1. Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “It is not years that make souls grow old, but having nothing to love, nothing to hope for.” – Father Congreve
“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It’s that they can’t see the problem.” – G K Chesterton
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Unknown
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napoleon Hill
“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” – James Allen
“Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it immediately.” – Stephen R. Covey
“The older you get, the more you learn to see what you’ve been taught to see. When you’re a kid, you see what’s there.” – Steven Wright
“Many a true word spoken in jest.” – Unknown
2. On the Lighter Side
Unfortunately, getting a new passport required a new photo. As I handed my ten-year-old passport and the new picture to the clerk, I sighed. “I like the original better,” I told her.
“Trust me,” she said. “Ten years from now, you’ll like this one.”
Source: Mickeys Funnies, www.mikeysFunnies.com
3. Taking a Stand
The news is not all bad….
When Robert B. Rowling bought the Omni Hotel chain, he ordered the pornographic magazines pulled from his hotels’ gift shops and the pornographic films removed from the pay-per-view channels on the TVs in the hotel rooms. To do the latter, he had to switch movie-service providers and buy a new television for every room—some eighty-seven hundred sets! The change cost Rowling $4 million, including lost revenue.
But since the porn movies were yanked, occupancy has increased at the upscale hotels.
Charisma: “Signs of the Times,” Copyright © February 2001, Cited on www.sermons.com
4. Marriage—A Heart Warming Story
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.” She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. “I want a divorce.” I raised the topic calmly.
She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “Why?”
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “You are not a man!” That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy, but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me, her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.
When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more; she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that every day for the month’s duration, I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable, I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. “No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce,” she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, “Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms.” His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; “Don’t tell our son about the divorce. ” I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face; her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute, I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, “All my dresses have grown bigger.” I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me … she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry Mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms, I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.”
I drove to the office …. on the way I jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind. I walked up the stairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, “Sorry, Jane, I do not want to divorce my wife anymore.”
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. “Do you have a fever?” she said. I moved her hand off my head. “Sorry, Jane,” I said, “I can’t divorce my wife. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day, I am supposed to hold her until death do us part.”
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.
At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and said, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us part.”
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face. I ran upstairs only to find my wife in bed—dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we pushed thru with the divorce. At least, in the eyes of our son—I’m a loving husband … but almost too late.
The small details of our lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness, but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
Author Unknown. Submitted by Ed Bradley.
5. The Power of Worldviews
Dean Acheson said, “No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.”
Our enemies hold a worldview that is an ugly synthesis of Nazism and the most extreme reading of the Quran Trying not to offend such enemies by refusing to name them is the height of foreign policy foolishness and a flat refusal to think seriously about the power of worldviews.
– Chuck Coslon, BreakPoint July 22, 2010 www.breakpoint.org
6. Choose Caring Over Judging … Be sure to read the FOOTNOTE
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (680.1)
Every time my wife and I leave a Lakers game we’re confronted by half a dozen or more beggars with outreached cups. Usually we try to avoid eye contact and pass quickly—annoyed rather than moved. I’ve got lots of justifications for this callous indifference:
“It’s a scam.” “Surely, these people have other options to begging.” “They’ll probably use the money for drugs or alcohol.” “How can I give to one or two and not all of them?” “If I give tonight, will I have to give every other night?” “If I give money, I’ll just encourage more people to be beggars.”
When all is said and done, it’s a rather shameful exhibition of my ungenerous nature. Regardless of their character or hidden motives, these people are much less fortunate than I am. Why am I so unwilling to help? A dollar or two would be meaningful; $5 or $10 would be momentous.
The truth is, if every night I gave each one a dollar or even five, it wouldn’t affect my lifestyle one bit. I spend more than that on snacks and parking. If I made it a point to carry a bunch of ones and fives, I could, without fanfare, provide a little bit of peace or pleasure to people who need it much more than I.
As I write this, I am resolved to choose caring over judging. Yet there is a lurking self-doubt: Will I really follow through or just find more reasons not to help? Perhaps some of you are also willing to commit to kindness. If so, we can provide moral support for each other. Let me know what you think.
After all, our character is revealed not by our best intentions, but by our consistent actions.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
© 2011 Josephson Institute of Ethics; reprinted with permission. Michael Josephson, one of the nation’s leading ethicists, is the founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and the premier youth character education program, CHARACTER COUNTS! For further information visit www.charactercounts.org
FOOTNOTE: Joy, my wife, buys large pairs of socks, fills one with small self-opening cans of food, puts the other sock inside with the food, and keeps these in her car. When she sees a homeless person near our home, she stops her car and hands him a sock full of food. Then he has two new socks to help keep his feet warm. I need to go and do likewise.
7. Almost Persuaded
A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
“‘King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe’ Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.’”1
Brett Blair writes how “on January 23, 1909, a small invention played a crucial role in the lives of 1500 people. The New York-bound ocean liner, the Florida, rammed into the Republic. Jack Binns, the Republic’s new wireless radio man, reassembled his contraption which had been destroyed in the collision. He sent out distress calls for the next 12 hours until the crew and passengers were rescued in the dawn light of Sunday morning. Only a few died.
“Jack Binns became a national hero. He was given a ticker tape parade. Songs were written about him. He even testified before congress on the importance of regulating wireless technology on all ships. Congress listened politely but ignored his message. Binn gave up his quest, accepted no profit from his celebrity, and went back home to England to await reassignment. Three years later he received an assignment aboard a ship that he turned down. He had fallen in love and was soon to marry. The turned down assignment? The Titanic.
“It is now felt that Binn’s message was ignored because so few lives were lost on the Republic. It took tragedy on the scale of the Titanic for the importance of wireless to be understood.”2
King Agrippa was an almost-persuaded too—but lost. Be certain not to wait until it is too late to take heed of God’s warnings in the Bible. Be sure you have accepted God’s plan of salvation from a lost eternity. Whatever you do, don’t be an almost-persuaded.
For help be sure to read, “How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian—without having to be religious” at: http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for the many warnings in your Word, the Bible, telling me that I need to prepare for eternity and how to be saved from a lost eternity. Help me to be certain that I am prepared for life after death. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. Acts 26:27-28 (NKJV).
2. Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com, December, 2000.