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Stories Of Hope & Inspiration

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  • #31
    40 Things To Start Your Day


    • #32
      When the Whole World Stinks

      Do you remember the story of the sailor who over-imbibed and fell asleep at his table in the bar? His buddies smeared a bit of strong-smelling cheese dip on his moustache, which caused him to wake up and look around. He sniffed and then walked outside, sniffed again and came back in, walked out and back in one more time and finally sat back down in his seat. "It's no use," he said to his friend, "the whole world stinks!"

      Ever felt that way? We have all experienced bad days and horrible situations. We've felt trapped, helpless and, at times, hopeless. We may have even believed that the whole world stinks.

      But I like the tremendous way one woman has learned to approach living. She grew up in extreme poverty, but was privileged to be in a Sunday School class taught by a young woman named Alice Freeman Palmer, who was later to become president of Wellesley College. One Sunday, the teacher asked the children to find something beautiful in their homes, and then tell the other children about it the next Sunday.

      The following Sunday, when the little girl was asked what she found that was beautiful at home, she thought of her impoverished condition and replied, "Nothing. There's nothing beautiful where I live, except . . . Except the sunshine on our baby's curls."

      Years later, long after Mrs. Palmer's untimely death, her husband was lecturing at a university in the western United States. He was approached by a distinguished looking woman who fondly recalled that she had been a member of his wife's Sunday School class. "I can remember that your wife once asked us to find something beautiful in our homes, and that I came back saying the only beautiful thing I could find was the sunshine on my sister's curls. But that assignment your wife made was the turning point in my life. I began to look for something beautiful wherever I was, and I've been doing it ever since." That one suggestion turned her life around.

      If you have been thinking your "whole world stinks," the daily habit of looking for something beautiful can help you see the good there is in the world, and transform your hope into the positive energy needed to build a life that counts.

      Steve Goodier


      • #33
        How to change the world

        The ninth week of SEAL training is referred to as Hell Week. It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and one special day at the Mud Flats.

        The Mud Flats are an area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slues—a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.

        It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing-cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure from the instructors to quit.

        As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some "egregious infraction of the rules" was ordered into the mud. The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads.

        The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.

        Looking around the mud flat, it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone-chilling cold.

        The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything. And then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.

        The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm. One voice became two, and two became three, and before long everyone in the class was singing. We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well.

        The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted. And somehow, the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.

        If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan named Malala—can change the world by giving people hope.

        So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you're up to your neck in mud.

        Source: The commencement address by Admiral William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University of Texas at Austin on 17 May 2014


        • #34
          A New Ending

          No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

          There isn't promise of days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but can promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

          Disappointments are like road bumps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards. Don't stay on the bumps too long. Move on! When you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight, and be happy.

          There's a purpose to life's events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry too hard. You can't make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, and the rest is up to the person to realize your worth. It's better to lose your pride to the one you love, than to lose the one you love because of pride. We spend too much time looking for the right person to love or finding fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love we give.

          Never abandon an old friend. You will never find one who can take his place. Friendship is like wine, it gets better as it grows older.

          Author Unknown


          • #35
            The problem with dandelions

            A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself with a large crop of dandelions. He tried every method he knew to get rid of them. Still they plagued him.

            Finally he wrote to the Department of Agriculture. He enumerated all the things he had tried and closed his letter with the question: "What shall I do now?"

            In due course, the reply came: "We suggest you learn to love them."


            • #36
              The Man Who Had No Shoes

              We have all heard the story of the person who felt sorry for himself because he had no shoes. He was miserable and very unhappy. He thoughts were on poor me, everyone else had shoes but he did not. But, then he met a man who had no feet, and it changed his attitude to be thankful that he had feet. Not having shoes was no longer an issue!

              A Different Way To Face Challenges

              If you spend your energy helping someone else, by cheering up someone else, you may give them hope, and, you actually minimize and lighten some of your own burdens. You'll feel a lot better when you share your happiness with someone else. You will find that you may still be faced with an issue but it will not be consuming all of your thoughts.

              By helping others, by taking that break from your own problems you may find that a solution will appear in your mind. Sometimes when we take a break we may find that solutions then present themselves. We get so focused on our problem that we actually can't see beyond it. It is like doing a puzzle, all the pieces are there but because we sat and stared at it for so long we can't find that one piece we are looking for. But just getting up and going for a walk and then coming back to the puzzle we end up seeing the missing piece. Sometimes too much focus can actually hinder us from finding the answer.


              • #37
                The Scars of Life

                Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water he ran out the back door leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake that an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

                His father was working in the yard and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could. Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father.

                But it was too late.

                Just as the little boy reached his father, the alligator reached him.

                From the dock the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by and heard his screams. Grabbing a rifle the farmer raced from his truck, took aim, and shot the alligator.

                Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And on his arms were deep scratches where his father's fingernails had dug into the boy's flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved.

                A newspaper reporter interviewing the boy after the trauma asked if he would show him the scars on his legs. The boy lifted his pant legs.

                And then with obvious pride, the boy said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too! I have them because my Dad wouldn't let go."


                • #38
                  Meeting God

                  A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer and he started his journey.

                  When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.

                  Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever.

                  When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy? "He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

                  Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"

                  He replied, "I ate Twinkies in the park with God." However, before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

                  Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring.


                  • #39
                    The three races

                    In old times, fable retells the story of the young athletic boy hungry for success, for whom winning was everything and success was measured by such a result.

                    One day, the boy was preparing himself for a running competition in his small native village, himself and two other young boys to compete. A large crowd had congregated to witness the sporting spectacle and a wise old man, upon hearing of the little boy, had travelled far to bear witness also.

                    The race commenced, looking like a level heat at the finishing line, but sure enough the boy dug deep and called on his determination, strength and power .. he took the winning line and was first. The crowd was ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however. felt proud and important.

                    A second race was called, and two new young, fit, challengers came forward, to run with the little boy. The race was started and sure enough the little boy came through and finished first once again. The crowd was ecstatic again and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, again expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however, felt proud and important.

                    "Another race, another race!" pleaded the little boy. The wise old man stepped forward and presented the little boy with two new challengers, an elderly frail lady and a blind man. "What is this?", quizzed the little boy. "This is no race" he exclaimed. "Race!", said the wise man. The race was started and the boy was the only finisher, the other two challengers left standing at the starting line. The little boy was ecstatic, he raised his arms in delight. The crowd, however, was silent showing no sentiment toward the little boy.

                    "What has happened? Why not do the people join in my success?" he asked the wise old man. "Race again", replied the wise man, "...this time, finish together, all three of you, finish together" continued the wise man. The little boy thought a little, stood in the middle of the blind man and the frail old lady, and then took the two challengers by the hand. The race began and the little boy walked slowly, ever so slowly, to the finishing line and crossed it. The crowd were ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man smiled, gently nodding his head. The little boy felt proud and important.

                    "Old man, I understand not! Who are the crowd cheering for? Which one of us three?", asked the little boy. The wise old man looked into the little boy's eyes, placing his hands on the boy's shoulders, and replied softly .. "Little boy, for this race you have won much more than in any race you have ever ran before, and for this race the crowd cheer not for any winner!"

                    Author: Darren Edwards


                    • #40
                      Friends: We will take a slightly different street today. Across this globe of ours the Master calls for you and I. There are many stories to come: today we shall listen to what the Master can & will do.



                      • #41
                        The Optimist Creed

                        Promise yourself . . .

                        To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

                        To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

                        To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

                        To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

                        To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

                        To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

                        To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

                        To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

                        To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

                        To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

                        Written by Christian D. Larson in 1912


                        • #42
                          There once was a blind woman who hated herself purely because she could not see. The only person she loved was her boyfriend, as he was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, then she would marry him. One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her – now she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her loving boyfriend asked her, "now that you can see the world, will you marry me?"

                          The woman was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and wrote a short note to her saying: "please, take care of my eyes."


                          • #43
                            "The story has been told of a beautiful incident that occurred many years ago in the North of England.

                            A young Salvation Army girl, only recently saved, was overflowing with the joy of the Lord and was eager to share her salvation with all others.

                            Walking along the street of a little Durham city, she saw a tall, gray-haired man coming toward her and, stranger though he was, she stopped him and said,

                            "Pardon me, sir, but are you saved?"

                            The tall stranger leaned over toward her and answered, with a quizzical smile playing on his kindly face:

                            "My dear,do you mean ESOTHEN, or SOZOMENOS, or SOTHESOMAI?"

                            The Salvation Army girl was bewildered - it was "all Greek" to her!

                            She did not know that she had stopped bishop Westcott, one of the greatest of Greek scholars and an editor of the famous Westcott and Hort edition of the Greek New Testament.

                            He had asked her, using three different tenses of the Greek verb: "Do you mean, I was saved, or do you mean, I am being saved, or do you mean, I shall be saved?"

                            And then bishop Westcott, who was indeed saved and knew that he was saved, lovingly explained a little of the three tenses of the gospel to the young girl, and showed her something of the riches of her past salvation, her ongoing salvation, and her future salvation, from spirit to soul to body; and before they separated that earnest young girl knew more about the gospel and her Saviour than she had ever known before, and went away rejoicing that she had asked this tall stranger whether he was saved."


                            • #44
                              Please Welcome The Free Will Of Man



                              • #45
                                Everyone is important

                                During Mark's first month of college, the professor gave his students a pop quiz. He was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until he read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. He had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would he know her name? He handed in his paper, leaving the last question blank.

                                Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward the quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They each deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'". Mark never forgot that lesson. He also learned her name was Dorothy.