Friendship…The World Needs More Love One Another

The World is Round so that Friendship may encircle it

I don’t understand bias based on color of skin or religion. I have been a victim of prejudice many times and every time, it has seemed silly to me. When my spirit left my body – I noticed no color. I’m pretty sure that Good and Bad – Selfless and Selfish can be found in every race and every religion. Friendship is a gift that is best received when given.

I think a better way to judge people is by their ability to love. We are all connected more than most can even imagine. When we love each other, we improves our own lives and we improve the lives of those we share this world with.

I love today’s story! It embraces the true meaning of friendship! I hope you enjoy!:

Friends in Heaven

— Author unknown

An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse.

Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight. Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’

‘This is ranch, Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.

‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked.

 ‘Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.’

As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, ‘Can I bring my partners, too?’

‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. ‘Excuse me,’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’

‘Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.’

‘How about my friends here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.

‘Of course! They look thirsty, too,’ said the man.

The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog. When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. ‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked.

‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.

‘That’s confusing,’ the traveler said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’

‘Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.’

‘Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?’

‘Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.’

Story is shared from the following website: http://www.inspire21.com/stories/friendshipstories/FriendsinHeaven

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Coming Together, Keeping Together, and Working Together…Creating Unity

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping Together is progress. Working together is Success. Henry Ford

Coming Together, Keeping Together, and Working together is the mindset that I found prevailed in heaven during my near-death experience. Can I just share that the atmosphere and love that existed in heaven was more glorious than words can describe?

I think it is the glorious conditions there (in heaven) that make so many of us who have had a near-death experience want to return and/or never leave. But earth and life on earth has a purpose. We have come here to learn to love, support and grow ourselves and others.

Yet, that never happens successfully where there is conflict instead of love, lashing out instead of support and shrinking from challenges instead of growth.

The media has been sharing and deliberately creating lots of division in the last several months. Perhaps it originated with the presidential election and the various elections throughout the country. Perhaps it started much earlier.

I would not normally hone in on the media but from my vantage point, the division in this country does not seem to be between the citizens of my community. Nor does it seem to be with those I call friends and acquaintances who live far away from me. Instead, it seems to be mostly prevalent on the various forms of media where it appears that extraordinary effort is made to find divisive stories.

The power of unity lies with each of us. We can build unity with our families, we can build unity in our workplaces, we can build unity in our communities and in the world. We must be the ones who come together, keep together and support each others successes.

May we each choose to be a part of a unified world and may today’s story inspire you to be a part of the teamwork called unity!:

Teamwork in the workplace can be difficult. Teams at work often consist of a variety of conflicting personalities and styles. Getting to a point in which a team can collaborate and work in harmony can be a difficult task for a leader and takes time.

I love the following metaphor on teamwork from Steve Jobs I recently found.

He tells the story of a widowed man he had gotten to know in his eighties who lived up the street from him when he was a young boy.

One day the older man said to him, “come on into my garage, I want to show you something.” He pulled out a dusty and old rock tumbler that consisted of a motor and a coffee can with a little band between them, Jobs recollected.

He then invited him to the backyard where they collected some very regular and old ugly rocks. They put them in a can with a little bit of liquid and some grit powder. The old man then closed the can, turned the motor on and said, “come back tomorrow.”

Jobs remembered the can making a big racket as the stones went around in the can.

He came back the next day and when they opened the can and took out the rocks they were amazingly beautiful and polished. He states, “The same common stones that had gone in, through rubbing against each other like this (clapping his hands), creating a little bit of friction, creating a little bit of noise, had come out these beautiful polished rocks.” Teams, he states, are like these stones.

Individually we can be fairly normal, ordinary and even a bit rough. But through the process of teamwork we can end up in a very different state.

Jobs states that teams consisting of incredibly talented people who are passionate and are working hard towards something often times bump up against each other, argue, sometimes fight and make some noise. By working together they polish one another and their ideas and in the process create beautiful stones.

I love this metaphor. Have you built up enough trust on your teams to allow bumping up against one another and passionately arguing on occasion?

Passive, “follow the leader” types of teams are destined to fail. Each member of a team brings something unique. They are unique in their gifts, ideas and arguments. Team members must feel like they can express themselves without embarrassment or retribution.

Leaders who embrace the process of “tumbling stones” on their teams create more efficiency, better ideas, better problem solving and ultimately better teamwork.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.teamworkandleadership.com/2014/10/teamwork-and-collaboration-a-powerful-metaphor-and-story-to-share.html

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Finding Peace and Happiness…

Everyone wants peace and happiness in their life – well maybe most everyone! I can’t imagine someone wanting chaos and confusion but there is probably an exception out there somewhere 🙂  As for me, I want peace and happiness and I want it forever! I believe that most of us do.

It has been my experience that peace comes only through God and truth. It does not come from wishful thinking. It might be hard to believe, but it can come even in the middle of great struggles and significant difficulties. I was blessed to feel significant peace as I watched my granddaughter fight for her life. God daily answered my prayers during that time reassuring me that she still had things to do with her special life.

Today’s story shares the awareness that heaven has for each of us. I am a witness through my near death experience that God and heaven knows and watches over each of us individually. The love and concern that God has for us is real and tangible! I hope you enjoy today’s story:

GOD, JESUS AND ME

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the Surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: “How is my little boy? Is he going to be O.K.? When can I see him?”

The Surgeon said, “I’m sorry, we did all we could.” Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t GOD care any more? GOD, where were you when my son needed you?”

The Surgeon said, “One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes to let you spend time with your son’s remains before it’s transported to the university.” Sally asked that the nurse stay with her while she said good-bye to her son.

Sally ran her fingers through his thick red curly hair. The nurse said, “Would you like a lock of his hair?” Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of his hair and put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. Sally said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to give his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else,” and that is what he wanted.

I said no at first, but Jimmy said, “Mom I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy to be able to spend one more day with his mother.” Sally said, “My Jimmy had a heart of gold, always thinking of someone else and always wanting to help others if he could.”

Sally walked out of the Children’s Hospital for the last time now after spending most of the last 6 months there. She sat the bag with Jimmy’s things in it on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was hard and it was even harder to go into an empty house. She took the bag to Jimmy’s room and started placing the model cars and things back in his room exactly where he always kept them. She laid down across his bed and cried herself to sleep holding his pillow.

Sally woke up about midnight, and laying beside her on the bed was a letter folded up. She opened the letter and it said:

Dear Mom,

I know your going to miss me, but don’t think that I will ever forget you or stop loving you because I’m not around to say I LOVE YOU. I’ll think of you every day mom, and I’ll love you even more each day. Some day we will see each other again.

If you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, he can have my room and my old stuff to play with. If you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things as us boys do, so you will have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like.

Don’t be sad when you think about me. This is really a great place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything here. The angels are so friendly and I love to watch them fly.

Jesus doesn’t look like any of the pictures I saw of Him, but I knew it was Him as soon as I saw Him. He took me to see GOD! And guess what mom? I got to sit on GOD’S knee and talk to Him like I was somebody important. I told GOD that I wanted to write you a letter and tell you good-bye and everything, but I knew that wasn’t allowed.

God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter with. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel that is going to drop this letter off to you.

God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him about — where was He when I needed him? God said, “The same place He was when Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.”

Oh, by the way Mom, nobody else can see what is written on this paper but you. To everyone else, it looks like a blank piece of paper.

I have to give God His pen back now. He has some more names to write in the Book Of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for Supper. I’m sure the food will be great.

I almost forgot to let you know — Now I don’t hurt anymore and the cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore. And God couldn’t stand to see me suffer the pain either, so He sent The Angel of Mercy to get me. The Angel said I was Special Delivery!

Signed with love from:
God, Jesus and Me

Author Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://godslittleacre.net/inspirationalstories/god_jesus_and_me.html

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When It is of God…It is Simple

simplicity-if-the-ultimate-sophistication-canna-1341423Simplicity is the hallmark of God. For me, it has become a sign. When I see complexity and chaos, I know it is man made because God does not use either tool.

Did you ever think about the Atonement of Jesus Christ? His sacrifice was comprehensive but there were no elaborate programs, piles of red tape or complicated mandates. The gifts of the Atonement are now offered to each man, woman and child without fanfare or complication. Yet, the impact and availability of those gifts are profound! A true sign that the Atonement is affiliated with God!

Today, I want to share a story from http://bemorewithess.com:

Matt’s Simplicity Story:

I am very slow and selective when it comes to labeling myself, so I don’t call myself a minimalist. Yet I certainly apply minimalist and simple living principles to my life.

I will admit that the reason I began adopting minimalist principles is selfishness. I didn’t like the clutter that surrounded me. I didn’t like the unease I felt in a messy space. I didn’t like keeping a calendar with every box filled with blue ink, black ink, and penciled in appointments. I didn’t enjoy being drained after over committing myself yet again.

I was wildly successful in my simplifying efforts. My house is emptier, more peaceful, and easier to maintain. My calendar is emptier and my weeks are less rushed.

I don’t want to share how I began implementing simple living principles. I want to share why I still work to keep my space and schedule minimal.

I apply minimalist principles…

…because my wife is important. I love her. I want her to have a husband who knows her—really knows her. I want to be a husband who knows what projects she’s working on and what she’s struggling with. I want to be a husband who takes the time to listen. I want to the one who encourages her, celebrates with her, and gives her my best self.

…because my children are important. I love them. I want them to have a father who pretends to be a dragon, who roars, who chases them around the dining room table. I want my kids to have a dad who colors with them and reads them books. I want to teach them how to be angry at one another and manage their emotions responsibly and then forgive.

…because my parents are important. I love them. They won’t always be here; but they’ve been there for me since my birth. I’m finally beginning to understand how much time and effort they put into raising their family. I want them to have a son who tells them they’ve done a good job. More, I want them to have a son who shows them they’ve done a good job by the way he lives his adult life. I want them to have a son who spends lazy afternoons with them and listens to their stories of my long-dead relatives. I want them to have a son who says “I love you.”

…because my brother and sister are important. I love them. My sister was a girl with a Paula Abdul poster on her bedroom wall; now she has her own husband and daughter. My brother was an expert at Super Mario Brothers; now he’s a kind, responsible tradesman. They grew up so well, I didn’t even realize they did it. I want to be the brother who tells them I’m proud of who they’ve become. I want to be the brother who laughs and laughs with them until our stomachs hurt and we say, “oh, look at the time! How did it get so late so quickly?” I want them to have a brother they’re also proud of.

…because the people with whom I worship are important. As are the people of my community. As are the people who call me a friend. I love them. I want to be the one among the many who pray for them…who listen to them…who help them…who praise their accomplishments.

Likewise, you are important. You are loved—and the people who love you are important. Those people you love are important. The person you are right now is important. So is the person you want to be in the future. So is the person you’re actually going to be. The things you catch yourself daydreaming about are important. Even your fears are important.

I started applying minimalist principles because I loved myself and wanted to create a more enjoyable life. I continue applying minimalist principles because I grew in my love for others. I try to keep the greatest things at the center so I can be a better man and thus give continually better to them.

I find Matt’s story both heartwarming and a reminder that love grows and blooms best where life is simple and free from complicated distractions. Love is simple and free gift from God. I am so grateful for God’s simple gifts of abundance!

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I Believe in the Absolute Oneness of God….

We WeI believe in the absolute oneness of God and therefore also of humanity. Mahatma Gandhi

We are all a part of the same family. Do you sense it – do you feel it? We are a part of a world that is a part of a divine plan implemented by that Perfect Being who loves us unconditionally and beyond our ability to imagine. God is one with us as we allow him. He is one with all of creation. It is His desire that we be one with Him and with our fellow man.

Our joy and happiness does not depend on our wealth, abilities, or power. Instead, it depends on our relationship to God, our fellowman and our self.

Spend a few moments today contemplating your oneness with the world!

You might want to know that a celebration of oneness will be held on October 11th at 11:00 am for 11 minutes. Put it on your calendar and plan to celebrate peace and oneness with your fellowman!

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