Saturday, March 12, 2011

The spider and the insect


Once upon a time there lived a spider in a cornfield. A big spider with a beautiful nest going around between corn stems. It became fat by eating all the insects that were trapped in its web. It really loved to live on that cornfield and planned to stay there forever.

One day, the spider caught a tiny insect on its web, and when this spider was about eat it, the insect said, “If you let me go, I will tell you an important thing that will save your life”.

The spider stopped for a moment and listened carefully.

“You better go from this cornfield,” said this tiny insect, “Harvest time already here!”

The spider smiled and said, ”What harvest time are you talking about? I think you just make up a story.”

But the tiny insect said, “Oh no, its true. The owner of this field will soon come to reap. All the corn stalk will be cut off and the corn will be gathered. You will be killed by a giant machine if you stay here.”

The spider answered, “I do not believe in harvest time or giant machine that will cut off the corn. How can you prove it?”

The tiny insect continued, “Look at those corns. Look how those corns were planted in ordered lines. That proves that this field was designed by somebody brilliant.”

The spider laughed and said, “This field has grown by its own and has no relationship with it's creator. Corns always grow like that.”

The insect explained more, “Oh no. This field is owned by an owner who planted it, the harvest time will be here soon.”

The spider grinned and said, “I do not believe,” and then ate the insect.

Few days later, the spider was laughing and remembered the tiny insect’s story. He thought, “Harvest. What a stupid idea. I am already here all my life and no body has disturbed me ever. I was here when the plants were just half meter tall from the ground, and will be here for the rest of my life, because nothing has changed on this field. Life is beautiful, and I will make it that way.”

The next day was a beautiful day on the cornfield. The sky was bright and there was no wind. That noon, when the spider walked, he suddenly realized thick dust coming his way. He heard the sound of a giant machine and asked himself, “What is happening?”

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Friday, March 11, 2011

High school prank


At a high school in Montana, a group of students played a prank - they let three goats loose inside the school.

But before turning them loose, they painted numbers on the sides of the goats: 1, 2, and 4.

School Administrators spent most of the day looking for No. 3!

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Behavior always counts


Once upon a time a flea saw an ox grazing in a pasture. He knew that oxen work for men in their farms. But he didn't like it. He was proud that he fed on men's blood and yet didn't do anything for them.

Approaching the ox, the flea asked, "How is it so that you work for men though you are quite big and strong? Look at me, I never do anything for them and yet feed on their blood though I am so small."

The ox was surprised to hear what the flea had said and replied, "If I work for men, they are very kind to me. They take care of me in every way, feed me, shelter me and moreover, pat me on my back, head and neck out of love and affection. On the other hand, you feed on their blood and they are always up to destroy you."

Moral: Behavior always counts.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Prayer before your next cruise



Heavenly Father, look down on us your humble, obedient cruising servants, who are doomed to cruise this earth, taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs, eating ourselves silly and walking around muggy Caribbean islands in drip-dry underwear.

We beseech You, our Lord, to give us non-stop flights, to see that our planes are not hijacked, our luggage is not lost, our overweight baggage goes unnoticed, and that there is no hurricane anywhere on the planet during our chosen cruise week.

Protect us from zealous Immigrations Officers who swear our “certified copies of our birth certificates” are forged; from suspicious Customs Inspectors who insist on seeing the $1,000 worth of T-shirts we bought in Nassau; from unscrupulous over-charging Jamaican taxi cab drivers, from avaricious porters who would search our bags and discard all the soda therein, and from Guest Relations Clerks whose knowledge of the English language stops at “This ship is full. Don’t even THINK of asking for an upgrade.”

Give us this day Divine guidance in the selection of our cruise ships, that we may find two level showrooms, wide promenade decks, alternative dining options, a pizzeria, our staterooms made up with the twin beds converted to a king, a cabin steward who understands what lots of ice means, and that we actually paid less than the folks in the cabin next door.

We pray that our waiter and busboy speak our language, our iced tea glasses are kept filled at all times, and that there are no emergency shore-to-ship phone calls from our children which would force us to cancel the rest of our cruise or wash dishes in the galley to pay the balance on our shipboard account.

Lead us, Dear Lord, to 2-for-1 specials on deluxe cruise ships where the food is superb, the waiters friendly, the beverages and port charges, taxes and government fees all included in the price; and that Richard Simmons was on LAST week’s cruise.

Give us the wisdom to tip correctly and forgive us for under-tipping out of ignorance or over-tipping out of fear. Make the crew learn to love us for who we are and not for what we can contribute to their families back in Turkey.

Grant us the strength to attend the daily aerobics classes on deck, to work out frequently in the health spa, to use the stairs at all times, and to order only one or two main courses at dinner.

Permit us to book beauty appointments, massage sessions, thalassotherapy treatments, and to browse through the onboard shops and boutiques without sending our VISA cards into convulsions.

Allow us the will to attend all shore talks and the stamina to sit through another debarkation talk. Give us the strength to keep us from heckling the comedians and from making fun of the Cruise Director and the karaoke performers.

Help us become educated and wise cruisers, visiting the museums, the cathedrals, the forts, the palaces, the castles and the rain forests listed in the shore excursion booklets. If perchance we skip an historic monument to take a nap on a beautiful sandy beach, have mercy on us, for our flesh is weak.

[Added prayer by Husbands]
Dear God, keep our wives from signing us up for the “Not so Newlywed Game,” from shopping sprees in St. Thomas, and away from the slot machines at all times. Protect them from bargains they do not need or can`t afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know not what they do.

[Added prayer by Wives]
Almighty Father, keep our husbands from gawking at all those partially-clad women strutting around the ship’s pool comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in the Disco and in the Passenger Talent Show. Above all, please do not forgive them their trespasses for they know exactly what they do.

[And now, All Together]
And when our cruise is over and we return to our loved ones, grant us the favor of finding someone who will look at our videos and slides, and listen to our stories, so that our lives as cruisers will not have been in vain.

This we ask in the name of Julie, Doc, Isaac, Gopher, and Captain Stubing.
Cruising without end.
Amen.

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The small candle



A small candle was being carried by a man who was climbing the stairs of a lighthouse.

On their way up to the top, the candle asked the man, "Where are we going?"

"We're going to the top of this lighthouse and give signals to the big ships on the ocean," the man answered.

"What? How could it be possible for me with my small light to give signals to those big ships?"

"They will never be able to see my light", replied the candle weakly.

"That's your part. If your light is small, let it be. All you have to do is keep burning and leave the rest to me", said the man.

A little later, they arrived at the top of the lighthouse where there was a big lamp with a loop behind it. Then the man lit the lamp with the light of the candle and instantly, the place shone so brightly that the ships on the ocean could see its light.

With our being and our limitations, we're hardly able to do any meaningful things. Yet, one thing you should bear in mind is that your life is like a small candle in God's powerful hand. All your abilities and expertise will remain as a small light if you don't put your life in God's hand. On the contrary, even if your light is so small or dim, if you entrust all your life to God, he is able to make your small light into a big one that brings blessings to many people.

Do not look at your inability, limitations, and weaknesses. God entrust you with something, whether it is a work or a ministry. Have faith that you are in His mighty hand that He will use you according to His will. When we put all our trust in Him, we will see how He uses our lives, including our limitations, to be blessings to others.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New addition


Today, I had dinner with Fannie, a new addition to our consulting practice.  Earlier, I had worked with Fannie way back in 2002.  While I was desperately looking for a good consultant last weekend, I get this one line email from Fannie saying 'Hi Jacob, How are you?'  I replied to Fannie and told her that I am looking to hire a good consultant.  In the next 5 minutes, Fannie sent me her resume and within a matter of few hours we closed the deal.  My wife processed Fannie's paperwork and completed all formalities in the fast track.  Fannie flew in from San Diego, CA, to NYC to work on our team - within a day's notice.

Fannie is extremely spiritual and always writes 'Blessings' instead of 'Thank you' or 'Regards' in her emails - something I noticed early on.  At dinner, we were talking about the circumstances that led to hiring her - a sheer co-incidence where God's work was clearly evident.  She was explaining me about the Koran, the Bible, etc..  For the first time ever, while talking about God and spirituality, I could not speak a word about my religion.  I told her that I believe in the Holy Trinity - God, Son and the Holy Spirit, the Holy Bible etc., without uttering a word about the religion I practice. Instead, I listened.

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Be still, my soul


Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.



Credits: Katharina A. von Schlegel

What is Church?


The church is the only institution that our Lord promised to build and to bless (Matt. 16:18).

The church is the gathering place of true worshippers (Phil. 3:3).

The church is the most precious assembly on earth since Christ purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 5:25; Col. 1:20; 1 Pet. 1:18; Rev. 1:5).

The church is the earthly expression of the heavenly reality (Matt. 6:10; 18:18).

The church will ultimately triumph both universally and locally (Matt. 16:18; Phil. 1:6).

The church is the realm of spiritual fellowship (Heb. 10:22-25; 1 John 1:3, 6-7).

The church is the proclaimer and protector of divine truth (1 Tim. 3:15; Titus 2:1, 15).

The church is the chief place for spiritual edification and growth (Acts 20:32; Eph. 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18).

The church is the launching pad for world evangelization (Mark 16:15; Titus 2:11).

The church is the environment where strong spiritual leadership develops and matures (2 Tim. 2:2).19



Credits: Ed Stetzer
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Marietta Daily Journal - Three students win Betty Gray Scholarship


The Marietta Daily Journal - Three students win Betty Gray Scholarship
2011 Betty Gray Scholarship winners pose with Betty Gray, from left, Justine Nurse-McLeod, daughter of Diane Nurse of Powder Springs; Jiby Yohannan, son of Susan and Matthew Yohannan of Powder Springs; and Jack Zhang of east Cobb, who collected the award for his daughter, Megan Zhang, during the luncheon.<br>Staff/Mike Jacoby

MARIETTA - Cobb County legendary educator Betty Gray awarded three south Cobb high school students $1,500 scholarships at the 8th annual Betty Gray Teacher Education Scholarship Luncheon on Monday.



Mardi Gras in NYC

New York does not compare to New Orleans when it comes to 'Fat Tuesday,' or Mardi Gras for that matter, but certainly does not fall short.  Mardi Gras marks the last day of carnival season and precedes 'Ash Wednesday,' the first day of lent according to catholic calendar.

My friends are busy picking the hottest spots with the biggest hurricanes, beads, tiger claws, and non-stop parties for the evening.

Happy Mardi Gras.


Are you happy?


Different people define happiness different ways, but no matter how you define it, we all want it. Everyone in the world shares one basic desire; we all want to be happy.

An Englishman, a Frenchman and a Russian were discussing happiness.

"Happiness," said the Englishman, "is when you return home tired after work and find your slippers warming by the fire."

"You English have no romance," said the Frenchman. "Happiness is having dinner with a beautiful woman at a fine restaurant."

"You are both wrong," said the Russian. "True happiness is when you are at home in bed, and at 4 a.m. hear a hammering at the door, and there stand the secret police, who say to you, 'Ivan Ivanovitch, you are under arrest,' and you say, 'Sorry, Ivan Ivanovitch lives next door.'"

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Now, ask yourself, "What does happiness mean to you?"

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Eatery list

While I am here at NY, below are some of the high-end restaurants we are planning to dine out at.  Culinary is a form of art, and these restaurants prepare and present food in such a manner they are pleasing to the palate as to the eye.  Further, these places employ the most renowned chefs and the service is 'world class.'  If you are like me, and love cooking, take a peek at these links below.

La Bernadin

Apiary

Daniel

Per Se

Veritas

dbgb

Craft

Centrico

Mesa

Marc Forgione

Five Points

Pranna

WD-50

After visiting couple of places on this list, I said, 'Holy Mackerel.'

Dining out at these restaurants is quite an experience.

Yes, I am aware of the the fact that lent season has started.  To me, lent means staying away from that one thing I value and cherish the most.

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10 Good Thoughts


1. Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble; it is a “steering wheel” that directs us in the right path throughout life.

2. Do you know why a car’s Windshield is so large & the rear view mirror is so small? Because our past is not as important as our future. So, look ahead and move on.

3. Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4. All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy; they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry; they can’t last long either.

5. Old friends are like Gold! New friends are Diamonds! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a base of Gold!

6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!

7. When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems He has faith in your abilities.

8. A blind asked, “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied, “Yes, losing your vision.”

9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them; and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.

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