Barriers to God
The Master would insist that the final barrier to our attaining God was the word and concept "God." This so infuriated the local priest that he came in a huff to argue the matter out with the Master. "But surely the word 'God' can lead us to God?" said the priest. "It can," said the Master calmly. "How can something help and be a barrier?" Said the Master, "The donkey that brings you to the door is not the means by which you enter the house."

Author - Anthony de Mello  (Source: One Minute Wisdom )


Be Still With God
All day long I had been very busy; picking up trash, cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing floors. My grown children were coming home for the weekend. I went grocery shopping and prepared for a barbecue supper, complete with ribs and chicken. I wanted everything to be perfect. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was dog-tired. I simply couldn't work as long as I could when I was younger. "I've got to rest for a minute," I told my husband, Roy, as I collapsed into my favorite rocking chair. Music was playing, my dog and cat were chasing each other and the telephone rang. A scripture from Psalm 46 popped into my mind. "Be still, and know that I am God." I realized that I hadn't spent much time in prayer that day. Was I too busy to even utter a simple word of thanks to God? Suddenly, the thought of my beautiful patio came to mind. I can be quiet out there, I thought. I longed for a few minutes alone with God. Roy and I had invested a great deal of time and work in the patio that spring. The flowers and hanging baskets were breathtaking. It was definitely a heavenly place of rest and tranquility. If I can't be still with God in that environment, I can't be still with Him anywhere, I thought. While Roy was talking on the telephone, I slipped out the backdoor and sat down on my favorite patio chair. I closed my eyes and began to pray, counting my many blessings. A bird flew by me, chirping and singing. It interrupted my thoughts. It landed on the bird feeder and began eating dinner as I watched. After a few minutes it flew away, singing another song. I closed my eyes again. A gust of wind blew, which caused my wind chimes to dance. They made a joyful sound, but again I lost my concentration on God. I squirmed and wiggled in my chair. I looked up toward the blue sky and saw the clouds moving slowly toward the horizon. The wind died down. My wind chimes finally became quiet. Again, I bowed in prayer. "Honk, honk," I heard. I almost jumped out of my skin. A neighbor was driving down the street. He waved at me and smiled. I waved back, happy that he cared. I quickly tried once again to settle down, repeating the familiar verse in my mind. Be still and know that I am God. "I'm trying God. I really am," I whispered. "But you've got to help me here." The backdoor opened. My husband walked outside. "I love you," he said. "I was wondering where you were." I chuckled, as he came over and kissed me, then turned around and went back inside. "Where's the quiet time?" I asked God. My heart fluttered. There was no pain, only a beat that interrupted me yet again. This is impossible, I thought. There's no time to be still and to know that God is with me. There's too much going on in the world and entirely too much activity all around me. Then it suddenly dawned on me. God was speaking to me the entire time I was attempting to be still. I remembered the music playing as I'd begun my quiet time. He sent a sparrow to lighten my life with song. He sent a gentle breeze. He sent a neighbor to let me know that I had a friend. He sent my sweetheart to offer sincere sentiments of love. He caused my heart to flutter to remind me of life. While I was trying to count my blessings, God was busy multiplying them. I laughed to realize that the "interruptions" of my quiet time with God were special blessings He'd sent to show me He was with me the entire time.

Author - Nancy B. Gibbs  (Source: Source Unknown )


Black and Gold Boxes
I have in my hands two boxes Which God gave me to hold He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black, And all your joys in the gold." I heeded his words, and in the two boxes Both my joys and sorrows I store But though the gold became heavier each day The black was as light as before. With curiosity, I opened the black I wanted to find out why And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole Which my sorrows had fallen out by. I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud, "I wonder where my sorrows could be." He smiled a gentle smile at me. "My child, they're all here with me." I asked, "God, why give me the boxes, "Why the gold, and the black with the hole?" "My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings, the black is for you to let go."

Author - Author Unknown  (Source: Source Unknown)


Blessings Great and Small
Here in the Arizona desert where shades of browns, grays, blacks and muted greens at first appear to dominate the landscape, I live and expand my appreciation for God's canvas. Just today before day relinquished its light, on the horizon where the mountains loomed in the distance, God painted a sunset, its beauty taking my breathe away. Wispy, swept clouds, delicately brushed, completed the Master Piece; some things defy words, remaining in crevices of the mind, long after miracles have passed and moments acknowledged. I am reminded too of springtime when the mountains burst forth in the brightness of sunshine as they are enveloped by wild flowers that have been sprinkled there not by accident or by the hands of man but by God and His glory. Too, I marvel at the giant Saguaro Cactus that stands tall and proud and the ever yielding variety of colors from the Bougainvillea. Tasty fruit from the Pomegranate the orange and lemon trees linger on my pallet as I think of their contribution in feeding humanity. Today unlike so many yesterday's that have skipped by unnoticed, I paused to reflect on a gift so often unopened, by we who are given greatness beyond measure by God the giver of all gifts great and small. I stopped, accepting this wonder of wonders and asked that my eyes be opened to minute blessings sent to me daily. I want not to miss the smallest of blessings for in doing so in the future I may reflect back, seeing them as they truly are, my Biggest, Richest Blessings. Every landscape scattered across our nation, our world our universe is unique in and of it's own self; like each individual person we have our own gift and purpose, we have our own contributions. God has given to us that we might give back of ourselves and brighten the life of another. As I reached over and felt the warmth of my husband's hand, saw his eyes upon me and heard the words, "I love you baby," I thanked God for all of His Blessings, even those I so often take for granted.

Author - Betty King  (Source: Source Unknown )


Blind Men and the Elephant, The
There is an analogy to how differently we each understand or experience God in a classic story about three blind men and the elephant. As each of the three blind men are trying to understand exactly what the elephant is like, but experiencing different parts of the same thing. The first blind man is feeling all over the leg of the elephant and says to the others, "It is like a strong tree." But, the second is holding the trunk, explaining, "It is like an ever changing vine." Still, the third blind man is running his hands across the large body of the elephant, exclaiming, "No, it is endless, like a wide mountain."

Author - Author Unknown  (Source: Source Unknown )


Comprehension
"Every word, every image used for God is a distortion more than a description." "Then how does one speak of God?" "Through Silence." "Why, then, do you speak in words?" At that the Master laughed uproariously He said, "When I speak, you mustn't listen to the words, my dear. Listen to the Silence."

Author - Anthony de Mello  (Source: Source Unknown )


Elimelech and the Blessing
A Bracha, (a blessing), what is a blessing? We Jewish people have been making blessings for thousands of years. But what is a blessing. Are we giving a blessing to G-d for what he has given us? When we give a blessing to a friend, it's like wishing that good things should happen to him. Is this the same towards G-d? Can we do such a thing? What is it that G-d lacks, that our blessing can do something? To answer these questions, there is a famous story about Rabbi Elimelch, the Rabbi of Lesinsk who lived about two hundred years ago. Another Rabbi came to visit Rabbi Elimelch, who was known far and wide for being a Tzaddik (a pure and righteous man). As they sat together conversing, the visiting Rabbi, who was a distinguished scholar, yet did not achieve the level of holiness and saintliness that Rabbi Elimelch had reached. "Tell me, Rabbi Elimelch, we both are scholars, well versed in the Jewish law. Yet you have reached a level of saintliness and holiness far beyond me. Explain to me, please, what is the difference between us? What is it that you possess that I don't?" Rabbi Elimelch pointed to the bowl of fruit, set before them on the table. "When you want to eat an apple, do you make a blessing to G-d?" "Certainly I do!" the visiting Rabbi answered. "Ah, that's the difference. You see, when I want to make a blessing to G-d, I eat an apple. When you want to eat an apple you first make a blessing. That is the difference." What this story is coming to tell us is that blessing is a method that we can use to become close to the creator of the world. True, it thanks him for His goodness. But it can also bring us to a higher level of consciousness in being aware of G-d. The visiting Rabbi used the blessing to thank G-d for His goodness, which is quite acceptable and commendable. But Rabbi Elimelch used the blessing in a different way. He used it to get close to G-d. The apple was just a medium for being able to do this. We too, when the opportunity comes for making a blessing, we can use it to increase our awareness of the Supreme Power of the universe. The more blessings that we make, the more we can increase our awareness. That's the point of making a blessing. It is like we do something for G-d; we cause him to be with us down here on earth instead of hidden up there in the heavens.

Author - Jeffery Kanter  (Source: Jewish Magazine )


Finding God Within and Without
How do I find You God? God is Love. If you have ever loved, If you have ever been loved, You have experienced God from Within and Without God is Truth. If you have ever told the truth, If you have ever discovered Truth, You have experienced God from Within and Without God is Beauty. If you have ever helped to create something beautiful, If you have ever witnessed beauty in any of it's myriad forms, You have experienced God from Within and Without God is Good. If you have ever done or thought something good, If you have ever recognized goodness in or through another, You have experienced God from Within and Without All of those experiences, those gifts, of Love, Truth, Beauty and Goodness were directly from God through you. or to you. Glad to Meet You God. let's hang out together.

Author - Author Unknown  (Source: Source Unknown)


God Is Like...
A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God. Here are some of the results: God is like BAYER ASPIRIN -- He works miracles. God is like a FORD -- He's got a better idea. God is like COKE -- He's the real thing. God is like HALLMARK CARDS -- He cares enough to send His very best. God is like TIDE -- He gets the stains out that others leave behind. God is like GENERAL ELECTRIC -- He brings good things to life. God is like SEARS -- He has everything. God is like ALKA-SELTZER -- Try him, you'll like Him. God is like SCOTCH TAPE -- You can't see him, but you know He's there. God is like DELTA -- He's ready when you are. God is like ALLSTATE -- You're in good hands with Him. God is like VO-5 Hair Spray -- He holds through all kinds of weather. God is like DIAL SOAP -- Aren't you glad you have Him. Don't you wish everybody did. God is like the U.S. POST OFFICE -- Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

Author - Author Unknown  (Source: Source Unknown)


Packing Parachutes
Charles Plumb, a US Navy Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent the next six years in a Communist prison. He survived that ordeal and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience. One day, when he and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Nam from the carrier, Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!" "How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "Oh, I was the one who packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man smiled and said, "Yep, I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did work -- if your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today." Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about the man who has packed his parachute. Plumb kept wondering what the man might have looked like in a Navy uniform. "I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you or anything, because you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn't know. Now Plumb asks his audiences, "Who's packing your chute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that we all need many kinds of parachutes. We need mental, emotional and spiritual parachutes as well. While a prisoner of war, Plumb called on all of these supports before reaching safety. His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead -- and to recognize and appreciate all of those people who pack our parachutes everyday, for they are the ones who truly deserve the credit for our survival.

Author - Author Unknown  (Source: Source Unknown)





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