Tag Archives: concern

Encouraging Stories

 

images (2)images (3)

 
“THE HAPPIEST OF PEOPLE DON’T NECESSARILY HAVE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING; THEY JUST MAKE THE MOST OF EVERYTHING THAT COMES ALONG THEIR WAY”.


Encouragement

TWO MEN, BOTH SERIOUSLY ILL, OCCUPIED THE SAME HOSPITAL ROOM. ONE MAN WAS ALLOWED TO SIT UP IN HIS BED FOR AN HOUR EACH AFTERNOON TO HELP DRAIN THE FLUID FROM HIS LUNGS. HIS BED WAS NEXT TO THE ROOM’S ONLY WINDOW. THE OTHER MAN HAD TO SPEND ALL HIS TIME FLAT ON HIS BACK. 

THE MEN TALKED FOR HOURS ON END. THEY SPOKE OF THEIR WIVES AND FAMILIES, THEIR HOMES, THEIR JOBS, THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN THE MILITARY SERVICE, WHERE THEY HAD BEEN ON VACATION.

EVERY AFTERNOON WHEN THE MAN IN THE BED BY THE WINDOW COULD SIT UP, HE WOULD PASS THE TIME BY DESCRIBING TO HIS ROOMMATE ALL THE THINGS HE COULD SEE OUTSIDE THE WINDOW.

THE MAN IN THE OTHER BED BEGAN TO LIVE FOR THOSE ONE HOUR PERIODS WHERE HIS WORLD WOULD BE BROADENED AND ENLIVENED BY ALL THE ACTIVITY AND COLOR OF THE WORLD OUTSIDE.

THE WINDOW OVERLOOKED A PARK WITH A LOVELY LAKE. DUCKS AND SWANS PLAYED ON THE WATER WHILE CHILDREN SAILED THEIR MODEL BOATS. PEOPLE WALKING ARM IN ARM AMIDST FLOWERS OF EVERY COLOR AND A FINE VIEW OF THE CITY SKYLINE COULD BE SEEN IN THE DISTANCE.

AS THE MAN BY THE WINDOW DESCRIBED ALL THIS IN EXQUISITE DETAIL, THE MAN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM WOULD CLOSE HIS EYES AND IMAGINE THE PICTURESQUE SCENE.

ONE WARM AFTERNOON THE MAN BY THE WINDOW DESCRIBED A PARADE PASSING BY.

ALTHOUGH THE OTHER MAN COULDN’T HEAR THE BAND – HE COULD SEE IT. IN HIS MIND’S EYE AS THE GENTLEMAN BY THE WINDOW PORTRAYED IT WITH DESCRIPTIVE WORDS.

DAYS AND WEEKS PASSED.

ONE MORNING, THE DAY NURSE ARRIVED TO BRING WATER FOR THEIR BATHS ONLY TO FIND THE LIFELESS BODY OF THE MAN BY THE WINDOW, WHO HAD DIED PEACEFULLY IN HIS SLEEP. SHE WAS SADDENED AND CALLED THE HOSPITAL ATTENDANTS TO TAKE THE BODY AWAY.

AS SOON AS IT SEEMED APPROPRIATE, THE OTHER MAN ASKED IF HE COULD BE MOVED NEXT TO THE WINDOW. THE NURSE WAS HAPPY TO MAKE THE SWITCH, AND AFTER MAKING SURE HE WAS COMFORTABLE, SHE LEFT HIM ALONE.

SLOWLY, PAINFULLY, HE PROPPED HIMSELF UP ON ONE ELBOW TO TAKE HIS FIRST LOOK AT THE REAL WORLD OUTSIDE.

HE STRAINED TO SLOWLY TURN TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW BESIDE THE BED.

IT FACED A BLANK WALL. THE MAN ASKED THE NURSE WHAT COULD HAVE COMPELLED HIS DECEASED ROOMMATE WHO HAD DESCRIBED SUCH WONDERFUL THINGS OUTSIDE THIS WINDOW.

THE NURSE RESPONDED THAT THE MAN WAS BLIND AND COULD NOT EVEN SEE THE WALL. SHE SAID, “PERHAPS HE JUST WANTED TO ENCOURAGE YOU.”

AS THE MAN SMILED, HE TURNED TO THE NURSE TO SAY HOW BLESSED HE WAS TO HAVE KNOWN HIM, AND HOW CONFIDENT HE WAS TO GET BETTER NOW, AND SO HE DID…

“THERE IS TREMENDOUS HAPPINESS IN MAKING OTHERS HAPPY, IN SPITE OF OUR OWN SITUATIONS. IF YOU WANT TO FEEL RICH, JUST COUNT ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE THAT MONEY CAN’T BUY”!

From: Inspiringstories.com.

 

The Park Bench

BE A LIGHT TO OTHERS AND YOU WONT STUMBLE ON YOUR OWN PATH.

STORY

THE PARK BENCH WAS DESERTED AS I SAT DOWN TO READ BENEATH THE LONG, STRAGGLY BRANCHES OF AN OLD WILLOW TREE.  DISILLUSIONED BY LIFE WITH GOOD REASON TO FROWN, FOR THE WORLD WAS INTENT ON DRAGGING ME DOWN.

AND IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH TO RUIN MY DAY, A YOUNG BOY OUT OF BREATH APPROACHED ME, ALL TIRED FROM PLAY.  HE STOOD RIGHT BEFORE ME WITH HIS HEAD TILTED DOWN AND SAID WITH GREAT EXCITEMENT, “LOOK WHAT I FOUND!”

IN HIS HAND WAS A FLOWER, AND WHAT A PITIFUL SIGHT, WITH ITS PETALS ALL WORN – NOT ENOUGH RAIN, OR TOO LITTLE LIGHT.  WANTING HIM TO TAKE HIS DEAD FLOWER AND GO OFF TO PLAY, I FAKED A SMALL SMILE AND THEN SHIFTED AWAY.

BUT INSTEAD OF RETREATING HE SAT NEXT TO MY SIDE AND PLACED THE FLOWER TO HIS NOSE AND DECLARED WITH OVERACTED SURPRISE, “IT SURE SMELLS PRETTY AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL, TOO. THAT’S WHY I PICKED IT; HERE, IT’S FOR YOU.”  THE WEED BEFORE ME WAS DYING OR DEAD.  NOT VIBRANT OF COLORS: ORANGE, YELLOW OR RED.

BUT I KNEW I MUST TAKE IT, OR HE MIGHT NEVER LEAVE.  SO I REACHED FOR THE FLOWER, AND REPLIED,  “JUST WHAT I NEED.”  BUT INSTEAD OF HIM PLACING THE FLOWER IN MY HAND, HE HELD IT MID-AIR WITHOUT REASON OR PLAN.

IT WAS THEN THAT I NOTICED FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME THAT WEED-TOTING BOY COULD NOT SEE: HE WAS BLIND.

I HEARD MY VOICE QUIVER; TEARS SHONE IN THE SUN AS I THANKED HIM FOR PICKING THE VERY BEST ONE.  “YOU’RE WELCOME,”  HE SMILED, AND THEN RAN OFF TO PLAY, UNAWARE OF THE IMPACT HE’D HAD ON MY DAY.

I SAT THERE AND WONDERED HOW HE MANAGED TO SEE A SELF-PITYING PERSON BENEATH AN OLD WILLOW TREE. HOW DID HE KNOW OF MY SELF-INDULGED PLIGHT? PERHAPS FROM HIS HEART, HE’D BEEN BLESSED WITH TRUE SIGHT.

THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLIND CHILD, AT LAST I COULD SEE THE PROBLEM WAS NOT WITH THE WORLD; THE PROBLEM WAS ME.  AND FOR ALL OF THOSE TIMES I MYSELF HAD BEEN BLIND, I VOWED TO SEE THE BEAUTY IN LIFE, AND APPRECIATE EVERY SECOND THAT’S MINE.

AND THEN I HELD THAT WILTED FLOWER UP TO MY NOSE AND BREATHED IN THE FRAGRANCE OF A BEAUTIFUL ROSE AND SMILED AS I WATCHED THAT YOUNG BOY, ANOTHER WEED IN HIS HAND, ABOUT TO CHANGE THE LIFE OF ANOTHER UNSUSPECTING INDIVIDUAL.

From: Inspiringstories.com.

Compassion’s Power

images (22)images (23)

Simposious offers a devotional message from: Our Daily Bread.

The Power Of Compassion

 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench.
Bible in a Year:

Francis Schaeffer, author and Christian apologist, struggled to spell words correctly because of dyslexia. At the college he attended, spelling errors lowered the grade on all written assignments. During his first year, a professor told Schaeffer, “This is the best philosophy paper I’ve ever read, but it’s the worst spelling. What am I going to do? I can’t pass you.”

Francis replied, “Sir, I could never spell. Could you please just read what I’m saying and not worry about the spelling?”

After a long pause, the professor replied, “You know, Mr. Schaeffer, I think we’ll do that.” His wise, compassionate response encouraged a gifted young man who would later help many of the searching generation during the 1960s and 70s to find their way to faith in Christ.

Isaiah said of the promised Messiah, “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth” (Isa. 42:3). The image is of a gentle, yet powerful Person who sets prisoners free and encourages those who are fainthearted and tempted to despair.

Jesus came to free us from sin, not to condemn us for our condition. Today, He offers salvation and encouragement to all who turn to Him.

No condemnation now I dread,
I am my Lord’s and He is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine. —Wesley
When we come to Christ in our brokenness, He makes us whole.
Source: Our Daily Bread.

Father and Daughter

 

imagesimagesimagesimages

A True Story — by Ronda Rich

“Funny, the things you learn when you tuck manners away and allow yourself to eavesdrop.

Mary Noble and I slid into the ancient red leather and steel booth of a diner in Birmingham and placed our breakfast order.

As we poured cream into steaming black coffee, we heard the shrilling ring of the telephone at the cash register.

“Diner,” answered the aging man with silver hair and loose skin that hung in folds around his neck.

He answered briskly but quicker than you could say “eggs over easy,” his voice melted like marshmallows dropped into hot chocolate. “Oh, hey honey.”

That’s what caught our attention. We hushed, raised our eyebrows and leaned closer to eavesdrop better.

“Where are you?” He waited. “You didn’t forget your camera, did you?” Another pause. “Be sure to put it in the basket at airport security. Don’t walk through the detector with it. Then, don’t forget it. You’ve got your money, right?” Another pause. “OK, sweetheart. Call me first thing so I’ll know you’re all right.”

He smiled. “I love you. Be careful. Bye, sweetheart.”

Really, I don’t know how we knew, but somehow we reckoned it was his daughter. Women’s intuition, I guess. Though, he did seem too old to have a young daughter that he would be talking to like that. He hung up the phone. We smiled sentimentally like women will do because conversations like that touch our hearts.

“Isn’t that sweet?” I asked.

Mary Noble nodded. She turned around, craning her neck to look at the man who was returning to the morning newspaper in the first booth. Then, she sold us out.

“That must have been your daughter. It was so sweet.”

He chuckled slightly and blushed. “Yeah, that was my girl.”

“It’s wonderful to hear a father talk like that,” I remarked.

He put the newspaper down. “She’s 50 years old.” Before that comment could stun us, he continued. “She’s got MS (multiple sclerosis). It hasn’t progressed much in the past five years. She’s going to Washington, D.C.” He looked out the large plate glass window, studying the morning sunlight that dappled the trees and cars parked along the street. He waited a long moment before speaking again.

“I love that girl so. She’s her mama made over.” He shook his head slowly.

That scene hangs with me. In a little Alabama diner on a quiet, tree-lined street, we discovered a father unashamed to say “I love you” to a daughter who was half a century old. And, not embarrassed to say it loud enough for the eager ears of strangers.

Funny, the things that will warm your heart when you tuck your manners away long enough to eavesdrop.” A True Story by: Donna Rich. Inspire 21.com.

Give Time To Our Family

 

images (88)images (95)

images (96)images (97)

Give time to our family

by STEPHEN

“After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”(Moral Stories, by: Stephen, Give Time To Our Family).

Combating Depression

 

images (61)images (62)TR_Pr12__27_11_09_-714woman_in_depression

Combating Depression

Twelve psychological tips to overcome feeling depressed
Published on June 21, 2012 by Dr. Bill Knaus, Ed.D. in Science and Sensibility

You can medically manage depression, but don’t ignore psychological interventions for combating depression and preventing a recurrence. Examine this sample of 12 psychological and natural ideas for getting relief from depression. In the end, they may prove highly effective in overcoming depression now, and in reducing the risk of depression coming back.

1. Depression is a universally occurring, undesirable and normally correctable condition. It has a long history.  You can find examples of depression in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writings. Egyptian solutions included travel and dance. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek father of medicine, used diet and exercise (possibly talking it out) as a first line of defense against depression. Both the Egyptians and early Greeks showed tolerance for people with depression.

2. Depression is nothing to ignore…as if you could. Depression is different from a down day or sadness. Marked by a dark and durable mood, depressions may come with depressing thoughts, fatigue, sleep problems, and sometime unexplained medical symptoms. If serious enough, depression can have a devastating effect on the general quality of your life. This doesn’t have to be. Get a good diagnosis for the type of depression that you are experiencing. Identify ways to address the distinctiveness of that depression.

3. Depression is a highly correctable condition. Tolerance for depression and activities as remedies for depression, are as viable today as they were in ancient Egypt and Greece. Change is normally a byproduct of taking corrective actions first. However, a prime impediment to overcoming depression…is depression itself.  You may have to be patient with your pace of change.

4. You may approach some forms of depression from different angles. For example, light therapy may help some with seasonal affective disorders.  Depressive thinking cuts across all forms of depression. Combatting it can lead to relief and to preventing depression from coming back.

5.  If you were not vulnerable for depression, you wouldn’t have it. Even with a lower than average vulnerability for depression, serious stresses may bring it on. Blaming yourself for this vulnerability makes as much sense as dumping on yourself for mononucleosis or a broken leg. Although this vulnerability is not your fault, it is your responsibility to act to do and get better. Follow this non-judgmental approach to change and you are likely to feel better sooner.

6. In a depressed state of mind, you are likely to be absorbed in negative thoughts about how badly you feel and about the negative conditions surrounding your depression. This is a formula for making a bad situation worse.  Catch yourself in this line of thought, and you are in a position to make a radical shift toward objective self-observation. This is where you rationally think about your thinking and separate depressive beliefs from facts.

7. Depressive thoughts have recognizable cognitive signatures, such as helpless, hopeless, worthless, thinking. Each signature is vulnerable to an enlightened reason. Combating and correcting depressive thinking is an evidence-based remedy for depression. This method has been available for hundreds of years.

8. Depression’s negative sensations and mood are painful. You may catastrophize about how awful you feel. This layering a problem onto a problem increases your misery index. Accept your depressed mood for what it is, a depressed mood. Tolerance and acceptance for a depressed mood can feel blissful compared to focusing on how bad you feel and magnifying the feelings. How do you tolerate what you hate feeling?  Perhaps the same way you’d tolerate feeling sick with the flu. You might tell yourself that the feeling is what it is. Depression goes on longer than the flu, but not forever. It has a beginning, middle, and end.

9. By acting to gain freedom from depression, you can find yourself gaining traction. However, the type of activity makes the difference. Withdrawing is an activity. It may help maintain depression.  Engaging in concrete behavioral actions, such as physical exercise, may be as good as anything else that you can do. A simple-to-use activity schedule can be surprisingly effective. You schedule normal daily activities that are within your reach to do. You press yourself to do what is on your schedule. You follow these key activities with a suitable reward.

10. When depressed, you may feel so drawn into yourself that you don’t care about your relationships. Nevertheless, it is wise to be mindful of your relationships. Avoid complaining. Recall the empathy you once had about other’s feelings, and apply what you know. Make a special effort to avoid creating rips in your relationships. If someone tells you, just get over it, treat this comment as a misunderstanding of the tenacity of depression. Through your actions, demonstrate that you are taking steps to do and get better.

11. Here is a question to consider.  If you had, or know you could acquire, psychological tools to overcome depression, and to prevent depression from coming back, would you be willing to try them? Here is another: What activities are right for you that you can do? If you answer yes to the first question, and have some actions in mind for the second,  you may be a candidate for doing self-help exercises. In this quest, you’ll get further faster using evidence-based steps to combat depression.

12. A proactive psychological approach is not for everyone. Nevertheless, this can be surprisingly effective for a sub-group of people with various forms of depression.  There is one big potential benefit. If you act on your own behalf, it is hard to conclude that you are powerless to help yourself.”  Dr. Bill Knaus, Combating Depression, Science and Sensibility.