THE "BIG" SECRET!
By Jerry Clark
Today was an interesting day for me. I had two people on separate unrelated occasions call to "Interview" me in an effort to find out the "Secrets" to my "Success." Typically I would simply refer these people to my tapes because that's why I created them in the first place. However, I was curious to see what these young men were looking for so I stayed with each of them for over 30 minutes answering whatever questions they had for me.
As I was answering their questions, I could tell that they were intently listening for a "Magic Formula" to just jump out at them at any moment. They both asked everything from what companies I was with, to what systems I used, to what type of upline support I had, did I have children while building my business, did any of my family members get started with me, where did I get my leads, when did I go full-time, and so on and so on...I answered their questions with statements like this, "I just talked to lots of people, made lots of mistakes, and got lots of rejection." I'm sure that must have motivated them...
Well after they were done asking me questions, they thanked me and promised to keep me posted on their development. Later on during the day after working out, I jumped in my Dry Sauna to reflect on my conversation with each of these individuals. This is when all of a sudden a "Light" went off in my head. The "Secret" to my "Success" came to me in the form of an inner voice that said, "THE SECRET DIDN'T HAVE MUCH TO DO WITH WHAT YOU DID, BUT IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT YOU THOUGHT."
Somewhere along my journey in this industry, I developed the habit of thinking predominately about the things I desired and not the things I didn't desire. Always remember that WHATEVER YOU THINK ABOUT EXPANDS. Therefore, if you constantly think about not being able to pay your bills, then you get more of not being able to pay your bills. If you constantly think about why your business is not growing, then you get more of your business not growing. If you constantly think about how afraid you are to talk to people, then you get more fear of not talking to people, etc.
However, if you constantly think about the awesome people that are joining you in your business, you will eventually get awesome people joining you in your business. If you constantly think about how abundant you are, then you will become more abundant. If you constantly think about how you tend to attract open and motivated people, then you will attract more open and motivated people.
This may sound simple or maybe even spooky to some of you, but the bottom line is it works. In fact, it's a Universal Law. For those of you who have listened to my Creating Magic tape set, you may remember when I said that YOUR BRAIN IS BOTH A RECEIVING SET AND A BROADCASTING STATION FOR THE VIBRATIONS OF THOUGHT. Understand this, you can literally train your mind to think only on the things you desire, therefore dialing into the Station that will allow those things to be received by you. It may take some time to re- condition your mind to think this way, but it's worth it...So always remember that Success in this business or in life in general doesn't really have as much to do with what you do as it does with what you think...And that, my friends, is "THE BIG SECRET." Until Next Time...Go, Go, Go!!!
There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup. They said, May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful. As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. "You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and I was clay.
My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, 'let me alone, but he only smiled, 'Not yet.' "Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. Stop it! I'm getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, 'Not yet.' Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as He shook his head, 'Not yet.' Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. 'There, that's better,' I said. And he brushed and painted me all over.
The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. 'Stop it, stop it!' I cried. He only nodded, 'Not yet.' Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, 'Not yet.' Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, 'Look at yourself. And I did. I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful.'
'I want you to remember', then he said, 'I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.
MORAL: God knows what He's doing (for all of us). He is the Potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will. WORD: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not tempt you beyond what you can bear... (1 Cor 10:13) VERSE: Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. -- Colossians 1:21, New International Version
THOUGHT: So many people reject God because of the things they do not want to give up for him. They may couch it in an intellectual argument, but quite often they do not want to surrender their will to God because it will mean giving up something they love that is in conflict with the character of God. Many evangelists know that intellectual arguments seldom will win this kind of person to the truth. Instead, they must come to know Jesus and His sacrificial love for them before they are able to realize that God's demand for holiness in them is because He is their ally, not their enemy.
PRAYER: Holy and almighty God, I praise you for your love and holiness. Thank you for satisfying both by sending Jesus to save me. I regret the times that I saw your desire for holiness to be too demanding or harsh. I thank you for loving me enough to not only save in Jesus, but also to call me to a holy life under your protection and care. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
A TEST FOR LOVE
John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library.
Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address.
She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like.
When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. "You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my lapel." So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he'd never seen.
I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened: A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. "Going my way, sailor?" she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then saw Hollis Maynell.
She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankle feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was splitting in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.
And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?"
The woman's face reddened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!" It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom.
The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive. "Tell me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, And I will tell you who you are.
THE CRACKED POT
A water bearer in India had two large pots. Each hung on either end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect. The perfect pot always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, while the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his masters house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts." the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, our flaws are used to grace life's table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.
An elderly carpenter 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 paycheck, 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 carpenter 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 his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well. So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently. Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house.
Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.
As I sat on the beach just south of San Diego I watched as a father and his children joyfully ran to the beach and started digging frantically into the sand. They cleared out a large flat area and began the construction of what was certainly to be an impressive sand castle. At first the kids really tore into it with dad. Slowly but surely they lost interest. Trips to the shore-line to gather shells for window and door treatment got longer and longer. After a while the kids were walking down the beach with their mother throwing shells into the ocean, chasing sea gulls, and running out into the waves and back. But the father kept at the task of building the sand castle until it was complete. He worked hard and alone as he filled and emptied buckets. If you asked him he probably would have said he enjoyed vacation time because he could be with his kids. Sad thing is next morning all that was left was a mound of sand and a moat-like ring in the flat spot they created for the castle. So the father gave up his time with the kids for something that was washed out to sea when the tide came in, all the while thinking he was "with" his kids."
THE FARMER'S SON
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.
Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always, Jesus
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least."
She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk, leaving Ruth with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags. Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it."
Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway." The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. "Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag. Thank you lady. Thank you very much! "Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.
"You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. "Thank you lady! Thank you very much!" Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal and thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Love Always, Jesus
The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them -- work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls -- family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life....How?
Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.
Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.
Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.
Don't forget that a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way. Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift: that's why we call it - The PRESENT.
The Burning Hut
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.
Paul wrote, "...I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12). Paul had confidence that good would come out of everything (Romans 8:28), so he learned to be thankful, not bitter, even when he was suffering.
Remember next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.
There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it 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 young 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 put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there.
A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care.
Top Ten Secrets
The first secret - the power of thought. Love begins with our thoughts. We become what we think. Loving thoughts create loving experiences and loving relationships. Affirmations can change our beliefs and thoughts about ourselves and others. If we want to love someone, we need to consider their needs and desires. Thinking about your ideal partner will help you recognize them when you meet them.
The second secret - the power of respect. You cannot love anyone or anything unless you first respect them. The first person you need to respect is yourself. To begin to gain self-respect ask yourself, "What do I respect about myself?" To gain respect for other's, even those you may dislike, ask yourself "What do I respect about them?"
The third secret - the power of giving. If you want to receive love, all you have to do is give it! The more love you give, the more you will receive. To love is to give of yourself, freely and unconditionally. Practice random acts of kindness. Before committing to a relationship ask not what the other person will be able to give to you. But rather what will you be able to give them. The secret formula of a happy, lifelong relationship is to always focus on what you can give instead of what you can take.
The fourth secret - the power of friendship. To find true love, you must first find a true friend. Love does not consist of gazing into each other's eyes, but rather looking outward together in the same direction. To love someone completely you must love them for who they are, not what they look like. Friendship is the soil through which love's seed's grow. If you want to bring love into a relationship, you must first bring friendship.
The fifth secret - the power of touch. Touch is one of the most powerful expressions of love, breaking down barriers and bonding relationships. Touch changes our physical and emotional states and makes us more receptive to love.
The sixth secret - the power of letting go. If you love something, let it free. If is comes back to you it's yours, if not it never was. Even in a loving relationship, people need their space. If we want to learn to love, we must first learn to forgive and let go of past hurts, and grievances. Love means letting go of our fears, prejudices, ego's and conditions. "Today I let go of all my fears, the past has no power over me-today is the beginning of a new life".
The seventh secret - the power of communication. When we learn to communicate openly and honestly, life changes. To love someone is to communicate with them. Let the people you love know that you love them and appreciate them. Never be afraid to say those three magic words: "I Love You" Never let an opportunity pass to praise someone. Always leave someone you love with a loving word- it could be the last time you see them. If you were about to die but could make telephone calls to people you loved, who would you call, what would you say and why are you waiting?
The eighth secret - the power of commitment. If you want to have love in abundance, you must be committed to it, and that commitment will be reflected in your thoughts and actions. Commitment is the true test of love. If you want to have loving relationships, you must be committed to loving relationships. When you are committed to someone or something, quitting is never an option. Commitment distinguishes a fragile relationship from a strong one.
The ninth secret - the power of passion. Passion ignites love and keeps it alive. Lasting passion does not come through physical attraction alone, it comes from deep commitment, enthusiasm, interest and excitement. Passion can recreate past experiences when you felt passion. Spontaneity and surprises produce passion. The essence of love and happiness are the same, all we need to do is to live each day with passion.
The tenth secret - the power of trust. Trust is essential in all loving relationships. Without it, one person becomes suspicious, anxious and fearful and the other person feels trapped and emotionally suffocated. You cannot love someone completely unless you trust them completely. Act as if your relationship with the person you love will never end. One of the ways you can tell whether a person is right for you is to ask yourself, "Do I trust completely and unreservedly?" If the answer is "no", think carefully before making a commitment.
SPIRITUALITY by Eman8tions
Spirituality is not about being neutral. It's about integration, not suppression. We are created with passion and feeling, strengths, weaknesses, hopes, dreams, and an amazing array of abilities, appearances, and history. Look at what we are and what we've done. An innovator, an inventor, an artist. All rebel against things as they are. There is a paradox.
We must accept what is, as it is, in the form it manifests, before we can change it. Before the light bulb can exist we must face the dark. Spirituality is the alive energy of the world, exuberant, loving, caring, accepting, changing. There is a way in which we are powerless, but there is also a way that power is unleashed in us. Ah....the wisdom to know the difference.
LIVING WITH TROUBLES From firstname.lastname@example.org (Your Life Support System)
Few of us enjoy suffering. We will usually choose comfort over discomfort and pleasure over pain. But we will each face our own share of adversity. When I feel "put upon" and afflicted, I remember words once inscribed on a plaque at the Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine in New York. They have been reproduced in many forms over the years and have helped countless people through problems and difficulties. Here they are:
"I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey. I asked for health, that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of persons. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for--but everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I, among all people, am most richly blessed." Isn't it true that some of life's greatest gifts come disguised as troubles?
THE BIG ROCKS
An expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students. As he stood in front of this group of high achievers, he announced a quiz and pulled out a wide-mouthed, one gallon jar and set it on the table. Then he unpacked about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, in the jar When the jar was filled to the top with rocks and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" and everyone in the class said, "Yes."
"Really," he said and reached under the table and pulled out a pail of gravel. He dumped the gravel in the jar and shook the jar, causing the pieces of gravel to work themselves down in the spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him. Probably not," one of them answered.
Good," he replied, and reached under the table for a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand into the jar and it went into the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is the jar full?" "No," shouted the class. Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and poured it into the jar until it was full to the brim. He looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager student raised his hand. "The point is that no matter how full your schedule, if you try really hard, then you can always fit in more things." "No," the speaker said. "The truth this illustration teaches us is: if you don't put the big rocks in first then you'll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life? Time with loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams. Remember to put the BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all." The question then is: What are the big rocks in your life? Then, put them in your jar first.
OUR BEST SELVES From email@example.com (Your Life Support System)
Someone sent the following piece to me. It is a reminder that we can really only change one person -- ourselves. But that is enough! The good you find in others, is in you too. The faults you find in others, are your faults as well. After all, to recognize something you must know it. The possibilities you see in others, are possible for you as well. The beauty you see around you, is your beauty. The world around you is a reflection, a mirror showing you the person you are.
To change your world, you must change yourself. To blame and complain will only make matters worse. Whatever you care about, is your responsibility. What you see in others, shows you yourself. See the best in others, and you will be your best. Give to others, and you give to yourself. Appreciate beauty, and you will be beautiful. Admire creativity, and you will be creative. Love, and you will be loved. Seek to understand, and you will be understood. Listen, and your voice will be heard. Teach, and you will learn. Show your best face to the mirror, and you'll be happy with the face looking back at you." (Author Unknown)
It was a cold winter day that Sunday. The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car that fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked in the church. As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He was almost laying down, as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you could not see his face. He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet, with holes all over them, and his toes stuck out. I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by, through the doors of the church.
We all fellowshipped for a few minutes, and someone brought up the man laying outside. People snickered and gossiped, but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me. A few moments later church began. We all waited for the preacher to take his place and to give us the Word, when the doors to the church opened.
In came the homeless man walking down the aisle with his head down. People gasped and whispered and made faces. He made his way down the aisle and up onto the pulpit where he took off his hat and coat. My heart sank. There stood our preacher . . . he was the "homeless man." No one said a word. The preacher took his Bible and laid it on his stand. "Folks, I don't think I have to tell you what I am preaching about today."
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band -- he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall! The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
Epilogue. . . .There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness, when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.
THE ISLAND OF LOVE
Once upon a time, there was an island where all 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 repaired their boats and left. Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment. When the island was almost sinking, 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 for help, "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 of Love. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder her name. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way.
Love realizing how much he owed the elder, 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 with Time and Wisdom, are you capable of understanding how great Love is."
The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed, his legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap, he sat. In deep meditation he sat. Suddenly his zazen was interrupted by the harsh and demanding voice of a samurai warrior. "Old man! Teach me about heaven and hell!" At first, as though he had not heard, there was no perceptible response from the monk. But gradually he began to open his eyes, the faintest hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth as the samurai stood there, waiting impatiently, growing more and more agitated with each passing second. "You wish to know the secrets of heaven and hell?" replied the monk at last. "You who are so unkempt. You whose hands and feet are covered with dirt. You whose hair is uncombed, whose breath is foul, whose sword is all rusty and neglected. You who are ugly and whose mother dresses you funny. You would ask me of heaven and hell?" The samurai uttered a vile curse. He drew his sword and raised it high over his head. His face turned to crimson, and the veins of his neck stood out in bold relief as he prepared to sever the monk's head from its shoulders. "That is hell," said the old monk gently, just as the sword began its descent. In that fraction of a second, the samurai was overcome with amazement, awe, compassion and love for this gentle being who had dared to risk his very life to give him such a teaching. He stopped his sword in mid-flight and his eyes filled with grateful tears. "And that," said the monk, "is heaven."
An Argument that is so wonderfully answered....that is truly "Genius". Read On:
An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and.....
Professor: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Professor: Is God good?
Professor: Is God all-powerful?
Student : Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm? (Student is silent.)
Professor: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?
Professor: Is Satan good?
Student : No.
Professor: Where does Satan come from?
Student : From...God...
Professor: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student : Yes.
Professor: So who created evil? (Student does not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student :Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them? (Student has no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God? Student : No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student : No , sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelled your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student : No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student : Yes.
Professor: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Student : No sir. There isn't. (The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it. (There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)
Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?
Student : You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light.... But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir? (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class is in uproar.)
Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)
Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelled it?.....No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir? (The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Professor: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student : That is it, sir. The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.
That young man was ALBERT EINSTEIN.......
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