An eight-year-old boy approached an old man in front of a wishing well, looked up into his eyes, and asked: "I understand you're a very wise man. I'd like to know the secret of life."

The old man looked down at the youngster and replied: "I've thought a lot in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words.

The first is think. Think about the values you wish to live your life by.

The second is believe. Believe in yourself based on the thinking you've done about the values you're going to live your life by.

The third is dream. Dream about the things that can be, based on your belief in yourself and the values you're going to live by.

The last is dare. Dare to make your dreams become reality, based on your belief in yourself and your values."

And with that, Walter E. Disney said to the little boy, "Think, Believe, Dream, and Dare." 

 
 
Three young men were once given three kernels of corn apiece by a wise old sage, who admonished them to go out into the world, and use the corn to bring themselves good fortune. The first young man put his three kernels of corn into a bowl of hot broth and ate them.

The second thought, I can do better than that, and he planted his three kernels of corn. Within a few months, he had three stalks of corn. He took the ears of corn from the stalks, boiled them, and had enough corn for three meals.

The third man said to himself, I can do better than that!

He also planted his three kernels of corn, but when his three stalks of corn produced, he stripped one of the stalks and replanted all of the seeds in it, gave the second stalk of corn to a sweet maiden, and ate the third.

His one full stalk's worth of replanted corn kernels gave him 200 stalks of corn! And the kernels of these he continued to replant, setting aside only a bare minimum to eat. He eventually planted a hundred acres of corn. With his fortune, he not only won the hand of the sweet maiden but purchased the land owned by the sweet maiden's father.

And he never hungered again. 

 

No Time To Brag

8/29/2012

 
Two geese were about to start southward on their annual migration, when they were entreated by a frog to take him with them. The geese expressed their willingness to do so if a means of conveyance could be devised.

The frog produced a long stalk of pond grass, got the geese each to grab an end with their beaks, while he clung to it by his mouth in the middle. In this way the three began their journey. Some farmers below noticed the strange sight. The men loudly expressed their admiration for the travel device and wondered who had been clever enough to discover it. 

Whereupon the vainglorious frog opened his mouth to say, "It was I," lost his grip, fell to the earth, and was dashed to pieces. 

 

Growing Good Corn

8/29/2012

 
There once was a 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."

 
 
A young woman, deeply in love with her beloved, had not seen him for some time, and was missing him greatly. She also had a teacher whom she loved, and looked forward to the day when they would meet again and she would receive her next teaching.

The day came, and she went eagerly to greet the teacher, hoping also perhaps for a blessing. The teacher welcomed the woman, and handed her a huge basket of freshly picked, perfectly ripened strawberries. Then the teacher said, “Do you see that mountain?”

The woman said yes, she saw the huge rocky peak nearby. The teacher said, “Carry this basket of strawberries up that mountain.” And turned away.

The woman couldn't protest, or even question. The teacher was gone. Reluctantly, she hefted the basket into her arms and turned her steps to the high mountain. Slowly she wound her way up the difficult path, wondering what this assignment was about, why she had to do this, what was the teaching, maybe she had come to the wrong teacher, and so on and on. Grousing and grumbling, stumbling now and again, feeling the sun burn hot on her back, the basket of strawberries growing heavy and cumbersome, she nevertheless found something inside that kept her struggling upward. 

Finally, as the sun was moving deep into the west, she came to the top of the mountain, and found herself standing in a beautiful, peaceful, flower-filled meadow. She had made it! Furthermore, the basket of strawberries was intact. All the exquisite fruit had made the journey without harm.

The woman looked across the meadow, and saw her beloved moving toward her, gazing at her with eyes of profound love and a smile of sweet welcome. 

When the storyteller came to the end of the tale, he added to the teaching by telling us some of the woman's thoughts: “If I had only known that the strawberries were for the Beloved, that the journey was toward my Beloved, I would not have been so fussy or puzzled or grown so weary, or complained so much, or failed to notice the beauty of the mountain I was climbing.” 

 
 
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. 

 

Little Jamie Scott

8/29/2012

 
Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement.. 

"Guess what, Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me....

"I've been chosen to clap and cheer." 

 
 
Once upon a time there was a girl who had four boyfriends.

She loved the fourth boyfriend the most and adorned him with rich robes and treated him to the finest of delicacies. She gave him nothing but the best.

She also loved the third boyfriend very much and was always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms. However, she feared that one day he would leave her for another.

She also loved her second boyfriend. He was her confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with her. Whenever this girl faced a problem, she could confide in him, and he would help her get through the difficult times.

The girl’s first boyfriend was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining her wealth and kingdom. However, she did not love the first boyfriend. Although he loved her deeply, she hardly took notice of him!

One day, the girl fell ill and she knew her time was short. She thought of her luxurious life and wondered, ‘I now have four boyfriends with me, but when I die, I’ll be all alone.’

Thus, she asked the fourth boyfriend, ‘I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?’

‘No way!’, replied the fourth boyfriend, and he walked away without another word.

His answer cut like a sharp knife right into her heart.

The sad girl then asked the third boyfriend, ‘I loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?’

‘No!’, replied the third boyfriend. ‘Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to marry someone else!’

Her heart sank and turned cold.

She then asked the second boyfriend, ‘I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me.  When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?’

‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!’, replied the second boyfriend. ‘At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.’

His answer struck her like a bolt of lightning, and the girl was devastated.

Then a voice called out: ‘I’ll go with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.’

The girl looked up, and there was her first boyfriend. He was very skinny as he suffered from malnutrition and neglect.

Greatly grieved, the girl said, ‘I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!’

In truth, you have four boyfriends in your life:

Your fourth boyfriend is your body. No matter how much time and effort you lavish in making 
it look good, it will leave you when you die.

Your third boyfriend is your possessions, status and wealth. When you die, it will all go to others.

Your second boyfriend is your family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for you, the furthest they can stay by you is up to the grave.

And your first boyfriend is your spirit. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world.

However, your spirit is the only thing that will follow you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout Eternity. 

 

Aim High

8/29/2012

 
There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat.
He had an old rifle and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go
out hunting and kill some wild game for dinner.

As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit. He shot at the rabbit and
missed it. The rabbit ran away. Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot
at the squirrel and missed it. The squirrel disappeared into a hole in
a cottonwood tree. As he went further, he saw a large wild "Tom" turkey in
the tree, but he had only one bullet remaining. 

A voice spoke to him and said, "Pray first, aim high and stay focused."

However, at the same time, he saw a deer which was a better kill. He brought
the gun down and aimed at the deer. But, then he saw a rattlesnake between
his legs about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to
shoot the rattlesnake. Still, the voice said again to him, "I said 'Pray, Aim high and Stay focused?"

So, the man decided to listen to God's voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree and shot the wild turkey. The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun and hit the snake in the head and killed it.
And when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond.

When he stood up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead
deer and a turkey to eat for his family. The snake (Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God. 

 
 
My mother used to ask me what is the most important part of the body? Through the years I would take a guess at what I thought was the correct answer.

When I was younger, I thought sound was very important to us as humans, so I said, "My ears, Mommy."

She said, "No. Many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it and I will ask you again soon."

Several years passed before she asked me again. Since making my first attempt, I had contemplated the correct answer.

So this time I told her, "Mommy, sight is very important to everybody, so it must be our eyes."

She looked at me and told me, "You are learning fast, but the answer is not correct because there are many people who are blind."

Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowledge and over the years, Mother asked me a couple more times and always her answer was, "No. But you are getting smarter every year, my child."

Then last year, my grandpa died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Even my father cried. I remember that especially because it was only the second time I saw him cry. My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to say our final good-bye to Grandpa.

She asked me, "Do you know the most important body part yet, my dear?"

I was shocked when she asked me this now. I always thought this was a game between her and me.

She saw the confusion on my face and told me, "This question is very important. It shows that you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past, I have told you were wrong and I have given you an example why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson."

She looked down at me as only a mother can. I saw her eyes well up with tears.

She said, "My dear, the most important body part is your shoulder."

I asked, "Is it because it holds up my head?"

She replied, "No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life. I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it."

Then and there I knew the most important body part is not a selfish one.

It is sympathetic to the pain of others. 

 

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