Growing Good Corn

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There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? “The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior (poor seed,GMO) corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself.

Proverbs 11:25 says, “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

Weakness Becomes A Strength

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Sometimes our biggest weakness can become our biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study Judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese Judo expert. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training his instructor had taught him only one move.

Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know.” – the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be over-matched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.

No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

Other than being another one of those true stories, I thought this was interesting. Something to consider the next time you think you have a debilitating weakness.

Butch O’Hare

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This too is a true story! Research it if you like,…some do. But more than the story being accurate, it tells of having a good name; there is more to be gleaned here, but it comes down to having a good name. Not many people these days can say they have a good name. Why? Because it’s in our deeds, and goodness within us that make us good, or appearing as such, to say the least. Hope you enjoy this post anyway. -“…ofthestory

During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One man was Butch O’Hare.

He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. One time his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to leave formation and return.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he could see a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. And with all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless. His was the only opportunity to distract and divert them.

Single-handedly, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes and attacked them. The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so pilots could learn more about the terrain, enemy maneuvers, etc. Butch dove at them and shot until all his ammunition was gone, then he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make the enemy planes unfit to fly. He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships.

Finally, the Japanese squadron took off in another direction, and Butch O’Hare and his fighter, both badly shot up, limped back to the carrier. He told his story, but not until the film from the camera on his plane was developed, did they realize the extent he really went to to protect his fleet. He was recognized as a hero and given one of the nation’s highest military honors.

And as you know, the O’Hare Airport was also named after him.

Prior to this time in Chicago, there was a man named Easy Eddie. He was working for a man you’ve all heard about, Al Capone. Al Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the murders he’d committed and the illegal things he’d done. Easy Eddie was Al Capone’s lawyer and he was very good. In fact, because of his skill, he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail. To show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned big money, he would get extra things, like a residence that filled an entire Chicago City block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day.

Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up; clothes, cars, and a good education. And because he loved his son, he tried to teach him right from wrong. But one thing he couldn’t give his son was a good name, and a good example. Easy Eddie decided that this was much more important than all the riches he had given him. So, he went to the authorities in order to rectify the wrong he had done.

In order to tell the truth, it meant he must testify against Al Capone, and he knew that Al Capone would do his best to have him killed. But he wanted most of all to try to be an example and to do the best he could to give back to his son, a good name. So he testified. Within the year, he was shot and killed on a lonely street in Chicago.

This sounds like two unrelated stories.

But, you see, Butch O’Hare was Easy Eddie’s son.

A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1)

Is your name good? If not ponder ways to make it better…..pray about it. Seek something bigger than you- Seek the Lord!

 

The 57¢ Church

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This is an actual photo of the 57 Cent Church!

 

 

This is a TRUE STORY.

A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was “too crowded.”

I can’t go to Sunday School,” she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: “This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.” For two years she had saved for this offering of love.

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there… A newspaper learned of the story and published it. The story was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay the cost of the land, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000.00 — a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.

Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, “Acres of Diamonds“.

This is a true story, and a sad one at that ( things could have been different and should have ), however, this just goes to show you WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.

A Brother’s Hands

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Praying Hands

Ever seen this picture or one similar?

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, Germany lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father, head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder’s children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht’s etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht’s triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, “And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will support you.”

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated over and over, “No … no … no … no.”

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, “No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look … look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother … for me it is too late.”

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer’s hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer’s works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, long ago, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother’s abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply “Hands,” but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love “The Praying Hands.”

Moral of the story? There is a sense of a life lesson here, even a Biblical one. Ponder it. Hope it blessed you! 

* Most people do not know the true story about this picture. Now, you do Share it!

Live, Work and Die

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Dad was a hardworking man who delivered bread as a living to support his wife and three children. He spent all his evenings after work attending classes, hoping to improve himself so that he could one day find a better paying job. Except for Sundays, Dad hardly ate a meal together with his family. He worked and studied very hard because he wanted to provide his family with the best money could buy.

Whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

The day came when the examination results were announced. To his joy, Dad passed, and with distinctions too! Soon after, he was offered a good job as a senior supervisor which paid handsomely.

Like a dream come true, Dad could now afford to provide his family with life’s little luxuries like nice clothing, fine food and vacation abroad.

However, the family still did not get to see their Dad for most of the week. He continued to work very hard, hoping to be promoted to the position of manager. In fact, to make himself a worthily candidate for the promotion, he enrolled for another course in the open university.

Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

Dad’s hard work paid off and he was promoted. Jubilantly, he decided to hire a maid to relieve his wife from her domestic tasks. He also felt that their three-room flat was no longer big enough, it would be nice for his family to be able to enjoy the facilities and comfort of a condominium. Having experienced the rewards of his hard work many times before, Dad resolved to further his studies and work at being promoted again. The family still did not get to see much of him. In fact, sometimes Dad had to work on Sundays entertaining clients. Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

As expected, Dad’s hard work paid off again and he bought a beautiful condominium overlooking the coast of California. On the first Sunday evening at their new home, Dad declared to his family that he decided not to take anymore courses or pursue any more promotions. From then on he was going to devote more time to his family.

Dad did not wake up the next day.

Moral of the story? Hmmm……….Self explanatory I believe.

But here are some questions to ponder:

Is this the (life) destiny you are believing for? Is all you have been promised all you have to look forward to? Your family and true life- are you leaving it behind thinking you are really doing those elements in your life a good thing? Is work and money your god; is school and learning the ways of the world eating away at what life is really all about? No? Time tells a great many things. Is there a possible destination you have overlooked that might be better? Have you been self-centered with your goals, only convincing yourself that it includes others and that all you do is for them?

Someone once said that time is the fire in which we burn. Are you burning away your life in hopes of a better one? Do you really think the world has much to offer? Are you being deceived? Do you have it all and don’t realize it? Do you have what you want and now don’t want what you have? These are some hard questions that most just don’t bother with. Maybe it’s because they are hard at work.

Take a step back. Slow down. Look at everything around you. Does it seem that you’re only getting a glimpse? If so, maybe it’s time to examine the direction you’re heading. However, if these questions don’t apply to you, then maybe you’re on your way to that “promotion.” The Dad above was doing the same thing. Hope your result is different than his. 🙂

Take time today to thank the Lord for all you have- and work with what you have being content. 1 Tim. 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

 

Paid In Full

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A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was preparing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had wrote on. After his mom dried her hands on her apron, she read it, and this is what was said:

For going to the store for you $2.

For cutting the grass in the garden $3.

For cleaning up the yard this week $2.

For cleaning up my room this week $2.

For setting the table for meals this week $1.

For baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping $2.

For getting a good school report $5.

Total owed: $17.

His mother looked at him, who was standing there with expectation. Memories flashed through her mind. Then she picked up a pen, turned over the paper he had written on, and wrote:

For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me, No Charge.

For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you and taken care of you, No Charge.

For all the problems and troubles that you’ve caused through the years, there is No Charge.

When you add it all up, the cost of my love is No Charge.

For all the nights that were filled with fear and for the worries I knew were ahead, No Charge. For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping up your nose? There is No Charge. And when you add it all up, the full cost of real love is, No Charge, Son.

When her son finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight up at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you..” And then he took the pen and in great letters he wrote, “ PAID IN FULL.”