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.
“Every word that I am commanding YOU is what YOU should be careful to do.
YOU must not add to it nor take away from it.”
“That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention
to the things heard by us, that we may never drift away.”
Mankind has an innate desire to worship God, but he wants to be free to do it according to the dictates of his own mind. The result is a wide variety of religions–in actuality, mass confusion as to which is the true religion–and a world in which true values are lost in an ocean of conflicting opinions about how to live. This, in turn, has helped persuade many people to reach the conclusion that all gods are equally good, or its counterpart, that everybody is worshipping the same god.
We all know God is not pleased with this situation, but He allows it to continue. However, even while allowing it to continue, He is calling people out of it. He has shown His called-out ones that they have been redeemed from the bondage to traditions, described in I Peter 1:18 as “vain,” “aimless,” or “futile,” depending on the translation. However, in the vast majority of cases, someone, presumptuously taking it upon himself to inaugurate a tradition, began practicing them, sincerely thinking he was improving his life. We have all followed these traditions, but the Christian is responsible not to allow the world to squeeze him into its mold of conduct, character, and attitude.
Proverbs 21:16 describes the way many presumptuous sins begin: “A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the congregation of the dead.” Like this man, most people do not deliberately set out to depart from God. Nevertheless, carelessness invariably enters the picture, and a person drifts from his former sure fix on his goal. Once his focus on the goal is blurred, he is more easily deceived into foolishly assuming certain things. An especially sad part of this is that the result is the same as if he were deliberately presumptuous.
The author of Hebrews uses a metaphor in Hebrews 2:1-3, portraying a boat slipping from its moorings and drifting away. A person “neglect[s] so great salvation” by allowing himself to be caught in the current of the world’s attitudes and conduct. Presumption frequently begins with careless drifting, but the drifting quickly advances from neglect to presumption unless one carefully checks whether he actually has God’s permission to behave as he does.
In Proverbs 8, wisdom is personified as a woman crying out to people along the way–to God’s Kingdom?–to take heed to her instruction. In verse 36, she utters a profound warning: “But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.” None of us likes to think of himself as foolishly loving death. However, the Bible consistently shows that those who do not consciously, purposefully, and carefully direct their lives toward obedience to God do indeed love death rather than life! Such a person is in effect presuming that all is well with him in relation to God. God does not like being taken for granted–just as you and everyone else don’t like to be taken for granted!
*John W. Ritenbaugh*
“In that case you will walk in security on your way, and even your foot will not strike against anything.”
That is to say, if we follow the ways of wisdom and holiness we shall be preserved in them. He who travels by daylight along the highway is under some protection. There is a way for every man, namely, his own proper calling in life, and if we devoutly walk therein in the fear of God He will preserve us from evil. We may not travel luxuriously, but we shall walk safely. We may not be able to run like young men, but we shall be able to walk like good men.
Our greatest danger lies in ourselves: our feeble foot is so sadly apt to stumble. Let us ask for more moral strength that our tendency to slip may be overcome. Some stumble because they do not see the stone in the way: divine grace enables us to perceive sin and so to avoid it. Let us plead this promise and trust in Him who upholds His chosen.
Alas! Our worst peril is our own carelessness, but against this the Lord Jesus has put us on our guard, saying, “Watch and pray.”
Oh, for grace to walk this day without a single stumble! It is not enough that we do not actually fall; our cry should be that we may not make the smallest slip with out feet but may at the last adore Him “who is able to keep us from stumbling.”
PROVERBS CHAPTER 8
The Discourse of Wisdom
1 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates leading into the city,
at the entrances, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O men, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, gain understanding.
6 Listen, for I have worthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right;
they are faultless to those who have knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have understanding and power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers make laws that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and all nobles who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing wealth on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
The Eternity of Wisdom
22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
23 I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning, before the world began.
24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the earth or its fields
or any of the dust of the world.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
The Blessings of Wisdom
32 “Now then, my sons, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not ignore it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the LORD.
36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself;
all who hate me love death.”
Although you know I’m homeless,
need shelter from the cold.
Don’t give me a coat and bag of food,
just warn me about my soul.
Now time is moving swiftly,
growing feeble weak and old.
The shelter I need is in His arms,
just warn me about my soul.
For if my soul’s in danger,
that’s something I must be told.
Don’t fill my plate with food and drink,
just warn me about my soul.
You see I’m in an emergency,
and sin has taken its toll.
It’s spiritual food I need the most,
just warn me about my soul.
The thing I need you to feed me,
bread of life to make me whole.
My body dies but my spirit lives on,
just warn me about my soul.
Don’t try to give me money,
don’t need silver cash or gold.
If you really cared about my fate,
you’ll warn me about my soul.
You’ll tell me I’m spiritually dead,
I’m lost under Satan’s control.
You’ll tell me how Jesus died for me,
you’ll warn me about my soul.
You’ll tell me about His love,
good news you should never withhold.
Gave up His life just to save mine,
you’ll warn me about my soul.
You see I’m in spiritual trouble,
my life Satan easily could have stole.
The one’s I’ll love when I finally get home,
those who warned me about my soul.
For at my day of judgment,
I’ll stand at eternity’s threshold.
I’ll enter in as one of the flock,
I was warned about my soul.
My life will be everlasting,
a splendor that can’t be told.
A life I’d never have,
if not warned about my soul.
And now I’m a king in heaven,
I’ve finally reached my goal.
The thing I credit to my success,
was the warning about my soul.
© 2005 Terry Goss
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
*** Rudyard Kipling ***
♠ ♣ ♥ ♦
♠ ♣ ♥ ♦
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn
not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest,
in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance
♠ ♣ ♥ ♦
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the
third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they
had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe
what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said no-it was covered with green buds and full
The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that
smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful
thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and
drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because
they had each seen but ONLY one season in the tree’s life. He told
them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season,
and that the essence of who they are – and the pleasure, joy, and
love that come from that life – can only be measured at the end,
when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it’ s winter, you will miss the promise
of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of
Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don’t judge life by one difficult season.
Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are
sure to come some time or later.
It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves.
The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.
~ Carl Jung ~
Flowers often grow more beautifully on dung-hills than in gardens that look beautifully kept.
~ Saint Francis de Sales ~
Ω♣♥ PRIORITIES ♥♣Ω
α Ω α
William Gladstone (1809-1898) was England’s Prime Minister four times, and one
of the most important political figures of his era. He was also famous for being an
Every day as Gladstone went up the steps of the Parliament building, he bought
a newspaper from the same newsboy and said an encouraging word about how
Jesus loved him.
One day, as Gladstone and his secretary were going into Parliament, another
newsboy stopped them. “Hey, Mr. Gladstone, you know the bloke you usually
get’cher paper from?
Well, yesterday he was run over by a carriage and he’s going to die.
He wants you to come get him in.”
“What do you mean, ‘get him in’?” Gladstone asked.
“You know–get him in to Heaven.”
Gladstone’s secretary protested. “No, no, no, you don’t have time to go see
a newsboy! You know how important your speech today is. It could change
the course of history!”
Gladstone thought a moment, then said, “One immortal soul is worth more
than my speech in Parliament.”
So he went to the little garret where the newsboy lay dying.
Gladstone prayed with him to receive Jesus.
He “got him in”–and then the boy died.
By the time Gladstone made it back to Parliament, a heated discussion was
already under way. He gave his speech, and his side went on to win the vote.
Afterwards his secretary asked, “Sir, how could you have gone off like that
and almost miss making such an important speech?”
“The speech was a very important and good thing,” Gladstone replied, “
but getting that boy saved and into Heaven was a better, more important
♦♦ * * * ♦♦
*David Brandt Berg*
♦♦ * * * ♦♦
To comprehend a man’s life, it is necessary to know not merely
what he does, but also what he purposely leaves undone.
There is a limit to the work that can be got out of a human body
or a human brain, and he is a wise man who wastes no energy
on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he still wiser who,
from among the things that he can do well, chooses and
resolutely follows the best.
** ♦ ♦ ♦ **
There is but one question of the hour:
How to bring the truth of God’s Word into vital contact with the
minds and hearts of all classes of people.
** ♦ ♦ ♦ **
♣ William E. Gladstone ♣
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow; if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic; to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
♦ ♦ ******** ♦ ♦
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and
if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
by OriahMountainDreamer copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
And upon a day, while walking among the flowers of
his teacher’s garden, did the child speak unto the Mystic:
“Some men claim that this life
is the darkness of a curse,
and a punishment to be endured
for all our wicked ways.
Oh Mystic, what say you of life?”
And the Mystic answered:
“I say that life is neither a curse nor a punishment,
But a rose filled with the beauty of desire.
The stem of the rose is your life upon this earth,
The thorns, painful lessons you bring unto
yourself, that you might learn.
The leaves are those joys that enter
your life with the tenderness of an unseen Love.
Curse not the sorrow of your thorns,
for the deeper they cut unto the heart of
your being, the greener the leaves of joy shall be.
The tiny bud is your soul, waiting to
bloom with the truth of God among its petals.
Slowly will your flower unfold,
that you might not become lost
within the fragrance of its secret.
And when the rose is at the height of its beauty,
Shall you not see the pureness of God
smiling from the very center of your Being ?”
Today you are hungry…
…along comes a man that gives you food to eat,
but tomorrow your hunger arises yet again,
demanding to be fed.
Along comes another man who feeds your Eternal-Self,
thus freeing you from the hunger of illusion.
Which of these two men brings forth the greater gift
to all mankind?
As we give forth our gifts to our brother and sister souls,
we must do so without any expectation;
rather that we take a lesson in giving from the trees,
bearing fruit for all to eat…
from the time they are born until the day that they die,
their only desire is to give forth the sweetness of Life
to all who pass their way.
When we attach any sort of expectation to even our kindest
thought, it ceases to be a gift and becomes instead, a debt
to pay…no longer a blessing but rather a burden to bear.
Is this not the reason so many human relationships fail?
If our own expectations are attached to our emotions
then the gift of love becomes only the tie that bind…
‘I love you.’ then exists as a contract to honor or to break
‘Because I love you, I expect you to act accordingly.
I expect this for that.’
When our loved ones fail to live up to our own expectations,
the relationship tends to suffer.
Expectation is the food which gives rise to yet a more demanding hunger.
Unconditional Love is the sweetness of Life that feeds your Eternal-Self.
♣ Daniel J. Miller ♣
* GOD’S INVISIBLE BREATH *
The man whispered,
“God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang.
But the man did not hear.
God’s Mighty yet Gentle Calling
So the man yelled,
“God, speak to me!”
And the thunder rolled across the sky.
But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said,
“God, let me see you.”
And a star shone brightly.
But the man did not notice.
God’s Light in the Dark .. A Sign He’s always there
And the man shouted,
“God, show me a miracle!”
And a life was born.
But the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair.
“Touch me God, and let me know that you are here!”
Whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
God’s Gentle Touch; Unheeded by Man
Don’t miss out on a blessing because
it isn’t packaged the way you expect.
*An Old Hindu Poem*
A girl in love asked her boyfriend:
“Tell me, who do you love most in this world?”
“You, of course!”
“In your heart, what am I to you?”
The boy thought for a moment and looked intently in her eyes and said,
“You are my rib. In the Bible, it was said that God saw that Adam was
lonely. During his sleep, God took one of Adam’s rib and created Eve.
Every man has been searching for his missing rib. Only when you find
the woman of your life will you no longer feel the lingering ache in
After their wedding, the couple had a sweet and happy
life for a while. However, the youthful couple began to
drift apart due to the busy schedule of life and the
never-ending worries of daily problems. Their life became
mundane. All the challenges posed by the harsh realities
of life began to gnaw away at their dreams and love for
The couple began to have more quarrels, and each quarrel
became more heated.
One day, after a quarrel, the girl ran out of the house.
At the opposite side of the road, she shouted, “You don’t love me!”
The boy hated her childishness, and out of impulse retorted,
“Maybe it was a mistake for us to be together!
You were never my missing rib!”
Suddenly, she turned quiet and stood there for a long while.
He regretted what he said, but words spoken are like thrown
away water — you can never take them back. With tears, she
went home to pack her things and was determined on
breaking up. Before she left the house, the girl said,
“If I’m really not your missing rib, then please let me go.”
She continued, “It is less painful this way. Let us go on
our separate ways and search for our own partners.”
Five years went by. He never remarried but he had tried
to find out about her life indirectly. She had left the country
and came back. She had married a foreigner and divorced.
He felt anguished that she never waited for him. In the dark
and lonely night, he lit his cigarette and felt the lingering
ache in his heart. He couldn’t bring himself to admit that
he was missing her.
One day they finally met — at the airport — a place where
there were many reunions and good-byes. He was going
away on a business trip. She was standing there alone,
with just the security door separating them. She smiled
at him gently.
(b): “How are you?”
(g): “I’m fine. How about you. Have you
found your missing rib?”
(g): “I’ll be flying to New York on the next flight.”
(b): “I’ll be back in 2 weeks time.”
(g): “Give me a call when you get back. You know my number.
Nothing has changed.”
With a smile, she turned around and waved good-bye.
One week later, he heard of her death. She had perished in
New York — in the event that shocked the world.
Midnight. Once again, he lit his cigarette. And like before,
he felt the lingering ache in his heart. He finally knew that
she was the missing rib that he had so carelessly broken.
Take away LOVE and our earth is a tomb.
– Robert Browning
Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the
hour of separation.
– Kahlil Gibran
Breaking up is just like having the worst nightmare after
having the best dream.
Sometimes people say things out of moments of fury.
Most often than not, the outcome could be disastrous and
detrimental. We vent our frustrations 99% at our loved ones.
And even though we know that we ought to “think twice and
act wisely,” it’s often easier said than done.
Things happen each day, many of which are beyond our
control. Let us treasure every moment and everyone in
our lives. Tomorrow may never come. Give and accept
what you have today.
“Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains.”
– Emilie Cady
The City of Regret
I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly.
This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it.
I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”
I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage,
which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand
memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City
International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.
As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event,
the Annual Pity Party. I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.
First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had
family. You probably know ol’ Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost.
The biggest family would be the Yesterday’s. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have
a very sad story to share.
Then Shattered Dreams would surely make and appearance. And It’s Their Fault would regale us with stories
(excuses) about how things had failed in his/her life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don’t Blame Me
and I Couldn’t Help It.
Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so.
And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past,
it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent “pity party” could be cancelled by ME! I started to truly realize that
I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE
YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled,
encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address.
Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them.
So, if you’re planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip
to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors,
the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy
baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town.
If you can find it — it’s in your own heart — please look me up. I live on I Can Do It street.
by Larry Harp
Θ ∞ Θ
Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice and choices
made are acted upon the *free will* given by God above. Free will means God
does not force our conscience not our actions on any decision that we make.
Free will allows one to choose between being righteous and doing what is right
or being wicked and doing what is evil in the eyes of Almighty Jehovah God.
In life, there’s always two choices or two roads, righteous or evil which leads
to good or bad ramifications. This is the freedom of free will.
Choosing the one that is easy and smooth but wicked, no back breaking
effort to attain whatever your heart desires; a shortcut to everything
which is much much easier than virtue itself, will only bring one reward
and that is, the easy way, with no substance or anything of glory to shout
about and maybe even have to do time behind bars chained with irons of
sorrow and a lifetime full of regrets.
The other of good but harder road with it’s winding twist, bends and turns
will inevitably reward with the right results because this path taken is walked
with righteousness and peace with right thoughts and actions and the blessings
it brings, will be satisfying, self-gratifying and worthy of the Lord God Almighty.
You’ll have to face the consequences of your own acts and if your actions are
right and pure in God’s eyes and also that in your fellow man’s eyes, you’ll reap
good consequences; if not, you’ll suffer and sorrow terribly for it. Though, for
some, punishment may not be immediate but it follows on in your life and in
the lives of your son/sons and later generations to come. They’ll have to pay
the penalty for your sins.
It’s in the wise sayings of King Solomon, “You’ll reap what you sow.”
It’s the unchangeable laws of nature.
Sooner or later everyone sits down to their own banquet of consequences.
In other words, you can choose what you want to do, but you can’t choose
the consequences for your choices! So, act wisely and carefully, because
you are ultimately accountable to Jehovah God and also to Jesus Christ
in the end. You will reap what you sow into your life, whether you sow bad
and evil seeds or good and fruitful seeds. To each his or her own.
Henceforth, good trees will bear fruitful productive fruits while bad trees
yield rotten bad fruits; and so shall a man be defined by what flows out
from his heart through his words and thoughts.
To surmise this in brevity :
It’s the nature of life, you can never lose anything that really belongs
to you, because it’s what God has accounted and measured out to you
according to the seeds you sow; and you cannot keep whatever that
which belongs rightfully to someone else.
© Keziah – January 7 2009
∞ The Two Seas ∞
Ever visited Israel? If you did, then you know that Israel has two lakes. The one up
in the North is the Kinneret, also known as the sea of Galilee, because it is up in the
area called the Galilee. From this lake comes most of the water in the tiny state.
The ancient city of Tiberias, located on its shores, is today a flourishing city.
Here the delicious St. Peter’s fish is caught by the local fishermen and prized as a
From the Kinneret, the water is purified and pumped into large pipelines that bring
the life-giving water to the towns and cities all over the country. From the Kinneret,
the Jordan river winds it’s way down to the Dead Sea. It is much smaller now than
in the times of the Bible, but still enough to give life and green to the plants all along
The second of Israel’s lakes is the Dead Sea. The dead sea is an area of desolation.
Even though the sweet waters of the Jordan flow into it, yet the salty mineral water
is too heavy to be diluted. No plants grow around the banks of the dead sea, and no
fish or plant life exist in the heavily salty waters. The salt concentrate is not like that
of the average oceans of the world. It is so great that when a bather walks into the
water, at a point approximately at his chest, the dense water lifts him up and he will
float. Indeed no one is able to swim in the water. The salt and mineral content is so
great that it burns the eyes and any open wound. After being in the water, a bather
must wash to cleanse himself from the salt and mineral residue.
What a contrast! Compare the life-giving water of the Kinneret in the North to the
deathly parched area around the Dead Sea.
Yet we are told that this is similar to two basic types of people:
There is the giver, the person who gives generously whether of his time or his money.
And there is the taker, the person who only takes, and any giving on
his part is only in his own self interest, to promote more taking.
The giver, gives, and life grows around him.
The taker only takes and death is around him, nothing sprouts.
Yes, there are contributory rivers that flow into the Kinneret, but their waters are
not kept there, but distributed to other needy sources. The giver is the sustainer
of life. The Dead Sea is located in the lowest part of Israel and one of the lowest
parts of the world. The Dead Sea keeps all of it’s water to itself. Similarly, the taker,
only takes and keeps it only for himself. No one else benefits from him. Nothing is
lower that this.
Even from the geography of the Holy Land of Israel, we learn deep lessons on
how to conduct our lives. Let’s be a giver. Let’s concern ourselves with the other
person. Remember, even smiling at the next person is an act of giving. Let’s go
beyond our needs and see what we can do to help the next person.
by S. Wasserman
Life is Like a Multifaceted Prism
Life is like a multifaceted prism,
which gives different colored images,
when viewed from different angles.
Look how it appears to different people:
a. Life is a struggle, face it.
b. Life is a brief intermission, between birth and death, enjoy it.
c. Life is a lesson, learn it.
d. Life is not a joke, take it seriously.
e. Life is work, work is life.
f. Life is a dream, to be realized.
g. Life is to be lived, enjoy it.
h. Life, without a wife, is no life.
i. Life is not a bed of roses.
j. Life is an ocean, fathom it.
k. Life is an opportunity, don’t miss it.
l. Life without love is desolate.
m. Life is a goldmine, exploit it.
n. Life is what you make it.
o. Life lies in optimism. Be a positive thinker.
p. Life is like a game of snakes and ladders; one faces many pitfalls before one reaches the top.
q. Life will be a pleasure, if you love your work.
r. Life without goals, is groping in darkness.
s. Life without trust is a life in turmoil.
t. Life is a journey; make it as pleasant as possible.
u. Life doesn’t mean bread alone.
v. Life is meaningful, only if there is a mission.
w. Life is enriched by good friendship.
x. Life doesn’t mean years alone: “IT IS THE LIFE IN THOSE YEARS”
y. Life is useful, if you contribute something that will outlive it.
z. Life lies in diversity, not in monotony.
by M. K. Soni
Sorrow was beautiful, but his beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the woods. His gentle light made little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss of the forest floor. And when he sang, his song was like the low, sweet calls of the nightingale, and in his eyes was the unexpectant gaze of someone who has ceased to look for coming gladness. He could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to him.
Joy was beautiful, too, but hers was the radiant beauty of a summer morning. Her eyes still held the happy laughter of childhood, and her hair glistened with the sunshine’s kiss. When she sang, her voice soared upward like a skylark’s, and her steps were the march of a conqueror who has never known defeat. She could rejoice with anyone who rejoices, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to her.
Sorrow longingly said, “We can never be united as one.” “No, never,” responded Joy, with eyes misting as she spoke, “for my path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom when I arrive, and songbirds await my coming to sing their most joyous melodies.”
“Yes, and my path,” said Sorrow, turning slowly away, “leads through the dark forest, and moonflowers, which open only at night, will fill my hands. Yet, the sweetest of all earthly songs — the love song of the night — will be mine. So farewell, dear Joy, farewell.”
Yet even as Sorrow spoke, he and Joy became aware of someone standing beside them. In spite of the dim light, they sensed a Kingly Presence, and suddenly a great and holy awe overwhelmed them. They then sank to their knees before Him.
“I see Him as the King of Joy,” whispered Sorrow, ” for on His head are many crowns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of great victory. And before Him all my sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness. I now give myself to Him forever.”
“No, Sorrow,” said Joy softly, “for I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of terrible agony. I also give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him must be sweeter than any joy I have ever known.”
Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing – 2 Corinthians : 6 : 10
“Then we are one in Him,” they cried in gladness, “for no one but He could unite Joy and Sorrow.” Therefore they walked hand in hand into the world, to follow Him through storms and sunshine, through winter’s severe cold and warmth of summer’s gladness, and to be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”
Does Sorrow lay his hand upon your shoulders,
And walk with you in silence on life’s way,
While Joy, your bright companion once, grown colder,
Becomes to you more distant day by day?
Run not from the companionship of Sorrow,
He is the messenger of God to thee;
And you will thank Him in His great tomorrow —
For what you do not know now, you will then see;
He is God’s angel, clothed in veils of night,
With whom “we walk by faith” and “not by sight”
2 Corinthians : 5 : 7
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Imagine getting the command from your Master, “Go out behind the barn.
Find the dunghill and bring Me back something acceptable, beautiful that
I can put upon My table to enjoy.”
“Oh just great,” you think to yourself as you leave the mansion.
“I’m in for it now!
I’ve seen that grimy old dunghill and beautiful doesn’t even come close
to describing it.”
Rounding the corner of the barn, you almost get knocked over by the smell
as the wind changes and starts blowing in your direction. As you get closer,
your eyes start to water. Trying to breath in short shallow breaths, you get
as close as you dare. There it is. That dreaded dunghill which has been filled
with all sorts of filth from your life. Lust sits festering as does greed, and envy.
Maggots of strife and contention feast happily among the rotting decay of all
things repugnant.Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, you realize
that as this pile rots, it generates an unnatural heat from within which causes
evil gas clouds of despair and hopelessness to bubble up to the surface and
hang in a fog of misery all around the area.
You think to yourself, “Why am I here???
I left this stuff long ago and now here it is again. If I didn’t know better, I’d
say that it has grown since I had last seen it. I can’t make something out of
this junk to put on my Master’s table. All of those who wait upon Him will
laugh me to scorn. The big angels at the door probably wouldn’t even let
me in and for good reason too!”
But trying to be obedient, you grudgingly take up some of the horrible
material and think what you can do to make it fit for the Master’s table.
No amount of perfume could help kill the smell and the stuff crawling
around and in it gives a macabre impression of the entire dunghill
breathing with a life of its own.
So you kneel down and in vain try to shape it and make something useful.
No matter how much perfume you use it only serves to make the whole
ugly mess even worse.
Just then you hear Him behind you. “Child, what are you doing?”
Now the tears start streaming down your cheeks freely as you know that
there is nothing you can do but tell the truth.
“I can’t do it. Nothing I try works. Everything I do only makes it worse…”
Your own sobs cut off what was about to be a long drawn out explanation.
Gently, He tells you, “Put that back.”
So you throw the evil mess you were working with back onto the pile and
just stand there staring at the epitome of sin’s futility. You watch as the
Master takes His mighty hand and using His finger, He creates a God
shaped hole right into the heart of the horrible mess before you. Your own
soul feels what He has done and it takes your breath away.
Turning towards you He holds out His hand and shows you what looks
to be a seed of some sort. With a gentle smile He asks, “May I?”
You are confused.
Not knowing what is about to happen, you reply, “What is that?”
His response sends waves of terror into your heart, “This is My life.
I want to put it into the hole I just created. May I?”
You recoil in fear at the thought of His life going into the worst you
have to offer.
You want to scream ‘No!’ but you don’t dare.
Deep within your heart, you long to have Him do it, but it just doesn’t
seem fair that He should put His best into the worst areas of your life.
But the Master has never made a mistake and you know that even
this can only work out for good.
Half-heartedly, mumbling under your breath you say, “Yes, go ahead…,”
and the tears flow once more.
Gently the Master places His Seed within the God shaped hole His finger
had made. With loving kindness He covers it over and starts to walk away.
Turning back to look at you, He once again commands, “From this dunghill,
bring Me back something acceptable, beautiful that I can put upon My
table to enjoy.” With that He walks away.
For a long, long while you just stand there staring at the horrible mess
before you. Nothing has appeared to change and you feel as though the
Master has left you in the same predicament as when you had first arrived.
But then you see it.
A small bump in the dunghill started slowly rising up to the surface.
Looking closely you are sure that there is something green breaking out
from the very heart of your worst nightmares.
During the rest of the day you watch this little plant grow.
By day, you tend and give it water from the eternal spring of life.
By night, you sleep near it, afraid that something might happen to this
precious little life. It is not a very comfortable rest, trying to sleep on the
ground next to a dunghill, but even though you don’t know what your
Master has done, you are determined to see it through to the end.
For three days and nights you tend and guard this little seedling.
You notice that as the plant gets bigger, the dunghill gets smaller.
It appears that the plant is taking all of the evil smelling corruption and
using it to grow. Then on the morning of the third day, as the sun rises
in the distance, you awaken to see that the tiny plant has now grown
into a sizable young shrub.
But something is happening.
As the sun’s light starts to warm its leaves, you see the most beautiful
blood red roses starting to open up right before your eyes!
Hundreds and hundreds of bright red roses unfold sending out an aroma
that instantly blots out the horrible stench of the dunghill!
You stand staring for a time in total awe at the sight of these beautiful
roses which move in unison to the rhythm of a holy wind.
Each petal is shining and glistening in radiance as the sun rises higher
and higher into the morning sky.
Then you hear His voice in the distance, “My child, I AM waiting…”
The sound of His gentle thunder reminds you of your original task, to get
something from this dunghill that will be both beautiful and acceptable
for His table.
Carefully you pick twelve of the very biggest and best flowers you can
find and arrange them in your hand. Yes there are thorns, but you don’t
even seem to notice them as you look at what the Lord has done.
After walking back to the mansion, you find a vase in the kitchen and
arrange the flowers with silent joy. What at first looked to be impossible
now has become a work of living art.
As you make your way towards the main dining hall, some people stop
to admire the roses you have in your vase.
“My but they are beautiful!” says one well meaning person.
“You sure are one fine gardener!”
Without any hesitation, you humbly reply, “It’s not me, it was all the
You hurry off, not wanting to answer any more questions such as,
“Where did you get them.”
You enter the main hall and set the roses upon the Master’s table.
You want to smile, but you can’t because you know from where
these roses have come.
You silently pray that nobody will ever find out.
Your mission accomplished, you turn to leave, but you see your
Master standing in the doorway.
You swallow hard as you glance back at the arrangement of flowers
you have just left on His table.
Your eyes once again fill with water as you stare at the floor,
unable to look at Him.
You know the truth of where you got the roses. But what is far worse
is that you know that He knows from where you have gotten them!
The thought of the dunghill breaks your heart with shame and remorse.
Gently placing His hand under your chin, He lifts your head, moving
your gaze upward so that you are now looking right into His loving eyes.
The tears stream down your face as your Lord and Master carefully
wipes away each and every one of them.
He smiles and says, “They are beautiful!
Well done, My good and faithful servant. Won’t you join Me for
I would just like to sit and talk a while with you My dear and
♥ ♥ ♥
♣ ♣ ♣
*Author Unknown by all but God*
*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.
LIFE’S TUG OF WAR
Life can seem ungrateful and not always kind.
Life can pull at your heartstrings and play with your mind.
Life can be blissful and happy and free.
Life can put beauty in the things that you see.
Life can place challenges right at your feet.
Life can make good of the hardships we meet.
Life can overwhelm you and make your head spin.
Life can reward those determined to win.
Life can be hurtful and not always fair.
Life can surround you with people who care.
Life clearly does offer its ups and its downs.
Life’s days can bring you both smiles and frowns.
Life teaches us to take the good with the bad.
Life is a mixture of happy and sad.
Take the life that you have and give it your best.
Think positive be happy let God do the rest.
Take the challenges that life has laid at your feet.
Take pride and be thankful for each one you meet.
To yourself give forgiveness if you stumble and fall.
Take each day that is dealt you and give it your all.
Take the love that you’re given and return it with care.
Have faith that when needed it will always be there.
Take time to find the beauty in the things that you see.
Take life’s simple pleasures let them set your heart free.
The idea here is simply to even the score.
As you are met and faced with Life’s Tug Of War.
words of wisdom :
Cherish Life’s Simple Pleasures because
it Eclipses Other Earthly Treasures
The Universal Moral Code is a list of
fundamental moral principles that can be found throughout the world.
The code incorporates basic, universal ideas about how we should live
and how we should treat each other.
Living these principles can provide each of us with the meaning that
comes from living our values and doing what’s right.
DO NO HARM.
Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you.
Do not lie.
Do not steal.
Do not cheat.
Do not falsely accuse others.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not commit incest.
Do not physically or verbally abuse others.
Do not murder.
Do not destroy the natural environment upon which all life depends.
Do to others what you would like them to do to you.
Be honest and fair.
Be faithful to your family and friends.
Take care of your children when they are young.
Take care of your parents when they are old.
Take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.
Be kind to strangers.
Respect all life.
Protect the natural environment upon which all life depends.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 2003, 2005
Life is an uphill battle, also an intriguing journey
a sojourner on fascinating trails of soul’s tourney
Life is a repertoire of good and bad, wins and losses
no matter the circumstances humans prevails the tosses
Life is not a lavish road of personal selfish indulgence
but kindly loving acts to each and everyone in accordance
Life is questing and thirsting serendipitous surprises
all defining golden moments that one covets as prizes
Life is a series of devastating trials and tribulations
that toughens the spirit, assurance of transformations
Life is a medley of loves, some unrequited some great
which all human hearts are buoyed with destined fate
Life is much drama sporadic times of ease and leisure
some events better forgotten other moments to treasure
Life is where we feel heights of joy and depths of sorrow
where it alters our attitudes and perspectives for tomorrow
Life is like a river, meandering stream or a gushing rapid
accept whatever destiny brings, the zest together the vapid
Life is the ultimate heartbeat and pulse of every soul
stay true to yourself and to God and you’ll feel whole
© Keziah Boey August 2007
This poem may not be reproduced on any website or other medium without consent.
If you wish to use this poem, please request permission first.
Pray, don’t find fault with the man that limps
Or stumbles along the road.
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden away from view.
Or the burden he bears placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble too.
Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong but still the blows
That was his if dealt to you
In the selfsame way, at the selfsame time
Might cause you to stagger too.
Don’t be too harsh with the man that sins
Or pelt him with word or stone
Unless you are sure – yea, doubly sure –
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know, perhaps,
If the tempter’s voice should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray
It might cause you to falter too.