Saturday, August 30, 2014

Visitor


In the last century, a tourist from the United States visited the famous Polish rabbi Hafez Hayyim.

He was astonished to see that the rabbi's home was only a simple room filled with books. The only furniture was a table and a bench.

"Rabbi, where is your furniture?" asked the tourist.

"Where is yours?" replied Hafez.

"Mine? But I'm only a visitor here."

"So am I," said the rabbi.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Be ready for anything


When you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart. 
- Russian Proverb

The woman on the park bench was gnarled and dirty. Her hair was an uncombed mess, her clothes torn and old. She clutched a paper bag to her side, which seemed to contain her belongings. She sat in the sun, humming to herself. Occasionally she threw a bit of popcorn to ducks who waited at her feet. A little girl and his mother sat by the lake, not wanting to share the bench with this wild-eyed old woman. But when the old woman beckoned to the little girl to share her popcorn, she ran to the bench and let out squeals of laughter as they fed the hungry ducks.

When we shun someone because of the way they look, we cut ourselves off from part of life. But when we are ready for anything - accepting and trusting - we are a wonder to everyone.



Credits: Hazeldon Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be prepared



Mark came home from his first day of Sunday school third grade class and his mother asked, “What did you learn today?”

“Not enough,” Mark replied sadly. “They said I have to go back next Sunday.”

"What else did you learn today that was interesting," mom asked.

“I wish I were a magician so I could do well at Sunday school this year.”

When his mother looking quizzically at him, Mark continued, “I heard the teacher say that they’re good at asking trick questions.”

"And remind me to carry my sunglasses to Sunday school next week," Mark said in one breath.

"Why would you do that," mom inquired.

He replied, “Our teacher told us this year we have a class of really bright students, so I want to go prepared next Sunday!”


Payment in dry leaves



Once upon a time in India, two students completed their studies and asked their master what sort of fee they should pay him before they left. The master was pleased with their sincere love and gratitude. Though he never expected any sort of fee from them, this was his final moment to test their devotion, discipline and sense of duty. In an effort to impart bit more wisdom to his students, he said, “Go into the forest and bring me some dry leaves that is of no use to anyone.”

Thinking of it as a strange mode of payment, the students set out to the forest with the goal of accomplishing their assigned task.

As soon as they entered the forest, they came across a small heap of dry leaves beneath a tree. When they started picking up some of them, an old farmer came running and said, “Please put those leaves back into the heap. I have collected them for my field. After burning, their ashes will make excellent manure, which will help me grow a rich crop.”

The students left the heap and went a little further into the forest. There they saw three women collecting dry leaves and putting them into their baskets.

“What do you do with these dry leaves?” asked the students.

“We pin the intact leaves together with reed-pins to make dinner plates for temples; this earns us enough livelihood to support our children. We also use the torn leaves as a fuel for fire.”

The students then went further into the forest. They saw some dry leaves under a tall tree. As both were looking at them, a big bird swooped down and, picking up one leaf, and flew away. The students noticed the  bird carrying the leaf to a tree branch, where it was building a nest of dry leaves and grass. They did not wish to take away the dry leaves, which were useful to the bird.

Both boys then decided to go back to their teacher. On the way, they saw a small pond in which a big dry leaf was floating on the water.

“Finally a big dry leaf with no use,” said one of them.

As they picked up the leaf, to their surprise, they saw two red ants who seemed to say, “This dry leaf has been our life-boat. Without it, we would have drowned in the pond!”

The boys, thereafter, gave up all hopes of finding dry leaves that are of no use to anyone and unhappily returned to their master.

In a sad tone, they uttered to their teacher, “Sir, forgive us for not bringing you any dry leaves per you wish. All the dry leaves that we saw were being used for some purpose or the other."

“Dear children,” replied the teacher, "I am so happy for the gift you gave me today. The wisdom you have gained, about the importance of even seemingly unimportant things like dry leaves, is the best payment I can every receive. Even a dry leaf is of great use and help to man, bird and insect. How much more precious then should a man’s body be when it is put to good use! Therefore, take excellent care of your body and use it to make your life as well as the lives of others happy.”


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The switch


Having kids at home is a wonderful thing. It is only when they leave the nest we feel their absence. No matter how harshly they argue or speak, they are indeed God's gift. Listen to a father speak about his teenage son in high school.

When my son was ready to start high school, we decided to let him move into the basement. Only then did I realize how convenient it would be to get him to the breakfast table and off to school on time.

When his room was upstairs, I used to stand at the bottom of the staircase and scream his name - over and over and over.

Right now the tables have changed. All I have to do is flick the basement light off and on, and he gets the message to come up without me uttering a single word!

One morning I flicked the switch, and nothing happened. I did it several more times. Nothing. So I flipped it up/down, up/down, up/down over and over until I saw the whites of his eyes.

“I’m on my way,” my son grumbled. “You didn't have to yell.”



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Few thoughts to chew on


“Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger.”

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does."

"If you don't walk the walk, it's probably best not to talk the talk."

"Your words mean nothing if your actions are the complete opposite."

"Having true faith in whatever it is your believe must be shown through actions; believing is only half the battle."

“To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.”

“Real friends are those who, when you feel you've made a fool of yourself, don’t feel you've done a permanent job.”

“A coincidence is when God performs a miracle, and decides to remain anonymous.”

“Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.”

“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”

“Lead your life so you won’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”

"Don't allow your wounds to transform you into someone you are not."

“Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.”

"May your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings."

"Every exit is an entrance somewhere else."



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Meditation


Once upon a time, four monks agreed to maintain three days of silence as part of their spiritual discipline. They were able to observe their silence until darkness fell on the first day.

The first monk proceeded to say, “Somebody should light the lamp.”

The second monk turned to him and said, “You spoke!”

The third monk retorted, “Will you two please keep quiet?”

And the fourth monk observed, “Now I’m the only one who hasn't broken the vow of silence!”




A Mother's Lament



The perils of being a mother, are equal to not any other
For granted she’s taken and often mistaken - for a robot, "She’ll do it - why bother?"

A mom has a time clock she punches - breakfast dishes done - oops, time for lunches.
From 8 to 12 Hey! All her time’s slipped away - her work comes in bunches and bunches.

The lunch turns up - half on the floor. And they turned up their noses like before.
As usual - she fixed it. And as usual - they nixed it, and then in an hour they want more.

After supper she wails to her spouse, "I’ve got to get out of this house!
I think you will find that I’m losing my mind, and yes - this is blood on my blouse!"

The day has been just like another - and so ends the day of A MOTHER.




- Sherri Mills is the author of I Almost Divorced my Husband but I Went on Strike Instead. 

Hilton's Prayer, "Our Father"


Conard Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotel chain in his book, "Be My Guest" writes about his mother who continually reminded him that prayer was the best investment he would ever make. He designed his version of "Our Father."

Our Father in Heaven

We pray that You save us from ourselves. The world that You made for us, to live in peace, we have made into an armed camp.

We live in fear of war to come. We are afraid of "the terror that flies by night and the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in darkness and the destruction that wastes at noon-day."

We have turned from You to go our selfish way. We have broken Your commandments and denied Your truth. We have left Your altars to serve the false gods of money, pleasure and power.

Forgive us and help us. Now, darkness gathers around us and we are confused in all our counsels, losing faith in You, we lose faith in ourselves.

Inspire us with wisdom, all of us of every color, race and creed, to use our wealth, our strength to help our brothers and sisters, instead of destroying them.

Help us to do Your will as it is done in heaven and to be worthy of Your promise of peace on earth.

Fill us with new faith, new strength and new courage, that we may win the Battle for Peace. Be swift to save us, dear God, before the darkness falls.

Amen.