A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Friday, October 28, 2011


By Bill Baldwin

I have never heard anyone say, "I hate springtime." Well.okay, maybe those who suffer from allergies-but even they dislike the pollen, not the season. Flowers begin blooming; trees budding; grass growing; birds start singing. All of creation announces, "We're alive again!" 

This year was a long, cold winter. Winter always seems long to me-too long, sometimes. But winter is necessary. In the economy of the climate, winter kills and then makes way for something new. During winter creation loses its sparkle. A once luscious, green forest becomes dismal gray. Most flowers die while others crawl back under the soil to hide from the wintry elements. Color, for a season, vanishes, and it seems, so does all of life. To add to the drab surroundings, the song of nature is stilled as birds take their song to a warmer environment. Is it any wonder that a greater percentage of people suffer from depression during winter?

Like all creation, we too experience seasons in our life. Without exception, no one can live without going through personal winters. Most of them are cold and drab. Personal winters can be dead, gray, and colorless. It is easy to lose your song during these days. Like the people referred to in the Bible, during our winters we weep a lot and set beside "the rivers of Babylon" thinking of the good ole days. Scripture says they put away their musical instruments, "hanging them upon the branches of the willow trees" (see Psalm 137:1-2).

The recession, job losses, depression, home foreclosure, rejection, death of a loved one, abuse, sickness, marriage problems, divorce, addictions, loneliness, failures-these and more are the gray circumstances of a personal winter. During winter "something dies" so to speak. I don't like winter. However, it's necessary. Winter always precedes spring and every living thing must pass through a winter to enter spring. This is a spiritual principle of life that applies to everyone and everything.

The cross is the Lord's symbol that reminds us that Jesus experienced a personal winter, too. Like all winters, dying was part of it. First, His winter was for His Father and then for us. The cross was ugly. The Lord's death on the cross was even more repulsive. The only color that splashed across the backdrop of Jesus' crucifixion was red-His blood. Other than that, like all winters, it was gray, bleak, and dreary. But it was necessary for what was to come.

One would hardly recognize Jesus during His winter. Bruised, beaten, and bloody, only the inward charm remained. His outer shell was not recognizable. Finally, winter took its toll and He died. I'm not surprised. Winter was only doing its job

The story goes that winter passed and springtime came. Like a tulip lying dormant under the soil, the earth gave way to a greater power and promise. What everyone thought to be gone forever burst forth from a wintry grave. Flowers bloomed (lilies, I suppose), skies turned blue, warm days emerged, and birds sang again. This time they sang a new song-"He has risen!" In Jesus' resurrection God declares that our personal winters are only for a season. In the Bible a man named Paul wrote to a group of people faced with winter, "I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death." (Ephesians 1:19-20). Now that's some more serious power we have been given!

Easter is not only an event in Christian history-Easter is a person. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection" (John 11:25). Though we celebrate Jesus' birth in December, isn't it strange that historians cannot pinpoint when He was born? However, we're certain about the time of His resurrection-springtime, right after the Jewish Passover.

Springtime and resurrection go together like (as Forrest Gump says) "Peas and carrots." When Jesus resurrected from His grave God was declaring, "Your winters are limited!" Your personal winter may be long and hard but it will come to an end. This is the message of the season. Jesus never interpreted His future glory by the dismal winter of His cross. Neither should you.

Like daffodils that suddenly appear after a long cold season, the resurrection declares that your winter season is not the end of your story. I love springtime don't you? It's bursting with the resurrection of Jesus. And the resurrection is not just a good story-it's a life principle that God infused in the season itself.

Now, as I observe the flowers blooming, trees blossoming, and birds singing, I am reminded that winters, like the cross, do not last forever. Jesus has risen! Springtime is here. Now you can begin again.

ABOUT THE AUTHORBill Baldwin is a Pastor, motivational speaker, husband, and father. He received his Masters and doctoral work from Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. Currently lives in North Carolina where he is a pastor. Bill can be reached at billbaldwin@ctc.net

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thought for Today

Crisis breeds opportunity.  Look for something positive, take your broken wings and learn to fly again. 

~Orrin Checkmate Hudson

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thought for Today

Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.

~Albert Einstein

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thought for Today

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

~Elinor Smith

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thought for Today

Everybody talks about wanting to change things and help and fix, but ultimately all you can do is fix yourself. And that's a lot. Because if you can fix yourself, it has a ripple effect.

~Rob Reiner

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thought for Today

The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money.

~Benjamin Jowett
1817-1893, English Scholar, Classicist and Theologian


By Wallace D. Wattles

The first step toward getting rich is to convey the idea of your wants to the formless substance.

This is true, and you will see that in order to do so it becomes necessary to relate yourself to the formless intelligence in a harmonious way.

To secure this harmonious relationship is a matter of such primary and vital importance that I will give some space to its discussion here. I will give you instructions, which, if you follow them, will be certain to bring you into a perfect unity of mind with God.

The whole process of mental adjustment and attunement can be summed up in one word: gratitude.

First, you believe that there is one intelligent substance from which all things proceed.
Secondly, you believe that this substance gives you everything you desire.
And, thirdly, you relate yourself to it through a feeling of deep and profound gratitude.
Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude. Having received one gift from God, they cut the wires, which connect them with Him by failing to make acknowledgment.

It is easy to understand that the nearer we live to the source of wealth, the more wealth we shall receive. It is also easy to understand that a soul that is always grateful lives in closer touch with God than one who never looks to Him in thankful acknowledgment.

When good things come to us, the more gratefully we fix our mind on the Supreme Power, the more good things we will receive - and the more rapidly they will come. The reason for this is simply that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with the source from which the blessings come.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thought for Today

An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.

~Orlando A. Battista 

The best St. Nicholas Statue ever!

St Nicholas fresco

Now, from the artistic tradition that created the magnificent icons that grace the great cathedrals of Russia (where, for centuries, St. Nicholas has been particularly revered and loved) comes . . .
the best
St. Nicholas Statue 

Statue facing left.

It's over 12" tall
Back view of statue.

. . . yet hand-painted, front and back, with loving attention to detail
(Look closely: note the delicate gradation of tones in the blues and greens, and the soft blush on Nicholas's cheeks. See how carefully even his eyes are painted.)
St. Nicholas face

Look closely at
the Nativity Tableau:

With the 
Star of Bethlehem shining down on the Holy Family (and half-a-dozen other bright stars come down from Heaven to gaze upon them, too) . . .
Detail of Nativity.

. . . St. Joseph lifts his hand to bless the Newborn . . .
Detail of St. Joseph.

. . . who Himself blesses His adoring mother as she gazes down upon Him:
Detail of the Virgin Mary.

Finally, turning His face directly to us, the Baby Jesus blesses you and me, too:

Detail of the Baby Jesus.

Nowhere else will you find a statue of St. Nicholas as handsome as this, or as well-crafted.
Take it in hand.
Examine it closely.
It's virtually indistinguishable from the lovingly-designed, hand-carved wooden statue from which its mold was made.

Statue facing right.

Unfortunately, it's mid-October already and I've got only 150 of these St. Nicholas Statues left in stock. I may be able to obtain 100 more between now and Christmas, but that's not certain.
And today, I'm sending this ad to over 20,000, customers, most of whom have children or grandchildren who will be charmed by our St. Nicholas.
So if you want this handsome St. Nicholas Statue to grace your home this Christmas (and for many Christmases to come), click the link below or call our toll-free number right away.

St. Nicholas Statue
12+ inches; hand-painted
sturdy polymer, made
to last for generations
(Only available for shipping
within the United States.)

Front view of statue

Order online above,or call
Sophia Institute Press
Box 5284, Manchester, NH 03108 USA

We always welcome contributions to our non-profit apostolate. If you would prefer not to use the PayPal button below, you can add a contribution directly to your shopping cart at our on-line store.
Click to donate through paypal or donate directly through our website: www. sophiainstitute.com
Sophia Institute Press
is the publishing division of
The publishing division of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and of Holy Spirit College.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thought for Today

The world does not pay for what a person knows. But it pays for what a person does with what he knows.

~Laurence Lee 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

12 Rules of Success by Steve Jobs

  1. Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Make a difference. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  2. Be different. Think different. Better to be a pirate than to join the navy.
  3. Do your best at every job. Don’t sleep! Success generates more success so be hungry for it. Hire good people with a passion for excellence.
  4. Perform SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate to throw bad apples out of the company.
  5. Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be acted upon quickly and decisively and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
  6. Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.
  7. Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it regardless of whether or not anyone else is using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.
  8. People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don’t know about it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
  9. Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.
  10. Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate. Let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thoughts to ponder!

Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

~Steve Jobs