Story #1 of 8

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.  The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently. 

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

Author Unknown

Inspirational Story #2 of 8 - "We'll See"

Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn't have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field. 

One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, "Oh, what a horrible thing to happen." The farmer said simply, "We'll see." He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift. 

Everyone's reaction now was, "What a lucky man." And the farmer said, "We'll see." 

A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, "What a poor fellow!"

The farmer smiled and said, "We'll see."

Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, "What a fortunate man." 

The farmer said, "We'll see."

Later in the year, the farmer's young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, "What a shame for the poor boy."

The farmer said, "We'll see."

Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer's son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.

Everyone said, "What a fortunate young man."

The farmer smiled again - and said "We'll see."

Moral of the story: There's no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise. And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from.

As Fra Giovanni once said, "Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me... the gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence."

 - author unknown

Inspirational Story #3 of 8

The Lesson of Getting Up When You Fall Down

Bringing a giraffe into the world is a tall order. A baby giraffe falls 10 feet from its mother's womb and usually lands on its back. Within seconds it rolls over and tucks its legs under its body. From this position it considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from its eyes and ears. Then the mother giraffe rudely introduces its offspring to the reality of life. In his book, A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond describes how a newborn giraffe learns its first lesson. The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels. When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs. Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they'd get it too, if the mother didn't teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it. The late Irving Stone understood this. He spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, and Charles Darwin. Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives of all these exceptional people. He said, "I write about people who sometime in their life have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished and they go to work. "They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified, and for years they get nowhere. But every time they're knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they've accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do." ~ Craig B. Larson Adapted from "Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching from Leadership Journal Baker Books

Inspirational Story #4 of 8 - "Acres of Diamonds"

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was too crowded.  "I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. 

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus. 

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kindhearted pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements. As her poor body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found whi
ch seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting, which read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School". 

For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. 

But the story does not end there! A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for 57 cents. 
Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends 

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300 and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday school building which houses hundreds of Sunday Scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. 

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr.Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds".  A true story, which goes to show what God can do with 57 cents.

Inspirational Story #5 of 8- "The Rescuing Hug"

This is a picture from an article called, "The Rescuing Hug." The article details the first week of life of a set of twins. Apparently, each were in their respective incubators, and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two had an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby's heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal.

They both survived, and are thriving! In fact, now that the two girls are home, they still sleep together, and still snuggle.  The hospital changed their policy after they saw the effect of putting the two girls together, and now they bed multiples together. 

Ensign magazine May '98 pg. 94
Adapted from the Readers Digest article "A Sister's Helping Hand" May 1996 Pp. 155-56

Have you hugged someone today?

A DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION FOR HUGGING:

by Mark Katz, M.D.,  "How important are hugging and physical and emotional contact for people affected by life - threatening illnesses? In my work, I have found that people who receive nurturing maintain a better outlook on their situation -- and historically, positive attitude is an important factor in long-term survival. Hugging and physical contact make a difference in a person's frame of mind, and may help their medical condition. Best of all, hugging has no side effects and does not require a trip to the doctor.

"I recommend at least one hug a day."

Inspirational Story #6 of 8

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often? When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror.  The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand. Bob?  Bob from church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. 

A Christian cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow. Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd never seen in uniform. 

"Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this." 

"Hello, Jack." No smile. 

"Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids." 

"Yeah, I guess." 
Bob seemed uncertain. Good. 

"I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the rules a bit-just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. "Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?" 

"I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct." 

Ouch! This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics. "What'd you clock me at?" 

"Seventy-one. Would you sit back in your car, please?" 

"Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65." The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket. "Please, Jack, get in the car." 

Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door.  Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn't he asked for a driver's license? Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. 

A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window with just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip. 

"Thanks." 
Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice. Bob returned to his car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. He unfolded the sheet of paper. 
How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. 
What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. 

Jack began to read: 

"Dear Jack, 
Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when 
killed by a car. You guessed it - a speeding driver. A 
fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. 
Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only 
had one, and I'm going to have to wait until heaven 
before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I've 
tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought 
I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now.  Pray for me.

 And be careful. My son is all I have left. - Bob" 

Jack...twisted around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared.   A full 15 minutes later, he, too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived. Life is precious. Handle with care.  ~ Author Unknown

("Be a patient and sober driver.  The number of loved ones killed by impaired or drunk drivers is alarming.  I am an advocate for the mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving." to increase awareness and improve policies." - Jewel Diamond Taylor)

 

Inspirational Story #7 of 8

A long time ago God had a great many burdens that He wished to have carried from one place to another on Earth.  He asked the animals to lend a hand, but all of them had excuses for not helping: the elephant was too dignified; the lion, too proud; and so on...

Finally the birds came to God and said, "If you will tie the burdens into small bundles, we'll be glad to carry them for you.  We are small, but we would like to help."

So God fastened upon the back of each bird a small bundle, and they all set out walking across the plain to their destination. They sang as they went, not minding the weight of their burdens at all.  Every day the burdens seemed lighter and lighter, until the loads seemed to be lifting the birds, instead of the birds carrying the burdens.

When they arrived at their destination, they discovered that when they removed their loads, there were beautiful wings in their place.  Wings that enabled them to fly to the tree tops and soar through the sky, closer and closer to God.

The burdens we carry for others, as well as ourselves, become wings of the spirit, lifting us to new places and bringing us closer and closer to God.

May you always Soar
in spite of your Burdens!

Inspirational Story #8 of 8

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.
He was given a slingshot to play with 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,

it 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."

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 everyday thereafter:  
Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done -- 
and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, debt, fear, hatred, anger, unforgiveness, 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.
Go ahead and make the difference in someone's life today.
Share this with a friend and always remember... 
God is at the window!
 
author unknown
submitted by Sharon Coles, White Dove Ministries

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