Patience|Hardships [v30]

AUGUST 2001

PATIENCE…ANTIDOTE TO IRRITATIONS — What really ‘bugs’ you? Traffic jams? Interruptions? Rude people? Unreturned phone calls? Bad service? Tight budgets? Nagging doubts? How many of them can you relate to? I’m sure you have a few of your own.

Patience is considered one of the rarest of virtues—and it hard to cultivate—especially in a fast-paced ‘microwave’ culture like ours. It has been said that, “Rome was not built in a day.” It is an irksome reminder that good things take time and great things take even longer. Ours is a winner-oriented world—but our character grows stronger as we ‘climb out’ of the crucible rather than waving the ‘flag’ of success. Pain remains a marvelous teacher…a strict but faithful professor.

The pain of irritations can produce good things, depending on your response—and nature gives us many examples. A grain of sand finds its way inside the shell of an oyster. The intruder, though microscopic, is a source of irritation and pain to the soft body of the oyster. Unable to rid itself of the unwelcome pebble, the oyster seeks to reduce the irritation by coating it with layers of healing fluids. Over time, the painful irritation is transformed into a beautiful pearl of great value.

The key to ‘true’ patience is your view of God—especially when your heart longs for an answer to your prayers. When you are convinced that God is wise and loving and acting on your behalf, then you have a “peace that transcends understanding” as you patiently ‘rest’ for the solution. God’s answers may not be quick, but be sure that if you believe that He indeed “works all things for the good of those who love Him.”

It has been said that trials produces endurance and mature character—and this doesn’t come overnight. So are you going to concentrate on the pain or the possibilities? Are you going to focus on the pebble or the pearl? Breakdowns can be transformed into breakthroughs!

So, when hardships invade your life, allow God’s Spirit to shape your response. Don’t be bitter. Don’t ‘rush ahead’ of God’s plan for you—and allow Him time to turn that irritation into an opportunity for your growth. Watch for a beautiful ‘pearl’ to emerge from your set of painful circumstances! Even the kingdom of Heaven has been described as a “pearl of great price”—that when we ‘find’ it, we will willingly ‘sell everything’ to obtain it.

‘True’ patience calmly waits knowing that God is in control—and if you haven’t really thought about it or felt it mattered much in your life, might I encourage you to sincerely ask God to ‘show’ His sovereignty to you. It has been said that all nature proclaims the work of His hands, and that He is our “help and our shield” for those who wait for Him.
[Excerpts from Charles R. Swindoll]

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v30) for AUGUST 2001
(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at: mbesh@ameritech.net)

I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me… Thank you’s to:

Joy Asashon
Richard Bachman
Linda Besh
Bill Bishop
Bob Dorigo Jones

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PATIENCE
– A virtue which carries a lot of wait
– Counting down without blasting off

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NINE REQUISITES FOR CONTENTED LIVING
Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.
[Johann von Goethe]

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BEAUTIFUL PRAYER
I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No. It is not for me to take away your pain, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No. Her spirit is whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. Patience is a by product of tribulations; It isn’t granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness
God said, No. I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me.
God said…Ahhhh, Finally you have the idea.
[Author unknown]

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BE THANKFUL
– Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
– Be thankful when you don’t know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
– Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
– Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
– Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.
– Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
– Be thankful when you’re tired and weary, because it means you’ve made a difference.
– It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
– Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.  [Author unknown]

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On Nov. 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. If you have ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that getting on stage is no small achievement for him. He was stricken with polio as a child, and so he has braces on both legs and walks with the aid of two crutches.

To see him walk across the stage one step at a time, painfully and slowly, is an unforgettable sight. He walks painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the locks on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play.

By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage to his chair. They remain reverently silent while he undoes the locks on his legs. They wait until he is ready to play.

But this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke. You could hear it snap -it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what that sound meant. There was no mistaking what he had to do.

People who were there that night thought to themselves: “We figured that he would have to get up, put on the locks again, pick up the crutches and limp his way off stage – to either find another violin or else find another string for this one.”

But he didn’t. Instead, he waited a moment, closed his eyes and then signaled the conductor to begin again. The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity as they had never heard before. Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that, and you know that, but that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that.

You could see him modulating, changing, recomposing the piece in his head. At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them that they had never made before.

When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the auditorium. We were all on our feet, screaming and cheering, doing everything we could to show how much we appreciated what he had done.

He smiled, wiped the sweat from this brow, raised his bow to quiet us, and then he said, not boastfully, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone, “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

What a powerful line that is. It has stayed in my mind ever since I heard it. And who knows? Perhaps that is the way of life – not just for artists but for all of us.

So, perhaps our task in this shaky, fast-changing, bewildering world in which we live is to make music, at first with all that we have, and when, when that is no longer possible, to make music with what we have left.   [Jack Riemer, Houston Chronicle]

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THE JAR
The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit. He quoted the Bible saying, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount.  But they are different,” he explained.

Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilled out. “When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference was within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed. Until we are upset we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

What if someone tipped you over today? What would flow out? Would you reveal the “honey” of grace and patience, or the “vinegar” of anger and sarcasm? “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Have a terrific day knowing that the one who upsets you may be just looking for some honey!

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CAN’T WE ALL FIND OURSELVES SOMEWHERE IN THIS STORY?
Not too long ago I had “one of those days.” I was feeling pressure from a writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple days and toilet was clogged. I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine. By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner.

Deciding on Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed a Tupperware from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned. My husband isn’t a picky eater, but even HE won’t eat baked beans that look like caterpillars. Really frustrated now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition-free: hot dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull.

The bag didn’t open. I tried again. Nothing happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a hearty wrestle. With a loud pop,the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom.  Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the bag, and it was empty. It was the final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream. “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!”

My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage: an opened can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips. My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process!

I stared. I fumed. Pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile.  Eventually I had to laugh. And finally I decided to join him. I, too, took a leap onto the chips. And then I danced. Now I’ll be the first to admit that my husband’s response wasn’t the one I was looking for. But the truth is, it was exactly what I needed. I didn’t need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it’s simply this: Has God ever stomped on your chips? I know that, in my life, there have been plenty of times when I’ve gotten myself into frustrating situations and I’ve cried out for help, all the while hoping God would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess I’ve made of things. What often happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in the manner that is best for me after all. Sometimes I can see right away that God’s response was the best one after all. Sometimes I have to wait weeks or months before I begin to understand how and why God answered a particular prayer the way He did. There are even some situations that, years later, I’m still trying to understand. I figure God will fill me in sooner or later, either this side of Heaven or beyond.

Do I trust Him? Even when he’s answering my prayers in a way that is completely different from my expectations? Even when he’s dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping:? Can I embrace what He’s offering? Can I let His joy adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of the dance he’s dancin’ with my needs in mind? I’ll be honest with you: Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I’m working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the older I get the more I realize that He really does know what He’s doing. He loves me and I can trust Him. Even when the chips are down.  [Received from Richard Bachman]

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THE FATE OF SANDCASTLES
You’ve watched it, too. I know I’m not the first or only person who has seen it. But there is a lesson in it that we both may have overlooked.

There are some children on a beach. They’re playing and giggling — building sand castles all the while. They seem so intent on the project. You get amused at how meticulous and careful they are with crumbly corners and towers. The looks on their faces as they screw their mouths around and stick out their tongues make you smile. Their resolute concentration on the task is priceless.

Then a big wave begins building and starts toward shore. But the kids don’t panic. Instead, they do the strangest thing. They jump to their feet, scream with delight, and watch the torrent of water wash away their creations. There is no panic. No sadness. No bitterness. Even children know the inevitable end of sand castles. They are neither surprised nor angry about what has happened.

You and I should be so wise. The stuff of this world is about as lasting and durable as children’s sand castles on the beach. Yet we grownups can get so caught up in it, defensive of it, and depressed over the loss of it.

God didn’t create you to be famous, get rich, live in the biggest house, or drive the fanciest car. He created you for his glory. He put you in the world to love people and do holy things. Your destiny is not bound up in physical things, but spiritual. So living to be a hundred is far less important than living well — even if for a short time. Beautifying your body is far less urgent than purifying your soul.

Children know that their sand castles are brief joys destined to disappear with an incoming tide. So they don’t fret as the waves approach. They watch their creations get swept away without shedding tears. Again, we should be so wise.

Everything about this life is fleeting and perishable. The incoming wave of human mortality is going to sweep it all away. Like sand castles, nothing done for the sake of this world can last. Only what we do for eternity will survive.

What would the loss of your job or business do to you? What if your house were lost to fire or storm? What if a strange pain sent you to your physician and led to the discovery that you have only a few weeks to live? These things really do happen to people, you know. We are all as vulnerable as sand castles.

Life is God’s gift. Revel in every good thing. But as you enjoy your creations in the sand, just remember not to get overly attached to them.   [Rubel Shelly]

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THOUGHTS AND QUOTES
– There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual except indecision.
– The more we give of anything, the more we shall get back.
– Where there is great love, there are always miracles.
– A true friend is one who likes you even when you act like yourself.
– It’s true that money can’t buy happiness, at least, not at today’s prices.
– No one can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.
– Feed your faith, and your doubts will starve to death.
– Those who think it is permissible to tell “white lies” soon become color blind.
– Nothing improves little prayers faster than big trouble.
– Choice, not chance, determines one’s destiny.
– Success is a matter of luck; ask any failures.
[Authors unknown]

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A very good friend of mine, who lives across town in a condo, says that not only am I redundant and superfluous, but I also tend to use many more words than it is absolutely necessary to get my point across fully—thankfully he has never commented on my grammar.   [Mark Besh]

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A Daily Encounter reader rightfully shares how we can’t always get well even though we want to. Healing can be a difficult thing to understand. Some people get healed. Others don’t. Lazarus and Dorcas were raised from the dead, while John the Baptist lost his head and stayed dead.

It is still true, however, that if we want to be made well/whole, it needs to be more than a wish. In life, it’s what we do, not what we say, that speaks the loudest of all. And it’s what we do about what we say we want that makes the difference between a wish and a want.

Nevertheless, there are some burdens that we may need to learn to live with and manage for we live in a broken and imperfect world. For these issues we need long-suffering which can help us to grow in faith, patience, and every grace.

However, there are other problems in life that can be resolved. For example, some people are ill because they are harboring a long-standing grudge and refuse to forgive the one/s who hurt them. I know one man whose wife divorced him twenty years ago and who has long since remarried, but he is still clinging to the fantasy that she is going to come back to him. These instances are suffering long. They are a waste of time. There is no benefit to be gained whatsoever… only bitterness, unhappiness and illness.

This is why the Serenity Prayer is so simple but so profound.

“God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  [Dick Innes]

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Proofread Carefully: To see if you any words out.

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TAKING OUT THE TRASH
I just finished taking out the garbage and I must say that the house smells so much nicer now. In the humid heat of Summer an overflowing trash can will soon begin to take on a life of its own. It is not a good life either. It is rather one filled with disgusting, noxious odors and rotting, decaying filth. Happily, though, it is a simple matter to take the garbage out the door and to the trash bin.

Sometimes our own lives can start to resemble a trash can. Sometimes we collect so much anger, resentment, and negativity that we start to stink as well. The longer we hold on to these things the worst the smell gets too. Our lives literally become garbage cans full of the rot and decay of anger, hate, fear, pain, and depression. Looking at the garbage doesn’t make it go away either. Analyzing it and sorting through it doesn’t make it any less disgusting. In order to get rid of the garbage in your life you have to tie up the bag and toss it out.

It is as simple as it sounds too. Just take those negative thoughts out of your mind and those negative feelings out of your heart. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes and know that God forgives you too. Forgive others as well and send them your love. Begin to choose love and joy again in what you think, feel, and do. Begin to share that love and joy with others and to help them in any way you can. Before long you will realize that the trash you have been holding inside you is gone and all that is left is peace, joy, happiness, love, and oneness with God.

Remember then to take out your trash often. Remember to keep your life and your soul clean of the garbage that negativity brings. Life was meant to be a garden of love and joy not a dump.  [Joseph J. Mazzella]

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PERCEPTION
A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at proper viewing distance and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet and it can be seen in its true setting, just one more tiny bump on the pathway to eternity.  [Celia Luce]

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COULD YOU HURRY A LITTLE?
Lord, I know there are countless times
When I must wait patiently for You.
Waiting develops endurance.
It strengthenens my faith
And deepens my dependence upon You.
I know You are Sovereign God–
Not an errand boy
Responding to the snap of my finger.
I know Your timing is neatly wrapped
In Your incomparable wisdom.
But, Lord
You have appointed prayer
To obtain answers!
Even David the Psalmist cried
With confident boldness:
“It is time, O Lord, for you to act.”
God, on this silent sunless morning
When I am hedged in on every side
I too cry boldly.
You are my Father, and I am Your child.
So, Lord, could You hurry a little?
[Ruth Harms Calkin]

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Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a person to use the Net and he won’t bother you for weeks.

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LISTEN OR WAIT
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit to fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids running out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door!  He slammed on the brakes and reversed back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. He jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid who threw the brick and pushed him against a parked car shouting. “What was that all about? Just what the heck are you doing?”

Building a head of steam he went on. “That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money!!”

“Please, mister, please. I’m sorry, I didn’t know what else to do!!” pleaded the youngster. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop…” tears were dripping down the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see` that everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and May God  bless you,” the grateful child said to him. The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long walk back to his Jaguar ….a long, slow walk. He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.

God whispers in your soul and speaks to your heart.  Sometimes when you don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a “brick” at you. It’s your choice: Listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick…[Author Unknown]

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When someone is in your life for a REASON… It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

Then people come into your life for a SEASON. Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons: things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life.  [Received form Joy Asashon]

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CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY ARE TAUGHT…
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn;
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight;
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy;
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty;
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient;
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence;
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate;
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice;
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith;
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself;
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.
[Dorothy Law Holte]

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God is a mystery we can not grasp
He’s far and near with His task–

He has to be awesome to interest us
E’en with wondrous, powerful touch.

I feel uncomfortable when folks proclaim
All His traits unknown by name–

They lump them together and call them God,
Minimum reverence and awe.

We’re told to go in our closet to pray
But we’d rather orate all day–

We speak of His mind, desires and power
Faster, louder by the hour.

It is often quoted, “God said to kill”
Or “find a closet to be still”–

“Don’t go praying on a street corner,
Do all things to His honor”.

His thoughts and pleas will all agree,
Known in the B-I-B-L-E–

Like a little child, we too must be
Pure and free from enmity.

When he spoke of the poor widow’s mite
It was her last and not trite–

When He spoke of love or called by name
It was for life, not a game.

I doubt He’s changed His ways for the day
Watching, fearing we will stray–

He hears our every passionate plea
In judgment He’ll not appease.
[cebs]

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GOD CHOSE WHOM?
The world might say there are many reasons why God wouldn’t want to use you or me. But don’t worry!

Moses stuttered.
David’s armour didn’t fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
Solomon was too rich.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Timothy had ulcers.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer.
So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Mary was lazy.
Samson had long hair.
Noah got drunk

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? So did Peter, Paul – well, lots of folks did.

God doesn’t require a job interview. He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses, because He’s more our Dad than our Boss. God doesn’t look at financial gain or loss. He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need. As much as we try, God’s gifts are free.

We could do wonderful things for wonderful people, and still not be wonderful.

Satan says, “You’re not worthy.”
Jesus says, “So what? I AM.”
Satan looks back and sees our mistakes.
God looks back and sees The Cross.
He doesn’t calculate what you did years ago, or even days ago!
Why, it’s not even on His record!

Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t want us. But if we are utterly in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been or what we look like.

Step out of your “limitations” and the measureless (boundless) nature of who God is!
[Received from Linda Besh]

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YOUR KEY IS STILL IN THE IGNITION
Some time ago I read the following story in “Focus on the Family” magazine about a man who bought a car that had replaced warning lights with spoken instructions from a woman.

In a soft voice, his little woman, as he called her, would say, “Your door isn’t closed properly.” “Your key is still in the ignition.” “Your seatbelt isn’t fastened properly.”

On one occasion, he recalled how the voice of his little woman said, “Your fuel level is getting low.”

The driver thanked her and, figuring he had sufficient fuel to take him fifty more miles, ignored the voice and kept driving. Soon his little woman repeated, “Your fuel level is low.” The longer he drove, the more his little woman repeated her warning.

Getting frustrated, he stopped his car, searched under the dashboard, and found the appropriate wires. One quick jerk and his little woman was silenced. Imagine the look on his face when, a few minutes later, his car sputtered and jerked to a standstill out of fuel! One could almost imagine a grin on his “little woman’s face!”

We all have a little voice within. It’s called conscience. It can get very annoying at times, too. Sometimes we “pull its wires” and, too late, we discover we are “out of fuel.”

One danger when we ignore the voice of our conscience and don’t live according to our convictions, is that our mind experiences what counselors call cognitive dissonance. That is, mental disharmony. Because this is too uncomfortable to live with, we switch off our conscience.

When we do this often enough our mind, motivated by the avoidance of discomfort, does a double take. It not only switches off the voice of conscience but turns on the voice of rationalization and justification. We then end up believing our own lies.

The sad fact is that if we don’t live the life we believe, we end up unhappily believing the life we live. The Bible calls this having a seared conscience, a dangerous and self-destructive path to follow.

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THE CLASSIFIEDS
(Actual excerpts from classified sections)

– Illiterate? Write today for free help.
– Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere again.
– Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.
– Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.
– Stock up and save. Limit: one.
– Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale.
– For sale: antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
– Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home too.
– Vacation Special: have your home exterminated. Get rid of aunts. Zap does the job in 24 hours.
– Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast.
– Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated. Come here first.
– Wanted: Hair cutter. Excellent growth potential.
– Wanted. Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
– And now, the Superstore-unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.
– We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home.
[Received from Richard Bachmann]

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LIFE JUST ISN’T
Life isn’t about keeping score. It’s not about how many people call you and it’s not about who you’ve dated, are dating or haven’t dated at all. It isn’t about who you’ve kissed, what sport you play, or which guy or girl likes you. It’s not about your shoes or your hair or the color of your skin or where you live or go to school. In fact, it’s not about grades, money, clothes or colleges that accept you or not. Life isn’t about if you have lots of friends, or if you are alone, and it’s not about how accepted or not accepted you are.  Life just isn’t about that.

But life is about who you love and who you hurt. It’s about how you feel about yourself.  It’s about trust, happiness and compassion. It’s about sticking up for your friends and replacing inner hate with love. Life is about avoiding jealousy, overcoming ignorance and building confidence. It’s about what you say and what you mean. It’s about seeing people for who they are and not what they have. Most of all, it is about choosing to use your life to touch someone else’s in a way that could never have been achieved otherwise. These choices are what life’s about.  [Author unknown]

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MORNING PRAYER
Dear Lord:
So far today, I’ve done real good! I haven’t gossiped or lost my temper. I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent, and I am very thankful for that!

But God, in a few minutes I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m going to need a Lot More Help !!   Amen.

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DAFFYNITIONS:
– Adolescence: The period when a teenager feels he will never be as dumb as his parents
– Americans: People with more timesaving devices yet less time than anybody else in the world
– Coach: One who is always willing to lay down your life for his job
– Dentist: A magician who puts metal in your mouth and pulls coins from your pocket
– Dermatologist: One who makes rash judgments
– Diplomacy: The art of saying “nice doggie” until you can find a rock
– Disarmament: An agreement between nations to scuttle all weapons that are obsolete
– Efficiency Expert: The person smart enough to tell you how to run a business but too smart to start his own
– Experience: The name we give our mistakes
– Hunch: An idea you’re afraid is wrong
– Incentive: The possibility of getting more money than you earn
– Lame Duck: A politician whose goose is cooked
– Life Insurance: A policy that keeps you poor so you can die rich
– Planning: The art of putting off until tomorrow what you have no intention of doing today
– Professor: One who talks in someone else’s sleep
– Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of.
– Rich Man: One who is not afraid to ask the clerk for something cheaper
– Tact: The ability to see others as they wish to be seen.

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IF PEOPLE BOUGHT CARS LIKE THEY BUY COMPUTERS
General Motors doesn’t have a “help line” for people who don’t know how to drive, because people don’t buy cars like they buy computers — but imagine if they did …

CALL #1:
HELPLINE: “General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?”
CUSTOMER: “I got in my car and closed the door, and nothing happened!”
HELPLINE: “Did you put the key in the ignition slot and turn it?”
CUSTOMER: “What’s an ignition?”
HELPLINE: “It’s a starter motor that draws current from your battery and turns over the engine.”
CUSTOMER: “Ignition? Motor? Battery? Engine? How come I have to know all of these technical terms just to use my car?”

CALL #2:
HELPLINE: “General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?”
CUSTOMER: “My car ran fine for a week, and now it won’t go anywhere!”
HELPLINE: “Is the gas tank empty?”
CUSTOMER: “Huh? How do I know?”
HELPLINE: “There’s a little guage on the front panel, with a needle, and markings from ‘E’ to ‘F.’ Where is the needle pointing?”
CUSTOMER: “It’s pointing to ‘E.’ What does that mean?”
HELPLINE: “It means that you have to visit a gasoline vendor, and purchase some more gasoline. You can install it yourself, or pay the vendor to install it for you.”
CUSTOMER: “What!? I paid $12,000 for this car! Now you tell me that I have to keep buying more components? I want a car that comes with everything built in!”

CALL #3:
HELPLINE: “General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?”
CUSTOMER: “Your car sucks!”
HELPLINE: “What’s wrong?”
CUSTOMER: “It crashed, that’s what went wrong!”
HELPLINE: “What were you doing?”
CUSTOMER: “I wanted to run faster, so I pushed the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor. It worked for a while, and then it crashed — and now it won’t start!”
HELPLINE: “It’s your responsibility if you misuse the product. What do you expect us to do about it?”
CUSTOMER: “I want you to send me one of the latest versions that doesn’t crash anymore!”

CALL #4:
HELPLINE: “General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?”
CUSTOMER: “Hi! I just bought my first car, and I chose your car because it has automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering, power brakes, and power door locks.”
HELPLINE: “Thanks for buying our car. How can I help you?”
CUSTOMER: “How do I work it?”
HELPLINE: “Do you know how to drive?”
CUSTOMER: “Do I know how to what?”
HELPLINE: “Do you know how to drive?”
CUSTOMER: “I’m not a technical person! I just want to go places in my car!”

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MARK TWAIN SAWINGS
– Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
– Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
– Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah… didn’t miss the boat.
– Why shouldn’t truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense.
– I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
– When angry count four; when very angry, swear.
– It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
– There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
– Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
– Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
– Adam was the only man who, when he said a good thing, knew that nobody had said it before him.

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If you had a bank that credited $86,400 to your account each morning, carried over the balance from day to day, allowed you to keep no cash in your account at the end of 24 hours, canceled out whatever part of that amount you failed to use, what would you do?

Try to spend every cent, of course! Well, everyone does have such a bank, and its name is TIME. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds.

The next morning at the same hour it rules as lost whatever of this you failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance and allows no overdrafts.

If you don’t use the day’s deposit, the loss is yours. There is no going back, no drawing against tomorrow.

How do you spend your daily surplus? Best wishes for an enormous return on your investment today!

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I have seen repeatedly the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way.  The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition. For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the money we could have banked. For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless. But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That’s a mere $24.44 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice says don’t have children if you want to be “rich,” It is just the opposite. What do your get for your $160,140?

– Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
– Glimpses of God every day.
– Giggles under the covers every night.
– More love than your heart can hold.
– Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
– Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
– A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
– A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
– Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus. You have an excuse to keep: reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars. You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling the wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless. You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of lines in your obituary called grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

ENJOY YOUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS!!!!!!!!!  [Received from Bob Dorigo Jones]

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FRIENDS
–  Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
– To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart.
– Anger is only one letter short of danger.
– If someone betrays once, it is his fault;  If he betrays you twice, it is your fault
– Great minds discuss ideas;  Average minds discuss events;  Small minds discuss people.
– He who loses money, loses much;  He who loses a friend, loses much more;  He who loses faith, loses all.
– Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,  But beautiful old people are works of art.
– Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
– It’s National friendship week. Send this to everyone you consider a friend. If it comes back then you’ll know you have a circle of friends.
[Eleanor Roosevelt – Received from Bill Bishop]

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A golfer, now into his golden years, had a lifelong ambition to play one hole at Pebble Beach, California the way the pros do it. The pros drive the ball out over the water onto the green that is on a spit of land that juts out off the coast.

It was something he had tried hundreds of times without success. His ball always fell short, into the ocean. Because of this he never used a new all on this particular hole. He always picked out one that had a cut or a nick.

Recently he went to Pebble Beach to try again. When he came to the fateful hole, he teed up an old cut ball and said a silent prayer.

Before he hit it however, a powerful voice from above said,  “WAIT…REPLACE THAT OLD BALL WITH A BRAND-NEW BALL.”

He complied, with some slight misgiving, despite the fact that the some force seemed to be implying that he was going to finally achieve his lifelong ambition.

As he stepped up to the tee once more, the voice came down again, “WAIT…STEP BACK… TAKE A PRACTICE SWING.”  So he stepped back and took a practice swing.

The voice boomed out again, “TAKE ANOTHER PRACTICE SWING.”

He did. Silence followed.

Then the voice spoke out again. “PUT BACK THE OLD BALL.”

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NOT SHOT?
A duel was fought between Alexander Shott and John Nott. Nott was shot and Shott was not. In this case it is better to be Shott than Nott. Some said that Nott was not shot. But Shott says that he shot Nott.

It may be that the shot Shott shot, shot Nott, or it may be possible that the shot Shott shot, shot Shott himself. We think, however, that the shot Shott shot, shot not Shott, but Nott. Anyway, it is hard to tell which was shot and which was not.

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Faith is not a belief without proof, but trust without reservation.  [Elton Trueblood]

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Any kid will run any errand for you if you ask at bedtime.  [Red Skelton]

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SLOW DOWN THERAPY
1. Slow down; God is still in heaven. You are not responsible for doing it all yourself, right now.
2. Remember a happy, peaceful time in your past. Rest there. Each moment has richness that takes a lifetime to savor.
3. Set your own pace. When someone is pushing you, it’s OK to tell them they’re pushing.
4. Take nothing for granted: watch water flow, the corn grow, the leaves blow, your neighbor mow.
5. Taste your food. God gives it to delight as well as to nourish.
6. Notice the sun and the moon as they rise and set. They are remarkable for their steady pattern of movement, not their speed.
7. Quit planning how you’re going to use what you know, learn, or possess. God’s gifts just are; be grateful and their purpose will be clear.
8. When you talk with someone, don’t think about what you’ll say next. Thoughts will spring up naturally if you let them.
9. Talk and play with children. It will bring out the unhurried little person inside you.
10. Create a place in your home…at your work…in your heart… where you can go for quiet and recollection. You deserve it.
11. Allow yourself time to be lazy and unproductive. Rest isn’t luxury; it’s a necessity.
12. Listen to the wind blow. It carries a message of yesterday & tomorrow – and now. NOW counts.
13. Rest on your laurels. They bring comfort whatever their size, age, or condition.
14. Talk slower. Talk less. Don’t talk. Communication isn’t measured by words.
15. Give yourself permission to be late sometimes. Life is for living, not scheduling.
16. Listen to the song of a bird; the complete song. Music and nature are gifts, but only if you are willing to receive them.
17. Take time just to think. Action is good and necessary, but it’s fruitful only if we muse, ponder, and mull.
18. Make time for play – the things you like to do. Whatever your age, your inner child needs re-creation.
19. Watch and listen to the night sky. It speaks.
20. Listen to the words you speak, especially in prayer.
21. Learn to stand back and let others take their turn as leaders. There will always be new opportunities for you to step out in front again.
22. Divide big jobs into little jobs. If God took six days to create the universe, can you hope to do any better?
23. When you find yourself rushing & anxious, stop. Ask yourself “WHY?” you are rushing and anxious. The reasons may improve your self-understanding.
24. Take time to read. Thoughtful reading is enriching reading.
25. Direct your life with purposeful choices, not with speed and efficiency.
The best musician is one who plays with expression and meaning, not the one who finishes first.
26. Take a day off alone; make a retreat. You can learn from monks and hermits without becoming one.
27. Pet a furry friend. You will give and get the gift of now.
28. Work with your hands. It frees the mind.
29. Take time to wonder. Without wonder, life is merely existence.
30. Sit in the dark. It will teach you to see and hear, taste and smell.
31. Once in a while, turn down the lights, the volume, the throttle, the invitations. Less really can be more.
32. Let go. Nothing is usually the hardest thing to do – but often it is the best.
33. Take a walk-but don’t go anywhere. If you walk just to get somewhere, you sacrifice the walking.
34. Count your friends. If you have one, you are lucky. If you have more, you are blessed. Bless them in return.
35. Count your blessings – one at a time and slowly
[Author Unknown]

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This department requires no physical fitness program.  Everyone gets enough exercise jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, running down the boss, knifing friends in the back, dodging responsibility, and pushing their luck.

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The past should be a springboard, not a hammock.  [Ivern Ball]

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The shortest distance between two points is usually under construction.  [Wayne H]

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STOP WAITING
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are.

After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.

The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with…and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting UNTIL….

…your car or home is paid off
…you get a new car or home
…your kids leave the house
…you go back to school
…you lose ten pounds
…you gain ten pounds
…you finish school
…you get a divorce
…you get married
…you have kids
…you retire
…summer
…spring
…winter
…fall
…you die

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

So — work like you don’t need money; Love like you’ve never been hurt; And dance like no one’s watching.  [Author unknown]

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DEEP THOUGHT:
If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience… [Col. 1:10-11]

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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One Response to “Patience|Hardships [v30]”

  1. The ‘Fruitful’ Life | LIFE'S DEEP THOUGHTS Says:

    […] FYI: This previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post presented a more in-depth discussion about patience: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/aug-01-v30/ […]

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