New Century|Predictions [v12]

FEBRUARY 2000

GREETINGS — Welcome to the New Year and the New Millennium! And we all survived! The sun rose and the sun set on January the first just as it has for thousands of years.

While some things never change, we can’t say that about life in the last century. I read that if we were to put all the world’s knowledge from the beginning of time until 1845 on a graph it would measure only 1 inch tall. From 1845 to 1945 — just 100 years — the graph would measure 3 inches tall. But from 1945 until today the graph would be as tall as the Washington monument!

Change, rapid change, has become the order of the day. They say that today’s average worker will need to be retrained at least three times during his working career to keep up with all the changes. Changes in technology, our manner of living, relationships, beliefs, philosophy, manner of dress, morals, and so on is happening so fast it is difficult to keep up with it all. It can leave us reeling and stressed to the max.

And while we have learned how to put a man on the moon and talk to him while he is there, we hardly know how to talk to one another in a meaningful manner when we are in the same room! Much of our modern education with access to almost unlimited knowledge has taught us how to make a living but it hasn’t taught us how to live.

And without an anchor for the soul we can be left floating on a restless changing sea of uncertainty and insecurity. But for those who have faith in God, of this one thing we can be absolutely sure. . .he changes not! His love is from everlasting to everlasting and he is still in control of the world and universe no matter what.

In the U.S. we have engraved on our coins, “In God we trust.” But until that is engraved on our hearts and we genuinely trust in the God who changes not, we will have no lasting security.

T.O. Chisholm wrote:
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been Thou for ever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

[Excerpts by Dick Innes]

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v12) for FEBRUARY 2000
(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:

Richard Bachman
John Gibson
Terry Longo
John Waskin
Suzie Wilkinson

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‘Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste
All the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared–
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared;
The pasta and meatballs, the bread and the cheese
And the way I’d never said, “No, thank you, please.”
As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt–
I said to myself, as I only can,
“You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!”

So, away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruitcake, every cracker and chip.
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
‘Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won’t have a cookie, not even a lick;
I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie;
I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore—
But isn’t that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

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BEGINNINGS

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. – Martin Luther King Jr.

In actual life every great enterprise begins with and takes its first forward step in faith. – August Wilhelm von Schlegel

All glory comes from daring to begin. – Eugene F Ware

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A HEAVENLY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year, this is God.

This year, as with every year, I will be handling all of your problems.
Please remember, I do not need your help.

If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it Kindly put it all in the SFJTD BOX. (Something for Jesus to Do). It will be addressed in my time, not yours. Please be patient. Once the matter has been placed in the box, do not hold onto it. Do not become impatient and take it back to see if you can find a solution. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. You must surrender the problem to Me for proper resolution. If a situation you think you cannot handle arises, please consult Me in prayer.

Together we will come up with proper resolution. If you do not receive what you anticipate as proper response from Me, remember–some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayer. Because I do not sleep, there is no need for you to lose any. Rest, my child…if you need me, I am but a prayer away.

[Author unknown]

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If your vision is for a year, plant wheat.
If your vision is for ten years, plant trees.
If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people.

[Chinese proverb]

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Want to feel smarter than your computer for a few moments?
Open a new word processing document. Type:

Marry hat hey lids tell lam, id’s fleas’ woes wide has know.

Good. Now go ahead and click the Spell Check icon.

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Wisdom is perishable. Unlike information or knowledge, it cannot be stored in a computer or recorded in a book. It expires with each
passing generation.

[Sid Taylor]

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“A life with love will have many thorns, ‘but a life without love will have no roses.”

[Unknown]

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LOVE’S CHARACTERISTICS

Only when we live in “love” can the other fruits of God’s
presence and Spirit follow. The others are manifestations
of the spirit of love in our lives. Do you have these kinds of
“love” in your life today?

JOY – Love’s strength.
PEACE – Love’s security.
PATIENCE – Love’s endurance.
KINDNESS – Love’s conduct.
GOODNESS – Love’s character.
FAITHFULNESS – Love’s confidence.
GENTLENESS – Love’s humility.
SELF-CONTROL – Love’s victory.

[Rose McKinley]

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WORDS OF WISDOM

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” – Unknown

“The trouble with some people is that they stop trying in trying times.” – Unknown

“Peace comes not from the absence of conflict in life but from the ability to cope with it.” – Unknown

“A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.” – Mildred Witte Struven

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He who laughs…lasts.

[Tim Hansel]

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GOD’S LOVE LETTER

One of the many admirable characteristics of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln was their great admiration and appreciation of and the Bible. This was one of the keys to their greatness.

George Washington has been quoted as saying: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Abraham Lincoln stated this about the Bible: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”

When we think of these great statesmen, we must admit the source of their greatness: A deep abiding faith and a love for God’s Word. The Bible is the only thing that stands the test of time. Dictators have tried to destroy it. Communism has tried to annihilate it. Atheists have denied it. Opponents have tried to discount it. Schools are discarding it. Yet the Bible still remains the foundation of truth. . .and it will never pass away:

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away, stated Jesus Christ” (Matthew 24:35).

The Bible provides the only way to successful living. It is the only standard of behavior. Deviating from this model will ultimately lead to destruction. A society who “does what is right in their own eyes,” offers no lasting peace or security. There is a principle in the Bible for every problem that one will encounter in this life. Daily Bible reading helps provide strength, comfort, peace, and direction for your life. Most of all, you will discover the great love of God for the Bible is his love letter to all mankind!

[Joan Clayton]

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LEST I MAKE A MISTAKE

“I would rather stumble a thousand times
Attempting to reach a goal,
Than to sit in a crowd
In my weather-proof shroud,
A shriveled and self-satisfied soul.
I would rather be doing and daring
All of my error-filled days,
Than watching and waiting, and dying
Snug in my perfect ways.
I would rather wonder and blunder,
Stumbling blindly ahead,
Than for safety’s sake
Lest I make a mistake
Be sure, be safe, be dead.”

[Author Unknown]

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SCHOOL PRAYER

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd

If scripture now the class recites
It violates the Bill of Rights
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a federal matter now

Our hair can be purple or orange or green
That’s no offense it’s freedom seen
The law is specific, the law is precise
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all

In silence alone we must meditate
God’s name is prohibited by the state
We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks
They’ve outlawed guns but first the Bible
To quote the Good Book makes me liable

We can elect a pregnant senior queen
And the unwed daddy our senior king
It’s inappropriate to teach right from wrong
We’re taught that such judgments just don’t belong

We can get our condoms and birth controls
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed
No word of God must reach this crowd

It’s scary here I must confess
When the chaos reigns the school’s a mess
So Lord this silent plea I make
Should I be shot, my soul please take

[Don Evans – Read on “Crawford Stand”]

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UNUSUAL PROVISION

My Mother’s father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at it’s height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. “It’s not fair,” he told God as he drove home in frustration. “I’ve been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this.”

Months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather’s small church in Chicago.

The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. “But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this.

Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top.”

The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued, “Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that.”

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas.

But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

There are times we want to blame God instead of thanking him! I have to remember this in these times of trial with my own family. Look for the perfect ‘mistakes’. God shall supply all your needs according to His riches.

[Author Unknown – Submitted by Rose McKinley]

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THE YEAR 2000

E-mail: From junior secretary to boss at overseas conference.

Subject: Your memo about checking our calendars for Y2K compliance.

I hope that I haven’t misunderstood your instructions because, to be
honest, none of this Y to K problem made much sense to me. At any
rate, I have finished the conversion of all of the months on all the
company calendars for next year. The calendars have returned from the
printer and are ready to be distributed with the following new
spellings:

Januark, Februark, Mak, and Julk.

I also changed all the days of each week to:

Sundak, Mondak, Tuesdak, Wednesdak, Thursdak, Fridak and Saturdak.

We are now Y to K compliant.

[Source unknown]

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IMPORTANT LANGUAGE ANNOUNCEMENT

The European Commission have just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility.  As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase in plan that would be known as “EuroEnglish”:

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”– Sertainly this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.  The hard “c” will be dropped in favor of the “k”.  This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” wil be replaced with the “f”.  This will make words like “fotograf” 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.  Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always been a deterent to akurate speling.  Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent “e”‘s in the language is disgraceful, and they should go away.

By the 4th yar peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.  During ze fifz yar, ze unesesary “o”  kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.  After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl.  Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

ZE DREM VIL FINALI KUM TRU!!

[forwarded by Anne Durning]

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Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.

According to a Scottish rhyme:

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o’ winter to come and mair,
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half of winter’s gone at Yule.

[Bill Anderson]

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There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel hears his plea and appears to him, “Sorry, but you can’t take your
wealth with you.”

The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.

The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel
reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and
fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.

Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet
St. Peter. Seeing the suitcase Peter says, “Hold on, you can’t bring that in here!”

But the man explains to him that he has permission and asks him to verify
his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, “You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed
to check its contents before letting it through.”

Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found
too precious to leave behind and exclaims, “You brought pavement???!!!!”

[forwarded by Nancy Gale]

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QUOTES OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union this voyage nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage.”

“I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.”

“Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.”

“Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

“I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”

“Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.”

“In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book.”

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I WISH I’D KNOWN…(for college students)

That I could change so much and barely realize it.
That every clock on campus shows a different time.
That if you were smart in high school, so what?
That I could sleep until 12:55 and still make my 1:00 class.
That my best friend is the worst roommate.
That you can know ‘everything’ and still fail a test.
That you can know nothing and ace a test.
That I would never watch the news, and I would be totally out of touch
with the world happenings.
That Home is a great place to visit, But I wouldn’t want to live there.
That the more money your parents give you, the less you have every time
you check your account!!
That parties get old, and sometimes you just want to kick back and watch
a movie.
That most of my education would be obtained outside of class.
That I would be one of those people that my parents warned me about.
That you could be totally broke, but still have enough to go to a movie!
That I would go home every weekend my Freshman year.
That I would laugh at all the Freshman going home every weekend my
Senior year.
That my parents would become so much smarter in the last few years.

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BreakPoint Commentary #000103 – 1/03/2000
What Really Will Matter in the 21st Century?
by Charles Colson
http://www.breakpoint.org

The Christmas issue of NEWSWEEK magazine purports to give readers “A Guide to the 21st Century.” It is full of predictions about what politics, economics, technology, and even Americans themselves, will look like.

But, the folks at NEWSWEEK forgot something: the role that faith and values will play in shaping the twenty-first century.

Columnist Anna Quindlen best summarizes the tone of the NEWSWEEK’s report when she declares that “the future will be grand.”

Well, if you look at things from a purely materialistic point of view, Quindlen is right. The next century holds out the promise of significant
advances in the fight against diseases such as AIDS, heart disease, cancer, and muscular dystrophy.

It will be a century where cars will drive themselves, NEWSWEEK reports; you will be able to watch every movie ever made whenever you want to watch it; even animals on the brink of extinction may be saved through cloning.

NEWSWEEK arrived at these predictions by extrapolating from the technological accomplishments of the past century. But this willingness to predict the future by looking at the past didn’t extend to cultural trends. If it had, the future might not look so grand.

The twentieth century has been about more than technological advances. It was the century that introduced the world to genocide — the systematic attempt to eliminate whole races.

And the twentieth century saw the West embrace what Pope John Paul II called the “culture of death.” Millions of unborn children were killed simply because their births would have been “inconvenient.”

Now, at the close of the millennium, the culture of death has extended to the elderly. We are in the midst of a push to legalize physician-assisted suicide and even euthanasia. And the nation remains deeply disturbed by a rash of bloody, senseless, school shootings.  Our kids are run amok.

In his 1996 essay, “Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died,” novelist Tom Wolfe said philosopher Frederic Nietzsche was right in his prediction that humanity would muddle through the 20th century, living off the ‘mere pittance’ of the morality it had inherited from Christianity.  But that inheritance is now overdrawn, spent.

So we come to the end of the 20th century with the prospect ahead for unbelievable technological advances, but with the nation exhausted by the
moral bankruptcy of modern life.

So what does this really mean for the 21st century? The really big news may be not all of the gadgets and scientific accomplishments of which NEWSWEEK writes, but a renewed search for a coherent moral order.  I believe people are hungry to rediscover the rich inheritance of Western civilization, the moral consensus provided by the Judeo-Christian tradition.

This is why Pope John Paul II predicts that the new millennium will usher in a springtime of evangelization.  People hungry, confused, bewildered by the moral nihilism of the 20th century will look for something better, something more meaningful. NEWSWEEK may believe that man lives by bread alone, but human beings, hungry for something more, know better.

The key, of course, is for the Church to present the alternative to modern chaos, a biblical worldview, in a winsome and loving way.  And if it does, the 21st century will be about more than gadgets and science, it will be a time when true hope and meaning are rediscovered.

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I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up.

[Martin Luther King, Jr.]

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Grant me, Lord,
A focus…not just a goal.
A vision…not just a dream.
A willingness…not just a desire.

[Marcia Krugh Leaser]

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I HAVE A DREAM….

“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is out of harmony with the moral law.”

It was with these very words, in his memorable Letter from the Birmingham Jail, that Martin Luther King, Jr., threw down the gauntlet in his great Civil Rights crusade. King refused to obey what he regarded
as an immoral law that did not square with the law of God.

All across America today, millions of people are celebrating the birthday of this courageous man, and deservedly so. He was a fearless battler for truth, and all of us are in his debt because he remedied past wrongs and brought millions of Americans into the full riches of citizenship.

In schools and on courthouse steps, people will be quoting his “I Have a Dream” speech today. It is an elegant and powerful classic. But I would suggest that one of Dr. King’s greatest accomplishments, one which will be little mentioned today because it has suddenly become “politically incorrect,” is his advocacy of the true moral foundations of law.

King defended the transcendent source of the Law’s authority. In doing so he took a conservative Christian view of law. In fact, he was perhaps the
most eloquent advocate of this viewpoint in his time, as, interestingly, Justice Clarence Thomas may be today.

So I would challenge each of us today to use this occasion to reflect not just on his great crusade for Civil Rights but also on his wisdom in bringing Law back to its moral foundations.

Many think of King as some kind of liberal firebrand, waging war on traditional values. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. King was a great conservative who stood on the shoulders of Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, striving without apology to restore our heritage of justice.

It was a great moment in history when a courageous man applied the law of God to the unjust laws of our time, and made a difference. And that is the lesson we should teach our kids on this holiday. It is not just another day off from school or a day to go to the mall.

Read through King’s letter with you kids: It’s the most important civics lesson they’ll ever get.

[Charles Colson]

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VALENTINES IS….

Love is the elixir of life,
With it we flourish,
Without it we perish.
And what is the secret
to find this chemistry of life?
It’s having the freedom
and safety for sharing
and being totally accepted. . .
The sharing of. . .
our thoughts,
our ideas,
our dreams,
our hopes,
our wants,
our wishes,
our joys,
our sorrows,
our laughter,
our tears,
our successes,
our failures,
our victories
our defeats,
our strengths,
our weaknesses,
our courage,
our fears,
our agreements,
our disagreements,
our beliefs,
our doubts,
our light side,
our dark side,
our feelings,
our motives.
Love is thus the sharing
of our total self,
our inner being. . . .
It’s being real and revealing
the truth of who we really are.
This is the garden in which
forever-love is planted,
nourished,
and goes deeper
and deeper
and deeper.

[Author unknown]

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WORDS

Words spoken
may soon pass away,
and forgotten be,
but when spoken in love and kindness
are like beautiful flowers
and even though they fade and die
from conscious memory,
their fragrance lives on
embedded in the deeper mind….
forever.

[Dick Innes]

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FAMOUS QUOTES ON LOVE

Love’s a thing that’s never out of season.
[Barry Cornwall]

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.
[Janos Arany]

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
[William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream]

We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence,
and its only end.
[Benjamin Disraeli, Sibyl]

God, from a beautiful necessity, is Love.
[Martin Farquhar Tupper, Of Immortality]

All mankind loves a lover.
[Ralph Waldo Emerson, Love]

I feel it when I when I sorrow most:
It is better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
[Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam]

Love sought is good,
but given unsought is better
[William Shakespeare Twelfth Night]

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Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work we go!
The Christmas and New Year break was wonderful after the mad rush prior to Christmas. Unfortunately, all too soon we’re back to the crazy-making pressures of modern day living. In the midst of my own busyness, one of my biggest struggles is to make time for “soul nourishment”.

So the following is my suggested prayer for today:

Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat
with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values that I many grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.

[Author Unknown-Received from Dick Innes]

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Even when you’re not happy, you can be joyful.

[Jane Robelot]

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MENDING OUR WAYS

Man is born broke. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.

[Eugene O’Neill]

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TRUE STORY??

One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate building materials for his home. She read, “…And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, ‘Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'”

The teacher paused then asked the class, “And what do you think that man said?”  One little boy raised his hand and said, “I know…he said….
“WOW!!!!! A TALKING pig!!!!”

The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

[Received from John Waskin]

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I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the colour and
fragrance of a flower … the Light in my darkness … the Voice in
my silence.

[Helen Keller]

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PEACE WITHIN

Personal advancement is worth very little if in achieving it one
loses one’s own sense of peace.

[Anonymous]

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NEPALESE GOOD LUCK TANTRA TOTEM

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Memorize your favorite poem.
3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you
want.
4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it.
5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.  People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly.  No name calling.
11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile
and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Call your mom.
16. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
18. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
23. Spend some time alone.
24. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26. Read more books and watch less TV.
27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
28. Trust in God but lock your car.
29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
31. Read between the lines.
32. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
33. Be gentle with the earth.
34. Pray. There’s immeasurable power in it.
35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
36. Mind your own business.
37. Don’t trust a man/woman who doesn’t close his/her eyes when you kiss.
38. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.
40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
41. Learn the rules then break some.
42. Remember that the best relationship is one where our love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
44. Remember that your character is your destiny.
45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

[Received from John Gibson]

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A Columbine student wrote it:

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We have higher incomes, but lower morals; we’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference or just hit delete.”

[Received from Suzi Wilkinson]
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FORGIVENESS: THE POWER TO HEAL

Some years ago during a visit to Yellowstone Park, one writer observed that the only animal that the grizzly bear would share his food with was a skunk. It wasn’t that the grizzly wanted to share his food but rather that he chose to. With one swing of his powerful paw he could have crushed the skunk. So why did he allow the skunk to eat with him?

Because he knew the high cost of getting even. Clever bear!

Undoubtedly he learned the hard way. Strange that we humans often aren’t as  smart. Sometimes we carry grudges for years, often repressing them from conscious memory, and end up hurting ourselves more than the ones we would like to get even with. We fail to see how damaging an unforgiving spirit is.

In his book, “None of These Diseases,” Dr. S.I. McMillen says, “Medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Estimates vary from 60 percent to nearly 100 percent.”

I read one report of an astonished patient who was told by his doctor: “If you don’t cut out your resentments, I may have to cut out a part of your intestinal tract.”

Fortunately, the man took the doctor’s advice. He had been nursing a bitter grudge against a former business partner. He went to see this man, resolved their differences, and forgave him. When he returned to the doctor, his physical condition had cleared up.

That advice isn’t new of course. The greatest physician who ever lived, Jesus Christ, pointed out 2,000 years ago the importance of forgiveness. When he encouraged us to “forgive seventy times seven,” he was thinking of our physical as much as our spiritual well-being. As Dr. McMillen says, he knew that a forgiving spirit would save us from “ulcerative colitis, toxic goiters, high blood pressure, and scores of other diseases.” including ulcers, asthma, arthritis, neuro-dermatitis, and heart ailments–all possible effects of resentment.

The Bible’s advice is therefore just as relevant today as it was when written 2,000 years ago: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

[Dick Innes]

*****************************
SEEDS OF OPPORTUNITY

No matter how disappointed you are feeling or how much you are hurting, know that every heartache and loss has within it the seeds of opportunity. Hidden within each disappointment is a peal of great price, that, when found, will totally dwarf your problem. The greatest success stories are written by people who, against seemingly overwhelming and often insurmountable odds, have accepted their trials and turned them into opportunities for personal growth and stepping stones on their pathway to success. With God’s help you can do the same. Trust him and choose friends who will empower you to do so.

[From the book, “How to Mend a Broken Heart,” by Dick Innes]

*****************************
YOU’RE…

My friend,
my companion,
through good times and bad
my friend,
my buddy,
through happy and sad,
beside me you stand,
beside me you walk,
you’re there to listen,
you’re there to talk,
with happiness,
with smiles,
with pain and tears,
I know you’ll be there, throughout the years!
You are all good friends to me and I am grateful to you.

[Received from Terry Longo]

*****************************
I heard that in relativity theory, space and time are the same thing. Einstein discovered this when he kept showing up to meetings three miles late.

[Mike Atkinson]

*****************************
WHY ENGLISH IS SO HARD TO LEARN

– He could lead if he would get the lead out.
– The farm was used to produce produce.
– The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
– The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
– This was a good time to present the present.
– A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
– When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
– I did not object to the object.
– We must polish the Polish furniture.
– The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
– The bandage was wound around the wound.
– There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
– They were too close to the door to close it.
– The buck does funny things when the does are present.
– They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
– To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
– The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
– After a number of injections my jaw got number.
– Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
– I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
– How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

[forwarded by Dave Hart]

*****************************
People are like stained-glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only
if there is a light from within.

[Elizabeth Kubler-Ross]

*****************************
“ENERGY”

Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.

[Sarah Bernhardt]

You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind
gets bored and therefore tired of doing nothing. Get interested in something! Get absolutely enthralled in something! Get out of
yourself! Be somebody! Do something. The more you lose yourself in
something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.

[Norman Vincent Peale]

During the construction of one of the bridges over the East River in New York, the engineers were baffled by an old sunken barge which lay embedded in the river bottom. Powerful engines, steel cables, derricks and tugs were powerless to remove the obstruction. A young man, fresh from technical school, thought he could solve the problem. At low tide, he had a large barge towed out to the spot and had cables attached to either side and fastened to the sunken derelict. As the tide came in from the Atlantic, the barge rose, bringing with it the submerged wreck. The young engineer had linked to his task the limitless power of the ocean tides.

[Source unknown]

The man who achieves sufficient control over himself to be able to
channel his urges and energies into constructive action on the behalf
of himself and society has learned the secret of success. All energies are God-given, given to express in the manifold individualization of the Divine a constant refinement, an ever-upward and ever-outward realization of a constantly sought perfection. He who gives over his works and his energies to God need worry no longer about being overcome by wrong action. His energies will be channeled along the path of the greatest good for all, and his security lies in his own faith and love.

[U S Andersen – The Secret of Secrets]

*****************************
THE ELUSIVE PRESENCE OF PEACE

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” — Jesus (John 14:27, NIV)

I read about two artists who set out to paint pictures of perfect peace. One artist “painted a canvas depicting a carefree lad sitting in a boat on a placid lake without a ripple to disturb the surface. The other painted a raging
waterfall with winds whipping the spray about. On a limb, overhanging the swirling water, a bird had built its nest, and sat peacefully brooding her eggs. Here she was safe from her predatory enemies, shielded and protected by the roaring falls.”

We know that Jesus promised peace to his followers, but somehow peace can be such a fragile thing in a world of rush, pressure and stress. And how do we find peace in the midst of the many trials and losses of life?

I think there are at least six areas where peace is needed or can be lacking. First, when we receive Jesus as Savior and receive forgiveness for our sins, we have peace with God. This is the most important peace that any of us can ever have.

Also, if we are disobeying God, living in sin, or resisting the call of God, we will lack peace. Or if we are seeking God’s will and guidance about a matter and don’t have peace, it may be God’s way of saying ‘no’ to what we are considering doing.

Then there is finding peace in the midst of life’s “storms” — peace such as the bird pictured in the nest over the waterfall had. As we learn to commit and trust our life to God every day, little by little we can learn to find peace in the midst of negative external circumstances.

Then there is relational peace. Whenever we are in a conflict with another person, especially if it is a loved one, there is no peace until we resolve the conflict.

The hardest peace to find, at least for many, is working through damaged emotions from past hurtful experiences –especially early childhood experiences where there was either neglect, lack of love, or abuse of one kind or another. Early negative experiences can leave deep scars for life. Qualified counseling, as well as effective recovery group work, is usually needed and helpful for overcoming these experiences and finding inner peace.

Another area for lack of peace can be physical or biological. Many people suffer from hormone imbalance and in these cases, as medication is needed for an upset stomach, so medication may be needed to find a chemical balance in the brain.

In whatever area we may lack peace, we need God’s guidance to lead us to the help that we need to diagnose the cause of our lack of peace and to find the treatment that we need — whether the problem is spiritual, stress related, relational, emotional or physical.

[Dick Innes]

*****************************
If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

[Mike Atkinson]

*****************************
THE CLOCK

The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed
To lose one’s health is more
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

[Author unknown]

*****************************
GRAVESTONE INSCRIPTION:

What I spent, I had;
What I kept I lost;
What I gave I have.

[England Cemetery]

*****************************
IN THE LIGHT
I keep tying to find a life •
On my own apart from You •
I am the king of excuses •
I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do •

What’s going on inside of me? •
I despise my own behavior •
This only serves to confirm my suspicions •
That I’m still a man in need of a Savior •

I wanna be in the Light •
As You are in the Light •
I wanna shine like the stars in the Heavens •
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation •
‘Cause all I want is to be in the Light •
All I want is to be in the Light •

The disease of self runs through my blood •
It’s a cancer fatal to my soul •
Every attempt on my behalf has failed •
To bring this sickness under control •

Honesty becomes me •
(There’s nothing left to lose)
The secrets that did run me •
(In Your presence are defused)
Pride has no position •
(And riches have no worth)
The fame that once did cover me •
(Has been sentenced to this earth)
Has been sentenced to this earth

[ by dc Talk – from their “Jesus Freak” album]

*****************************
*****************************
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!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Mark

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