The Four Candles – A Story of Peace in Troubled Times

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

If you’ve ever felt despair, suffered tragedy or generally gone through the harshness of life, this is a wonderful story that will lift your spirits…

The Four Candles burned slowly. Their Ambiance was so soft you could hear them speak…

The First Candle said, “I Am Peace, but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit.”

Then Peace’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

The Second Candle said, “I Am Faith, but these days, I am no longer indispensable.”

Then Faith’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

Sadly, The Third Candle Speaks, “I Am Love and I haven’t the strength to stay lit any longer.

People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.” Waiting no longer, Love goes out completely.

Suddenly…A child enters the room and sees the three candles no longer burning. The child begins to cry, “Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end!”

Then the Fourth Candle speaks gently to the little child, “Don’t be afraid, for I Am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles.”

With Shining Eyes, the child took the Candle Of Hope and lit the other three candles.

Never let the Flame of Hope go out of your life. With Hope, no matter how bad things look and are…Peace, Faith and Love can Shine Brightly in our lives.

~ Author Unknown

Walk Backwards

Photo Credit: Pixabay

I hope people can learn how to walk backwards – starting today. 

A long time ago, a man got drunk and passed out naked.  One of his sons found him and began telling others about his embarrassing position. Maybe his son felt overlooked by his two brothers, maybe he was sternly corrected by his father, maybe he just like being the center of attention – and this sure got people’s attention.

His two brothers listened and were mortified. They looked at their brother and without saying a word, went to their passed-out father. 

As they entered the room, they did not want to see their father disgraced, so they walked in backward. They actually walked backward.They carried a blanket, and covered their father as he laid there naked and drunk as a skunk. (Try walking backwards right now where you’re at – unless you’re driving : ) 

They wouldn’t dare mention this to anybody. No matter how strict, how selfish or how sinful their father was, they were determined to cover his sin, to sober him up and to encourage him to learn from his mistake and start living a better life. 

He did. His name was Noah, and he built a pretty famous boat. 

There’s an old saying: Love covers a multitude of sins. 

What do you do when you find out someone posted something years and years ago that is completely offensive (btw why would you even be looking for offensive material from several years ago?)Do you “out” somebody, post it, tell your friends, tell your neighbors? 

That’s a “gotcha!” mentality; why not have a ‘grace’ mentality and walk backwards?

I encourage you try to give mercy and grace to people at their weakest moments.  I’m grateful many have shown me that in my life and I’ve tried to show the same. 

I truly believe we will reap what we sow. Some people call it karma, call it what you want, but it’s absolutely true.

Noah’s two sons were blessed and their families; the other son and his family were not blessed. 
You can hurt people or help people, break people down or build people up, you can laugh at them or love them.

Now more than ever, choose love and walk backwards.

~Author Unknown

Love and Time

 

 

martin-widenka-1jXrkaU9BGE-unsplash

Photo Credit: Martin Widenka via Unsplash

How valuable is your time and how much of it do you REALLY use to show your love towards others?

The following little story puts the importance of our time, love, and other unseen attributes of our life in perspective.

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all the others including Love.

One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so they all constructed boats and left…except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment. When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?” Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place for you.

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.” “oh…Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself.”

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she didn’t even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went on her own way. Realizing how much she owed the elder, Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?” “It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?”

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love truly is.

 

**************

Go out and spend time with the people who are special to you and show them LOVE.

**************

Story Courtesy of Silent Child / Tumblir

 

 

The Art of Parenting

nathan-anderson-FHiJWoBodrs-unsplashA teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the family car.

His father said that he would make a deal with his son, “You bring your grades up from a “C” to a “B” average, study your Bible a little, and get your haircut…then we will talk about the car.”

the boy thought about that for a moment, decided that he would settle for the offer,  and they agreed on it. After about six months his father said, “Son, you have brought your grades up and I have observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I am disappointed that you haven’t had your hair cut.”

The boy sais, “You know, Dad, I have been thinking about that, and I have noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair, and there is even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.”

(You’re going to love the dad’s reply!)

“Did you also notice they all walked everywhere they went?”

Ahhh…..the art of parenting!!

 

Unconditional Friendship

animal army battle canine

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There is nothing more special and meaningful in a person’s life to have that one or two special friends that you hold the closest and dearest to your heart. It was once said that truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. It is so true! True and genuine friendship is one that will last a lifetime.

The following story illustrates this level of friendship in a beautiful way…

There were two childhood buddies who went through kindergarten and all the way to college together.  When war broke, they joined the army together and asked to be assigned to the same unit.  One night while out on patrol, they were ambushed.   Bullets were flying everywhere.

Out of the darkness came a voice, “Harry, help me. Please, Harry, help me.”   Harry immediately recognized the voice of his childhood buddy, Bill. Harry asked the Captain for permission to go out and help his buddy.

The Captain said, “No, I can’t let you go.  I am already short-handed, and I cannot afford to lose one more person. Besides, the way Bill sounds he is not going to make it.

Harry kept quiet, but again Bill’s voice was heard in the darkness, “Harry, please come.  Please, Harry, come help me.”  Harry sat quietly because the Captain had ordered him to.  Again, and again Bill’s voice was heard on the battlefield.

Harry couldn’t contain himself any longer and ran over to the Captain, “Captain, that’s my childhood buddy. I have to go and help.”  The Captain reluctantly agreed and let Harry go.  Harry crawled through the darkness, reached Bill and dragged Bill back into their camp.

When they arrived back at the camp Bill was dead.  Now the Captain was furious and shouted, “Didn’t I tell you he was not going to make it?  He is dead.  You could have been killed and I could have lost a hand.  It was a mistake for you to go out there.”

Harry replied, “No Captain, I did the right thing.  When I reached Bill, he was still alive and his last words to me were ‘Harry, I knew you would come.'”

 

Absolute…unconditional friendship!

Burnt Biscuits

jodie-morgan-PAa_MJztyUY-unsplash

Photo by Jodie Morgan on Unsplash

Unconditional kindness and compassion for others should be our core focus every day of our lives. I recently came across the following story, written by an unknown author, which illustrates this lesson…one that we all should remember to do each day.

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night when she made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and a batch of extremely burnt biscuits on the table in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed.

All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day at school has been. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…he never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits…and I will never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”

Later that night, I went to say good night to my daddy, and I asked him if he REALLY liked his biscuits burnt. He wrapped me up in his arms and said lovingly, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she is really tired…and besides, a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

As I have grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like anyone else. But what I have learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!

We could extend this philosophy to any relationship. In fact, UNDERSTANDING is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife, parent-child, or friendship!

“Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket…keep it in your own.” So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine 😊

————————

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil…it has no point.

Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

a city built between the mountain and the sea

Photo by Luke Barkhuizen on Pexels.com

The Christmas and Holiday season is one of the most beautiful and exciting times of the year for millions of people around the world. The celebrations, music, parades, and all of the other thrilling festivities are some of the things that make the season so beautiful and heartwarming.

Unfortunately, for an untold number of other people, this time of year can be very sad, miserable, or depressing. The loss of a friend or loved one, or the remembrances of times and people in the past can make this time of year downright depressing. I lost both of my parents during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season…my dad, two weeks before Christmas, and my mom, seven days before Christmas. It seems funny to me how every year, a few weeks before the holiday season, I subconsciously begin to become sad and nostalgic about my parents.

So, it goes without saying, that I recently came across the following poem on a friend’s post called, “I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Christmas” (written by Wanda Bencke) that I thought was a unique perspective of someone who has left this earth and is now in heaven with God. The following rhyme is a wonderful and touching piece of writing that I hope with help uplift your heart and touch your soul!

 

“I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Year”

I see the countless Christmas trees,

Around the world below.

With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,

Reflecting in the snow.

 

The sight is so spectacular,

Please wipe away that tear.

For I’m spending Christmas,

With Jesus Christ this year.

 

I hear the many Christmas songs,

That people hold so dear.

But the sounds of music can’t compare,

With the Christmas choir up here.

 

For I have no words to tell you,

The joy their voices bring.

For it is beyond description,

To hear the angels sing.

 

I can’t tell you of the splendor,

Or the peace here in this place,

Can you just imagine Christmas,

With Jesus, face to face?

 

I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,

As I tell Him of your love.

So then pray one for another,

As I lift you eyes above.

 

Please let your hearts be joyful,

And let your spirits sing.

For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven,

And I am walking with the King!

Remembering Our Loved Ones

black and white boy child childhood

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

All of us have relatives or other people that we know who are advancing in years and who are people that we might consider, “getting old.” As they progress in their age, we sometimes lose our patience with them and become mad or angry. We forget the times when we were younger, that they were kind, caring, and tolerant of our persistent questions and inquiries about so many things.

It is important for all of us to remember our aged loved ones and the love they once openly demonstrated for us.

The following story is a great example of this idea…

————–

An 80-year-old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 years old highly educated son when suddenly a crow perched on their window.

The father asked his son, “What is this?” The son replied, “It is a crow”. After a few minutes, the father asked his son the 2nd time, “What is this?” The son said “Father, I have just now told you “It’s a crow”. After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, “What is this?”

At this time some expression of irritation was felt in the son’s tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. “It’s a crow, a crow”. A little after, the father again asked his son the 4th time, “What is this?”

This time the son shouted at his father, “Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times ‘IT IS A CROW’. Are you not able to understand this?”

A little later the father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his son was born. On opening a page, he asked his son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary.

“Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa when a crow was sitting on the window. My son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated, I rather felt affection for my innocent child”.

While the little child asked him 23 times “What is this”, the father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the father asked his son the same question just 4 times, the son felt irritated and annoyed.

So…

If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word, be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents. You should remind and tell yourself every day, “I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their selfless love for me. I will serve my old parents in the BEST way I can. I will always try to say good and kind words to them, no matter how they behave.”

They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today”.

———————–

“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

A Special Bonus Video!

Unconditional Friendship

two boys smiling

Photo by Michael Mims on Pexels.com

There is nothing more special and meaningful in a person’s life to have that one or two special friends that you hold the closest and dearest to your heart. It was once said that truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. It is so true! True and genuine friendship is one that will last a lifetime.

The following story illustrates this level of friendship in a beautiful way…

There were two childhood buddies who went through kindergarten and all the way to college together.  When war broke, they joined the army together and asked to be assigned to the same unit.  One night while out on patrol, they were ambushed.   Bullets were flying everywhere.

Out of the darkness came a voice, “Harry, help me. Please, Harry, help me.”   Harry immediately recognized the voice of his childhood buddy, Bill. Harry asked the Captain for permission to go out and help his buddy.

The Captain said, “No, I can’t let you go.  I am already short-handed, and I cannot afford to lose one more person. Besides, the way Bill sounds he is not going to make it.

Harry kept quiet, but again Bill’s voice was heard in the darkness, “Harry, please come.  Please, Harry, come help me.”  Harry sat quietly because the Captain had ordered him to.  Again, and again Bill’s voice was heard on the battlefield.

Harry couldn’t contain himself any longer and ran over to the Captain, “Captain, that’s my childhood buddy. I have to go and help.”  The Captain reluctantly agreed and let Harry go.  Harry crawled through the darkness, reached Bill and dragged Bill back into their camp.

When they arrived back at the camp Bill was dead.  Now the Captain was furious and shouted, “Didn’t I tell you he was not going to make it?  He is dead.  You could have been killed and I could have lost a hand.  It was a mistake for you to go out there.”

Harry replied, “No Captain, I did the right thing.  When I reached Bill, he was still alive and his last words to me were ‘Harry, I knew you would come.'”

Absolute…unconditional friendship!

 

Someday I’ll Tell My Children

woman carrying baby at beach during sunset

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Someday, when my child is old enough to appreciate what motivates and parent and makes them do what they do, I’ll tell them…

I loved you enough to bug you about where you were going, who you were with, and what time would you be home.

I loved you enough to worry and nag you about your health.

I loved you enough to choose your temporary upset, in the hope that the lessons would bring you longterm happiness.

I loved you enough to be “overprotective.”

I loved you enough to not make excuses for your bad manners and lack of respect.

I loved you enough to choose to put myself last, every day.

I loved you enough to ignore what “every other parent” did.

I loved you enough to remove people that loved from my life, so that could protect you.

I loved you enough to let you stumble, fail, and fall so that you could learn to stand alone.

But most of all, I loved you enough to risk you hating me for decisions that I made in the hope that I was doing what was best for you…that was the hardest part of all.

———————————-

So, what will be some things that you share with your child or children when the right time comes?

 

 

The Dangers of Judging Others

photo of woman near apples

Photo by Ike louie Natividad on Pexels.com

It was once said that, “Judging a person doesn’t define who they are…it defines who you are.” Unfortunately, we all fall into the category of judging other people at some point in our lives. We have also been affected at various times by the ways that other people have judged us.

We all need to be more aware of judging others and remember to try to get to know the other person first before we rush to making a judgement about them.

One day, a lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands. Her mom came in and softly asked her little daughter with a smile, “My sweetie, could you give your mom one of your two apples?”
The girl looked up at her mum for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly on the other.

The mom felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment.
Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mom, and said, “Here you go mommy, this is the sweeter one.”

No matter who you are, how experienced you are, and how knowledgeable you think you are, always delay judgement. Give others the privilege to explain themselves because what you see may not be the reality. Never conclude for others. We should never just focus on what we see then judge others…without understanding them first. If we take the time to really get to know and understand what the other person is doing…it will certainly make our lives a lot more rewarding.

Consider:

Those who like to pay the bill, do so not because they are loaded but because they value friendship above money.

Those who take the initiative at work, do so not because they are stupid but because they understand the concept of responsibility.

Those who apologizes first after a fight, do so not because they are wrong but because they value the people around them.

Those who are willing to help you, do so not because they owe you anything but because they see you as a true friend.

Those who often text you, do so not because they have nothing better to do but because you are in their heart.

The truth is that one day, all of us will get separated from each other; we will miss our conversations of everything & nothing; the dreams that we had. Days will pass by, months, years, until our relationship with some people may begin to disappear.

One day our children will see pictures of our loved ones and ask, ‘Who are these people?’ And we will smile, with invisible tears, because we will remember how our heart touched with an encouraging word or some great times spent together, and you will say: ‘THESE WERE THE PEOPLE THAT I HAD THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE WITH’. Hold the times with your family and friends close to your heart.

Love people for who they are!

Take time each day to make people smile and enjoy the goodness of life.

A Bowl of Noodles

round white ceramic plate with pasta

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Learning lessons can be a curious business. People learn lessons in life in a variety of ways and today’s story is a fabulous tale how a little girl learned a valuable lesson…a lesson that we should all take to heart and thank those special people that we know and love.

Sometimes, even the simplest things in life can teach us lessons that will serve as reminders to us about the goodness of life…such as a simple bowl of noodles.

One night, a little girl had a terrible quarrel with her mother, then stormed out of the house. While she was out roaming the town, she suddenly realized that she did not have any money in her pocket, she didn’t even have enough coins to make a phone call home.

After walking around for what seemed like hours, her stomach began to growl and she began to get very hungry. She suddenly smelled a sweet fragrance and discovered a noodle shop, one of her favorite foods to eat. How she wished for a bowl of noodle soup! But she had one problem, she had no money!

The owner of the eatery saw her standing at the counter and noticed her sad face and demeanor and said, “Hi there little girl, you want to have a bowl of noodles?

The little girl just shook her head and shyly replied, “I do not have any money

“Okay, I’ll tell you what, I’ll treat you,” said the owner, “come in, I will cook you a bowl.”
A few minutes later the owner brought her a steaming bowl of noodles. The little girl was so happy to see the food and started to gobble up the delicious food…then suddenly started to cry.

“What is it? What’s the matter? Why are you crying?”, asked the store owner.

“Nothing. Nothing at all. I am just touched by your kindness!”, the girl said as she wiped her the tears from her face. “I can’t believe it. Even a stranger on the street gives me a bowl of noodles. My mother is so mean and cruel. We had a huge fight and I decided to leave her. I have the worst mother on earth”

The store owner sighed and asked, “why did you think so? I want you to think again. I gave you a simple bowl of noodles and you were happy and content. Your mother has raised you since you were little. She has taken care of you, fed you, clothed you, and loved you. Why are you not grateful and thankful? Is this soup more important than your mother?

After hearing this, the girl was very sad then said to herself, “Why did I not think of that? A bowl of noodles from a stranger made me feel thankful and happy, while my mother has raised me since I was born, and I have never once felt so grateful and appreciative…I never once said thank you.”

On her way home, the little girl thought to herself what she would say to her mother when she arrived home: “Mom, I’m sorry. I know it is my fault, please forgive me … ”

After a while, she arrived back to her home and started to climb the stairs. Suddenly, she looked up and saw her mother full of worry and exhausted from looking for her everywhere. Upon seeing her daughter, her mother gently said: “Come inside honey. You are probably very hungry. I cooked rice and prepared the meal already, come eat while it is still hot …”
Unable to control her regret and sadness any longer, the little girl began to sob in her mom’s hands.

You see folks, in life, we sometimes find it easy to appreciate the small actions of some people around us, but for the relatives, especially parents, we often overlook their love and sacrifices and look at them as a matter of natural, mundane actions…we take them for granted.

Parental love, care, and concern are the most precious gifts we have been blessed to have since the day we were born.

Parents do not expect us to pay them back for nurturing and caring for us…but how much do REALLY appreciate or treasure the unconditional sacrifice and love of our parents?

A great point to ponder.

So…take some time today to thank your parents. Give them a hug, a kiss, thank them for all that they have done for you, or just tell them a simple I love you.

Remember…

Love your parents

And treat them with loving care

For you will only know their value

When you see their empty chair

—————————–

Story Source (Revised): Moral Stories – Ogbuagu Henry Chiedozie