Tag Archives: evaluation

Dropped Chalk

 



dropped chalk

From: Inspire21.com

There was a professor of philosophy there who

was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn’t exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone against him because of his reputation. At the end of every semester on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, “If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!”

In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, “Because anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can’t do ” it.” And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students would do nothing but stop and stare. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago there was a freshman who happened to enroll. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about his professor. He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought. Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith…he hoped.

Finally, the day came. The professor said, “If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!” The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, “You FOOL!!! If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!”

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken. The professor’s jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall.

The young man who had stood, proceeded to walk to the front of the room and shared his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God’s love for them and of His power through Jesus.

Unknown

ready or not

From: Our Daily Journey.org

Matthew 24:30-51
You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected (Matthew 24:44).

Look up John 14:1-4 to see where Jesus will take us when He returns.

Are you looking forward to Jesus’ second coming? Why, or why not? How should you respond when you hear someone predicting the day of Jesus’ return?

Recently, a thief propped a metal ladder against the back of a restaurant early one morning. He scaled the ladder, reached the roof, and entered the eatery hoping to plunder the place. He couldn’t have known, however, that the restaurant’s owner was waiting inside. The restaurant had been burglarized three times in previous weeks, and the owner refused to become a victim again.

Jesus told a similar story as He talked with His disciples. He said, “If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into” (Matthew 24:43). He continued by saying, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44).

Although no one except God knows the exact time when Jesus will come back from heaven (Matthew 24:36), the Bible encourages us to live watchfully. It also gives us clues about what will happen before Jesus returns: wars, natural disasters, and persecution will escalate, and false religious leaders will infest the world (Matthew 24:7-923-24).

Despite these events, we don’t have to cower as we watch and wait (Romans 13:11-14). Rather, we can joyfully anticipate Jesus’ return and let it inspire holiness in our lives. Peter supplied us with a few pointers on how best to do this: pray faithfully, love deeply, and share generously (1 Peter 4:7-9). This is how we glorify the One we’re waiting for.

Jesus will come as unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Ready, or not, we’ll leave this earth to join Him on that day (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Fortunately, we can rely on God to “keep [us] strong to the end so that [we] will be free from all blame” when Jesus returns (1 Corinthians 1:7-8).

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”Joshua 24:15

What’s with celebrities? The last few years have been littered with famous people behaving badly . . .

In the 2007 World Cup games, the planet’s best soccer player ends the game by head-butting his opponent on global TV. In 2006, an NFL hunk of a guy intentionally stomps on an opposing player’s helmet-less head leaving gashes worthy of 30-some stitches. My prized Chicago Bears have a defensive back who has been arrested three times in the last 18 months. And what’s with the trashy antics of Britney Spears? And the drunkenness, drug taking, and public kissing of another woman that Miss USA favored us with?

I’m not a real uptight person. I have a pretty wide berth for weirdness and foolish behavior. I guess I’ve seen enough of it in my own life and have come to believe that if we knew the extent of the fall we would be surprised that anything good happens at all. But this is ridiculous!

And, while I’m in this mood, what’s with the tabloids that grab our attention while we are waiting in the grocery line? Who are these people who have been caught naked by a hiding photographer at some secluded beach? and who cares who’s getting divorced, sleeping with someone’s best friend, or having another baby out of wedlock?

But that’s just it, isn’t it?! Lots of people seem to care. They find it all interesting and stimulating. That’s why this stuff sells. All this behaving badly tickles the public fancy, grabs headlines, and fills up tons of minutes on talk shows. Which leaves me wondering . . . Isn’t there anything more important for us to be taken with, for us to talk about? Where have all the really cool heroes gone?

I hate to sound like I am above it all and on to better things—which would come across as arrogant and judgmental—so forgive me. That’s not my intention. But there is a great alternative to cohabiting in the sludge of the seamy side of life.

I find that living and thinking in the world of God’s Word, God’s ways, and God’s will is like fresh air to my soul. And I do in fact have a Hero who after all these years I find to still be compelling, amazing, adventuresome, challenging, and worthy of my praise and admiration. Today, Jesus is more wonderful to me than He has ever been before!

I don’t want to live with a pointed finger at a world that seems to be spinning out of control with no moral compass. What our wild world needs is not another self-righteous declaration of how terrible it all is. After all, what do we expect from people who without Jesus are left to their own desires and instincts? What I want is to get my life in gear with the solid stuff that keeps my heart intrigued with the pure fresh water of God’s Word and to walk the path of life that Jesus walks, to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

My heart beats with Joshua, who in the midst of lots of sordid pagan options declared, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” And like Jesus, I want to remember to love and care for sinners. What our world really needs is the life-changing power of a new life in Jesus. So that will be my prayer!

Acts 10:1-33 (Good News Translation)

God’s Word: Guiding Us to Follow Jesus

Introduction

Acts 10:1-33: Peter has a vision in which he is shown that nothing is unclean that God has declared clean. Meanwhile, Cornelius, a Gentile, has a vision of an angel telling him to invite Peter to his house.

Today’s Scripture: Acts 10:4b

From: American Bible Society

The angel answered, “God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity, and is ready to answer you.”

PLEASING GOD

Today’s Reading

1 There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, who was a captain in the Roman army regiment called “The Italian Regiment.” 2 He was a religious man; he and his whole family worshiped God. He also did much to help the Jewish poor people and was constantly praying to God. 3 It was about three o’clock one afternoon when he had a vision, in which he clearly saw an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius!” 4 He stared at the angel in fear and said, “What is it, sir?” The angel answered, “God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity, and is ready to answer you. 5 And now send some men to Joppa for a certain man whose full name is Simon Peter. 6 He is a guest in the home of a tanner of leather named Simon, who lives by the sea. ” 7 Then the angel went away, and Cornelius called two of his house servants and a soldier, a religious man who was one of his personal attendants. 8 He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa. 9 The next day, as they were on their way and coming near Joppa, Peter went up on the roof of the house about noon in order to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat; while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. 11 He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 13 A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord! I have never eaten anything ritually unclean or defiled.” 15 The voice spoke to him again, “Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.” 16 This happened three times, and then the thing was taken back up into heaven. 17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of this vision, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was, and they were now standing in front of the gate. 18 They called out and asked, “Is there a guest here by the name of Simon Peter?” 19 Peter was still trying to understand what the vision meant, when the Spirit said, “Listen! Three men are here looking for you. 20 So get ready and go down, and do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them. ” 21 So Peter went down and said to the men, “I am the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22 “Captain Cornelius sent us,” they answered. “He is a good man who worships God and is highly respected by all the Jewish people. An angel of God told him to invite you to his house, so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Peter invited the men in and had them spend the night there. The next day he got ready and went with them; and some of the believers from Joppa went along with him. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea, where Cornelius was waiting for him, together with relatives and close friends that he had invited. 25 As Peter was about to go in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and bowed down before him. 26 But Peter made him rise. “Stand up,” he said, “I myself am only a man.” 27Peter kept on talking to Cornelius as he went into the house, where he found many people gathered. 28 He said to them, “You yourselves know very well that a Jew is not allowed by his religion to visit or associate with Gentiles. But God has shown me that I must not consider any person ritually unclean or defiled. 29 And so when you sent for me, I came without any objection. I ask you, then, why did you send for me? ” 30Cornelius said, “It was about this time three days ago that I was praying in my house at three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly a man dressed in shining clothes stood in front of me 31 and said: ‘Cornelius! God has heard your prayer and has taken notice of your works of charity. 32 Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner of leather, who lives by the sea. ’ 33 And so I sent for you at once, and you have been good enough to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God, waiting to hear anything that the Lord has instructed you to say. ”

Reflect

How is Cornelius described? What is he told to do? What is Peter’s vision? How does he respond to what he is told to do? How might these visions have been strange or surprising to each of these men? Have you ever been surprised by something God did in your life?

Exploratory Procedure

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Exploratory Procedure

“The Word of God is living and powerful, . . . a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

I have a friend who recently underwent a laryngoscopy. I winced as he explained how his doctor took a camera with a light on the end and stuck it down his throat to try to find the cause of his pain.

It reminded me that God’s Word is like a laryngoscopy. It invades the unseen areas of our lives, exposing the diseased and damaged spiritual tissue that troubles us. If you’re wincing at the thought of how uncomfortable this divine procedure might be, consider Jesus’ words: “Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20). Internal intrusions may be uncomfortable, but do you really want the disease?

Welcoming God’s Word to penetrate the deep, dark places of our hearts is the only way to find true healing and the spiritual health we long for. Believe me, the procedure will be thorough. As the writer of Hebrews assures, God’s Word is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (John 4:12)—piercing all the way through the external stuff of our lives, all the way down to our thoughts, intentions, and motives.

So what are you waiting for? With God’s Word you don’t need an appointment. The divine Surgeon is ready when you are!

Ever present, truest Friend,
Ever near Thine aid to lend,
Guide us as we search the Word,
Make it both our shield and sword. —Anon.

Let God’s Word explore your inner being.

From: getmorestrength.

 

what to do?

Nehemiah 3:1-32
Each one repaired the section immediately across from his own house (Nehemiah 3:28).

Note the differing people groups and the common bond that allowed them to build one another up inColossians 3:11.

What can you do for Jesus today, even as you face questions about some big issues in life? How can questions and indecision keep us from serving Jesus with all our heart?

You might be in one of those times in life where you’re not sure what to do. Do I go to school? Do I get a job or pursue another career? In his book The Way I Was Made,songwriter Chris Tomlin writes, “Right now, the God who made you knows your heart, knows your desires, your strengths, your limitations . . . and this God has only good in mind for your future.” Chris points toJeremiah 29:11 which reveals that God has good plans for us.

You might not know the next step to take, but take some counsel from Nehemiah and the wall builders (sounds like a rock band!). Nehemiah had received permission from King Artaxerxes of Persia to return to Jerusalem to oversee the continued rebuilding of the city that Ezra had started decades before (Ezra 1:2-4Nehemiah 2:1-6). He and other formerly exiled members of God’s people returned and tackled the rebuilding of the city walls first (Nehemiah 2:17-19).

I’m guessing this crew must have felt overwhelmed—not sure what to do upon arrival. They could have been paralyzed by indecision and the unknown that lay ahead. But here’s what happened: Regardless of their backgrounds or abilities, they simply joined in and served. They had the high priest and other priests (Nehemiah 3:1,22,28), a city leader and his daughters (Nehemiah 3:12), goldsmiths (Nehemiah 3:8,31-32), other merchants (Nehemiah 3:32), and even a dude who worked with perfumes (Nehemiah 3:8), all hoisting rocks and digging in the debris. And, as they worked with all their heart, something amazing happened—the crew rebuilt the entire wall in just 52 days! (Nehemiah 6:15).

Regardless of where you are in life, you’re part of Jesus’ kingdom-building work. Your next opportunity might be simply “across from [your] own house” or with that team at church. Serve God with all you have wherever you are today (Colossians 3:23).

From Our Daily Journey

 

Inspirational stories about overcoming challenges 
My friend Jerry was one of the most positive people I had ever known. He was always in a good mood and always had something encouraging to say.He was a manager at a restaurant. If his employee had a bad day, Jerry always helped him to look on the positive side of the situation.

Jerry‘s attitude truly amazed me. So one day I asked him: „How can you be so positive all the time?“. He replied: „You see, every morning I tell myself, that I have two choses for that day – to be in a good mood or in a bad. I choose the good one. And when something wrong happens, I can be sad and angry or I can learn from it instead. I choose to learn. Thus I choose the positive side of life“. I said: „It is not that easy“. He replied: „Yeas it is. Life is all about choses. You can choose how people or situation will affect your mood, your life“.

One morning Jerry left the restaurant‘s back door open and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. He tried to open the safe, but his hands shaked due to nervousness and he slipped off the combination. So the robbers shot him. Fortunately, Jerry was quickly found and brought to the nearest hospital. After many hours of surgery and long intensive care, Jerry was released home.

When I met him, I asked, what were his thoughts durign the robbery. „I thought that I should have locked the back door“, he replied. „Then, when I laid on the floor, I remembered about my choses in this case: a chose to live and a chose to die. I chose to live.“

I asked, if he were scared. Jerry continued: „When they wheeled me into emergency room and I looked at the faces of doctors, I got truly scared. I knew, that I need to do something. So when the nurse asked me, if I was allergic to anything, I replied „Yes“. Doctors and nurses stopped working as waited for my answer. I took a deep breath and yelled „Bullets“. They started laughing and I asked: „My chose is to live, operate me as I am alive, not dead“.

Now Jerry is alive owing to skills of his doctors, however his amazing attitude played an important role too. I learned from him, that every day we should choose to live fully no matter what.

From: inspirationalstories.eu

 

Test of Faithfulness

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Test of Faithfulness

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . . —Romans 8:28
It is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances. We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith— the Lord Jesus Christ. God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness comes. If we will just learn to worship God even during the difficult circumstances, He will change them for the better very quickly if He so chooses.Being faithful to Jesus Christ is the most difficult thing we try to do today. We will be faithful to our work, to serving others, or to anything else; just don’t ask us to be faithful to Jesus Christ. Many Christians become very impatient when we talk about faithfulness to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more deliberately by Christian workers than by the world. We treat God as if He were a machine designed only to bless us, and we think of Jesus as just another one of the workers. The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous  responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son. From: MyUtmostforHisHighest
Inspirational stories about helping others 
A man was driving his car, when he saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road. He saw that she needed help. So he stopped his Pontiac near her Mercedes and got out. He smiled, while he was approaching her, still she was worried, as nobody had stopped for hours. Moreover, he did not look safe, as his appearance was so poor and shabby. He could see, how frightened she was, so he tried to calm her: „ I‘m here to help you, don‘t worry. My name is Bryan Anderson“. The tire was flat, so he had to crawl under the car. While changing the tire, he got dirty and his hands were hurt. When the job was done, she asked how much she owed him for his help. Bryan smiled. He said: „If you really want to pay me back, the next time you see someone, who needs help, give that person the needed assistance. And think of me“. A the same evening, the lady stopped by a small cafe. That place looked dingy. Then she saw a waitress, nearly eight months pregnant, wiping her wet hear with a towel. The waitress had a sweet friendly smile, although she had spent on her feet the whole day. The lady wondered, how someone, who has so little, can be so kind and giving to a strange. Then she remembered Bryan. The lady had finished her meal and paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress went to get change and when she came back, the lady was gone. She left a note on the napkin: „You don‘t own me anything. Somebody once helped me, just like now I‘m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, do not let this chain of love end with you“. The waitress found four more one hundren bills under the napkin. That night the waitress came home earlier. She was thinking about the lady and the money she left. She was wondering, how the lady could know, how much she and her husband needed it? Especially now, when the baby will soon arrive. She knew, that her husband worried about that, so she was glad to tell him good news. Then she kissed him and whispered „Now everything will be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson“.

Encouraging story about changing 
Once upon a time, there was an unfortunate poor man. His home was also very poor – a small and empty house, where mice made their nests and spiders made their webs. People tried to avoid coming into his house – why should they stick their noses into those poor ruins? And the poor man thought that poverty is the reason of his misfortunes – his eternal destiny. So once, the poor man met a wizard and complained to him about his poverty and miserable life. The wizard felt sorry for the poor man and gave him an unprecedented vase. And said: – This is a magical vase that will save you from poverty. The poor man took the vase and wanted to sell it at first and then spend the money on alcohol, as usual, besides, why would he need such a beautiful thing? But then he started admiring the vase and couldn’t take it to the market. He brought the vase home, put it on the table and started admiring it. – It’s not right for such a beautiful thing to be empty, – the poor man thought. So he picked some wildflowers and put them into the vase. It became even more beautiful. – Not good, – the poor man though again, – that such a beautiful thing stands next to a spider web. So the poor man started cleaning his house from spider webs, sweeping out cockroaches and mice, cleaning the dust, washing the floor and the walls, whitening the ceiling. And it became clear that his house wasn’t poor, but rather warm and cosy. And the poor man wasn’t a poor man anymore, but a hard working host, who had no time for thoughts about misfortune. From: inspirationalstories.eu

Your Actions Have Power

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Redemption— Creating the Need it Satisfies

The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him . . . —1 Corinthians 2:14

The gospel of God creates the sense of need for the gospel. Is the gospel hidden to those who are servants already? No, Paul said, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). The majority of people think of themselves as being completely moral, and have no sense of need for the gospel. It is God who creates this sense of need in a human being, but that person remains totally unaware of his need until God makes Himself evident. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you . . .” (Matthew 7:7). But God cannot give until a man asks. It is not that He wants to withhold something from us, but that is the plan He has established for the way of redemption. Through our asking, God puts His process in motion, creating something in us that was nonexistent until we asked. The inner reality of redemption is that it creates all the time. And as redemption creates the life of God in us, it also creates the things which belong to that life. The only thing that can possibly satisfy the need is what created the need. This is the meaning of redemption— it creates and it satisfies.Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). When we preach our own experiences, people may be interested, but it awakens no real sense of need. But once Jesus Christ is “lifted up,” the Spirit of God creates an awareness of the need for Him. The creative power of the redemption of God works in the souls of men only through the preaching of the gospel. It is never the sharing of personal experiences that saves people, but the truth of redemption. “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR ACTIONS

Author Unknown

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Thanks!”

There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.

We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak. Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable. “I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life, for better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS

Author Unknown

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said. “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, “You have seen Hell.

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, “I don’t understand.”

“It is simple,” said the Lord. “It requires but one skill. You see they have learned the secret to happiness….. feed one another.”

WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?

Clarence Schultz

Let’s see…I think it started when Madeline Murray O’Hare complained that she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said, OK.

Then someone said you had better not read the Bible in school-the Bible that says Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK.

Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said, an expert should know what he’s talking about, so we won’t spank them anymore.

Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don’t want any bad publicity, and we surely don’t want to be sued. And we accepted their reasoning.

Then someone said, let’s let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won’t even have to tell their parents. And we said, that’s a grand idea.

Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they’re going to “do it” anyway, let’s give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the “fun” they desire, and we won’t have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, that’s another great idea.

And then some of our top elected officials said that it doesn’t matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them, we said it doesn’t matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.

And then someone said let’s print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said we have no problem with that.

And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then stepped further still by making them available on the Internet. And we said they’re entitled to their free speech.

And the entertainment industry said, let’s make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. And let’s record music that encourages homosexuality, rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it’s just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

Therefore, now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with… “we reap what we sow.”


 

(More Food For Thought follows these reflective questions.)

When I die where will I go?
What do I need to do to live forever?
Why do I believe what I do?
If what I believe isn’t true, would I want to know it?
Who has the answers?

From: gatewaytojesus.com

Golden Wings

 

 

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Golden Wings

 

“When my mother went back to college when I was eight, both my grandparents stepped in to help out. Being raise by four parents is something I would highly suggest for anyone. My grandfather stepped into the role of father many times, and even helping me learn my dance routines. He’d even get me up early before school and take me to the local diner for hot chocolate while he had coffee and talk to the locals. My grandfather went to every birthday, every recital or concert, and every major event in my life including my college graduation. January of my senior year, right after christmas, my grandfather was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer. He’d fallen at work and demanded the doctors look harder because the tumor they hadn’t discovered yet felt “like a broken rib” even though they persisted nothing was coming up on the x-rays. We’d hoped this was a miracle, that we’d caught the cancer in time, and as the chemotherapy failed to help he was due to start a rigorous treatment in May. He refused such treatment that would make him ill until after my graduation, and came to all the Alumni family picnics the school offered with me. After I graduated I spent my time with my grandmother, toting her to and from the hospital, doing all her little errands with her, and not once was I nervous visiting “Papa” as sick as he got, because he remained himself. You could hear nurses laughing down the hall as the rolled him back to the room, he followed doctors orders to a tee, and was able to answer all his medical questions no matter how they filled him with pain killers. The morning of Sunday, July 14th, my grandfather passed away. He’d slipped into a coma, and we all rushed by his side, sharing stories, and pronouncing our love for him, we aided him for the final time as he left this world. Papa was my role model, my hero, even until his last breath. He never once cried or got discouraged, he always remained hopeful, even as the doctors talked about him not having a treatment work effectively and the caution that comes with that. At his services, I read a eulogy I’d written in his honor, because although Papa had passed away, I knew he’d never be gone because he is such a huge part of me. I had another christmas with him, another father’s day, and all the sumer months I could with him. He fought everyday for me to be able to have peace of mind, a gift I never got to thank him for, so for his Eulogy, I didn’t cry, he wouldn’t have wanted that, rather I remained strong to make him proud although I will miss him until we meet again. I imagine where he went he’s being reunited with his grandfather and all the family he had before the generation s that came before me. I know in my heart Papa truly never wanted to get old, and that he’d regret leaving my grandmother behind, but when cancer took his cycling season, it took away his fun. I always loved riding on the back of his motorcycle, seeing what we could see, meeting whomever all summer long. My grandfather was a friendly free spirit who let his actions do his talking, even until his last days, which is what he would have wanted. He’ll always be remembered as a sharp, funny, strong, young individual who was taken too soon by cancer, but I know in my heart he wanted his ending to be of quality and it absolutely was, despite all the obstacles thrown his way. I encourage my generation to spend quality time with and to respect their elders, because they’ve forgotten more in their lifetime then you’ve even learned yet. My grandfather lived life to the fullest, loved often, and was intolerant to injustices. Taking that with me as I move forward in life I’m learning to view as a great privilege at a heavy cost, and to know it’s better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all has new meaning to me. Rather, I gained through love, and lost to a tough battle with cancer, but knowing he was happy and “all there” right to the last minute, is more then what he could have asked for. I hope that there is a silver lining to everyone’s grey cloud, and I hope hearing mine, helps you cherish what you do have, even when finding things to be grateful for and the courage to move forward seems impossible.”

From: www.values.com

Teaching Young Kids

 

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Teaching young kids the pass it on idea

“Hi,
I’m a volunteer in an elementary school day care center in Holland and i have watched pieces of the movie pay it forward.
The idea was so heartwarming that i decided to pass it on in my class.(children in the age 6 to 8 years)
One day one of the children forgot his lunch package and had nothing to eat so i shared my lunch with him.
while eating i talked about the pay it forward idea and 4 of the children clearly noticed that the boy had to perform 3 acts of kindness to people in need.
A couple of months passed and the children came to me talking about acts of kindness they had been doing on their own: a few kids had set up a dog-service to help people in their neighborhood walking their dogs. of the children had started to clean the street of snow to prevent people from falling.
a few people had given him money to thank him and he donated the total to kika( kika is a dutch organisation who helps parents and children with cancer and develops new treatment methods) it seems that the idea is growing and getting bigger everyday and i’m so grateful to discovered this site to share this with you.”

By: Irma Schaap , inspire.com.

Teachers Care

 

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Teacher looked out for me

“In 1999, I was in year 9 at school, the year before starting GCSE’s… I was about 14 at the time, and shy, quiet and a target for bullies everywhere. My art teacher had taught both my older brothers before me, and was a friend of the family because of this. I had been reaching the end of yet another few weeks of bullying, and I was getting extremely upset about it, often crying on my way home.

In an art lesson, one of the bullies stole my pencil case, threw it across the room and sat back down, watching me as I went to fetch it. Later on, he grabbed my school tie and yanked it towards him, causing me to stumble. I snapped and stood up for myself for the first time, snatching the tie from his hand and pushing him away. I sat back down. I was shaking all over and couldnt focus for the rest of the lesson. I was riled, upset, emotional at what Id finally done.

I was slow to leave the classroom, for fear of the bully having another go at me outside. I was the last to leave the classroom, and my teacher asked me “Peter, are you okay?”. “yes” I answered. “No your not.” he said. He knew what I needed, and that I was once again putting a brave face on it. We had a chat, he made me smile and confident again. He taught me some life lessons, including “toughen up, dont be a bully yourself, but remember you are stronger inside, and if the bullies see this, they will stop. Believe in yourself”. These words stuck with me, and as I walked the corridors at school, holding my head high and not acknowledging the bullies in any way, the bullying soon stopped.

Thankyou to my teacher for noticing when I needed someone the most, and for being there and saying exactly what I needed to hear.”

From: www.values.com.