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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hang it on the Trouble Tree!


I hired a carpenter to help me restore an old farmhouse. He had a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of some branches with both hands. As he opened the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed 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, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So, I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again." Then he smiled and said, "Funny thing is, when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Measure Twice, Cut Once!

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, 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 over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked!

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow. So measure twice and cut once. Build wisely!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The mountain climber


There was a mountain climber who, desperate to conquer a mountain, initiated his climb after years of preparation. But he wanted the glory to himself, therefore, he went up alone. He started climbing and it was becoming later, and later. He did not prepare for camping, but decided to keep on going.

Soon it got dark. Night fell with heaviness at a very high altitude. Visibility was zero. Everything was black. There was no moon, and the stars were covered by clouds.

As he was climbing a ridge at about 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell. Falling rapidly he could only see blotches of darkness that passed. He felt a terrible sensation of being sucked in by gravity. He kept falling... and in those anguishing moments good and bad memories passed through his mind. He thought certainly he would die.

But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half. Yes! Like any good mountain climber he had staked himself with a long rope tied to his waist. In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air he had no other choice but to shout: "HELP ME GOD. HELP ME!"

All of a sudden he heard a deep voice from heaven... "What do you want me to do?"

"SAVE ME."

"Do you REALLY think that I can save you?"

"OF COURSE, MY GOD."

"Then cut the rope that is holding you up."

There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man just held tighter to the rope. The rescue team says that the next day they found a frozen mountain climber hanging strongly to a rope...
TWO FEET OFF THE GROUND.

------------

How about you? How trusting are you in that rope? Why don't you let it go?
CUT THE ROPE AND SIMPLY TRUST IN HIM.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Adversity builds character


A man found a cocoon of 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 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 further. 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. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, 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 shriveled wings. It never was 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 tiny opening were 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 lives.

If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

I asked for Strength... and God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom... and God gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity... and God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage... and God gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love... and God gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favors... and God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted ... I received everything I needed!

Friday, October 5, 2007

If Tomorrow Never Comes

If I knew it would be the last time that
I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise.
I would video tape each action and word,
so that I could replay it back day by day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I would spare an extra minute or two
to stop and say "I love you",
instead of assuming, that you know I do.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I would be there to share your day,
but I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can just let this one slip away.

For surely there's a tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything right.

There will always be another day
to say our "I love you's"
and certainly there's another chance
to say our "anything I can do's?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much "I love you"
and hope you never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young and old alike,
and today may be the last chance you get
to hold your loved ones tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day.

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
whisper in their ear,
tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear.

Take the time to say "I'm sorry,"
please forgive me. "Thank you" or "it's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

"Count Your Blessings"


If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. All situations will be resolved... but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now

If you find yourself stuck in traffic; Don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; Think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; Think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; Think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; Remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; Thank you... you may have touched their life in ways you will never know!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Three Filters Test

In ancient Greece, 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 your friend?"

"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It"s called the Three Filters Test."

"Three Filters?"

"That's right," 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 Three Filters 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..."

"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..."

"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."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

This is why Socrates was a great philosopher & held in such high esteem.