The Greatest Gift is Love

Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more Tony RobbinsA woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them.

She said, “I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”

“Is the man of the house home?”, they asked.

“No”, she said. “He’s out.”

“Then we cannot come in”, they replied. In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.

“Go tell them I am home and invite them in!” The woman went out and invited the men in. “We do not go into a House together,” they replied.

“Why is that?” she wanted to know. One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice!!”, he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!”

His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?”

Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!”

“Let us heed our daughter-in-law’s advice,” said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.”

The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.” Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?”

The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!”

Author Unknown

Today’s story was shared from the following website: https://academictips.org/blogs/the-greatest-gift-is-love/

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Not The House (and what comes with it) But The Home

I am now an empty nester – one of those women who carry photos of her children and grandchildren to bore others with because she is no longer overwhelmed with noisy, energetic (and sometimes cranky) children underfoot.

I cannot claim to be new to the experience of being an empty nester – mainly because I believe that every time a child leaves home an empty nester experience occurs. Yet, all of those empty nester experiences and observations of my children as adults have taught me some invaluable lessons:

•    Cherish all of the teaching moments with your children – especially the ones that come at inconvenient times. And…make an effort to create as many of them as you can.
•    In order for our teaching moments to be effective they must be backed up with our example.
•    Take time to have fun as a family…and do it often. Laughter and giggles are important!
•    Teach children responsibility and how to work (even when it’s easier to do it yourself).
•    Teach children right from wrong, morality, the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. They do not automatically absorb it.
•    Dance lessons, music lessons and sports are all wonderful and have their place but they need to have their place and not rule schedules or a family. All too often families lose the connections they should have with each other because they are spending every spare moment effort funding the lessons, traveling to practices/games, and living life on the go.
•    A parent needs to be a parent and not relegate authority over the home to the children. The angriest and most emotionally unhealthy children I have ever seen are from families where those children were allowed control of their families.
•    Daily expressions of love are invaluable to building relationships and a loving family.
•    Skip the expensive toys and electronics and encourage children to play and use their imaginations. (The best toy in the world is an appliance box!)
•    A large fancy house does not have an increased ability to make a happy family.  Many shacks have been better homes to children than mansions have.
•    Children do not learn to be successful by being coddled and indulged. They learn to be successful by learning self discipline and how to work.
•    The most important things parents can do to provide security for their children is to make their marriage a priority. Date nights are important and the courtship that initiated the family should never…ever end.
•    Don’t wait to do things with your children until your children are older. It may seem like lots of activities would be easier if you just wait until they are older but the most critical time to build relationships with them is when they are young (and those activities take the most effort).
•    A house does not make a home.
•    Building a home is not done with walls, mortar or nails. A home is built by two parents who love each other – who are committed to each other and the work and effort it takes to build a family.  A home is built with hugs, teaching, tears, a few scraped knees, kissing boo boos better, discipline, work, trips for ice cream, chores, water fights, attending church together, family dinners and more. And somehow…even when we are so exhausted that lifting a finger seems a monumental task – we must do it all with love.

Building a home out of a house is tough demanding job. The hours are grueling and there is no monetary compensation. However, “the toughest job in the world” has amazing rewards. I feel and experience those rewards every time I walk through the door of my house and sense all of the laughter, love, and memories that have been created and shared there, spend time with my sweetheart (who is still my sweetheart because we have made each other a priority), share in the successes of my children, and gather together with my loving, energetic, and sometimes mischievous family!

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God Can Calm All Storms…

sunrise over the earthI don’t know about you, but it seems to me that there is always some sort of “storm” in my life. I think it could also be called personal growth or personal challenges.

Less than three months ago, I sat in an intensive care unit beside the hospital bed of my granddaughter as her young body fought for life. Today, I watch her at home as she recovers and rebuilds her strength. I know without the smallest doubt that she and I and all of our family were assisted by angels  throughout those very difficult days.

Later today, I will sit in front of my computer and I will attempt to learn a new powerful software so that I can make my book available online again.

For you, today’s challenge will be different. Some of my challenges have been relatively easy to overcome (I am hoping that is the case with the new software today!). Others, have been very difficult – such as the 15 years it took to overcome my 24/7 migraines. I know now that life never was meant to be a cake walk. However, whether our current challenge is more similar to a sprint or a marathon – God can and will help us through it all.

There was a time when I was experiencing my migraine headaches that I wondered if I would ever know another day of life without skull crushing pain. Fifteen years is a very long time to have a headache.

Yet, a few days of headache pain would have never created the health advocate that I am today. Now, as I look back on that experience, it is easy to see that I was given incredible blessings through that trial. Somehow, I was enabled to function much better than I should have been able to function and step by step I was eventually led to the people and answers I needed to find health and healing once again.

Storms will be a consistent part of life but God can and will calm them all – if we ask and allow.  Sometimes, they may not disappear from our lives but where they remain, God will take us by the hand and help us walk above the waves.

Today’s story share’s a wonderful reminder of God’s watchful care. I hope you enjoy!:

THE FIRE

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings.

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother remained steadfast. She had been willing to die so those under the cover of her wings would live.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:4 (NIV)

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No One Saves Us but Ourselves…Choose Your Path in Life

Are you waiting for someone to save you? Do you think perhaps that your faith in Jesus Christ is all you need? While I believe the Lord is essential in building a meaningful life – no one saves us without our own help. We choose our path. We are responsible for the paths we walk.

There are many people who have chosen to change their lives or who, when handed difficult circumstances, have made those choices which enabled them to overcome their obstacles. The Lord is both an essential and critical component but we are the ones in the driver’s seat.

If you are waiting around to win the lottery or for your knight in shining armor to show up – you might want to start the new year with a reality check. Perhaps the time has come for you to take charge and build the life you have always dreamed of!

In that light, I want to share a story today about a man who has chosen to create a meaningful life despite obstacles and difficulties! I hope you enjoy!:

Albert Frantz is a world-class pianist  from Pennsylvania who started playing at the extraordinarily late age  of 17. His early piano teacher told his mother to throw her money in the  garbage rather than spend it on piano lessons for Albert.

He discovered  his love for classical music while in high school and his passion made  him accomplish seemingly impossible things. He was the first pianist in  nearly a decade to win a Fulbright scholarship to study in Vienna just a  few years after starting out. This led him to study at the official  conservatory of the city of Vienna in Austria, the home country of many  of his musical idols.

Even before he could finish his education, he  started suffering from scoliosis, first discovered in his adolescence,  that virtually incapacitated his piano playing for more than six years.  Desperately looking for a therapy that would promise any amount of  relief, he found relief through Bikram yoga.

No sooner did he recover  from his back pain when he broke his left wrist upon getting hit in the  face by a tram on a cold and icy Thanksgiving weekend. Breaking a wrist  is a nightmare for a pianist. For Albert, it turned out positively in  the end, as the injury led him to play pieces by Charles-Valentin Alkan,  a 19th-century French virtuoso and one of the only composers to write  music for the right hand alone. His music was considered unplayable for  over a century and is regarded as the most athletically challenging  music ever written for the piano. Albert took it as a challenge, which  led to his critically acclaimed debut CD dedicated to Alkan’s music. His  debut album was an official jury nomination for the prestigious German  Record Critics Award, designed to recognize the “most rigorous standards  for supreme achievement and quality” in the field of music recording.

Besides  turning his interest to the works of Alkan and Liszt, his back pain  also led him to pursue an IRONMAN triathlon. This is especially notable,  as there were two situations in which he almost drowned during his  childhood. Swimming in open water made Albert panic throughout his adult  life. After a change of perspective, Albert found himself training for  one of the most challenging sports competitions in the world. He  finished his first IRONMAN triathlon – 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling  and a 42.2 km marathon – on June 28, 2015.

Source: http://www.dreama.tv/2015/10/alb…

Shared from the following website: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-inspirational-short-stories-that-can-change-a-persons-life

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Attitude…Create Your Own Sunshine!

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own SUNSHINE!  Anthony J. D'Angelo

Attitude – more correctly positive attitude is all about us! No one escapes trials and difficult days. Yet have you noticed that people can react those those problems very differently?

I love to see octogenarians who are full of smiles and laughs! I believe that if you have lived eighty plus years and still light up the world with your smile, you have figured out how to have a positive attitude no matter what life throws at you!

After seeing heaven, that is my goal: to always recognize my blessings no matter how difficult a day may be and to bring SUNSHINE to those that I encounter. I don’t always succeed but I keep trying and I think I am getting better and better at it!

What about you? Are you working at a positive attitude? Have you figured out how to smile even when life feels a bit sour? Remember, the one thing we all have complete control over is our attitude! I love the message about attitude in today’s story! I hope you enjoy!

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

Story shared from the following website: http://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short-stories

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