MORE
INSPIRATIONAL
THOUGHTS
We have no right to ask, when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?"
unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way.
--Philip S. Bernstein
 

How will you do it?
 Do you have a goal? Do you have a dream? Is there something you want?
Are you willing to go for it?
A goal is not a wish. A dream is not a wish. Wishes are passive thoughts that
only serve to point out our deficiencies. Dreams and goals are active
intentions, backed up by commitment, effort and persistence.
 Be bold. Be willing to do whatever it takes, and you will most certainly find
a way. Be willing, and you will be able. You are incredibly adaptive. You are
highly resourceful. The whole of your being is a finely tuned machine that
serves to bring about whatever you truly desire.
 Your ability is a direct result of your passion and commitment. It makes no
difference how out of reach your goal may seem. Be willing, and you will be able.

 
 
 

Be necessary
 The more necessary you make yourself, the more successful you'll be in this
world. How many lives can you improve today? What can you do that will make
the most difference for the most people? What special thing do you have to
offer, and how can you get others to benefit from it?
 No matter what kind of work you do, there is always the opportunity for you
to make a difference. There are really no menial jobs, and there are no
magnificent jobs. It is the person doing the work who gives that work value.
It is the desire and ability to effectively serve others, that brings about
great fortunes and towering accomplishments.

 Every day, in every situation, make yourself necessary. Seek out ways to
offer a meaningful contribution. Enthusiastically place yourself in the
service of others. That is the attitude which leads to success. That is the
pathway of accomplishment, wealth, and excellence. Be necessary, make a
positive difference, and be great.

"Happiness is a byproduct of making someone else happy."


Why are things the way they are?
During my junior year in high school, Mr. Reynolds, my English teacher, handed each
student a list of thoughts or statements written by other students, then gave us a
creativewriting assignment based on one of thosethoughts. At 17, I was beginning
to wonder about many things, so I chose the statement, "I wonderwhy things are the
way they are?" That night, I wrote down in the form of a story all the questions that puzzled me about life. I realized that many of them were hard to answer, and
perhaps others could not be answered at all.When I turned in my paper, I was afraid
that I might fail the assignment because I had notanswered the question, "I wonder
why things are the way they are?" I had no answers. I had onlywritten questions. The
next day Mr. Reynolds called me to the front of the class and asked me to read my
story for the other students. He handed me my paper and sat down in the back of
the room. The class became quiet as I began to read my story:

Mommie, Daddy........Why?
Mommie, why are the roses red?
Mommie, why is the grass green and the sky blue?
Why does a spider have a web and not a house?
Daddy, why can't I play in your toolbox?
Teacher, why do I have to read?
Mother, why can't I wear lipstick to the dance?
Daddy, why can't I stay out until 12:00? The other kids are.
Mother, why do you hate me?
Daddy, why don't the boys like me?
Why do I have to be so skinny?
Why do I have braces and wear glasses?
Why do I have to be 16?
Mom, why do I have to graduate?
Dad, why do I have to grow up?
Mom, Dad, why do I have to leave?
Mom, why don't you write more often?
Dad, why do I miss my old friends?
Dad, why do you love me so much?
Dad, why do you spoil me?
Your little girl is growing up.
Mom, why don't you visit?
Mom, why is it hard to make new friends?
Dad, why do I miss being at home?
Dad, why does my heart skip a beat when he looks in my eyes?
Mom, why do my legs tremble when I hear his voice?
Mother, why is being "in love" the greatest feeling in the world?
Daddy, why don't you like to be called "Gramps"?
Mother, why do my baby's tiny fingers cling so tightly to mine?
Mother, why do they have to grow up?
Daddy, why do they have to leave?
Why do I have to be called "Grannie"?
Mommie, Daddy, why did you have to leave me? I need you.
Why did my youth slip past me?
Why does my face show every smile that I have
ever given to a friend or a stranger?
Why does my hair glisten a shiny silver?
Why do my hands quiver when I bend to pick a flower?
Why, God, are the roses red?
At the conclusion of my story, my eyes locked with Mr. Reynold's eyes, and I saw a
tear slowly sliding down his cheek. It was then that I realized that life is not always
based on the answers we receive, but also on the questions that we ask.
                - Author Unknown

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack
of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.
-- Vincent T. Lombardi

This is a true story that occurred in 1994 and was told by Lloyd Glen.

Throughout our lives we are blessed with spiritual experiences, some of which are very sacred and confidential, and others, although sacred, are meant to be shared.  Last summer my family had a
spiritual experience that had a lasting and profound impact on us, one we feel must be shared.  It's a message of love.  It's a message of regaining perspective, and restoring proper balance and renewing priorities.  In humility, I pray that I might, in relating this story, give you a gift my little son, Brian gave 
our family one summer day last year.

On July 22nd I was in route to Washington DC for a business trip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change.  As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United customer Service Representative immediately.  I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if they were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.
 When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr. Glenn, there is an emergency at your home.  I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you
to the phone so you can call the hospital.  My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for
the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three year 
old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and that when
my life had found him he was dead.  CPR had been performed, by a neighbor who is a doctor, and the
paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.  By the time of my
call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart.  They explained that the door had completely closed on his
little sternum right over his heart.  He had been  severely crushed.  After speaking with the medical
staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.  The return
flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had
come down.  When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my
little  son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere.  He was on a
respirator.  I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile.  It all seemed like
a terrible dream.  I was filled in with the details and given a guarded prognosis.  Brian was going to
live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK-two miracles, in and of themselves.
 But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.

Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm.  She felt that Brian would eventually be all right.  I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline.  All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before. Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken, He said, "Daddy hold me," and he reached for me with his little arms. 
[TEAR BREAK...smile]

By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital.  You cannot imagine our gratitude and joy.  As we took Brian home we felt a unique reverence for the life and love Of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely. 

In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home. Our two older children were much closer to their little brother.  My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family.  Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more focused, and
balance much easier to gain and maintain.  We felt deeply blessed.  Our gratitude was truly profound. [The story is not over] (smile)

Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down mommy. I have something to tell you."  At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife.  She sat down with him on his bed and he began his sacred and remarkable story.  "Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door?  Well, it was so heavy
and it hurt really bad.  I called to you, but you couldn't hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad.  And then the "birdies" came.  "The birdies?" my wife asked puzzled.  "Yes," he replied.  "The birdies
made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me." "They did?" "Yes, he said."  "One of the birdies came and got you.  She came to tell you I got stuck under the door." A sweet 
reverent feeling filled the room.  The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air.  My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies" because they were up in the air like birds that fly. "What did the birdies look like?" she asked.  Brian answered.  "They were so beautiful.  They were dressed in white all white.
 Some of them had green and white.  But some of them had on just white."
"Did they say anything?" "Yes" he answered.  They told me the baby would be all right."
"The baby?" my wife asked confused.  And Brian answered.  "The baby laying on the garage floor." 
He went on,"You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby.  You told the baby to stay and not leave."  My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt
beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest and unrecognizable features, knowing he was
already dead, she looked up around her and whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can.
As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his
body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form.  "Then what happened?" she asked.
"We went on a trip." he said, "far, far away."  He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem
to have the words for.  My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He
struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult.  "We flew so fast up in the air."  "They're so pretty Mommy." He added. "And there is lots
and lots of "birdies."

My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with
an urgency she had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the 'birdies' had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house
and that a big fire truck, and an ambulance were there.  A man was bringing the baby out on a white 
bed and he tried to tell the man the baby would be okay, but the man couldn't hear him.  He said, 
"birdies told him he had to go with the ambulance, but they would be near him.  He said, they were
so pretty and so peaceful, and he didn't want to come back.  And then the bright light came.  He said
that the light was so bright and so warm, and he loved the bright light so much.  Someone was in the
bright light and put their arms around him, and told him, "I love you but you have to go back. You have
to play baseball, and tell everyone about the birdies."  Then the person in the bright light kissed him
and waved bye-bye. Then whoosh,the big sound came and they went into the clouds."

The story went on for an hour.  He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears.  But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart).  They whisper the things
to help us to do what is right because they love us so much. Brian continued, stating, "I have a plan, Mommy.  You have a plan.  Daddy has a plan.  Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep
our promises.  The birdies help us to do that cause they love us so much."

In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it again and again.  Always, the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order.  A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us
how he could tell such detail and speak beyond his ability when he spoke of his "birdies." Everywhere
he went, he told strangers about the "birdies". Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when
he did this.  Rather, they always get a softened look on their face and smiled.  Needless to say, we
have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results,
Just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.----------------------------------------------------------- Napoleon Hill


 

Great Value in Disaster

       Thomas Edison's laboratory was virtually destroyed by
  fire in December, 1914. Although the damage exceeded $2
  million, the buildings were only insured for $238,000
  because they were made of concrete and thought to be
  fireproof. Much of Edison's life's work went up in
  spectacular flames that December night.
       At the height of the fire, Edison's 24-year old son,
  Charles, frantically searched for his father among the smoke
  and debris. He finally found him, calmly watching the scene,
  his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing
  in the wind.
       "My heart ached for him," said Charles. "He was 67 - no
  longer a young man - and everything was going up in flames.
  When he saw me, he shouted, "Charles, where's your mother?"
  When I told him I didn't know, he said, "Find her. Bring her
  here. She will never see anything like this as long as she
  lives."
       The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said,
  "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are
  burned up. Thank God we can start anew."
       Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver
  his first phonograph.

     from A Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul


 

 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Though the cork remains tightly sealed in the lips of the bottle, yet the 
heady aroma and bittersweet flavor, the very richness and abundance
of the Spirits within await unsullied their liberation.
 And so it is that what we donít feel now in no way diminishes the
fullness within us, the plentitude that once upon a time was manifest
and can ever be again.
Perhaps all we require is the proper tool, the as yet undiscovered
utensil that will release the stopper and allow the free flow of the
nectar that by rights is ours.
Our obligation, then, our urgent responsibility, continues to be to
discover that elusive tool; or, better still, for each of us to be the
artisan of our own instrument of freedom.
Everything else seems to be so sadly beside the point.
Everything else seems to be but another cork in the bottle.

 

The people who add the most to our lives are often the ones who challenge us
the most. The teachers whom we remember with fondness and appreciation are
those who pushed us, not those who pampered us. A demanding customer is rarely
a pleasure to deal with, yet that customer can challenge the business to move 
forward.  The experiences which cause us to grow are the ones in which we're challenged to push ourselves past our previously perceived limits. Strength is
built in response to challenge. A bodybuilder must lift heavier and heavier weights
in order to increase muscle. There is no other way. The more magnificent the
accomplishment, the more daunting are the challenges which must be overcome.
The challenges you face provide a pathway to excellence. They are difficult
and they will bring out the best in you. To be the best, you must be willing
to face the biggest challenges. You most certainly can do it. It's what you're
designed to do. Are you ready and willing? It's up to you.

 

 
 
 

"Milarepa is one of the lineage holders of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan
Buddhists. Milarepa is one of the heroes, one of the brave ones, a very
crazy unusual fellow. He was a loner who lived in caves by himself and
meditated wholeheartedly for years. He was extremely stubborn and
determined. If he couldn't find anything to eat for a couple of years he
just ate nettles and turned green, but he would never stop practicing.

One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to
find it filled with demons. They had taken over the joint. He knew about
nonduality of self and others, but he didn't know how to get these guys out
of his cave. Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection
of his own mind - all the unwanted parts of himself - he didn't know how to
get rid of them.

So first, he taught them the dharma. He sat on this seat that was higher
than they were and said things to them about how we are all one. He talked
about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine [Buddhist slogan].
Nothing happened. The demons were still there. Then he lost his patience,
got angry, and ran at them. They just laughed at him. Finally he gave up and
just sat down on the floor saying, 'I'm not going away and it looks like
neither are you, so let's live together.'

At that point, all of them left except one. Milarepa said, 'Oh, this one is
particularly vicious.' He didn't know what to do, so he surrendered himself
even further. He walked over, put himself right into the mouth of the demon,
and said, 'Just eat me up if you want to.' Then that demon left too. The
moral of this story is that when the resistance is gone so are the demons."


 
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This content was excerpted from Clear Your Past
           There is a basic law that like attracts like. That which you mentally project
               reproduces in kind and negative thoughts definitely attract negative results.
               Conversely, if a person thinks optimistically and hopefully, he activates life
               around him positively and thereby attracts to himself positive results. His
               positive thinking sets in motion creative forces, and success instead of eluding
               him flows toward him.
                                                                                                         -Norman Vincent Peale
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

PRAYING HANDS

 THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE OF THE PRAYING HANDS
.
        Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household,
a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. 
They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.  After many long
discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact.  They would toss a coin.  The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while
he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. 
Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation.  Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his
oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was 
beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.  When the young artist returned to
his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming.  After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter,  Albrecht rose
from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years
of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and
I will take care of you."  All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert
sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over,

"No ...no ...no ...no." Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been
suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it
is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in
every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with 
only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have
a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

The next time you see a copy of that touching creation,take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if 
you still need one,that no one - no one - - ever makes it alone!


 
 

I can't help feeling a bit awed when I think that 
the 
Supreme Being Himself 
is doing the
programing here,
and who can guess
at the power involved 
in His
suggestive techniques

 

 
 
 
 


 NOW I KNOW
If I had always lived in a castle, and had never lived down here, I wouldn't have known the difference.

                                                                   AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

 Awake, O Israel! --DaveK--

  O, Beautiful for spacious skies,     (Deuteronomy 33:13).
  For amber waves of grain,     (Deuteronomy 33:16).
  For purple mountain majesties,     (Deuteronomy 33:15).
  Above the fruitful plain!        (Genesis 49:26).
  America! America!          (Genesis 48:21).
  God shed His Grace on thee,      (Genesis 48:16).
  And crown thy good with brotherhood.        (Genesis 48:20).
  From sea to shining sea!           (Ezekiel 47:18-20).
  O, Beautiful for pilgrim feet,           (Deuteronomy 33:13).
  Whose stern, impassioned stress,       (Genesis 49:23).
  Thoroughfare for freedom beat,       (Psalms 72:8).
  Across the wilderness!          (Deuteronomy 32:8-11).
  America! America!         (Genesis 48:21).
  God mend thine every flaw,       (Genesis 49:22-26).
  Confirm thy soul in self-control,         (Isaiah 45:13).
  Thy liberty in Law!         (2 Corinthians 3:17).
  O, Beautiful for heroes proved,        (2 Chronicles 25:6).
  In liberating strife,        (James 1:25).
  Who more than self their country loved,       (Revelation 12:11).
  And mercy more than life!           (Psalm 37:21-31).
  America! America!          (2 Samuel 7:10).
  May God thy gold refine,          (Isaiah 2:7).
  'Til all success be nobleness,         (Genesis 48:15-16).
 And every gain divine.        (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).
  O, Beautiful for patriot dream,            (Hebrews 11:9).
  That sees beyond the years,          (Isaiah 60:21).
  Thine alabaster cities gleam,          (Revelation 21:18-20).
  Undimmed by human tears!          (Revelation 7:17).
  America! America!            (1 Chronicles 17:9).
  God shed His Grace on thee,          (Acts 4:33).
And crown thy good with brotherhood,           (Deuteronomy 32:13).
  From sea to shining sea!             (Micah 7:12).


 
 
 

@@@@@@@@@@@

 

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the
best picture of peace. Many artists tried.
The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked
and he had to choose between them.  One picture was of a calm lake. The lake
was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains were all around it.
Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture
thought that it was a perfect picture of peace. The other picture had
mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from
which rain fell, and in which lightening played. Down the side of the
mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But
when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a
crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in
the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest...
perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize?
The King chose the second picture.
Do you know why?
"Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where
there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.  Peace means to be in the midst of
all those things and still be calm in your heart.
That is the real meaning of peace.
--Author Unknown

 

 
 
 

Don't Punish Every Mistake

In one of my assignments as a young infantry officer, I was sent to the 48th Infantry near Frankfurt, Germany. In those days our prize weapon was a huge 280-mm atomic cannon. Guarded by infantry platoons, these guns were hauled around the forests on trucks to keep the Soviets from guessing
their location.  One day Captain Tom Miller assigned my platoon to guard a 280. I alerted my men, loaded my .45 caliber pistol and jumped into my jeep. I had not gone far when I realized that my .45
was gone.  I was petrified. In the army, losing a weapon is serious business. I had no choice but to
radio Captain Miller and tell him. "You what?" he said in disbelief. He paused a few seconds, then added, "All right, continue the mission."
When I returned, uneasily contemplating my fate, Miller called me over. "I've got something for you," he said, handing me the pistol. "Some kids in the village found it where it fell out of your holster."
"Kids found it?" I felt a cold chill.  "Yeah," he said. "Luckily they only got off one round before we heard the shot and took the gun away." The disastrous possibilities left me limp. "For God's sake,
son, don't let that happen again."
He drove off. I checked the magazine and found it was full. The gun had not been fired. Later I learned that I had dropped it in my tent before I ever got started. Miller had fabricated the scene about the 
kids to give me a good scare.
Today the army might hold an investigation, call in lawyers and likely enter a bad mark on my record. Miller gave me the chance to learn from my mistake. His example of intelligent leadership was not lost on me. Nobody ever got to the top without slipping up. When someone stumbles, I don't believe in stomping on him. My philosophy is "Pick 'em up, dust 'em off and get 'em moving again."
By Colin Powell
from A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul


 
 

 
 

 
Criticism
 Welcome criticism just as you would welcome praise. No matter what you might
say or do there will always be those who are anxious to criticize. Generally,
it is a waste of time to refute the criticism of others. When you speak the
truth and act with integrity, you will be proven right in the end. So if the
criticism is unjustified, it will be discredited with or without your defense.
If the criticism is indeed justified, then your best course is to heed it
rather than to refute it. Criticism can hurt you only if you let it.  Put
honest thought, effort, competence and commitment into your undertakings,
and the criticism of others will not matter. The negativity of your critics is
their problem, not yours. Focus on going forward in pursuit of your goals. Let
your critics enjoy the perverse pleasure of their negativity, while you move
right on past them.

 

 
 
 

Be Yourself

President Calvin Coolidge once invited friends from his hometown to dine at the White House.
Worried about their table manners, the guests decided to do everything that Coolidge did. This
strategy succeeded, until coffee was served. The president poured his coffee into the saucer. 
The guests did the same. Coolidge added sugar and cream. His guests did, too. Then Coolidge
bent over and put his saucer on the floor for the cat.................................................By Erik Oleson


 

 
 
 
 

May You Always Feel Loved

May you find serenity and tranquility
in a world you may not always understand.

May the pain you have known
and the conflict you have experienced
give you the strength to walk through life
facing each new situation
with optimism and courage.

Always know that there are those
whose love and understanding will always
be there, even when you feel most alone.

May you discover enough goodness in others
to believe in a world of peace.
May a kind word, a reassuring touch,
a warm smile be yours every day of your life,
and may you give these gifts as well as receive them.

Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.
Teach love to those who know hate, and let that love
embrace you as you go into the world.

May the teaching of those you admire
become part of you, so that you may
call upon them.

Remember, those whose lives you have touched
and who have touched yours are always a part of you,
even if the encounters were less than
you would have wished.

May you not become too concerned
with material matters, but instead place
immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart.

Find time in each day to see the beauty
and love in the world around you.

Realize that each person has limitless abilities,
but each of us is different in our own way.

What you may feel you lack in one regard
may be more than compensated for in another.

What you feel you lack in the present
may become one of your strengths in the future.

May you see your future
as one filled with promise and possibility.

Learn to view everything
as a worthwhile experience.

May you find enough inner strength
to determine your own worth by yourself,
and not be dependent on another's judgements
of your accomplishments.

May you always feel loved.
--Author Unknown


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

How To Be Happy
by Robert Louis Stevenson

1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone
has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to
make the laughter outweigh the tears.

3. Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that somehow you should be
protected from misfortune that befalls other people.

4. You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.

5. Don't let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.

6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.

7. Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.

8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy, enmity, grudges.
Avoid people who make you unhappy.

9. Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.

10. Don't hold post-mortems. Don't spend your time brooding over sorrows or
mistakes. Don't be one who never gets over things.

11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.


 
 

 
 
 
 

Laugh!

Many years ago, Norman Cousins was diagnosed as "terminally ill." He was given six 
months to live. His chance for recovery was one in 500.

He could see the worry, depression and anger in his life contributed to, and perhaps
helped cause, his disease.  He wondered, "If illness can be caused by negativity, can
wellness be created by positivity?"

He decided to make an experiment of himself. Laughter was one of the most positive activities he knew. He rented all the funny movies he could find - Keaton, Chaplin, Fields,
the Marx Brothers. (This was before VCRs, so he had to rent the actual films.) He read 
funny stories. He asked his friends to call him whenever they said, heard or did 
something funny.

His pain was so great he could not sleep. Laughing for 10 solid minutes, he found, relieved the pain for several hours so he could sleep.

He fully recovered from his illness and lived another 20 happy, healthy and productive
years.  (His journey is detailed in his book, Anatomy of an Illness.) He credits visualization,
the love of his family and friends, and laughter for his recovery.

Some people think laughter is a waste of time. It is a luxury, they say, a frivolity, something
to indulge in only every so often.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Laughter is essential to our equilibrium, to our well-being, to our aliveness. If we're not well, laughter helps us get well; if we are well, laughter helps us stay that way.

Since Cousins' ground-breaking subjective work, scientific studies have shown that
laughter has a curative effect on the body, the mind and the emotions.

So, if you like laughter, consider it sound medical advice to indulge in it as often as you can.
If you don't like laughter, then take your medicine - laugh anyway.

Use whatever makes you laugh - movies, sitcoms, Monty Python, records, books, New 
Yorker cartoons, jokes, friends.

Give yourself permission to laugh - long and loud and out loud - whenever anything strikes you as funny. The people around you may think you're strange, but sooner or later they'll
join in even if they don't know what you're laughing about.

Some diseases may be contagious, but none is as contagious as the cure. . . laughter.
--By Peter McWilliams


 

 
=================================================================

Barrier

When I was little, Dibby's cousin had a dog, just a mutt, and the dog was pregnant. I don't know how long dogs are pregnant, but she was due to have her puppies in about a week. She was out in the yard one day and got
in the way of the lawn mower, and her two hind legs got cut off. They rushed her to the vet and he said, "I can
sew her up, or you can put her to sleep if you want, but the puppies are okay. 
She'll be able to deliver the puppies."  Dibby's cousin 
said, "Keep her alive."
So the vet sewed her backside and over the next week
the dog learned to walk. She didn't spend any time worrying,  she just learned to walk by taking two steps
in the front and flipping up her backside, and then taking two steps and flipping up her backside again. She gave birth to six little puppies, all in perfect health. She nursed them and then weaned them. And when they learned to walk, they all walked like her.


 
 
 
 

ALL GOOD THINGS

He was in the first, third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minn.  All 34
of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million.  Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional
mischief delightful.   Mark talked incessantly.  I had to remind him again and again that 
talking without permission was not acceptable.  What impressed  me so much, though, 
was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving - "Thank you
for correcting me,  Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I 
became accustomed  to hearing it many times a day.  One morning my patience was
growing thin when Mark talked once  too often, and then I made a novice-teacher's mistake.
I looked at  Mark and said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!"
It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking again."  I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch  Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front 
of the class, I had to act on it.  I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I  walked to my desk, very deliberately opened by drawer and took out a roll of masking tape.   Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a
big X with them over his mouth.  I then returned to the front of the room.  As I glanced at 
Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it!!  I started laughing.  The class cheered as I walked back to  Mark's desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders.
His first  words were, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."   At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years  flew  by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again.  He was more handsome than ever and just as polite.  Since he had to 
listen carefully to my instruction in the "new math," he did not talk as much in ninth grade
as he had in third.  One Friday, things just didn't feel right.  We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves  and edgy with one another.  I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand.  So I 
asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a  space between each name. Then I 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 me the papers. Charlie smiled.  Mark said, "Thank you  for teaching me, Sister.  Have a
good weekend."
That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student 
his or her list.  Before long, the entire class was smiling.  "Really?"  I heard  whispered.  "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!"  "I didn't know others liked me so much."   No one ever mentioned those papers in class again.  I 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 again.

That group of students moved on.  Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my 
parents met me at the airport.  As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual
questions about the trip - the weather, my experiences in general.  There was a lull in the conversation.   Mother gave Dad a side-ways glance and simply says, Dad?"  My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?"  I said. "I haven't heard from them in years.   I wonder how  Mark is."  Dad responded quietly.  "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said.    "The funeral is 
tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend."  To this day I can still point to
the exact spot on I-494 where  Dad told me about Mark.  

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before.  Mark looked so handsome, so mature.  All I could think at that moment was, Mark I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.  The church was packed with Mark's friends.  Chuck's sister sang "The  Battle Hymn of the Republic."   Why did it have to rain on the day of  the funeral?  It was difficult enough at the graveside.  The pastor said the usual prayers, and 
the bugler played taps.  One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water.  I  was the last one to bless the coffin.  As I stood there, one of 
the soldiers who acted aspallbearer came up to me.   "Were you Mark's math teacher?"  he asked.  I nodded as Icontinued to stare at the coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.

 
After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's  farmhouse for 
lunch.  Mark's mother and father were there, obviously  waiting for me. "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.  I knew without  looking that the papers were the ones on which I 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." Mark's classmates started to gather around us.  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 without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists."  That's when I finally sat down and cried.  I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again. THE END

 

 

EMERGENCY NUMBERS TO REMEMBER

When in sorrow, call John 14
When men fail you, call Psalm 27
If you want to be fruitful, call John 15
When you have sinned, call Psalm 51
When you worry, call Matthew 6:19-34.
When you are in danger, call Psalm 91.
When God seems far away, call Psalm 139.
When your faith needs stirring, call Hebrews 11.
When you are lonely and fearful, call Psalm 23.
When you grow bitter and critical, call 1 Cor. 13.
For Paul's secret to happiness, call Col. 3:12-17.
For idea of Christianity, call 1 Cor. 5:15-19.
When you feel down and out, call Romans 8:31-39.
When you want peace and rest, call Matt. 11:25-30.
When the world seems bigger than God, call Psalm 90.
When you want Christian assurance, call Romans 8:1-30.
When you leave home for labor or travel, call Psalm 121.
When your prayers grow narrow or selfish, call Psalm 67.
For a great invention/opportunity, call Isaiah 55.
When you want courage for a task, call Joshua 1.
How to get along with fellowmen, call Romans 12.
When you think of investments/returns, call Mark 10.
If you are depressed, call Psalm 27.
f your pocketbook is empty, call Psalm 37.
If your loosing confidence in people, call 1 Cor. 13.
If people seem unkind, call John 15.
If discouraged about your work, call Psalm 126.
If you find the world growing small, and yourself great, call Psalm 19
Emergency numbers are toll free, and may be dialed direct. No operator assistance is necessary.
All lines are open to Heaven 24 hours a day!  "Feed your faith, and doubt will starve to death!"

 
 
GARDEN OF HOPE
 Let's plant a garden to last the year round.   Let's use it's harvest all our days.  Hope for a full harvest!!!!!

 
 
 
 


 First plant 5 rows of Peas
     1. Presence
     2. Promptness
     3. Pereserverance
     4. Preparation
     5. Patience

 Next Plant 3 rows of Squash
     1. Squash gossip
     2. Squash indifference
     3. Squash criticism
 Then plant 5 rows of Lettuce

     1. Let us be faithful to duty
     2. Let us be unselfish
     3. Let us be loyal
     4. Let us be true to our obligations
     5. Let us love one another

 No garden is complete without Turnips
     1. Turn up with a smile
     2. Turn up with new ideas
     3. Turn up with a determination to make
         good and worthwhile use of all the blessings,
that have been bestowed upon you.


 
 

 
 

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