The Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Now these little pigs really enjoyed acorns.

One day when they were out in the woods they found a large area that was just full of nice, fat, tasty acorns. At once they began gobbling them up as fast as they could. When they had finished the last one, they let out a big belch and one little pig said: “That was delicious, I’m full!” The second little pig said: “I’m tired, let’s take a nap.” The third little pig said: “I wonder where the acorns came from?”

Now if the three little pigs would have just taken the time to look up they would have seen a beautiful, tall tree with big billowing branches that produced hundreds of acorns every year. And also produced shade from the hot sun for those who needed it.

Here are two questions that we can ask ourselves: Are we like the three little pigs? Do we enjoy the beautiful, tasty things Jehovah provides and yet sometimes forget where they come from?

This story can be used to teach children to be thankful and not to forget that Jehovah is the “Great Provider” and he likes for us to say “thank you’ for his many gifts that he so lovingly gives to all.


Lepers

Why did only one cleansed leper return to thank Jesus? The following are nine suggested reasons why the nine did not return.

One waited to see if the cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, “O well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.”
One said, “Just any rabbi could have done it.”
One said, “I was already much improved.”


African berry

Some years ago there was a news report of a berry grown in Africa that can make things taste sweet, like sugar. An attempt was made to extract the chemicals and reproduce them for the American market.

The berry works on bitter acids but not other things. Thus, if you eat a berry and then drink unsugared iced tea, it will taste sweet. However, fried potatoes won’t taste sweet.

We can compare this with appreciation of the Christian way of life. We may at times get hit with “bitter” things. However, if we appreciate the promises and Jehovah’s name, we will count these as “sweet”.

Acts 5:41, the apostles went their way rejoicing they had been counted worthy to be dishonored.


Greek legend

An old Greek legend tells the tale of a slave named Androcles who once escaped from his master and fled to the forest.

As he was wandering about there he came upon a lion lying down moaning and groaning.

At first he turned to flee, but finding that the lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain.

He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat from which to live.

But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several days.

The emperor and all his court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim.

But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognised his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog.

The emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the lion let loose to his native forest.


Definition

Appreciation in the truest sense of the word means much more than simple gratitude. The word is similar to “appraise” which implies an evaluation.

According to the dictionary, an early meaning of “appreciation” was “to judge with respect to value, quality or quantity; to appraise; value”.

So then, we can conclude that true appreciation means to esteem something to its full value.

We see for example expressions such as “fine arts appreciation”. Obviously this goes beyond gratitude for such a thing as art, and involves a digging into it to learn the various nuances and esteem it highly.

Another comparison is the opposite word, depreciation. This is often used in financial language to show a diminishing value of an asset.

We can finally conclude then that to show appreciation for Jehovah, the Truth, the Ransom and other spiritual things means to take in considerable knowledge about these and then to esteem them highly.


Dirty dishes

Thank God for dirty dishes — they have a tale to tell. While others may go hungry, we’ve eaten very well. With home, health and happiness, I shouldn’t want to fuss. By the stack of evidence, God’s been very good to us!


Don’t mention it

We’re not very good at saying “Thank you,” are we? We’re like a little boy I heard about. On his return from a party, his mother queried, “Bobby, did you thank the lady for the party?”

“Well, I was going to. But a girl ahead of me said, ‘Thank you,’ and the lady told her not to mention it. So I didn’t.”


Heimlich maneuver

In a fancy restaurant a very rich man started to choke on a bone. Another man rushed over, reassured him that he was going to be all right and identified himself as a doctor.

He then performed the Heimlich maneuver. The bone popped out.

As the man’s breath and voice returned he said, “I’m ever so grateful doctor, how can I ever repay you?”

The doctor smiled and said, “I’ll settle for one-tenth of what you were willing to pay while you were choking.”


Rudyard Kipling

He at one time was so popular that his writings were getting ten shillings per word. A few college students, however didn’t appreciate Kipling’s writings; they facetiously sent him a letter enclosing ten shillings. It read, “Please, send us your best word.”

They got back a letter from Kipling, “Thanks.”


Scottish Widow

A poor old widow, living in the Scottish Highlands, was called upon one day by a gentleman who had heard that she was in need.

The old lady complained of her condition, and remarked that her son was in Australia and doing well.

“But does he do nothing to help you?” inquired the visitor.

“No, nothing,” was the reply. “He writes me regularly once a month, but only sends me a little picture with his letter.”

The gentleman asked to see one of the pictures that she had received, and found each one of them to be a draft for ten pounds. (British money)

Can we be like that?


Poetry

BE THANKFUL

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.


COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS NOT YOUR PROBLEMS

When you are the neediest, Jehovah is the most sufficient.
When you are completely helpless, He is the most helpful.
When you feel totally dependent, He is absolutely dependable.
When you are the weakest, He is the most able.
When you are the most alone, He is intimately present.
When you feel you are the least, He is the greatest.
When you feel the most useless, He is preparing you.
When it is the darkest, He is the only Light you need.
When you feel the least secure, He is your Rock and Fortress.
When you are the most humble, He is most gracious.


I may never see tomorrow; there’s no written guarantee,
And things that happened yesterday belong to history,
I cannot predict the future, I cannot change the past,
I have just the present moment, I must treat it as my last.

I must use this moment wisely for it soon will pass away,
And be lost to me forever as part of yesterday.
I must exercise compassion, help the fallen to their feet,
Be a friend unto the friendless, make an empty life complete.

The unkind things I do today may never be undone,
And friendships that I fail to win may nevermore be won.
I may not have another chance on bended knee to pray,
And thank God with a humble heart for giving me this day.

— author unknown


Thank God for life!
Even though it bring
much bitterness and strife,
And all our fairest hopes
be wrecked and lost,
Even though there be
more ill than good in life,
We cling to life
and reckon not the cost,
Thank God for life!

— author unknown


Texas millionaire

A Texas millionaire had fallen ill. Doctors consulted did not seem to
understand what ailed him. The millionaire let it be known that any doctor
who could heal him could have whatever he desired.

A country doctor was able to cure him and as the doctor was leaving after a
week’s stay, the Texan said, “Doc! I am a man of my word. You name it and
if it is humanly possible I’ll get it for you.”

“Well,” said the doctor, “I love to play golf, so if I could have a matching
set of golf clubs that would be fine.”

With that the doctor left. The doctor didn’t hear from the Texas millionaire for some months. Then one day he got a phone call from the millionaire.

“Doc, I bet you thought that I had gone back on my word. I have your matching set of golf clubs. The reason it took so long is that two of them didn’t have swimming pools and I didn’t think they were good enough for ya. So I had pools installed and they’re all ready for you now!”


Quotes

Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect. — Jean Jacques Rousseau

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous; he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. — Mark Twain

There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it. — Seneca (Roman philosopher)

There’s always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example: I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.


Ungratefulness

Many years ago in a northern city, an elevator operator (that gives you some idea of the age of this story) recovered two checks for over one hundred thousand dollars. The checks had been lost by a tenent in the apartment house where the operator worked.

His reward was a 15 cent tip and an offer to put iodine on the paper cuts he received while shuffling through the garbage to recover the checks. It seems the checks were in envelopes that were placed by mistake into a bundle of letters to be discarded.

The odd thing about this man’s experience was that wasn’t the first time he had been poorly rewarded for his honesty.

Some years earlier, while working as a window cleaner in a federal bank, he found a package that contained some 80 thousand dollars in cash.

On that occasion the bank president did give him 25 dollars.

Unfortunately some people aren’t very grateful for good deeds done to them as this man discovered.


In some parts of Mexico hot springs and cold springs are found side by side — and because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon the women often bring their laundry and boil their clothes in the hot springs and then rinse them in the cold ones.

A tourist, who watching this procedure commented to his mexican friend and guide: “I imagine that they think old Mother Nature is pretty generous to supply clean hot and cold water here side by side for their free use?”

The guide replied, “No senor, there is much grumbling because she supplies no soap.”


One cold, blustery winter’s day, a woodman was trampling back home when he saw something black lying on the snow.

Upon closer examination he saw that is was a snake, dead by most reckoning, apparently frozen.

The kindly man picked up the snake and carried it home with him. When he got indoors, he placed the snake near the fireplace to warm up.

Slowly the serpent began to revive. One of the man’s children stooped down to stroke the snake and it immediately raised its head to strike.

The woodman swiftly seized an axe and with one stroke cut the evil creature in twain.

“Ah ha,” said he, “there’s no gratitude from the wicked”.

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