The Carpenter’s House . . .

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The Carpenter’s House
Author Unknown

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

Consider this: Build wisely today!

Listening . . .

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Find a quiet place and listen. It should be very quiet. The only sound you should hear is your heart beating. Listen. Peer deep down inside your heart. Do you see someone that holds a special place in your heart? Maybe they have always been there when you needed them; maybe they offered words of encouragement; taught you a lesson; comforted you when you were sick; praised you on your accomplishments. Make this their lucky day.You have the POWER to spread happiness today. A quick note or a kind word is all it takes to bring a smile and lasting memory to someone very special.

Gary Harrington

Consider this: Really listen today?

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?

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.**

Look under your feet . . .

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The lesson which life constantly repeats is to ‘look under your feet.’ You are always nearer to the divine and the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars. Every place is the center of the world.”

– John Burroughs

Consider this: Look under your feet.

‘Cause my cup has overflowed . . .

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‘Cause my cup has overflowed

And as I go along life’s way,

I’m reaping better than I sowed.

I’m drinking from my saucer,

‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven’t got a lot of riches,

and sometimes the going’s tough.

But I’ve got loving ones all around me,

and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for his blessings,

and the mercies He’s bestowed.

I’m drinking from my saucer,

‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,

My faith wore somewhat thin.

But all at once the dark clouds broke,

and the sun peeped through again.

So Lord, help me not to gripe,

about the tough rows I have hoed.

I’m drinking from my saucer,

‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,

When the way grows steep and rough.

I’ll not ask for other blessings,

I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,

to help others bear their loads.

Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,

Cause my cup has overflowed.

Consider this: Is your cup overflowed?

It Takes Time To Heal . . .

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It Takes Time To Heal
Ted Hibbard

It takes time to heal.

Build a bridge
from now to tomorrow.
Sink the piers
deep into the Earth.
Pour in concrete
day by day,
a little at a time,
and let it set.

It takes time to heal.

It may feel very awkward,
as if you’re making empty promises,
as if you’re simply spanning empty space.

But someday, somehow, somewhere,
you’ll find yourself
upon a brand new shore,
glancing back at the bridge
which you alone have built.

It takes time to heal.

Consider this: What do you need time to heal from?