Giving Service is Like Giving Yourself a Gift!

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose Jim Elliot

Heaven seems to be minimized all too frequently in today’s world. Having made a premature visit there, I know just how wonderful and important heaven is.  🙂

It doesn’t take dollars or possessions to make your way back to heaven…it takes love and goodness!

In heaven, narcissism is out and benevolence is in. No more what’s in it for me. Instead, we love and honor each other and make our decisions based on how can I best serve the whole? God? Mankind? Sound horrible? It’s not – it’s glorious!!!

Heaven is not a place of scarcity – it is a place of abundance. In heaven, we can all have all of our hearts desire, as long as that desire is good and not hurtful to others.

Heaven is a place of honor and it is a place of stewardship. We honor each others gifts whether we have few or many. Each talent or gift that we have is not just a source of pride but an opportunity to serve in a special way.  Therefore, gifts and talents are cherished in heaven and great effort is made to develop them and share them.

I believe that the greater part of mankind wants to love and serve our fellow man. I think that often what gets in our way is that we think that we have to have great wealth or an abundance of extra time to help others out.

The reality is that we each have the ability to contribute in a positive way to the world around us – even if that contribution today can only be a kind word and a smile!

I love today’s story! I hope it will inspire your day and your life!

Christmas Angel

When Delwyn Collins was a kid growing up in the projects of Fort Worth, Texas, he was labeled handicapped with a learning disability and sent to a special education school. His teachers never suspected that Collins was a genius at caring: Today the 52-year-old cafeteria worker at Tampa General Hospital is nothing less than an angel to hundreds of foster children in Hills-borough County, Florida. These children—many with special needs and often moved from home to home—tug hard at Collins’s heart. Christmas 2010 will mark the 21st year he has set up a Foster Angel’s Giving Tree decorated with paper angels bearing the first names, ages, and gender of foster children and the gifts each child would like to receive.

Collins is a man of modest means, but each week he sets aside a portion of his paycheck to buy gifts to put under the tree. “I just want to show these children there is somebody out there in the community who loves them.” His unpretentious example has inspired the doctors, nurses, and administrators he works with to make the Giving Tree a priority. Hospital employees and visitors take an angel off the tree and buy the present the child has requested.

As Christmas nears, bicycles, dolls, clothes, and video games begin to overflow the cafeteria. In recent years, the program has begun to receive presents from donors throughout the county. More than 1,000 kids in foster care in and around Tampa received gifts in 2009. “My job is to help and give to others,” says Collins. “God doesn’t care if we’re rich or poor.”

Story Shared from the following website: http://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/5-stories-that-celebrate-the-spirit-of-giving/2/

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Living an Inspired Life

As soon as you seek to Inspire others, it Inspires the best in you Brendon Burchard

I don’t know that I can adequately explain why, but ever since my near-death experience, I have been entranced by the influence of simple acts. Think of a small pebble being thrown into a calm lake and the ripples that extend from the spot at which the pebble enters into the water – how can you quantify the influence of that small pebble?

Today’s story resonates with me. I, too, have had those experiences in which just a small kind act of a stranger has made all the difference in the world.

I remember the day after my father died. I had to run to the store. I had visited that store many times. Yet, as I wandered the aisles, it was a different world that I lived in. My world had been changed as my father had taken his last breath. My world would never be the same. I wondered how many of the strangers that surrounded me in the store could sense my loss. I guessed that my loss was invisible to those around me. And I wondered, how many times had I been that stranger in the store – oblivious to the loss or devastation that someone in my circle of influence had experienced? How many times could a little more patience or warm smile have helped a stranger in need?

Could there be a chance for me to spread love and light every time I enter the doors of my local supermarket? What about the help team I access online? Could my sincere gratitude for their help make their day – even if it is their job to provide me with that help?

I am going to make a conscious effort to be more kind, to smile more, and to exercise more patience. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Please enjoy today’s story as I did!:

Love is in the Moment  By Annie

It was early morning, yet already it had been a stupendously bad day. One thing after another. The downward spiral continued when a large pitcher of orange juice slid from my hands and smashed to the floor.Glass and sticky juice spewed to the farthest corners of the kitchen, slithering down cabinets and appliances, puddling at my feet.

Stunned, I looked at the mess. Then I dropped dejectedly down to the floor, my eyes filling with overdue tears. The tears came from begrudging and angry acceptance that “today is just not my day.”

Bad day or not, errands had to be done. Filled with angst and negative mental baggage, I got in my car to drive into town. In the few minutes it took to travel to the bank I made a decision. I would be careful not to pass my bad day off to anyone else. I would be cordial and polite. And I would NOT retaliate when that harried driver pulled quickly and rudely in front of me causing me to slam on my breaks, dumping the contents of my drink onto the front car seat!

Standing in line at the bank, I was silently talking to myself. Actually, I was scolding myself. All of the events that had accumulated and contributed to my bad day were, in reality, so very minor and trivial. I was over-reacting. I was indulging in self-pity. I tried to imagine the innumerable, individual lives that had been affected by 9/11, by war, by hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

For the second time that day my eyes filled with tears as I realized how disconnected I felt from all those individuals who are trying to cope with truly traumatic events in their lives. They all seemed so distant and unknowable, and this justified and intensified my belief that I was being self-centered and selfish. I was sure that all my efforts to be a caring and loving person were for naught.

A voice broke through my mental distractions. Somehow I had mechanically finished my bank transaction and the teller was trying to get my attention. “Young lady,” she was saying, “Young lady!”

I looked up and into the eyes of the bank teller, a silver-haired grandmother with a gentle beauty. Her keen eyes reflected concern as she leaned forward and softly said, “I don’t know what is happening inside of you, but please, believe me when I tell you that – everything will be okay.”

And then she did something quite marvelous. My hands were resting on the counter. She took her hands and placed them gently on top of mine. The touch was quick but electric. And in that moment my world shifted.

In the moment of her touch my self-doubt vanished. I found understanding and acceptance. I knew that love was being channeled through the heart of this beautiful woman directly into my heart. I was infused with a profound awareness – that I am loved. I was speechless. I smiled. It was my first smile of the day. But it would not be my last, as from that moment on my entire day was transformed.

Perhaps without even knowing it, the kind-hearted bank teller allowed herself to be a conduit of divine love. She was instrumental in transforming a day that seemed destined to be a day of tears into a day of smiles. The seemingly small gesture of a this gentle woman not only changed the course of my day, it became a powerful reminder in my life. The profound effect of that one simple, loving touch remains in my heart to this day.

More people than not scoff at the idea of world peace. Laugh if you wish. As for myself, I believe it is possible to transform our world … one act of loving kindness at a time. Remember: A simple smile. A warm handshake. A kind word. A gentle hug. Through these, we open the transformative power of love.

Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: https://www.personalgrowthcourses.net/stories/ttinspiringstories


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Life Turns Out Best When You Have a Good Attitude!

Things turn out  best for the people  who make the best  of the ways things  turn out   Coach John WoodenIt is easy to have a bad attitude. It takes work and diligent effort to have a good attitude. Some believe that a positive attitude comes naturally to some people. I don’t believe it at all. I believe that it takes a conscious effort. I also believe it is worth every bit of effort it takes.

I remember reading a story about a kind man by the name of David O. McKay. He was a busy man and advanced in his years. One day, in an airport, as he sat waiting for his next flight, a difficult situation presented itself.

A young man with three very energetic young children sat nearby. The three children were being very noisy and very disrupting to the passengers around them. The father sat in his seat doing nothing to curtail the antics of his children.

The passengers who were waiting nearby began making rude comments under their breath – hoping the man would take the hint and do something about his children.

David McKay took a moment and went over and talked to the young father. He told him that he noticed that he seemed to be deep in thought and wondered if there was anything he could do to help the young man with his children.

The young father then buried his face in his hands. He explained that he and his children had just come from the hospital and that his wife had just passed away. He was still in shock from the loss of his wife.

Mr. McKay then tenderly attended the young father and his children.

As he did, the nearby passengers heard the conversation and were then embarrassed by their behavior – clearly their behavior had only contributed to further hurt and distress to the young man.

What a difference it made when David McKay decided not to make assumptions and instead, decided to exercise some kindness and ask questions before he passed judgement.

I wonder how many times I have been guilty of wrongly passing judgement? I hope the number of times is small and I hope that I have never hurt someone in the process.

I hope you enjoy today’s story – after all, everyone is important!

Everyone is Important.

During Mark’s first month of college, the professor gave his students a pop quiz. He was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until he read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind of joke. He had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would he know her name? He handed in his paper, leaving the last question blank.

Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward the quiz grade. “Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They each deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello’”. Mark never forgot that lesson. He also learned her name was Dorothy.

Everyone in your life is everyone just like the people you give importance to.

Story shared from the following website: https://whitepage4u.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/7-inspiring-short-stories-to-change-our-attitude-for-life/

 

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Creating a Meaningful Life

Efforts and Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction John F. KennedyI just had to share today’s story about Jack LaLanne. This probably dates me but I remember when Jack was a frequent personality on television!

As a young person, I have to admit that I never had a sufficient measure of appreciation for Jack LaLanne. Now, as a person who has recovered from some significant health issues, I wish Mr. LaLanne could have been a personal mentor! He understood health and he understood that all else in life shrinks in importance to health.

Not all of us are blessed with perfect health and I have found that everything else in life craters when our health is compromised!

We all have an important personal mission to accomplish with our life. We need to have the best health possible to make that happen!

In addition, we need to have a personal map of what our mission is and the steps that we will need to take to facilitate the accomplishment of our personal mission.

And sometimes…we need a mentor. Several individuals that I do not know personally serve as mentors to me! Their example, their stories, and their own personal missions inspire me and help me understand what I need to do in my efforts to serve the world through my own personal mission!

I hope you are inspired by today’s story and that you are working everyday to help your own personal mission find its fulfillment!

Jack LaLanne tribute: An inspiring story for seniors and advisors


Jack LaLanne, America’s first health and fitness guru, died Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011 at the age of 96. When I read the article scroll across the newsfeed, it caught me off guard. Usually, when someone dies in their 90s, it’s no surprise. But Jack LaLanne was no ordinary person. He was something of a superman.

In the spring of 2008, I had the great fortune of sitting down with LaLanne for a video interview. At the time, LaLanne, a spry 93, was in New York City promoting his new book, “Fiscal Fitness: 8 Steps to Wealth & Health from America’s Leaders in Fitness and Finance.” LaLanne co-wrote the book with financial expert Matthew J. Rettick. They explained to me how seniors can best upgrade their physical and fiscal health and how those two seemingly diverse topics actually go hand in hand.

In the July 2008 issue of Senior Market Advisor, we ran a story entitled “Super Seniors.” It should come as no surprise that Jack LaLanne was our lead senior in that feature.

As I wrote about LaLanne then:

“People of a certain generation–those growing up in the ’50s and ’60s–remember a familiar figure greeting them from their early morning television sets. Wearing a jumpsuit, sporting a physique carved like a Greek statue, he jumped, lunged and flexed muscles that most people didn’t know existed, all the while barking commands at the audience to get off the couch and join him in this foreign activity called exercise.”

When I spoke to LaLanne in 2008, he wore one of his trademark exercise outfits. When he shook my hand, my hand stung afterwards. He had continued an intense daily exercise regimen and maintained a sharp mind as well as a steadfast attitude regarding fitness and finances.

“Say you’re a multimillionaire, but you’ve got a big belly, health problems, your sex life is gone, you have aches and pains–what good is your money?” he told me in 2008. His words, which were spoken roughly six months prior to the financial meltdown, cast a chilling truth to what LaLanne saw as America’s excesses.

While exercise is his specialty, in writing “Fiscal Fitness,” he explained to me the similarities to being healthy financially and physically. “In both cases, you need to have a plan. So many people are financially bankrupt. It makes you sick. They spend money on this and that, with no plan of what they’re doing. They get to 30 or 40 years old, in debt up to their ears. They need a plan and part of that plan is going to an expert to get out of a financial rut.”

Jack LaLanne had a plan and he stuck to it through self discipline and hard work. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes of his: “How do you build up your bank account? By putting something in it every day. Your health account is no different. What I do today, I am wearing tomorrow. If I put inferior foods in my body today, I’m going to be inferior tomorrow; it’s that simple.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2011/01/25/jack-lalanne-tribute-an-inspiring-story-for-senior

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The Measure of a Life…Creating a Meaningful Life

The MEASURE OF A LIFE, after all, is not its DURATION but its DONATION Corrie Ten BoomToday, I wanted to share the story of Corrie Ten Boom. I remember reading her book, The Hiding Place, when I was a young girl. It inspired me then and it continues to inspire me.

Corrie’s life and the lives of her family saved the lives of many Jewish people during the Holocaust. How can you put a value on a saved life? There is no greater gift!

I am so very grateful for all who contribute in a positive way to the world in which we live! (Both those who are living and those who assist us from Heaven’s side of mortality!) I hope you enjoy today’s story!

Corrie Ten Boom – A Story of Inspiration

Corrie ten Boom and her family helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II and, by all accounts, saved nearly 800 lives.

Synopsis

Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was born in Haarlem, Netherlands, in 1892, and grew up in a devoutly religious family. During World War II, she and her family harbored hundreds of Jews to protect them from arrest by Nazi authorities. Betrayed by a fellow Dutch citizen, the entire family was imprisoned. Corrie survived and started a worldwide ministry and later told her story in a book entitled The Hiding Place.

Early Life

Cornelia Arnolda Johanna ten Boom was born on April 15, 1892, in Haarlem, Netherlands, near Amsterdam. Known as “Corrie” all her life, she was the youngest child, with two sisters, Betsie and Nollie, and one brother, Willem. Their father, Casper, was a jeweler and watchmaker. Cornelia was named after her mother.

The Ten Boom family lived in the Beje house in Haarlem (short for Barteljorisstraat, the street where the house was located) in rooms above Casper’s watch shop. Family members were strict Calvinists in the Dutch Reformed Church. Faith inspired them to serve society, offering shelter, food and money to those in need. In this tradition, the family held a deep respect for the Jewish community in Amsterdam, considering them “God’s ancient people.”

Seeking a Vocation

After the death of her mother and a disappointing romance, Corrie trained to be a watchmaker and in 1922 became the first woman licensed as a watchmaker in Holland. Over the next decade, in addition to working in her father’s shop, she established a youth club for teenage girls, which provided religious instruction as well as classes in the performing arts, sewing and handicrafts.

World War II Changes Everything

In May 1940, the German Blitzkrieg ran though the Netherlands and the other Low Countries. Within months, the “Nazification” of the Dutch people began and the quiet life of the ten Boom family was changed forever. During the war, the Beje house became a refuge for Jews, students and intellectuals. The façade of the watch shop made the house an ideal front for these activities. A secret room, no larger than a small wardrobe closet, was built into Corrie’s bedroom behind a false wall. The space could hold up to six people, all of whom had to stand quiet and still. A crude ventilation system was installed to provide air for the occupants. When security sweeps came through the neighborhood, a buzzer in the house would signal danger, allowing the refugees a little over a minute to seek sanctuary in the hiding place.

The entire ten Boom family became active in the Dutch resistance, risking their lives harboring those hunted by the Gestapo. Some fugitives would stay only a few hours, while others would stay several days until another “safe house” could be located. Corrie ten Boom became a leader in the “Beje” movement, overseeing a network of “safe houses” in the country. Through these activities, it was estimated that 800 Jews’ lives were saved.

Capture and Imprisonment

On February 28, 1944, a Dutch informant told the Nazis of the ten Booms’ activities and the Gestapo raided the home. They kept the house under surveillance, and by the end of the day 35 people, including the entire ten Boom family, were arrested, Although German soldiers thoroughly searched the house, they didn’t find the half-dozen Jews safely concealed in the hiding place. The six stayed in the cramped space for nearly three days before being rescued by the Dutch underground.

All ten Boom family members were incarcerated, including Corrie’s 84-year-old father, who soon died in the Scheveningen prison, located near The Hague. Corrie and her sister Betsie were remanded to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. Betsie died there on December 16, 1944. Twelve days later, Corrie was released for reasons not completely known.

Work After the War

Corrie ten Boom returned to the Netherlands after the war and set up a rehabilitation center for concentration camp survivors. In the Christian spirit to which she was so devoted, she also took in those who had cooperated with the Germans during the occupation. In 1946, she began a worldwide ministry that took her to more than 60 countries. She received many tributes, including being knighted by the queen of the Netherlands. In 1971, she wrote a best-selling book of her experiences during World War II, entitled The Hiding Place. In 1975, the book was made into a movie starring Jeannette Clift as Corrie and Julie Harris as her sister Betsie.

In 1977, at age 85, Corrie ten Boom moved to Placentia, California. The next year, she suffered a series of strokes that left her paralyzed and unable to speak. She died on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983. Her passing on this date evokes the Jewish traditional belief that states that only specially blessed people are granted the privilege of dying on the date they were born.

Story shared from the following website: https://www.biography.com/people/corrie-ten-boom-21358155

 

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