The Dash – Linda M Ellis (From Healing Grief by James van Praagh

“I read of a man who stood to speak                                                                                                         at the funeral of a friend.                                                                                                                              He referred to the dates on her tombstone                                                                                                From the beginning – to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth                                                                                     And spoke of the following date with tears                                                                                          But he said what mattered most of all                                                                                                   Was the dash between those years.

For the dash represents all the time                                                                                                      That she spent alive on earth …                                                                                                               And now only those who loved her                                                                                                        Know what that little line is worth.             

For it matters not how much we own:                                                                                                     The cars . . . the house . . . the cash.                                                                                                        What matters is how we live and love                                                                                                    And how we spend ou dash.

So think about this long and hard . . .                                                                                                     Are there things you’d like to change?                                                                                                    For you never know how much time is left,                                                                                         (You could be at “dash mid-range.”)

If we could just slow down enough                                                                                                           To consider what’s true and real,                                                                                                              And always try to understand                                                                                                                    The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,                                                                                                                        And show appreciation more                                                                                                                      And love the people in our lives                                                                                                                Like we never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,                                                                                                          And more often wear a smile . . .                                                                                                             Remembering that this special dash                                                                                                      Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy’s being read                                                                                                            With your life actions to rehash . . .                                                                                                        Would you be proud of the things they say                                                                                           About how you spent your dash?”

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Touch Of The Master’s Hand – Myra B Welch (From: Chicken Soup for the Soul)

“‘Twas battered and scarred, and the acutioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile.

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar,” then, two! Only two?

“Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

“Three dollars, once;  three dollars, twice;

Going for three…” But no,

From the room, far back, a grey-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said: “What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;

And going and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand

What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply:

“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

A “mess of potage,” a glass of wine;

A game – and he travels on.

He is “going” once, and “going” twice,

He’s “going” and almost “gone”.

But the Master comes and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought

By the touch of the Master’s hand.”

Published in: on February 21, 2008 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Dark Side of the Light Chasers – Debbie Ford – ‘The World is within us’

” ‘We are not in the world, the world is within us.’  The first time I heard this, I was puzzled.  How can the world be within me?  How could it be possible that you, another human being, could live inside me?  It took a long time to understand that what is actually inside me are the thousands of qualities and traits that make up every human being and that beneath the surface of every human is this blueprint of all mankind.  The holographic model of the universe teaches us that each of us is a microcosm of the macrocosm.  Each of us contains all the knowledge of the entire universe.  If you examine one human being you will find a hologram of the universe.  This universal blueprint resides in our DNA   Every aspect of the universe is contained within each of us.  The forces that comprise matter throughout the cosmos are found in each atom of the body.  Every strand of my DNA carries the entire evolutionary history of life. When you understand that you contain everything you see in others, your entire world will alter.  Our goal is to find and embrace everything that we love and everything that we hate in other people.  When we reclaim these disowned aspects of ourselves, we open the door to the universe within.  When we make peace with ourselves we spontaneously make peace with the world.

“Once we accept the fact that each of us embodies all the traits in the universe, we can stop pretending that we are not everything.  Most of us were taught that we are different from other people.  Some of us consider ourselves better than others, and many of us believe that we are inadequate.  Our lives are molded by these jugdments.

The key is to understand thate there is nothing we can see or perceive that we are not.  If we did not possess a certain quality we could not recognize it in another.  If you are inspired by someone’s courage, it is a reflection of the courage within you.  If your think someone’s selfish, you can be sure that you’re capable of demonstrating the same amount of selfishness.  Although these qualities will not be expressed all the time, we each have the ability to act out any quality we see.  Being part of the holographic world we are all that we see, all that we judge, all that we admire.  Regardless of skin color, weight, or religious preference we share the same universal qualities.  All humans are the same in this essential way.

“Renowned Ayurvedic doctor Vasant Lad says, “Within every drop is the ocean and within every cell is the intelligence of the whole body.” When we grasp the enormity of this we can start to see the vastness of who we are.  Men and women are created equal in that they share the same full range of human qualities.  We all have power, strenght, creativity, and compassion.  We all have greed, lust, anger, and weakness.  There is no trait, quality, of aspect that we don’t possess.  We are filled with divine light, love, and brilliance, and equally filled with selfishness, secrecy, and hostility.  We are meant to hold the entire world within us; part of the task of being fully human is to find love and compassion for every aspect of ourselves.  As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.  Most of us are living with a narrow vision of what it is to be human.  When we allow our humanity to embrace our universality, we can easily become whatever it is we desire.

“In Love and Awakening, John Welwood uses the analogy of a castle to illustrate the world within us.  Imagine being a magnificent castle with long hallways of thousands of rooms.  Every room in the castle is perfect and possesses a special gift.  Each room represents a different aspect of yourself and is an integral part of the entire perfect castle.  As a child, you explored every inch of your castle without shame or judment.  Fearlessly you searched every room for its jewels and its mystery.  Lovingly you embraced every room whether it was a closet, a bedroom, bathroom, of a cellar.  Each and every room was unique.  Your castle was full of light, love, and wonder.  Then one day, someone came to your castle and told you that one of your rooms was imperfect, that surely it didn’t belong in your castle.  They suggested that if you wanted to have a perfect castle you should close and lock the door to this room.  Since you wanted love and acceptance, you quickly closed off that room  As time went by, more and more people came to your castle.  They all gave you their opinions of the rooms, which ones they liked and which ones they didn’t.  And slowly you shut one door after another.  Your marvelous rooms were being closed off, taken out the light, and put into the dark.  A cycle had begun.

“From that time on, you closed more and more doors for all kinds of reasons.  You closed doors because you were afraid, or you thought the rooms were too bold.  You closed doors to rooms that were too conservative.  You closed doors because other castles you saw did not have a room like yours.  You closed doors because your religious leaders told you to stay away from certain rooms.  You closed any door that did not fit into society’ standards of your own ideal.

“The days were gone when your castle seemed endless and your future seemed exciting and bright.  You no longer cared for every room with the same love and admiration.  Rooms you were once proud of, you now willed to disappear.  You tried to figure out ways to get rid of these rooms, but they were part of the structure of your castle.  Now that you had shut the door to whatever room you didn’t like, time went by until one day you just forgot that room altogether.  At first, you didn’t realize what you were doing.  It just became a habit.  With everyone giving you different messages about what a magnificent castle should look like, it became much easier to listen to them than to trust your inner voice:  the one that loved your entire castle.  Shutting off those rooms actually started to make you feel safe.  Soon you found yourself living in just a few small rooms.  You had learned how to shut of life and became comfortable doing it.  Many of us also locked away so many rooms that we forgot we were ever a castle.  We began to believe we were just a small, two-bedroom house in need of repairs.

“Now imagine your castle as the place where you house all of who you are, the good and bad, and that every aspect that exists on the planet exists within you. One of your rooms is love, one is courage, one is elegance, and another is grace.  There are endless numbers of rooms.  Creativity, femininity, honesty, integrity, health, assertiveness, sexiness, power, timidity, hatred, greed, frigidity, laziness, arrogance, sickness, and evil are rooms in your castle.   Each room is an essential part of the structure and each room has an opposite somewhere in your castle.  Fortunately, we are never satisfied being less than what we are capable of being. Our discontent with ourselves motivates us in our search for all the lost rooms of our castle.  We can only find the key to our uniqueness by opening all the rooms in our castle.”

Published in: on February 13, 2008 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Dark Side of the Light Chasers – Debbie Ford

“Most of us set out on the path to personal growth because at some point the burden of our pain becomes too much to bear.  The Dark Side of the Light Chasers  is about unmasking that aspect of ourselves which destroys our relationships, kills our spirit, and keeps us from fulfilling our dreams.  It is what the psychologist Carl Jung called the shadow.  It contains all the parts of ourselves that we have tried to hide or deny.  It contains those dark aspects that we believe are not acceptable to our family, friends, and most importantly, ourselves.  The dark side is stuffed deeply within our consciousness, hidden from ourselves and others.  The message we get from this hidden place is simple:  there is something wrong with me.  I’m not okay.  I’m not lovable.  I’m not deserving.  I’m not worthy.

“Many of us believe these messages.  We believe that if we look closely enough at what lies deep within us, we will find something horrible.  We resist looking long and hard for fear of discovering someone we can’t live with.  We fear ourselves.  We fear every thought and feeling we have ever repressed.  Many of us are so disconnected from this fear we can only see it by reflection.  We project it onto the world, onto our families and friends, and onto strangers.  Our fear is so deep that the only way we can deal with it is either to hide or deny it.  We become great imposters who fool ourselves and others.  We become so good at this we actually forget that we are wearing masks to hide our authentic selves.  We believe we are the persons we see in the mirror.  We believe we are our bodies and our minds.  Even after years of failed relationships, careers, diets, and dreams, we continue to suppress these disturbing internal messages.  We tell ourselves we’re okay and that things will get better.  We put blinders over our eyes and plugs in our ears to keep the internal stories we create alive.  I’m not okay. I’m not lovable.  I’m not deserving.  I’m not worthy.

Instead of trying to suppress our shadows, we need to unconceal, own and embrace the very things we are most afraid of facing.

By “own”, I mean acknowledge that a quality belongs to you. “It is the shadow that holds the clues,” says the spiritual teacher and author Lazaris.  “The shadow also holds the secret of change, change that can affect you on a cellular level, change that can affect your very DNA.”  Our shadows hold the essence of who we are.  They hold our most treasured gifts.  By facing these aspects of ourselves, we become free to experience our glorious totality:  the good and the bad, the dark and the light.  It is by embracing all of who we are that we earn the freedom to choose what we do in this world.  As long as we keep hiding, masquerading, and projecting wat is inside us, we have no freedom to be and no freedom to choose.

Our shadows exist to teach us, guide us, and give us the blessing of our entire selves.  They are resources for us to expose and explore.  The feelings that we have suppressed are desperate to be integrated into ourselves.  They are only harmful when they are repressed:  then they can pop up at the least opportune times.  Their sneak attacks will handicap you in the areas of your life that mean the most.

Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow.  The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly.  You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you,re not.  You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough.  When you embrece your shadow you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self.  Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired

Every human being is born with a healthy emotional system.  We love and accept ourselves when we are born.  We don’t make judgments about which parts of ourselves are good and which parts are bad.  We dwell in the fullness of our being, living in the moment, and expressing ourselves freely.  As we grow older, we begin to learn from the people around us.  They tell us how to act, when to eat, when to sleep, and we begin to make distinctions.  We learn which behaviors bring us acceptance and which bring us rejection.   We learn to trust the people around us or to fear the people around us.  We learn consistency or inconsistency.  We learn which qualities are acceptable in our environment and which are not.  All of this distracts us from living in the moment and keeps us from expressing ourselves freely.

We need to revisit the experience of our innocence that allows us to accept all of who we are at every moment.  This is where we need to be in order to have a healthy, happy, complete human existence.  This is the path.  In Neale Donal Walsch’s book Conversations with God, God says:  Perfect love is to feeling, what white is to color.  Many think that white is the absence of color.  It is not.  It is the inclusion of all color.  White is every other color that exists,  combined.  So, too, is love not the absence of emotion (hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, covertness), but the summation of all feeling?  It is the sum total.  The aggregate amount.  The everything.

Love is inclusive:  it accepts the full range of human emotion – the emotions we hide, the emotions we fear.  Jung  once said, “I,d rather be whole than good.”  How many of us have sold ourselves out in order to be good, to be liked, to be accepted?

We all contain the imprint of the entire universe within ourselves.  As Deepak Chopra puts it, “We are not in the world, but the world is within us.”  Each of us possess every existing human quality.  There is nothing we can see of conceive that we are not, and the purpose of our journey is to restore ourselves to this wholeness.”

Published in: on February 7, 2008 at 3:55 am  Comments (1)  

Awareness – continue

Do you want to change the world?  How about beginning with yourself?  How about being transformed yourself first?  But how do you achieve that?  Through observation.  Through understanding.  With no interference or judgement on your part.  Because what you judge you cannot understand.

When you say of someone,  “He’s a communist,” understanding has stopped at that moment.  You slapped a label on him.  Understanding has stopped at that moment.  You slapped a label on her, and if the label carries undertones of approval or disapproval, so much the worse!  How are you going to understand what you disapprove of, or what you approve of, for that matter?  All of this sounds like a new world, doesn’t it?  No judgement, no commentrary, no attitude:  one simply observes, one studies, one watches, without the desire to change what is.  Because if you desire to change what is into what you think should be,  you no longer understand.  A scientist observes the behavior of ants with no further end in view than to study ants, to learn as much as possible about them.  He has no other aim.  He’s not attempting to train them or get anything out of them. He’s interested in ants, he wants to learn as much as possible about them.  That’s his attitude.  The day you attain a posture like that, you will experience a miracle.  You will change – effortlessly, correctly.  Change will happen, you will not have to bring it about.  As the life of awareness settles on your darkness, whatever is evil will disappear.  Whatever is good will be fostered.  You will have to experience that for yourself.

But this calls for a disciplined mind.  And when I say disciplined, I’m not talking about effort.  I’m talking about something else.  Have you ever studied an athelete.  His or her whole life is sports, but what a disciplined life he or she leads.  When there’s something within you that moves in the right direction, it creates its own discipline.   The moment you get bitten by the bug of awareness.  Oh, it’s so delightful!  It’s the most delightful thing in the world;  The most important, the most delightful.  There’s nothing so important in the world as swakening.  The great Socrates said, ” The unaware life is not worth living.”That ‘s a self-evident truth.  Most people don’t live aware lives.  They live mechanical lives, mechanical thoughts – generally somebody else’s mechanical emotions, mechanical actions, mechanical reactions.  Do you want to see how mechanical you really are?  

Do you like being in prison?  Do you like being controlled?  Let me tell you something:  If you ever let yourself feel good when people tell you that you’re O.K., you are preparing yourself to feel bad when they tell you you’re not good.  As long as you live to fulfill other people’s expectations, you better watch what you wear, how you comb your hair, whether your shoes are polished – in short, whether you live up to every damned expectation of theirs.

That is what you’ll discover when you observe yourself!  You’ll be horrified!   You’ll make great discoveries.  These discoveries will change you.  You won’t have to make the slightest effort, believe me.

Anthoby de Mello  Edited by J Francis Stroud

Published in: on January 21, 2008 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Awareness – continue

“Spirituality means waking up.  Some of us get woken up by the harsh realities of life.   We suffer so much that we wake up.  But people keep bumping again and again into life.  They still go on sleepwalking.  Tragically, it never occurs to them that there may be another way.  It never occurs to them that there may be a better way.  Still, if you haven’t been bumped sufficiently by life, and you haven’t suffered enough, then there is another way:  to listen.  I don’t mean you have to agree with what I’m saying.  That wouldn’t  be listening.  Agreement and disagreement have to do with words and concepts and theories.  They don’t have anything to do with truth.  Truth is never expressed in words.   Truth is sighted suddenly, as a result of a certain attitude.  So you could be disgreeing with me and still sight the truth.  But there has to be an attitude of openness, of willingness to discover something new.  That’s important.  So I can speak to you, not of the truth, but of obstacles to the truth.  Those I can describe.  I cannot describe the truth.  No one can.   All I can do is give you a description of your falsehoods, so that you can drop them.  All I can do for you is challenge your beliefs and the belief system that makes you unhappy.  All I can do for you is help you to unlearn.  That’s what learning is all about where spirituality is concerned: unlearning, unlearning almost everything you’ve been  taught.  A willingness to unlearn, to listen.

But are you listening for what will confirm what you already think? Or are you listening in order to discover something new?  That is important.  It is difficult for sleeping people.  Jesus proclaimed the good news yet he was rejected.  Not because it was good, but because it was new.  We don’t want new things, particularly when they’re disturbing, particularly when they involve change.  Most particularly if it involves saying, “I was wrong.”

You’ve got to challenge everything I’m saying. But challenge it from an attitude of openness.  And challence it all. Recall those lovely words of Buddha when he said, “Monks and scholars must not accept my words out of respect, but must analyze them the way a goldsmith analyzes gold – by cutting, scraping, rubbing, melting.”   When you do that you’re listening.  You’ve taken another major step toward awakening.”

Published in: on January 18, 2008 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Awareness – Anthony de Mello – Edited by J Francis Stroud


“Tony de Mello on an occasion among friends was asked to say a few words about the nature of his work.  He stood up, told a story which he repeated later in conferences, and which you will recognize from his book Song of the Bird. To my (Francis Stroud’s) astonishment, he said this story applied to me.

‘ A man found an eagle’s egg and put in in a nest of a barnyard hen.  The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.   All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken.   He scratched the earth for worms and insects.   He clucked and cackled.   And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.    Years passed and the eagle grew very old.   One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky.   It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.   The old eagle looked up in awe. ‘Who’s that?’ he asked.  ‘That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,’ said his neighbor. ‘He belongs to the sky.   We belong to the earth – we’re chickens.’   So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.”

Astonished?   At first I felt downright  insulted!   Was he publicly likening me to a barnyard chicken?   In a sense, yes, and also, no.   Insulting?  Never.  That wasn’t Tony’s way.   But he was telling me and these people that in his eyes I was a “golden eagle,” unaware of the heights to which I could soar.   This story made me understand the measure of the man, his genuine love and respect for people while always telling the truth.   That was what his work was all about, waking people up to the reality of their greatness.   This was Tony de Mello at his best, proclaiming the message of “awareness,”  seeing the light we are to ourselves and to others, recognizing we are better than we know.

This book captures Tony in flight, doing just that  – in live dialogue and interaction – touching on all the themes that enliven the hearts of those who listen.   Maintaining the spirit of his live words, and sustaining his spontaneity with a responsive audience on the printed page was the task I faced after his death.   Let the words slip into your soul and listen, as Tony world suggest, with your heart.  Hear his stories, and you’ll hear your own.   Let me leave you alone with Tony – a spiritual guide – a friend you will have for life.”   J. Francis Stroud, De Mello Spirituality Center, Fordham University Brons, New York.

 If you are interested in his book, keep an eye on the blog.   I will bring you some of the jewels in his book in the coming days  DV




Published in: on January 16, 2008 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  

The Story of George Muller – As narrated by Catherine Marshall in Beyond Ourselves

In the year 1828 a man sat in a room in Teignmouth, England, struggling with a problem.  A German, George Muller was then 23 years old.  His father was a collector of excise taxes in Prussia, and the son had inherited the father’s preoccupation with figures, his adding-machine mind, his astute business sense.  During this period in England the Industrial Revolution was well under way.  George Muller felt he could become a successful industrialist.  Yet he hesitated.

Only three years out of the University at Halle, George had been mostly preoccupied with taverna, women, cards and occasional study.   He certainly had not been at all interested in religion.  Then there had come a turning point.  It had come through Muller’s unexpected discovery one night at a friend’s party that he could have fun in a Christian group – a different, deeper kind of pleasure than he found in his favourite tavern.

To his own surprise, George Muller began to think about the meaning of life.  Often he pondered the fact that all through the Gospels there kept recurring Jesus’ plea for us to have faith, to ask…ask…ask:

  Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name;

  ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24 Moffat)

Had Christ meant those words literally?  If so, then why – generation after generation – did mankind continue to ignore them or water them down?

Muller thought of several individuals he had recently met.  One was a man who had to work at his trade fourteen to sixteen hours a day.  He had no time for his family, no time to enjoy life.  Concerned, Muller had spoken to him only a week before: “Henry, you simply have to work less. Your family needs something more of you than your pay.  Your body’s suffering and your soul is starving.”

But the reply had been, “But if I work less, I won’t earn enough for the support of my family.”

When Muller had quoted him the promise,”Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matthew 6:33) Henry had said with a wry grimace, “I wish I could believe that applies to my situation, George. guess I just need more faith.”

Muller now sat chin in hand, staring out the second-storey window over the chimney-pots of the town to the sea in the distance, foaming and curling at the base of the red cliffs of Parson Rock. But he was not seeing the beauty of a sunset on Teignmouth’s coast now.  Instead he was thinking of an old woman, Marie, so frightened of old age without a pension, so terrified of the poorhouse waiting for her at the end of the road.  Where was her faith in God’s ability to take care of her?  And then he was thinking of Lawrence, a man now in his early thirties and in a business he hated.  But he dared not switch to where his heart was – medicine.  “How would I take care of my family while I complete my studies?”  He too had merely shrugged when Muller had mentioned faith in God as the solution.

So what could he – George Muller – do about it?  How could he define this matter of faith and prove to these  people that Jesus had meant it when He bade us ask.

At that moment he saw through the window two ragged little girls on the cobblestone walk.  He had seen them before.  Their father was a merchant seamen whose ship had been lost last year off Desolation Island in the Magellan Straits.  Two weeks ago their mother had died of tuberculosis.  Muller recalled the pathetic funeral, the raw pine casket, the lost look on the faces of the children.  He knew that the eleven-and-thirteen-year-old girls were trying to take care of three younger children.  And these were not the only destitute children in the town, either.  There seem to be no institutions for needy children in England.  He wondered why not?

The thought went round and round.  And then he notices his Bible open on the table beside him.  It was open to the Psalms:  suddenly he was reading a verse he had never noticed before: “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it:(Psm 81:10)  Muller suddenly found himself quietly praying, “All right, I’m opening my mouth to ask.  If you want me to do something about all this, You’ll have to show me how and where to begin.”

He began by offering his services to a local mission.  His drive and imagination soon revitalised it.  The records show that he met and married Mary Groves in 1830.  The two of them consecrated their marriage vows with a rather remarkable  demonstartion of Jesus’ words ..

“Sell what you possess and give it away in alms…”(Luke 12:33 Moffat)

Just so, did George and Mary part with their household goods.  Like many daring experiments, Muller wanted to go all the way.  His desire was to make himself and his wife dependent for everything on God alone.  Their motive was sincere, above all suspicion.  At the time he and his wife kept the act of giving away their possessions a secret from all who knew them.

The next step was even more daring.  Muller refuses all regular salary from the people of the small mission he had been serving.  He and his wife would hencforth tell their needs to God alone in prayer.  Theirs would be a test case for the world to see.

Then George found his thoughts centering on the idea of founding an orphan’s home.  It would not be just a place to care for a few homeless children, but a vast institution –  and operated on faith.  He would make it, too, a pure example of trust in God.

On April 21, 1836, the first Orphan Home was dedicated in a rented building.  Within a matter of days there were forty-three children to be cared for.  Muller and his co-workers decided that the controlled experiment would be set u along these lines:

1.  No funds would ever be solicited.  No facts or figures concerning needs were to be revealed by the workers in the orphanage to anyone, except to God in prayer.

2.  No debts would ever be incurred.  The burden of experiment would therefore not be on local shopkeepers or suppliers.

3.  No money contributed for a specific purpose could ever be used for any other purpose.

4.  All accounts would be audited annually by professional auditors.

5.  No ego-pandering by publication of donor’s names with the amount of their gifts;  each donor would be thanked privately.

6.  No “names” of prominent or titled persons would be sought for the board of to advertise the institution.

7.  The success of the institution would be measured not by the numbers served of by the amounts of money taken in, but by God’s blessing on the work, which Muller expected to be in proportion to the time spent in prayer.

When the first building was opened, George Muller and his associates stuck to their principles, spending time in prayer that ordinarily would have gone to fund-raising.  An unbelieving public was amazed when a second building was opened six months after the first.  Muller concentrated on prayer, and the money kept coming in.  Eventually, there were five new buildings, with 110 helpers taking care of 2,050 orphans.

Before opening his first orphanage Muller had said that he would consider the experiment a failure if ever the orphans had to go for a single day without food.  They never did.  Nor were these children taken care of in minimal fashion.  Part of George Muller’s conviction was that God not only provides, but that He provides bountifully.  For their time, his orphanage buildings were constructed with remarkable details – built-in cupboards with a large pigeonhole for each child’s clothes; sunny playrooms with shelves and cupboards for the toys that were not yet there.  Each child must always have not one but three pairs of shoes.   Each boy, three suits; each girl, five dresses.  There must always be white tablecloths for the evening meal and flowers whenever possible.  Behind the scenes were the latest labour-saving devices available;  one of the first American washing machines in England and an early type of centrifugal dryer.

After each year’s audit a detailed report was made public showing how the Lord had provided for that year.  Soon it became apparent that all around the world people were watching this experiment with fascination.  The results of his amazing orphanage experiment have been published in detail in the four volumes of George Muller’s Journals  For more than sixty years he recorded every specific prayer request and the result.   His mathematical mind kept meticulous books on every penny received and all money expended

So great did public interest in the orphanage become that, when Muller was seventy, he felt that the time had come to tell the story himself.  So over a number of years he travelled 200,000 miles, lecturing in forty two countries.  For hundreds of thousands of people he became a living demonstration of the fact that faith is nothing more of less than believing God, not just intellectually but actually.

Faith is only worthy of the name when it erupts into action.  Unlike George Muller, most of us can show few trophies won through faith.  Were we to use the muscles of our legs as little as we do the muscles of our faith, most of us would be unable to stand

Catherine Marshall

Published in: on January 3, 2008 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Story for Christmas – She only needed some LOVE

In a cellar room, with a small window with burglar bars, in The Boston  City Infirmary, was kept a small girl with an eye defect.  She was like a little wild animal.

It was the end of the 19th century and the doctors and phychiatrists had no knowledge of a disease that kept the little one with outbursts  of anger and creams for days on end.

In the same building was a nurse in her fourties.  She had a child, born out of wedlock and she had to give her away, because she didn’t have means to raise her.  She longed for her daughter and therefore she came to love children.   Every day she took her sandwitches and ate it on the bench in front of little Annie’s window.

She tried to make conversation with Annie, but there was no reply.  The psychiatrists warned her to stop communicating with her.  They were afraid the nurse would disturb the little one even more.  Once she said to the doctors:  “What if she only needs love?”   The doctors just laughed.

The nurse tried everyday to speak to Annie, as soft and calm as she could.

One day she left her dessert – a piece of chocolate cake – in front of the open window.  Annie didn’t look at her.  The next day the nurse found only a few crumbs left.  Annie ate the cake!! Since that day she left something sweet for her everyday.

As the weeks go by, the doctors saw a change in Annie.  She was almost calm and more focused.  It was as if she could follow them, but she still did not say one word.  Then one day she smiled at the nurse, and then the doctors knew that they were wrong.  She was transfered to a ‘normal’ room.

Little Annie’s full name?  Anne Sullivan, who loved and tutored Hellen Keller

A little love, and two of the most formidable women of the 20th century !!

Published in: on December 11, 2007 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Lessons from the Magic Story – Told by Frederick Van Rensselaer Day « Tapthemasters’s Weblog

Lessons from the Magic Story – Told by Frederick Van Rensselaer Day « Tapthemasters’s Weblog

Published in: on December 11, 2007 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment