Monday, August 18, 2008

The world is your mirror.

The good you find in others, is in you too. The faults you find in others, are your faults as well.After all, to recognize something you must know it.
The possibilities you see in others, are possible for you as well. The beauty you see around you, is your beauty. The world around you is a reflection, a mirror showing you the person you are.
To change your world, you must change yourself. To blame and complain will only make matters worse. Whatever you care about, is your responsibility. What you see in others, shows you yourself.
See the best in others, and you will be your best. Give to others, and you give to yourself. Appreciate beauty, and you will be beautiful. Admire creativity, and you will be creative.
Love, and you will be loved. Seek to understand, and you will be understood. Listen, and your voice will be heard. Teach, and you will learn.
Unknown author

The wooden bowl

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.) A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, andfour-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was
blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We mustdo something about Grandfather," said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There,Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing withwood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little
bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led himback to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens how badit seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/shehandles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage.I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents,you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a life."I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitton both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, ifyou focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your workand doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, Iusually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about;I just did.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The water bearer

A water bearer had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full. For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, fulfilled in the design for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was unable to accomplish what it had been made to do.

After two years of enduring this bitter shame, the pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself and I apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, f or these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and was cheered somewhat. But at the end of the trail, it still felt the old shame because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you not notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, and not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we've walked back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow Him, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you, too, can bring something beautiful to the Father.


Unknown author

The Triple Filter Test

In ancient Greece, scholar and intellectual, Dr. Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said,
"Do you know what I just heard about one of your friend?"
"Hold on a minute," Dr. Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
"Triple filter?" asked the man.
"That's right," Dr. Socrates continued.
"Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and wanted to tell it to you"
"All right," said Socrates. " So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"
"No, on the contrary, it is bad "
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, Because there's one filter left: the filter of usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really." Replied the man.
"Well," concluded Dr. Socrates, if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, and nor even useful to me, why tell it to me at all ."

Unknown author

~~~ The Story of the Silver Refiner ~~~

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the bookof Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they cameacross verse three which says: He will sit as a refiner andpurifier of silver.
This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what thisstatement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out about the process ofrefining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week this woman called up a silver smith and madean appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mentionanything about the reason for her interest in silver beyondher curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silver smith, he held a piece of silverover the fire and let it heat up.
He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot -then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.
She asked the silver smith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver wasbeing refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked thesilver smith, how do you know when the silver is fully refined?
He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy--when I see my image in it."
Author Unknown

The Secret

One day, one friend asked another, 'How is it that you are always so happy? You have so much energy, and you never seem to get down.'

With her eyes smiling, she said, 'I know the Secret!' 'What secret is that?' To which she replied, 'I'll tell you all about it, but you have to promise to share the Secret with others.'

'The Secret is this: I have learned there is little I can do in my life that will make me truly happy. I must depend on God to make me happy and to meet my needs. When a need arises in my life, I have to trust God to supply according to HIS riches. I have learned most of the time I don't need half of what I think I do. He has never let me down. Since I learned that 'Secret', I am happy.'

The questioner's first thought was, 'That's too simple!' But upon reflecting over her own life she recalled how she thought a bigger house would make her happy, but it didn't! She thought a better paying job would make her happy, but it hadn't. When did she realize her greatest happiness? Sitting on the floor with her grandchildren, playing games, eating pizza or reading a story, a simple gift from God.

Now you know it too! We can't depend on people to make us happy. Only GOD in His infinite wisdom can do that. Trust HIM! And now I pass the Secret on to you! So once you get it, what will you do?

YOU have to tell someone the Secret, too! That GOD in His wisdom will take care of YOU! But it's not really a secret... We just have to believe it and do it... Really trust God!

The scorpion and the old man

One morning, after he had finished his meditation, the old man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water. As the scorpion was washed closer to the tree, the old man quickly stretched himself out on one of the long roots that branched out into the river and reached out to rescue the drowning creature. As soon as he touched it, the scorpion stung him. Instinctively the man withdrew his hand. A minute later, after he had regained his balance, he stretched himself out again on the roots to save the scorpion. This time the scorpion stung him so badly with its poisonous tail that his hand became swollen and bloody and his face contorted with pain.
At that moment, a passerby saw the old man stretched out on the roots struggling with the scorpion and shouted: "Hey, stupid old man, what's wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don't you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?"
The old man turned his head. Looking into the stranger's eyes he said calmly, "My friend, just because it is the scorpion's nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save."

The Rose

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the girl with the rose.
His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address.
She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. "You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my lapel." So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he'd never seen. I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened:
A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. "Going my way, sailor?" sh e murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle.
I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman , even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?" The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!"
It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.
Unknown author

Monday, August 4, 2008

The rope

The ropeThe story tells about a mountain climber, who wanted to climbe the highest mountain.He begun his adventure after many years of perparation,but since he wanted the glory just for himself,he decided to climb the mountain alone.The night felt heavy in the highest of the mountain, & the man couldn't see anything.All was black,zero visibility,& the moon & stars were covered by the clouds.As he was climbing, only a few feet away from the top of the mountain, he slipped & fell in to the air, Falling at a great speed. The climber could only see black spots as he went down, & the terribble sensationof being sucked by gravity, He kept falling....& in those moments of great fear, it came to his mind all the good & bad episodes of his life.He was thinking now about how close death was getting, when all of a sudden he felt the rope tied to his waist pull him very hard.His body was hanging in the air... only the rop was holding him, & in that moment of stillness he had no other choice but to scream: HELP ME GODAll of a sudden, a deep voice comeing from the sky answered: WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO ?_ SAVE ME GOD._DO YOU REALY THINK I CAN SAVE YOU ?_OF COURSE I BELIEVE YOU CAN._THEN CUT THE ROPE TIED TO YOUR WAIST.There was a moment of silence; & then the man decided to hold on the rope with all his strenght.The rescue team tells that the next day a climber was found dead & frozen...his body hanging from a rope,his hands holding thight to it...ONLY 10 FEET AWAY FROM THE GROUND...And you?How attached are you to your rope?Will you let go?DON'T EVER DOUBT THE THINGS FROM GOD,YOU NEVER SHOULD SAY THAT HE HAS FROGOTTEN OR ABANDONED YOU,DON'T EVER THINK THAT HE DOESN'T TAKE CARE OF YOU. HE IS CLOSER TO YOU THAN YOUR NECK'S ARTERY, HE IS ULITIMATE OBJECT OF NEEDS & THERE IS NO GOD BUT HIM.

The Room

by Joshua Harris
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings.
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.
And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a Detail my memory couldn't match.
A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers". Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.
Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth.
Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I have listened to," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.
An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!"
In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it.
The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands.
I could count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.
No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes.
But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again.
He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive.
The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards.
I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side.
He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished." I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door.
There were still cards to be written.

The Riple Effect

The Master was walking through the fields one day when a young man, a troubled look upon his face, approached him.
"On such a beautiful day, it must be difficult to stay so serious," the Master said.
"Is it? I hadn't noticed," the young man said, turning to look around and notice his surroundings. His eyes scanned the landscape, but nothing seemed to register; his mind elsewhere. Watching intently, the Master continued to walk.
"Join me if you like." The Master walked to the edge of a still pond, framed by sycamore trees, their leaves golden orange and about to fall.
"Please sit down," the Master invited, patting the ground next to him. Looking carefully before sitting, the young man brushed the ground to clear a space for himself.
"Now, find a small stone, please," the Master instructed.
"What?"
"A stone. Please find a small stone and throw it in the pond."
Searching around him, the young man grabbed a pebble and threw it as far as he could.
"Tell me what you see," the Master instructed.
Straining his eyes to not miss a single detail, the man looked at the water's surface.
"I see ripples."
"Where did the ripples come from?"
"From the pebble I threw in the pond, Master."
"Please reach your hand into the water and stop the ripples," the Master asked.
Not understanding, the young man stuck his hand in the water as a ripple neared, only to cause more ripples. The young man was now completely baffled. Where was this going? Had he made a mistake in seeking out the Master? After all he was not a student, perhaps he could not be helped? Puzzled, the young man waited.
"Were you able to stop the ripples with your hands?" the Master asked.
"No, of course not."
"Could you have stopped the ripples, then?"
"No, Master. I told you I only caused more ripples."
"What if you had stopped the pebble from entering the water to begin with?" The Master smiled such a beautiful smile; the young man could not be upset.
"Next time you are unhappy with your life, catch the stone before it hits the water. Do not spend time trying to undo what you have done. Rather, change what you are going to do before you do it." The Master looked kindly upon the young man.
"But Master, how will I know what I am going to do before I do it?"
"Take the responsibility for living your own life. If you're working with a doctor to treat an illness, then ask the doctor to help you understand what caused the illness. Do not just treat the ripples. Keep asking questions." The young man stopped, his mind reeling.
"But I came to you to ask you for answers. Are you saying that I know the answers?"
"You may not know the answers right now, but if you ask the right questions, then you shall discover the answers."
"But what are the right questions, Master?"
"There are no wrong questions, only unasked ones. We must ask, for without asking, we cannot receive answers. But it is your responsibility to ask. No one else can do that for you."
Unknown author

The Real Meaning Of Peace

"There once was a king who offered a prize to the artistwho would paint the best picture of peace. Many artiststried. The king looked at all the pictures. But therewere only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all aroundit. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest - in perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?
"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."
Author Unknown

The Rabbit's Thesis

One sunny day a rabbit came out of her hole in the ground to enjoy the fine weather. The day was so nice that she became careless and a fox snuck up behind her and caught her.
"I am going to eat you for lunch!" said the fox.
"Wait!" replied the rabbit, "You should at least wait a few days."
"Oh yeah? Why should I wait?"
"Well, I am just finishing my thesis on 'The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.'"
"Are you crazy? I should eat you right now! Everybody knows that a fox will always win over a rabbit."
"Not really, not according to my research. If you like, you can come into my hole and read it for yourself. If you are not convinced, you can go ahead and have me for lunch."
"You really are crazy!" But since the fox was curious and had nothing to lose, it went with the rabbit. The fox never came out.
A few days later the rabbit was again taking a break from writing and sure enough, a wolf came out of the bushes and was ready to set upon her.
"Wait!" yelled the rabbit, "You can't eat me right now."
"And why might that be, my furry appetizer?"
"I am almost finished writing my thesis on 'The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.'"
The wolf laughed so hard that it almost lost its grip on the rabbit."Maybe I shouldn't eat you; you really are sick ... in the head. You might have something contagious."
"Come and read it for yourself; you can eat me afterward if you disagree with my conclusions. "
So the wolf went down into the rabbit's hole and never came out.
The rabbit finished her thesis and was out celebrating in the local lettuce patch. Another rabbit came along and asked, "What's up? You seem very happy."
"Yup, I just finished my thesis."
"Congratulations. What's it about?"
"'The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.'"
"Are you sure? That doesn't sound right."
"Oh yes. Come and read it for yourself." So together they went down into the rabbit's hole.
As they entered, the friend saw the typical graduate abode, albeit a rather messy one after writing a thesis. The computer with the controversial work was in one corner. And to the right there was a pile of fox bones, on the left a pile of wolf bones. And in the middle was a large, well-fed lion.
The Moral of the Story:The title of your thesis doesn't matter. The subject doesn't matter. The research doesn't matter. All that matters is... who your advisor is.;-)

The professor

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life".
The golf balls are the important things -- your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions-- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else -- the small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes.
There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked," he said." It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend."

The pink dress

here was this little girl sitting by herself in the park.
Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad.
Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat
And watched the people go by.
She never tried to speak.
She never said a word.
Many people passed by her, but no one would stop.
The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see
If the little girl would still be there.
Yes, she was there, right in the very spot where she was
Yesterday, and still with the same sad look in her eyes.
Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl.
For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place
For young children to play alone.
As I got closer I
could see the back of the little girl's dress.
It was grotesquely shaped.
I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no
Effort to speak to her.
Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if
You make a step toward assisting someone who is different.
As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to
Avoid my intent stare.
As I approached her, I could see the shape of her back more
Clearly.
She was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form.
I smiled to let her know it was OK; I was there to help, to talk.
I sat down beside her and opened with a simple, "Hello."
The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a "hi "; after a long
Stare into my eyes.
I smiled and she shyly smiled back.
We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty.
I asked the girl why she was so sad.
The little girl looked at me with a sad face said, "Because, I'm
Different."
I immediately said, "That you are!"; and smiled.
The little girl acted even sadder and said, "I know."
"Little girl," I said, "you remind me of an angel, sweet and Innocent."
She looked at me and smiled, then slowly she got to her feet and
Said, "Really?"
"Yes, you're like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch
Over all the people walking by."
She nodded her head yes, and smiled.
With that she opened the back of her pink dress and allowed her
Wings to spread, then she said "I am."
"I'm your Guardian Angel," with a twinkle in her eye.
I was speechless -- sure I was seeing things.
She said, "For once you thought of someone other than yourself.
My job here is done"..
I got to my feet and said, "Wait, why did no one stop to help an
Angel?"
She looked at me, smiled,
and said, "You're the only one that
Could see me," and then she was gone.
And with that, my life was changed dramatically.
So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is
Always watching over you.

*The Pickle Jar *

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside thedresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would emptyhis pockets and toss his coins into the jar.
As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as theywere dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar wasalmost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar wasfilled.
I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper andsilver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun pouredthrough the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at thekitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.
Takin g the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly ina small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seatof his old truck.Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at mehopefully. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son.You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to holdyou back."
Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across thecounter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly "These are formy son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life like me."We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. Ialways got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the icecream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestledin his palm. "When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again." Healways let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattledaround with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You'll get tocollege on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But you'll getthere. I'll see to that."The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, andnoticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had beenremoved.A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser wherethe jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lecturedme on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith.The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than themost flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susanabout the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as aboy. In my m ind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad hadloved me.No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop hiscoins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, andMama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime wastaken from the jar.To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup overmy beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever tomake a way out for me. "When you finish college, Son," he told me, his eyesglistening, "You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you want to."
The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent theholiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other onthe sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began towhimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms. "She probably needs tobe changed," she said, carrying the baby into my parents' bedroom to diaperher. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist inher eyes.She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into theroom. "Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floorbeside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed,stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. Iwalked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out afistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coinsinto the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slippedquietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the sameemotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.This truly touched my heart. I know it has yours as well. Sometimes we areso busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture youcan change a person's life, for better or for worse.God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way.Look for God in others.The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched - they must befelt with the heart ~ Helen Keller*- Happy moments, praise God.- Difficult moments, seek God.- Quiet moments, worship God.- Painful moments, trust God.- Every moment, thank God. ** *
You dont even have to pass it as long as youv read it i know you wereblessed...
"rise each day with a song on your lips,a melody in your heart and meet the world witha greeting of good cheer."
i remain,

The passenger

In the name of The Most Merciful who shows Mercy to those who have Mercy on Others
The Passenger
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractiveyoung woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps.She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of theseats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her wasempty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and restedher cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind. Due to amedical misdiagnosis, she had been rendered sightless, and she wassuddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration andself-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt condemnedby this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burdenon everyone around her. "How could this have happened to me?" shewould plead, her heart knotted with anger. But no matter how much shecried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth-her sight wasnever going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan's onceoptimistic spirit. Just getting through each day was an exercise infrustration and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was herhusband Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer, and he loved Susan with all of hisheart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despairand was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidenceshe needed to become independent again. Mark's military background hadtrained him well to deal with sensitive situations, and yet he knewthis was the most difficult battle he would ever face.
Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she getthere? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to getaround the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work eachday, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city. At first,this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark's need to protect hissightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightesttask. Soon, however, Mark realized that this arrangement wasn'tworking - it was hectic, and costly. Susan is going to have to starttaking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But just the thought ofmentioning it to her made him cringe. She was still so fragile, soangry. How would she react?
Just as Mark predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking thebus again. "I'm blind!" she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed toknow where I'm going? I feel like you're abandoning me." Mark's heartbroke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. Hepromised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the buswith her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. Andthat is exactly what happened.
For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susanto and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her othersenses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and howto adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the busdrivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. He made herlaugh, even on those not-so-good days when she would trip exiting thebus, or drop her briefcase. Each morning, they made the journeytogether, and Mark would take a cab back to his office. Although thisroutine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous one,Mark knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able toride the bus on her own. He believed in her, in the Susan he used toknow before she'd lost her sight, who wasn't afraid of any challengeand who would never, ever quit. Finally, Susan decided that she wasready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and beforeshe left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus ridingcompanion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled withtears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love. She saidgood-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways.Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday ... Each day on her own wentperfectly, and Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She wasgoing to work all by herself!
On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she waspaying for her fare to exit the bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sureenvy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not.After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who hadstruggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? Curious,she asked the driver, "Why do you say that you envy me?" The driverresponded, "It must feel so good to be taken care of and protectedlike you are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about,and asked again, "What do you mean?" The driver answered, "You know,every morning for the past week, a fine looking gentleman in amilitary uniform has been standing across the corner watching you whenyou get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely, and hewatches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you akiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one luckylady."
Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although shecouldn't physically see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. Shewas blessed, so blessed, for he had given her a gift more powerfulthan sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift oflove that can bring light where there had been darkness.
God watches over us in just the same way. We may not know He ispresent. We may not be able to see His face, but He is therenonetheless!

My Wish For You Todayis to be blessed in this thought:"God Loves You - even when you are not looking."

The Obstacle in our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.
Some of the kirig's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.
The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
The peasant learned what many of us never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.
Author unknown

A man and his finger

A man once went to see a doctor complaining of aches and pains all over his body.
"Doctor my whole body hurts me," he moaned. The doctor asked him to show exactly where the pain was.
The man explained, "When I touch my shoulder, it hurts. When I touch my back it hurts. When I touch my legs, they hurt."
The doctor did a thorough examination and told the man-
"Sir, there is nothing wrong with your body. Your finger is broken. That is why it hurts wherever you touch.. Get your finger plastered, rest it for a couple of weeks and all of your pains will disappear."!!
************
SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE
In life so frequently it is our own perspective that causes us pain or pleasure.
As we go through life "feeling" the world with our fingers, if our finger is broken naturally we will experience pain everywhere. But,
we make the mistake of blaming the external world for our ailments: "My job is over-taxing, my husband is too demanding, my wife nags, my children are disobedient, my in-laws don't understand me, etc. etc."
But if you look throughout the world you will be able to find someone who has the same type of job, but is calm, or someone who has the same type of spouse but is happy, or someone who has the same type of children but is patient, or someone who has the same type of in-laws but is grateful.
What is it that allows 2 people to experience the same external situation but respond in 2 different ways?
Our own perspective. Our own perception.The key, then, is not to try to change every situation in our life, but rather to change the glasses through which we see the world.
Sure, if we have a fixable situation at the office or at home, we should definitely do our best to improve it. But, what we have observed is that if someone has the nature to be dissatisfied, or the nature to be stressed, or the nature to be pained, that person's nature is not going to change simply by changing the external situation.
A massage for the back or shoulder or legs would not help the man in our earlier example because it is his finger which is broken. He could spend hundreds of dollars to ease the pain in his body, but unless he puts his broken finger in a splint, he will continue to experience pain every time that finger touches the various parts of his body.
Similarly, we run around through life trying to "fix" our jobs or marriages or family life, but frequently the reality is in our own perspective. If we spend the same amount of energy "fixing" our perspective as we spend trying to "fix" our spouse or children,everything would be fine.
This is not to say that pains and troubles don't really exist in our day to day life. Of course they do.The man in our example may also have a stiff back or sore shoulders. But the excruciating pain he experienced was due not to the minor aches and pains in his body, but due to the severely broken finger with which he was touching them.
Similarly, our jobs and our families are taxing. They demand a lot of us. But the unbearable pain many of us experience is due not to the demands and commands from without, but due to the demands and commands from within ourselves.
In the Gita it is said that we are our best friend and also our own worst enemy, depending upon how we live our lives.
In this New Year,let us all take some time to examine what our own personal "broken finger" is.
What is it within ourselves that causes us to experience pain in the world? What irrational fear, what unfulfillable desire, what selfish motive, what ego-driven need has broken the finger with which we feel the world or has colored the glasses with which we see? We spend so much time examining others, but very little time examining our own selves.
The Source of all joy and peace lies within us.
We are blocked from that Source by a host of desires, fears and ignorance.
The key to finding and tapping into that Source must come from within.
Let us find the key within ourselves and unleash the Ocean of Divine Bliss in our lives!!

The hands of a person who loves you

'Little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter, 'Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don't fall into the river.' The little girl said, 'No, Dad. You hold my hand.' 'What's the difference?' Asked the puzzled father. 'There's a big difference,' replied the little girl.
'If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go.'
In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond.
So hold the hand of the person who like you ' rather than expecting them to hold yours... This message is too short......but carries a lot of Feelings.

The bridge of love

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict.
It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days work" he said."Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother.Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us.
Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn?I want you to build me a fence - - an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing, and hammering.
About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge -- a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all -- and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched."You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.
"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but, I have many more love bridges to build."

Our mirror

The good you find in others, is in you too. The faults you find in others, are your faults as well.After all, to recognize something you must know it.
The possibilities you see in others, are possible for you as well. The beauty you see around you, is your beauty. The world around you is a reflection, a mirror showing you the person you are.
To change your world, you must change yourself. To blame and complain will only make matters worse. Whatever you care about, is your responsibility. What you see in others, shows you yourself.
See the best in others, and you will be your best. Give to others, and you give to yourself. Appreciate beauty, and you will be beautiful. Admire creativity, and you will be creative.
Love, and you will be loved. Seek to understand, and you will be understood. Listen, and your voice will be heard. Teach, and you will learn.

A Millionaire & Three Beggers

There was a good-natured millionaire in the town. Three beggars thought of approaching him for help. The first man went to the millionaire and said: "O Lord! I want five rupees. Please give me." The millionaire was taken aback at this man's impudence. "What! You demand five rupees from me as though I owe you the money! How dare you? How can I afford to give five rupees to a single beggar? Here, take these two rupees and get away," he said. The man went away with the two rupees. The next beggar went to the millionaire and said: "Oh Lord! I have not taken a square meal for the past ten days. Please help me.""How much do you want?" asked the millionaire.
"Whatever you give me, Maharaj," replied the beggar."Here, take this ten rupee note. You can have nice food for at least three days." The beggar walked away with the ten rupee note. The third beggar came. "Oh Lord, I have heard about your noble qualities. Therefore, I have come to see you. Men of such charitable disposition are verily the manifestations of God on earth," he said.
"Please sit down," said the millionaire. "You appear to be tired. Please take this food," he said, and offered food to the beggar."Now please tell me what I can do for you."
"Oh Lord," replied the beggar; "I merely came to meet such a noble personage that you are. You have given me this rich food already. What more need I get from you? You have already shown extraordinary kindness towards me. May God bless you!"
But the millionaire, struck by the beggar's spirit, begged of the beggar to remain with him, built a decent house for him in his own compound, and looked after him for the rest of his life.
God is like this good millionaire. Three classes of people approach Him, with three different desires and prayers. There is the greedy man full of vanity, full of arrogance, full of desires. He demands the objects of worldly enjoyment from God. Since this man, whatever be his vile desires, has had the good sense to approach God, He grants him some part of the desired objects (even these very soon pass away, just as the two rupees the first beggar got are spent before nightfall).
The other type of devotee prays to the Lord for relief from the sufferings of the world, but is better than the first one, in as much as he is ready to abide by His Will. To him the Lord grants full relief from suffering, and bestows on him much wealth and property.
The third type he merely prays to the Lord: "O Lord, Thou art Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute, Bliss-Absolute, etc., etc." What does he want? Nothing. But the Lord is highly pleased with his spirit of renunciation, of desirelessness and of self-surrender. Therefore, He makes him eat His own food, i.e., He grants this man Supreme Devotion to Himself. Over and above this, He makes the devotee to live in His own House For ever afterwards this devotee dwells in the Lord's Abode as a Liberated Sage