Trouble Tree

Trouble Tree

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward, he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning, I pick them up again.” “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there

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The Winner

The Winner

I was watching some little kids play soccer. These kids were only five or six years old, but they were playing a real game – a serious game – two teams, complete with coaches, uniforms, and parents. I didn’t know any of them, so I was able to enjoy the game without the distraction of being anxious about winning or losing – I wished the parents and coaches could have done the same. The teams were pretty evenly matched. I will just call them Team One and Team Two. Nobody scored in the first period. The kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and terribly inefficient. They fell over their own feet, they stumbled over the ball, they kicked at the ball and missed it but they didn’t seem to care. They were having fun. In the second quarter, the Team One coach pulled out what must have been his first team and put in the scrubs, except for his best player who now guarded the goal. The game took a dramatic turn. I guess winning is important even when you’re five years old — because the Team Two coach left his best players in, and the Team One scrubs were no match for them. Team Two swarmed around the little guy who was now the Team One goalie. He was

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The Little Boat

The Little Boat

There was a little boy who lived by the sea and the one thing he loved best was to carve out little boats from the pieces of driftwood that came from that sea. One day he found washed up on the shore a solid block of wood so perfect for sculpting that he told himself, “This is going to be the best boat I’ll make!” and so he proceeded to carve it, making sure that the details were perfect. After sculpting it, he sanded it and painted and lacquered it. He’d then take it wherever he went, always showing it off to his friends. One day, he waded into the sea, put his little boat on the water, and watched it bob up and down on the water. He was very proud of his boat. But suddenly, a great wave descended on him and the little boat, and the wave engulfed the little boat until it drifted far, far away from the boy and disappeared. The boy ran to his father, crying, and his father tried to comfort him, to no avail. The days went past, and became weeks, then months, but the boy still missed his little boat. One day, while he was accompanying his father to town, he wandered into a store, and there, among the other souvenirs

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The Story of Pearls

The Story of Pearls

Pearls are a product of pain. When a grain of sand pierces the shell of an oyster, all the otherwise dormant resources within the tiny oyster respond to the foreign irritant by caring for that sensitive spot. Over time, the sand particle is covered by healing fluids, and the wound becomes a pearl. That’s true for you, too. When hardships invade your life, allow God’s Spirit to shape your response. Don’t be bitter. Don’t rush ahead of His plan. Rest in Him. Allow Him time to turn that irritation into an opportunity for your growth – and watch a beautiful pearl emerge from your set of circumstances. When you flee temptation, be sure you don’t leave a forwarding address. — Author Unknown Meditation: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:2-4 You will succeed in Jesus Name! Also read: The Quilt Handling Adversities Blessings We May Not Recognise

Never Forget

Never Forget

Your presence is a present to the world. You’re unique and one of a kind. Your life can be what you want it to be. Take the days just one at a time. Count your blessings, not your troubles. You’ll make it through whatever comes along. Within you are so many answers. Understand, have courage, be strong. Don’t put limits on yourself. So many dreams are waiting to be realized. Decisions are too important to leave to chance. Reach for your peak, your goal and your prize. Nothing wastes more energy than worrying. The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets. Don’t take things too seriously. Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets. Remember that a little love goes a long way. Remember that a lot of love goes forever. Remember that friendship is a wise investment. Life’s treasures are people… together. Realize that it’s never too late. Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way. Have health, hope and happiness. Take the time to wish upon a star. And don’t ever forget… For even a day… How very special you are. — Author Unknown Meditation: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness

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Grandma’s Hands

Grandma’s Hands

This is good; I’ll never look at my hands the same! Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK. Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” she said in a clear, strong voice. “I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to her. “Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?” I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making. Grandma smiled and related this story: “Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These

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