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Showing posts from December, 2013

10 Uplifting Quotes For the Depressed Heart

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Here are a few of my favorite quotes to read when I'm depressed or going through hard times. Please feel free to add your own inspiring quotes in the comments section. Let's make a list of all the best quotes so we can help anyone that's struggling with depression. Also, the video below is rather inspiring. I thought you might like it. :) 1. "Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I’ve made that commitment for my life’s sake and for the sake of those who love me." —Susan Polis Schutz 2. "A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl." —Stephan Hoeller 3. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be streng

Make Retreat Impossible - Burn Your Ships!

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A few years ago, a friend of mine sent this poem to me. I haven't been able to find its source, but its meaning is profound. The speaker is telling his audience—presumably an army—to burn their ship, giving them no hope of retreat. It's do or die. The only hope of returning home is through victory. When we have goals, we must, in a sense, "burn our ships" and make our retreat impossible. Burn the fleet by thrice, in this dark night we stand or we fall, we are kings now, or nothing at all. Check your armour, light up the torch, touch the flame to the sail before you head to the shore and we will burn the fleet. We can never go home, it's on to victory or underground burn the fleet, we'll be hero's or ghosts, but we won't be turned around. The old flag will burn with the sail and a new one won't fly if we fail. But the fire continues to rise and it shows not a hint of any fear in our eyes.

You Are the Trip I Did Not Take

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You Are The Trip I Did Not Take You are the trip I did not take; You are the pearls I could not buy; You are my blue Italian lake; You are my piece of foreign sky. “You are my Honolulu moon; you are the book I did not write; You are my heart’s unuttered tune; You are a candle in my night. You are the flower beneath the snow, In my dark sky a bit of blue, Answering Disappointment’s blow With “I am happy! I have you!” Anne Campbell   When my sister Jaimie read that poem she wrote this: “Too often in life we think about what we don’t have or have not done—instead of what we have.  We think that in order to be satisfied and feel pure joy we need to travel the world, run faster and further than anyone else, and do more than anyone you know.  This is simply not true. Happiness comes from knowing love.”

The First Christmas Homily of Pope Francis | Full Text

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Pope Francis Below is the FULL text of Pope Francis' first Christmas Homily. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1). This prophecy of Isaiah never ceases to touch us, especially when we hear it proclaimed in the liturgy of Christmas night. This is not simply an emotional or sentimental matter. It moves us because it states the deep reality of what we are: a people who walk, and all around us – and within us as well – there is darkness and light. In this night, as the spirit of darkness enfolds the world, there takes place anew the event which always amazes and surprises us: the people who walk see a great light. A light which makes us reflect on this mystery: the mystery of walking and seeing. Walking: this verb makes us reflect on the course of history, that long journey which is the history of salvation, starting with Abraham, our father in faith, whom the Lord called one day to set out, to go forth from his co

"In Thy Dark Streets Shineth"

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“Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks to a crowd on Christmas. Behind him stands Sir Winston Churchill. If you must know, Sir Winston Churchill is one of my heroes. In fact, I'd say that he's pretty darn near the top of my list. Not far down on that same list you'll find FDR, the American President that led the country through the Great Depression and through the darker days of World War II. Neither of these men were perfect, but they certainly had many admirable qualities—not the least of which was the ability to inspire men and women during the darkest of times. In December of 1941, during the heat of the second World War, Winston Churchill traveled to the United States at great risk to his personal safety. After lighting the White House Christmas tree, the two leaders spoke to the crowd that had gathered. “Our strongest weapon in this terrible war,

I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers

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Garth Brooks I've heard it said that if you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans. Personally, I think I've made God laugh so many times that, for a time, I completely gave up planning and just set my boat adrift.  I've had a lot of unanswered prayers in my life, but I think my biggest one matches the words (almost verbatim) of Garth Brook's immortal song "Unanswered Prayers." While thinking about the lyrics to this song today, I couldn't help but think about my wife, "and then and there I thanked the good Lord for the gifts in my life." Unanswered Prayers Just the other night at a hometown football game My wife and I ran into my old high school flame And as I introduced them the past came back to me And I couldn't help but think of the way things used to be She was the one that I'd wanted for all times And each night I'd spend prayin' that God would make her mine And if he'd only gran

How A Lie Can Destroy a Life

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Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of my favorite authors. I recently finished re-reading one of his short stories entitled, " The Dream of a Ridiculous Man ." In the story, a man who is contemplating suicide falls asleep and dreams that he is taken to another world. The inhabitants of this world live in an idllic or sinless state (much like Eden) and he lives with them for many years, amazed at their utopian society. One day, the narrator accidentally teaches the inhabitants how to lie, introducing sin into their society. The narrator then watches as their paradise disintegrates. I thought that several paragraphs from the story were particularly interesting: They began to struggle for separation, for isolation, for individuality, for mine and thine. They began to talk in different languages. They became acquainted with sorrow and loved sorrow; they thirsted for suffering, and said that truth could only be attained through suffering. Then science appeared. As they became wick

10 Inspiring Leap-of-Faith Quotes!

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I took a gigantic leap of faith today—one that I've been considering for a while. I've been extremely apprehensive about the whole thing. The choice has essentially been between 1) total security and 2) the possibility of achieving my dreams. Just the possibility, mind you. Absolutely zero guarantees. As I was debating these two choices, I read several quotes online that inspired me to take the leap. Here are ten of my favorites (and wish me luck on the leap—no guarantees, but a whole lot of adventure!) "There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing." (Aristotle) "I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough." (Marissa Mayer) "Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only p

Hatred is a Lie

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Here's a little quote that will twist your brain around. But in a good way! :) "But let us not forget that violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone: it is necessarily interwoven with falsehood. Between them lies the most intimate, the deepest of natural bonds. Violence finds its only refuge in falsehood, falsehood its only support in violence. Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his method must inexorably choose falsehood as his principle. At its birth violence acts openly and even with pride. But no sooner does it become strong, firmly established, than it senses the rarefaction of the air around it and it cannot continue to exist without descending into a fog of lies, clothing them in sweet talk. It does not always, not necessarily, openly throttle the throat, more often it demands from its subjects only an oath of allegiance to falsehood, only complicity in falsehood." (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

A REAL Love Poem

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I present to you one of the sweetest love poems ever written. It's sweet because it's real . Love Poem by John Frederick Nims (1913-1999) My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases, At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring, Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen, And have no cunning with any soft thing Except all ill-at-ease fidgeting people: The refugee uncertain at the door You make at home; deftly you steady The drunk clambering on his undulant floor. Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers’ terror, Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime Yet leaping before apopleptic streetcars— Misfit in any space. And never on time. A wrench in clocks and the solar system. Only With words and people and love you move at ease; In traffic of wit expertly maneuver And keep us, all devotion, at your knees. Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel, Your lipstick grinning on our coat, So gaily in love’s unbreak

Tuesdays With Morrie and The Little Wave

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Tuesdays with Morrie I just finished listening to Tuesdays With Morrie . It's a great book and I highly recommend it. It really puts your life into perspective.  Towards the end of the book, as Morrie is getting ever so close to death, he shares a short story about a little wave. I thought it was interesting because it illustrates how we are all part of a much larger scheme of life. “Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. "My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!"    Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad?"   The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?

The Business of Jacob Marley

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Jacob Marley As Christmas is rapidly approaching, I thought I'd post what I believe to be the best passage from that immortal classic. In this scene, Jacob Marley is visiting Ebenezer Scrooge and is lamenting the opportunities he lost to serve mankind. Scrooge replies: "But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.   "Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again.  "Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"   It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.   "At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said "I suffer most.  Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my

It's Official: My Book Will Be Published!

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I'm so very excited to officially announce that my book has been accepted by Berrett-Koehler Publishers and will be published next year!! Click here to learn more about it! One of my favorite Ben Franklin quotes!

Is it Good Luck or is it Bad Luck? | A Fable

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The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman This short fable from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior , by Dan Millman, really makes me think. Can the things that happen to us really be considered good or bad? You decide... An old man and his son worked a small farm, with only one horse to pull the plow. One day, the horse ran away. “How terrible,” sympathized the neighbors. “What bad luck.” “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” answered the old man.   A week later, the horse returned form the mountains, leading five wild mares into the barn. “What wonderful luck!” said the neighbors.  “Who knows whether it is bad luck or good luck,” the farmer replied.  The next day, the son, trying to tame one of the horses, fell and broke his leg.  “How terrible. What bad luck!”  “Bad luck? Good luck?”  The army came to all the farms to take the young men for war. The farmer’s son was of no use to them, so he was spared.  “Good? Bad?” 

The Light of a Narnian Lamppost

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"It will not go out of my mind that if we pass this post and lantern, either we shall find strange adventures or else some great changes of our fortunes." ― Lucy Pevensie Rates are reasonable. I love the feel of December, don't you? Perhaps we call it "the most wonderful time of the year" because it's a time when most of us feel more like children. Christmas has this magical ability to bring back nostalgic memories of bygone days while simultaneously generating newer, warmer memories. It's like a cup of hot chocolate for the heart! One of my favorite memories of Christmas is when, at the age of seven, I opened my stocking to find a cartoon version of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe . Although the cartoon was poorly done, my seven-year-old self couldn't get enough of it! Every Christmas, I would watch it over and over again. There was just something in the story of which I couldn't get enough (mostly, I just wanted to find