Sunday, January 31, 2010


Chinese New Year decor stall - “Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.”

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

When I was a church pastor, a man stopped by my office to see me. He held out his hand and in it was 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 how we are surrounded by diamonds -- we only need to recognize them. I put the plastic stone in my pocket to remind me to recognize the "diamonds" that I need.

"I have been trying to sell my business. On Monday morning, a man stopped by who seemed interested in purchasing 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 his new job. And he resolved to keep his gem stone with him from then on as a reminder to look for diamonds in every situation.

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.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Most people do not know about the importance of having the right tableware to compliment their homes. With the right selection of stoneware designs, we can easily improve upon the aesthetic value of our food during presentation. Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, it is a good idea to invest in romantic Dinner Plates to set up the right mood and cook up something sweet and enticing for your lovely sweetheart.

Personally I do my research on Plates at Food on LA Times and my shopping at Pfaltzgraff. Right now Pfaltzgraff is having its tableware clearance sale with more than 800 discounted tableware with savings up to 84% off. In addition, you also get free shipping in the United States if your total purchase is over $75. Right now I am eying on the Daybreak Lazy Susan stoneware which will definitely make an interesting addition to my serving table.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Kids center display booth - “The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem

Lorraine Hansberry wrote a play called, "A Raisin in the Sun." In that play a sister is com­pletely out of patience with her brother. He has been so dis­gusting in her eyes that she never again wants anything to do with him.

But her mother is wise. She tells her daugh­ter that the time to love somebody is not when they have done well and made things easy for everyone. The time to love somebody is when "he's at his low­est and can't believe in himself 'cause the world done whipped him so."

She is telling her daughter that there is a time to patiently bear with another. And especially when that other is hard to love and angry because "the world done whipped him so."

Patiently bearing with another is not the same as allowing yourself to be abused. There is certainly a time to say, "No," especially when some­one's behavior is destructive. But there is also a time for understanding and patience. It has been said that patience is the ability to count down before blasting off. And an old Chinese prov­erb has it that if you continually grind a bar of iron, you can make a nee­dle of it. All it takes is patience.

If there is a time to call it quits, is there also a time for patient understanding? Is there someone who may need you to bear with them a little longer?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Makeshift tents for open air sale expo - “It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.”

At first it sounded like a Thanksgiving story, but the more I reflected on it, the more appropriate it seemed for any time of the year. The way I heard it, the story went like this:

Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment -- to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.

Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student's art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher's true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.

His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went -- until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas' desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was. The little boy looked away and murmured, "It's yours, teacher."

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, "Take my hand, Douglas, we'll go outside." Or, "Let me show you how to hold your pencil." Or, "Let's do this together." Douglas was most thankful for his teacher's hand.

Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they'll remember the hand that reaches out.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, January 25, 2010


Ceramic flower pots for sale - “But for any writer worthy of the name there are moments during the writing process when the rest of the planet might as well have gone to Venus. And those moments are not for sale.”

Two women who had just met at a health spa were talking about their lifestyles and how they hope to stay healthy. One asked the other to detail her daily routine.

"I eat moderately," she replied, "I exercise moderately, I drink moderately, and I live moderately."

"Is there anything else you do?" her new friend asked.

"Yes," she said, "I lie extensively."

I sometimes say I subscribe to the precept that all things should be done in moderation. Trouble is, I often follow THAT principle in moderation, too.

Not that we should be overly rigid. But self-imposed discipline is an absolute necessity if we are to be in control of our lives. And success and happiness is simply not possible without inner control.

A few years back, two Tennessee convicts dug under a fence and escaped to freedom. Within hours they were recaptured and returned to prison, where they both had several years added to their sentences. Strangely enough, at the time they dug under the fence, one of the men would have been released in 30 days. He was asked why he risked extra years in prison when he could have been out in a month, and he replied, "I couldn't wait."

One hospital patient aptly described the problem. When visiting with a chaplain, this patient, who was being treated for venereal disease, said, "Reverend, my trouble is I've been led around by my 'gotta haves' all my life."

Self-discipline is vital to any successful and happy life. Without it, we're led around by our "gotta haves" all our lives. Whatever we think we gotta have this moment is what we follow. We gotta have more pleasure or less discomfort or this experience or that new thing or another glass.... You fill in the blanks.

On the other hand, happy and successful people usually feel in control of themselves. They are self-directed and self-disciplined. If they overdo, it does not become a lifestyle. If they deviate from the goals they've set, they soon get back on course. They know how to have fun without being led around by their gotta haves.

Writer Peter DeVries has said, "I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning." He has learned that creativity, too, needs discipline.

I like the words of Bernard Baruch. "In the last analysis," he said, "our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves." Discipline is deciding not to be led around by our gotta haves. It is the task of a lifetime, an indispensable prerequisite to success, and the only way to be truly free!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Plastic robot toy model - “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

One man says he had a great speech for parents. It was called, "How to Raise Your Children." He went on speaking tours in the Midwestern United States and was paid a high honorarium for the talk. "This guy will wow you, " people said.

Then they had their first child. His majestic speech lost its punch at 2:00 AM with the baby in full cry. But he kept trying. He renamed his new, modified speech "Some Suggestions for Parents" and charged bravely on.

They had two more children. The speech changed again. And again. Now it's called, "Feeble Hints for Fellow Strugglers" and he begins with the question: "Does anyone here have a few words of wisdom?"

Parents through the ages can identify. "Could someone, please, just give me the final answers to parenting?" we ask. "ALL of them? Could someone tell please tell me how to respond and what to do and what to say and when to say it and do it and tell me now?"

But, of course, we ask the impossible.

Maybe this will help. I have saved it for years, and I'm convinced it was written by one who has been there.... It is not the final answer to parenting, but cherish it as a dose of wisdom worth re-reading as often as possible.

Beatitudes For Parents
by Marion E. Kinneman (1895-1985) (Used by permission.)

Blessed are those parents who make their peace with spilled milk
and with mud, for of such is the kingdom of childhood.

Blessed is the parent who engages not in the comparison of his
child with others, for precious unto each is the rhythm of his own

Blessed are the fathers and mothers who have learned laughter, for
it is the music of the child's world.

Blessed and wise are those parents who understand the goodness of
time, for they make it not a sword that kills growth but a shield
to protect.

Blessed and mature are they who without anger can say "no," for
comforting to the child is the security of firm decisions.

Blessed is the gift of consistency, for it is heart's-ease in

Blessed are they who accept the awkwardness of growth, for they
are aware of the choice between marred furnishings and damaged

Blessed are the teachable, for knowledge brings understanding, and
understanding brings love.

Blessed are the men and women who in the midst of the unpromising
mundane, give love, for they bestow the greatest of all gifts to
each other, to their children, and -- in an ever-widening
circle -- to their fellow men.

Blessed are those who read these words...but more blessed will be they who follow them!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Bougainvillea garden plaque - “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”

Should we chain our children to the bed­post until they reach adulthood? Should we shield them from all negative influences until they can make mature decisions?

When Dr. Willis Tate was at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, he told of a mother who gallantly tried to protect her son. She wrote a long letter to Dr. Tate about her son who was coming to enroll as a freshman. She wanted the president to make sure that the boy had a "good" roommate who would encourage him to go to church and not use bad language. She did not want the roommate to smoke or otherwise negatively influence her son.

But the mother's closing remarks make the letter unforgettable: "The reason all of this is so im­portant is that it is the first time my boy has been away from home, except for the three years he spent in the Marines."

Parents want to protect their children. But perhaps more importantly, most parents want their children to develop sufficient inner resources to protect themselves in potentially destructive situa­tions. They want to equip them to be inde­pendent, to make responsible decisions on their own.

Which means that, as their children grow into adulthood, parents must gradually learn to give up thinking that they can protect them and endeavor more to love them. And isn't love really what chil­dren of any age truly need from their parents?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Carbon footprint seems to be the buzzword these days. Our local city council has recently made a ruling that the local retail setups do away with giving out free plastic bags on certain days. Not long after, most supermarkets in town started selling their own green grocery bags to cash in on the opportunity.

My work colleague approached me the other day with the idea of selling more durable shopping bags, as the ones carried by the local supermarkets leave much to be desired. He wanted to sell these bags online and hadn't a clue about web hosting. I'm not entirely familiar with web site hosting myself, and I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of sites online offering budget web hosting. I simply did not know where to start.

My cousin asked me to check out the Web Hosting 101 section by Web Hosting Geeks. True to her claim, the site was very helpful! They feature web hosting ratings so that you can decide on the best dedicated web hosting service which caters to your needs. I told my colleague about the best ecommerce web hosting there and he quickly jumped on the bandwagon. I hope his site will be fully functional soon.


Lunch in a chinese restaurant - “Love, like a chicken salad a restaurant has, must be taken with blind faith or it loses its flavor”

A woman was explaining her theory of putting her children to bed: "I never tell bedtime stories that begin with 'Once upon a time,'" she said. "If I really want to put them to sleep, I start off with, 'Now, when I was your age...'" It's nice to understand people so well that we know just what to say! Here is a mother who could speak her children's language.

The story is told of the most famous elephant in the world -- a huge, beautiful and gentle beast named Bozo. Children extended open palms filled with peanuts for the Indian elephant, who gently plucked them from little hands and seemed to smile as he ate his treats.

But one day, for some inexplicable reason, Bozo changed. He almost stampeded the man who cleaned his cage. He charged children at the circus and became incorrigible. His owner knew he would have to destroy the once-gentle giant.

In order to raise money for a new elephant, the circus owner held a cruel exhibition. He sold tickets to witness Bozo's execution and, on the appointed day, his arena was packed. Three men with high-powered rifles rose to take aim at the great beast's head.

Just before the signal was given to shoot, a little, stubby man in a brown hat stepped out of the crowd and said to the elephant's owner, "Sir, this is not necessary. Bozo is not a bad elephant."

"But he is," the man argued. "We must kill him before he kills someone."

"Sir, give me two minutes alone in his cage," the visitor pleaded, "and I'll prove to you that you are wrong. He is not a bad elephant."

After a few more moments of discussion (and a written statement absolving the circus of liability if the man should be injured), the keeper finally agreed to allow the man inside Bozo's cage. The man removed his brown derby and entered the cage of the bellowing and trumpeting beast.

Before the elephant could charge, the man began to speak to him. Bozo seemed to immediately quiet down upon hearing the man's words. Nearby spectators could also hear the man, but they could not understand him, for he spoke a foreign language. Soon the great animal began to tremble, whine and throw his head about. Then the stranger walked up to Bozo and stroked his trunk. The great elephant tenderly wrapped his trunk around the man, lifted him up and carried him around his cage before carefully depositing him back at the door. Everyone applauded.

As the cage door closed behind him, the man said to Bozo's keeper, "You see, he is a good elephant. His problem is that he is an Indian elephant and understands one language." He explained that Bozo was frustrated and confused. He needed someone who could speak his language. "I suggest, sir, that you find someone in London to come in occasionally and talk to the elephant. If you do, you'll have no problems."

The man picked up his brown derby and walked away. It was at that time that the circus owner looked carefully at the signature on the paper he held in his hand -- the note absolving the circus of responsibility in the case he was injured inside the elephant's cage. The statement was signed by Rudyard Kipling.

People also become frustrated and angry when they are not understood. But great relationships are formed by parents who learn to speak their children's language; lovers who speak each other's language; professionals who speak the language of their staff and clients. When people understand that YOU understand, that you empathize with their heartaches and understand their problems, then you are speaking their language! It is the beginning of true communication.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Mini plastic toy robot - “Don't be a time manager, be a priority manager. Cut your major goals into bite-sized pieces. Each small priority or requirement on the way to ultimate goal become a mini goal in itself.”

A man realized he needed to purchase a hearing aid, but he felt unwilling to spend much money. "How much do they run?" he asked the clerk.

"That depends," said the salesman. "They run from $2.00 to $2,000."

"Let's see the $2.00 model," he said.

The clerk put the device around the man's neck. "You just stick this button in your ear and run this little string down to your pocket," he in­structed.

How does it work?" the customer asked.

"For $2.00 – it doesn't work," the sales­man replied. "But when people see it on you, they'll talk louder!"

As you know, most communication prob­lems are not due to people talking too softly. Un­for­tu­nately, we are not always good listeners. Do you know that people will pay hun­dreds of dollars an hour for no other reason than to have someone lis­ten to them?

Psychologist Carl Rogers said, "A person's real need, a most terrible need, is for someone to listen…not as a 'patient' but as a human soul." To listen well is to respond to a great human yearning.

One small child put it like this: "I'll try to listen louder." What might happen if you "listened louder" today?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, January 15, 2010


Waiting in the crowd - “May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.”

When the world lets you down, is there somebody who will keep faith?

In her book SMALL SACRIFICES, (Signet, 1988) Ann Rule tells a gruesome story of a mother who sacrificed her three children and how one family went the distance to set things right.

Diane Downs rushed to the emergency room covered in blood. She screamed that her children were in the car and had been shot. She said she'd stopped to help a hitch-hiker who pulled a gun and shot all three of her children in the head and torso. Her five-year-old daughter died. Her little son Danny was paralyzed and would certainly suffer psychological trauma. Her six-year-old daughter Christie suffered a stroke, some paralysis and, like Danny, psychological trauma.

Police immediately scoured the area for her assailant. But the investigation eventually turned from the search for an elusive killer to the motive for a mother to harm her own children. Diane apparently had been having an affair with a married man named Lew. He was not interested in being with her when the children were around, so, the prosecution later postulated, Diane decided to eliminate her children in order to keep Lew.

During the saga, one man took a genuine interest in her children. He was Fred Hugi, the prosecuting attorney. Hugi was married, but they had no children. He always said he never liked kids and had nothing to do with them. But all that changed when he visited Danny and Christie in the hospital. His eyes filled with tears at the sight of Christie. She could not move, but she made eye contact with the lawyer. That day he walked away filled with love and compassion for the helpless children.

Hugi visited her several times a week. She was eventually given to caring foster parents and the attorney continued his visits.

Over a year later the case finally went to trial. The most solid evidence against Diane came from her daughter Christie. She told a horrific tale about the frightening events of that night. She was afraid of her mother and needed reassurance that she would be safe if she testified. She told how her mother had shot all three children – Danny on the floor of the car, her sister in the back seat and she in the front. She described in detail her fear, shock and disbelief.

Diane Downs was finally convicted and is serving time in prison. Her children continued to live with the same foster family for two more years.

This sad story of a mother's brutality doesn't end here, however. It takes a wondrous and beautiful spin. For both children were eventually adopted by a caring family committed to raising and loving them, regardless of their long-term special needs. It was a couple who didn't have any other children of their own and wanted to be faithful to Christie and Danny for the rest of their lives. They were adopted by Fred and Joanne Hugi – the prosecuting attorney who loved Christie the first time he saw her fighting for her life in a hospital bed. This family chose to go the distance, to keep faith with two small children when the world had been so unfaithful.

As Emmet Fox says so well:
"There is no difficulty that enough LOVE will not conquer,
no disease that enough LOVE will not heal,
no door that enough LOVE will not open,
no gulf that enough LOVE will not bridge,
no wall that enough LOVE will not throw down,
no sin that enough LOVE will not redeem..."

Sometimes love is just about keeping faith.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Blue water tank on the rooftop - “Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation ... even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.”

Sometimes fact is more mysterious than fiction! The "Denver Post" printed an article December 23, 1981 about a stranger-than-fact event that occurred in Colorado.

Stan Sieczkowski heard in church about a Denver family facing a rather bleak Christmas holiday. Medical bills robbed them of any extras; they would not even have a tree.

So Stan and his son Jay determined to get them that tree. They headed up into the Colorado Rockies in the family pickup. However, the truck skidded off the icy road and hit a boulder that shattered the windshield. Jay was showered by glass slivers and suffered from shock and crash trauma. Stan was uninjured, though somewhat shaken.

Cars sped past that day -- maybe 200 of them. Only two stopped. A gentle, dark-haired woman took the boy into her car to comfort him while her husband and another man helped Stan move his truck off the road. Then they drove father and son to Stan's home and quietly left without identifying themselves.

Later that month, Stan's pastor asked if he might deliver a food basket to the unfortunate family for which he had earlier tried to cut a tree. Stan found the house, but he could hardly find his speech when the door opened. Standing there before him was the same couple who had helped him on the mountain road!

Call it an amazing coincidence...or call it divine providence. Some mysteries are better left unanalyzed. But it is nice to remember that, when we give our hearts away in a spirit of generosity, we can still brush up against wonder, joy and love.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, January 11, 2010


Tranquil garden pond - “When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.”

Not many people realize that President Calvin Coolidge did not always live in the White House. As Vice-President, he became President upon the death of Warren G. Harding. Mrs. Harding continued to live in the White House for a time, so the Coolidges remained where they had been living - in the third-floor suite of the nearby Willard Hotel.

Once in the middle of the night, the new President awoke to see an intruder going through his clothes. He watched as the thief first removed a wallet, then unhooked a watch chain. Coolidge calmly spoke up from the darkness: "About that watch, I wish you wouldn't take that."

The startled man, gaining his voice, asked, "Why?"

Coolidge answered, "I don't mean the watch and chain, only the charm. I'm very fond of that charm. It means a great deal to me. Take it near the window and read what is engraved on the back of it."

The burglar read: "Presented to Calvin Coolidge, Speaker of the House, by the Massachusetts General Court." And now he was more surprised!

"Are you President Coolidge?" he asked. He evidently did not think he'd find the President sleeping in a hotel!

"Yes, I am, and I don't want you to take that charm," he said. Then he asked, "Why, Son, are you doing this?"

The young man explained that he and a friend traveled to Washington during their college break. They spent all of their money and had no money to pay the hotel bill or pay for train passage back to school. "If you don't mind," he said, "I'll just take the wallet."

Coolidge did mind. He knew he had about $80 in his wallet. So he said, "How much will it take to pay your hotel bill and get you and your friend back to the campus? Sit down and let's talk this over."

Coolidge added up the room rate and two rail tickets. It came to $32. That may not sound like much now, but it was a considerable sum then. "I'll give you the $32 as a loan," the President said, "and I expect you to pay me back."

The youth thanked him. Coolidge then advised him to leave by the same window he used to enter the room, as secret service agents were sure to be patrolling the hallway. As the young man climbed out, Coolidge left him with this admonition: "Son, you're a nice boy. You are better than you are acting. You are starting down the wrong road. Just remember who you are."

It wasn't until after the death of Mrs. Coolidge in 1957 that this story was allowed to come out. It was first published in the "Los Angeles Times." And most interesting of all is that the President's notes show that the young man was indeed better than he was acting. He repaid the $32 loan in full.

Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound, said this: "There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less."

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Bricks and cement building construction - “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”

It is accurately said that it is easy to be an angel when nobody ruffles your feathers. But it seems that feather rufflers will always be around.

We're told that 19th Century German statesman Prince Otto von Bismarck once became so incensed at the criticism of a professor (he must have ruffled the prince's feathers), that he challenged him to a duel. Protocol had it that the one challenged was to have the choice of weapons.

The professor made his choice...sausages! He sent word to Bismarck, along with a pair of sausages, that one sausage was safe to eat. The other had been poisoned with trichinae, which would cause a slow and lingering death, or at least long invalidism. He informed the prince that he should choose which sausage to eat and said he would eat the other one.

Bismarck reasoned that a man might die with some sort of honor on a dueling field, but never by food poisoning. He sent the message back, "His highness has destroyed the sausages and asks that you be his guest at dinner this evening. After due consideration he feels he may have been slightly in error. He believes an agreement can be reached."

One of the most important trips a person ever takes is "to meet someone halfway." Bismarck met his adversary halfway and chose to bring something useful from his conflict.

When others ruffle our feathers, we always have a choice. We can meet them on the dueling field, where one will clearly win and the other will lose, or we can meet them halfway. Even armed only with words, we can seek to hurt or we can seek a solution.

The choice we make will make all the difference.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Ice lemon tea - “You never really know your friends from your enemies until the ice breaks”

Thomas Aquinas once said, "No one can live without joy." But many people try. And the reason is often simply because they don't know how to be happy! They are so intent on the three Ps -- power, prosperity and prestige -- that they miss out on joy.

Try to imagine this picture. It is a photograph taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson, who pioneered modern photography as an art form during the early decades of the 20th Century. He became known for his photographs of apparent contradictions: pictures that left mysteries unexplained.

One of his famous photographs was shot in a poor section of Spain in the 1930s. The picture depicts a run-down alley surrounded by decaying walls, strewn with rubble randomly stacked in thick piles lying on the street, and riddled with bullet holes dotting gray walls. The setting alone evokes feelings of sadness and despair.

But then...the contradiction. Within the grim alley children are playing. They wear dirty and tattered clothes, as one might expect in such a setting, but like playing children everywhere, they laugh with carefree joy. In the foreground, a tiny boy on crutches hobbles away from two other boys, his face lit up with a broad grin. One boy is laughing so hard he has to hold his side. Others lean on the cracked walls, beaming with delight.

It is easy to spot the contrast -- and the point. Joy amidst the rubble of life. Laughter amongst its ruins.

We cannot avoid pain, however hard we try. But we can avoid joy. We cannot escape hardship and trouble, but we can miss out on much of life's peace and laughter.

If you feel as if you could use more joy, try this:

Spend time daily doing something you enjoy.
Do those things that bring inner peace.
Learn to laugh heartily and frequently.
Cultivate within yourself an attitude of hope.
Fill each day with as much love as it can possibly hold.

You'll still have plenty of problems, but through it all, you'll find all you joy you will ever need.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Maxtor external harddisk drive - “Nothing external to you has any power over you.”

Jean Kerr said, "Hope is the feeling you have, that the feeling you have, isn't permanent." It is what we have when we know that we WILL eventually survive the night and bask in sunshine once again. It does not deny the present darkness, but it reminds us that dawn is coming.

Brigadier General Robinson Risner ("Robbie") spent seven years as a POW at the "Hanoi Hilton," as prisoners of war called their North Vietnam compound. There he discovered the power of hope. He spent four and a half years of that time in isolation. He endured ten months of total darkness. Those ten months were the longest of his life. When they boarded up his little seven-by-seven foot cell, shutting out the light, he wondered if he was going to make it. He had already been under intense physical and mental duress after years of confinement. And now, not a glimmer of light shone into his cell -- or into his soul.

Robbie spent hours a day exercising and praying. But at times he felt he could nothing but scream. Not wanting to give his captors the satisfaction of knowing they'd broken him, he stuffed clothing into his mouth to muffle the noise as he screamed at the top of his lungs.

One day Robbie got down on the floor and crawled under his bunk. He located a vent that let in outside air. As he pressed against the vent, he saw a faint glimmer of light reflected on the inside wall of the opening. Robbie put his eye next to the cement wall and discovered a minute crack in the construction. It allowed him to glimpse outside, but was so small that all he could see was one blade of grass. A single blade of grass and a faint ray of light. But when he stared at the sight, he felt a surge of joy, excitement and gratitude like he hadn't known in years. "It represented life, growth, and freedom," he later said, "and I knew God had not forgotten me." It was a tiny glimmer hope that sustained Robbie through an unbearable ordeal.

The human spirit is strong. It seems to run forever on nothing but a morsel of hope. Without it, you have nothing. With it, nothing else matters.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Golden prosperity cow solar powered toy - “Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”

Henry Drummond has said, "The moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love."

Here is a story (possibly apocryphal, but powerful nevertheless) about a man who acted in the spirit of love and what he consequently learned.

The story comes from Zig Ziglar's book, SEE YOU AT THE TOP (Pelican Publishing Co., 1982). He tells about an old man who stood on a Virginia riverbank many years ago. He was waiting to cross the river and, since it was bitterly cold and there were no bridges, he would have to "catch a ride" to the other side. After a lengthy wait he spotted a group of horsemen approaching. He let the first one pass, then the second, third, fourth and fifth. One rider remained. As he drew abreast, the old man looked him in the eye and said, "Sir, would you give me a ride across the river?"

The rider immediately replied, "Certainly." Once across the river, the old man slid to the ground. "Sir," the rider said before leaving. "I could not help but notice that you permitted all the other men to pass without asking for a ride. Then, when I drew abreast, you immediately asked me to carry you across. I am curious as to why you didn't ask them and you did ask me."

The old man quietly responded, "I looked into their eyes and could see no love and knew in my own heart it would be useless to ask for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, I saw compassion, love and the willingness to help. I knew you would be glad to give me a ride across the river."

The rider was touched. "I'm grateful for what you are saying," he said. "I appreciate it very much." With that, Thomas Jefferson turned and rode off to the White House.

Ziglar reminds us that our eyes are the windows of our souls. Then he asks a pointed question: "If you had been the last rider, would the old man have asked you for a ride?"

A good question! For it is said that others will know us by our love. Some will see it in the things we do and some in the things we say. And a few perceptive souls, like the old man, may catch a glimmer of a loving and generous spirit in the expression of kind eyes.

However it shows, may you be known by your love.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, January 1, 2010


To all my most cherished visitors, happy new year and may the new year be a better year for all!

Chinese New Year auspicious decorations - “One should try to take inspirations from great people and engage oneself in auspicious deeds.”

"Friendly fire," or fratricide, is a military term used when troops of one nation accidentally kill their own. Fratricide has tragically become a battle­field fact of life. David Foster in "Light and Life" (July 2, 1994), tells us George Washington re­ported that during the French and Indian War, 400 casual­ties resulted from soldiers who panicked and sent volley after volley into their own ranks.

His own soldiers killed Stonewall Jackson, Confederate general during the American Civil War, in 1863 as he galloped back into south­ern lines.

Perhaps 10% of American casualties of World War II and 15% to 20% during the Vietnam Conflict were the result of fratricide -- bombs which were dropped by accident; errant rifle fire; artillery shells landing on the wrong targets.

"Friendly fire" is the cause of countless casualties even today. Not in battle, but in the workplace and on the home front. Teachers who are assailed by par­ents "burn out" in just a few short years. In-fighting within groups brings down worth­while organizations. Those in the helping profes­sions are set upon by those they try to care for. Co-workers undermine one another, at the ex­pense of productivity and emotional health. Spouses fire ver­bal (and sometimes physical) shots at one another until mortally wounded marriages fi­nally die. Fami­lies fight amongst themselves with lit­tle regard for the damage wrought.

The loss from domestic "friendly fire" can­not be estimated. Yet these casualties are unneces­sary and wasteful.

Someone said so well:

To come together is a beginning;
To stay together is progress;
To finish together is success.

Can an organization or family succeed when it sustains damages from within? The solution to the problem of loss by friendly fire is found in the word "together.' We have come together for important reasons. We are in it together. Through conflict and disagreement, we must stand together. And in the end, if we finish at all, we will finish together.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes


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