An Important Job

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

An Important Job

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight.

I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because I’ve been provided shelter for my mind and body.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

To Whom Shall We Go?

They knew what He meant and what He was claiming, and they were offended by His words and began to murmur.

It’s hard for some to accept, but nonetheless it’s true, we live in trying times, and if our commitment to Christian discipleship is lukewarm, we will not weather the storms ahead. Considering this sobering fact, there is a story in John 6 that inspires me, especially when the tests and trials seem too much for me to bear.

Two and one-half years into His ministry, Jesus was at the height of His popularity. Literally thousands followed Him, and sought to hear Him or see His miracles. Late one afternoon, Jesus miraculously fed more than 5000 people with five loaves and two small fishes – a great miracle. So impressed were the people by this miracle that they attempted to take Jesus, and make Him king by force. Jesus, of course, would have none of it.

The next day they came looking for Him again, hoping again to be fed by Him. Jesus rebuked them. They could think no further than their bellies. He commanded them to, “Labour not for the [that] meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life…” (John 6:27) – to which they replied, “…Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life…” (John 6:34-35)

And indeed, He is. He is the staff of our eternal life, the only and true source of spiritual sustenance, and they knew it. They knew what He meant and what He was claiming, and they were offended by His words and began to murmur.

Jesus rebuked them for murmuring, and He continued by teaching that without Him, not one of them would have claim on Eternal Life.

Well, that really offended them. Sitting in that Capernaum synagogue were not only a host of the curious and the skeptics, but also a significant crowd of His disciples. And they too were offended by His strong doctrine – so much and so many, if fact, that it is recorded, “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66) The test was just too much.

Well, as they walked away, – and can you visualize this? – Jesus turned to the Twelve and said – and this is my point – “…Will ye also go away?” (John 6:67)

And Peter answered on behalf of the twelve – and I love his answer – “…Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of Eternal Life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, The Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69)

These were not fair-weather followers. To them it was Him, and only Him. No test; no trial would turn them away.

May it be so with us. When we are tested and tried, and they tempt us to turn our backs and walk away, may we look to the Savior with steeled resolve and singleness of heart, and say similarly, “…Lord, to whom shall we go?…” (John 6:68)

Adapted from John 6

Remarkable Obituary

He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Remarkable Obituary

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense. Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn’t always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place- Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge financial settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Emergency Flashers!

A blond’s car gets a flat tire on the Interstate one day. So she
eases it over onto the shoulder of the road. She carefully steps out
of the car and opens the trunk. Takes out two cardboard men, unfolds
them and stands them at the rear of the vehicle facing oncoming
traffic. The lifelike cardboard men are in trench coats exposing their
nude bodies to approaching drivers…

Not surprisingly, the traffic became snarled and backed up. It wasn’t
very long before a police car arrives. The Officer, clearly enraged,
approaches the blond of the disabled vehicle yelling, “What is going
on here?”

My car broke down, Officer” says the woman, calmly. “Well, what the
hell are these obscene cardboard pictures doing here by the road?!”
asks the Officer…

“Oh, those are my Emergency Flashers!” she replied.

THE VETERAN
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN, who salutes the Flag,

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT
SHINE UPON THEM.

If I Lose My Way

“If I lose my way, will you come find me? If I forget who I am, will you remind me?”

If the Lord delights in the song of the heart, then He must equally delight in the heart that writes the song. Well, this is the story of an inspired song.

A few years ago, a friend of mine, Fay, was a sad and lonely college student – lost in the vastness of a huge university. Fay is also a songwriter.

One day a song that she had previously written came back to her mind and seemed to press itself upon her. There was a lyric that she felt she just had to write into that song, even though it would alter the theme.

The lyric said, “If I lose my way, will you come find me? If I forget who I am, will you remind me?”

Well, she wrote it. But then when she tried to make the rest of the song fit new theme, it wouldn’t fit. Inspiration just wouldn’t come, and she worked and she pondered; finally she asked the Lord to help her.

And then, two days later, on a Sunday morning at 6 A.M., she was awakened by a commotion outside her window. Groggy with sleep, she sat up in bed and looked down from her cramped second story attic apartment and saw a police officer, a police car, and a very old man. The old man was standing in the brisk morning air wearing nothing but his underwear.

“What are you doing!” the officer asked in a rough voice.

The old man looking like a lost little boy responded with a helpless shrug of his shoulders, but he said nothing.

“What’s your name?” the officer asked in a voice a little less rough.

Again, a blank shrug of the shoulders was the only response.

“Where do you live?” This time the voice was gentle and entreating.

But another shrug was the only reply.

And then it came: Understanding washed over Fay like the light of dawn, and her eyes filled with burning tears. Here was this sweet old man who had probably lived a long and a full life of service, and now he was lost, he was alone, and he was literally out in the cold. Where was his family? Were they looking for him even at that moment? Was anyone looking for him?

Humbled to the depths and feeling almost like an intruder, Fay watched quietly as the officer helped the old man into his car and drove him away. She was suddenly filled with the feeling that she just wanted to go down and help him; she just wanted to rescue him – do something for him! – The poor man!

She sank back into her bed, and her tears changed to sobs. But now they weren’t just for the old man, they were for herself. She was just like him. She knew her name, of course. She knew her address, but she was lost! She was empty and disconnected from her Heavenly Father.

Overcome by it all, she lie there in bed and just let the tears roll, and the image of the old man burn itself into her brain. She went to Church, and cried all through the meetings unable to forget him.

Somewhere in the coming hours and days, it came to her. This was it. This was the answer to her prayers. The Lord wanted Fay to finish that song, and now she could. Over the next few days, line upon line, the song came to be. And through the course of writing that song inspired by the old man, Fay too found her way home.

She wrote in the song, “And if I lose my way, He will come find me. If I forget who I am, He will remind me. It’s a long, long road, and I don’t have to make it on my own.”

We do not have to traverse the path of life along. There is an iron rod nearby. The midsts of darkness will come, but they do not need to disorient us. Remember, and remember always, the light of the world is just up ahead.

From the experience of Fay Belnap, as told by Glenn Rawson – March 19, 2006

What Exactly Is It?

Gene King of Employee Resource Management, Inc. says, “Five years ago I went to work with two guys who invested $10,000. Using it, we now have a $30 million corporation that is just getting going, of which I own 20%.”

When Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, was in the army, he came across a book that described it. When he was discharged, he put it into practice, and the rest is history.

Hugh Marshall, CEO of HRM Enterprises, Inc., learned of it when he was 17. He says, “I am now 45. Using it, since my teens I have made well over $120 million.”

Gene King of Employee Resource Management, Inc. says, “Five years ago I went to work with two guys who invested $10,000. Using it, we now have a $30 million corporation that is just getting going, of which I own 20%.”

WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?

It’s your breakthrough to an extraordinary and fulfilling life!

There are no limitations except those you acknowledge. Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
— Napoleon Hill
It is “Mind-Set”

The Nobleman’s Son

– there are no limits to God! He can do anything for us He wants to if we will let Him.

May I speak to those of you who find yourself right now in need of God, but aren’t getting the answers you want?

One day Jesus came into the little town of Cana of Galilee, where He was met by a nobleman. It seems that this man’s son was dying. And so, desperately he begged Jesus to come down and heal him. Well, the son is 20 miles away in Capernaum. What the father wanted was for Jesus, right then and there, to travel to Capernaum and presumably lay His hands on the boy and heal him.

What happened next in the story is intriguing. Instead of commending the man for his faith in coming in the first place, Jesus chides him saying, “…Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” (John 4:48)

What? Well, the man’s not offended, but rather he persists saying, “…Sir, come down ere my child die.” (John 4:49)

Why does Jesus rebuke him? It’s obvious he has faith. But maybe because this man is like so many of us. He came to Jesus for help, telling Jesus where, when, and how that help was to be delivered. In his mind, unless Jesus was physically there in Capernaum, the boy couldn’t be healed. But Jesus is so much more than this man ever imagined. He is Lord of the universe! He has all power, all knowledge; with Him indeed all things are possible. It seems audacious to put God in a box!

Well, Jesus stretching the man’s faith said, “…Go thy way; thy son liveth…” (John 4:50)

The man believed the Lord’s healing word, and he set out for home. On the way, he was met by his servants announcing that his son was indeed on the mend. When he asked them when the boy began to heal, he was informed that it was the seventh hour, the exact same moment that Jesus had spoken.

He went for a miracle of healing, and returned converted to the Gospel – he and all his household. He, like so many of us, can get far more than we set out for – if we’ll just remember – there are no limits to God! He can do anything for us He wants to if we will let Him. His ways are not our ways. They’re better!

I think therefore that you can see that to surrender your stubborn will to God in faith is to set both of you free.

From thoughts and stories of Glenn Rawson – March 2007

Facing Change

Many people fear change in their own lives. In truth, there is nothing that does not change.

One of the most important aspects of life is that it is always changing.

In the past, change was seen as a bad thing. In Babylon, cast-iron laws were written. In Egypt, death was very difficult to accept and the mummification of Pharos was a sign that the people could not accept the change in their leader. Change has been difficult to deal with for many great civilizations.

One of the most influential ideas came from Charles Darwin, believe it or not.

Darwin changed the way we view change. Whereas change was once seen as something that robbed us of tradition and of security, Darwin taught us that change was good. Darwin taught us that everything evolved for the better and that any change that would occur would always result in something better replacing it.

The impact of this idea is very easy to comprehend. Just look at how much the world has changed in the last 250 years, compared to the millions of years before this.

The only reason for such a catalyzed result is the change in our attitude towards change.

Many people fear change in their own lives. By just adapting this part of Darwin’s belief (not all of his concepts, but look for the good in this concept) that all changes occur for the good, remarkable changes will begin to take place as you embrace this crucial natural law of nature and of life.

EXERCISE

Change
How do you view change? Do you embrace change? Do you fear change? Change is a natural part of life. Our bodies change, our thoughts change, our beliefs change, our friends change and our families change. In truth, there is nothing that does not change. Fortunately, it is in our ability to control the way in which you respond to change. Believe that all change occurs for the good and you will find great peace and acceptance as your world continues to change.

Thinking!?!

Descartes says, “I think, therefore I am”.

For many people, thinking means to sit down quietly and examine something difficult, perhaps referring to books or other resources.

We often ‘think’ that thinking is something that only students and academics do, or something that is reserved for times of crisis.

In truth, we are always thinking because thinking is a natural part of life.

Thinking is simply the process of building sensations (from our five senses) into ideas and then turning these ideas into principles.

Once we have these principles (whether they concern grammar, music, physics, business), we use them to create something tangible.

An example is the airplane. We have observed how birds fly, developed the idea of creating an airplane, learned the principles that allow things to fly (the law of physics, the shape of the wings etc) and finally applied these principles to create an air-plane.

Thinking is something that we always do. As Descartes says, “I think, therefore I am”.

ANALYSIS

Thinking:
We often mistake thinking as something that only academics and philosophers are good at. The truth is that we are all thinkers and we think all the time. In fact, some of the world’s greatest thinkers were neither academics or philosophers. More importantly, some had very little formal education and simply allowed their mind to do what it naturally does best.

A friend loveth at all times. Proverbs, 17:17

Cooperation will solve many problems. Even freckles would be a nice tan if they would get together.

DIPLOMACY

Diplomacy is a peaceful substitute for shooting.

The person who is tactful has the knack of making a point without making an enemy.

Diplomacy is the ability to take something and make the other fellow believe he is giving it away.

A diplomat possesses the art of handling a porcupine without disturbing the quills.

Arch Ward says that tact is the ability to shut your mouth before someone else wants to.

COOPERATION

Cooperation is spelled with two letters: “W E.” –G.M. Verity

Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success.

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.

You can’t applaud with one hand.

If you see a turtle on a stump, you know he didn’t get there by himself.

Cooperation will solve many problems. Even freckles would be a nice tan if they would get together.
—————
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. -Benjamin Franklin

A friend loveth at all times. — Proverbs, 17:17

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK (OR IS IT?)

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500
employees and has the following statistics:

29 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits

84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
Can you guess which organization this is? Could it be the NBA, NFL…..
Give up yet?

It’s the 535 members of the United States Congress!!!

The same group of Idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year
designed to keep the rest of us in line. Why aren’t we keeping them in line?
We need to clean “house”.

UpLifts For Life by: Gil Howe
If you can’t see the bright side then polish the dull side.

A half-truth is a whole lie!

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth.

Yiddish expressions of wisdom through proverbs:

A child’s tear rends the heavens.

Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house.

Don’t be too sweet lest you be eaten up; don’t be too bitter lest you be spewed out.

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth.

Surrounding yourself with dwarfs does not make you a giant.

If you are bitter at heart, sugar in the mouth will not help you.

A half-truth is a whole lie.
——–

I Want To Excel

When you think about it, competing is not always such a great thing. It means running along the same well-beaten track as everyone else, comparing yourself to everyone else, and only winning if you’ve beaten everyone else.

To excel is an entirely different concept. When you give your best effort because it matters to you personally, when you emphasize your strengths and manage your weaknesses, when you are focused on your own accomplishments without being conscious of anyone else’s failures, then you have truly excelled. Figure out what you need to do, do your best and don’t worry about what the other guy might be doing.
—————-

Our own progress can be enhanced if we can look for solutions instead of being critical of those around us and blaming external conditions for our lack of progress. — Marvin J. Ashton

“Nothing brings out hidden qualities like passion.” — Robert K. Cooper

UpLifts For Life by: Gil Howe
If you can’t see the bright side then polish the dull side.