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Insp. Stories II

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You will love these short inspiring stories ...

" Page II "

Building Your House The Rose Within Parable Of The Pencil The Praying Hands
EAGLES IN A STORM The Buzzard, the Bat, & the Bumblebee The Mouse Trap Sand and Stone
Mothers day The Making Of A Mother Alexander Fleming Love and Time
Bad Temper Invitation Where are we heading Valentine Roses
Growing Good Corn The secret of Happiness The geese What's Inside

 


Building Your House
 


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over 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 carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you."

The carpenter 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 would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!

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The Rose Within

 

 A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully and before it blossomed, he examined it.

He saw the bud that would soon blossom, but noticed thorns upon the stem and he thought, "How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns? Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and just before it was ready to bloom... it died.

So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The God-like qualities planted in us at birth, grow amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects.

We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.

Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns of another, and find the rose within them.

This is one of the characteristic of love... to look at a person, know their true faults and accepting that person into your life... all the while recognizing the nobility in their soul. Help others to realize they can overcome their faults. If we show them the "rose" within themselves, they will conquer their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.

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Parable Of The Pencil


The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.

"There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."

"One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand."

"Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil."

"Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make."

"Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside."

"And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write."

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.


Now replacing the place of the pencil with you.  Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you'll need it to become a stronger person.

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

Four: The most important part of you will always be what's on the inside.

And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.




Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish.

Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.

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The Praying Hands

Below is a touching story about Dürer's Praying Hands that is circulated widely.
It tells of Dürer doing his creation in appreciation of a brother who went to work
in the mines to support Albrecht's education.

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!

~Source Unknown~
Even though the story is fiction,
I hope the intent of the story is appreciated,
whether true or not.

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EAGLES IN A STORM 

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks?

 The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it.

The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

When the storms of life come upon us - and all of us will experience them - we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us. We can allow God's power to lift us above them.

God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives. We can soar above the storm.

Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them.

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The Buzzard, The Bat, and the Bumblebee

If you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of his ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of ten or twelve feet. Without space to run, as is his habit, he will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

A Bumblebee if dropped into an open tumbler will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In many ways, there are lots of people like the buzzard, the bat and the bee. They are struggling about with all their problems and frustrations, not realizing that the answer is right there above them.

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The Mouse Trap

 A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package; what food might it contain?

He was aghast to discover that it was a mousetrap!

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning, "There is a mouse trap in the house, there is a mouse trap in the house."

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell you this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me; I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mouse trap in the house."

"I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can do about it but pray; be assured that you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow, who replied, "Like wow, Mr. Mouse, a mouse trap; am I in grave danger, Duh?"

So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected to face the farmer's mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught.

In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.

She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well, in fact, she died, and so many people came for her funeral the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat.

So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when the least of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

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Sand and Stone

A story tells that 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 the friend 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 other 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."

LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND, AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE.

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Mothers day

 A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away.
As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.
He asked her what was wrong and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother.
But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars."
The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose."
He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers.
As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home.
She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother."
She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.
The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother's house.

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The Making Of A Mother

 
By the time the Lord made mothers, He was into the sixth day working overtime.  An Angel  appeared and said "Why are you spending so much  time on this one?"

And the Lord answered and  said, "Have you read the spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not elastic; have 200 movable parts, all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that can hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up; have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart; and have six pairs of hands." 

The Angel was astounded at the requirements for this one. "Six pairs of hands! No way!"  said the Angel.

The Lord replied, "Oh, it's not the hands that are the problem.  It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!" 

"And that's on the standard model?" the Angel asked.

The Lord nodded in agreement, "Yep, one pair of eyes are to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head are to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair are here in the front of her head.  They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a single word."

The Angel tried to stop the Lord  "This is too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish."

"But I can'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 feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger and can get a nine year old to stand in the shower." 

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 reached out and touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like You have a leak with this model. I told You that You were trying to put too much into  this one."

"That's not a leak." the Lord objected.  "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 disappointment, her pain, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride."  

The Angel was impressed.  "You are a genius, Lord.  You thought of everything for this one.  You even created the tear!"

The Lord looked at the Angel and smiled and said, "I'm afraid you are wrong again.  I created the woman, but she created the tear!"

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Alexander Fleming

 His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.
"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."
"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.
"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly.
"I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education.
If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."
And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia.
What saved him? Penicillin.
The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill.
His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said what goes around comes around.

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Love and Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,
"Richness, can you take me with you?"
Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!"
"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you."
"Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,

Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who Helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

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Bad Temper

 There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.

When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.

You can stab a man and then take the knife out,

but you will always leave a wound.  

It does not matter how many times you say sorry, the wound will stay.

A wound caused by words hurts just as bad as a physical wound.


Invitation

A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked. "No", she said. "He's out." "Then we cannot come in", they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. "Go tell them I am home and invite them in!" The woman went out and invited the men in. "We do not go into a House together," they replied. "Why is that?" she wanted to know.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?" Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife. "Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."

Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, Wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!"

OUR WISH FOR YOU...

Where there is pain, we wish you peace and mercy.

Where there is self-doubting, we wish you a renewed confidence in your ability to work through them.

Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, we wish you understanding, patience, and renewed strength.

Where there is fear, we wish you love, and courage. Peace to you.

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Where are we heading ?

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; We've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less; we plan more, but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but, lower morals.

We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. Where are we heading ....?

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days.  But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.


And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family an unwise investment indeed.

So what is the morale of the story????


Don't work too hard... and you know what's the full word of family?

FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER, (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU

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Valentine Roses

A touching story.......

Red roses were her favorites, her name was also Rose.
And every year her husband sent them, tied with pretty bows.
The year he died, the roses were delivered to her door.
The card said, "Be my Valentine," like all the years before.

Each year he sent her roses, and the note would always say,
"I love you even more this year, than last year on this day."
"My love for you will always grow, with every passing year."
She knew this was the last time that the roses would appear.

She thought, he ordered roses in advance before this day.
Her loving husband did not know, that he would pass away.
He always liked to do things early, way before the time.
Then, if he got too busy, everything would work out fine.

She trimmed the stems, and placed them in a very special vase.
Then, sat the vase beside the portrait of his smiling face.
She would sit for hours, in her husband's favorite chair.
While staring at his picture, and the roses sitting there.

A year went by, and it was hard to live without her mate.
With loneliness and solitude, that had become her fate.
Then, the very hour, as on Valentines before,
The doorbell rang, and there were roses, sitting by her door

She brought the roses in, and then just looked at them in shock.
Then, went to get the telephone, to call the florist shop.
The owner answered, and she asked him, if he would explain,
Why would someone do this to her, causing her such pain?

 "I know your husband passed away, more than a year ago,"
The owner said, "I knew you'd call, and you would want to know."
"The flowers you received today, were paid for in advance."
"Your husband always planned ahead, he left nothing to chance."

"There is a standing order, that I have on file down here,
And he has paid, well in advance, you'll get them every year.
There also is another thing, that I think you should know,
He wrote a special little card...he did this years ago."

 "Then, should ever, I find out that he's no longer here,
That's the card...that should be sent, to you the following year."
She thanked him and hung up the phone, her tears now flowing hard.
Her fingers shaking, as she slowly reached to get the card.

Inside the card, she saw that he had written her a note.
Then, as she stared in total silence, this is what he wrote...
"Hello my love, I know it's been a year since I've been gone,
I hope it hasn't been too hard for you to overcome."

"I know it must be lonely, and the pain is very real.
For if it was the other way, I know how I would feel.
The love we shared made everything so beautiful in life.
I loved you more than words can say, you were the perfect wife."

"You were my friend and lover, you fulfilled my every need.
I know it's only been a year, but please try not to grieve.
I want you to be happy, even when you shed your tears.
That is why the roses will be sent to you for years."

"When you get these roses, think of all the happiness,
That we had together, and how both of us were blessed.
I have always loved you and I know I always will.
But, my love, you must go on, you have some living still."

 "Please...try to find happiness, while living out your days.
I know it is not easy, but I hope you find some ways.
The roses will come every year, and they will only stop,
When your door's not answered, when the florist stops to knock."

"He will come five times that day, in case you have gone out.
But after his last visit, he will know without a doubt,
To take the roses to the place, where I've instructed him,
And place the roses where we are, together once again."

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Growing Good Corn

 There was a Nebraska farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon...

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. 

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves.

So it is in other dimensions. Those who choose to be at peace must help their neighbors to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. 

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.
 

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The Secret of Happiness

 

 A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.

          Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.

          The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.

          “ ‘Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something’, said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’

          “The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.

          “ ‘Well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

          “The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“ ‘Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,’ said the wise man. ‘You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.’

          “Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceiling and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.

    “ ‘But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?’ asked the wise man. “Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.

          “ ‘Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of the wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.’”

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The Geese

In the fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in the "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who are part of a team and share a common direction get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the trust of one another and lift each other up along the way.

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Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation and share information with those who are headed the same way that we are going.

 

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When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose takes over.

It pays to share leadership and take turns doing hard jobs.

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The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed.

Words of support and inspiration help energize those on the front line, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue. It is important that our honking be encouraging. Otherwise it’s just – well honking!

 

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Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by a gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of the formation and follow the injured one down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group.

When one of us is down, it’s up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other when things get rough. We will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go.

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The next time you see a formation of geese, remember...              

IT IS A REWARD, A CHALLENGE AND A PRIVILEGE to be a contributing member of a TEAM.

 

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A young black boy saw a balloon seller on a street corner.
His eyes sparkled as he gazed at all the different colored
balloons - red, blue, white, black, yellow...

The old man selling the balloons saw the boy hesitate, then
gather his courage and approach.

"Tell me mister," said the boy, "Do the black balloons fly
as high as the others?"

The old man felt a tear forming in his eye. He picked the boy
up, sat him on his knee and said, "Look."

He let go of all the balloons. They drifted up in a cluster,
higher and higher into the blue sky, until they were so high
they disappeared.

"Did you see that?" the balloon seller asked.

"Yes," said the boy.

"Did the black balloons fly as high as the others?"

"Yes, Mister, they did."

"You see my boy, the balloons are like people. The important
thing isn't their color, or what they look like on the outside.
No, the important thing is WHAT'S INSIDE.

And what's inside you makes all the difference in life."

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This site was last updated 04/01/11