Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Auspicious red lantern decor - “One should try to take inspirations from great people and engage oneself in auspicious deeds.”

In West Virginia folklore there is a story of a country doctor who was called out to a holler late one night to assist a woman about to give birth. By the time the doctor arrived at the farmhouse, things had progressed to a point where the doctor asked the husband to help him by holding a gas lantern up high in order to illuminate the makeshift delivery room.

Before long, the courageous mother delivered a healthy baby boy. As the father lowered the lantern, the doctor barked an order to keep the lantern aloft: "We're not done yet." Shortly, a second child appeared on the scene, a healthy baby girl. Shaken by the unexpected arrival of twins, the father heard the doctor say once again, "We can't stop now. It looks as if it's going to be triplets." To which the stunned father, still holding the lantern high, replied, "Do you think it's the light that's attracting them?"

Light has a quality of attraction. I recently left my office door open late one afternoon in our mountain home and, at dusk, the light from within attracted -- a hummingbird! (Coaxing a hummingbird out of the house is a little like pushing a rope. Mostly, whatever you do doesn't work.)

You, too, have a light that inner light. Not visible to the naked eye, but apparent just the same. We speak of a "twinkle" in the eye or a "flicker" of warmth in the heart. Some people shine with a light of kindness. Others emit a light of hope. There are those who glow with enthusiasm and still others who radiate love.

Almost all creatures are drawn to light, including humans. Do you want to attract people to you? Positive and life-affirming inner qualities can attract people like a warm fire on a cold night. What will draw other people to you best cannot be purchased in any department store. They will respond to that which radiates from within.

You may not always see it, but your light is shining through. And it's one of your most attractive qualities!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, July 28, 2008


Mixed vegetables and meat for lunch - “People need trouble -- a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don't mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.”

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once told of a childhood incident that may have seemed insignificant at the time, but had a profound influence on the rest of his life. It happened when he was nine years old. It was winter. Young Frank was walking across a snow-covered field with his uncle. As the two of them reached the far end of the field, his uncle stopped him. He pointed out his own tracks in the snow, straight and true as an arrow's flight, and then young Frank's tracks meandering all over the field.

"Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again," his uncle said. "And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that."

Years later the world-famous architect liked to tell how this experience had greatly contributed to his life's philosophy. "I determined right then," he'd say with a twinkle in his eye, "not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had."

He determined to be alive and present. To be fully aware and squeeze as much life out of each moment as possible.

We will miss most things in life if we live in the past. Let us learn from the past, but not live there.

We will miss most things in life if we live in the future. Let us plan for the future, but not live there.

We will miss little if we live in the present. And we'll have more fun
along the way!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Frozen fish for sale - “In a sense, words are encyclopedias of ignorance because they freeze perceptions at one moment in history and then insist we continue to use these frozen perceptions when we should be doing better.”

Carefully examining a display in the drugstore, a man asked the pharmacist, "Do you really guarantee this hair-restorer? "

The pharmacist responded, "Better than that, sir. We give a comb with every bottle." Wouldn't you love to have that kind of confidence?

One man quipped, "When it comes to believing in myself, I'm an agnostic." One of the greatest problems many people experience is lack of confidence. Some don't believe in their ability to speak in public, others are afraid to try something they've never done before, and still others do not have the confidence to overcome their shyness.

Do you know that you can become more confident? One effective technique is to learn to do what you're afraid to do.

I led a seminar a few years ago where I asked for three volunteers to speak to the group the next day. One young woman named Judy was the first to raise her hand. She explained to me later why she did so: "When you asked for three volunteers," Judy said, "I felt a knot of fear in my stomach. I've never done anything like this before and I've never really believed I could. But the fear was telling me something," she continued. "So...BECAUSE I felt so anxious, I decided that this was something I had to do. But I must to tell you, I'm terrified!"

She made up her mind to DO that which she was afraid to do. And the following day, Judy's five-minute talk was superb! She was honest and genuine, speaking right from her heart. Now she is more confident about her ability to speak in public.

People who are confident have choices. People who are fearful too often avoid much of life because they are afraid to venture into unknown territory.

Jim Loehr said, "With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments are beyond your grasp." When you make what you're afraid to do what you CHOOSE to do, you will soon have the confidence TO DO whatever you choose!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Flower wall design decor - “The artist must summon all his energy, his sincerity, and the greatest modesty in order to shatter the old cliches that come so easily to hand while working, which can suffocate the little flower that does not come, ever, the way one expects.”

Life is to be lived. No excuses. No reservations. No holding back.

An enchanting story about violinist Fritz Kreisler tells how he once came across a beautiful instrument he wanted to acquire. When he finally raised the money for the violin, he returned to buy it and learned that it had already been sold to a collector.

He went to the new owner's home in order to try to persuade him to sell the violin. But the collector said it was one of his prized possessions and he could not let it go. The disappointed Kreisler turned to leave, but then asked a favor. "May I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?"

Permission was granted and the great musician began to play. The violin sang out a quality of music so beautiful that the collector himself could only listen in wonderment. "I have no right to keep that to myself," he said after the musician finished. "The violin is yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into world, and let people hear it."

William Arthur Ward said, "If you believe in prayer, pray; if you believe in serving, serve; if you believe in giving, give." For you and I are exquisite violins -- our music is meant to be heard.

I want to live my life that way -- to take it into the world and live it fully. I'd rather burn out than rust out. I'd rather be used up than die not having done whatever I could...wherever I would.

I'm not talking about wearing ourselves out on over-activity. Happiness is never found in excessive busyness. But it is found in investing our lives in others. Saying YES when asked for a hand. Volunteering some time for a worthwhile organization. Spending an hour with a lonely relative.

In the end, I know that my happiness will not have been about by my ability or my inability. It will have been about my availability. My life is meant to be lived.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Going on vacations is a fantastic way to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of a mundane working life. This is especially true when the vacation takes you to new and exciting destinations around the world.

And nowadays making traveling arrangements is very easy and convenient via the World Wide Web. One can easily search through hundreds if not thousands of hotels in popular travel destinations like Florence Hotels and Puerto Rico Hotels through

Not only do you get to save your hard earned cash by booking hotels rates with up to 80% discount on, you are not charged for reservation fees. Sweet! More money to spend for souvenirs and gifts! Feeling adventurous? Find some very affordable Ibiza Hotels and get ready for some serious partying!


Mannequines on display - “Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applauses which he cannot keep; so that scarcely can two persons meet, but one is offended or diverted by the ostentation of the other”

"I don't have any talent." You have cer­tainly heard those words. You may have even said them yourself! And quite possibly, if you looked closely enough, you might discover that you are wrong.

Mary Frye enjoyed writing poetry. She wasn't interested in publishing her poems, and occa­sionally she passed one on to a friend who could use a lift. "I don't figure I have any great talent," the Bal­timore, Maryland home­maker said. But many people would disagree. One of her poems, especially, has given hope and comfort to people who mourn for over 50 years.

When a friend of hers lost someone close, Mary Frye jotted down a poem, which seemed to spring from her heart, and gave it to the grieving woman. That poem was later passed on to others, who, in turn, passed it on until it became an Ameri­can classic. "If it helps one person through a hard time, I am amply paid," said Mary, who has re­ceived no remuneration for her un­copy­righted work. It has been used in countless fu­nerals, translated and used in foreign lands and even incorporated into television drama.

Here is her original text, which has moved so many for so long:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.

I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room,
I am the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

How many people are finding strength and sol­ace from a verse jotted by a woman who always pro­fessed she had no talent? And what if she had kept her poetry to herself? Don't be afraid to use the tal­ents you do possess, it has been well ad­vised. The woods would be very silent if only the birds with the sweetest songs were heard.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Stripped bare printer - “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.”

At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young players, "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?" The little boy nodded yes.

"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a team?" The little boy nodded yes.

"So," the coach continued, "when a strike is called, or you are out at first, you don't argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?" Again, the boy nodded yes.

"Good," said the coach. "Now go over there and explain it to your mother."

What the coach wanted the boy's mother to understand is that encouragement is vital to success. Encouragement builds teams and also builds esteem. Encouragement works. In fact, the right kind of encouragement, at the right time, can change a life.

Author Ron Dunn tells the story of two altar boys. One was born in 1892 in Eastern Europe. The other was born just three years later in a small town in Illinois (USA). Though their lives were quite different, these two boys shared a similar experience.

Each altar boy assisted his parish priest in the celebration of Mass. While handling the chalice during Holy Eucharist, they both accidentally spilled some of the wine on the carpet.

But this is where their stories diverge. The priest in the Eastern European church, seeing the purple stain, slapped the altar boy across the face and shouted, "Clumsy oaf! Leave the altar." He did. The little boy grew up to become the atheist and communist dictator of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito.

The priest in the church in Illinois, upon seeing the wine stain, knelt down beside the boy and looked him tenderly in the eyes and said, "It's all right, son. You'll do better next time. You'll be a
fine priest for God someday." That little boy grew up to become the much loved Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

We will never know how much a kind and encouraging word from the priest, or the lack of one, influenced these boys' lives. But kindness and instruction are always far more valuable than anger and criticism.

Encouragement works.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Have you ever tried applying for some emergency loan for personal or business reasons? Whether it is to finance your long term business plans or to provide financial support for your children's education, it can be tough and frustrating when trying to weed out the bad loan providing companies from the good ones.

An acquaintance of mine found herself trapped in similar predicaments. While still on her way to pay back the mortguage on her house, she and her husband got shaken to a rude awakening when they realized that they do not have enough money to put their eldest son through college. On top of that, they just started their own home based business selling garden supplies and equipments and needed some financial support to help kick start their business.

They found themselves struggling to stay afloat on a day to day basis while trying desperately to secure some financing in their lives. After thoroughly rummaging through hundreds of loan financing companies they finally got their much needed lucky break when they came across amone, the America One Funding company. With comprehensive information and hassle free 3 easy steps pre-qualify online checking via my acquaintance finally saw a glimmer of hope in her life by getting her much needed financial funding through

Friday, July 18, 2008


Advertising banner crew - “A well-run restaurant is like a winning baseball team. It makes the most of every crew member's talent and takes advantage of every split-second opportunity to speed up service.”

When should you pass news on and when should you keep it to yourself?

A scholar in ancient Baghdad was said to be unusually wise. One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

"Wait," the scholar replied. "Before you continue, let me ask a question. Is what you are about to tell me the truth?"

"I don't know," the man said.

"All right," said the scholar. "You don't know if it's true. Let me ask another question. Is what you are about to tell me good?"

"No, it isn't!" the man replied.

"Then allow me to ask a third question. Is what you are about to tell useful to me?" asked the scholar.

"No, it is not useful," said the man.

Then the scholar said, "If it may not be true, if it is not good and it is not useful, then why do you want to tell me at all?"

Does your news pass the triple filter test? Ask yourself these questions before you speak: Is what I am about to say the truth? Is it good? And is it useful? If you can answer yes to only two of these questions, be careful about what you pass along. But if what you are about to tell passes all three filters, then it should be told!

My friend Bob Burg has a different approach. "Play the 'Reverse Gossip' Game," he says. "See how many nice things you can say behind someone's back." Sounds like a game that everyone wins.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Coconut tree at night - “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

During my second year of college I was scouting around for a place to live, as my roommates had dropped out of school. One Sunday after church the pastor put his arm around me and said, "I understand you need a room. Our daughter is in New Zealand this year as a foreign exchange student. If you'd like to stay with us you may use her room."

To be honest, I really didn't want to stay with "the preacher's family." I was 19 years old and on my own. But then he told me how much rent would be -- a ridiculously low figure that included one home-cooked meal a day. I thought about the offer for about a minute and decided to move in.

At the end of the semester I had planned to find other living arrangements, since the daughter was to return home. But they asked if I wanted to stay on another term, suggesting I move across the hall and share a room with their son. By this time I seemed to have been adopted into their family -- her people became my people, as it was put so beautifully in the old biblical story of Ruth. I happily accepted the offer.

As I vacated the daughter's bedroom, I thought it might be nice to have a little sister to look after. But when I later met my new sister, I realized that this idea of looking after her might be more interesting than I first imagined.

We eventually fell in love, married, and have looked after one another for many years. There have been times that life turned out to be more challenging than either of us could have known. But we have always been able to go forward largely because we knew that somebody deeply cared.

It isn't about marriage ... it's about love. It's about mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and special friends who are as close as family. It's about anybody who can say, "I'll be around -- you can count on me. I'll try to look after you and sometimes I will need you to look after me."

Is there somebody you can depend on? And are others counting on you? We travel the path of life best when there is somebody to look after, and when someone is looking after us.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, July 14, 2008


Airport check in counters - “I think about all the different ways we leave people in this world. Cheerily waving good-bye to some at airports, knowing we will never see each other again. Leaving others on the side of the road hoping we will.”

I had just graduated from college and was about to move away to attend graduate school. An older friend said something to me I thought was odd at the time. She cautioned, "Don't ever lose your enthusiasm." I was not particularly aware that I had much enthusiasm, nor was I sure how to keep from losing it.

But since that time, I have come to realize what she meant. Over the years, I have been assailed by discouragement and difficulties. At times I have felt totally without energy and even disenchanted with life around me.

I like what Mark Twain said about enthusiasm. When asked the reason for his success, he replied, "I was born excited." I think I now know why my friend said, "Never lose your enthusiasm." For even if one is born excited, enthusiasm can be lost along the way. And too many of us never find it again.

However, the happiest, most fulfilled and most successful people have discovered the necessity of an enthusiastic approach to living. Thomas Edison was such a person. He was known for his energy and verve. He eventually acquired 1,093 patents for his inventions, including the electric light bulb, phonograph and motion picture camera. He was known to work tirelessly and joyfully. He seemed to love what he did and pursued it with passion.

Edison eventually established Menlo Park, the first factory ever dedicated to making nothing but inventions. It was a forerunner of the private research laboratories now owned by many large corporations. Edison promised that Menlo Park would turn out a minor invention every ten days and something big every six months or so. At one point, he was working on 47 new projects at once! Others have made more money than Thomas Edison, but none have been more enthusiastic or productive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object." Enthusiasm is an engine fueled by a love for what we do. It will power us anywhere we want to go and take us places we would never reach without it!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Desktop computer screen - “I think a lot more decisions are made on serendipity than people think. Things come across their radar screens and they jump at them.”

The most miserable people live in their own little worlds of isolation. They do little for others and rarely have much fun.

I heard of one older gentleman who was considered by the townspeople to be both rich and thrifty. His austerity earned him the reputation of a miser. When he died, everyone expected the authorities to find money stashed everywhere in his home. All they found were a few gallon cans filled with coins.

It came out that he had used most of his money to help put needy young students through college. And the coins filled his pockets as he walked down the streets of the business districts looking for cars whose parking meters had expired. When he found one, he would drop in a coin. One of his neighbors commented, "That explains why he looked so happy and contented!"

Of course! People who go out of their way to help others will always be happy.

I once tried the same thing with parking meters. I decided that, whenever possible, I would look for expired meters and drop in a coin. It became a game to see how many I could find just around my own car.

Then I learned something disturbing. I discovered it was illegal to do that in the city where I lived. When I learned that I was breaking the law, I quit looking for meters to feed. And I lost an extra bit of joy I found in anonymously helping out a stranger.

I believe that now it's time to change the rules of the game. It can be about doing something kind for somebody else - anything! - and not getting caught. Anonymous notes or cards ... flowers on a desk ... raking leaves in secret ... you get the idea. The trick is to remain anonymous. Plan in secret, act in secret, and most of all, have fun.

It's a game that is guaranteed to make you smile. And best of all, everyone is allowed to play.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Blue plastic robot figurine - “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

I heard of a tornado that once ripped through the central part of Oklahoma. Guy, a church pastor, and his wife, Vickie, lived directly in the path of the on-coming storm. They took refuge in a closet in the parsonage.

Guy belongs to a denomination (United Methodist), which is known for moving its pastors frequently, and he was scheduled for a move to a new parish in June. Furthermore, as a church leader, he no doubt encountered any number of storms and conflicts among church members. But a tornado was something else entirely, and hiding in the closet seemed the best course of action for the couple.

After the tornado passed, they emerged from their hiding place and were astonished to discover that their closet was the only part of the house left standing! Though they lost everything, they had come through unscathed. As the couple stood in the middle of the debris that used to be their home, Vickie's first comment was: "Wow, Guy! This is wonderful! This will be the easiest move we've ever made!"

Here is a person who knows something about handling difficulties. Sometimes we have to look beyond a problem before we can move forward.

If you have ever flown in a jet on a foggy or cloudy day, you probably know something about looking beyond problems. All seems dark and dreary on the ground. Yet every day is a sunny day if we can only get enough altitude.

Thomas Carlyle put it like this: "What you can see, yet cannot see over, is as good as infinite." Get some altitude and you will be able to see beyond the problem!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Queing up at the cashier counter - “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.”

What does it mean to worry? The Latin concept of worry describes a turbulent force within a person. Worry is a heart and mind in turmoil.

The ancient Greeks thought of worry as something that tears a person in two and drags that person in opposite directions. It is like opposing forces in deadly conflict within the very being of the individual.

The word "worry" itself comes from an old Anglo-Saxon term meaning to choke, or strangle, and that is exactly what it does - it chokes the joy of living wage right out of its victim. And it chokes off the energy to improve one's condition.

There is a place for healthy concern, but too often our concern turns into fearful worry. And worry, more than the problem, becomes our real enemy.

Some people have worried for so long that they have become good at it. Just as we can become good at any attitude or behavior if we practice it enough, we can also become good at worrying. Worry is habit - a habitual response to life's problems.

I rather like the attitude of the late United Methodist Bishop Welch. When he reached the age of 101, he was asked if he didn't think a lot about dying. With a twinkle in his eye, he replied, "Not at all! When was the last time you heard of a Methodist bishop dying at 101?" Maybe one reason for his longevity is that he never developed the habit of worry.

Next time you feel yourself worrying, be like the frogs - they eat what bugs them. Decide to no longer practice needless worry and instead practice peace. Replace your habit of fearful worry with the habit of courageous action. As Harvey Mackey has said, "Good habits are as addictive as bad habits and a lot more rewarding." Practice joy. Practice faith. And practice courage. Soon your life will be too rich and full for worry.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Furry bunny rabbit in a cage - “Sometimes people think of us as the energizer bunnies, we keep going and growing,”

Too often we feel alone. But there is always someone ready to take our hand. There is a beautiful story of an overworked nurse who escorted a tired, young man to her patient's bedside. Leaning over and speaking loudly to the elderly patient, she said, "Your son is here."

With great effort, his unfocussed eyes opened, then flickered shut again. The young man squeezed the aged hand in his and sat beside the bed. Throughout the night he sat there, holding the old man's hand and whispering words of comfort.

By morning's light, the patient had died. In moments, hospital staff swarmed into the room to turn off machines and remove needles. The nurse stepped over to the young man's side and began to offer sympathy, but he interrupted her. "Who was that man?" he asked.

The startled nurse replied, "I thought he was your father!"

"No, he was not my father," he answered. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I realized he needed his son and his son wasn't here," the man explained. "And since he was too sick to recognize that I was not his son, I knew he needed me."

Mother Teresa used to remind us that nobody should have to die alone. Likewise, nobody should have to grieve alone or cry alone either. Or laugh alone or celebrate alone.

We are made to travel life's journey hand in hand. There is someone ready to grasp your hand today. And someone hoping you will take theirs.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, July 4, 2008


Tiger the cat sleeping lazily - “The lion and the calf will lay down together, but the calf won't get much sleep.”

The original teller of the story about Carl's garden has been forgotten, but I will retell it as best I can. It is longer than my usual fare, but I hope you enjoy it.

Carl was 86 years old. His church announced that the garden behind the pastor's house needed someone to care for it. So Carl volunteered to be the keeper of the garden. And just about every day he was back there, watering or weeding or tilling that little garden. This was not the kind of neighborhood one might choose to live in today - it had changed over the years. It was a rough, inner-city neighborhood, dominated by gangs and violence. Yet it was where Carl lived.

One day Carl was working in the garden, when a gang of three young men spotted him, taunted him, ridiculed him, and pushed him around. But Carl never said anything, he simply smiled. As it was a hot afternoon, he gently asked if they would like a drink from his garden hose.

They laughed at him and pushed him down into the mud. Then they relieved him of his retirement watch and his wallet, leaving him on the ground and laughing as they continued down the street. The pastor saw the incident and rushed over to help Carl up. The old man picked up his hose, still gushing water, and continued his work.

"What are you doing?" asked the pastor.

Carl answered, "Aw, they're just punks. Maybe they'll wise up some day. I'm not going to let them keep me from the garden." A compassionate and gentle man, Carl was not prone to violence.

Something similar happened another time. Carl was again watering the garden when the young men spotted him. They insulted and derided him. He never answered back; never responded with anger. He just quietly continued his work. And, once again, he mentioned it was a hot afternoon and offered them a cold drink. They thought it was funny. They took the hose and this time doused Carl. They hosed him from head to foot. Then they left, still laughing. Dripping wet, the old man continued to water his garden.

Some weeks later, when Carl was again working in the garden, he heard a voice behind him. It startled him. As he turned around, he lost his footing and he fell back into a small evergreen shrub. Though unhurt, he had a bad leg and struggled to get up. Carl recognized the leader of the gang that abused him and prepared for the worst.

But this time the man said, "I'm not here to hurt you, old man. Here, let me help you up," and he extended his hand. "I've got something for you." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a crumpled paper bag. Carl reached in and found his retirement watch and his wallet. The young man continued, "It's all there, even the money."

Carl looked through the wallet until he found the picture of his wife, now dead now for several years. She was much younger, then. He asked, "Why are you doing this?"

The young man said, "I haven't been able to sleep very well, lately. I've been thinking about you, all these times we've come over here, and the things that we've said to you, and you never said anything back to us. The way we've treated you . and you never treated us badly. I guess I feel bad about that, and watching you, I know I can do better, and I think I will do better." He continued, "I guess this is just my way of saying I'm sorry."

Carl never saw that young man again. He passed away that year about a week after Christmas. The pastor said something at the funeral about doing the best you can with your life. Make your garden as beautiful as you can, he said. Of course, he was talking about our lives, not actual gardens. But a young man who sat in the back of the church by himself heard those words.

When spring arrived, the pastor put an announcement on the bulletin board asking for a volunteer to take care of what was now called Carl's garden. In a few days, the young man from the funeral stopped by. The pastor recognized the gang leader, who said, "I believe that's my job, if you'll have me. I looked up to Carl. I respected him. I think, because of him, I'm becoming a different person. I'd like to take over that garden."

So he got the job of caring for Carl's garden. He worked on making some of those changes in his life, too. He went back to school. He graduated and eventually got married. He landed a job with real responsibility. And still every Summer he cared for the garden. He watered it, weeded it, tilled it.

After a few years, that church changed pastors. One day the young man came into the new pastor's office and announced, "I'm going to have to give up my job of caring for Carl's garden. You see, we've just had a new baby boy, and I want to spend a lot of time with him this summer."

The pastor smiled and said, "Oh, that's wonderful. That's marvelous! Congratulations. What are you going to name him?"

The man said, "Carl. I think we'll call him Carl."

Mahatma Gandhi put it well: "Be the change you want to see in the world." It always begins with one person.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Bougainvillea tree - “Love doesn't grow on trees like apples in Eden - it's something you have to make. And you must use your imagination too.”

Albert Einstein said, "In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. " Once discovered, such opportunities are like valuable diamonds hidden in the sand.

Several years ago I spoke at church about how we are surrounded by "diamonds," if we could only recognize them. A man stopped by to see me. I remembered him as somebody who had suffered through a painful divorce and was examining his life's priorities. His outstretched hand contained a small, plastic gem stone.

"I stepped on this gem stone when I was leaving church last Sunday," he explained. "It became lodged in the sole of my shoe. You had spoken about recognizing opportunities - diamonds. I put the plastic stone in my pocket to remind me to look for those diamonds that I need.

"I have been trying to sell my business," he continued. On Monday morning, a man stopped by who seemed interested in purchasing some of my stock. I thought, 'Here's my diamond - don't let it get away!' I sold the entire stock to him by noon.

"Now," he said through a broad smile, "my next diamond is to find a new job!"

Not long afterward, he did find a new - and better - job. He resolved to keep his gem stone with him from then on as a reminder to look for diamonds as he digs through the difficulties of life.

Richard DeVos is accurate when he points out, "This is an exciting world. It is cram-packed with opportunity. Great moments wait around every corner." Those moments are diamonds that, if left unrecognized, will be forever lost.

Are you looking for diamonds every day? If not, you may easily pass them by! Perhaps there is a diamond of opportunity hidden in that difficulty you're experiencing now.

From Lifesupport.

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