Monday, December 31, 2012



Last Friday was the festival of Thiruvathira and I tried posting this article earlier. However, due to the amount of reading and learning I had to do, it took me much longer than what I anticipated.

Thiruvathira is performed by women in order to attain everlasting marital bliss. The highlight of this festival is the Thiruvathira dance where dancers move in a circular pattern around an oil lamp (nila-vilakku), wearing white or ivory colored saree woven using cotton threads, bordered with golden brocadeare (kasavu-mundu), and a matching blouse. The women tie their hairs in a bun shaped form and adore fresh jasmine flowers.  They move around the oil lit lamp by rhythmic clapping of the hands, to the tune of the Thiruvathira song. One of the performers, usually the eldest, sings the first line of the song while the rest repeat it in chorus.

Festivities begin a week before commencing from Asterism Aswathi. Ignoring the cold of the winter season, women wake up early in the morning and take bath in the river or family pond. While bathing, women sing songs in worship of Lord Kamadeva on the rhythm produced by splashing of water with their fist. In the end, women stand holding hands in the formation of a circle and sing songs. Ladies on this day worship Lord Shiva and pray for conjugal harmony and marital bliss as well.

The festival commemorates the death of Kamadeva, the god of love. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvathi met Lord Shiva.

The story goes like this:

Lord Indra and the gods were suffering at the hands of the demon Tarakasur, who could not be defeated except by Shiva's offspring. Lord Brahma advised Parvati to woo Shiva and their offspring, a fighter, will be able to defeat Tarakasur. Lord Indra appoints Kamadeva to break Shiva's meditation.

The appointed Kamadeva is regarded as the son of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, and is always at service of Lord Indira. In Indian mythology, Kamdeva refers to the Hindu god of love and desire - an Indian version of Cupid (son of goddess Venus).

Kamadeva, the most handsome gods of all, carries a bow similar to cupid made of sugarcane with honeybees sitting on it. His arrows are beautifully decorated with sweet and fragrant flowers. The string of his bow is made of a chain of honeybees. His companions are a cuckoo, a parrot, humming bees, the season of spring (March 21 thru June 20), and the gentle breeze. He shoots with his bow the five flower-tipped shafts of desire. Those five flowers at the tip are Ashoka tree flowers, white lotus flowers, blue lotus flowers, jasmine flowers and Mango tree flowers. He is accompanied by his wife Rati (the goddess of beauty and passion) and his friend Vasanta (spring), wherever he goes. Rati and Vasanta helps him select the shaft to be used on the current victim. Kamadeva likes to travel all around especially during spring time, on his vehicle - the parrot.

Rig-Veda describes Kamadeva's actions as first movement that arose in the one after it has come into life through the powers of abstraction. In one hymn of Rig-Veda, Kama is worshiped and is unequal of all gods. According to another hymn he is god of sexual love. Intermingling with the sexual tones of cupid and Eros in one hymn Kama is addressed as,” May Kama having well directed the arrow, which is winged with pain, barbed with longing, and has desire for its shaft, pierce thee in the heart.

In Atharva Veda, Kamadeva or desire is not of sexual enjoyment but of good in general - it is celebrated as great power superior to all the gods. Click here to read a glorification of Kamadeva as god of desire of all good.

To create a congenial atmosphere, Kamadeva creates an untimely spring and evades Shiva's guard, Nandi, by taking the form of the fragrant southern breeze, and enters Shiva's abode - Mount Kailash.

After Shiva was awakened by Kamadeva's flower arrow, Shiva became furious of being disturbed his meditation. Shiva could immediately manage his feelings and knew he was tricked. Without hesitation, he opened his third eye which instantaneously reduced Kamadeva into ashes.

Shiva ignored Parvati and carried on with his meditation. That story goes like this:

Parvati returned home and announced to her parents that she wanted to retire to a life of prayer and abstinence. If Lord Shiva didn’t appreciate her for her beauty and her lovely care, surely he would have appreciated the value of her sacrifice. So she left everything and dressed in poor clothes and retired into the forest. She dedicated all her time to prayer and penances - sleeping on bare floor, bathing in cold water and eating just few berries. As years passed by, her faith grew more and more.

One day, while Parvati was performing the usual rituals, a young hermit approached her and she humbly bowed to Him. The hermit asked, "How can your tender frame bear such a huge spiritual burden?”

He continued, “You proved to the world that beauty and purity do not nullify one another. Your action had crowned your father with a glory much grater than what he already had. Noble maiden, why did you undertake such severe penances? It is common for a lonely and anguished person living a hermit life? How is possible that you, so pure, loved and admired by everyone are doing this? Ah! Maybe it is for an un-returned love. No, this should be truly impossible! Such a priceless gem like you should not be searching, instead searched."

Shri Parvati asked for her friend’s help, who answered to the hermit, "Parvati offered her heart to win the love of Lord Shiva. She failed in conquering him with her beauty and dedication, so she decided to lead a life of penances and austerity. She often meditates him, but Lord Shiva remains deaf to her pleas.”

The hermit replied, turning to Parvati, "Is it true? Or is your friend joking?”

Then Parvati said, “Yes, it is true! I adore Lord Shiva. I am sure that I will win his love with penances and devotion!”

The hermit replied, "O my lady, I know Lord Shiva. He is covered with ashes and his body is decorated by numerous snakes and he wears those smelly hides. How can your sweet and tender self become his wife? He is rough and poor. His ancestors are unknown. He is not good for you. Let him go and look for someone more worthy.”

“Stop it. That’s enough,” said Parvati, truly furious, interrupted Him. "You need to be a great soul to comprehend a great soul!” She spoke with full of devotion and honor about her beloved Lord Shiva. All at once, the young hermit revealed himself - he was none other than Lord Shiva himself. At that point there was not doubt: Parvati succeeded in winning the heart of Lord Shiva.

Shri Parvati's penances
Despite Shiva's earlier protests, the shaft of Kamadeva did its work - the way it was supposed to be, and Shiva was unable to obtain peace until he married Parvati.

Parvati requested Shiva to revive Kamadeva and Shiva agrees to let Kamadeva live but in a disembodied form. Hence, Kamadeva is also called bodiless. During the period of Kamadeva's absence, it is said that the world was such a barren place without the seasons changing and no love to be found anywhere. On the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati, Kamadeva was revived, and the spirit of love embodied by Kamadeva disseminated across the cosmos and affected everyone including Shiva and Parvati.  Their son Kartikeya later went on to defeat the demon Tarakasur (which is another story).

Apart from Thiruvathira dance, swinging on the swing, eating beetle leaves (upto 108 numbers) to make the lips red, keeping vigil for Shiva at night, are common.

Moral: An earnest desire to reach someone/somewhere with dedication and sacrifice will bring results.
Few links to Thiruvathira Songs:
Thiruvathira Pattukal
Joel Antony Paul's Blog
Boom MP3

Holiday Season


I need you now

My friend, I need you now-
Please take me by the hand.
Stand by me in my hour of need,
Take time to understand.

Take my hand, dear friend,
And lead me from this place.
Chase away my doubts and fears,
Wipe the tears from off my face.

Friend, I cannot stand alone.
I need your hand to hold,
The warmth of your gentle touch
In my world that's grown so cold.

Please be a friend to me
And hold me day by day.
Because with your loving hand in mine,
I know we'll find the way.


More blessed

Corinne was a little girl who was all alone in the world. Her father and mother were both dead. Corinne was so poor that she no longer had a room to live in; neither did she have a bed to sleep in. All Corinne owned were the clothes that she was wearing. As regards food, she had nothing more to eat than a small piece of bread that someone had given her.

Corinne was forsaken by all the world but hoped that God would find a way to help her.

One day she left her home village. Corinne hadn't walked very far when she saw an old man sitting by the wayside. "Oh, my dear child, give me something to eat. I'm so hungry," he murmured to her. Corinne, without hesitation, gave him her piece of bread.

When she had gone a little further and the church spire of her village could no longer be seen, she came upon ayoung child. He only had a shirt on and begged, "Could you give me something to cover my head? I'm so terribly cold." Corinne, taking pity on the child took off her bonnet and gave it to him.

Further along the road Corinne observed another child by the woods. She only wore a vest and was trembling with cold. She pleaded, "Dear girl, I'm so terribly cold without a skirt. Haven't you a little skirt for me?" Corinne, herself, only had her vest and skirt but without hesitating she took off her skirt and presented it to the freezing child and walked on.

Meanwhile it had become evening. It was dark in the woods. Then another child came towards her and asked, "I'm so cold, haven't you a vest for me?"

Corinne considered this carefully; she thought it's dark here in the wood. Nobody will see me. It won't matter if I have no clothes and she took off her vest, too, and handed it to the child.

As Corinne stood there without any clothes, the stars started to fall down from the sky. They were all hard, shining pennies and although she had just given away her vest, she realized she had new one on. It was made out of the most delicate fabric and much nicer than her own. Corinne held out the vest with both hands and collected as many of the pennies as she could.

From then on she was rich and lived without any worries at all.

Moral: It's more blessed to give, than to receive.

The two letter word - 'as'

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. - Matthew 6:14

Have you ever noticed the presence of that little two-letter word in the Lord's prayer? It says "And forgive us of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." Did you catch that? The word "as" implies that we cannot be forgiven until we offer that same forgiveness to others. In case we miss the "as," Jesus makes it very clear in the next verse: "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:15)

Forgiving someone who has treated you poorly, said evil things about you, even broken up your family, is a very difficult thing to do. It takes Godly intervention to truly offer forgiveness to people who have deeply wounded you. But God commands us to do so, and God would never command us to do anything that He wouldn't provide the ability to do.

Right now, pray for God to give you the strength to forgive those who have hurt you. Not only will God give you the power to do so, but He will also empower you supernaturally to love them, even though you hate what they did. Remember, bitterness is the poison we swallow, hoping the other person dies. Enjoy the release of this terrible burden by experiencing the cleansing power of forgiveness.

Credits: RFTH

Past Year

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas is magical

Christmas is indeed magical - the season did bring many joy and love to overshadow what we all are going through. Everyday, the blessings I had received seems perfect and calming to the extend I smile so much that it hurts. Numerous parties, dinners and get-togethers since mid December with so much great food and drinks. Today am planning of taking my day off - spending time at home instead of going out. Tomorrow will be the last day when we all will truly let go of 2012.

Speaking of 2012, it has been a wonderful year with many ups and downs - no complaints though. Numerous moments of joy and happiness to tuck into the files of memory. The world did not end on Dec 21 per the Mayan calendar with world still firmly in place. Many had fun at those 'End of the World Parties'. Let's give credit to our Mayan friends for  predicting about those long night parties on Dec 20th. Hope you had a wonderful year 2012.

2013 is almost here for us to climb, and me personally, am ready to jump into it with a smile :-) I can’t say much about the future but let's hope at least something magical will happen.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Phone Conversation

Child: Dad, we want to talk to Jesus.

Dad: No, no. I'm much too busy. Please leave me alone, for I have work to do. Jesus is just born now. When he grows older, we will see.

(Phone bell ringing - 4 rings)

Jesus: Hello. Did you call me?

Man: Called you? No. Who is this?

Jesus: This is Jesus, I heard your prayers, so I decided to have a chat.

Man: I do indeed pray. It makes me feel good. I am actually busy right now! I am in the middle of something, and my life has become hectic, and I can't find free time, and I'm always rushing.

Jesus: Sure. Activity gets you busy, but productivity gets you result. Activity consumes time, whereas productivity utilizes it.

Man: I understand. Though... I still can't figure it out! Why is life so complicated now.

Jesus: Stop analyzing life! Just live it! You only live once! Analyzing makes life complicated.

Man: Why are we constantly unhappy then

Jesus: Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That’s why you are not happy.

Man: But then how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty?

Jesus: Uncertainty is inevitable, but worrying is optional.

Man: Then, there is so much pain due to uncertainty.

Jesus: Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Man: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer?

Jesus: Diamonds cannot be polished without friction. Can gold be purified without fire? Good people go through trials, but don’t suffer. That experience, makes them better... not bitter.

Man: You are saying this such... experience... is useful?

Jesus: Yes. In every situation, experience is a hard teacher. She gives a test first, but then the lesson after.

Man: Frankly, we are in the midst of so many problems, we don’t know where we are heading.

Jesus: If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Looking outside, you dream. Looking inside, you awaken. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides insight.

Man: Sometimes not succeeding fast seems to hurt more than moving in the right direction. What should I do?

Jesus: Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you. Knowing the road ahead is more satisfying than knowing you rode ahead.

Man: In tough times, how do you stay motivated?

Jesus: Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.

Man: What surprises you about people?

Jesus: When they suffer they ask, “why me? When they prosper, they never ask “Why me” Everyone wishes to have truth on their side, but few want to be on the side of the truth.

Man: Sometimes I ask, who I am, why am I here. I can’t get the answer.

Jesus: Seek not who you are. Determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here. Create it. Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.

Man: How can I get the best out of life?

Jesus: Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

Man: One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.

Jesus: There are no unanswered prayers. At times the answer is NO.

Man: Thank you for this wonderful chat. I am so happy to start the day with a new sense of inspiration.

Jesus: Keep the faith and drop the fear. Don’t believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs. Life is a mystery to solve not a problem to resolve. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.

Man: Thank you so much.

Jesus: You are always welcome. Have a good day my friend. Always remember, God’s Word is the Word for YOU.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Computer Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shop,
The computers were whirring; they never do stop.
The power was on and the temperature right,
In hopes that the input would feed back that night.

The system was ready, the program was coded,
And memory drums had been carefully loaded;
While adding a Christmasy glow to the scene,
The lights on the console, flashed red, white and green.

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
The programmer ran to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway he flew like a flash,
Forgetting his key in his curious dash.

He stood in the hallway and looked all about,
When the door slammed behind him, and he was locked out.
Then, in the computer room what should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

And a little old man, who with scarcely a pause,
Chuckled: "My name is Santa...the last name is Claus."
The computer was startled, confused by the name,
Then it buzzed as it heard the old fellow exclaim:

"This is Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
And Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen."
With all these odd names, it was puzzled anew;
It hummed and it clanked, and a main circuit blew.

It searched in its memory core, trying to "think";
Then the multi-line printer went out on the blink.
Unable to do its electronic job,
It said in a voice that was almost a sob:

"Your eyes - how they twinkle - your dimples so merry...
Your cheeks so like roses, your nose like a cherry,
Your smile - all these things, I've been programmed to know,
And at data-recall, I am more than so-so;"

"But your name and your address (computers can't lie),
Are things that I just cannot identify.
You've a jolly old face and a little round belly,
That shakes when you laugh like a bowlful of jelly."

"My scanners can see you, but still I insist,
Since you're not in my program, you cannot exist!"
Old Santa just chuckled a merry "ho, ho,"
And sat down to type out a quick word or so.

The keyboard clack-clattered, its sound sharp and clean,
As Santa fed this "data" to the machine:
"Kids everywhere know me; I come every year;
The presents I bring add to everyone's cheer;

But you won't get anything - that's plain to see;
Too bad your programmers forgot about me."
Then he faced the machine and said with a shrug,
"Merry Christmas to all," as he pulled out its plug


Miracle of Christmas

Every single day, we are way too busy running around doing things.  Every day, there are special moments and we seldom realize them.  I for one, today, realized, my Christmas Miracles are happening and I just realized it.

There are hopes and tears, singing and dancing.  It is but surely, one worthy to to be shared with others.  And today's story is one worthy to be called my Christmas Miracle.

While listening to Christmas songs today, I came across this one by Neil Sedaka.

All my life
I've been a kind of lonely man
Searching high and low
Looking for my way
Then all at once
I saw you right in front of me
I knew right then and there
My lonely days were through

You're just a rose
That shimmers in the sun
And now I know
My life has just begun
You are the sweetest thing
That could ever, ever be
And you're a miracle to me

You fill my life
With tenderness and harmony
I never thought
That I'd be laughing once again
You fill the room
With something warm and wonderful
I can't imagine life
Without your precious love

You're just a rose
That shimmers in the sun
And now I know
My life has just begun
You are the sweetest thing
That could ever, ever be
And you're a miracle to me

Rivers bend rivers flow
Till the end of time
They keep flowing
Through eternity
Take me there
Sail away
Take me to the sea
You're a river that flows inside of me

You're just a rose
That shimmers in the sun
And now I know
My life has just begun
You are the sweetest thing
That I could ever, ever see
And you're a miracle to me

Credits: Neil Sedaka

A Miracle

Christmas at Gas Station

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.

“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ‘em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on.

“Those tires ain’t gonna get ‘em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”

The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”

George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.

“None for me,” said the officer..

“Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”

The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.”

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”

George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.”

“Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”

“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

“That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.

“Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”

Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”

“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”

“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”

“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”

The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.

“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”

The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Words of wisdom about Angels

"If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs."
- St. Francis De Sales

"You don't have to be an angel, just be someone who can give."
- Patti LaBelle

"If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give."
- George MacDonald

"Sometimes we are like an angel with one wing, and we necessarily need the other wing of a similar angel to keep flying."
- M. K. Soni

"Pay attention to your dreams - God's angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep."
- Eileen Elias Freeman

"If you can't hear the angels, try quieting the static of worry."
- Terri Guillemets

"If there is anything that keeps the mind open to angel visits, and repels the ministry of ill, it is human love."
- Nathaniel Parker Willis

"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone."
- George Elliot


Christmas Angel Quotes

”Good news from heaven the angels bring;
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.”
– Martin Luther

”Love came down at Christmas.
Love all lovely, love divine.
Love was born at Christmas.
Stars and angels gave the sign.”
- Christina Rossetti

"The earth has grown old with its burden of care.
But at Christmas it always is young.
The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair
And its soul full of music breaks the air
When the song of angels is sung.”
– Phillips Brooks

“While shepherds watch'd their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The Angel of the Lord came down
And Glory shone around.”
– Nahum Tate

”A song was heard at Christmas
To wake the midnight sky:
A savior's birth, and peace on earth
And praise to God on high.
The angels sang at Christmas
With all the hosts above,
And still we sing the newborn King
His glory and his love.”
– Timothy Dudley-Smith

“Late on a sleepy, star-spangled night, those angels peeled back the sky just like you would tear open a sparkling Christmas present. Then, with light and joy pouring out of Heaven like water through a broken dam, they began to shout and sing the message that baby Jesus had been born. The world had a Savior! The angels called it 'Good News,' and it was.”
– Larry Libby

“So here comes Gabriel again, and what he says is 'Good tidings of great joy ... for all people." ...That's why the shepherds are first: they represent all the nameless, all the working stiffs, the great wheeling population of the whole world.”
- Walter Wangerin Jr.

“The simple shepherds heard the voice of an angel and found their lamb;
The wise men saw the light of a star and found their wisdom.”
– Fulton J. Sheen


Christmas Angels

Here's what those Christmas Angels remind us every Christmas:

To seek the best in ourselves at all times no matter who is watching or not watching. Integrity is a virtue they wish to remind us to practice at all times

They act as role models to help and give to others. They constantly remind us to help and give without expectation of anything in return

Angels remind us to 'lighten up' in our lives and have a little fun. They know that families who laugh together stay together. Laughter is healing and those Christmas angels love to see the lighter side of life

No matter whether you believe or do not believe in Angels, they certainly add to the magic, fun and joy associated with the celebrations and festivities of Christmas


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Once upon a time... there were few shepherds and few wise men. It is the story of Christmas who found it.

The Shepherds: They were social nobodies, yet God sent them a supernatural birth announcement through the angels. They believed God's Word, searched in faith to find Jesus, and they did. They found Christmas.

The Wise Men: These guys were pagans from another culture. They studied the stars for insight. God spoke to them right where they were in life. They stepped out in faith to follow a star that appeared in the sky, understanding it meant the birth of a special King. They found Christmas when they found Jesus.

The shepherds found Christmas because they believed the Word of God. The wise men found Christmas because they sought Jesus.

The question: Do you believe? Believe it fully to experience the miracle of Christmas. 

May the spirit of Christmas
And the echo of the carols
And the lights of Christmas Tree
Bring happiness and Joy
into your life and home
Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Credits: RFTH

The Tablecloth

Sharing miracles is one of the greatest blessings we human have in this journey.  Here is one that never tires of being told.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in.

One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus.. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do.. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison.. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.


Friday, December 21, 2012

I am

Communication doesn't happen without listening. Listening doesn't happen when the listener is alienated.
Nothing alienates a listener faster than the repeated use of "I".

A wise man and a great communicator passed on his secret, a secret that had in turn been passed to him early in his career.

"Take 10 letters/memos/e-mails that you've written trying to get something done, change someone's mind, motivate your team, create activity.  Red circle every time you refer to yourself.  Now rewrite the message without referring to yourself.  Which version would you rather read?  Which version motivates better?  Which version focuses on the message?  Which version focuses on the messenger?"

I'm delighted to...

I'm glad that I am able to announce that I will...

I think we should...

In my opinion...

In my day we...

Where I come from we...

I promise that when I have time I will gather a group of my advisors and devote my full time and all of my skill and energy...

Beware the great "I Am".


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Thrifty Tailor

Once there was a tailor and a very fine tailor he was. He was also very thrifty. He wasted nothing!

A rich landowner came to him with a roll of the finest cloth. “Make me suit of this material”, he said, “and I will pay you well!”.

The tailor sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made the suit. And a very fine suit it was! He took it to the rich landowner, who was very pleased.

When the tailor returned to his workshop, he looked at the material that was left and thought to himself, “Just a minute – there’s enough material to make something else!” So being a thrifty tailor, he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very smart top coat. And a very smart top coat it was! He put it on and he wore it every day, and he wore it every day and he wore it every day until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, “Just a minute – there’s enough material to make something else!” So being a thrifty tailor, he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very smart jacket. And a very smart jacket it was! He put it on and he wore it every day and he wore it every day and he wore it every day, until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, “Just a minute – there’s enough material to make something else!”. So being a thrifty tailor, he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very smart waistcoat. And a very smart waistcoat it was! He put it on and he wore it every day and he wore it every day and he wore it every day, until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, “Just a minute – there’s enough material to make something else!” So being a thrifty tailor, he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very smart cap. And a very smart cap it was! He put it on and he wore it every day and he wore it every day and he wore it every day, until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, “Just a minute – there’s enough material to make something else!” So being a thrifty tailor, he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very smart tie. And a very smart tie it was! He put it on and he wore it every day and he wore it every day and he wore it every day, until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, “Just a minute – there’s enough material to make something else!” So being a thrifty tailor, he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very smart button. And a very smart button it was! He sewed it to his shirt and he wore it every day and he wore it every day and he wore it every day until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, “Just a minute – there’s enough material to make – a story!"

A mentor

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Author Henry David Thoreau, upon awakening, would lie in his bed for a while and recount to himself all the good news that he could think of.

Then, he arose to meet the day in a world filled with good things, wonderful people, and great opportunities! He used this practice of spiritual motivation at the start of each day to infuse himself with new zeal and enthusiasm.

Learn to express your gratitude every day, and the happier you will be.


A Bouquet for mother

A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars.”

The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.”

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers. As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home.

She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.”

She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mark Twain's letter

At one time in his varied career Mark Twain was not only poor, but he did not make a practice of associating with millionaires. The paragraph which follows is taken from an open letter to Commodore Vanderbilt. One paragraph of the "Open Letter" is worth embalming here:

Poor Vanderbilt! How I pity you: and this is honest. You are an old man, and ought to have some rest, and yet you have to struggle, and deny yourself, and rob yourself of restful sleep and peace of mind, because you need money so badly. I always feel for a man who is so poverty ridden as you. Don't misunderstand me, Vanderbilt. I know you own seventy millions: but then you know and I know that it isn't what man has that constitutes wealth. No--it is to be satisfied with what one has; that is wealth. As long as one sorely needs a certain additional amount, that man isn't rich. Seventy times seventy millions can't make him rich, as long as his poor heart is breaking for more. I am just about rich enough to buy the least valuable horse in your stable, perhaps, but I cannot sincerely and honestly take an oath that I need any more now. And so I am rich. But you, you have got seventy millions and you need five hundred millions, and are really suffering for it. Your poverty is something appalling. I tell you truly that I do not believe I could live twenty-four hours with the awful weight of four hundred and thirty millions of abject want crushing down upon me. I should die under it. My soul is so wrought upon by your helpless pauperism that if you came to me now, I would freely put ten cents in your tin cup, if you carry one, and say, "God pity you, poor unfortunate."


French food rules

A CUP OF JO: Motherhood Mondays: French Kids Eat Everything (good for my own eating habits, too ha)

Stranded on the road

Once a young man was riding an old Ford car. On the way, it broke down. He tried all possible ways to repair the car but alas - nothing worked. He was stranded on the road and hours passed by. Later an old man came that way.

Seeing the sad state of this young man, he asked him whether he could help him. The young man joyfully agreed. As he was looking, the old man did something on the engine and within a few minutes, the problem was solved.

In sheer amazement, the young man asked the old man how he could solve the problem within such short time. The old man replied, “I am Henry Ford. I am the one who manufactured this car!”

All of us need wisdom to run our lives well. We may obtain knowledge from various places but nothing compares as good as God’s wisdom. Like Henry Ford, God is the One who created us and everything present in this universe. He has the right answer for our questions and right solution for our problems. There is nothing about which God would comment, “ Charlie, I never thought of that!”

The Bible calls God the 'All-Knowing God'. He knows everything about the past, the present and the future – all about everybody and everything.

When someone finds something new, we call it Discovery! Why - because it was already there! It’s just now that somebody found it. God knew about it all the time!

That’s precisely what Proverbs 21:30 says, “There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.” In other words, all that wisdom we need in this world is already present within God. He has inscribed it in His Works. No one can add anything more to it.

Jesus regularly sought after His Father’s wisdom as He was on this earth. That that fetched Him success even during difficult times.

Whatever be your field or work, God’s wisdom enables you to excel in that area – business, family, education, arts, administration, justice, service, hospitality, ministry, and even at school. Let us take time daily to obtain wisdom from the Lord through His Words, without being stranded in our journey. It’s totally worth it. His wisdom makes people fly high!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

5 years ago

Microsoft buys Christmas

Back in 2000, Microsoft and Bill Gates were always making news. Many of us had just started using internet as the word wide web was still gaining popularity and getting adopted. During the same time, Microsoft went around acquiring smaller IT companies to increase their workforce and dominance, while Gates was still the CEO. Below is a write up from those days.
NORTH POLE (API) - MICROSOFT announced an agreement with Santa Claus Industries to acquire Christmas at a press conference held via sattelite from Santa's summer estate somewhere in the southern hemisphere. In the deal, Microsoft would gain exclusive rights to Christmas, Reindeer, and other unspecified inventions. In addition, Microsoft will gain access to millions of households through the Santa Sleigh.
The announcement also included a notice that beginning Jan 1, 2001, Christmas and the Reindeer names would be copyrighted by Microsoft. This unprecedented move was facilitated by the recently acquired MS Court. Microsoft stated its commitment to "all who have made Christmas great," and vowed to "make licensing of the Christmas and Reindeer names available to all." It is believed that the guidelines for licensing these names, due before Halloween, will be very strict.

When asked "Why buy Christmas?" Bill Gates replied "Microsoft has been working on a more efficient delivery mechanism for all of our products for some time, but recognized that the Santa Sleigh has some immediate benefits. We'll use it first for the release of WindowsXP and OfficeXP."

In a multimedia extravaganza, the attendees were shown a seamingly endless video stream of products that make up the deal. It ended with a green and red version of the Microsoft logo, and a new Christmas XP trademark, leading into the announcement of the first product from the deal.

Vixen, the new Director of Holidays and Celebrations said, "The first step is to assimilate Christmas within the Microsoft Organization. This will take some time, so don't expect any changes this year." She continued, "Our big plans are for next year, when we release Christmas XP. It will be bigger and better than last year." She further elaborated that "WindowsXP users who sign up with MS Network will get sneak previews of Christmas[XP] as early as November first."

Christmas XP is scheduled for release in December of 2001, though it may be released ahead of schedule. An economist at Goldman Sachs explained that a slip would be catastrophic to next year's economy and the nation's tax revenue, possibly requiring the IRS to move the deadline for filing income tax returns to three months after Christmas, whenever that was. "But it could be good in the long term," he explained. "With Microsoft controlling Christmas, we may see it move to May or June, which are much slower months for retailers. This may serve to even out the economy over the year."

When asked if other holidays are being considered, Mr. Gates explained that "Christmas is the flagship of holidays, so we wanted to start there. Not all holidays are available for sale, and the remaining will have to show a good long term business," suggesting that holidays with a short history may not be in the plans.

Though specific terms of the agreement were withheld pending final FTC approval, a Santa official confirmed that the deal was "sizable, even for a man of Santa's stature." Some analysts think that Santa has saturated the Holiday market, and is looking for a means to expand his business to year 'round products and services. Others contend that the Jolly Red Man is looking to retire in Redmond.

A spokesperson for the most famous Reindeer could not be reached for comment.


Friday, December 14, 2012

One wish

Ask Believe Receive

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

- James 1: 1-8

Today, we will just focus on two verses: Verse 5 and 6.

Verse 5:
Those who suffer trials in life need wisdom. They need the wisdom to know how to deal with those trials. It will help them to understand the trials. And it will help them to decide what they must do. God gives this wisdom so that they can choose to do what is right. They will know how God would want them to live in their troubles. Then they can overcome them all and not give up the struggle. God alone can give this wisdom to them. All who feel the need of it must ask God for it. He will answer the prayers of those who ask for it. But they must believe that he will give it. God is kind and generous. He gives to them, freely and without limit, all that they need. God does not blame those who ask. They need not be afraid to ask too much or too often. God is always ready to give to them all that they need. He is never angry with them for their lack of wisdom. He is so often much more ready to give it to them than they are ready to ask for it  - hence Ask.

Verse 6:
When people ask God for wisdom, they must believe. They must believe that God will hear their prayer. They must be confident that God will do what they ask. Having asked, they must receive the answers. And they must obey what God tells them to do. They must be firm and constant in their trust in God. They must not doubt that God will answer them. And they must not doubt that he is able to do it. God will not answer the prayers of those who doubt. Those who doubt do not know what to think or expect. James says that persons like that are like the waves of the sea. The wind drives the waves in one way and then another. As the wind varies, so do the waves. The water moves and is never still. It does not settle; it has no rest. Those who doubt are just like that. They are just like waves that the changing wind blows about - hence Believe.

.. and Receive.


Thursday, December 13, 2012


The companion of prudence

“Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. ’I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion’” (Proverbs 8:10-12).

We spend most of our time energy and resources to attain those things that are most valuable to us. People have their priorities and work towards accomplishing those goals. To many people money and riches are most valuable, so they spend hours working and investing to increase their wealth. To others, lifestyle is important, so all their resources go into their houses, cars, boats and the things they do.

Wisdom, now speaking for herself, claims to dwell or live with Prudence, or practical wisdom. She is the constant companion of Prudence; the two are never separated. True wisdom is the innermost life and reality, and it expresses itself in the large prudence which sees more points than can be seen by mere cleverness.

Wonder how many are willing to trade their youth, so that they can dwell with her.


Giving up & Success

"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
-Brian Tracy 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Hope you had a wonderful day today.

One thing remaining


Few Quotes

10 Inspiring Quotes for Uninspiring Times

Few inspirational quotes for you to cheer up:

Your best music is still inside you. 

It’s never too late to be who you could have been.

You are greater than the problems you face. 

Challenges are simply opportunities.

Tough times serve a purpose.

There’s no excuse for giving up on your goals.

You are closer than you were yesterday. 

Your opinion of YOU is what’s important.

It’s OK to let some people walk away. 

There’s a lot to appreciate in this moment. 


How the blind sees

A 75-year-old grandpa who has been blind from cataracts for almost 15 years said to his grandchild, “Your grandma is just the most beautiful thing, isn’t she?”

The grandchild paused for a second and said, “Yes she is. I bet you miss seeing that beauty on a daily basis.”

“Sweety,” the grandpa said, “I still see her beauty every day. In fact, I see it more clearly now than I used to, when we were young & I had my eyesight.”


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The triumph of the truth

It was a day or two before people were rushing everywhere making preparations. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry. It was almost dark and some streets were already lighted.

"Daily Star, Sir", called a thin lad with a bundle of papers under his arm. He was ragged and tired and hungry and he knew that very soon he must go home. Passing a well-dressed officer, he called again holding a paper up with his right hand, "Daily Star, Sir. Only eight taka, Sir...Sir...Sir"

But the officer went on without saying a word. Little Rafiq had been up the street and down the street crying, "Daily Star" until his voice was almost gone and his heart was sad. There were still twenty papers under his arm. "An unlucky day it is!" sighed Rafiq. The shops would soon close, and all the people would go home. He would have to go home too, carrying the papers instead of money. It was hard. It was really hard for him. He had hoped to sell more papers tonight than usual. He had longed to have more money tonight to buy a cake for his mother and some bird-seed for his favourite pet Bulbul which his father had given him shortly before he died. He knew his mother had worked hard all day cooking, washing and cleaning for Mrs. Zaman. He broke down as he thought of his failure to sell his papers. He had spent all the money that both he and his mother had to buy them. It was much more than he could bear, and it seemed as though his little heart had broken.

"Hello, Rafiq. Haven't you sold your papers yet? I sold mine two hours ago."

Rafiq looked up. It was Sardul, another newsboy.

"How many do you have left, Rafiq?"


"Why? That’s more than hundred sixty!"

"Yes”, said Rafiq, "And I can't sell them. Nobody wants papers tonight". Tears began to flow from his deep black eyes.

"Rafiq,” said Sardul as he drew nearer to him so that no one would hear what he was going to say.

"I’ll tell you how I did it."

"How? Do tell me."

There was a wicked look in Sardul's eyes as he said, "You must run quickly up the street and shout, "Hot news, hot news. Bomb bursting in Rangpur. Many died. Scandal in high places."

Rafiq was startled. He plunged his hand into his pocket and felt the few notes that were there. Then, looking at Sardul in the face, Rafiq said, "But Sardul, that it’s not in the paper at all!"

"No, you softy, but nobody will catch you. Just run away quickly before they have time to see, and you will sell out and get your money."

Rafiq looked down; it was a new idea to him. He thought of his little Bulbul with no seed; of the money his mother had given him to help to pay for his papers; chitai that he wanted to buy for his mother. Rafiq was just a poor ragged newsboy, but he had been taught some good things. It was just a severe struggle to feed his mother, his bird and something nice to eat in one side; and on the other side a lie. He looked up and hissed out:

"Tell a lie for this? Never!" Brave little Rafiq! With tired legs, but true heart, he had to carry his papers home. His mother was waiting for him, weary herself after a hard day's work. Like the good patient mother that she was, she said not a single word about the money she so much needed. Rafiq told her all about Sardul's tricks, and to encourage him to do right always, she told him how his father had always tried, even when it was hard to do the right.

"Mother," said Rafiq. "When Sardul first told me, I almost thought I'd do it. I thought Allah wouldn't mind if I lied just once when He knew how I love you and my Bulbul. But all at once I began to go all hot and cold and to feel queer right here," and he put his hand over his heart, "And then I couldn't do it".

The boy went to bed, but no angel came to give him any money for having done the right, as stories sometimes read. In the morning he woke up with his outward rags to cover his inward righteousness. But he was happy in the knowledge that he had resisted the temptation.

That afternoon as usual Rafiq went to the office for his papers. The boys were crowding round Sardul, who was boasting that he sold six dozen the day before. Sardul added that Rafiq lost money because he would not tell a lie. The boys were shouting and pointing at Rafiq, who didn't know what to say or what to do. But while they were pushing Rafiq and laughing at him, a gentleman of 45 or 50heard it, and that was enough for him. He took Rafiq away from the crowd and into the street, and said to him, "You wouldn't tell a lie yesterday, my boy?" The man patted on Rafiq's tender shoulder. "Brave lad!" he repeated as Rafiq innocently told him about it. They walked on together, Rafiq and Mr. Iskandar, a keen, kind-hearted businessman who valued truthfulness and honesty, for on those he could always depend.

"Yes," he said to Rafiq, as though he had just finished working out his plan that he couldn't finish for long.

"Yes, you're just the boy I am looking for. When I saw you, I was just going into the office to ask the peon to find me a boy like you."

This was the Rifles Square, and a week after Rafiq started his new job, of course, in a new mood in new clothes. He lost the sale of twenty papers because he would not tell a lie, but he got a well-paid job because he told the truth.

Moral: True boys make true men.

How to say it

Marriage teaches us several things. Especially how to phrase certain questions to your spouse. You would think that you could ask your spouse anything in plain English - wrong; dead wrong! As a married man of few years, I’ve learned (the hard way) that I need to be careful what I say, how I say and when I say. For those of you who are going to be future husbands, here is some advice on what to say, and how to say.

DANGEROUS: What’s for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Hey, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here’s fifty dollars.
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of fruits left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn’t over-do it today.
SAFEST: I’ve always loved you in that dress!
ULTRASAFE: Have some more chocolate.


Sayings of famous women

Famous Quotes about women,

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. -Helen Hayes (at 73)

I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows.-Janette Barber

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse. -Lily Tomlin

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. -Erma Bombeck

A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. A woman must do what he can’t. -Rhonda Hansome

The phrase “working mother” is redundant. -Jane Sellman

Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult. -Charlotte Whitton

When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing loss. And they called ME slow! -Kathy Buckley

If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing them. -Sue Grafton

I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it. - Marilyn Monroe

I’m not going to vacuum ’til Sears makes one you can ride on. -Roseanne Barr

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. -Elayne Boosler

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman. -Margaret Thatcher

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house. -Zsa Zsa Gabor


Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift of Love

Holiday season is here and most of us are busy buying at least few things for others. In fact, there are numerous gifts that we give others during the course of one year. Some of these gifts are for those whom we consider special in our lives as well as family and friends. Most of the times, these gifts are not something very expensive, but acknowledgements of friendship, our time, a card or so.

Of those several gifts we wrap and give, have you ever thought, how many of them were gifts of love? The key difference is that gifts of love need not be, and most probably will not be materialistic. These gifts of love can take many forms including a smile. Smile being the most inexpensive gift of love, all is takes is a willingness within ourselves.


Reason for love

Once a lady was having a the following conversation with her man:

Lady: Why do you like me? Why do you love me?

Man: I can't tell the reason, but I really like you.

Lady: You can't even tell me the reason? How can you say you like me? How can you say you love me?

Man: I really don't know the reason, but I can prove that I love you.

Lady: Proof? No! I want you to tell me the reason. My friend's husband can tell her why he loves her but not you!

Man: Ok. ok ok. Because you are beautiful, because your voice is sweet, because you are caring, because you are loving, because you are thoughtful, because of your smile, because of your every movement.

The lady felt quite satisfied with the man's answer.

Few months later, this lady met with an accident and went in comma.

The man then placed a letter by her side, and below were it's contents:

Because of your sweet voice that I love you. Now can you talk? No! Therefore I cannot love you.
Because of your care and concern that I like you. Now that you cannot show them, therefore I cannot love you.
Because of your smile, because of your every movement that I love you. Now can you smile? No. Therefore I cannot love you.
Now can you move? No, therefore I cannot love you.
If love needs a reason, like now, There is no reason for me to love you anymore.
Does love need a reason? NO!
Therefore, I still LOVE YOU.


Fate determines who comes into our lives, but our heart determines who stays.


The new librarian

These days we keep hearing about opening a new library at church, and I thought of sharing this one.

At a particular school, the newly appointed librarian decided that instead of checking out children's books by writing the names of borrowers on the book cards herself, she would have the youngsters sign their own names. She would then tell them they were signing a "Contract" for returning the books on time.

Her first customer was a second grader, who looked surprised to see a new Librarian. He brought four books to the desk and shoved them across to the Librarian, giving her his name as he did so.

The Librarian pushed the books back and told him to sign them out. The boy laboriously printed his name on each book card and then handed them to her with a look of utter disgust.

Before the Librarian could even start her speech he said, scornfully, "That other Librarian we had could write."