Friday, December 31, 2010

A Change In Perspective

A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, ’Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.
In the middle of the room was a large round table.

In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.

They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.

The Lord said, ‘You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand.

‘It is simple,’ said the Lord. ‘It requires but one skill…

You see, they have learned to feed each other.

The greedy think only of themselves.’

Just look at the beauty of the snowflake, yet look at what they can do when they stick together! ~ May you all be blessed this coming New Year and thank you so much for your support and encouragement in 2010!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Little Kindness Goes Along Way

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. --Martin Buber

Inspiration of the Day:
In 1989, while touring India, Marc Gold found himself "thunderstruck" when he realized he could save a woman from a deadly ear infection by paying the $1 for her antibiotics. "I thought you had to be wealthy to do such things," he recalls. Since then, Gold has trekked through Asia, handing out money to the needy in amounts as little as 50 cents and rarely exceeding $500. In Vietnam, a small donation was enough for a widow to buy a sewing machine and start a business. In Indonesia, a fisherman fixed his boat and returned to self-sufficiency. Compared with global aid organizations, Gold's budget is tiny. But he has touched over 50,000 lives. [ more ]

Be The Change:
The next time you travel, find opportunities to help others in small ways. It may make all the difference.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

There Is A Santa!

I got this story in my email this morning which brought a tear to my eyes. Not just in what the story is about, but the grace and love of God that this woman shared through seeing her actions speak for her. I hope it touches you in the same way. Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a prosperous and blessed New Year! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

by Michael T. Smith

One of the my wife's duties at work is to go to the post office
every day and pick up the company mail.

As November rolled into December, she noticed a Salvation Army
Santa standing on the corner. Each day she saved her coins and
dropped them in his bucket. He'd smile, wish her a Merry Christmas,
and continue to ring his bell.

The second week of December came with a cold front. At night
the temperature dropped below 0 and the daytime temperatures barely
made it to 14. Santa stood in the frigid winds and continued to ring
his bell.

"You must be freezing," she said to him, as she dropped her
coins in his bucket.

"I'm so cold!" he shivered. "I can't feel the bell in my hands.
And my feet? I don't know if they're there anymore."

The next day, she dropped her coins in the bucket and handed him
several chemical hand and foot warmers. "Try these," she smiled.
"We had them in our car in case of and emergency. I think a Santa
freezing is an emergency. Don't you?"

Santa took her offering. "God bless you, ma'am. I cannot thank
you enough."

A week later, a new Santa stood ringing the bell. "What
happened to the other Santa?" she asked.

He paused his ringing to inform her, "I'm sorry to say, he's
very sick today."

She dropped her coins in the bucket and walked away with a heavy
heart. Her hand and foot warmers were not enough to prevent Santa
from getting sick. She prayed for his health.

Later that day, a co-worker came into her office in tears. "I
don't know what I'm going to do."

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"It's my ex-husband." Her co-worker wiped a tear from her eye
and continued. "I don't have any money to buy my boys anything for
Christmas. I called my ex last night and asked if he was sending
money for them. He told me times were tough and the boys would have
to suck it up and that they'd get over it." She began to cry harder.
"I don't know what to do. They're teenagers and will understand, but
it breaks my heart that they won't have anything this year."

My wife hugged her co-worker. "I'm sure everything will work
out. It's Christmas. Believe in miracles."

That evening, she sat down with me and told me about her
co-worker's situation. "Hun, I know we don't have much to help, but
I'd like to get her a gift card from Walmart or something. Maybe
fifty or a hundred dollars. We'll just get ourselves less this year.
Last year we couldn't afford to buy anything for ourselves and still
had a wonderful Christmas. It's the giving that counts."

She paused and looked at me. "I feel bad for those boys," she
continued. "I want to send it to her anonymously. She'll never know
where it came from. It will make her so happy."

I saw the look in her eyes and knew she wanted my blessing, but
I also knew she was going to do it anyway.


"Yes?" he smiled. "Give her the hundred. She needs it more than we do."

She reached up and held me. Warmth spread through my body -- a
glow like no other. I held her and realized there really is a Santa
Claus -- I married her.

Amazingly, at the same time Ginny was picking up the gift card,
my company was handing out Walmart gift cards to all of its employees.

"Give and thou shalt receive" was proven to be true today!

-- Michael T. Smith

Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Contagious ~ I Dare U!

I dare you to change people around you by being a better version of YOU!

Love really is what makes the world go round.

Throughout the bible we learn how important love is.

I Corinthians 13 says: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

and Proverbs 10:12 says: Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.

Kelly Rowland sings this song with a joy that can’t be denied.

It is a positive reminder that happiness is born out of love.

Friday, December 17, 2010

When Life Gets You Down, Dance!

and that's just what she did when Erica McElrath of St. Louis lost her job. Check out this video!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Smile Cards

Here's a story of how to spread kindness and how to pass it along to others. If you are interested in ordering some smile cards, click here. Enjoy this story of how someone used theirs.

My second lot of Smile Cards arrived last week, and I have been trying to think of uses for them. Today, before I headed into town for a job interview, I decided to grab a handful and try to use as many as I could throughout the day.

The weather was awful, it was pouring with rain, and I would've loved to buy umbrellas for people. But being unemployed, I didn't have the money to spare. So instead, I decided to think of free or really cheap ways to make people smile -- after all, even the little things count. I knew I'd also have to deal with my shyness, or just create anonymous acts of kindness, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept!

Before leaving my house, I filled a bag with some items that I no longer use and prepared to drop it off at a charity shop in town. My first opportunity to help came when I was on the bus. The seat I sat on, next to the window, was soaking wet -- somehow the rain had gotten in. I scooted across to the aisle seat, and to ensure that no one else ended up with a wet bottom, I left a note on the seat, with a Smile Card, saying, "This seat is wet, sit with caution!"

I dropped my small bag of donations into the charity shop. I then proceeded to go straight to my job interview, but on the way, I found a small means to help someone: while waiting at the road crossing, I held my umbrella over the woman standing in front of me. She didn't notice but hopefully those extra moments of dryness helped!

After my interview, I'd thought up a few more ways to create smiles. I checked my purse for change and put 50 pence and a Smile Card on top of a child's automatic ride, enough for one surprising ride for a child. I also put three 20-pence pieces with a card in a phone box, enough to make a 30-minute phone call. I had to pop into the post office to collect a new passport form, and the queue was huge. I allowed an elderly gentleman to go in front of me as he was having trouble standing. At this point, I was really beginning to enjoy my day of kindness!

Before getting on the bus home, I had one more idea: I went and bought a small bag of chocolates and attached a Smile Card. When I got back to my street, I left the sweets and a Smile Card at a neighbor's door. This neighbor had taken in a parcel for me last week, so he deserved a treat.

After all this, my day of giving wasn't yet over! I collected some of my old videos that I no longer watched and gave them to an elderly neighbor because I knew that he liked this type of film. I also had a special code for 50 pence of free mobile phone credit, but instead of using it for myself, I activated it for a friend, and she had no idea it was me!!

I'm so pleased that I managed to do all these little things for others today. It didn't take much effort on my part, but I definitely had to push myself to overcome my lack of confidence, and I'm proud of myself :o)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Than Just a Backpack

I have to share this story I received in my email today that shows just how sometimes our children are the true leaders of kindness! ~ Enjoy ~ Kat

I must share a heart warming experience I enjoyed this week, both as a parent and a human being.

My daughter, Emma (in 7th grade), started back to school last week. There is a young boy in her class (call him Jake) who is quite overweight. As you might expect he is the butt of many jokes and is treated very badly by other kids (and even by the teachers). Jake gives the impression that he's not a nice guy, mostly because of the fact that he's constantly picked on.

For several nights this week Emma came home from school upset about the fact that Jake gets picked on so much. She also mentioned that he had no school supplies as his family could not afford them. He was constantly asking to borrow paper, which just gives kids even more reason to pick on him.

One night Emma was extremely upset about this situation, not only because Jake was picked on but that he also had no supplies. We sat together that evening and discussed the situation in great detail. We devised a plan for Emma to engage Jake in a conversation and for her to ask Jake what he needed for supplies.

The next day Emma spent some time with Jake and really came to realize that this young man had a heart of gold, but rarely was able to show it because he was always on the defensive. Emma asked Jake if he needed supplies and if he could make a list for her for she would bring in extra supplies that she had at home for him. He put together a small list, 3 ring binders, paper, pens, pencils and a pencil sharpener. Emma told him she would help and he was most appreciative.

That evening Emma and I made a pilgrimage to the store where we bought everything on his list and then some! Emma mentioned that he needed a new pencil box for the one he had got destroyed when one of his pens exploded - so we added that to the list. When we got home, we put all the supplies into a brand new gray back pack - because Jake did not have a back pack either.

The next day, I brought the bag to the school principal and explained the situation. I asked the principal to give the bag to Jake discreetly so that he did not have to feel embarrassed.

Later that day I picked Emma after school and she was all smiles. The principal had called Jake down to his office and gave him the bag. Jake read the little note that Emma had put inside hoping that he had everything that he needed and to enjoy the supplies. As Jake walked into the classroom - he winked at Emma and later thanked her very much for all the stuff. He loved it all!

Emma said that is was so cute to see him take out his new pencil box and to start arranging his pencils and pens. He seemed very happy.

This was a great experience for my daughter but I can't tell you the joy it brought to me to see a young kid acting upon something that was truly bothersome to her. Blossoming kindness and the willingness to take action are wonderful things to see.

I encourage all the youth of this world to keep your hearts open and never be afraid to show random acts of kindness to those in need. No matter what your friends say. Act upon what's in your heart, you never know it may create a ripple effect for others to do the same!

As for Jake ... I saw him walking home yesterday with his new back pack. It was a good feeling to know we had made a difference in his life!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blessings In The Most Unexpected Places

When we lose one blessing, another is often, most unexpectedly, given in its place. --C.S. Lewis

Inspiration of the Day:
On the way back from work every evening, a homeless man would often be at the exit of the freeway. His eyes were brown and had a sparkle, like an inside light beaming out of his eyes. He always waved at every car, he was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing. A feeling of joy would come over me every time I saw him, as I came off the ramp. He had that effect. Then one day, I was laid off due to the economy. With no job and no savings, I worried about providing for my four amazing kids. On my drive home, I did not prepare the usual change and did not feel the joy approaching the off-ramp. Yet there he was, as always, as I turned the ramp. And he taught me to count my blessings. [ more ]

Be The Change:
Really look into a stranger's eye today to spot that "inside light beaming out of [their] eyes."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

God Will Always Find A Way!

Here's a great way to show just how much faith this person had in God. We could all use that much faith everyday! Enjoy ~ Kat

Opportunity knocked on my door last January when I was given a chance to work in an other country. It's really such a blessing! At first, it was really scary living life on my own. But, I soon met lots of new people. Some were good and some were bad. It was a true challenge!

I met a group of friends, six boys and one girl. They were really nice. I loved their company and they were so funny! We hung out most weekends. We cooked, watched movies, chatted and shared jokes! It was amazing - until something unexpected happened!

One of our group was diagnosed with kidney stones which had to be removed surgically as soon as possible. But it was not as simple as that! Our friend could not afford the surgery. He tried to get help from our other friends but they refused to help. My heart cried for him! Our friends abandoned him just when he needed them most.

I didn't know how to help him because I didn't have any money either. But, I never lost hope. Instead I tried to think of other options. I told him not to worry because everything will be all right. "Just leave it to God," I said. He will find a way!

Before I left the hospital I talked to the surgeon. I asked him to do the surgery and said I would pay the expenses the next day. (As if I had that kind of money!) Well, I must have been convincing because the surgeon agreed to do it! Now, how was I going to get that much money? Aaarrggh!

All I knew was that I needed to help my friend! I tried to borrow money from other friends but I failed. I tried selling my things but no one wanted them. Then I had the idea to talk to my boss. I asked him if I could have my next two months salary in advance - without even thinking on how I would survive for two months with no money.

He was surprised and asked me why. I told him that I had a friend who was really in need. Luckily, I convinced him too. He gave my two months salary without any hesitation! As soon as I had the money I ran to the hospital and paid all the bills.

My friend didn't know how to thank me. I just said, "Come on! Give me a hug! Every problem has its own solution. You just have to believe. God will never leave you!"

Friendship may not only found in happy moments. Sometimes you can find it on the toughest time in your life!

Oh, and if you are wondering how I survived for the next two months, well, I simply tell you guys that if anyone is in need there will always be someone who will help. God will find a way!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Passion for Giving

They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.
--Hindu Proverb

Good News of the Day:
'A Passion For Giving' is a stylish, powerful and beautifully shot film with great music and compelling interviews with fascinating people, some famous some not, who inspire the viewer to give and help other people, animals and the planet. It reinforces the notion that anyone has the capacity to give, not just those with disposable income. From a Tibetan monk to a New York City street artist, this film excerpt demonstrates various methods by which a seemingly effortless gesture can prove very beneficial to society. [ more ]

Be The Change:
Practice giving! For the next 30 days, make a promise to yourself that you'll give something away (doesn't have to be material!) without expecting ANYTHING in return.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Giving Away More Than Kindness!

There are people who have money and people who are rich. --Coco Chanel

Good News of the Day:
What would you do if you won 11.3 million dollars? If you're Allen and Violet Large, you give it away. The couple discovered they had won the jackpot last July, while Violet was undergoing chemotherapy therapy for cancer. "That money we won was nothing," Allen explains with tears in his eyes. "We have each other." Since July, they've given almost all of it away, first taking care of a family in need, and then donating to two-pages' worth of groups like the Salvation Army. Their rationale? The money was a "headache". It brought anxiety that people would take advantage of them. But more than that, "Money can't buy you health or happiness." Violet smiles. [ more ]

Be The Change:
Spend extra time with those you love today.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Raising Kindness

I found this wonderful email this morning I just had to share. What a wonderful way to encourage our kids to begin their own acts of kindness. We can learn so much from them. Enjoy ~ Kat

My wonderful grand daughter just turned five. We always have a party for her with all of our friends and family. I am often a little embarrassed by all the riches received by her. I thought that this year, with her parents blessing, we could do something different.

A nearby elementary school was devastated by fire over the summer and lost nineteen classrooms and the library. I thought we could use this birthday to create an opportunity for Lily, even at the young age of five, to understand service to others.

The day before her party we drove to the school and took her on a tour of the devastation. Since Lily has been attending nursery she understood the concept of school and seeing the burned buildings helped her understand why we wanted to help.

We asked the party-goers to bring donations of books for the school instead of a present. Of course people still brought Lily gifts (isn’t that always the way?) but she also collected three boxes of books for the library.

It was her first building block towards what I hope will be a life filled with service and I hope it has a lifelong effect on her.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Miracle Accident

Please wait 10 seconds for the video to begin playing.