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.