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A child at birth has the capacity to become original. Or you can put him in a mold so that he will come out like everybody else.
"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."
"Babies are unreasonable; they expect far too much of existence. Each new generation that comes takes one look at the world, thinks wildly, Is this all they've done to it? and bursts into tears."
In "Light of the Shadow of Jihad," Ravi Zacharias states, "What is the difference between companionship and communion? In companionship with God we come to Him recognizing our limit of strength. In communion with God we stay with Him, recognizing our depth of spirit. In companionship with God we long to see and understand. In communion with God we long to feel and belong. Thos...
She was nearly blind. She was born on April 14, 1866 to Irish immigrants. Life was hard and from the age of three her vision began to fail. To add insult to injury, Annie’s mother died at when she was eight to tuberculosis. Her younger two sisters were farmed out to relatives. Annie tried to care for her father by herself. But at the age of nine, she was sent to Massachusetts State Poorhouse in Tewksberry. He poor vision, though, became a blessing in disguise and at the age of fourteen a new institute welcomed her into their open arms, the Perkins Institute for the blind.
Six years later, Annie at the age of twenty would graduate from college. Then on March 3, 1887, Annie stepped from a train into a small town in Alabama where she was met by a young mother named Kate. Kate had a daughter who had been born with all of her senses but at the age of nineteen months she had become deaf and blind. Kate’s daughter was named Helen.
So began the fascinating story of a teacher who was almost blind, who opened the world to a seven year old child, who couldn’t see, who couldn’t speak, who couldn’t hear. Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller would be inseparable in life. It was indeed, the blind leading the blind.
In fact they would even be united in death for in Washington Cathedral, along with presidents, life Woodrow Wilson and his wife, Edith, there would be a special chapel reserved for them and there Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller would be buried in that chapel, together in Washington’s Cathedral.
It was long after Annie’s death that Helen Keller spoke at a ceremony at Radcliffe College where she had gone and received her degree. That day a fountain was being dedicated in honor of Annie Sullivan, Helen’s teacher. Although Helen could speak at this time, although Helen was a prolific author at this time, although Helen was a world traveler at this time and welcomed in the halls of Parliament and in the courts of kings and queens. Although was a highly intelligent woman and had made speeches all over the world. . . . . but on that day, emotion overwhelmed Helen and when it came time for her to speak at the dedication of the flowing fountain, she uttered one word. One word. . . . . just one word. The same word that was signed into her hand over and over and over by her teacher. The word that had opened her world. The word that had connected her back to the land of the living. At that moment, standing before a fountain in Boston, Helen’s mind went back to a little Alabama town where she had raced from the house so frustrated and went to her favorite hideout by the well.
Her teacher, Annie, had found her there and she had began to pump water from the well and as it splashed over Helen’s hands, Annie began to sign that one word over and over again into Helen’s hands. Until from the memory dredged up when she was nineteen months old, she remembered a word, a word that she had spoken, and she began to try to speak that single word. That same word that the now-eloquent Helen spoke at a dedication ceremony, seventy-three years later. The shortest public speech in history, a single word. That word. . . . . water.
I found a quote from Annie Sullivan. She said, “Love is something like the clouds that are in the sky. You can’t touch them, you know. But you feel the rain and you know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You can’t touch love either. . . But you can feel the sweetness that it pours into everything.”
Let the one who would worship God open his mouth in praise, his heart in receptivity, his mind in contemplation, his purse in dedication, and his hand in fellowship.
In 1973, four hostages were taken in a botched bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. At the end of their captivity, six days later, they actively resisted rescue. They refused to testify against their captors, raised money for their legal defense, and one of the female hostages later became engaged to one of her now jailed captors.
The Stockholm syndrome comes into play when a captive cannot escape, is isolated and threatened with death, but is shown token acts of kindness by the captor.
Obviously, this twisted state of the psyche got its name from later studies of these events that transpired in Stockholm. But the same syndrome has since been seen in other situations in life. It is seen in battered wives, survivors of the Holocaust (not many of them left), and like situations.
It basically boils down to this. The victim feels helpless and has lost hope for relief from a situation; gropes for and clings tenaciously to any little perceived goodness or benefit coming even from the person or situation causing the problem, and eventually begins to sense a false love and dedication to the very person or circumstance they’ve been imprisoned to.
How many of us have watched Trading Spaces on TLC or seen Bob Villa and became inspired to finally do something about our own tired and outdated homes? It’s easy to get inspired to do something. Once inspired by seeing a weeks work condensed into a one hour TV show we can easily envision the lasting improvements we can make in our own homes. Yet here we sit; one month, six months, one year after starting and our weekend transformation sits half finished as we struggle to find the time to finish what we started.
This can happen in our spiritual lives too. We begin our walk with Christ full of excitement. Fully intending to do whatever it takes to make it all the way. But after a while, Christianity becomes too daily. It’s the same thing over and over again. The same prayers, the same worshi...
Charles Swindoll says, “To walk by faith does not mean that we stop thinking. To trust God does not imply becoming slovenly or lazy or apathetic. What a distortion of biblical faith! You and I need to trust God for our finances, but that is no license to spend foolishly. You and I ought to trust God for safety in the car, but we’re not wise to pass in a blind curve. We trust God for our health, but that doesn’t mean we can chain smoke, stay up half the night, and subsist on potato chips and Twinkies without consequences. …Faith and careful planning go hand-in-hand. They always have.”
[Charles Swindoll. Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication. (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1999) p. 27]
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
(The following is a parable that I made up as an introduction. It is fictional. For a story of similar proportion, see the movie RADIO.)
He was never an all-star athlete, although he wanted to be. He didn’t have what it takes. Bobby’s body was disproportionate; one leg was longer than the other was, so he walked funny. And to see him run was definitely a sight for sore eyes. He always liked sports, in fact, every Friday night, he would be at his high school cheering on whatever team was playing that night--basketball, football, baseball, soccer, tennis. If there was a game, he was there, sporting pom-poms and a foam finger that said his team was number one.
One Friday night, the football coach noticed his dedication to the team, so he asked him if he’d like to be the water boy. Bobby was amazed. Besides all the stares and giggles because of his limp, he had never thought anyone ever noticed him, especially Coach Gordon. Bobby had tried out for the football team two years earlier, and the coach sent him packing. “You’re too…uncoordinated,” he said. But now, the chance to be the water boy. Bobby jumped on the opportunity and the next week, he was at practice everyday, filling cups with water and making sure every player had something to drink when he needed it.
Every now and then, a couple of the players would make fun of him. However, Bobby loved his position as the teams water boy and wasn’t going to quit. His parents told him that being the water boy on a team was the lowest of the low, and that they would never stoop so low as to being the water boy. In spite of his parents’ comments, Bobby was diligent to serve as the teams water boy for the entire season. The next year, Bobby’s senior year, Coach appointed Bobby as his personal assistant. Coach Gordon was so pleased with Bobby’s heart, that he took him in and taught him everything he knew about football. Bobby went on to college the next year, and in addition to his studies, Coach Gordon had asked him to be the assistant coach. Bobby helped coach the team all throughout college where he graduated with a degree in Sports Management. Bobby continued to move up the ladder and at the end of his career, he had won two Super Bowls and owned his own football team.