The Story of the Woodcutter

The Story of the Woodcutter

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it.

The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!

Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees.

Day after day, he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought.

He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on. “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

Reflection: Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the “axe”. In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy that ever. Why is that?

Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay “sharp”? There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work but we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like:

?our personal lives,
?taking time to get close to our Creator (Pray)
?giving more time for our family,
?taking time to read etc.

We all need time
?to relax,
?to think and meditate,
?to learn and grow.

If we don’t take the time to sharpen the “axe”, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. – Ecclesiastes 10:10

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The Pebbles

The Pebbles

Many years ago in a small village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a female village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old, fat and ugly, fancied the farmer’s handsome son. So she proposed a bargain. She said she would forego the farmer’s debt if she could marry his son.

Both the farmer and his son were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning female moneylender suggested that they let Providence decide the matter. She told them that she would put a black Pebble and a white pebble into an empty moneybag. Then the son would have to pick one pebble from the bag. If he picked the black pebble, he would become her husband and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If he picked the white pebble he need not marry her and his father’s debt would still be forgiven. But if he refused to pick a pebble, his father would be thrown into Jail

They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer’s field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As she picked them up, the sharp-eyed son noticed that she had picked up two Black pebbles and put them into the bag. She then asked the son to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the son? If you had to advise him, what would you have told him?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1) The son should refuse to take a pebble.

2) The son should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a lying, back-stabbing cheat.

3) The son should pick a black pebble and sacrifice himself in order to save his father from his debt and imprisonment.

The son’s dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if he chooses the above logical answers. Well, here is what he did…

He first prayed to God for direction. So he thereafter put his hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, he fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

‘Oh, how clumsy of me,’ he said. ‘But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.’

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that he had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit her dishonesty, the son changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

Moral of the story: Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don’t attempt to think and pray to God for direction.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. – James 3:17

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Secret to Success

Secret to Success

A young man asked Socrates the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning.

They met.

Socrates asked the young man to walk with him towards the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue.

Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.

Socrates asked, ‘What did you want the most when you were there?”

The boy replied, “Air.”

Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it. There is no other secret.”

A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results.

Meditation: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Enjoy Your Coffee

Enjoy Your Coffee

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money, and position in society are the cups. The cups are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”

God brews the coffee, not the cups. So, enjoy your coffee!

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly and bloom where you are planted! Then leave the rest to God.

Meditation: Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? – Matthew 6:27

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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You Too Are Qualified

You Too Are Qualified

The next time you feel like GOD can’t use you, just remember…

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Zaccheaus was too short

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer, and

Lazarus was dead!

Therefore, no more excuses!

God can use you to your full potential if only you yield to Him. Besides, you are not the message, you are just the messenger. So, don’t disqualify yourself with your obsession with your inadequacies or insult God by questioning or rationalising His sense of judgement.

God doesn’t call the qualified; but, those He calls, He qualifies.

Meditation: For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are. – 1 Corinthians 1:26-28

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The Brick

The Brick

A young and successful executive was driving down a neighbourhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door!

He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jaguar back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”

The young boy was apologetic. “Please, mister…please, I’m sorry, but I didn’t know what else to do,” He pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop…”

With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.”

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

“Thank you and may God bless you,” the grateful child told the stranger. Too shaken for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: “Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!”

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice to listen or not.

Meditation: Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. – Isaiah 28:16 (KJV)

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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