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Challenge Of Commitment

Coping With Change

Find What You Expect

Forget Each Kindness

Gratitude Pays

Happiness Is Not...

Teenís Idea Of Happiness

Fear Of People

Missed Opportunity

Donít Panic

Baby Brought Peace

Challenge Of Commitment

Three military recruiters showed up to address high school seniors.
Each recruiter -- representing the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps -- was to have fifteen minutes.

The Army and Navy recruiters got carried away, so when it came time for the Marine to speak,
he had just two minutes.
He walked up and stood utterly silent for a full sixty seconds, half of his time.
 
Then he said this: "I doubt whether there are two or three of you in this room who could even cut it
in the Marine Corps.
But I want to see those two or three immediately in the dining hall  when we are dismissed
."
He turned smartly and sat down.

When he arrived in the dining hall, those students interested in the Marines were a mob.
The recruiter knew that commitment comes from appealing to the heroic dimension in every heart.

Coping With Change

Some people will do anything to avoid change.

Yet we all know that change is an  inevitable part of living.
All living things change.
We are not the same persons  we were last week.
And we'll be different next week.
The key to dealing with  change effectively isn't liking it, but understanding it.

Someone has said that the three most important rules in life are:
1. To go.
2. To keep going
3. To help someone else go.

It takes faith to see the  undeveloped butterfly in the caterpillar.
And it takes faith in ourselves to capture the vision of the people we'd like to be.

Look in your mirror and see  two people...the person you are today and the person you intend to become.

Find What You Expect

Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation's deserts.
All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for.
They thrive on that diet.

But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals.
Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants.

The vultures live on what was.
They live on the past.
They fill themselves with what is dead and gone.

But hummingbirds live on what is.
They seek new life.
They fill themselves with freshness and life.
Each bird finds what it is looking for.
We all do!

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Forget Each Kindness

Forget each kindness that you do as soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you the moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite, each sneer, whenever you may meet.

Remember every promise made and keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you aid and be a grateful debtor.
Remember all the happiness that comes your way in living.

Forget each worry and distress; be hopeful and forgiving.
Remember good, remember truth, remember heaven is above you.
And you will find, through age and youth, that many will love you.

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Gratitude Pays

Years ago a wealthy English family was entertaining friends at their home.

 As the children swam one ventured into the deep water and began to drown.
The gardner heard the other children screaming and jumped into the water and saved the child.
The youngsters name was Winston Churchill.

Deeply grateful to the gardner, the parents asked how they could ever repay him.
He hesitated, but then said "I wish my son could go to college comeday to be a doctor.

"He will" said Churchhill's parents. "We will pay his way."
Years later when Sir Winston was Prime Minister, he became ill with pneumonia.

The best physician the king could find was called to the bedside of the ailing leader.
His name Sir Alexander Flemming, the developer of penecillin and the son of that gardener
who long ago saved a drowning Winston.
Churchill later said, "Rarely has a man owed his life twice to the same person."

As believers we owe a debt of gratitude and service to the Lord because He made and He saved us.

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Happiness Is Not...

Where is Happiness?
Not in unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type.
He wrote: "I wish I had never been born."

Not in pleasure --
Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure, if anyone did.
He wrote: "The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone."
 
Not in money --
Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that.
When dying he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."

Not in position and fame --
Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both.
He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood, a struggle; old age, a regret."

Not in military glory --
Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day.
Having done so, he wept, because, he said,
"There are no more worlds to conquer."

Where, then, is happiness found?
The answer is simple: In Christ alone.

He said, "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man can taketh from you."
See: Eccl 2:10-11; Luke 10:20; John 16:20-22

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Teenís Ideal Of Happiness

A 15 year old girl wrote this letter to Dear Abby:
"Happiness is knowing that your parents won't almost kill you if you come home a little late.
Happiness is having your own bedroom.
Happiness is having parents that trust you.
Happiness is getting the telephone call you've been praying for.
Happiness is getting good grades, and making your parents proud of you.
Happiness is being a member of the popular circle.
Happiness is having parents who don't fight.
Happiness is knowing that you are as well dressed as anybody.
Happiness is something I don't have.

15 and unhappy.
"

A few days later there was a response to this letter by a 13 year old girl who wrote:

Dear Abby,

Happiness is being able to walk.
Happiness is being able to talk.
Happiness is being able to see.
Happiness is being able to hear.

Unhappiness is reading a letter from a 15 year old girl who can do all those things
and still says she isn't happy.

I can talk. I can see. And I can hear, but I can't walk.
13 and happy
.

The difference is being aware and grateful.

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You can't drown your troubles in a bottle.
Pills cannot pick up the pieces.
You can't chase away your sorrows by singing the blues.

If Joshua had panicked, the walls of Jericho would never have fallen.
If Caleb had panicked, he would never have said,
"Let's go up at once and possess it."

If David had panicked, he would never have fought Goliath,
and defeated the Philistines.
If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had panicked,
they would never have survived the fiery furnace.

If Paul and Silas had panicked, they would never
have had a prayer meeting in a Philippian jail at midnight.

If Jesus had panicked, He would never have said,
" Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."
If Jesus had panicked, you and I would still be lost and without hope.

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Baby Brought Peace

During the second world war, the Allied Army was advancing through France.
The Germans were making a last stand wherever they could.

During a night of heavy fog, the opposing armies moved very close to each other.
Only a long green meadow and one farmhouse separated them.

As dawn came, the fog lifted.
Bullets and bombs began to explode, and men began to die.
After a long period of severe battle the house in the green meadow was hit and began to burn.

Then someone whispered, "Look!"
It was unbelievable, but there was a small baby crawling across the field.

As the soldiers saw the child, the shooting stopped.
It became very still.
Every eye was on the baby.

Suddenly a soldier raised up from his position, ran out into the open, grabbed the baby up in his arms
and ran back to his line.

A great cheer went up on both sides, and a moment later, the bullets began to fly again.

The baby brought peace just for a moment.

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Fear Of People

Some years ago in Minneapolis about five o'clock in the afternoon, traffic was moving slowly
as people were going home after a day's work.
As the cars approached a railroad crossing, the red lights started flashing.
The cars stopped.

The train finally passed.
The lights kept flashing.
Everyone in the line saw the diesel train go past, and yet, the lights kept flashing.
Everyone became impatient.
They all sat on their horns.

What a racket!
You could almost here the hatred in the honking of the horns.
You could hear people shouting, "Go on. If you can't drive it, park it!"
You could feel the hatred with several blocks of cars honking and people shouting all at once.
But the lights kept flashing.

At the head of the line of waiting cars was an old gentleman.
He would pull up a little, and then, he would drift back.
He must have thought, "I can't cross those tracks with the red lights flashing."
He was in turmoil!

Everyone continued honking and shouting, so he pulled closer to the tracks.
Finally, he could stand it no longer.
Slowly, he drove his car up across the tracks.

When he got halfway, another diesel train came suddenly and hit his car.
The train tore the old car to pieces and scattered the body of the old gentleman all along the tracks.

One man who witnessed this said:
"There I sat looking at a man stepping out of this life into eternity.
I watched a man die.
I was too weak to start my car.
I watched him as he went out of this life into the next

Why? Because he was more afraid of people that he had never met; more afraid of people
he would never meet again, than he was of death and eternity.

Rather than displease the people behind him, he moved across the tracks to his death.

With his broken body and flesh scattered all around, the witness said:
"My goodness, can it be that a man would rather die than displease the people?  

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Missed Opportunity

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit,
stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the President
of Harvard's outer office.
The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard
and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge.

She frowned. "We want to see the president," the man said softly.
"He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped. "We'll wait," the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away.
They didn't.
And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore
she always regretted to do.
"Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him.

And he sighed in exasperation and nodded.
Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested
gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.
The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year.
He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed.
My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus
."

The president wasn't touched; he was shocked.
"Madam," he said gruffly, "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died.
If we did, this place would look like a cemetery
."
"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "We don't want to erect a statue.
We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard
."

The president rolled his eyes.
He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building!
Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs?
We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard
."

For a moment the lady was silent.
The president was pleased.
He could get rid of them now.
And the lady turned to her husband and said quietly,
"Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don't we just start our own?"
Her husband nodded.

The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.
And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California
where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard
no longer cared about.

Now that was quite a missed opportunity, wasn't it?

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