Prayers

And Reflections



"Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect.
It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections."


New Year's Prayer

by Charlotte Anselmo

Thank you Lord for giving me
The brand new year ahead
Help me live the way I should
As each new day I tread.

Give me gentle wisdom
That I might help a friend
Give me strength and courage
So a shoulder I might lend.

The year ahead is empty
Help me fill it with good things
Each new day filled with joy
And the happiness it brings.

Please give the leaders of our world
A courage born of peace
That they might lead us gently
And all the fighting cease.

Please give to all upon this earth
A heart that's filled with love
A gentle happy way to live
With Your blessings from above.




The Woman and the Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly..

'What's that?' came the pastor's reply?

'This is very important,' the young woman continued.. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

'That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.'  It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..the best is yet to come.'

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. 



The Christmas Story

In 1994, two American Theology students, Sarah and Richard answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach in a large Russian orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. The Americans relate the following Christmas story: 
    It was nearing the holiday season, time for the orphans to hear the traditional Christmas story for the first time. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. 
    Throughout the Christmas story, the children and orphanage staff sat and listened in amazement. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins we had brought with us. No colored paper was available in the city. Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby’s blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States. The orphans were busy assembling their manger as we walked among them to see if they needed any help. 
    All went well until Richard got to one table where little Misha sat. Misha looked to be about six years old, he had big brown eyes and had finished his project. As he looked at the little boy’s manger, He was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. 
    Quickly, Richard called for the translator to ask the boy why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately-until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. 
    Then Misha started to ad lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said,
   "And when Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told Him I have no mama and I have no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But I told Him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give Him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe that if I kept Him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, ‘If I keep You warm, will that be a good enough gift?'
   "And Jesus told me, ‘If you keep Me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave Me.'
   "So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and He told me I could stay with Him--for always."
   As little Misha finished his story, his big brown eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little Misha had found Someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, Someone who would stay with him--for always.  And that is what the Christmas story is all about.


A Doctor wants his child to become a doctor.
an Engineer wants his child to become engineer.
a Businessman wants his ward to become CEO.
BUT a teacher also wants his child to become one of them..!!!!
Nobody wants to become a teacher BY CHOICE" Very sad but that's the truth.!!!
The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"  To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"  Teacher Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?" (She paused for a second, then began...)  "Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.  I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 min. without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.""You want to know what I make?                                     (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)
I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them how to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.
I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."
(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)
"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make?"

"I MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN ALL YOUR LIVES, EDUCATING KIDS AND PREPARING THEM TO BECOME CEO's, AND DOCTORS AND ENGINEERS."   "What do you make Mr. CEO?"   His jaw dropped; he went silent.
 .


The Black Telephone
 
When I was a young boy, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood.. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the Wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.
 My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.  I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.   "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
 A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.   "Information."  "I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.  "Isn't your mother home?" came the question.  "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.
 "Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.  No,"I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts." "Can you open the icebox?" she asked.  I said I could.  "Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice..  After that, I called "Information Please" for everything.. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math.  She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
 Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"
 She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, " Wayne , always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."  Somehow I felt better.  Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please."  Information," said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" I asked.   All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest . When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston . I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I Somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me..
 Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
 A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle . I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."  Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. “Information." I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying,  "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?" There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."  I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"  I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."  I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.  "Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally." Three months later I was back in Seattle . A different voice answered,   "Information. I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said. "Yes, a very old friend," I answered. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this,"She said. "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago." Before I could hang up, she said, " Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne ?" " Yes." I answered. Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.  Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in.
 He'll know what I mean."I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.
 Never underestimate the impression you may make on others..  Whose life have you touched today?


 May you find the joy and peace you long for.    Life is a journey... NOT a guided tour.

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all." This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: "I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this .. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"
 
When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!


TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LIFE

1] Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout the journey.
 
2] So why is a Car's WINDSHIELD so large & the Rear View Mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.
 
3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.
 
4] All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.
 
5] Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!
 
6] Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD  smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!
 
7] When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.
 
8] A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"
 
9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
 
10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.


Dancing With God
 
  When I meditated on the word  Guidance,
 I kept seeing 'dance' at the end of the word.    
  I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.  
  When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.   
  The movement doesn't flow with the music,   
  And everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.   
  When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead,   
  Both bodies begin to flow with the music.   
  One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back   
  Or by pressing Lightly in one direction or another.   
  It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.     
  The dance takes surrender, willingness,   
  And attentiveness from one person   
  And gentle guidance and skill from the other.   
  My eyes drew back to the word  Guidance.  
  When I saw 'G': I thought of God, followed by 'U and 'I.  
  'God, 'U and 'I dance.'   
  God, you, and I dance.   
  As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust   
  That I would get    guidance about my life.   
  Once again, I became willing to let God lead.   
  My prayer for you today is that God's blessings   
  And mercies are upon you on this day and everyday.   
  May you abide in God, as God     abides in you.    
  Dance together with God, trusting God to lead   
  And to guide you through each season of your life.   
  This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached.   
  If God has done anything for    you in your life,
  Please share this message with someone else. 
There is no cost but a lot of rewards;    
  So let's continue to pray for one another.   
 
  And I Hope You Dance !


God said: "Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.."
St.. FRANCIS:
It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD:
Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures.. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS:
Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD:
The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS:
Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.
GOD:
They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS:
Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD:
They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS:
No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD:
Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. FRANCIS:
Yes, Sir.
GOD:
These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS:
You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD:
What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.
ST. FRANCIS:
You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD:
No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS:
After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves..
GOD:
And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS:
They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD:
Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE:
'Dumb and Dumber', Lord.. It's a story about....
GOD:
Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ indwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting,
gift us with your presence
so we can be a gift to others in carrying out your work.
Amen.


I Believe...
That just because two people argue,
It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
It doesn't mean they do love each other.  
I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if
We understand that friends change. 
I Believe....
That no matter how good a friend is,
They're going to hurt you every once in a while
And you must forgive them for that. 
I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow,
Even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.
I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.
I Believe....
That it's taking me a long time
To become the person I want to be.  
I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with
Loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I Believe....
That you can keep going long after you think you can't. 
I Believe....
That we are responsible for what
We do, no matter how we feel.
I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs
To be done, regardless of the consequences.
I Believe....
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I Believe....
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down
Will be the ones to help you get back up.  
I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry, 
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel. 
I Believe....
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them and less to do with  how many
Birthdays you've celebrated. 
I Believe....
That it isn't always enough,
To be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself. 
I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken
The world doesn't stop for your grief.. 
I Believe....
That our background and circumstances
May have influenced who we are,
But, we are responsible for who we become.
I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find
Out a secret. It could change your life Forever.
I Believe.....
Two people can look at the exact same
Thing and see something totally different.
I Believe....
That your life can be changed in a matter of
Hours by people who don't even know you. 
I Believe....
That even when you think you have no more to give,
When a friend cries out to you -
You will find the strength to help.
I Believe...
That credentials on the wall
Do not make you a decent human being. 
I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life
Are taken from you too soon.


GOD  LIVES  UNDER  THE  BED
I envy Kevin. My brother, Kevin, thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one nigh.
He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed..'  I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor.  I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.
He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?
Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.  He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.  He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.  And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside.. 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights. And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.
His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.  He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others His heart is pure.
He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.
Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God. Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin  seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion. In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.
It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.  Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.
And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.  Kevin won't be surprised at all!
When you receive this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do There is nothing attached. This is powerful


FRIENDS ARE ANGELS WHO LIFT US TO OUR FEET WHEN OUR WINGS HAVE TROUBLE REMEMBERING HOW TO FLY

THE  OLD FISHERMAN  

Our  house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of  Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore .  We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the Clinic.
One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door.  I opened it to see a truly awful looking man..  'Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old,' I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.

But  the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.  Yet his voice was pleasant as he said,  'Good evening.  I've come to see if you've  a room for just one night.  I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'till morning.'  He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. 'I guess it's my face  I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments...'
For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me:  'I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch.  My bus leaves early in the morning.'  I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch.  I went inside and finished getting supper.  When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. 'No thank you.     I have plenty'  And he held up a brown paper bag.
When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes.  It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body.  He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.
He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with thanks to God for a blessing.  He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer.  He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.  At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him.  When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded, and the little man was out on the porch.
He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment?  I won't put you out a bit.  I can sleep fine in a chair.'  He paused a moment  and then added, 'Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind.'  I told him he was welcome to come again.
And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning.  As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen.  He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh.  I knew his bus left at 4 a.m., and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us..

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.  Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed.  Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. 
When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.   'Did you keep that awful looking man last night?  I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!'
Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice.  But, oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear.  I know our family always will be  grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God
Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse.  As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms.  But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket.  I thought to myself, 'If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!'
My friend changed my mind 'I ran short of pots,' she explained, 'and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I  thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail.  It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.'
She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven.  There's an especially beautiful one,' God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. 'He won't mind starting in this small body.'
 
All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.
 
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks  at the heart.'
 
Friends are very special..  They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.  They lend an ear and they share a word of praise.  Show your friends how much you care.

Pass this on, and brighten someone's day.  Nothing will happen if you do not decide to pass it along.
The only thing that will happen if you do pass it on is that someone might smile because of you !

Tough times never last, but tough people do!


It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.  I took his vital  signs and had him take a seat,knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.
I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I  was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of  his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to  the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there  for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every  morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'  He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'


A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.
She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even.. The total had to be exactly perfect.. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it! 'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice.. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said without waiting for a reply to his question. 'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's really, really sick....and I want to buy a miracle.' 'I beg your pardon?'
said the pharmacist. His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?' 'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little. 'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how muchit costs.' The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a miracle does your brother need?' ' I don't know,' Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation.
But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money..' 'How much do you have?' asked the man from  Chicago  .
'One dollar and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audible. 'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'
Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.'
He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want
to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.' That well-dressed man was Dr.  Carlton  Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it  wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.
'That surgery,' her Mom whispered. 'was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?' Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost....one dollar and eleven cents...plus the faith of a little child.
In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need. A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.


Reverend John Powell, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago, writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy: Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith. That was the day I first saw Tommy. My eyes and my mind both blinked. He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. It was the first time I had ever seen a boy with hair that long.. I guess it was just coming into fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn't what's on your head but what's in it that counts; but on that day I was unprepared and my emotions flipped. I immediately filed Tommy under "S" for strange... Very strange. Tommy turned out to be the "atheist in residence" in my Theology of Faith course. He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father/God. We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew.  When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final exam, he asked in a cynical tone, "Do you think I'll ever find God?" I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. "No!" I said very emphatically. "Why not," he responded, "I thought that was the product you were pushing." I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then I called out, "Tommy! I don't think you'll ever find Him, but I am absolutely certain that He will find you! "He shrugged a little and left my class and my life. I felt slightly disappointed at the thought that he had missed my clever line -- He will find you! At least I thought it was clever. Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was duly grateful.  Then a sad report came. I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to see me. When he walked into my office, his body was very badly wasted and the long hair had all fallen out as a result of chemotherapy   But his eyes were bright and his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe. "Tommy, I've thought about you so often; I hear you are sick," I blurted out.   "Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It's a matter of weeks." "Can you talk about it, Tom?" I asked.  "Sure, what would you like to know?" he replied. "What's it like to be only twenty-four and dying?  "Well, it could be worse.   "Like what?
"Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals, like being fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money are the real biggies in life.. I began to look through my mental file cabinet under "S" where I had filed Tommy as strange.(It seems as though everybody I try to reject by classification, God sends back into my life to educate me.)  "But what I really came to see you about," Tom said, "is something you said to me on the last day of class."(He remembered!) He continued, "I asked you if you thought I would ever find God and you said, 'No!' which surprised me Then you said, 'But He will find you. I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time.   (My clever line. He thought about that a lot!) "But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, that's when I got serious about locating God.. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging fists against the bronze doors of heaven. But God did not come out.   In fact, nothing happened. Did you ever try anything for a long time with great effort and with no success? You get psychologically glutted, fed up with trying.  And then you quit. "Well, one day I woke up, and instead of throwing a few more futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God who may be or may not be there, I just quit. I decided that I didn't really care about God, about an after life, or anything like that.
I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more profitable. I thought about you and your class and I remembered something else you had said: 'The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to go through life and leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you had loved them.'"  "So, I began with the hardest one, my Dad. He was reading the newspaper when I approached him. "Dad.
"Yes, what?" he asked without lowering the newspaper. "Dad, I would like to talk with you.  "Well, talk." "I mean. It's really important."  The newspaper came down three slow inches. "What is it?"  "Dad, I love you, I just wanted you to know that." Tom smiled at me and said it with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt a warm and secret joy flowing inside of him.The newspaper fluttered to the floor.  Then my father did two things I could never remember him ever doing before. He cried and he hugged me. We talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning. It felt so good to be close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to hear him say that he loved me."  "It was easier with my mother and little brother. They cried with me, too, and we hugged each other, and started saying real nice things to each other. We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so many years.
"I was only sorry about one thing --- that I had waited so long. Here I was, just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to. Then, one day I turned around and God was there. He didn't come to me when I pleaded with Him. I guess I was like an animal trainer holding out a hoop, 'C'mon, jump through. C'mon, I'll give you three days, three weeks.'"  "Apparently God does things in His own way and at His own hour. But the important thing is that He was there. He found me! You were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him."  "Tommy," I practically gasped, "I think you are saying something very important and much more universal than you realize. To me, at least, you are saying that the surest way to find God is not to make Him a private possession, a problem solver, or an instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening to love. You know, the Apostle John said that.   He said: 'God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him. 'Tom, could I ask you a favor? You know, when I had you in class you were a real pain. But (laughingly) you can make it all up to me now. Would you come into my present Theology of Faith course and tell them what you have just told me? If I told them the same thing it wouldn't be half as effective as if you were to tell it." "Oooh.. I was ready for you, but I don't know if I'm ready for your class."  "Tom, think about it. If and when you are ready, give me a call."  In a few days Tom called, said he was ready for the class, that he wanted to do that for God and for me. So we scheduled a date. However, he never made it. He had another appointment, far more important than the one with me and my class. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision.
He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever seen or the ear of man has ever heard or the mind of man has ever imagined.   Before he died, we talked one last time.  "I'm not going to make it to your class," he said. "I know, Tom."  "Will you tell them for me? Will you .. tell the whole world for me?" I will, Tom. I'll tell them. I'll do my best." So, to all of you who have been kind enough to read this simple story about God's love, thank you for listening. And to you, Tommy, somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven --- I told them, Tommy, as best I could. If this story means anything to you, please pass it on to a friend or two.  It is a true story and is not enhanced for publicity purposes.. With thanks, Rev. John Powell, Professor, Loyola University, Chicago


NEED WASHING??
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in 'Mom let's run through the rain,'she said.
'What?' Mom asked. 'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated 'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.
This young child waited about another minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain,' 'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said..
'No, we won't, Mom.. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.
This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet? 'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'
The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.
'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,' Mom said.
Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked.. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.
And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.


Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season
and a time to every purpose under heaven.
I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN


One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.' I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him... He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes . My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks.'   They really should get lives.  He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!' There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends ,He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my  friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.  I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! ' He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.  He had to prepare a speech for graduation.   I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak Graduation day, I saw Kyle.  He looked great.   He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.   He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.   He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous!  Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!'  He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smile' Thanks,' he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began 'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.   Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends....  I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.'  I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the  first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.  'Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable..' I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.  I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.  Not until that moment did I realize it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions.. With one small gesture you can change a person's life.  For better or for worse. God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.


A man was exploring caves by the  Seashore.  In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls..  It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.     They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.  As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.  
He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock ..  Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls.  Each contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.     Then it struck him.    He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves.  Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!  
It's like that with people..  We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel.  It doesn't look like much from the outside.  It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it  We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy..  But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.  
There is a treasure in each and every one of us  If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
    May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.       I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you..  Thank you for looking beyond   my clay vessel.


 WET PANTS Come with me to a third grade classroom..... There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives. The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, 'Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat.' He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a class mate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water.. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap. The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, 'Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!' Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out.  You've done enough, you klutz!' Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, 'You did that on purpose, didn't you?' Susie whispers back, 'I wet my pants once too.' May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good..


Remember.....Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Last week, I took my children to a restaurant.
My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.
As we bowed our heads he said, 'God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!'
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman
Remark, 'That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!'
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, 'Did I do it wrong? Is
God mad at me?'
As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.
He winked at my son and said, 'I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.'
'Really?' my son asked.
'Cross my heart,' the man replied.
Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), 'Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.'
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.
He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, 'Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.'


A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl. She wanted to know what the United States looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country.
Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to her and said, 'Go into the other room and see if you can put this together. This will show you our whole country today..'   After a few minutes, she returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly.
 'Oh,' she said, 'on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I  got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together.'


TWO WOLVES

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
     The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence,
empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


                        ~DEATH~
                    WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN IT!!!!!
                                 A sick man turned to his doctor,
                                 As he was preparing to leave the examination room and said,
                                "Doctor, I am afraid to die.
                                Tell me what lies on the other side."
                                Very quietly, the doctor said, "I don't know."
                                "You don't know?
                                 You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?"
                                 The doctor was holding the handle of the door;
                                 On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining,
                                 And as he opened the door,
                                 A dog sprang into the room
                                 And leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.
                                 Turning to the patient, the doctor said,
                                "Did you notice my dog?
                                 He's never been in this room before.
                                 He didn't know what was inside.
                                 He knew nothing except that his master was here,
                                 And when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.
                                  I know little of what is on the other side of death,
                                  But I do know one thing...
                                  I know my Master is there and that is enough."
                               


WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN'T LOOKING

A message every adult should read because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.  When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and wanted to say,'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'

I PUT THIS HERE FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE I KNOW WHO DO SO MUCH FOR OTHERS,   BUT THINK THAT NO ONE EVER SEES.
LITTLE EYES SEE A LOT .

Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, friend) influences the life of a child.

How will you touch the life of someone today?
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.   Leave the rest to God.


The Five Finger Prayer
1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty." 2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers. 3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance. 4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them. 5. And lastly comes our little finger. The smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.


Fill My Cup Lord- by Emilie Barnes
I offer you my cup of stress that you may fill it with quietness.
 I offer you  my cup of criticism that you may fill it with     
encouragement.
 I offer you  my cup of resentment that you may fill it with
forgiveness.
 I offer you  my cup of fear and worry and control that you may fill it
with trust.
 I offer you  my cup of loneliness and selfishness that you may give
me your cup of communion.
 I offer you  my cracked and crumbling cup that you may remold me
and make me strong.
 I offer you  my cup of pain, the cup you know too well.
 Fill my cup with thanksgiving  and hope that someday my cup of
tears will be filled with joy.
  I surrender my cup to you that you may fill it with service and the
sweetness of your presence.
I offer my cup of me that it may be filled to overflowing with you.

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The Lord is my Mother, I want for nothing. She lays me down at night She takes my hand by day as we stroll by the sea.
She makes me feel good about myself. She guides me in the right direction For her name's sake.
Sometimes I must walk through lonely alleys but You're with me, Mom. Your wit and Your compassion, they encourage me.
You prepare me a strengthening meal in front of those who would make fun of me. You bathe me in Your perfumed oil, Your love spills over me.
I expect good and even great things to happen to me. And I will be at home in the Lord's house forever.
---Ramona C. Carroll
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Woman's Creed
I believe in God who created woman and man in God's own image who created the world and gave both sexes the care of the earth.
I believe in Jesus, child of God, chosen of God born of the woman Mary who listed to women and liked them who stayed in their homes, who discussed the Kingdom with them who was followed and financed by women disciples.
I believe in Jesus who discussed theology with a  woman at a well & first confided in her his messiahship who motivated her to go and tell her the great news to the city.
I believe in Jesus who received anointing from a woman at Simon’s house,      who rebuked the men guests that scorned her.
I believe in Jesus who said this woman will be remembered for what she did- ministering to Jesus.
I believe in Jesus who healed a woman on the sabbath and made her straight because she was a human being.
I believe in Jesus who spoke of God as a woman seeking the lost coin, as a woman who swept seeking the lost.
I believe in Jesus who thought of pregnancy and birth with reverence not as a punishment- but as a wrenching event- a metaphor for transformation- born again, anguish into joy.
I believe in Jesus who spoke of himself as a mother hen who would gather her chicks under her wings.
I believe in Jesus who appeared first to Mary Magdalene- who sent her with the bursting message...GO and Tell....
I believe in the wholeness of the Savior in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in salvation.
I believe in the Holy Spirit as she moves over the waters of creation                   and over the earth.
I believe in the Holy Spirit- the women spirit of god, who like a hen created us and gave us birth and covers us with her wings.
Rachel Wahlberg

  • Create In Me A Clean Heart2:35