Keep Your Promise

Lou Gehrig in Columbia uniform, 1921

Image via Wikipedia

Lou Gehrig, the famous homerun king of the New York Yankeesbaseball team, visited a hospital for crippled children just before a World Series game. He told the children in the ward, “You can do ANYTHING if you want to do it badly enough.”

Then a little boy who was Yankee fan asked the great ballplayer to do him a favor, “Please knock two homeruns in today’s game.”

“Two home runs in a World Series game is a lot to ask,” said Gehrig. But now he had to back yup what he had said about being able to do ANYTHING if you really wanted to do it badly enough. So he turned to the little boy and said, “I’ll make a bargain with you. I’ll knock two homeruns today if you promise me that you will walk again.” It was a deal; they shook hands on it.

Gehrig knocked his two homeruns that afternoon. But somehow, he never got around to going back to that hospital. One day, years later, he was entering Yankee Stadium when a tall young man stepped up and asked, “Do you remember me?”

Lou couldn’t place him.

Then the young man said, “Well then, look! I CAN WALK! I kept my half of the promise.”

— Turbells Teachers’ Guide


A Quaint Prayer

Praying Gopher

On a wall near the cathedral of Chester, England, hangs this very practical prayer:

Give me a good digestion, Lord,

And something to digest.

Give me a healthy body, Lord,

With sense to keep it at its best.

Give me a healthy mind, Good Lord,

To keep the good and pure in sight,

Which, seeing sin, is not appalled,

But finds a way to set it right.

Give me a mind that is not bored,

That does not whimper, whine, or sigh;

Don’t let me worry overmuch,

About the fussy thing called “I”.

Give me a sense of humor, Lord,

Give me the grace to see a joke,

To get some pleasure out of life,

And pass it on to other folk.

— Keep Smiling

Forgiveness Heals

Meadows at Allimore Green.

Image via Wikipedia

A girl was being treated for several months for anemia but without any success. So her doctor decided to send her to a sanatorium faraway.

The first thing she got there, she underwent a thorough physical examination. And the examining doctor found her blood count to be completely normal. The referring doctor double-checked it and could not believe his eyes. So he called in the girl and asked her, “Has anything out of the ordinary happened in your life since your last visit?”

“Yes,” she admitted. “Suddenly I was able to forgive someone against whom I have borne a  nasty grudge all my life. At that moment, I felt completely changed inside.”

So now the doctor knew the answer. Her mental attitude had changed, and the very state of her blood had changed with it.

Being angry at someone can be stupid, because the other person might not even be aware of it. So, the only one being harmed is ourself.

after William Barclay

Real Leaders

Alexander the Great portrait half profile

History records how Alexander the Great and his army were dying of thirst after marching eleven days. Suddenly they came upon some local farmers who were fetching skins full of water from a hidden river. Seeing the famous general choked with thirst, they offered him a helmet filled with water. He asked them to whom they were carrying the water. They told him, “To our children. But your life is more important than theirs. Even if they all perish, we can raise a new generation.”

Then Alexander took the helmet into his hands and looked around to see all his soldiers eyeing the water and licking their dry lips.  He did not have the courage to drink, but gave back the water untouched to the farmers. “If only I would drink,” he explained, “the rest of the soldiers would be out of heart.”

At that, the soldiers rallied around him as never before and defied their fatigue and their thirst. “To follow such a leader is a privilege,” they said.

A real leader never demands of his men what he will not bear himself.

— after William Barclay

Christ in People


A Portuguese novel tells the story of  a young man who travelled to the Indies to seek a fortune, and in a few years, returned to Lisbon with several ships laden with wealth.

“Now,” he thought, “I’ll play a trick on my relatives.” He put on some worn-out clothes and went round to see his cousin Pedro.

“Here I am, your cousin John. After some years in India, I have come back home. You see how I am fixed… Could I stay at your house for a time?”

“Oh, my dear John, how I wish I could put you up. Unfortunately, there isn’t a room free in my house.”

John went round to another friend, and another, but everywhere he found the door closed against him.

Then he returned to his ships, got into his best clothes, and sailed into town with a dozen servants attending him. He bought a large mansion right on the main street of Lisbon. Within a few weeks his fabulous wealth was the talk of the town.

“Who could have imagined it?” said his friends and relatives who had given him the brush-off. “If we had only known, how differently we would have acted. But now we have spoiled our chances with him forever.”

Our Lord comes to us every day in the guise of those who need our help… How do we respond?

Maturity Check-up


A mature person doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously;

his or her job, yes!

A mature person keeps alert in mind.

A mature person does not always “view with alarm” every adverse situation that arises.

A mature person is too big to belittle someone.

A mature person has faith in self, which is fortified by faith in God.

A mature person never accepts either success or failure is self as something permanent.

A mature person is one who can control personal impulses.

A mature person is not afraid to make mistakes.

— Leonard Wedel

Where Are You, Lord?

Church of the Nativity of Our Lady (in front) ...

The parish priest in a town named Austerity climbed way up into the church’s steeple to be nearer to the Lord. He wanted to hand down God‘s word to his parishioners, like Moses of old. Then one day he thought he really heard God say something.

So he cried aloud from the steeple, “Where are You, Lord? I can’t seem to hear Your voice clearly.”

And the Lord replied, “I’m down here among My people. Where are you?”

— Brewer Mattocks

Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17: 20-21)

Do we have a tendency to restrict God? Do we view Him as just ‘up there in Heaven‘, or in church, or strongly felt on Sundays only? Remember that God is among us, in the midst of us, always and everywhere.. and whatever we do for the least of our brothers, we do for God.

The Ten Most Wanted Men

River of gold

Image by Steve-h via Flickr

The man who tries to be the right example to every child,

rather than talk about it.

The man who has a passion to help,

rather than a passion to be helped.

The man who is willing to say, “I was wrong, I’m sorry.”

The man who will look at temptation squarely and say, “No.”

The man who puts God‘s business above any other.

The man who throws himself totally into a project,

then give the credit for its success to his helpers.

The man who has a ready smile and a pat on the back for others.

The man who brings his children to church

rather than sending them.

The man who can see his own faults

before he sees the faults of others.

The man who gives his money, time and talent

without thought of them.

— Gems of Thought


Shilla (7026 m) above the Spiti Valley in Hima...

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A Sikh guru from India tells the following story:

IN the cold mountainous regions of north India, travellers are helped to keep warm in a special way. They take a small earthenware pot, put a burning coal into it and cover it up. They weave strings around it and wrapping it with cloth, carry it under their arms.

Three men were travelling that way toward a sacred shrine. When they stopped for a rest, one of the travellers saw that some other people were cold, so he took the fire out of his little vessel and lit a fire so they could all get warm. In that way, he saved them freezing to death in the cold.

When they wanted to walk on, it was already dark. So the second man took the fire out of his pot and lighted a torch with it and helped all three of them to walk in safety.

The third member of the group laughed at them and said, “You are a bunch of fools. You have wasted your fire for the sake of others.”

So they said to him, “Show us your fire.”

When he opened his vessel, there was no fire, but only ashes and embers.

With his fire, one of the travellers had given warmth and another had given light. But the third man who kept his fire for himself found that his fire had gone out. Now he had none at all.

— Tony Castle

Let the Children Come

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

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The Gospel story about the mothers bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed, tells the kind of person he was. Children would go to him. That is no small compliment. Many big men scare children away.

A famous preacher once said that no one could be a follower of Jesus is the children were afraid to play at his door,

To Jesus no one was unimportant. The apostles were saying, just as some people nowadays would, “They’re only kids; don’t bother about them.”

But Jesus would never follow that advice. No one was ever a nuisance to Jesus. He was never too tired… or too busy. You did not need a ticket to see him. You did not have to go through the proper channels.

How many people have been lost to the cause of Christ forever because clergymen turned them away? They had come at meal time… They had not taken the trouble to make an appointment… This was the pastor’s day off…

Having time for people is the best compliment which we can pay them. That was Christ’s secret weapon.

— after William Barclay