Friday, April 25, 2008



By Kathleene S. Baker

When playtime rolls around, Chance Armstrong prefers painting far and above any toys or other activities. At two years of age, he recently had his first art exhibit at City Arts in Wichita, Kansas. With the proceeds, he and his single mother aim for a noteworthy goal-earning enough that Chance can enroll in Dolphin Therapy in Florida. Said therapy has proven to be quite beneficial for children with special needs, but it is costly.


Chance was named before his birth not knowing how fitting it would be. Born after only 28 weeks of gestation, Chance faced the grim possibility of not surviving-as did his mother. When preeclampsia struck, their fate rested in the hands of God.

Mom remained in intensive care for 10 anxiety-ridden days while her tiny son struggled to live. After three months in Neonatal Intensive Care the very fragile infant went home, but each day that passed was filled with uncertainty. The doctors had been straightforward about Chance's future. He faced the probability of numerous health problems: mental retardation, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, and cystic fibrosis, to name only a few. Soon, two additional obstacles were thrown in his path-the need for kidney and heart surgery. Inexplicably, Change dodged all of these maladies!

Chance keeps a hectic schedule with various physical therapy appointments-a total of seven each week. Visits with his doctors are all too frequent. After being told he would never crawl, he does crawl, even though he lags behind others his age. His vocabulary is limited but continues to grow. When I last saw Chance he was giving high fives like they were going out of style! With this little boy's determination and progress to date, hopes are high for all he is yet to achieve. Despite the monumental challenges that have been encountered thus far, Chance fills his mom's life with love, light and joy.


What makes finger painting (and sometimes toes) so stimulating to this youngster? Is it the slick feel of the paint or is he intrigued with color? Is it both? Even though he has not yet learned his colors, Mom can now decipher which one he is asking for; he is quite finicky about which hues go into each design he produces. They've spent countless hours creating works of art and have developed a system that works seamlessly. Chance giggles and his bright eyes dance with every new masterpiece, and he only stops when Mom says its bath time. Each art session leaves him smeared and smudged-sporting a rainbow of colors from head to toe, a near duplicate of the canvas just completed. And, Mom doesn't fare much better!

When being interviewed before the art exhibit, Mom made a beautiful statement about her son: Many people go their entire lifetime without ever meeting one of their heroes; I am truly blessed and honored that my hero calls me mama!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Yogi's Cloth

The Yogi's Cloth

A young yogi lived by the side of the river. His life was simple and carefree; he practiced yoga almost all day long. Because he had no other responsibilities, he had plenty of time to sit peacefully with closed eyes, his thoughts fixed on the Lord within the heart. This was his daily meditation.

One day, after bathing in the river, he washed his only piece of cloth and lay it out on the rocky bank. While waiting for it to dry, a thought crossed his mind, “I am wasting time waiting for this. If I had another piece of cloth I could get dressed right away.”

Just then an old sadhu (a wise man) passed by. This sadhu was able to read the thoughts of others. He stopped and spoke with the young yogi. “My dear son, I know what is on your mind. You want to save time. But rather than collecting more and more possessions, it's better to be happy with what you have.” He then offered the yogi his blessings and continued on his way. The young yogi pondered the sadhu's advice, but decided that just one extra cloth was not too much to desire. So he went to the marketplace and bought one.

The next day he bathed in the river as usual, washed his cloth and put it on the rock to dry. Then he put on his nice new cloth and went to perform his meditation.

Later in the day, when he came back, he discovered that a hungry mouse had nibbled holes in his old cloth. At first he was dismayed, but then thought, “I know! I'll get a cat to chase away the mouse”. He went to the market once again and bought a cat.

He spent the next day very happily and peacefully meditating. But, as evening approached, the cat began to miaow because it was hungry, disturbing the yogi.

“Oh, he needs milk,” he groaned and so he reluctantly left for the market again, returning this time with a cow. The next day was peaceful until the evening when the cow began to moo. “I'm not going to milk it everyday!” thought the yogi. “It takes too much time.”

So he went to village and asked a young woman to be his wife. So she can milk the cow to give to the cat, who would keep the mouse away from the yogi's cloth and so the yogi was happy – for a while. One evening his wife complained, “I'm sick of you just meditating all day. I want a home. I can’t just sit with you out here in rain and sun”. So the yogi built a house.

But then his wife was lonely and wanted children... As time went by the yogi meditated less and less and worried more and more. He was constantly busy looking after his house, his growing family and the animals. Sometimes, when he had a quiet moment, he would reflect on those carefree times when all he had was a single cloth.

One day while he was sitting and drifting away in past, the old sadhu again passed by. The sadhu smiled and remarked, “I can see you are in a pensive mood, so I will tell you again that it's better to be happy with what you have. Because when it comes to wanting things, there is no end.”

Sai Ram

Contributed by: Shakuntla Vishani

My perception

My perception at this juncture.

In fact, what was problem with Arjuna? When a reader, in first instance, reads the logic's given by Arjuna, sometimes gets the impression that Arjuna seems quite innocent and is a personality full of compassion. Arjuna felt that it will be foolishness on his part to kill his near and dear ones just because of materialistic gains. Rather he meant that instead of bloodshed, he should leave the world to renounce. He seemed unconvinced as to why should he should fight for gains which are not of permanent nature. The reader also gains sympathy for him as Arjuna seems to be pious noble person caring for others. Was he wrong?

That is crux of problem. Now in fact, adoption of principle of non-violence is not bad. But adoption of same at wrong time and in contravention of one's expected role is objectionable. Just see, Arjuna could have renounced his worldly life long back to become a saint and preach principles of spirituality including non-violence. But at the battle ground, he is leading Pandava's army in between these thoughts come to his mind. Just as if there are wars in two countries and in crucial moments army chiefs preach peace and non-violence completely forgetting their expected roles and forgetting that non-adherence of their warranted duties could damage the country - countrymen and generations to irreparable extent. So the role of army chief is to fight the war in a pre-decided and pre-planned way and not to be nervous.

Thus Arjuna was have such identity crisis. Arjuna was representing weak persons like us.
The lesson what I perceived long back in my mind is to remain aware of one's expected role and to play the role to the best of capability. It means when you are at home, you be mentally present there too - forget about worries of your office/business. When you are in office, not only your body should be there but your mind must also remain there. And with full sincerity and capability one should perform his duties in field of activity without any kind of moral pressures. There had been instances in history too when kings had to punish their own kith and kin's for their faults. Many times we are trapped in dharmasankatas moh-janit strategy(under delusion) vs. Kartvaya-janit strategy (as per our expected role - duty wise). One must and must adhere to his duties only.

We again return to Arjuna. He was under delusion and due to pessimistic chain of thoughts he was trapped in negative thinking. He felt like leaving the battleground. Moral here is one must remain alert about chain of thoughts (vichar - pravah). And should ensure that his affirmations keep him morally elevated in high spirits and his mind is ABLE to take right decisions.

Again when we have more than one option at any point in our life too, we decide to adopt one way and now our mind is well-equipped to justify what action we propose to take. Naturally it is biased and based on the data/opinion provided by a mind under delusion (particularly if a pessimistic or contrary to expected role step is proposed). Arjuna also did the same. Lord could see through it. And here Lord is counselling him to remind him that he is warrior (kshatriya) and not a Brahmin or rishimuni. And if he (Arjuna) is justifying the stand taken by him, it is wrong justification under delusion and cowardice.

My cent. I shall be obliged to have your opinion of other learned persons too.


Contributed by Light Candles...

Awesome Story

Awesome Story

By Ken Gaub

At the time I was driving on 1-75 near Dayton, Ohio, with my wife and children. We turned off the highway for a rest and refreshment stop. My wife Barbara and children went into the restaurant. I suddenly felt the need to stretch my legs, so waved them off ahead saying I'd join them later. I bought a soft drink, and as I walked toward a Dairy Queen, feelings of self pity enshrouded my mind. I loved the Lord and my ministry, but I felt drained, burdened.

My cup was empty. Suddenly the impatient ringing of a telephone nearby jarred me out of my doldrums. It was coming from a phone booth at a service station on the corner. Wasn't anyone going to answer the phone? Noise from the traffic flowing through the busy intersection must have drowned out the sound because the service station attendant continued looking after his customers, oblivious to the incessant ringing.

"Why doesn't somebody answer that phone?" I muttered. I began reasoning. It may be important. What if it's an emergency? Curiosity overcame my indifference. I stepped inside the booth and picked up the phone. "Hello," I said casually and took a big sip of my drink. The operator said: "Long distance call for Ken Gaub." My eyes widened, and I almost choked on a chunk of ice. Swallowing hard, I said, "You're crazy!" Then realizing I shouldn't speak to an operator like that, I added, "This can't be! I was walking down the road, not bothering anyone, and the phone was ringing..." "Is Ken Gaub there?" the operator interrupted. "I have a long distance call for him."

It took a moment to gain control of my babbling, but I finally replied, "Yes, he is here." Searching for a possible explanation, I wondered if I could possibly be on Candid Camera! Still shaken, perplexed, I asked, "How in the world did you reach me here? I was walking down the road, the pay phone started ringing, and I just answered it on chance. You can't mean me."

"Well," the operator asked, "is Mr. Gaub there or isn't he?" "Yes, I am Ken Gaub," I said, finally convinced by the tone of her voice that the call was real. Then I heard another voice say, "Yes, that's him, operator. That's Ken Gaub." I listened dumb-founded to a strange voice identify herself. "I'm Millie from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You don't know me, Mr. Gaub, but I'm desperate. Please help me."

"What can I do for you?" She began weeping. Finally she regained control and continued. "I was about to commit suicide, had just finished writing a note, when I began to pray and tell God I really didn't want to do this. Then I suddenly remembered seeing you on television and thought if I could just talk to you, you could help me. I knew that was impossible because I didn't know how to reach you, I didn't know anyone who could help me find you.

Then some numbers came to my mind, and I scribbled them down." At this point she began weeping again, and I prayed silently for wisdom to help her. She continued, "I looked at the numbers and thought, couldn't it be
wonderful if I had a miracle from God, and He has given me Ken's phone number? I decided to try calling it. I can't believe I'm talking to you.

Are you in your office in California?" I replied, "Lady, I don't have an office in California. My office is in Yakima, Washington." A little surprised, she asked, "Oh really, then where are you?"

"Don't you know?" I responded. "You made the call."

She explained, "But I don't even know what area I'm calling. I just dialed the number that I had on this paper."

"Ma'am, you won't believe this, but I'm in a phone booth in Dayton Ohio!"

"Really?" she exclaimed. "Well, what are you doing there?"
I kidded her gently, "Well, I'm answering the phone. It was ringing as I walked by, so I answered it." Knowing this encounter could only have been arranged by God, I began to counsel the woman. As she told me of her despair and frustration, the presence of the Holy Spirit flooded the phone booth giving me words of wisdom beyond my ability.

In a matter of moments, she prayed the sinner's prayer and met the One who would lead her out of her situation into a new life. I walked away from that telephone booth with an electrifying sense of our heavenly Father's concern for each of His children. What were the astronomical odds of
this happening. With all the millions of phones and innumerable combinations of numbers, only an all-knowing God could have caused that woman to call THAT number, in THAT phone booth, at THAT moment in time.

Forgetting my drink and nearly bursting with exhilaration,
I headed back to my family, wondering if they would believe my story. Maybe I better not tell this I thought, but I couldn't contain it. "Barb, you won't believe this! God knows where I am!"

Top Ten Ways to Support Someone in Being Their Best

Top Ten Ways to Support
Someone in Being Their Best

By Michael Angier

One of the greatest responsibilities we have is to support ourselves and others in living at our highest and best. Whether we're parents, partners, friends or leaders, it's incumbent upon us to help others to live as close to their unique potential as we can.

With everything we say and do, we're influencing -- positively or negatively -- the people we care about. The ideal is to do this with consideration and intention. Here are ten ways you can help others see and realize the best that's within them.

1. Believe in Them
We all have self-doubts from time to time. Our confidence is shaken. We lack the faith in our talents and skills to go for an important promotion or launch a new initiative. Having someone believe in you at these times is priceless. The stories of great men and women are saturated with examples of someone who believed in them even when they didn't fully believe in themselves.

2. Encourage Them
"You can do it." "I know you can." These are words that are all-too-infrequently voiced. Sincere encouragement can go a long way in helping someone stay the course. The more specific you are, the better the results. "I remember when you got through your slump last year and ended up winning the sales contest. I'm willing to bet that you'll do even better this time."

3. Expect a Lot
We're often told not to get our hopes up. We're encouraged to have REALISTIC expectations. But when it comes to helping others operate at their best, we sometimes have to up-level our expectations. This can be taken to extremes, but there are many times when a teacher, a parent or even a boss has required more of us than we thought we were capable. And we've risen to the challenge which enabled us to see further than before.

4. Tell the Truth
And tell it with compassion. We often avoid telling the hard truth because we don't want to upset anyone. We want to be NICE. But telling the truth is a loving act. You may be the only person who can or will say to another what needs to be said. And you can confront someone without being combative. See Top Ten Ways to Confront Without Being Combative.

5. Be a Role Model
One of the best ways we influence is by our own actions. Who we are speaks much more loudly than what we say. Don't think that people aren't watching you. They are. And they're registering everything about you consciously and unconsciously. We automatically emulate our role models. And we're ALL role models to someone so let's be good ones.

6. Share Yourself
Too often, we miss the value of sharing our failings. We don't want to be vulnerable so we hold back. In doing so, we deprive others of our experience, our learning and our humanity. When you share from your own experience -- especially your failures -- you increase empathy, you're more approachable and you increase your relatability to others.

7. Challenge Them
The word "challenge" has some negative connotations. The meaning we're using here is, "a test of one's abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking." We all need to be challenged from time to time. Doing it for another is an art form. Go too far and it will backfire. Go too easy and you will appear patronizing. Remind people of their commitment to being their best and state your challenge. "I challenge you to overcome these unimportant opinions and get on with the real task at hand, get the job done, make the commitment, etc."

8. Ask Good Questions
A good therapist or coach doesn't tell their clients what to do. They ask good questions in order for the client to understand themselves better, to get clear on what the issue is and from there to make good choices. You can do the same. By asking elegant questions, you cause people to think and come up with solutions. They'll appreciate it. Gary Lockwood has a good article about this called Asking Intelligent Questions with Impact.

9. Acknowledge Them
You find what you're looking for. If you're looking for the best in someone, you'll see it. If you're looking for their failings, you'll see those. Catch people doing things right and tell them. When we acknowledge the good deeds of others, they tend to do more of them. Write a note. Send a card. Give them a call. Praise them in front of others.

10. Spend Time with Them
We love what we give our time to. By devoting your most precious resource (time) to another individual, you're showing them that you truly value them and your relationship with them. Invest time in your relationships; it's what life is made of.

Earth Day Song...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008



A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.

She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big Red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise... Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's really, really sick… And I want to buy a miracle.'

'I beg your pardon?' said the pharmacist.

'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?'

'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little

'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.'

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'what kind of a miracle does you brother need?'

' I don't know,' Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation but my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money.'

'How much do you have?' asked the man from Chicago .

'One dollar and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audibly.

'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'

'Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. '

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.'

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

'That surgery,' her Mom whispered. 'Was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost.'

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle dollar and eleven the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law. I know you'll keep the ball moving!

Here it goes. Throw it back to someone who means something to you!

A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end. It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends. But the treasure inside for you to see is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me.

Today I pass the friendship ball to you.

Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.


When you are sad.....I will dry your tears.

When you are scared....I will comfort you fears.

When you are worried.....I will give you hope.

When you are confused.....I will help you cope.

And when you are lost....And can't see the light, I shall be your beacon.....Shining ever so bright.

This is my oath.....I pledge till the end.

Why you may ask?.....Because you're my friend.

Signed: GOD


Shadow Dancers...

A Mental Cry for Help

A Mental Cry for Help

Last week I went to the store to recharge my cell phone credit. I only had 50 pesos and so I spent all the money I had available in cash. Once I paid, I realized there was this little kid crying because his mom had sent him to the store to buy orange juice, but once he paid for it, the bottle fell off his hands and he broke it, spilling the juice around.

He was crying begging to the cashier to change him the juice bottle because his mom was going to spank him. The lady said so un-politely "I am not changing the bottle! It was your fault! pay for another one!"

So there I was, without any cash and I couldn't help this little boy! I felt so sad about this situation, and I thought I couldn't do anything.

I left the store feeling bad about it and then I went back, I really wanted to help the boy. I decided to tell the cashier that I was gonna leave my cell phone with her while I went back home to grab some cash to pay for the bottle of juice. When I entered the store, another lady had already purchased the juice bottle for the boy!

And so, I think that somehow, with my intention, I cried for help and my spiritual guides connected my cry to another helpful lady and helped the little boy. Thanks to HER!!

The Helping Movement

The Helping Movement

The Helping Movement is continuing to gain momentum and is proving to be an effective and easy to use resource for people in need as well as providing volunteers a unique opportunity to help their community on an individual basis.

Just recently a local Ithaca resident, Helen, was given until the end of March to remove all of her collected life belongings from her basement or her landlord would have been forced to dispose of the items due to fire code issues. These items meant the world to Helen and to lose any of them would have been devastating. After extensive searching for a place to store her belongings she was able to secure an affordable storage unit; but her next challenge was moving a completely full basement across town without access to a truck or manpower.

Helen contacted the Helping Movement and explained her dilemma. The Helping Movement was able to recruit six volunteers, including myself, and one truck to move her belongings the morning of March 29th. We arrived at 9:30am and the smile on Helen’s face was amazing. She was so taken back by the amount of support total strangers were willing to give her without asking for anything in return. The entire move took only about five hours, but the experience will be remembered for a lifetime.

People Helping People

The Power of Attitude

The Power of Attitude
By Mac Anderson
Excerpt from the Chapter entitled The Good News Girl

One of the most wonderful things about having a positive attitude is the number of people it touches, many times in ways you'll never know.
Recently, I stopped by a convenience store to get a newspaper and a pack of gum. The young woman at the check-out counter said, "That'll be five dollars please," and as I reached into my wallet, the thought occurred to me that a newspaper and gum didn't quite make it to five dollars. When I looked up to get a "re-quote", she had a big smile on her face and said, "Gotcha! I got to get my tip in there somehow!" I laughed when I knew I'd been had. She then glanced down at the paper I was buying and said, "I'm sick and tired of all this negative stuff on the front pages. I want to read some good news for a change." She then said, "In fact, I think someone should just publish a Good News newspaper -a paper with wonderful, inspirational stories about people overcoming adversity and doing good things for others. I'd buy one every day!" She then thanked me for coming in and said, "Maybe we'll get lucky tomorrow; maybe we'll get some good news," and she laughed. She made my day.
The following day after my business appointments, I dropped by the same store again to pick up bottled water, but a different young lady was behind the counter. As I checked out I said, "Good afternoon" and handed her my money for the water. She said nothing – not a word, not a smile...nothing. She just handed me my change and in a negative tone, ordered..."Next!"
It hit me right between the eyes: Two people, same age; one made me feel great, and the other, well, made me feel that I had inconvenienced her by showing up.
By the choices we make, by the attitudes we exhibit, we are influencing lives every day in positive or negative ways...our family, our peers, our friends, and even strangers we've never met before and will never meet again.
So when you brush your teeth every morning, and get ready for work, ask yourself this important question, "Who do I want to be today?" "The Grouch" or "The Good News Girl?" Your answer will go a long way toward determining your success in business and in life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Depths...

Inspirational Adventure...


SAIBABA-The Protector

SAIBABA-The Protector

It was a Thursday dated 19th January 1984 when I and a colleague Mr. T. R. C. Menon got out of the Z. P. Guest House at Jalgaon-Jamod (Maharashtra) and got into a readily available vacant taxi to reach Nandura Railway Station. The driver required about half an hour's time to take off. So we both walked across the road to a small tea-stall. Time was 6.30 A. M.

As the ordered bread and tea was awaited, my sight was attracted by a photo of Sai Baba visible in the adjacent pan-shop. I pointed out the same to my companion and told him that it was an auspicious Thursday morning to have darshan of our blessing SAI.

Placing a loaf of bread, the stall keeper went back to his assistant to help making a special tea for us. Mr. Menon refused bread and preferred only tea when I was unwrapping the bread. Looking at the SaiNath's photo I sat quiet. Then I closed my eyes for a minute, meditating on Him. As I opened the eyes I saw a young Muslim Fakir aged around 28 years standing at the entrance with a smile and looking straight into my eyes. A green cloth fastened around his head, he wore a white loose kurta and lungi. One small black bowl in his hand suggested that he came for begging alms. But it was surprising to note that he did not ask anyone for alms or money. Just with the same smile and a calm look into my face he merely stood.

Not a word was spoken by the fakir. The look from his bright eyes was full of affection for me. His blissful smile respon­ded in me an overflowing joy. Like the waves on the sea jumping higher with happiness at the appearance of a full Moon-my joy touched new bights at the sight of this fakir. Inexplicable exchange of some unknown silent feelings between us was a great experience in itself.

I nodded my head silently calling him. The fakir came closer, only a table in the middle separated us. First two slices of bread offered by me with devotion were accepted. He lost no time to wave his hand and very swiftly walked out to disappear from my vision. That silent and affectionate smile glowing from his bright face still remained in my mind and I was fully convinced that that fakir is none but our Sai-Malik.

Then I turned to Mr. Menon and asked "What do you think about this fakir?” His cool reply came an ordinary beggar".

"No" I continued, "He was not an ordinary beggar but Shirdi Sai Nath Himself who came in disguise to bless us in person".

Mr. Menon laughed with indifference and said "seeing Saibaba’s” photo a few minutes before, your mind is engaged in thinking about him. At this juncture even when an ordinary beggar stood here you are illusioned that he too was Sai Baba".

I explained that it was no illusion but a full proof fact. “The fakir with a bowl in his hands obviously came for begging but why he did not beg? Why he did not even call the tea stall man, who was busy in preparing tea? Why did he not beg from the pan shop wallah? At least after we offered bread why did he not step into other neighboring tea stalls and pan shops? Does this not infer that he perhaps came with the purpose of only meeting us? Who else could he be other than Lord Sainath?” thus I concluded that the strange incident was only a darshan of Sai-Malik.

After a couple of days when I returned to Aurangabad from my tour, I was shocked to see at home the walls, roof and window glass-panes of the kitchen room badly damaged. My wife Usha thus narrated to me about the dangerous accident which recently occurred.

On Thursday (19th January 1984) by morning 10 a. m. my wife filled up the pressure-cooker with necessary contents to be cooked for lunch and placed it on an electric stove (Cooking gas was exhausted) and went into the drawing room where she sat reading some books. Though generally very cautious while cooking, that day she happened to be somewhat negligent being fully engrossed in reading until she looked at the watch showing 10.45 a. m. She got up from the sofa remembering suddenly about the cooker on the stove and wondered how it has failed to vigil for 45 minutes. Then, hardly she covered a few steps and at once halted before the kitchen door when a big explosive sound, almost deafening the ears, came as a shock. The pressure cooker had burst and caused dangerous havoc in a most unexpected accident.

The cooker's lid was pushed up with great pressure of steam bursting out and it hit the roof at first, then two side waits and window before falling down like a crashing flying-saucer. Glass panes of the window were broken; walls and concrete ceiling were damaged while all kitchenware from the shelves fell down with the tremor. Very thick gauged indalium pressure cooker (Prestige brand) was twisted completely out of shape and the electric stove was shattered to pieces, leaving the broken live wire still hanging from the plug. Patches and lumps of cooked rice and dal with vege­tables stuck to the walls and the roof. Altogether a ghastly scene it was.

Neighboring housewives rushed to our apartment in panic, fearing that the sound was due to burling of the gas cylinder. They were frightened to notice equally dangerous accident that occurred; but found a consolation as my wife was surprisingly safe.

My dear Sai-devotees! See how our SAI BABA saved my wife Usha. Had she entered the kitchen even a fraction of a second before the accident she would have been perhaps killed. Baba averted such a grave danger within no time to save her life. Also he ruled out the possibility of the children being hurt as it was timed when both little sons Sainath and Vamsinath were away at School.

Yon may carefully note the coincidence of Sai Malik giving me darshan at a far of place namely Jalgaop Jamod and accepting two slices of bread at 7 a.m. on the very same day and within next few hours He takes care to save my wife from a deadly accident that occurred at our residence in Aurangabad ! All happened on a Thursday!

What more proof one need to realise the omnipresence of Lord Sainath's love and care for his beloved devotees at all times and at all places.

Narendranath Mungara


(Source: Saileela magazine June 1985)

Monday, April 21, 2008


(Something to think about...)

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table.

Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste.

So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks He has appointed for you, don't be afraid of your flaws.

Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway.

Out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength, and that "In Him every one of God's promises is a Yes".

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

We All Have It

Wow Incredible...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yusuf - He's My Brother

Yusuf - He's My Brother

Just recently I flew from Sydney to Melbourne for an early morning meeting followed by a series of additional meetings, all in the same office. It was one of those ' down and back in one day trips', so fortunately I only needed to carry my brief case so I could go direct to the express check in, saving myself up to half an hour in a queue.

Upon arriving in Melbourne at just after 7.15 a.m. I headed straight for the taxi rank to pick up a cab. As I walked out into the morning light I was greeted with a skyline filled with dense smoke, the product of the most recent horrific bushfires in Victoria. As I gazed in amazement at this scene and compared it in my mind to my last visit to Los Angeles, a voice broke my preoccupation.

' Good morning sir, do you need a cab ' came from a Yellow cab parked at a slight angle to the curb just in front of me, the window was wound down and a bright smiling face look out at me. I said yes in a flash and jumped into the cab.

When I told the driver where I wanted to go - his eyes seemed to brighten even more and he asked, ' sir, what time do you need to be there '. I replied by 9.00 a.m. for a series of meetings and he nodded, turned on the meter and off we drove. Within minutes he said that it was a very long drive, probably an hour and half and he would do his very best to get me there before 9.00 a.m.

I knew my destination was a long way from the airport and had opted for a cab, because I was not sure that if I hired a car I would be able to navigate my way to the destination and still get there on time at 9.00 a.m. As I settled in for the long trip, the driver and I began to talk about the bush fires, the business environment, his family, his love of Australia plus a whole host of topics and issues. Needless to say he also got to know a lot about me, including the fact that I was in Melbourne for the day and would be returning to Sydney on a 6.30 p.m. flight. As you could expect by the end of the trip we were on a first name basis.

We arrived at my destination at 8.50 a.m. I signed my charge docket, which was big enough for me to think that Yusuf may have to ring American Express for a credit clearance. As I was about to get out of the cab, Yusuf handed me a Yellow cab card. He indicated that his mobile number was written on the back and that if I gave him a call around a half an hour before I needed to leave to catch my flight, he would come and pick me up. I thanked him and headed off for my meeting.

My day was a busy one and by 3.15 p.m. I had completed my meetings and was ready to make the long trip back to the airport. So I gave Yusuf a call on his mobile and he said ' thank you Keith, I will pick you up in 30 minutes ' and guess what - he did.

On the way back to the airport I spent the first half-hour picking up a number of phone messages and returning calls. When I had finished Yusuf and I talked about his day working the area. He told me that after he had dropped me off, he had decided to spend the day in the area, knowing that at around 4.00 he could well have a fare back to the airport. He mentioned that it had been a good day for him with lots of short fares to keep him busy.

As we got closer to the airport, Yusuf said to me ' you seem to know a lot about business, can you suggest how I can be a better cab driver '. I looked at him for a moment, and then said - ' Yusuf, just keep doing what you are doing '.

He looked back at me as if to ask for further explanation of what I had said. I went on to say, ' handing me your card and offering to come and pick me up, tells me that you already know how to be a better cab driver and you are doing it '. We chatted for the next forty minutes and then it was time for me to sign the cab charge docket and again think about the need for a call to American Express.

As I was about to get out the cab on the departures level at Melbourne airport, two ladies came rushing up and asked if could Yusuf take them to the city, as they were in a hurry to get there. Yusuf said yes and they jumped in. Now I knew from my discussions with Yusuf that I had been his first fare for the day and that he was due to finish his shift at 7.00 p.m. He had also told me that he lived very close to the city. So this fare would take him close to home and he could finish the day at 7.00 p.m. and get home early enough to spend some quality time with his wife and six children.

Before embarking on his fare to the city, Yusuf got out of his cab and said ' Thank you Keith - my brother, the next time you are coming to Melbourne, give me a call the day before and I will come and pick you up '. He smiled as he jumped in his cab, then he was on his way in the still smoke filled Melbourne atmosphere.

The moral in this real life experience

The more time you spend with your customer, get to know them personally, talk and listen to them and treat them with genuine courtesy and respect; the more business they will give you. Very often that same customer will also lead you to even more business of similar quality.

I still have Yusuf's card and the next time I am travelling to Melbourne, you can be sure that I will give him a call. That is the second part of the moral in this story - satisfied, happy customers become return customers and they tell lots of other people about their experience . . . And I just did.

(Inspired by Yusuf and written by Keith Ready, Source Courtesy to Inetgiftofinsp)

A Teacher's Lesson

A Teacher's Lesson

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same.

But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F"(fails) at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."

His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.

Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children..

Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came.. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer -- the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."