Friday, October 21, 2011

Height and position



A woman was heading to a private island on board a small two-seater airplane when suddenly the pilot had a heart attack. Not knowing how to fly a plane she grabbed the radio and shouted, “Mayday, mayday! My pilot just died!”

Ground control received her call for help and answered back: “Don’t worry, ma’am. I’ll talk you down, just do as I say. First I need you to give me your height and position.”

The woman responded, “I’m 5'3" and am sitting in the right front seat.”

Ground control: “Repeat after me: Our Father….. who art in Heaven….

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One gesture



Today, let's look at a story of friendship by an anonymous author who claims it to be a true story.
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One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, ''Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.'' I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friend tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, ''Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.'' He looked at me and said, ''Hey thanks!'' There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, ''Dang boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!'' He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him!

Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, ''Hey, big guy, you'll be great!'' He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. ''Thanks,'' he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. ''Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach... but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.'' I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. ''Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.''

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.
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''Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.''

God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God and goodness in others.

With one small gesture you can change a person's life - for better or for worse. A simple gesture, a hug, a poem, a story, a video, an inspirational message, or even a quote sent to someone you care can cheer a person and make his/her day - I have been deeply moved by it.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Steve lands a new job




The giving tree




The giving tree is supposed to be a love story - a different kind of love story.  The tree was in love with the boy, and would give anything and everything it had, to make the boy in the story happy. It’s a sacrificial love story about giving oneself up for the sake of the one whom you love - termed as 'Agape.'

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Jesus demonstrated Agape by giving up himself, to demonstrate His love for us. In this story, the tree did everything it could, to express its love and for that it was happy. 

The boy was so selfish and demanding, that he would ask more, more and further more. The boy was never happy with whatever he got - even after he had taken everything the tree had to offer, even after the tree had lost everything. The tree was still there for him, always.   

Food for thought: Am I the boy in the story, demanding and selfishly asking for more and more?  

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Choice



An article I came across, written by Patrice Steen and John Robson at HigherAwareness.
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Choice. It’s all about freedom–the freedom to pick one thing over another. Are you choosing what you want from life?

“Oh no,” comes the reply. “I can’t because… I haven’t got enough education …I need to look after my family ….I don’t have enough money ….I don’t have the time.” What’s your excuse?

The truth is that we have choice in every single moment of our lives. For those who are destitute, the choices in life are fewer. But the rest of us often think we
don’t have freedom when we simply haven’t claimed our power to choose differently.

How do you typically make decisions? Do you do so based on:

- “shoulds” – doing what you believe you should do.

- pleasing others – doing what others want or expect you to do.

- fear – choosing the safe route for fear of doing something different.

- habit and reaction – you don’t even think about what you’re doing–you’ve always done it this way?

On the other hand, you own your power to choose when you decide on the basis of:

- desire – choosing something you want

- need – responding to deeper desires

- authenticity – you know who you are and what you stand for

- creative expression – you strive to be more.

So how can you open to choosing differently?

1. Be clear about what you want. Have a sense of purpose. With a target to aim for, you’ll know what will serve you best.

2. STOP and ASK yourself questions. “Why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve?” WRITE down your answers. Be more conscious of how you are spending your precious time, because this is your life passing by. This will help you say, “Wait! I don’t want to do this anymore!”

3. Never allow yourself to play the victim. Victims have given away their power. You alone are responsible for your life. When you fully accept this, you will claim your inner power to make better choices. Change often comes from nothing more than a shift in perspective.

4. Be open to possibilities for yourself. Select one area of your life where you are unsatisfied, and choose something new, something more for yourself. Do different things and do things differently. Risk more.

Empowerment arises from the three Cs: choice, courage and change. They are yours to claim. You’ll be astounded at how easy it will be to take charge once you’ve made up your mind to do so. You have the opportunity to create a future that’s very different from your past.

And remember: not choosing is also a choice.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Offer


During a wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer.

"Look, I'll give you $100 if you'll change the wedding vows. When you get to me and the part where I'm to promise to 'love, honor and obey' and 'forsaking all others, be faithful to her forever,' I'd appreciate it if you'd just leave that part out." He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied.

It is now the day of the wedding, and the bride and groom have moved to that part of the ceremony where the vows are exchanged. When it comes time for the groom's vows, the pastor looks the young man in the eye and says:

"Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?"

The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, "Yes."

The groom leaned toward the pastor and hissed, "I thought we had a deal."

The pastor put the $100 bill into his hand and whispered back, "She made me a much better offer."




Image Credits: The New York Times.

The magic of planning



Once in Iran, there was an old man, who was intensely proud of two things – his long, white beard that reached down to his chest, and his ability to sleep the moment his head touched the pillow.

He had a daughter who did not like the beard very much - no surprises there.  She has been asking him to shave it off, but the old man always refused.

One day, his 3-year-old grandson asked him how he arranged his beard when he slept: did it go under the blanket or did it remain above it?

The old man had never paid attention to this detail, and he confessed he didn’t remember whether his beard remained above or went under the blanket. He promised to find out.

It was very cold that night. The old man got into bed and pulled the blanket over himself. Then he suddenly remembered his grandson’s question.

He became overly conscious that his beard was under the blanket. He lifted it from under the blanket, and placed it above it. This made him feel that something was not quite right. So he tucked the beard under the blanket again. But he soon felt it would be better if it were out. In and out went the beard; first under the blanket, then above it, then under once again. The old man spent a sleepless night.

The next morning the first thing he did was shave off his beard, to the great joy of his daughter who, for several months, had been urging him to do just that.


Moral: Anything can be accomplished by proper planning and perseverance.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Subject

A masked robber once burst into a bank and yelled at the teller pointing an automatic gun, “Give me all the money. One wrong move and you’re geography!”

The teller said: “Don’t you mean history?”

The robber screamed at her, “Don’t try to change the subject!”

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True beauty - additional info

Here is some related info I found, during our earlier post True Beauty.

Additional Info:

Here is a detailed video, with input from 'behind the scenes' on the evolution video posted earlier.  It describes how this image was made and the amount of work that went behind it (to portray a superficial image).



It is possible with software like Photoshop to edit an image and make it look completely different. Watch this one.


Here is on old day's example.  



Morphing is another technique that's popular.  Follow the link below to watch the morphing of an infant girl to a young woman (I was unable to post that video here).

http://youtu.be/XHb7Ig3yPgI

Moral: Just be yourself, and have confidence in what you already have - the God given talents.

True Beauty

Most girls probably feel that they are not special enough because they don’t look as beautiful as the girls on the billboards. With more magazine covers and billboard pictures like this one, girls feel the pressure to appear more like those who appear on the top of a billboard or anywhere else.

Here is a billboard with a beautiful woman on it.


The billboard was for a Dove commercial, and the actual woman who posed for the picture is below. Yes - the girl, she is a average looking girl just like anybody else.


Anyone who has struggled to maintain a positive body image - girls, more than boys should see how this image evolved.

Check out the video:


Cosmetic industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, mainly because teenage girls spend a ton of money trying to look beautiful. Further, the models that appear on cover mags and advts are quite deceiving - they are not real; just fake images to impress us.

Apart from the facial beauty, teenage girls spend a lot of time and energy trying toning up their body looks. Many girls, from an early age are under tremendous pressure and take extreme measures to maintain that classic hourglass figure.

One of the popular girls toys, Barbie has tremendous influence on girls in building up their body image.  Barbie, is so out of shape that it can never be real. Here is how a 6 ft Barbie would compare with an average woman.
When computer analysts applied Barbie's proportions to a 5'6" woman - Liby, here is how she would look like. 


Due to our media's distorted perception of beauty, guys in general find an average attractive girl as less desirable as a date, after just having seen models on covers and TVs. In my opinion what guys should look within a girl is for her true inner beauty, and not the superficial physical beauty which fades away with time. It's the beauty a girl exhibits in kindness, gentleness, while talking to others, the beauty while maintaining a house, the beauty while raising kids etc..

True beauty radiates from the inside out. That is when you love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. Once you start loving God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, true beauty will just naturally spill over to all your relationships and every area of your life. It’s as if God’s light and beauty resides in your heart. It will be pumped into every cell of your body, your brain, your muscles, your organs, your skin and your face, through your bloodstream.

The Holy Bible written thousands of years ago, sheds light on the subject. Proverbs 31 describes the virtuous woman is the one who has true inner beauty.  Ten virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman are listed below:

1. Faith - A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31)

2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28)

3.  Mothering - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26)

4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17)

5. Service - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20)

6. Finances - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18)

7.  Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31)

8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27)

9. Time - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27)

10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10, Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25)

Now, here is the better part - as long as the Holy Spirit is living inside of you, you will have that beauty radiating from the inside out. People will see the light in your eyes. They will notice it in your actions.  They’ll be drawn to the joy in your smile. And they’ll want to find comfort in your friendship.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oct 16

Some of you turned in your BRS answers today - thank you.  Rest of you gave me a very convincing and the most common excuse - ok; I will help you with that excuse.

Two of you gave me the $5.00 which was announced earlier. Try to bring your contribution the following Sunday, else the interest rate will apply.

Early in the class, one of you brought in the topic which hit my sweet spot - The Holy Spirit.  We saw who the Holy Spirit is, and will continue our discussion into our next few classes. I will be the happiest person to share information about the Holy Spirit, anytime!!

Like I mentioned, I am planning to bring in my projector and screen to the class, but still have not got the Sunday  school keys.  Hopefully I will get it soon, and am working towards it.

Please pray and wish good luck to Alan and Shawn from our class, who are entering the Altar next Sunday.

See you next Sunday.

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Swords and shields



A man who made swords and shields once came to Akbar's court. He was trying to market his products.

"Your Majesty, nobody can make shields and swords to equal mine," he said. "My shields are so strong that nothing can pierce them and my swords are so sharp that there's nothing they cannot pierce."

"I can prove you wrong on one count certainly," said Birbal suddenly.

"Impossible!" declared the man.

"Hold up one of your shields and I will pierce it with one of your own swords," said Birbal with a smile.