Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Have you ever looked at a situation and after awhile see the same problem with a new understanding?     Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied,“Things aren’t always what they seem.” The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angel sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen?” The first man had everything, yet you helped him“, she accused.“The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.” “Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune,I sealed...
6 Principles For Life I Learned in Running a Marathon

6 Principles For Life I Learned in Running a Marathon

I wanted to do achieve something that I would never believe I could accomplish. I am not a runner but when my friend completed his first marathon he challenged me to run the next one with him. What I got out of the experience changed my life forever. It was the most spiritual and mind developing experience I ever had up to that time. Here are the 6 Life Principles I learned from training and running the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati Ohio. Principle One:  Taking the 1st Step: When my friends Andy Johnson ran in the “Flying Pig” Marathon the year before I thought to myself, “I could never run 26 miles.” The next year, he invited me to run in the marathon with him and I explained that I had never run over two miles at one time, let alone run 26.2 miles in a marathon.  Andy said, “Jerry, can you run for four minutes?” I responded, “Well, I can jog for four minutes.”  He said, “Then you can run a marathon.”  “What do you mean?” I asked.  He said, “Well, if you can you run for four minutes and you walk a 1 minute you can run a marathon.  Do you think you can run three miles?”  I said, “Well, I can run two miles.” So we jogged one day for two miles, running for four minutes and then walking for a minute.  A few days later, we ran three miles with the same style of running four minutes and walking one minute. Before I knew it I believed that there might be a possibility that I...

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Several years ago Alvar Persson was elected mayor of Grove City, Minnesota. It was an unusual election, partly because of the size of the victory – Persson garnered eighty percent of the vote – partly because Persson is a Lutheran minister and not a politician, but mostly because Persson wasn’t even running for office. No one was. Next to the word Mayor on the ballot was a blank space. Only write-in votes could be cast. Of the eleven people whose names were written in, Persson was the clear choice – 202 votes of the 255 cast. After the election, Persson was asked his reaction. He could only say: “I’m touched by this honor. But I didn’t ask for it. Why pick me?” Ordinary people doing astonishing things Some of the world’s greatest men and women have been saddled with disabilities and adversities but have managed to overcome them. Cripple him, and you have a Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell, and you have a John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have a George Washington. Raise him in abject poverty, and you have an Abraham Lincoln. Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes a Franklin D. Roosevelt. Burn him so severely in a schoolhouse fire that the doctors say he will never walk again, and you have a Glenn Cunningham, who set a world’s record in 1934 for running a mile in 4 minutes, 6.7 seconds. Deafen a genius composer, and you have a Ludwig van Beethoven. Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial...
Are There Really Angels?

Are There Really Angels?

There was a special segment on National Public Radio sometime back. It was a collection of sound effects gathered by Abinadi Meza, an artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Meza had been in a bar in Dublin, Ireland. A man at the bar contended that Ireland was the home of “the world’s loudest bat.” Quite a boast. Meza was fascinated. The world’s loudest bat. Here was the problem, according to his Irish bar mate. The bat screeches at a decibel level which the human ear cannot detect. Dogs and some other animals can hear it. Special scientific devices can measure it, but there is a range of sound that humans cannot hear, and this bat’s screech fell in that range. If humans could hear the bat, contended this man, it would be like having a jumbo jet taking off next to our ears. The man’s testimony was enough to send Meza out with electronic gear to try to find this bat, and capture its sound. Meza was not successful. However, using his special equipment, he was able to record all kinds of other annoying sounds around Dublin usually filtered out by our limited range of hearing. That is, they were sounds that were normally outside the range of pitches audible to human ears. He played a collection of these specially recorded sounds on the program, “All Things Considered.” This variety of high-pitched whines and screeches undoubted caused many listeners of NPR to be grateful they were not able to hear everything their dog hears. Here’s the point: Just because we cannot hear a sound does not mean that it does...
Decisions Shape Our Destiny to Get More Out of Life

Decisions Shape Our Destiny to Get More Out of Life

A lady walks into a drug store and tells the pharmacist she needs some cyanide. The pharmacist said, “Why in the world do you need cyanide? The lady then explained she needed it to poison her husband. The pharmacist’s eyes got big and he said, “Lord, have mercy — I can’t give you cyanide to kill your husband! That’s against the law! I’ll lose my license, they’ll throw both of us in jail and all kinds of bad things will happen! Absolutely not, you can NOT have any cyanide!” The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist’s wife. The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, “Well, now. You didn’t tell me you had a prescription” It is the decisions not the conditions of your life that determine your destiny. Do You Want to Get More Out of Life? In China there is a bamboo tree, when planted, watered and fertilized, doesn’t show any evidence of growth for the first four years.However, in the fifth year, the bamboo tree starts to grow and GROW… .In just 6 weeks that follow, the Chinese bamboo tree will grow as much as 3 feet per day; it continues to grow until more than 90 feet in height. Now, did the bamboo tree grow in six weeks or did it take five years to grow?Our life is often like the bamboo tree. It can be very discouraging if we don’t see the results we want after working hard. But, this is the key in making decisions that will shape our destiny. There...
Don’t Take Things Personally to Get More Out of Life

Don’t Take Things Personally to Get More Out of Life

Several years ago, a friend boarded and kept an umbrella cockatoo in his home. The umbrella cockatoo always had pink lipstick marks on the white feathers of his forehead from his doting human’s kisses…. There was no question in the my friend’s mind that this bird was totally adored. Then one day, the owner’s husband phoned to ask my friend to help find a home for the bird. He was stunned, then realized the sound he could  hear was the owner sobbing in the background. The husband explained briefly that the parrot — for the first time in the many years the owner had him — had just bitten his mistress. He said she was so upset because she felt the bite was proof the bird didn’t love her anymore. My friend tried valiantly to get her to talk to him, to explain that these things happen, and to not get rid of a beloved pet of many years just because of one incident…. But she was too upset to even talk to my friend. The husband promised to give her my message and to ask her to call me when she calmed down. I never heard from her again. When you take things personally, you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. Do you take too personally what people say to you? Do you feel offended by remarks, actions or behavior of other people? Do you take every minor event too seriously, letting it limit or frighten you?   Did you know that quite often the offense is not real, and the...