Paul Harvey not too long ago read "Rules Not Learned" by Charles Sykes, author of "Dumbing Down Our Kids," and this was in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution on June 29, 1998 reprinted with permission of Paul Harvey News. It is a classic:
1) Life is not fair. Get used to it
2) The world won't care about your self-esteem as much as your school does. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
3) You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both. 4) If you think your teacher is rough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.
5) Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping. They called it "opportunity." 6) If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault. So don't whine about your mistakes; learn from them.
7) Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying YOUR bills, cleaning YOUR room and listening to you tell how idealistic you are. So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try de-lousing the closet in your own room. 8) Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life hasn't. In some schools, they've abolished failing grades. They'll give you as many times as you want for the right answer. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. 9) Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off. And very few employers are interested in helping you "find yourself", do that on your own time.
10) Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shops and go to jobs.
11) Be nice to nerds; chances are you'll end up working for nerds. 12) Smoking does not make you look "cool"; it makes you look moronic. Ditto for purple hair and pierced body parts. 13) Living fast and dying young is romantic - only until you see one of your peers at room temperature.
GET UP WHEN YOU FALL DOWN. Michael Jordan has missed the basket 9,000 times. He has lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, Michael Jordan has been trusted to take the game-winning shot - and missed. Jordan says, "Over and over and over again, I have failed. And that is why I succeed." >>
~ About to Begin ~
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life!
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business ... time to be served, a debt to be paid.
Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
Save Your Work
Jesus and Satan were having an argument as to who was the better programmer. This went on for a few hours until they agreed to hold a contest with God as the judge. They sat at their computers and began. They typed furiously for several hours, lines of code streaming up on the screen.
Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning struck, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power was restored, and God announced that the contest was over. He asked Satan to show what he had come up with. Satan was visibly upset, and cried, "I have nothing! I lost it all when the power went out."
"Very well, then," God said, "Let us see if Jesus did any better." Jesus entered a command, and the screen came to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir poured forth from the speakers. Satan was astonished. He stuttered, "But how?! I lost everything, yet Jesus' program is intact! How did he do it?" God chuckled,
Thought for the Day
Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. (NIV) Romans 6:13
I don't like confessing my sins. Somehow, I still hold this fantasy that one day I will be able to say "OK God, I was perfect today." As the saying goes: "not in this lifetime!" Paul offers a great vehicle to confess sins: a parts inventory. Spend time surveying the parts of your body and determining if they were used for sin or righteousness.
Most of us can stop right here and spend hours confessing the many ways we have used our mouths for sin. In James, we are reminded just how powerful tongue is; like the tiny rudder of a ship, it can move us in ways we have no desire to go (James 3:1-12). What words came out of your mouth today; were they positive or negative, did they tear down or build up? How often did you praise God out loud today? We also use our mouths to eat. What did you put in your body today? Did you eat too much? Too little? Junk food or nutritious food. What chemicals did you put in your body; alcohol, pills, smoke?
Where did you walk today? Did your feet take you to the aid of someone? Did they take you into your prayer closet? Did you walk into a relationship that was wrong or maybe a theater or store or neighborhood that was not good. Were your feet "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:16)? How many people did you meet on your "walk" today that you were able to be Christ to?
What did you listen to today? Was it gossip about a friend or griping about a boss? Did you listen to praise songs? Did you hear the voice of God or the temptations of Satan.
Was your vision 20/20 today? Did you keep your eyes focused on Christ or did you focus on the circumstances and, like Peter sink in the storm? (Matthew 14:24-32) Did you look at your fellow man with the eyes of Christ or did you see them with your judging eyes? How did your eyes look to others? When they looked at you did you reflect Christ?
How were your thoughts today? Were they full of doubt, judgment, fear, lust or envy? Did you contemplate the word of God? How often did you ponder the power of Christ in your life? Were you able to recognize the everyday miracles that God performed for you today?
Simple as it may seem, this exercise is a good vehicle to admit sin. Thankfully, once we recognize our sin all we need do is confess and repent (walk away from it) and we are forgiven. What a wonderful God we serve!
Written by Sheree Motola used with permission.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anchor Your Life
Believe in Yourself
Set your standards high
You deserve the best.
Try for what you want
And never settle for less.
Believe in yourself
No matter what you choose.
Keep a winning attitude
And you can never lose.
Think about your destination
But don't worry if you stray
Because the most important thing
Is what you've learned along the way.
Take all that you've become
To be all that you can be.
Soar above the clouds
And let your dreams set you free.
by Jillian K. Hunt
from Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul
Copyright 1998 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen and Irene Dunlap
Did the Earth Move for You?
Eleven-year-old Angela was stricken with a debilitating disease involving her nervous system. She was unable to talk, and the doctors did not hold out much hope of her ever recovering. The little girl was undaunted. There, lying in her hospital bed, she would vow to anyone who'd listen that she was definitely going to be walking again someday.
She was transferred to a specialized rehabilitation hospital in the San Francisco Bay area. The therapists were charmed by her undefeatable spirit. They taught her about imaging - about seeing herself walking. If it would do nothing else, it would at least give her hope and something positive to do in the long waking hours in her bed. Angela would work as hard as possible in physical therapy, in whirlpools and in exercise sessions. But she worked just as hard lying there faithfully doing her imaging, visualizing herself moving, moving, moving!
One day, as she was straining with all her might to imagine her legs moving again, it seemed as though a miracle happened: The bed moved! It began to move around the room! She screamed out, "Look what I'm doing! Look! Look! I moved, I moved!"
Of course, at this very moment everyone
else in the hospital was screaming, too, and running for cover. People were screaming, equipment was falling, and glass was breaking. You see, it was an earthquake. But don't tell that to Angela. She's convinced that she did it. And now, only a few years later, she's back in school. On her own two legs. No crutches, no wheelchair. You see, anyone who can shake the earth between San Francisco and Oakland can conquer a piddling little disease, can't they?
By Hanoch McCarty, Ed.D.
from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Patty Hansen
The Baseball Game For Life
Bob was caught up in the Spirit when he and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord's team was playing Satan's team. The Lord's team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was Love.
Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never fails. The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faith works with Love. The next batter up was named Godly Wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch; Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass, because Godly Wisdom does not swing at Satan's pitches. Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked, because Godly Wisdom never swings at Satan's throws. The bases are loaded. The Lord then turned to Bob and told him He was now going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate stepped Grace. Bob said he sure did not look like much! Satan's whole team relaxed when they saw Grace. Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But Satan was not worried; his center fielder, the Prince of the Air, let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing to the ground; then it continued over the fence for a home run! The Lord's team won. The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith and Godly Wisdom could get on base but could not win the game? Bob answered that he did not know why. The Lord explained, "If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base, but only My Grace can get you home.
A Prayer For You
I like this Prayer
When you receive this, say the prayer. That's all you have to do. There is nothing attached. This is powerful. Just send this to four people and Do not break this, please. Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue praying for one another.
Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this right now Lord, show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace & mercy. Where there is self-doubting, release a renewed confidence in Your ability to work through them.
Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, patience, & strength as they learn submission to Your leading.
Where there is spiritual stagnation, I ask You to renew them by revealing Your nearness, and by drawing them into greater intimacy with You. Where there is fear, reveal Your love, and release to them Your courage. Where there is a sin blocking them, reveal it, and break its holdover my friend's life.
Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders, and friends to support, and encourage them.
Give each of them discernment to recognize the demonic forces around them, and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it. I ask You to do these things in Jesus' name. In Christian love, Your Friend in Jesus.
Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not considered a friend is something I know Christ would do.
*Funny how a $100 "looks" so big when you take it to church, but so small when you take it to the mall.
*Funny how long it seems to take to serve God for an hour, but how quickly a team plays 60 minutes of basketball.
*Funny how long a couple of hours spent at church are, but how short they are when watching a movie.
*Funny how we can't think of anything to say when we pray, but don't have difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.
*Funny how we get thrilled when a baseball game goes into extra innings, but we complain when a sermon is longer than the regular time.
*Funny how hard it is to read a chapter in the bible, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a best selling novel.
*Funny how people want to get a front seat at any game or concert, but scramble to get a back seat at church services.
*Funny how we need 2 or 3 weeks advance notice to fit a church event into our schedule, but can adjust our schedule for other events at the last moment.
*Funny how hard it is for people learn a simple gospel well enough to tell others, but how simple it is for the same people to understand and repeat gossip.
*Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
*Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to believe, or to think, or to say, or do anything.
*Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
FUNNY, ISN'T IT? Are you laughing? Are you thinking? Spread the Word and give thanks to the Lord for He is good! Please send this to as many people as you can...
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of being selfish, and having ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest anyway.
What you spend years building, someone may try to destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be Happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, It's between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.