The List You’re On

I had to say goodbye to someone. You know I hate goodbyes, so I struggled with what I needed to say to him. But at the same time I discovered something special about how I feel about people and myself.

The following is taken, in part, from the note I just emailed to him:

It’s the thing about caring for people. They get into your life, sometimes briefly, and manage to become a part of who you are. Not all people, but those special individuals who arrive unexpectedly and linger there.

How does it happen?

They are the ones who, the first time you meet them, touch you in such a way that they leave an imprint on your heart. They are the people you look for and hope to meet along the way. They make the journey easier. Some become close friends and share everyday happenings in your life. Others just pass through leaving behind bits and pieces of who they are.

Then there are those who are always there, but off in the distance somewhere within reach whenever you need them. You may only see them once in awhile, but when you do you are made better, lifted up, energized by the time you shared with them.

After reading this I thought about the many people in my life who fit into this group. I realized how many people I depend on each day, sometimes just to get through it. I am blessed beyond measure.

It also brought up this question…

‘Am I one of those people?’

Wouldn’t it be great if we could become more like the people we personally depend on?

Like the old, ‘If you want a good friend, be one.’ or, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’

Look at the people around you that you love and depend on daily. Make a list of all of the qualities they possess that you admire and value.

Now, take that same list and ask yourself, ‘I am I as good a person?’

Do you reflect those same qualities in the lives of others?

Now, ask yourself, ‘Whose list are you on?’

Prov 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Credit: Bob P.

*Thanks Bob!

 

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You’re Responsible

It’s been said that the line between childhood and adulthood is crossed when we move from saying ‘It got lost’ to ‘I lost it.’

Being accountable – and understanding and accepting the role our choices play in the things that happen – are crucial signs of emotional and moral maturity. That’s why responsibility is one of the main pillars of good moral character.

Many people have been seduced by the Peter Pan philosophy of refusing to grow up and avoiding the burdens implied in being accountable. Yes, responsibility sometimes requires us to do things that are unpleasant or even frightening. It asks us to carry our own weight, prepare and set goals, and exercise the discipline to reach our aspirations.

But the benefits of accepting responsibility far outweigh the short-lived advantages of refusing to do so. No one makes his or her life better by avoiding responsibility. In fact, irresponsibility is a form of self-imposed servitude – to circumstances and to other people.

Responsibility is about our ability to respond to circumstances and to choose the attitudes, actions, and reactions that shape our lives. It is a concept of power that puts us in the driver’s seat. The grand panorama of the potential of our lives can only be appreciated when we begin to be accountable and more God reliant (the strongest foundation of maturity and faith)

Responsible people not only depend on Someone bigger than themselves, but to show others that they can be depended on. This breeds trust, and trust is a key that opens many doors.

If you want more control over your life and the pleasures, prerogatives, and power of freedom and independence, all you have to do is be responsible.

God is watching too; so let’s make better choices. We are responsible not only for our rights and wrongs, but for others whom God puts in our path. Set a better example.

Be Afraid it Will Never Begin

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it’s harder every time.

You’ll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You’ll fight with your best friend.

You’ll blame a new love for things an old one did.

You’ll cry because time is passing and very fast for some, and you’ll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you’ll never get back.

Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Credit: Unknown

*Dedicated to Michael Pressley & Family (RIP)

Broke Eggs

SHARED STORY

. . . . with my sincere thanks to those late night pranksters!

On a recent Saturday evening at around midnight, my wife and I were just about to turn out the light and go to sleep when we heard the sounds of a group of people talking in the street, outside our home. Then out of the blue came two loud thuds above our bedroom window, followed by the noise of laughter and people running away down our street.

We both jumped out of bed, I turned on the external lights and rushed outside unsure of what had caused the two thuds or what damage I could expect to see. The silence of the night was broken by the distant sound of people laughing and at that moment I was of a mind to chase after them, however, running bare-footed on the road in the dark is not a very wise thing to do.

I could hear dripping noises on the driveway and the flood light above our garage helped me to identify just what had happened. Our home had been the victim of an egg bombing!

Being faced with the prospect of cleaning up this sticky mess in the early hours of the morning was not a pleasing thought, on top of which I was less than impressed that we had been singled out for this annoying prank. I decided that it was too late to clean up the mess, as it would disturb our neighbors, so it could wait to the morning.

Early next morning with a bucket of warm water and scrubbing brush in hand, and with the extension ladder placed on the front wall, I was now ready to wash off what was now two dry yellowish, egg grit impregnated, 1 meter long patches above our front bedroom windows.

My task was made even more challenging by the two large canvas awnings which protect our bedroom windows from the heat and glare of the afternoon sun. My annoyance with the late night pranksters was again building to the level of the night before.

After retracting each of the awnings, something we rarely do except when there is are very high winds, I then climbed the ladder to clean up the first patch of egg stain and then move the ladder to clean the second patch.

As I climbed the ladder for the second time, I noticed that the glass in a small window just under the roof line was very badly cracked. On closer inspection the crack ran around over half of the outer edge of the window pane. As the awning protected the window, it was clear to me that the damage had not been caused by the egg bombing. As I carefully placed my hand on the glass, I discovered that the pane of glass was very loose and had the window been closed with any force, it would have most likely shattered and the glass dropped to the drive way, some seven meters below.

Just a few meters away, we have a basketball ring and on most days of the week there are up to six young people who play in the immediate area, including both my sons. My thoughts immediately turned to what could have happened if the broken glass in the window had gone undetected for much longer and then suddenly shattered. The likelihood of my two sons and their friends being seriously injured was extremely high.

After quickly washing the remaining egg stain off the front wall and with the help of Tom, my youngest son, I got to work with some heavy duty masking tape and secured the cracked window as best I could. Within 24 hours the cracked window had been replaced and all was back to normal, except for the small bits of egg shell I kept finding on the front drive way and stuck to our garage doors.

Over the next few days, I realized that had our home not been bombarded by those eggs late on that Saturday night, I may not have discovered the broken window pane before it shattered and came down all over our drive way.

Even though it had been an annoyance at time, the broken eggs and the stains were cleaned up very quickly, however, the pain that could have been caused by the shattering of glass would never gone away and would have haunted my wife and myself, forever and a day.

The cold shudder that ran down my spine when I first discovered the cracked window and the thought about the consequences of someone being seriously injured or even killed, made me realize just how very lucky we had been.

Frequently in life, the small things that happen to us may have a negative impact and cause some form of pain, sadness, discomfort or personal aggravation. It is often said that we should not ‘sweat the small stuff’ and always look for the positive outcome or the silver lining in those dark clouds of the current circumstance, even though at the time that is not always an easy thing to do.

My personal experience with the egg bombing on that Saturday evening reminded me that in most cases there is always a flip side to everything that happens to us and that often the flip side can provide a positive outcome or an even greater benefit, if not now, then at some time in the future.

From now on whenever I see or break an egg, I will think of the egg bombing incident and say a thank you to those late night pranksters. Equally, I will always be reminded of Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote:

What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us

Credit: Keith Ready

 
Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Thanks Keith

The Optimist Creed

Promise yourself . . .

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Credit: Christian D. Larson –1912

-LOL! 😀

 

Forever (Recipe)

Gather all of the ingredients together, so that they are close at hand! Get a clean cloth and wipe the bowl clean of any lingering dust from the past.

Take maturity, respect (earned) and friendship, and stir gently.

Add unlimited amounts of compassion and kindness, and mix well.

To this, add caring by the handfuls and fold in trust.

Continue stirring gently, adding listening, honesty, and large amounts of communication.

Slip in some dreams, goals, and firm pieces of keeping promises.

Bake in a home filled with peace, beauty and serenity.

Before you taste the finished product, sprinkle liberally with patience, love, and a touch of spice.

Serve very hot, with imagination on the side.

Credit: Unknown

 

The Funeral

One day all the employees of a very unusual company reached their office and all saw a big sign on the main door which said this . . .

‘Yesterday, the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym.’

In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they started getting curious to know who was that person who hindered the growth of their colleagues and the company itself?

The excitement in the gym was such that security agents were ordered to control the crowd within the room. The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up.

Everyone thought – ‘Who is this person who was hindering my progress?’

One by one the intrigued employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it, they suddenly became speechless.

They all got to stand near the coffin, and all ended up shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see themselves! There was also a sign next to the mirror that said. . .

‘There is only one person who is capable of setting limits to your growth and IT IS YOU!’

Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your husband or wife changes, when your company changes, when your church changes, when your location changes, when your money changes, when your status changes . . .

No, your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs.

Examine yourself, watch yourself. Don’t be afraid of difficulties, impossibilities and losses. Be a winner, build yourself and your reality. It’s the way you face life itself that makes the difference.