Burned Biscuits - "author unknown"

 
When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.
 
On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!
 
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."
 
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"
 
Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I sometimes forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's fault - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
 
And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the basis of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
 
So Please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine. And PLEASE pass this along to someone who has enriched your life.
 
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
 


  

 

 

 

A Father, a Daughter and a Dog - by Catherine Moore

 

 

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"
Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.
"I saw the car, Dad . Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.."
My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.
Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?
Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.
The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.
Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.
At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone..
My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.
Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.
Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad 's troubled mind.
But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.
The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.
Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.."
I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.
I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon.. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied
each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.
Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.
I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.
As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror.. "You mean you're going to kill him?"
"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."
I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me.. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch... "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad !" I said excitedly.
Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.
Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad . He's staying!"
Dad ignored me.. "Did you hear me, Dad ?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw..
Dad 's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.
It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at is feet.
Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.. Dad 's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night.. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.
Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad 's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad 's peace of mind.
The morning of Dad 's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.
And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."
"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.
For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before:  the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. . ..his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.
Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.
God answers our prayers in His time........not ours..
 

 

 

CARROTS, EGGS, AND COFFEE

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen.. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.

In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however.. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you when the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you (I JUST DID); to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!
 



 

 

 

 

The Builder

 

An elderly builder was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

 

He would miss the wages, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

 

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.

 

The builder said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.

 

He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

 

When the builder finished his work the employer came to inspect the house.

 

He handed the front door key to the builder. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you." The builder was shocked!

 

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

 

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building.

 

Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built.

 

If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently.

 

But we cannot go back.

 

You are the builder. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.

 

"Life is a do-it-yourself project," someone has said.

 

Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow.

 

Build wisely!

 

Stuart McK. Muirhead, P.M. Ayr, Scotland.

 

 

 

Classroom Seats.......




Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks. 'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?' She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.' They thought,
'Well, maybe it's our grades.' 'No,' she said. 'Maybe it's our behavior.' She
told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period Still
no desks in the classroom. By early afternoon television news crews had started
gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day
no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to
sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom Now I am going to
tell you.' At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom
and opened it.

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom,
each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in
rows, and then they would walk over and stand along side the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did
it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'

                 
By the way, this is a true story.
Please consider passing this along so others won't forget that the freedoms we
have in this great country were earned by U. S. Veterans.

 

 

 

 

A dog had followed his owner to school. 
His owner was a fourth grader at a public elementary school. 
However, when the bell rang, the dog sidled inside the building and made it all the way to the child's classroom before a teacher noticed and shooed him outside, closing the door behind him. 
The dog sat down, whimpered and stared at the closed doors. 
Then God appeared beside the dog, patted his head, and said, 
 

 
'Don't feel bad fella'...they won't let ME in either'

 

 

 

WET PANTS
 

Come with me to a third grade classroom..... There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened.  It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, 'Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat.'

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, 'Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!'

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!'

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, 'You did that on purpose, didn't you?' Susie whispers back, 'I wet my pants once too.'

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good..

Remember....Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Each and everyone one of us is going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith.
The Prayer:

Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those that I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Where there is need, I ask you to fulfill their needs. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. Amen.

 

 

Imagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together.
For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles,
departures and returns. For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends! This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: Your footprints, that once etched the sand next to Jesus', are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints are your smaller ones, safety you and Jesus are becoming one. This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change. The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger.  Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints; they have become one. This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back. This time it seems even worse!  Zigzags all over the place. Stops....Starts....Deep gashes in the sand.  A veritable mess of prints. You are amazed and shocked.
Your dream ends.

Now you pray: "Lord, I understand the first scene with zigzags and fits.  I was a new Christian; I was just learning. But you walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you."
"That is correct."
"... and when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps; followed you very closely."
"Very good. You have understood everything so far."
"... when the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like you in every way."
"Precisely."
"So, Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than at first."
There is a pause as the Lord answers with a smile in his voice.
"You didn't know? That was when we danced."
 

 

 

 

 

There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat.

 He had an old rifle and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go out hunting and kill some wild game for dinner. 

 As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit. He shot at the rabbit and missed it. The rabbit ran away.

 Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it. The squirrel disappeared into a hole in a cottonwood tree. 
 As he went further, he saw a large wild "Tom" turkey in the tree, but he had only one bullet remaining.



A voice spoke to him and said, "Pray first, aim high and stay focused." However, at the same time, he saw a deer which was a better kill.  He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer. But, then he saw a rattlesnake between his legs about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake. Still, the voice said again to him, "I said 'Pray, Aim high and Stay focused."  So, the man decided to listen to God's voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree and shot the wild turkey. The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun and hit the snake in the head and killed it. And, when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond. When he stood up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and a turkey to eat for his family. The snake (Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God.  Moral of the story: Pray first before you do anything, Aim and shoot high in your goals, and stay focused on God. Never let others discourage you concerning your past. The past is exactly that. "the past."  Live every day one day at a time and remember that only God knows our future and that He will not put you through any more than you can bear. Wait, be still and patient: keep God first and everything else will follow.

This explains the bamboo

 
 
One day I decided to quit.... I wanted to quit my job, my relationship, my
spirituality..... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one
last talk with God.
 
"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
 
His answer surprised me...
 
"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
 
"Yes", I replied.
 
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of
them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the
earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the
bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
 
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again,
nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo".
 
He said. "In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.
But I would not quit.
 
In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. But I
would not quit.
 
He said. "Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.
Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant.
 
But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent
the five years growing roots.
Those roots made it strong and gave it what it
needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could
not handle."
 
He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all
this time you have
been struggling, you have actually been growing roots.
I would not quit
on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don't
compare yourself to others."
 
He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern, yet, they both
make the forest beautiful."
 
"Your time will come," God said to me. " You will rise high!"
 
"How high should I rise?" I asked.
 
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
 
"As high as it can?" I questioned.
 
"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as
you can."

 

 

G U I D A N C E

 

Dancing With God
When I meditated on the word  Guidance,
I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
 

I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.  

When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.  
The movement doesn't flow with the music,  

and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.  

When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead,  
both bodies begin to flow with the music.  

One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back  

or by pressing Lightly in one direction or another.  

It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.  
The dance takes surrender, willingness,  

and attentiveness from one person  

and gentle guidance and skill from the other.  

My eyes drew back to the word  Guidance.  
When I saw "G": I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i".  

"God, "u" and "i" dance."  

God, you, and I dance.  

As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust  
that I would get  guidance about my life.  

Once again, I became willing to let God lead.  

My prayer for you today is that God's blessings  

and mercies are upon you on this day and everyday.  

May you abide in God, as God   abides in you.  

Dance together with God, trusting God to lead  
and to guide you through each season of your life.  


And I Hope You Dance !

 

 

 

Is it Love or Infatuation?
Ann Landers

Infatuation is fleeting desire - one set of glands calling to another. It is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about the relationship that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.

Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time. Love is quiet understanding and mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you.\ - to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his presence, even when he is away. Miles do not separate you. You have so many wonderful films in your head that you keep replaying. But near or far, you know he is yours and you can wait.

Infatuation says, "We must get married right away. I can't risk losing him." Love says, "Be patient. Don't panic. Plan your future with confidence."

Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are together, you hope it will end in intimacy.

Love is not based on sex. It is the maturation of friendship that makes sex so much sweeter. You must be friends before you can be lovers.

Infatuation lacks confidence. When he's away, you wonder if he's being unfaithful. Sometimes, you check.

Love means trust. You are calm, secure, and unthreatened. He feels your trust, and it makes him even more trustworthy.

Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret, but love never steers you in the wrong direction.

Love is elevating. It lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you better than you were before.

 

Benefits of Struggling
(ANON)

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened!

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

And we could never fly.

 

 

 

 
 
SAND & STONE
 
 TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING THROUGH THE DESERT.
 DURING SOME POINT OF THE JOURNEY, THEY HAD AN
 ARGUMENT; AND ONE FRIEND SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE
 IN THE FACE.
 
 THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED WAS HURT, BUT WITHOUT
 SAYING ANYTHING, WROTE IN THE SAND:
 
 TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.
 
 THEY KEPT ON WALKING, UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS,
 WHERE THEY DECIDED TO TAKE A BATH
 
 THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE
 MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING, BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.
 
AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM THE NEAR DROWNING,
 HE WROTE ON A STONE:


 "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE ".
 
 THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND
 ASKED HIM, "AFTER I HURT YOU, YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW,
 YOU WRITE ON A STONE, WHY?"
 
 THE FRIEND REPLIED "WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN IN SAND, WHERE WINDS OF FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY. BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR US, WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE WHERE NO WIND
 CAN EVER ERASE IT."

http://wonderofitall.com

 

 

 

There was a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind. She
hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He's always there for her.

She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her
boyfriend.

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see
everything, including her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend asked her, "Now that you can see the world, will you marry
me?"

The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and she
refused to marry him.

Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying.
"Just take care of my eyes, dear."

This is how the human brain changes when our status changes.

Only a few remember what life was like before and who's always been there
even in the most painful situations.

 

http://www.mayyoubeblessedmovie.com/

 


An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
 
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.
 
"I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
 
The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path but not on the other pot's side?" "That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."
 
"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
 
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

 

The One Flaw In Women

By the time the Lord made woman,

He was into his sixth day of working overtime.

An angel appeared and said,

"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"

And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her?

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,

have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable

and able to run on diet coke and leftovers,

have a lap that can hold four children at one time,

have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart

-and she will do everything

with only two hands."


The angel was astounded at the requirements.

"Only two hands!? No way!

And that's just on the standard model?

That's too much work for one day.

Wait until tomorrow to finish."


"But I won't," the Lord protested.

"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.

She already heals herself when she is sick

AND can work 18 hour days."


The angel moved closer and touched the woman.

"But you have made her so soft, Lord."


"She is soft," the Lord agreed,

"but I have also made her tough.

You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."


"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.


The Lord replied,

"Not only will she be able to think,

she will be able to reason and negotiate."


The angel then noticed something,

and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.

"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.

I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."


"That's not a leak,"

the Lord corrected,

"that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.


The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,

her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,

her loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed.

"You are a genius, Lord.

You thought of everything!

Woman is truly amazing."


And she is!

Women have strengths that amaze men.

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness,

love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about

a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss

can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideals.

They give moral support to their family and friends.

Women have vital things to say and everything to give .

HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,

IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

 

 

 

http://www.promiseofgod.com/sparrow

 

  GOD LIVES UNDER THE  BED                                               
                                                                           

Don't start  reading this one until you've got more than one second to just "scan" over  it.  It deserves some time for  reflection.
                                                                           
I envy Kevin. My  brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed.  At least that's what I heard him say one  night.       
                                                                           
He was praying out loud in  his dark bedroom, and I stopped to  listen,                                                   
"Are you there, God?"  he said.  "Where are you?  Oh,  Under the bed."                                              
I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room.  Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of  amusement.  But that night  something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world  Kevin lives in.                                                     
                                                                           
He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a  result of difficulties during  labor.  Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an  adult.                                                     

He reasons and  communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that      God         lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who  fills the space under our tree every  Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky   
because angels carry them.                                   
                                                                           
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is  different.     
                                                                           
Is he ever  dissatisfied with his monotonous life?                                                

Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for  the disabled, home to walk our cocker  spaniel, return to eat his favorite  macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.   
                                                                           
The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry,  when he hovers excitedly over the  washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.                                           
                                                                           
He does not seem dissatisfied.                               
                                                                           
                                                                           
He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.                                          
                                                                           
He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice  a week to gather our dirty laundry  for his next day's laundry chores.  
                                                                           
And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to  have a soft drink, watch the planes  land, and speculate loudly on the  destination of each passenger inside.                    
"That one's goin' to Chi-car-go!"  Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.                                                    
His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on  Friday nights.                                                       
And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend  field trips.                                                        
He doesn't know what it means to be  discontent.             

His life is  simple.                                          
                                                                           
He will never know  the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats.  His needs have always been met, and he never  worries that one day they may not  be.                                     
                                                                           
His hands are diligent.   Kevin is never so happy as when he is  working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.                       
                                                                           
He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are  done, Kevin knows how to relax.       
                                                                           
He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.                                                
He still believes everyone tells the truth,  promises must be kept, and when you  are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.                                                       
                                                                           
Free from pride and  unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere.  And he trusts God.  Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes  to Christ, he comes as a child.   Kevin seems to know God - to really  be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated" person to grasp.  God seems like his  closest      companion.                                                    
In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my  Christianity I envy the security  Kevin has in his simple faith.           
It  is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal  questions.      
                                                                           
It is then I realize  that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap  . .  I am.  My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances -- they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.                                                        
Who knows if Kevin  comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the  goodness and love of God. And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are  opened, and we are all amazed at how  close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his  bed.                      
                                                                           
Kevin won't be surprised at  all! 

 

"As far as getting help, you have to:
1. Know you need it.
2. Know how to ask for it.
3. Be willing to take it.
4. Ask the right people.
5. Be able to guide your helpers to get what you need.
6. Actively listen to what they tell you.
7. Make an informed decision."
from: The Knitting Way by Linda Skolnik and Janice Macdaniels 2005

 

 

 

I Wish You Enough

Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had
announced the departure.
   Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, "I love you and I wish you enough".
   The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever
 needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom".
  They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she
welcomed me in by asking,  "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?". 
     "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?".
    "I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.
    "When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough'. May I ask what that means?".
     She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone".  She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.  "When we said, 'I wish you enough', we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them".  Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.
  I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
  I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
  I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
  I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
  I  wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
  I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

  I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

 

    She then began to cry and walked away.

 They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

TAKE TIME TO LIVE.....

 

To all my friends and loved ones, 
I WISH YOU ENOUGH (author unknown)

 

 

 

 

 

Please take a moment to relax your mind and humble your heart to focus on Christ. Allow God to be the only person on your mind while you read this prayer. If we can take the time to read long jokes, stories, etc., we should give the same respect to this prayer. Friends, who pray together, stay together.


Dear Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning. I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God. You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me. Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you. I ask now for Your forgiveness.

Please keep me safe from all danger and harm. Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You.

Please broaden my mind that I may accept things that come from you.

Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over. Let me continue to see sin through God's eyes and acknowledge it as evil. And if I should sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth my wrongdoing, and receive the forgiveness of God.

And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus' example -- to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. It's the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits. I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart. Continue to use me to do Your will.

Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those who are lost and can't find their way. I pray for those who are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don't know You intimately. I pray for those who will delete this without sharing it with others. I pray for those who don't believe. But I thank you that I believe.

I believe that God changes people and God changes things. I pray for all my sisters and brothers. For each and every family member in their households, I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.

I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God. Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight. I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly.

This is my prayer.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
(Author unknown)

 

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. 
 
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. 

 
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous " yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions--and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life
would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of  the golf balls first--the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled.
"I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

 

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all.
One is Evil.
  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other is Good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied:


"The one you feed."