The Secret of Forgiveness



When you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn your back against your future.  When you do forgive, you start walking forward.

Tyler Perry



“The Traveler’s Gift”

by Andy Andrews

pg. 133-134

“Sit back down for a moment, son,” Lincoln commanded gently.  David did so.

“David, you are at a critical point in your life’s race and their exists a person to whom your forgiveness has been withheld for far too long.  By the limited authority that I have been granted as your host for this short time, I must now warn you that without a forgiving spirit, your effectiveness as a husband, a father, and a leader of people will be at an end.  The key to everything your future holds, the touchstone that will, for you, bring dreams into reality, is forgiveness.”

David’s mouth was open, and a look of confusion and faint astonishment was written in his eyes.

“Who is it?”  he said.  Lincoln merely looked at him.  “Sir? Who is it?”

Lincoln stood up and brushed off the front of his jacket and pants.  David stood up and said, “Mr. President, you have to tell me who it is!”

Lincoln picked up the glass of water and drained the contents.  He stepped towards the door, and David put his hand on Lincoln’s arm.  “Listen!”  David said, “You are about to go out there, and I’ll never see you again.  You as much as said my life would be over if I did not forgive this person.  So if it’s that important, tell me!  Who must I forgive?”

The president looked carefully into David’s eyes and said simply, …TO BE CONTINUED


Robin Williams + 4 Inspiring Stories of How Great Teachers Made a Difference


The striking ‘Carpe Diem’ speech delivered by Williams some 25 years ago has made thousands of young people determined to “make their lives extraordinary”.

“Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go (imitating a goat) “that’s baaaaad”. Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”

“I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.”

“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”


4 Inspiring Stories of How Great Teachers Changed Someone’s Life

by | Oct 9, 2017


Nobody can inspire us like great teachers can. They seem to come along at just the right moment, at a time when we need them the most. Great teachers show us things about ourselves we can’t see. They see potential in us that others, including ourselves, can’t or won’t. Above all, they give us the courage to find our own way with just enough guidance to show us that the impossible—or what we perceive as impossible—is anything but that.

Below are a few short and inspiring stories of how great teachers changed the lives of a few of the most well-known individuals in the world.

4 Stories of Great Teachers with Great Students

These are people who rose from humble beginnings and personal struggles to achieve world-renowned success, and all thanks to having great teachers. If you think that even your smallest actions as a teacher can’t make a difference, these 4 stories should convince you otherwise.

Les Brown: A Moment of Clarity

Les Brown is one of the world’s foremost motivational speakers and thought leaders on self-improvement and goal-setting. However, it wasn’t always that way for him. Born in Liberty City, Miami on the floor of an abandoned building, he has known struggle and hardship his entire life.

Academically, Les was a struggling student from the get-go. The story goes that during his school days he was labelled “educable mentally handicapped” by the academic intelligentsia of his day and placed back from 6th grade to 5th grade. To make matters worse, he had a twin brother who was exceptionally bright and gifted, and as such Les became commonly referred to by his peers as the “DT”—the “dumb twin.”


One day a teacher asked him to come up and solve a problem on the chalkboard, but Les refused and said that he couldn’t. “Of course you can,” the teacher responded encouragingly. “Young man, come up here and solve this problem for me.”

“But I can’t,” insisted Les. “I’m educable mentally handicapped.” The rest of the class erupted in laughter. At that point, the teacher stepped out from behind his desk and looked Les straight in the eye. “Don’t ever say that again,” he told him firmly. “Someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.”

Les never forgot those words, and spent the rest of his life overcoming incredible odds and pursuing his goals with passion and fervour. Time and time again, thanks to that one teacher’s powerful revelation, Les has lived the phrase he’s famous for all over the world: You have greatness within you.

Emily Blunt: From Stutter to Stagecraft

Most people know Emily Blunt as a Golden Globe-nominated film and stage actress. However, between the ages of 7 and 14 she developed a crippling stutter that had her struggling to even hold a simple conversation. “I was a smart kid and had a lot to say, but I just couldn’t say it,” she claimed in an interview for W Magazine. “I never thought I’d be able to sit and talk to someone like I’m talking to you right now.”


For Blunt, it was one junior high teacher in particular that she claims helped her overcome her fear of speaking by encouraging her to try out for the school play. At first, Blunt resisted the idea, but the teacher wouldn’t give up on her and coaxed her to take acting lessons and experiment with different accents and character voices to help express herself. In the end, those efforts paid off for her immensely. In addition to her incredibly successful career as an actress, she also became a member of the board of directors for the American Institute for Stuttering.

Maya Angelou: Passion in Poetry

Before Maya Angelou became the powerful poet and civil rights activist the world remembers her as, she suffered a life of torment and darkness that nearly stole her voice forever. At a very young age she was forced to endure intense physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a family member. As a result, she became mute for nearly five years.


It all changed one day with the help of a family friend, a teacher named Bertha Flowers. Angelou credited Mrs. Flowers for helping her find her own voice again. Through Flowers, she was introduced to African-American female artists like Frances Harper, Anne Spencer, and Jessie Fauset. In addition, Mrs. Flowers introduced Angelou to Dickens, Shakespeare, Poe, and several other prolific writers who would come to greatly influence her personal and professional philosophies.

Bill Gates: Questions That Matter

When Bill Gates attended Seattle’s View Ridge Elementary, he was a typical nerdy 4th-grade introvert who always did his best to keep to himself. Thanks to a kindly librarian named Blanche Caffiere, he was able to come into his own in a way that would one day change the world forever. Gates sets the stage for this tale on his blog:

“When I first met Mrs. Caffiere, she was the elegant and engaging school librarian at Seattle’s View Ridge Elementary, and I was a timid fourth grader. I was desperately trying to go unnoticed, because I had some big deficits, like atrocious handwriting … and I was trying to hide the fact that I liked to read—something that was cool for girls but not for boys … Mrs. Caffiere took me under her wing and helped make it okay for me to be a messy, nerdy boy who was reading lots of books.”


He credits Mrs. Caffiere for helping him escape his shell in the true spirit of exceptional teaching. First, she encouraged Gates’ passion for reading by helping him explore it through the use of introspective questions, such as what he liked to read and why. Next, she’d go out of her way to source books that were progressively more interesting and challenging for him. Finally, once he’d read them, she would sit down with him and ask him if he liked what he had read, and more importantly, what he’d learned and why. “She genuinely listened to what I had to say,” Gates recalled.

In 2006, shortly after reaching her 100th birthday, Blanche Caffiere sadly passed away—but not before Gates was able to thank her personally for the lasting impact her love and curiosity had on his life.

Image result for robin williams - dead poets

I don’t do “lunch” except …


Lunch with Jesus



Every year I read The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews.  It is a novel about a young man facing huge crises in his life, and after a car accident he finds himself traveling through time.  He is met by various historical figures, each one giving him a piece of valued advice.

He meets Presidents Truman and Lincoln, Christopher Columbus and Anne Frank among others.  That book is a quick read, and one of my favorites, but it always leaves me thinking, “With whom would I like to meet and share a few moments of discussion?”

Like the character in the book, I would love to meet Truman and Lincoln, and probably John Adams, Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky and maybe even comic Phyllis Diller, whose movies made me laugh as a kid.

But there is no one I would rather sit down and speak with than Jesus.  With all the division, controversy, and threats of violence this world faces, I would love to have “lunch with Jesus” so to speak – to hear what he would say, and also ask his advice on how I could help heal these divisions by living a better life.  But actually, I know his words to me would not deviate from what has already been recorded in the Bible.

I love Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, chapters 5 – 7). In it, Jesus doesn’t coddle our petty dislikes and animosities, let alone the  vicious hatred one may feel towards another.  He voices some strong demands when he states, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”  Through the years, these words have been a rebuke to me when I have been less than loving to others, and a comfort when I’ve been verbally attacked.

As a Christian, specifically as a Christian Scientist, I take the words and works of Jesus to be the saving grace that can bring healing to the destructive disputes and violence that plague our country and our world.  The Son of God presented the answer to every problem we face and promised, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed…”  If obeying and living the truth he taught is the purest form of Christianity, then the Sermon on the Mount must be cherished in the heart of every Christian as a vastly important guide to life.

This is what Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, advocated.  She not only quoted from it many times in her writings; she wrote this in a message to her church: “To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice.”

Eddy taught that Jesus’ words and especially his works are not relics of a past culture and less sophisticated time.  They are timeless in their spiritual power and effectiveness – even to the healing of disease.  The omnipotent God Jesus showed us is still present to heal our physical bodies as well as our community “bodies”.  This has been proven in my life many times – in cases of all sorts of illnesses, as well as in times of personal conflict.

I remember one night before performing in front of a crowd, I became sick to my stomach.  Since I was to play the clarinet in that performance, I could not afford to be nauseous.  I thought about Jesus’ great love for all, and the omnipresent Father that he taught us to pray to.  As I sat waiting for my time to go on stage, I prayed the Lord’s Prayer, slowly and silently, trying to feel the saving power of God behind the words.  By the time I finished this great prayer, I was able to go on stage and perform effortlessly and beautifully.

I guess in a way, I had “lunch with Jesus” that evening, by letting his words speak to me, influence me, and bring calmness and wellness into my life.  This is possible for all of us.  Jesus’ teachings still speak through the ages to each of us, and they hold vast, untapped potential for bringing peace, love and healing into our communities.

If you’re disturbed by world events or personal issues and would like to have lunch with a wise and caring friend, open the Bible and have lunch with Jesus – by reading his beloved Sermon, and letting it have an impact on you and your actions.  The healing of the world begins with each of us.

©2017 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois

The One Great Heart with Psalm 23 and Virginia Harris, C.S.B.


The One Great Heart

True, we have great hearts!

Great enough to overpower every anxious thought about disasters from earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, and floods – with confidence in divine Mind to guide us. Great enough to be generous with Spirit-inspired prayer and practical support that meet our neighbors’ needs. Empowered by divine Love, our hearts are big enough to kindly respect differing opinions – and strong enough to stand up courageously against every threat of hate and harm.

How can our hearts be so strong, generous, accepting, courageous…great? Because our hearts are one with infinite, divine Love. It may take time to see complete restoration, but the abundance of the great heart of Love endures.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],

I shall not want.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

He refreshes and restores my soul (life);

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

(Amplified Bible)





Responding to tragedy’s cry


Responding to tragedy’s cry

Nothing can separate you from God.

From the September 25, 2000 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

At a time of personal tragedy, when months of prayerful labor and human goals had been swept away, I could find no reason to live or direction to take. One evening, when taking the dog for a walk, I came to a street corner, and then could walk no more. I didn’t know whether to go ahead, to turn to the right or to the left, or even whether to go back home. I simply stood there paralyzed by despair.

I don’t know how long I remained standing there, but quietly an inner voice spoke, almost as if it were the voice of God. “Take a step. I will be with you.” I did just that. I took a step, and then another, and then another, knowing I was not alone, but actually walking with God.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isa. 41:10). This promise from God is meant for you and for me. And the priceless sense of God’s being with us can be felt at any moment. The divine Love that is Life itself is not remote or far ahead in an uncertain future, nor has God been left behind because of our loss.

Even in a devastating or widespread calamity, we can listen for and follow God’s leading as we take each step toward recovery. While these steps may be slow and difficult at first, they will eventually become wholly joyous. As this occurs, it will become more and more natural to sing, as the Hebrew Psalmist did, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever” (Ps. 30:11, 12).

The ability to pray immediately when our brothers and sisters around the world are in trouble is a special phenomenon of this age. Conversely, listeners thousands of miles away can learn quickly of our tragedies and offer their prayers to help us. Praying to God in times of trouble, and receiving His aid for us and others, make it increasingly clear that God is never absent. The children God has created are not separated into a here and a hereafter. When our response to a difficult condition of any kind is a spiritual one, we not only find help in the present situation, but also realize that the kingdom of heaven, its laws and bestowals, are really come to earth. Or, more accurately, earthly elements and happenings no longer obscure our ability to experience the kingdom of God.


Ellen Isn’t Giving Up Hope in the Midst of Devastating Events



Ellen Isn’t Giving Up Hope in the Midst of Devastating Events

Despite the fact there’s so much going on in the world right now, Ellen still believes there’s a lot more good in the world than bad. Over the past 15 seasons, Ellen has met many people who do good in the world, and these are just some of them. Take a look back at these everyday heroes who have helped make the world a better place.



Oprah – “Turn OFF the news. Turn ON Ellen. You will FEEL better!”


“I feel the soul of the nation — I feel the ache that we all feel,” she said. “As the names are coming out and you get to see who they are by name, I speak their names out loud in thoughtful prayer.”





Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out About Las Vegas Shooting: ‘I Feel the Ache That We All Feel’




Oprah Winfrey is sharing some words of wisdom with the nation following Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.

In a Wednesday appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 63-year-old mogul opened up to the host about the tragic massacre that has gripped the nation.

“I feel the soul of the nation — I feel the ache that we all feel,” she said. “As the names are coming out and you get to see who they are by name, I speak their names out loud in thoughtful prayer.”

The nation has been reeling since 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on thousands at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino just after 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Paddock was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his room.

Winfrey spoke poignantly of the tragedy, telling 59-year-old DeGeneres “this is a time for all of us, first of all, to appreciate the ordinary.”

She recalled past attacks, and revealed that she often thinks of the many victims while doing ordinary things.

“At the oddest times, when I’m putting on my shoes, when I’m taking a shower, when I’m going to pick up a robe, I think all those people that morning did the same thing and it was such an ordinary day,” she said.

“I think about everybody who went to that concert the other night,” she continued. “It was just an ordinary day, and how excited everybody was to be out in the open air and be at that concert. And then they didn’t come home.”

“So this is a reminder to all of us to appreciate the ordinariness of our days,” she said. “Because that’s what makes life extraordinary.”

Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out About Las Vegas Shooting: ‘I Feel the Ache That We All Feel’

“Blessed Are They That Mourn”

God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.

(Rev. 21:4)


The sermon on the mount and the lords prayer from the film adaptation of the life of Jesus – Jesus of Nazareth


“Blessed Are They That Mourn”

From the May 30, 1959 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


One who is grieving over the death of a treasured friend or relative may wonder how he can make practical Christ Jesus’ beatitude (Matt. 5:4), “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Christian Science shows one how to do this. It helps one rise above the mortal senses, which present man as frail flesh, by revealing the spiritual man made in God’s likeness.

This man is infinitely apart from matter and mortality but is known to spiritual sense. Being forced to seek this true understanding of man, the mourner is blessed and comforted. The veil of mortality is lifted in a measure, and he rejoices in a clearer view of immortal man.

When one glimpses the wonder of immortality, he is ready to take a longer view of life than that which the brief span of earthly existence affords. He sees human life as continuing after death until the individual is ready to put off mortality altogether. Mary Baker Eddy says in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 429), “Mortals waken from the dream of death with bodies unseen by those who think that they bury the body.” This conclusion must be reached by all who comprehend that mortals develop and control their own bodies and that the physical self represents an unspiritualized state of mind. The conclusion must also be reached that death is merely an incident in human existence and not the end of it. Spiritualization of thought alone can demonstrate eternal life, as the pattern set by Christ Jesus shows.

The Apostle Paul said (I Cor. 15:26), “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Last because fundamental to the belief of life in matter, an enemy because opposed to the truth, mortality must be put down as an unreal experience of an unreal mind. Physical sense must be overcome by Christliness. Then the human phenomenon of death will be understood as illusion, and it will be ruled out of human thought by the reality of indestructible life as God creates it. Man made in the likeness of immortal Life will be proved to be the only man.


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