We are often tempted by material things, opportunities, and possibilities of contemporary life – items that we generally know will only lead us away from God. The choice to avoid such temptations is ours and, thus, we must be wary of their allure.
A Native American folk tale describes this problem: One day an Indian youth, in an effort to prepare for manhood, hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees and decorated with many lovely flowers. There he fasted and prayed, but on the third day he looked up at the surrounding mountains and noticed one tall and rugged peak capped with snow. He decided that he would test himself by climbing this mountain. Thus, he put on his buckskin shirt, wrapped a blanket around his shoulders, and set out to climb the peak.
When he reached the top he looked out from the rim to the world so far below. Then he heard a rustling sound and, looking around, saw a snake slithering about. Before he could move, the snake spoke to him, “I am about to die. It’s too cold for me up here; I am freezing. There is little food and I am starving. Please put me under your shirt where I will be warm and take me down the mountain.” Read More »
In basketball, things change much more quickly than in football. Partly because there are three-point shots; partly because of the trumping effect of last second foul shots; partly because the basketball court is still the same size its always been while players are all now seven feet tall, weigh 250 pounds and can dunk from the free-throw line – the score, the balance of power, in any game seems as though it can change in an instant. In basketball, two minutes left on the clock is an eternity.
Entire games are played, entire lifetimes are lived, in those last two minutes. Unless your team is down by more than 20 points, you still have a chance. That’s why the most nail-biting, hair-raising, ulcerating, blood-pressuring moments in sports are in the last 10 seconds of neck-and-neck basketball games.
In the last few seconds of a one-point game the test becomes not of skill, or style, or strength. No: at that crunch-point everything comes down to timing. In the big game – the game of life – timing is everything.Read More »
In Greek mythology the sirens are creatures with the heads of beautiful women and the bodies of attractive birds. They lived on an island (Sirenum scopuli; three small rocky islands) and with the irresistible charm of their song they lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island (Virgil V, 846; Ovid XIV, 88). They sang so sweetly that all who sailed near their home in the sea were fascinated and drawn to the shore only to be destroyed.
When Odysseus, the hero in the Odyssey, passed that enchanted spot he tied himself to the mast and put wax in the ears of his comrades, so that they might not hear the luring and bewitching strains.
But King Tharsius chose a better way. He took the great Greek singer and lyrist Orpheus along with him. Orpheus took out his lyre and sang a song so clear and ringing that it drowned the sound of those lovely, fatal voices of sirens.
The best way to break the charm of this world’s alluring voices during Lent is not trying to shut out the music by plugging our ears, but to have our hearts and lives filled with the sweeter music of prayer, penance, word of God, self control, and acts of charity. Then temptations will have no power over us.
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Q: What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 117
Q: What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 119
Q: Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?
A: Psalms 118
Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118 and 594 chapters after Psalms 118.
Add these numbers up and you get 1188.
Q: What is the center verse in the Bible?
A: Psalms 118:8
Q: Does this verse say something significant about God’s perfect will for our lives?
The next time someone says they would like to find God’s perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, just send them to the center of His Word!
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Now isn’t that odd how this worked out (or was God in the center of it)?
When things get tough, always remember…
Faith doesn’t get you around trouble, it gets you through it !!
One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick. Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat. “Dad, I’m thinking of something.”
This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear.
“What are you thinking?” I asked.
“The rain!;” she began, “is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away.”
After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. “That’s really good, Aspen.”
Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take this revelation? So I asked… “Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?”Read More »
On his first day in office as President, when Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, one man stood up. He was a rich Aristocrat. He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.” And the whole Senate laughed; they thought they had made a fool of Lincoln.
However, certain people are made of a totally different mettle (caliber). Lincoln looked at the man directly in the eye and said, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes for your family, and there will be many others here. Because he made shoes the way nobody else can, he was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes; he poured his whole soul into them. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? Because I know how to make shoes myself. If you have any complaint, I can make you another pair of shoes. But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a great creator and I am proud of my father”.
The whole Senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was. He was proud because his father did his job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard.
Remember: “No one can hurt you without your consent!”
It is not what happens to us that hurts us. It is our response that hurts us. Be excellent at your work!
A woman named Emily renewing her driver’s licence at the Transport office was asked by the clerk to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. “What I mean is,” explained the clerk, “do you have a job, or are you just a …? “Of course I have a job,” snapped Emily. “I’m a Mum.” “We don’t list ‘Mum’ as an occupation… ‘housewife’ covers it,” said the clerk emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our local police station. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.” “What is your occupation?” she probed. What made me say it, I do not know…
The words simply popped out. “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.” The clerk paused, pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire!Read More »