Sunday, December 10, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] LAYMAN’S TEN COMMANDMENTS

LAYMAN'S TEN COMMANDMENTS


Someone has written these beautiful words. The piece is a must read. Try to understand the deep meaning of it. They are like the Ten Commandments to follow in life all of the time!


1. Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout the journey.

2. So why is a car's WINDSHIELD so large and the Rear View Mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.

3. Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.

4. All things in life are temporary. If they're going well, enjoy them... they will not last forever. If they're going wrong, don't worry... they can't last long either.

5. Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, "Relax, friend, it's just a bend, not the end!"

7. When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

8. A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied, "Yes, losing your vision!"

9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10. WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES... it takes away today's PEACE.

If you really enjoy this, please pass on to others. It may just brighten someone's day... Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly, and Leave the rest to God.

-- Author Unknown

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Saturday, December 02, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] THAT WILL BE MORE THAN ENOUGH

THAT WILL BE MORE THAN ENOUGH

The B-17 Flying Fortress was America's workhorse heavy bomber during World War II. 

 

Before Germany and Japan surrendered, 12,731 of the planes dropped more than 1.5 million tons of bombs.

Among the young men on those bombing runs were actors Clark Gable and James Stewart; NFL coach Tom Landry; Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry; and future presidential candidate George McGovern, who piloted 35 missions in the "other Boeing," the B-24.

 

The Flying Fortress had a reputation for toughness.  It could withstand incredible damage, yet remain airborne.

Even so, the B-17's and their 10-man crews were often sitting ducks for enemy fighters and flak.  

 

Between 1942 and 1945, more than 40,000 American airmen never made it back home.

Elmer Bendiner, who would one day become a writer and journalist, served as navigator in the B-17 Tondelayo.

On a bombing run over Kassel, Germany, multiple shells ripped into the bomber.  One of them hit the fuel tank.

 

Bendiner and the rest of the crew braced for the explosion that would bring their lives to a fiery end.

But it never happened.  None of the other shells exploded, either. 

 

In his book The Fall of Fortresses, Bendiner remembers, "Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a 20 mm shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple."

The morning after the bombing run, Fawkes had gone to the crew chief in the hope of retrieving a good-luck souvenir – the shell that had lodged in the fuel tank but failed to detonate.

 

All of the "duds" that had hit the Tondelayo, including the one in the fuel tank, had already been sent to the armorers to be defused. 

 

There they made an astonishing discovery.   They were empty – "clean as a whistle and just as harmless," Fawkes told his navigator. 

 

But one of them was not quite empty. 

 

Inside was a piece of paper.  There was a message on it, written in the Czech language.  After a brief search, an American intelligence officer found someone who could read it. 

 

It said, "This is all we can do for you now." 

 

Somewhere in a munitions factory – presumably in Nazi-occupied Czech territory, and presumably staffed by forced labor – someone had made a quiet, audacious decision. 

 

One or more of the bomb-makers had decided not to arm their bombs.  In the midst of a conflict that was tearing the world apart, and threatening the futures of millions of people, this was the one humble thing they could do.

And it saved 10 lives.

We can do the same. 

 

Even if you're not in a position of public authority today, you can be a servant.  A few quiet acts of selflessness have more power to transform human hearts than a myriad of commands.

Even if you're not rich, you can be, in the words of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, a "smile millionaire."  Your willingness to smile can turn an uncertain conversation into an offer of friendship. 

 

Even if you're in the midst of major conflict, you don't have to arm that bomb you were thinking of using.  "A gentle answer turns away wrath," says Proverbs 15:1. 

 

Servanthood.  Gentleness.  Humility.  Maybe that's all you can do right now.

But that will be more than enough.

-- Authored by Glenn McDonald

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] I'M FINE

I'M FINE
It's time to take on what some counselors and psychologists call the Other F Word.

Fine.

As in, "How are you doing?" "I'm fine, thank you."

End of conversation. End of communication. Except, "fine" hardly qualifies as an authentic meeting of minds and hearts.

"Fine" can be a one-word stand-in for a remarkable number of messages:

* I don't really have time to do more than say hello to you right now.

* I don't actually think you're interested in the details of my life, so * I'll play along and not reveal anything.

* I don't believe my life is interesting or important enough to give you more than a superficial response.

* I don't want to risk our relationship by telling you how I really feel.

Amazingly, the one thing that "fine" almost never means is "fine."

Fine is a conversational cover-up, a socially acceptable lie, concerning things I have no intention of revealing in the context of a brief greeting.

How am I? I'm just FINE, thank you: Freaked Out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.

That's what I might say if I were telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Most of us, at any given moment, are dealing with a number of less-than-fine realities in our lives. But that doesn't mean they need to become public property.

It's not necessary – in fact, it would hardly be possible – to pause every time someone asks pleasantly, "And how are you this morning?" to bravely reveal all our darkest thoughts. If your goal is always to ride the elevator alone, however, this might be a useful first step to take.

What's a healthy way forward?

Start small. Open your heart to someone you already know. Instead of saying, "fine," risk saying something like, "You know, the last few days have been pretty rough, and I've been struggling."

That may or may not prompt a deeper conversation.

But at the very least you'll have revealed yourself to be a perfectly normal imperfect human being. And that's always a good thing.

Or try changing the question. Instead of defaulting to "How's it going?" when greeting someone, pause and ask something like, "Anything new or different happening in your world today?"

Not only is it impossible to answer such a question by saying "fine," you've at least provided an opportunity for someone to reassess the meaning of their next few hours.

Some of my friends, when asked "How are you today?" invariably provide a different one-word answer: "Blessed."

To be blessed is a wonderful thing. It means to be loved, called, chosen, forgiven, and redeemed by God.

Best of all, even on those days when we are freaked out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional we can say, with complete honesty, that we know we are still blessed – because God will never change his mind about us.

And you have to admit that's mighty fine.

-- Authored by Glenn McDonald

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] LIFE’S STORMS

LIFE'S STORMS


A pastor had been on a long flight between church conferences. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: Fasten Your Seat Belts. Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened."

As the pastor looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive.

Later, the voice on the intercom said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us."

And then the storm broke ..

The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.

The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.

"Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and everything within her small world was calm and orderly.

"Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The minister could hardly believe his eyes.

It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time.

Having commented about the storm and the behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.

The child replied, "Cause my Daddy's the pilot, and he's taking me home."

There are many kinds of storms that buffet us. Physical, mental, financial, domestic, and many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.

Let us remember: Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control and taking us home. Don't worry!

-- Author Unknown

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Monday, June 12, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] HOW RICH ARE YOU?

HOW RICH ARE YOU?

 

If you visit Occidental Petroleum's website, there's no mention of Armand Hammer in the official history of the corporation.

Do a search for his name and you'll get, "Nothing here matches your search."

That's remarkable, considering the fact Hammer was the CEO of Occidental for 35 years – right up to his death in 1992.

Hammer, who was a billionaire, had been enthusiastically profiled a few years earlier by 60 Minutes, and USA Today had called him a "giant of capitalism and confidante of world leaders."  But his story wasn't quite as crisp and clean as he tried to let on.

At one point he hired ghostwriters to conjure up flattering, fictitious autobiographies of his life. 

 

He left behind a string of broken marriages; allowed his father to be jailed for a crime he committed; filed a claim of $667,000 against the $700,000 estate of his brother Victor, keeping the money from Victor's wife and kids; and hid from an illegitimate daughter. 

 

He had no friends at Occidental. 

 

Within days of Hammer's death, the company virtually disavowed any association with him.  Hammer's pallbearers were his chauffeur, his male nurse, and a few other personal employees.  Family members, including his only son Julian, chose not to attend. 

 

So here's the question:  How many true-life accounts are going to be sufficient to convince us that accumulating money and power as a means to happiness is a bankrupt philosophy?

Theologian Miroslav Volf describes the two great alternatives for every human life.  We can either pursue the Richness of Having or the Richness of Being. 

 

Unfortunately, however, most of us wonder whether we actually have to make that choice.  We would love for the Richness of Having to lead to the Richness of Being.  If I just get enough stuff, or maybe the right kind of stuff, or the latest versions of the right stuff, my deepest yearnings for fulfillment will be satisfied.

But all of us know, from experience, that this is one of dumbest ideas of all time.

It doesn't help that our culture runs roughshod over the Richness of Being. 

 

Every year we publish lists of the wealthiest, the most beautiful, the most successful, the most honored, and the most driven people in the world.  But nobody publishes Major League Grandmother cards – you know, the kind with the color picture on the front and the eye-popping statistics on the back:  "Grandma hung every one of my drawings on her refrigerator and said it was a masterpiece.  She attended 98.2% of my school plays and concerts.  And nobody on our block figured out more ways to make dinner with a single can of tuna." 

 

Our world rarely celebrates the richness of ongoing relationships that are powered by unconditional love. 

 

But that's where the real treasure is.

-- Authored by Glenn McDonald

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] FATHER, GIVE ME MY SHARE OF THE ESTATE

FATHER, GIVE ME MY SHARE OF THE ESTATE

 

A long time ago, Jesus old a story about what it is like to come home.

Specifically, what it's like to come home to our Father in heaven with no more qualifications than that we've made a mess of our own lives.

What would God say to us?  What would his attitude be?

In one of Jesus' most familiar parables (Luke 15: 11-32), the younger of two sons demands, "Father, give me my share of the estate."  It's hard to overstate the edginess of this request. The Middle Eastern audience who first heard Jesus' story must have been appalled.  This Jewish boy has committed the ultimate sin. 

 

In so many words he has said, "Father, drop dead.  You're no good to me alive.  All I want from you is your money that will be mine when you're gone.  So, if you don't mind, let's pretend you're gone now."  It's hard to imagine a more painful or insulting injury to any parent.

With a breaking heart, the father realizes that his son has no desire to be in relationship with him.  So he complies.  He divides up the estate.

The boy takes off into the wide, wide world.  According to the Bible this describes the relationship that all of us have with God.  All of us have said, in one way or another, "Father, I wish you were dead.  You crowd me.  My life would be so much happier if you weren't hovering over everything I think and say and do." 

 

What does God do when we relate to him like that?  He says, "Go.  Go out and see if life is really happier when you are out of relationship with me."

Author H.J. Duffy remembers when his teenage son was so excited to try out his new surfboard that he plunged right into the breakers, ignoring the warning flags that had been posted for dangerous surf.  Immediately the booming voice of the lifeguard rang out: "You are an inexperienced surfer.  Return to shore."

Humiliated, the boy returned.  He asked the lifeguard how he knew he was a beginner.  "That's easy.  You've got your wetsuit on backwards."

God's love is such that he doesn't stand on the seashore of our lives and shout into a megaphone, "You are an inexperienced, completely ill-prepared rebel.  Return home at once."  Incredibly, God lets us go. 

 

At first things go brilliantly for the boy in Jesus' story.  He has the time of his life.  But then he runs through all of his assets in "the far country."  As scholar Kenneth Bailey observes, his ATM card is suddenly rejected.  His friends disappear.  Jesus assigns to him the ultimate nightmare job for a Hebrew boy – feeding pigs.

The boy gradually "comes to his senses," as Jesus puts it.  He wakes up.  He realizes how far away he is from where he started.  He not only grasps in his head but he feels in his heart and his gut his separation from his father.  He longs to go home.

But what will his dad do if he ever shows his pig-feeding face around town again? 

 

That would be a no-brainer in first century Jewish society.  The typical father would beat the living tar out of such a disrespectful son, as a warning to every other boy in the neighborhood.  It would be a kind of community service beating. 

 

But this boy wonders, in his heart of hearts: is there a possibility that my dad will take me back?  He's haunted by the last look that he saw on his father's face.

                

He begins to formulate a plan.  He will play Let's Make a Deal.  Certain that his relationship with his father is broken beyond repair, he rehearses a little speech.  "Dad, I don't even deserve a cot in the barn.  I know I can't be your son any more.  Could I at least be one of your minimum wage workers?"

He leaves the distant country and begins walking in the direction of home, no doubt burdened by the thought of trying to clean his own slate for the rest of his life.

The last thing he suspects is that his own father, the one he has wounded, is about to clean that slate for him. 

 

Luke 15:20 tells us, "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." 

 

The astonishing detail is that the father runs.  Dignified gentlemen in the time of Jesus walked through their paces slowly.  To run meant to show your ankles to the neighbors.  To do that was to risk ridicule. 

 

This Father could care less. 

 

While we ourselves are still a long way off – even while we remain in our distant countries of doubt and anger and hopelessness – God the Father is waiting.

What is it like to go home?

God the Father will run to meet us.

 

-- Authored by Glenn McDonald

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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] SO WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE TODAY?

SO WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE TODAY?

 

William Zinsser, who died in 2015 at the age of 92, was one of America's most esteemed writers and literary critics.

His bestseller, On Writing Well, provided guidance to a whole generation of journalists.

As a cub reporter, however, he despaired at his own writing.  He was going nowhere.

His assignment?  Zinsser wrote the obituaries for the Buffalo News. 

 

He soon became frustrated and bored.  Where were the opportunities to write cutting edge features and investigative reports?  Obituaries don't win Pulitzer Prizes.   He said to his editor, "When am I going to get some decent story assignments?"

"Listen, kid!" his editor huffed in response.  "Nothing you write will ever get read as carefully as what you are writing right now." 

 

"If you misspell a word," he went on, "you mess up a date, and a family will be hurt.  But you do justice to somebody's grandmother, to somebody's mom, you make a life sing, and they will be grateful forever.  They will put your words in laminate."

Zinsser never saw his work the same way again. 

 

"I pledged to make the extra calls.  I would ask the extra questions.  I would go the extra mile."  He decided to write obituaries for others as he would want others to write his own obituary – ones that deserved to be laminated. 

 

So what's on your plate today?

A meeting that needs to go well? 

A meal that needs to delight the people you love? 

A word of correction that needs to be communicated with grace?

An assignment that needs to call forth partnership from your team?

Do it with excellence. 

 

Go the extra mile.  

 

Here's how the apostle Paul put it:  "Don't just do the minimum that will get you by.  Do your best.  Work from the heart for your real Master, for God." (Colossians 3:22-23, The Message)

Most of us have spun our wheels on the idea that our work is what makes us significant. 

 

But just the opposite is true. 

 

We are the ones who make our own work significant – by seeing our next task not as just another item on our list of things to do, but as an opportunity to please our real Boss.

Your next appointment, your next phone call, your next conversation, your next email – they're really about working for Him.

 

-- Authored by Glenn McDonald

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