Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hobby


According to tradition, when the apostle John was bishop in Ephesus, his hobby was raising pigeons.  On one occasion an Ephesian elder passed his house as he returned from hunting. When he saw John playing with one of his birds, he gently chided the old bishop for spending his time so frivolously.  John looked at his critic's bow and remarked that the string was loosened.

"Yes," said the huntsman, "I also loosen the string of my bow when it's not in use.  If it always stayed tight, it would lose its rebounding quality and fail me in the hunt."

"And I," said John, "am now relaxing the bow of my mind so that I may be better able to shoot the arrows of divine truth."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Great wall of china



In ancient China, the people desired security from the barbaric hordes to the north.  So they built the Great Wall of China.  It was too high to climb over, too thick to break down, and too long to go around.  Security achieved!

The only problem was that during the first hundred years of the wall's existence, China was invaded three times.  Was the wall a failure?  Not really - for not once did the barbaric hordes climb over the wall, break it down, or go around it.

How then did they get into China?  The answer lies in human nature.  They simply bribed a gatekeeper and then marched right in through a gate.  The fatal flaw in the Chinese defense was placing too much reliance on a wall and not putting enough effort into building character into the gatekeeper.


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Happy and Sad

An ancient fable tells of three merchants crossing the Arabian Desert. Traveling in darkness to avoid the intense heat one starless night, they were passing over a dry creek bed when a voice form the blackness commanded them to halt. They were then ordered to stoop, pick up pebbles form the creek bed, and put them in their pockets.

After obeying the strange command, they were told to leave that place, camping nowhere near.  The mysterious voice then told them that in the morning they would be both happy and sad.

Shaken and confused, and obeying the mysterious intruder, they traveled through the night. When morning came, the men anxiously looked into their pockets, and rather than finding the pebbles as expected, there were precious jewels.

They, indeed, were happy and sad.  They were happy they had picked up the jewels, but sad because while they had the opportunity they had not picked up many more.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thanking those who serve us



Do we take time to remember those who serve us?  We lead a good life due to the service of many (too many to list including soldiers, doctors, teachers, etc..)  Here is a small story.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?”

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.

“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.

Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.

“Thirty-five cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies – her tip.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Empty Seat



During the World Cup Cricket final match in Mumbai, tickets were selling well over $10,000 per seat - up to $22,000 in the air conditioned box.  A man had very expensive tickets, for the final game.  As he sat down, he noticed that the seat next to him was empty.

He asked the man on the other side of the empty seat whether anyone was sitting there.

“No,” the man replied, “The seat is empty.”

“This is incredible,” said the first man. “Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the World Cup Cricket Final, one of the biggest sporting events in the country, and not use it, especially when India is playing the finals?”

The second man replied, “Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This will be the first World Cup Final we haven’t been together since we got married in 1967.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. That’s terrible. But couldn’t you find someone else - a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?”

The man shook his head. “No, they’re all at her funeral.”

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Flight Safety

A cute way to get your attention on the flight.




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Obstacle to Opportunity


In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one’s condition.

Throughout life there are always obstacles which come up and can cause us to lose sight of our goals. Whether it’s a piece of chocolate cake when we are on a diet or another lost client when we just can't possibly afford to lose another one. Obstacles are always there. But how you choose to view those obstacles are up to you.

It's said that obstacles are often put in front of us to challenge our character. So what does that say about your character? Are you up for the challenge? Do you see an obstacle come up and immediately fill with fear and hesitation or do you look at it as an opportunity to overcome and conquer?

When we are given the opportunity to face a challenge, we have a chance to show our character. We have the power to decide how we will handle it. If we allow fear to take over our thinking then we can often be paralyzed by it. Don’t lose sight of the goal at hand. Believe in yourself and get strength from your words. Focus on the goal not the obstacle and you will most likely reach it instead of getting stuck.

The frame of mind in which we view our situation can have a huge effect on how we get through that situation. Our mind and our thoughts are very powerful. The key is to choose the right thoughts, especially in the tough times. Stay focused and full of faith and hope in our Lord. You’ll find strength. Make a conscious decision to not allow fear to control you, instead, stay in a positive frame of mind. Speak only positive words. I am a firm believer that what we speak, we will start to believe and what we believe will ultimately become our own reality.

There will always be obstacles in life. Don’t allow the obstacles to keep you from your goals. Instead, use that opportunity to stay focused, stay strong, and succeed.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Pawn


King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.

Croesus said, “I’ll give you 100,000 dinars for it.”

“But I paid a million dinars for it,” the King protested. “Don’t you know who I am? I am the king!”

Croesus replied, “When you wish to pawn a valuable, it makes no difference who you are.”

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Full Coverage



I have an insurance policy
Written in the blood of the Lamb,
Sealed by the Cross of Jesus,
Redeemable wherever I am!

The company will never go bankrupt,
It is bonded by God’s promise true;
It will keep every word of its contract,
Exactly what it says it will do.

I don’t have to die to collect it,
No premiums do I have to pay;
All I do is to trust God’s promise
And walk in His holy way.

No collector will ever come calling,
It was paid on Calvary’s tree;
It insures me for living and dying
And for all eternity.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Obstacle


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The Woodcutter


An old woodcutter, bent double with age and toil, was gathering sticks in a forest.  At last he grew so tired and hopeless that he threw down the bundle of sticks, and cried out: "I cannot bear this life any longer.  Ah, I wish Death would only come and take me!"

As he spoke, Death, a grisly skeleton, appeared and said to him: "What wouldst thou, Mortal?  I heard thee call me."

"Please, sir," replied the woodcutter, "would you kindly help me to lift this bundle of sticks on to my shoulder?"

We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.  Likewise, we should thank God that many of our prayers are answered with a "no" or "not now!"

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Quote


He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

2 Sam 22:17-21 NIV