There once was a farmer who owned a horse. One day the horse ran away. His friends came to console him because of the loss.
“I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”
The following week, the horse returned to the farm, accompanied by 20 other horses, who had been roaming wild in the countryside. His friends came to congratulate him: “Now you have a full stable!”
The farmer just said, “I don’t know. Maybe it’s a good thing and maybe it’s not.”
The following week, the farmer’s son was out riding one of the new horses. The horse began to buck and threw him off, breaking the son’s leg. His friends came to console the farmer because of the accident.
“I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”
The following week, the government declared war and called all able-bodied young men to join the fight. They came to the town and rounded up hundreds of young men, except for the farmer’s son who had a broken leg.
The farmer said, “Now I can say that it was a good thing my horse ran away.”
Life is a series of events, and until we’ve reached the end of the series, it’s hard to know exactly why things are happening.
This is from Perry Noble. It was so good I wanted to share it here. Great stuff!
Would you like to be a GREAT spouse (or future spouse), co-worker, friend or anything else you can think of?
Jesus told us how, ”…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.) Matthew 20:26
If we want to be great…we need to serve!
What does this look like?
S = Seek out opportunities to do good for others without expecting ANYTHING in return. (If we do things for someone b/c we expect something in return then it is not serving, it’s selfishness!)
E = Eliminate the mindset that, “it’s all about me!”
V = Value the fact that as we seek to serve others (and not take from them) then we are becoming more like Jesus.
E = Embrace the fact the church will reach way more people in this world through serving them rather than screaming at them. (This is SO true in EVERY relationship…if you want to be a GREAT spouse, don’t scream at your spouse about what you perceive to be their inadequacies, SERVE them to the best of your ability! It WILL change things!)
What sacrifices are you making now for the future of others?
From all outward appearances, Jack McDonald was a man of modest means. He lived most of his adult in a middle class neighborhood, he clipped coupons, took the bus, and often wore sweaters with holes in the elbows.
For thirty years he worked as an attorney for the Veteran’s Administration. He married for the first time in his fifties. At 82 he and his wife moved into a retirement home. A few years later, she passed away. In September 2013 Jack McDonald died as a result of injuries from a fall.
It was then that his “secret life” became known. Jack was frugal and lived simply, but he was a genius at picking stocks.
Over the years he amassed a fortune worth $187 million — while continuing to cut corners in his personal spending habits.
Upon his death, he left his money to three organizations: Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of Washington Law School, and the Salvation Army. His gift was the largest in the state’s history — the same state where one of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates, makes his home.
I don’t know how Mr. McDonald lived his life, what his spiritual values were. But he did understand about building a legacy that you leave behind for others. For some it’s done with dollars. For others it’s done with service.
It’s a question we would all do well to consider: What sacrifices am I making now for the future of others?
Delays and re-directions happen all the time, almost every day, in one way or another. Things don’t go the way we thought they would, or the way we want them to.
Those who have placed their lives in God’s loving hands see these annoyances differently: we know that God is in control, that he is causing all things to work together for our good and for his glory.
The tiniest delay could be diverting you from the greatest disaster. Or it could just be God’s way of preparing you for his perfect timing. When life inconveniently re-directs your plans, and it will certainly will sooner or later, remember that God is in the details. He is leading you where he wants you to be.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18)
Pastor Tim Satryan from Central Assembly of God in Cumberland, MD shard these in an email I received. Great choices to live by!
Positive Choices for 2014
Here are ten positive choices to make 2014 truly a happy new year!
1. Today I will not strike back
If someone is rude; if someone is impatient; if someone is unkind… I will not respond in like manner.
2. Today I will ask God to bless my “enemy”
If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly ask God to bless that individual. I understand the “enemy” could be a family member, neighbor, co-worker or stranger.
3. Today I will be careful about what I say
I will carefully choose and guard my words, being certain that I do not spread gossip, slander or malign anyone in any way.
4. Today I will go the extra mile
I will find ways to help share the burden of another person. I will find ways to make life more pleasant.
5. Today I will forgive
I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way. (I will also work to forgive injuries that have been inflicted upon me in the past)
6. Today I will do something nice for someone, but I will do it secretly
I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another person.
7. Today I will treat others as I wish to be treated
I will practice the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you – with everyone I encounter.
8. Today I will raise the spirits of someone who is discouraged
My smile, my words, my expression of support, can make the difference to someone who is wrestling with life.
9. Today I will nurture my body
I will eat less; I will eat only healthy foods; I will thank God for my body.
10. Today I will grow spiritually
I will spend a little more time in prayer today; I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational today; I will find a quiet place (at some point during this day) and listen to God’s voice!
The following list recently made the rounds on a variety of blogs and Facebook posts. [here's one] It comes from a nurse who works with the terminally ill; these are are five most common regrets she hears before patients die.
The nurse who wrote the list isn’t specifically identified, but many who work in palliative care say that they hear the same things.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Imagine for a moment that today you are on your deathbed. What would your regrets be?
Of course, everyone regrets some of the things they’ve done, things that can’t be undone. But many of our regrets are about things we haven’t done, things we neglected, things that we could begin to do at anytime, if we only would.
The five items on this list are a good start. Maybe you agree with them, maybe you don’t. What other regrets would you like to mark off your list, while there’s still time?
#6 – Because I will be doing a stunning rendition of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” complete with a ribbon dance while dressed in red tights, a deep V-neck Christmas sweater, a scarf and a brand new swoopy hair do!
#5 – The above mentioned reason is not true, I deeply apologize for any emotional damage this may have caused…may God have mercy on my soul.
#4 – Because we have awesome Christmas trees…that are not singing!
#3 – Because found people find people!
#2 – Because it is literally going to be CLC’s BEST Christmas Eve service ever.
#1 – Because Christmas is a reminder that NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE (virgin birth), that HE is with us (His name is Emmanuel) and has greater plans for us!
When Erma Bombeck was fighting her own battle with cancer, she often told the story of a young patient she met named Christina, who had cancer of the nervous system.
When she was asked what she wants for her birthday, the little girl thought for a while and then shrugged, “I don’t know. I have two sticker books and a Cabbage Patch doll. I already have everything!”
Erma said, “When I forget to feel grateful, I hear Christina saying, ‘I already have everything!’” (this story first appeared in Redbook, Oct 1992)
Do Christina’s words remind you of anything? They remind me of the words of King David. Even when facing a valley filled with shadows, David could say with conviction, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
We, too, face shadows of uncertainty today. Money. Health. Relationships. Problems that just won’t go away. No matter how big they seem, we can meet them with the same quiet confidence of this courageous little girl and this celebrated king…
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. In him, I already have everything.
When The Strokes released a song called, “You Only Live Once,” the phrase “YOLO” caught like wildfire.
“Should I get totally wasted this weekend regardless of the consequences?” YOLO!
“Should I cheat on my test so I don’t have to do my own work?” YOLO!
“Should I sleep with whoever I want?” YOLO!
Finishing any statement with “YOLO” has become like touching base in a game of tag. Once you call “YOLO,” all judgements are off.
“YOLO” has become an excuse to do whatever we want. After all, you only live once. Might as well live it up while you can, right?
“YOLO” gets one thing right: life is short. We should live with urgency because we don’t know when our lives will end. But it is vital that we understand the purpose of the urgency.
Our lives are short but, if we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, we don’t only live once–we get to live forever! Our urgency isn’t about our own brevity. It is instead about using the time we have on earth to reach people far from God and share the gospel.
You have the power to impact someone’s eternity and that is what should fuel your “YOLO”. There’s no promise of tomorrow but we’re given today.
Psalm 118:24 tells us, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
So let’s start using “YOLO” as less of an excuse for impulsivity and start using it as a reminder that we need to live ready for Jesus’s return, using the time we have to impact those around us.