Coffee On The Wall

coffee on the wall

I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town of Venice, Italy, the city of lights and water.

As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, “Two cups of coffee, one of them for the wall.”

We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two.

When he left, the waiter put a piece of paper on the wall saying “A Cup of Coffee”.

While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he put a piece of paper on the wall saying, “A Cup of Coffee”.

It was something unique and perplexing for us. We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.

After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man poorly dressed entered. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, “One cup of coffee from the wall.”

The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity. The man had his coffee and left without paying.

We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the trash bin.

Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes swell up in tears.

Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted. He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him… he only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.
Moral of the story?

This true story should give you many things to think about. What we do in secret for the Lord will be rewarded openly. It’s better to give than to receive. As these people saw in this coffee shop; we can bless others without ever anyone knowing. We don’t need to advertise. The opportunity will come along.

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” Matt. 6:4

alms– noun; 1.
(in historical contexts) money or food given to poor people.

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Don’t Hope,….Decide!

dont hope decide

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.

For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?

Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

Two days?” I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me.

I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling.

He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed a smile, shook my hand and said, “God bless!”

 

New School Prayer

new school prayer

Back in 2001, February 20th to be exact, a friend of mine and my wife’s, a student named Leslie M. (16 yrs. old ) handed me this “New School Prayer” on notebook paper. I found it here recently and thought I might share it.

P.S. : I’m certain many here have either heard or seen a version similar to this one. Hope you like this version. It says a lot about some children and the parents who make them go to such places that prohibit God from being a part of a child’s life. I can only imagine (and have seen some already) the repercussions it may have in giving into such rules for us and our children. Something to consider. Nothing here to debate. Law is established in most government controlled schools, this also includes most colleges. “…ofthestory.”
Since the pledge of allegiance and
the “Lord’s Prayer” are not allowed
in most public schools anymore
because the name of “God” is mentioned,
a kid in Arizona wrote this new school prayer:

‘Now I sit me down in school
where praying is against the rule,
for this great nation under God
finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
it violates the Bill of Rights,
and anytime my head I bow
becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
that’s no offense, it’s a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise,
prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall might offend someone
with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate.
God’s name is prohibited in the State.

We’re aloud to cuss and dress like freaks,
pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They’ve outlawed my prayer, but first the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen
and the “unwed Daddy“, the Senior King,
it’s”inappropriate” to teach right from wrong.
We’re taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls
study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles,
but the Ten Commandments are not allowed.

It’s scary here I must confess,
when chaos reigns, the school’s a mess.
So, Lord this night a plea I make,
should I be shot; my soul please take.’

Amen.

That Little Girl

that little girl

Have you ever not wanted to do something so badly that you would rather die than go and do it? Well that’s how I felt about joining Madcaps and volunteering at Saint Vincent De Paul Homeless shelter.

But now I believe that you should have an open mind to things because in the end you might just end up enjoying it.

It’s a waste of time”, I said when my mom told me I had to join Madcaps, a mothers and daughters club assisting others in helping the less fortunate, and then when she told me I had to volunteer at a homeless shelter I thought this just could not get worse.

We got there late, of course, and walked to the dirty homeless shelter, a security guard lead us to the kitchen where we ran into my five fellow Madcaps class of 2012 mothers and daughters. Since I’m usually so socially awkward I had met only one person at the pool party, earlier this year. I looked around for her but she was not there. I was alone!

When the head of the kitchen came out and asked for 3 mothers to work outside the kitchen to clean up the plates and silverware, my mom just so happened to volunteer, leaving me to serve food with people I had never met before.

Soon the homeless families started to walk in and a little girl, around 5 years old, walked up and pointed to the food I was handing out. I handed her the cold sandwich, wrapped in the sticky plastic, she nodded in a form of saying thanks, and then walked to join her family at the large table.

As she walked away I thought of how much I had. I get to go to one of the top schools in San Diego, I have a great house by the water, and I have a warm meal every night. Then I thought of how little she had. She probably didn’t go to school, and this is where she sleeps and eats every day. It took that little girl to make me realize just how blessed I am, and what a blessing I need to be.

After that moment I had a change of heart. Now, I love Madcaps and don’t miss one meeting, I have gotten over being socially awkward and now have many friends, who I hang out with on a regular basis. And this year I am sure I will be the one volunteering for special duties.

I believe that if you have an open mind about things you can learn a lot about yourself and the people in your community, you can make new friends and realize just how blessed you are and what’s more, just how much others need you to be there for them. I believe that if you have an open mind to things you can accomplish more and become a better rounded person. I believe you can make a difference just by doing one thing you don’t want to do.

True Story

1 Tim 6:17-19  “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

The Last Cab Ride

THE LAST CAB RIDE

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

Nothing,” I said.

You have to make a living,” she answered.

There are other passengers.”

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

A true story

How about you? Do you have any beautiful moments?

Face Difficulties Positively

face difficulties2

This parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule.

The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule praying or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together, told them what had happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, HE WOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!

This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up!” He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!

It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him actually helped him . . . all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

THAT’S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity we can rise up out of the deepest holes!

face difficulties1

Face difficulties in a wise and positive way and you’ll come out on top!

Questions And Your Answers

questions_and_answers

When you have a little spare time to think, review these interesting and thought provoking questions!

1. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

2. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

3. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

4. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

5. Does love equal sex?

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

9. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

10. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

11. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

12. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

13. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

14. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

15. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

16. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?

17. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

18. If you had all the money in the world but still had to have some kind of job, what would you choose to do?

19. When you’re 90 years old, what do you think will matter most to you?

20. What do you regret most so far in life?

21. If you were at Heaven’s gates, and God asked you “Why should I let you in?”, what would you say?

22. What small thing could you do to make someone’s day better?

23. What impact do you want to produce in the world?

24. When was the last time you tried something new?

25. What life lesson did you learn the hard way?

26. What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?

27. What is the difference between living and existing?

28. If not now, then when?

29. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?

30. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

31. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

32. Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?

33. What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?

34. Have you ever regretted something you did not say or do?

35. Why do we think of others the most when they’re gone?

36. Is it more important to love or be loved?

37. If you knew God was returning tomorrow, what would you try to accomplish?

38. Can there be happiness without sadness?

39. What’s the one thing you’d like others to remember about you after they meet you for the first time?

40. Is there such a thing as perfect?

41. What does it mean to be human?

42. Are you happy with yourself?

43. Can you think of a time when impossible became possible?

44. How do you spend the majority of your free time?

45. How have you helped someone else recently?

46. What did you learn recently that changed the way you live?

47. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?

48. What will you never do?

49. In your lifetime, what have you done that hurt someone else?

50. When was the last time you were nice to someone and did NOT expect anything in return for it?

Some people never ask these questions. Possibly it’s because they don’t really have any of the answers; or, they are afraid of what might really be the truthful answers. I’m not sure where I found these questions- I didn’t write them. I did tweak them a tad’. However, I too asked myself these very same questions. What happened you ask? Well, my perspective for the rest of the day changed. Like many of you who will dare to read (all) these questions, most will have quick answers may be like I did when I first read them. But if you really kicked back and “thought” about them: 1) Your answer might change. And 2) Your answer might just change from a “yes” or “no” answer to a full blown paragraph.

It’s obvious you don’t have to post any answers here for me, as these Some questions ( mostly) are private inward thought answers for yourself. But I do recommend you take time and write down the ones that “really” gave you room to ponder and then think about how your answers will change your perspective on life and how it just might change the lives of those around you in a good way. – “ofthestory.”

P.S. Print this off and pass it around….Hint: Get them to write there answers down and compare them to your wrote down answers. Talk about removing boredom off the menu! LOL…