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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Building Bridges

Once upon a time,
two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door.
He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I 'm looking for a few days' work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with?

     Could I help you?

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor. In fact, it's my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day -- measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.
--It was a bridge. 


-A bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other-

A fine piece of work, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched...

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."

Ephesians 4:32
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

10 Wild Dogs

A Story.

The late king of my community had ten wild dogs. He used them to torture and eat any of his servants who made a mistake. One of the servants gave an opinion which was wrong, and the king didn’t like it at all. So he ordered that the servant be thrown to the dogs.

The servant said, “I served you for ten years, and you do this to me? Please give me ten days before throwing me to those dogs!”

The king agreed.

In those ten days, the servant went to the guard who looks after the dogs and told him he would like to serve the dogs for the next ten days. The guard was baffled but agreed, and the servant started feeding the dogs, cleaning for them, bathing them, and providing all sorts of comfort for them.

When the ten days were over, the king ordered that the servant be thrown to the dogs for his punishment. When he was thrown in, we were all amazed to see the ravenous dogs only licking the feet of the servant!

The king, baffled at what he was seeing, said,
      "What has happened to my dogs?”

The servant replied, "I served the dogs for only ten days, and they didn’t forget my service. Yet I served you for a whole ten years and you forgot all, at my first mistake!"

The king realised his mistake and ordered the servant to be set free.

This post is a message to all those who forget the good things a person did for them as soon as the person makes a mistake towards them.  

Share it! 


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Are you indispensable?

There Is No Indispensable Man
by Saxon N. White Kessinger. 

Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room,

Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you will be missed.

You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you’ll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.



Monday, April 4, 2016

Damaging Yourself: Anger

On the Halloween when Dwight D. Eisenhower was ten years old, his parents let his two older brothers go trick-or-treating, but told Ike he was too young to accompany them. Having eagerly anticipated a night of fun and freedom, Dwight was crushed. He argued his case for why he should be allowed to go out, begging and pleading with his parents to change their minds until his brothers at last headed off into the night without him. Completely beside himself with rage, Ike went into the yard and starting pounding away at the trunk of an apple tree, pummeling the bark until his fists bled. His father finally pulled the boy away, gave him a few swats with a hickory stick, and sent him off to bed. Ike sobbed into his pillow, feeling like the whole world was against him.

After an hour, Eisenhower’s mother came into his room and sat down in the rocking chair beside his bed. She rocked silently for awhile, and then began to talk to young Dwight, telling him she was concerned about his anger, and that of all her boys, he had the most to learn about getting his temper under control. But striving to do so and gaining self-mastery, Mrs. Eisenhower continued, was vital. “He that conquereth his own soul is greater than he who taketh a city,” she told her son, paraphrasing the Bible. Then, Ike remembered, she offered him a piece of life-changing advice:

“Hating was a futile sort of thing, she said, because hating anyone or anything meant that there was little to be gained. The person who had incurred my displeasure probably didn’t care, possibly didn’t even know, and the only person injured was myself.”

As Eisenhower’s mother applied salve and bandages to Ike’s wounded hands, she reinforced her point by noting the way in which his heedless anger and resentment had changed nothing and only damaged himself.

Article: The Art of Manliness, June 3, 2012


Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Interview (with a dead-guy).

The Greatest General, by Mark Twain:


A man died and met Saint Peter at the gates of heaven. 
Recognizing the saint’s knowledge and wisdom, he wanted to ask him a question. “Saint Peter’, he said, “I have been interested in the military history for many years. Tell me, who was the greatest general of all times?” 
Peter quickly responded, “O that is a simple question. It’s that man right over there.” 
The man looked where Peter was pointing and answered, “You must be mistaken. I knew that man on earth, and he was just a common laborer.” 
“That’s right,” Peter remarked, “but he would have been the greatest general of all time-if he had been a general.”

---What a remarkable lesson.

Shortly after reading Twain's story, I started wondering what it would be like to interview the "would-be-general." 

I imagine myself sitting across from him in a fluffy cloud, face to face with the following questions:

Q: What held you back from pursuing your dreams while you were on earth?

Q: Did you have a passion in your heart for the things of the military? If so, why didn't you enlist?

Q:  When you were alive, did you ever feel a sense of destiny?  Like God had a plan for your life?

Q:  How's the food up there?  

Q:  Followed up by, do all dogs really go to heaven?  I'm quite serious.

Q:  Finally, if  you could do it all over again, live your life again on earth, how would you live differently?

I have no idea what the answers would be to those questions.  
But what I do know, is that if you find yourself reading this, you still have a chance.  

-A chance to live.  -A chance to engage.  

What a terrible thing it would be to find out in heaven that you could have been the worlds all time greatest __________ .