Tonic for the Spirit

You are Wonderful

The following true story.
It happened several years ago in the Paris opera house. A famous singer had been contracted to sing, and ticket sales were booming. In fact, the night of the concert found the house packed and every ticket sold. The feeling of anticipation and excitement was in the air as the house manager took the stage and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your enthusiastic support. I am afraid that due to illness, the man whom you’ve all come to hear will not be performing tonight. However, we have found a suitable substitute we hope will provide you with comparable entertainment.” The crowd groaned in disappointment and failed to hear the announcer mention the stand-in’s name. The environment turned from excitement to frustration.
The stand-in performer gave the performance everything he had. When he had finished, there was nothing but an uncomfortable silence. No one applauded.
Suddenly, from the balcony, a little boy stood up and shouted, “Daddy, I think you are wonderful!” The crowd broke into thunderous applause.

REFLECTION: We all need people in our Lives who are willing to stand up once in a while and say, “I think you are wonderful.”

By indian-admin on 27-12-2017
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What a Fool I’ve Been!

There’s a story about a tenant farmer who worked hard for many years to improve the production of the land. Then something happened that caused him to become very bitter. When it was time to renew the lease, the owner told him that he was going to sell the farm to his son, who was getting married. The tenant farmer made several generous offers to buy the farm for himself, hoping that the owner’s decision would be changed. But it was all in vain.
As the day drew near for the tenant to vacate his home, his weeks of angry brooding finally got the best of him. He gathered seeds from some of the most pesky and noxious weeds he could find. Then he spent many hours scattering them on the fertile soil of the farm, along with a lot of trash and stones.
To his dismay, the very next morning the owner informed him that the plans for his son’s wedding fell through¸ therefore, he’d be happy to renew the tenant’s lease. The owner couldn’t understand why the tenant exclaimed in such agonizing tones, “Oh, Lord, what a fool I’ve been!”

REFLECTION: Hatred and revenge are very much like the mythical vampire, which first sucks out the life blood of the host. Their host is the their first and worst victim.

By Kaimlet on 26-12-2017
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Wisdom From a Walnut Tree

The relentless rain and powerful winds prove too much for me to resist. I step outside to see God’s work up close. The carport gives me shelter from the storm. A very young walnut tree sways back and forth. The wind is so strong it looks like it will snap or uproot any second. Even when pushed to the limit, it “gives in” to the wind and effortlessly moves with it. The young tree is the product of a much older walnut tree standing tall right beside it. Amongst ferocious winds, the older tree hardly moves at all.

I awake the next morning to the silence. The storm has passed. I step outside to my familiar spot under the carport and I see something that puzzles me. The young walnut tree stands tall while the much older walnut tree lays flat. Its mighty roots plucked from the earth. “How did that happen?” The young, “weaker” tree lives to see another day; while the older, “stronger” tree lives no more.

REFLECTION: The young tree’s strength lies in its flexibility. It’s stronger because it’s weaker. It gives in for no reason. It follows the rhythm of the wind and life. Even when pushed to the limit, it does not fight back. The older tree does not give in at all. It is unable to move with the wind. Therefore, there is resistance. The huge walnut tree with roots running deep proved no match for the storm. Its life is lost because it was unable to give.
During the storms of my life and at all other times, I must be flexible. I must flow naturally with those around me. I must peacefully exist in the moment I am given. Even when pushed to the limit, I should remain calm. “Bend if you must; but don’t break” must be the way of my life.

By Kaimlet on 24-12-2017
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ONE DAY I DECIDED TO QUIT

I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality… I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with god
“God”, I asked,
“Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”.
His answer surprised me…
“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo ?
“Yes”, I replied.
“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.
I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth.
Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. He said.
“In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.” He said.
“Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant…But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.”
He asked me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots”.
“I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you.”
“Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said. “The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.
Yet they both make the forest beautiful. ”Your time will come”, God said to me.
“You will rise high”.
“How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.
“As high as it can?” I questioned. “Yes.” He said, “Give Me glory by rising as high as you can.”
I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on
you. Never, Never, Never, Give up.
Don’t tell the Lord how big the problem is, tell the problem how Great the Lord is!

By Kaimlet on 21-12-2017
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The Pastor’s Cat

This particular story just made me laugh. Every time I think about it, the vision of that poor cat just amuses me to no end. Hope the story leaves a bright spot in your day. Whoever said the Creator doesn’t have a sense of humour?
Dwight Nelson told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc.
The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.
That’s what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke.
The tree went ‘bowing!’ and the kitten instantly sailed through the air – out of sight.
The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, ‘Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,’ and went on about his business.
A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, ‘Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?’
She replied, ‘You won’t believe this,’ and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing.
Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, ‘Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.’
She told the pastor, ‘I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.’
REFLECTION: Never underestimate the Power of God nor His unique sense of humour. He delivers, though the mode sometimes is quite unexpected. God can and does sometimes, write straight on crooked lines. He can also count the apples in a seed.

By Kaimlet on 19-12-2017
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An Octopus in Trouble

Once upon a time there was a shy and quiet octopus. He nearly always went about on his own because, although he wanted to have lots of friends, he was too self-conscious.
One day, the octopus was trying to catch a very slippery oyster. Before he knew it, he had tied himself into one massive knot, and he couldn’t move. He tried with all his strength to wriggle free, but it was no good. In the end, despite the great embarrassment he felt at being seen in such a tangle, he had to ask for help from the passing fish. Many fish swam past, ignoring him, but one very kind little fish offered to help to untie all those tentacles from all those suckers.
The octopus felt heartily relieved when he was finally set free, but he was so shy that he didn’t dare talk to the fish and make friends with him. He simply thanked the fish, and quickly swam off. Later, the octopus spent the whole night thinking that he had wasted a great opportunity to make friends with that very kind little fish.
A couple of days later the octopus was resting between some rocks, when he noticed that everyone around was hurriedly swimming past. He looked into the distance and saw an enormous fish coming over to feed in that area. The octopus quickly hid; then, peeping an eye out from his hiding place, he saw that the huge fish was chasing the kind little fish who had untied him. That little fish really needed urgent help, but the big fish was so dangerous-looking that no one dared to go near. The octopus, remembering how the little fish had helped him, felt that he had to do whatever he could to come to his aid.
Without hesitating, the octopus shot out from the rocks, like a ray. He put himself right in the path of the giant fish, and before the fish could do anything about it, the octopus had shot out the biggest jet of ink of his life. He grabbed the little fish, and swam off back to hide in the rocks. Everything happened so fast that the big fish had no time to react. However, he soon recovered from the surprise. Off he went to the rocks, looking for the octopus and the little fish. Now he really wanted to gobble them down!
Soon, though, he began feeling a terrible itch; first in his gills, and then in his fins, and then all over his body. It turned out that this giant fish had a very artistic nature, he adored colours; and the octopus’s dark ink had given him a terrible allergy!! So the big fish swam away, irritated all over.
As soon as he was gone, all the fish who had been hiding came and congratulated the octopus for being so brave. Then the little fish told them all how he had helped the octopus a few days earlier, but he had never known anyone be so grateful that they would end up doing something so dangerous. Hearing this, the other fish discovered how nice the shy octopus was, and everyone around was keen to be the friend of such a brave and honourable octopus.
REFLECTION: In the first place it was a small act of kindness on the part of the little fish, for which he was no way obliged. He could very well have said, “What is in it for me. The stupid octopus should not have been so greedy; now he pays for it.” But instead he asked, “What will happen if I do not help?”
So to later when the big fish was chasing the small, the octopus could have asked, “What will happen to me, if I intervene?” But instead he asked, “What will happen to the poor little chap if I don’t intervene?”
Moreover the heroic act helped the octopus to overcome his shyness and to instill self confidence. What is more, his sentiments of gratitude became the basis of a strong and wide friendship. “What will happen, if I don’t help?”

By Kaimlet on 18-12-2017
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Opportunity in Today

Look for the opportunity in today, even if “today” is not quite what you had bargained for. A graduate student had just gotten his first job, a desk job, which he felt – and probably correctly – that was much beneath his talents. He complained to his friend that he did not do pencil-pushing.

His friend was entirely unsympathetic. He just patted him on the back and said to him, “You know, the world is a better place because Michelangelo didn’t say, ‘I don’t do ceilings.”’

So it is. You go through the Bible and Moses didn’t say, “1 don’t do rivers.” Noah didn’t say, “1 don’t do arks.” Ruth didn’t say, “1 don’t do mothers-in-law.” David didn’t say, “1 don’t do giants.”

Paul didn’t say, “I don’t do Gentiles.” Mary Magdalene didn’t say, “1 don’t do feet.” Jesus didn’t say, “1 don’t do crosses.”

By Kaimlet on 16-12-2017
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St. Antony Tempted

Chapters have been written and graphic pictures painted about all sorts of temptations that plagued the hermit St Antony while he lived deep in the Libyan desert.

The story goes that Satan himself one day went out to check on the progress of his impish students, who were using their entire repertoire of temptations on the saint with very little success. So he huddled them together and explained how they were doing everything wrong, and that he would give them an unforgettable lesson.

So Satan decked himself out as a monk, with cowl and all. He approached Antony with a deep bow and with his arms across his heart like a standard archangel, he whispered into Antony’s ear, “Rejoice, my brother, I bring you good news. Your brother, whom you have left behind in the big bad city, a simple monk like you, has just been named patriarch of Alexandria.”

On hearing that, immediately a dark frown crept over the usually sunny face of the hermit. For a split second, envy and jealousy almost curled his lips.

Reflection: The first ever reported sin was the result of jealousy. The devil was jealous of the privileged position of Adam and Eve. So too the first ever reported murder was due to jealousy – Cain was jealous of his younger brother, Abel. As clearly seen from the story of St. Antony of the Desert, “Jealousy can lead the holiest people into temptation. It is the trump card in the hands of the devil.” It is so deadly, yet it looks so innocuous.

By Kaimlet on 14-12-2017
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Acceptance Changes All

A woman named Mary Ann Bird tells her story: “I grew up knowing that I was different, and I hated it. 1 was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I must look to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth and garbled speech.

When my schoolmates would ask, ‘What happened to your lip?’ I’d tell them I’d fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an
accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me.

“There was, however, a teacher in the second grade that we all adored, Mrs. Leonard by name. She was a short, round, happy, sparkling lady.

Annually, we would have a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something and we would have to repeat it back. .. things like ‘The sky is blue’ or ‘Do you have new shoes?’ 1 waited there for those words which God must have put into her mouth, those seven words which changed my life.

Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, ‘I wish you were my little girl.'”
_ William J Bausch

Reflection: Being accepted and appreciated in spite of her physical defect by her kindly teacher changed her whole life for Mary Ann Bird. A little kindness on our part many a time can make a world of difference for someone.

By Kaimlet on 08-12-2017
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You are closer than you think (A True Story)

While on vacation in Colorado, I woke up early for a hike. The three-mile trail ran to the peak of Beaver Creek Mountain. At the top base a sign said it should take about three hours to reach the top. Looking up to my destination, I was intimidated. The trail was extremely steep. The altitude at the base was 8,000 feet above sea level. The peak stood at more than 11,000 feet.
Just walking up the first set of stairs, I began breathing heavier than normal. I had to remind myself to take it easy. At home in Houston, I run several miles a few times a week and play a lot of basketball. But the elevation there is only fifty feet above sea level. The thinner air in the Colorado Mountains had me doubting whether I could make it to the top. I started out with my cell phone and a bottle of water. Determined, I set a pretty good pace. The first fifteen minutes seemed as though I were carrying an extra load. I had to stop every so often to catch my breath.
About forty-five minutes into my hike, the trail got extremely steep – almost like I was climbing straight up. My pathway snaked skyward through thick strands of aspen and ponderosa pine. The view was both beautiful and daunting. Despite the fact that I am in shape from running and playing basketball, my legs were burning and my chest was pounding. As I climbed over the big ridge, I had to stop for air. Sweat was pouring out of my body. I thought: If there’s another two hours like this, I don’t know if I can make it.
Up to that point, I had not seen anyone else on the path. Suddenly an older gentleman heading down the mountain came around a curve. He seemed cool and calm. And he read me pretty well. As we passed, he said something that changed my whole perspective. He smiled kindly and said in a calm voice: “You are closer than you think.”
Hearing those words, I felt rejuvenated as if he’d breathed new life into my lungs. Though the climb was difficult, I caught my second wind and whispered those words of encouragement with every stride that I made. Without those encouraging words I may have turned around, even though I was almost at the top.

Reflection: Friends, you are closer to your victory than you think. I encourage you to let these words get deep down in your spirit. Don’t stop now. Do not turn around, just keep pressing forward. You are closer to your goal than you think.

By Kaimlet on 05-12-2017