Monday, February 27, 2012


Fresh vegetables for sale by the road side - A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.

A sign in a pet store read, "If anybody has seen the Bluebird of
Happiness, would you please notify this pet store?"

Happiness seems to be in short supply for many people. If the
results of recent surveys can be trusted, there is a general decline
of happiness in today's world. And people were not all that
cheerful a few years back! It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who stated,
"I might have been a minister for aught I know, if a certain
clergyman had not looked and talked like an undertaker." (I have to
say, though, that some clergy and undertakers I've known could teach
the rest of us something about joy.)

Joy and happiness are not always the same things. Happiness can be
thought of as more of a temporary, emotional condition, often based
on outside circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is deeper. It is
often contentment in spite of the unsettling present. We can be
basically joyful, regardless of a particular unhappy situation that
we may be enduring. It is sometimes just a matter of keeping
perspective on our troubles, and especially when those troubles
seem to be in long supply.

You may know the story of the man who had a marvelous way of keeping
joy in his life. He was a carpenter. He followed the same ritual
every day when he came home from the job. He stopped by a small tree
in his front yard and placed his hand on a couple of branches. Then,
when he walked into his home, it was as if a magical transformation
had occurred. All of a sudden, the stress was lifted from him. He
became energetic and joyful, able to fully interact with his
children and his wife.

He explained it this way: "That tree is my trouble tree. When I come
home I stop by the tree and, just like I leave my tools in the
truck, I leave my troubles outside of my home. I hang them on that
tree before greeting my family. Anything that does not have to come
in my house stays outside. Anything that I do not have to deal with
at home, I leave on that tree. And in the morning, I stop by the
tree and pick up the troubles I left there in the evening."

Then he adds, "It's a funny thing, though. Every morning I always
find fewer troubles remaining than I hung the night before."

Here is a man who has no doubt seen the Bluebird of Happiness.
Chances are, it is nesting in a tree just outside his home.

There is wisdom in knowing that some problems can wait until
tomorrow. And more wisdom in knowing what to hang on the tree and
what to bring in. Managing daily problems well is vital to
maintaining joy.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, February 24, 2012


Life sized Ironman display statue - Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue

Groucho Marx quipped, "Those are my principles, and if you don't
like them... well, I have others." Though he is joking, I wonder if
he is actually hitting close to home. I need to regularly check in
with myself and ask questions like, "Is the thing I'm doing now
guided by sound principles?

Principled people are the heart and soul of a society. But who
teaches our young people about character? Who teaches them how
important it is to be honest and to do what is right?

Even ETHICS classes might not touch on matters of character. They
discuss the medical ethics of cloning, stem cell research and
genetic engineering. They consider euthanasia, abortion and capital
punishment. And they even look at the ethics of governments and
multi-national corporations.

But one college professor recently made a disturbing discovery: she
assumed her students shared her principles of honesty, honor,
integrity, and the like. She taught ethics, but assumed that her
students shared her personal ethical standards.

Then one day she dropped an armful of final exams on her desk in
disgust and complained that over 50% of her students CHEATED on
their social justice exam. (Do you think they caught the irony
here?) They'd spent months learning about ethical issues most
societies face, but they never discussed personal morality. They
could talk convincingly about good and bad behaviors of
corporations, governments and societies, but they cheated on their
exams. They just didn't get it: cheating is wrong. And can we expect
societies, governments and businesses to do better than the people
who run them and live in them?

Principled people are the heart and soul of our lives together.
Church leader John Wesley simplifies it for us. In regards to what
is right and wrong, he says simply this:

"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."

I think those are principles I want to live by.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, February 20, 2012


Chinese New Year decoration on sale - Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valor. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you in rerun.

Have you noticed how health insurance is like a hospital gown: every
time you turn around, you find something that isn't covered? But
health researchers are discovering what many people have known all
along -- that getting healthy is about more than medicine and
treatment. It also involves a healthy outlook on life.

Various studies have validated the mind/ body connection. Cancer is
often diagnosed within months of the death of one's spouse. People
who are cynical or angry have been shown to be more prone to heart
attacks than those with a more positive outlook. And former Saturday
Evening Post editor Norman Cousins has demonstrated for years how
humor, laughter and hope can aid the healing process.

Not only is a healthy mental outlook necessary, but a healthy
spiritual outlook seems to be equally important. Noted psychologist
Carl Jung (1865-1961) made a telling observation about the
connection between one's mental health and spiritual outlook.
"During the past 30 years, people from all civilized countries of
the earth have consulted me," he said. "Among all my patients in the
second half of life -- that is to say, over 35 -- there has not been
one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a
(spiritual) outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of
them fell ill because he had lost that which living religions of
every age have given to their followers.."

A healthy person is not one with a certain lifestyle, a certain
income or certain favorable circumstances. A healthy person is
usually one with certain attitudes. Positive mental attitudes and
fruitful spiritual attitudes are part of it. One might say that a
robust spiritual outlook is good health insurance.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, February 17, 2012


Fake/bootleg gundam Shen Lung model kit - “Most of us who turn to any subject we love remember some morning or evening hour when we got on a high stool to reach down an untried volume, or sat with parted lips listening to a new talker, or for very lack of books began to listen to the voices within, as the first traceable beginning of our love.”

Did you know that practicing some form of relaxation is one of the
greatest gifts you can give yourself? Taking time each day to quiet
your mind and breathe deeply, can make a big difference in how you
feel throughout your day and into the night. And dedicating a day
every week for mental and spiritual renewal is equally important.

We're told that the word "relax" has its origin in the Latin word
"relaxare," which means "to loosen." When we relax, we are in effect
loosening tension, releasing tightly held energy and letting go.
From the state of relaxation we can experience calm peacefulness.

Another great word is the Hebrew word "Shabbat" which, of course, is
a day of rest. But it quite literally means to "quit; stop; take a
break." Whatever you are doing, stop it. Whatever you are saying, be
quiet. Sit down and take a look around. Don't do anything. Don't say
anything. Fold your hands. Take a deep breath... .

Extended periods of rest are a biological necessity. The human body
is like an old-fashioned wind-up clock. If it is not rewound by
rest, ultimately it will run itself down.

A group of Americans made a trip with Brazilian natives down the
Amazon River. The first day they rushed. The second day they rushed.
The next day they rushed. One day, anxious to continue the trek,
they were surprised to find the natives seated together in a circle.

When asked the reason for the delay, a guide answered, "They are
waiting. They cannot move further until their souls have caught up
with their bodies."

Do you owe yourself time to let your soul catch up with your body?

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, February 13, 2012


Red lanterns decorating the street - Faith means living with uncertainty - feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark

A story about an old Bendix washing machine helped one man get
through the valley of loss. *

His parents acquired the washer when John Claypool was a small boy.
It happened during World War II. His family owned no washing machine
and, since gasoline was rationed, they could ill afford trips to the
laundry several miles away. Keeping clothes clean became a problem
for young John's household.

A family friend was drafted into the service, and his wife prepared
to go with him. John's family offered to store their furniture while
they were away. To the family's surprise, the friends suggested they
use their Bendix while they were gone. "It would be better for it to
be running," they said, "than sitting up rusting." So this is how
they acquired the washer.

Young John helped with the washing, and across the years he
developed an affection for the old, green Bendix. But eventually the
war ended. Their friends returned. In the meantime he had forgotten
how the machine came to be in their basement in the first place.
When the friends came to take it away, John grew terribly upset --
and let his feelings be known.

His wise mother sat him down and said, "Wait a minute, Son. You must
remember, that machine never belonged to us in the first place. That
we ever got to use it at all was a gift. So, instead of being mad at
it being taken away, let's use this occasion to be grateful that we
had it at all."

The lesson proved invaluable. Years later, John watched his
eight-year-old daughter die a slow and painful death of leukemia.
Though he struggled for months with her death, John could not
really begin healing from the loss until he remembered the old

"I am here to testify," he said, "that this is the only way down the
mountain of loss...when I remember that Laura Lou was a gift, pure
and simple, something I neither earned nor deserved nor had a right
to. And when I remember that the appropriate response to a gift,
even when it is taken away, is gratitude, then I am better able to
try and thank God that I was ever given her in the first place."

His daughter was given to him to love and nurture. She never
belonged to him, but he had the awesome privilege of sharing her
life for a while. When he realized that simple fact, everything
changed. He could now begin healing from the tragedy of her loss by
focusing instead on the wonder of her life. He started to see Laura
Lou as a marvelous gift that he was fortunate enough to enjoy for a
time. He felt grateful. He found strength and healing. He finally
knew he could get through the valley of loss.

We all experience loss -- loss of people, loss of jobs, loss of
relationships, loss of independence, loss of esteem, loss of things.
What if you view that which is lost as a gift you were given for a
time? Perhaps that simple choice of trying to reframe your loss will
change sad memories into thankful ones. And perhaps it will get you
unstuck and back on the road to healing and wholeness.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes


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