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Old 06-16-2008, 09:44 AM   #161
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No, I had no idea that Tommy Dorsey wrote the hymn. That is quite a story of how the Lord heals hearts. Thanks for posting it Marilynn.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:06 AM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariLynn View Post
THE BIRTH OF THE SONG 'PRECIOUS LORD'



Back in 1932, I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago's south side. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis, where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis. I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66. However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was 'Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.' Wh en I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend. The following Saturday evening he took me up to Malone's Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, once into my head they just seemed to fall into place:

'Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn, through the storm, through the night lead me on to the light, take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.'

The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

-Tommy Dorsey-
Did you know that Tommy Dorsey wrote this song? I surely didn't. What a wonderful story of how God CAN heal the brokenhearted! Beautiful, isn't it?
Wow, did not know that --- thanks so very much for sharing this encouraging story and yes, it is beautiful.
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:07 AM   #163
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The Small White Envelope

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas--oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it--overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike.

The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears.

It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them."

Mike loved kids - all kids - and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came.

That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.

For each Christmas, I followed the tradition--one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.

Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us. May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always.

by Nancy Gavin
(This story originally appeared in Woman's Day magazine 12/14/1982)
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:47 AM   #164
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What a heartwarming story. Thanks once again, Caterina, for an uplifting way to start the day.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #165
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IF YOU WILL


If God can make - of an ugly seed,
with a bit of earth and air,
And dew and rain, sunshine and shade-
a flower so wondrously fair;
What can He make - of a soul like you,
With the Bible and faith and prayer,
And the Holy Spirit - if you will do His will
And trust His love and care?

-A.D. Burkitt
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:30 AM   #166
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Caterina ~ I loved the white envelope at Christmas story. I had read this story in the past and never forgot it. Wonderful!

Also loved this poem you shared:

IF YOU WILL


If God can make - of an ugly seed,
with a bit of earth and air,
And dew and rain, sunshine and shade-
a flower so wondrously fair;
What can He make - of a soul like you,
With the Bible and faith and prayer,
And the Holy Spirit - if you will do His will
And trust His love and care?

-A.D. Burkitt

I know someone who is struggling right now and I think I will share this poem with her.


Thanks for your inspirational messages, Caterina.


... Rita
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:42 AM   #167
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A Boy's Race Prayer

My son Gilbert was eight years old and had been in Cub Scouts only a short time. During one of his meetings he was handed a sheet of paper, a block of wood and four tires and told to return home and give all to "dad." That was not an easy task for Gilbert to do. Dad was not receptive to doing things with his son. But Gilbert tried. Dad read the paper and scoffed at the idea of making a pine wood derby car with his young, eager son. The block of wood remained untouched as the weeks passed. Finally, mom stepped in to see if I could figure this all out.

The project began....

Having no carpentry skills, I decided it would be best if I simply read the directions and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. I read aloud the measurements, the rules of what we could do and what we couldn't do. Within days his block of wood was turning into a pinewood derby car. A little lopsided, but looking great (at least through the eyes of mom). Gilbert had not seen any of the other kids' cars and was feeling pretty proud of his "Blue Lightning," the pride that comes with knowing you did something on your own.

Then the big night came. With his blue pinewood derby in his hand and pride in his heart we headed to the big race. Once there my little one's pride turned to humility. Gilbert's car was obviously the only car made entirely on his own. All the other cars were a father-son partnership, with cool paint jobs and sleek body styles made for speed. A few of the boys giggled as they looked at Gilbert's, lopsided, wobbly, unattractive vehicle. To add to the humility Gilbert was the only boy without a man at his side. A couple of the boys who were from single parent homes at least had an uncle or grandfather by their side, Gilbert had "mom."

As the race began it was done in elimination fashion. You kept racing as long as you were the winner. One by one the cars raced down the finely sanded ramp. Finally it was between Gilbert and the sleekest, fastest looking car there.

As the last race was about to begin, my wide eyed, shy eight year old asked if they could stop the race for a minute, because he wanted to pray.
The race stopped.
Gilbert hit his knees clutching his funny looking block of wood between his hands. With a wrinkled brow he set to converse with his Heavenly Father. He prayed in earnest for a very long minute and a half.
Then he stood, smile on his face and announced, "Okay, I'm ready." As the crowd cheered, a boy named Tommy stood with his father as their car sped down the ramp. Gilbert stood with his Father within his heart and watched his block of wood wobble down the ramp with surprisingly great speed and rushed over the finish line a fraction of a second before Tommy's car.

Gilbert leaped into the air with a loud "Thank you" as the crowd roared in approval. The Scout Master came up to Gilbert with microphone in hand and asked the obvious question, "So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?"

To which my young son answered, "Oh, no sir. That wouldn't be fair to ask God to help me beat someone else. I just asked Him to make it so I didn't cry if I lost."

Children seem to have a wisdom far beyond us. Gilbert didn't ask God to win the race, he didn't ask God to fix the out come, Gilbert asked God to give him strength in the outcome. When Gilbert first saw the other cars he didn't cry out to God, "No fair, they had a fathers help." No, he went to his Father for strength.

Perhaps we spend to much of our prayer time asking God to rig the race, to make us number one, or to much time asking God to remove us from the struggle, when we should be seeking God's strength to get through the struggle.

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippines 4:13

Gilbert's simple prayer spoke volumes to those present that night. He never doubted that God would indeed answer his request. He didn't pray to win, thus hurt someone else; he prayed that God supply the grace to lose with dignity.

Gilbert, by his stopping the race to speak to his Father also showed the crowd that he wasn't there without a "dad," but His Father was most definitely there with him. Yes, Gilbert walked away a winner that night, with his Father at his side.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:41 AM   #168
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Once again, thanks for the inspirational message!
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:06 AM   #169
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Default Time For A Chuckle

First Kiss

At the end of their first date, a young man takes his favorite girl home. Emboldened by the night, he decides to try for that important first kiss.

With an air of confidence, he leans with his hand against the wall and smiling, he says to her, "Darling, how 'bout a goodnight kiss?"

Horrified, she replies, "Are you mad? My parents will see us!"

"Oh come on! Who's gonna see us at this hour?"

"No, please. Can you imagine if we get caught?"

"Oh come on, there's nobody around, they're all sleeping!"

"No way. It's just too risky!"

"Oh please, please, I like you so much!!"

"No, no, and no. I like you too, but I just can't!"

"Oh yes you can. Please?"

"NO, no. I just can't."

"Pleeeeease? . . ."

Out of the blue, the porch light goes on, and the girl's sister shows up in her pajamas, hair disheveled. In a sleepy voice the sister says: "Dad says to go ahead and give him a kiss. Or I can do it. Or if need be, he'll come down himself and do it. But for crying out loud tell him to take his hand off the intercom button!"


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Old 06-19-2008, 07:58 AM   #170
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Oh, that's a good one! Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:46 AM   #171
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A Dream

I had a wonderful dream last night. It was one of those powerful dreams that come when you are half-way between waking and sleeping. It was also one of those special dreams that stick in your mind and stay in your heart.

In the dream I was just a boy again walking through the woods near my Grandmaís home where we all lived together. I came out near one of our big gardens and saw my dad with two, large water buckets watering the plants. I asked him if I could help and he smiled and handed me one of the buckets. It was full of water but light as a feather. The water inside was so crystal clear that it glowed in the sunshine. I immediately started watering the field of wilted plants. The work that I had always hated seemed a joy to me this time. The bucket stayed full too no matter how much I poured. I laughed and smiled as I watered each plant. Some plants sprung back to life with the first drop and seemed to grow a foot almost instantly. Others needed a lot of water and barely grew an inch. Still other plants seemed to shake off the water and stay wilted no matter how much I poured. After a long time watering I looked up and was saddened by what I saw. The garden had grown so big. It seemed to stretch on forever in every direction. I looked over at my dad in despair and told him that there was no way I could ever water all of it. My Dad just smiled back and said not to worry because there were plenty of Children to help. When I looked back I saw that He was right. Over the endless garden there were thousands of boys and girls with buckets each pouring the life giving water on the thirsty plants.

I woke up after that, but I didnít need Sigmund Freud to tell me what this dream meant. God was just reminding me to keep pouring out His love and light to this thirsty world. It is a lifetimeís work, but there are plenty of us with light heats and full buckets ready to do it.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:26 PM   #172
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The Older I Get

The hairs upon my aging head
Are numbered in their days.
And if there are any left at all,
Theyíve gone and turned to gray!

The peaches and cream complexion
I once enjoyed, now ruined.
Marred with crowís feet and wrinkles,
Itís now more like a prune!

These days, alas, Iím apt to forget.
Iím darned if I know what I meant.
And much of my ďget up and go,Ē
Well, it got up and went!

Itís not the bubble gum of my youth
Pop, pop, poppingóoh please.
Today the only thing cracking
Is my old joints and knees!

Toned, taut muscles are things of the past.
My bodyís not longer cut.
Nowadays my only bulges
Are the excess ones in my gut!

No, itís not easy getting older,
But an upside does exist.
The many blessed years Iíve lived
Iíd never opt to have missed!

~ Kathy_K ~
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:22 AM   #173
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Never let mistakes or wrong directions, of which every man falls
into many, discourage you. There is precious instruction to be
gotten by finding where we were wrong.

-- Thomas Carlyle
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:44 AM   #174
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Smile In the Valley of Shadows

In the Valley of Shadows
Jill Carattini

Ernest Gordon was serving as a captain in the British army during the Second World War when he was captured by the Japanese, marched with other prisoners into the Southeast Asian jungles, and forced to construct a railroad bridge over the river Kwai. The conditions of the prison camp would eventually claim the lives of 80,000 men.

The prisoners were made to work for hours in scorching temperatures, chopping their way through tangled jungles. Those who paused out of exhaustion were beaten to death by the guards. Treated like animals, the men themselves became like beasts trying to survive. Theft and betrayal were as rampant as hunger and disease among them. Life was met with indifference, deceit, and hatred--by captive and captor alike.

Yet, Gordon lived to tell of hope and transformation in the valley of the river Kwai. In his widely acclaimed book, he gives a firsthand account of the story behind the "death railroad" and the spiritual resurrection of the camp. "Death was still with us," writes Gordon. "But we were slowly being freed from its destructive grip. We were seeing for ourselves the sharp contrast between the forces that made for life and those that made for death. Selfishness, hatred, envy, jealousy, greed, self-indulgence, laziness and pride were all anti-life. Love, heroism, self-sacrifice, sympathy, mercy, integrity and creative faith, on the other hand, were the essence of life, turning mere existence into living in its truest sense. These were the gifts of God to men. True, there was hatred. But there was also love. There was death. But there was also life. God had not left us. He was with us, calling us to live the divine life in fellowship."(1) In the valley of the shadow of death, Christ had risen.

God had somehow reconciled their lifeless estates, and in such a way that they found themselves unable to respond to others without a similar inexplicable grace. In fact, so complete was the transformation of the men, so real the presence of Christ among them, that they were able to reach out even to their captors with the love that had taken hold of them.

While still in the hands of their enemies, a train carrying Gordon and several others came alongside another boxcar at a stop in Burma. The entire car was filled with gravely wounded Japanese soldiers. They were left alone, without medical attention or company, as if abandoned refuse of war. "They were in a shocking state," Gordon recalls. "The wounded looked at us forlornly as they sat with their heads resting against the carriages waiting fatalistically for death....These were our enemy."(2)

Without a word, many of the officers unbuckled their packs, took out part of their rations and a few rags, and with their canteens went over to the Japanese train. The guards tried to prevent them, but they pressed through, kneeling by the side of the injured men with food and water, cleaning their wounds. Eighteen months earlier the same men of the river Kwai prison camp would have celebrated the humiliation and destruction of anyone on the side of their violent captors. Yet Gordon explains, "We had experienced a moment of grace, there in the bloodstained railway cars. God had broken through the barriers of our prejudice and had given us the will to obey his command, 'Thou shalt love.'"(3)

Ernest Gordon left his three years of brutal imprisonment with an unexpected turn in his own story. Among suffering and enemies, God had spoken. Now it was Gordon who could not remain silent. He returned to Scotland to attend seminary, eventually becoming the dean of the chapel of Princeton University where he remained until his death in 2002. Among a valley of dry bones, God had breathed men to life. In the trenches of despair and hatred, the inexplicable love of Christ called enemies--and humankind--to hope and forgiveness.

Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) As quoted by Philip Yancey in Rumors of Another World (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 175.
(2) Ernest Gordon, Miracle on the River Kwai (London: Wm. Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., 1963), 162, 163.
(3) Ibid., 164.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:29 AM   #175
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The A - Z of Friendship

A Friend....

(A)ccepts you as you are
(B)elieves in "you"
(C)alls you just to say "HI"
(D)oesn't give up on you
(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F)orgives your mistakes
(G)ives unconditionally
(H)elps you
(I)nvites you over
(J)ust "be" with you
(K)eeps you close at heart
(L)oves you for who you are
(M)akes a difference in your life
(N)ever Judges
(O)ffers support
(P)icks you up
(Q)uiets your fears
(R)aises your spirits
(S)ays nice things about you
(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it
(U)nderstands you
(V)alues you
(W)alks beside you
(X)-plains things you don't understand
(Y)ells when you won't listen and
(Z)aps you back to reality
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:54 AM   #176
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Caterina, I like the A-Z of Friendship very much. I made a copy so I don't lose it. Thanks as always
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:37 AM   #177
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Barb, thanks so very much for all your sweet and encouraging comments on this thread. Enjoy getting your feedback on the posts.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:20 AM   #178
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SLOW DANCE

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,"Hi"

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:05 PM   #179
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Gods Wings

A little something to put things in perspective...

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.

When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast.

Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)

Being loved this much should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.

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Old 06-25-2008, 05:40 PM   #180
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Thanks once again, Caterina. That was a wonderful story.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:35 PM   #181
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Caterina, what a beautiful story. I don't think I have thanked you for being such a bright light. This thread is wonderful. I know you brighten my days, and I know you do the same for others. What you do made me think of the little song we used to sing in Sunday school... This little light of mine. I'm gonna let it shine...! You definitely shine friend!!
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:27 AM   #182
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MariLynn, thank you so very much for your sweet post. May God bless you for your kindness.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:05 AM   #183
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Everyone have a blessed day!



DO YOU SMELL THAT?

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love.

All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent Hugging her arms across her chest, little

Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana' s eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.


The love of God is like the ocean, you can see its beginning, but not its end.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:15 AM   #184
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What a beautiful story. Certainly, this is a wonderful testament of God's love.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:06 AM   #185
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Hand In Hand

I can remember when my first born son was learning to walk. Everyone in the house was full of excitement. We cheered him on as he pulled himself up on the coffee table and walked around it keeping his palms on it for support. We applauded when he began to make his way down the halls leaning against the wall and going hand over hand as he toddled along. Every time we stood him up in the middle of the floor, however, he would only take a step or two before falling on his butt. Then he would look scared, frown, and crawl over to the safety of his favorite wall to pull himself back up. For a while there it looked like he would never walk without both palms planted firmly on it. Then one day we decided to give him a hand, literally. We began to take turns bending down and offering him a finger to hold onto while he walked. When we did this his fear disappeared and his smile returned. He seemed happy to walk along forever hand in hand with us. I spent a lot of time over the next few weeks walking like this with him. Thankfully, he finally did learn to let go and walk on his own before my back gave out.

In my own walk through life I sometimes find myself falling on my butt too. I know that Heavenís angels are cheering me on and urging me to get up and keep going no matter how many mistakes I make and how many times I fall. Still, sometimes I find myself crawling instead of rising. Happily, though, there is always a hand there ready to help me back to my feet. Godís loving hand is always there ready to help us up and get us going again. His back never gives out either. He will walk hand in hand with us all through this life and into the next.

If you stumble and fall then donít be afraid. Just reach up and take your Fatherís hand. He will always help you up. He will always be with you too, step by loving step. He will walk with you hand in hand down lifeís dark and winding road and into Heavenís shining light.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:06 AM   #186
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Thanks again, Caterina, for another thoughtful message. I look forward to reading them daily.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:58 AM   #187
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Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

-- William James
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:13 AM   #188
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Wear A Smile - One Size Fits All

Is your smile broad?
Is your smile bright?
Does your smile say, "Welcome"
bringing others delight?

Is it warm and gentle
and truly sincere,
does it offer comfort,
saying, "Happy you're here"?

As you greet another
does it bring life anew?
Have you ever thought
of the good smiles do?

If you're out in the work force
serving other folks,
has it bridged a gap
when a customer's in doubt?

When you smile at children,
a family member or friend,
have you ever noticed
it helps make amends?

Stop for a while...
...and give it some thought.
A true smile is something
that cannot be bought.

Smiles are a gift...
we all can give.
They brighten our world
and enrich how we live.

So "wear a smile"
one size fits all.


A good deed is never lost.
He who sows courtesy, reaps friendship,
and he who plants kindness,
gathers love.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:06 AM   #189
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Run With Intent

Buckminster Fuller once said, "The minute you choose to do what you really want to do it's a different kind of life." And it's not about what you're getting PAID to do! If you want to live abundantly, decide what you really want and figure out a way to do it. Be clear and live with intent.

You may have heard of Fred Lebow. Fred complained to his doctor that he lacked energy. His doctor advised him to take up running in order to increase his stamina. He fell in love with it! He was 39 years old when he entered his first race -- and did horribly. He beat only one other contestantÖa 72-year-old man. But he loved it!

Fred decided what he really wanted to do -- and he did it in his spare time. He joined the New York Road Runners Club and organized New York City's first marathon race. But what Fred truly wanted to do, even more than run, was to bring people together. And that is what he did. He believe that anybody should be able to run -- people of all ages, any background, professional or amateur, and of any country. Today, more than 28,000 people of all backgrounds and nationalities compete in the NYC Marathon.

Not everyone in New York was excited about people running through their neighborhoods. Fred was approached by a youth gang that warned him that nobody had better run through their turf. "That's great," Fred enthused. "I need someone to protect the runners in your area, and you look like just the fellows to do it." He gave them each a hat, shirt and jacket and that year, when the marathon went through their neighborhood, these young men proudly guarded the runners along their way.

Fred decided what was truly important to him and he found a way to do it. He lived with intent. That single decision made his life remarkably different.

In 1990, Fred Lebow found he had a brain tumor. In 1992 he ran his final race. He crossed the finish line holding the hand of his friend and Norwegian Olympic medalist, Grete Waitz. A bronze statue was created of Fred in his running clothes, checking his watch. It is now placed at the finish line of every race. Fred died in 1994. But as one sports writer said, "Fate handed him a short race. With his gall, with his love of life, Fred Lebow turned it into a marathon."

Fred would say that it's not about how long you live, but how you run the race of life. Do you run it with intent?
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:59 AM   #190
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Hi Caterina! Thank you for the inspirational story. Have you posted it in the thread about inspirational biographies? I also really like the 'Wear a Smile', very nice. tfs once again.
Have a lovely day everyone and 'SMILE!'
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:16 PM   #191
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Thanks again for your kind words, Barb. No, I have not posted it anywhere else but feel free to do so if you would like.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:40 PM   #192
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When you reach the end of your rope you will find the hem of His garment.

Rita
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:58 PM   #193
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You are just amazing, Caterina. You just keep posting these wonderful, uplifting stories. Thank you so much.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:19 AM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stamping Servant View Post
When you reach the end of your rope you will find the hem of His garment.

Rita
Thanks Rita, for the reminder. I can't count the times He has saved me from the end of my rope.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:27 AM   #195
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~~ Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal. ~~ ...... Nathaniel Hawthorne



When my grandmother was growing up in the 1880's, she kept a hope chest in which she placed a quilt, a lace doily, an embroidered pillowcase ---- beautiful things for the home she hoped one day to have. I never had a physical hope chest, but I keep a spiritual one now to aid me in cultivating the virtue of hope.

One of the things my hope chest holds is a childhood memory. I was six and our family went by train to Florida for Christmas. The view from the window was bleak as the Silver Meteor crossed New Jersey that mid-Depression year. Miles of rusting freight cars, grimy snow, rubbish-strewn tracks.

I woke in the morning puzzled for a sleepy moment by the jiggling of the berth. Then I was wide awake and staring openmouthed. In the night we'd entered another world. Pastel buildings, huge, slow-flapping pelicans, pinwheeling palms ....

The dazzlement of that moment has never left me, and suggests what the astonishment at heaven will be .... waking after sleep to find ourselves in a different land.

..... Elizabeth Sherrill

~~ Jesus said .... Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you ... I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 ~~


Rita
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:34 AM   #196
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Quote:
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Thanks Rita, for the reminder. I can't count the times He has saved me from the end of my rope.
Hi Barb,

Me too ... how wonderful to have Him as our best friend!

I notice that you are from Rockville. I lived there for a short time many years ago and have many fond memories.

Rita
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:48 AM   #197
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Quote:
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Hi Barb,

Me too ... how wonderful to have Him as our best friend!

I notice that you are from Rockville. I lived there for a short time many years ago and have many fond memories.

Rita
Many years ago Rockville wasn't as built up as it is today. It is now a very large city. Some people don't like it at all and never come to shop or dine unless they can't help it. We moved back here after living in a small rural town in the county miles from everything. We are very happy here with ammenities and medical so close. People change, circumstances change and 'life changes us as we age'! lol

Thanks for your note!
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:19 AM   #198
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Question Caterina, you OK?

I am so used to reading thoughts from you, Caterina, and am missing your entries. I hope you are well and just away, not ill. I am sure that all of us who read this thread are wishing you well and praying for you as always.
Lots of BIG HUGS!
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:22 AM   #199
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Good Morning!

I just came across this excellent poem. I know that what this writer says is true because we experienced it in my family. Enjoy!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TITLE: My Thirty-Year-Old Prayer
By Mariane Holbrook
05/11/08



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I watched you walking down the aisle, your father at your side,
So regal in your bearing, every inch the perfect bride.
My son, at full attention, was enraptured by the view;
He said he’d never seen a sight as beautiful as you.

‘Twas more than thirty years ago, my son still in the womb,
When I’d begin to picture what he’d look like as a groom.
I wondered if the girl he’d choose to be his bride someday
Had yet been born and did she live quite near or far away.

So I began to pray for you, a little girl somewhere
Who might be blonde and blue-eyed or have soft, dark, curly hair.
I prayed that God’s protective hand would cover your small frame
And early on that you’d be taught to pray in Jesus’ name.

And when my son first went to school, so little for his age,
I swelled with pride when he was chosen to appear onstage.
Performing as Tom Sawyer, he put on a stunning show.
Were you there in the audience and did you even know?

I wondered what you looked like when you entered junior high.
Were you outgoing and friendly or perhaps a little shy?
Were you a model student who worked hard to earn all A’s,
Yet showed such grace beyond your years, accepting teachers’ praise?

I prayed for you in high school when the boys would hang around
And if they made advances, then I hope you held your ground.
When you went on to college then my prayers still followed you
That your strong faith in Jesus Christ would somehow see you through.

I knew my prayers were answered when I saw you standing there;
Together with my son I felt you made the perfect pair.
I had no way of knowing you the years we were apart
But someday I would know you by your pure and loving heart.
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"But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us ... being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:8 & 9
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:49 AM   #200
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Wonderful poem, thank you for sharing it with us!
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