No Arms No Legs No Worries

17 10 2013

how a child without limbs became ridiculourly happy
My name is Nick Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich). I am twenty-seven years old. I was born without any limbs, but I am not constrained by my circumstances. I travel the world encouraging millions of people to overcome adversity with faith, hope, love, and courage so that they may pursue their dreams. In this book I will share with you my experiences in dealing with adversity and obstacles, some of them unique to me but most universal to us all. My goal is to encourage you to overcome your own challenges and hardships so you can find your own purpose and pathway to a ridiculously good life. Often we feel life is unfair. Hard times and tough circumstances can trigger self-doubt and despair. I understand that well. But the Bible says, “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of any kinds.” That is a lesson I struggled many years to learn. I eventually figured it out, and through my experiences I can help you see that most of the hardships we face provide us with opportunities to discover who we are meant to be and what we can share of our gifts to benefit others. My parents are devout Christians, but after I was born with neither arms nor legs, they wondered what God had in mind in creating me. At first they assumed that there was no hope and no future for someone like me, that I would never live a normal or productive life. Today, though, my life is beyond anything we could have imagined. Every day I hear from strangers via telephone, e-mail, text, and Twitter. They approach me in airports, hotels, and restaurants and hug me, telling me that I have touched their lives in some way. I am truly blessed. I am ridiculously happy. What my family and I could not foresee was that my disability—my “burden”—could also be a blessing, offering me unique opportunities for reaching out to others, empathizing with them, understanding their pain, and offering them comfort. Yes, I do have distinct challenges, but I also am blessed with a loving family, with a keen enough mind, and with a deep and abiding faith. I’ll be candid here and throughout the book in sharing that neither my faith nor my sense of purpose grew strong until I went through some very scary times. You see, as I entered those difficult adolescent years when we all wonder where we fit in, I despaired over my circumstances, feeling that I never would be “normal.” There was no hiding the fact that my body was not like my classmates’. As much as I tried to do ordinary activities like swimming and skateboarding, I would only become more and more aware that there were simply some things I would never be able to do. It didn’t help that a few cruel kids called me a freak and an alien. Of course, I’m all too human and wanted to be like everyone else, but there seemed little chance for that. I wanted to be accepted. I felt I wasn’t. I wanted to fit in. It seemed I didn’t. And I hit a wall. My heart ached. I was depressed, overwhelmed with negative thoughts, and didn’t see any point in my life. I felt alone even when I was surrounded by family and friends. I worried that I would always be a burden to those I loved. But I was so, so wrong. What I didn’t know back in those dark days could fill a book:the one you’re holding, actually. In the pages that follow, I will offer you methods for finding hope even amid arduous trials and heartbreaking tribulations. I’ll light the path to the other side of grief where you can emerge stronger, more determined, and empowered to pursue the life you want, and perhaps even to find a life beyond any you could have imagined. If you have the desire and passion to do something, and it’s within God’s will, you will achieve it. That’s a powerful statement. To be honest, I didn’t always believe it myself. If you’ve seen one of my talks posted on the Internet, the happiness I have that shines through in those videos is the result of the journey I’ve made. I didn’t have everything I needed at first and had to pick up several important attributes along the way. To live without limits, I found I needed:
A powerful sense of purpose Hope so strong that it cannot be diminished
Faith in God and the infinite possibilities
Love and self-acceptance
Attitude with altitude
A courageous spirit Willingness to change
A trusting heart
Hunger for opportunities
The ability to assess risks and to laugh at life
A mission to serve others first.

 





Heavenly or a Hellish Creature?

28 07 2013

heaven or hellPeople often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, “If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.”
I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself.
To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.
That explains what always used to puzzle me about Christian writers; they seem to be so very strict at one moment and so very free and easy at another. They talk about mere sins of thought as if they were immensely important: and then they talk about the most frightful murders and treacheries as if you had only got to repent and all would be forgiven. But I have come to see that they are right.
What they are always thinking of is the mark which the action leaves on that tiny central self which no one sees in this life but which each of us will have to endure—or enjoy—for ever. One man may be so placed that his anger sheds the blood of thousands, and another so placed that however angry he gets he will only be laughed at. But the little mark on the soul may be much the same in both. Each has done something to himself which, unless he repents, will make it harder for him to keep out of the rage next time he is tempted, and will make the rage worse when he does fall into it. Each of them, if he seriously turns to God, can have that twist in the central man straightened out again: each is, in the long run, doomed if he will not. The bigness or smallness of the thing, seen from the outside, is not what really matters.
One last point. Remember that, as I said, the right direction leads not only to peace but to knowledge. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.
C.S Lewis





Woman guides killer’s sword to throat: Story of St. Perpetua

4 07 2013

Perpetua2

In the year 202, Emperor Severus issued an anti-Christian law forbidding anyone to be baptized and become a Christian in the city of Rome. A twenty-two-year-old noble woman whose name was Perpetua  had become a Christian and was arrested along with four others. All were tried and sentenced to be thrown to the wild beasts in the amphitheater during a national holiday. Their deaths would be scheduled along with sports events and various games. Perpetua’s father, a wealthy pagan, pleaded with her to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods so she could be free, but she refused. She said, “Father do you see this water jar, or whatever it is, standing here? Could one call it by any other name than what it is? Well, in the same way I cannot be called by any other name than what I am—a Christian.”

On the day of the games, Perpetua and her companions were led into the amphitheater. At the demand of the crowd they were first scourged before a line of gladiators; Then a wild cow was let loose on the women. The cow tossed Perpetua with it’s horn and she fell on her back, her side torn open and blood and intestine poured out, yet managing to sit up she pulled down her skirt ripped along the side to cover her thighs, lest she offends God by her immodesty.

And seeing that Perpetua had been crushed to the ground, the mob asked to have her throat cut. A gladiator who approached with a sword was  horrified at the sight of such a delicate young woman and could not position the sword because his hands were trembling. But Perpetua reached out and took the tip of trembling sword of the gladiator and guided it to her throat.

The Holy men and women of the first christian century shed their glorious blood for the Lord. They loved Christ in their life, they imitated him in their death and therefore were crowned in triumph

The souls of the Saints are rejoicing in heaven, the Saints who followed the footsteps of Christ, and since for love of him they shed their blood, they now exult  with Christ forever.





Why do I exist?

22 06 2013

why do i exist2

It is not a strange question at all, but a very natural question. Everyone asks it, consciously or unconsciously, though not necessarily in those words.
It is a religious question. It is a question to which all religions claim to have an answer. It is not abstract but as concrete and particular as you are. It’s about your life. Why is my existence in question?
Because you didn’t have to exist. If one little thing had happened differently to any of your ancestors, you would not exist. For instance, if your great-grandfather hadn’t been surprised by the sound of a squirrel dropping a nut on a dry leaf in the park where he was sitting on a bench a hundred years ago, he wouldn’t have turned his head around to see what the noise was, and he wouldn’t have noticed the pretty girl on the bench over there, walked over and struck up a conversation with her, got to know her, and eventually married her–and you are part of the rest of that story.
So is it just luck that you exist? Just chance? Did you just happen, or are you designed? Are you an accident, or are you wanted? Are you just lost on a stage without any lines to speak, just making it all up as you go along, or are you part of a play, a plot, a plan, with an Author’s mind behind it?
You can’t get the answer to that question just from your feelings, because your feelings change from year to year, day to day, even minute to minute. Everyone at times feels lost and meaningless, and everyone at other times feels part of a meaningful story.
It makes all the difference in the world how you ask that question. It amounts to asking whether your life has real meaning or not.
We deeply want our lives to have a real meaning. But where does this real meaning come from? Why is there a real answer to the question “Why do I exist?”
Because God is real, that’s why. Because you were willed into existence by an all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful God. That’s why your life has meaning and purpose. How can we know the true answer to this question, the meaning of our life? What must we know, to know who we are?
The secret of your identity is in the mind of your Creator and Designer. Therefore, to find the meaning of your life, you must know God. To find out who Macbeth is, you must ask Shakespeare. To find out who Gollum is, you must ask Tolkien. To find out who you are, you must ask God.
How do we know God? Through Christ. “No one has ever seen God; the only Son . . . has made him known” (Jn 1:18).
To know yourself adequately, you must know God. And to know God adequately, you must know Christ. Therefore, to know yourself adequately, you must know Christ. Christ reveals not just who God is but also who we are.
When we ask why exist, what do we seek?
We seek our origin, our nature, and our destiny. There are actually three parts to this question: “Where did I come from?” and “What am I?” and “Where am I going?”
There are two radically different possible answers to this three-part question: the no-God answer and the God-answer. We exist either because of mere chance and accident or because of divine design; we exist either because of blind matter below us or because of conscious divine spirit above us.
The three questions (of origin, nature, and destiny) are connected. If our origin is only material, if we came only from mindless matter blindly bumping into more mindless matter and not from the Mind of God designing and creating matter, then our nature is also only matter: we are only apes with bigger brains but no souls. If our parents were big apes, we are only big apes. And then our destiny, our end, is only the destiny of all matter and animal life: death and decay. Period. End of the story. That is the logical consequence of believing that there is no God. Death wins in the end.
But if one’s origin is from above, from God–if we are designed and created by an intelligent Spirit–then our nature can be also spiritual, made in the image of the God who is spirit. God may have used evolution to make our bodies out of previously existing animal species, but souls cannot evolve. God must create each soul afresh.
If that is true–if we exist because of God, if we are real because God is real–then the practical consequences are tremendously important. For then each one of us has intrinsic dignity. That means that we are not mere objects to be used by other objects. We are God’s kids!
And then our destiny (the third connected question) is also spiritual: to live forever with God in Heaven. God is our first beginning and our last end, our ultimate origin and our ultimate destiny.

Prof. Peter Kreeft.





The Inquisitive Little Boy

19 06 2013

The Inquisitive Little Boy

During the great Exhibition in London, a gentle man went his little boy.
The child was astonished at the things he saw, and was anxious to know why they were made. His father answered him , and described the use of the various things as they passed along.

You see, my dear boy,” said the father to him, ” everything here has been made for a certain purpose. You also were made by God for a certain purpose.”

“For what purpose did God make me, Father?” the boy asked, excited.

“God made you to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this world, and be happy with Him in the next, my boy. Keep these words always in your mind,  and try every day to learn something about your Father in Heaven.”





A young girl who weeps for Love

17 06 2013

A young girl that weeps for Love

There was a little girl called Dominina who was often found weeping. People thought she was very unhappy because she wept so much. But she was not shedding tears of sadness but of joy. It was the thought of all the good her Father in Heaven had done for her that made her weep.

” O my God,” she often said in her prayers, “how good you are to me, to even think of me at all!” You made me when You were not obliged to make me. You love me and have given me many blessings. O my God, how good Thou hast been to me !”

One day a man came to her house and met her crying while reading a book and the tears falling from her eye upon the book made the book wet especially at those places where the holy name of God was written.

The man asked her why she wept as she read.

Domnina answered him : I can never hear His name pronounced, or read it in a book, without feeling my whole heart filled with love for Him. He made me, therefore I am His child, and I know He loves me, poor and little though I am, just because I am His child, and I try always to keep this in mind ; and I feel so happy when I think of this, that tears of joy flow from my eyes.”

You also are Gods child, for He made you. Like Donmina, you should try to keep this always before your mind, and thank Him for His goodness in making choice of you to be His own child.





The murder of a courageous woman and her seven sons

11 06 2013

woman with seven son1s

Here is a story of a courageous woman and her seven sons who fought to the death against a government law that compelled them to act against their conscience.

Shortly before the revolt of Judas Maccabeus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes arrested a mother and her seven sons, and tried to force them to eat swine flesh. When they refused, he tortured and killed the sons one by one. One of them, acting as their spokesman, said, “What do you intend to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our fathers.”

The king fell into a rage, and gave orders that pans and caldrons be heated. These were heated immediately, and he commanded that the tongue of their spokesman be cut out and that they scalp him and cut off his hands and feet, while the rest of the brothers and the mother looked on. When he was utterly helpless, the king ordered them to take him to the fire, still breathing, and to fry him in a pan. The smoke from the pan spread widely, but the brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die nobly, saying, “The Lord God is watching over us and in truth has compassion on us, as Moses declared in his song which bore witness against the people to their faces, when he said, And he will have compassion on his servants.'”

After the first brother had died in this way, they brought forward the second for their sport. They tore off the skin of his head with the hair, and asked him, “Will you eat rather than have your body punished limb by limb?”

He replied in the language of his fathers, and said to them, “No.” Therefore he in turn underwent tortures as the first brother had done. And when he was at his last breath, he said, “You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.”

After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, and said nobly, “I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again.”

As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man’s spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing. When he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. And when he was near death, he said, “One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!”

Next they brought forward the fifth and maltreated him. But he looked at the king, and said, “Because you have authority among men, mortal though you are, you do what you please. But do not think that God has forsaken our people. Keep on, and see how his mighty power will torture you and your descendants!” After him they brought forward the sixth. And when he was about to die, he said, “Do not deceive yourself in vain. For we are suffering these things on our own account, because of our sins against our own God. Therefore astounding things have happened. But do not think that you will go unpunished for having tried to fight against God!”

The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. She encouraged each of them in the language of their fathers. Filled with a noble spirit, she fired her woman’s reasoning with a man’s courage, and said to them, “I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.”

Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her reproachful tone. The youngest brother being still alive, Antiochus not only appealed to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if he would turn from the ways of his fathers, and that he would take him for his friend and entrust him with public affairs. Since the young man would not listen to him at all, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the youth to save himself. After much urging on his part, she undertook to persuade her son. But, leaning close to him, she spoke in their native tongue as follows, deriding the cruel tyrant: “My son, have pity on me. I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you. I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being. Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God’s mercy I may get you back again with your brothers.”

While she was still speaking, the young man said, “What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king’s command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses. But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God. For we are suffering because of our own sins. And if our living Lord is angry for a little while, to rebuke and discipline us, he will again be reconciled with his own servants. But you, unholy wretch, you most defiled of all men, do not be elated in vain and puffed up by uncertain hopes, when you raise your hand against the children of heaven. You have not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty, all-seeing God. For our brothers after enduring a brief suffering have drunk of ever flowing life under God’s covenant; but you, by the judgment of God, will receive just punishment for your arrogance. I, like my brothers, give up body and life for the laws of our fathers, appealing to God to show mercy soon to our nation and by afflictions and plagues to make you confess that he alone is God, and through me and my brothers to bring to an end the wrath of the Almighty which has justly fallen on our whole nation.”

The king fell into a rage, and handled him worse than the others, being exasperated at his scorn. So he died in his integrity, putting his whole trust in the Lord. Last of all, the mother died, after her sons.
2 Maccabees 7








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