BACK TO INSPIRATIONAL SHORT STORIES
MOTHERS ARE LIKE APPLE TREES,
AND OTHER PHILOSOPHIES
By Tracey Magrann
Divide and Conquer
Light and Darkness
A Tree and Barbed Wire
Airplane Oxygen Masks
A Sinner and a Saint
The Iron Rod
Elephant and Blind Men
Make Your Bed
Apple Trees: Mothers are like apple trees.
The reason apples grow is to have their seeds scattered. They spend a lot of their energy growing the sweet fruit around their seeds, to attract animals to eat. Many of the seeds are swallowed whole, along with the fruit; the tough shell of each seed is resistant to the acids in the stomach, and they pass from the animal into fertilized ground to germinate at a distance away from the mother tree.
Mothers spend a lot of energy planting seeds of values into their children, for them to take with them, scatter some for others, and allow them to grow independently.
Mothers often coat their seeds with appealing things, such as books, stories, movies, and games that teach her values.
When a ray breaks off containing enough of the center of the starfish, not only does the original star grow back the arm, the detached ray grows into a second starfish. What happens to the soul of the original starfish? Does it split into two as well? If so, these two starfish could later become a thousand, all with one original soul.
Perhaps God has a piece of His Soul in all of us, and in all the plants and animals, animals, rocks, and water, and is aware of everything about each of us as much as we are aware of ourselves!
Puzzles: Puzzles are like Life.
The Puzzle-Maker has the complete solution prepared ahead of time before He gives us the puzzle. He prepares the puzzle with care. All of the pieces can be found throughout our earthly lifetime and beyond. Once we discern the pieces, we still have to arrange them properly to see the end result as He does.
With a jigsaw puzzle, all the little pieces make a harmonious picture that we will delight to see. He gives us a few major cornerstones that are easy for us to identify and build on. He also designs straight-edged pieces that provide a framework, within which we find our life’s picture.
To fill it in, He gives us clues. If we examine each puzzle piece, we can group them together by similar colors and patterns. Sometimes an unusual streak will connect one group of colors to another; if we don’t miss it, we can see where to make the connection.
The events of our life are like pieces of this puzzle. Even without all the pieces, if we study what we have so far, we can imagine the overall picture before it is finished.
Pain: Why does God let us go through physically painful experiences?
A parent sometimes has to take their child to be vaccinated or to have a surgery. However, they are always in good hands. It is for their own good in the long run, and the loving Parent is always there to comfort us.
Ants: Little ants are not aware of us.
What things are out there that are so big or so small, that we are not aware of? There are those who are more intelligent than we are, who are completely aware of us.
Always try to live to high standards in thought, word, and deed. These things are recorded somewhere, and we shall have to account for them hereafter.
We are like little ants in someone else’s perspective.
Divide and Conquer: That implies strength in unity.
When we are separate from each other, we are also weaker. When we unite, we are stronger. We are stronger together than we are as individuals.
When we band together in a community, the whole kinship advances and evolves all of the individuals within it. Therefore, the more bonds we have with others, the better we all become. Remember, relationships are not only our most valuable treasures, they are the only treasures we take with us into eternity.
Owls: Owls remind people of wisdom. Why?
Owls are known for their wide-open eyes, their silence, and their ability to turn their heads (and their attention) almost in a full circle. They are constantly listening.
If we keep our eyes and ears open, and our mouth shut, (and pay attention), we will become wise, too.
Light and Darkness: Light is like happiness
Light is energy from minute particles that are moving. Darkness is stillness. It may seem that darkness and light cannot be together at the same time. However, there are areas when the light thins out. Therefore, the radius of light (and the effect of light) depends on the strength (brightness) of the light.
Light has a power source; darkness does not. If the power source is divided and slightly separated, it will illuminate a larger area.
Light always radiates in the shape of a circle, equally in all directions without bias, unless it is blocked, absorbed, refracted or deflected. If the block is reflective, the light is bounced back, causing either more brightness or causing the light to travel a further distance, as in a flashlight.
When we feel depressed (darkness), the first step in feeling better is to move. When we find things that enlighten us, the height of the happiness is bright, but the effect still lasts a while after the happy event.
Also, our happiness can brighten up others who are depressed. If we can learn to be our own power source, we can be happy whenever and wherever we want.
If we channel and focus our happiness (target it on a person in need), we can brighten their life as well. No matter how bright and happy we are, any amount of happiness and cheerfulness we share will have a positive effect on all others within our radius.
The more pleasant we act, the stronger our effect on other people’s lives.
Great Herons: We can learn about love from Great Herons.
For some people, a marriage contract is the only way they can bring the concept of eternal companionship into their experience of love. It is thought that this is the only way a male and female can guarantee their companionship into old age.
However, this thought is based in fear. And fear is the opposite of love.
The Great Herons are an example of birds that mate for life. So do swans and many other animals. The Herons migrate during the winter. In the spring, the males return early to repair the same nest they left, or make a new one if necessary. They get it ready for their female, who returns later.
In addition, each spring the male courts his same female again, for she can choose not to accept him. More often than not, they stay together for life. They have no contract. They are free. Yet, using their freedom, they stay together.
That is the concept behind Eternal Marriage.
The Circle: The circle is very symbolic.
A circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth, and the universe. When joined with another circle, it is the symbol of infinity.
A circle is a symbol of holiness, perfection, and peace. It is also a symbol of unity, but not of possession; of joining, but not of restriction; of encirclement, but not of entrapment. Love cannot be possessed, nor can it be restricted. And the soul can never be entrapped. The circle is a symbol of love.
Cooked Turkey: The further away from the kitchen you go, the less you smell dinner.
All energy has a center point of concentration, and a radius of effect. Others feel the effects of the energy, the degree of which depends on the distance from the point of origin: cooked turkey smells the strongest in the kitchen, but you can still smell it from the front door. Positive and negative energy can be sensed, as well. People gravitate towards people with positive emotions, and steer clear of those with negative emotions. How fun are you to live with?
If you sense a negative energy, get away from the source. If you sense a positive energy, enjoy it, and use your senses to move closer and find the source.
Once you understand the source of a positive energy, you can learn to emulate it, and you can learn to become such a power source.
Once you know how to be a source of positive energy, not only can you travel anywhere and maintain that glow, you are also affecting everything within your radius of effect.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they can see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Your Idol: Qualities that are important to you determine who your idol is.
An idol is someone that has qualities that you admire. These qualities are beyond your abilities at the moment, but are not necessarily out of your reach. They make you want to strive to be like them.
Who is your idol, and why?
Your Hero: Don’t confuse idols with heroes.
A hero is someone who does something important for you that you cannot do for yourself. Is it alright to worship your hero? The answer is always yes, if your hero is Jesus.
Who is your hero?
Elevator Etiquette: There are rules for riding elevators.
Never look anyone in the eye. If you accidentally meet someone’s eyes, look down.
Never speak to anyone on the elevator, except to mention the floor button you need.
Sometimes, you may comment on the weather.
When riding, don’t stand closer to anyone than you need to.
Everyone must look at the floor indicator while riding.
If you bring a friend with you, the two of you may socialize; everyone else will listen, while politely pretending not to.
An exception to these rules if a baby is on board. Everyone may then look at the child, and you may even strike up a conversation with the mother…. As long as it’s about the baby.
If you follow these rules, you will never meet your future best friend in an elevator.
Appendages: We are appendages of God.
An appendage is something that is attached to a larger, Principle thing, and does work at the behest of the Principle. These actions may be subconscious, or the appendage may act on its own accord when it already knows what the will of the Principle’s is. It lives to carry out the will of the Principle. Appendages of the same Principle co-ordinate their efforts and work together for the good of the whole body.
God is our Principle.
Sacrifice: There is no such thing as sacrifice.
To sacrifice is to give up something you want for something bigger that you want more. Since you’re trading something small for something bigger and better, is it really a sacrifice?
Blessings: Be specific in asking for blessings.
What is it you are asking for when you say, “Bless you”? We are invoking Divine care for them.
1. WHO do you want to receive Divine care?
2. WHY do you want Divine care for them? What needs does that person have?
3. WHAT kind of Divine care do you want God to give?
Appreciation: Appreciate each person in your life.
In what ways does God bless you? Do you appreciate your blessings? Tell Him so. Better yet, show Him.
We should especially appreciate everyone we love. If there are people in your life who you don’t love, focus on their positive characteristics, and try to appreciate them more, and your love for them will grow.
Is there anyone in your life that you do not appreciate? There shouldn’t be. God sends everyone into our lives for a reason.
Trees: Every part of a tree is important to it.
Leaves gather the sunlight, convert it into food, and send it down the trunk to the root. The root gathers water to send up the trunk to the leaves. The height of the trunk helps the leaves reach the sun. The breadth of the branches exposes them to the light.
We are all like leaves, reaching for the sun. God is our root, keeping us tapped into Living Water. Jesus is the trunk which keeps us connected to each other and to the Living Water. What is good for one is good for all. What hurts one hurts all. But working together, the whole system stretches far and wide, basking in the glory of life.
Cockroaches: A cockroach is actually a beetle.
To think of them as beetles makes them less “yucky”. Don’t be distracted by another’s name, outward appearance, or reputation. We are all God’s creatures.
Prophet / Profit: Two words that sound the same, yet have opposite meanings.
These are two words that sound the same, yet have opposite meanings.
Which way do you spell this word when you hear it? What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
Is your mind set on money or God?
Fort Knox: Fort Knox contains the government’s gold.
Paper money is supposed to be represented by gold bricks in Fort Knox. But what would happen if every government in the world merely printed up more money than they have in gold, without anyone knowing about it?
What if every person in the whole world was given their society’s equivalent of a million dollars? Everyone would have enough money to ensure his or her survival. Everyone would have a house, food, transportation, and medical necessities, with some left over. However, a million dollars doesn’t go far in America today. People would still have to go to work, but all economies would flourish.
Don’t mock the idea as foolish and impossible. After all, that’s one of the first things Jesus will fix when He returns.
Barbed Wire: Relationships are like a tree and barbed wire.
There once was a tree growing next to a barbed wire fence. As it grew, it slowly enveloped the barbed wire, until it completely encompassed it. Now, the barbed wire is on the inside of the tree, and part of it. The two became one without destroying the integrity of the fence or harming the tree.
Be tolerant of others and accept their differences.
Broken Pottery: We should help others evolve.
The next time you break a pottery sculpture or your grandma‘s casserole dish, if it is irreparable, don’t throw it away. Grind the shards into a powder, mix it with fertile soil, and find a nice plant to put into it.
That way, the inanimate piece of pottery can change form, and become incorporated into a living plant, thereby evolving from an inanimate form into a life form!
We should help one another to evolve, too.
Shade: Jesus is like a tree.
Shade is only created when there is a bright light present, and something that blocks it. Bright light is usually hot, so many things need protective shade.
We can use Jesus as our shade when our troubles get too hot for us. He will stand between us and our troubles to keep us cool enough so we can withstand the heat and deal with our troubles.
Walnut Seeds: We are like walnut seeds.
Before walnut seeds can germinate, they have to be exposed to a forest fire. Fires destroy areas, but leave the soil fertile to allow for new growth. These are the conditions needed for a walnut seed to sprout. The mother tree might be destroyed, but her essence is returned to the soil for the new tree to live on.
Sometimes we have to go through fires in order for conditions to be optimum for our new growth.
Oxygen Masks: Parents need their oxygen masks.
In an emergency on an airplane, parents are instructed to put on their own oxygen masks before putting them on their children.
In life, parents have to make sure they are stable individuals before they can help their children. If a parent’s life is out of order, they will fall apart while trying to help their children during a crisis.
Lets be ready to help each other before these emergencies strike.
Sinners and Saints: A sinner can become a saint in one minute.
All it takes is repentance. Once you realize what you are doing is wrong, stop doing it, make restitution as best you can, ask forgiveness, and forgive yourself!
The difference between a sinner and a saint can be as little as 60 seconds.
Bananas: Bananas are like feelings.
Don’t think about bananas. Don’t think about what they look like. Don’t think about what color they are. Don’t think about how to peel them. Don’t think about how they taste. Don’t think about bananas.
We shouldn’t ignore our feelings, either. Nor our conscience.
Happiness: The key to happiness is found in one word: APPRECIATION.
Appreciation, combined with humility is the key that unlocks the door to ultimate love.
Worthiness: You need to feel loved to feel blessed.
When you feel undeserving or unworthy, you do not feel blessed, even though you are. When you feel happy and loved, then you feel blessed. When you feel blessed, you feel accepted the way you are, and deserving, and worthy. After all, God blesses you because He loves you. That makes you worthy.
God’s love for us makes us deserving of His love.
Fear: Fear is in the future.
There is no fear in the present. Live in the present moment, and do what needs to be done. Don’t live in fear.
The Scent: Stick to the scent.
When ants locate a source of nourishment, they mark their path with a sticky scent, secreted by their abdomen. In this way, they can find their way to the food and back home. This also marks the way for the whole colony.
When an ant is forced off its path by an ant coming from the opposite direction, it immediately returns to the trail and continues on its way.
When we find a source of nourishment, we should also share it with others. But as we work our way home to God, when we get off course, we should immediately return to the safe trail.
Lets help each other get nourishment and return Home.
The Iron Rod: Hold to the Iron Rod.
The Iron Rod is the Word of God. The Word of God is “Jesus”. It is also a term for “The Holy Scriptures”. The purpose of the Rod is to keep people on the Path of Righteousness. Some people have never even heard of Jesus or the Holy Scriptures, yet they unknowingly live their lives according to His teachings. They stay on the path of righteousness, perhaps through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Let us not debate points of doctrine with each other. Let us focus on keeping ourselves and each other on the Path of Righteousness. That way, we keep the main thing the main thing, and that’s the main thing.
Problems: Problems occur for a reason.
We get problems for two reasons. Either we cause them ourselves, as a consequence of our actions, or God gives us a particular problem as a gift.
Why would God send us a problem? The answer to this is found by thinking about what benefits we would gain by solving this problem. If we didn’t have the problem, we wouldn’t have the benefits.
Try to make sure all your problems are from God.
Sin: Sin is like a dog that escapes from the yard.
When a dog is safely fenced in a back yard, he is happy as he enjoys running around, exploring, and playing within his boundaries. But if he discovers a way to stick his nose under one point in the fence and escapes, he feels jubilant at first as he has a new world to explore.
But soon, he finds himself covered with ticks, fleas, brambles, and caked-on mud. Eventually, he finds himself in the dog pound, trapped in a small cage. Temporarily, he is unhappy, and is incapable of realizing that the dogcatcher is only concerned about his safety and well-being.
His owner will realize at once that he is missing, and will not stop looking until he finds him. When the dog pound releases him to his owner, the dog will have to endure the unpleasant process of having the brambles pulled out of his fur, as well as the ticks, and having a flea bath. He might even have a piece of barbed wire in his lip that needs to be clipped and removed, and cared for until healed.
But soon, he will find himself, once again, in the familiar safety of his yard, with his toys and shelter, plenty of food and water, free to move about, explore, and play within his boundaries. He will remember that point in the fence that is weak, and may escape from there again. But after finding himself suffering the same results, the smart pooch will eventually catch on.
Thereafter, he will be aware of the weak point in the fence, but choose not to leave. He will eventually find other weak spots on the fence, but most dogs will realize that all weak spots lead to the same boxed-in situation.
Like a dog, we are safe and free when we stay within God’s boundaries. But when we give in to weakness and explore the world of sin, we will find ourselves boxed-in, and covered with prickly brambles and blood-sucking ticks and fleas.
But our owner will come for us, clean us up, and invite us back to the safety of his back yard. Those of us that are smart will stay there.
Blueprints: Our thoughts are the blueprints of our actions.
Everything is designed before it is created. Architects use blueprints before building a house. Events start as a plan on paper. Even God made a spirit world before creating the physical world.
Our thoughts are what guide our words.
Our thoughts and words are what guide our actions.
Therefore, our thoughts are the blueprints that decide what our actions will be.
What do you spend YOUR time thinking about?
Pride: The difference between pride and humility is self-esteem.
People who are proud are more than just self-confident. Those to whom this refers are boastful. They show off. They may have an attitude of “I’m better than you”. Moreover, these are people who delight in this attitude, and are happy that they are “superior”. But those who are further along than another have a moral responsibility to help others along their way: the strong should assist the weak, the educated should teach, the rich should aid the poor, the wise should guide.
There are those who are proud of their intelligence, good looks, the social status they were born into… but where did those things come from? Gifts from God are not things to be proud about; in fact, they are all the more cause for humility.
Those who are trying to help others better themselves need to be especially considerate of the other’s feelings. If the other one feels “put down”, or “preached to”, they will not be receptive to what you have to say, because they are angry or hurt. The experience will wind up being depressed instead of enlightening.
With quiet humility, let them ask for your advice, but invite them to do so, and be available for them. The FEELING that both of you have at the end of the exchange is the indication of whether or not your advise was useful or damaging.
Disappointment: If you are disappointed, your expectations were too high.
If someone else’s behavior disappoints you, causing you frustration, your expectations were too high. You shouldn’t expect behavior that may not be realistic. What actually happened is reality. The pain will only go away when you lower you expectations. You have to re-define your expectations based on the new perspective you now have about the reality of the situation.
When someone’s behavior consistently slips below their previous standard of behavior, it changes that person’s “character statistics”. Perhaps they were once honest, loyal, understanding, responsible, etc. But our character is constantly re-defined by our actions. One slip-up does not re-define our character as much as a series of slip-ups, and one improvement does not re-define our character as much as a series of improvements.
You cannot change another person’s behavior, but you can change your expectations, based on your new perspective of the present reality.
Being Right: How important is it for you to be right?
When you know you are right about something, and you want to correct another person, it is very tempting to say anything to get that person to admit you are right. But what is the cost to your relationship?
When you point out to another person their wrongness, it will make them feel bad, because they feel angry or hurt. It frequently causes them to be defensive. Sometimes they will even go to great lengths to “prove you wrong”. If it is their behavior that is being criticized, the end result may be just the opposite of what you wanted them to change, for they may then continue their behavior deliberately to “prove” to you that the consequences will not be as you predicted.
Not only will your opinion be ignored, it will be rejected. Your relationship will then suffer, because they will not want to spend time with you, if what you say to them makes them feel bad. When you try to prove you are right, nobody gets what he or she wants.
Give your advice quietly, and only to receptive ears. Be there for them, WITHOUT an “I told you so” when they see it for themselves.
“Being right” is not worth the ruining of your relationship.
Time: What if time really WAS money?
What if each and every person on the earth got the same amount of money per hour,
24 hours a day? And what if you could get more money per hour, based on the quality
of how the time is spent? What would you do with your time? The same thing you do with your money? Both time and money can be spent, wasted, used, invested, and shared.
Here’s some news for you: Time really is money, and money is really time. People are paid more when they spent their time beforehand getting knowledge, skills, and experience in things that other people want to pay for.
There’s nothing more valuable than time, not even money. Rich or poor, bond or free, we all get 24 hours a day. What we do with our time is what determines our personality.
When we die, we can’t take our money with us, but we do take with us what we did with our time.
Holy: Holiness is obedience with enthusiasm!
Being holy is primarily being obedient to God’s Will. It involves keeping all of God’s commandments, no matter what religion one is. The difference between righteousness and holiness is enthusiasm.
Holiness is having one’s will the same as God’s Will. A holy person is not righteous because of fear of punishment, but because he or she wants to be virtuous. This type of person would continue their principled behavior even if no laws were present. Everyone in heaven is holy.
Many people on earth are holy, too. Those who honor their parents out of love and devotion are holy, in that way. Those who do not commit adultery because it is against their moral standards are holy in that way. Those who have no desire to steal are holy in that way.
All of God’s commandments are summed up in this: “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. When we do this because we want to, because that is who we are, then we are holy, too.
Heaven is ready and waiting for you
Feelings: What you are thinking determines your mood.
Your mood is directly related to your thoughts. Some people think that they cannot help how they feel about something that has happened. You cannot change a past event, but you can change how you think about that event. The faster you can come to a level of acceptance about what has happened, the faster the pain will go away. The faster you can find good things that can come from an unpleasant event, the faster “acceptance” can be replaced by “happiness”.
How do you want to feel today, right now?
Shoelaces: Tying your shoelaces is the hardest thing to do.
Many people make New Year resolutions to get out and start running, walking, biking, or going to the gym. As week after week slides by, the only thing that gets exercised is their jaws, as they talk about it! The fact is, putting on your shoes and tying the laces is the hardest part. Once that is done, you have already made up you mind to get out the door and go.
If you find you are procrastinating your goals, take a look at your fear. Either redefine that goal so that it is not so frightening, or drop it altogether. If you decide you want to keep it as a goal, get your shoes on and tie those shoelaces!
Trust: If you don’t trust someone, the problem, is in yourself.
When you don't trust others, what you really don’t rust is yourself, to be able to handle the consequences of the other’s actions. You cannot change another person’s behavior, but chances are you can trust yourself to deal with whatever they do. If you don’t trust someone, it means you have experienced betrayal in the past. You handled it, survived, and are stronger and wiser now. You can deal with whatever someone does. Be appropriate in your decisions, and use the wisdom you already have.
Do not chose to live in fear.
Elephant: God is like an elephant, and we are all blind men.
Three blind men went up to an elephant to “see” what it looked like. The first man felt the elephant’s tail and said, “An elephant is like a rope”.
The second man felt the elephant’s ear and said, “An elephant is like a leaf”.
The third man felt the beast’s leg and said, “An elephant is like a tree”.
They were all right, based on their perception.
Worry: Faith and worry cannot exist at the same time.
Do you believe in God? That He is our Devine Creator? That He loves each of us? Do you believe that He knows your situation already? That He knows what you are in need of? Do you believe that He wants you to have what you need?
All He ever asks us to do is three things: Do all you can do for yourself, ask Him for what you want and need, and exercise a particle of faith. We can fulfill the second two requirements with a simple, humble prayer. The act of praying is demonstrating the particle of faith. Ask for what you need during the prayer, and spend the rest of the prayer expressing your gratitude. Let go of your worry and let your faith take effect; watch and see how the situation resolves.
Why worry at all?
Make Your Bed: Making your bed can help you feel better right away.
The bed is the dominant piece of furniture in the bedroom. When it is messy, the whole room looks messy. Messy rooms reflect upon the overall emotional effect of the room. Making your bed every day is one way to increase your self-esteem right away… you start the day out with a job well done.
Also, don’t study on your bed. You’ll find it harder to sleep at bedtime, and you’ll get sleepy during studying. Study and sleep in different places.
Pointing Fingers: Beware of pointing fingers at others.
When you point at someone, there is one finger pointing at them, but three fingers pointing back at yourself. Usually, when something bothers you about someone, it is also something about yourself that you are uncomfortable with. Perhaps it was a past weakness in yourself.
Take a closer look within yourself and try not to point fingers.
“Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone”.
Vitamins: Don’t take vitamins during pregnancy.
When a little baby is given vitamins, he is given a pediatric dose, which is only a fraction of the adult quantity. What happens when a pregnant woman takes a pre-natal mega-vitamin? Vitamins readily cross the placenta directly into the fetus, who then gets the full, adult strength of the vitamin. An fetus, (nine weeks to nine months in the womb) and especially and embryo (up to eight weeks in the womb) are very susceptible to toxic agents, and vitamin toxicity causes many neurological problems.
Pregnant women should eat a well-balanced healthy diet, and avoid all types of synthetic chemicals, including adult-strength vitamins.
Static: Answers to prayer is like radio reception.
When there is static on your radio, CB. or TV, it is very noticeable at first. It is distracting, and it is difficult to tune into the message. But to those who are used to it, the static becomes the backround and the message is obvious.
Likewise, one who practices listening after their prayer will be able to screen out life’s distractions and hear the still, small voice within.
All it takes is faith and practice.
Guilt: Only hold onto guilt until it is sufficient to motivate a change in your actions.
Guilt is our conscience, telling us we did something wrong. It serves its purpose when it motivates us to stop doing it, and make the appropriate restitution. Beyond that, forgiveness is for everyone, and guilt that continues to plague us is unreasonable.
God had already forgiven you. All that is left is for you to forgive yourself.
Goodbye: You never know when you are saying your last goodbye.
How many people leave for work, never to return home, having fallen victim to an accident? None of them thought it would happen to them. Do you have any unresolved issues with your loved ones? Do they know TODAY that you love them? Have you left anything unsaid?
It is easier to tell people how you feel while you are both still alive. When the grave separates you, only the one who has died can hear both of your voices. How would you feel if you died, and they couldn’t hear what you are saying to them? How would you feel if you were the one alive, not being able to hear them?
Forgive quickly, and express your love before you say goodbye.
One day, it really will be your last goodbye.
Your Body: How much is your body worth?
Would you trade your eyesight for a million dollars? Your hearing? Each arm? Each leg? Your ability to talk? Your mind? Your health? Would you be willing to suffer pain for the rest of your life for a million dollars?
If not, your body is already worth more than 10 million dollars.
Appreciate your body, and everyone else’s, as well.
911: The 911 rescuers do not discriminate.
When a person calls 911, the operator does not ask the color, religion, or nationality of the victim. No questions are asked about political views, criminal record, or financial status. Adults are rescued with the same diligence as a child. Each person in need is cared for with all the expertise available to the most skilled of healthcare providers.
Every soul is priceless.
Computer: Repentance is like computer files in a back-up drive.
When we create a document on our computer, we name it and put it in a file. When we no longer are actively using that document, but we may need it for future reference, we put it in a back-up storage system, separate from our computer.
All of our actions are also recorded. When we do something, good or bad, that action has a lable, and a file is created. Our personality and our character are reflected by the files we create for ourselves.
When we are no longer comfortable with our bad behavior, sufficient enough to stop doing it, then we repent of it. God takes all our “documents” in that file, and they are removed from us. However, that file goes into a back-up storage system, where it is spoken of no more…. Unless we create another document with the same name.
After each document (action) is created, it is labled and saved. Even if the computer has no other files woth that name, it will still detect it in the back-up storage system. This will activate the old file and pull the file up into the computer, along with all the documents it contains. Thus, when we repeat the same offense which we were previously forgiven of, it is more difficult to feel sufficient remorse to be forgiven of it and have it removed again.
Universe: Set the universe in motion.
Sometimes, procrastination bogs us down. We may have a goal in mind that seems too difficult to achieve. But even the hardest or most complex goal can be broken doen into steps. All goals have one thing in common: The First Step.
Usually, this step starts with writing a letter, sending an e-mail, or making a phone call. Taking this first step sets up a series of events that will help you achieve your goal.
Just take the first step, and set the universe in motion.
Suffering: Suffering is Eternal.
Unfortunately, as long as life exists anywhere in the universe, there will be suffering. Even after everyone who has ever lived on this planet has returned safely home to heaven, there will always be physical life forms on other planets.
Is there anything good that can come from suffering? Without a suffering soul, there can be no kindness, no generosity, no compassion to be shown. If we never suffer, we can never know if we are a “longsuffering” type of person. Suffering can mold a person’s character by developing patience, mercy, and forgiveness.
God allows suffering for a reason.
Bless: What is a blessing?
Asking for a blessing is expressing the desire that God will grant that obstacles will be removed from one’s path. God will assist this in various ways:
1) Divine Intervention: miracles, softening hearts of those involved, causing circumstances to change, etc.
2) Helping with wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration.
3) Helping with physical and emotional strength to endure, overcome, and succeed.
4) Helping with courage and faith.
By asking/invoking a blessing for yourself or for others, you already demonstrate the most important elements of a prayer: Faith and Gratitude. The word “Bless” is the prayer itself. Therefore, when you say the word “BLESS”, you are ASKING in FAITH, with GRATITUDE. The other important element is to do so with HUMILITY.
The word BLESS is a powerful prayer.
Obedience/ Intelligence: How well can you be trained?
The Border Collie is valued as the most intelligent dog, because they are able to learn and carry out tasks requiring several hours of focused effort. Border Collies are not usually entered at dog shows, and most do not carry professional papers, but owners and breeders are no less passionate about these dogs because of their extreme helpfulness and usefulness in everyday, practical things. They exhibit a stunning eagerness to work.
There are two main components of intelligence: “instinctive intelligence” and “adaptive intelligence”. Intelligence in dogs is measured by two things: obedience and problem-solving. Their problem-solving skills are largely based on their persistence. Therefore, persistence is also graded in their overall IQ.
There is a lot that WE can learn from this standard. There is not a lot we can do about our genetic IQ, but our adaptive intelligence is learned, and “adapted” because of our environment. If you want to be a more intelligent today and tomorrow than you were up till yesterday, simply increase your obedience and persistence in problem-solving. (And be THANKFUL to God for your problems; they are His gifts to you!)
The fact is, almost all dogs (even old ones), can be trained to some extent. But even the dumbest dogs make great pets on the right home. Fortunately, intelligence is not a prerequisite for love. God loves us, no matter who we are, or what we do. However, a high level of obedience shows how well one can be trained. How well can you be trained by God? It depends on your level of obedience, and persistence in solving problems. What blessings might God have in store for His children whom he can easily train?
Mischief: Are you looking for mischief?
Intelligent dogs do not make the best pets, because they require a lot of stimulation; if left alone, they may get into mischief. Children can be the same. Are you giving your child enough responsibility? Are you giving him enough constructive, creative, and stimulating things to do?
Strangers and Friends: What's the difference?
What is the difference between a stranger and a friend? Think of someone you remember as being one of your best friends. Recall the day you first met. The minute you first said “hello”, did you know you were going to become close, or did it take time? Keep in mind that the day before you met, you had no idea you were going to meet your best friend the very next day. As a matter of fact, all of your friends were once strangers whom you hadn’t met yet. How many more strangers will you cross paths with tomorrow? Sometimes the difference between a stranger and a best friend can be as little as one minute and the first “hello”.