Friday, October 30, 2009

An Experiment in Trust ~ Would You?

A student left a camera on a picturesque mountaintop in Snowdonia in an experiment into human trust.

Paul Bellis Jones, 24, left a note with the camera near the summit of Mount Tryfan, instructing walkers to take a picture then leave it for the next person.

He was keen to know if the camera would be returned to his home in Glan Conwy, near Llandudno, as per his instructions, of if it would be stolen instead.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Deepest Love Lasts A Lifetime!

I wanted to share a story I came across yesterday although the author is unknown but the message is so beautiful I had to share it with you.

A humble, kind young man fell hopelessly in love at first sight with a lovely young woman. Though they were friends, she hardly took notice of his love for her because the man's face was horribly scarred. Months and then more months passed. The man sent declarations of his love to her, but each time his words were gently declined.

One sunny fall day, as the leaves on the trees were just beginning to change into glorious colors, they walked together in the park. The man asked the young woman, "Do you believe that marriages are made in heaven?"

She was caught off guard, and after a few minutes she answered, "Why yes. Do you?"

The man replied, "Most certainly. In heaven, you see, at the birth of each boy, God chooses which girl he should marry and also what afflictions we must overcome to bring forth the beautiful character He has put within us."

Looking deeply into the face of his beloved, the man continued, "When I was born, God pointed out my future bride." With tears in his eyes he said, "But her appearance was to be marred at birth. 'God.' I pleaded, 'let her be beautiful, I beg you. Give me the scars instead.'"

There was a stunned silence as she, for the first time, looked past his scarred face into the kindest, gentlest, and most loving eyes she had ever seen. The glory of revelation filled the young woman's soul as she had flashing glimpses of the marriage to be, which was once designed in heaven.

True love comes from the heart. Look past every outward appearance and find the treasure of pure character hidden deep within. There can be much more to a person than meets the eye. You'll find it when you seek the depths of another's soul by sharing you own.

Today's Tip: Call your significant other and let them know just how much they mean to you. Offer to take them to lunch, make them dinner, or even enjoy a hot cup of cocoa later as you sit by the fire. Don't take love for granted!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What a Wonderful World!

I got this in my email today and thought I would share it since it goes perfectly with everything this blog is about. I hope it truly touches you and warms your heart.

I hear some actors keep a sad thought or memory tucked away to help them with scenes where they might need to cry. I think we should each try to find the opposite; a happy memory, something to lift us up on those inevitable down days. I’m saying this because I think I just found mine!

I had some work in Glasgow today. I was on a really tight schedule, which meant I would have no time for myself (or my own work) all day. I was having one of those days, the train was completely packed out and the conversation going on around me seemed to be particularly inane. On top of all that, I had a bit of a headache.
Walking briskly across the concourse, I fished some change from my pocket. There was usually someone at the exit selling The Big Issue (a magazine that helps homeless folk earn a living).
As the crowd parted ways at the bottom of the concourse, I saw someone selling the Big Issue. You had to be homeless to sell the Big Issue. She really looked like she’d been sleeping rough. Her clothes were ragged and she obviously hadn’t had a scrub up for quite a while.
As I approached the exit, I saw that she was also rocking from side to side. At first I thought maybe she was trying to keep warm against the biting wind. But she wasn’t, she was moving in time to a tune. I couldn’t hear her, but I could see her lips moving.
As I got closer, I saw a white cane hanging from her elbow and noticed that she had sunken eyes. She was blind, dirty and living on the streets. I came closer and through the noise of the traffic and the commuters I heard her sing the immortal line, “… and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!”
I bought her last magazine for twice what I’d originally intended. She thanked me, then she picked up her stuff and went tapping off along the pavement - still singing!
So, I have my happy memory for the day. And I think it will stay with me a long, long time. Feel free to borrow it if you like.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

True Story of Blogger's ARK

I wanted to share this story from one of my followers whom I absolutely love and adore, LaVoice from Thoughts from Meme's Corner. I am always looking for things you can share with me or events that have either happened to you or from you to inspire and show the world, there is still good in the world today. Here is the story I got yesterday from LV, please enjoy!

Hello Kat,

After reading your post today, as I said on my comment, I think you will enjoy this story. It is very true.

Back in 2006 ,as you will see, my sister and I were having lunch at a nice tea room. Most every Saturday, that is our quality time together. We always bless our food before eating. After we were finished eating, I asked the waitress for our check and she informed us it had been paid for. In turn, she handed me the attached note from a complete stranger. The person that wrote this did not wish us to know who it was. However, later we did learn it was a young lady that we did not know or she know us. I was so impressed and touched, I have kept this letter in my bible. I hope the attachment turns out where you can read it.

Best wishes,

Today's Tip: Wave at the kids in the cars you pass! It completely makes their day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Picking Up the Tab

I happened across this in my email this morning and thought it fit right into our random acts of kindness. I wanted to share it with all of you.

"I was sitting in Billy's Downtown Diner one morning. While eating my breakfast, I had been fretting over the rising cost of tuition and housing at college. I kept dwelling on how it was affecting my mood, and how it was making me unhappy. Then, it came to me: perhaps my plight should be the means for someone else's happiness. I noticed a mother and daughter sitting across the way from me. I went up to the waitress and asked for their check as well as my own. I headed for the counter, and paid for their meal. I didn't bother to stick around for any sort of reaction. I was so excited and had such a great feeling that my legs were shaking. I would just like to think they were able to enjoy the surprise." --KindFool

Today's Tip: Do something nice for someone. Give a flower to a neighbor, make your significant other a cup of coffee or even pay for someone's else's tab! Today with so many hurting, you will make a difference.

NOTE ~ ARK UPDATE: We donated my oldest daughters dresser to the first person to come by and pick it up in front of our house. We could have sold it at our yard sale but since we have been talking so much about ARK lately in our house, we thought we would bless someone instead. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, she just wasn't using it any longer. Within 30 minutes our neighbors across the street came over with a dolly and took it away. They couldn't believe we were just giving it away. What a nice way to bless the neighbors!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dad Fixes Everything!

I just wanted to share this very heartwarming video with all of you. Even though we may not have our earthly fathers any longer, we can still reach out to the people in our lives that offer this same kind of love and support.

Today's Tip: Call Someone Just Because...see what a difference it makes in their life today!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Positive Thinking

I loved this. It came in my email this morning and love some of these quotes contained within the video. Enjoy!

Today's Tip: Take your neighbors trash can in on trash day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inspiration and Change for the Day!

Inspiration of the Day:

Sometimes, we get the most from giving without receiving. In Mali, villagers have embraced this idea for centuries in their vibrant gift economy, called 'dama'. It encourages Malians to maintain social connections with family, friends, and complete strangers, by providing goods and services with no expectation of a return gift. Instead, the villagers understand that a gift will be "paid forward," and that the individual sacrifice will make the community as a whole stronger and better connected. In a nation where the government provides minimal services, Mali's dama protects the poor and the sick, helping those ignored by a traditional economy. Read more about the success of this gift economy.

Today's Tip: Be The Change: Give a gift to a stranger without expecting anything in return.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Going the Extra Mile!

Here is a great good news story, and I hope you all enjoy it!

For Brian Tapp, not even having a horror day could overcome his bowerbird instincts. Driving along Alison Road in Randwick last month, the 59-year-old florist was contemplating failure: evicted from his Clovelly shopfront that morning, he was transferring some effects to his base in Kingsford. As he passed the entrance to Randwick Racecourse, Mr Tapp noticed something on the road. He pulled over. It was 10.15am. His day was about to change.

Adam Morison's day was about to change too, but he didn't know it yet. If anyone in eastern Sydney was feeling worse than Mr Tapp it was Mr Morison, who had arrived at Sydney Airport at 10am for a noon flight to Bali. As he got out of his car, he went into a panic: he did not have his wallet, his passport, his money or his itinerary. "I was gutted," he said. "The surfing holiday was over before it had started."

Mr Tapp has been a self-described bowerbird for years. ''I just like picking things up. Sometimes they're things that you can't find their owner, like a silver Parker pen I found 30 years ago. But twice I've found mobile phones on the street and located their owners. One was very grateful. She'd been having a fight with her boyfriend and he'd chucked it out of the car.''

This time, he found "a wallet waiting to be run over" on six-lane Alison Road, a passport and travel itinerary. Before looking inside the wallet - "I didn't even count the money" - Mr Tapp read the itinerary. "The first thing I noticed was that the owner of the passport was on a flight leaving at midday. It was 10.15 when I found it, and I just thought, 'This bloke's going to be at the airport in a bit of a state. So I'll see if I can find him.'" He went to a phone box - not to change into his cape, but to call the airline on the itinerary.

Mr Tapp told Pacific Blue, which did not have Mr Morison's number, that he would drive to the airport. Pacific Blue called the wife of one of Mr Morison's travelling partners, who in turn called him. By then Mr Morison was despondently retracing his earlier journey, contemplating the end of his holiday and the loss of passport, credit cards, other valuables and a substantial amount of cash. "I was just thinking, you idiot. I'd been looking forward to the trip so much that in my excitement I must have left my wallet and passport on the roof of the car."

About 10.30, he received a call telling him that a bearded Good Samaritan had saved his day - if he could get back to the airport in time. Mr Tapp said: "I'd pulled up in the departures area and put my hazard lights on. I was looking at the time, thinking this bloke's going to miss his flight." At 10.45, Mr Morison arrived to the vision of "this angel with a beard. I still can't believe it. I'm a perfect stranger, and he's having a shocking day, yet he's picked up my passport, my wallet, all my stuff, found a way of contacting me, and has gone out of his way to make sure I get my flight."

Yet Mr Tapp's work wasn't finished. After thanking Mr Tapp and trying to gather himself to check in, Mr Morison realised some cash and cards were missing. "Don't worry," Mr Tapp said. "I'll find it." So, while Mr Morison raced to board his flight, Mr Tapp drove back to Alison Road. "I found the money, a Medicare card, a MasterCard, and his barrister's identification card. Amazingly, they were still lying on the road."

While Mr Morison flew out, still unable to believe his luck, Mr Tapp delivered the lost effects to Mr Morison's home. "It's what I'd expect anyone to do," Mr. Tapp said. "I'm a person who really hates losing things, so I can put myself in the place of the owner." Beyond that, he has no real explanation for his altruism: no firm religious or ethical practice, no moralising. "It's just the way I was brought up, I suppose."

Mr Morison has been doing his best to drum up business for Mr Tapp. In the four weeks since the incident, Mr Tapp says business has improved. "That's not why I did it anyway. I just know how much I hate losing things."

The Sydney Morning Herald
September 26, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tell Me A Story...

by Charles R. Swindoll

Matthew 13

Stories transport us into another world. They hold our attention. They become remarkable vehicles for the communication of truth and meaningful lessons that cannot be easily forgotten. If a picture is better than a thousand words, a story is better than a million!

Some of the best stories are those spun from everyday life or from our past. Family histories are held together and handed down from generation to generation in stories. And these strong cords of memory actually become the ties that bind.

Biographies drip with interesting accounts worth passing on. For example, Human Options by the late Norman Cousins is a treasure house of his recollections, impressions, and encounters distilled from his dozen or more trips around the world. He calls it an "autobiographical notebook."

Stories, real and imagined, told with care and color, can say much more than a planned speech. It is probably not surprising, then, that the use of story was Jesus' favorite method of preaching: "he did not say anything to them without using a parable" (Matt. 13:34, NIV).

In fact, I've never heard a great preacher who couldn't tell a good story. Woven into the tapestry of the strong message is the ability to communicate solid stuff through an attention-getting story.

Had I lived in Spurgeon's day, I would no doubt have subscribed to his material. He published one sermon per week for every year of his ministry, from 1855 until his death in 1892. So prolific was this prince of the pulpit, that at his death there were still so many unpublished Spurgeon sermons, they continued to be printed at the same rate for twenty-five more years. Many include wonderful, memorable stories.

Are you interested in getting truth to stick in your child's head? Use a story.
Can't seem to penetrate your teenager's skull? Try a story.
Need a tip for making your devotional or Sunday school lesson interesting? Include a story.
Want to add some zest to your letter-writing ministry? A brief story will do the trick.
Want to learn how to tell them so folks will stay interested? Listen to Paul Harvey.

Best of all, read your Bible. His Story is one you won't be able to put down.

Grandparents (and parents, too) need to be reminded that our little ones love to hear about how it was and what it was that brought us to this moment.
Tell your stories!
Consider recording them or writing them down for future generations.

Today's Tip: Take time to read and share a story with your family or a little one!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Your Time... It's all that matters!

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.

Today's Tip: Make Time for Your Kids! It's the only thing they want the most from you. If you don't have kids, do something for a child today!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Laws of the Lighthouse

Laws of the Lighthouse
by Max Lucado

The first of the year is known for three things: black-eyed peas, bowl games, and lists. Some don't eat black-eyed peas. Others hate football. But everybody likes lists.

The Bible certainly has its share of lists. Moses brought one down from the mountain.

There are lists of the gifts of the Spirit. Lists of good fruit and bad. Lists of salutations and greetings. Even the disciples' boat got into the action as it listed in the stormy Sea of Galilee. (If you smiled at that, then I've got a list of puns you'd enjoy.)

But the greatest day of lists is still New Year's Day. And the number one list is the list I call the Laws of the Lighthouse.

The Laws of the Lighthouse contain more than good ideas, personal preferences, and honest opinions. They are God-given, time-tested truths that define the way you should navigate your life. Observe them and enjoy secure passage. Ignore them and crash against the ragged rocks of reality.

Smart move. The wise captain shifts the direction of his craft according to the signal of the lighthouse. A wise person does the same.

Herewith, then, are the lights I look for and the signals I heed:

-- Love God more than you fear hell.
-- Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
-- Make major decisions in a cemetery.
-- When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
-- Succeed at home first.
-- Don't spend tomorrow's money today.
-- Pray twice as much as you fret.
-- Listen twice as much as you speak.
-- Only harbor a grudge when God does.
-- Never outgrow your love of sunsets.
-- Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
-- 'Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of scrutiny.
-- God has forgiven you; you'd be wise to do the same.
-- When you can't trace God's hand, trust his heart.
-- Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
-- Don't feel guilty for God's goodness.
-- The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
-- Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
-- Live your liturgy.

To sum it all up:
Approach life like a voyage on a schooner. Enjoy the view. Explore the vessel. Make friends with the captain. Fish a little. And then get off when you get home.

Today's Tip: Donate unused books to a library or church bookstore.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Looking for The Silver Lining

One of my most favorite things about the rain is when there is a break in the storm and the sun begins to shine, you get to see the most fabulous promise of God. I remember seeing one so brilliant it looked almost glow in the dark with all the brilliant, bright colors. However just when you attempt to capture that one film, it never does come out quite like you are seeing it.

We have to care enough to look for the beauty in each day, search for the good, and rejoice in the best. If we don't, we'll miss it, as I might have missed the rainbow that day. It will pass us by and may be lost to us forever.

Though the sky may be rainy and the sun hidden from view by dark clouds, there are still treasures to be discovered. Do not give in to weakness and weariness - rise in your strength. Remember, the rainbow is a symbol of the promise of God. He gave it to Noah as a promise never to destroy the earth by flood again, as we read in Genesis 9:13-17.

God's Word is full of promises, so lift your eyes and look for the rainbow. It will brighten your heart, dry your tears, and restore your faith.

Here is the key. Get into the habit of looking for the silver lining of the storm clouds and focus on the beauty of life and you will surely find it. Don't let anyone else put blinders on your soul. Don't be discouraged, no matter how distressed you are or how confusing things appear to be. Look for the rainbow. Your sorrow will vanish deep in the center of each gorgeous hue.

Stop telling God how big your storm is; instead, tell your storm how big God is! Say aloud the following scriptures verses: "My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19 NKJV); or "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 NKJV); or "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid...for the Lord, your God, He is the One who goes with You" (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV).

The bigger you make God, the smaller your problems become. Each promise is a rainbow designed from the heart of the Fathers' love, and that love is always with you, whatever the circumstances may be.

He will take you by the hand, stand by your side, and see you through difficult times. How wonderful it is that we can look to a loving Father who will take care of us.

Trust Him, enjoying each day; and look ahead, expecting wonderful things to materialize. God has an assignment for you to accomplish. He is a miracle worker, and He know what He is doing. "I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." Psalm 16:8 NLT.

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather someone with a certain set of attitudes. Continually look up to God. Happiness is being aware of His great love for you. Cheerfulness is a natural attribute of that awareness.

You have the ability to choose your response in any given situation. Nothing of value in life ever comes easily. Life is a testing time. You can never pass the test without studying the Book and knowing the promises. Believing in them will get you an A+.

God has given you the extraordinary power to choose the way you think, act, and achieve. Trust in the goodness of God. A strong, faith-filled, optimistic outlook will help you feel better through a medical crisis, whatever the physical outcome.

Whatever we do...everything is going to turn out great! Now that is true optimism.

Today's Tip: Encourage a friend, a loved one or family member that is feeling down and out. Help them to look for the rainbow today.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Handy Little Chart?



You say: 'It's impossible'
God says: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)

You say: 'I'm too tired'
God says: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: 'Nobody really loves me'
God says: I love you
(John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

You say: 'I can't go on'
God says: My grace is sufficient
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: 'I can't figure things out'
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5- 6)

You say: 'I can't do it'
God says: You can do all things
(Philippians 4:13)

You say: 'I'm not able'
God says: I am able
(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: 'It's not worth it'
God says: It will be worth it
(Roman 8:28 )

You say: 'I can't forgive myself'
God says: I Forgive you
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: 'I can't manage'
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: 'I'm afraid'
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: 'I'm not smart enough'
God says: I give you wisdom
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: 'I feel all alone'
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

God determines who walks into your's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.'

Father, God, bless all my friends in whatever it is that you know they may need this day! And may their lives be full of your peace, prosperity and power as they seek to have a closer relationship with you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What is the Cost of a Smile?

My 8-year-old daughter is experimenting with kindness and smiles. She has been making her own colorful smile cards in all the colors of the rainbow and often takes them to school or stuffs her pockets with them when we go out to run errands. She makes them very carefully and takes great pride in her work :)

Last Sunday, I took the kids grocery shopping with me. My daughter packed her pockets with about 20 of her homemade smile cards. She was hoping to see John, who is an elderly man who gives out samples. We see him from time to time and he is so happy and friendly, that we can't help feeling good talking to him. John wasn't at the store on Sunday, so my daughter decided that it would be a good idea to distribute her smile cards to all the store's other employees.

As much as I have taught her about stranger danger, I have also talked to her about strangers being potential friends. So, after asking my permission, she proceeded to give her smile cards to various store employees. In the produce department, she gave a card to a young man who asked her where she found it (unsure what it was) and she told him she had made it and she hoped it would make him smile...and he smiled at her and thanked her. She came across an older gentleman who was shopping and looking rather grumpy and impatient...and she snuck a card into his cart on top of his groceries, remarking to me later that he looked at her suspiciously as if she was dumping trash in his cart. We talked about how when he saw what it was, he might smile and feel happier.

The biggest lesson I think she got from our shopping trip came when she had run out of cards. She was walking by a woman with two babies in her cart, the babies were fussing and she was looking tired. My daughter smiled at her and the young mother smiled back. That's when a light bulb must have gone off in my daughter. She came to me and said, "Mom, I just realized something. You don't need cards to make someone smile, all you need to do is make eye contact and smile into their eyes and they will smile back."

What a beautiful lesson my daughter reminded me of. It is so easy for us every day to make eye contact with people we pass on our travels and smile. To make a joke or offer a friendly word or two to the person pouring your coffee or driving the bus or to just say hello to a stranger...and you are never too young (or old) to experiment with kindness and smiles :)

Author: Unknown

Today's Tip: See how many people will smile back if you smile at them! It's makes all the difference in the world and the cost is FREE!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No Place for Islands

No Place for Islands
by Charles R. Swindoll

Romans 15:1-7

Nobody is a whole chain. Each one is a link. But take away one link and the chain is broken.

Nobody is a whole team. Each one is a player. But take away one player and the game is forfeited.

Nobody is a whole orchestra. Each one is a musician. But take away one musician and the symphony is incomplete.

Nobody is a whole play. Each one is an actor. But take away one actor and the performance suffers.

Nobody is a whole hospital. Each one is a part of the staff. But take away one person and it isn't long before the patient can tell.

Cars are composed of numerous parts. Each one is connected to and dependent upon the other. Even if a tiny screw comes loose and falls out of the carburetor, it can bring the whole vehicle to a stop.

You guessed it. We need each other. You need someone and someone needs you. Isolated islands we're not. To make this thing called life work, we gotta lean and support. And relate and respond. And give and take. And confess and forgive. And reach out and embrace. And release and rely.

Especially in God's family . . . where working together is Plan A for survival. And since we're so different (thanks to the way God built us), love and acceptance are not optional luxuries. Neither is tolerance. Or understanding. Or patience. You know all those things you need from others when your humanity crowds out your divinity.

In other words:

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. (Romans 12:10-13 NLT)

Why? Because each one of us is worth it. Even when we don't act like it or feel like it or deserve it.

Since none of us is a whole, independent, self-sufficient, supercapable, all-powerful hotshot, let's quit acting like we are. Life's lonely enough without our playing that silly role.

The game's over. Let's link up.

Today's Tip: Do something nice for a friend, an unexpected phone call, an invite to coffee or lunch or even a card in the mail. Something in your mailbox besides bills is a welcome surprise! Surprise someone today!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do Unto Others

Do Unto Others

My mother through her fine example instilled within me the desire to help others. She taught me to notice those who others ignore. She was compassionate.

The railroad tracks were within a mile of our house. "Beggers" and "Bums" (as they were known) frequently would knock on the doors in our neighborhood in the summer asking for food. They were often turned away or rebuked. Others simply ignored the knocks.

My mom always went to the door smiling. She would invite them to stay and have something to eat. She would have me open up the card table and carry a chair out onto the covered side porch. There was a nice view into the flower gardens, and it was cool even on the hottest days.

She would bring a red and white checkered tablecloth and set the table as carefully as she did for any company. She would pour their coffee and pile their plate with food and dessert. Usually she sent a packed lunch with them when they were ready to go too. Sometimes she would take the newspaper to those who asked about work.

She listened to those who wanted to talk. She never asked what led them to be in this predicament. It did not matter. She saw only the need. Some thought she should not extend this courtesy. She would say, "In the depression when my father was scouring around for ANY work to feed us, thoughtful people fed him. I am just repaying their kindness. I cannot offer them money, but I can see they do not leave hungry and discouraged."

My mom was quite a lady.

Today's Tip: Give an extra hug and kiss to your family today! Let them really know what they mean to you, never assume that they know. Tell them!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Good Manners

It appears in today's society we have all forgot the simple thing known as good manners. Saying thank you when someone does anything for you, letting drivers over who are in need of a lane change, allowing an elderly person to sit while you stand, saying grace over meals no matter how small or where they come from. Just these simple gestures go so much further in today's world. Let us not forget to keep them close to our heart and remember to use them as much as we can.

Today's Tip: Hold the door open for someone. Say thank you for any thing you receive today!

Don't forget to share your Acts of Random Kindness with us today. It doesn't have to match todays idea or tip. Just let us know how a simple difference went a long way to someone today!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Got Optimism??

Have a wonderful Saturday and enjoy the day with your family and friends!

Today's Tip: Go play with your kids today, whether catch, baseball, board games or even video games, make their day!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Prediction

This was something I found that was fun to do. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to pass it along to anyone you like! Have a wonderful, blessed, and Fun Friday!

Today's Tip: Leave your waitress a little extra than you normally would despite the service. Let your tip bless her in many more ways!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's a Plane! It's Superman, No It's Geese in V Formation!

Do you wonder why geese fly in a "V" formation? They fly in a V formation to help one another. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates strength for the bird closely following. The flock of birds gains greater flying strength by flying together, because each goose gets help from the previous one. And they do not get as tired flying in a group. They also encourage each other by their honking. What a lesson we can all learn from watching a flock of geese in flight!

In the seventeenth century, poet Thomas Stanley wrote his definition of success: "To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded."

If we make it our goal to live lives of caring, compassion, and unconditional love, the world then becomes an opportunity to create joy. A great friend reminded me of a saying: "I went outside to find a friend and could not find one there. I went outside to be a friend and friends were everywhere." Let us bring our own individual sunshine wherever we go.

With a smile, stop for a moment and hold the door open for the person behind you. And do more than take bouquets of flowers to patients in a hospital. Sit down, take their hand, and say a prayer with them for a quick recovery.

Maybe you can mentor a young person, be a loyal friend, or volunteer for a worthy cause. Perhaps it's offering an inspiring word or letting someone know you believe in him or her. Give a genuine compliment, a smile, and a word of praise to those you meet along the way. Focus on the positive. Say something especially nice to the checkout person at the grocery store. Offer to carry a senior's groceries to his or her car.

Every day, let us show sincere love and appreciation to those around us, for that is what God wants us to do. God uses us to carry out His will, and one of the closest things to God's own heart is our acts of helping one another, for we are all His children.

We can never do wrong by being good to others. Therefore, let us choose to focus on the theme Live to Give. Each morning, ask God to direct you to someone who needs your encouragement or assistance. Declare today, "I will be a light for others, and when they come into contact with me, I will do whatever I can to brighten their day."

Give anything and everything, whether it is time, money, a prayer, a hug, or a considerate word. It doesn't matter what the gift is; what matters is how much of ourselves goes into what we give.

Look around you, and you'll find that there's a wonderful source of goodness in the universe, for we have been chosen to speak the reassuring word, to solve the problem, and to soothe the soul. True caring, kindheartedness, and love never fail. We may not see it outwardly or instantaneously, but a tiny seed of the love of God within us has been sown, and it will reap a great transformation, turning our lives and the lives of others into a beautiful, blessed experience.

Today's Tip: Return your shopping cart to the return cart area and make someone's job of bringing them in for the convenience of the shoppers that much easier!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Got $5.00?

What can you do with five bucks to make someone's day? Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine or a payphone. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Leave flowers in front of someone's house. Bake cookies for your neighbors. Put quarters in the laundry machine for the next person. Send cards with beautiful messages to anonymous people. Leave chocolate on the desk of your co-workers. Treat someone to a cup of their favorite coffee.

These are just some wonderful ways to make $5.00 count in someone's life today!

Today's Tip: When someone is trying to make a lane change in front of you, let them in and smile!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Deer in the Headlights

Ever wonder where the expression of deer in the headlights comes from? It happens on a dark highway where deer are know to pass along the road. Every now and then a car will happen upon a deer standing in the middle of a roadway. Since the deer isn't use to seeing headlights, they will stand in the middle of the road staring at it, wondering just what that is. They will remain that was as if frozen even if it means getting hit by a vehicle.

Yet that is exactly the very sitchiation we all find ourselves in. No, I did not mis-spell situation. A sitchiation is a situation that's gotten out of control. It's when you know you need to do something to get out of a jam, but you don't have the foggiest idea how to go about making a change. So you see the deer on the roadway we stuck in a sitchiation. If the deer could talk, it might be saying to himself, "I always forget what to do next when I see headlights."

In the Christian life we are prone to numerous headlight staredowns. We look at lists of 'requirements' for being a useful soldier in God's army and we are left paralyzed. But if we remember that Jesus' assignment is to do a small thing, we are liberated from our sitchiations to step out and make a difference. We need to take on the more productive role of servant warriors.

Below is a classic example of one way to become a servant warrior and make a difference in the world, one act of random kindness at a time.

The Escalator

I was returning from another business trip, heading to my car. A five-year-old boy stood at the top of the escalator. At first, I thought he was just playing, but as I got closer, I realized his Mom was half-way down the escalator. She thought he was right behind her and his little sister. When she turned around and saw her son there, she started pleading with him to get on the escalator. He just shook his head no.

So I said "Want some help?" He nodded his head yes, and took my hand. We held hands all the way down the escalator. He told me that he liked the moving sidewalks, but didn’t like escalators…they are pretty scary. There was a relieved Mom at the bottom. My kids are grown now, but I still remember those frantic days with multiple small kids, and was glad for the opportunity to provide a little relief.

Today's ARK tip: Hug your Mother. Phone Your Mother. Write to Your Mother. Love Your Mother.

Don't forget to share what ARK you completed today with all of us big or small, it all counts to God. Let us in on what you did, how it made you feel and how it impacted someone else.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Old Fisherman


Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the Clinic.

One summer evening as I was preparing supper, there was a knock at the door I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. 'Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old, ' I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.

But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, 'Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the Eastern Shore, and there's no bus 'till morning.'

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. 'I guess it's my face. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments. .'

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: 'I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.' I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. 'No thank you. I have plenty' And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with thanks to God for a blessing He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded, and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said,”'Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.' He paused a moment and then added, 'Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind.' I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 a.m. , and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. 'Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!'

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice but oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, 'If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!'

My friend changed my mind. 'I ran short of pots,' she explained, 'and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.'

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. There's an especially beautiful one,' God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. 'He won't mind starting in this small body.'

All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'

Friends are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care.

Tip for the Day: Reach out to a friend today. Share a conversation or a cup of coffee. Let them know how much they really mean to have them in your life.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

by Clara Wersterfer

The men were there every day, sitting on the porch or steps of the defunct pool hall.

The deserted building sat on a corner where two streets met and formed a Y. There was a front porch with an old bench and a couple of chairs. There were four or five men who played dominos or cards, or at times were whittling on a block of wood, shaping it into a toy for a child.

They nodded or waved to most people who passed by. I don't know why they were referred to as the "boys who sat on the corner" since most of them were at least 40 or 50 years old.

One day, I asked my mother why they were always there. She explained it was because they had no jobs and no place to go. One was called Blackie due to his jet black hair, black eyes and dark skin. He had the build of a boxer -- wide shoulders and muscular arms. Mom said he was almost full Cherokee.

Blackie lived with his widowed mother. He hunted and fished now and then, went to visit relatives in Cherokee and lived on a pension.

Then there was Lonnie. He had served his country during WW I. Wounded in France he had never recovered enough to hold a job. His lungs were damaged from some kind of gas, so mom had heard.

Lonnie lived with his sister and her family. He also received a small government pension.

Another regular was Jesse. He really was the only boy in the bunch. Jesse might have been 20 years old. Jesse was an albino. His hair was snow white with skin that matched. Jesse had pink eyes and wore heavy glasses, which magnified his pink eyes showing them quite large. When the sun was on him, his ears looked pink also.

Jesse was tall, but stooped like an old man. He was capable of working and sometimes helped in the neighborhood if someone was building or working on the yard. Jesse lived at home with his folks who supported him.

The fourth regular was Tom Bell. That was his first and last name and everyone called him Tom Bell. It was "Good day, Tom Bell" or "Where are you going, Tom Bell?" Tom Bell was afflicted with palsy or some disease that caused him to shake. His head and hands shook and he sort of stumbled when he walked. Tom Bell lived at home with his wife who worked at Mae's Diner.

Most people called this quartet of men misfits, idlers, lazy and no good.

That is, until the day there was a car accident right there on the corner.

One of the cars ran a stop sign and rammed the other car. A man was alone in one car and uninjured. A couple with a 6-year-old boy was in the other car. The child was bleeding badly from a cut on his head.

The men rushed to the cars and immediately started helping. Tom Bell fumbled a handkerchief from his pocket and held it to the boys wound to stop the flow of blood. Jesse ran quickly to his home a few doors down the street to use the phone to call an ambulance.

The lady had hit the dashboard and her nose and mouth were bleeding profusely. Lonnie turned her head to one side and using his fingers pulled the broken teeth from her mouth to prevent her from choking. He held her head up slightly to stop the blood from filling her throat. His time in the military served him well.

Blackie's strong arms was able to extricate the father from behind the crushed steering wheel and allow him space to breathe. By the time the ambulance arrived a large crowd had gathered.

The ambulance people commended the men for helping the family and remarked they may have saved all three lives.

There was a nice write up in the local paper the next day. From that time on, everyone in the area looked on the "boys" with a lot more respect, waving to them and saying hello.

No longer were they called idlers or no good. Now they were called heroes. No one knows how many days they sat on that corner, just to be there the day they were needed to save three lives.

This confirms my belief that we are always right where God wants us to be.

Today's Thoughtful Tip: Since so many of us are organizing and putting away our summer things, perhaps you can gather together so extra blankets, jackets, and any old clothes you no longer need and drop them off at your local Salvation Army, Goodwill or even a church.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Day Filled With Possibilities

This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good.

Today I would encourage you to spend time with your family. Really go out of you watch to watch one of those feel good family friendly movies. Make some popcorn, dim the lights and just enjoy bonding with one another. If you want to catch my inspiration, watch Evan Almighty. Completely free of language, suggestive themes, and questionable story lines.

Some of you have had some brilliant comments and I really and truly want this to be a joint effort. My desire is that the feeling you get from helping, encouraging, and inspiring others through your generous acts will spread, it will become hard not to incorporate that in your daily lives and in the lives of our children. One of the greatest weapons we can use against our enemy is kindness. It is hard to overlook and ignore.

I look forward to any and all suggestions, comments, ideas, and anything you would offer that could make this a great launching point for everyone. Please pass this site along and let us watch God grow this into something that will point believers to get to know Him more!

Today's tip: If someone in line in front of you doesn't have enough money, make up the difference for them.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Issuing a Challenge

Welcome to the first of what I am hoping will become one of many for this blog. This blog was designed for one purpose in mind, and that is to do Acts of Random Kindness for God. Each day we will be focusing on heartfelt ideas or stories behind teaching the love of Jesus through the every day acts of kindness towards one another.

This blog was designed to encourage, to motivate and to create such an inspiration to each of you that in turn you will go out and share acts of random kindness to others. I am hoping to encourage each of you to take up this challenge daily and make it a point of truly making someone's day. It can be a family member, a friend, a work colleague, or even a perfect stranger. The point is to reach out in the smallest of ways to do something with nothing expected in return.

This blog is created with that very purpose in mind. I will be sharing videos, inspirational quotes, ideas, and more in hopes of teaching you all just how powerful and life changing it can be for all of us.

I would encourage you to not only join up by becoming a follower, but also to post here daily what you did, how you got involved and what a difference it made for you but also for others as well. In doing so, I am hoping that it will make a difference in the everydays for people. Please let me know via email if you are having issues with becoming a follower. I had one email today where someone wasn't getting the prompt to follow.

This isn't about bragging about what you did, but sharing how small acts of random kindness can make a difference and encourage others to do the same.

Here is your tip for today: Help someone with a flat tire. Call for Roadside Assistance if necessary!

I leave you with a video from Foundation for a Better Life that is hosting lots of these commercials you have seen on TV. I hope it has the same affect on you that it did for me.