A FEW STORIES
I received by Emial
STORY OF THE THREE TREES
Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were|
discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said,
"Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with
gold, silver and precious gems.I could be decorated with intricate
carving and everyone would see the beauty."
Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will
take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners
of the world.
Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest
and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top
of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens
and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest
tree of all time and people will always remember me."
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true,
a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first
tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be
able to sell the wood to a carpenter," and he began cutting it down.
The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make
him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree,
I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree
was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened
because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not
One of the woodsman said, "I don't need anything special
from my tree so I'll take this one" and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into
a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and
filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat.
His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come
to an end.
The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.
The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
Then one day, a man and women came to the barn.
She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed
box that was made from the first tree.
The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby,
but this manger would have to do.
The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that
it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from
the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep.
While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the
tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe.
The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said,
"Peace," and the storm stopped.
At this time, the tree knew that it had carried
The King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree.
It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man
who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed
to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill.
When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong
enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God
as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be
going your way, always know that God has a plan for you.
If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts.
Each of the trees got what they prayed for
--just not in the way they had imagined.
We don't always know what God's plans are for us.
We just know that His ways are not our ways,
but His ways are always best.
It's amazing how God sends us exactly what we need.|
This is absolutely wonderful.
It should make all of us think and take note
as to how we deal with people.
Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter.|
She picked it up and looked at it before opening,
but then she looked at the envelope again.
There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.
She read the letter:
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and
I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table.
"Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special.
I don't have anything to offer.
" With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets.
"Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer.
I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner."
She reached for her purse and counted out its contents.
Five dollars and forty cents.
"Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.
" She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.
A loaf of french bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey,
and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total of
twelve cents to last her until Monday.
Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home,
her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"
absorbed in her dinner plans,
she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway.
A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.
"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have
been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting
cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well,
if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it."
Ruth looked at them both.
They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain
that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.
"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself.
All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having
an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on
serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."
The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned
and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them.
"Look, why don't you take this food.
I'll figure outsomething else to serve my guest."
She handed the man her grocery bag.
"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!" "Yes, thank you!"
It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was
shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home.
Here, why don't you take this one."
Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders.
Then smiling,she turned and walked back to the street...
without her coat and with
nothing to serve her guest.
"Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door,
and worried too.
The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything
to offer Him.
She fumbled through her purse for the door key.
But as she did she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.
"That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day."
She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again.
Thank you for the lovely meal.
And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
The air was still cold, but even without her coat,
Ruth no longer noticed.
Ireland for Beginners
* Pub etiquette
The crucial thing here is the "round" system, in which each
participant takes turns to "shout" an order. To the outsider,
this may appear casual; you will not necessarily be told it's your
round and other participants may appear only too happy to substitute
for you. But make no mistake, your failure to "put your hand in your
pocket" will be noticed. People will mention it the moment you
leave the room. The reputation willfollow you to the grave,
whereafter it will attach to your offspring and possibly theirs
as well. In some cases, it may become permanently enshrined
ina family nickname.
* Woolly jumpers
Ireland produces vast quantities of woollen knitwear and, under a
US/Irish trade agreement, American visitors may not return to the
States without a minimum of two sweaters, of which one at least
must be predominantly green. Airline staff may check that you
have the required documentation before you are allowed to disembark.
Note: under no circumstances will you see an Irish person
wearing a woolen jumper. These jumpers are worn solely by Americans
to identify them to muggers, thieves and knackers.
* Irish people and the weather
It is often said that the Irish are a Mediterranean people who only
comeinto their own when the sun shines on consecutive days (which it
last did around the time of St Patrick). For this reason,
Irish people dress for conditions in Palermo rather than Dublin;
and it is not unusual in March to see young people sipping cool
beer outside city pubs and cafes, enjoying the air and the soft
caress of hailstones on their skin. The Irish attitude to weather
is the ultimate triumph of optimism over experience:
Every time it rains, we look up at the sky and are shocked and
betrayed. Then we go out and buy a new umbrella.
* Ireland has two time-zones
(1) Greenwich Mean Time and (2) "local" time.
Local time can be anything between ten minutes and three days
behind GMT, depending on the position of the earth and the
whereabouts of the man with the keys to the hall. Again, the
Irish concept of time has been influenced by the thinking of
20th century physicists, who hold that it can only be measured
by reference to another body and can even be affected by factors
like acceleration. For instance, a policeman entering a licensed
premises in rural Ireland late at night is a good example of another
body from whom it can be reliably inferred that it is fact closing
time. When this happens, acceleration is the advised option.
Shockingly, the relativity argument is still not accepted as a
valid defence in the Irish courts.
* Traditional music
Many visitors to Ireland make the mistake of thinking of traditional
music as mere entertainment. In some parts of Ireland this may
even be an accurate impression. However, in certain fundamentalist
strongholds such as Clare, traditional music is founded in a strict
belief system which has been handed on from generation to generation.
This is overseen by bearded holy men, sometimes called "Mullahs",
who ensure that the music is played in accordance with laws laid
down in the 5th century. Under this system, "bodhran players"
are required to cover their faces in public.Other transgressions,
such as attempting to play guitar in a traditional session, are
punishable by the loss of one or both hands. A blind eye may be
turned to the misbehaviour of foreigners, but it's best not to
* Irish Dancing
There are two main kinds of Irish dancing: (1) Riverdance ,
which is now simultaneously running in every major city in the
world except Ulan Bator and which some economists believe is
responsible for the Irish economic boom;
and (2) real Irish dancing, in which men do not wear frilly
blouses and you still may not express yourself, except in a
written note to the djudicators.
* The wearing of the green
Strangely enough, Irish people tend to wear everything except
green,which is associated with too many national tragedies,
including 1798, the Famine and the current Irish rugby team.
It's possible that green just doesn't suit the Irish skin colour,
which is generally pale blue (see Weather).
* Gaelic games
St Patrick's Day brings the climax of the club championships in
Gaelic games, which combine elements of the American sports of
gridiron and baseball but are played with an intensity more
associated with Mafia turf wars. The two main games are
"football" and "hurling", the chief difference being that in
football, the fights are unarmed. There is also "camogie,"
which is like hurling, except that in fights the hair may be
pulled as well.
* Schools rugby
St Patrick's Day also brings the finals in schools rugby, a game
based around the skills of wrestling, kicking, gouging, ear-biting,
and assaults on other vulnerable body parts. The game is much
prized in Ireland's better schools, where it's seen as an ideal
grounding for careers in business and the law. It is well-known
that St Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland. Less publicised
is that he also banished kangaroos, polar bears and Vietnamese
pot-bellied pigs, all of which were regarded as nuisances by
the early Irish Christians.
In most countries, road signs are used to help motorists get
from one place to another. In Ireland, it's not so simple.
Sign-posting here is heavily influenced by Einstein's theories
(either that or the other way round) of space/time, and works
on the basis that there is no fixed reference point in the
universe, or not west of Mullingar anyway. Instead, location
and distance may be different for every observer and, frequently,
for neighbouring road-signs.
* The good news is Language
Ireland is officially bilingual, a fact which is reflected
in the road-signs. This allows you to get lost in both Irish
Visitors to Ireland in mid-March often ask: What clothes should I
bring? The answer is: All of them!
Ireland remains a deeply religious country, with the two main
denominations being "us" and "them". In the unlikely event you are
asked which group you belong to, the correct answer is: "I'm an
atheist, thank God". Then change the subject.
Facts and history of the Canadian 10 Provinces
and 3 Territories
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The Ever Changing page
This month Happy Mothers day