You Reap What You Sow

Untitled“Good morning.”, said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on the ground.

The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. “Leave me alone,” he growled….

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. “Are you hungry?” she asked.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. “Is there any problem, ma’am?” he asked..

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head. “That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man resisted. “I don’t want to go in there!” Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.”

“This is a good deal for you, Jack” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it..”

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived…

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”

“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business..”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled……. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?”

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh.”

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said.

“That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. “Jack, do you remember me?”

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so — I mean you do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile. “Now I remember,” he said.. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble… Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. “When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons…He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet… If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”

There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he said.

“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus…… He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways….

“Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And.. And thank you for the coffee.”

God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor.

God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close..

Powerful Lesson

Untitled2A woman baked chapatti (roti) for members of her family and an extra one for a hungry passerby. She kept the extra chapatti on the window sill, for whosoever would take it away. Every day, a hunchback came and took away the chapatti. Instead of expressing gratitude, he muttered the following words as he went his way: “The evil you do remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!” This went on, day after day. Every day, the hunchback came, picked up the chapatti and uttered the words:

“The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!” The woman felt irritated. “Not a word of gratitude,” she said to herself… “Everyday this hunchback utters this jingle! What does he mean?” One day, exasperated, she decided to do away with him. “I shall get rid of this hunchback,” she said. And what did she do? She added poison to the chapatti she prepared for him!

As she was about to keep it on the window sill, her hands trembled. “What is this I am doing?” she said. Immediately, she threw the chapatti into the fire, prepared another one and kept it on the window sill. As usual, the hunchback came, picked up the chapatti and muttered the words: “The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!”

The hunchback proceeded on his way, blissfully unaware of the war raging in the mind of the woman. Every day, as the woman placed the chapatti on the window sill, she offered a prayer for her son who had gone to a distant place to seek his fortune. For many months, she had no news of him.. She prayed for his safe return.

That evening, there was a knock on the door. As she opened it, she was surprised to find her son standing in the doorway. He had grown thin and lean. His garments were tattered and torn. He was hungry, starved and weak. As he saw his mother, he said, “Mom, it’s a miracle I’m here. While I was but a mile away, I was so famished that I collapsed. I would have died, but just then an old hunchback passed by. I begged of him for a morsel of food, and he was kind enough to give me a whole chapatti. As he gave it to me, he said, “This is what I eat everyday: today, I shall give it to you, for your need is greater than mine!”

” As the mother heard those words, her face turned pale. She leaned against the door for support. She remembered the poisoned chapatti that she had made that morning. Had she not burnt it in the fire, it would have been eaten by her own son, and he would have lost his life!

It was then that she realized the significance of the words: “The evil you do remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!” Do good and Don’t ever stop doing good, even if it is not appreciated at that time. If you like this, share it with others and I bet so many lives would be touched.

Anna’s First Communion

UntitledTen-year-old Anna Maria D’Orazi and her mother made a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo in order to attend Padre Pio’s Mass. They planned to stay for several days. During the time of their visit, a number of children were getting ready to make their first Holy Communion. Anna had not made her first Communion yet. It was delayed because her mother had many preparations to make for a party in honor of Anna’s first Holy Communion.

The church of Our Lady of Grace looked particularly beautiful on the day that the children were to receive their First Communion. It was decorated with lovely flower bouquets and illuminated with soft candlelight. The girls had on pretty white dresses and the boys were all dressed in suits. Anna had a great desire to join the other children and to receive her first Holy Communion that day from Padre Pio.

Anna’s mother did not want her to do so. Being a dress designer, she had been planning to make Anna a beautiful dress for that very important day. She discouraged Anna by saying that there would be no gifts for her, no party, and no beautiful dress. Her mother felt that it would be a great shame for Anna to make her first Holy Communion in her plain green dress, while all of the other girls were wearing white dresses embellished with satin and lace.

Anna explained to her mother that she did not care about the party, the gifts, or a beautiful dress. Finally, her mother told her to speak to Padre Pio about it. If he gave his permission, she would go along with it. However, she did not think he would agree to it.

Anna rushed to the confessional and after making her confession to Padre Pio, she asked him for permission to make her first Holy Communion that day. Padre Pio had a slight smile on his face as Anna spoke to him. She explained to him that she had been preparing for her Communion at her parish and had studied the catechism at her school. She told Padre Pio that there was only one problem. She was wearing a simple green dress. Padre Pio said to her, “It is more pleasing for Jesus to come to you. You may certainly make your First Communion today.”

With a great joy in her heart, Anna ran back to her mother and told her she had received Padre Pio’s permission. Her mother had no choice then but to relent. She reasoned that she could make up for it at Anna’s confirmation and have the desired party then.

Anna told the ladies who were directing the group of children that she had been given permission to make her Communion that day. She moved forward to join the other girls but the ladies rudely pushed her back. The most humiliating incident occurred when Anna was made to stand to the side and then forced to wait until all the boys went ahead of her. She took her place at the end of the line, the very last of all the communicants.

Anna’s mother became furious when she saw the way her daughter was being treated. She jumped up and was about to rush up to the sanctuary to get Anna when her friend held her back. She did not want her to make a scene and ruin the day that was so special for Anna.

All of the children were then instructed to kneel down at the altar rail. Anna looked up and saw Padre Pio coming toward her. He smiled at her and told her to follow him. He walked up the altar steps to the very top and she followed behind him. He then gave her Holy Communion in front of the tabernacle. She was the only child to receive such a privilege that day. Everyone in the church watched in silence and awe. Some had tears in their eyes. Anna was overwhelmed by his loving gesture and her mother was also deeply moved. Anna and her mother would never forget the graces they received on that very special day.

by Diane Allen

Another Chance

UntitledHow often we wish for another chance to make a fresh beginning.
A chance to blot out our mistakes and change failure into winning.

It does not take a new day to make a brand new start,
it only takes a deep desire to try with all our heart.

To live a little better and to always be forgiving
and to add a little sunshine to the world in which we’re living.

So do not give up in despair and think that you are through,
for there’s always a tomorrow and the hope of starting new.

 

 

 

Helen Steiner Rice

Who’s Driving Your Bus?

If we think about our own lives as being a journey on a bus, surrounded by a great variety of people, all with particular positions on our bus that relate to where they fit into our lives. Some are right there next to us; some behind us; some in front of us… but all are important in playing some role in how we are “positioned” in their lives, and they in ours.

As I write this, I am reminded of the movie ‘Speed’ with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves – where they were all on a bus being controlled by a maniac demanding a ransom. The truth is that all too often our lives can be like that; out of control, with someone else doing the driving.

A fearful situation? Of course it is!

The brutal truth is that so many people are living out that nightmare bus-ride right now! Out of control – and don’t know what they can do about it.

OK, now you’ve got the scene in your mind. In order to get some perspective on our own lives, we need to move to the back seat of the bus for a while and become the observer of what is really going on.

We need to observe who the most significant people are and how they are positioned in our lives.

Are they standing over us because they feel superior? Are they moving forward in their own lives and leaving us behind? Are they falling behind us because we’ve chosen to move forward?

So now we are faced with an important question, ‘Who’s driving your bus?’

Is it someone from your past who has dominated you even though they’re not present in your life now? Are they still taking you where you want to go? Do you feel like you would like the bus to stop and get off? Now here comes the challenge…

From this rear seat of observation, we need to start to move closer to the driver’s seat. It doesn’t matter how long this takes and it doesn’t matter how much we are challenged by the people who may be trying to block our progress forward. We have to do this for ourselves… starting right now!

Our goal is to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives!

It is inevitable that we are going to be challenged, and that’s when we need courage!

Yes – we will all take different lengths of time to move forward… that’s when we need persistence, and patience with ourselves!

Most certainly, we will feel daunted at times by this process… that’s when we need to have determination!

We are going to ask people to vacate their seats (which can possibly be their dominant positions in our lives) so that we can move forward towards that front seat we wish to occupy. We are going to have to sit in the middle of the bus at times while we learn to muster more courage and determination to move forward again. This is all part of the process, so stick with it because this is all for YOU!

During this process of moving forward, we must remain conscious of where the bus is now and think about where we really want to take it once we’re up front and in control.

One very important point! At no stage in this process do we tread on someone if they get in our way. (as we move forward) Simply step around them and move on.

OK – you’ve made it! You have asked the driver to step aside and let you have your turn. And now you’re in the seat. It’s all up to you now!

If you’re not too sure of what to do and how to do it, just stop and park for a while. It doesn’t matter what you do and how long it takes because this is your game now.  So play it your way!

Get crystal clear on where you choose to take your bus now and very clear on who you wish to accompany you on this new journey. The rest is a process of trusting your own judgement and decisions.

Good luck . . . and always remember: “What other people do or say is their stuff. How we react is our stuff.”

Written by Phil Evans

Unexpected Lessons

Being on the road at 3.15 a.m. to drive 450 kms was not in my plans for the weekend. I had been looking forward to a relaxing couple of days to allow me to recharge my batteries in readiness for the busy week ahead that lay ahead of me.

My eldest son, Simon and a group of his good friends were heading off for a week at the snowfields, however, due to last minute issue with their transportation; I willingly offered to help out and provide the extra car that was required to ensure that everyone get to the drop off point near the snow fields so that they could enjoy their week-break snow boarding and skiing.

As I set out on my early morning journey, the only thing I could think about at that time was no sooner had I arrived and  said my goodbyes, I would be on the road again to make the trip back home. In total, a round trip of 900 kms in just 10 hours.

Although the thought of such a long drive in one day was a daunting one, particularly as I was looking forward to that much required time to relax.

Over the years, I have come to realize that life events often happen to challenge you but don’t reveal their real purpose in real time. In the next 10 hours, I didn’t expect the situation to happen.

The drive to our destination was punctuated with the mandatory refresher and comfort stops. An early morning breakfast in a highway petrol station that could be best described as filling but far from nutritious. The dawning of a new day coupled with patches of fog, mist, and light rain which typifies a winter’s morning as you get closer to the snow fields.

As we drove, Simon and I talked a little about his week’s break and a host of what may have seemed unimportant and rather minor subjects. However, it was great to have this time with him as we rarely spend five continuous hours in each others’ company, other than the days when we played Saturday afternoon cricket together.

As I left to make the return trip back home, I had a strange sense of loneliness which quickly disappeared as I concentrated on driving through some very heavy early morning fog. Within an hour, I was through the fog and had a clear open road ahead of me. So I engaged with cruise control and spent the next four hours listening to some of my favorite CD’s.

When I was younger, I did a lot of country driving on my own and I often used this time to think about big picture stuff as well as issues and challenges I had in my business or personal life. Many of which would be clarified and to a certain extent resolved during these lengthy times of solitude inside my car.

On this day, I rekindled something from those years of driving long distances on my own. By the time I reached home, I had developed and set out a plan of action in my mind for one very important issue I had to deal with in the week ahead. Surprisingly after my long trip home, I was mentality refreshed and energized  even though I was physically tired and knew that I would sleep well that evening.

I am reminded of the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.’

What this unplanned trip to the snowfields had given me were two unexpected but very timely lessons: First is that we all need to and benefit from spending quality time with our family, loved ones and friends.

Second lesson is that a change in your environment, no matter how temporary it may be, can provide you with the opportunity to look at something from a different perspective and come away with a resolution, as well as be refreshed and energized.

I look forward to my next unexpected event and many more opportunities to spend quality time with those who are important to me and make my life more rewarding.

Inspired by a trip to the snow fields with my son and the need for some refreshed thinking.

Written by Keith Ready

What I Have Learnt . . .

I’ve learned that you can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
Age 6

I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing ‘Silent Night’.
Age 7

I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.
Age 9

I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up.
Age 12

I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.
Age 13

I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad that my parents are strict with me.
Age 15

I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.
Age 24

I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.
Age 25

I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.
Age 29

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.
Age 39

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly, but just don’t know how to show it.
Age 41

I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little card.
Age 44

I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others.
Age 45

I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
Age 46

I’ve learned that singing ‘Amazing Grace’ can lift my spirit for hours.
Age 49

I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone.
Age 50

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Age 52

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly when they die.
Age 53

I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
Age 58

I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage.
Age 61

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
Age 62

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Age 64

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. However, if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the best you can, happiness will find you.
Age 65

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
Age 66

I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.
Age 72

I’ve learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth, I’ve seen several.
Age 73

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
Age 82

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch, holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
Age 85

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Age 92

Author Unknown