Around the corner I have a friend,
in this great city that has no end;
Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,
and before I know it, a year is gone.
And I never see my old friend’s face,
for life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
as in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine – we were younger then;
but now we are tired, busy men.
Tired with playing a foolish game,
tired with trying to make a name.
“Tomorrow,” I say, “I’ll call on Jim,
just to show that I’m thinking of him.”
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
and the distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
then comes the news… Jim died today!
And that’s what we get, and deserve in the end:
around the corner – a vanished friend!

Charles Hanson Towne

Do you know the neighbour who lives in your block;
Do you ever take time for a bit of a talk?
Do you know his troubles, his heartaches, his cares,
The battles he’s fighting, the burdens he bears?
Do you greet him with joy or pass him right by
With a questioning look and a quizzical eye?
Do you bid him “Good morning” and “How do you do,”
Or shrug up as if he was nothing to you?
He may be a chap with a mighty big heart,
And a welcome that grips, if you just do your part.
And I know you’ll coax out his sunniest smile,
If you’ll stop with this neighbour and visit awhile.

We rush on so fast in these strenuous days,
We’re apt to find fault when it’s better to praise.
We judge a man’s worth by the make of his car;
We’re anxious to find what his politics are.
But somehow it seldom gets under the hide,
The fact that the fellow we’re living beside
Is a fellow like us, with a hankering, too,
For a grip of the hand and a “How do you do!”
With a heart that responds in a welcome sincere
If you’ll just stop to fling him a message of cheer,
And I know you’ll coax out his sunniest smile,
If you’ll stop with this neighbour and visit awhile.

H. Howard Biggar

Beware of those who stand aloof,
And greet each venture with reproof.
The world would stop if things were run
By those who say, ‘It can’t be done’. (Anon)

‘The Comfort Zone

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn’t fail.
But the same four walls and busy-work were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
But I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like commission slips and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn’t let my life go by watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

So, if you’re in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two with words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for the future with a smile; success is waiting for you.


Not… “How did he die?” But… “How did he live?”
Not… “What did he gain?” But… “What did he give?”
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not… “What was his station?” But… “Had he a heart?”
And “How did he play his God-given part?
Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?”

Not… “What was his church?” Not … “What was his creed?”
But “Had he befriended those really in need?”
Not… “What did the sketch in the newspaper say?”
But “How many were sorry when he passed away?”


I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day.
And as my fingers pressed it, still
It moved and yielded to my will.

I came again when days were past:
The bit of clay was hard at last.
The form I gave it still it bore,
But I could change that form no more!

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently pressed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.

I came again when years were gone:
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress bore,
And I could fashion it no more!


This is a story about four people, named
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody
was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it,
but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody,
when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!


Did is a word of achievement,
Won’t is a word of retreat,
Might is a word of bereavement,
Can’t is a word of defeat,
Ought is a word of duty,
Try is a word for each hour,
Will is a word of beauty,
Can is a word of power.


I asked God to take away my pride.
God said “No. It’s not for me to take it away, but for you to give it up.”
I asked God to make the handicapped child whole.
God said, “No. Her spirit is whole, her body was only ever temporary.”
I asked God to give me patience.
God said, “No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn’t granted,
its earned.”
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, “No. I give you blessings; happiness is up to you.”
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, “No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings
you closer to me.”
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, “No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make
you fruitful.”
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, “No. I will give you life so that you can enjoy all things.”
I asked God to help me love others, as much as God loves me.
God said, “Ah! Finally, now you have the right idea. (Anon)

For every problem
Under the sun,
There’s a solution
Or there’s none.

If there’s a solution,
Then go and find it.
And if there isn’t,
Then never mind it.


“The boneless tongue, so small and weak,
Can crush and kill,” declares the Greek,
“The tongue destroys a greater horde,”
The Turk asserts, “than does the sword.”
The Persian proverb wisely saith,
“A lengthy tongue – an early death!”
Or sometimes takes this form instead,
“Do not let your tongue cut off your head.”
“The tongue can speak a word whose speed,”
Say the Chinese, “outstrips the steed.”
The Arab sages said in part,
“The tongue’s great storehouse is the heart.”
From Hebrew was the maxim sprung,
“Thy feet should slip, but ne’er the tongue.”
The sacred writer crowns the whole,
“Who keeps the tongue doth keep his soul.”

James S. Hewitt

Doubt can stop you in your tracks,
It can drain away desire,
Believing, on the other hand,
Can set your world on fire.

When you hold the opinion that
You can reach that special dream,
You have the edge needed to make
Achieving much easier than it may seem.

Believing in your ability
Affects the way you act,
And produces an air of confidence
Which influences how others will react.

When you believe you can achieve
And believe it with all your soul,
You possess a powerful asset
And you’ll most likely reach your goal. (Anon)


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all-uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow,
You might succeed with another blow!

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit,
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit!


‘A Creed To Live By’

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself to others;
It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Don’t set your goals by what others deem important;
Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things that are closest to your heart;
Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.
Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future;
By living your life one day at a time you live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give;
Nothing is really over, until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect;
It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks;
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find;
The quickest way to receive love is to give love;
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
And the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don’t dismiss your dreams;
To be without dreams is to be without hope;
To be without hope is to be without purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been
But also where you are going.
Life is not a race but a journey to be savoured all the way.

by Naneve Sims

‘The Man Who Thinks He Can’

If you think you are beaten you are,
If you think you dare not you don’t.
If you’d like to win but think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will,
It’s all in the state of mind.

Full many a race is lost,
Before even a step is run
And many a coward fails
Even before his work has begun.

Think big and your deeds will grow,
Think small and you’ll fall behind.
Think that you can and you will,
It all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can!

Walter D. Wintle

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

William Blake

Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.

If life be long, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short – then why should I be sad
To soar to endless day

Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

‘God, Forgive Me When I Whine’

Today, upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair,
I envied her, she seemed so happy – I wished I were as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one leg and wore a crutch; but as she passed… a smile!
Oh, God forgive me when I whine,
I have two legs. The world is mine.

I stopped to buy some sweets, from a lad who had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad – being late would do no harm.
And as I left he said to me, “Thank you. You’ve been so kind.”
“It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
Oh, God forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes. The world is mine.

Later, while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play – he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment, then I said, “Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.
Oh, God forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears. The world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go,
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow,
With ears to hear what I would know,
Oh, God forgive me when I whine.
I am blessed indeed. The world is mine. (Anon)

‘My Wage’

I bargained with life for a penny,
And life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, then you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of life,
Life would have willingly paid.

by Jessie B. Rittenhouse

There was a man,
They called him mad,
The more he gave,
The more he had.

John Bunyan (1628-1688)

“How shall I a habit break?”
As you did that habit make.
As you gathered, you must lose;
As you yielded, now refuse.
Thread by thread the strands we twist
Till they bind us neck and wrist;
Thread by thread the patient hand
Must untwine ere free we stand.
As we builded, stone by stone,
We must toil unhelped, alone,
Till the wall is overthrown.

But remember, as we try,
Lighter every test goes by;
Wading in, the stream grows deep
Toward the centre’s downward sweep.
Backward turn, each step ashore
Shallower is than that before.

Ah! The precious years we waste
Levelling what we raised in haste;
Doing what must be undone
Ere content or love be won!
First across the gulf we cast
Kite-borne threads, till lines are passed,
And habit builds the bridge at last!

John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890)

May God give you more than you can ever think or ask;
May He use you far beyond the boundary of your task.
May God lead you further than your vision can yet see;
May He mould you, day by day, more perfectly.
May God guide you and keep you in the way He sees best;
And may he bless you so that every life you touch is blessed.


‘Pray Without Ceasing’

Unanswered yet the prayer your lips have pleaded
In agony of heart these many years?
Does faith begin to fail, is hope declining,
And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not the Father has not heard your prayer;
You shall have your desire, sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Tho’ when you first presented
This one petition at the Father’s throne,
It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
So anxious was your heart to have it done;
If years have passed since then, do not despair,
For God will answer you sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? But you are not unheeded;
The promises of God forever stand;
To Him our days and years alike are equal;
Have faith in God! It is your Lord’s command.
Hold on to Jacob’s angel, and your prayer
Shall bring a blessing down sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Nay, do not say unanswered,
Perhaps your part is not yet wholly done,
The work began when first your prayer was uttered,
And God will finish what He has begun.
Keep incense burning at the shrine of prayer,
And glory shall descend sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Faith cannot be unanswered;
Her feet are firmly planted on the Rock;
Amid the wildest storms she stands undaunted,
Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock.
She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer,
And cries, “It shall be done some time, somewhere.”

by Ophelia Guyon Browning

When God created us He gave us two ends,
One to sit on and one to think with.
Success depends upon which end we use most,
Heads we win and tails we lose!

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Are read by more than a few,
But the one that is most read and commented on
Is the gospel according to you.

You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day
By the things you do and the words that you say.
People read what you write, whether faithless or true.
Say, what is the gospel according to you?

Do others read His truth and His love in your life?
Or has yours been too full of malice and strife?
Does your life speak of evil, or does it ring true?
Say, what is the gospel according to you? (Anon)

When I say, “I’m a Christian,”
I’m not shouting, “I am saved,”
I’m whispering, “I am lost!”
That’s why I chose His way.

When I say, “I’m a Christian,”
I don’t speak of it with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
And I need Him to be my guide.

When I say, “I’m a Christian,”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I am weak
And pray His strength to carry on.

When I say, “I’m a Christian,”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting that I have failed
But Christ has paid the debt.

When I say, “I’m a Christian,”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are only too visible
But Christ believes I’m worth it.

When I say, “I’m a Christian,”
I still feel the sting of pain,
And I have my share of heartaches,
Which is why I share His name.

When I say, “I’m a Christian,”
I do not wish to judge.
For I have no authority.
I only know that I am loved. (Anon)

Take yesterday’s worries and sort them all out,
And you’ll wonder whatever you worried about.
Look back at the cares that once furrowed your brow,
I fancy you’ll smile at most of them now.
They seemed terrible then, but they really were not,
For once out of the woods, all fears are forgot.



They said, “The Master is coming
To Honour the town today,
And none can tell at what house or home
The Master will choose to stay.”
And I thought while my heart beat wildly,
What if He should come to mine,
How would I strive to entertain
And honour the Guest Divine!

And straight I turned to toiling,
To make my home more neat;
I swept, and polished and garnished,
And decked it with blossoms sweet.
I was troubled for fear the Master
Might come ere my work was done
And I hasted and worked the faster,
And watched the hurrying sun.

But right in the midst of my duties
A woman came to my door;
She had come to tell her sorrows
And my comfort and aid to implore,
And I said, “I cannot listen,
Nor help you any, today;
I have greater things to attend to.”
And the pleader turned away.

But soon there came another –
A cripple, thin, pale and grey –
And said, “Oh, let me stop and rest
A while in your house, I pray!
I have travelled far since morning,
I am hungry and faint and weak;
My heart is full of misery,
And comfort and help I seek.”

And I cried, “I am grieved and sorry
But I cannot help you today.
I look for a great and noble Guest,”
And the cripple went away;
And the day wore onward swiftly –
And my task was nearly done,
And a prayer was ever in my heart
That the Master to me might come.

And I thought I would spring to meet Him,
And serve Him with utmost care,
When a little child stood near me
With a face so sweet and fair –
Sweet, but with the marks of teardrops –
And his clothes were tattered and old;
A finger was bruised and bleeding,
And his little bare feet were cold.

And I said, “I’m sorry for you –
You are sorely in need of care;
But I cannot stop to give it,
You must hasten otherwhere.”
And at the words, a shadow
Swept o’er his blue-veined brow –
“Someone will feed and clothe you, dear,
But I am too busy now.”

At last the day was ended,
And my toil was over and done;
My house was swept and garnished –
And I watched in the dark – alone.
Watched – but no footfall sounded,
No one paused at my gate;
No one entered my cottage door;
I could only pray – and wait.

I waited till night had deepened,
And the Master had not come.
“He has entered some other door,” I said,
“And gladdened some other home!”
My labour had been for nothing,
And I bowed my head and I wept,
My heart was sore with longing –
Yet – in spite of it all – I slept.

Then the Master stood before me,
And his face was grave and fair;
“Three times today I came to your door,
And I craved your pity and care;
Three times you sent me onward,
Unhelped and uncomforted;
And the blessing you might have had was lost,
And you chances to serve has fled.”

“Oh Lord, dear Lord, forgive me!
How could I know it was Thee?”
My very soul was shamed and bowed
In the depths of humility,
And He said, “The sin is pardoned,
But the blessing is lost to thee;
For, comforting not the least of Mine,
You have failed to comfort Me.”

by Emma A. Lent

A teenage girl, thinking about a future husband, once versed a poem, in the form of a prayer. Here it is:
‘Dear God, I pray all unafraid,
As girls are wont to be,
I do not want a handsome man,
But make him, Lord, like Thee.
I do not need one big and strong,
Nor yet so very tall,
Nor need he be some genius
Or wealthy, Lord, at all;
But let his head be high, dear God,
And let his eyes be clear,
His shoulders straight, whate’er his fate,
Whate’er his earthly sphere.
And let his face have character,
A ruggedness of soul,
And let his whole life show, dear God,
A singleness of goal.
And when he comes, as he will come,
With quiet eyes aglow;
I’ll know, dear Lord,
That he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.’

The name of the young girl who penned this verse was Ruth Bell. The man that she eventually met and married was Billy Graham

William Arthur Ward said of the church and his own Christian faith:
“I will do more than belong; I will participate.
I will do more than care; I will help.
I will do more than believe; I will practice.
I will do more than be fair; I will be kind.
I will do more than forgive; I will forget.
I will do more than dream; I will work.
I will do more than teach; I will inspire.
I will do more than learn; I will enrich.
I will do more than give; I will serve.
I will do more than live; I will grow.
I will do more than suffer; I will triumph.”

Source: The UCB Word For Today, 28/4/2013

Life is a book in chapters three,
The Past, the Present, and the Yet-To-Be.

The Past is gone- it could not stay,
It’s in your dreams of yesterday,
Remembered sometimes for its sadness,
But also for its joys and gladness.

Live for the Present, live for today,
So quickly does it pass away,
Help one another along life’s path,
Cheer them up and make them laugh,
For the Past it is soon destined to be,
So live it now – it yours, you see.

But what about the Yet-To-Be?
It’s locked away – God holds the key. (Anon)

God be in my head, and in my understanding.
God be in my eyes, and in my looking.
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking.
God be in my heart, and in my thinking.
God be in my end, and at my departing.

Book of Hours (1514), medieval book of prayer

A Customer is the most important person ever in this office,
Whether in person or by mail.
A Customer is not dependent on us,
We are dependent on him.
A Customer is not an interruption of our work,
He is the purpose of it.
We are not doing a favour by serving him,
He is doing us the favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.
A Customer is not someone to argue or match wits with.
Nobody ever won an argument with a Customer.
A Customer is a person who brings us his wants.
It is our job to handle them profitably for him and ourselves. (Anon)

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you
Cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

What does it mean to die in the Lord? Here’s a piece of prose that might help us, titled, ‘Gone From My Sight’:
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean blue.
She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until at length she is only a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky meet and mingle with each other. Then someone at my side exclaims, “There, she’s gone!”
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in hull and mast and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place on her destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment when someone at my side says, “She’s gone,” there are other eyes watching for her coming and heavenly voices ready to take up the glad shout, “There, she comes!”
And that is dying in the Lord.

Bishop Brent

‘Sermons We See’

I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear.
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

Edgar A. Guest

You never know when someone
Might catch a dream from you.
You never know when a little word
Or maybe something you might do;
Could open up the windows
Of a mind that seeks the light
The way you live might not matter at all,
But there again, it might! (Anon)

‘Be The Best’

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley, but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie, then be a bass,
But be the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun, be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or fail.
Be the best of whatever you are!

by Douglas Malloch

A little brown cork fell in the path of a whale
Who lashed it down with his angry tail.
But in spite of its blows it quickly arose,
And floated serenely before his nose.
Said the cork to the whale:
“You may flap and splutter and frown,
But you never, never, can keep me down;
For I’m made of the stuff
That is buoyant enough
To float instead of to drown”. (Anon)


I have hoped, I have planned, I have striven,
To the will I have added the deed;
The best that was in me I’ve given,
I’ve prayed, but God would not heed.

I have dared and reached only disaster’
I have battled and broken my lance;
I am bruised by a pitiless master
That the weak and the timid call chance.

I am old, I am bent, I am cheated
Of all that Youth urged me to win;
But name me not with the defeated
For tomorrow again, I begin!

S. E. Kiser

If you live close to God, in His infinite grace,
You don’t have to tell it, it shows in your face.


‘The Bridge Builder’

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and grey,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
That sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned when he reached the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You’re wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at eventide?”

The builder lifted his old grey head.
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been nought to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

by Will Allen Dromgoole

‘What is Good?’

“What is good?”
I asked in musing mood.
Order, said the law court;
Knowledge, said the school;
Truth, said the wise man;
Pleasure, said the fool;
Love, said the maiden;
Beauty, said the page;
Freedom, said the dreamer;
Home, said the sage;
Fame, said the soldier;
Equity, said the seer.
Then spoke my heart full sadly,
“The answer is not here.”
But then, from within my bosom,
Softly this I heard:
“Each heart holds the secret;
Kindness is the word.”

by John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-90)

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before a crowd
Is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To try is to risk failure.
To ask is to risk rejection.
But, risks must be taken,
Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing
And is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn,
Feel, change, grow, love or live his certitude’s.
He is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
Only a person who risks is really free.

Author unknown

True worth is in being, not seeing:
In doing, each day that goes by,
Some little good, not in dreaming
Of the great things to do by and by.

For whatever men say in their blindness,
And in spite of the fancies of youth,
There’s nothing so kingly as kindness
And nothing so royal as truth.

Alice Cary (1820-1871)


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them, “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty second’s worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

by Rudyard Kipling


How true it is when I am sad,
A little work can make me glad.
When frowning care comes to my door,
I work a while and fret no more.
I leave my couch harassed with pain,
I work, and soon I’m well again.

When sorrow comes with vain regret,
I go to work and soon forget.
Work smoothes the soul when joys depart,
And often mends a broken heart.
The idle mind soon fills with murk,
So that’s why God invented WORK.

by J. W. Thompson

“What giving again?” I ask in dismay.
“And must I keep giving and giving away?”
“Oh no,” said the angel looking me through,
“Just keep giving till the Master stops giving to you.”

Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.

‘The Joy of Incompleteness’

If all our life were one broad glare
Of sunlight clear, unclouded:
If all our path were smooth and fair,
By no soft gloom enshrouded;
If all life’s flowers were fully blown
Without the sweet unfolding,
And happiness were rudely thrown
On hands too weak for holding.
Should we not miss the twilight hours,
The gentle haze and sadness?
Should we not long for storms and showers
To break the constant gladness?

If none were sick and none were sad,
What service could we render?
I think if we were always glad
We scarcely could be tender.
Did our beloved never need
Our patient ministration,
Earth would grow cold and miss indeed
Its sweet consolation:
If sorrow never claimed our heart
And every wish were granted
Patience would die, and hope depart;
Life would be disenchanted.

Albert Crowell

Let others cheer the winning man,
There’s another I hold worthwhile;
’Tis he who does the best he can,
Then loses with a smile.
Beaten he is, but not to stay
Down with the rank and file;
For the man will win some other day,
Who loses with a smile. (Anon)

When I was a babe and wept and slept, Time crept;
When I was a boy and laughed and talked, Time walked;
Then when the years saw me a man, Time ran;
And finally, as I older grew, Time flew.

‘If I Could Just Get Organized’

There may be nothing wrong with you,
The way you live, the work you do,
But I can very plainly see
Exactly what is wrong with me.
It isn’t that I’m indolent
Or dodging duty by intent;
I work as hard as anyone,
And yet I get so little done,
The morning goes, the noon is here,
Before I know, the night is near,
And all around me, I regret,
Are things I haven’t finished yet.
If I could just get organized!
I oftentimes have realized
Not all that matters is the man;
The man must also have a plan.

With you, there may be nothing wrong,
But here’s my trouble right along;
I do the things that don’t amount
To very much, of no account,
That really seem important though
And let a lot of matters go.
I nibble this, I nibble that,
But never finish what I’m at.
I work as hard as anyone,
And yet, I get so little done,
I’d do so much you’d be surprised,
If I could just get organized!

by Douglas Malloch

Take time to THINK… it is the source of power.
Take time to PLAY… it is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to READ… it is the fountain of wisdom.
Take time to PRAY… it is the greatest power on earth.
Take time to LOVE and BE LOVED… it is a God-given privilege.
Take time to BE FRIENDLY… it is the road to happiness.
Take time to LAUGH… it is the music of the soul.
Take time to WORK… it is the price of success.
Take time to DO CHARITY… it is the key to heaven.

Giving And Receiving’

I launched a smile; far out it sailed
On life’s wide troubled sea.
And many more than I could count
Came sailing back to me.

I clasped a hand while whispering,
“The clouds will melt away.”
I felt my life was very blessed
All through the hours that day.

I sent a thought of happiness
Where it was needed sore,
And very soon thereafter, found
Joy adding to my store.

I wisely shared my slender hoard,
Toil-earned coins of gold;
But presently it flowed right back.
Increased a hundredfold.

I helped another climb a hill,
A little thing to do:
And yet it brought a rich reward,
A friendship that was new.

I think each morning when I rise,
Of how I may achieve,
I know by serving I advance,
By giving I receive.

Thomas Gaines

‘The Race’

“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!”
They shout at me and plead.
“There’s just too much against you now;
This time you can’t succeed!”

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene;
For just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being.


A children’s race-young boys, young men-
How I remember well.
Excitement, sure! But also fear;
It wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that,
At least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went!
Young hearts and hopes afire.
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boy’s desire.

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought:
“My dad will be so proud!”

But as he speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself
His hands flew out to brace,
And mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope
-He couldn’t win it now-
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
To disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said:
“Get up and win the race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done
-Behind a bit, that’s all-
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself
-To catch up and to win-
His mind went faster than his legs;
He slipped and fell again!

He wished then he had quit before
With only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now;
I shouldn’t try to race.”

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father’s face;
That steady look which said again:
“Get up and win the race!”

So he jumped up to try again
-Ten yards behind the last-
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought,
“I’ve got to move real fast.”

Exerting everything he had
He gained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lied there silently
-A tear dropped from his eye-
“There’s no sense running anymore:
Three strikes: I’m out! Why try?”

The will to rise had disappeared;
All hope had fled away;
So far behind, so error prone:
A loser all the way.

“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought
“I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad
Who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low.
“Get up and take your place;
You were not meant for failure here.
Get up and win the race.”

“With borrowed will get up,” it said,
“You haven’t lost at all.
For winning is no more than this:
To rise each time you fall.”

So he rose up to run once more,
And with a new commit
He resolved that win or lose
At least he wouldn’t quit.

So far behind the others now,
-The most he’d ever been-
Still he gave it all he had
And ran as though to win.

Three times he’d fallen, stumbling;
Three times he rose again:
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end.

They cheered the running winner
As he crossed the line first place.
Head high, and proud and happy;
No falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer,
For finishing the race.

And even though he came in last
With head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he’d won the race
To listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said,
“I didn’t do too well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said.
“You rose each time you fell.”


And when things seem dark and hard
And difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy
Helps me in my race,

For all of life is like that race.
With ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win,
Is rise each time you fall.

“Quit! Give up, you’re beaten!”
They still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says:

by D. H. Groberg

When I have lost my temper I have lost my reason, too.
I’m never proud of anything which angrily I do.
When I have talked in anger and my cheeks are flaming red,
I have always uttered something which I wish I hadn’t said.

In anger I have never done a kindly deed or wise,
But many things for which I felt I should apologise.
In looking back across my life, and all I’ve lost or made,
I can’t recall a single time when fury ever paid.

So I struggle to be patient, for I’ve reached a wiser age;
I do not want to do a thing or speak a word in rage.
I have learned by sad experience that when my temper flies
I never do a worthy thing, a decent deed or wise.


He worked by day and toiled by night,
He gave up play and warm sunlight.
Dry books he read new things to learn,
And forged ahead success to earn.
He plotted on with faith and puck,
And when he won, they called it LUCK! (Anon)

Count your blessings; name them two by two.
Count your blessings; name them four by four.
Count your blessings; name them by the score.
Count your blessings; there are still millions more.

‘Disappointment – His appointment,’
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God’s better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing,
Tho’ it may be in disguise,
For the end from the beginning
Open to His wisdom lies.

‘Disappointment – His appointment,’
No good will He withhold,
From denials oft we gather
Treasures of His love untold.
Well He knows each broken purpose
Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
And the end of all His dealings
Proves our God is wise and just.

‘Disappointment – His appointment,’
Lord, I take it, then, as such,
Like clay in the hands of a potter,
Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
My life’s plan in Thy moulding;
Not one single choice be mine;
Let me answer, unrepining –
‘Father, not my will, but Thine.’

Source: Dr Neil T. Anderson, Victory Over The Darkness, p.138-139

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centred;
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable;
Be honest and frank anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten about tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
The big people with big ideas can be shot down by the little people with
small minds;
Think big anyway.
People favour the underdogs but follow only the top dogs;
Fight for the underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building can be destroyed overnight;
Build anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth;
Give it the best you’ve got anyway! (Anon.)

Art thou lonely, O my brother?
Share thy little with another!
Stretch a hand to one unfriended,
And thy loneliness is ended.

John Oxenham

“Good Timber”

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
That stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king,
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To heaven from the common soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man,
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow in ease;
The stronger wind, the tougher trees;
The farther sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength;
By sun and cold, by rain and snows,
In tree or man, good timber grows.

Where thickest stands the forest growth
We find the patriarchs of both;
And they hold converse with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife;
This is the common law of life.

by Douglas Malloch

The Port of ‘Men-Who-Might-Have-Been’
Lies just off Hasbeenville.
And all the men-who-might-have-been
Are shabby, grey and still.
One missed a punch; one married wrong;
Ambition died in one.
One loved the light; the light o’ nights
That blaze behind the sun.
By Gosh! It gives a man a chill
To see them, shabby, grey and still –
So many men-who-might-have-been
In the Port of Hasbeenville.

The Port of ‘Men-Who-Might-Have-Been’
Is crowded to the doors.
And all the men-of-might-have-been
Are very dreadful bores.
Their tales are old; their tales are dry –
One trusted in a friend;
One lacked the part; one lacked the heart
To seek the rainbow’s end.
By Gosh! It gives a man the mopes
To see them sitting there like dopes –
So many men-who-might-have-been
In the Port of Busted Hopes.

The Port of ‘Men-Who-Might-Have-Been’
Is east of Used-To-Be
And all the men-who-might-of-been
Are carried passage free.
I’ve seen it pass, their boats of glass,
And drift along the years
With all the men-who-might-have-been
Past shoals of bitter sneers.
By Gosh! It makes a fellow sigh
To see the good ship, Alibi –
With all those men-who-might-have-been
And cargoes of careers!


Success is speaking words of praise,
In cheering other people’s ways,
In doing just the best you can,
With every task and every plan,
It’s silence when your speech would hurt,
Politeness when your neighbour’s curt,
It’s deafness when the scandal flows,
And sympathy with other’s woes,
It’s loyalty when duty calls,
It’s courage when disaster falls,
It’s patience when the hours are long,
And perseverance all along.


Said the robin to the sparrow,
“Friend, I simply do not know,
Why the anxious human beings
Rush around and worry so.”

Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend, I think it must be,
That they have no heavenly Father
Such as you and me.”


“Children Learn What They Live”

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn what envy is.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world.
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous.
If children live with honesty and fairness, they learn what truth and justice are.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those around them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If children live with serenity, they learn to have peace of mind.
What are your children living?
By Dorothy L. Nolte.

She Is Gone (He Is Gone)

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


You are the man who used to boast
That you’d achieve the uttermost,
Some day.

You merely wished a show,
To demonstrate how much you know
And prove the distance you can go…

Another year we’ve just passed through.
What new ideas came to you?
How many big things did you do?

Time… left twelve months in your care
How many times did you share
With opportunity and dare
Again where you so often missed?

We do not find you on the list of Makers Good.
Explain the fact!
Ah no, ‘twas not the chance you lacked!
As usual you failed to act.

by Herbert Kauffman

Source: How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling, Frank Bettger, 1986, New York: Simon & Schuster, Fireside Books, p.14

An enemy I had, whose face I stoutly
Strove to know,
For hard he dogged my steps unseen,
Wherever I did go.
My plans he balked, my aims he foiled,
He blocked my onward way.
When for some lofty goal I toiled,
He grimly told me, “Nay.”
One night I seized him and held him fast,
From him the veil did draw,
I looked upon his face at last and lo –
Myself I saw! (Anon.)

If you have left your dreams behind,
If hope is cold,
If you no longer look ahead,
If your ambition’s fires are dead –
Then you are old.

But if from life you take the best,
If in life you keep the jest,
If love you hold;
No matter how the years go by,
No matter how the birthdays fly –
You are not old.

H.S. Fritsch

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up!

Ogden Nash

There was once a very cautious man
Who never laughed or cried.
He never risked; he never lost,
He never won nor tried.
And when one day he passed away
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never died.


The World’s Your Oyster

There was once an oyster whose story I tell,
That discovered sand had gotten under its shell.
But a single grain became the cause of such pain,
For oysters have feelings; of that, it’s quite plain.

Now, did the oyster berate the workings of Fate
Which had led it to such a deplorable state?
Did it curse the government or call for an election,
Did it cry that the sea should have given it protection?

No! As it lay with the others on the ocean shelf
The oyster clamped shut and said to itself,
If it’s not possible for me to get out and remove it,
Then, I’ll do my best to get on and improve it.

So the years rolled by as years always do,
And the oyster was caught by a fishing crew.
Now that small grain of sand, which had bothered it so,
Had become a beautiful pearl translucent, aglow.

This tale has a moral to it; for isn’t it grand
What an oyster can do with a grain of sand?
And now what could we do if only we’d begin
With all the things that get under our skin?


’Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house,
not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care,
in the hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
not once ever kneeling or bowing a head;
And mom in her rocker with baby on her lap,
was watching the late show while I took a nap;
When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter;
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
threw open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The light of His face made me cover my head,
it was Jesus returning, just like He said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw him, in spite of myself.
In the book of life, which He held in His hand,
was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name,
when He said, “It’s not here!” my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written in love,
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound,
while all the rest He left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late:
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight.
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear,
the coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There’s only one life and when the last name is called,
we’ll find that the Bible was true after all.


God Saw You

God saw you getting tired,
When a cure was not to be.
So He wrapped his arms around you,
and whispered, “Come to me”.
You didn’t deserve what you went through,
So He gave you rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best
And when I saw you sleeping,
So peaceful and free from pain
I could not wish you back
To suffer that again.

‘Builder or Wrecker?’

I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town;
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the sidewalk fell.
I asked the foreman: “Are these men skilled,
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labour is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do!”

And I thought to myself as I went on my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town,
Content with the labour of tearing down? (Anon)

You are who you are for a reason.
You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You’re just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you’d grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

Russell Kelfer

Cited in The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, Zondervan Publishing p.25-26

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not,
Is a fool, shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not,
Is a child, teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows,
Is asleep, wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows,
Is wise, follow him.


When a task is once begun,
Leave it not until it’s done,
And be a matter great or small,
Do it well or not at all.

Worry is like a distant hill
We glimpse against the sky.
We wonder how we ever will
Get up a hill so high.

Yet, when we reach the top, we see
The roadway left behind
Is not as steep and sheer as we
Have pictured in our mind. – Anon

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights the room.
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make a difference,
And that difference is up to you!


Memorial Poem, titled: ‘I’m there inside your heart’

Right now I’m in a different place
And though we seem far apart
I’m closer than I ever was…
I’m there inside your heart

I’m with you when you grieve each day
And when the sun shines bright
I’m there to share the sunsets, too…
I’m with you every night

I’m with you when the times are good,
To share a laugh or two,
And if a tear should start to fall…
I’ll still be there for you.

And when the day arrives
That we no longer are apart
I’ll smile and hold you close to me…
Forever in my heart.


I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails;
I shall believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good to me;
And, though I weep because those sails are battered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered,
“I trust in Thee.”

I will not doubt, though all my prayers return
Unanswered from the still, white realm above;
I shall believe it is an all wise Love
Which has refused those things for which I yearn;
And though, at times, I cannot keep from grieving,
Yet the pure ardour of my fixed believing
Undimmed shall burn.

I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive;
I shall believe the heights for which I strive,
Are only reached by anguish and by pain;
And, though I groan and tremble with my crosses,
I yet shall see, through my severest losses,
The greater gain.

I will not doubt; well anchored in the faith,
Like some stanch ship, my soul braves every gale,
So strong its courage that it will not fail
To breast the mighty, unknown sea of death,
Oh, may I cry when body parts with spirit,
“I do not doubt,” so listening worlds may hear it
With my last breath.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

You will not find a better definition of repentance than the one given in the old children’s hymn:
“Repentance is to leave
The sins we loved before
And show that we in earnest grieve
By doing so no more.”

One poet describes the Bible as ‘The Anvil of God’s Word’ and wrote this:

Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.

“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”

And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
For ages sceptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

This is the story of Jonathan Jay,
Who died defending his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he went along,
But now he’s as dead as if he were wrong!


There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
Can circumvent or hinder or control
The firm resolve of a determined soul.
Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;
All things give way before it, soon or late.
What obstacle can stay the mighty force
Of the sea-seeking river in its course,
Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?
Each wellborn soul must win what it deserves.
Let the fool prate of luck. The fortunate
Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,
Whose slightest action or inaction serves
The one great aim. Why even Death stands still,
And waits an hour sometimes for such a will.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Whatever may be my future lot,
High or low concerns me not.
This doth set my heart at rest:
Whatever my God appoints is best. (Anon)

If the request is wrong, God says, “No.”
If the timing is wrong. God says, “Slow.”
If you are wrong, God says, “Grow.”
But if the request is right, the timing is right,
and you are right, then God says, “Go!”


A wise old owl sat on an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?

E. H. Richards

We shall do much in the years to come,
But what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
But what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak in words of love and cheer,
But what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
But what have we been today?
We shall bring each lonely life a smile,
But what have we brought today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
But whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
But what have we sown today?
We shall build up mansions in the sky,
But what have we built today?
’Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
But here and now do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
“What have we done today?”

It is too late! Ah, nothing is too late
Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.
Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
Wrote his grand Oedipus, and Simonides
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers,
When each had numbered more than fourscore years,
And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten,
Had but begun his “Characters of Men.”
Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales,
At sixty wrote the Canterbury Tales;
Goethe at Weimer, toiling to the last,
Completed Faust when he was eighty years past.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807-1882 (from Morituri Salutamus)

I’d rather be a Could-Be
If I cannot be an Are;
Because a Could-Be is a May-Be
Who might be reaching for a star.
I’d rather be a Has-Been
Than a Might-Have-Been by far,
For a Might-Have-Been has never been
But a Has was once an Are!

Milton Berle

It’s A Frog’s Life

Two frogs fell into a can of cream,
– or so I’ve heard it told.
The sides of the can were shiny and steep,
the cream was deep and cold.
“Oh, what’s the use?” said No. 1,
“’tis fate – no help’s around.
Good bye my friend! Good bye sad world!”
And weeping still he drowned.
But No. 2 of sterner stuff,
dog paddled in surprise.
The while he wiped his creamy face
and dried his creamy eyes.
“I’ll swim awhile, at least,” he said,
– or so it had been said.
“It wouldn’t really help the world,
if one more frog was dead.”
An hour or two he kicked and swam,
not once he stopped to mutter.
But kicked and swam, and swam and
kicked, then hopped out – via the butter.



Watch What You Say

I lost a very little word
Just the other day,
It was a very naughty word
I had not meant to say.
But then, it was not really lost
When from my lips it flew,
My little daughter picked it up
And now she says it too.


An unknown poet wrote:
‘Though the cover is worn and the pages are torn, and though places bear traces of tears.
Yet more precious than gold is this book worn and old, that can shatter and scatter my fears.
When I prayerfully look in this precious old book, as my eyes scan the pages I see;
Many tokens of love from the Father above, Who is nearest and dearest to me.
This old book is my guide, ‘tis a friend by my side, it will lighten and brighten my way.
And each promise I find soothes and gladdens my mind, as I read it and heed it today?’

Am I True To Myself

I have to live with myself and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself in the eye;
I don’t want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I have done.

I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf,
A whole lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody will know,
The kind of man that I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself in sham.

I want to go out with my head held erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and wealth,
I want to be able to like myself.
Whatever happens I want to be,
Self-respecting and conscious free.

by Edgar A. Guest

Beatitudes For Children

Blessed is the child who has someone to believe in him
And who has high hopes for him.
Blessed is the child who has someone to whom he can carry his
Problems unafraid.
Blessed is the child whose home is a haven of happiness
And love.
Blessed is the child to whom life is a book of knowledge and
Who is privileged to turn the pages one by one.
Blessed is the child who is allowed to pursue his curiosity into
Every worthwhile field of endeavour.
Blessed is the child who has someone who understands that
Childhood grief’s are both real and bitter and call for
Understanding sympathy.
Blessed is the child who has learned freedom from selfishness
Through responsibility and co-operation.
Blessed is the child whose parents find time for him.


‘To Any Little Boy’s Father’

There are little eyes upon you, and they’re watching night and day,
There are little ears that quickly take in everything you say,
There are little hands all eager to do everything you do,
And a little boy who’s dreaming of the day he’ll be like you.

You’re the little fellow’s idol, you’re the wisest of the wise,
In his little mind, about you, no suspicions ever rise.
He believes in you devoutly and holds that all you say and do,
He will say and do in the same way, when he’s grown up just like you.

There’s a wide-eyed little fellow who believes you’re always right,
And his ears are always open and he watches day and night.
You are setting an example every day in all you do,
For a little boy who’s waiting to grow up and be just like you. (Anon)