Friday, April 30, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/30/2021

 Friday Tale ~ Carl 

Carl was a quiet man. He didn't talk much. He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake. Even after living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well.

 When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his characteristically un-assuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed up. He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared finally happened. He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him. Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked, "Would you like a drink from the hose? The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure", with a malevolent little smile.

 As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's arm, throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled.

 Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg. He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running to help him. Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he couldn't get there fast enough to stop it.

 "Carl, are you okay? Are you hurt?" the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet. Carl just passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head. "Just some punk kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday."

 His wet clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water. Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, "Carl, what are you doing? "I've got to finish my watering. It's been very dry lately," came the calm reply.

 Satisfying himself that Carl really was all right, the minister could only marvel. Carl was a man from a different time and place.

 A few weeks later the three returned. Just as before their threat was unchallenged. Carl again offered them a drink from his hose. This time they didn't rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water. When they had finished their humiliation of him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done. Carl just watched them.

 

Then he turned toward the warm giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering. 

 

The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him. He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches. As he struggled to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer tormentors reaching down for him.

 

He braced himself for the expected attack. "Don't worry old man, I'm not gonna hurt you this time." The young man spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl. As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and handed it to Carl. "What's this?" Carl asked.

 "It's your stuff," the man explained. "It's your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet." "I don't understand," Carl said. "Why would you help me now?"

 The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. "I learned something from you," he said. "I ran with that gang and hurt people like you. We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But every time we came and did something to you instead of yelling and fighting back, you tried to give us a drink. You didn't hate us for hating you. You kept showing love against our hate."

 He stopped for a moment. "I couldn't sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back."

 He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say. "That bag's my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess."  And with that, he walked off down the street.

Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo. He gazed for a moment at the young bride that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.

 He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended his funeral in spite of the weather. In particular, the minister noticed a tall young man that he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the church. The minister spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life. In a voice made thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do your best and make your garden as beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden."

 The following spring another flyer went up. It read: "Person needed to care for Carl's garden." The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners until one day when a knock was heard at the minister's office door. Opening the door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the flyer.

 "I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man said.  The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the stolen watch and wallet to Carl. He knew that Carl's kindness had turned this man's life around.  As the minister handed him the keys to the garden shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him."

 The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done.  In that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community. But he never forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.

 One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn't care for the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My wife just had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home on Saturday.

 "Well, congratulations!" said the minister, as he was handed the garden shed keys. "That's wonderful! What's the baby's name?"

 "Carl," he replied

~ Unknown Author

 Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.
And her wilderness He will make like Eden;
and her desert like the garden of the LORD.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and a sound of a melody.
~ Isaiah 51:3

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/29/2021

 If you go as far as you can see,
you will then see enough
to go even further.
~ John Wooden 

For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
it hastens toward the goal
and it will not fail.
Though it seems to tarry, wait for it;
for it will certainly come;
it will NOT delay.
~ Habakkuk 2:39

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/28/2021

 If I could tell the world just one thing
it would be we're all okay, and
not to worry because worry is wasteful
and useless in times like these.
I won't be made useless.
I won't be idle with despair;
I will gather myself around my faith.
Light does the darkness most fear
.
~ Jewel

Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
~ Psalm 37:3

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/27/2021

 Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear -
not absence of fear.
~ Mark Twain 

But you, be strong and do not
lose courage, for there is
reward for your work.
~ 2 Chronicles 15:7

Monday, April 26, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/26/2021

 Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day, saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
~ Mary Ann Radmacher

These things I have spoken to you,
so that in me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
BUT take courage;
I have over come the world.
~ John 16:33

Friday, April 23, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/23/2021

 Friday Tale - People Perspective

 The Wrath of John D. Rockefeller

 A senior executive of Standard Oil Company in 1901 made a wrong decision that cost the company more than $2 million. Back then this was a lot of money, even for Standard Oil.

    John D. Rockefeller was still running the firm. On the day the news leaked out most of the executives of the company were finding various ingenious ways of avoiding Mr. Rockefeller, lest his wrath descend on their heads as well.

    There was one exception, Edward Bedford, a partner in the company. Bedford was scheduled to see Rockefeller that day and he kept the appointment, even though he was prepared to listen to a long harangue against the man who made the error in judgment.

    When he entered the office the powerful head of the gigantic Standard Oil empire was bent over his desk busily writing with a pencil on a pad of paper. Bedford stood silently, not wishing to interrupt. After a few minutes Rockefeller looked up.

    “Oh, it’s you, Bedford,” he said calmly. “I suppose you’ve heard about our loss?”

    Bedford said that he had.

    “I’ve been thinking it over,” Rockefeller said, “and before I ask the man in to discuss the matter, I’ve been making some notes.”

    At the top of the page Rockefeller had written the man’s name. There followed a long list of the man’s virtues, including a brief description of how he had helped the company make the right decision on three separate occasions that had earned many times the cost of his recent error.

    Bedford said: “I never forgot that lesson. In later years, whenever I was tempted to rip into anyone, I forced myself first to sit down and thoughtfully compile as long a list of good points as I possibly could.”

    “Invariably, by the time I finished my inventory, I would see the matter in its true perspective and keep my temper under control. There is no telling how many times this habit prevented me from committing one of the costliest mistakes any executive or any person can make -- losing his temper.”

    “I commend it to anyone who must deal with people.”

~ Unknown author

 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable
BUT he who restrains his lips is wise.
~ Proverbs 10:19

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/22/2021

 Quotations help us remember the
simple yet profound truths that
give life perspective and meaning.
~ Criswell Freeman

A wise man will hear and increase in
learning, and a man of understanding
will acquire wise counsel, to
understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
~ Proverbs 1:5-6

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Thought for theDay 4/21/2021

 Gardens are not made by singing,
"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting
in the shade, but by sowing, digging
.
~ Rudyard Kipling 

Sow with a view to righteousness,
reap in accordance with kindness,
break up your fallow ground,
for it is time to seek the LORD
until He comes to rain
righteousness on you.
~ Hosea 10:12

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/20/2021

 He who spends time
regretting the past,
loses the present, and
risks the future.
~ Quevedo 

Nevertheless, with most of them God
was not well pleased, for they were
laid low in the wilderness.
Now these things happened to them
as an example and they were written
for our instruction, upon whom
the ends of the ages have come.
~ 1 Corinithians 10:5, 11

Monday, April 19, 2021

4/19/2021

 Oh yes, the past can hurt.
BUT you can either run from it
or, learn from it.
~ The Lion King

For whatever was written in earlier
times was written for our instruction,
so that through perseverance and the
encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
~ Romans 15:4

Friday, April 16, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/16/2021

 Friday Tale - I've Learned

 I've learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

* I've learned.... That just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.

* I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.

* I've learned.... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

* I've learned.... That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

* I've learned.... That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

* I've learned.... That money doesn't buy class.

* I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular! 

* I've learned... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

* I've learned.... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

* I've learned.... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

* I've learned.... That love, not time, heals all wounds.

* I've learned... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

* I've learned.... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

* I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

* I've learned.... That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

* I've learned.... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

* I've learned.... That I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

* I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

* I've learned.... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

~ Anonymous

 

Not that I speak from want,

for I have learned to be content

in whatever circumstances I am.

~ Philippians 4:11

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/15/2021

 Seeds of faith are always within us; 
sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish
and encourage their growth.
~ Susan L. Taylor 

Consider it all joy when you
encounter various trials, knowing
that the testing of your faith
grows endurance. And let
endurance have it's perfect result,
so that you may be perfect and
complete, lacking in nothing.
~ James 1:2-4

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/14/2021

 Criticism, like rain, should be
gentle enough to nourish a
man's growth, without
destroying his roots.
~ Frank A. Clark 

Give instruction to a wise man
and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man and
he will increase his learning.
~ Proverbs 9:9

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/13/2021

 Challenge yourself every day
to do better and be better.
Remember, growth starts with
a decision to move beyond
your present circumstances.
~ Robert Tew

Be like newborn babies, long for the
pure milk of the word, so that by it
you may grow in respect to salvation.
~ 1 Peter 2:2-3

Monday, April 12, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/12/201

Life is change.
Growth is optional.
Choose wisely
.
~ Anonymous 

May the Lord cause you to increase
and abound in love for one another,
and for all people.
~ 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Friday, April 09, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/9/2021

 Friday Tale - Dog-gone Good Advice

IF a dog was the teacher, you would learn stuff like:  

* When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.  

* Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.  

* Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.  

* When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

* Let others know when they've invaded your territory.  

* Take naps.

* Stretch before rising.

* Run, romp, and play daily.

* Thrive on attention and let people touch you. 

* Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

* On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. 

* On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

* When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body

* No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout!  Run right back and make friends.   

* Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

* * Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not.  

* If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

* When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

~ Unknown

 But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
let them ever sing for joy;
and may You shelter them, that those
who love Your name may exult in You.
~ Psalm 5:11

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/8/2021

 Little things seem nothing BUT
they give peace, like those
meadow flowers which individually
seem oderless, BUT all
together perfume the air.
~ Georges Bernanos

Lovingkindness and truth have met
together; Righteousness and peace
have kissed each other.
~ Psalm 85:10

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/7/2021

 God gave you a gift of 86,400
seconds today. Have you used
one to say "Thank you"?
~ William Arthur Ward 

Therefore, I will give thanks to You,
O LORD, among the nations; and
I will sing praises to Your name.
~ 2 Samuel 22:50

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Thought for the Day 1/6/2021

 Forgiveness is not a whitewashing
of the past. Forgiveness is declaring
a new beginning to create space
for a joyful present and future.
~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie 

For He rescued us from the domain
of darkness, and transferred us to
the Kingdom of His beloved Son, in
whom we have redemption, the
forgiveness of sins.
~ Colossians 1:13-14

Monday, April 05, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/5/2021

 If the only prayer you said
in your whole life was
"Thank you," that would suffice.
~ Meister Eckhart 

Through Jesus then, let us
continually offer up a sacrifice
of praise to God, that is,
the fruit of lips that
give thanks to His name.
~ Hebrews 13:15

Friday, April 02, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/2/2021

 Friday Tale - Attitude is Everything

 Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"           

               He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed Him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"               

               Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."               

               "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.               

               "Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."                

               I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.                

               Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"                

               I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.                

               "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.

               " I knew I needed to take action."               "What did you do?" I asked.

                               "Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."                

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
~ Francie Baltazar Schwartz

So choose life in order that you may live,
you and your descendants,
by loving the LORD your God,
by obeying His voice, and
by holding fast to Him;
for this is your life and the length of your days.
~ Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Thought for the Day 4/1/2021

Today is your day to laugh at life.
Laugh loud - laugh often.
Laugh at what's funny.
Laugh at me - laugh at you.
Laugh.
~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie (amended) 

A time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:4 

Thought for the Day 5/17/2021

BUT as I look back at my life, it is easy to see that the times when my wisdom and understanding grew to new levels; those times when I appr...