Empowering Stories

Life is short — enjoy the journey!

The Tablecloth

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
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Believe in yourself

Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

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Donkey fell down into a well

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

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The Process of becoming great

1.      The courage to admit that we are weak and to see our gifts — to see ourselves as we really are. – courage to be humble  This is exemplified by (The counterfeit it pride– “I can do this”  I got it handled”  ” I can do this”  I do not need any help”)

2.       Be Diligent – stay the course  (The counterfeit is idleness – we don’t act , we don’t get anything done)

3.       Recognizing God’s Hand – recognizing God’s hand in the situation that  you find yourself in – story of Corrie Tenboom in the concentration camp (The counterfeits are coveting, jealousy and fear)

4.      Virtue – is if you know that you are a knife you cut well. (the counterfeit is Vice)  Virtue leads you to acknowledge that you are on the right course.

5.       Knowledge – Reason and seeking  –  (the counterfeit is ignorance and complacency)

6.       Temperance – metal and glass is tempered the more tempering the stronger it is.  Example of climbing of Mount Everest – your body has to get use to each level before it goes to the next otherwise your lungs and brain with fill with water and you will die if you do not let your body acclimatize to each new level of altitude.  Pacing ourselves , knowing the season we are in, the gestation period – you are becoming charactered (the counterfeit is indulgence and depression)

7.       Patience – (the counterfeit is blame and shame)

8.       Peace – you can not get it through any other way except through this path.  Peace is a choice. (The counterfeit is contempt)

9.       Brotherly Kindness  (the counterfeit is cruelty)

10.   Love  –  (the counterfeit is hatred)

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Prodigy Student and perserverance

This is a beautiful and touching story of love and  perseverance. Well worth the read.At the prodding of my friends I  am writing this story. My name is Mildred Honor  and I am a former elementary school music teacher from DesMoines , Iowa . I have always supplemented my income by  teaching piano lessons – something I have  done for over 30 years.

During those years I found that children  have many levels of musical ability,  and even though I have never had the  pleasure of having a prodigy, I have taught some  very talented students.

However, I have also had my share of what I  call ‘musically challenged’ pupils – one such pupil being  Robby..

Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom)  dropped him off for his first piano lesson.  I prefer that students (especially boys) begin at an  earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But Robby said  that it had always been his  mother’s  dream to hear him play the piano, so I  took him as a student.

Well,  Robby began his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought  it was a hopeless endeavor. As  much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic  rhythm needed to excel.  But he dutifully reviewed his  scales and some elementary piano pieces  that I require all my students to learn.  Over the months he tried and  tried while I listened and cringed and tried to  encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson  he would always say ‘My mom’s going to hear me play someday’.  But to  me, it seemed hopeless, he just  did not have any inborn  ability.

I only knew his mother from  a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her  aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled, but  never dropped in.

Then one  day Robby stopped coming for his lessons. I thought  about calling him, but assumed  that because of his lack of ability he had decided to  pursue something else.

I was also glad that he had stopped  coming – he was a bad advertisement for  my teaching.Several weeks later I mailed a flyer recital to the  students’ homes. To my surprise, Robby (who had  received a flyer) asked me if he could be in the recital. I  told him that the recital was for current pupils and that because he had  dropped out, he really did not qualify. He told me that  his mother had been sick and unable to  take him to his
piano lessons, but that he had been practicing. ‘Please  Miss Honor, I’ve just got to play’ he insisted. I don’t  know what led me to allow him to play in the recital –  perhaps it was his insistence or maybe something inside of  me saying
that it would be all  right.

The night of the recital came and the high school  gymnasium was packed with parents, relatives and  friends. I put Robby last in the program, just before I  was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I  thought that any damage he might do would come at the end of the program and I could always  salvage his poor performance through my ‘curtain  closer’.

Well, the recital went off without a hitch, the students  had been practicing and it showed.  Then Robby came up on the stage. His clothes were wrinkled  and his hair looked as though he had run an egg beater  through it.  ‘Why
wasn’t he dressed  up like the other students?’  I thought. ‘Why  didn’t his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?’

Robby pulled out the piano bench, and I  was surprised when he announced  that he  had chosen to play Mozart’s Concerto No.21 in C Major. I was not prepared  for what I heard next. His fingers were light on  the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories. He went  from pianissimo to fortissimo, from  allegro to virtuoso; his suspended chords that  Mozart demands were magnificent. Never had I heard  Mozart played so well by anyone his age.After six and a half minutes he ended in a grand crescendo,  and everyone was on their feet in wild  applause!  Overcome and in tears, I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby  in joy.  ‘I have never heard you play like

that  Robby, how did you do it?
‘Through the microphone  Robby explained: ‘Well, Miss  Honor …. remember I told you that my mom was sick? Well, she actually had cancer and passed away this morning. And well …… she was born deaf, so tonight was the first time she had ever heard me  play, and I wanted to make it special.’There wasn’t a dry eye in  the house that evening. As the people from Social Services  led Robby from the stage to be placed in to foster care, I noticed that even their  eyes were red and puffy. I thought to myself then how much  richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil.

No, I have never had a prodigy,  but that night I became a prodigy ……. of Robby.  He  was the teacher and I was the pupil, for he had taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself, and may be even taking a chance on someone  and you didn’t know why.

Robby was killed years later in the senseless bombing of the Alfred  P. Murray Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April, 1995.

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Thirteen steps for happiness

Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

 Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.

 Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.

You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.

Don't let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.

Do the things you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt.

Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.

Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy. Avoid people who make you unhappy.

Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.

Don't hold postmorterms. Don't spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don't be one who never gets over things.

Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Don't forget to always be thankful! And thank God for today!

Don’t forget to always be thankful! And thank God for today!

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One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men….
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The Carpenter’s House

The Carpenter’s House
By: Author Unknown

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.
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A man and his dog

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. Continue reading

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Beautiful Heartbreak

Beautiful HeartbreakFor anyone who has gone through serious struggles or heartbreak in life please listen to this incredible song from Hilary Weeks.

Posted by Chris Sorensen on Friday, May 4, 2012

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“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise”.

(Proverbs 20:1)