The Gentle Touch

English: Cow and calf

English: Cow and calf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some city boys were living on a farm during vacation time. One day, a calf got out of the barn and the three of them were trying to get it back in. So one of them pulled on its little horns and the other two pushed him from behind. But the more they pulled and pushed, the more the calf just stiffened its legs and stood there.
The farmer’s young daughter came along and watched them. She smiled, walked over to the calf, and put her finger into its mouth. As the calf sucked her finger, it willingly walked into the barn.
The boys scratched their heads in wonder. They had used the wrong approach. They had insisted on doing what they wanted, completely disregarding what the calf wanted. The farm girl played the other angle: she gave the calf what it wanted, and it followed her willingly.

— William Barclay

Last night, I was feeling pretty bummed and depressed. And when that happens, I start thinking about all the sad things that have happened or have been happening in my life. I’ve been trying to get rid of this bad habit for some time now, but hey, I’m only human. Every once in a while, I suffer a relapse. Anyway, so I was feeling sad, and I started praying – asking God for what I think will make me happier. This story is a good reminder for me, for us, that in life, we are not the boss… God is. Like the boys in the story, we like to insist our own way – we treat God as our genie, someone to just grant our wishes and desires. But as the bible says, “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.” (Job 22:21)

Lord, grant me the spirit of obedience and submission to Your will.

A New Year Resolution is Like an Egg

Photo taken by me. The egg was removed from a ...

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A poor lady found an egg, called her three children together, and told them, “Children, from now on we’ll have nothing to worry about. See, I have found an egg.. and here is what we’re going to do with it. We are not going to eat it, but put it under our neighbor’s hen and it will hatch out into a little chick.

And we won’t eat that little chick either. She’ll grow up, lay eggs, and hatch them. Then we’ll have plenty of eggs chickens and plenty of eggs.

But we won’t eat either the chickens or the eggs; we’ll sell them and buy a calf. We’ll raise the calf into a cow. Then the cow will have many calves and soon we’ll have a herd of cows. We’ll sell the cows and buy a farm… then we’ll keep buying and selling, buying and selling…”

The lady was speaking with so much excitement, that she dropped the egg on the floor…

Many new year resolutions are like that: people dream up a lot of ideal promises but many of them never even last until January the second. They are like that broken egg…


— Willi Hoffsuemmer

Hot Dogs for Christmas

Hot dog icon

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One Christmas eve a prosperous businessman was hurrying to the butcher shop before closing time. “Are you buying your Christmas roast?” a friend asked.

“No. Only hot dogs,” he answered.

The he explained that long ago, a bank failure had completely wiped out his fortune. He faced Christmas with not job, no money for gifts, and less than a dollar for food. He and his wife and small daughter said grace before dinner that year and then ate a Christmas dinner of hot dogs. His wife had decorated each of them, giving them toothpicks for legs and broom straws for tails and whiskers. Their little girl was delighted and her radiant joy spread to all of them.

After dinner they gave thanks again for the most loving and festive time they had ever had together.

“Now it’s a tradition,” said the once again prosperous man. “Hot dogs for Christmas – they remind us of that happy day when we realized that we still had one another and our God-given sense of humor.”

— Tony Castle

Christmas Gifts

Christmas gifts

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Here’s a little Christmas humor. 🙂

A mother and her small daughter were thumbing through a Christmas catalogue looking at toys. “I’d like that big red bike,” said the child.

“When you’re bigger,” the mother said.

The little girl pointed at a toy stove, a doll pram, a little fridge. Each time the mother made the same answer, “When you’re bigger.”

The girl kept pointing at still more toys and each time the mother’s answer was, “When you’re bigger.”

Finally, they closed the catalogue and the mother asked the daughter, “Well, have you decided what you want for Christmas?”

“Yes, mommy,” she replied. “I want to get bigger.”

— Arthur Tonne

Meaning of Christmas

Русский: Исмаил 1й 1487-1524

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Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know about the hardships they suffered. Often he dressed in the clothes of a workingman or a beggar and went to the homes of the poor. No one he visited thought he was their ruler.
One time he visited a poor man who lived in a cave. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke kind, cheerful words to him. Then he left. Late, he visited the poor man again and told him clearly, “I am your king.”
How surprised the poor man was! The king thought that the man would surely ask for some gifts or favor. But he did not. Instead, he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the coarse food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart. To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself.”

— Walter B. Knight


Drawsko Pomorski (Dramburg) in Polen (Poland):...

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An artist who made stained glass windows was approached by a young apprentice who had been studying under him for some time. He asked the master if he might have the privilege of borrowing some of his tools.

“Why do you want my tools, son?” asked the master.

“Oh, I just want to use them to see if they will make any difference in the work I do.”

A week later the master visited the young artist in his studio and then asked him, “Well, son, how are you doing with my tools?”

“Not so well, master. In fact, my work is no better now than when I was using my own tools.” And the young man looked disappointed.

A gray-haired professional overhearing the conversation between the craftsman and the apprentice, said to the young man, “Son, it’s not the tools of the master that you need. You need his spirit.”


Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), Gwynedd is the highest mo...

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A long flight of stairs is the last stage of a climb up a mountain in China. For more than a thousand years, a steady stream of pilgrims has come and gone until the steps are worn and dangerous. Numbers of pilgrims have fallen and hurt themselves.

The people of the neighborhood have asked the monks to rebuild the steps, fearing that they might lose their profitable business of housing the pilgrims. But the abbot of the monastery refused.

“It is regrettable,” he said, “that some pilgrims have suffered injury or death. But this could be because they were holding their head too high. But they are only a few of the millions who have learned that in life, one must walk carefully, holding the head high, but not so high that pitfalls cannot be seen, and not so low as to lose sight of the sky.”

— Tom Robertson

Keep Your Promise

Lou Gehrig in Columbia uniform, 1921

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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.

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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