Once upon a time two brothers who
lived on adjoining farms fell into
conflict. It was the first serious
rift in 40 years of farming side by
side, sharing machinery, and trading
labor and goods as needed without a
hitch. Then the long collaboration
fell apart. It began with a small
misunderstanding and it grew into a
major difference, and finally it
exploded into an exchange of bitter
words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on
John's door. He opened it to find a
man with a carpenters toolbox. “I'm
looking for a few days work” he
“Perhaps you would have a few small
jobs here and there. Could I help
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do
have a job for you. Look across
the creek at that farm. That’s my
neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger
Last week there was a meadow between
us and he took his bulldozer to the
river levee and now there is a creek
between us. Well, he may have done
this to spite me, but I’ll go him
one better. See that pile of lumber
curing by the barn? I want you to
build me a fence -- an 8-foot fence
-- so I won’t need to see his place
anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.”
The carpenter said, “I think I
understand the situation. Show me
the nails and the post-hole digger
and I’ll be able to do a job that
The older brother had to go to town
for supplies, so he helped the
carpenter get the materials ready
and then he was off for the day. The
carpenter worked hard all that day
measuring, sawing, nailing. About
sunset when the farmer returned, the
carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his
jaw dropped. There was no fence
there at all. It was a bridge -- a
bridge stretching from one side of
the creek to the other! A fine piece
of work -- handrails and all -- and
the neighbor, his younger brother,
was coming across, his hand
“You are quite a fellow to build
this bridge after all I’ve said and
done.” The two brothers stood at
each end of the bridge, and then
they met in the middle, taking each
other’s hand. They turned to see the
carpenter hoist his toolbox on his
shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few
days. I’ve a lot of other projects
for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter
said, “but, I have many more bridges
Once upon a time there was a wise
man who used to go to the ocean to
do his writing. He had a habit of
walking on the beach before he began
One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked
down the beach, he saw a human
figure moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself to think of
someone who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster to catch
As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and
the young man wasn't dancing, but
instead he was reaching
down to the shore, picking up
something and very gently throwing
it into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"
The young man paused, looked up and
replied, "Throwing starfish in the
"I guess I should have asked, why
are you throwing starfish in the
"The sun is up, and the tide is
going out. And if I don't throw them
in they'll die."
"But, young man, don't you realize
that there are miles and miles of
beach, and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a
The young man listened politely.
Then bent down, picked another
starfish and threw it into the sea,
past the breaking waves and said,
"It made a difference for that one."
Super Bowl Stop to Speak at Athletes
in Action Breakfast
DETROIT, Mich. - They were there for
breakfast, and they were there to
cheer New York Jets running back
Curtis Martin. And it was Martin who
received the Athletes in Action Bart
Starr Award Saturday morning, but
the hundreds who gathered in the
fourth-floor ballroom at the
Marriott Renaissance in Detroit,
Mich., on the morning before Super
Bowl XL were clearly touched by the
That speaker was Colts Head Coach
Two hours into the breakfast, emcee
Brent Jones introduced Dungy, who
was welcomed with a lengthy standing
ovation. Dungy thanked the crowd,
shared an anecdote about Martin,
then told the crowd he was going to
speak for about 15 minutes.
"It's great to be here," Dungy told
the crowd, then adding with a laugh,
"I just wish I wasn't here in this
capacity so many times of being just
that close to being in the game and
just being an invited speaker.
"My goal is to have our team here
one day and have a couple of tables
with all of our guys here. Because
we have a special group of young
men, a great group of Christian
guys. It'd be wonderful to have them
here so you could see their hearts
and what they're all about. "It
hasn't quite happened yet, but we're
still hoping one day it will."
He told them he was going to talk
about lessons he had learned from
his three sons. The crowd fell
silent. Then Dungy spoke.
And although this was a breakfast -
and although at many such events
speakers speak over the clinking of
glasses and murmurs from
semi-interested listeners - for most
of the 15 minutes the room was
silent except for Dungy's voice.
He spoke of his middle son, Eric,
who he said shares his
competitiveness and who is focused
on sports "to where it's almost a
He spoke of his youngest son,
Jordan, who has a rare congenital
condition which causes him not to
"He feels things, but he doesn't get
the sensation of pain," Dungy said.
The lessons learned from Jordan,
Tony Dungy said, are many. "That
sounds like it's good at the
beginning, but I promise you it's
not," Dungy said. "We've learned a
lot about pain in the last five
years we've had Jordan. We've
learned some hurts are really
necessary for kids. Pain is
necessary for kids to find out the
difference between what's good and
Jordan, Dungy said, loves cookies.
"Cookies are good," Dungy said, "but
in Jordan's mind, if they're good
out on the plate, they're even
better in the oven. He will go right
in the oven when my wife's not
looking, reach in, take the rack
out, take the pan out, burn his
hands and eat the cookies and burn
his tongue and never feel it. He
doesn't know that's bad for him."
Jordan, Dungy said, "has no fear of
anything, so we constantly have to
The lesson learned, Dungy said, is
simple. "You get the question all
the time, 'Why does the Lord allow
pain in your life? Why do bad things
happen to good people? If God is a
love, why does he allow these
hurtful things to happen?''' Dungy
"We've learned that a lot of times
because of that pain, that little
temporary pain, you learn what's
harmful. You learn to fear the right
"Pain sometimes lets us know we have
a condition that needs to be healed.
Pain inside sometimes lets us know
that spiritually we're not quite
right and we need to be healed and
that God will send that healing
agent right to the spot. ‘
"Sometimes, pain is the only way
that will turn us as kids back to
Finally, he spoke of James.
James Dungy, Tony Dungy's oldest
son, died three days before
Christmas, 2005. As he did while
delivering James' eulogy in
December, Dungy on Saturday spoke of
him eloquently and steadily,
speaking of lessons learned and of
the positives taken from experience.
"It was tough, and it was very, very
painful, but as painful as it was,
there were some good things that
came out of it," Dungy said.
Dungy spoke at the funeral of
regretting not hugging James the
last time he saw him, on
Thanksgiving of last year. "I met a
guy the next day after the funeral,"
Dungy said. "He said, 'I was there.
I heard you talking. I took off work
today. I called my son. I told him I
was taking him to the movies. We're
going to spend some time and go to
dinner.' That was a real, real
blessing to me."
Dungy said he has gotten many
letters since James' death relaying
"People heard what I said and said,
'Hey, you brought me a little closer
to my son,' or, 'You brought me a
little closer to my daughter,'''
Dungy said. "That is a tremendous
Dungy also said some of James'
organs were donated through donors
"We got a letter back two weeks ago
that two people had received his
corneas, and now they can see,''
Dungy said. "That's been a
Dungy also said he received a letter
from a girl from the family's church
in Tampa. She had known James for
many years, Dungy said. She went to
the funeral because she knew James.
"When I saw what happened at
funeral, and your family and the
celebration and how it was handled,
that was the first time I realized
there had to be a God," Dungy said
the girl wrote. "I accepted Christ
into my life and my life's been
different since that day."
Added Dungy, "That was an awesome
blessing, so all of those things
kind of made me realize what God's
love is all about."
Dungy also said he was asked often
how he was able to return to the
Colts so quickly after James' death.
James died on December 22, and Dungy
returned to the team one week later.
Dungy said the answer was simple.
"People asked me, 'How did you
recover so quickly?"'' Dungy said.
"I'm not totally recovered. I don't
know that I ever will be. It's still
very, very painful, but I was able
to come back because of something
one of my good Christian friends
said to me after the funeral.
"He said, 'You know James accepted
Christ into his heart, so you know
he's in heaven, right?' I said,
'Right, I know that.' He said, 'So,
with all you know about heaven, if
you had the power to bring him back
now, would you?' When I thought
about it, I said, 'No, I wouldn't. I
would not want him back with what I
know about heaven.'
"That's what helped me through the
grieving process. Because of
Christ's spirit in me, I had that
confidence that James is there, at
peace with the Lord, and I have the
peace of mind in the midst of
something that's very, very painful.
"That's my prayer today.....that
everyone in this room would know the
SHE is, the New USS New York
USS New York
It was built with 24 tons of scrap
steel from the World Trade Center ..
It is the fifth in a new class of
warship -- designed for missions
that include special operations
against terrorists. It will carry a
crew of 360 sailors and 700
combat-ready Marines to be delivered
ashore by helicopters and assault
Steel from the World Trade Center
was melted down in a foundry in
Amite , LA to cast the ship's bow
section. When it was poured into the
molds on Sept.. 9, 2003 , "those big
rough steelworkers treated it with
total reverence," recalled Navy
Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there.
"It was a spiritual moment for
Junior Chavers, foundry operations
manager, said that when the trade
center steel first arrived, he
touched it with his hand and the
"hair on my neck stood up." "It had
a big meaning to it for all of us,"
he said. "They knocked us down. They
can't keep us down. We're going to
The ship's motto? "Never Forget"
by Catherine Pulsifer
and WHEN were friends. Every week they met and had lunch. Their
conversation usually centered on all the things they were going to
achieve. They both had many dreams and they loved to talk about them.
This particular Saturday when they met, WHEN sensed that IF was not in a
great mood. As usual they sat at the table reserved for them and ordered
their lunch. Once they placed their order, WHEN questioned IF. "IF what
is wrong with you? You don't seem your usual cheery self?"
IF looked at WHEN and replied, "I'm not sure, I just don't feel like I
am making any progress. This last week I saw a course I wanted to take
if only I had the time to take it."
WHEN knew exactly how IF felt. "Yeah," replied WHEN, "I too saw a course
and I am going to register when I get enough money together." WHEN then
said, "well what about that new job you were going to apply for. You
were so excited about it last week, did you apply?"
IF responded, "If my computer didn't break down last week, I would have
applied. But, my computer is not working, so I could not type my
"Don't worry about it IF, when you are ready another job will come
through. I have been thinking about looking for another job also, but I
will wait and when the weather gets nicer I will look then." WHEN then
went on to tell IF about his week, hoping that it would cheer him up a
The man at the next table couldn't help overhear WHEN and IF. They both
were talking about when this and if that, finally he couldn't take it
anymore. "Excuse me gentlemen," the man said. IF and WHEN both looked at
the man and wondered what he wanted. The man continued, "I'm sorry, but
I couldn't help hearing your conversation. I think I know how you could
solve your problems."
IF smiled and thought, how could a complete stranger know how to solve
all of their problems. If only he knew. When he realized the challenges
they faced there was no way he could solve their problems! Curious, IF
asked the gentleman, "How do you think you can solve our problems?"
The gentleman smiled and said, "You only need listen to yourselves. It
reminds me of an old proverb:
'If and When were planted, and Nothing grew'."
IF and WHEN looked puzzled. The gentleman smiled and said, "Start
counting how many times you use the words 'if' and 'when'. Rather than
thinking 'if and when', start doing, take action, stop talking about 'if
IF and WHEN both looked surprised, and suddenly realized that what the
gentleman had said was so true. Both of them were guilty of thinking,
acting and living their life for the "ifs and whens". The gentleman left
and IF and WHEN's conversation changed. They made a pact that when they
met for lunch next week, there would be no "ifs and whens"; they would
only talk about what they accomplished!
One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business
students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students
will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high powered
overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out
a one-gallon, wide mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of
him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully
placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the
top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a
bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar
causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between
the big rocks.
Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the
class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he
replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He
started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces
left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question,
"Is this jar full?" "No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good."
Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar
was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is
the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and
said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try
really hard you can always fit some more things in it!" "No," the
speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration
teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get
them in at all."
What are the 'big rocks' in your life? Time with your loved ones? Your
faith, your education, your dreams? A worthy cause? Teaching or
mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll
never get them in at all.
So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short
story, ask yourself this question: What are the 'big rocks' in my life?
Then, put those in your jar first.
lecturer, when explaining stress
management to an audience, raised a
glass of water and asked,
is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 20g
The lecturer replied, "The
absolute weight doesn't matter. It
depends on how long you try to hold
If I hold it for a minute,
that's not a problem. If I hold it
for an hour, I'll have an ache in my
If I hold it for a day,
you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case, it's the same weight,
but the longer I hold it, the
heavier it becomes."
He continued, "And that's
the way it is with stress
management. If we carry our burdens
all the time, sooner or later, as
the burden becomes increasingly
heavy, we won't be able to carry on.
" "As with the glass of water, you
have to put it down for a while and
rest before holding it again. When
we're refreshed, we can carry on
with the burden."
"So, before you
return home tonight, put the burden
of work down. Don't carry it home.
You can pick it up tomorrow.
Whatever burdens you're carrying
now, let them down for a moment if
So, my friend, why not take a while
to just simply RELAX. Put down
anything that may be a burden to you
right now. Don't pick it up again
until after you've rested a while.
Life is short! Enjoy it!
Here are some great ways of dealing
with the burdens of life:
1.. Accept that some days you're the
pigeon, and some days you're the
2.. Always keep your words soft and
sweet, just in case you have to eat
3.. Always read stuff that will make
you look good if you die in the
middle of it.
4.. Drive carefully. It's not only
cars that can be recalled by their
5.. If you can't be kind, at least
have the decency to be vague.
6.. If you lend someone $20 and
never see that person again, it was
probably worth it.
7.. It may be that your sole purpose
in life is simply to serve as a
warning to others.
8.. Never buy a car you can't push.
9.. Never put both feet in your
mouth at the same time, because then
you won't have a leg to stand on.
10.. Nobody cares if you can't dance
well. Just get up and dance.
11.. Since it's the early worm that
gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
12.. The second mouse gets the
13.. When everything's coming your
way, you're in the wrong lane.
14.. Birthdays are good for you. The
more you have, the longer you live.
15.. You may be only one person in
the world, but you may also be the
world to one person.
16.. Some mistakes are too much fun
to only make once.
17.. We could learn a lot from
crayons. Some are sharp, some are
pretty and some are dull. Some have
weird names, and all are different
colors, but they all have to live in
the same box.
18.. A truly happy person is one who
can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Piece of Mind
The first rule
is to keep an un troubled spirit. The second is to look at things in the
face and know them for what they are
Peace is not
the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the
Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round
or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into
the fading night?
You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music
Do you run through each day on the fly? When you are asked "How are
do you hear the reply? When the day is done,
do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through
You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music
Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow and in your haste, not
see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die 'cause
you never had time to call and say "Hi"?
You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music
When you run so fast to get somewhere you miss half the fun of
When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened
gift... thrown away...
Life is not a race. Do take it slower. Hear the music before the
song is over.
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has
forgiven the inexcusable in you."
C. S. LEWIS From: On Forgiveness
"Not one of God's children can be
evil. At worst, he or she is hurt. At worst, he or she attacks
others, and blames them for their pain. But, they are not evil.
Yes, your compassion must go this deep. There is no human being who
does not deserve your forgiveness. There is no human being who does
not deserve your love."
American Author and Inspirational Speaker
Far better it is to dare mighty
things, even though checkered by failure,
than to take rank with those who neither enjoy much or suffer much,
because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor
" HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal
of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others:
To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child,
a redeemed social condition, or a job well done;
To know that even one other life has breathed because you lived.
-- This is to have succeeded."
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are times when a man should be
content with what he has,
but never with what he is.
--William George Jordan
When one door closes another door
but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed
that we do not see the ones which open for us.
--Alexander Graham Bell
Progress always involves risk.
You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.
--Fredrick B. Wilcox
To me a winner is someone who
recognizes his God-given talents,
works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses those
accomplish his goals. Even when I lost, I learned what my weaknesses
were, and went out the next day to turn those weaknesses into
To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of one minute:
Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have. You will
treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in
You name them - Work - Family - Health - Friends - Spirit, and
you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand
that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But
the other four balls-family, health, friends and spirit are made of
glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed,
marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the
You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How?
1. Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It
is because we are different that each of us is special.
2. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only
you know what is best for you.
3. Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to
them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
4. Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the
past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you
live ALL the days of your life.
5. Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is
really over until the moment you stop trying.
6. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is
this fragile thread that binds us together.
7. Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that
we learn how to be brave.
8. Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to
find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way
to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep
love is to give it wings.
9. Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where
you've been, but also where you are going.
10. Don't forget that a person's greatest emotional need is to feel
11. Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure
you can always carry easily.
12. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the
way. Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, and Today is a
gift: that's why we call it - "The Present"
Your talent is God's gift to you.
What you do with it is your gift back to God.
He who controls others may be
but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
Life is a song - sing it.
Life is a game - play it.
Life is a challenge - meet it.
Life is a sacrifice - offer it.
Life is love - enjoy it.
"For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision
But today well lived makes
Every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope
Look well, therefore to this day."
-Sir William Osler
No matter how far you have gone on a
wrong road, turn back. – Turkish proverb