Good Character

Good Character

Good Character

A wise old man was sitting at the river bank when he saw a cat that had fallen into the water, flailing around, trying to save itself from drowning.

The man decided to save the cat. He stretched his hand out but was scratched by the cat. He pulled his hand back in pain.

However, a minute later he stretched his hand out again to save the cat, but it scratched him again, and again he pulled his hand back in pain.

Another minute later he was yet again trying for the third time!

A man, who was nearby watching what was happening, yelled out: “O wise man, you have not learned your lesson the first time, nor the second time, and now you are trying to save the cat a third time?”

The wise man paid no heed to that man’s scolding and kept on trying until he managed to save the cat.

He then walked over to the man and patted his shoulder saying: “My son, it is in the cat’s nature to scratch, and it is in my nature to love and have sympathy. Why do you want me to let the cat’s nature overcome mine?

My son: Treat people according to your nature, not according to theirs, no matter what they are like and no matter how numerous are their actions that harm you and cause you hurt sometimes.

And do not pay heed to all the voices that loudly call out to you to leave behind your good qualities merely because the other party is not deserving of your noble actions.

When you live to give happiness to others, God will send you those who will live to give happiness to you.

“Is the reward for good anything but good?”

Be beautiful in character and hearts will love you.

So never regret the moments you gave happiness to someone, even if that person did not deserve it.

And suffice in the fact that you have a Lord Who will reward you for good with good.

“The entire lesson is (about) good character, so whoever exceeds you in good character, has exceeded you in the reward.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, – Matthew 5:44

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wasu, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’

Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Wasu’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew me away, especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’

I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’

Wasu smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.’

Almost stuttering, I said, ‘I’ll take a Lassi.’

Handing me my drink, Wasu said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Hindu, Times of India, ET and India Today.’

As we were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’

And as if that weren’t enough, Wasu told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me.

Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.

I was amazed and asked him, ‘Tell me, Wasu, have you always served customers like this?’

Wasu smiled into the rearview mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about the power of choice one day.’

‘Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.’

‘If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Don’t be a duck. Stop complaining. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’

‘That hit me right,’ said Wasu.

‘It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’

‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ I said.

‘It sure has,’ Wasu replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.’

Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

“You don’t die if you fall into pool, you die only if you don’t swim.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. – 1 Corinthians 15:10

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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My One-Eyed Mother

My One-Eyed Mother

My mother only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

There was this one day during elementary school where my mum came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed.

How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mum only has one eye!”

I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mum to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?”

My mum did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.

Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!”

And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” –and she disappeared out of sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.

My neighbours said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

My dearest son,

I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children.

I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

You see… when you were very little, you got into an accident and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine.

I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.

With all my love to you,

Your mother

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ – Matthew 15:4

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Tipping Over

Tipping Over

Tipping Over

The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit. He quoted 1 Samuel 16:7 “’The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different,” he explained.

Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilt out. “When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference was within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed. Until we are upset we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45)”

What if someone tipped you over today? What would flow out? Would you reveal the “honey” of grace and patience, or the “vinegar” of anger and sarcasm?

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8)

Have a terrific day knowing that the one who upsets you may just be looking for some honey.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. – Ephesians 4:29

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Lord, Thank You

Lord, Thank You

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; it has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today. It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing, the lawn that needs raking; we all enjoy the yard.

Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. – Habakkuk 3:17-18

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Opportunities for Kindness

Opportunities for Kindness

Several years ago I was at a train station in Amsterdam waiting in line to buy a ticket. As I stood there I saw a young homeless man asking people for money so he could buy breakfast. It was early in the morning and most of the travellers simply ignored the young man or gave him a dirty look.

There was one exception though – an older, well-dressed businessman who looked as though he was from the middle-east. When approached by the panhandler, the gentleman looked straight into his eyes and quietly asked: “How much will you need?”

I couldn’t hear what the young man said but watched as the older man pulled several bills from his wallet and calmly placed them in the young man’s hands.

I don’t know if the young man actually used this money for breakfast or for some other purpose. What I do know is that I witnessed two completely different reactions to the same situation. I saw people who were either afraid or annoyed or distrustful. And then I saw this man who was not afraid and treated the homeless man as though he were a brother. I decided then and there that, even though we have to be careful in this world, I would rather be like him.

May this day bring us many opportunities for kindness.

by Ron Atchison

Meditation: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering – Colossians 3:12 (KJV)

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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