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We ask you, gracious God, to help us to become more aware of the gift of your presence. Keep us from getting so caught up in our activities—or in our rush to accomplish things—that we lose sight of the immensity of your love and care for us.
"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind." - John Lennon
Nothing honors God more than trusting him in the face of difficulties. How
quickly we forget the miracles and past blessings.
In Psalm 106 we see Israel beholding an incredible miracle as the Red Sea caved
in upon the Egyptian army, drowning every soldier. “When they saw the
Egyptians lie in the sea before them, then they believed in God, and sang his
praise.” And the next words that follow are, “They soon forgot his works”
But we cannot trust our faith to past experiences—we are too forgetful and
recall is too fragile. Past experience alone will not be enough to strengthen
us in present difficulties. We need fresh faith—anchored in a daily supply of
the Word of God—a fresh word from God!
Trust God when facing difficulties and God will trust you with more of his
grace, his all-sufficiency and his strength.
To trust God in the face of dire difficulties requires a venturing
faith—committing all things into his caring hands. There comes a time we must
launch out into the deep and cast every care upon him. This venturing faith is
all-pleasing to him.
Faith is our only hope, our only way out of difficulties. So let us step out
and commit all to him!
"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
Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.
Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.
Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.
Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.
One day, three men were hiking and unexpectedly came upon a large raging,
violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of
how to do so. The first man prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me
the strength to cross this river."
Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim
across the river in about two hours, after almost drowning a couple of
Seeing this, the second man prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me
the strength ..and the tools to cross this river."
Poof! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river in
about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.
The third man had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also
prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the
tools...and the intelligence... to cross this river."
And poof! God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, hiked
upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge.
Curtis & Leroy saw an ad in the Starkville Daily News Newspaper
in Starkville, MS. and bought a mule for $100.
The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day...
The next morning the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry, fellows,
I have some bad news, the mule died last night."
Curtis & Leroy replied, "Well, then just give us our money back."
The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already.."
They said, "OK then, just bring us the dead mule."
The farmer asked, "What in the world ya'll gonna do with a dead
Curtis said, "We gonna raffle him off."
The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead mule!"
Leroy said, "We shore can! Heck, we don't hafta tell nobody he's dead!"
A couple of weeks later, the farmer ran into Curtis &Leroy at the
Piggly Wiggly grocery store and asked.
"What'd you fellers ever do with that dead mule?"
They said,"We raffled him off like we said we wuz gonna do."
Leroy said,"Shucks, we sold 500 tickets fer two dollars apiece
and made a profit of $998."
The farmer said,"My Lord, didn't anyone complain?"
Curtis said, "Well, the feller who won got upset. So we gave
him his two dollars back."
"It is the Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ." Romans 8:16,17
Thanking the Lord for ALL our awesome armed services and special gratitude to those amazing Navy Seals. May God continue to protect these brave men and women.
May 1st Prayer...Now I lay me down to sleep...one less terrorist this world does keep...with all my heart I give my thanks...to those in uniform regardless of ranks...you serve our country and serve it well...with humble hearts your stories tell...so as I rest my weary eyes...while freedom rings our flag still flies...you give your all, do what you must...with God we live and God we trust....Amen.
Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us,
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog, so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt away our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let all Your creation speak to us,
So that we get to know You better
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.
THIS IS CUTE, THE OPENING PARAGRAPH MAKES THE PROPER STATEMENT TO SET THE MOOD. AND WE THINK GOD DOESN'T TALK TO US?
Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the pew where I sat.
I was at the funeral of my dearest friend - my mother. She finally had lost
her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to
breathe at times. Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my school
plays, held box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted
me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my
entire life. When mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby
and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on
me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her.
I counted it an honor.
'What now, Lord?' I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me
as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross
while clutching his wife's hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband's
shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child... All so deeply
grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our mother,
preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to
her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished, and I was alone. I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor...
An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with
tears. He began to sniffle. 'I'm late,' he explained, though no explanation
was necessary. After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented,
'Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of ' Margaret ?''
'Because, that was her name, Margaret . Never Mary , no one called her
' Mary ,'' I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn't have sat on the
other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and
fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?
'No, that isn't correct,' he insisted, as several people glanced over at
us whispering, 'Her name is Mary , Mary Peters .'
'That isn't who this is.'
'isn't this the Lutheran church?'
'No, the Lutheran church is across the street.'
'I believe you're at the wrong funeral, Sir.'
The solemnest of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man's
mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I cupped my hands
over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking pew gave
me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious. I p eeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing; too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit. I imagined Mother laughing. At the final 'Amen,' we darted out a door and into the parking lot.
'I do believe we'll be the talk of the town,' he smiled. He said his name
was Ric k and since he had missed his aunt's funeral, asked me out for a cup
That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended
the wrong funeral, but was in the right place. A year after our meeting, we
were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This
time we both arrived at the same church, right on time...
In my time of sorrow, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God
gave me love. This past June , we celebrated our twenty-second wedding
anniversary.. Whenever anyone asks us how we met, Ric k tells them, 'Her
mother and my Aunt Mary introduced us, and it's truly a match ma de in
I'd rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example's always clear;
And the best of all preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it
if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.
It was far more than a family effort. I mean there were thousands of families represented there. It was the Race for Hope, Washington, DC on May 1st and in particular "Terry's High Hurdlers" that caught my attention.
You see, my daughter-in-law, Sarah, ran in the 5K race.
My son, Keith, had the winning design for the official race t-shirt. He's a graphic artist and photographer.
She ran for Uncle Terry who died from brain cancer and her grandmother who recently passed.
Sarah represents a strong family with roots deep in faith, family values and love.
She is my son's best friend and a brilliant light in my life.
Sarah had never run a race before. She had participated in fund raising efforts and walked the good walk like many of us do. But this was both a physical and mental challenge for her.
It was one of those things you must do, cannot fail, but doubt your abilities immediately after making the commitment.
I spoke to her about how proud I was of her. I texted her encouraging words before the run and waited for some exciting news the day of the event.
"I finished!!!! I ran the whole thing!!!!! I am sooo very happy right now. " she texted me afterwards.
I was excited for her. I wanted her to succeed.
I learned afterwards that "Terry's High Hurdlers" raised More than $5,361.00 for research in memory of Terry, a wonderful father, husband, brother, uncle, friend and man of faith.
Later I had the chance to speak with Sarah. I could still hear the excitement in her voice.
It was in the final few moments of this conversation when I really felt connected to what she had been through.
She was describing what the race was like.
Marianne and I participate in Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure every year. We walk. Slowly. So, I had no idea what it was like to complete the run.
"There were moments when I thought I couldn't make it," she said.
"I felt like my legs were going to give out. At the half way mark they offer water to you and I could hardly take a sip," she continued.
It was her final comment that really caught my attention.
She said, "At times during the race there were moments of almost complete silence. All you could hear were the sounds of your feet hitting the pavement. Periodically music sounds from a runner's iPod would fade in and out. After awhile clusters of runners gathered in the same spot and the sounds of feet hitting the pavement sounded like rain...water slapping against the ground."
It reminded me of an experience I had years ago while attending a conference. The speaker used us, the audience to make the sound of rain.
Of course, the image that I held in my mind while speaking with Sarah, was different. Those sounds for her, in those moments of doubt and the view of the approaching finish line were more like Uncle Terry and Grandmother urging all of Heaven to help her cross the line, complete her task. They began clapping and the sound of rain washed away her doubt.
"Run, Sarah, run!"
Just like God does for you when you think you can't, when you want to stop trying, when you feel that stopping would feel so much better than finishing.
You hear the sound of rain and all of Heaven is clapping . . .
Just wanted to tell all of my friends and family to have a Wonderful Mother's Day weekend!!!!
It is long but a very powerful message.
The Invisible Mother
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'
Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was Almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.
No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
"Your son is here," she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
"Who was that man?" he asked.
The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.
"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."
"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"
"I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."
I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey.
His Son was Killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to
inform him. What was this Gentleman's Name?
The Nurse with Tears in Her Eyes Answered,
Mr. William Grey.............
The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.
I was hungry! My stomach ached as I opened and shut the kitchen cabinets. Every single one of them was empty. Mechanical breakdowns at the sawmill I was working at had caused the hours I worked to be cut back a lot that month. I was due to pick up my next paycheck the following day and that would buy my young family another week’s worth of food. I just wasn’t sure, however, if we would be eating until then.
I opened the last cabinet and smiled with relief. There was a box of macaroni and cheese left for dinner that night and a little cereal left for my children’s breakfast the next morning. "At least my kids wouldn’t be hungry", I thought. Another pain from my empty stomach sent me over to the breadbox. I opened it and saw two slices of bread left. I went to the refrigerator and glanced inside. It was empty except for a little milk for breakfast and a jar of jelly with less than a spoonful left in it. I grabbed the jelly and put the bread in the toaster. Spreading the jelly thinly I was able to cover both slices. Then I poured a glass of cold water and sat down by the window.
As I slowly ate my toast I watched the butterflies floating above the dandelions in my back yard. Seeing them having their own flower feast made me smile and feel at peace again. As I relaxed my little dog walked into the room and licked my hand. I laughed, fed him the last bite of my toast and then petted his head. At that moment love and happiness filled my heart and I thanked God once again for giving me all I needed for the day.
Thinking of that time again makes me realize what really is essential in this life. We all want so much when in truth we need so little in order to be happy. A little bread, a little water, and the love of our Heavenly Father is all we need to choose love and to have joy. Sometimes it takes not having anything to make you see that you really have everything.
No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy the sunlight today, mix good cheer with friends today, enjoy it and bless God for it. Do not look back on happiness -- or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated out of it.
We don't always get the results we want. I read that a few years ago a Ukrainian businessman bought a pager for each member of his staff as a New Year's gift. He was returning from the store when the pagers caused him to wreck his car. Just as he was pulling up to his office, all 50 pagers on his back seat suddenly screeched. He was so frightened he let go of the steering wheel and the car plunged into a lamp post.
After he assessed the damage to his automobile, the businessman turned his attention to the message on the pagers. It read, "Congratulations on a successful purchase." The company's cheery greeting didn't create the customer satisfaction they were hoping for. But if nothing else, it proved something significant: folks notice your enthusiasm. And one way or another, they seem to respond to it.
A story is told about playwright and U.S. Ambassador to Italy Claire Booth Luce. She became a Roman Catholic late in life and, like many others converted to something new, she was zealous and vocal about her new faith.
A reporter once spotted her engrossed in deep conversation with the pope. He crept within earshot, all the while wondering what important issues the ambassador and the pope could be discussing. Finally, he was close enough to hear the pope say to Ms. Luce, "But I already am a Catholic!" You have to appreciate her passion. . . .
I'm drawn to people with passion -- people who live their lives fully and enthusiastically. As an insect is drawn to light, I am drawn to their energy and vitality. I actually FEEL alive around people who ARE alive. I want to be around them and hope that some of their verve for living just may rub off on me.
Maybe it's like the poet Rumi said: "Only from the heart can you touch the sky." I spend a lot of time living from the head. But when I go to that place where I feel my deepest enthusiasm and passion, I feel as if I can touch the sky. Anything might be possible. And the truth is that good ideas only go so far. It's people with passion that finally make a difference.
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) had a good idea about a new kind of children's book -- one that contains lively illustrations, whacky characters and humorous writing. His enthusiasm led him to write a poem that became his first book. But it seemed that nobody wanted to publish it. Seuss was passionate about his writing, but he realized that an equal measure of enthusiasm and energy would be required if his book were ever to be published. He untiredly peddled his children's book to over twenty publishers before one took a chance on him. Having a great idea was not enough; his passion made the difference.
Charles Goodyear spent every last dollar over five years filled with experiments to try and develop vulcanized rubber. He suffered extreme poverty during those years and was sustained only by his enthusiasm. He eventually succeeded, not because he had the good idea that durable rubber products may have some important uses, but because of the energy he put into his experiments. His good idea was not enough; his passion made the difference.
If I were able to give my children any gift to sustain them in life, I believe I might give them passion for what they do. For if they can live from the heart, they will surely touch the sky.
Starfish have a unique capability. If a starfish should lose a limb, it can re-grow a new one. This is called regeneration. The process can take years, but when it is complete, you would probably not be able to tell that the starfish had ever been damaged.
In our lives, many of us have been damaged. We limp around with burdens from the past. The battles of life have torn at our resolve and stolen bits of our joy, leaving us bruised and crippled. It is easy to do the quick fix and "bandaid" our pain or mask the hurt. But underneath the façade lies a bleeding wound that over time will continue to fester until it is laid before the Great Healer.
It can take years for the limb of a starfish to regenerate until it is whole again. However, if you take the starfish away from its source of life, the ocean, not only will it never heal, but it will ultimately die. The same is true with you.
Our source of life is Jesus, and He wants to heal you. Many of us go through life with burdens weighing heavily on our shoulders. Whether it is the weight of sin, regret, oppression, persecution, abuse, sorrow, divorce, unfaithfulness, fear, unforgiveness, betrayal, regret…Jesus says, "Come to me." He wants to come alongside you and heal you. He wants to take the bandaids off and properly clean your wounds.
If you want to be healed and set free from the burdens that weigh you down, call out to Jesus. It will take time and it may not be easy, but if you keep yourself surrounded by Jesus, the source of life, ultimately you will be healed. And when you are healed, you will experience the love, peace and hope only Jesus can bring.
There, before the throne of God, is a huge multitude of people, and they're all shaking their fists at him and complaining about this situation and that, and each person ends his complaint with "Why didn't you do something?" And then God says to all of us, "Why didn't you ask?"
— from Dion the Wanderer Talks Truth
"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind." - John Lennon
A woman's daughter had asked the local minister
to come and pray
with her mother.
When the minister arrived,
he found the woman
lying in bed with her head
propped up on two
An empty chair sat beside her bed.
The minister assumed that the woman
had been informed
of his visit...
'I guess you were expecting me, he said.
'No, who are you?' said the mother.
The minister told her his name and then remarked,
'I saw the empty
chair and I figured you knew
I was going
to show up...'
'Oh yeah, the chair,' said the bedridden woman
'Would you mind closing the door?'
Puzzled, the minister shut the door.
'I have never told anyone this,
not even my daughter,'
said the woman.
'But all of my life I have never
known how to pray.
At church I used
to hear the pastor talk about prayer,
but it went right
over my head...'
I abandoned any attempt at prayer,'
the old woman continued,
until one day four
years ago, my best friend said to me,
' Prayer is
just a simple matter
of having a conversation
Here is what I suggest..
'Sit down in a chair;
place an empty chair
in front of you,
and in faith see Jesus on the chair.
It's not spooky because he promised,
'I will be with you
'Then just speak to him in the same way
you're doing with
me right now...'
'So, I tried it and I've liked it so much
that I do it a couple
of hours every day.
I'm careful though . If my daughter
saw me talking
to an empty chair,
she'd either have a nervous breakdown
or send me off to
the funny farm.'
The minister was deeply moved by the story and
encouraged the old
woman to continue on the journey.
Then he prayed with her, anointed her with oil,
and returned to the
Two nights later the daughter called
to tell the minister
that her mama
had died that afternoon.
Did she die in peace?' he asked.
Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock,
she called me over
to her bedside,
told me she loved
me and kissed me on the cheek.
When I got back from the store an hour later,
I found her .
But there was something strange about her death.
before Mom died,
she leaned over and
rested her head on the chair
beside the bed. What
do you make of that?'
The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said,
'I wish we could
all go like that.'
Just send this to four people or more,
and do not break
Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.
I asked God for water, He gave me an ocean.*
I asked God for a flower, He gave me a garden.*
I asked God for a friend, He gave me YOU.*
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.*
My daughter graduated from college this Spring. I couldn’t be more proud of her. Through countless hours of study, books read, papers written, and tests taken, her hard work has paid off. She is no longer the little girl I once pushed on a swing and taught to ride a bike. She has become a wise, mature, giving, caring, and loving adult. She has learned so much and is ready to start the rest of her life.
I think the things I am most proud of her learning, though, aren’t the ones she learned in the classroom. They are the ones she learned through living her life. My daughter already knows things that it took me much longer to learn. She knows that money can’t buy or even rent happiness. She knows that you never rise higher than when you stoop to help up another. She knows that laughter exercises the lungs and love opens up the heart. She knows that a good cry isn’t a bad thing. It washes out your eyes so you can see more clearly. She knows that petting a dog warms your heart and hugging a friend uplifts your soul. She knows that doing what you love and loving what you do turns work into play. She knows that children are life’s most precious gift and that every child should be treated with gentleness, kindness, and love.
My daughter knows that life often isn’t fair, that society often isn’t wise, and that everyone of us will face our share of problems. She also knows, however, that with love in our hearts we can bring learning, laughter, and joy to even the toughest days. She knows that true faith brings us closer to God’s love and never seeks to judge or hurt another. She knows that life is a journey taken on a rocky road and that sometimes we stumble and fall. She knows too that we can pick ourselves up each time and even help someone else up as well. Most of all she knows that she is still learning, just as we all are. May she always know too just how much I love her.
Prayer will enable you to get yourself or anyone else, out of any difficulty. It is the golden key to harmony and happiness.
To those who have no acquaintance with the mightiest power in existence, this may appear to be a rash claim, but it needs only a fair trial to prove that, without a shadow of doubt, it is a just one. You need take no one's word for it, and you should not. Simply try it for yourself.
God is omnipotent, and we are God's image and likeness and have dominion over all things. This is the inspired teaching, and it is intended to be taken literally, at its face value. The ability to draw on this power is not the special prerogative of the mystic or the saint, as is so often supposed, or even of the highly trained practitioner. Everyone has this ability Whoever you are, wherever you may be, the golden key to harmony is in your hand now. This is because in prayer it is God who works, and not you, and so your particular limitations or weaknesses are of no account in the process. You are only the channel through which the divine action takes place, and your treatment will be just the getting of yourself out of the way.
As for the actual method of working, like all fundamental things, it is simplicity itself. All you have to do is this: Stop thinking about the difficulty, whatever it is, and think about God instead. This is the complete rule, and if only you will do this, the trouble, whatever it is, will disappear. It makes no difference what kind of trouble it is. It may be a big thing or a little thing: it may concern health, finance, a lawsuit, a quarrel, an accident, or anything else conceivable: but whatever it is, stop thinking about it and think of God instead--that is all you have to do.
It could not be simpler, could it? God could scarcely have made it simpler, and yet it never fails to work when given a fair trial.
Do not try to form a picture of God, which is impossible. God is wisdom, truth, inconceivable love. God is present everywhere, has infinite power, knows everything, and so on. It matters not how well you may think you understand these things: go over them repeatedly.
But you must stop thinking of the trouble, whatever it is. The rule is, to think about God. If you are thinking about your difficulty, you are not thinking about God. To be continually glancing over your shoulder in order to see how matters are progressing is fatal, because it is thinking of the trouble, and you must think of God and nothing else. Your object is to drive the thought of the difficulty out of your consciousness, for a few moments at least, substituting for it the thought of God. This is the crux of the whole thing. If you can become so absorbed in this consideration of the spiritual world that you forget for a while about the difficulty, you will find that you are safely and comfortably out of your difficulty--that your demonstration is made.
In order to "golden key" a troublesome person or a difficult situation, think. "Now 1 am going to 'golden key' John, or Mary. or that threatened danger": then proceed to drive all thought of John, or Mary, or the danger out of your mind, replacing it with the thought of God.
By working in this way about a person, you are not seeking to influence his conduct in any way, except that you prevent him from injuring or annoying you, and you do him nothing but good. Thereafter, he is certain to be in some degree a better, wiser, and more spiritual person, just because you have "golden keyed" him. A pending lawsuit or other difficulty would probably fade out harmlessly without coming to a crisis, justice being done to all parties concerned.
If you find that you can do this very quickly, you may repeat the operation several times a day with intervals between. Be sure, however, each time you have done it, that you drop all thought of the matter until the next time. This is important.
We have said that the golden key is simple, and so it is, but of course it is not always easy to turn. If you are very frightened or worried, at first it may be difficult to get your thoughts away from material things. But by constantly repeating a statement of absolute Truth, such as: There is no power but God: I am the child of God, filled and surrounded by the perfect peace of God: God is love; God is guiding me now; or, perhaps best and simplest of all. God is with me--however mechanical or trite it may seem -- you will soon find that the treatment has begun to "take." and that your mind is clearing. Do not struggle violently; be quiet, but insistent. Each time you find your attention wandering, switch it back to God.
Do not try to think in advance what the solution to your difficulty will be. Leave the question of ways and means to God. You want to get out of your difficulty that is sufficient. You do your part, and God will never fail to do God's.
"Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).
A preacher is winding up his temperance sermon with great fervor. "If I
had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river!"
The congregation cries out, "Amen!"
"And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it in the
The congregation cries, "Amen!"
By now, worked into frenzy, the preacher yells, "And if I had all the
whiskey and demon rum in the world, I'd take it all and throw it in the
And the congregation again cries, "Amen!"
The preacher sits down, exhausted. Then the deacon stands up and calmly
announces, "And now, for our closing hymn, let us turn to page 126 and
sing, 'We shall gather at the river.'"
While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage.
The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because,
attached to the back of the carriage was a hand-printed sign..."Energy
efficient vehicle. Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step on
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a
long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many
cars ahead of him at the service station. Finally, the attendant motioned
him toward a vacant pump. "Reverend," said the young man, "sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready
for a long trip." The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It's the
same in my business."
Somebody has well said that there are only two kinds of people in the
world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning,
Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord,
One Sunday, after church, Mom asked her very young daughter what the
lesson was about. Her daughter answered "Don't be scared, you'll get your
quilts." Needless to say, Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the Pastor
stopped by for tea. Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about. He said "Be not afraid, the comforter is coming."
"What deeds of power are being done by His hands!" Mark 6:2
It’s wond’rous what a
hug can do. A hug can
cheer you when you’re blue. A
hug can say, “I love you so”
or, “Gee I hate to see you go”.
A hug is, “Welcome back again!”
and “Great to see you!” or
“Where’ve you been?”A hug can
soothe a small child’s pain and
bring a rainbow after rain. The
hug! There’s just no doubt
about it, we scarcely could
survive without it. No longer
do you have to worry, for a hug
is the way to say “I’m sorry.”
A hug delights and warms and charms,
it must be why we all have arms.
Hugs are great for Fathers and
Mothers sweet for Sister, swell
for Brothers. Chances are some
favorite Aunts love them more
than potted plants. Kittens
crave them. Puppies love them.
Heads of State are not above
them.A hug can break the
language barrier and make the
dullest day seem merrier. No
need to fret about the store of
‘em. The more you give the more
there are of ‘em. So stretch
those arms without delay, and
GIVE SOMEONE A HUG TODAY!
On July 22nd I was in route to Washington, DC , for a business
Trip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately.
I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.
When I got off the plane, a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr. Glenn, there is an emergency at your home . I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital."
My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital . My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes and that when my wife had found him he was dead. CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.
By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart. They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.
The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down. When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream. I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.
Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.
Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken.. He said, "Daddy hold me" and he reached for me with his little arms. By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine, when we took Brian home , we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.
In the days that followed, there was a special spirit about our home . Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more focused and balance much easier to gain and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.
The story is not over (smile)!
Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down Mommy.. I have something to tell you." At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed, and he began his sacred and remarkable story.
"Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you but you couldn't hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the ' birdies ' came."
"The birdies?" my wife asked puzzled.
"Yes," he replied. "The birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me."
"Yes," he said. "One of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell you "I got stuck under the door." A sweet reverent feeling filled the room. The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies" because they were up in the air like birds that fly. "What did the birdies look like?" she asked.
Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white."
"Did they say anything?"
"Yes," he answered. "They told me the baby would be all right."
"The baby?" my wife asked confused.
Brian answered. "The baby laying on the garage floor." He went on, "You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave."
My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can." As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form. "Then what happened?" she asked.
"We went on a trip," he said, "far, far away." He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult.
"We flew so fast up in the air. They're so pretty Mommy," he added. "And there are lots and lots of birdies." My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the "birdies" had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay. The story went on for an hour.
He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because they love us so much. Brian continued, stating, "I have a plan, Mommy. You have a plan.. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that cause they love us so much."
In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond his ability when he talked about his birdies.
Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the "birdies." Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled. Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.
Sometimes blessings come wrapped in strange packages. I got one today when a fiber optic cable somewhere got cut accidentally. This caused my cable to be out for most of the day and sent me to my dusty old collection of DVD’s to find something to watch as I cleaned up the house. The one I found myself pulling out was the old Christmas classic, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. At first it seemed strange watching this movie in the middle of Spring but after a while I found myself putting the chores aside and sitting down to enjoy it once again.
The powerful story of George Bailey, a common man who spent his life helping others touched my heart. George’s kindness and character helped me to see again just what it means to live a good life in this world. Mr. Potter’s meanness and greed on the other hand reflected all that is wrong with our society today. I found myself aching with George as he saw how terrible the world would be without him. I found myself praying along with him as he asked God to please let him live again. I found myself laughing and cheering too as the movie came to its beautiful ending. I even found myself singing along in its last minutes as George was surrounded by his family and friends in a room overflowing with love and joy.
This blessing of a movie made me think that this world could use a few more George Bailey’s and a lot less Mr. Potter’s in it. This world needs to see again that people are more important than profits, that kindness is more valuable than cash, that friends and family mean more than stocks and bonds, and that goodness and love are the greatest riches of all.
I wish all of you a wonderful life. May you live a life that makes God smile. May your days overflow with kindness. May your heart be full of love. May your actions always help others. And may you even get a chance to help an angel earn his wings.