When-you-look-at-aCaterpillars seem like such creepy little things.

They destroy your lettuces, they have lots of legs and they look as though they will squish if you step on them.

To me, they don’t seem to have any endearing aspects.

They eat and eat and eat and eat, until they are big enough to build a cocoon.

And then they go through the remarkable process of metamorphosis to become an elegant butterfly.

So let me ask you, when you look at a caterpillar, do you see what is, or what could be?

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Dr Munjed Al MuderisIn October 1999, Dr Munjed Al Muderis was a talented young surgeon working at the Saddam Hussein Medical Centre in Baghdad when the military broke in with busloads of army deserters to have their ears amputated by the surgeons.

The head of surgery refused to take part in such a barbaric act and was promptly taken outside and shot.  In all of the confusion, Dr Muderis managed to hide in a cubicle in the women’s toilets.

After the carnage was over, Dr Muderis knew that he would be a wanted man and couldn’t return to his home, so he found a way to escape the country and a few weeks later he found himself on a leaky boat with 150 other asylum seekers making his way towards the shores of Australia.

He ended up in one of Australia’s detention centres that are used to process asylum seekers in remote Western Australia.  He was assigned a number and, like everyone else in these facilities, treated inhumanely while his application was processed.  A year later he was finally granted asylum and given the freedom to live and work in Australia.

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The-function-of-man-isWriter Jack London once wrote:

I would rather be ashes than dust!

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The function of man is to live, not to exist. Read the rest of this entry »

Regret-is-what-youDon’t be afraid of contracting ebola.

Don’t lay awake at night worrying about terrorists.

Don’t fret about something happening to your kids.

Don’t be scared of the government, immigrants, being made redundant or delinquent youths.

What should you fear the most?

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Little Athletics

Logan, Hayden and our brave little Madison

A few weeks ago, Hayden, Madison and Logan started Little Athletics.

This means that every Saturday morning, Karen and I follow them around as they participate in five separate track and field events each.  The final event for Madison last Saturday was the 400 metres.  In her age bracket, they don’t run in their own lanes, but 16 little girls line up together and then, soon after starting, make their way to the inside lanes.

In the argy-bargy, Madison was caught up in the bunch and fell flat on her face, scraping her elbow and knee on the concrete drain that runs inside the track.

I immediately started to run to help her as she lay there while all of the other runners went past her.

And in that moment, she had a choice: Read the rest of this entry »

Career expert, Dan Miller recently shared this story on his blog about a farmer who grew discontent with his farm.

The farmer complained about the lake on his property that always needed to have the fish thinned out.  The rolling hills made it more difficult for him to run the fence rows.  Sometimes he couldn’t even see his cows because they had so much territory to cover.  At night it was so dark it was hard to walk from the barn back to his house.

He decided to sell the place and move somewhere really nice.  He called a real estate agent and made plans to sell his property.

A few days later he picked up the local paper, looking for a new place to live.  His eye caught an ad for a lovely country home in an ideal location – quiet and peaceful.

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Can-you-enterCan you find work that is fulfilling and pays the bills?

Can you defeat your fears and doubts to create phenomenal work?

Can you develop the skills required to maximise your potential?

Can you make a positive and lasting difference in the world?

Can you overcome the obstacles in your path?

Can you find the time to do all that you need to do?

Can you wake up on a Monday morning with passion and enthusiasm? Read the rest of this entry »

Everything-is-possibleIn Mark chapter 9, there is a story of a father who has asked Jesus to heal his son.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If you can?” said Jesus. Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

There are times when I can relate to this man more than any other character in the Bible.  I have a strong faith, but it doesn’t come without questions or doubts.

This is my prayer when I feel like this: Read the rest of this entry »

It-is-a-lot-likeIn his book of essays titled “Palm Sunday” novelist Kurt Vonnegut says of writers,

“Our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time.  It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump.  Anybody can do it.  All it takes is time.”

I love that thought “inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump” and my suspicion is that this doesn’t just apply to writing novels, but other ventures as well.

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Not-everyone-has-toNot everyone needs to believe in your dreams.

Your boss doesn’t.

Your pastor doesn’t.

Your family doesn’t.

Your friends don’t.

It’s nice if they all do, but it’s not totally necessary.

Because not everyone needs to believe in your dreams, but you do.

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