Monday, July 23, 2012

An unemployed graduate

An unemployed graduate woke up one morning and checked his pocket. All he had left was $10. He decided to use it to buy food and then wait for death as he was too proud to go begging. He was frustrated as he could find no job, and nobody was ready to help him.
He bought food and as he sat down to eat, an old man and two little children came along and asked him to help them with food as they had not eaten for almost a week. He looked at them. They were so lean that he could see their bones coming out. Their eyes had gone into the socket.
With the last bit of compassion he had, he gave them the food. The old man and children prayed that God would bless and prosper him and then gave him a very old coin.
The young graduate said to them "you need the prayer more than I do".
With no money, no job, no food, the young graduate went under the bridge to rest and wait for death. As he was about to sleep, he saw an old newspaper on the ground. He picked it up, and suddenly he saw an ad vertisement for people with old coins to come to a certain address.
He decided to go there with the old coin the old man gave him. On getting to the place, he gave the proprietor the coin. The proprietor screamed, brought out a big book and showed the young graduate a photograph. This same old coin was worth 3 million dollars. The young graduate was overjoyed as the proprietor gave him a bank draft for 3 million dollars within an hour. He collected the Bank Draft and went in search of the old man and little children.
By the time he got to where he left them eating, they had gone. He asked the owner of the canteen if he knew them. He said no but they left a note for you. He quickly opened the note thinking it would lead him to find them.
This is what the note said: "You gave us your all and we have rewarded you back with the coin" Signed God the Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. 1 Kings 17:10-16; Matthew 11:28-30
Have you given all to Jesus Christ? If you haven't, do so today and he will surprise you.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sandpiper To Bring You Joy

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me.
She was building a sandcastle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.
"Hello," she said.
I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.
"I'm building," she said.
"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not caring.
"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by.
"That's a Joy," the child said.
"It's a what?"
"It's a Joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."

The bird went gliding down the beach. "Good-bye joy," I muttered to myself, "hello pain," and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance.
"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."
"Mine's Wendy... I'm six."
"Hi, Wendy."
She giggled. "You're funny," she said.
In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.
"Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."
The days and weeks that followed belong to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. "I need a sandpiper," I said to myself, gathering up my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared.
"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"
"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
"I don't know, you say."
"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.
The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
"Then let's just walk." Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.
Strange, I thought, in winter. "Where do you go to school?"
"I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on vacation."
She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.
"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today,"
She seems unusually pale and out of breath. "Why?" she asked.
I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, my God, why was I saying this to a little child?
"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and-oh, go away!"
"Did it hurt? " she inquired.
'Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.
"When she died?"
"Of course it hurt!!!!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.
"Hello," I said. "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was."
"Oh, yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please accept my apologies."
"Not at all -- she's a delightful child," I said, suddenly realizing that I meant it. "Where is she?"
"Wendy died last week," Mr. Peterson. "She had leukemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. My breath caught.
"She loved this beach; so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly." Her voice faltered.
"She left something for you ... if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something, anything, to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope, with MR. P printed in bold, childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms.
"I'm so sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," I muttered over and over, and we wept together.
The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color of sand-who taught me the gift of love.

NOTE: The above is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. "The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less." Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas, can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a monetary setback or crisis.
This weekend, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment, even if it is only ten seconds, and stop and smell the roses.

The Power of Your Actions

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friend the following afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him, and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye.
I handed him his glasses and said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.
He looked at me and said, "Hey, thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. It turned out he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before coming to this school.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Damn boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!". He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.

When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class.

I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day arrived - I saw Kyle and he looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him!

Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach... but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."

I stared at my friend in disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Keep Your Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a
terminal illness and had been given three months to
live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she
contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to
discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told
him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what
scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she
wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing
to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered
something very important to her. "There's one more
thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very
important," the young woman continued. "I want to be
buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not
knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you,
doesn't it?" the young woman asked. "Well, to be
honest, I am puzzled by the request," said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told
me this story, and from there on out, I have always
done so. I have also, always tried to pass along its
message to those I love and those who are in need of
In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I
always remember that when the dishes of the main
course were being cleared, someone would inevitably
lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my
favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish
apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance.

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket
with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder
"What's with the fork?" Then I want you to tell them:
"Keep your fork...the best is yet to come."

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he
hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be
one of the last times he would see her before her
death. But he also knew that the young woman had a
better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better
grasp of what heaven would be like than many people
twice her age, with twice as much experience and
knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young
woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing
and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over,
the Pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?"
And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the
conversation he had with the young woman shortly
before she died. He also told them about the fork and
about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the
people how he could not stop thinking about the fork
and told them that they probably would not be able to
stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it
remind you ever so gently, that the best is yet to
come. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make
you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an
ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want
to open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much
you care. Remember to always be there for them, even
when you need them more. For you never know when it
may be their time to "Keep your fork."

Cherish the time you have, and the memories you
share... being friends with someone is not an
opportunity but a sweet responsibility. Send this to
everyone you consider a FRIEND even if it means
sending back to the person who sent it to you.

And keep your fork.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Story of a Boy Who killed a Duck

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck.

Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved.

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper."

Sally just smiled and said," Well that's all right because Johnny told me He wanted to help." She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's he finally couldn't stand it any longer.

He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."

Thought for the day and every day hereafter?

Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) ...whatever it is....You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing..... He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.

He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.

The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets.

It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Last Wish of a Cancer Patient

“You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be."
Chuck Palahniuk

Doug and Margaret Nichols have faced their share of obstacles. After
surgery for colon cancer in April 1993, Doug sat across from his
doctor and listened in disbelief. "I'm sorry, Doug," said the doctor
nervously, "but you do have a 30 percent chance of recovery."

"You mean I have a 70 percent chance of dying?" Asked Doug, with a

"I wouldn't put it that way," said a surprised doctor. "But my best
estimate is that you have about three months to live."

"Well, let me tell you something, Doc," said Nichols. "Whatever
happens, I have a 100 percent chance of going to heaven."
One year later radiation and chemo treatments had left Doug's body
wracked with pain. Though he kept his humor well-oiled, both Doug and
Margaret knew the end might be near. But their world was not the only
one collapsing. Nightly news reports from Rwanda indicated that civil
war had spiraled out of control and more than a million people had
been slaughtered, many by their own neighbors and trusted friends. The
carnage was beyond belief. Terrified Rwandans by the thousands had
fled across the border into Zaire and crowded into filthy, ill-
equipped refugee camps, where diseases such as cholera found a ready
home. People were dying everywhere-50,000 in three days alone in the
little town of Goma. As Margaret and Doug read the terrible accounts
and saw the images on TV, their hearts were broken. But what could one
couple do?

"I knew I was going to die," Doug told me, "but I wanted to do
something before leaving this earth. I just wanted to hold some of
those children in my arms and try to offer hope."

Soon Doug found himself traveling with a team of people in medical scrubs, the  doctors and nurses in scrub tops and scrub pants through the heart of Rwanda, with no idea of the adventure that lay

A Rwandan Christian leader whom Doug had worked with before had hired
300 refugees as stretcher bearers to bury the daily masses of dead and
transport the sick so doctors could do their best. One day the leader
approached Doug with an expression of deep concern. "Mr. Nichols," he
said, "we have a problem."

"What is it?" Doug asked.

"I was given only so much money to hire these people, and now they
want to go on strike."

"What? In the middle of all this death arid destruction these men
to go on strike?"

"They want more money."

"But we have no more money," Doug informed him "We've spent
everything. If they don't work, thousands will die."

His friend shrugged his shoulders. "They're not going to work. They
want more money."

"Well, can I talk to them?"

"It won't do any good. They're angry. Who knows what they'll do?"

Finally Doug's friend agreed. Walking over to an old burned-out
building, Doug climbed the steps wondering what on earth he could say.
Three hundred angry men surrounded the Rwandan who would act as
interpreter. "Mr. Nichols wants to say something," he called above the
clamor as Doug desperately searched for words that would get through
to them.

"I can't possibly understand the pain you've experienced," Doug
"and now, seeing your wives and children dying from cholera, I can
understand how that feels. Maybe you want more money for food and
water and medical supplies for your families. I've never been in that
position either. Nothing tragic has ever happened in my life that
compares to what you've suffered. The only thing that's ever happened
to me is that I've got cancer."

He was about to go on when the interpreter stopped. "Excuse me," he
said, "did you say cancer?"


"And you came over here? Did your doctor say you could come?"

"He told me that if I came to Africa I'd probably be dead in three

"Your doctor told you that and you still came? What did you come for?
And what if you die?"

"I'm here because God led us to come and do something for these people
in His name," Doug told him. "I'm no hero. If I die, just bury me out
that field where you bury everybody else."

To Doug's utter amazement the man began to weep. Then, with tears
flowing down his face, he turned back to the workers and began to
preach. "This man has cancer," he told the crowd, which suddenly grew
very quiet. In Rwanda, cancer is an automatic death sentence. "He came
over here willing to die for our people," the interpreter continued,
"and we're going on strike just to get a little bit more money? We
should be ashamed!"

Suddenly men on all sides began falling to their knees in tears. Doug
had no idea what was going on because no one had bothered to
translate. To his great embarrassment, one fellow crawled over and
threw his arms around Doug's legs. Dumbfounded, Doug watched as people
stood to their feet, walked over to their stretchers, and went quietly
back to work.

Later, as the interpreter recounted the whole story, Doug thought to
himself, What did I do? Nothing. It wasn't my ability to care for the
It wasn't my ability to organize. All I did was get cancer. But God
that very weakness to move the hearts of people.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Doctor's Story

A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away."

Some years ago when I was working in the summer as a CTA passenger bus driver in Chicago to help pay my way through college, an elderly lady, as she was about to alight from my bus, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Young man, you're a millionaire." That was news to me, but then after a pause, she added, "You've got your health."

How right she was. Good health is worth much more than a million dollars and is something many of us can have more of if we really want to. Not everybody, however, really wants to be well. As Dr. Parker points out, some people fashion "imaginary illnesses or disorders in an unconscious attempt to get attention or to escape responsibility."

Another wise man with lab coats said, "Peace doesn't come in capsules." In other words, while we are extremely grateful for modern medical science with all its help and alleviation of human suffering, the greatest source of health and healing still doesn't come out of test tubes or the pill bottle.

According to Dr. S. I. McMillen, author of the book, None of These Diseases, one of the major causes of sickness in our society is emotional stress. Dr. McMillen stated, "Medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Estimates vary from 60 percent to nearly 100 percent."

"Fatal heart attacks can be triggered by 'anger in all degrees, depression, and anxiety,' according to Dr. Roy R. Grinker, [formerly] one of the medical directors of Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. This man in solid scrub tops states that anxiety places more stress on the heart than any other stimulus, including physical exercise and fatigue."

Stress in small amounts is often necessary and helpful, but continued stress is damaging. If, for example, you were being chased by a tiger, your God-given emotion of fear would trigger your adrenal glands releasing sudden energy into your blood stream to help you escape. Your hurried escape would also burn up any excess adrenalin. If, however, the "tiger of stress" keeps on chasing you and you can't get away, the chemical balance of your body is upset and trouble results. Too much adrenalin for too long can cause "high blood pressure, arthritis, kidney disease, and hardening of the arteries."

"Other glands are also affected. Simple nervousness in speaking before a public audience is sufficient to cause the salivary glands not to function properly and one's mouth can become very dry.

"Emotional stress can influence the amount of blood that flows to an organ. Embarrassment can cause the blood vessels of the face and neck to open up to produce blushing, and the emotions of anxiety or hate can so increase the amount of blood within the rigid skull that headaches and vomiting result."

I have read, too, that emotional stress can also cause ulcers, rheumatic fever, coronary thrombosis, frigidity and impotence, alcoholism, epilepsy, diabetes, obesity, constipation, diarrhea, hives, hay fever, asthma, back trouble, rheumatic arthritis, polio, many infections, glaucoma, skin diseases, hemorrhoids and many other sicknesses. It also affects the tension of muscles, which can cause severe headaches and muscular pain.