instigating a life, one story at a time…

Archive for the tag “#inspiration”

Inspiring Christmas quotes

christmas begins with christ1. How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts! || Benjamin Franklin

2. A new star, the Christ child, God’s gift to mankind; these are what Christmas is made of || Richelle E. Goodrich

3. I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year || Charles Dickens

4. Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time || Laura Ingalls Wilder

5. Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas || Ronald Reagan

6. My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? || Bob Hope

7. Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind || Mary Ellen Chase

8. Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone || Charles M. Schulz

9. I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
|| Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

10. In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall || Dave Barry

11. Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful || Norman Vincent Peale

12. Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you || Steve Maraboli

13. He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree || Roy L. Smith

14. And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself || Sigrid Undset

15. One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly || Andy Rooney

16. A man wrapped up in himself always suffocates. But his loved ones will forever hold in their hearts the memory of that Christmas || Bauvard

17. When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness || Bob Hope

18. A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together || Garrison Keillor

19. My parents always said that knowledge was the best gift they could give me, probably because they were too cheap to buy me Christmas or Birthday presents || Jarod Kintz

20. Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love || Hamilton Wright Mabie

21. What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace || Agnes M. Pahro

22. Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts || Janice Maeditere

23. Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight. It will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the need for a Savior || John Piper

24. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas || Calvin Coolidge

25. Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves || Eric Sevareid

26. Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with melody that would last forever || Bess Streeter Aldrich

27. Yet as I read the birth stories about Jesus I cannot help but conclude that though the world may be tilted toward the rich and powerful, God is tilted toward the underdog || Philip Yancey

28. Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weaknesses and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open? Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas! || Henry van Dyke

29. Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day || Helen Steiner Rice

30. Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart || Washington Irving

31. Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home || Charles Dickens

32. Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes || Joan Winmill Brown

33. I didn’t feel like buying him the jacket he asked for for Christmas, so I just got him a coat hanger with a sticky note attached that read, “Here’s something for you to hang your dreams on, pal || Jarod Kintz

34. As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is || Eric Sevareid

35. The universe is a trillion, trillion threads moving in seemingly unrelated directions. Yet when you look at them together, they create a remarkable tapestry || Richard Paul Evans

36. Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home || G.K. Chesterton

37. No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear || Greg Kincaid

38. At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe || Chris Van Allsburg

39. And in despair I bowed my head;
There is no peace on earth, I said;
For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!
|| Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

40. Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends || Margaret Thatcher

41. I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world || Norman Vincent Peale

42. Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall || Larry Wilde

christmas may your days be merry43. Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree || Charlotte Carpenter

44. Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world || Calvin Coolidge

45. Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’ || Bing Crosby

46. The knowing is easy. It’s the doing that gives us trouble || Vannetta Chapman

47. Everyone wants to feel loved, but when all you feel is alone it’s tough to accomplish anything else || Glenn Beck

48. God is here. This truth should fill our lives, and every Christmas should be for us a new and special meeting with God, when we allow his light and grace to enter deep into our soul || St. Josemaría Escrivá

49. The human life cycle no less than evolves around the box; from the open-topped box called a bassinet, to the pine box we call a coffin, the box is our past and, just as assuredly, our future. It should not surprise us then that the lowly box plays such a significant role in the first Christmas story. For Christmas began in a humble, hay-filled box of splintered wood. The Magi, wise men who had traveled far to see the infant king, laid treasure-filled boxes at the feet of that holy child. And in the end, when He had ransomed our sins with His blood, the Lord of Christmas was laid down in a box of stone. How fitting that each Christmas season brightly wrapped boxes skirt the pine boughs of Christmas trees around the world || Richard Paul Evans

50. If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments. He will take you by the hand and His promises will be kept || Howard W. Hunter

51. Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive || Robert Lynd

52. At Christmas
A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season’s here;
Then he’s thinking more of others than he’s thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
|| Edgar A. Guest

53. Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven’s making || Leigh Hunt

54. I think commercialism helps Christmas and I think that the more capitalism we can inject into the Christmas holiday the more spiritual I feel about it || Craig Ferguson

55. The light of the Christmas star to you.
The warmth of home and hearth to you.
The cheer and goodwill of friends to you.
The hope of a child-like heart to you.
The joy of a thousand angels to you.
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you!
|| Sherryl Woods

56. Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas || Peg Bracken

57. Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, the melody would stay in your heart always – a song for all the years || Bess Streeter Aldrich

58. Christmas is a time in which, of all times in the year, the memory of every remediable sorrow, wrong, and trouble in the world around us, should be active with us, not less than our own experiences, for all good || Charles Dickens

59. Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year – and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority || W.J. Cameron

60. Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world || David McCullough

61. One of the things that Christmas reminds us is that Jesus Christ was once a child || Hark Herald Sarmiento

62. Christmas is a bridge. We need bridges as the river of time flows past. Today’s Christmas should mean creating happy hours for tomorrow and reliving those of yesterday || Gladys Taber

63. I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some find morning and suddenly saying to myself: ‘Why, this is Christmas Day! || Ray Stannard Baker

64. It comes every year and will go on forever. And along with Christmas belong the keepsakes and the customs. Those humble, everyday things a mother clings to, and ponders, like Mary in the secret spaces of her heart || Marjorie Holmes

65. Christmas works like glue, it keeps us all sticking together || Rosie Thomas

66. I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month || Harlan Miller

67. Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence || Joan Mills

68. It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit || Isabel Currier

69. A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.”
|| Walter Scott

christmas may peace70. Christmas is a time for families || Dorothy Koomson

71. As I wrote ‘The Christmas Lamp’ I realized that tradition is priceless, whether you have a small family, a large family, or no family. Tradition doesn’t have to be logical; it only has to emphasize the light of Christ and his everlasting love || Lori Copeland

72. Without the door let sorrow lie,
And if for cold it hap to die,
We’ll bury ‘t in a Christmas pie,
And evermore be merry.
|| George Wither

73. Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion || Ralph Sockman

74. Let him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let him in can he pull us out || Max Lucado

75. The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature. If some of our great decorated trees had been grown in a remote forest area with lights that came on every evening as it grew dark, the whole world would come to look at them and marvel at the mystery of their great beauty || Andy Rooney

76. Christmas is a time of sharing, and joy and grace. There’s no better time to entertain family and friends than now || Shelley Shepard Gray

77. I don’t want Christmas season to end, because it’s the only time I can legitimately indulge in on particular addiction: glitter || Eloisa James

78. Money is made at Christmas out of holly and mistletoe, but who save the vendors would greatly care if no green branch were procurable? One symbol, indeed, has obscured all others–the minted round of metal. And one may safely say that, of all the ages since a coin first became the symbol of power, ours is that in which it yields to the majority of its possessors the poorest return in heart’s contentment || George R. Gissing

79. Christmas is a whisper of peace and a sigh of hope on the lips of perfect love || Richelle E. Goodrich

80. The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected || Samuel Johnson

81. Except the Christ be born again tonight
In dreams of all men, saints and sons of shame,
The world will never see his kingdom bright.
|| Vachel Lindsay

82. At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year || Thomas Tusser

83. A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small || Eva K. Logue

84. For the rest, silence or good music, not much food, a lot of solitude, walks on the Heath, the time to think while others… well, often fall apart. Not so bad, not so bad at all. Being queer and self-sufficient is the best present at this season || Will Self

85. There are some wonderful aspects to Christmas. It’s magical. And each year, from at least November, well, September, well, if I’m honest, May, I look forward to it hugely || Miranda Hart

86. Before God does anything, before he makes anything for us to be sustained by, God says, “More than food, more than water, more than shelter, more than other people, they are going to need me.” || Wesley Miller

87. The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There’s a kind of glory to them when they’re all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy || Andy Rooney

88. I long to look at my holiday season with eyes that see the Christ in Christmas || Ann Marie Stewart

89. Mankind is a great, an immense family… This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas || Pope John XXIII

90. A magic came out of your smile
Gold thread of gold thread
Stars illuminating the sky
Where in the mountain stream
Healing water
Tears of ice as a gift to me”
|| Sir Kristian Goldmund Aumann

91. Christmas Sun! What holy task is thine!
To fold a world in the embrace of God!
|| Guy Wetmore Carryl


Trusting God When the Unthinkable Happens

ImageBound to a Promise tells the amazing true story of God’s faithfulness in the face of unimaginable loss. Bonnie Floyd’s father and stepmother had been living a dream life—serving as caretakers of a private tropical island and traveling the world in a sailboat. That life was cut short when three young men boarded their yacht as it was anchored off the coast of Antigua. Determined that there should be no witnesses to their theft and brutality, the assailants shot all four people on board.


At 6:00 a.m. on a cold, foggy day in Fresno, California, I received a phone call that would change my life forever. The U.S. Embassy notified me that my parents, Bill and Kathy Clever, (my father and stepmother) had been brutally murdered, along with two others, on board the yacht Challenger. For many years, my parents had lived a life of adventure. They traveled the world together on their sailboat. Then they became the caretakers of a private island that belonged to a wealthy British businessman. My parents, as a Christmas bonus, had been given a two week trip aboard the yacht Challenger; on what should have been a relaxing and fabulous Caribbean vacation. Instead, every person aboard had been shot to death as the ship was anchored in Antigua. It would take over two years for the assailants to be brought to justice.


Q & A with Bonnie Floyd


Q: You chose the title Bound to a Promise. Tell us about the promise that became the focal point of your story.


A: After I became a Christian and married my wonderful husband, Donnie, we seized every opportunity to share our faith with my parents. The thought of them spending eternity separated from God was too much for me to bear. Over the years, they became more open to hearing the gospel. For example, my mom kept a daily scripture calendar I sent her in the kitchen where she worked as a chef and read the verse to my dad every day. She even mentioned praying for us. My Dad was supportive, but many of our conversations ended with his saying, “Honey, it has obviously made a positive change in your life, but I’m doing just fine the way I am.” In one of my final conversations with my parents, they told the story of a friend who had nearly drowned after falling overboard in a storm. I decided to seize the opportunity and said, “Dad, just promise me one thing—if you and Mom ever get into a position where you fear for your life, you will call on the name of Jesus.”


Surprisingly, without any hesitation, he looked me right in the eye and said, “I promise you, if I ever get into a position where I fear for my life, I will call on the name of Jesus, but I have never been, nor will I ever be, in a position where I am not in total control.” I knew my dad so well, and while to some people that statement would have sounded arrogant, I knew there was a lot of truth in his assertion. What Dad didn’t acknowledge, which many people don’t, is the fact that a day is coming in every person’s life that he cannot control. On that day he will need a savior. And Romans 10:13 is comforting because it says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


In a way, there were two promises at the heart of the book. One was my father’s promise that he would call on Jesus if he was afraid for his life. The other is God’s promise that he will save everyone who calls on his name.


Q: You were originally told by the U.S. Embassy that your parents were shot in their sleep. Later, you discovered that, in reality, they had been bound and gagged before they were killed. How did you react to that news?


A: I knew Paul, the man who called from the U.S. Embassy, was prepared for another cry of anguish. However, what he got from me was not at all what he expected. While staying on my knees in a position of worship, I said, “I know for most people, the fact that they [my parents] were bound and gagged would be a torturous thought, but for me, it isn’t. It is the answer I have been crying out to God for. Paul, I’m a Christian, and just six months ago my dad promised me that if he and Mom were ever to get into a position where they feared for their lives, they would call on the name of Jesus. What you first told me left them no time to keep that promise; what you’re telling me now does.”


Bound to a Promise


By Bonnie Floyd

Creative Enterprises Studio

November 2013

Seeing and hearing God


May God bless your eyes so you begin to see
everyone and everything redemptively.

May God bless your ears so you’ll only hear
words consistent with His voice and His
song over your life.

May God bless your heart that you may be a
wellspring of life for others…

And may God bless your hands and feet that
you may tend to His business during your time
on earth.

Your life matters deeply to Him.

Rest in that fact.

Taken from Blessings for the Evening by Susie Larson,
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
© 2013. Used by permission.

A walk one winter night

a walk one winter night

Click on cover to go to Amazon

Is it too early for Christmas?

Some would say Christmas lives inside you all throughout the year, and no one cares what time of the year it is if it helps you to rediscover the simple joy of wonder!

And mind you, Christmas is not too far away either!

Al Andrews, the director of Porter’s Call, a non-profit that comes alongside recording artists with counsel, support and encouragement, comes up with a refreshingly different Christmas devotional beautifully called A Walk One Winter Night: A Real Christmas Story. What started for Al as a simple, late night stroll to clear his head from the hassles of the season turned into something that can only be described as surreal, like the Christmas season… And the result?

A Walk One Winter Night is based on a poignant holiday experience of the author. Burnt out on the hustle, bustle, and expectations the holidays can bring, Andrews took a late night stroll and wound up rediscovering his real passion and the true meaning behind the Christmas season. This simple message will help readers rediscover the joy of wonder and what is real in the season.

A Walk One Winter Night is a book that you don’t come across too often as it helps you tell your own. It is thought-provoking, nostalgic and at the same time truly inspiring. It helps you to look deep inside of you. The characters are so real they jumped off the page and you’ll have no difficulty identifying with them.

A delightful read, refreshingly different and so beautifully titled, your Christmas season will no longer be the same once you read A Walk One Winter Night: A Real Christmas Story!

Publisher: Freeman Smith
Format: Hardcover:
Pages: 96
Release Date: September 24, 2013
List Price: $14.99
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605875287
ISBN-13: 978-1605875286

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Al Andrews is a counselor, author, and speaker. He is the director of Porter’s Call, a non-profit offering counsel, support, and encouragement to recording artists and their families. He is founder of Improbable Philanthropy, a charity that aids children in crisis through the sale of his children’s book, The Boy, the Kite, and the Wind. To learn more about Al Andrews visit his website or follow his daily journey on Twitter @itsalandrews.

Al Andrews lives in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife Nita and their sons Hunter and Brent. He grew up in Montreat, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Inspiring quotes to live by

69044b25aae8e4bf1e8d5a6b438dce27Let the darkness find you if it must. Throw off the quick and tempting escapes, and seek help only from those who would teach you to grow, feed your soul, embrace your heart, but would not steal away your journey || Jennifer DeLucy

Regardless of the situation, don’t give in…and have no regrets …for all things will work out for your own good || Huithiang

As the winds of the storm fortify the roots of a tree, hardship strengthens your spirit || Martin Suarez

No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse || Randy Pausch

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival || Winston Churchill

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face || Eleanor Roosevelt

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty || Winston Churchill

Let this encourage those of you who belong to Christ: the storm may be tempestuous, but it is only temporary. The clouds that are temporarily rolling over your head will pass, and then you will have fair weather, an eternal sunshine of glory. Can you not watch with Christ for one hour? || Williams Gurnall

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope || Martin Luther King

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines || Robert Schuller

Life is at its best when everything has fallen out of place, and you decide that you’re going to fight to get them right, not when everything is going your way and everyone is praising you || Thisuri Wanniarachchi

And hard times are good in their own way, too. Because the only way you can achieve true happiness is if you experience true sadness as well. It’s all about light and shade. Balance || Gabrielle Williams

Difficult times show true colors, hard times reveal true friends, and the good will be blessed through the pain…Just let go and let God || Unknown

Faith is why I’m here today and faith is why I made it through || Jonathan Anthony Burkett

We must never despair; our situation has been compromising before, and it has changed for the better; so I trust it will again. If difficulties arise, we must put forth new exertion and proportion our efforts to the exigencies of the times || George Washington

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering… The love of God did not protect His own Son… He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process || Elisabeth Elliot

Whoever is spared personal pain must feel himself called to help in diminishing the pain of others. We must all carry our share of the misery which lies upon the world || Albert Schweitzer

God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them || C.S. Lewis

Never question the clouds, they’re only bringing the life-giving rain || Amber Schamel

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering… The love of God did not protect His own Son… He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process || Elisabeth Elliot

Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other || John Bunyon

Nothing but encouragement can come to us as we dwell upon the faithful dealing of our Heavenly Father in centuries gone by. Faith in God has not saved people from hardships and trials, but it has enabled them to bear tribulations courageously and to emerge victoriously || Lee Robertson

The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars || Henry Ward Beecher ef83029e44361cdcbe1d5676b540a1f83e93cf4916601c78b3

A home for the jonquils

Every time I touch upon this wonderfully beautiful and truly inspiring story, I’m amazed at how much a simple story can evoke so much emotion and spur me to acts of random kindness.  I invite you to read this story with an open mind and be blessed! You may have read the story many times over in the past but it still has the power to touch and change lives. The message of the story is as relevant today as it was when first written. At the heart of the story is the message that a random act of kindness, gesture; however unlikely, can transform another life. The story was originally published in a Letter to the Editor of the Long Island Star-Journal and it was written by Maude Jennings Shaw. May God touch you as you read through it and bless you to be a channel of blessings to others…

It was a cold night. I was mentally and physically tired and felt quite depressed. Customers in the store where I work had been cross and bothersome; tempers had been sharp all day; nothing had gone right. I was glad it was six o’clock and I could go home and relax.

I stopped at the corner store for some groceries, and even the clerk felt the mood of the day. Grumpily he said, ‘Hurry up, lady, I want to go home, too.’ As I was leaving the store, I noticed a single bunch of jonquils in a bucket of water; they were huddled together as though they were lonely and cold. They seemed to say, ‘Please, lady, take us home.’ They were so beautiful, yet so misplaced. I snatched them up, paid clerk, and left




As I walked the short distance to my home, my step was lighter and my previously dampened spirit rose.

Upon entering my dark room. I was struck with the golden brilliance of the flowers. As I tenderly placed them in a vase, I seemed to hear them say, ‘But this isn’t our home.’

I couldn’t explain the feeling, but I had a strong impulse to take the flowers to m

y shut-in neighbor across the hall. As I entered her room, the shut-in stared for a moment, then said, ‘How did you know? All day in

my memories I’ve been walking among the jonquils in the garden I had years ago.’

As I placed the flowers into her trembling hands, I had the distinct impression that their heads no

dded in approval, and, I seemed to hear their golden bells ringing out their thanks. Feeling warm and comfortable inside me, I forgot all the upsets of the day and again felt in tune with God.

Do flowers talk? Yes, they do, I heard them.

Traveling across the sky

Time is fleeting. It passes by so quickly.

Into deep summer, the year is half over, and only five-and-half months to be lived. Never knew that life was like a 100 metre dash.

When still a kid, Christmas, birthday and the winter holidays were the only time worth waiting for. Life then was like a marathon. Christmas never came. Birthdays were too slow to come. And the holidays were too few and far in between. Oh, the agony of that excited wait… If life can be lived as a kid forever, how much simpler, peaceful and friendly the world would be!

When you grow up, time usually catches you unaware. It was dry last week. You get older by a week, and it is raining cats and dogs. Not a happy situation for a person who has works outside to earn money. I was tempted to grumble until I read this:

          Rain clouds filled with lightning
          appear at God’s command,
          traveling across the sky
          to release their cargo –
          sometimes as punishment for sin,
          sometimes as kindness.

          Job 37:11-13
          Contemporary English Version

Do I still complain about the weather? God knows best what He’s doing!

Under His wings

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting 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 the bird over with a stick. When he gently 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 arrived and the heat scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

Image“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge …” – Psalm 91:4

Right now…

Right now –
-somebody is very proud of you.
-somebody is thinking of you.
-somebody is caring about you.
-somebody misses you.
-somebody wants to talk to you.
-somebody wants to be with you.
-somebody hopes you aren’t in trouble.
-somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
-somebody wants to hold your hand.
-somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
-somebody wants you to be happy.
-somebody wants you to find him/her.
-somebody is celebrating your successes.
-somebody wants to give you a gift.
-somebody thinks that you are a gift.
-somebody hopes you’re not too cold, or too hot
-somebody wants to hug you.
-somebody loves you.
-somebody admires your strength.
-somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
-somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
-somebody wants to go out with you and have a lot of fun.
-somebody thinks the world of you.
-somebody wants to protect you.
-somebody would do anything for you.
-somebody wants to be forgiven.
-somebody is grateful for your forgiveness.
-somebody wants to laugh with you.
-somebody remembers you and wishes that you were there.
-somebody is praising God for you.
-somebody needs to know that your love is unconditional.
-somebody values your advice.
-somebody wants to tell you how much they care.
-somebody wants to share their dreams with you.
-somebody wants to hold you in their arms.
-somebody wants you to hold them in your arms.
-somebody treasures your spirit.
-somebody wishes they could stop time because of you.
-somebody praises God for your friendship and love.
-somebody can’t wait to see you.
-somebody loves you for who you are.
-somebody loves the way you make them feel.
-somebody wants to be with you.
-somebody wants you to know they are there for you.
-somebody’s glad that you’re his/her friend.
-somebody wants to be your friend.
-somebody stayed up all night thinking about you.
-somebody is alive because of you.
-somebody is wishing that you noticed him/her.
-somebody wants to get to know you better.
-somebody wants to be near you.
-somebody misses your advice/guidance.
-somebody has faith in you.
-somebody trusts you.
-somebody needs you to send them this letter
-somebody needs your support.
-somebody needs you to have faith in them.
-somebody will cry when they read this.
-somebody needs you to let them be your friend.
-somebody hears a song that reminds them of you.

Is the church a zoo?

Some church members are as stubborn as a mule about doing church work,
but as sly as a fox in their own business deals.

Some are as busy as a bee in spreading the latest gossip,
but as quiet as a mouse to spreading the gospel of Christ.

Many are as blind as a bat to see the needs of others,
but have eyes of a hawk to see the faults of a few.

Some are as eager as a beaver about a barbecue,
but as lazy as a dog about the prayer meetings.

Some will roar like a lion when things do not go just to suit them,
but they are as gentle as a lamb when they need the preacher of the church.

Some are as noisy as a blue jay when calling on the church for advice,
but as timid as a kitten about talking to the lost and as slow as a snail about visiting absentees and shut-ins.

Many are night owls on Saturday nights,
but “bed bugs” Sunday mornings,
and as scarce as hen’s teeth on Wednesday nights.Image

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: