Welcome to some profound thoughts which, I hope, will be an encouragement to you. In this trouble-filled world, particularly after 9/11, most of us need some encouragement to make life more livable.
Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.
The legend says it happened in the streets of Baghdad. A merchant sent his servant to the market. But soon he returned, trembling and greatly agitated, and said to his master, "Down in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the road, and when I turned around I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Master, please lend me your horse, for I must hasten away to avoid her. I will ride to Samarra and there I will hide, and Death will not find me." The merchant lent his his horse, and the servant galloped away in a cloud of dust. A little later the merchant himself went to the marketplace and saw Death standing in the crowd. He said to her, "Why did you frighten my servant this morning? Why did you make a threatening gesture?" "That was not a threatening gesture," said Death. "It was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra!"
GO PLACIDLY AMID THE NOISE & HASTE, REMEMBER WHAT PEACE THERE MAY BE IN SILENCE. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story. * Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. * Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. * Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. * Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. * You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. * Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. * With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, 1927
There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's Master's card.
I'm sure you've all received their applications in the mail.
However, I'm here to advertise a different card.
You see, my life is a product for others to see.
I'm a card carrying representative for The Master's Card.
That's right, The MASTER'S CARD.
Let me tell you about it.
There are no finance charges, no payments due.
My bill has already been covered...it's a prepaid deal.
I couldn't afford the price, so Jesus stepped in and paid it for me.
My Name is written on the card for all to see. It is accessible 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.
The MASTER'S CARD has so many benefits it's hard to list them all.
Let me share some of them with you... you might want to apply for a personal card yourself.
Just for starters there is UNLIMITED GRACE.
That's right, there is no preset limit to the amount of grace you receive from The MASTER'S CARD.
Have you been looking for love in all the wrong places?
Then, look no farther than The MASTER'S CARD.
It offers the greatest rate on love that has ever been offered.
The MASTER'S CARD gives you access to many "members only" benefits.
Want real joy despite the difficulties of life?
Apply for The MASTER'S CARD.
Want a lasting peace? Apply for The MASTER'S CARD.
Looking for something you can always rely on in a jam?
The MASTER'S CARD is perfect for you. Another great thing about The MASTER'S CARD is that it never expires and will never be canceled.
Once you're a member, you're a member for life... eternal life, that is.
Membership has its privileges, you know.
So why not apply today? It's only a prayer away....
Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. "How do you do it?" Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life." "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Jerry said.
Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live. "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man. " I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. Kwok Lee
Start by anticipating a great week. The practice of anticipation stimulates zest and the zestful person always has energy going for him.
Energy sags when you thoughts sag, so on this second day pull your thoughts up to the enthusiasm level and hold them there. How to do this? Simply act enthusiastic and you will tend to be so.
Today firmly cope with two attitudes which siphon off energy; worry and frustration. To cancel them out, think faith, practice faith, affirm faith. Replace negative with positive thoughts.
Pray away the "gray sickness"; that half-awake, half-asleep, half-alive, half-dead feeling that sometimes comes to destroy our energy and force. Pray and act upon alive-type prayers of excitement, joy and gratitude.
Remind yourself that as a child of God, you are the constant recipient of boundless life, health, energy and vitality. Visualize yourself as continually being re-created in body, mind and spirit.
Today practice the art of slowing down. Relax and try getting yourself into the even rhythm of God who created you. Let life's basic tempo take over. Drop out worry and tension.
Go to church. For "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint."
I AM I AND YOU ARE YOU.
I AM NOT IN THIS WORLD TO LIVE UP TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS, AND YOU ARE NOT IN THIS WORLD TO LIVE UP TO MINE.
I DO MY THING, AND YOU DO YOUR THING.
IF, BY CHANCE, WE SHOULD MEET IT'S BEAUTIFUL.
IF NOT, PERHAPS BOTH OF US SHOULD TRY HARDER.
(this one has a moral to it)
Whenever Richard Cory went downtown
We people on the pavement looked at him.
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favoured, and imperially slim.
And he always was quietly arrayed
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good morning", and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich - yes, richer than a king.
And admirably schooled in every grace;
In fine, we thought that he was everything,
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm, summer night
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Mend a quarrel.
Search for a forgotten friend.
Dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter to someone who misses you.
Encourage someone who has lost faith.
Keep a promise.
Forget an old grudge.
Examine your demands on others and vow to reduce them.
Fight for a principle.
Express your gratitude.
Overcome an old fear.
Take two minutes to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Tell someone you love them.
Tell them again.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE, IT IS WELL TO REMEMBER THAT THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TIMES LIKE THESE.
Happiness is found along the way; not at the end of the road.
WHERE YOU COME FROM IS NOT NEARLY AS IMPORTANT AS WHERE YOU ARE GOING
Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person.
THE INDIAN CHIEF AND THE BIBLE
Once upon a time a preacher, of a certain religious band,
Went forth upon a mission, out in the Indian land.
He gave the chief a Bible, and journeyed on his way;
But came back through that section at a somewhat later day.
The chief called on the preacher - whatever did give rise?
"Chief want to be a Christian - me ready to be baptized."
The preacher brought his "Jordan" - a little china bowl;
Then catechized the Indian, with reference to his soul.
The chief looked at the vessel with an apprehensive look -
"That pond he much too little, you give me wrong book."
The preacher urged and argued that a small amount would do.
But failed to turn the Indian from his much-water view.
But the preacher at last consented to let his custom slip;
He'd go down to the river and give the chief a dip.
"No, No," the chief responded, "God's laws you change,
You can't from dip get sprinkle
Me guess you be wrong man.
If sprinkle be the order, Bible is wrong book,
If dipping be the order, sprinkler is a crook."
(sent in by Bob S.)
When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could you please get that for me?"
Thanks to Ann Landers, here is a favorite of mine:
First somebody told it,
Then the room wouldn't hold it,
So the busy tongues rolled it
Till they got it outside;
Then the crowd came across it,
And never once lost it,
But tossed it and tossed it,
Till it grew long and wide.
This lie brought forth others,
Evil sisters and brothers,
And fathers and mothers,
A terrible crew,
As headlong they hurried,
The people they flurried
And troubled and worried,
As lies always do
This monstrous lie goaded,
Till at last it exploded
In sin and in shame.
But from mud and from mire
The pieces flew higher,
Till they hit the sad liar,
And killed his good name.
"Despair is never ultimately over the external object but always over ourselves. A girl loses her sweetheart and she despairs. It is not over the lost sweetheart that she mourns, but for what her life will be without him......" If you can understand and accept this, you will have made the first step of a long and difficult journey.
"Entertain no worry, but under all circumstances let your petitions be made known before God by prayer and the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding keep guard over your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time
Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills
Break the tension of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations - slowing down to look at a flower,
To chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.
The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to install artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the Bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face, or love in the eyes of a woman. Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain. Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play. Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist. Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
Explore every corner of my brain. Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that someday, a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow. If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
Last week I answered the door,
And there was another salesman
"Oh, God," I said aloud
"I don't need another brush!"
And firmly told him so
I meant it about the brush, Lord,
But I never meant to use Your Name
That was my outlet for exasperation
Surely You know
How mindless it is ..... everybody does it
But then, here I am - making excuses when
All the time I know I am wrong
You've set it down so simply and clearly,
Your Name should not be taken in vain
The next time I say "Oh, God!"
I won't stop there
I'll make it a prayer that starts,
"Oh, God - how really great thou art!"
For how really great Thou art, Oh, God!
1. Do not ride in an auto - they cause 20% of all fatal accidents
2. Do not stay at home - 17% of all accidents happen there
3. do not walk in the street - 15% of all accidents happen to pedestrians
4. Do not travel by air, rail or water - 16% of all accidents result from these activities
5. Only .001% of all accidents happen in church
(Someone has suggested that in our permissive society, some would change the Ten Commandments to read as follows:)
1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before thyself, for thy pleasure and amusement is all that counts.
2. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it free for golf, fishing, football games on television, the shopping plaza, bowling etc.
3. Thou shalt not bow down before any graven image except that which is graven on the coin of the realm.
4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother, or thy Father and his new wife, or thy Mother and her new husband, or the "good friends" of either.
5. Five days shalt thou labor, unless thou hast a strong union, in which case four is plenty.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery, unless it is "significant and meaningful".... or being photographed in full color for showing in movie theatres from coast to coast.
7. Thou shalt not kill any party by going home before thy mind is blown on booze, pot etc.
8. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's responsibilities, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's wife if she be fat and ugly, nor thy neighbor's 1967 Ford, nor his hand lawn mower nor anything that is they neighbor's which is not in good working condition.
9. Thou shalt not steel thyself to tasks which are unpleasant.
10. Thou shalt not bear false witness except when it is necessary to get a government handout, qualify for service in a public bar, or save thy skin in a court of law.
Here is a young man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty, and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to a college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness. He has no credentials but himself.
While he was still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth and that was his coat.
When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as has that ONE SOLITARY LIFE.
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name." John 1:11, 12.
When I feel led to do a thing
Why don't I do it?
If joy and comfort I can bring,
Why don't I do it?
Hearts that are filled with woe and care
Are round about me everywhere
When I can bring their name in prayer,
Why don't I do it?
Or if a letter I
Why don't I do it?
Not put it off from noon 'til night
And still not do it
A word may seem a little thing
God only knows what it may bring
To those bowed down - cause hearts to sing
If I would do it.
And when a visit I
Why don't I do it?
Or seek souls who've gone astray,
Why don't I do it?
A kindly hand stretched out in love
Might help them gain that home above
Lord, to this end my spirit move
And help me to do it.
The will to do its in my heart
Why don't I do it?
I know God will His word impart
Give me strength do do it
The days so quickly pass away,
And none are here for long to stay
Help me to show kindness where I may,
When I can do it.
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him or her.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." The devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things. When the children are young, that is all that you can afford. When they are in college, that is all that you can afford. When you are retired, that is all that you can afford!
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by your distinctive laughter.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be alive while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a foreign country, but not to guilt country.
10. Tell the people you love, that you love them, at every opportunity
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.