Get settled and comfortable. We’re presenting five inspiring stories to make you feel good, reinforce your faith, and leave you wiser.

Faith on an island

During a storm at sea, a voyaging ship was wrecked, and just two of the men on board could swim to a small, desert-like island. Without knowing what else to do, the two survivors concluded they had no choice except to pray to God. To determine whether prayer was more potent, they agreed to split the region and stay on opposite ends of the island.

Food was the first thing they prayed for. The first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land the following day and could consume its fruit. The second man’s plot of land remained undeveloped.

After a week, the first man felt lonely and decided to pray for a wife. Another ship was wrecked the next day, and the sole survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the island. There was nothing on the other side of the island.

The first man soon asked for a house, clothes, and more food. All of these were supplied to him the next day as if by magic. The second man, on the other hand, had nothing.

Finally, the first guy asked for a ship to depart the island with his wife. He awoke to find a boat docked on his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife, leaving the second man behind on the island.

He thought the other man was unworthy of God’s blessings because none of his prayers had been answered. “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?” said a thundering voice from heaven as the ship was about to leave.

“My blessings are mine alone,” the first man replied, “because I was the one who prayed for them.” “All his prayers went unanswered, so he does not deserve anything.”

“You are mistaken!” said the Voice. “He only had one prayer, which I answered.” You would not have received any of my benefits if it hadn’t been for that.”

“Tell me,” the first man said, “what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”

“He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”

For all we know, our blessings result from someone else’s prayers for us, not our own.

Puppy size love

“Danielle continues saying it over and over. We’ve visited this animal shelter at least five times. “It’s been weeks since we started all of this,” the mother explained to the volunteer. “What is it that she keeps asking for?” inquired the volunteer. “Puppy size!” the mother exclaimed. “Well, we have plenty of puppies if that’s what she wants.” “I know…we’ve seen most of them,” the mother replied regretfully.

Just then, Danielle walked into the office. “Well, did you find one?” her mother inquired. “No, not this time,” Danielle answered mournfully. “Can we come back again next weekend?” Mom and Dad had lengthy chats with her over the next three days.

They both thought she was being overly picky. “It’s this weekend, or we’re not looking anymore,” Dad eventually stated, exasperated.”We also don’t want to hear any more about puppy size.”

They were the first people to arrive at the shelter on Saturday morning. Danielle knew her way around by this point, so she dashed for the portion with the smaller dogs. Tired of the routine, Mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages.

There was an observation glass where you could watch the animals even when guests weren’t allowed. Danielle moved slowly from cage to cage, occasionally kneeling to get a better look. The dogs were brought out individually, and she held each one. She said, one by one, “Sorry, you’re not the one.”

It was the last cage on this final day of looking for the perfect puppy. The volunteer opened the cage door, and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer. “I found the right puppy! He’s the one! I know it!” she screamed with joy. “It’s the puppy size!” 

Mom came running to meet Danielle. “But it’s the same size as all the other puppies you held over the last few weeks.” Danielle said “No not size —- the sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed.”

She continued, “Don’t you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on the signs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sigh!” 

Mom didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both.”Mom, every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if he sighed when I held him in my arms,” she said. Then holding the puppy up close to her face, she said, “Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!”

Close your eyes briefly and think about the love that makes you sigh. You can hear it in the arms of your loved ones. The view of a sunset. The kiss of the moonlight and the gentle brush of cool air on a hot day. They are the sighs of God. Take the time to stop and listen; you will be surprised at what you hear.

Forgiveness Wanted

The story is about a father and his teenage son living in Spain. Over the years, their relationship became strained. The list of hurts grew so long that the son ran away from home. The father searched for him, but after months of failure, he made one last desperate effort by putting an ad in the local newspaper of Madrid.

 “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” The next day at noon, in front of the newspaper office, eight hundred Pacos showed up. 

We all need forgiveness, and we must learn how to forgive.

What His Dad Taught Him About Honor & Purity

A teenager asked his father if he could go to an unsupervised party where drinking would occur.  He denied his request. “Aw, Dad, why not?” he complained.  “I’m in high school now!” Dad replied: “Because some will drink, and the party could get out of control.” “But, Dad, those are very small parts of the party!  That’s what my friend told me there would be a few people drinking. “My answer is ‘no,’ and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay home tonight and invite some friends over.  But you will not go to that party.  End of discussion.” 

The teenager walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped on the couch. As he sulked, he was surprised to hear the sounds of his father preparing something in the kitchen. He soon recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven and thought, “Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he’s going to try to make it up to me with some fresh brownies.  Maybe I can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to me and persuades him to let me go to that party after all.”

The teen was not disappointed.  Soon his father appeared with a plate of warm brownies. He took one. Then his father said, “Before you eat, I want to tell you something: I love you very much.” The teenager smiled; Dad was softening.

“I’ve made these brownies from scratch with the best ingredients. The best stone-milled flour.  The best free-range eggs.  The best organic pure cane sugar. Premium vanilla and the finest chocolate.” The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teen became a little impatient with his dad’s long speech. 

“But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies.  I got that ingredient from our backyard.  But you needn’t worry because I only added the tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically insignificant.  So take a bite and let me know what you think.”

“Dad, would you mind telling me what that mystery ingredient is before I eat it?” Dad answered, “Why?  The portion I added was so small.  Just a teaspoonful.  You won’t even taste it.” The teen said, “Come on, Dad; just tell me what that ingredient is.” 

“Well, OK, if you insist.  That secret ingredient is organic…dog poop.” The teen instantly dropped his brownie back on the plate and began inspecting his fingers with horror. “DAD!  Why did you do that?  You’ve tempted me by making me smell the brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell me you added dog poop! I can’t eat these brownies!”

Dad asked, “Why not?  The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the ingredients.  It won’t hurt you.  It’s been cooked along with the other ingredients, it has the same consistency as the brownies, and you won’t even taste it. Go ahead and eat it.”

His son replied, “No, never.”

The wise dad continued, “That is why I won’t allow you to attend that party. You won’t tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you tolerate a little immorality in your life?  We pray that God will not lead us to temptation. So how can you in good conscience entertain yourself with something that could easily get you into trouble?” 

The teenager lowered his head, then looked up at his Dad. He smiled. He finally understood. He never did go to high school parties drinking. 

And he always remembered what his Dad taught him about honoring purity.

Wisdom in a Cup

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, visited an old university professor.  The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. 

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:

“If you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.  While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.  Be assured that the cup itself usually adds no quality to the coffee. It’s just more expensive and sometimes hides what you drink.  What all of you wanted was coffee, not the cup. But you went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other’s cups.”

The professor continued, “Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money, and societal position are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live.”  

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the appearance of the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.

Inspirational stories are the ones that make you laugh or cry. A story can change your mood, brighten your day, or bring you closer to your loved ones. Whenever you come across a story that inspires you, please share it.