Soulful Voices











{December 30, 2006}   Don’t Throw Away What You Have

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Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don’t have.”Bro, this girl in my office is a Real Looker,” many a husband will say. “But it’s not her Wynona Rider features that got me. I’m head over heels with her because she’s also understanding, intelligent, tender– so many things that my wife has not.”

Sure.
Guys, trust me on this. Somewhere along the way, you’ll find a woman who will be more charming. More alluring. More thoughtful. Richer. Be abbetter cook. Have greater sex appeal. Be a more efficient housekeeper. And you will find a woman who will need you and pursue you and go loco over you more than your wife ever did.

Because no wife is perfect.
Because a wife will only have 90% of what you’re looking for. So adultery takes place when a husband looks for the missing 10%.

Let’s say your wife is melancholic by nature. You may find yourself drawn to the pretty clerk who has a cherry laugh no matter what she says: “I broke my arm yesterday, LOL…” Or because your wife is a homebody in slippers and pajamas, smelling of garlic and fish oil, you may fall for a fresh-smelling young sales representative that visits your office in a sharp black blazer, high heels, and a red pencil-cut skirt. Or because your wife is the quiet type (a rare find), your heart may skip a beat when you meet an old college flame who has the makings of a talk show host like Oprah.

But wait! That’s only 10% of what you don’t have.
Don’t throw away the 90% that you already have!

That’s not all. Add to your wife’s 90% the 1000% that represents all the years that you have been with each other. The storms you have weathered together. The unforgettable moments of sadness and joy as a couple. The many adjustments you have made to love the other. The wealth of memories that you’ve accumulated as lovers.

Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don’t have. But faithfulness happens when you start thanking God for what you already have.

But I’m not just talking about marriage.
I’m talking about life!
About your jobs. About your friends. About your children.
About your prayer groups. About your lifestyles.

Are you like the economy airline passenger that perennially peeks through the door of the first class cabin, obsessed with what he’s missing? “They have got more leg room! Oh my, their food is served in porcelain! Wow, their seats recline at an 80% angle and they’ve got personal videos!”

I guarantee you’ll be miserable for the entire trip! Don’t live your life like that. Forget about what the world says is first class. (Do you know that there are many first class passengers who are miserable in first class — because they’re not riding in a private Lear Jet?)

My main message: If you start to bee thankful for what you have right now, wherever you are is first class!

You have wealth under your nose. Be Thankful.

By Bo Sanchez
From his book: You Have the Power to Create



{December 23, 2006}   Scars In Life

Some years ago, on a hot summer day, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole that was behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks,and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

In the house, his mother was looking out the window. She saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed, and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms, just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began a very incredible tug-of-war between the two.The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim,and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. On his arms, there were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh, in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked the boy if he would show him his scars.

The boy lifted his pant legs. Then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter,”But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly, and have caused us deep regret.

But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.  In the midst of your struggle, He’s been right there, holding on to you.

The Bible teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you, and provide for you in every way. But, sometimes, we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril ~ and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That is when the tug-of-war begins. If you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He will not ever let you go.



{December 12, 2006}   Attitude

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Harvard and Stanford Universities have reported that 85% the reason a person gets a job and gets ahead in that job is due to attitude; and only 15% is because of technical or specific skills. Interesting, isn’t it? You spent how much money on your education? And you spent how much money on building your positive attitude? Ouch. That hurts.

Now here’s an interesting thought. With the “right” attitude, you can and will develop the necessary skills. Perhaps if more people knew how simple it is to develop and maintain a positive attitude they would invest more time doing so.

So here we go.  
Five steps to staying positive in a negative world:  1.Understand that failure is an event, it is not a person. Yesterday ended last night; today is a brand new day, and it’s yours. You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and then you can expect to win.

2.Become a lifetime student. Learn just one new word every day and in five years you will be able to talk with just about anybody about anything. When your vocabulary improves, your I.Q. goes up 100% of the time, according to Georgetown Medical School.

3.Read something informational or inspirational every day. Reading for 20 minutes at just 240 words per minute will enable you to read 20 200-page books each year. That’s 18 more than the average person reads! What an enormous competitive advantage . . . if you’ll just read for 20 minutes a day.  

4.The University of Southern California reveals that you can acquire the equivalent of two years of a college education in three years just by listening to motivational and educational cassettes on the way to your job and again on the way home. What could be easier?

5.Start the day and end the day with positive input into your mind. Inspirational messages cause the brain to flood with dopamine and norepinephrine, the energizing neurotransmitters; with endorphins, the endurance neurotransmitters; and with serotonin, the feel-good-about-yourself neurotransmitter. Begin and end the day by reading or doing something positive!

Remember: Success is a process, not an event. Invest the time in your attitude and it will pay off in your skills as well as your career.

Think about it……. “If you like breaking the rules and generally don’t follow them… don’t make it hard for those who do.”



{December 8, 2006}   The Caller ID

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God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?
  
Isn’t it amazing how God works in our lives! On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his  wife  before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn’t answer the phone.

The pastor let the phone ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a  few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her  why she hadn’t answered before, and she said that it hadn’t rung at their  house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.

The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which  was the phone that he’d used that Saturday night.

The man  that he  spoke with wanted to know why he’d called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn’t figure out what the man was talking about. Then  the man said, “It rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.”

The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized fordisturbing him, explaining that he’d  intended to call his wife.
The man said, “That’s, OK. Let me tell you my story.You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, ‘God if you’re there, and you don’t want me to do  this, give me a sign now.’ At that point my phone started to ring. I  looked at the caller ID, and it said,

‘Almighty God’. I was afraid to  answer!”

The reason why it showed on the man’s caller ID that the call came   from “Almighty God” is because the church that the pastor attends is  called Almighty God Tabernacle!!  



{December 7, 2006}   Simple Wisdom

Our task is to strike a balance,
to find a middle way,
to learn not to overstretch ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupations,
but to simplify our lives more and more.
The key to finding a happy balance in modern lives is simplicity.

Source: Sogyal Rinpoche



{December 7, 2006}   A Pound of Butter

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court.

The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure. The farmer replied, amour Honor, I am primitive. I don’t have a proper measure, but I do have a scale.” The judge asked, “Then how do you weigh the butter?” The farmer replied “Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker.”

What is the moral of the story?

We get back in life what we give to others. Whenever you take an action, ask yourself this question: Am I giving fair  value for the wages or money I hope to make?

Honesty and dishonesty become a habit. Some people practice dishonesty and can lie with a straight face. Others lie so much that they don’t even know what the truth is anymore. But who are they deceiving? Themselves— more  than anyone else.

Honesty can be put across gently. Some people take pride in being brutally honest. It seems they are getting a bigger kick out of the brutality than the honesty. Choice of words and tact are important.



{December 7, 2006}   MOM- Job Description

POSITION:
Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy

JOB DESCRIPTION:
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an  often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent  communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in  3 seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION:
Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE:
None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION:
Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS:
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.



{December 5, 2006}   A Story on Love and Marriage

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death’s agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.
   
With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
    
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the
table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth; seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.
   
“Stay out of those,” she said, “they’re for the funeral.”

It’s so funny because even when we think life is so serious, it’s
really just a joke!  and the joke is on us!

That’s because we’ve already been handed the answer to all life’s problems but we keep fumbling around in the dark, creating all kinds of havoc until we just accept the one sure answer that’s been waiting in the back of our mind all along. Just waiting for our acceptance.

We’ll say it again!  FORGIVE AND BE FORGIVEN. As you give you shall
receive.

Let me share the most helpful means of forgiving that I know:

Begin by thinking of someone you do not like, who seems to irritate you, or to cause regret in you if you should meet him;  one you actively despise, or merely try to overlook.  It doesn’t matter what the form your ange takes.  You probably have chosen him already.  He will do.

Now close your eyes and see him in your mind, and look at him a while. Try to perceive some light in him somewhere; a little spark of brightness shining through the ugly picture that you hold of him.  Look at this picture till you see a light somewhere within it, and then try to let this light extend until it covers him, and makes the picture beautiful and good.

Look at this changed perception for a while, and turn your mind to one you call a friend.  Try to transfer the light you learned to see around your former “enemy” to him.  Perceive him now as more than friend to you, for in that light his holiness shows you your savior, saved and saving, healed and whole.

Then let him offer you the light you see in him, and let your “enemy” and friend unite in blessing you with what you gave.  Now are you one with them, and they with you.  Now have you been forgiven by yourself. Do not forget, throughtout the day, the role forgiveness plays in bringing happiness to evey unforgiving mind, with yours among them.

Every hour tell yourself:
“Forgiveness is the key to happiness.
Forgiveness offers everything I want.
Today I accept this as true.
Today I receive as I have been given”.

Source: http://www.self-empowering.com



et cetera