Assisi column and steps  

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Published 8- 30-10

Parable of the old dog, Marian Wright Edelman, Harold Duarte-Bernhardt, a proverb


Dear Readers,

It's a marvel to watch babies advance from crawling to walking.
Usually they pull themselves up, driven by some mysterious desire to
stand, and hold on. Then one day they let go and balance, unsteady
as a drunk. Plop, they fall! Undeterred, they stand again until they
take those first wobbly, weaving steps. Falling doesn't bother them.
Nope. They get back up and try again. And again. Until they walk.

The remarkable thing is that we were there once - in a mind set
where we didn't panic when we failed or when life presented us
an overwhelming series of challenges. To fracture Scott Peck's
book title, maybe we learned everything we needed to know
when we learned how to walk, even before kindergarten!

It's something to remember when we find ourselves in deep
trouble, whether we dug the hole ourselves or life threw us
into it. We don't have to panic. Climb out, one foot at
a time. Faith, hope and prayer can really help.

- Lisa

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Dog on roof
Photo by Stephen Bowman     All rights reserved

The parable is told of an old dog that fell into a farmer's
well. After assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized
with the dog but decided that neither the dog nor the well
were worth the trouble saving. Instead, he planned to bury
the old dog in the well and put him out of his misery.

When the farmer began shoveling, initially the old dog was
hysterical. But as the farmer continued shoveling and the
dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It dawned on him that
every time a shovel load of dirt landed on on his back he
should shake it off and step up. This he did blow after blow.
"Shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up, shake
it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself.

No matter how painful the blows or how distressing the
situation seemed, the old dog fought panic and just kept
shaking it off and stepping up! It was not long before the
dog, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over
the wall of that well. What seemed as though it would
bury him actually benefited him--all because
of the way he handled his adversity.

If we face our problems and respond to them positively,
refusing to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity, the
adversities that come along to bury us usually have within
them the potential to bless us! Forgiveness, faith, prayer,
praise, and hope are some of the biblical ways to shake it
off and step up out of the wells in which we find ourselves.

Citation: Submitted by Bruce Shelley
Excerpted from "Perfect Illustrations,"
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2002


We must not, in trying to think about how we can make
a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we
can make which, over time, add up to big differences
that we often cannot foresee.

Marian Wright Edelman (1939 -  )
American activist for children



We are all broken and wounded in this world.
Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.

Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt (1950 - )
Argentinean born American motivational speaker

The Last Word:
Just when the caterpillar
thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly.































































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

If you don't have time to do it right,
you must have time to do it over.



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