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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Resolution 2016: "He Shared his Best"

story. 

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. 

Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”


              So is with our lives ... 

Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all...

 -Call it power of collectivity...
 -Call it a principle of success...
 -Call it a law of life.

The bible teaches us in the book of Galatians that, "we will reap what we sow."  I've heard it said that life is like an echo, what you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you. So give goodness ... 

It's the start of a new year, and everybody is out making resolutions, so what about posting this message in your workspace or at home by your nightstand? Thus reminding you to share your crops in the hope that everyone produces a great 2016. 
 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My best Christmas


The Christmas party was over.

Several of the men were sitting at a table reminiscing about the Christmas days of their childhood. The conversation turned to the best Christmas of their lives. As they went around the table, they noticed one man hadn't said anything. They asked, "Come on.. Frank, What was your best Christmas?" Frank said, "The best Christmas I ever had was when I didn't even get a present." 
The others were surprised. They had to hear the story. Frank began to talk...
"I grew up in New York. It was the great depression and we were poor. My Mother had died when I was just eight years old. My Dad had a job but he only worked two or three days a week and that was considered good. We lived in a walk up and we just barely had enough food and clothes. I was a kid and didn't really notice."

"My Dad was a proud man. He had one suit. He would wear that suit to work. When he came home, he would take off the jacket and sit in his chair still wearing his shirt, tie and his vest. He had this big old pocket watch that had been given to him by my mother. He would sit in his chair, the chain from watch hanging out, connected to the fob in his vest buttonhole. That watch was his proudest possession. Sometimes, I would see him, just sitting there, looking at his precious watch. I bet he was thinking of my mother."

"One year, I was about twelve, chemistry sets were the big thing. They cost two dollars. That was big money but every kid wanted a chemistry set including me. I began to pester my Dad about it a month or so before Christmas. You know, I made all the same kid promises. I would be good. I would do my chores. I wouldn't ask for anything else again. My dad would just say, 'We'll see.."
"Three days before Christmas he took me to the carts. There was this area where all the small merchants keep their street carts. They would undersell the stores and you could get a good buy. He would take me to a cart and pick out some little toy. "Son, would like something like this?" I, of course, would tell him, 'No, I want a chemistry set.' We tramped to nearly every cart and him showing me some toy car or toy gun, and me refusing it. I never thought that he didn't have the money to buy a chemistry set. Finally, he said, we better go home and come back the next day."

"All the way home, I pouted and whined about the chemistry set. I repeated the promises. I said I didn't care if I never got another present. I had to have that chemistry set. I know now that my Dad felt guilty about being able to give me more. He probably thought he was a failure as a Father and I think he blamed himself for my mother's death. As we were walking up the stairs, he told me, that he would see what he could do about getting me the chemistry set. That night I couldn't even sleep. I could see myself inventing some new material. I could see the New York Times.. 'Boy wins Nobel Prize!"

"The next day after work, my Dad took me back to the carts. On the way, I remember, he bought a loaf of bread, he was carrying it under his arm. We came to first cart and he told me to pick out the set I wanted. They were all alike, but I went through them, like I was choosing a diamond. I found the right one and I almost yelled. 'This one..Dad!'"
"I can still see him, reaching into his pant's pocket, to get the money. As he pulled the two dollars out, one fluttered to the ground, he bent over to pick it up and as he did, the chain fell out of his vest. The chain swung back and forth. 'No watch.' 

In a flash, I realized that my Dad had sold his watch. He sold his most precious possession to buy me a chemistry set. He sold his watch, the last thing my mother had given him, to buy me a chemistry set."


"I grabbed his arms and I yelled, 'No.' I had never grabbed my Dad before and I certainly had never yelled at him. I can see him, looking at me, a strange look on his face. 'No, Dad, you don't have to buy me anything.' The tears were burning in my eyes. 'Dad, I know you love me.' We walked away from the cart and I remember my Dad holding my hand all the way home."

Frank looked at the men. "You know, there isn't enough money in the world to buy that moment. You see, at that moment, I knew that my Dad loved me more than anything in the world."

author unknown

Monday, November 16, 2015

What is the Horn of Plenty?

What is the Horn of Plenty?


"Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men."
Psalm 107:8




A Cornucopia, otherwise known as the Horn of Plenty is often seen at Thanksgiving.  The reason for its appearance is due to its origin.

At one time, the Cornucopia was made from a curved goat's horn that was hollowed out and filled with fruit and grains.
However, today, the Cornucopia is usually made from a basket type material. Maybe you have seen one as a decoration around Thanksgiving time? It is often used this way because the Cornucopia is a symbol representing the good things that we have to enjoy. I recently wrote about a dad and son taking a drive through a "poor" community only to have the experience backfire as the son realized how "poor" that he and his family really where. The Cornucopia is here to remind us of our abundantly blessed lives.

My church sits right next to a McDonald's and I am reminded that all of us can walk next door and get a belly full of food if we wanted to at any time.
No problem ... Right? 
Right

This is not a guilt trip, just a gentle reminder to everyone that we have been generously blessed by our Lord just by living where we live. By default, we have way more than most could ever imagine.

The book of James teaches us that, "Every good & perfect gift is from above." This means God has been busy blessing you even if you have not realized it. Perhaps you may disagree, but let me remind you that you are alive reading this right now. You have legs to walk, feet to run and hands to grasp. You have eyes to see, ears to hear and lungs to breathe. He has given you a mind to create meaningful relationships and physical strength so that you may work. I could go on, but if you have not gotten this concept by now, maybe you never will ...

I do not own a Cornucopia, and to be honest, I always thought they were kinda weird, that is until I realized the deep symbolism embedded in them. I wonder, is this how the majority of us operate in our lives? Do we overlook our blessings? Are we painfully unaware of them? If I am honest, I do this more often than not. So perhaps it is time for me to go out and buy a Cornucopia. Once I have one in my possession, I will place it in my office where it will sit visibly as a year-long reminder to take inventory of my blessings.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
From my family to yours.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The hot water bottle & the doll.

This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa : 


One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates) ... And it is our last hot water bottle!' she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa
it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles.

They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.
'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.'

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough,mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. 'Please, God' she prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.'

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, 'And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?' As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say 'Amen?' I just did not believe that God could do this.

Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.
Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? 
I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children.. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored.. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the ... could it really be?
I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle.--I cried.
I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!'

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?'

'Of course,' I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it 'that afternoon.'

'Before they call, I will answer.' 
(Isaiah 65:24)

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. 
There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let's continue praying for one another... 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It IS your fault

There are 2 types of people in this world, those who take responsibility for their lives, and those who do not.

Have you noticed that we live in a culture of blame? There is the overweight woman suing McDonald’s for making her fat. Did the Golden Arches reach out, grab her, and force food down her throat?  There is the guy that throws his money away at the casino. Did the blackjack dealer drive him to the bright lights; take the money out of his wallet and place bet after bet? In both cases, shift went from the individual to some outside external force.

I read a book once with the title, “Take control of what’s controlling you.” Aptly fit for our society today. Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a fascinating book that inspired this post (It’s Not my Fault) that I benefited from measurably. In it, he says you need to, Take responsibility for your life, then put your arms around reality and take ownership of it …”





(B.O.B.) The beginning of blame
Genesis records the origins of much of what you and I experience today. Life, death, murder, marriage, etc. In Genesis chapter 3, we discover that right after Adam and Eve disobey God and sin, they start the blame game. Adam points to his wife, his wife then points to the serpent. Blame, Shame and Guilt. All there in the garden. For our purposes however, we will focus on blame shifting. We just love to shift blame and responsibility on to others. We love pointing to external factors that will get us off the hook. One interesting element about blaming outside sources is that they may be true AND we may even have good reasons to blame -but it does not solve any of our problems.

I will unabashedly state that if you are the type of person that consistently shifts blame on externals --you have serious problems. I know it and your friends / family know it too. I can’t say for certain that you know it, but the sooner you understand this hang-nail about yourself the better off you will be. See, those in life that are successful, those in life that have risen above their circumstances have figured out some important life lessons, one is that they take responsibility for their own lives. Is it time for you to look inward, instead of outward? Choose to man-up and rise above the external forces and when you do you choose to be a victor instead of a victim.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

What are the 4 roles of a great leader?


#1 Be a model for the people you lead:
The first aspect of leadership according to Robert Greenleaf is to lead by example.  A helpful visual image to help illustrate this point is an anchor. Remember that you are personally anchored to your principles.  Which raises a pretty good question for you to answer ... what are your principles?  If you are going to lead others, you must be crystal clear about what anchors your life!  This is who you are and what you are all about.  Remember, in the end, people do not follow a position they follow a person.  

# 2 Be a Pathfinder:
Find what you are trying to accomplish, have a mission and a vision.  Remember to get others involved (‘buy-in’) in the organization.  You are not a maverick, you are a leader and remember this, if you think you are leading and then turn around to see no one standing behind you, then you are merely out for a walk. A good visual image for this is a map.  Keep in mind that you are a leader and many times you will have a "feel" for the direction of the organization.  You are like a captain behind the wheel of a ship; on the ship there are many mates who are on board with you so be sure to include everyone so that you get to the desired destination!

# 3 Get Alignment:
Make sure everything in your organization reflects the mission/vision. Peter Drucker thinks that great leaders have one simple, yet complex assignment...REMOVE OBSTACLES OUT OF THE WAY OF THE WORKER(S).  How true.  A great boss anticipates problems and sees roadblocks that hinder the performance of their people.  Having a great mission/vision not only steers you in the right direction, it also allows you to avoid unnecessary routes that take up time and slow you down.  As a leader, your job is to get the obstacles out of your people’s way!   Whether it is a church or a business, take a look at where you are spending your money and what types of programs you are running.  Are they wasting time, energy, and resources?  Start clearing out the clutter and only do the things that align to your mission/vision. The visual image for this is a Steering Wheel.  Which ever direction the wheel is turned, the entire ship goes that way!

Role 4 Empowerment:
John Lennon sang, "Power to the People!" and he wasn't kidding.  Unleash the power of the people you lead! This is the where the fruit of the 3 three comes in.  If you are in a leadership position today, you just might be leading the most talented, adequately equipped, and knowledgeable workforce in the history of the world. There are more college grads working at your local McDonald's today because of our economy.  Take advantage (in the good way of course) of the talent you have right in your own workplace.  Gone are the days of hierarchies and only a few men in charge of large organizations.  Pull from the people, work together, include others, involve others in decisions, have weekly meetings,  just get everyone in a room, buy pizza, and talk! The visual for this is men and women.  Build a enthusiastic team, lite a fire, and get out of their way. 




"Where there is no vision, the people perish" 
-Proverbs 29:18

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Black Dot

A friend sent the following story to me ...
One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper, with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions….just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following:
I want you to write what you see there.”
The students confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc. etc. etc. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain:
Image result for the black dot

“I am not going to grade on you this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift given to us by God, with love and care, and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself everyday, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see everyday…….
However we insist on focusing only on the dark spots – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend etc.
The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds.
Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Are you full of excuses?

No excuses, Sir!

In the fall of 1971, Bob McDonald joined the 
US military Academy at West Point, New York.  Bob learned quickly there are only four acceptable responses when addressed by a superior officer: yes sirno sirI don't understand sir, and no excuse sir.  

As Bob explains, imagine I shined my shoes, my trousers pressed, and I go out to formation.  While in line, one of my classmates rushes past and steps in a puddle, splashing mud all over my shoes and trousers.  Then an upperclassman walks by and notices. "McDonald, why are you in formation with mud all over your shoes and trousers?

As a West Point Cadet, I can go through all for possible answers in my head, "yes sir" would restate the obvious, "no sir" would not fit, and "I don't understand sir" would make me look senseless. The only answer I had left was the fourth one, and it's the most powerful one of all, "No excuse Sir."
Even though something happened to me that was outside my control, I wasn't supposed to make any excuses. I was supposed to say, "No excuse, Sir." "It won't happen again." That's how the West Point Cadet takes responsibility and forms character.


Speaking of government agencies, there was a great King in the Old Testament named David. David had his ups and downs as a leader, from slaying the giant Goliath to committing adultery with Bathsheba. However, something peculiar in his narrative connects to the story above. We pick up the story at the end of 2 Samuel after David takes a census (which he was directly told not to do). 


Here is the account recorded, "So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

And there it is folks.


David was tired of looking out the window of his palace to find someone else to blame; instead he peered into the mirror and took personal responsibility. "No excuses, sir" was the great King's reply. This, I believe represented a real shift in David's life. No longer was he the man that was trying to squirm out of his wrongs, somewhere along the line he had developed broad shoulders of character and quit the blame game. Troubled actor Tom Sizemore had a similar realization too when he said, "I used to blame my problems on other people. But my moment of clarity, if you want to call it that, came when I was looking in the mirror one day and just burst into tears. It wasn't just that I looked bad, it was that I knew my problem was me."

Blame shifting will only get you so far, so quit shifting the monkey and take responsibility for your life.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The wooden bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson.

The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and ailing sight made eating difficult.

Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. 'We must do something about father,' said the son. 'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.' So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.


There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.


When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.


The four-year-old watched it all in silence.


One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded, 'Oh, I am making a little bowl ----- for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.'





"Honor your Father & your Mother"
Exodus 20:12

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Do you realize life while you live it?"

Thornton Wilder, in his play Our Town, tells the story of life as it is lived out in the mundane and amid the relationships of daily living. The details are specific but the lesson is like a mirror held out to all of us. We see the daily routine in all its monotony-the milk arrives, breakfast is eaten, working people go to their jobs, housewives tidy their homes, handymen work in the yards-each day reflecting the previous one. In the story the turning point came when Emily Gibbs died giving birth to her baby and the routine was suddenly broken.

But from the realm of the dead, Emily is given a chance to return to earth for a day of her choice as it was actually lived out, so she could enjoy it once again, this time through nostalgic eyes. She watches the harried activity and preparation that was going on in celebration of her twelfth birthday. As expected, on an occasion such as that the household is preoccupied with presents and food and chatter. The party buzzes with activity.

But from the sidelines Emily notices the complete loss of any personal attention that would make her day and life meaningful. The attention of everyone is on the occasion, not on the person and the relationships. She is appalled at such neglect. From the unseen, she pleads, "Just for a moment we’re happy. Let’s look at one another." But her plaintive cry is unheeded. They could not hear her because they are trapped by the superficial. The party must go on and the moments dissipate into activity. As she bids her final farewell, she cries, "Oh, Earth, you’re too wonderful for anyone to realize you!"

Then she turns to the stage manager, who has taken an active part in the play, and asks, "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it-every, every moment?"

The answer comes, "No. The saints and poets, maybe-they do some."

"Do any realize life while they live it?"

Really, I want you to take a moment and ponder this question.  
Why is it that at the end of people's lives they all wish they had smiled more, worked less, and spent more quality time with those they loved the most? We wanted more engaging conversations, a lot less arguing and fighting over the trivial, and so many more hugs. 

We tend to buzz right through life, from one calendar appointment to the next -all the while missing the remarkable moments that fill our lives. If this article strikes a cord with you I will ask that you take it; post it in a place where you can see it every day.  

Because we all need reminders to, "realize life while we live it."  


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I just need a minute to tell you something important.

You need to do something with your life.
If you are in a rut, get out.
Dig yourself out. 
Go ahead, get sweaty.
And don't look for a shoulder to cry on. At least not right now.
You just need to go to the garage, get a shovel and start breaking up some ground.

Now that you are actively engaged and are done with the excuses you can ask for help.
Be selective. 
Because the reason you are standing where you are right now could be because of the people you have been surrounding yourself with.
Remember, "Bad company corrupts good morals."

Fantastic! 
You are out of the rut.
Now you need a plan.
I'll give you a head start.
Remember those friends? The ones you had before that helped you get into that hole in the first place?
Ditch them completely.  Have a last hurrah with them; let them know about your new direction in life and wish them the best.  Now delete them from your cell phone, block their number and go about your day.
Next, start going to places where like-mind people gather.  The kind of people that have a positive outlook on life, live with a smile, find enjoyment in their work and family.  Look for people that have purpose.
Good, now start filling your mind with inspiring stuff.  The kind of information that takes your mind and shakes it up.  You need a new perspective on life and nothing -and I mean nothing- will give you a new one more than the people you spend your time with and the things you fill your brain with. 

Pray
For those that think that this should have been first, it actually is. This is just a reminder that you should be praying through this whole process.  The beginning. The middle. The end. 

I know you are scared. You are human. This is a daunting task and there are a lot of unknowns. Plato said, "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."  
My advice is do not be scared of the light.
Run to it. 
You never get lost when you run to The Light.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, 
"I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."


Share on Facebook if you are in the light! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Part Two: The one eyed-mother.

She wrote
My son, I think my life has been long enough now.
And I won’t visit Seoul anymore… but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school…. For you…

I’m sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you. You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye, so I gave you mine.

I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, ‘it’s because he loves me.’ I miss the times when you were still young around me. I miss you so much.


-I love you. You mean the world to me-

Monday, July 13, 2015

The embarrassing one-eyed mother.

My mom only had one eye. 


I hated her… she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She collected little weeds and such to sell… anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment. There was this one day during elementary school.

I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school… “Your mom only has one eye?!” and they taunted me.

I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, “Mom, why don’t you have the other eye?! You’re only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don’t you just die?” My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I’d wanted to say all this time. Maybe it was because my mom hadn’t punished me, but I didn’t think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.

That night… I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.


Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I’m living happily as a successful man. I like it here because it’s a place that doesn’t remind me of my mom.

This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me “What?! Who’s this?!” It was my mother… Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom’s eye.


And I asked her, “Who are you? I don’t know you!!” as if I tried to make that real. I screamed at her “How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! Get out of here now!!” And to this, my mother quietly answered, “oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address,” and she disappeared. Thank goodness… she doesn’t recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn’t going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.



Then a wave of relief came upon me… one day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the old shack, that I used to call a house…just out of curiosity there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand…. it was a letter to me.


She wrote ... 


Part two coming soon! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

One day I asked God ...

One day, I decided to ask God for everything I wanted...



I asked for strength,
And God gave me difficulties to make me strong;

I asked for wisdom,
And God gave me problems to learn to solve;

I asked for prosperity,
And God gave me brain and brawn to work;

I asked for courage,
And God gave me dangers to overcome;

I asked for love,
And God gave me people to help;

I asked for favors,
And God gave me opportunities.


I received nothing I wanted; 
I received everything I needed.

-Galatians 6:9 
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, 
if we do not give up."

Friday, June 26, 2015

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, And Nobody

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, And Nobody

This is a little story about 4 people named EverybodySomebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

-----Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done...


Got it?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Daddy, can I ask you a question?




SON: "Daddy, may I ask you a
question?"
DAD: "Yeah sure, what is it?"
SON: "Daddy, how much do you make
an hour?"
DAD: "That's none of your business.
Why do you ask such a thing?"
SON: "I just want to know. Please tell
me, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "If you must know, I make $100
an hour."

SON: "Oh! (With his head down).
SON: "Daddy, may I please borrow
$50?"
The father was furious.

DAD: "If the only reason you asked that
is so you can borrow some money to
buy a silly toy or some other nonsense,
then you march yourself straight to
your room and go to bed. Think about
why you are being so selfish. I work
hard everyday for such this childish
behavior."

The little boy quietly went to his room
and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get
even angrier about the little boy's
questions. How dare he ask such
questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man
had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really
needed to buy with that $ 50 and he
really didn't ask for money very often.
The man went to the door of the little
boy's room and opened the door.

DAD: "Are you asleep, son?"
SON: "No daddy, I'm awake".

DAD: "I've been thinking, maybe I was
too hard on you earlier. It's been a
long day and I took out my aggravation
on you. Here's the $50 you asked for."
The little boy sat straight up, smiling.
SON: "Oh, thank you daddy!"
Then, reaching under his pillow he
pulled out some crumpled up bills. The
man saw that the boy already had
money, started to get angry again. The
little boy slowly counted out his
money, and then looked up at his
father.

DAD: "Why do you want more money if
you already have some?"
SON: "Because I didn't have enough,
but now I do.

"Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an
hour of your time? Please come home
early tomorrow. I would like to have
dinner with you."

The father was crushed. He put his
arms around his little son, and he
begged for his forgiveness. It's just a
short reminder to all of you working so
hard in life. We should not let time slip
through our fingers without having
spent some time with those who really
matter to us, those close to our hearts.

Do remember to share that $100 worth
of your time with someone you love? If
we die tomorrow, the company that
we are working for could easily replace
us in a matter of days. But the family
and friends we leave behind will feel
the loss for the rest of their lives. And
come to think of it, we pour ourselves
more into work than to our family.

Some things are more important.

Agree? Share it! 



Thursday, June 18, 2015

How much does this glass of water weigh?

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!


Author unknown. 


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Do you know the secret to loving an UGLY DOG?

Ugly dogs.

I know, no dog is ugly, but the ones below defy all odds. 



Tongues sticking out, crazy eyes, and super hips.  It's a little hard to look at if you ask me. 


Here is something to think about. Each one of these dogs is loved dearly by their owners. Why? In spite of their awkward appearance, they have won over hearts. I've heard it said that "A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."  
Is there anything quite like a dog?

As a pup they latch on to you with such single handed devotion and unlike humans, their love never fades, it only continues to grow. I do not think it's a coincidence that they have the name "dog," as it is GOD spelled backwards. Such pure, undivided love. It can be found in no other species on a regular basis other than the dog.  

Do you have a dog that has touched your life?
Here is mine! Charlie Brown.
He is my best friend and has stretched out my heart for what seems like miles. 


Share this and post a pic of your pup! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Walking the tight rope -with Jesus.


On September 15th, 1860, the great French acrobat Charles Blondin stood on a 3-inch thick tightrope stretched across the massive Niagra Falls gorge. Blondin had recently made history as the first person to cross the falls on a tightrope, and on this day, he inched across again, hovering precariously above the swirling, violent waters below.

As Blondin made his way safely across the gorge, the tense bewilderment of the crowd turned to a deafening roar of cheers. Then, Blondin spoke.

“Do you believe I can cross the falls again?” he asked.

The crowd cheered back, “Yes!”

Blondin responded, “Do you believe I could cross the falls carrying a man on my back?”

The crowd had seen Blondin perform many dangerous tightrope stunts. They knew he could carry a man on his back, and they roared back in reply, “Yes!”

Then Blondin asked, “Who will volunteer?” The crowd was silent.

Blondin pointed to an onlooker nearby and asked, “Will you trust me?”

“Hardly! I can’t risk my life like that!” the man replied.

Then, Blondin turned to his manager, Harry Colcord. “Harry, do you believe I can carry you across?” he asked.

“Yes, Charles, I know you can,” Harry replied.

“Then will you trust me to do it?” Charles asked.

Harry replied, “I will.”

Harry Colcord stepped onto the platform with Blondin and hopped onto his back. Blondin, with his balancing pole in hand, slowly began to carry his friend across the Falls. Though a few of the guy ropes snapped as they crossed, they both made it safely to the other side, and Charles Blondin cemented his place as the greatest tightrope walker in history.

Is Belief Enough?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

This is Christianity 101–the requirement for eternal life. But in light of the story of Charles Blondin, it begs the question about the meaning of the word “believe.”

The most ardent supporter in the crowd that day likely believed deeply that Blondin could cross Niagra carrying a man. Yet, when Blondin asked for a volunteer, belief was no longer sufficient. For someone to put their life in Blondin’s hands and become one with him on the rope, it required something more than belief.

It required pisteuo.

It Takes Trust

The Greek word for “believe” used in John 3:16 is pisteuo. While “believe” is the best English word we have for pisteuo, in Greek, the word evokes a deeply held form of belief that implies acting on the belief. We might also call it “trust.”

While Harry Colcord believed in Charles Blondin, he took it further. He acted on his belief with trust when he climbed onto Blondin’s back. The entire crowd believed in Blondin, but only Harry trusted in him. Trust was the difference! Trust is belief set in motion by faith.

So What About You?

God doesn’t call us to just believe from the sidelines. He requires that we step out in faith from the crowd. He’s asking, “Will you trust me?”

So what does trust look like for you? Are you unsure if you are a Christian? Maybe you are like many in the crowd that day: you believe in Jesus with your mind, but you know that if He pointed at you to ask if you’d trust him to carry you, you’d recoil and say “Hardly! I can’t risk my life like that!” Maybe it’s time for you to trust Him and climb on.

Maybe you are a Christian who knows God’s promises, but He’s asking you to do something crazy: to leave your good-paying corporate job to be a stay at home mom, to sell your house and move your family to the mission field, or to trust Him by tithing 10% or more. Maybe it’s time for you to climb on, too.

Whatever your situation is, the answer is simple–trust Him. He has proven he is trustworthy. He has shown you that. He is calling you to step out on faith–to become one with Him as He carries you across the perilous gulf. His hand is outstretched.

Will you trust Him?