Stories Of Hope & Inspiration

FineLinen

Well-known member
In the olden days of the 1980's there were rotary dial phones. You put your finger in a numbered spot on a circular dialer which clicked as it returned to its place and registered the 7 or 10 numbers you selected. It took a full 10 to 20 seconds to complete a call. Then came touch-tone phones.

You pushed a button, it beeped, and you could make a call in two and a half to three seconds.

Today phones are smarter, they are "smart" phones; and they do everything but make coffee for you in the morning, although soon you can program them to start your coffee maker before you wake up. You can send or receive emails, text, Facebook, "Skype", play games, study French, listen to music, record love letters, pay your bills, watch movies...your phone can be the interface for your life, and it is, for many people!

These days when you get a phone -- a "smart phone", the first thing you do is to find the best “apps” for it. Thousands and thousands of apps are available, with more being created every 5 minutes. Your apps define the interface of your life.

There are also God apps that come to us throughout the Scriptures, and they're free - every one guaranteed to be a top-level "interface" for your life!
 

ok doser

Well-known member
In the olden days of the 1980's there were rotary dial phones. You put your finger in a numbered spot on a circular dialer which clicked as it returned to its place and registered the 7 or 10 numbers you selected. It took a full 10 to 20 seconds to complete a call. Then came touch-tone phones.

You pushed a button, it beeped, and you could make a call in two and a half to three seconds.

Today phones are smarter, they are "smart" phones; and they do everything but make coffee for you in the morning, although soon you can program them to start your coffee maker before you wake up. You can send or receive emails, text, Facebook, "Skype", play games, study French, listen to music, record love letters, pay your bills, watch movies...your phone can be the interface for your life, and it is, for many people!

These days when you get a phone -- a "smart phone", the first thing you do is to find the best “apps” for it. Thousands and thousands of apps are available, with more being created every 5 minutes. Your apps define the interface of your life.

There are also God apps that come to us throughout the Scriptures, and they're free - every one guaranteed to be a top-level "interface" for your life!
I remember using wall mounted phones
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Between the years 1861-1865 the United States found itself in the midst of a bitter civil war over the issue of slavery, and several other serious disagreements. By the time the North won the war nearly 620,000 soldiers had perished. There were many in the North who were so embittered that the South had dragged them into such a deadly conflict that they wanted the South to pay dearly.

At the end of the war, a group of Southerners gained an audience with President Abraham Lincoln.

His gentle, kind and friendly personality quickly softened the hearts of his once-hardened foes and the Southerners left the interview with a deep respect for the man who had been their bitter enemy. Not long afterward, a northern congressman criticized Lincoln for "befriending the enemy!" He suggested that he should have had them shot for being traitors instead of welcoming them!

His response = He said, simply ,

"Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends?"
 

FineLinen

Well-known member

Testing for Gossip​

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.

One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied.

“Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth.

Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and ...”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not.

Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness.

Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true.

You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness.

Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really …”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good or even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Peace of Mind

Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers in the initial days.

While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples:

“I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid.

The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha,

“The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”

After about half an hour, Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be ... and the mud settled down on its own, and you got clear water!

Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be... Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having 'peace of mind' is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and the environment, so much that people around start feeling your inner peace and grace.

Let the Mind Settle Down

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.."
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
The Two Wolves

A Cherokee was instructing his grandson about a battle that goes on in every human being. He said to the young man, “the battle is between two wolves. One wolf is slothful, cowardly, vain, arrogant, and full of self-pity, sorrow, regret, envy and anger. The other wolf is diligent, courageous, humble, benevolent, and full of compassion, joy, empathy and faith”.

Then there was a silence.

The grandson thought about the wolves for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?"

The Cherokee elder replied, “the one you feed”.
 
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FineLinen

Well-known member
The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

‘I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’ The old woman smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?’ ‘That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.’ For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’


Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. In this world, nothing goes to waste. You may think like the cracked pot that you are inefficient or useless in certain areas of your life, but somehow these flaws can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Great Is Thy Faithfulness

The Story Behind the Hymn


You don’t need to be rescued from life-threatening danger or see God’s miraculous provision in the direst of financial crises to truly know the faithfulness of the Lord. God remains faithful day in and day out in the largest and smallest of circumstances.

Thomas Chisholm wrote “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” as a testament to God’s faithfulness through his very ordinary life.

Born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky, Chisholm became a Christian when he was twenty-seven and entered the ministry when he was thirty-six, though poor health forced him to retire after just one year. During the rest of his life, Chisholm spent many years living in New Jersey and working as a life insurance agent. Still, even with a desk job, he wrote nearly 1,200 poems throughout his life, including several published hymns.

Chisholm explained toward the end of his life,

“My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

Just think, with each new day, God gives us the chance to prove His faithfulness. And throughout history, He’s never once been proven wrong, for His mercies are new every morning, no matter what.

https://songselect.ccli.com/Search/Results?List=contributor_P401539_Thomas Obediah Chisholm
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
One day a passerby saw a homeless man on the roadside. He stopped for a moment to hand him some loose change and casually said "God bless you, my friend.".

"I thank God," said the homeless man, "I am never unhappy."

"What do you mean?" the passerby asked.

"Well," he said, "when the sun is out, I thank God -- when it rains, I thank God. When I am full, I thank God and when I am hungry, I thank God. And, since God's will is my will, and whatever pleases Him pleases me, why should I say I am unhappy when I am not?"

The man looked at him in astonishment and asked, "Who are you?"

"I am a King," said he.

"Where, then, is your Kingdom?" asked the man.

"In my heart." The homeless man replied.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member

Jack Canfield – Chicken Soup For The Soul Co-Creator​

Jack Canfield is the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. He’s also one of the best motivational speakers, professional coach, and an incredibly inspiring author who published The Success Principles.

Jack and his co-author Mark Victor Hansen pitched the original Chicken Soup for the Soul to over 130 different publishers. But none of them were interested and said no one “wants to read 100 inspirational stories.”

After 100+ pitches, their agent dropped them as well, but they were determined to get the book published.

Luckily they never gave up and continued to persevere until their book was picked up by a small publisher in Florida.

Now there are over 250 Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and over 500 MILLION copies sold worldwide. If they had given up these inspirational stories wouldn’t have been read across the world and they wouldn’t have made millions of dollars.

Perseverance Lesson =​


Never give up! Could you imagine if he quit on the 129th publisher? Where would his life be now?
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
An elderly teacher, with a pupil by his side, took a walk through a forest. Suddenly he stopped and pointed to four plants close at hand. The first was just beginning to peep above the ground, the second had rooted itself pretty well into the earth, the third was a small shrub, while the fourth was a full-sized tree. The tutor said to his young companion, 'Pull up the first plant.' The boy did so eagerly, using only his fingers. 'Now pull up the second.' The youth obeyed but found the task more difficult. 'Do the same with the third,' he urged. The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it. 'Now,' said the instructor, 'try your hand with the fourth.' The pupil put his arms around the trunk of the tall tree and couldn't even shake its leaves. 'This, my son, is just what happens with our bad habits. When they are young, we can remove them readily; but when they are old, it's hard to uproot them, though we try and struggle ever so sincerely.'
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Wm. Wilberforce

William Wilberforce led a campaign against the British Parliament to abolish slavery in the late 1700's and early 1800's.

During the course of his intense efforts, Wilberforce came to a desperate place of discouragement, feeling he had absolutely no more strength to continue.

In this condition, he was about to give up, when his elderly friend, John Wesley, lying on his deathbed, was informed of his friend William's distress.

Wesley requested pen and paper, and with a quivering hand, wrote these words....

"Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? Oh be not weary of well-doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery shall vanish away before it."

John Wesley died six days later, but William Wilberforce fought for forty-five more years, and in 1833, three days before his own death, witnessed the abolition of slavery in Britain.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
The Ant and the Contact Lens

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry." She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there. She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found.

Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains.

She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me." Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?" Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it! The story doesn't end there.

Brenda's father is a cartoonist.

When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You." I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will." God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him....I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

 

FineLinen

Well-known member
A Grateful Customer's Letter To His Late Wife's Hairdresser

Since the start of the lockdown, many people have joked and laughed about missing barbers and hairdressers as their hair has grown longer and shaggier than ever before. Social media has been flooded with hilariously cringe worthy images of DIY haircuts, from the lopsided to the patchy, a style now commonly referred to as the ‘pandemic haircut.’

For Illinois hairdresser Sara Verkuilen, receiving a heartfelt letter from a customer reminded her of the power a simple haircut can have.

It was sent from a man whose wife had gotten a haircut from Sara in December of last year. His wife was suffering from dementia. Sara had no idea what an impression she made on this couple until now.

"Dear Sara,

This is a little bit awkward. But I've waited a really long time to pass this on to you.

My wife and I came in for haircuts shortly before Christmas of last year.

My wife was suffering from dementia, and you treated her as if you'd been working with dementia patients all your life. You let us sit next to each other, and when it came time for her cut you turned her chair towards me so I could watch her expression as you cut her hair.

It turned out even better than I thought it would.

Sadly, she died in March. And that haircut was one of the last, best moments of her life. She felt so pretty. She visited the mirror in her bathroom several times during the day and would come out beaming.

To see her so happy was priceless.

Looking back, it was likely dozens of haircuts you gave that day. But one which revitalized a woman's sense of self and her singular beauty. I hope you always realize the power of your profession.

It's so easy to take things like that for granted.

Sincerely,

A grateful customer"

One small act can make one big difference in a day, in a life.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
I Want To Die Broke

With wealth comes great responsibility. For one billionaire, that means ‘giving while living’. Chuck Feeney is spending most of his fortune on charity while he’s alive to see its impact. In fact, his goal is to die broke.

Chuck Feeney, co-founder of retail giant Duty Free Shoppers, was once a billionaire. Over his lifetime, he amassed a fortune of over $8 billion dollars selling luxury goods to tourists. Now age 90 he has nothing left and couldn’t be happier.

It was Feeney’s lifetime ambition to give away his entire fortune before he died, a concept he called “Giving While Living”— spend most of your fortune on charity while you are alive to see its impact instead of funding a foundation upon death.

As he signed papers to formally dissolve his foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Feeney said he was very satisfied with “completing this on my watch” and urged other members of the super-rich to “try it, you’ll like it.”

“Wealth brings responsibility,” he often said. “People must define themselves, or feel a responsibility to use some of their assets to improve the lives of their fellow humans, or else create intractable problems for future generations.”

Over the last four decades, Feeney donated his wealth to charities, universities, human rights groups and foundations worldwide all while living a remarkably frugal lifestyle. Feeney didn’t own a car or a home, he only had one pair of shoes and flew economy class even when his family or friends who were on the same plane flew business.

Christopher Oechsli, the president and chief executive of The Atlantic Philanthropies, said Feeney would not preach his views to other members of the global super-rich, “But he would scratch his head and say ‘how many yachts or pairs of shoes do you need? What is all this wealth accumulation about, when you can look about you and see such tremendous needs,’” as shared in an article by The Guardian.

Unlike many wealthy philanthropists who greatly publicize their charitable efforts, all of Feeney’s donations throughout his lifetime were made anonymously. Because of his “clandestine, globe-trotting philanthropy campaign,” Forbes magazine dubbed him the James Bond of Philanthropy.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
His nightmares began each day when he awoke.

James Stegalls was nineteen. He was in Vietnam. Though he carried a small Gideon New Testament in his shirt pocket, he couldn't bring himself to read it. His buddies were cut down around him, terror was building within him, and God seemed far away. His twentieth birthday passed, then his twenty-first. At last, he felt he couldn't go on.

On February 26, 1968, he prayed for it all to end, and his heart told him he would die before dusk.

Sure enough, his base came under attack that day and Jim heard a rocket coming straight toward him. Three seconds to live, he told himself, then two, then...A friend shoved him into a grease pit, and he waited for the rocket to explode, but there was only surreal silence. The fuse malfunctioned.

For five hours James knelt in that pit, and finally, his quivering hand reached into his shirt pocket and took out his Testament. Beginning with Matthew, he continued through the first 18 chapters.

"When I read Matthew 18:19-20," he said, "I somehow knew things would be alright."

Long after Jim returned home, as he visited his wife's grandmother, Mrs. Harris, she told him a night years before when she had awakened in terror. Knowing Jim was in Vietnam, she had sensed he was in trouble. She began praying for God to spare his life. Unable to kneel because of arthritis, she lay prone on the floor, praying and reading her Bible all night.

Just before dawn, she read Matthew 18:19-20. Then she immediately called her Sunday school teacher, who got out of bed and went to Mrs. Harris' house where together they claimed the Lord's promise as they prayed for Jim until reassured by God's peace.

Having told Jim the story, Mrs. Harris opened her Bible to show him where she had marked the passage. In the margin were the words -- "Jim, February 26, 1968."
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Have you heard how a pearl is formed?

It is truly fascinating. A foreign object, often a grain of sand, somehow makes its way into the tightly sealed crack of an oyster. Instead of spitting out this irritating object, the oyster covers it with layer upon layer of a substance secreted from its own body.

After months or even years, a beautiful pearl is formed. The longer the pearl stays in the oyster, the more valuable it becomes.

What a picture of God's mercy toward us! The Lord doesn't spit us out when we come to Him! "We are accepted in the beloved!" God has every right to cast us out because of our sin but instead, He brings us into His body and covers over our sin with His beautiful covering!

When God found us we were nothing more than an irritation, but by His grace,He keeps us under His covering, so that we can be made into something valuable to His Kingdom!

God is using our time now under His covering to conform us into His image!
 
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