Jan Allen's Inspiration Page

 

Peaceful Links and Websites
http://members.aol.com/EvannHere/WebPages/Be-A-Kid.html   http://member.aol.com/EvannHere/WebPages/CyberFriend.html
http://members.aol.com/Cuttyhunk/Angels.html   (this one has a spiritual/Christian content)

Uplifting Reading Material

Some Important Lessons Life Teaches You...(anonymous Internet posting)

Most Important Lesson
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one:   "What is the first name of  the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank

Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz  grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Second Important Lesson
Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a  ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled   1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.   Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was  attached.  It read: "Thank  you so much for assisting me on  the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away.
God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others." Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole

Third Important Lesson
Always remember those who serve you.
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.   "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "Well, how  much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied." The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough  left to leave her a tip.

Fourth Important Lesson
The Obstacle in Our Path
In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for  not keeping the roads clear.

But none did anything about  getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came  along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Fifth Important Lesson
Giving When  It Counts
Many years ago, when I worked  as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her." As the  transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"  Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her. You see understanding and attitude, after all, is everything.

###

Fourteen Steps
They say a cat has nine lives, and I am inclined to think that possible since I am now living my third life and I'm not even a cat. My first life began on a clear, cold day in November, 1904, when I arrived as the sixth of eight children of a farming family. My father died when I was 15, and we had a hard struggle to make a living. Mother stayed home and cooked the potatoes and beans and cornbread and greens, while the rest of us worked for whatever we could get - a small amount at best.

As the children grew up, they married, leaving only one sister and myself to support and care for Mother, who became paralyzed in her last years and died while still in her 60s. My sister married soon after, and I followed her example within the year. This was when I began to enjoy my first life. I was very happy, in excellent health, and quite a good athlete. My wife and I became the parents of two lovely girls. I had a good job in San Jose and a beautiful home up the peninsula in San Carlos. Life was a pleasant dream.

Then the dream ended and became one of those horrible nightmares that cause you to wake in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. I became afflicted with a slowly progressive disease of the motor nerves, affecting first my right arm and leg, and then my other side. Thus began my second life....

In spite of my disease I still drove to and from work each day, with the aid of special equipment installed in my car. And I managed to keep my health and optimism, to a degree, because of 14 steps. Crazy? Not at all.

Our home was a split-level affair with 14 steps leading up from the garage to the kitchen door. Those steps were a gauge of life. They were my yardstick, my challenge to continue living. I felt that if the day arrived when I was unable to lift one foot up one step and then drag the other painfully after it - repeating the process 14 times until, utterly spent, I would be through - I could then admit defeat and lie down and die.

So I kept on working, kept on climbing those steps. And time passed. The girls went to college and were happily married, and my wife and I were alone in our beautiful home with the 14 steps. You might think that here walked a man of courage and strength. Not so. Here hobbled a bitterly disillusioned cripple, a man who held on to his sanity and his wife and his home and his job because of 14 miserable steps leading up to the back door from his garage.

As I dragged one foot after another up those steps - slowly, painfully, often stopping to rest - I would sometimes let my thoughts wander back to the years when I was playing ball, golfing, working out at the gym, hiking, swimming, running, jumping. And now I could barely manage to climb feebly up a set of steps.

As I became older, I became more disillusioned and frustrated. I'm sure that my wife and friends had some unhappy times, when I chose to expound to them my philosophy of life. I believed that in this whole world I alone had been chosen to suffer. I had carried my cross now for nine years and probably would bear it for as long as I could climb those 14 steps. I chose to ignore the comforting words from I Cor. 15:52: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye...we shall be changed." And so it was that I lived my first and second lives here on earth.

Then on a dark night in August, 1971, I began my third life. I had no idea when I left home that morning that so dramatic a change was to occur. I knew only that it had been rougher than usual even getting down the steps that morning. I dreaded the thought of having to climb them when I arrived home.

It was raining when I started home that night; gusty winds and slashing rain beat down on the car as I drove slowly down one of the less-traveled roads. Suddenly the steering wheel jerked in my hands and the car swerved violently to the right. In the same instant I heard the dreaded bang of a blowout. I fought the car to a stop on the rain-slick shoulder of the road and sat there as the enormity of the situation swept over me. It was impossible for me to change that tire! Utterly impossible!

A thought that a passing motorist might stop was dismissed at once. Why should anyone? I knew I wouldn't! Then I remembered that a short distance up a little side road was a house. I started the engine and thumped slowly along, keeping well over on the shoulder until I came to the dirt road, where I turned in - thankfully. Lighted windows welcomed me to the house and I pulled into the driveway and honked the horn.

The door opened and a little girl stood there, peering at me. I rolled down the window and called out that I had a flat and needed someone to change it for me because I had a crutch and couldn't do it myself. She went into the house and a moment later came out bundled in raincoat and hat, followed by a man who called a cheerful greeting. I sat there comfortable and dry, and felt a bit sorry for the man and the little girl working so hard in the storm. Well, I would pay them for it. The rain seemed to be slackening a bit now, and I rolled down the window all the way to watch. It seemed to me that they were awfully slow and I was beginning to become impatient.

I heard the clank of metal from the back of the car and the little girl's voice came clearly to me. "Here's the jack-handle, Grandpa." She was answered by the murmur of the man's lower voice and the slow tilting of the car as it was jacked up. There followed a long interval of noises, jolts and low conversation from the back of the car, but finally it was done. I felt the car bump as the jack was removed, and I heard the slam of the trunk lid, and then they were standing at my car window.

He was an old man, stooped and frail-looking under his slicker. The little girl was about 8 or 10, I judged, with a merry face and a wide smile as she looked up at me.

He said, "This is a bad night for car trouble, but you're all set now."

"Thanks," I said, "thanks. How much do I owe you?"

He shook his head. "Nothing. Cynthia told me you were a cripple - on crutches. Glad to be of help. I know you'd do the same for me. There's no charge, friend."

I held out a five-dollar bill. "No! I like to pay my way."

He made no effort to take it and the little girl stepped closer to the window and said quietly, "Grandpa can't see it."

In the next few frozen seconds the shame and horror of that moment penetrated, and I was sick with an intensity I had never felt before. A blind man and a child! Fumbling, feeling with cold, wet fingers for bolts and tools in the dark - a darkness that for him would probably never end until death.

They changed a tire for me - changed it in the rain and wind, with me sitting in snug comfort in the car with my crutch. My handicap. I don't remember how long I sat there after they said good night and left me, but it was long enough for me to search deep within myself and find some disturbing traits.

I realized that I was filled to overflowing with self-pity, selfishness, indifference to the needs of others and thoughtlessness. I sat there and said a prayer. In humility I prayed for strength, for a greater understanding, for keener awareness of my shortcomings and for faith to continue asking in daily prayer for spiritual help to overcome them. I prayed for blessings upon the blind man and his granddaughter.

Finally I drove away, shaken in mind, humbled in spirit. "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law of the prophets." (Matt. 7:12. To me now, months later, this scriptural admonition is more than just a passage in the Bible. It is a way of life, one that I am trying to follow. It isn't always easy. Sometimes it is frustrating, sometimes expensive in both time and money, but the value is there.

I am trying now not only to climb 14 steps each day, but in my small way to help others. Someday, perhaps, I will change a tire for a blind man in a car - someone as blind as I had been.
--- Hal Manwaring

###

A Little spring gardening for the soul.

Have a Blessed Day

Plant three rows of squash:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash criticism
3. Squash indifference

Plant seven rows of peas:
1. Prayer
2. Promptness
3. Politeness
4. Perseverance
5. Preparedness
6. Purity
7. Patience

Plant six heads of lettuce:
1. Let us be unselfish and loyal
2. Let us be faithful to duty
3. Let us search the scriptures
4. Let us be obedient in all things
5. Let us be truthful
6. Let us love one another

No garden is complete without turnips:
1. Turn up for church
2. Turn up for meetings, in prayer, and Bible study
3. Turn up with a smile, even when things are difficult
4. Turn up with determination to do your best in

God's service.

After planting, may you Grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ( II Peter 3:18.) May all you reap rich results. Make sure your garden gets plenty of exposure to the Son!