Hope|True Desires [v29]

JULY 2001

HOPE — Webster defines it as “to cherish a desire (for something) with some expectation of obtaining it; to look forward to good with a measure of confidence.” What do you hope for? A good job? A loving marriage? Good health? Strong family ties? A good education for your children? A much-needed vacation? A larger home? Financial security for retirement?

Ask yourself…what is the true ‘desire’ of my heart? What is the most important ‘goal’ I should have for my life? What ‘significance’ do I hope to leave behind after I leave this planet. “What’s it all about, Alfie?”

Since time began, people have sought for meaning and purpose in their lives. Some have put their hope in the country’s government, educational system or an organization. However, especially today, despite countless technological advances and the highest standard of living in the world, we Americans still struggle with feelings of hopelessness and doubt. We rush around from place to place trying to fill our lives with ‘activities’ hoping they will satisfy us. Or we buy things for ourselves and others hoping that make us happy. But it seems the more we try, the most ‘hopeless’ we get.

Now, be honest…do you feel you are ‘entitled’ to a certain standard of living? Are your ‘expectations’ so prominent in your thinking that you drive yourself incessantly to attain them? Then, after all the planning and effort, does life seem to be a long string of events, planned and unplanned, joyful and sorrowful?

As significant as each ‘event’ appears to be when we stand in the midst of it, it can often be a distraction that draws our attention away from the larger picture. From the beginning of time, God has been reaching out to us—and for those who put their trust in Christ, they will find that He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He promises to bring us through every trial and heartache victoriously, while giving us a “peace…not as the world gives” but one that “passes all understanding.” He tells us “not to let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The Bible tells us that God made us in His “own image” for His “good pleasure” that we may have a deep and fulfilling ‘relationship’ with Him. That His Son is coming back to this world to “create a new heaven and a new earth”…and the “former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” He also will “wipe every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away.” What a wonderful thing to hope for!!!

If we are to ‘comprehend’ this hope now, we need to communicate with God. We must first become inwardly quiet, detached from our roving thoughts, our worries, and our fears for tomorrow. It is not without significance that Mother Teresa’s ‘business card’ places silence first—as a prerequisite for all the other ‘gifts’ God wants to bestow upon us in this life on Earth:

“The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.”

Just as life demands both thought and action, so there must also be a balance between solitude and community–because only in ‘true’ solitude can one come before God and ask for that one ‘elusive’ hope—eternal life. God has promised this free gift to anyone that truly believes that His Son, Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and accepts Him as their personal Savior.

If you can, take a few minutes to reflect on what your ‘desire’ for the future is. What ‘hope’ do you have that you will attain that desire? How reliable is your ‘plan’ to achieve it? What ‘activities’ are you performing to reach your ‘destination’?

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v29) for JULY 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:

Richard Bachman
Linda Besh
Bill Bishop
Norma Johnson
Bob Dorigo Jones

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DURING THE WORST…HOPE FOR THE BEST
A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule braying — or whatever mules do when they fall into wells.

After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his  neighbors together, told them what happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery. Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him.

It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up. You’re right! It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him actually blessed him — all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

That’s life! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, refusing to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us. Remember that forgiveness, faith, prayer, praise, and hope all are excellent ways to “shake it off and step up” out of the wells in which we find ourselves!
[Author unknown]

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.  [Mark Twain]

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TO BELIEVE
To believe… is to know that every day is a new beginning.
It is to trust that miracles happen,
And dreams really do come true.

To believe… is to see Angels dancing among the clouds,
To know the wonder of a stardust sky,
And the wisdom of the man in the moon.

To believe… is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child’s eyes and the beauty of an aging hand,
For it is through their teachings we learn to love.

To believe… is to find the strength
And courage that lies within us.
When it is time to pick up the pieces and begin again.

To believe… is to know we are not alone,
That life is a gift and this is our time to cherish it.

To believe… is to know that wonderful surprises
Are just waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.  [Author unknown]

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RIPPLES
Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.
Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.
Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.
Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.
[Author unknown]

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Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.  [Addison]

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“SONG” OF HOPE
Ludwig von Beethoven, one of the world’s greatest musicians, was born into a musical family in Germany. As a child he spent many lonely hours practicing his music every day.

By the age of eleven he was already composing his own music and conducting an orchestra. In his late teens he went to Vienna for further study. There he reached fame though not fortune.

One evening as he was out walking, he passed a cobbler’s house where he heard someone inside practicing one of his compositions. As he stopped to listen he overheard a girl say that she wished she could hear a real musician play it properly.

Beethoven went into the house and, noticing the young lady at the piano was blind, offered to play the piece for her. He did so for her for more than an hour and while he did, darkness fell and the lone candle in the room had gone out.

Outside in the night sky the moon shone brightly and sent its radiant beams glistening into the room where Beethoven sat playing beautiful music. He was so inspired by the appreciation of his music by the young lady and the beauty of the atmosphere in the room that he composed his famous “Moonlight Sonata.”

Do you ever feel that your dreams have been shattered and you feel all alone in the darkness of despair. I certainly have. However, when our life is committed to Christ, it’s in these “dark nights of the soul” when God is working in us to help us grow, to give us more understanding of life, and compassion for others — and in time will bring back the music into our life.  [Dick Innes]

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Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
[Henry Ford]

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For those who believe there are no absolutes in today’s world, where is the middle ground between good and evil?  [Received from Bill Bishop]

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MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS
1. Anger is a condition in which the tongue, works faster than the mind.
2. You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.
3. Love ……and you shall be loved.
4. All people smile in the same language.
5. A hug is a great gift, one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and it’s easy to exchange.
6.  Everyone needs to be loved, especially when they do not deserve it.
7.  The real measure of a man’s wealth is what he has invested in eternity.
8.  Laughter is liquid sunshine.
9.  Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.
10. It’s important for parents to live the same things they teach.
11. If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.
12. Happy memories never wear out.. Relive them as often as you want.
13. Home is the place where we grumble the most, but are often treated the best.
14. The choice you make today will usually affect tomorrow.
15. Take time to laugh for it is the music of the soul.
16. If anyone speaks badly of you, live so none will believe it.
17. Patience is the ability to idle your motor, when you feel like stripping your gears.
18. Love is strengthened by working through conflicts together.
19. The best thing parents can do for their children, is to love each other.
20. Harsh words break no bones but they do break hearts.
21. To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it.
22. We take for granted the things that we should be giving thanks for.
23. Love is the only thing that can be divided, without being diminished.
24. Happiness is enhanced by others but does not depend upon others.
25. You are richer today if you have laughed, given or forgiven.
26. For every minute you are angry with someone, you lose 60 seconds of happiness that you can never get back.
27. Do what you can, for who you can, with what you have, and where you are.

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Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windshield.  [Mary Chapin Carpenter]

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ADAPTATION TO CHRONIC ILLNESS
A helpful idea for the chronically ill is, “People suffer less when they have something better to do.” Almost anything is better than lying around concentrating on one’s pain, disability, or disease. Many chronically ill people try to live according to this philosophy, and finding ways to apply it is one form of psychotherapeutic help.

Another useful principle states that you should never have as a goal something that a “dead person” can attain. Not feeling pain is such a goal. Instead, we should be concerned about what a person can do. Another statement of this rule is: work toward a goal rather than away from one.

Finally, keep in mind the phenomenon of emotional inertia. We change faster than our conceptions of ourselves change. People whose health is declining may think of themselves as somewhat more capable than they are because they are referring to an earlier period of their lives. It takes time and experience for the changes to be integrated. During that time a patient may seem to be overreaching or even “in denial.” But it is more accurately described as a normal period of adjustment to new circumstances.
[Dr. Steven J. Kingsbury, USC Medical Center]

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I am only one,
but I am one.
I can not do everything,
but I can do something.
What I can do,
I ought to do.
And what I ought to do,
by God’s grace,
I will do.
[Edward Everett Hale]

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Love does for living what sunshine does for stained glass.  [Source unknown]

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We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
[Norman MacEwan]

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SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
One-half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.   [Josh Billings]

Yesterday’s the past and tomorrow’s the future. Today is a gift — which is why they call it “the present.”   [Bill Keane]

All the Constitution guarantees is the pursuit of happiness. You have to catch up with it by yourself.  [Ben Franklin]

We haven’t crossed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we stop saying ‘It got lost’ and say  ‘I lost it.’   [Sydney Harris]

Having it all doesn’t necessarily mean having it all at once.

You are not the center of the universe. That job is already taken.

The only place you find ‘success’ before ‘work’ is in the dictionary.

A sense of humor can help you overlook the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, and smile through the unbearable.   [Moshe Waldoks]

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MY DAILY WISH
My daily wish is that we may
See good in those who pass our way;

Find in each a worthy trait
That we shall gladly cultivate;

See in each one passing by
The better things that beautify

A softly spoken word of cheer,
A kindly face, a smile sincere.

I pray each day that we may view
The things that warm one’s heart anew;

The kindly deed that can’t be bought
That only from good are wrought,

A burden lightened here and there,
A brother lifted from despair,

The aged ones freed from distress;
The lame, the sick, brought happiness.

Grant that before each sun has set
We’ll witness deeds we can’t forget;

A soothing hand to one in pain,
A sacrifice for love – not gain;

A word to ease the troubled mind
Of one whom fate has dealt unkind.

So, friend, my wish is that we may
See good in all who pass our way.
[Phil Perkins]

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Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.  [Albert Szent-Gyorgyi]

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THE WIT AND WISDOM OF FORREST GUMP
– ‘If you can’t see the bottom, jump in, don’t drive.’
– ‘Honesty is the best policy, unless you are a crook.’
– ‘Nobody ever went broke sayin’ ‘good mornin’ to folks.
– ‘Don’t try to outrun nobody if you’re wearin’ sandals.
– ‘You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, but you can also catch more flies with garbage than either of them other two; assumin’ you are into catchin’ flies.
– ‘Whenever you can, take the train; providin’ you ain’t got to be nowhere on time.’
– ‘Always say ‘thank you’ even if you don’t mean it.’
– ‘To save energy, do not go out lookin’ for trouble; chances are, it will find you soon enough.’
– ‘When you feel there is an unfair burden on your shoulders, that’s just the way it is, sometimes.’
– ‘Always be nice to your mama.’

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You may give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.  [Glen Wheeler]

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CAKE BAKING FOR MOTHERS OF SMALL CHILDREN
Preheat oven, get out utensils and ingredients.
Remove blocks and toy cars from table.
Grease pan, crack nuts.
Measure two cups flour.
Remove baby’s hands from flour, wash flour off baby.
Re-measure flour.
Put flour, baking powder, and salt in sifter.
Get dustpan and brush up pieces of bowl baby knocked on floor.
Get another bowl.
Answer doorbell.
Return to kitchen.
Remove baby’s hands from bowl.
Wash baby.
Answer phone.
Return.
Remove 1/4 inch salt from greased pan.
Look for baby.
Grease another pan.
Answer telephone.
Return to kitchen and find baby.
Remove baby’s hands from bowl.
Take up greased pan, find layer of nutshells in it.
Head for baby, who flees, knocking bowl off table.
Wash kitchen floor, table, wall, dishes.
Call baker.
Lie down.

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According to the Knight-Ridder News Service, the inscription on the metal bands used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds has been changed. The bands used to bear the address of the Washington Biological Survey, abbreviated:

“Wash. Biol. Surv.”
until the agency received the following letter from an Arkansas camper:

“Dear Sirs:
While camping last week I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you, it was horrible.”

The bands are now marked Fish and Wildlife Service.

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The first forty years of his life man explores the outer world. The next forty years the inner.   [Source unknown]

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LESSONS FROM TREES
It’s important to have roots.
In today’s complex world, it pays to branch out.
If you really believe in something, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.
Be flexible so you don’t break when a harsh wind blows.
Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow.
If you want to maintain accurate records, keep a log.
It’s okay to be a late bloomer.
Avoid people who would like to cut you down.
As you approach the autumn of your life, you will show your true colors.
You could be Brilliant!
In other words “bloom where you are planted and make the best of what you’ve got.

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You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him  [Booker T. Washington]

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Friendship is like a bank account. You can’t continue to draw on it without making deposits   [Bits & Pieces]

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THE FIRST STEP FOR GETTING BETTER RESULTS
How dramatically we can change our results is largely a function of imagination. In 1960, it was a technological impossibility for man to travel into outer space. Within ten years, however, the first man stepped out onto the surface of the moon.

The miraculous process of converting the dream into reality began when one voice challenged the scientific community to do whatever was necessary to see to it that America “places a man on the moon by the end of this decade.” That challenge awakened the spirit of a nation by planting the seed of possible future achievement into the fertile soil of imagination. With that one bold challenge the impossible became a reality.

The same principle applies to every other area of life!!

Can a poor person become wealthy? Of course! The unique combination of desire, planning, effort and perseverance will always work its magic. The question is not whether the formula for success will work, but rather whether the person will work the formula. That is the unknown variable. That is the challenge that confronts us all. We can all go from wherever we are to wherever we want to be. No dream is impossible provided we first have the courage to believe in it.  [Jim Rohn]

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EVERYONE NEEDS SOMEONE
People need people and friends need friends
And we all need love for a full life depends
Not on vast riches or great acclaim,
Not on success or on worldly fame,
But just in knowing that someone cares
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers-
For only the knowledge that we’re understood
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good,
And we rob ourselves of life’s greatest need

When we “lock up our hearts” and fail to heed
The outstretched hand reaching to find
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind
Are lonely and longing to somehow share
Our joys and sorrows and to make us aware
That life’s completeness and richness depends
On the things we share with our loved ones and friends.
[Helen Steiner Rice]

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Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes  [Parkes Robinson]

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DAILY WISH
My daily wish is that we may
See good in those who pass our way;

Find in each a worthy trait
That we shall gladly cultivate;

See in each one passing by
The better things that beautify

A softly spoken word of cheer,
A kindly face, a smile sincere.

I pray each day that we may view
The things that warm one’s heart anew;

The kindly deed that can’t be bought
That only from good are wrought,

A burden lightened here and there,
A brother lifted from despair,

The aged ones freed from distress;
The lame, the sick, brought happiness.

Grant that before each sun has set
We’ll witness deeds we can’t forget;

A soothing hand to one in pain,
A sacrifice for love – not gain;

A word to ease the troubled mind
Of one whom fate has dealt unkind.

So, friend, my wish is that we may
See good in all who pass our way.
[Phil Perkins]

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– He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.  [Lao-tzu]
– If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.  [Anonymous]
– The race goes not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running. — Anonymous
– You have to wait till the ball gets to you before you can hit it.  [Unknown]
– Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.  [John Wooden]
– Be prepared to ride the cycles and trends of life; success is never permanent and failure is never final.  [Brian Tracy]

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A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.  [Sir Winston Churchil]

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REMEMBER WHAT THIS SAYS!
– Everyone hears what you say. Friends listen to what you say.
– Best friends listen to what you don’t say.
– If all my friends were to jump off a bridge, I wouldn’t jump with them, I’d be at the bottom to catch them.
– Don’t frown, because you never know who’s falling in love with your smile!
– “If you judge people, you have no time to love them”  [Mother Teresa]
– “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  [Plato]
– It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone and a day to love someone- but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.”
– Enthusiasm is contagious. You could start an epidemic!
– Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift — that is why we call it the “present.”  [Received from Richard Bachman]

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To discover God is not to discover an idea but to discover oneself. It is to awake to that part of one’s existence which has been hidden from sight and which one has refused to recognize. The discovery may be very painful; it is like going through a kind of death. But it is the one thing which makes life worth living.  [Bede Griffiths]

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God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.  [Jim Elliot]

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IT IS CHOICE, NOT CHANCE, THAT DETERMINES OUR DESTINY
As it has been said before:
it’s the quality of a life,
not the quantity;
the donation,
not the duration,
that counts.
Jesus lived but
thirty-three years,
thirty of which were
spent in preparation and
only three in public ministry-
but in those three brief years
he chose a path that changed
the course of history.
[Dick Innes]

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Next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself, consider that your garbage disposal eats better than 30% of the world’s population.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Disappointments are like road humps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards. Don’t stay on the humps too long. Move on!

When you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy, because God is thinking of something better to give you.

When something happens to you, good or bad, consider what it means. There’s a purpose to life’s events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry too hard.

You can’t make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, the rest is up to the person to realize your worth.

What the heart gives away is never gone… It is kept in the hearts of others. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risks. Secure a special place in your heart.
A certain place only you can enter. For there will come a time when you need to find yourself and only your heart will show you the way.

The measure of love is when you love without measure. In life there are very rare chances that you’ll meet the person you love and loves you in return. So once you have it don’t ever let go, the chance might never come your way again.

It’s better to lose your pride to the one you love, than to lose the one you love because of pride. We spend so much time looking for the right person to love or finding fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love we give.

When you truly care for someone, you don’t look for faults, you don’t look for answers, you don’t look for mistakes. Instead, you fight the mistakes, you accept the faults, and you overlook excuses.

Never abandon an old friend. You will never find one who can take his place. Friendship is like wine, it gets better as it grows older.

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DRINKING FROM MY SAUCER
I’ve never made a fortune
and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much,
I’m happy anyhow.

And as I go along life’s way,
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed

Haven’t got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going’s tough.
But I’ve got loving ones around me,
and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for his blessings,
and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
’cause my cup has overflowed.

O, Remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and sun peeped through again.

So Lord, help me not to gripe
about the tough rows that I’ve hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
“Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,
When the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings,
I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,
“Cause my cup has overflowed.
[Author unknown]

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Triumph is a little “umph” added to “try”

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MAY YOU ALWAYS FEEL LOVED
May you find serenity and tranquility
in a world you may not always understand.

May the pain you have known
and the conflict you have experienced
give you the strength to walk through life
facing each new situation
with optimism and courage.

Always know that there are those
whose love and understanding
will always be there
even when you feel most alone.

May you discover enough goodness in others
to believe in a world of peace.

May a kind word, a reassuring touch,
a warm smile, be yours every day of your life,
and may you give these gifts as well as receive them.

Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.

Teach love to those who know hate,
and let that love embrace you as you go into the world.

May the teaching of those you admire
become part of you,
so that you may call upon them.

Remember, those whose lives you have touched
and who have touched yours are always a part of you,
even if the encounters were less
than you would have wished.

May you not become too concerned
with material matters, but instead place
immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart.

Find time in each day to see the beauty
and love in the world around you.

Realize that each person has limitless abilities,
but each of us is different in our own way.

What you may feel you lack in one regard
may be more than compensated for in another.

What you feel you lack in the present
may become one of your strengths in the future.

May you see your future
as one filled with promise and possibility.

Learn to view everything
as a worthwhile experience.

May you find enough inner strength
to determine your own worth by yourself,
and not be dependent on another’s judgements
of your accomplishments.

May you always feel loved.
[Author unknown]

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PONDERABLES
– The best way to get even is to forget..
– Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death…
– God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts…
– Some folks wear their halos much too tight…
– Some marriages are made in heaven, but they ALL have to be maintained on earth.
– Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up…
– Words are windows to the heart.
– A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall claims it’s a forgery.
– It isn’t difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill — just add a little dirt.
– A successful marriage isn’t finding the right person — it’s being the right person.
– The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.
– Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.
– The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.
– To forgive is to set the prisoner free, and then discover the prisoner was you.
– You have to wonder about humans, they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!
– You’ll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck…
– If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.
– Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 or 6 days, then perhaps giving “advice” to God, isn’t such a good idea!

And last but not least– God gave the angels Wings, and He gave humans CHOCOLATE.
[Submitted by David Ballard]

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ABC’s OF A FRUITFUL LIFE
A lways put God first in your life.
B e a true friend and you will have many friends.
C ount and thank God for your many blessings daily.
D iscipline yourself. Decide to make your life count.
E dify and encourage others consistently.
F ollow great leaders and then become one.
G ive liberally and joyfully of your time, talents and means.
H ave an attitude of gratitude.
I nvert any negatives thrown your way. Turn them into positives.
J ourney through life one step and one day at a time.
K eep written goals set ahead. Make specific plans to accomplish them.
L ove and forgive everybody.
M aximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
N ever, never, never give up!
O pen the door wide when opportunity knocks.
P ractice patience. Promote peace.
Q uit bad habits by replacing them with good habits.
R ead God’s Word and other profitable material every chance you get.
S hare the Gospel whenever and wherever possible.
T ake time to appreciate everything and everyone God has given to you.
U se your God given common sense.
V isualize your dreams and stretch to reach for them
W atch, listen and pray without ceasing.
X amine your motives on a regular basis.
Y ield to the Holy Spirit when He prompts you.
Z oom in on God’s real purpose for your life.
[Author unknown – Received from Bob Dorigo Jones]

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As “every unshed tear
is a prism through which
all of life’s hurts are
distorted,” so every
unresolved conflict
is a filter through which
all of my beliefs
about life,
myself,
others,
friends,
love,
and about God
are twisted and
distorted too.
[Dick Innes]

*****************************
IT’S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE…

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE WIFE WHO SAYS IT’S HOT DOGS TONIGHT BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME, NOT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

FOR THE TEENAGER WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES, BECAUSE THAT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME & NOT ON THE STREETS.

FOR THE TAXES THAT I PAY, BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT I AM EMPLOYED.

FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY, BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.

FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG, BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK, BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE.

FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING, BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME.

FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT, BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING AND THAT I HAVE BEEN
BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION.

FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL, BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM WARM.

FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH THAT SINGS OFF KEY, BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT I CAN HEAR.

FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING, BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.

FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY, BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.

FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS, BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT I AM ALIVE.

AND FINALLY…….FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL, BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME.  [Received from Norma Johnson]

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An optimist is one who sees opportunities in his or her difficulties and a pessimist is one who sees difficulties in his or her opportunities.   [Harry Truman]

Optimists are right. So are pessimists. It’s up to you to choose which you will be.
[Harvey Mackay]

*****************************
I was told that a way to achieve “inner peace” was to finish things I had started.
Today I finished 2 bags of potato chips and an entire chocolate cake. I feel better already.

*****************************
THE MOST
The most selfish one letter word………..”I”
Avoid it.
The most satisfying two-letter word…….”WE”
Use it.
The most poisonous three-letter word…..”EGO”
Kill it.
The most used four-letter word………..”LOVE”
Value it.
The most pleasing five-letter word…….”SMILE”
Keep it.
The fastest spreading six-letter word…”RUMOUR”
Ignore it.
The hardest working seven-letter word..”SUCCESS”
Achieve it.
The most enviable eight-letter word….”JEALOUSY”
Distance it.
The most powerful nine-letter word….”KNOWLEDGE”
Acquire it.
The most essential ten-letter word….”CONFIDENCE”
Trust it.
[Author unknown]

*****************************
Everyday I beat my own previous record for number of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.  [George Carlin]

*****************************
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
[Mother Teresa]

*****************************
The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.  [Vince Lombardi]

*****************************
YOU KNOW YOU’RE FROM MICHIGAN IF:
1. You’ve never met any celebrities.
2. “Vacation” means going to Cedar Point.
3. At least 1 member of your family disowns you the week of the
Michigan/Michigan State game.
4. Half the change in your pocket is Canadian…..eh!
5. You drive 86 mph on the highway and pass on the right.
6. Your idea of a traffic jam is 20 cars waiting to pass an orange barrel.
7. You know how to play (and pronounce) Euchre.
8. You know the “Big Mac” is something that you drive over.
9. You know how to pronounce “Mackinac”.
10. You’ve had to switch on the “heat” and the “A/C” in the same day.
11. You bake with SODA and drink a POP.
12. You know what “cow tipping” and “snipe hunting” are.
13. Your little league game was snowed out.
14. The word “thumb” has geographical, rather than anatomical significance.
15. You show people where you grew up by pointing to a spot on your left hand.
16. Traveling coast-to-coast means driving from Port Huron to Muskegon.
17. You measure distance in minutes.
18. When giving directions, you refer to “A Michigan Left”.
19. You know that Kalamazoo not only exists, but isn’t that far from Hell.
20. Your year has 2 seasons: Winter and Construction.
21. Home Depot on any Saturday is busier than toy stores at Christmas.
22. You know when it has rained because of the smell of worms.
23. Owning a Japanese car was a hangin’ offense in your hometown.
24. You believe that “down south” means Toledo.
25. YOU ACTUALLY “GET” THESE JOKES AND FORWARD THEM ON TO ALL YOUR MICHIGAN FRIENDS AND FAMILY!
[Received from Linda Besh]

*****************************
YOUR CROSS
Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
There will always be sunshine after the rain.
Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall,
But God’s always ready to answer your call.
He knows every heartache, sees every tear,
A word from His lips can calm every fear.
Your sorrows may linger throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish at dawn’s early light.
The Savior is waiting somewhere above
To give you His grace and send you His love.
Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
God always sends rainbows after the rain.
[Andrew Chase]

*****************************
LIFE IS A MIRACLE
Life is a miracle
don’t let it slip away,

Open your heart to others
give of yourself each day.

See the beauty in everyone
regardless of where they’ve been,

Some have a difficult journey
and really need a friend.

Share your gifts and talents
listen with your heart.

Do the things you dream about
but don’t have time to start.

Pick a bouquet of flowers
show someone that you care,

Be gracious and forgiving
life is never fair.

Hold on to your courage
you may need it down the road,

We all have a cross to bear
it could be a heavy load.

If you practice all these things
no matter where you roam,

You may find both sun and rain
but you’ll never feel alone.
[Author unknown]

*****************************
LORD SOMETIMES …
You allow breakages, so you can rebuild;
You allow wounds, so you can heal;
You allow me to walk in darkness, so that I see your light;
You allow me to be perplexed, so I seek your truth;
You allow me to be empty, so you can fill me;
You allow me to be lonely, so I can see what a friend you are;
You allow me to learn hard things, so I can be a gentle teacher;
You allow me to be void of feelings, so I learn to walk by faith;
You take away my future plans, to teach me to live one day at a time;
You allow me to suffer pain, so I may be sympathetic to the hurts of others; You allow me to see the futility of life, so I will see everything is loss — compared to the excellency of knowing your Son, Jesus.
[Joy Innes]

*****************************
HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION
Fear not, I am with thee.  Oh, be not dismayed.
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through fiery trials, thy pathway may lie,
My grace, all sufficient, will be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose.
I will not, I will not dessert to his foes.
That soul, though all Hell should endeavor to shake,
I will never, no never, no never forsake.

*****************************
Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.  [Lou Holtz]

*****************************
TO BE A MAN
When you can dream beyond today
and trust beyond your doubts;
When you can face your greatest fears
and disallow them to control you;
When you can rise above the many
trials that come to those who dare
to make their life worthwhile;
When you can keep on getting up
each time you’ve failed or fallen
or been knocked down;
When you can walk through the
fires of criticism, and disregard
the jibes of jealous lesser men;
When you can see your greatest strength
lies in your faith and gentleness and
your greatest courage in admitting
your faults, and with God’s help
strive to overcome them;
When you can take responsibility for
resolving all your hurts and break
the chain from generations past;
When you can know a father’s love
and feel with all your heart; and
When you can love yourself, others
and God more than earthly gain
or fame and recognition, you will,
my son, be then a man — and
indeed a great man at that.
[Dick Innes]

*****************************
DEEP THOUGHT:
Does your train of thought have a caboose?
Why don’t they call mustaches “mouthbrows?

*****************************

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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!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
[Hebrews 11:1]

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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