Saturday, December 25, 2004


Just wanted to share this story.........ENJOY and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!



Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at
Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a
picture of a little girl. "Who is this?" asked Santa, smiling. "Your
friend? Your sister?"
"Yes, Santa," he replied. "My sister, Sarah, who is very sick," he said
Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw
her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.
"She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!" the
child exclaimed. "She misses you," he added softly. Santa tried to be
cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy's face, asking him what he
wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.
When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the
child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.
"What is it?" Santa asked warmly. "Well, I know it's really too much to
ask you, Santa, but ..." the old woman began, shooing her grandson over
to one of Santa's elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all
his young visitors. "The girl in the photograph ... my granddaughter ...
well, you see ... she has leukemia and isn't expected to make it even
through the holidays," she said through tear-filled eyes. "Is there any
way, Santa ... any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That's
all she's asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa."  Santa blinked
and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his
elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do.  Santa
thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had
to do. "What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying," he
thought with a sinking heart, "this is the least I can do."
When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening,
he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was
staying.  He asked the assistant location manager how to get to
Children's Hospital.  "Why?" Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his
face. Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah's grandmother
earlier that day. "C'mon .... I'll take you there," Rick said softly.
Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found
out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the
hall.  Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door
and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was full of what appeared to
be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl's brother he had
met earlier that  day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah's mother
stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead. And
another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair
near the bed with weary, sad look on her face.  They were talking
quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family,
and their love and concern for Sarah.
Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the
room, bellowing a hearty, "Ho, ho, ho!" "Santa!" shrieked little Sarah
weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes in tact.
Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age
of his own son -- 9 years old -- gazed up at him with wonder and
excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald
patches from the effects of chemotherapy.  But all he saw when he
looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he
had to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted
upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the
women in the room. As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept
quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa's shoulder or his
hand gratefully, whispering "thank you" as they gazed sincerely at him
with shining eyes.  Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told
him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd
been a very good girl that year. As their time together dwindled, Santa
felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah,  and asked for permission
from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family
circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely at
Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels. "Oh, yes, Santa ... I
do!" she exclaimed. "Well, I'm going to ask that angels watch over
you,"he said. Laying one hand on the child's head, Santa closed his eyes
and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from
this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep
her.  And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started
singing softly, "Silent Night, Holy Night .... all is calm, all is
bright." The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah,
and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed
at them all.  When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed
again and held Sarah's frail, small hands in his own. "Now, Sarah," he
said authoritatively, "you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate
on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this
summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time
next year!" He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little
girl  who had terminal cancer, but he "had" to. He had to give her the
greatest gift he could -- not dolls or games or toys -- but the gift of
HOPE. "Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright. He leaned down and
kissed her on the forehead and left the room.  Out in the hall, the
minute Santa's eyes met Rick's, a look passed between them and they wept
unashamed. Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room
quickly and rushed to Santa's side to thank him. "My only child is the
same age as Sarah," he explained quietly. "This is the least I could
do."  They nodded with understanding and hugged him. One year later,
Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week,
seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one
day a child came up to sit on his lap. "Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"
"Of course, I do," Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at
After all, the secret to being a "good" Santa is to always make each
child feel as if they are the "only" child in the world at that moment.
"You came to see me in the hospital last year!" Santa's jaw dropped.
Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle
and held her to his chest.  "Sarah!" he exclaimed. He scarcely
recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy
-- muchdifferent from the little girl he had visited just a year
before. He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the
sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes. That was the best
Christmas ever for Santa Claus. He had witnessed --and been blessed to
be instrumental in bringing about -- this miracle of hope.  This
precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He
silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, "Thank you, Father.
'Tis a very, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2004





 A Christmas Story to Remember  

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible; instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though; I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.

But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.

Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood---the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "Why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."

That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.

When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes. They're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunnysacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing.We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?

Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, and then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. "We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.

She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children---sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.

In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kidsstarted giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, "'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunnysacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night; he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

Don't be too busy today...


I would like to wish you and yours a very BLESSED and JOYOUS CHRISTMAS...and a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I remember my first Christmas party with Grandma.   I was just a kid.  I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered  "Even dummies know that!"
My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been.  I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me.  I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.  Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm.  Between bites I told her everything.  She was ready for me.
"No Santa Claus!" she snorted.  "Ridiculous!  Don't believe it That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad.  Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go?  Go where, Grandma?" I asked.  I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun.
"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.  As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.  That was a bundle in those days.
'Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it.  I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old.  I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.  The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.  For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.  I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.  I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker.
He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs.  Pollock's grade-two class.
Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat.  I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter.  His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat.  I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement.  I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat.  I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it.  It looked real warm, and he would like that.
"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.
"Yes, "I replied shyly.  "It's ...  for Bobbie."
The nice lady smiled at me.  I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it -- Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.  Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers.  Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.
Then Grandma gave me a nudge.  "All right, Santa Claus", she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open.  Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie.
Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes.  That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous.  Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


          I knelt to pray but not for long, I had too much to do. I had to hurry and get to work For bills would soon be due. So! I knelt and said a hurried prayer, And jumped up off my knees. My Christian duty was now done My soul could rest at ease..... All day long I had no time To spread a word of cheer No time to speak of Christ to friends, They'd laugh at me I'd fear. No time, no time, too much to do, That was my constant cry, No time to give to souls in need But at last the time, the time to die. I went before the Lord, I came, I stood with downcast eyes. For in his hands God held a book; It was the book of life. God looked into his book and said "Your name I cannot find. I once was going to write it down... But never found the time"

Saturday, December 18, 2004







  You Must Keep Going

Sometimes you must keep going.

Life punches you in the stomach.
It knocks your breath out and leaves you bowed and gasping.

You lose a job. . . you must keep going.

You find out you have a serious illness. . .you must keep going.

You have a headache. . . you must keep going.

Sometimes the things in life are not serious but they affect you
nevertheless. . . you must keep going.

You have a big argument with your spouse.
Neither of you feels like talking and maybe not even looking at
each other. . . you must keep going.

Your son rebels and you have a blowout with him. . .
you must keep going.

The bills seem to never end and the money seems to never start.

You must keep going.

There are times that make us just want to curl up, stick our
heads in a hole, and make the world go away.

We can't, because we must keep going.

Life is full of those circumstances.

Many of you when you woke up this morning, for a variety of
reasons, didn't feel like getting out of bed, but you had to.

You must keep going.

In times like those, and we all have them,
remember the blessing.

The blessing is not in that we must keep going.

The blessing is that we can.

~A MountainWings Original~

Thursday, December 16, 2004









Why is Jesus Better than Santa Claus?

Santa lives at the North Pole ...
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh ..
. JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year ...
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...
JESUS stands at your door and knocks,
and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa ...
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap ...
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is
"Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?" ...
JESUS knew our name before we were born...
Not only does He know our name,
He knows our address too.
He knows our history and future and
He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...
JESUS has a heart full of love All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ...

JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry" ...

JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."
Santa's little helpers make toys ...

JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but ...
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree ...
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree....
The cross.

Put Christ Back In Christmas...
Jesus Is Still The Reason For The Season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004




"Eleven Hints for Life"

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return.
But what is more painful is to love someone and never
find the courage to let that person know how you feel.

2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who
means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was
never meant to be and you just have to let go.

3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a
porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away
feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

4. It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose
it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been
missing until it arrives.

5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an
hour to like someone, and a day to love someone-but it
takes a lifetime to forget someone.

6. Don't go for looks, they can deceive.  Don't go for wealth,
even that fades away.  Go for someone who makes you
smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day
seem bright.

7. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go,
be what you want to be.  Because you have only one life and
one chance to do all the things you want to do.

8. Always put yourself in the other's shoes. If you feel that it
hurts you, it probably hurts the person too.

9. A careless word may kindle strife.  A cruel word may wreck
a life. A timely word may level stress.  But a loving word may
heal and bless.

10. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best
of everything they just make the most of everything that comes
along their way.

11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with
a tear.  When you were born, you were crying and everyone
around you was smiling.  Live your life so that when you die,
you're the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Happy moments, praise God.

Difficult moments, seek God.

Quiet moments, worship God.

Painful moments, trust God.

Every moment, thank God.

Monday, December 13, 2004









 Just One

One song can spark a moment
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest
One bird can herald spring
One smile begins a friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One star can guide a ship at sea
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom
One step must start each journey
One word must start a prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One touch can show you care
One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what is true
One life can make a difference

~Author Unknown ~ 


"Life may not be the party we hoped for ... but while we are here we might as well dance!" 


Saturday, December 11, 2004


                      Seasons Greetings from Mrs. Claus
There is so much to do this time of year that quiet moments are rare. After a long day of preparing for and participating in our annual Christmas Feast and Caroling Party (with the help of some of our more culinary and musical elves and fairies), one hopes only for the comfort of a steaming cup of cider and a long winter's nap. But as I lay awake last night relishing the silence, my turkey-filled husband snoring softly at my side, I glanced out the window as a brilliant star shot from the sky.

Now shooting stars aren't at all uncommon during a North Pole winter. Although the sky is often filled with clouds or swirling snow, clear skies are also experienced. And when the blizzards subside and the clouds part, falling stars are often sighted during our many dark hours, especially by the elves in charge of the sled-dogs and reindeer stables.

However, several things occurred to me when I saw that falling burst of light, which after the exhaustion of such a full day, filled me with a much needed dose of Christmas spirit. They aren't profound, or even unique. And I suppose they aren't politically correct. But then I wasn't raised in the modern world where people are so afraid of offending someone, they seldom reveal their beliefs.

Long ago, a brilliant star (probably much brighter than the one I saw) signified the birth of a tiny babe who came to be the light of the world. But unlike my falling star, who's light went out forever, the light that was his love lives on.

And although Santa is too private to speak of it, it's that light and love which motivates everything we do. It surrounds us and fills us and blesses us with lives so full and rich with the spirit of Christmas that each day is abundant with the endless joy of giving.

Many say that Santa Claus is a secular being. Santa and I only chuckle at the notion. When you think about it, the concept is absurd. How can someone who spends every waking moment in the service of others not be connected to the source of love that inspires all he does?

I realize not everyone believes in the same source. And, of course, we deeply love, respect and happily serve all, regardless of their beliefs. I guess I just thought it was time to let some people out there know there are two old folks living at the North Pole who are in the Christmas business for a reason-the "reason for the season".

Merry Christmas With Love,

Mrs. Claus

Sunday, December 5, 2004




The Color of Christmas Joy
By Julie Ann Miller

My childhood memories of kindergarten consist of several things: cold concrete walls, little coats and boots, pencils which didn't fit in the hand, lined paper, desks, a blackboard and the alphabet in black and white.

Recess only meant that I had to be outside, dressed in coat and hat. Aimlessly, I circled the school grounds while children around me played.

Years later, my mother told me that she went to my teacher with the question, "Tell me what is going on at school? My daughter was a happy kid, until I sent her to school. She's depressed and I don't know why."

The teacher was as dumbfounded as my mother. She said that I seemed well enough at school. Perhaps the child is tired? Does she eat well? Does she sleep?

Maybe the truth lay somewhere in between. My bedroom always seemed chilled and silent until mother stepped through the door. The warmth of her smile lit into my heart. She would sit on my bed and kiss me goodnight. Long after her goodnight kiss, I would lie awake, staring at the ceiling as I hugged my doll. If only the morning would come and I could be somewhere other than school! What had I said to mother, so many times, when she'd asked me? "They don't like me." It was all I knew. It was all I could understand.

The winter turned colder as Christmas approached. A week of school still remained before the holiday break. I awoke one morning to my mother's voice. Through blurry eyes I looked up at her. She was telling me to get dressed. Pulling my clothes on, I looked out the window. How could it be time to go to school? The sky was still dark. I stared down at the fresh layers of snow covering our lawn.

"You don't have to go to school today," mother announced as she tied the hat strings under my chin. "You're going to see Santa today." My heart leaped with joy at her words! This day belonged to my mother and me!

We took the morning train to Detroit. I stood at the window of the train, drinking in every sight. Christmas lights, brightly decorated wreaths swaying in the wind and street lamps glittered under the half light of the morning sky. Mother sat beside me, her hand against my back, as the train chugged down the track.

Whenever I hear the expression, "seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child," I remember that day. As mother led me into the J.L. Hudson store, the world transformed to my size; like magic seeds which sprouted and grew a dream into a reality, a place of make-believe suddenly was there before my eyes. I could touch my hand to anything I could see. It was all there, within my reach: every decoration, every toy and every colorful, delicious looking piece of candy. Christmas songs filled the air and many of the movable toys seemed to bounce in time with the music. Children rushed past me in all directions. Some ran to the toy trains, some to the Christmas trees from which dangled candy canes, while others rushed to the red playhouse. Outside of that house, sat Santa Claus. "Ho! Ho! Ho!" he called out. With a white gloved hand, he beckoned me. The delightful sound of sleigh bells was in the air, accompanied by Santa's hearty laugh. He called out to his reindeer, proudly lined up and there waiting at his side. With my heart at the bursting point, I turned to look at my mother. She stood outside of the room, looking in. I wanted her to share this experience. I wanted her to get a look at me as I wandered joyfully through this children's wonderland.

As summer arrived, the school year drew to a close. Books were packed up and desks emptied out. As the silence closed in around the schoolyard, my mother, once again, came to see my teacher. The teacher sat before my mother sobbing; words were difficult, but she tried to explain. "I didn't want to work. I never wanted to teach. I was forced into it. I singled your daughter out and took the frustration out on her."

When I grew up, I came to understand that the human heart has its limits when it comes to harsh disappointment. As adults, we don't always respond in the way we might hope.

What I took from that year though was not the misfortune of an unsettling beginning, but the gift of a single beautiful day.

Monday, November 29, 2004


New Beginnings  

How often we wish for another chance
To make a fresh beginning.
A change to blot out our mistakes
And change failure into winning.

It does not take a special time
To make a brand-new start,
It only takes the deep desire
To try with all our heart.

To live a little better,
To always be forgiving.
To add a little sunshine,
In a world for which we're living.

Never give up in despair
Nor think you are through,
For there's always a tomorrow,
"A chance to start a new."

Helen Steiner Rice

Sunday, November 28, 2004


"About Geese"

When you look to the sky this fall and see the geese
migrating South, remember the following:

When you see geese flying in a "V" formation, you might
be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered
about why they fly that way.

FACT: As each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for
the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation,
the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range
than if each bird flew on its own.

TRUTH: People who share a common direction and sense
of community can get where they are going quicker and
easier because they are traveling on the trust of one another.

2. FACT: Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly
feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and
quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the
lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

TRUTH: There is strength and power and safety in numbers
when traveling in the same direction with whom we share a
common goal.

3. FACT: When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in
the wing and another goose flies point.

TRUTH: It pays to take turns doing hard jobs.

4. FACT: The geese honk from behind to encourage those
up front to keep up their speed.

TRUTH: We all need to be remembered with active support
and praise.

5. FACT: When a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out,
two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help
and protect him. They stay with him until the crisis resolves,
and then they launch out on their own or with another formation
to catch up with their group.

TRUTH: We must stand by each other in times of need.

We Are Fortunate That There Are More Geese In Life Than
Turkeys. Let's Remember To Uphold Each Other In Friendship
And Give Each Other A Big "Honk"  More Often!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2004










It's not how much you accomplish in life
that really counts,
but how much you give to others.
It's not how high you build your dreams
that makes a difference,
but how high your faith can climb.
It's not how many goals you reach,
but how many lives you touch.
It's not who you know that matters,
but who you are inside.

Believe in the impossible,
hold tight to the incredible,
and live each day to its fullest potential.
You can make a difference in your world.
-Rebecca Barlow Jordan

Saturday, November 20, 2004




The Meaning of Peace

There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who
could paint the best picture of peace.  Many artists tried.
The king looked at all the pictures, but there were only two
that he really liked, and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake.  The lake was a perfect mirror
for the peaceful towering mountains all around it.  Overhead was
a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.  All who saw this picture
thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The second picture had mountains, too.  But these were rugged
and bare.  Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in
which lightening played.  Down the side of the mountain tumbled
a foaming waterfall.  This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny
bush growing in a crack in the rock.  In the bush a mother bird
had built her nest.... a perfect picture of peace.

Which of the pictures won the prize?

The king chose the second picture.

Do you know why?

"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a
place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.
Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be
calm in your heart.  That is the real meaning of peace."

That is the REAL meaning of peace.

~Author Unknown~

Friday, November 19, 2004



 If Tomorrow starts without me....

A few weeks ago a woman teacher was killed in an auto accident.  She was
very, very well liked, so the school systems shut down for her funeral and
it was on the news and so on.

On the day the workers came back to work, they found this poem in their
e-mail that the deceased woman had sent on Friday before she left for home.

If tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind;
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity, And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
But herelife starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way,
There's no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven, And now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand, And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me, I'm right here, in your

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


              "$20 Bill"

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding
up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would
like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this
$20 to one of you but first, let me do this."

He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked,
"Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?"?

And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into
the floor with his shoe. crumpled and dirty.

"Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson.
No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because
it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times
in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the
dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that
come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no
matter what has happened or what will happen, you will
never lose your value in God's eyes.

To God, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are
still priceless.


ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING   Jerry is the manager of a restaurant in South Philly. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him "how he was doing", he would always reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious. So, one day, I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! No one can be a positive person all the time. How do you do it?"
  Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today, I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life."
"But it's not always that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Jerry said, Life is all about choices.When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It's your choice how you live your life."

Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: he left the back door of his restaurant open one morning and was robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 8 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared?" I asked.
  Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."   "What did you do?" I asked.   "Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything."
'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'."

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours --that no one can control or take from you -- is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.

Sunday, November 14, 2004




If I knew it would be the last time That I'd see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.


If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.


If I knew it would be the last time I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.


 If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute to stop and say "I love you," instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.


If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, Well I'm sure you'll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.


For surely there's always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything just right.


There will always be another day to say "I love you," And certainly there's another chance to say our "Anything I can do?"


But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I'd like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.


Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.


So if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today? For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day,


 That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.


So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear, Tell them how much you love them and that you'll always hold them dear


Take time to say "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay." And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today.

-author unknown


Are you a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?

Pay attention to what you read.  After you read this, you will
know the reason it was sent to you!

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a
lifetime.  When you figure out which one it is, you will know
what to do for each person.


When someone is in your life for a REASON. . .
It is usually to meet a need you have expressed.  They have come
to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance
and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are!  They are there for
the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an
inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring
the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire
fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered.

And now it is time to move on.


When people come into your life for a SEASON it is because your
turn has come to share, grow, or learn.  They bring you an
experience of peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you
something you have never done.  They usually give you an
unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it!  It is real!

But, only for a season.


LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you
must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what
you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of
your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life.

Stop here and just SMILE.

Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
And dance like no one is watching.

~Author Unknown~

Friday, November 12, 2004


The Eighth Wonder

I was standing in front of baggage claim in Rome Italy.
My bags, along with a dozen others in our group weren’t on the

The tour guide was going to each person to get our baggage claim

She got to me as I held out my claim ticket.

She shouted loud enough for everyone within 50 feet to hear:

“Oh God you’re handsome!  You look just like...” as she named a
famous heartthrob singer/movie star.  “I can say that as an
older woman,” she said.  “I can say things now that I couldn’t
when I was younger,” she remarked.

Everyone turned around to look.

I was rather shocked at the unexpected outburst.

Two days later the bags were brought to our hotel.  We toured
Rome and Florence.  During the entire trip, she never called me
by name, even though it was on my name tag pinned on my shirt.

She called me by the movie star’s name.  As we walked I heard
her ask Pastor Smith, “Is ‘The Movie Star’ a priest?”
“He’s a pastor of a church,” he answered.

My mother and two younger brothers were also on the trip.
She addressed them as the brothers and mother of the movie star.
She asked my youngest brother, 18 years my junior, which of us
was the oldest.

Did that go to my head?
Did it puff me up?
Did it make my smile brighter and my heart lighter?
Did I as a minister succumb to the lower nature of letting
flattery influence my thought and mood?


I found myself taking a little more time in the mirror than
normal trying to see the resemblance.  My mother as she sat next
to me on the plane home said, “Now that I look at you closely,
you DO look like him.”

I saw many of the great sites of Italy, awesome churches, great
statues and history.  The works of Michelangelo and the other
great artists of that period were astounding.

With all of that grandeur, I am sure the thing that will remain
with me most is Noa Harley’s simply calling me the clone to the
movie star.

It was more impacting and brought a bigger smile than the other
seven wonders of the world, whatever they are.

You have the same power as Noa.

With your words, you can bring more change and uplift to
another’s spirit than all of the great engineering feats
of man put together.

You have that power with the power of your words.

I determined that I would pass the blessing.  I will find
someone soon.  I will find the beauty; it’s there with everyone,
and I’ll proclaim it.

Perhaps the greatest work of art is to tell someone that they
are a work of art.

Who was the heartthrob movie star singer?  It doesn’t matter so
don’t ask.  I saw and felt the power that positive words from a
stranger had on my life.

The power of positive words,
the eighth wonder of the world

...or perhaps the first.



Edwin Hubbel Chapin once said, "Every action of our lives touches on
some chord that will vibrate in eternity." That is the definition of a
legacy. Wouldn't you love to do something that might strike a
beautiful chord that will "vibrate in eternity"?

I've discovered something about legacies…generous people leave great
legacies. I read about a couple in Canada who stopped to help a
motorist who had run out of gasoline. It was a regular occurrence in
their part of rural Canada. After they got him on his way, they bought
a new fuel can, scratched their initials on it, filled it with petrol
and stored it in the trunk of their car.

A few months later they again stopped to assist a stranded motorist.
But this time they GAVE him their gas can and told him to fill it up,
keep it with him and pass it along to the next motorist he sees who
has run out of fuel.

Though they never expected to see their can again, in a couple of
years they spotted it being passed along to a grateful motorist on the
road. They recognized it several more times over the years, and each
time they asked its owner where it had come from. They ascertained
that the can had traveled across the continent at least two times!

They never intended to leave a legacy. When they bought the fuel can
they never dreamed that their action might strike chords that could
vibrate in eternity. But that container may still be traveling around
the country!

And it might not seem like a big thing, but many motorists have been
saved by the generosity of complete strangers who stop to help. Then
each in turn has taken the container, re-filled it, and diligently
looked, perhaps for days or weeks, for an opportunity to pass it
along. Good will generated by a humble can of fuel has no doubt
been multiplied many times in countless ways, striking beautiful
chords that vibrate forever.

It's true - generous people leave great legacies. Even that small
piece of yourself you generously give away may thrive in surprising
ways throughout eternity.

    By Steve Goodier © 2004

Tuesday, November 9, 2004




 Just Be Yourself

Ever since I was a little kid, I didn't want to be me. I wanted to be like Billy Widdledon, and Billy Widdledon didn't even like me. I walked like he walked; I talked like he talked; and I signed up for the high school he signed up for.

Which was why Billy Widdledon changed. He began to hang around Herby Vandeman; he walked like Herby Vandeman; he talked like Herby Vandeman. He mixed me up! I began to walk and talk like Billy Widdledon, who was walking and talking like Herby Vandeman.

And then it dawned on me that Herby Vandeman walked and talked like Joey Haverlin. And Joey Haverlin walked and talked like Corky Sabinson.

So here I am walking and talking like Billy Widdledon's imitation of Herby Vandeman's version of Joey Haverlin, trying to walk and talk like Corky Sabinson. And who do you think Corky Sabinson is always walking and talking like? Of all people, Dopey Wellington - that little pest who walks and talks like me!

- Author Unknown

Friday, November 5, 2004













A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home
after having fought in Vietnam.

He called his parents from San Francisco.

"Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask.
I have a friend I'd like to bring home with me."

"Sure," they replied, "We'd love to meet him."

"There's something you should know," the son continued, "he was
hurt pretty bad in the fighting.  He stepped on a land mind and
lost an arm and a leg.  He has nowhere else to go, and I want
him to come live with us."

"I'm sorry to hear that, son.  Maybe we can help him find
somewhere to live."

"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."

"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking.
Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us.
We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like
this interfere with our lives."

"I think you should just come home and forget about this guy.
He'll find a way to live on his own."

At that point, the son hung up the phone.

The parents heard nothing more from him.  A few days later,
however, they received a call from the San Francisco police.

Their son had died after falling from a building, they
were told.  The police believed it was suicide.

The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken
to the city morgue to identify the body of their son.

They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered
something they didn't know, their son had only one arm and one

The parents in this story are like many of us.

We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to
have around, but we don't like people who inconvenience us or
make us feel uncomfortable.

We would rather stay away from people who aren't as healthy,
beautiful, or smart as we are.

Thankfully, there's someone who won't treat us that way.
Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us
into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.

Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little
prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept
people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of
those who are different from us.

Saturday, October 30, 2004



A king called all of his wise men and counselors together for a
meeting.  He addressed them and said, "I want you to go and
think, read, and research.  Consult the wisest and most learned
men in the land.  Spare no expense."

"I want you to find the ONE statement that will get me through
all situations in life.  Whether I am on top of the world or in
the pits, find that statement."

"Find me a MountainWings Moment statement."

"I don't want to learn long and complicated philosophies.
I want one simple statement.  Find it or write it; I don't care,
just bring me the statement."

The men left and consulted for months.
They finally returned and handed the King a scroll.

The King unrolled the scroll.  On it was written four words.


That was it.

The wise men explained.

When you are on top of the world, that is but a fleeting
moment, things change, always remember, this too shall pass.

When you are in the pits, all nights are followed by day, at
your lowest moments remember also, this too shall pass.

All external circumstances and material things change.

No matter what your circumstances, remember,


The wise men reminded the great King that this would get him
through his earthly things but the truly wise knew there were
things beyond this earth and life. . .

Things that were eternal.

True wisdom they reminded the King was in the ability to
recognize the fleeting temporal things of the material world
from the truly eternal things.

O Great King they said, "Most of the things that you worry or
gloat about are temporary and our four words apply."

For most of your situations. . .



A Simple Act of Kindness

It was 12:00 noon on a Monday and everyone was rushing to lunch.

As I pulled into a local fast food restaurant and parked,
I noticed an old pickup truck with a trailer attached.

The driver had pulled into the narrow parking lot and mistakenly
tried to exit via the one way drive through lane.  Unfortunately
he was going the wrong way and cars were stacked up waiting to
get out.

When I arrived, he was frantically trying to get turned around
and out of everyone's way.  There were a lot of people watching
but no one offered to help.

I walked over to the driver's window and asked if he needed
help.  The driver was an older gentleman.  He was completely

The truck did not have power steering and in his attempt to get
turned around he had jackknifed the trailer.

I could tell that he was scared and did not know how to get out.

After stopping all the traffic and asking everyone to be patient
for a few minutes, I guided him back and forth until he finally
got the truck and trailer turned around.  I patted him on the
shoulder, told him "God Bless you and good luck."

He stated to me that he had just been released from the
hospital and that he was so scared; he thought he was going to
have another heart attack right on the spot.

He said, "you're a good man and I can never thank you enough."
I could tell that his thank you was truly from the heart.
He then drove away.

Working in construction all my life, I have been required to
drive vehicles with a trailer behind them.

To me this was a fairly easy situation to correct.
To an inexperienced driver it can be a nightmare.

A simple thank-you was certainly sufficient for such a little
gesture of kindness.

What happened next was a total surprise and an event I will
never forget.

As I opened the door and walked into the restaurant, everyone in
the restaurant stood up, clapped and shouted "good job".

No words can ever explain how good I felt.

Friday, October 29, 2004


A woman was asked by a co-worker, "What is it like to be a Christian?"   
The co-worker replied, "It is like being a pumpkin.  God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.  Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.  He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004



Listen to how a simple ball of yarn became a web of love for one
classroom of high school students.

Their teacher seated the students in a circle on the carpeted floor.
One member of the group was instructed to toss a ball of yarn to
someone across the circle, holding tightly to one end. The recipient
took hold of the string and listened as the one who tossed it shared
something that she especially liked about him. Keeping hold of the
string, he then tossed the ball across the circle to someone else and
affirmed something positive about her. The ball of yarn was tossed
across and around the circle until everyone had both heard and shared
encouragement...and thus the yarn became a woven web of love and good

Before they went their separate ways, the teacher took scissors and
snipped through the web. Each person took a piece of yarn away as a
remembrance of the special words they heard. Surprisingly, many of
them wore cherished pieces of yarn around their wrists for days and
weeks afterward.

Every year now, students ask their teacher to end the term with the
Web of Love. It has become an annual tradition in their high school!
Which goes to show how much encouragement means to most people.

Why wait? We can find opportunities to affirm others throughout the
day. Few people grow weary of hearing sincere appreciation and praise.
And each time you give it you help to create an invisible web of love
that can last a lifetime.

Friday, October 1, 2004

THE MOST.......

The most destructive habit..............................Worry
The greatest Joy.......................................Giving
The greatest loss........................Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work.......................Helping others
The ugliest personality trait.....................Selfishness
The most endangered species.................Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource.......................Our youth
The greatest "shot in the arm"..................Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome.........................Fear

The most effective sleeping pill................Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease....................Excuses
The most powerful force in life..........................Love

The most dangerous pariah..........................A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer................The brain
The worst thing to be without.... . Hope

The deadliest weapon...............................The tongue
The two most power-filled words......................."I Can"
The greatest asset......................................Faith

The most worthless emotion..........................Self-pity
The most beautiful attire..............................SMILE!
The most prized possession......................... Integrity

The most powerful channel of communication.............Prayer
The most contagious spirit.........................Enthusiasm

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


  Deck of Cards  
A young soldier was in his bunkhouse all alone one Sunday morning over in Afghanistan. It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't made a noise.   The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week.   As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk. Just then an army sergeant came in and said, "Why aren't you with the rest of the platoon?"   The soldier replied, "I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord."   The sergeant said, "Looks like you're going to play cards."   The soldier said, "No sir, you see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I've decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards."   The sergeant asked in disbelief, "How will you do that?"   "You see the Ace, Sergeant, it reminds that there is only one God.   The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.   The Three represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.   The Four stands for the Four Apostles: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.   The Five is for the five virgins that were ten but only five of them were glorified.   The Six is for the six days it took God tocreate the Heavens and Earth.   The Seven is for the day God rested after working the six days.   The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives, in which God saved the eight people from the flood that destroyed the earth for the first time.   The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten but nine never thanked Him.   The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.   The Jack is a reminder of Satan. One of God's first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.   The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.   The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of all kings.   When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year.   There are a total of 52 cards in a deck, each is a week, 52 weeks in a year.   The four suits represents the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.   Each suit has thirteen cards, there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter.   So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for."   The sergeant just stood there and after a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, "Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?" Pleaselet this be a reminder and take time to pray for all of our soldiers who are being sent away, putting their lives on the line fighting for us.  

Saturday, September 18, 2004


A special grocery list

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store.

She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once.

Visualizing the family needs, she said:
"Please, sir!
I will bring you the money just as
soon as I can."

John told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice,
"Do you have a grocery list?"

Louise replied, "Yes sir."

"O.K" he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."

Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head
still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.

The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.

It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:
"Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had
gathered and stood in stunned silence.

Louise thanked him and left the store.

The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and  said:
"It was worth every penny of it ... Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


The Company I Keep
Let me be known by the company I keep;
By the One who determines each day that I greet;
From the moment I wake 'till He rocks me to sleep;
Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep;
When the valleys are low and the mountains steep;
By the One who holds fast when swift waters are deep;
Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep;
By the One who implores me to sit at His feet;
And quickens my soul to discern what is deep;
Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep;
Eclipsed by Your presence that I may decrease;
'Till all You have chosen this traveler to meet --
No longer see me but the Company I keep.

Author Unknown To Me

Sunday, June 13, 2004



Life isn't about keeping score.
It's not about how many friends you have
Or how accepted you are.
Not about if you have plans this weekend or if
   you're alone.
It isn't about who you're dating, who you used to date,
   how many people you've dated, or if you haven't been
   with anyone at all.
It isn't about who you have kissed.
It's not about sex.
It isn't about who your family is or how much money
   they have.
Or what kind of car you drive.
Or where you are sent to school.
It's not about how beautiful or ugly you are.
Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on,
   or what kind of music you listen to.
It's not about if your hair is blonde, red, black, or brown.
Or if your skin is too light or too dark.
Not about what grades you get, how smart you are,
   how smart everybody else thinks you are, or how
   smart standardized tests say you are.
It's not about what clubs you're in or how good you
   are at "your" sport.
It's not about representing your whole being on a piece
   of paper and seeing who will "accept" the written you.


But, life is about who you love and who you hurt.
It's about who you make happy or unhappy purposefully.
It's about keeping or betraying trust.
It's about friendship, used as a sanctity or a weapon.
It's about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful,
   maybe heartening.
About starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip.
It's about what judgments you pass and why.  And who
   your judgments are spread to.
It's about who you've ignored with full control and intention.
It's about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge.
It's about carrying inner hate and love, letting it grow, and
   spreading it.
But most of all, it's about using your life to touch or
   poison other people's hearts in such a way that could
   have never occurred alone.
Only you choose the way those hearts are affected, and
   those choices are what life's all about.

Thursday, May 27, 2004















Sometimes people come into your life
and you know right away that they were meant to be there,
to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson,
or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.
You never know who these people may be
(possibly your roommate, neighbor, professor,
long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger),
but when you lock eyes with them,
you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible,
painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without
those obstacles you would have never realized your potential,
strength, willpower, or heart.

Everything happens for a reason.
Nothing happens by chance or by means of
good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness,
and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul.
Without these small tests, whatever they may be,
life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere.
It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life,
and the success and downfalls you experience,
help to create who you are and who you become.
Even the bad experiences can be learned from.
In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart forgive them,
for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of
being cautious to when you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them
back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way,
they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.
Make every day count.

Appreciate every moment and take from those moments
everything that you possibly can for you may never be able to experience it
Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen.
Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high.
Hold your head up because you have every right to.
Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself,
for if you don't believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in
You can make of your life anything you wish.

Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.
Most importantly, if you love someone tell them,
for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.
And learn a lesson in life each day you live.