Sunday, May 27, 2012

THE RISK OF ARGUING WITH CHILDREN

By:  WSP

In a grade school lesson, a teacher was explaining a little bit about whales.

A little girl in class piped up and said: “I just learned that Jonah in the bible was swallowed by a whale.”


The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was relatively small.


The girl said: "I am sure Jonah was swallowed by a whale."


The teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; that it was physically impossible.


The little girl replied: "My Sunday school teacher told me Jonah was swallowed and she would not lie to me.”


A bit perturbed by this, the teacher proclaimed: "That is a “story” from the bible, it is not factual, and I will not argue with you."


After a little thought, the girl responded: "Well, when I get to heaven, I will ask Jonah".


Now challenged, the teacher spouted: "What if Jonah didn’t go to heaven?"


Not at all daunted, the girl quipped, " . . . . . ok then you ask him."


- - “Out of the mouth of babes . . . “

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

THE PARENTS AND THE CHILDREN

Pencil:  I'm sorry

Eraser:  For what? You didn't do anything wrong.

Pencil:  I'm sorry because you get hurt because of me. Whenever I made a mistake, you're always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each time.

Eraser:  That's true. But I don't really mind. You see, I was made to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong. Even though one day, I know I'll be gone and you'll replace me with a new one, I'm actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I hate seeing you sad.

I found this conversation between the pencil and the eraser very inspirational. Parents are like the eraser whereas their children are the pencil. They're always there for their children, cleaning up their mistakes. Sometimes along the way, they get hurt, and become smaller / older, and eventually pass on. Though their children will eventually find someone new (spouse), but parents are still happy with what they do for their children, and will always hate seeing their precious ones worrying, or sad. All my life, I've been the pencil. And it pains me to see the eraser that is my parents getting smaller and smaller each day. For I know that one day, all that I'm left with would be eraser shavings and memories of what I used to have.

In case we still have our parents with us, it’s not yet too late to cherish and love them. Let’s always thank GOD for them. On the other hand, it’s not too late also to be a good parents to our children.

"Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” – Exod. 20: 12 (NLT)

Monday, May 14, 2012

PRAYING AFTER THE HIGH POINTS

By:  Blackaby

And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. - Mark 6:46

What do you do after a spiritual victory? Where do you go after reaching a high point in your Christian life? Jesus went to pray. Jesus had just fed a multitude with only five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:34-44).

If there were ever a time to relax and bask in the glow of God’s power it should have been then. Instead, Jesus climbed a mountain to pray. When Jesus prayed, the Father clearly revealed His will and His ways to His Son. It eventually dawned on Jesus’ disciples that Jesus prepared for every major decision and difficult challenge with a time of prayer (Luke 11:1). As Jesus prayed on the mountain that day, the Father knew His Son was about to face a fierce storm (Mark 6:48). The disciples raced headlong into the tempest unprepared, but Jesus entered the storm after communing with His Father in prayer. The Father had prepared Jesus for what was coming, and Jesus met the crisis with all the power of God.

It is tempting to relax after a spiritual victory, but a crisis could follow at any time. You must stand guard over your high points. It is at these times when you experience God mightily that you should immediately get alone to pray. Then you will not be caught unprepared when trials come.

Have you experienced a spiritual victory? Follow your Lord’s example and go immediately to a place of prayer so the Father can prepare you for what is coming.

Friday, May 11, 2012

PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION

By:  N. Shah

This is a real life story of engineer John Roebling building the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, USA back in 1870. The bridge was completed in 1883, after 13 years.

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to talk or walk.

“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.

In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task.

As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SEVEN (7) PRINCIPLES TO LEARN FROM EAGLES

By:  M. Munroe

May you soar on wings of eagles. Remember: you can't be sour if you want to soar. :)

1.
Eagles fly alone at a high altitude and do not mix with sparrows or other smaller birds like geese. Birds of a feather flock together. No other bird goes to the height of the eagle. Eagles fly alone. Never in a flock. Even when Moses (Old Testament) went to commune with God on the mountain, he left the crowd at the foothills. Stay away from sparrows and ravens. Eagles fly alone.

2.
Eagles have strong vision, which focuses up to 5 kilometers from the air. When an eagle sites prey- even a rodent from this distance, he narrows his focus on it and sets out to get it. No matter the obstacle, the eagle will not move his focus from the prey until he grabs it. Have a vision and remain focused no matter what the obstacle and you will succeed.

3.
Eagles do not eat dead things. He feeds on fresh prey. Vultures eat dead animals but not eagles. Steer clear of outdated and old information. Do your research well, always.

4.
The Eagle is the only bird that loves the storm. When clouds gather, the eagles get excited. The eagle uses the wings of the storm to rise and is pushed up higher. Once it finds the wing of the storm, the eagle stops flapping and uses the pressure of the raging storm to soar the clouds and glide. This gives the eagle an opportunity to rest its wings. In the meantime all the other birds hide in the leaves and branches of the trees. We can use the storms of our lives (obstacles, trouble, etc) to rise to greater heights. Achievers relish challenges and use them profitably.

5.
The Eagle tests before it trusts. When a female eagle meets a male and they want to mate, she flies down to earth with the male pursuing her and she picks a twig. She flies back into the air with the male pursuing her. Once she has reached a height high enough for her, she lets the twig fall to the ground and watches it as it falls. The male chases after the twig. The faster it falls, the faster he chases until he reaches it and has to catch it before it falls to the ground, then bring it back to the female eagle. The female eagle grabs the twig and flies to a much higher altitude pursued by the male, until she perceives it high enough, and then drops the twig for the male to chase. This goes on for hours, with the height increasing until the female eagle is assured that the male eagle has mastered the art of picking the twig which shows commitment, then and only then, will she allow him to mate with her! Whether in private life or in business, one should test commitment of people intended for partnership.

6.
Eagles prepare for training. When about to lay eggs, the female and male eagle identify a place very high on a cliff where no predators can reach; the male flies to earth and picks thorns and lays them on the crevice of the cliff, then flies to earth again to collect twigs which he lays in the intended nest. He flies back to earth picks thorns and lays them on top of the twigs. He flies back to earth and picks soft grass to cover the thorns, and then flies back to pick rugs to put on the grass. When this first layering is complete, the male eagle runs back to earth and picks more thorns, lays them on the nest; runs back to get grass and rugs and lays them on top of the thorns, then plucks his feathers to complete the nest. The thorns on the outside of the nest protect it from possible intruders. Both male and female eagles participate in raising the eagle family. She lays the eggs and protects them; he builds the nest and hunts. The people who love us do not let us languish in sloth but push us hard to grow and prosper. Even in their seemingly bad actions they have good intentions for us.

7.
Eagles find a place of renewal. When the Eagle grows old, his feathers become weak and cannot take him as fast as he should. When he feels weak and about to die, he retires to a place far away in the rocks. While there, he plucks out every feather on his body until he is completely bare. He stays in this hiding place until he has grown new feathers, then he can come out. We occasionally need to shed off old habits & items that burden us and add no value to our lives.

We are not made to become losers, for in Christ we have found victory! Victory over death, and surely, victory over things that binds us! Stay away from sparrows and ravens. Don't mix with them, you're different!


Even youth grow tired and weary
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
WILL renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint."

[Isaiah 40]