Failure doesn't mean - "You are a failure,"
It means - You have not succeeded.

Failure doesn't mean - "You accomplished nothing,"
It means - You have learned something.

Failure doesn't mean - "You have been a fool,"
It means - You had a lot of faith.

Failure doesn't mean - "You don't have it,"
It means - You were willing to try.

Failure doesn't mean - "You are inferior,"
It means - You are not perfect.

Failure doesn't mean - "You've wasted your life,"
It means - You have a reason to start afresh.

Failure doesn't mean - "You should give up,"
It means - "You must try harder.

Failure doesn't mean - "You'll never make it,"
It means - It will take a little longer.

Failure doesn't mean - "God has abandoned you,"
It means - God has a better way for you.

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

When Troubles Hit Your Life

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust in him.

You may be troubled on every side, but not distressed you my be perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.

Though you walk in the midst of troubles, God is with you; God will stretch forth his hand against the wrath of your enemies, and his right hand shall save you.

Let not your heart be trouble, you believe in God, believe also in Jesus Christ.

When you pass through the waters, God will be with you, and when you walk through the rivers, they will not overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, neither will the flame kindle upon you.

Know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Be glad and rejoice in God's mercy for he has considered your troubles; he knows your adversities.

Lift up your eyes unto the hills from whence cometh your help; Your help cometh from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth.

Come boldly to the throne of grace in prayer, that you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need.

Cast all your cares upon the Lord, for he cares about you.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ.

Weeping my endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.


Author Unknown

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."

Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter" and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true.

One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll take this one", and he cut it down."

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.

The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree.

The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it.

When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined.

We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

He is in the Fire with You

Malachi 3:3
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;

This is pretty neat. I hope it means to you what it means to me. This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?' He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you. Pass this on right now. This very moment, someone needs to know that God is watching over them. And, whatever they're going through, they'll be a better person in the end. 'Life is a coin. You can spend it anyway you wish, but you can only spend it once.'

"Still He Walked"

Author Unknown

He could hear the crowds screaming "crucify" "crucify"...
He could hear the hatred in their voices,
These were his chosen people.
He loved them,
And they were going to crucify him.
He was beaten, bleeding and weakened...
His heart was broken,
But still He walked.

He could see the crowd as he came from the palace.
He knew each of the faces so well.
He had created them.
He knew every smile, every laugh, and every shed tear,
But now they were contorted with rage and anger
His heart broke,
But still He walked.

Was he scared? You and I would have been
So his humanness would have mandated that he was.
He felt alone.
His disciples had left, denied, and even betrayed him.
He searched the crowd for a loving face and he saw very few.
Then he turned his eyes to the only one that mattered
And he knew that he would never be alone.
He looked back at the crowd...
At the people who were spitting at him
Throwing rocks at him and mocking him
And he knew that because of him,
They would never be alone.
So for them, He walked.

The sounds of the hammer striking the spikes echoed through the crowd.
The sounds of his cries echoed even louder,
The cheers of the crowd, as his hands and feet were nailed to the cross,
Intensified with each blow.
Loudest of all was the still small voice
Inside his Heart that whispered "I am with you, my son",
And God's heart broke.
He had let His son walk.

Jesus could have asked God to end his suffering,
But instead He asked God to forgive.
Not to forgive him, but to forgive the ones who were persecuting him.
As he hung on that cross, dying an unimaginable death,
He looked out and saw, not only the faces in the crowd,
But also, the face of every person yet to be,
And his heart filled with love.
As his body was dying, his heart was alive.
Alive with the limitless, unconditional love he feels for each of us.
That is why He walked.

When I forget how much My God loves me,
...I remember his walk.
When I wonder if I can be forgiven,
...I remember his walk.
When I need to be reminded of how to live like Christ,
...I think of his walk.
And to show him how much I love him,
...I wake up each morning, turn my eyes to him,
.......And I walk.

The Painting

Author Unknown

Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate.

The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction, as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.

As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again.

Within days, his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Easter holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season, a season that he and his son had so looked forward to, would visit his house no longer. On Easter morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man.

As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you."

As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man's son had told everyone of his father's love of fine art. "I'm an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to give you this." As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man's son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail.

Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task.

True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars of paintings. And then the man sat in his chair and spent Easter gazing at the gift he had been given. During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched. He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart.

As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received. The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation.

With the collector's passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Easter day, the day he had received his greatest gift.

The day soon arrived. Art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would claim "I have the greatest collection." The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum's list. It was the painting of the man's son.

The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent. "Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked. Minutes passed. No one spoke. From the back of the room came, "Who cares about that painting? It's just a picture of his son. Let's forget it and go on to the good stuff." More voices echoed in agreement.

"No, we have to sell this one first," replied the auctioneer.

"Now, who will take the son?" Finally, a friend of the old man and his son spoke. "Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it."

"I have ten dollars. Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice. Gone." The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures!"

The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over.

Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son. What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars of art here! I demand that you explain what's going on here!"

The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son... gets it all!"

Just as those art collectors discovered on that Easter day, the message is still the same - the love of a Father - a Father whose greatest joy came from His Son who left his home and gave his life rescuing others. And because of that Father's love... whoever takes the Son gets it all.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16)