Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Waste in Worry

by Brad Stevens
If we were to keep a record of all the things we worried about during a given period of time, we would discover–in reviewing them–that the great majority of our anticipated problems or troubles never come to pass. This means that most of the time we devote to worrying, even the constructive kind that prompts us to try to come up with a solution to what is troubling us, is wasted. Thus, we not only caused ourself unnecessary mental anguish, but also took up valuable minutes and hours that could have been spent elsewhere.
To avoid this, it is often necessary to subject potential sources of worry to the coldly objective and analytical light of reason. Once, shortly before a major concert before a standing-room- only audience, a member of Arturo Toscanini’s orchestra approached the great Italian conductor with an expression of sheer terror on his face. “Maestro,” the musician fretted, “my instrument is not working properly. I cannot reach the note of E-flat. Whatever will I do? We are to begin in a few moments.”
Toscanini looked at the man with utter amazement. Then he smiled kindly and placed an are around his shoulders. “My friend,” the maestro replied, “Do not worry about it. The note E-flat does not appear anywhere in the music that you will be playing this evening.”
The next time we find ourselves in the middle of worrying about some matter, we might be wise to stop and ask ourselves what the odds are of the problem really coming to pass. We may be able to go on to something more constructive.

Friday, 27 January 2012

One Day

A beautiful reminder about just how generous and loving God is :)

If God gave us only one day of life, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one springtime or fall, one summer or winter, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one day of laughter, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one beautiful meal, beautifully served in a secure home, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one friend to share the journey of time, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one child, sound in mind and body, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one storm that left us unharmed, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one day for a good time with friends, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one talent for creating beauty, it would have been generous.
If God let us laugh only once in the face of calamity, it would have been generous.
If God gave us only one moment's pride in the success of those we love, it would have been generous.

But God has given us life and time, joy and sorrow,
sunshine and storms, laughter and tears,
gifts to share and days to remember.
God has given us friends and lovers, children and parents,
you and me, and Himself as well.

It is God who gives us life,
who tells us ever after to choose life,
God who is our resurrection and our hope,
who dwells within our hearts as the spirit of life,
the vanquisher of death,
and the comforter of the afflicted.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Noah in Modern Times

DISCLAIMER: I am not the author of this post. It was sent to me by and I am re-posting this to share the laugh that I had when I read this post. Once again no offense meant and this is just for LAUGH.

Here's a funny modern day take on Noah's Ark. It's just for a laugh, so please don't take it too seriously :)

And the Lord spoke to Noah & said: "In six months I'm going to make it rain until the whole earth is covered with water & all the evil people are destroyed. But I want to save a few good people, and two of every kind of living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build Me an Ark."

And in a flash of lightning he delivered the specifications for the Ark.

"OK," said Noah, trembling in fear and fumbling with the blueprints.

"Six months, and it starts to rain, "thundered the Lord. "You'd better have my Ark completed, or learn how to swim for a very long time."

And six months passed. The skies began to cloud up and rain began to fall. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard, weeping. And there was no Ark.

"Noah," shouted the Lord, "where is my Ark?" A lighting bolt crashed to the ground next to Noah.

"Lord, please forgive me!" begged Noah. "I did my best. But there were big problems.

First I had to get a building permit for the Ark construction project, and your plans didn't meet code. So I had to hire an engineer to redraw the plans.

Then I got into a big fight over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system.

My neighbors objected, claiming I was violating zoning by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.

Then I had a big problem getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the Spotted Owl. I had to convince U.S.Fish and Wildlife that I needed wood to save the owls. But they wouldn't let me catch any owls. So no owls.

Then the carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or hammer. Now we have 16 carpenters going on the boat and still no owls.

Then I started gathering up animals, and got sued by animal rights group. They objected to me taking only two of each kind.

Just when I got the suit dismissed, EPA notified me that I couldn't complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn't take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of a Supreme Being.

Then the Army Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed new flood plain. I sent them a globe.

Right now I'm still trying to resolve a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over how many Croatians I'm supposed to hire, the IRS has seized all my assets claiming I'm trying to avoid paying taxes by leaving the country, and I just got a notice from the state about owing some kind of use tax.

I really don't think I can finish your Ark for at least another five years," Noah wailed.

The sky began to clear. The sun began to shine. A rainbow arched across the sky.

Noah looked up and smiled. "You mean you're not going to destroy the earth?" Noah asked, hopefully.

"No," said the Lord sadly, "The government already has."

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Importance of Accepting Others

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam.

He called his parents from San Francisco.

"Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've got a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring with me."

"Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him."

"There's something you should know the son continued, "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mined and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us."

"I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live."

"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."

"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own."

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him.

A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know, their son had only one arm and one leg.

The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don't like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren't as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are.

Thankfully, there's someone who won't treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.

Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of those who are different from us!!!

There's a miracle called -Friendship- that dwells in the heart. You don't know how it happens or when it gets started. But you know the special lift It always brings and you realize that Friendship Is God's most precious gift!

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Love From the Father

Be sure to read the very end of this...such a meaningful message.

There once was an old man who lived in South Korea. After the war, times were hard and life for him wasn't easy. His occupation was that of a metal collector which was considered the lowest job possible at the time). He would search garbage can after garbage can looking for scraps of metal which he could sell to the government. He earned a measly ten dollars and spent five to buy food. He lived in a hut which he built on the mountain side and was a very lonely person and nobody cared for him. He lived a sad life for his face was severely scarred from a fire which killed his family. No one would look at him because he was so grotesquely scarred and because of this he kept very quiet and avoided people whenever he could. His main goal in life was to save enough money to fix his face so he could live a "normal" life.

Meanwhile, there was an orphan who lived in the streets every day. Both his parents left him when he was only nine. The boy was blind and suffered from severe malnutrition. Every day the boy begged for food but the people who passed by would either laugh at him or say evil things to him. In fact, some even kicked him or threw dirt in his face. Although he wished so much that he could run away, he couldn't because he was blind. Like the old man, the boy lived a sad sad life and nobody cared about him.

One day, as the old man was walking down the street and he was trying his best to avoid people while looking for scraps of metal, he saw the broken hearted boy and felt sympathy for him. Out of his kind heart, he took the boy to his home. There he fed him, clothed him, and treated him like his own beloved son. The boy was joyful and was so eternally grateful to this person who treated him like a loving father. For the first time in his life, the boy felt loved.

Years passed and the old man and the boy were very happy together. One day the boy said to the old man, "I'm sorry for being so useless. I wish my eyes would become better so I could help you work. You must be such a beautiful and wonderful person because you took care of someone as wretched as me. Maybe one day I could see your wonderful face."

The old man immediately became silent being too moved to say anything.

The next day he went to the hospital and asked the doctor privately how much it would cost for the surgery to heal his face. The doctor told him around a thousand dollars. He was Deeply saddened because he had saved up for ten long years and only had a little more than fifteen hundred. He then asked the doctor how much it would be to heal the young boy's sight. The doctor said fifteen hundred dollars will do. Without thinking, he knew what he had to do. He would give up his life-long dream for this boy whom he loved so dearly.

The next day, he took the boy to the doctor. He didn't want the boy to see him after the operation because of the scars on his face. Hesitantly and sadly, he went up to the young boy and said, "After you receive your sight I can't be with you anymore, yet I shall always think of you. I want you to be happy and live a good life."

After these words he paid the doctor and the tired man left knowing he could never truly reveal himself to the one he loved so dearly. The surgery was very successful and immediately thereafter the boy could see again. He was filled with joy and wondered why he couldn't see the one he who he owed his life to and sacrificed so much for him.

After the boy left the hospital, he started looking for a job and soon he found one at a restaurant. He became a waiter there and worked full time earning a good amount.

Chance would have it that the next day the old man came looking for metals to collect. He started searching around the garbage can of the restaurant. While he was searching, the manager of the restaurant came out and started yelling at him and commanding him to leave because he was scaring the customers.

The boy soon came to the manager's side side and seeing the old man creating such a commotion threatened him even more than the manager. The boy called the old man some foul names, kicked him a few times, and even threw dirt in his face. So quickly had he forgotten that he was picked on by other people in the same way years ago. Slowly....very slowly, the metal collector got up and began limping away aching from the pain that the boy had inflicted on him. As he was leaving he looked at the boy and he smiled a warm smile at the boy (although it was not well received) and left not wanting the boy to see him cry his happy tears.

Later on the day at the restaurant the manager said to the boy, "what an ugly man."

The boy's reply was, "I know, I hope I never see him again."

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Ragman

This is a beautiful story that's analogous to what our Savior went through. 

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me for.

Hush, child. Hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: "Rags!" Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.

"Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!"

"Now, this is a wonder," I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city?

I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn't disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers.

"Give me your rag," he said so gently, "and I'll give you another."

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then HE began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

"This IS a wonder," I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.

"Rags! Rags! New rags for old!"

In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.

"Give me your rag," he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, "and I'll give you mine."

The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood - his own!

"Rags! Rags! I take old rags!" cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry.

"Are you going to work?" he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head.

The Ragman pressed him: "Do you have a job?"

"Are you crazy?" sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket - flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.

"So," said the Ragman. "Give me your jacket, and I'll give you mine."

Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman - and I trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman's arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one.

"Go to work," he said.

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, and old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider's legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.

The little old Ragman - he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope - because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know - how could I know? - that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too.

But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence.

Light - pure, hard, demanding light - slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: "Dress me."

He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!

Friday, 6 January 2012

A Child's Request

A little boy the age of six
Come home from school one day
With tear filled eyes he told his mom
What he'd heard the teachers say

We can't have prayer in school no more
The teacher say's it's law
Please tell me why we can't pray mom
I don't understand at all

Some kids are saying God is dead
And Jesus isn't real
Mom all this talk confuses me
How am I suppose to feel

I know I'm just a little kid
But kids have questions too
So if there is no God mom
Then who made me and you

Who made all the trees mom
Who made the flowers to bloom
Who put the stars up in the sky
And hung the silver moon

Who made the gentle breeze to blow
Who made the deep blue sea
Who made all the mountains mom
Who made the air we breath

Why can't we pray in school no more
We use to every day
Our Bible teacher's there no more
They said she went away

All this just can't be right mom
They pushed God out the door
And if He can't be in school with me
I don't want to go no more

The mother lifted up her child
And held him to her breast
She gently wiped his tears away
Then answered his request

She said, yes son, there is a God
And Jesus is alive
He goes to school with you each day
He never leaves your side

And as you grow older son
You'll hear it more and more
It's not just schools, it's others too
That's pushed God out the door

Just keep your trust in God son
No matter what you hear
And when you want to talk to Him
You'll find He's always near

The one's that say there is no God
And Jesus isn't real
Will one day face their Master's son
Their fate will then be sealed.

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Brand New Year

I find this video inspiring and a good motivational clip to make each and every Christians here in Thailand to start a vibrant year in Christ service.
The song is entitled "It's A New Day" and I got the clip from PreachingToday which stores so many digital inspirational clips that are good for video presentations and church services' intro.
Indeed, it's a brand new day or even year for all of us at Nonthaburi christian Fellowship as we start another year and gears up for a challenging year ahead.
May his song inspire us all to do more of Christ's ministry here in Thailand, spreading His saving grace and love not only for us Filipinos but even for the Thais.
Let's start a brand new year RIGHT with God!!!

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