The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Stories of Inspiration


#1

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

The Story Behind the Hymn

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:22-24

You don’t need to be rescued from life-threatening danger or see God’s miraculous provision in the direst of financial crises to truly know the faithfulness of the Lord. God remains faithful day in and day out in the largest and smallest of circumstances.

Thomas Chisholm wrote “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” as a testament to God’s faithfulness through his very ordinary life.

Born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky, Chisholm became a Christian when he was twenty-seven and entered the ministry when he was thirty-six, though poor health forced him to retire after just one year. During the rest of his life, Chisholm spent many years living in New Jersey and working as a life insurance agent. Still, even with a desk job, he wrote nearly 1,200 poems throughout his life, including several published hymns.

Chisholm explained toward the end of his life, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

Just think, with each new day, God gives us the chance to prove His faithfulness. And throughout history, He’s never once been proven wrong, for His mercies are new every morning, no matter what.


#2

A Glass Of Milk

Once, there was a poor boy who made a living by selling various objects from door to door. This was the way he earned money to pay for his school.

One day, as he was walking from house to house as usual, he felt very hungry and weak. He felt that he couldn’t walk even a few steps. He decided to ask for food at a house. He knocked on the door and was stunned to see a beautiful young girl open the door. With much hesitation, he asked the girl for a glass of water.

The young girl understood his condition and offered him a huge glass of milk. With an astonished look, the boy drank the milk very slowly.

“How much do I owe you for this milk?” he asked her.

The girl replied, “I do not want any money for this.”

The boy thanked the girl from the bottom of his heart and left the place.

Years passed by.

The young girl grew up. In her youth, unfortunately, she fell ill and was diagnosed with the rarest kind of nervous disorder. Many experienced doctors were baffled at her condition, and she was admitted in the city hospital with the most advanced facilities.

Dr. Kevin, a renowned neuro specialist was called in by the hospital to examine her. Even with his extraordinary expertise, Dr. Kevin found the girl’s illness very hard to cure. However, with perseverance and hard work that lasted months, he was finally able to get the disease under control. With careful medication and monitoring, the girl was completely cured in the end.

Everyone praised the doctor, but the girl was quite worried about how much the hospital bill would come to. Her family had just a little money kept away in the bank, which was by no means enough to pay for such a long treatment in that reputed hospital.

The girl was given the hospital bill finally. With trembling hands, she opened it. She was stunned to see that the bill had been crossed out and cancelled, and there was a note underneath signed by Dr. Kevin.

“Bill paid years ago with a glass of milk!”

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#3

Covered By The Cloud

It was a morning in early March, 1945, a clear and sunny day. I was 24 years old and a member of the U.S. Army’s 35th Infantry Division, 137th Infantry Company I.

Along with several other companies of American troops, we were making our way through dense woods, towards the Rhine River in the German Rhineland. Our objective was to reach and take the town of Ossenberg, where a factory was producing gunpowder and other products for use in the war.

For hours we had pressed through an unrelenting thicket. Shortly after midday word was passed that there was a clearing ahead. At last, we thought, the going would be easier. but then we approached a large stone house, behind which huddled a handful of wounded, bleeding soldiers whohad tried to cross the clearing and failed.

Before us stretched at least 200 yards of open ground, bordered on the far side by more thick woods. As the first of us appeared on the edge of the clearing there was an angry rat-tat-tat and a ferocious volley of bullets sent soil spinning as far as we could see. Three nests of German machine guns, spaced 50 yards apart and protected by the crest of a small hill to the left, were firing across the field. As we got our bearings it was determined that the machine guns were so well placed that our weapons couldn’t reach them.

To cross that field meant suicide. Yet, we had no choice. The Germans had blockaded every other route into the town. In order to move on and secure a victory, we had to move forward.

I slumped against a tree, appalled at the grim situation. I thought of home, of my wife and my 5-month old son. I had kissed him good-bye just after he was born. I thought that I might never see my family again, and the possibility was overwhelming.

I dropped to my knees. “God,” I pleaded desperately, “You’ve got to do something. Please do something.”

Moments later the order was given to advance. Grasping my M-1 rifle, I go to my feet and started forward. After reaching the edge of the clearing I took a deep breath. But just before I stepped out from cover, I glanced to the left.

I stopped and stared in amazement.

A white cloud – a long fluffy white cloud – had appeared out of nowhere. It dropped from over the trees and covered the area. The Germans’ line of fire was obscured by the thick foggy mist.

All of us bolted into the clearing and raced for our lives. The only sounds were of combat boots thudding against the soft earth as men dashed into the clearing, scrambling to reach the safety of the other side before the mist lifted. With each step the woods opposite came closer and closer.
I was almost across! My pulse pounding in my ears, I lunged into the thicket and threw myself behind a tree.

I turned and watched as other soldiers following me dove frantically into the woods, some carrying and dragging the wounded. This has to be God’s doing, I thought. The instant the last man reached safety, the cloud vanished! The day was again bright and clear.

The enemy, apparently thinking we were still pinned down behind the stone house on the other side, must have radioed their artillery. Minutes later the building was blown to bits but our company was safe and we quickly moved on.

We reached Ossenberg and went on to secure more areas for the Allies. But the image of that cloud was never far from my mind. I had seen the sort of smoke screens that were sometimes set off to obscure troop activity in such situations. That cloud had been different. It had appeared out of nowhere and saved our lives.

Two weeks later, as we bivouacked in eastern Germany, a letter arrived from my mother back in Dallas. I tore open the envelope eagerly. The letter contained words that sent a shiver down my spine.

“You remember Mrs. Tankersly from our church?” my mother wrote.

Who could forget her? I smiled. Everybody called Mrs. Tankersly the prayer warrior.

“Well,” continued Mom, “Mrs. Tankersly telephoned me one morning from the defense plant where she works. She said the Lord had awakened her the night before at one o’ clock and told her, 'Spencer January is in terrible trouble. Get up now and pray for him!”

My mother went on to explain that Mrs. Tankersly had interceded for me in prayer until six o’ clock the next morning, when she had to go to her job.“She told me the last thing she prayed before getting off her knees was this” – “Lord, whatever danger Spencer is in, just cover him with a cloud!”

I sat there for a long time holding the letter in my trembling hand. My mind raced, quickly calculating. Yes, the hours Mrs. Tankersly was praying would indeed have corresponded to the time we were approaching the clearing. With a seven-hour time difference, her prayer for a cloud would have been uttered at one o’clock, the exact time Company I was getting ready to cross the clearing.

From that moment on, I intensified my prayer life. For the past 52 years I have gotten up early every morning to pray for others. I am convinced there is no substitute for the power of prayer and its ability to comfort and sustain others, even those facing the valley of the shadow of death.

-Spencer January-


#4

We are never alone

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forrest…blindfolded…and leaves him….alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night…and not take off the blindfold until the ray of sun shines through it.

He is all by himself. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night…he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience. Each boy must come into his own manhood.

The boy was terrified…could hear all kinds of noise…

Beasts were all around him. Maybe even some human would hurt him. The wind blew the grass and earth… and it shook his stump.

But he sat stoically…never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could be a man.

Finally, after a horrific night…the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.

It was then that he saw his father…sitting on the stump next to him…at watch…the entire night.

We are never truly alone. Even when we do not know it, our family and friends are watching out for us…sitting on a stump beside us.


#5

A Child’s Prayer

Dear God, are You still awake?
Have You got a minute or two?

You’re pretty good at understanding,
And I really need to talk to You.

You see, Mommy came to tuck me in,
Like she does every night.
I was trying to play a trick on her,
Since she can’t see without the light.

I was going to close my eyes
And pretend to be asleep.
But when I heard her crying,
I didn’t dare let out a peep.

She started talking to you, God.
Did You hear the things she said?
Could You hear what she was saying
As she stood beside my bed?

Why would Mommy be so sad?
I wondered just what I had done,
And then I began to remember
it all As she named them one by one…

This morning we worked in the garden,
But, honest, I really didn’t know
That if I picked all those little yellow blooms
The tomatoes wouldn’t grow!

Charlie and I were trying to be helpers,
'Cause I know that’s what Mommy needs,
But I don’t think she was too happy with us
when we pulled up carrots instead of weeds.

Mommy said we should stop for the day,
she decided we had helped quite enough.
I sure had worked up an appetite…
I didn’t know gardening was so tough!

we had peanut-butter and jelly for lunch
and I shared too much, I guess…
But I didn’t realize until I was done
that Charlie had made such a mess.

Mommy said she needed a nap,
she had one of her headaches today.
She told me to keep an eye on my sister
and find something quiet to play.

Well, God, do You remember all those curls
you gave my little sister Jenny?
We played barber shop…very quietly…
and now, well, she doesn’t have any.

Boy, was Mommy mad at me…
I had to go sit on my bed.
She said never to cut “people hair” again.
I guess I’ll practice on Charlie instead.

We sat and watched poor old Albert,
I just knew he must be so bored
Going round and round
in the same place all day,
Wouldn’t You think so, Lord?

I didn’t think it would hurt
to let him out for a while.
I mean, mice need exercise, too.
By the way, have You seen Albert lately?
He’s been sort of missing since two.

Mommy sent us outside for the rest of the day.
She said we needed fresh air.
But when Daddy came home she told him
he was trying to get something out of her hair.

We thought Mommy needed cheering up,
so we decided to brighten her day.
But, God, did You see the look on her face
When we gave her that pretty bouquet?

We had gotten a little bit dirty,
so Mommy said to get in the tub.
“Use soap this time,” she reminded,
“and please don’t forget to scrub.”

Charlie didn’t like the water too much,
but I lathered up real good.
I knew Mommy would be so proud of me
For cleaning up like I should.

I went downstairs to the table,
but during dinner it started to rain…
I’d forgotten to turn off the water, it seems,
and I hadn’t unplugged the drain!

I decided right then it was just about time
to start getting ready for bed,
When Mommy said, "It’s sure been a long day,
" And her face began turning all red.

I lay there listening to Mommy
as she told You about our day.
I thought about all of the things I had done
and I wondered what I should say.

I was just about to tell her
that I’d been awake all along,
And ask her to please forgive me
for all of those thing I’d done wrong.

When suddenly, I heard her whisper,
"God, forgive me for today…
For not being more understanding
when those problems came my way…

For not handling situations in the way
You wanted me to…for getting angry
and losing my temper,
Things I know You don’t want me to do.

And, God, please give me more patience,
Help me make it through another day,
I’ll do better tomorrow, I promise…
. In Jesus’ name I pray."

Wiping her eyes, she kissed me
and knelt here beside my bed.
She stroked my hair for a little while…"
I love you, precious," Mommy said.

She left the room without ever knowing
That I’d been awake all the time.
And God, could we make it our little secret?
You know, just Yours and mine?

I’m sorry I was so much trouble today,
I really didn’t mean to be…
Daddy says it’s tough being a kid sometimes,
but I think it’s harder on Mommy than me.

Well, goodnight, God. Thanks for listening.
It’s sure nice to know You’re there.
I feel so much better when I talk to You
'cause You always hear my prayer.

And I’ll do better tomorrow, I promise…
Just You wait and see!
I’ll try not to be so much trouble again,
But, God,
please give more patience to Mommy
…Just in case! Amen.


#6

School Phone Menu

You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

  • To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

  • To make excuses for why your child did not do his work - Press 2

  • To complain about what we do - Press 3

  • To swear at staff members - Press 4

  • To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

  • If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

  • If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

  • To request another teacher, for the third time this year - Press 8

  • To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

  • To complain about school lunches - Press 0

  • If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework and that it’s not all the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!


#7

Carrot, Egg, and Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see. “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.

She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.

However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however.

After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean?

The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.


#8

I Believe

I believe-

That we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe-

That no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a
while and, you must forgive them for that.

I believe-

That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I believe- That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe-

That it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe-

That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them

[b]I believe-

That you can keep going long after you can’t.[/b]

I believe-

That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe-

That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe-

That regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there
had better be something else to take its place.

I believe-

That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I believe-

That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe-

That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time!

I believe-

That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe-

That sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I believe-

That just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I believe-

That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve
learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I believe-

That it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe-

That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I believe-

That our background and circumstances may have influenced
who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe-

That just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other, And just
because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I believe-

That you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe-

That two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe-

That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.

I believe-

That even when you think you have no more to give, when a
friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I believe-

That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

[b]I believe-

That the people you care about most in life are the essence of life.
Tell them today how much you love them and what they mean to you.[/b]


#9

This is from today’s Sunil Bali Blog.

At the age of 21, Todd Rose was a high-school dropout struggling to support his wife and two small children. He was on state benefits and had worked his way through ten minimum wage jobs in two years.

image

Todd remembers his report cards at school which had a common thread and read, “He’s a little hyperactive and finds it difficult to fit in.”

One day when he was at a very low ebb, blaming his school and teachers for his misfortune, Todd’s father – who had worked his way up from tea boy and floor cleaner to mechanical engineer – gave him some life changing advice:

“I’ve lived with you for 21 years Todd. You’re not lazy or stupid. You’re just fine the way you are, you don’t need fixing . You just need to find something that really interests you and someone to teach it to you.” His dad’s words hit home so he enrolled in a series of human biology classes at his local college.

Todd found the psychology classes gripping, not least because he realized that school had not worked out because he was outside the range of the average, normal student and as such, not catered for.

The reality is that no one is actually completely average and has at least one skill or talent, be that as yet undeveloped, which is well above average.

In a world that has perpetuated the cult of the average and valued sameness, conformity is losing its grip on the reins as authenticity and exceptions rule.

There’s one thing that you’re a world champion at. No one does it better than you. You’re the best at being you. And when you’re being your best self, your world will transform from a round hole to the shape of your square peg.

Ps. Todd is now 42 years old and Professor of Education at Harvard.


#10

Dear H.F.Zombie: Much thanks!


#11

God is like…

BAYER ASPIRIN

He works miracles.

God is like…

a FORD

He’s got a better idea.

God is like…

COKE

He’s the real thing.

God is like…

HALLMARK CARDS

He cares enough to send His very best.

God is like…

TIDE

He gets the stains out that others leave behind.

God is like…

GENERAL ELECTRIC

He brings good things to life.

God is like…

SEARS

He has everything.

God is like…

ALKA-SELTZER

Try him, you’ll like Him.

God is like.

SCOTCH TAPE

You can’t see him, but you know He’s there.

God is like…

DELTA

He’s ready when you are.

God is like…

ALLSTATE

You’re in good hands with Him.

God is like…

VO-5 Hair Spray

He holds through all kinds of weather.

God is like…

DIAL SOAP

Aren’t you glad you have Him? Don’t you wish everybody did?

God is like…

the U.S. POST OFFICE

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.


#12

This came today, from the Copywriter Cafe newsletter. I’ll share the part that’s inspiriting, for this time of the year:

Have you ever received a gift out of the blue, at a moment in time when you needed a dash of hope?

I have.

One that stands out in my mind was Christmas Day, 2003.

My kids were at fun ages for Christmas - 7, 4, 3, and 8 months.

Thankfully they were young and hadn’t discovered TV commercials or shopping malls yet, because Christmas was going to be a little lean that year.

I was in between a good sales career I had left the previous year and the copywriting business I hadn’t discovered yet.

The bills were coming in faster than the income, and I was struggling to keep my head above water.

We were still dealing with hospital expenses from having three kids in four years.

And if it wasn’t a big car repair, there was always something we needed for the house, or the December property tax bill which seemed to go up every year.

Emida was staying home with the kids, which I was happy about.

So I was juggling three jobs to try to keep it all going: managing a third shift call center for a large regional bank, substitute teaching at the local high school during the day, and putting in about 10 hours a week at a nearby retail store.

Still, not quite enough to make ends meet.

The morning of December 25, I heard the door bell ring early, before any of us were up.

I knew it couldn’t be a solicitor on Christmas Day, so I threw on some clothes and went to the door.

There, on our door step, were four bags of wrapped gifts, one for each of our kids. No one in sight, either, so whoever dropped them off rang the bell and got out of there quickly.

Emida and I brought them in, without the kids seeing, and the new gifts more than doubled the bounty.

What amazed me was that every gift was labeled by name, and spot-on for that person.

Whoever it was obviously knew us well. They had spent a lot of time picking things out and wrapping them. And they had carefully planned their clandestine Christmas morning giveaway.

Needless to say, the kids had a blast opening all the Christmas presents. With each present opened, I was blown away by the thoughtfulness and generosity of our Secret Santa.

In fact, to this day, it remains a true Secret Santa. I never did find out who blessed us this way.

I have my suspicions. It might have been our next-door neighbors, Al and Lou Ann, though they never let on. It might have been someone from our church. Or someone I worked with.

In any case, it still stands as the most emotional gift I’ve ever received. Ever.

The memory conjures up the song lyrics…

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men

Good will, indeed.

I tell you this story for a few reasons:

  1. If you need some hope going into the new year, hang on. It gets better.

  2. If I can help you with anything - an encouraging word, some advice for building your business and making money, new ideas for a fresh start in 2019 - let me know.

  3. If you see someone else who needs a lift like I did 15 years ago, I can tell you this. A small act of kindness will be something they will probably never forget. You won’t either.


#13

A Little Boy’s Selfless Love

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a lovely little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare life threatening disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had somehow survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.


#14

#15
  • Thinking On Higher Plain

Henry Ford (1863-1947) once said, “thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few people engage in it.” Today I would like to share some thoughts with you on the important subject of “thinking” and I’ve titled this column “Thinking On A Higher Plane.” In the Bible you will find these words recorded in Proverbs 23:7a, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The Roman Emperor Marcus Arelius once said, “A man becomes what he thinks about all day long.” Back in 1957, the late Earl Nightingale wrote and recorded a motivational message titled “The Strangest Secret”, which became the only one of its kind to ever sell a million copies. The Strangest Secret is that “We Become What We Think About.” It was my good fortune to work personally with Mr. Nightingale for several years.

Yes, from King Solomon on down through the ages, the most successful writers, teachers and philosophers have all come to the same conclusion: It is the quality of our thinking that will ultimately determine the quality of our life. At this point, it might be in order to ask you some very pertinent questions. What do you think about most of the time? Is most of your thinking done on a higher plane? That is, do you reach for the stars in your thinking or is most of your thinking done in the gutter? The truth is, we have only to look about us to see where we are and to see what we have to see the fruits of our thinking.

For fear that I may be misunderstood, I want to make it very clear that we don’t have to be a religious person to desire a good, decent, honest and moral life. Sometimes we forget that the greatest have as citizens of this free country is the power to choose. Regardless of who we are or what we have done in the past, we can choose the quality or level of our own thinking. Isn’t it great to be able to say, “the past is gone” and I can’t do anything about it but from this point forward I’m going to improve my life by improving the quality of my thinking? As I said a moment ago, the choice is yours. What is so tragic for me to realize is that millions of people could have more and be much happier if they only knew it.

While its an individual thing, you may ask, “how do I go about it?” While it’s not easy, it’s very simple. Station a guard at the entrance of your mind. You must be very careful when you select the television programs you watch, the books and magazines you read and the people with whom you associate. In short, if we are to improve the quality of our thinking, we must be very selective as to where we get our information.

It took several years for me to come to the realization that if I’m going to improve my life, when a filthy program comes on T.V., or even the radio, I just turn it off Its a choice I make because I now realize what it will do to my thinking. How about you? Have you ever given any serious thought to this before? Remember please that “birds of a feather flock together” and you may have people tell you that it does not make any difference what you watch or read or who you spend your time with. But it does. We can trust the words of King Solomon here: “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”


#16

The Goose Story

Next
fall, when
you see Geese
heading South for
the Winter, flying along
in V formation, you might
consider what science has dis‐*
covered as to why they fly that way:
as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an
uplift for the bird immediately following. By
flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least
71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

The Rest Of The Story

http://socialwork.buffalo.edu/conten…tory-noyes.pdf


#17

The Story of Life

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be (possibly your roommate, neighbor, coworker, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger) but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart.

Everything happens for a reason.

Nothing happens by chance or by means of luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience help to create who you become. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious when you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.

Make every day count!

Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you. You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.


#18

Let’s Think Of Waves

How do flocking birds move in unison? | EarthSky.org


#19

A new year offers you 365 blank pages, write the most beautiful chapter of your life. Wish you a very very happy new year!

Here’s a small inspirational story for all of you, which will teach you one of the greatest lessons in life.

I went to the woods to have one last talk with God

“God”, I asked,

“Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”. His answer surprised me…

“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo ?

“Yes”, I replied.

“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.

I gave them light.I gave them water.The fern quickly grew from the earth.

Its brilliant green covered the floor.Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed.

But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.

And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed.

But I did not quit on the bamboo. He said.

“In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.But I would not quit.

In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.” He said.

“Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant…But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.

It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.I would not give any of my creations a challenge, it could not handle.”

He asked me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots”.

“I would not quit on the bamboo.I will never quit on you.”

“Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said.

”The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.

Yet they both make the forest beautiful.”

”Your time will come”, God said to me.

“You will rise high”.


#20

Why, after all, do — should — we become Christians?

Because we think God is going to love us more than he loves non-Christians, and will give us a ticket to eternity that he denies to them?

Because we think he’ll give us everything we want and solve our problems exactly the way we want him to?

No.

We become Christians because we can’t help becoming Christians — because we’ve fallen helplessly in love with what Jesus is about. We become Christians knowing that God loves non-Christians every bit as much as he loves us and knowing that in our baptismal covenant we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being.

We become Christians knowing that some of the most Christlike people in our society are atheists and that some people who do call themselves Christians have made the term a synonym for horrible things. We become Christians knowing what a lie it is to suggest that any of us is a model of Christian love.

We become Christians knowing that even if we’re sinful, God will love and forgive us — but precisely because we do know that, we struggle not to be sinful. And we struggle, and struggle, and struggle.

  • Bruce Bawer- (Stealing Jesus)