The Best Way to Travel

The Best Way to Travel

The Best Way to Travel

Once upon a time, a king had a great highway built for the people who lived in his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to have a contest. He invited as many of his subjects as desired to participate. The challenge was to see who could travel the highway the best, and the winner was to receive a box of gold.

On the day of the contest, all the people came. Some of them had fine chariots, some had fine clothing and fancy food to make the trip a luxurious journey. Some wore their sturdiest shoes and ran along the highway on their feet to show their skill. All day they traveled the highway, and each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king about a large pile of rocks and debris that had been left almost blocking the road at one point, and that got in their way and hindered their travel.

At the end of the day, a lone traveler crossed the finish line warily and walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king with great respect and handed him a small chest of gold. He said, “I stopped along the way to clear a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This chest of gold was under it all. Please have it returned to its rightful owner.”

The king replied, “You are the rightful owner.”

“Oh no,” said the traveler, “This is not mine. I’ve never known such money.”

“Oh yes,” said the king, “you’ve earned this gold, for you won my contest. He who travels the road best is he who makes the road better for those who will follow.”

Remember those words of wisdom as you travel the road of life!

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’ – Deuteronomy 15:11

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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Lessons Learned from My Dog

Lessons Learned from My Dog

Lessons Learned from My Dog

It’s graduation time and commencement speakers will soon share words of wisdom with new grads. Some lessons shared will be profound, and others quite simple.

What would I share, if invited? Things I learned in graduate school, principles proven in my consulting career, or tidbits picked up from my own mistakes? No, I think I’d share lessons I’ve learned from my dog.

Here are a few:

1. Play the hand you’re dealt. Some of us are born into the lap of luxury; others are not. Some of us come programmed for joy, and others less so. Some of us are nurtured magnificently, and others are nearly ignored. Rocky was given up before he was two. You might think he’d be sullen, unable to trust, or stuck with a bit of a chip on his canine shoulder. Not so. He’s a happy little guy who seems to demonstrate that it’s not what you’ve been given that counts-it’s who you become and what you do with what you’ve got!

2. Be Your Self. When we adopted Rocky, I almost forgot to ask his name. The clerk rolled her eyes and said, “It’s Rocky, but I’d change it to Pierre, if I were you.” We soon learned that this miniature black poodle was anything but a Pierre. He’s athletic, funny, social, and uninhibited. Possibly, he’s not even a purebred poodle. The name Rocky suits him well and he sports an all-over curly cut rather than a traditional poodle clipping. No matter what others think you should be like, it’s always best, to be your true self.

3. Master the basics. Eat, sleep, exercise, and connect with your pack. Rocky is never too busy to eat, too distracted to sleep, or too tired for a walk. Nor does he ever turn down an opportunity to connect. His wagging-tail greetings, sloppy kisses, and ability to land smack in the middle of the nearest lap are all-powerful statements of just how basic the need to connect really is. And yet, in today’s 24/7 world, it is often easy to forget that family and friends are actually nourishment and a major contributor to a sense of well-being.

4. Explore, explore, explore. Ever curious, and smart as a whip, Rocky always seems ready to explore new territory. He’ll happily learn a new “trick,” check out new critters, climb new hills, or try new toys. In life, the choice is yours: play it safe and embrace the status quo, or face the unknown and continue to grow. Rocky would say, “Stretch.”

5. Make each day great. Spontaneously, Rocky will tear through the house, barreling at a breakneck speed. Or, he might unexpectedly drop his rubber football at my feet, signalling it’s time for a game of fetch. When he comes in from a walk, he sits patiently, “asking” for his treat.

Do what you love, ask for what you want, and seize opportunities as they appear. Don’t wait for joy to come to you; instead, seek it out every day.

By Suzanne Zoglio

Meditation: Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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The Dark Spot

The Dark Spot

The Dark Spot

One day, Professor John Morgan entered his class and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.

John handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions – just a black dot in the center of the paper.

The Professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.”

The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task. At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students. All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the centre of the sheet.

After all had been read, the classroom was silent. Professor John Morgan smiled and said, “I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about.

“I’m surprised that no one wrote about the white part of the paper which is bigger than the black dot. Everyone focused on the black dot; the same thing happens in our lives.

“However, we insist on focusing only on the black dot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, delayed marriage, exams failure, difficult relationships, loneliness, hardships, disappointment, etc. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have going in our lives, but they are the ones that usually pollute our minds because we give them too much attention.

“Take your eyes away from the black dots in your lives. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love, faith and hope! That’s what the white part of life is all about.”

So, enjoy the moment…

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. – Isaiah 55:2

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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Holy Humor

Holy Humor

Holy Humor

A father was approached by his small son who told him proudly, “I know what the Bible means!”

His father smiled and replied, “What do you mean, you ‘know’ what the Bible means?”

The son replied, “I do know!”

“Okay,” said his father. “What does the Bible mean?”

“That’s easy, Daddy…” the young boy replied excitedly, “It stands for ‘Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.’”

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There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country.

“Is there anything breakable in here?” asked the postal clerk.

“Only the Ten Commandments.” the lady answered.

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“Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning, Lord,” and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good Lord, it’s morning!”

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A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a space with a meter. Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.”

When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.”

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There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it’s still out there in your pockets.”

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While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand-printed sign… “Energy-efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust.”

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A Sunday School teacher began her lesson with a question, “Boys and girls, what do we know about God?”

A hand shot up in the air. “He is an artist!” said the kindergarten boy.

“Really? How do you know?” the teacher asked.

“You know – Our Father, Who does art in Heaven… ”

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A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump.

“Reverend,” said the young man, “I’m so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”

The minister chuckled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”

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Isn’t it interesting that people want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention.

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Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about. The daughter answered, “Don’t be scared, you’ll get your quilt.”

Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning’s Sunday school lesson was about.

He said, “Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming.”

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The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.

“Here’s a copy of the service,” he said impatiently. “But, you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.”

During the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”

At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star Spangled Banner.”

And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

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When you carry the Bible, Satan gets a headache… When you open it, he collapses… When he sees you reading it, he faints….. When he sees that you are living what you read, he flees…..

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Don’t change the way you are just to make somebody happy.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. – Proverbs 15:13

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Windshield Wiper Lesson from A Child

Windshield Wiper Lesson from A Child

Windshield Wiper Lesson from A Child

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick.

Suddenly, my son Matthew spoke up from his relaxed position in the front seat.

“Mom, I’m thinking of something.”

This announcement usually meant he had been pondering some fact for a while and was now ready to expound all that his seven-year-old mind had discovered.

I was eager to hear. “What are you thinking?” I asked.

“The rain,” he began, “is like sin and the windshield wipers are like God, wiping our sins away.”

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. “That’s really good, Matthew.”

Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little boy take this revelation? So I asked, “Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?”

Matthew didn’t hesitate one moment with his answer: “We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us.”

Who can drive in the rain again without thinking of this one?

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But where sin abounded, grace abounded much moreRomans 5:20

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Of A Truth, Jesus Loves You

Of A Truth, Jesus Loves You

Jesus Loves You

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at their church, the Pastor and his 11-year-old son would go out into their town and hand out gospel tracts. This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside as well as pouring down rain. The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said “Okay Dad, I’m ready.”

His Pastor Dad asked, “Ready for what?”

“Dad, it’s time we gather our tracts together and go out.”

Dad responds, “Son, it’s very cold outside and it’s pouring down rain.”

The boy gives his Dad a surprised look, asking, “But Dad, aren’t people still going to Hell, even though it’s raining?”

Dad answers, “Son, I am not going out in this weather.”

Despondently the boy asks, “Dad, can I go — Please?”

His father hesitated for a moment then said, “Son, you can go. Here are the tracts; be careful son.”

“Thanks, Dad!”

And with that, he was off and out into the rain. This 11-year-old boy walked the streets of the town going door-to-door and handing everybody he met in the street a gospel tract. After two hours of walking in the rain he was soaking, bone-chilled wet and down to his very last tract. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a tract to but the streets were totally deserted.

Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the doorbell. He rang the bell — but nobody answered. He rang it, again and again, but still, no one answered. He waited but still no answer. Finally, this 11-year-old trooper turned to leave but something stopped him. Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch. He rang again, and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady.

She softly asked, “What can I do for you, son?”

With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU! I came to give you my very last gospel tract which will tell you all about Jesus and His great love.”

With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave. She called to him as he departed, “Thank you, son! And God bless you!”

Well, the following Sunday morning in church, Pastor Dad was in the pulpit and as the service began he asked, “Does anybody have a testimony or want to say anything?”

Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet. As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face. “None of you in this church know me. I’ve never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband has passed on, some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart as I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live.

“So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted, I was about to leap off when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, ‘I’ll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.’

“I waited and waited — but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly. I thought to myself again, ‘Who on earth could this be?! Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me!’

“I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder. When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes! There on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life! His smile! Oh, I could never describe it to you! And the words that came from his mouth caused my heart, which had long been dead, to leap to life as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, ‘Ma’am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU.’

“Then he gave me this tract that I now hold in my hand. As the little angel disappeared back out, into the cold and rain, I closed my door and read slowly every word of this tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn’t be needing them anymore.

“You see, I am now a happy child of the KING, and since the address of your church was on the back of this gospel tract I have come here to personally say, ‘Thank you to God’s little angel who came just in the nick of time, and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in Hell.'”

There were now no dry eyes in the church. As shouts of praise and honor to the KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated. He took him in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.

Probably no church has had a more glorious moment and probably this Universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love and honor for his son, except for one:

This Father, God, also allowed His Son, Jesus, to go out into a cold and dark world. He received His Son back with joy unspeakable, and as all of Heaven shouted praises and honor to the King, the Father sat His beloved Son on a throne far above all principality and power and every name that is named.

There may be someone, reading this, who is also going through a dark, cold and lonely time in your soul. You may be a Christian, for we are not without problems, or you may not yet know the King. Whatever the case, and whatever the problem or situation you find yourself in, and no matter how dark it may seem, I want you to know that “JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU!”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”Jeremiah 31:3

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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