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Inspirational Stories - Archive Seven

Puppies
Quotes
Prayer: God, the Holy Spirit
Insightful Prayer
Maiden Rock
Might As Well Dance
The Gold Christmas Box
Stress Management
Two Babies in a Manger
The Heart
Maya Angelou Gowing Older

Puppies

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups. And set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat of the back off his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly; followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up....

"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.

The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.

"With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.

"With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.

"How much?" asked the little boy.

"No charge," answered the farmer. "There's no charge for love."

Quotes

Call on God,but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S. Thompson, journalist
Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything.That's how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

Prayer: God, the Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit of God, come again to my heart and fill me.
I open the windows of my soul to let you in, come and possess me.
Fill me with light and truth.
Of myself I am an unprofitable servant, an empty vessel.
Fill me that I may live the Life of the Spirit,
the life of trust and goodness,
the life of wisdom and strength,
the life of beauty and love.
Guide me today in all things,
guide me to the people I should meet and help,
to the circumstances in which I may best serve God,
whether by my suffering or by my action.
But above all, make Christ to be formed in me,
that I may dethrone self in my heart and make Him King.
Bind me to Christ by all you ways, known and unknown,
the He may be in me and I in Him,
the day for forever.
Amen

Insightful Prayer

Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the nut who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester. Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear.

Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love. Amen

Maiden Rock

The secret is to tilt your head to the left until you see the reflection join the rock formation. You will see a woman and a child praying:

Might As Well Dance

Written by an 83-year-old:

Dear Bertha,

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries..

I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted.

I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles.

I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

If you received this, it is because someone cares for you.

"People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there."

I don't believe in miracles. I rely on them.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance

The Gold Christmas Box

The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her 5 year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said, "This is for you, Mamma."

The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty.

She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner. "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?"

She had tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Mamma, it's not empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full."

The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and she begged her forgiveness for her thoughtless anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later, and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life. Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

Stress Management

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "how heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax; pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!"

And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:
Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.
If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
Never buy a car you can't push.
Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
The second mouse gets the cheese.
When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors but
they all have to live in the same box.
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.
Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

Two Babies in a Manger

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage.

About 100 boys and girls, who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage.

They relate the following story in their own words: It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger.

Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word.

Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.

Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel [cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia], were used for the baby's blanket.

A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States. The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help.

All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6-years-old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger.

Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately -- until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger.

Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, "And when Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give Him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept Him warm, that would be a good gift.

"So I asked Jesus, 'If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?'

And Jesus told me, 'If you keep Me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave Me.'

So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and He told me I could stay with Him -- for always." As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him -- for always!

And the Americans? They had learned the lesson they had come there to teach -- that it is not what you have in your life, but WHO you have in your life that really counts. We all should give thanks for the people that "keep us warm" in life; and for all of God's many blessings to us: freedom from want, life, love, togetherness, and for the enduring love of Jesus Christ, the one person who keeps us warm and safe for always.

The Heart

"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began, "I'll open up your heart..."

"You'll find Jesus there," the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed "I'll cut your heart open," he continued, to see how much damage has been done..."

"But when you open up my heart, you'll find Jesus in there," said the boy.

The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly. "When I see how much damage has been done, I'll sew your heart and chest back up, and I'll plan what to do next."

"But you'll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You'll find Him in my heart."

The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell you what I'll find in your heart. I'll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I'll find out if I can make you well."

"You'll find Jesus there too. He lives there." The surgeon left. The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery, "...damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis:, "There he paused, "death within one year." He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. "Why?" he asked aloud. "Why did You do this? You've put him here; You've put him in this pain; and You've cursed him to an early death. Why?"

The Lord answered and said, "The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow." The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. "You created that boy, and You created that heart. He'll be dead in months. Why?"

The Lord answered, "The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock, for He has Done his duty: I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb." The surgeon wept.. The surgeon sat beside the boy's bed; the boy's parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, "Did you cut open my heart?"

"Yes," said the surgeon.

"What did you find?" asked the boy.

"I found Jesus there," said the surgeon.

Author Unknown - Celebrate Jesus

The best and most beautiful things abide in the heart.

Maya Angelou Gowing Older

Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah (on her show) for Dr. Angelou's 74th birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was "exciting.." Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day .... like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist first, she said. The audience laughed so hard they cried. Dr. Angelou also said:

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


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