Gratitude . . .

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Remember, if you are criticizing, you are not being grateful.

If you are blaming, you are not being grateful.

If you are complaining, you are not being grateful.

If you are feeling tension, you are not being grateful.

If you are rushing, you are not being grateful.

If you are in a bad mood, you are not being grateful.

Gratitude can transform your life. Are you allowing minor things to get in the way of your transformation and the life you deserve?”

— Rhonda Byrne

Consider this: Are you grateful today?

The Cracked Pot . . .

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The Cracked Pot
Author Unknown

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house it had leaked much of it’s water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

Consider this: Appreciate who you are.

The Cleaning Lady . . .

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The Cleaning Lady
Joanne C. Jones

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one:

“What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘Hello’.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Consider this: Who are you overlooking today?

Cupcakes and Rootbeer . . .

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Cupcakes and Rootbeer
Julie A. Manhan

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with cupcakes, several cans of root beer and started on his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he saw an elderly woman. She was sitting on a park bench watching the pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed the lady looked hungry so he offered her a cupcake. She gratefully accepted and smiled at him.

Her smile was so wonderful that he wanted to see it again, so he offered a root beer as well. Once again she smiled at him. The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling without saying a word.

As it began to grow dark, the boy realized how tired he was and wanted to go home. He got up to leave but before he had gone no more than a few steps, he turned around and ran back to the old woman, giving her a big hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy arrived home his Mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked, “What has made you so happy today?” He replied, “I had lunch with God.” Before his mother could respond he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile in the whole world!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face. He asked, “Mother, what has made you so happy today?” She replied, “I ate cupcakes in the park with God.” And before her son could reply, she added, “You know, he is much younger than I expected.”

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring; all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Take no one for granted and embrace all equally with joy!

Consider this: Don’t underestimate your power to make a difference!

Precious Gifts . . .

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Precious Gifts
Author Unknown

Yesterday a butterfly
Came floating gently through the sky.
He soared up through the atmosphere
Then drifted close enough to hear.

I said, “I’d love to fly with you
And sail around the way you do.
It looks like it would be such fun
To fly up toward the summer sun.

But I have not your graceful charm.
I haven’t wings, just these two arms.
I’ve been designed to walk around.
My human feet must touch the ground.

Then magically he spoke to me
and told me what his wish would be.

He said, “What I’d love most to do
Is walk upon God’s Earth with you,
To squish its mud between my toes
Or touch my finger to my nose.

I’d love just once to walk around
With human feet to touch the ground,
But I have not two legs that swing,
I haven’t arms, just these two wings.”

And so we went our separate ways
In wonder and surprise.
For we’d both seen God’s precious gifts
Through someone else’s eyes.

Consider this: You have a precious gift.

Welcoming The New Day . . .

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Welcoming The New Day
Margherita Rueger

While spotting the morning star
welcome dawn with a smile
let your gaze roam along
the pink tinted horizon
embrace the sky and the earth
and whisper softly “I love you”.
Then watch the glowing light
of the new day expanding
and hear the answer vibrating
deep within your heart:
“I love you too!”

Consider this: Welcome today!

Fear . . . or Joy?

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A traveler crossed a frozen stream
in trembling fear one day;
Later another drove across,
and whistled all the way.
Great and little faith alike
were granted safe convoy;
One had pangs of needless fear,
the other all the joy.

Author Unknown, but greatly appreciated

Consider this: All joy in 2017

I Will Not Die an Unlived Life . . .

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I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

BY DAWNA MARKOVA
Living Wide Open:
Landscapes of the Mind
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

Consider this: Happy New Year! Live wide open in 2017

Letter Written by Fra Giovanni . . .

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Letter Written by Fra Giovanni

I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty – beneath its covering – that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.

Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.

And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

Consider this: Life IS a generous giver. What will you take today?

**This letter was written by Fra Giovanni Giocondo to his friend, Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513.**

Who Rekindles Your Light?…

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Who Rekindles Your Light?

An insightful woman, who had lived through numerous dark nights and days, once taught me about getting through difficult times. “I appreciate your outlook on life,” I commented to Mrs. Tucker. I was in my twenties and she was fifty years older. In the short time I knew her she became a significant teacher for me. I learned from her remarkable attitude and her unshakeable strength of character, both of which undoubtedly buoyed her through treacherous waters.

“Well, I have been through a lot of tough times,” she told me. “In fact, sometimes it was awfully hard for me and my husband. He couldn’t always find work. Some days he would come home horribly depressed and say, ‘Things are so bad I don’t know if I can take it.’ And I would say to him, ‘Well, you know, things could be worse.’ And once he said, ‘I’ve heard that so many times I think I’m gonna die!’ I was hurt…but I just hated to see him so depressed. I didn’t know what to say. Later he confessed that if I would have wept in despair, he wouldn’t have been able to make it. He needed me during those times.”

It occurs to me that HOW she responded to her husband’s pain was probably not as important as the simple fact that she was there and cared. He knew he could always count on her to be a ray of light in his darkness and a strong hand to lift him when he stumbled or to soothe his hurts. He needed her…and for similar reasons, she needed him, too.

Albert Schweitzer said so well, “Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.” During those difficult times they rekindled one another’s light.

Who rekindles your light? Who blows your light into flame when it threatens to flicker out? Sometimes this person is a relative, sometimes a teacher, or a pastor, or a close friend. I’ve learned that if I need the light of my spirit rekindled during a bleak time, there are a few special people who can do it.

I admire some people for their brilliance and I respect others for their strength. But I am indebted to those who can rekindle my spirit. I hope I can be such a person for others.

By Steve Goodier http://www.LifeSupportSystem.com

Consider this: Who rekindles your light?