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THE BELOVED MAN

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A Siberian shaman asked God to show him a man that He loved. The Lord advised him to look for a certain farmer.

“What do you do to make the Lord love you so much?” the shaman asked the farmer when he found him. “I say His name in the morning. I work all day and say His name before going to sleep. That’s all,” the farmer replied. I think I found the wrong man, thought the shaman.

Just then the Lord appeared and said, “Fill a bowl with milk, go to town and then return. Without spilling a single drop.”

The shaman did so. On his return, the Lord wanted to know how many times he had thought of Him. “How could I? I was worried not to spill the milk!”

“A simple bowl made you forget Me,” said the Lord, “and the farmer, with all his tasks, thinks of me twice a day.”

 

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STONE SOUP

Many years ago three soldiers, hungry and weary of battle, came upon a small village. The villagers, suffering a meager harvest and the many years of war, quickly hid what little they had to eat and met the three at the village square, wringing their hands and bemoaning the lack of anything to eat.

The soldiers spoke quietly among themselves and the first soldier then turned to the village elders. "Your tired fields have left you nothing to share, so we will share what little we have: the secret of how to make soup from stones."

Naturally the villagers were intrigued and soon a fire was put to the town's greatest kettle as the soldiers dropped in three smooth stones. "Now this will be a fine soup", said the second soldier; "but a pinch of salt and some parsley would make it wonderful!" Up jumped a villager, crying "What luck! I've just remembered where some's been left!" And off she ran, returning with an spoonful of parsley and a turnip. As the kettle boiled on, the memory of the village improved: soon barley, carrots, beef and cream had found their way into the great pot.

They ate and danced and sang well into the night, refreshed by the feast and their new-found friends. In the morning the three soldiers awoke to find the entire village standing before them. At their feet lay a satchel of the village's best breads and cheese. "You have given us the greatest of gifts: the secret of how to make soup from stones", said an elder, "and we shall never forget." The third soldier turned to the crowd, and said: "There is no secret, but this is certain: it is only by sharing that we may make a feast". And off the soldiers wandered, down the road.



 

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BUYING TIME

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door. Daddy, may I ask you a question?” “Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?

“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?”

The father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.” The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep son?” he asked. “No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that $10.00 you asked for.” The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

“Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”

 

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