Thursday, November 10, 2005
of times past and places long forgotten:
Valleyforge, Gettysburg, Batan,
Pearl Harbor, Normandy, Seoul,
Saigon, Loas, Kuwait, Iraq.
I am the heart of the countless numbers:
scarred and maimed American Veterans
And the soul of the buried unknowns
I am the integral part of each
white cross in Flanders Fields.
And I am sealed within each name
on the wall. I am part of each and
every headstone of every
American veteran in every cemetery
around the world.
I am deeply enmeshed in every tiny
undiscovered bone fragment of an
American veteran left behind, on foreign soil.
I am the unseen shadow,
the unheard voice in those many
empty cells that once held my
brothers in unspeakable torture.
I am the unbearable pain in the hearts of
every Mother, Father, Wife, Husband,
Brother, .Sister, and Child of the missing
American Veterans from all wars
I am within each and every
teardrop shed by family members for
their unaccounted loved ones.
I am the essence of each and every
drop of blood shed in the past or
the future, by an American Veteran
in the name of freedom.
I am the lifeblood of the colors
of the American Flag:
Blue for my loyalty and dedication
White for my steadfastness
Red for my pride and love of my country.
I am the spirit of each name on
the black granite wall.
..Of all those unaccounted for in every war.
Of those who went away to war,
galant young soldiers and came
back older than time or not at all.
The Spirit Of The American Soldier
God Bless America
Land of the free
Home of the brave.
Dedicated to the memory of
T/Sgt. Richard M. Cole Jr. MIA 6/18/72
By Beverly Haire© 1998
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
A band of young car thieves thought they'd found the perfect plan.
They set to work stealing cars in a mall parking lot on one of the
busiest days of the year. Unfortunately, their first choice was their
worst choice. They spotted a nice-looking van and began picking the
locks. In no time at all the door opened, and inside they found …
police officers, who were using the vehicle as an undercover
One might say that they ran into some bad luck. (Or maybe stealing
cars was a bad decision to begin with and luck had nothing to do with
Many people DO try to manage their luck, however. So they believe in
rituals and talismans to aid in their success. According to Jeanne
Ralston ("What's Luck Go To Do With It?" Ladies Home Journal, Jan.,
1999), athletes, as a group, are often superstitious. Home-run king
Hank Aaron wore the same shower shoes for twenty years because he
thought they brought him luck, and basketball great Michael Jordan
felt more confident with his University of North Carolina basketball
shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform.
Some of us go for four leaf clovers, a superstition from the Druids of
medieval Europe who believed that the plant imparted to those who
found them special powers to see invisible witches and evil spirits.
Others may carry a rabbit's foot. It was because of the great
bunny-making capabilities of rabbits that ancient Celts believed they
should be associated with luck and prosperity. Still other people
speak of knocking on wood, a custom that seems to have grown from a
belief that the noise may prevent evil spirits from hearing you
mention your good luck.
I understand that basketball player George Underwood once said this
about luck: "I have just two superstitions. One, don't call someone a
bad name if they have a loaded pistol. Two, don't call your girl
friend Tina if her name is Vivian."
Robert Collier instructs that all of us have bad luck and good luck.
But the one who persists through the bad luck - who keeps right on
going - is the one who is there when the good luck comes. This person,
says Collier, is the one who is ready to receive that opportunity when
it is presented.
In other words, luck really does favor the prepared. And those who
persist and work hard. "The more I practice," said golfpro Arnold
Palmer, "the luckier I seem to get."
To change your luck, change your attitude from pessimism to optimism.
Something good really IS around the corner. Then work hard and be
ready. When that next opportunity comes, you'll be the one to seize it
a MAKE something happen. It can be your next lucky break!
Monday, August 8, 2005
The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed, "Subsequential Internal Non-morality," or more commonly known as S. I.
N., as it is primarily expressed. Some other symptoms:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish, or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
9. Rebellion The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
9. Self control Please see the operating manual: The B.I.B.L.E. (Believers Instructions Before Leaving Earth), for further details on the use of these fixes. WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on JESUS. DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention! GOD Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice!!!
Friday, August 5, 2005
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
It Is Better To Be Alone, Than In The Wrong Company.
Tell me who your
best friends are, and I will tell you who you are.
If you run with
wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you
associate with eagles,
you will learn how to soar to great heights. "A
mirror reflects a
man's face, but what he is really like is shown by
the kind of friends
he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is
that you become like
those with whom you closely associate - for the good
and the bad. The
less you associate with some
people, the more your life will improve. Any time
mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.
attribute in successful people is their impatience
thinking and negative acting people. As you grow,
your associates will
change. Some of your friends will not want you to go
on. They will want
you to stay where they are. Friends that don't
help you climb, will
want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your
vision or choke your
dream. Those that don't
increase you, will eventually decrease you.
Consider this: Never
receive counsel from unproductive people. Never
discuss your problems
with someone incapable of contributing to the
solution, because those
who never succeed themselves are always first to
tell you how. Not
everyone has a right to speak into your life. You
are certain to get
the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas
with the wrong person.
Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With
some people you
spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be
careful where you stop
to inquire for directions along the road of life.
Wise is the person
who fortifies his life with the right friendships
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
One Flaw In Women
By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"
And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
and able to run on diet coke and leftovers,
have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart
-and she will do everything
with only two hands."
The angel was astounded at the requirements.
"Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish."
But I won't," the Lord protested.
"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days."
The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
"But you have made her so soft, Lord."
"She is soft," the Lord agreed,
"but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."
"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.
The Lord replied,
"Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate."
The angel then noticed something,
and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."
"That's not a leak,"
the Lord corrected,
"that's a tear!"
"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.
The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,
her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,
her loneliness, her grief and her pride."
The angel was impressed.
"You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing."
And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness,
love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.
HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,
IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Instead tell your storm how big your GOD is!
In Phoenix, Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared
down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of
terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled
with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of
determination. Like any parent, she wanted her
son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now
that was no longer possible..
The leukemia would see to that. But she still
wanted her son's dreams to come true. She took
her son's hand and asked, "Billy, did you ever
think about what you wanted to be once you grew
up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do
with your life?"
Mommy, "I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up."
Mom smiled back and said, "Let! 's see if we can
make your wish come true."
Later that day she went to her local fire
department in Phoenix, Arizona, where she met
Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix.
She explained her son's final wish and asked if
it might be possible to give her six-year-old son
a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than
that. If you'll have your son ready at seven
o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an
honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come
down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on
all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if
you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire
uniform for him, with a REAL fire hat.
One-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire
Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear
and rubber boots. They're all manufactured right
here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast."
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy,
dressed him in his fire uniform and escorted him
from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and
ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the
truck and help steer it back to the fire station.
He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in
Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all
three calls. He rode in the different fire
engines, the paramedic's van, and even the fire chief's car.
He was also videotaped for the local news
program. Having his dreamcome true, with all the
love and attention that was lavished upon him, so
deeply touched Billy that he lived three months
longer than any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop
dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in
the hospice concept that no one should die alone,
began to call the family members to the hospital.
Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a
fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked
if it would be possible to send a fireman in
uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he
made his transition.
The chief replied, "We can do better than that.
We'll be there in five minutes.
Will you please do me a favor?
When you hear the sirens screaming and see the
lights flashing, will you announce over the PA
system that there is not a fire? It's just the
fire department coming to see one of its finest members one more time.
And will you open the window to his room?
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck
arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder
up to Billy's third floor open window
16 fire fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room.
With his mother's permission, they
hugged him and held him and told him how much they loved him.
With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said,
"Chief, am I really a fireman now?"
"Billy, you are, and the Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand," the chief
With those words, Billy smiled and said,
"I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and the angels have been
He closed his eyes one last time.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Last year I watched Billy Graham being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on television. Oprah told him that in her childhood home, she use to watch him preach on a little black and white TV while sitting on a linoleum floor.
She went on to the tell viewers that in his lifetime Billy has preached to twenty-million people around the world, not to mention the countless numbers who have heard him whenever his crusades are broadcast. When she asked if he got nervous before facing a crowd, Billy replied humbly, "No, I don't get nervous before crowds, but I did today before I was going to meet with you."
Oprah's show is broadcast to twenty-million people every day. She is comfortable with famous stars and celebrities but seemed in awe of Dr.
When the interview ended, she told the audience, "You don't often see this on my show, but we're going to pray."
Then she asked Billy to close in prayer. The camera panned the studio audience as they bowed their heads and closed their eyes just like in one of his crusades.
Oprah sang the first line from the song that is his hallmark "Just as I am, without a plea," misreading the line and singing off'-key, but her voice was full of emotion and almost cracked.
When Billy stood up after the show, instead of hugging her guest, Oprah's usual custom, she went over and just nestled against him. Billy wrapped his arm around her and pulled her under his shoulder. She stood in his fatherly embrace with a look of sheer contentment.
I once read the book "Nestle, Don't Wrestle" by Corrie Ten Boom. The power of nestling was evident on the TV screen that day. Billy Graham was not the least bit condemning, distant, or hesitant to embrace a public personality who may not fit the evangelistic mold. His grace and courage are sometimes stunning.
In an interview with Hugh Downs, on th e 20/20 program, the subject turned to homosexuality. Hugh looked directly at Billy and said, "If you had a homosexual child, would you love him?" Billy didn't miss a beat. He replied with sincerity and gentleness, "Why, I would love that one even more."
The title of Billy's autobiography, "Just As I Am," says it all. His life goes before him speaking as eloquently as that charming southern drawl for which he is known.
If, when I am eighty years old, my autobiography were to be titled "Just As I Am," I wonder how I would live now?
Do I have the courage to be me?
I'll never be a Billy Graham, the elegant man who draws people to the Lord through a simple one-point message, but I hope to be a person who is real and compassionate and who might draw people to nestle within God's embrace.
Do you make it a point to speak to a visitor or person who shows up alone at church, buy a hamburger for a homeless man, call your mother on Sunday afternoons, pick daisies with a little girl, or take a fatherless boy to a baseball game?
Did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you look when you're looking for what's beautiful in someone else?
Billy complimented Oprah when asked what he was most thankful for; he said, "Salvation given to us in Jesus Christ" then added, "and the way you have made people all over this country aware of the power of being grateful."
When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same person, he said, "Ruth and I are happily incompatible."
How unexpected. We would all live more comfortably with everybody around us if we would find the strength in being grateful and happily incompatible.
Let's take the things that set us apart, that make us different, that cause us to disagree, and make them an occasion to compliment each other and be thankful for each other. Let us be big enough to be smaller than our neighbor, spouse, friends, and strangers.
Every day, may we Nestle, not Wrestle!
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Before the Internet or the MAC
Before semi automatics and crack
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo...
I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk.
Red light, Green light.
Playing kickball & dodgeball until your porch light came on.
Mother May I?
Running through the sprinkler
Watchin' Saturday Morning cartoons
Fat Albert, Road Runner, Smurfs, Picture Pages, G-Force & He-Man
Wonder Woman & Super Man Underoos
Playing Dukes of Hazard
Catchin' lightning bugs in a jar
Your first day of school
Bedtime Prayers and Goodnight Kisses
Getting an Ice Cream off the Ice Cream Truck
A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers
Jumpin' down the steps
Jumpin' on the bed
Runnin' till you were out of breath
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt
Being tired from playin'
Your first crush...
Rainy days at school meant playing "Heads up 7UP" in the classroom
I'm not finished yet...
Kool-Aid was the drink of the summer
Giving your friends a ride on your handlebars
Wearing your new shoes on the first day of school
Class Field Trips
When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there.
When a quarter seemed like a fair allowance, and another quarter a Miracle.
When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry Groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
When your parents took you to McDonalds and you were so cool.
When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.
Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! And some of us are still afraid of em!
Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, "Yeah, I remember that!"
I want to go back to the time when...
Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo"
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!""Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "monopoly"
Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening
It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
Being old, referred to anyone over 20.
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare"
Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
Water balloons were the ultimate, ultimate weapon.
Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.
If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!
Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their "grown up"
Saturday, June 4, 2005
"Does God Cry?"
A little girl once asked, "Mommy does God cry?"
"Don't be silly, God can't cry baby," her mother replied.
"But what about when He looks down from Heaven above
And sees all the people who needs His love?
And what about when He looks down and sees
The playground kids fall and scrape their knees?
Or how about Aunt Jane who can't have baby girls or boys?
Or what about the poor kids who gets no Christmas toys?
Maybe God would cry if He lived with my friend Tommy.
Whose daddy beats and bruises him and his mommy.
Or maybe if He looked down and saw people being killed,
I think He'd surely have eyes that are tear filled.
But I think most of all, mommy, what would have made God cry, Is
when He looked down at the cross and watched His baby die."
The mother stood in silence as her eyes filled with tears,
For she knew her little girl was wise beyond her years.
Staring into deep blue eyes, the mother found courage to say,
"Yes baby girl, I think God looks down and cries every day."
Thursday, June 2, 2005
What makes me weak? My fears
What makes me whole? My God
What keeps me standing? My faith
What makes me compassionate? My selflessness
What makes me honest? My integrity
What sustains my mind? My quest for knowledge
What teaches me all lessons? My mistakes
What lift's my head high? My pride
What if I can't go on? Not an option
What makes me victorious? My courage to climb
What makes me competent? My confidence
What makes me sensual? My insatiable essence
What makes me beautiful? My everything
What makes me a human? My heart
Who says I need love? I do
What empowers me? My God & Me
Friday, May 27, 2005
Angel Knocking at the Door
There came a frantic knock At the doctor's office door,
A knock, more urgent than he had ever heard before.
"Come in, Come in," the impatient doctor said,
"Come in, Come in, before you wake the dead."
In walked a frightened little girl, a child no more than nine,
It was plain for all to see, she had troubles on her mind.
"Oh doctor, I beg you, please come with me,
My mother is surely dying, she's as sick as she can be."
"I don't make house calls, bring your mother here,"
"But she's too sick, so you must come or she will die I fear."
The doctor, touched by her devotion, decided he would go,
She said he would be blessed, more than he could know.
She led him to her house where her mother lay in bed,
Her mother was so very sick she couldn't raise her head.
But her eyes cried out for help and help her the doctor did,
She would have died that very night had it not been for her kid.
The doctor got her fever down and she lived through the night,
And morning brought the doctor signs, that she would be all right.
The doctor said he had to leave but would return again by two,
And later he came back to check, just like he said he'd do.
The mother praised the doctor for all the things he'd done,
He told her she would have died, were it not for her little one.
"How proud you must be of your wonderful little girl,
It was her pleading that made me come, she is really quite a pearl!
"But doctor, my daughter died over three years ago,
Is the picture on the wall of the little girl you know?"
The doctors legs went limp for the picture on the wall,
Was the same little girl for whom he'd made this call.
The doctor stood motionless, for quite a little while,
And then his solemn face, was broken by his smile.
He was thinking of that frantic knock heard at his office door,
And of the beautiful little angel that had walked across his floor.
I KNOW there are Angels among us ! ! !
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life...ever!
There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did!
And because I did I'm going to celebrate!
Today, I'm going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far:
the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships
because they have served to make me stronger.
I will go through this day with my head held high and a happy heart.
I will marvel at God's seemingly simple gifts:
the morning dew, the sun,
Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice
Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people.
I'll make someone smile.
I'll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for
someone I don't even know. Today, I'll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I'll tell a child how special he is, and I'll tell someone I love
just how deeply I care for them and how much they mean to me.
Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don't have and start
being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me. I'll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in
God and His Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.
And tonight, before I go to bed, I'll go outside and raise my eyes to
the heavens will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures.
As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow,
I will thank the Almighty for the best day of my life.
And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child,
excited with expectation because
I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life.....ever!
Sunday, May 8, 2005
She is so very beautiful her love is from within,
How can I praise this special woman where do I begin?
She always knows just what to say and what I need to hear,
And when I need that special someone she is always near.
She always knows just what to do when I am feeling lost,
Her kindness and compassion comes without a hidden cost.
Unselfishly she shares her love and asks none in return,
Love that's unconditional from her is what I've learned.
She stands so tall and elegant a goddess in my eyes,
The older that I get it seems the more I realize,
How very wise and understanding she has always been,
And now I understand that she has been my dearest friend.
She always gives and never asks to receive in return,
And many times I thought the way I acted just might ruin,
The bond we have created or the closeness that has grown,
But she is always there for me I never am alone.
There are some times we've disagreed and I felt we would part,
But always she was waiting for me with a loving heart.
Forgiving all my attitudes and loving me for me,
Looking way beyond the things that other people see.
Even when I make mistakes I know that she will say,
Gone are yesterday's mistakes this is a brand new day.
No matter if I still rebel or her advice I spurn,
She says experience is not the only way to learn.
When I am up and all is great she shares my happiness,
But when my world comes crashing down she also shares in this.
She always has a word to say about what I should do,
But right or wrong she never says the dreaded, `I told you.'
I understand the force behind her love on Mother's Day,
Advice that she has given me has helped me find my way.
I try with all my heart to love unselfish like my mother,
But on this day she needs to know how much I really love her.
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite the husband's disparaging comments.
One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a service in the farm community in which they lived. They were to talk about Jesus' birth. She asked the husband to come, but he refused.
That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"
So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.
Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window.
In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.
The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them.
The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on.
Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.
"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?"
He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.
Then he had an idea. He went in to barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released his goose and it flew through the flock and straight into the barn and one-by-one, the other geese followed it to
He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"
Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese, blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us.
As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and he pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:
"Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"
Sunday, April 17, 2005
"A Basket Of Problems"
Some years ago a group of conventioneers gathered at a ski resort to
conduct their annual meeting. It was autumn, so there was no snow and no
skiing, but the town was picturesque and the fall scenery was as pretty as
a postcard. The leaves were scarlet and the mountains surrounding the town
Hundreds of conventioneers came from every part of the country. Young
and old, rich and poor, and in all shapes and sizes. They shared common
interests, though their backgrounds and careers were quite varied.
Twenty of the conventioneers were put up at a large bed and breakfast
near the outskirts of town. A little off the beaten path and nestled on
the side of the mountain, the large Victorian house offered the perfect
view and was an ideal setting for the weary travelers. After a few days,
the guests became better acquainted, friendships developed, and a
camaraderie was felt within the group.
The new found friends seemed to particularly enjoy the light hearted
conversation that took place every evening after dinner in front of the
inn's huge stone fireplace. As the logs blazed, the fire cast a beautiful
dancing glow around the main room. Some sat in rocking chairs, others
snuggled on the large sofas, and there were those who enjoyed sitting on
the blankets and pillows on the floor. Everyone sipped their beverages and
laughed at the stories told of their day's convention activities.
But one night the stories around the fireplace took a different twist.
The conversation turned serious when Mike, a young man in his 20's,
confessed that he had just been diagnosed with cancer. While it was
treatable and he stood an excellent chance of being cured, he was
A middle aged couple, Tom and Cheryl, offered their support and
understanding. They had just been informed that their child needed a
kidney transplant. The news had been emotionally devastating to the
A woman tearfully explained how she had recently lost her husband to a
car accident. Another person told that he had just lost his job and was at
The evening turned gut wrenching as others began to describe horrible
aspects of their "normal" lives or livesof their loved ones. From
depression and drug addiction, to eating disorders and relationship
problems -- no one seemed immune from some sort of hardship.
Finally, an elderly gentleman -- a man who was at the convention by
himself and only known to the group as Mr. Hayes, interjected himself into
Mr. Hayes had a distinguished look about him, and while no one knew
exactly where he came from, he spoke with a gentle voice that engendered
confidence and assuredness. During the past days, he had smiled and
laughed, evidently enjoying the company, but he had not said very much.
People just looked at him and thought he was a "nice old man."
After listening to everyone's concerns and problems, Mr. Hayes looked
over at the hostess and asked her if she could get a paper and pen for
everyone in the room. She returned in a minute, complying with the unusual
"Do me a favor," Mr. Hayes asked. "We're going to try something and I
need your cooperation. On the small piece of paper please write down the 3
biggest problems you are facing in your personal life right now. Don't
sign your name. We'll keep it confidential."
The group began to ponder and found the experiment fascinating, not
knowing what was to follow.
After everyone was done writing down their problems, Mr. Hayes asked
everyone to fold their paper and place it in a small basket that was placed
in front of the fireplace. There were curious looks throughout the room,
but again, everyone cooperated, wondering what would happen next.
Mr. Hayes shook the basket and held it above everyone's head as he
walked around the room and asked each person to pick a paper from the
basket. After he was done, he sat back down and looked around the room.
"Friends, open the paper and just read to yourself the problems that
you chose," Mr. Hayes explained. "And please, be as honest as you can."
Then, Mr. Hayes glanced at the woman sitting on his left and asked,
"Lisa, would you like to trade your problems that you wrote down with those
that you chose from the basket?"
"No," Lisa said.
Next, Mr. Hayes asked the man sitting next to Lisa the same question.
"Would you like to trade the problems you wrote down for those that you
chose from the basket?"
Again the reply was "No."
Mr. Hayes went around the entire room. Everyone had a chance to respond.
Remarkably, theanswers were all the same -- no, no, no, no, no...
Comments ranged from "I can deal with my own problems, but I can't deal
with what I chose out of the basket," to "Wow - these make my problems look
like nothing. Forget this."
Mr. Hayes settled back in his cushioned rocking chair while the fire
crackled in the background.
He asked, "Do your problems seem so difficult now when you see what
others must endure? Most of you wish you were in someone else's shoes, and
yet, when you get a chance to trade your problems for theirs, none of you
"Don't you see? Tonight you've learned, by your own admissions, that
despite the hardships you face, and despite the worries that grind away at
you and cause you to lose sleep at night -- despite all that -- you've come
to appreciate and understand the simple fact that the problems you face are
nothing compared to what others must deal with. In light of everyone
else's problems, your own problems seem manageable. If nothing else,
that's something to be grateful for.
"Sure, we like to complain. It's our nature and it's also therapeutic
to express ourselves and get our frustrations off our chests. There is
nothing wrong with that, and in fact, it can be a healthy thing to do. It
helps us sort things out. And heaven knows, we can always find something
to complain about."
The group found themselves mesmerized with Mr. Hayes' comments, with
several people shaking their heads in agreement, as if something amazing
has just dawned on them.
"But friends," he said, "the burdens that have been placed upon us are
there for a reason. Because without our problems, we would not search for
answers. And if we led our lives without searching for answers, we would
never become better, or stronger, or more understanding. Sometimes it
takes a serious problem to wake us up to what's really important in life.
As an example, you'll find that many of the answers you're looking for can
be found by helping others facing similar problems, and that act of service
is what's really important.
"You see, the key to your enrichment, to your happiness and peace, is
to take the problems you have and look at them as a chance to find an
answer. Learn your lessons well, and then to take those lessons and
answers and use them to become a better person -- for yourself and for
others. I'm not saying you have to like the challenges you face. No one
does. But you can look at those challenges as an opportunity to do some
"Now with that in mind, remember this... Some people let the world
and the problems they face dictate what they think and how they live their
lives. And yes, some people just love to wallow in misery. But if the
truth be known, it should and can be the opposite. You have the power
within you to change your world and put your problems behind you as you
"Ironically, the power to do that comes from the very things you see
as problems and setbacks. That's what most people don't understand. For
every setback you experience there is an equal or greater blessing that
accompanies it. You may not realize this, but your struggles are allowing
you become a better person each and every day. You just have to open your
eyes and see it.
"The blessings that come from your struggles are sometimes hidden and
many times you have to look long and hard. But by finding them in due
course, and by counting those blessings, you will discover a secret of the
ages, an undeniable truth, which seems to have escaped most of humanity.
"That secret is very simple: The more you count your blessings, the
more blessings are bestowed upon you. If you don't believe me, just try it
and see what happens."
The group was spellbound, just staring at Mr. Hayes, reflecting upon
his words, his sincerity and conviction. His comforting knowledge seemed
to vanquish the stresses and worries which had infected the earlier
Mr. Hayes took his last sip of hot chocolate and excused himself to
retire to his room. Those present continued to discuss what they had
learned, and by the end of the evening, all had concurred that Mr. Hayes
had hit on something. Each person was able to discuss a problem they had
which could be turned into a blessing.
The young man who was diagnosed with cancer was determined to use his
experience to educate others on the importance of early detection. The
couple with a son who needed a kidney transplant dedicated themselves to
join the campaign to encourage others to sign donor cards. The woman who
had lost her husband decided to carry on his memory by volunteering to pick
up where her husband had left off in his community work. The man who had
lost his job, told himself that he would use this opportunity to do what he
had always wanted to do -- write a book that he had been thinking about for
Rather than dwelling on their problems, everyone had learned to use
their problems as a stepping stone toward bettering themselves and helping
others. Rather than getting wrapped up in self-pity, the experience of
confronting their problems and seeking answers proved to be a valuable
lesson indeed. Someone commented, "Now I finally realize what looking at
the glass as half full means."
The next morning at breakfast, the hostess reported to the group that
Mr. Hayes' room was empty and that he must have left very early.
During subsequent conventions, the friends often reminisced about
their gathering at the secluded mountain resort and of their fond memories
of the fireplace conversations and the time their problems ended up in a
Interestingly, not a single person had seen or heard of Mr. Hayes'
whereabouts since that time.
Lee Simonson, Publisher, Copyright 1998
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
36 CHRISTIAN WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS
An Angel says, "Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice."
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19. Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between
despair and hope is often a good "Thank you Jesus."
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most.
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
Wednesday, April 6, 2005
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
Sunday, April 3, 2005
It was one of those mornings.
You know the type.
Things are tense.
Our infant son had been up all night.
My wife's eyes (along with the rest of her) were weary.
My oldest son, the five-year-old, wasn't feeling his best either.
He was slow getting ready for school.
He understandably didn't feel like going.
It was just one of those mornings.
You know the type.
As I drove him to school, he was quiet.
When parents are tense and tired, the children feel it.
They know by word and gesture when their acts and attitudes are
After being fussed at, he was sullen.
It was one of those mornings.
You know the type.
I walked him to his classroom as usual.
He walked in, removed his coat and hung it up.
I usually give my son a hug before I leave him in class.
I knew today he really needed a big hug, and maybe, so did I.
He came forward with his arms outstretched. I bowed down,
clasped my arms around him, closed my eyes and hugged him tight.
Normally, I would only hug him for two or three seconds but on
this morning, I held him tight as the seconds ticked by like
dashed lines on the highway.
All of a sudden, I felt him get heavier.
Still clinging to my son, I opened my eyes. I understood why he
had gotten heavier. His feet were off the ground. He had
curled his legs up and his heels were only inches away from his
Sometimes in life no words are needed. The Moment
is stated in a feel and a fold. As he folded his legs up and
trusted his father to carry all of his weight, he didn't get
heavier to my spirit.
I actually felt lighter.
It was a ritual repeated countless times through countless years
from countless parents to countless children.
The touch and embrace between a parent and a child, make them
both feel more secure.
It was one of those mornings.
You know the type.
~A MountainWings Original~
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
A True Friend
I May Have Known You
For Years Or Just A Day.
This Comes From My Heart
Please Hear What I Say.
We May Be Half A World Apart,
You May Be Just Across The Street.
I May See You Each Day,
We May Never Meet.
Life Is A Circle That Has
Let Our Paths Cross.
Like Spring Time And Summer,
The First Winter Frost.
The Color Of Your Skin
It's Not Important At All.
My Skin Has Color And
So Do The Fall Leaves.
Treasure Is A Word That Can
Mean Many Things.
To Me It's The Joy
That Your Friendship Brings.
But It's Much More Than That.
It's Something Money Can't Buy.
Can You Hear What I'm Saying,
Am I Making It Clear,
Just How Much You Mean To Me.
Our Friendship So Dear,
You Have Been There For Me
And I'll Always Be Here For You.
It's So Wonderful To Have
A True Friend
Friday, March 18, 2005
COOL HEADS AND WARM HEARTS
If you've ever struggled making the right decision, you may appreciate
A young man seemed to take an unusually long time to place his order
at the flower shop. When the clerk asked how she could help, he
explained that his girlfriend was turning 19 and he couldn't decide
whether to give her a dozen roses or 19 roses -- one for each year of
The woman put aside her business judgment and advised, "She may be
your 19-year-old girlfriend now, but someday she could be your
The young man bought a dozen roses.
My wife Bev understands that logic. As part of our anniversary
tradition, which usually includes an evening out and sometimes a night
away from home, I also buy her a single rose.
I made that decision on wedding anniversary number one. But it wasn't
easy. My heart argued for giving her one rose the first anniversary,
two roses on the second, and so forth. But my head argued that, in
twenty or thirty years, a roomful of roses would not mean as much as
something simpler -- not to mention the cost! In the end, my heart and
head reached a compromise.
So I buy the one special rose every wedding anniversary and then we
treat ourselves to a wonderful and romantic evening away. Over the
years, Bev has dried every anniversary rose and saved the petals in a
The roses helped teach me something about making decisions. Any kind
of decision. I've discovered that good decisions are made with both my
head and my heart. Together, cool heads and warm hearts can solve most
A cool head asks the hard questions. A cool head thinks it through. A
cool head objectively weighs the options.
But a warm heart asks the tender questions. A warm heart considers
feelings and relationships. A warm heart asks what feels right.
Making the right decision is often difficult. And it seems we never
have enough information when we need to decide. But the best decisions
are made from both a cool head and a warm heart. It usually takes both
of them to get it right.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
I shook my head in disbelief.
This couldn't be the right place.
After all, I couldn't possibly be welcome here.
I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, and I had finally decided to see what this place was all about.
But, this just couldn't be the right place.
Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand.
I scanned past the words,
"Come as you are. No jacket required"
and found the location.
Yes, I was at the right place.
I peered through the window again and saw a room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant.
Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in stains. I was dirty, in fact, filthy. A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn't shake the grime that clung to my body. As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me...
"Come as you are. No jacket required."
I decided to give it a shot.
Mustering up every bit of courage I could find, I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium.
"Your name, sir?" he asked me with a smile.
"Jimmy D. Brown," I mumbled without looking up. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains.
I couldn't believe what I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said, "Yes, of course!"
He led me to a table, and sure enough, there was a place-card with my name written on it in a deep, dark red. AsI browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed. There were things like, "peace," "joy," "blessings," "confidence," "assurance," "hope," "love," "faith," and "mercy."
I realized that this was no ordinary restaurant!
I flipped the menu back to the front in order to see where I was at...
"God's Grace," was the name of this place.
The man returned and said, " recommend the
'Special of the Day'.
With it you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu.
You've got to be kidding! I thought to myself.
You mean, I can have ALL of this?!
"What is the 'Special of the Day'?"
I asked with excitement ringing in my voice.
"Salvation," was his reply.
"I'll take it," I practically cried out.
Then, as quickly as I made that statement, the joy left my body. A sick painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes.
Between my sobs I said...
"Mister, look at me. I'm dirty and nasty.
I am unclean and unworthy of such things.
I'd love to have all of this, but, but, I just can't afford it."
Undaunted, the man smiled again.
"Sir, your check has already been taken care of by that Gentleman over there,"
he said as he pointed to the front of the room.
"His name is Jesus."
Turning, I saw a man whose very presence
seemed to light the room.
He was almost too much to look at.
I found myself walking towards Him
and in a shaking voice I whispered,
"Sir, I'll wash the dishes or sweep the floors
or take out the trash.
I'll do anything I can do to repay You for all this."
He opened His arms and said with a smile,
"Son, all of this is yours if you just come unto me.
Ask me to clean you up and I will.
Ask me to allow you to feast at my table
and you will eat.
Remember, the table is reserved in your name.
All you must do is accept this gift that I offer you."
Astonished, I fell at his feet and said,
"Please, Jesus. Please clean up my life.
Please change me and sit me at your table
and give me this new life."
Immediately, I heard the words,
"It is finished."
I looked down and white robes adorned my body.
Something strange and wonderful had happened.
I felt new, like a weight had been lifted
and I found myself seated at His table.
"The 'Special of the Day' has been served,"
The Lord said to me.
"Salvation is yours."
We sat and talked for a great while
and I so enjoyed the time that I spent with Him.
He told me, me of all people,
that He would like for me to come back
as often as I liked for another helping from God's Grace.
He made it clear that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible.
As it drew near time for me to go back
outside into the "real world,"
He whispered to me softly,
"And Lo, I am with you always."
And then, He said something to me that I will never forget.
"My child, do you see these empty tables?"
"Yes, Lord. I see them. What do they mean?"
"These are reserved tables...but the individuals whose names are on each place-card have not accepted their invitation yet.
Would you be so kind as to hand out these invitations
to those who have not joined us as yet?" Jesus asked.
"Of course," I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations.
"Go ye therefore into all nations."
He said as I turned to leave.
I walked into God's Grace dirty and hungry.
Stained in sin.
My righteousness as filthy rags.
And Jesus cleaned me up.
I walked out a brand new man...robed in white,
And so, I'll keep my promise to my Lord.
I'll go. I'll spread the Word.
I'll share the Gospel... I'll hand out the invitations.
And I'll start with you.
Have you been to God's Grace?
There's a table reserved in your name, and here's your invitation...
"Come as you are. No jacket required."
Sunday, March 13, 2005
The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one
when you discover that someone else believes in you
and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born
until they arrive.
A friend is a gift you give yourself.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
A true friend is the greatest blessing
of all blessings.
~Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Nobody sees a flower ~ really~
it is so small it takes time~
we haven't time,
like to have a friend
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
May all beings everywhere
be free from suffering.
May all beings everywhere be fed.
May all beings everywhere be peaceful.
May all beings everywhere be happy.
My religion is very simple~
my religion is kindness.
You can make more friends in two months
by becoming interested in other people
than you can in two years
by trying to get other people
interested in you.
You can discover more about a person
in an hour of play
than in a year of conversation.
The ornament of a house
are the friends who frequent it.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
There was a definite process by which
one made peopleinto friends,
and it involved talking to them
and listening to them
for hours at a time.
No road is too long
with good company.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
HOW BIG IS YOUR FRYING PAN?
Are you setting your sights too low?
I heard of a woman who fished all morning and never caught anything.
But a man in the next boat was reeling in a fish every time she
glanced over. Then, to make matters worse, he kept the small ones and
threw the large ones back into the water!
She couldn't stand it any longer. She called over to him, "How come
you're throwing the big ones back?"
He answered by holding up a little frying pan.
We may think that is silly but, in our minds, don't we all hold up
frying pans? Every time we throw away a big idea, a magnificent dream
or an exciting possibility, are we measuring it against a small frying
We talk about making more money or becoming more successful, but I
believe that this concept works in other, and sometimes more
important areas, as well. We can love more than we ever dreamed
possible! We can be happier and live more fully than we ever thought
we could! What we can do or become is limited more by the size of the
frying pan in our minds than by actual circumstances.
Author Brian Tracy reminds us that "you are not what you think you
are, but what you think, you are." Think big. Dream big. Pray big...
and look for big results. It all begins with changing the size of your
What would happen if you threw away the frying pan you have been using
to measure the size of your dreams, and replaced it with a larger one?
What would happen if you decided that it may really be possible to
have a better relationship with the one you love, or that you actually
can be happier and more fulfilled than you are now? What would
happen if you decided never to settle for anything less than what you
truly want? What if, from now on, you threw the little fish back and
kept the big ones?
And what if you decided to begin today?
Friday, March 11, 2005
START YOUR OWN RAINBOW
If your world looks gloomy and you're feeling grim and glum
make a rainbow for yourself, don't wait for one to come.
Don't sit watching at the window for the clouds to part.
There'll soon be a rainbow if you start one in your heart.
Take some lovely thought out of a poem or a prayer.
Turn it over in your mind and let it linger there.
Keep out every memory that dims the light within,
And hold on to the magic word that lets the brightness in.
Work your own small miracle and make the dull days glow.
Put some sunshine into life and let the glory show.
Make a rainbow for yourself with colors brave and gay,
And underneath its golden arch your cares will fade away.
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Deck of Cards
It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't been heard. 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 to me 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 me that there is only one God. The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments. The Three represents the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Four stands for the Four Gospels: 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 to create the Heavens and Earth. The Seven is for the day God rested after making His Creation. The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives - the eight people God spared from the flood that destroyed the Earth. 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 represent 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."
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
One woman complained to a friend that she couldn't remember anything
from one day to the next.
"Let me get this straight," he said. "You can't remember anything from
one day to the next. How long has this been going on?"
She said, "How long has what been going on?"
If your memory is not what you would like it to be, it may help to
focus on the few things you really need to remember. This list,
compiled from several sources, may just be suitable for framing.
* Remember that your presence is a present to the world.
* Remember that you are a unique and unrepeatable creation.
* Remember that your life can be what you want it to be.
* Remember to count your blessings, not your troubles.
* Remember that you'll make it through whatever comes along.
* Remember that most of the answers you need are within you.
* Remember those dreams waiting to be realized.
* Remember that decisions are too important to leave to chance.
* Remember to always reach for the best that is within you.
* Remember that nothing wastes more energy than worry.
* Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful
stroke of luck.
* Remember that the longer you carry a grudge, the heavier it
* Remember not to take things too seriously.
* Remember to laugh.
* Remember that a little love goes a long way.
* Remember that a lot goes forever.
* Remember that happiness is more often found in giving than
* Remember that life's treasures are people, not things.
* Remember that miracles still happen.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
By Meghan Mazour
It was raining sideways and thundering so loud that the house shook. Anne sat in the middle of the hardwood floor surrounded by sleeping bags, camping stove, groceries and a tent. She wondered if the tent would be able to float in the ocean-sized puddles that were forming on the leaf-covered ground.
In a few minutes Sam was supposed to arrive for their anniversary camping trip. They had hardly seen each other the last few weeks. They were both bogged down with graduate thesis and research projects. In addition to their schoolwork, Anne taught two classes a week and Sam worked full-time for his mentor. They knew the only way they could spend some time together was to go out of town, away from phones, computers and professors asking for last-minute favors. This trip was going to be their reunion as well as their one-year anniversary celebration.
"Just my luck," Anne said out loud. "We finally have plans and it has to rain on our camping trip. We're cursed!"
The front door opened and there was Sam, clad in soggy hiking boots and clothes so wet they looked like they were melting.
"Who's cursed?" he asked, plopping down on the splayed sleeping bags. "Certainly not us. Two wildly in-love newlyweds about to go on the world's most fabulous camping trip?"
Anne shook her head. "You don't really want to go camping in this weather?"
"You bet I do!"
Before Anne could answer, Sam stood up and walked around the room. First, he unplugged the phone, then the computer. He pulled down the shades and covered the television with the orange afghan they kept on the couch. Then he began setting up the tent in the middle of the living room floor. He brought the George Foreman grill in from the kitchen and set it up next to the tent and lit a fire in the rarely used fireplace.
"Now," he said smiling, "have you ever seen a more beautiful campsite?" He opened his arms wide and Anne rose and stood in his embrace, laughing as she surveyed their campsite.
That night after they roasted hot dogs on the George Foreman grill and toasted marshmallows in the fireplace, they were tucked inside their sleeping bags. Sam circled his arms around Anne's waist.
"Sam," Anne said, "when we planned this night, I imagined that by now we would be watching the sunset behind House Mountain and sipping on some champagne, but, somehow, this makes it all the more special. We don't need a romantic sunset, or a fancy bottle of champagne or beautiful scenery - we just need each other, forever. Together we can make any situation work out right."
Anne and Sam just celebrated their ten-year wedding anniversary. To celebrate they did the usual; they went on a romantic camping trip - right in their own living room.