More Than Looks Can Tell.

It was a beautiful spring day, a red rose blossomed in a forest. Many kinds of trees and plants grew there. As the rose looked around, a pine tree nearby said, “What a beautiful flower. I wish I was that lovely.” Another tree said, “Dear pine, do not be sad, we can not have everything.”

The rose turned its head and remarked, “It seems that I am the most beautiful plant in this forest.” A sunflower raised its yellow head and asked, “Why do you say that? In this forest there are many beautiful plants. You are just one of them.”

The red rose replied, “I see everyone looking at me and admiring me.” Then the rose looked at a cactus and said, “Look at that ugly plant full of thorns!” The pine tree said, “Red rose, what kind of talk is this? Who can say what beauty is, you have thorns too.”

The proud red rose looked angrily at the pine and said, “I thought you had good taste! You do not know what beauty is at all. You can not compare my thorns to that of the cactus.”

Continue reading More Than Looks Can Tell.

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Important Lessons.

1. Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

“What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. Pickup in the Rain.

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The Man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached..

It read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away… God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”

Sincerely,

Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3. Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked. “Fifty cents,” replied the waitress. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

“Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied

The little boy again counted his coins.

“I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4. The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5.  Giving When it Counts.

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes I’ll do it, if it will save her.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

“Work like you don’t need the money, Love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like you do when nobody’s watching.”

Things aren’t always as it seems.

There was once a man who was ship-wrecked and stranded on an island. Every day he prayed asking God to send someone to rescue him, but to his disappointment, no one ever came.

Months passed and this man learned how to survive on the island. During this time, he accumulated things from the island and stored them in a hut that he constructed. One day after hunting for food and returning back to his hut, much to his dismay he saw that his hut was on fire along with everything else he owned!

All of his possessions were going up in smoke! The only thing he had left were the clothes on his back. Initially he was in shock, and then he was consumed with anger and rage!

In his fury he threw a fist into the air and began cursing God and yelling, “God, how could you let this happen to me? I’ve been praying everyday for months about being rescued and no one has come, and now everything that I have is on fire! How could you do to this to me! Why did you let this happen?”

Later the man was on his hands and knees weeping heavily when he happened to look up and catch sight of a ship coming in his direction. The man was rescued and as they were heading back to civilization the man asked the captain, “How were you able to find me?”

The captain responded, “We were voyaging across the ocean when we noticed on the horizon a column of smoke going up. We decided to go check it out and when we did, that’s when we found you!”

In life we are going to be confronted with challenges, problems, and disasters. But keep in mind that what the devil has meant for bad, God can transform into your good! What is a catastrophe can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalms 34:17-19

The House with Golden Windows

The house with the golden windows

The little girl lived in a small, very simple, poor house on a hill and as she grew she would play in the small garden and as she grew she was able to see over the garden fence and across the valley to a wonderful house high on the hill – and this house had golden windows, so golden and shining that the little girl would dream of how magic it would be to grow up and live in a house with golden windows instead of an ordinary house like hers.

And although she loved her parents and her family, she yearned to live in such a golden house and dreamed all day about how wonderful and exciting it must feel to live there.

When she got to an age where she gained enough skill and sensibility to go outside her garden fence, she asked her mother is she could go for a bike ride outside the gate and down the lane. After pleading with her, her mother finally allowed her to go, insisting that she kept close to the house and didn’t wander too far. The day was beautiful and the little girl knew exactly where she was heading! Down the lane and across the valley, she rode her bike until she got to the gate of the golden house across on the other hill.

As she dismounted her bike and lent it against the gate post, she focused on the path that lead to the house and then on the house itself…and was so disappointed as she realised all the windows were plain and rather dirty, reflecting nothing other than the sad neglect of the house that stood derelict.

So sad she didn’t go any further and turned, heart broken as she remounted her bike … As she glanced up she saw a sight to amaze her…there across the way on her side of the valley was a little house and its windows glistened golden …as the sun shone on her little home.

She realised that she had been living in her golden house and all the love and care she found there was what made her home the ‘golden house’. Everything she dreamed was right there in front of her nose!

Friendship Ship

A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island.
The two survivors who have been a good friends, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.

Continue reading Friendship Ship