God in all things

23 Mar

Practice before you advice

One day, an old lady came to Ramakrishna Paramahamsa with her 10 year old grandson. She prostrated before him and said: “Master! I have come to seek your advice. This boy is my grandson. He lost his father and mother when he was just a child of five. I have been taking care of him. He is very fond of sweets. He eats so much that his health is deteriorating day by day. The doctors have advised him not to eat sweets but this fellow does not pay any heed to their advice. However, he has great respect and admiration for you. So I have come to request you to stop the boy from eating sweets. I am sure, you alone can do this”. Ramakrishna said: “Mother, don’t worry, come with your grandson after a month. In the meanwhile I shall think of a plan to convince the boy that one’s health is very important, more important even than wealth”. The old woman thanked him and took leave of him.
She came with her grandson exactly after a month. Both of them paid their salutations to the master. Ramakrishna made the boy sit beside him and said: “My dear boy! Remember, one’s real wealth is health. Unless you take proper care of your health, you will not be able to grow into a strong and healthy young man. You will not be able to do anything great in life if you are weak. When something that we eat does not suit our constitution, we should give up eating that item. From tomorrow you should not eat sweets. After some time you may eat moderately. You are a nice boy and will listen to me, will you not?”. The boy nodded his head and promised that he would not eat sweets.
The old woman sent the boy on some errand just to have confidential talk with the master. “Master! May I ask you a question?” said the old woman. “Certainly mother”, replied Ramakrishna. “Master! This advice which you have given today to my grandson, you could have given last month itself. Why did you ask me to come again after a month? I don’t understand”. Ramakrishna replied with an understanding smile: “Mother! I myself eat lot of sweets. How can I advise the boy to do something that I am not doing myself? One has no right to preach anything to others before practising it himself. So I asked for some time. This one month I did not eat sweets. So I have earned the right to advise your grandson.” The old woman marvelled at the righteous conduct of Ramakrishna. She fell at his feet and took leave of him.
We should never advise anyone about anything which we ourselves have not put into practice.

09 Mar

Feathers from Heaven

In November of 2000, my brother was diagnosed with lung cancer in the final stages. My oldest sister took on the responsibility of his care. Each weekend I would drive the 300 miles to give her a break by going to the grocery store and pharmacy and helped to take care of our brother.One weekend, my sister in law told us that she would be fine with our brother for a few hours and for the three of us girls to go spend some time with each other.We went to lunch and then to the store. On the way back to my brother’s house, I asked my sisters to make a promise to me that whichever of us passed first, we would let the others know by giving us a sign. They agreed and we discussed what the “sign” should be.
The oldest, said how about turning on the lights but the middle sister said that would scare her. We laughed and finally decided on a white feather. It had to be some place that you would not expect to see it.We arrived back at my brother’s home, unloaded the car and settled down to listen to some music. I was sitting next to my brother’s hospital bed on one side and my sister in law was on the other side, my two sisters were on the sofa talking to each other quietly.
All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I see a WHITE feather floating from the ceiling. I thought that I was so stressed out that I was seeing things and I wanted desperately for my two sisters to quit talking and look my way so I could see if they saw it too! Keep in mind that my sister in law was not in the car with us so she did not know of our conversation. My sister in law must have seen the look on my face and she said “How odd, I wonder where that white feather came from.” Immediately, both my sisters stopped talking and started crying! I was too! We all hugged one another then told our sister in law what we had discussed and that we all knew that it was our mother sending us the sign, letting us know that she was with us.

08 Feb

A Letter to GOD:

Little Bobby came into the kitchen where his mother was making dinner.His birthday was coming up and he thought this was a good time to tell his mother what he wanted. Mom, I want a bike for my birthday. Little Bobby was a bit of a troublemaker. He had gotten into trouble at school and at home.
Bobby’s mother asked him if he thought he deserved to get a bike for his birthday. Little Bobby, of course, thought he did. Bobby’s mother wanted Bobby to reflect on his behavior over the last year. Go to your room, Bobby, and think about how you have behaved this year. Then write a letter to God and tell him why you deserve a bike for your birthday. Little Bobby stomped up the steps to his room and sat down to write God a letter.
************ **
Letter 1
Dear God,
I have been a very good boy this year and I would like a bike for my birthday. I want a red one.
Your friend,
************ **
Bobby knew that this wasn’t true. He had not been a very good boy this year, So he tore up the letter and started over.
************ **
Letter 2
Dear God,
This is your friend Bobby. I have been a good boy this year and I would like a red bike for my birthday. Thank you.
Your friend,
************ **
Bobby knew that this wasn’t true either. So, he tore up the letter and started again.
************ **
Letter 3
Dear God,
I have been an OK boy this year. I still would really like a bike for my birthday.
************ **
Bobby knew he could not send this letter to God either. So, Bobby wrote a fourth letter.
************ **
Letter 4
I know I haven’t been a good boy this year. I am very sorry. I will be a good boy if you just send me a bike for my birthday. Please! Thank you,
************ **
Bobby knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to get him a bike. Now, Bobby was very upset. He went downstairs and told his mom that he wanted to go to church. Bobby’s mother thought her plan had worked, as Bobby looked very sad. Just be home in time for dinner, Bobby’s mother told him.
Bobby walked down the street to the church on the corner. Little Bobby went into the church and up to the altar. He looked around to see if anyone was there.
Bobby bent down and picked up a statue of the Mary. He slipped the statue under his shirt and ran out of the church, down the street, into the house, and up to his room.
He shut the door to his room and sat down with a piece of paper and a pen. Bobby began to write his letter to God.
************ **
Letter 5

04 Feb


Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons from Arabia. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained.
Months passed and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.
The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch. Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself, “May be I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem.” So he cried out to his court, “Go and get a farmer.”
In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, “Bring me the doer of this miracle.”
The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, “How did you make the falcon fly?”
With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, ” It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting.”
We are all made to fly — to realize our incredible potential as human beings.
But instead of doing that, we sit on our branches, clinging to the things that are familiar to us.
The possibilities are endless, but for most of us, they remain undiscovered.

25 Jan

A Cup Of Coffee

It tells about how kindness can be shown to utter strangers without much effort.
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighbouring 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 there on 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. As soon as he left, the waiter pasted 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 the two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted 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 dust 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 well up with 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. Probably the most Beautiful Wall you may ever see anywhere….!!!

19 Jan

Conversation of the Flame

It was an unusually quiet night. Perhaps the new blanket of snow, the first of the season, had something to do with it… but none of the usual conversation was going on in the kitchen. The tea cups that loved to gossip about the day’s events were silent, and even the sink–whose habit it was to complain every night about the dishes left in it–had nothing to say. It was as though everyone was waiting for something to happen. Only what?
It was the candleholder that finally broke the silence. He was speaking to Ms. Wax–a part of the candle he was holding at the moment, and someone with whom he felt very close. He had always looked up to her as a consequence of their positions in life, but there was an edge to his voice that evening.
“Mind if I say something that’s been on my mind?”
“That’s never stopped you before!” said Ms. Wax, somewhat teasing him. Besides, she was grateful for the conversation. A moment or two went by without a further word from the candleholder.
An unusual tension came over the room.
“I’m all ears,” she said, thinking it would help break the ice. Besides, surely her quip would get a laugh. It had always been considered humorous among nonhuman beings to speak of themselves as having human features. Sure enough, a few chuckles came spilling out of the open cupboards above her; but the candleholder wasn’t amused.
“I’m quite serious,” he said a moment later. “There’s something that’s been bothering me ever since we were put together this way, and I have to get it off my chest.” A few more laughs came from distant corners of the kitchen, but so intent on his conversation was he that the candleholder didn’t even hear his own joke. And, for reasons unknown to himself, he fairly whispered what he had to say next.
“I’m jealous of the relationship you have with the flame, how you dance with it through the night so high above me. I have always wanted to know what it feels like to have it touch me the way it touches you.” He paused there to consider his condition, so as to be clear. Then he went on:
“The only relationship I have with the warmth and light of the flame is the little bit of it that spills over the edge of your body to reach mine.” He paused again–already uncertain whether he should have made this confession. So he waited for her to say something, but nothing came; the seconds that passed felt like an eternity. Surely, he thought to himself, I’ve made a fool of myself, but just as he was falling into a pool of dark thoughts her next words saved him.
“That’s so strange,” she said, “that you should tell me this now. You see I feel the same way that you do!”
“What on Earth are you talking about?” blurted out the candleholder, clearly irritated with her comment. “Every night you and Mr. Wick are joined together with the flame in a way I will never know. What can you possibly know of the isolation I endure down here below? I hold you both, and yet… I have no direct relationship with the flame as you do.”
“Oh,” sighed Ms. Wax aloud, “if only you knew.”
“Knew what?!” he retorted, growing even more impatient with her seeming insensitivity to his plight.

05 Jan

If You Love Her Enough

My friend John always has something to tell me. He knows so much that young men have to have older and worldlier wise men to tell them. For instance who to trust, how to care for others, and how to live life to the fullest.
Recently, John lost his wife Janet. For eight years she fought against cancer, but in the end her sickness had the last word.
One day John took out a folded piece of paper from his wallet. He had found it, so he told me, when he tidied up some drawers at home. It was a small love letter Janet had written. The note could look like a school girl’s scrawls about her dream guy. All that was missing was a drawing of a heart with the names John and Janet written in it. But the small letter was written by a woman who had had seven children; a woman who fought for her life and who probably only had a few months left to live.
It was also a beautiful recipe for how to keep a marriage together.
Janet’s description of her husband begins thus: “Loved me. Took care of me. Worried about me.”
Even though John always had a ready answer, he never joked about cancer apparently. Sometimes he came home in the evening to find Janet in the middle of one of those depressions cancer patients so often get. In no time he got her into the car and drove her to her favorite restaurant.
He showed consideration for her, and she knew it. You cannot hide something for someone who knows better.
“Helped me when I was ill,” the next line reads. Perhaps Janet wrote this while the cancer was in one of the horrible and wonderful lulls. Where everything is — almost — as it used to be, before the sickness broke out, and where it doesn’t hurt to hope that everything is over, maybe forever.
“Forgave me a lot.”
“Stood by my side.”
And a piece of good advice for everyone who looks on giving constructive criticism as a kind of sacred duty: “Always praising.”
“Made sure I had everything I needed,” she goes on to write.
After that she has turned over the paper and added: “Warmth. Humor. Kindness. Thoughtfulness.” And then she writes about the husband she has lived with and loved the most of her life: “Always there for me when I needed you.”
The last words she wrote sum up all the others. I can see her for me when she adds thoughtfully: “Good friend.”
I stand beside John now, and cannot even pretend to know how it feels to lose someone who is as close to me as Janet was to him. I need to hear what he has to say much more than he needs to talk.
“John,” I ask. “How do you stick together with someone through 38 years — not to mention the sickness? How do I know if I can bear to stand by my wife’s side if she becomes sick one day?”
“You can,” he says quietly. “If you love her enough, you can.”
- Written by Bill Walls

15 Dec

Running the Race

I was jogging one day and I noticed a person In front of me, about 1/4 of mile. I could tell he was running a little slower than me and I thought, good, I shall try to catch him. I had about a mile to go my path before I needed to turn off. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 yards behind him, so I really picked up the pace and push myself. You would have thought I was running In the last leg of London Olympic competition. I was determined to catch him. Finally, I did It! I caught and passed him by. On the Inside I felt so good. “I beat him” of course, he didn’t even know we were racing.
After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that I had missed my turn. I had gone nearly six blocks past It. I had to turn around and go all back. Isn’t that what happens In life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbours, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more Important?
We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our God given destinies. The problem with unhealthy competition Is that It’s a never ending cycle.
There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with better job, nicer car, more money In the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, etc. But realize that “You can be the best that you can be, you are not competing with no one.
Take what God has given you, the height, weight & personality. Dress well & wear It proudly! You ‘all be blessed by It. Stay focused and live a healthy life.

01 Dec

The Pastor and his son

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the Pastor and his eleven 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, “OK, 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. his eleven 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 door bell. 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 eleven 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* and 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. As the service began, he asked, “Does anybody have any 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, “No one in this church knows me. I’ve never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband 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 that 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 brokenhearted 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, for 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! The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that 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 Gospel 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 Gospel Tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn’t be needing them any more.
You see—I am now a Happy Child of the KING. 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 was not a dry eye in the church. And 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 his son 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 & honor for his son…. Except for One.
Our Father also allowed His Son 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.
Blessed are your eyes for reading this message. Heaven is for His people! Remember, God’s message CAN make the difference in the life of someone close to you.
“Faith is the affirmation and the act that bids eternal truth be present fact.” Coleridge

28 Nov

Mullah Nasrudin Created Truth

“Laws as such do not make people better,” said Mulla Nasrudin to the King; “they must practice certain things, in order to become attuned to inner truth. This form of truth resembles apparent truth only slightly.”
The King decided that he could, and would, make people observe the truth. He could make them practice truthfulness. His city was entered by a bridge. On this he built a gallows. The following day, when the gates were opened at dawn, the Captain of the Guard was stationed with a squad of troops to examine all who entered.
An announcement was made: “Everyone will be questioned. If he tells the truth, he will be allowed to enter. If he lies, he will be hanged.”
Nasrudin stepped forward.
“Where are you going?”
“I am on my way,” said Nasrudin slowly, “to be hanged.”
“We don’t believe you!”
“Very well, if I have told a lie, hang me!”
“But if we hang you for lying, we will have made what you said come true!”
“That’s right: now you know what truth is – YOUR truth!”

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