and sharing.

When the wife did not return after few months, the minister called and asked her, "Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?"

"Divorce?" she exclaimed. "Never! I discovered I really do love him."

Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lessons from the Eagles


Eagles live up to 70 years. At around the 40 year stage the eagle must face a great challenge if it is going to continue to be effective.

At the 40 year mark, eagles start to feel the burden of aging. No longer are they in their prime.  Their claws become too long, unable to pick up the prey easily.  Their beaks become too bent. Their wings get too heavy and their feathers become stuck on their chest, making flying difficult. So the eagle must either adapt to the change or die!

The challenge is uncomfortable, and also a vital step. The eagle flies up the mountain to its nest. It then proceeds to knock its beak against rocks until it can pluck it out. The eagle waits for a new beak to grow back. With the new beak, the eagle then plucks out its claws. The eagle then starts to pluck out its old age feathers. This whole process takes about 6 months.  At the end of this exercise, the eagle sets out on its rebirth and lives for another 30 years with new beak, claws and feathers.

Further, the eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks. It will fly to a high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it, without any effort.

When life gets challenging and the storms of life come upon us - we can learn from the eagle.  If we submit our plans to the Lord, prune ourselves and renew our strengths - we can rise above those challenges by setting our minds and our belief toward God. We can allow God's power to lift us above those storms in our lives - sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment.

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