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INSPIRATIONAL - SPIRITUAL STORIES

The Box
The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her 5 year-old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said, "This is for you, Momma."  The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty.
She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner. "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?"
She had tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Momma, it's not empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full."
The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and she begged her forgiveness for her thoughtless anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later, and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life. Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
 In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

Friends are like angels who lift us to our feet, when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

"Never let your successes go to your HEAD and never let your failures go to your HEART."

NAIL IN THE FENCE
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger,   they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. " A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.
Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole.

 A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds,
"What does love mean?"
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

Interesting historical information about life in the 1500's
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.
Here are some facts about the1500s:
And that's the truth... Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !
Subject: The Positive Side of Life

YOU Pack My Parachute
Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy jet 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 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb 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 Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"
"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.
"I packed your parachute," the man replied.
Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!"
Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder 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 at 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 each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.

The Mayonnaise Jar and the Coffee
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front on him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

So then the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar and of course the sand filled up everything else up. He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two coffee cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided. "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff. If you put the sand in the jar first, he continued, "There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse to dinner. Spend time with your parents for you won't always have them in your life. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represents? The professor smiled. "I am glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
So when things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the coffee.
 
Four Wives
In ancient times, there was a rich merchant who had four wives.
He loved the fourth wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved his third wife very much. He was very proud of her and always wanted to show her off to his friends. However, the merchant was always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.

He too, loved his second wife. She was a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his second wife and she would always help him out and help him through difficult times.

Now, the merchant's first wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have four wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be!"

Thus, he asked the fourth wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!" replied the fourth wife and she walked away without another word. Similar responses came from the third and second wives.

Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!"

Actually, we each have four wives in our lives
4. The fourth wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die.
3. Our third wife represents our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.
2. The second wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
1. The first wife is, in fact, our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure. – but in truth our real self.

Friendship
His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life.
"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.
At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.
"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked.
"Yes" the farmer replied proudly.
"I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of."
And that he did. Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, he graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

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