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  • 1. A Butterfly
    • A man found a cocoon for a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly. What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God`s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Not only that, we could never fly.   
  • 2. A Life Worth Saving   
    • A man risked his life by swimming through the treacherous riptide to save a youngster being swept out to sea. After the child recovered from the harrowing experience, he said to the man, "Thank you for saving my life. The man looked into the little boy's eyes and said, "That's okay, kid. Just make sure your life was worth saving."
  • 3. An Obstacle In Your 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 king'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 laying 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.   
  • 4. Answered Prayers   
    • A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island. The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren. After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing. Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife would leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered. As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?" "My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them," the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything." "You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings." "Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?" "He prayed that all your prayers be answered." For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us.    
  • 5. Believe In Your Heart   
    • Believe in your heart that something wonderful is about to happen. Love your life. Believe in your own powers, and your own potential, and in your own innate goodness. Wake every morning with the awe of just being alive. Discover each day the magnificent, awesome beauty in the world. Explore and embrace life in yourself and in everyone you see each day. Reach within to find your own specialness. Amaze yourself and rouse those around you to the potential of each new day. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect; this is the essence of your humanity. Let those who love you help you. Trust enough to be able to take. Look with hope to the horizon of today, for today is all we truly have. Live this day well. Let a little sun out as well as in. Create your own rainbows. Be open to all your possibilities; all possibilities and Miracles. Always believe in Miracles.   
  • 6. Born To Fly  
    • I've been telling my dreams to the scare crow About the places that I'd like to see. I say, "Friend, do you think I'll ever get there?" But he just stands there smiling back at me. So I confess my sins to the preacher. About the love I've been praying to find. "Is there a brown eyed boy in my future?" And he says, "Girl, you've got nothing but time." But how do wait for heaven? And who has that much time? And how do you keep your feet on the ground, When you know that you were born, You were born to fly? My daddy, he's grounded like the oak tree. My momma, she's steady as the sun. Oh, you know I love my folks, but I keep staring down the road. Just looking for my one chance to run. Yeah, cause I will soar away like the blackbird. I will blow in the wind like a sea I will plant my heart in the garden of my dreams And I will grow up where I'll wander wild and free. But how do you wait for heaven? And who has that much time? And how do you keep your feet on the ground When you know you were born, You were born to fly?   
  • 7. Do You Believe   
    • One day a 6 year old girl was sitting in a classroom. The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children. The teacher asked a little boy: Tommy do you see the tree outside? TOMMY: Yes. TEACHER: Tommy, do you see the grass outside? TOMMY: Yes. TEACHER: Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky. TOMMY: Okay. (He returned a few minutes later) Yes, I saw the sky. TEACHER: Did you see God? TOMMY: No. TEACHER: That's my point. We can't see God because he isn't there. He doesn't exist. A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some questions. The teacher agreed and the little girl asked the boy: Tommy, do you see the tree outside? TOMMY: Yes. LITTLE GIRL: Tommy do you see the grass outside? TOMMY: Yessssss (getting tired of the questions by this time). LITTLE GIRL: Did you see the sky? TOMMY: Yessssss LITTLE GIRL: Tommy, do you see the teacher? TOMMY: Yes LITTLE GIRL: Do you see her brain? TOMMY: No LITTLE GIRL: Then according to what we were taught today in school, she must not have one! "FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT"   
  • 8. Eagles And Storms  
    •   Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When the storms of life come upon us - and all of us will experience them - we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us. We can allow God's power to lift us above them. God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives. We can soar above the storm. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them.       
  • 9. Focus For Life
    •    Whatever you dwell upon in your mind, you give power to. So of course it makes sense to focus on what you want rather than what you don't want. Yet there are many ways in which the things you don't want can sneak into your thinking. Worry and doubt focus your thinking on what you don't want. Rather than worrying about the bad things that might happen, direct your actions toward making positive things happen. Complaining can also get your mind sidetracked into thinking about what you don't want. What do you complain about? The things you don't like. Rather than complaining, take action. Action moves you toward what you do want. Anger is one more way to get your thinking negatively directed. Rather than getting angry about what you don't like, use that energy to give you determination for what you want to achieve. Keep your mind positively focused on the good things that life can offer. Those things will grow stronger and more abundant in your world.    
  • 10. How Poor Are We   
    • One day a father and his rich family took his son to a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" "Very good Dad!" replied his son. "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Yeah!" "And what did you learn?" The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon." When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless. His son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!" Our outlook on life depends on the way you look at things. What others may think as riches, others may want. The most important things in life are your friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude towards life. If you have these then you have everything!  
  • 11. If And When   
    • IF and WHEN were friends. Every week they met and had lunch. Their conversation usually centered on all the things they were going to achieve. They both had many dreams and they loved to talk about them. This particular Saturday when they met, WHEN sensed that IF was not in a great mood. As usual they sat at the table reserved for them and ordered their lunch. Once they placed their order, WHEN questioned IF. "IF what is wrong with you? You don't seem your usual cheery self?" IF looked at WHEN and replied, "I'm not sure, I just don't feel like I am making any progress. This last week I saw a course I wanted to take if only I had the time to take it." WHEN knew exactly how IF felt. "Yeah," replied WHEN, "I too saw a course and I am going to register when I get enough money together." WHEN then said, "well what about that new job you were going to apply for. You were so excited about it last week, did you apply?" IF responded, "If my computer didn't break down last week, I would have applied. But, my computer is not working, so I could not type my resume." "Don't worry about it IF, when you are ready another job will come through. I have been thinking about looking for another job also, but I will wait and when the weather gets nicer I will look then." WHEN then went on to tell IF about his week, hoping that it would cheer him up a bit. The man at the next table couldn't help overhear WHEN and IF. They both were talking about when this and if that, finally he couldn't take it anymore. "Excuse me gentlemen," the man said. IF and WHEN both looked at the man and wondered what he wanted. The man continued, "I'm sorry, but I couldn't help hearing your conversation. I think I know how you could solve your problems." IF smiled and thought, how could a complete stranger know how to solve all of their problems. If only he knew. When he realized the challenges they faced there was no way he could solve their problems! Curious, IF asked the gentleman, "How do you think you can solve our problems?" The gentleman smiled and said, "You only need listen to yourselves. It reminds me of an old proverb: 'If and When were planted, and Nothing grew'." IF and WHEN looked puzzled. The gentleman smiled and said, "Start counting how many times you use the words 'if' and 'when'. Rather than thinking 'if and when', start doing, take action, stop talking about 'if and when'." IF and WHEN both looked surprised, and suddenly realized that what the gentleman had said was so true. Both of them were guilty of thinking, acting and living their life for the "ifs and whens". The gentleman left and IF and WHEN's conversation changed. They made a pact that when they met for lunch next week, there would be no "ifs and whens"; they would only talk about what they accomplished.
  • 12. Life Is   
    • Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a gift - accept it. Life is an adventure - dare it. Life is a sorrow - overcome it. Life is a tragedy - face it. Life is a duty - perform it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a mystery - unfold it. Life is a song - sing it. Life is an opportunity - take it. Life is a journey - complete it. Life is a promise - fulfill it. Life is a beauty - praise it. Life is a struggle - fight it. Life is a goal - achieve it. Life is a puzzle - solve it. Life is eternal - believe it.     
  • 13. Love In The Home   
    • If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love, I am a housekeeper--not a homemaker. If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love, my children learn cleanliness--not godliness. Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys. Love is present through the trials. Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive. Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood. Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart. Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God's perfection of my child. As a mother, there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is love.    
  • 14. Nine Requisites For Contended Living   
    • 1. HEALTH enough to make work a pleasure. 2. WEALTH enough to support your needs. 3. STRENGTH to battle with difficulties and overcome them. 4. GRACE enough to confess your sins and forsake them. 5. PATIENCE enough to toil until some good is accomplished. 6. CHARITY enough to see some good in your neighbor. 7. LOVE enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. 8. FAITH enough to make real the things of God. 9. HOPE enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.
  • 15. Our Lives  
    •   A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the $20 dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well", he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson", he said, "No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless.... and especially to those who love you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or whom we know, but by WHO WE ARE.    
  • 16. Priceless Things   
    • Life holds so many priceless things. The falling rain, the wind that sings. Each star on a high, a big full moon. And sunbeams dancing in your room. The river as it rushes on. A sunset when day is gone. No wealth can buy a mountain tall. These priceless things belong to all. An autumn tree lends beauty rare. With leaves piled deep most everywhere. As nature wears a glowing smile. To make each day a day worthwhile. Could anything be quite as dear? As laughing children that we hear? The gift of friendship that is ours? The miracle of growing flowers? Each magic moment, treasured time These priceless gifts are Yours and mine.   
  • 17. Stopped By A Brick   
    • About ten years ago, a young and very successful executive named Josh was traveling down a Chicago neighborhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his sleek, black, 12-cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only two months old. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and -- WHUMP! -- it smashed into the Jag's shiny black side door! SCREECH...!!!! Brakes slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. Josh jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car. He shouted at the kid, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!" Building up a head of steam, he went on. "That's my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?" "Please, mister, please...I'm sorry! I didn't know what else to do!" pleaded the youngster. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop!" Tears were dripping down the boy's chin as he pointed around the parked car. "It's my brother, Mister," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me." Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He then watched the younger brother push him down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12-cylinder Jaguar XKE - a long and slow walk. Josh never did fix the side door of his Jaguar. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention. ---- What a great story! At times in our lives, we tend to become so wrapped up in other things. We become focused on ourselves or our job we do not realize there are others around us that need our help. We can react in a negative way to a situation without fully realizing or taking the time to look at the other persons situation, or to take the time to find out the reason the other person has taken the action that they did.   
  • 18. Struggle A Little   
    • A man found a cocoon of a butterfly, that he brought home. One day a small opening appeared he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours. It struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but, it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly, he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and the body would contract. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly. The man acted with well-intentioned kindness but he didn't understand the consequences. The restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get through the tiny opening, were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been and we could never fly So the next time you are faced with an obstacle, a challenge, or a problem, remember the butterfly. Struggle a little - then fly!    
  • 19. The Emperor And The Seed   
    • An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!" One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try." When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"     
  • 20. The Emperor And The Seed   
    • If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory. If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy. If you plant patience, you will reap improvements. If you plant faith, you will reap miracles. But If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust. If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness. If you plant pride, you will reap destruction. If you plant envy, you will reap trouble. If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation. If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation. If you plant greed, you will reap loss. If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies. If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles. If you plant sin, you will reap guilt. So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow, The seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better, your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today.
  • 21. The Power of Words   
    • A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time. This story gives us thoughts to think about: 1. An encouraging word to someone who is down can encourage them to achieve their goal. 2. A destructive word to someone who is down can have negative effects. Be careful of what you say. The quote below was sent to me by Master Mark Russell. His quote describes "words" very accurately: "Words: The Snow may look smooth and soft, but the rocks underneath are sharp!" One last point, Are your words encouraging?  
  • 22. The Trouble Tree   
    • The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farm house had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire had caused him to miss an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pick-up truck refused to start. As I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. When we arrived he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked to the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles; he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed by the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. "Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, they don't belong in the house with my wife and children. So, I just hang them on the tree when I come home in the evening and then I just pick them up again in the morning." "Funny thing, though," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remembered hanging there the night before."
  • 23. What Goes Around   
    • His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of." And that he did. Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, he graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill. Someone once said: "What goes around comes around." Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching. Sing like nobody's listening. Live like it's Heaven on Earth.  
  • 24. Dreams   
    • The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that that lit up her entire being. She said, "Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked. She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel." "No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and share a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know." As we laughed she cleared her throat and began: "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. "You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dean and don't even know it!"
  • 25. Dreams
    • "There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change." "Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets." She concluded her speech by courageously singing The Rose. She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the years end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be. If you read this, please send this peaceful word of advise to your fiends and family. We send these words in loving memory of ROSE. Remember, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
  • 26. Fisherman   
    • The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied "only a little while". The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?" The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor." The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise." The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?" To which the American replied, "15-20 years." "But what then, senor?" The American laughed and said that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions. "Millions, senor? Then what?" The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar."   
  • 27. Fruits Of The Spirit   
    • It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose. I choose love... No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness, I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves. I choose joy... I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical... the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God. I choose peace... I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live. I choose patience... I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complaining that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage. I choose kindness... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me. I choose goodness... I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness. I choose faithfulness... Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My loved ones will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their parent will not come home. I choose gentleness... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. I choose self-control... I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then when this day is done, I will place my
  • 28. Wanted To Change The World  
    • When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world
  • 29. I've Learned   
    • I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it may be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles a rainy day and 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 mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually 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.
  • 30. Life Is A Do-It-Yourself Project   
    • An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he wanted to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you." What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well. So it is with us. If we build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently. Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitudes and the choices you make today will be your life tomorrow, build it wisely.    
  • 31. May This Encourage You, Always   
    • Don't spend major time with minor people. If there are people in your life who continually disappoint you, break promises, stomp on your dreams, are too judgmental, have different values and don't have your back during difficult times...that is not friendship. To have a friend, be a friend. Sometimes in life as you grow, your friends will either grow or go. Surround yourself with people who reflect values, goals interests and lifestyles. When I think of any of my successes, I am thankful to God from whom all blessings flow, and to my family and friends who enrich my life. Over the years my phone book has changed because I changed, for the better. At first, you think you're going to be alone, but after awhile, new people show up in your life that make it so much sweeter and easier to endure. Remember what your elders used to say, "Birds of a feather flock together. If you're an eagle, don't hang around chickens: Chickens can't fly!"
  • 32. On The Wings Of A Prayer   
    • Just close your eyes and open your heart, And feel your worries and cares depart. Just yield yourself to the Father above, And let Him hold you secure in His love. For life on earth grows more involved, With endless problems that can't be solved. But God only ask us to do our best, Then He will take over and finish the rest. So when you are tired, discouraged and blue, There is always one door that is open to you. And that is the door to The House of Prayer, And you'll find God waiting to meet you there. And The House of Prayer is no further away, Than the quiet spot where you kneel and pray. For the heart is a temple when God is there, As we place ourselves in His loving care. And He hears every prayer and answers each one, When we Pray in His name - Thy will be done. The burdens that seemed too heavy to bear, Are lifted away on the wings of a prayer.
  • 33. Perspectives   
    • One day a father and his rich family took his young son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" Very good, Dad!" "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Yeah!" "And what did you learn?" The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon. When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless. His son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are!" Isn't it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude toward life, you've got everything! You can't buy any of these things. You can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing!      
  • 34. Sometimes And Always   
    • Sometimes occasionally goes by the rules but mostly does his own thing. He is more worried about being everyone's friend than doing his school work. He gets into trouble a lot but managed to charm his way through it. His parents have gone to school a lot to have parent teacher conferences. Always is a boy who always goes by the book, never breaks the rules and is never in trouble. He always pleased his family and friends and never let them down. He is usually stressed out and gets headaches and stomach aches from stress. Always became very ill one day and had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctors were baffled at what could be wrong with him. Many tests were run and in the end they were inconclusive. He was released and went home only to be stressed some more about missing school and possibly letting everyone down if he received a grade less than an A. Now sometimes was doing poorly in school and he knew it. He decided that he would just do what he could to get by, he thought " Why should I stress out look what happened to Always." Well Always was having the same thoughts " Why should I stress and make myself sick, sometimes gets by ok" and at that time he started missing school and just barely got passing grades. Their parents decided to sit the boys down and talk to them and tell them that they just need to do their best and that is all that can be asked of them. They do not need to stress and get ill but also do not slack off and get failing grades. Their parents just wanted them to know that whatever they did they would be proud of them as long as they did their best. Finally, Sometimes spoke up and said " You mean even if we don't do well all the time that you will still love us and be proud of us ?? " The parents answered the question, "yes we will love you , ALWAYS !!!!" The moral is, do your best at whatever you do that is all that can be expected of you and you will turn out just fine your parents will love you no matter what.   
  • 35. Stronger Than I Am   
    • Things around here haven't changed much. It's still pretty much the same stuff Day after day. The only thing that keeps me going Seems to be our baby girl I'm trying to raise. She's my life, my morning angel. Always seems to find the rainbow After the rain. Lately, she's so busy growing I don't even think she knows you've gone away. She finally learned to say good-bye And she's sleeping through the night. She don't wake up crying. And she's walking on her own. She don't need no one holding to her hand. And I hate to admit, she's stronger than I am. She ain't cracking under pressure. First one step and then another She goes along. And if she falls and skins her knee, She cries a while then smiles at me And just goes on. So many things that she can teach me. Full of life and so completely innocent. She stills says she loves her daddy Goes on just like nothing happened. Forgives and forgets. She's just like her old man, She's stronger than I am...    
  • 36. The Boy And A Starfish   
    • One day an old man was walking along the beach in the early morning and noticed the tide had washed thousands of starfish up on the shore. Up ahead in the distance he spotted a boy who appeared to be gathering up the starfish and one by one tossing them back into the ocean. He approached the boy and asked him why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time. The boy replied, "If these starfish are left out here like this they will bake in the sun, and by this afternoon they will all be dead." The old man gazed out as far as he could see and responded, "But, there must be hundreds of miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly rescue all of them. What difference is throwing a few back going to make anyway?" The boy then held up the starfish he had in his hand and replied, "It's sure going to make a lot of difference to this one!"  
  • 37. Thank You
    • Lakshmi Narayana