Inspirational

and/or Thought-Provoking

    

   

 

The Piano "Lesson"

        

Elizabeth Elliot

      

  
Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert.  After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE." 
 
When the houselights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage.  In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." 
 
Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligatio.  Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. And the audience was mesmerized.
 
Whatever our situation in life and history ~ however outrageous, however desperate, whatever dry spell of the spirit, whatever dark night of the soul ~ God is whispering deep within our beings, "Don't quit. Keep playing. You are not alone, Together we will transform the broken patterns into a masterwork of my creative art. Together, we will mesmerize the world with our song of peace.
   

~~~~~~~~~

    E. Elliot 1997 all rights reserved

(Although I was told that "some years ago Elizabeth Elliot

gave everyone permission to post her stories on their web sites.

Just post the correct version with the copyright notice.)

~~~~~~~~~

  

A little "P.S." from Barb:  Besides being a wonderful lesson in walking in God's strength, I also feel this story is an excellent example of GRACE!

  

   

A Survival Kit for Every Day

     

   

TOOTHPICK ... to remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
   
RUBBER BAND ... to remind you to be flexible. Things may not always go the way you want, but they can be worked out.
  
BAND-AID ... to remind you to heal hurt feelings, whether yours or someone else's.
  
ERASER ... to remind you everyone makes mistakes. That's okay, we learn by our errors.
   
CANDY KISS ... to remind you everyone needs a hug or a compliment everyday.
   
MINT ... to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family.
  
BUBBLE GUM ... to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
   
PENCIL ... to remind you to list your blessings every day.
  
TEA BAG ... to remind you to take time to relax daily and go over that list of God's blessings.

 

        
This is what makes life worth        

        living every minute, every day.

      

     

   

Life Is Short; Live It Today

(This came to me without a title, so that's just what I gave it.)

      

This was written

by an 83-year-old woman

to her friend:

  

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

   
I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
   
I'm not "saving" anything
(as for a "special occasion"); we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank. "Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
   
I'm not sure what others would've done had they known that they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, or for whatever their favorite food was. I'm guessing; I'll never know.
   
It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. 

   

I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.

  

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.
      

   

  

The Power of the Cross

   

Author Unknown

A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend. The young diver never really paid much attention to his friend's sermons, but he heard them often.

   
One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended.  The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by.  The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall. The shadow of his body in the shape of a cross.  Instead of diving, he knelt down and asked God to come into his life.  As the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on.  The pool had been drained for repairs.

   

       

    

Prayer of Senator Joe Wright

   

When minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual politically correct generalities, but what they heard instead was a stirring prayer, passionately calling our country to repentance and righteousness. The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In six short weeks, the Central Christian Church had logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of the prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.  Commentator Paul Harvey aired the prayer on "The Rest of the Story" on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has aired!
   
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness  and to seek Your direction and guidance.  We know Your Word says, 'Woe on those who call evil good,' but that's exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. 

   

We confess that:
   

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism.
   

We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
   

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
   

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

  
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

   
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. 

   
We have killed our unborn children and called it a choice.
   

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
  

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.

  
We have abused power and called it political savvy.

   
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
   

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
    

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

   
Search us, oh God, and know our hearts today: cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen."
   
   

With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep our nation

and become our wholehearted desire so that we can again be

called a Christian nation that fears the Lord!

   

      

      

At the Foot of the Cross

   

By Marcia Krugh Leaser

Fearing the battle was over 
and I'd already lost the war, 
I was tired of trying and failing. 
I just couldn't fight anymore. 

So, dragging my battle-scarred body, 
I crawled to the foot of the cross. 
And I sobbed.  "Oh please, Father forgive me. 
But I tried...  I tried...  and still lost." 

Then the air grew silent around me. 
I heard his voice just as clear as the dawn: 
"Oh, My child, though you are tired and weary, 
you can't stop, you have to go on." 

At the foot of the Cross, where I met Him, 
At the foot of the Cross, where He died, 
I felt love, as I knelt in His presence. 
I felt hope, as I looked in His eyes. 

Then He gathered me lovingly to Him, 
as around us God's light clearly shone. 
And together we walked though my lifetime 
to heal every wound I had known. 

I found bits of my dreams, long forgotten, 
and pieces of my life on the floor. 
But I watched as He tenderly blessed them, 
and my life was worth living once more. 

I knew then why I had been losing. 
I knew why I had not grown. 
At the foot of the Cross came the answer: 
I'd been fighting the battle alone.

At the foot of the Cross, where I met Him, 
At the foot of the Cross, where He died, 
Then I knew I could face any challenge 
together ~ just my Lord and I.
   

   

   

The Paradox of Our Age

   

(I have heard that George Carlin wrote this)

      
We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

   

We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
   
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time.

  

We have more degrees, but less common sense; more knowledge, but  less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
   
We spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
   
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. 
  
We talk too much, love too seldom and lie too often.
  
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years.
   
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
  
We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger  things, but not better things; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less. 
   
We've learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes; but lower morals; more food but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort but less success.
   
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.
   
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships.
   
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
  
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
   
It is a time when there is much in the show window, and nothing in the stockroom. 
   

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

  

   

  

   

I got the tulips wallpaper at:

  ___________

      

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