Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EMBARRASSING MOMENTS IN LIFE

Raindeer ride at the amusement park - “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.”

You've had one of those embarrassing moments. One of mine occurred a few years ago.

I was driving through a seedy side of town one day and spotted a young woman hitching a ride. (I honestly believed she just wanted a ride!) So I stopped the car to let her in.

It happened during rush hour heavy traffic. I pulled over, but not out of the lane, for there was no shoulder on the road. As I reached across to open the car door, I noticed traffic backing up behind me. (It also seemed that more than a few drivers were glaring at me.)

Once she was in and we started down the street I asked her, "Where are you going?" She mumbled something I didn't understand so I asked her again.

Instead of answering, she turned to me and asked, "Do you want a date?

In my normal eloquent manner I responded, "Huh?"

"Do you want a date?" she asked again. "Do you want to have some fun?"

I may not be the fastest horse in the race, but it was finally getting through. "No," I feebly answered, realizing now what I had stepped into. (Believe me - she didn't LOOK like a prostitute!)

"Then you better let me out," she said. "I have work to do."

We had only traveled about two blocks and I pulled over again. The SAME CARS that were behind me before were still there. Again, they all had to stop while she got out of the car. Now I was SURE they were glaring.

As I drove off something unsettling occurred to me: I slowly realized that I was undoubtedly the only person on the street that day who didn't know what was going on!

Mayor Filorello LaGuardia of New York City said, "I don't make many mistakes, but when I do, it's a beaut." I, on the other hand, make plenty of mistakes, and a surprising number of them are beauts.

But I like actress Sophia Loren's approach: "Mistakes," she says, "are part of the dues one pays for a full life." And the fuller the life, I suspect, the more dues paid and the more risks taken.

I'll take the risks and make the mistakes if it means my life will be fuller. After all, the greater mistake would be to never to risk at all.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, December 28, 2008

TWO EYES; TWO HANDS FOR LIFE

Messy wire exchange point - “Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.”

An older couple lay in bed one morning, having just awakened from a good night's sleep. He tenderly took her hand, but she pulled back responding, "Don't touch me."

"Why not?" he asked.

"Because I'm dead."

Her confused husband said, "What are you talking about? We're both lying here in bed together and talking to one another."

"No," she said, "I'm definitely dead."

He insisted, "You're not dead. What in the world makes you think you're dead?"

"Because I woke up this morning and nothing hurts."

It is good to be able to laugh when we can, and especially about daily aches and pains or normal problems. But sometimes our difficulties and losses are so staggering we wonder how long we can cope. Lingering and chronic illness, loss of someone we love and overwhelming worry can devastate us. All of us have known almost unbearable pain and hardships. Heart-breaking times. We might think we will never again wake up feeling good.

A wise obstetrician at a university teaching hospital once made a comment about suffering. Someone asked the doctor what advice he offered to his students, future doctors and nurses, when caring for mothers who gave birth to stillborn infants.

The doctor paused for a moment in thought. Then he said this: "I tell them that they need two eyes. One eye is not enough; they need two eyes. With one eye they have to check the I.V.; and with the other eye they have to weep. That's what I tell them," he said. "I tell them that they need two eyes."

He knows the secret of hard times: we need two eyes. One for seeing, the other for weeping. And we need two hands. One for holding on, the other for reaching out.

I don't know all there is to know about suffering. But I do know the way to survive it. Two eyes; two hands. That's how we get through this life best.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, December 26, 2008

THOSE WHO WILL LISTEN WILL LEARN IN LIFE

Employee punch card machine - “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”

Advice comes in all shapes and sizes. For instance, someone gave the sage advice: "If you dance with a grizzly bear, you had better let him lead." No argument here.

Or this, found in a fortune cookie: "You are a poor, pathetic, gullible fool who seeks advice from bakery products."

Conrad Hilton, hotelier extraordinaire, was asked on national television if he had one vital bit of advice for listeners. "Please," he said, "place the curtain on the INSIDE of the tub."

It's been accurately said that there is a lot of advice available for nothing, and most of it is worth about what we paid for it. But here is sound guidance, from an unknown author, worth taking to heart:

"If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive; for that person has helped you learn about trust and the importance of caution.

If someone loves you, love back unconditionally; that one is teaching you to love.

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience them again.

Talk to people that you have never talked to before -- and actually listen.

Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high.

Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you.

You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.

Most importantly, if you love others, tell them, for you never know what may come tomorrow.

And learn a lesson in life each day you live."

Even some free advice can occasionally be of profit. Those who listen will learn.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HOW TO STAY IN LOVE FOR LIFE

By the pool side - “Worlds can be found by a child and an adult bending down and looking together under the grass stems or at the skittering crabs in a tidal pool.”

After careful consideration and endless debate The Perfect Man has finally been named: "Mr. Potato Head." He's tan. He's cute. He knows the importance of accessorizing. And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.

Jean Kerr quipped, "Personally, I think if a woman hasn't met the right man by the time she's 24, she may be lucky." We become cynical about love, don't we? We're tempted to believe that real love is a myth, a long-term relationship is a marathon and romance is for kids.

One person said, "Marriage changes passion...suddenly you're in bed with a relative." But does marriage have to kill romance? Is marriage really nothing but a long banquet at which the dessert is served first?

I believe in love and romance. I believe it is something that can last forever, if it is carefully cultivated. Here are some tips for keeping romance alive and for staying in love:

FIND time to date. Time to be alone and tell each other of your love. You spent time alone at first...why did you quit? My wife and I get away alone every week. Just to refocus on each other. And to fall in love again.

UNDERSTAND what delights the other and make it happen. "The romance is over," says Marlys Huffman, "when you see a rosebush and start looking for aphids instead of picking a bouquet." Does she like to be surprised by flowers? Does he have a favorite dish or activity? Does she enjoy spontaneous affection? Know what brings pleasure to your partner -- and delight him/her!

NEVER forget why you got together in the first place. When you focus first on his faults you're not thinking about his strengths. When you're busy pointing out her imperfections, you're not enjoying those qualities that attracted you to her initially. Choose to appreciate that which first drew you together and your romance will grow.

The first letter of these three tips spells the word FUN. Have fun together. Laugh. Go on outings. Plan time to enjoy one another. Remember, "the family the PLAYS together also STAYS together"!

A woman from Charleston, South Carolina was overheard to remark that it was her 53rd wedding anniversary. When asked if she planned a special celebration, she smiled and said softly, "When you have a nice man, it really doesn't matter." I suspect they learned the secrets of staying in love.

Just in case you're not presently with Mr. or Miss Exactly Right, there ARE some things you can do to bring romance back into your life. And though your relationship may never be perfect, it CAN be perfectly wonderful.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, December 22, 2008

WHAT ARE YOU FILLED WITH IN LIFE?

Fresh water melons for sale - “I watch out my window as the planes take off into space. Oh, that I could fly away and start fresh. But I must realize that fresh starts also come in the pretty wrapped gift called 'tomorrow.'”

I recall reading that a man from Virginia Beach filed a law suit against his hospital. He opted to have surgery in order to lose weight. So he had his stomach stapled -- a procedure that reduced the size of his stomach so he couldn't eat as much.

A couple of days after surgery he sneaked down the hospital corridors to the kitchen. There he raided the refrigerator and ate so much that his staples burst.

The law suit? He claimed it was all the hospital's fault. They should have locked the refrigerator. No, I don't know how the suit came out...just the staples.

If the first sin was eating the forbidden fruit, then the second was trying to excuse it. "It's not my fault! SHE made me do it!"

Wonderful things can happen when we decide to be responsible for everything we put into mouths, everything we put into our minds and everything we put into our hearts.

Fill your body with the right foods and it will perform well.

Fill your mind with learning and it will not stagnate.

Fill your mind with optimistic attitudes and you will always have hope.

Fill your heart with courage and you will be able to face life with confidence.

Fill your heart with love and you'll never be alone.

Fill every day will plenty of gratitude and you will always be happy.

Only you can decide how to fill up your life.

Albert Ellis has said, "The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize
that you control your own destiny."

Only you can choose what goes into your life. Fill up your mind, your body and your heart with the very best, and the result can be no less than magnificent.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, December 20, 2008

ARE YOU RENEWING YOUR DREAMS FOR LIFE?

Furry cat in a cage - “Never feel self-pity, the most destructive emotion there is. How awful to be caught up in the terrible squirrel cage of self.”

"Grandpa," a young girl asked, "were you in the ark with Noah?"

"Certainly not, my dear," Grandpa replied in astonishment.

"Then," the puzzled child continued, "why weren't you drowned?"

Maybe he seemed older than Noah to her, but seniors may be finally getting respect they rightfully deserve. Hugh Downs reported that when senior adults are properly motivated, their intelligence does not wane. In fact, the ability to organize thinking may increase as folks age. Many people in their 50's, 60's and even 70's can go through college with greater efficiency than at 18.

Adults over 70 years of age have contributed richly and in varied ways.

- Emmanuel Kant wrote his finest philosophical works at age 74.
- Verdi at 80 produced "Falstaff" and at 85, "Ave Maria."
- Goethe was 80 when he completed "Faust."
- Tennyson was 80 when he wrote "Crossing the Bar."
- Michelangelo completed his greatest work at 87.
- At 90, Justice Holmes was still writing brilliant American Supreme Court opinions.

And then there's George Dawson. George learned to read at age 98. (He was forced to quit school when he was a small child in order to help support his family.) "I got tired of writing my name with an 'X,'" he said. Four years later, at age 102, he wrote his autobiography, LIFE IS SO GOOD (2001, Penguin Group).

Dreams are renewable. They need not expire like an over-due library book. No matter our age, we can breathe new life into old dreams. I believe that the best age is the age you are, but something even better awaits just ahead for those with the courage to dream and to act.

Are you renewing your dreams?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, December 18, 2008

JUST DO SOMETHING IN LIFE

Fresh squid from the sea - “Objects which are usually the motives of our travels by land and by sea are often overlooked and neglected if they lie under our eye. We put off from time to time going and seeing what we know we have an opportunity of seeing when we please.”

I once stopped behind several cars in an intersection. The winter weather was icy cold and a strong artic wind blew relentlessly. Ahead of me a young woman stood alongside the street rubbing her bare hands together and dancing in place to keep warm. Beside her rested a sign that read, "I have a baby and no food." She was obviously crying, likely from the pain of the cold wind.

Homeless and unemployed people are a common sight in many of our larger cities, and most motorists drive by without offering assistance. They have no doubt been taught that giving money fosters a dependent lifestyle, or the ready cash may be used to purchase alcohol or another substance rather than the food it was intended for. Like me, they may have been taught that one should give to a local charity or through one's church, as these institutions can help those in need far more effectively.

This, of course, is true, but I am reminded of the college students who encountered a homeless man on the sidewalk. One of the students took a couple of dollars from his wallet and handed it to the unfortunate stranger. His friend commented, "Why did you do that? He's just going to spend it on booze or drugs." The student answered, "Yeah...like we're not!"

As I waited for the light to turn, I felt conflicted about that young woman. Whether or not I should give money, she was obviously in need. And whether or not she actually had a baby really didn't seem to matter. I gave up guessing people's motives and analyzing their stories long ago. It was cold. She was cold. And she obviously felt she had to be there.

What should I do? Give her money? What was best?

As I wrestled with these questions, the window rolled down from the car in front of me and a hand shot out holding a warm pair of gloves. The driver took her own gloves off and gave them to the shivering woman. I saw the young woman mouth the words "Thank you" as a broad smile lit up her face.

As I debated, somebody else helped. As I hesitated, somebody else acted. As I tried to decide the BEST way to assist, somebody else just did what she could. As I did nothing, she did something.

I made myself a pledge that day to always do SOMETHING. Whether it is big or small, just do something. Something is almost always better than nothing!

Educator Leo Buscaglia said, "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Don't underestimate what you CAN do! Each of us can do something, and the something you do may be more important than you'll ever know.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A CHANGE OF PACE IN LIFE

Tree barks on display - “You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you dies each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.”

According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.

Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, "Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bow implies."

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. The moralist explained, "If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it."

So it is with us. Our minds and bodies are like the bow. When constantly under pressures of everyday life, we can eventually break. We need to loosen up; we need time to take the pressure
off and relax.

Former baseball pitcher Dutch Leonard might have put it a little differently. He once said that the secret of great pitching is not speed or the ability to throw curves. It's the "change of pace." The average batter will soon learn to hit a pitcher who continually throws the same kind of pitch. But it's hard to hit against a pitcher who changes the pace of delivery. That change of pace gives a pitcher the edge over the best of batters.

A change of pace likewise gives us an edge in life. Taking time to watch the clouds, enjoy a breeze, take a walk, read or just slow down is necessary if we are to be our best later. And a regular day of rest is as important as regular sleep. It's a way of taking the pressure off.

To be your best, make sure you change your pace. It may just be the change you need.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WORK IT OUT FOR LIFE

Waiting at the clinic - “You've spent your whole life running and running, trying to catch up with something that has never been there for you. And all you've done is go farther and farther away from the precious love that's been waiting for you all the time.”

"Anger blows out the lamp of the mind," said Robert Ingersoll.

It may be true! I heard a story about one woman who seemed to have no reason behind her anger. The story goes like this:

A man read, in the want ads, of a sports car for sale. It had only 3,000 miles. "Like new," the ad boasted. "Mint condition. $75.00."

He laughed to himself, and he said, "There goes the newspaper, making another mistake." But he decided to call the number anyway and he asked the woman who answered about the car.

"Is it really brand new?"

"Yes," she replied.

"Three thousand miles?"

"Yes."

"The price?"

"Seventy-five dollars," she answered.

"Lady, what's wrong with it?" he asked.

"Nothing is wrong with it. You're the first to call. I supposed nobody else believes the ad."

He decided to look at it. She let him take a test drive. The car looked exquisite and ran perfectly. He just couldn't believe his luck!

"The car is yours for $75.00," the woman said emphatically, "on one condition. I want the money now and I want you to drive it away so I never have to see it again."

He paid her and took the keys. "Please tell me, lady," he persisted. "You could have sold this car for thirty thousand dollars. What is going on?"

She told her story: "I bought this car for my husband on our fortieth wedding anniversary. Two weeks later he ran off with somebody else. Last week I got a card from him. They are in a
resort in Miami Beach, Florida. The card said, 'Need money, sell car, send cash.' I did."

You may smile at her way of expressing anger. But what do you do when you are angry?

Some people "act it out." They break something. Or they say something they later regret. They strike back.

Other people "take it out." They kick the dog or scream at the kids. They lash out at the next unlucky person they come across.

Still others "talk it out." They find someone who will listen. They know they have to bring it up if they want to get it out. And after they've talked it out they usually know what to do and generally feel better.

ACT IT OUT and your actions will become a block to good communication.

TAKE IT OUT and you cause more hurt and anger.

TALK IT OUT and you can GET IT OUT.

Once you GET IT OUT you can WORK IT OUT and your relationship will work for you!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, December 12, 2008

A TEMPERATE RESPONSE

Nutritious food for lunch - “Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age; and if you understand that old age has wisdom for its food, you will so conduct yourself in youth that your old age will not lack for nourishment.”

A young girl came into the house with a tear in her pants. Her mother was exasperated, as this had happened too many times before. At her wits end, she said to her daughter, "Now you go into your room, take off those pants, and sew up that tear!" The poor child had never held a needle in her life!

A little while later her mother saw the pants crumpled on the floor of her daughter's bedroom -- still torn. She looked around and...no little girl. Spying the basement light on, she called down the
stairs, "Are you down there running around with your pants off?"

A big voice boomed up, "No ma'am. I'm reading the gas meter."

Thomas Jefferson once advised, "When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to 100."

Another way to say it is like this: When angry, slow down. Slow down and think. Slow down and calm down. A later response will be a more tempered response and usually a better one. Slow down and get some distance from the provoking incident. You'll see it more for what it is, and you'll often see that it never deserved your ire. Slow down and consider your best response.

On the other hand, don't forever hold it in. For anger does more damage to the vessel in which it is stored than the object on which it is poured. Uncontrolled rage will mostly hurt you. Slow down before you let it out. But after you let it out, be sure to let it go.

And when you express your anger, keep your temper -- no one else wants it. Untold relationships, otherwise beautiful and full of promise, are ruined by rage. Countless careers and lives are brought down by harsh and thoughtless words.

Mahatma Gandhi had this motto on his wall at Sevagram:
"When you are in the right,
You can afford to keep your temper;
When you are in the wrong,
You can't afford to lose it."

Slow down -- and temper your anger with understanding.

Slow down -- and temper your ire with compassion.

Slow down -- and temper...your temper.

You'll be glad you did.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

KEEPING HOPE ALIVE

Transformers Galvatron toy model - “The mother is only really the mistress of her daughter upon the condition of continually representing herself to her as a model of wisdom and type of perfection”

We cannot live only on hope. But neither can we live without it. Nobody knew this better than John Chapman.

John Chapman was a man of great hope. He was born in 1774 in Massachusetts. In the early 1800's he got in on the opening of land in the Northwest Territory, as it was then called, of the new United States. He found small plots of land suitable for farming and cleared them by hand. He bought fruit seed in Pennsylvania every year and carried it to his many apple orchards, usually on his back.

When the trees were large enough to transplant, he sold them to settlers homesteading the West. Eventually, he had little apple orchards spread around what would become the states of Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Most people forgot, or never knew, his real name, and took to calling him Johnny the Apple Man or Johnny Appleseed.

Johnny was a gentle man with a big vision. He was liked by most people who knew him, the native Indians and white settlers alike. His vision was to spread the goodness of apple trees everywhere people settled. Apples, he believed, gave the promise of harvest and hope that the wilderness would become home. Every tree he grew was a symbol of hope.

Johnny had another curious habit. He loved books, but did not have the means to carry more than two, usually a Bible and a book of inspiration or theology. Because Johnny wanted to share his books, he carefully cut chapters out of whatever inspirational book he had available and loaned one or two chapters to families that wanted to read. He'd later swap those chapters for others when he came back through. In this way he left hope and encouragement wherever he traveled.

His grave can be found today in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It says, "Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman). He lived for others."

Johnny understood his greatest task in life: to keep hope alive. When we keep hope alive, then hope keeps us alive.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, December 8, 2008

DEADLY ASSUMPTIONS

Restaurant table napkin fold - “We were a silent, hidden thought in the folds of oblivion, and we have become a voice that causes the heavens to tremble.”

Joan, the town gossip and supervisor of the town's morals recently accused George, a local man, of having a drinking problem because she observed his pickup truck outside the town's only bar one morning. George stared at her for a moment, and said nothing. Later that evening, he parked his pickup truck in front of her house and left it there all night.

Why is it that most assumptions are wrong? Yet we too often act as if they are right!

Years ago, a young American at a banquet found himself seated next to the eminent V. K. Wellington Koo, a Chinese diplomat. Completely at a loss as to what to say to someone from such a different culture, this young man ventured, "Likee soupee?"

Mr. Koo smiled and nodded. Later when called upon to speak, Wellington Koo delivered an eloquent talk in exquisite English, sat down while the applause was still resounding, turned to the young man and smiled, "Likee speechee?

His assumption about Mr. Koo was simply not true. Which is not unlike a husband who assumes he knows his wife's opinion on a matter, only to find out she thinks differently. Or a wife who assumes that her husband's silence means he is angry or disinterested, only to learn that he is worried about something else. Or an employee who assumes he knows that his boss is upset with him because she didn't praise his performance on a project, when she was merely preoccupied with another matter.

Assumptions. We all make them. They're usually wrong and they too often get us into trouble.

I like the advice of Eniong Hilario: "Things are better said than assumed." When in doubt, check it out. You think you know what was said? Check it out. You think you know what was meant? Check it out. You may think you know, but check it out.

And when you do, be prepared to be surprised!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, December 6, 2008

LABOR OF LOVE

Long queue at the boarding gate - “La distance n'y fait rien; il n'y a que le premier pas qui coĆ»te. - Distance doesn't matter; it is only the first step that is difficult.”

Too many people think they have nothing to offer. The can't build a house, teach a math course, repair an automobile or paint a beautiful picture! They feel they are less valuable than others.

One man applied for a job as a handyman. The prospective employer asked, "Can you do carpentry?" The man answered in the negative.

"How about bricklaying? " Again the man answered, "No."

The employer asked, "Well, what about electrical work?"

The man said "No, I don't know anything about that, either."

Finally the employer said, "Well, tell me then what is handy about you?"

The man replied, "I live just around the corner."

His greatest ability was his availability. But beyond your availability, you may have more to offer than you think. For WHO you are is often more important than WHAT you do. Let me explain.

Millions of tourists have visited Taj Mahal in India. Some say that stepping through the vast sandstone gate is like immersing oneself in a photo. The Taj Mahal glistens in the light of dawn, glowing like a sculpted ember.

It was built by an emperor of India for his beloved wife, whom he called Taj Mahal. She died in childbirth, and as she departed, the story goes, she asked him to build her something beautiful and to visit the site each year on their anniversary and light a candle.

Millions of precious and semiprecious stones adorn the walls. Lapis, jade, quartz, amber, emeralds and onyx, among others, are set into the white marble. Marvelously detailed arrangements of these polished and shaped stones form garlands of flowers, both timeless and exquisite. One can only imagine gnarled fingers lifting blocks of white marble, shaping and polishing the blocks until they were as smooth as an infant's tummy.

The Taj Mahal was designed to reflect the different moods of the day, and as the sun rises, the mausoleum whitens, almost as though daylight were bleaching it. The white marble wondrously reflects the light around it, seemingly changing colors throughout the day.

Built as a labor of love, it is truly one of the great wonders of the world. Your life, too, can become a labor of love.

The Taj Mahal is made of many of earth's finest materials. Similarly, your life can also be built of the finest of qualities: character, commitment, devotion, integrity and honor.

The Taj Mahal is adorned with jewels. Likewise, your life can bear fruits of love, joy, peace, kindness, hope and more.

You may have more to offer than you realize. Perhaps what you generously give away is your own beautiful life. And that is the best gift of all.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, December 4, 2008

FORGET THE DUCK!

Makeshift cooking table - “There is one thing more exasperating than a spouse who can cook and won't, and that's a spouse who can't cook and will.”

Richard Hoefler, in his book WILL DAYLIGHT COME? (1979, C S S Publishing Company), tells about two young children visiting their grandparents for the summer. Johnny was given his first slingshot. He practiced shooting in the woods, but missed everything he aimed at.

As he returned to Grandma's back yard, however, he spied her pet duck. It wasn't the only duck she kept, but it was her favorite. On an impulse he took aim and let it fly. This time he didn't miss. His stone struck and killed the duck.

The boy panicked. He didn't mean to hurt the bird -- he was even sure he'd miss! But he had killed it. His panic grew to desperation and he hid the duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing to her grandparents.

After lunch that day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." Sally said, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn't you Johnny?" She whispered to him, "Remember the duck." (Blackmailed by his sister!) So Johnny did the dishes.

Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, "I'm sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally smiled and said, "That's all taken care of, Johnny wants to do it." Again she whispered, "Remember the duck." Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.

Johnny did both his chores and Sally's for several days, and could stand it no longer. He confessed to Grandma that he'd killed the duck.

She said, "I know Johnny." She gave him a big hug and added, "I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. But because I love you, I forgave you. I just wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."

His grandmother was more ready to forgive then he was even to ask for forgiveness. Similarly, we are surrounded by more grace than we may realize. But a disturbing inner voice often whispers, "Remember the duck. Remember the duck." Some people live their whole lives enslaved by the voice that says, "Remember the duck." They never let themselves be forgiven!

They don't know the meaning of deep peace. They are seldom free of guilt and feel as if happiness only comes to others more deserving.

What does it matter if the whole world were to love us, and accept us in spite of our failings, if we persist in feeling badly? Are you sick of feeling sick about the mistakes of your past?

Maybe it's time to forget the duck! After you've done all you can to rectify the past, then it's time to put it down. Forget the duck -- and be free.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

GOING FOR IT IN LIFE

Santa Claus mechanical decoration - “Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will?”

Columnist Dave Barry says this about his father: "My dad ... he'd try anything -- carpentry, electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing. From watching him, I learned a lesson that still applies to my
life today: No matter how difficult a task may seem, if you're not afraid to try it, you can do it. And when you're done, it will leak." (And then you'll pay somebody even more to fix it than if you'd called him in the first place.)

But I learned from my parents the value of "going for it." "Nothing ventured, nothing lost," is the motto of too many of us. Many people are so afraid to fail that they never venture beyond the familiar. "Better to be safe than sorry" has trapped too many unhappy people in the cocoon of their comfort zones.

A delightful story tells that Col. Robert Johnson of Salem, New Jersey, announced that he would take a public risk. He let the town know that he would eat a wolf peach on the steps of the county
courthouse at noon on September 26, 1820. "Why would he take such a chance?" asked bewildered townsfolk.

Scientists and doctors had long proclaimed the wolf peach, also called the Jerusalem Apple and the Love Apple, as poisonous. Col. Johnson was warned that he would foam and froth at the mouth. If the wolf peach was too ripe and warmed by the sun, they told him he would be exposing himself to brain fever. Should he somehow survive the experience, the skin of the fruit would stick to the lining of his stomach and eventually cause cancer.

A crowd of 2,000 friends and neighbors jammed the square to see Col. Johnson eat the "poisonous" fruit -- a tomato.

Col. Johnson believed his risk was small, but must be taken if myths about the fruit were to be dispelled. Who has not accomplished anything worthwhile without taking some chance?

"Behold the turtle," says James Conant. "He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, November 30, 2008

CHOOSE HAPPINESS FOR LIFE

Airport check-in counters - “It is difficult for some people to accept that love is a choice. This seems to run counter to the generally accepted theory of romantic love which expounds that love is inborn and as such requires no more than to accept it.”

Someone said this about happiness:

To be happy for an hour -- take a nap.
To be happy for a day -- go shopping.
To be happy for a week -- take a vacation.
To be happy for a month -- get married.
To be happy for a year -- inherit a fortune.
To be happy for a lifetime -- help others.

You and I may argue with a couple of points on that list, but the author is exactly right about how to be happy for the rest of your life. Lasting contentment can always be found in helping others. It is truly a secret that many people have never discovered!

Marion Preminger stumbled upon it and wrote about where lasting happiness is to be found in her autobiography ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING. Born in Hungary in 1913, Marion was raised in a castle, surrounded by wealth, servants and the notoriety of an aristocratic upbringing.

At a Viennese ball, she met a handsome young man, the son of an Italian doctor. They rushed into a marriage that lasted only a year.

She returned to Vienna to embark on a career of acting. There she fell in love with the German director Otto Preminger. They married and she followed him to America where he began a promising career as a Hollywood movie director. But her new Hollywood lifestyle could not sustain her marriage and Preminger eventually divorced her.

Marion returned to Europe to live the life of a Parisian socialite until 1948. Then everything changed when she read that Dr. Albert Schweitzer was visiting Europe from his home in Africa. She determined to meet with the notable missionary doctor.

She first encountered Schweitzer doing one of the things he loved to do best while visiting Europe -- playing a church organ for his own enjoyment. He invited her to dine with him. After the meal, Marion knew she had finally found what she'd been looking for. She accompanied Schweitzer every day during the remainder of his European visit. He invited Marion to come back to Africa with him and work as an untrained staff member in the Lamberene hospital.

She left her life of status and ease and moved to Africa. Once there, the girl who was raised like a princess became a servant. She changed bandages, bathed bodies and fed lepers. She gave her life away to the poor and, because of it, found the happiness she'd craved for so long.

It was Albert Schweitzer who asserted, "One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."

However, wherever and whomever you choose to help is unimportant. There are those in need everywhere. But when you figure out how to sincerely serve other people, you'll have also learned how to be happy for a lifetime.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, November 28, 2008

LIVING FROM YOUR HEART FOR LIFE

Lucky draw grand prize: brand new Myvi - “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Confucius said, "To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness." Sincerity and earnestness are vital components of character. Part of it is to simply say what you mean and mean what you say!

"I adore you," the young man said to his girl. "I need you; I can't live without you; I love you."

She pushed him aside saying, "John ... I don't want to get serious."

John replied, "Who's serious?"

Like Tennessee Williams might say, he had all the sincerity of a bird hunter's whistle. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say is vital, but there is another important part to living a
genuine and whole life
: that is to LIVE what you say. Make your actions and your words the same. Living what you say is at the heart of sincerity.

Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong was a superb jazz musician who also knew how to entertain. Satchmo used to say that what he played was life. He believed that his whole life, soul and spirit was to blow that horn. When he made music, it came from his heart. And it spoke to our hearts. Any life can be great when it is lived fully and sincerely from the heart.

Let your whole life, your whole soul and your whole spirit sing in harmony. It is a matter of saying what you live and living what you say. For when your words harmonize with your actions, you are living from the best part you -- from your heart. And the sincerity of your life will forever touch the hearts of others.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE THERE IN LIFE

I iz ur bday prezent! - “When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her.”

A delightful story is told about a young man who applied for a job as a telegraph operator. He answered an ad in the newspaper and went to the telegraph office to await an interview. Though he knew Morse Code and was qualified in every other way, seven other applicants were also waiting in the large, noisy office.

He saw customers coming and going and heard a telegraph clacking away in the background. He also noticed a sign on the receptionist' s counter instructing applicants to fill out a form and wait to be summoned to an inner office for an interview. He filled out the form and sat down to wait.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering why he had been so bold. They talked among themselves and finally determined that, since nobody had been summoned to interview yet, the man would likely be reprimanded for not following instructions and possibly disqualified for the job.

Within a few minutes, however, the young man emerged from the inner office escorted by the interviewer, who announced to the other applicants, "Thank you all very much for coming, but the job has just been filled."

They were all confused and one man spoke up: "Wait a minute -- I don't understand. We've been waiting longer than he and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. "

The employer responded, "All the time you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message: 'If you understand this, then come right in. The job is yours.'"

This man knew a valuable life-lesson that most people miss: Wherever You Are, Be There. If you're there physically, also be there emotionally. Be there mentally. Be there attentively. Be there as fully as you can.

It's about being present and fully alive in the moment. Wherever you are, be there. Give your full attention to others (is there really a better gift?). Give yourself fully to the task at hand or to the present moment. When you're completely present, you'll make the most of every minute. And minutes lived fully add up to a life lived magnificently.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, November 24, 2008

A-B-C METHOD OF MANAGING ATTITUDES IN LIFE

Modern hotel wall cabinet - “Sometimes the beauty is easy. Sometimes you don't have to try at all. Sometimes you can hear the wind blow in a handshake. Sometimes there's poetry written right on the bathroom wall.”

As an airport skycap checked through a customer at curbside, he accidentally knocked over the man's luggage. He quickly collected the fallen bags and apologized for the mishap. Unappeased, the traveler burst into an angry tirade, raging and swearing at the skycap for his clumsiness. Throughout the traveler's rant, the baggage handler simply apologized and smiled. The angry man continued to berate the skycap, until he finally headed off to catch his plane. Even then the baggage handler remained calm and passively smiled.

The next customer in line witnessed the incident and marveled at the skycap's professionalism and control. "I have never seen such restraint and humility," he said. "How do you keep your cool when somebody is attacking you so viciously?"

"It's easy," the skycap answered. "He's going to Denver, but his bags are going to Detroit."

That is certainly ONE way of managing attitudes, but here is a more constructive approach.

Have you heard of the A-B-C method of managing your attitude? It's simple and effective.

"A" stands for the "Activating Event." Let's say you get stuck in traffic. The traffic jam is the activating event.

"B" stands for your "Belief System." You believe that traffic is only getting worse and you'll have more and more days like this ahead.

"C" stands for the "Consequence of the Event." You become angry. You want to honk your horn. Your stomach is tied in knots and you bang the dashboard with your fist.

The problem is...most people jump directly from "A" to "C." They get stuck in traffic and become angry. They think the traffic jam made them upset. They don't realize that they didn't HAVE to get angry. They skipped an important step!

Let's try it again:

"A" - you get stuck in traffic.

"B" - you believe that you were given some unexpected and extra time to spend in solitude, to listen to a great tape or to plan your day.

"C" - the consequence is that you feel gratitude for the gift of time.

I have a friend who is fond of saying, "A traffic jam has no power to make us angry. It just stops our car." He is aware that between the activating event and the consequence is something that we control: our beliefs about what is happening.

The next time you have a problem -- at home or at work, big or small -- decide to manage your attitude toward it. Practice the A-B-C method. You probably can't change "A," the activating event. But try changing "B," your beliefs about the problem. When you change your beliefs, you also change "C," the consequences of the situation.

It's as simple as A-B-C. Manage your beliefs, and you'll manage to be a lot happier!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, November 22, 2008

TRULY LISTENING IN LIFE

Asbestos seahorse mascot decoration - “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.”

I believe it was Phyllis Diller who said, "We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up."

When I recall my grandmother, I often remember the day she did NOT tell me to sit down or to shut up. Instead, she listened to me -- truly listened. And what a difference it made!

I was about eight years old and happened to be casually talking with her. I mentioned that it seemed to me that I could not breathe as well as before. It also seemed to me that many adults operated on an assumption that goes something like this: if there is no blood or smoke, then there's no problem. So I was surprised when she said, quite seriously, "Here, let me see."

I was even more surprised when she bent down and stuck her finger in my nose! That should not have caught me off guard, though, because my grandmother was blind. She "saw" with her hands.

"It doesn't feel right," she said. And a week later the doctor confirmed that I needed surgery and eventually my closed septum was reopened.

Over the years, I've noticed that other people remember their grandmothers fondly by recalling the aroma of home-baked cookies or remembering sitting in her lap while she read stories. I remember the day she stuck her finger in my nose. And I recall it with gratitude!

Bill Cosby has said so accurately, "If you listen carefully to what a child is saying to you, you'll see that he has a point to make. So I listen. And I answer them just as seriously as possible."

That sounds like a great way to treat children of all ages.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, November 20, 2008

LESSONS FROM THE COURT IN LIFE

Serene riverside view - “Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”

Life lessons can come from unexpected places.

I have learned much about myself from the game of racquetball. In fact, I have learned a great deal over the years about all aspects life and living on the racquetball court. Here are some of the more important lessons that have come from the court:

1. People play better when they are encouraged. It's true in life, too. People do better when they are encouraged, rather than criticized, condemned and judged.
2. When two or more people occupy a small space, they should learn to share. It goes for planets, too.
3. The only way to get better is to practice. And in life, the only way to improve relationships, learn courage or be happy is to practice.
4. Pay attention. Those who lose their focus, lose games. And those people who are too distracted by yesterday or tomorrow will never live today fully and joyously. Focus on the present.
5. There are always people who will do better than you. But your job is not to be the best, it is to do your best.
6. Attitude really is everything. When you believe in your success, visualize it and work toward it, you are more likely to succeed.
7. Losses are lessons. When I lose a game so badly that I am humiliated on the court, I thank my opponent for the free lesson. Failures are not endings; they are valuable opportunities to learn.
8. It isn't over until the last point is scored. Many victories are snatched after one comes back from almost insurmountable odds. So it is with life.
9. Work can be fun, but fun should never become merely work. Life is to be enjoyed.
10. The only way to score is to serve. Individuals and institutions that make a difference find ways to serve others. Additionally, those people who are happiest and most satisfied with their lives have learned to serve. Great lives are built on service.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

THE SMILING GAME FOR LIFE

Candlelight dinner - “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

It's been said that a smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart. But a smile is also a powerful weapon against toxic attitudes of all kinds.

Lisa Gurnsey, of Portland, Oregon, wrote to me about a man whose smile quite literally changed her life: "I was having a horrible day -- hating my job, tired of the weather, tired of trying to keep up on bills, and just completely stressed out. I stopped at the post office in the morning and, as I was entering, an older business man commented to me that it was going to be a good day and life shouldn't be as bad as I make it look. I glared at him and simply said, 'I wish it was Friday.'

"I felt better about my day when I left the post office...that man's smile and comment, although irritating at first, made me think.

"The second time I ran into the man I went out of my way to say 'Happy Friday' to him and to smile. I saw him a few more times and always he was cheery and 'made my day.'

"I looked for him around Christmastime to give him a card and explain how his kind words and smile that very first day made me regroup my thinking and realize I didn't have it so bad. But I have not seen him at the post office since then. I look every morning...I go at different times to see if I can catch him. Maybe he retired, maybe he is ill. I think to myself, 'I wish I had thanked him for being a kind person.' I can honestly say this man changed my life. I will work to spread that same feeling to those I see in need of a smile."

Speaker Josh Hinds makes this suggestion: "Play the smiling game in your daily life. See how many people you can get to smile back at you. Keep score and tally the results at the end of each day."

That sounds like a game we can all play. The rules are simple. There are lots of winners. And who knows...you may even "make" someone's day -- even if that someone is you!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, November 16, 2008

THE SIMPLE DIFFERENCE FOR LIFE

Life raft boat - “Your life is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores or how many ships arrive upon your shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains, secluded in its happiness”

Calvin, of the "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip fame, once imparted some timeless wisdom: "If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night," he observed, "I'll bet they'd live a lot differently. "

I believe he's right. Year by bewildering year, our world grows more complex. We crave peace within our souls. We long for simplicity in lives that too easily become inexplicably tangled in complicated webs.

David enjoyed the simple things of life. He sometimes took jobs at dude ranches, national parks and seasonal resorts. His brother, however, wanted to entice him to get a "real" job and live in a world surrounded by things that only money can buy. David's brother often sent him photos of himself enjoying the so-called "good life." He labeled his snapshots "My new sound system" or "My new car."

But the photos stopped arriving after David responded with a picture of his own. He sent his brother a large poster with a breathtaking view of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. On the back was David's message: "My back yard."

I believe I understand how David feels. "The Good Life" is not defined by possessions, but by pure and utter enjoyment of simplicity.

John Burroughs (1837-1921) put it like this: "To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter...to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring -- these are some of the rewards of the simple life."

Those who take time to find pleasure in the ordinary DO live differently. The simple difference is this: because they have learned to live simply, they have learned to live.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, November 14, 2008

SQUAWK BACK FOR LIFE

Delicious food for lunch - “Words do two major things: They provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness.”

"Squawks" are maintenance complaints US Air Force pilots leave for their ground crews to address between flights. Somebody sent me these actual squawks and the replies to each from maintenance. "P" represents the pilot's problem or complaint, and "S" is the solution, or response, from maintenance. Enjoy.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
S: Autoland not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on order.

P: Number three engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, "fly right," and be serious.

P: Target Radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed Target Radar with the words.

Biblical wisdom teaches that "there is nothing better for one than to enjoy one's work."

Do you get the feeling that these people enjoy their work? I know they made mine more pleasant!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ONLINE LAMPS SHOPPING GUIDE

No home can do without having lamps around. Besides being an asset of practicality and functionality, getting designer lamps can greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home. Your choice of lamp fixtures can also reflect your inner personality.I got a chance to travel to Singapore on a business trip this week and took this golden opportunity to look at the home furnishing lamps that are available. Having the chance to hop between prominent shopping districts to compare the prices of lamps, it is safe to conclude that nothing beats the convenience and efficiency that ShopWiki provides for customers like you and me to find the ideal lamps for us all on fantastic bargain prices too.
With a wide selection of lamp types available like table lamps, desk lamps, hanging lamps and the specialized low voltage halogen lamps, one can be sure to find something of interest. I know I will definitely go to ShopWiki to find the right matching lamp for my specific requirements. No more traffic jams and unfriendly crowds to deal with! Leisurely and convenient online lamps shopping with ShopWiki.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BEAUTY IS SOUL DEEP IN LIFE

Plastic water tap - “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

Abraham Lincoln loved to tell stories on himself. One of his favorites concerned itself with physical appearance.

In the days when Lincoln used to be on the circuit (traveling on horseback from one county court to another), he was once approached by a stranger who said, "Excuse me, sir, but I have an article which belongs to you."

"How is that?" Lincoln asked in astonishment.

The stranger took a jack-knife from his pocket. "This knife," he said "was placed in my hand some years ago, with the injunction that I was to keep it until I found a man homelier-looking than I am myself. I have carried that knife for many years. Now I pass it on to you."

Lincoln added wryly, "I've carried that knife ever since."

One of Lincoln's greatest assets was his ability to laugh at himself. And he frequently laughed at his physical appearance. But history does not remember him as an "ugly" individual -- in fact, often just the opposite. His outer appearance was clothed in magnificently beautiful garments: character, honesty, humor and courage. But there are other clothes he wore equally well -- such as humility and forgiveness.

We say that beauty is skin deep. But it isn't really. It has very little to do with the skin. True beauty is soul deep. It is a fabric that is woven in the soul and worn in plain view.

The Bible speaks of something similar. It teaches us to clothe ourselves with "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Then "over all of these put on love, which binds them in perfect unity." Regardless of how good looking we may otherwise be, it is these clothes that will determine our actual beauty.

This was taught to me by a woman who used to think that if she were granted only one wish, it would be to be beautiful. She saw her wheel-chair dependent body as unsightly and, therefore, she missed her more attractive assets. But when she was finally convinced of some of her beautiful personality traits by her friends, she came to a different point of view. Today she says, "Now I know I AM beautiful. Very beautiful."

Beauty is soul deep. Learn that and you may realize that you are far more attractive than you ever imagined!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, November 10, 2008

THE GLORY OF SOLITUDE IN LIFE

Golden apple tree - “You can't just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You've got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.”

We've all been lonely. You may understand how one weary traveler felt as he sat alone on the edge of the bed in his motel room. He reached for the Gideon Bible in the drawer and opened it. Inside was a page that said, "If you are lonely and restless, read Psalm 23 and Psalm 27, Old Testament." Just below this reference, somebody wrote by hand: "If you are still lonesome, call Mandy at 235-2827."

Not all aloneness is lonely, however. Theologian Paul Tillich put it this way: "Language... has created the word 'loneliness' to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone."

Can you be alone without being lonely? Can you spend time by yourself without craving noise and stimulation? There is glory in solitude. And it brings with it gifts that come from nowhere else.

Ardath Rodale has said, "We can find quiet places of solitude among the trees. In a grove of pine trees where the ground is covered by soft needles, I sometimes lie down and look up through the branches to see the blue sky. The tips of new pine growth shine in the sunlight. The smell of pine needles fills the air. As a soft wind blows, I realize that the whole branch sways in the breeze, but the needles shiver independently like one of Bertoia's musical chimes. I listen, but all is quiet. Trees say to each of us, 'Give yourself time to listen to who you are.'"

Have you noticed that, in English, the word "listen" contains the same letters as the word "silent"? In order to truly listen to who we are, we must be silent. And in solitude, we will hear what can be heard no other way.

Have you discovered the glory of solitude?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, November 8, 2008

YOUR GREAT BODY FOR LIFE

Hard protective shell crabs - “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”

Did anyone ever tell you that you have a great body?

One man tells of visiting a lumberyard to buy posts for a new hammock. "How long will the posts last once they are sunk in the ground?" he asked the clerk.

"Longer than you will," the sales clerk responded.

Another customer who was standing nearby grinned and asked, "Did it ever occur to you that he might be saying that you're not looking all that well?"

Whether you look or feel all that well, you DO have a great body. Did you know that...

Today --

Your heart will likely beat over 100,000 times?
Your blood will travel about 168,000 miles?
You will breathe about 23,000 times?
You will eat over three pounds of food?
You will drink three pounds of liquids?
You will turn in your sleep 25-30 times?
You may speak about 48,000 words?
You will use some 7,000,000 brain cells?

You see? You have a GREAT body! It is a miraculous machine. It runs on peanuts and even regenerates itself. With good care, your great body can serve you for years to come.

But, it will occasionally get sick or run down. Especially if you neglect it. So it pays to take care of this marvelous machine. Repairs are expensive and used parts are hard to come by.

Today... what will you do for yourself? Will you pick up that exercise regimen you may have put off? Will you choose sensible foods and get enough rest? Will you treat your body as the friend it really is?

Do it today -- for a great future!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, November 6, 2008

HOW YOU'RE LIKE A PENCIL IN LIFE

Cold fizzy soft drinks - “The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.”

Did you know that you are like a pencil? Here's how:

1. Like a pencil, you can correct your mistakes. You can't change the past, but you can rectify it. And though you can't erase history, you can erase guilt and anger with forgiveness.
2. Like a pencil, painful sharpening can serve to make you better. Your difficult times can actually sharpen your skills or shape you into the person you were meant to be.
3. Like a pencil, you can do great things when you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand.
4. Like a pencil, you can leave your mark whenever possible.
That is what you're here for -- to leave your mark. It may be in small ways, it may be in the lives of people you have touched or nurtured, but you must leave something good behind whenever you can.
5. Like a pencil, it is what is on the inside that matters. Whether it is understanding or intolerance, love or bitterness, peace or unrest, kindness or self-centeredness, hope or despair, courage or fear, what is on the inside matters most.

Next time you use a pencil, pause and think about that little writing tool. It teaches some great lessons about living.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NOTHING WILL GROW THERE IN LIFE!

Arcade video games - “Polygons are fashionable at the moment - particularly in the arcades.”

Brian Cavanaugh, T.O.R. tells about a magnificent harvest in his book "MORE SOWER'S SEEDS: Second Planting." One spring, he and two seminary friends sought permission to plant a garden. He says, "Our house of studies was located in the downtown area of a large metropolitan city. There wasn't much of a backyard. Actually, it was a stone-covered dirt parking lot with no extra space. However, we carefully planned our garden, taking into account the area that received optimal sunshine.

"The three of us approached the superior with our plan for a small area to plant some squash, tomatoes and cucumbers. The only real cost involved was to rent a rake, a pickax and a hoe. However, getting the superior's permission would still be difficult. None of us who were involved with this garden project will ever forget his response to our request. With a slightly bored, tilting of his head he glanced at us and abjectly replied, 'You're wasting your time. Nothing will ever grow there! But, go ahead if you still want to.'

"We had received permission from on high! So what if it wasn't enthusiastic. We rented tools; raked four inches of stones into neat walls outlining the garden; hoisted the pickax and struck what must have been a former refuse area. A gardener's dream -- dark, composted, fertile soil just sitting there waiting to be discovered. We looked at each other with broad grins and repeated in unison, 'Ah, nothing will grow there.' As you might have surmised by now, things did grow there, in our garden. In fact, twice we re-staked the tomatoes, topping them off, finally, when they were seven feet tall."

Have you ever felt that way about your life -- "Nothing will grow there..."? Have you felt discouraged about your life's progress? Worried about crop failure? Disappointed that nothing good ever seems to come up?

What do you want to grow? Understanding? Faith? Courage? Optimism? Joy? Love? Or are you nurturing a new project or small business?

Don't believe that "nothing will grow there." I like the observation of writer George Eliot, "It's never too late to be who you might have been." You may not always see the potential for growth, but it is there. All the rich compost you need may be hidden just beneath the surface, but can only be discovered after you begin digging.

Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaimed, "Oh man! There is no planet sun or star could hold you, if you but knew what you are." You are capable of doing and becoming more than you might imagine!

With careful nurture, something WILL grow there. And it will be magnificent.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, November 2, 2008

GETTING THE LAST WORD IN FOR LIFE

Furry flower bud - “You ever noticed how people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved? You ever noticed that? Eyes real close together, eyebrow ridges, big furry hands and feet. "I believe God created me in one day" Yeah, looks like He rushed it.”

Listen to this letter of apology:

"Dear Dog,

I am so sorry about you being sent to the dog pound for the broken lamp which you did not break; the fish you did not spill; and the carpet that you did not wet; or the wall that you did not dirty with red paint...

Things here at the house are calmer now, and just to show you that I have no hard feelings towards you, I am sending you a picture, so you will always remember me.

Best regards,

The Cat"

The Old French root of the word "repent" is "repentir," which actually means to be sorry. The cat may have said he was sorry, but there is no sorrow here. It reminds of me of the story of a woman with fourteen children, ages one through fourteen, who decided to sue her husband for divorce on grounds of desertion.

"When did he desert you?" the judge asked.

"Thirteen years ago," she replied.

"If he left 13 years ago? Where did all the children come from?"

"Well," said the woman, "he kept coming back to say he was sorry."

Again, no sorrow here, for if he'd been truly sorry, he'd have stayed. Sincere repentance always leads to change.

Are you in error? Apologize. But apologize well. Never ruin your apology with an excuse, for only sincere repentance can lead to change. Apologize with words, then back those words up with actions. Decide to act differently next time.

Apologize -- it's a great way to get the last word in.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, October 31, 2008

SOMETHING TO UNLOCK US FOR LIFE

Restaurant dining table napkin - “Here's a good thing to do if you go to a party and you don't know anybody: First take out the garbage. Then go around and collect any extra garbage that people might have, like a crumpled napkin, and take that out too. Pretty soon people will want to meet the busy garbage guy.”

I have hear numerous comments like these: "I want my life to matter." "I want to make more of a difference to people." "Life is too short. I may not live a long life, but I do want to look back on a meaningful one." We live in a time when people are seeking more authentic ways to live.

We also live in a time when there is less interest in religion and more in spirituality. Less in denominations and more in global participation. There seems to be a public yearning for lasting answers to the gnawing emptiness so many feel within.

Television, movies and print media are tying into our universal attraction to all things spiritual. And so is the Internet. Just google the word "God." In English you will get several hundred million hits! More people are writing and talking about God than the world's wealthiest, most powerful and most well-known historical personalities. There is a great interest in spirituality, and for many people, a renewed quest for meaning.

In the wonderful Lewis Carroll story of "Alice In Wonderland," one of the characters is a lock. The lock is restless. It is busily hunting for something behind every rock and tree. As Alice watches the lock, her curiosity is aroused and she asks, "What is the matter?"

The lock replies, "I am looking for something to unlock me."

I think that is our quest -- looking for something to unlock us. Something to open us up to passion and purpose for living. We don't want to die before we ever truly LIVE! And we somehow know that our best answers will be spiritual ones; for we're finally unlocked when our hearts have been opened. It's a key...to peace.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

KEEPING PACE WITH YOURSELF FOR LIFE

The boss' office - “A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.”

Who is setting your standards for you?

A true story has it that one older man decided to jog around the local high school football field. As he huffed and puffed along, the team was in practice.

The players soon started running sprints up and down the field. The man told himself, "I'll just keep running until they quit." So he ran. And they ran. And he ran some more. And they kept running. And he kept running until he could finally run no more. He stopped in exhaustion. One of the players, equally exhausted, approached him and said, "Boy, I'm glad you finally stopped, Mister. Coach told us we had to keep running wind sprints as long as the old guy was jogging!"

He was watching them. They were watching him. He was letting them set his standard. They allowed him to set theirs.

My question is this: Are you keeping pace with somebody else? Are you allowing other people to set your standards for you? What about your standards, or principles, for moral behavior? Or guidelines for what kind of attitudes you want, or how happy your relationships should be? Do you keep pace with those around you, or do you decide yourself just how you will live your life? The truth is...only you are qualified to determine what your standards will be.

Set your standards too low, and you'll know only discontent. But set high standards and you can live an immeasurably full and worthwhile life. For only when you reach for the best that is within yourself, will you experience great living.

Who is setting your standards?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails