Archive | June 2, 2013

The Bridge

bridge1_wireThere was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.

 A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come; he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.

 He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.

 Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. “Daddy, where are you?” His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, “Run! Run!” But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety.

 But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed.

 They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

 Now if you comprehend the emotions which went through this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ?

Photo credits : http://www.bethebridgemeck.org

 

Hope

 

shining_hopeIf you can look at the sunset and smile, and find beauty in the colors of a small flower, then you still have hope.

If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly, and if the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope.

If you can see the good in other people, and if the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep, then you still have hope.

If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder, and if the soft fur of a favored pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips, then you still have hope.

If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism, and if you give people the benefit of the doubt, then you still have hope.

If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life, and if receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise, then you still have hope.

If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and frustration, and if you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, and then you still have hope.

If you look forward to a time or place of quiet and reflection, and if you still watch love stories or want the endings to be happy, then you still have hope.

If you can look to the past and smile, and when faced with the bad, when told everything is futile, you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase … ‘yes, but ….’ Then you still have hope.

Hope is such a marvelous thing. It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides, but rarely does it break. It sustains us when nothing else can. It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we’d rather give in.

Hope puts a smile on our face when the heart cannot manage. Hope puts our feet on the path when our eyes cannot see it. Hope moves us to act when our souls are confused of the direction.

Hope is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and nurtured and something that will refresh us in return. It can be found in each of us and it can bring light into the darkest of places. So never lose hope.

Photo credits : http://www.hiringforhope.org

 

5 Things About Selfish People

selfishHave you ever made plans with someone, you were looking forward to it all week, and then (at the last minute), they cancelled on you? They just dropped you. Maybe it was because something came up, or they were just too tired, or they didn’t realize it was the season finale of their favorite show. Has this ever happened to you? More importantly, have you ever done this to someone else?

Let’s be honest, we all have selfish tendencies. It is human nature to look out for our own interests and put ourselves first; to want the best for “me” and to, subsequently, think first about “myself & I”. The tendency to occasionally have a selfish thought or to casually dismiss or minimize someone else’s feelings does not make someone a selfish person. It makes them human.

What makes a person selfish is when these tendencies go beyond occasional and end up being a consistent pattern that demonstrates a disregard for others. Whether you know selfish people or you are a selfish person, it is important that you seek to understand the profile of selfishness.

Now, here is what I want you to understand about selfish people:

1. Some selfish people are outright bad or evil – Yes; selfish people are protecting themselves and dealing with deep-rooted hurt and pain. However, some of them are willfully and intentionally seeking ways to destroy other people. They find pleasure (immense pleasure) in causing harm to others. They want others (they want you) to fail.

2. All selfish people are not bad people – Some selfish people are not necessarily always out to destroy you. They are more in for protecting and providing for themselves. Unfortunately, their focus on self can leave others behind and hurting.

3. Selfish people are not always the problem – We attract people (and types of people) into our lives for a certain reason. If you keep ending up with selfish people around you… Then you must consider that self (you) is a part of the problem. You must ask yourself… “Why am I attracting or attracted to people who exercise selfish tendencies?” Many times, you may find out that it’s because of your own hurt or pain… trying to surround yourself with selfish people for something you think you can *get* out of the situation. If that’s the case, then you are also displaying a level of selfishness.

4. Selfish people don’t change overnight – Selfishness is not something that has a quick fix. Learning to be selfless requires acknowledgement, change, healing, and growth. It also requires a level of transparency. A selfish person who is genuinely interested in changing will be honest about the challenges they are facing as they seek to grow.

5. Selfish people don’t always know they are selfish – There are some selfish people who, actually, start out with the best intentions. They put their needs and desires aside (almost sacrificially) for the greater good of others. However, when it comes to taking action, their fears and trust issues make it difficult for them to just let go. So, they respond by being controlling and, sometimes, sabotaging situations. They rationalize their actions by saying they were protecting themselves and others from harm or danger. However, the truth of the matter is, they were afraid to move forward and they projected that fear onto others. They took away the choice for everyone else to execute on what had been planned out.

Cited from Knowledge4life, http://quentinmccall.com

Photo credits : quentinmccall.com

Burning Hut

burning hutThe only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

http://www.motivateus.com

Photo credits : lindseyvanniekerk.blogspot.com

$20 Bill

20 dol bilA well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.

He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. “Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.”My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.”

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.

Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us, “as the apple of His eye.”

THOUGHT: The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we are but by WHOSE WE ARE! You are special – Don’t ever forget it!

Photo credits : ourhouseonhurleyave.blogspot.com