Saturday, September 29, 2012


By:  F. Oursler

“Some day you will find what your special gift is and when you do, you will make your parents very proud of you”

One of the worst evils of today is the exaggerated importance given to so-called intelligence tests. Many other qualities besides agility in answering trick questions go into the making of human personality. A man can fail all the tests and make a wonderful life. Let me tell you what happened to a young Canadian boy.

Call him Johnnie Martin. He was the son of a carpenter, and his mother worked as a housekeeper. They lived frugal lives, saving their money for the day when they could send their son to college. Johnnie had reached the second year in high school when the blow fell. A psychologist attached to the school called the young man, just reached sixteen, into his private office and this is what he said.

“Johnnie, I've been studying your marks and I've gone over your various tests in motor and sensory impressions - your physical examination.  I've made a very careful study of you and your achievements.”

“I've been trying hard,” put in Johnnie.

“That's just the trouble,” said the psychologist.

“You have worked very hard indeed - but it has not helped. You just don't seem able to get ahead in your studies. You're just not cut out for it, and for you to remain in high school would, in my opinion, be a waste of time.”

The boy buried his face in his hands.

“This will be hard on my mother and father,” he said. “Their one idea is for me to be a college man.”

The psychologist laid his hand on the boy's shoulder. “People have different kinds of talents, Johnnie,” he said.

“There are painters who were never able to learn the multiplication table, and engineers who can't sing on key. But every one of us has something special - and you are no exception. Some day you will find what your special gift is and when you do, you will make your parents very proud of you.”

Johnnie never went back to school. Jobs were scarce in town, but he managed to keep busy mowing the lawns of the householders and puttering in their flower-beds. And then a curious thing happened.  Before long his customers began to notice that Johnnie had what they called a 'green thumb'. The plants he tended grew and blossomed, and the rose trees blossomed. He fell into the habit of making suggestions for re-arranging the tiny front-yard landscapes. He had an eye for colour and could make surprising combinations that pleased the eye.

One day while he was down town he happened to notice a stretch of unused land behind the city hall. Chance or fate or whatever you may like to call it brought one of the town's alderman round the corner just at that moment. Impetuously the boy said, “I can make a garden out of this dump, if you'll let me.”

“The town's got no money for frills,” said the alderman.

“I don't want any money for it,” said the boy – “I just want to do it.”

The alderman, being a politician, was astounded to find anyone who did not want money, under any and all circumstances. He took Johnnie into an office, and when the young man came out he had the authority to clean up the public eyesore. That very afternoon he borrowed extra tools and seeds and soil. Someone gave him a few young trees to plant.  When others heard of it they offered rose-bushes and even a hedge. Then the town's leading manufacturer heard of it, and volunteered to supply some benches.

Before long the dreary old dump had become a little park. There were grassy lawns and little curving walks and restful seats and little house for birds. All the towns people were talking about what a lovely improvement the young man had made.

But it was also a kind of show window for Johnnie. People saw the result of his skill and knew him for a natural landscape gardener.

That was twenty five years ago. Today Johnnie is the head of a prosperous business in landscape gardening. His customers extend into neighbouring provinces.

Johnnie still cannot speak French or translate Latin, trigonometry is unknown to him. But colour and light and lovely prospects are his bread and butter. His aging parents are proud of Johnnie, for he is not only a success - a man of affairs and a member of the best clubs in town - he has also made his part of the world a lovelier place to live in. Where ever he and his men go, they spread beauty before the eyes of people.

Friday, September 28, 2012


By:  B. Tracy

Everyone wants more free time to do the things they love. It can take hard effort to get things done and save time when our schedules are packed with things to do. But first, in order to save time, it’s important to examine how we spend our time.

What Happened to Our Free Time?

According to time management specialist Michael Fortino, over an average lifetime, you will spend seven years in the bathroom. You will spend six years eating. You will spend five years waiting in lines. You will spend four years cleaning your house. You will spend three years in meetings. You will spend one year searching for things. You will spend eight months opening junk mail. You will spend six months sitting at red lights. You will spend 120 days brushing your teeth. And here’s the big surprise: You will spend four minutes per day conversing with your spouse and thirty seconds per day conversing with your children.

Here are five ideas that you can use in your personal life to get things done more efficiently and save time:

1.  Save Time by Shopping All At Once

When you go shopping, do it all at once. Don’t shop at one store one day, and another store on a different day. Go out and do all of your shopping on a single day in a single trip. By the way, the very best time to shop for groceries is Tuesday afternoon and evenings. Why? Store shelves are restocked on Monday after the weekend. By shopping on Tuesday, you can get in, get the greatest selection, get out fast, and get more free time.

2.  Save Time by Bunching Your Errands

When you have several errands to do, bunch them and do them all at once, rather than doing one today, one tomorrow, and so on through the week. If you get things done all at once, you will significantly increase the amount of free time you have to do the things you really want to do.

3.  Don’t Waste the Time of Others

Ask yourself, ‘‘What do I do that wastes the time of others?’’ Wasting the time of other people is usually not deliberate. It comes from not thinking about how valuable their time is. We often waste the time of others through lack of consideration.

If you are a boss or manager with people reporting to you, avoid the tendency to waste the time of your staff by keeping them waiting or being late for meetings. The more respect you show for the time of your staff, the more valuable and important they will feel. The same applies in your personal life. Show the same respect in the same way with your family and friends.

Ask yourself, ‘‘How do I waste the time of my boss? My coworkers? My subordinates? My spouse? My children? And others?’’ And then make efforts to avoid doing it. If you are curious, go and ask people. Say, ‘‘What do I do that wastes your time? How could I change the way I use my time so that it would be more efficient for you?’’ Don’t be surprised by what they tell you. By asking these questions, you’ll be able to save time for both parties.

4.  Get More Free Time by Being Punctual

Only 2 percent of people are punctual all the time, and these people are recognized and respected by everyone. Punctuality is professional and courteous. Make a habit of being on time. Remember if you’re not early, you’re late. There is no such thing as being fashionably late. It is really just being inconsiderate and disorganized.

5.  Get Things Done Quickly

Get things done by developing a fast tempo and picking up the pace. Remember, fast tempo is essential to success. Move quickly in cleaning up your house, putting things away, getting ready to go out—in all possible household tasks and responsibilities. The more things you do, and the faster you work to get them done, the more energy you have and the more you save time.

The faster you work and the more you get done, the better you feel. Most successful people work at a higher tempo of activity than unsuccessful people. They don’t necessarily do different things, but they get things done more efficiently in a given time than the average person. They produce more in less time, and as a result, they get paid more and promoted faster. Fast tempo is essential to success.

The best advice is to always focus on your ability to save time. Continually look for ways to save time by cutting down or eliminating the major time wasters from your life at work or home. Only then will you have enough time to work on the goals that are central to your success and happiness. Only then can you become an excellent time manager.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


By:  D. Cerullo

“When Jesus saw this, he said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!’” – Luke 18:24-25 NLT

The riches of this world provide a constant temptation. So powerful is their pull that they can shape our thoughts and capture our hearts. History, in fact, is filled with tragic examples of this pattern.

In his book, Den of Thieves, James Stewart reveals how, in the scandal that rocked Wall Street in the 1980s, people became caught up in lifestyles that distorted their values. One of the most famous was Michael Milken, who headed the bond-trading department for Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Milken saw great potential in “junk bonds.” By 1986, his department generated profits so huge that they were entitled to more than $700 million in bonuses. Milken kept $550 million of this for himself. But he did not think this was enough, and he became angry with Drexel’s chairman.

Eventually, he had to pay more than $1 billion in fines, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Milken paid a high price for his greed and learned that these temporary rewards don’t last.

Jesus tried to teach these principles to a rich young man, asking him to “come follow me.” He encouraged him to “sell all he had.” But the man sadly just walked away. Why? “Because he was very rich.” He made his choice, and turned his back on God (vs. 22-23).

Today, you have choices to make. You can choose to seek wealth and fame and pursue pleasure and greatness in this world. But you, too, will discover that all of these things are temporary. In contrast, the riches that last come from serving God.

Right now, make sure your priorities are clear. Lay everything aside to seek first the Kingdom of God.

Monday, September 24, 2012


By:  S. Chavis

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. John Kabat-Zin

One of the things I have tried to do is learn how to live better and better in what seems to be a sometimes crazy world. As I got older, it became pretty obvious that this was an “opportunity area” for me. Despite the fact I had reached adulthood, there were still lessons (and plenty of them) for me to learn.

Life has a way of pointing you in the right direction and doing its very best to give you the lessons you need, but I realized you’ve got to really be paying attention and willing to make changes anytime you notice something is off.

So, that’s why I have committed to Living Today Better than Yesterday and if you haven’t already joined me, I really hope you will consider doing so.

If we are going to really live in this world and not just “exist” or get entangled in all the drama and the stuff that in the end just isn’t all that important, we’ve got to have a way to go about things and move through each day in the best way possible.

Here’s a list of things we really want to make sure we have mastered.

1. Really live and experience the moment in front of you.

2. Learn the lesson the first time around (no need for re-runs).

3.  Ignore the Chief Negativity Officer in your mind that tries to talk you out of things and makes you doubt what you can accomplish.

4. Forgive people as soon as possible (even the ones that don’t apologize).

5. Know exactly how to avoid and break out of any Infinite Loops.

6. Always be confident that more and more wonderful things are coming your way regardless of the challenges that may arise.

7. Never be disappointed when one door closes because you understand you are being redirected to something so much better.

8. Accomplish things you at first thought were impossible.

9. See the perfection in imperfection.

10. Let go of any worries because you completely trust the way things unfold.

11. Never focus too much on what happened and instead focus on those things that will move you forward.

12. Bring your Extraordinary Side to every single moment – everything you say, think and do.

13. Take steps every single day to get where you want to be.

14. Regret nothing about your experiences and learn everything you can from them.

15. Continually rethink what’s really possible because you know that life is filled with infinite possibilities.

16. Figure out and follow your own truth.

17. Never question “Why Me?” and instead ask yourself “What’s the lesson in this situation?”

18. Take steps forward despite the fears that may be weighing you down.

19. Love and enjoy the people around you.

20. Have infinite hope and infinite patience when it comes to the things you are passionate about.

21. Strike the balance of being able to look forward to tomorrow while also appreciating exactly where you are.

22. Step back and look at every single challenge or issue from a different perspective.

23. Never allow someone’s bad behavior to cause you to become someone you’re not.

24. Always let the light overshadow any darkness.

25. Maintain your inner peace despite any craziness happening around you.

26. Continually go after what you want. It’s always too early to think it’s too late.

27. Quiet your mind and be still.

28. Use life’s challenges to help you see who you really are.

29. Refuse to let the junk of yesterday ruin the happiness of today.

30. Know when it’s time to let go — and then do it.

31. Figure out how to respect people you at first didn’t like.

32. Read and listen to the signs that come your way.

33. Take advantage of the possibilities of today.

Waiting on God and His Light in the Heart

By:   A. Murray “I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they t...