The following ideas (edited by Alan Smith) are entitled
“All I Need To Know About Life I Learned From Trees”
** author unknown **
It’s important to have roots.
In today’s complex world, it pays to branch out.
If you really believe in something, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.
Be flexible so you don’t break when a harsh wind blows.
Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow.
Grow where you’re planted.
It’s perfectly okay to be a late bloomer.
Avoid people who would like to cut you down.
Get all spruced up when you have a hot date.
If the party gets boring, just leaf.
You can’t hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life.
It’s more important to be honest than poplar.
Those are some good lessons.
They remind me of some other lessons taught in the very first Psalm:
Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked ones, and in the way of sinners has not stood, and in the seat of ridiculers has not sat. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night.
And he will certainly become like a tree planted by streams of water, that gives its own fruit in its season and the foliage of which does not wither, and everything he does will succeed.
The Psalmist says that a godly person is like a tree in three very important ways :
First, he is planted — he’s got his roots put down deep, he’s fortified, stable.
Second, he bears fruit — he develops godlike qualities in his character and life.
Third, he doesn’t wither — he is able to survive under all circumstances, even days of difficulty.
May your spiritual life take on the qualities of a tree planted by the rivers of water.
ISAIAH 66 : 1-2
This is what Jehovah has said:
“The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Where, then, is the house that YOU people can build for me,
and where, then, is the place as a resting-place for me?”
“Now all these things my own hand has made,
so that all these came to be,” is the utterance of Jehovah.
“To this one, then, I shall look, to the one afflicted and
contrite in spirit and trembling at my word.”
Humility is the key to oneness with God.
Consequently, it is also the key to oneness with our brethren.
God’s way of achieving oneness is for each person to be so
attuned to God that he is motivated to do everything possible
to ensure that the relationship (with God or fellow man) is not
only unbroken, but constantly becoming ever closer.
We should do this because we are striving to become like Him,
and that is how He is.
Each person is responsible
for cleaning up his character and
humbling himself before God.
*clipart from http://www.christart.com*
Each is not responsible for judging his brother so critically it
drives a wedge between them and separates them.
Such a person does not even see his own sin! In such a case,
he could not be in God’s Kingdom because that manner of thinking
would continue right on into it, and God will not allow it there.
*John W. Ritenbaugh*
♥ “Thou hast shewed thy people hard things” (Psalms 60:3). ♥
I have always been glad that the Psalmist said to God that some things were hard.
There is no mistake about it; there are hard things in life.
Some beautiful pink flowers were given me this summer,
and as I took them I said, “What are they?”
And the answer came, “They are rock flowers; they grow and bloom
only on rocks where you can see no soil.”
Then I thought of God’s flowers growing in hard places;
and I feel, somehow, that He may have a peculiar tenderness for
His “rock flowers” that He may not have for His lilies and roses.
♣ Margaret Bottome ♣
The tests of life are to make, not break us.
Trouble may demolish a man’s business but build up his character.
The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man.
If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives,
be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is what we shall lose if we flinch or rebel.
♠ Maltbie D. Babcock ♠
“Heroes are forged on anvils hot with pain,
And splendid courage comes but with the test.
Some natures ripen and some natures bloom
Only on blood-wet soil, some souls prove great
Only in moments dark with death or doom.”
by Mrs. Charles Cowman – Streams in the Desert
“God gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
a good understanding have all they that do His commandments:
His praise endureth for ever.
♣ ♥ ♣
Proverbs 1 to 10 = Counsel for Young Men
♣ ♥ ♣
“Wise Up!” … Worship is the first step to wisdom.
*The fear of Jehovah/Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge.
Wisdom and discipline are what mere fools have despised.*
– Proverbs 1:7
“Walk Straight!” … The straight and narrow has the lowest accident rate.
*The purpose is that you may walk in the way of good people
and that the paths of the righteous ones you may keep.*
– Proverbs 2:20
“Directions” … Ask Almighty God Jehovah/Yahweh about everything;
He knows every road.
*In all your ways take notice of Him, and He Himself will make your paths straight.*
– Proverbs 3:6
“Watch Your Step!” … Every step molds your character; Step Well.
*Smooth out the course of your foot, and may all your own ways be firmly established.*
– Proverbs 4:26
“Listen” … to the voices of the sages and walk on straight paths set
by Lord God Almighty Jehovah/Yahweh from heavens above.
*For the ways of man are in front of the eyes of Jehovah, and He is contemplating all his tracks.*
Proverbs : 5:21
“Jehovah/Yahweh God’s Black List”
… pride, lies, murder, deceit, mischief, betrayal, discord.
There are six things that Jehovah does hate;
yes, seven are things detestable to his soul:
Lofty eyes, a false tongue, and hands that are shedding innocent blood,
a heart fabricating hurtful schemes, feet that are in a hurry to run to badness,
a false witness that launches forth lies,
and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.*
– Proverbs 6: 16-19
“A Bad Woman” – read carefully and heed the warnings about
conniving loose immoral women.
*That is why I have come out to meet you, to look for your face, that I may find you.
With coverlets I have bedecked my divan, with many-colored things, linen of Egypt.
I have besprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
Do come, let us drink our fill of love until the morning;
do let us enjoy each other with love expressions.
For the husband is not in his house; he has gone traveling on a way of some distance.
A bag of money he has taken in his hand.
On the day of the full moon he will come to his house.”
She has misled him by the abundance of her persuasiveness.
By the smoothness of her lips she seduces him.
All of a sudden he is going after her, like a bull that comes even to the slaughter,
and just as if fettered for the discipline of a foolish man,
until an arrow cleaves open his liver, just as a bird hastens into the trap,
and he has not known that it involves his very soul.
And now, O sons, listen to me and pay attention to the sayings of my mouth.
May your heart not turn aside to her ways.
Do not wander into her roadways.
For many are the ones she has caused to fall down slain,
and all those being killed by her are numerous.
The ways to She´ol her house is; they are descending to the interior rooms of death.*
Proverbs : 7:15-27
“Riches” … Rubies of wisdom commands the highest price on the market of character values.
*For wisdom is better than corals, and all other delights themselves
cannot be made equal to it.*
– Proverbs 8:11
“More Fun” … Nothing you ought NOT to do is ever more fun. Wait till you see what results.
*“Stolen waters themselves are sweet, and bread [eaten] in secrecy—it is pleasant.”
But he has not come to know that those impotent in death are there,
that those called in by her are in the low places of She´ol.*
– Proverbs 9:17-18
“Wanted! Silence” … wordy men seldom are wise men.
*In the abundance of words there does not fail to be transgression,
but the one keeping his lips in check is acting discreetly.*
– Proverbs 10:19
♣ ♣ ♣
Great Souls Experience Great Sorrows
Material stuff and trinkets are easily earned, but usually the most
valuable and most precious things carry a heavy price and often
times with harsh, grueling and toilsome labor. Sometimes lofty
heights of power and awesome wealth are always bought with
blood, if there is enough of blood to be spilled.
To attain the greatest value and character in life, it needs our acceptance of flexibility to adapt to ever changing winds of trials and tribulations for they are not thrown at us randomly; it’s brought upon to chisel us to be precious gems in order to meet with our Almighty God’s standards as wholesome loving respectful human beings. We are brought upon our knees under circumstances of intense fire of trials and afflictions so that we may exercise our utmost faith and trust in Almighty God Yahweh (JEHOVAH) and forever be thankful in Yeshua (Jesus) as our Savior, the Atoner for our sins and the intercessor between God and men. So, do not despair in times of troubled storms for when God brings us that deluge of tempest, He is using time which He is in control, to deal with us with patience so that we will learn to lean our all, heavily upon Him. Great truths are dearly bought, the common truths,
Such as we give and take from day to day,
Come in the common walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.
Great truths are greatly won, not found by chance,
Nor wafter on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of our soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.
But in the day of conflict, fear and grief,
When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
Plows up the subsoil of our stagnant heart,
And brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light.
Wrung from the troubled spirit, in hard hours
Of weakness, solitude and times of pain,
Truth springs like harvest from the well-plowed field,
And our soul feels it has not wept in vain.
♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ 12 Things to Remember ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦
- The value of time.
- The success of perseverance
- The pleasure of working.
- The dignity of simplicity.
- The worth of character
- The power of kindness.
- The influence of example.
- The obligation of duty.
- The wisdom of economy.
- The virtue of patience.
- The improvement of talent.
- The joy of origination
Each of these is worth considering with
regards to how we live our lives.
How can we grow in all of these attributes?
By associating with the wise and by
respecting the Word of God.
Proverbs 16:16 puts it this way:
“How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen
rather than silver.”
Only through attaining godly wisdom can
we improve how we live our lives now and
ultimately find eternal happiness in God’s
*source : gnmagazine*
10 Life-Lessons from Noah’s Ark
The Biblical story of the great flood (see Genesis 6:1-9:17)
has been around for a long time. It has counterparts in many
other cultures. Each generation has learned much from the
story — and so can those of us in the coaching community!
Needless to say, “Always build on the highest ground possible”,
because character always counts!
are ten more:
1. Always plan ahead.
There wasn’t any rain in the forecast when Noah started building
2.Don’t listen to your critics.
Listen instead to your heart, and then do whatever has to be done.
The neighbors might have taunted when Noah was blocking
their driveway — but he had the last laugh as soon as the rain
3.Stay physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally fit.
You never know but that when you’re 600 years old, someone
might come along out of the blue and ask you to do something
4.Don’t seek to go it alone.
Always travel, at least, in pairs, because two heads are
better than one.
5.Speed is not always an advantage.
The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails; and
they all arrived safely on dry ground at the very same time.
6.Handle Conflict with certainty.
If you can’t fight or flee from adversity — at least make
certain you have an idea that can float in the battlefield
7.Don’t miss the boat!
Never forget this underlying truth: that ultimately when
all is said and done, we’re all in the same boat!
8. Be flexible in your thinking.
Remember that amateurs built the ark while professionals
built the Titanic and the Challenger Space Shuttle.
9. Remember that Fear is nothing more than
“False Evidence Appearing Real”.
The woodpeckers on the INSIDE are often a bigger threat to
your overall well being than the storms raging on the outside.
10. Remain faithful and optimistic.
No matter how bleak things look, if God is traveling with you,
there’s always going to be a rainbow of peace on the other
side of the storm.
*Life is all about ROWING*
My grandfather was a man who lived a rich life. A shipbuilder by trade,
he was one of 11 children born in rural Nova Scotia. Grandfather was a
quiet man, a deeply religious man and, perhaps most of all, a person of
significant character. Once when I was in high school, my grandfather
invited me to go on a rowing trip with him. He loved the sea and told me
that this particular evening promised a glorious sunset.
“Would you be interested in going on a rowing trip with me to visit a
tiny cove I’m sure you’ve not seen?” he inquired.
Looking outside, wiping the sweat from my teenaged forehead,
I suggested that 95 degrees was not the perfect time for a long rowing
trip and said another time would be better.
“Ah,” he said, “another time is for young men. Let’s do it now.”
With that clarity of perspective, off we went on what would turn out
to be a nonstop row of more than an hour. Given that he was in his
seventies and I a mere fifteen, the rowing naturally fell on my shoulders.
All during our trip to that cove, he was chiding me to go faster else we
miss the promised sunset.
“Chop, chop,” he piped up.
Sweating profusely, I diligently rowed until more than an hour had passed
and we turned a corner beyond a tiny point of land and into the promised
cove. Moments later, the sky burst into an orange-purple blaze.
My grandfather was right, the cove and the sunset were both breathtaking.
The scene is one I will never forget.
We were there, however, for no more than a couple of minutes when my
grandfather said, “Well, let’s head back now.”
Incredulous, I protested. “Granddad, you were right, it is beautiful here.
But look at me, I’m dying – let’s stay for a while.”
“No,” he said, “they’ll have made dinner for us and we’re already late.
We ought to think of others, not just ourselves. Besides, we’ve seen it
and this beautiful sunset will follow us home.”
Hands on the oars, I began the journey back. With each pull I renewed
my complaining: “It was nice, but not worth all that rowing…
This boat is too old and needs new oars… The current’s too strong today…
You’re the big shipbuilder – why don’t you take a turn rowing?”
On and on I went.
My grandfather merely sat quietly, enjoying the sunset.
Finally, after about thirty minutes he gazed at me and quietly said,
“John, put the oars down, would you?”
With the oars in the boat he stared me in the face: “I want to tell you
something today, something I very much hope you will remember.
John, most of life is rowing and if you don’t learn to be good at –
and enjoy – the rowing, you will grow up to be a very unhappy man.
Now put your hands on the wood and take me home.”
I would love to tell you that the scales fell from my eyes in that moment
and my life was lived differently from then until now.
But that would not be true.
At the time, those words seemed like the babblings of an old shipbuilder
about to make his last sail. But thirty years have passed and I know
now what he meant.
Life is mostly rowing.
There are, of course, moments of ecstasy, but most of life is made up of
A walk on the beach,
a glancing view of a beautiful cornfield out an airplane window,
the first time you see your child steal a base,
a conversation where you know your words helped a friend,
lying in a tent by a river with the few people you love most,
the good feeling at the end of a hard day at work when you
know your efforts were not in vain.
It is precisely our ability to be present and enjoy those moments that
makes life worth living. We can spend our entire lives trying to get
from one big sunset to the next and miss a whole lot of great living
Sure those great sunsets are wonderful, but they are the icing, not the cake.
And it is not the big things that determine our success in the many realms
of our life.
Marriages are not built on the big anniversary trip to Hawaii or the special
gift that marks a date. It is in the rowing that marriages are made and broken,
in the daily honoring of life together.
Parents do not raise children well because of the camping trip taken once
each year to provide “quality time.” Rather it is in the rowing moments,
simple exchanges that occur thousands of times over the years that our
children learn the lessons they will need to live a life uncommon.
Leaders do not earn their stripes at the annual meeting when they give
a rousing speech that inspires the masses, but in the daily way their rowing
inspires a sense of pride and respect among those whom they lead.
But how do we begin to get better at the rowing and to appreciate the
simpler pleasures it has to offer?
How do we reclaim the innocence, faith and wonder with which we were
graced when we came into the world?
It seems to me that it begins with realizing that life is not about where we
are going as much as it is about being where we are.
How much of our lives are lived with the future as our focus – saving for
retirement, waiting for the weekend, counting the days until vacation,
looking forward to graduation, the next promotion.
We seem destined to believe life will be better when we finally get there.
When we choose to believe that each moment, however simple, offers
as much to us as the great shining moment of ecstasy, we begin to
experience our lives in a different way.
What part of the rowing must you pay more attention to?
Are you enjoying the moments of your life fully or waiting
for some future sunset when life will be what you desire it to be?
By John Izzo, Ph.D.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
There may be scars
But hope still for stars
For stars shineth on and on
So, you gotta keep on keeping on
No matter how life’s curve balls hits
Have faith in God and hope still sits
Hard times, troubled times, saddens the soul
Time is timeless, move forward, purge the old
Every cycle of life has a beginning and an end
Look for rainbows after a storm for its God-send
Walk through life at your own even pace
Adopt positive attitude, keep a smiling face
Signs are posted at every junction and all crossroads
Be alert, be aware and take heed the wisdom it unloads
At every juncture and every fork pray for discretion
To a God who giveth sagaciousness on every question
In all lives a little rain must fall before the sun shines
Defines character, perspectives change, horizon realigns
Accept challenges, overcome obstacles, create some goals
With much effort and tenacity, attainment fulfills our souls
Aboard the ship of life fear not of adverse stormy waves
Persevere and endure on for whom God loves God saves
Every star though minute from gaze could be a raging sun
Immerse clarity in your mind, blast on, life’s an awesome run
© Keziah Boey March 2006
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