Important Words to ponder
Once, a woman visited a place where they make the world renowned Persian carpets. There she saw an old man, deftly working on a carpet and she went near him, expecting to see a wonderful pattern.
But she was disappointed to see an ugly design on that carpet. On seeing the disappointed look on her face, the old man looked at her and said, “Madam! This is the backside of the carpet. Look at the other side…” Saying so, he showed her the other side and she was amazed to see a beautiful and intricate design on the carpet.
Dear Friend! Likewise, you may fail to understand the works of God in your life. But, remember that once He completes His work in you, your life will be perfected to a beauty. So, don’t be frightened by the intimidating situations that are surrounding you!
Don’t be afraid of them saying, “What will happen to me?” The Lord Who rebuked the boisterous wind and the raging sea to be calm shall also still the boisterous winds and raging storms of your life to be calm. So, cheer up!
The 'Smile' project
The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.'
The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.
I did not move an inch... An overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.
As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.
He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm). Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.
I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'
I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.' We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.
We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it.
Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?' I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.
She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.
Too busy for a friend?
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.
Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. 'Really?' she heard whispered. 'I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!' and, 'I didn't know others liked me so much,' were most of the comments.
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.
The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. 'Were you Mark's math teacher?' he asked. She nodded: 'yes.' Then he said: 'Mark talked about you a lot.' After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.
We want to show you something,' his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket 'They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.'
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.
Thank you so much for doing that,' Mark's mother said. 'As you can see, Mark treasured it.'
All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, 'I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home.'
Chuck's wife said, 'Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.'
'I have mine too,' Marilyn said. 'It's in my diary'
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. 'I carry this with me at all times,' Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: 'I think we all saved our lists'
That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be.
So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.***
The Bag Boy
A business consultant was training more than 3000 employees of a mid-western grocery chain to approach their jobs with a goal of creating a memory for their customers. She stated that "this is what will distinguish your store from all others."
Johnny was a 19-year old bag boy that had down-syndrome. His first response to the consultant's suggestion was "I'm just a 'bag boy.'" Nevertheless, he went home and shared what the consultant said with his mother. They began to ponder the consultant's words about how he could create a memory for his customers. Johnny had a habit of collecting inspirational thoughts that he would often read. He decided he would begin printing these sayings and place one in each of the bags of his customers. When customers came through the line he would place the sayings in their bag and say, "I've included some of my favorite sayings in your bag in hopes it will encourage you today. Thanks for shopping with us."
After just a few weeks, an amazing thing began to happen. One day the store manager noticed that all the customers were lined up at only one cashier station when there were other stations open. He began to panic, thinking the other stations were broken. After further investigation he found this was not the case. Actually, customers wanted to come through Johnny's line in order to get his saying of the day.
One woman came up to the manager and said, "I used to come to the store only once a week, but now I come everyday!" Johnny's example spread to other departments in the store. The florist began giving a flower to each florist customer. The meat department put Snoopy stickers on each meat order with a special greeting. This one act by a bag boy changed the entire climate of the store.
The Good Hearted Farmer
There was a farmer who grew good corn which won him an award every year in the state fair.
One day a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours.
"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.
"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn."
Yes, friend this story beautifully explains that when we choose to live well, we must help others to live well. The Bible says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
When we do so then we shall live well and live in peace.
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.
"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.
"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.
Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up.
"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers.
In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.
Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup.
Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.
"How much?" asked the little boy.... "No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."
The world is full of people who need someone who understands.
The Desert Place
Author: Os Hillman
An ancient Arabian fable tells of three merchants who crossed the desert. In the daytime, they would pitch tents for shelter from the desert sun. When the stars came out, they would ride their camels in the cool of the night. At one point, the merchants crossed a dry riverbed under the stars.
"Halt!" said a voice from the darkness.
All three men jumped down from their camels and huddled in fear. "Who's there?" one of them said.
"Don't be afraid," said the voice in the dark. "I won't harm you if you do as I say. See those pebbles at your feet?"
By the dim starlight, the merchants saw thousands of pebbles in the riverbed."Each of you pick up a pebble and put it in your pocket."
The three merchants obeyed. Each took a pebble from the riverbed.
"Now leave this place," the voice said, "and don't stop until daybreak."
The merchants mounted up. One said, "What's this all about?"
"I will only say this," the voice replied. "In the morning, you will be happy and sad. Now, go!"
Baffled, the three merchants proceeded on their way. As they traveled, they wondered what the voice meant by saying that they would be both happy and sad. When morning came, the merchants stopped. Each man pulled the single pebble from his own pocket and saw that it sparkled in the morning sunlight. The "pebbles" were precious gems. One man had a ruby, another, an emerald, and the third, a sapphire. "Jewels!" one merchant said, his face shining with joy.
"Oh, no!" wailed the second. "There were thousands of jewels all over the riverbed! Each of us took only one! Why didn't we grab handfuls?" "Look!" shouted the third, pointing behind them. A desert wind had whipped up, erasing their tracks. "We can never find our way back!" The voice in the desert had spoken truly. The merchants were happy and sad. They had found wealth in the desert but they could have taken more!
This parable reminds us of the desert places that we will all go through our way to finding God’s will for our lives. God leads us out into the wilderness and invites us to fill our pockets with the riches of His wisdom and grace. Tragically, we pick up only a pebble or two. A day will come when we look back and feel happy for the riches we have found – and sad that we didn’t gather more.
Letters to the Editor
A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. 'I've gone for 30 years now,' he wrote, and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.'
This started a real controversy in the 'Letters to the Editor' column, much to the delight of the editor.
It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
'I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!'
When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment !
When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, 'Jesus , could you get that for me?'
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