Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 18 – No. 3016 July 23, 2016
Thought for the week: "Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." – Peter Marshall
"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." – Mark Twain
"There's only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give everything." – Vince Lombardi, football coach
"You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too." – Sam Rayburn
"To be wholly devoted to some intellectual exercise is to have succeeded in life." – Robert Louis Stevenson
"In motivating people, you've got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example—and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved." – Rupert Murdoch
When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in magazines for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.
Cranky Old Man
What do you see nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice the things that you do.
And forever is losing a sock or a shoe?
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding the long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse, you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another,
A young boy of sixteen with wings on his feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at twenty my heart gives a leap.
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide and provide a secure happy home.
A man of thirty--my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me to see I don't mourn.
At fifty, once more babies play 'round my knee,'
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me; my wife is now dead.
I look at the future; I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years, and the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man and nature is cruel,
It's jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone where I once had a heart,
But inside this old carcass a young man still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again.
I think of the years, all too few and gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people, open and see.
Not a cranky old man.
Look closer see ...ME!
Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!
Originally by Phyllis McCormack; adapted by Dave Griffith
"The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!"
Queen Mary enjoyed browsing around antique shops. Once on a visit to France she found a box of old china that appealed to her. She turned over the pieces, then picked out some cups which immediately arrested her attention. Each had a bee pointed on it.
They were a real find, for the bee was a symbol used by Napoleon Bonaparte to mark his possessions. The cups were not valuable in themselves, but because of the Emperor's mark they were very special.
We are all created by God, and we each have the mark of the Creator upon us. We may not consider ourselves of great value, yet in God's sight we are priceless. Each one of us is a unique creation, conceived in the mind of God and brought to life through human parents.
When we realize how special we are, we will no longer want to put ourselves—or others—down.
We demonstrate the virtue of respect for others by being courteous and civil and treating everyone in a manner that acknowledges and honors basic human dignity.
An important but often neglected aspect of respect is listening to what others say. Respectful listening is more than hearing. It requires us to consider what's being said. That's hard when we've heard it before, aren't interested, or don't think much of the person talking. It's even worse when we act like we're listening but are just waiting for our turn to speak.
The fact is, most of us don't listen well, certainly not all the time, and especially with those closest to us. Kids are especially adept at tuning out their parents, but parents are equally skilled at ignoring or dismissing as foolish or irrelevant what kids have to say.
The disrespect of not listening is most apparent when others ignore or patronize us (rolling their eyes in a show of impatience or contempt or faking interest with a vacant stare or wandering eyes).
We all want to know that what we say and think matters. But if we want others to care about what we say, we need to care about what they say. Like all the important virtues, we teach respect best by demonstrating it. So listen up! It'll make people feel better, and you may learn something.
"But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life."1
The religious leaders of Christ's day, especially the Pharisees, outwardly lived by the letter of the law. They prided themselves in their good works and their strict religiosity. If you hear what Jesus had to say to some of them, one would be hard-pressed to call them godly or "men of God." They had religion but they didn't have godliness nor did they have a right relationship with God.
A vital part of being involved in godliness, as the Apostle Paul admonished Timothy, is to: "Flee ...Follow ... Fight ... and to Lay hold on eternal life.
FLEE. First, is that we flee or avoid the following actions: 1) Not standing for sound doctrine as taught in God's Word, the Bible. No matter what I am taught by my church or anyone else, if it is not in harmony with or is contrary to God's Word, it is not from God. Quite possibly man-made doctrines may be sending more people to hell than anything else. 2) The man or woman of God is to avoid having false motives, and 3) He/she is to avoid falling into the trap of materialism. In the broader context, the godly person is also to avoid greed, selfishness, gossip, immorality and all sins of commission and omission.
FOLLOW. Second, the man or woman of God needs to follow these characteristics: 1) Righteousness (right living). 2) Godliness (godly living). 3) Faith. 4) Love. 5) Patience, and 6) Meekness.
FIGHT. The godly person is also instructed to fight the good fight of faith; that is, to take a stand and fight for justice, purity, honesty, moral living, ministering to the poor and the hungry; taking care of the elderly; and being God's agents in every area of life. In other words, we are to hate and fight against the things God hates—things that are destructive to those whom God loves—and love and fight for the things that God loves. Furthermore, we are to fight for the "supreme task of the church" which is the evangelization of the world. That is, we are to do everything in our power to reach every person in the world with the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ.
LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE. Finally, the godly person is to lay hold on eternal life; that is, to live with eternal values in mind and to make absolutely sure that he/she is on the way that leads to eternal life by committing him/herself to Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life—and the only way into God's heaven and eternal life.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a man/woman of God—never in a spirit of legalism—but from a grateful heart in appreciation for all that you have done for me, especially in the giving of your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in my place to pay the penalty for all my sins so I can be freely forgiven and receive your gift of eternal life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (KJV).
2. John 14:6. See also, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
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Books by Dick Innes, Editor of Weekend Encounter You Can't Fly With a Broken Wing How to Mend a Broken Heart I Hate Witnessing—A Handbook for Effective Christian
Healing, Wholeness & Happiness by Dick Innes
Loving & Understanding People by Dick Innes
I Hate Witnessing by Dick Innes
God's Formula for Success by Dick Innes
Damaged Emotions by David Seamands
Healing of the Memories by David Seamands
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