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Old 12-26-2012, 05:58 AM   #3041
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"What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring Him a lamb. If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part - Yet what can I give Him? Give my heart." — Christina Rossetti
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:32 AM   #3042
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Caterina- Beautiful poem.

.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:22 AM   #3043
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God, According to an 8 Year Old

Written by an 8 year old from Chula Vista, CA, for his third grade homework assignment. The assignment was to explain God. I just wonder if any of us could do as well?

---

One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth.

He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this .

Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.

God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.

Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.

Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.

His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.

You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God.

Don't skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can.

It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.

But... you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And this is what I know about God.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:17 AM   #3044
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A New Year's Prayer

Lord,
As a new year begins, we come to You and ask for Your blessing.
We pray that you would give us joy to fill our days, peace to fill our hearts, and love to fill our lives.

Thank You for the plans You have for us in this new year.
We wait in anticipation to see all You will do!

Thanking God for you and praying your new year is blessed in every way.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:35 PM   #3045
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Caterina- I really appreciate all of your beautiful posts. Thanks
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:03 PM   #3046
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Such a wonderful New Year's wish. I am sharing it with my friends! Thanks.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:37 PM   #3047
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Caterina- I really appreciate all of your beautiful posts. Thanks

Thanks Joan you are such a good encourager.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:37 PM   #3048
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Such a wonderful New Year's wish. I am sharing it with my friends! Thanks.

Glad you liked it - share away!
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:06 PM   #3049
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I am unsure where to post this situation. While attending my SIL's wake. I met some of her relatives for the first time. They are from the St Louis area. I had a odd thing happen. I was talking to a young woman. we finished our conversation and she stopped me. She pulled me aside and told me she knew I was a very spiritual person and asked me to pray for her. She told me she felt it as soon as she saw me walk into the room. This has happened to me before. It always makes me feel uncomfortable. Any ideas????
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:36 PM   #3050
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I am unsure where to post this situation. While attending my SIL's wake. I met some of her relatives for the first time. They are from the St Louis area. I had a odd thing happen. I was talking to a young woman. we finished our conversation and she stopped me. She pulled me aside and told me she knew I was a very spiritual person and asked me to pray for her. She told me she felt it as soon as she saw me walk into the room. This has happened to me before. It always makes me feel uncomfortable. Any ideas????

Joan, I think the Lord is using you in very special ways for people because you are a caring loving and spiritual lady. I would just politely say thank you to the individual and at the same time quietly pray asking God to give you wisdom and peace.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:18 PM   #3051
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Love, Peace and Joy

Love
to make your memories brighter...
Peace
to make your heart at rest...
Joy
to make your celebration wonderful and really blessed.

Happy New Year

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.
Romans 15:13
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:52 AM   #3052
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My Friend Jesus Christ

Let me tell you about
My Friend in high places
He's there for me all day and night;
Voluntarily on a twenty-four hour call.
I bring him my joys;
My cheerful moments and spectacular experiences,
He smiles with me
And reminds me these are his gifts to me.
I bring him my troubles;
My tattered life and shattered dreams,
I bring him my fears;
My many uncertainties and disquieting insecurities,
He calmly assures me with His words of encouragement
Reminding me that He's in complete control.
He died a cruel agonizing death for my sins,
And rose again on that glorious morn' of the third day.
I offer Him my humble thankfulness
And because I believe Him and His Word,
I joyfully await His promise fulfilled;
To live with my Friend for all eternity.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:34 PM   #3053
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Whole and Holy

We are washed clean through the waters of baptism, and daily we are invited to renew those baptismal promises—to return to the right path and to accept the forgiveness of Christ. God patiently waits for us to approach that fountain of mercy so that we can become whole and holy.

— from Wrapped Up
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:10 AM   #3054
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Whole and Holy

We are washed clean through the waters of baptism, and daily we are invited to renew those baptismal promises—to return to the right path and to accept the forgiveness of Christ. God patiently waits for us to approach that fountain of mercy so that we can become whole and holy.

— from Wrapped Up

Thank you Joan for your encouraging post.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #3055
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A Late Bloomer

A cactus stood all alone in the desert, wondering why it was stuck in the middle of nowhere.

"I do nothing but stand here all day," it sighed. "What use am I? I'm the ugliest plant in the desert. My spines are thick and prickly, my leaves are rubbery and tough, my skin is thick and bumpy. I can't offer shade or juicy fruit to any passing traveler. I don't see that I'm any use at all."

All it did was stand in the sun day after day, growing taller and fatter. Its spines grew longer and its leaves tougher, and it swelled here and there until it was lumpy and lopsided all over. It truly was strange- looking.

"I wish I could do something useful," it sighed.

By day hawks circled high overhead.

"What can I do with my life?" the cactus called. Whether they heard or not, the hawks sailed away.

At night the moon floated into the sky and cast its pale glow on the desert floor.

"What good can I do with my life?" the cactus called. The moon only stared coldly as it mounted its course.

A lizard crawled by, leaving a little trail in the sand with its tail.

"What worthy deed can I do?" the cactus called.

"You?" the lizard laughed, pausing a moment. "Worthy deed? Why, you can't do anything! The hawks circle way overhead, tracing delicate patterns for us all to admire. The moon hangs high like a lantern at night, so we can see our ways home to our loved ones. Even I, the lowly lizard, have something to do. I decorate the sands with these beautiful brushstrokes as I pull my tail along. Buy you? You do nothing but get uglier every day."

And so it went on, year after year. At last the cactus grew old, and it knew its time was short.

"Oh, Lord," it cried out, "I've wondered so long, and I've tried so hard. Forgive me if I've failed to find something worthy to do. I fear that now it's too late."

But just then the cactus felt a strange stirring and unfolding, and it knew a surge of joy that erased all despair. At its very tip, like a sudden crown, a glorious flower suddenly opened in bloom.

Never had the desert known such a blossom. Its fragrance perfumed the air far and wide and brought happiness to all passing by. The butterflies paused to admire its beauty, and that night even the moon smiled when it rose to find such a treasure.

The cactus heard a voice.

"You have waited long," the Lord said. "The heart that seeks to do good reflects My glory, and will always bring something worthwhile to the world, something in which all can rejoice - even if for only a moment."

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:57 AM   #3056
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Seven Powerful Christian Quotes

“Tomorrow I plan to work, work, from early until late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
– Martin Luther

“If we only have the will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumbles.”
- C.S. Lewis


“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.”
– Abraham Lincoln


“I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking God to do His work though me.”
– Hudson Taylor


“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning… Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!”
– Max Lucado


“Believers, look up – take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.”
- Billy Graham


“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us”
– Augustine
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:09 AM   #3057
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These are wonderful. I have always loved that Max Lucado quote!
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:38 AM   #3058
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The Bear and the Bull

Once upon a time there lived a bear in a cave deep in the woods. Nearby was a meadow in which a farmer kept his cattle -- and one large, ferocious-looking bull. Each day the bear hid at the edge of the woods, watching the bull. The bear was known as the strongest, most fierce creature for miles around. No other beast in the forest dared to tangle with him. As the bear watched the bull peacefully gazing, he wondered which one of them would win a test of strength. He thought about this for many days. Then one morning he decided to challenge the bull to a fight to the finish.

The bull had just chomped down on a fresh clump of clover when he looked up and saw the bear barreling across the meadow toward him. He stopped chewing. The red flag of danger popped up in his head. The bear skidded to a halt in front of him. The bull lowered his head menacingly, his sharp horns aimed right for the bear's throat. For long moments they stood in place -- eyeball to eyeball -- neither one of them moving. Finally the bull grew tired of the stare-down and asked, "What do you want, Bear?"

"I want to fight you," growled the bear.

"Why?" asked the bull.

"Because, I want to prove that I am a stronger and better fighter than you are."

The bull laughed. "I thought you really wanted something. You can't possibly win against me. I have sharp horns that can cause terrible injuries."

"And my claws are sharp and quick," the bear shot back. "I have defeated many an enemy -- anyone who would harm my cubs or take away my mate. I am the king of the forest!"

"Then go back to the forest," the bull bluntly advised. "This is the meadow."

The bear blinked in surprise. "I beg your pardon..."

"I mean, what's the point of me fighting with you?" the bull asked. "What would that prove? We are not enemies. I have not harmed your cubs or taken your mate."

"It would prove that I am the strongest."

"Okay," said the bull, smiling. "I'll buy that. You are strongest. Now leave and let me graze in peace."

"Just one cotton-pickin' minute. What do you mean by that?" The bear raised a club-like paw. "I will tear you to shreds. Defend yourself."

"What you do is up to you," the bull answered calmly. "But if you do, what will all your friends -- the ones who are watching us right now -- think about you?"

"They will think that I am the strongest," yelled the frustrated bear.

"I don't think so. I do not choose to fight you just because you choose to fight with me. I would only fight to defend one of the cows in my care. If you attack one of them, then I'd be obliged to give you a good lashing."

"I can't attack them," protested the bear. "They can't fight back. There would be no victory to it."

"Exactly," answered the bull. "But what if you did? And what if I should try to defend them? What if something should happen to me? Who would protect them then? You? Would you trust me to protect your cubs if something happened to you? What would happen to your family if you lose the fight?"

"I never thought of that," said the bear.

"Go back into the woods, Bear," said the bull as he turned to walk away. "Live in peace. And I will stay in the meadow and do the same."

The bear turned toward the woods. He had come spoiling for a fight -- to prove which one was the strongest. But he had learned an important lesson from a very wise bull. In peace, there are no losers.

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. (Proverbs 17:14 NIV)
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:32 AM   #3059
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The Golden Chain of Kindness

Writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, "Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together." But I was not thinking about the golden chain of kindness one day when a dilapidated automobile, possibly held together with glue and wire, parked in front of my house. During those years, we lived in a small town just across the street from the church I served, and travelers in need constantly found their way to our home.

I was growing weary of helping the numerous people who stopped by almost daily. I was frequently awakened in the middle of an otherwise good night's sleep, to get out in the cold and help someone passing through. Once our property was vandalized; once I drove through a blizzard in order to get two people to safety; many times I felt taken for granted by penniless motorists or hitchhikers who did not thank me for help they received and complained that I didn't do more. I hadn't felt a part of a "golden chain of kindness" for awhile and, though I still offered assistance where I could, sometimes I inwardly wished they would just go away.

But on this day, a young man with a week-old beard climbed from the broken-down automobile. He had no money and no food. He asked if I could give him some work and I offered him gasoline and a meal. I told him that if he wanted to work, we'd be pleased if he'd cut the grass, but work wasn't necessary.

Though sweaty and hungry, he worked hard. Because of the afternoon heat, I expected him to give up before the job was completed. But he persisted and, after a long while, he sat wearily down in the shade. I thanked him for his work and gave him the money he needed. Then I offered him a little extra money for a task particularly well done, but he refused. "No sank you," he said in heavily accented speech. I insisted that he take the money but he stood up and once again said, "No sank you. I want to work. Joo keep the money." I tried again and for a third time he protested, shaking his head as he walked away.

I never saw him again. I'm sure I never will. And interestingly, he probably thinks I helped him out that day. But that is not the way it was. I didn't help him, he helped me. He helped me to believe in people again. He helped me to once again WANT to do something for those who are in need. I wish I could thank him for restoring some of my faith in the basic goodness of others and for giving me back a little of the optimism I had lost somewhere along the way. Because of him I once again felt part of a golden chain of kindness that binds us to one another.

I may have fed his body that day. But he fed my soul.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #3060
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TIME FOR A CHUCKLE....


The Love Dress ……………..

A woman stopped by, unannounced, at her son's house. She knocked on the door then immediately walked in.

She was shocked to see her daughter-in-law lying on the couch, totally naked. Soft music was playing, and the aroma of perfume filled the room.

"What are you doing?!" she asked.

"I'm waiting for Mike to come home from work," the daughter-in- law answered.

"But you're naked!" the mother-in-law exclaimed.

"This is my love dress," the daughter-in-law explained.

"Love dress? But you're naked!"

"Mike loves me and wants me to wear this dress," she explained." It excites him to no end. Every time he sees me in this dress, he instantly becomes romantic and ravages me for hours on end. He can't get enough of me"

The mother-in-law left.

When she got home, she undressed, showered, put on her best perfume, dimmed the lights, put on a romantic CD, and lay on the couch, waiting for her husband to arrive. Finally, her husband came home. He walked in and saw her lying there so provocatively.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"This is my love dress," she whispered sensually.

Needs ironing," he said. "What's for dinner?

He never heard the gunshot.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:27 PM   #3061
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LOLOLOL I think I have that same dress!
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:26 PM   #3062
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I too have that dress.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #3063
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The Parable of the Two Servants

There once was a man who had two indentured servants. One day a disagreement arose between them as to who was the greatest in the eyes of their master. So they went to the master of the house and asked him, "My lord, which of us is greater?"

The master of the house replied, "I will let you discover that for yourself. I will ask each of you a question and you must answer truthfully."

So the servants stood before him and he started to question them. To the first servant, he asked, "What do you do for me?"

"Sir, I work in the fields all day long to grow wheat for my lord's granary," the first servant replied. "Then, at night, I go through the house and fill all the lamps so that my lord will have light. For this you pay me a wage, but I hope that one day that I may earn my freedom."

The master nodded his head. He turned to the second indentured servant and asked, "And what do you do for me?"

"Sir," he replied, "I am an educated man. I am well-versed in literature, music, mathematics and science. I teach your children all that I know so that one day they may leave your house and make a success in the world. And when they do, I hope that you will grant me my freedom. In the meantime, you give me a wage for what I do."

Again, the master nodded. Then he turned to a lowly slave who was standing nearby, and asked, "And what do you do for me?"

"You know that I love you, my lord, and my only wish is to do whatever you ask," the slave answered without hesitation. "You bought me and I know that I will be a slave for life, therefore I earn no wage. But you are kind and merciful to me, and do not beat me as other masters beat their slaves. You are wise and just and kind and that is why I love you."

The master of the house smiled. "Then you are the greatest of all my servants and I will make you a free man."

When they heard this, the two servants were aghast. "Why him?" they cried. "We do much more work than he does. He waits around for you to give him an order, but we labor in your fields without orders, teach your children, and light your lamps. We work unceasingly and should be rewarded."

"Yes," the master of the house replied. "You do work in my fields, and do all the other things that you said. But this man wants only to serve me, not himself. He waits patiently until I tell him what I want him to do. His faithfulness has never failed him. He now has his reward -- his freedom. And I will place him as overseer, and you will be his servants. Because of his faithful service to me -- though he was once a lowly slave -- he is truly the greater."

"Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free." -Ephesians 6:6-8 NIV
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:32 PM   #3064
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God's Stillness
Oh God, I need a stillness,
Deep within my soul,
That I may feel You ever near,
Though troubled waters roll.

Oh God, I need a stillness
To wait more patiently.
I know You hear my longing cry.
I know You'll answer me.

Oh God, I need a stillness
To meditate and pray,
A time to get to know You, Lord.
Much better every day.

Oh God, I need a stillness,
My dry soul to renew.
I need Thy Holy Spirit's power
To fill me through and through.

Oh God, I need a stillness
To know Your perfect will,
To walk the path You'd have me walk.
To hear, "My child, be still."

~ Helen Dowd ~

"Be still, and know that I am God..."
Psalm 46:10
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:59 PM   #3065
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Beauty Is Soul Deep

Abraham Lincoln loved to tell stories on himself. One of his favorites concerned itself with physical appearance.

In the days when Lincoln used to be on the circuit (traveling on horseback from one county court to another), he was once approached by a stranger who said, "Excuse me, sir, but I have an article which belongs to you."

"How is that?" Lincoln asked in astonishment.

The stranger took a jackknife from his pocket. "This knife," he said "was placed in my hand some years ago, with the injunction that I was to keep it until I found a man homelier-looking than I am myself. I have carried that knife for many years. Now I pass it on to you."

Lincoln added wryly, "I've carried that knife ever since."

Once when he was accused of being “two-faced,” he replied, “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?”

One of Lincoln's greatest assets was his ability to laugh at himself and he frequently laughed at his physical appearance. But history does not remember him as an "ugly" individual – in fact, often just the opposite. His spirit was clothed in beautiful garments: character, honesty, humor and courage. And there are other clothes he wore equally well – such as humility and forgiveness.

We say that beauty is skin deep. But it isn't really. It has very little to do with the skin. True beauty is soul deep. It is a fabric that is woven in the soul and worn in plain view.

The Bible speaks of clothing yourself with such things as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Regardless of how good looking we may otherwise be, I believe that these kinds of clothes will actually be what people see – if not at first, certainly later.

This was taught to me by a woman who used to think that if she were granted only one wish, it would be to be beautiful. She saw her wheel-chair dependent body as unsightly and, therefore, she missed her more attractive assets. But when she was finally convinced of some of her beautiful personality traits by her friends, she came to a different point of view. Today she says, "Now I know I AM beautiful. Very beautiful."

It isn’t true that beauty is skin deep. This woman learned that real beauty is soul deep. And when she understood that, she saw that she was far more attractive than she had ever imagined.

So here’s to all of the beautiful people. They come in different sizes and shapes. Some are old and some are young. They can be found everywhere. And they look nothing alike, until you see the light in their eyes. That light may just be a reflection of the beauty inside; beauty that is soul deep.

~ Steve Goodier

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:43 PM   #3066
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BEAUTY TIPS

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years -only grows!
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:15 AM   #3067
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Farming Forgiveness

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence -- an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.

The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.

About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.

There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge -- a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all -- and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.

"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but, I have many more bridges to build."
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:23 AM   #3068
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The Parable of the Wooden People

The Wemmicks were small wooden people. Each of the wooden people was carved by a woodworker named Eli. His workshop sat on a hill overlooking their village. Every Wemmick was different. Some had big noses, others had large eyes. Some were tall and others were short. Some wore hats, others wore coats. But all were made by the same carver and all lived in the village.

And all day, every day, the Wemmicks did the same thing: They gave each other stickers. Each Wemmick had a box of golden star stickers and a box of gray dot stickers. Up and down the streets all over the city, people could be seen sticking stars or dots on one another. The pretty ones, those with smooth wood and fine paint, always got stars. But if the wood was rough or the paint chipped, the Wemmicks gave dots. The talented ones got stars, too. Some could lift big sticks high above their heads or jump over tall boxes. Still others knew big words or could sing very pretty songs. Everyone gave them stars. Some Wemmicks had stars all over them! Every time they got a star it made them feel so good that they did something else and got another star. Others, though, could do little. They got dots.

Punchinello was one of these. He tried to jump high like the others, but he always fell. And when he fell, the others would gather around and give him dots. Sometimes when he fell, it would scar his wood, so the people would give him more dots. He would try to explain why he fell and say something silly, and the Wemmicks would give him more dots. After a while he had so many dots that he didn't want to go outside. He was afraid he would do something dumb, such as forget his hat or step in the water, and then people would give him another dot. In fact, he had so many gray dots that some people would come up and give him one without any reason. "He deserves lots of dots," the wooden people would agree with one another. "He's not a good wooden person." After a while Punchinello believed them. "I'm not a good Wemmick," he would say. The few times he went outside, he hung around other Wemmicks who had a lot of dots. He felt better around them.

One day he met a Wemmick who was unlike any he'd ever met. She had no dots or stars. She was just wooden. Her name was Lulia. It wasn't that people didn't try to give her stickers; it's just that the stickers didn't stick. Some admired Lulia for having no dots, so they would run up and give her a star. But it would fall off.

Some would look down on her for having no stars, so they would give her a dot. But it wouldn't stay either. "That's the way I want to be," thought Punchinello. "'I don't want anyone's marks." So he asked the stickerless Wemmick how she did it. "It's easy," Lulia replied. "every day I go see Eli."

"Eli?"

"Yes, Eli. The woodcarver. I sit in the workshop with him."

"Why?"

"Why don't you find out for yourself? Go up the hill. He's there." And with that the Wemmick with no marks turned and skipped away.

"But he won't want to see me!" Punchinello cried out. Lulia didn't seem to hear him. So Punchinello went home. He sat near a window and watched the wooden people as they scurried around giving each other stars and dots. "It's not right," he muttered to himself. And he resolved to go see Eli. He walked up the narrow path to the top of the hill and stepped into the big shop. His wooden eyes widened at the size of everything. The stool was as tall as he was. He had to stretch on his tiptoes to see the top of the workbench. A hammer was as long as his arm.

Punchinello swallowed hard. "I'm not staying here!" and he turned to leave, he heard his name "Punchinello?" The voice was deep and strong.

Punchinello stopped. "Punchinello! How good to see you. Come and let me have a look at you."

Punchinello turned slowly and looked at the large bearded craftsman. "You know my name?" the little Wemmick asked.

"Of course I do. I made you." Eli stooped down and picked him up and set him on the bench. "Hmmm," the maker spoke thoughtfully as he inspected the gray circles. "Looks like you've been given some bad marks."

"I didn't mean to, Eli. I really tried hard."

"Oh, you don't have to defend yourself to me, child. I don't care what the other Wemmicks think."

"You don't?"

"No, and you shouldn't either. Who are they to give stars or dots They're Wemmicks just like you. What they think doesn't matter, said Eli... All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special."

Punchinello laughed. "Me, special? Why? I can't walk fast. I can't jump. My paint is peeling. Why do I matter to you?"

Eli looked at Punchinello, put his hands on those small wooden shoulders, and spoke very slowly. "Because you're mine. That's why you matter to me." Punchinello had never had anyone look at him like this - much less his maker. He didn't know what to say. "Every day I've been hoping you'd come," Eli explained.

"I came because I met someone who had no marks."

"I know. She told me about you."

"Why don't the stickers stay on her?"

"Because she has decided that what I think is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them."

"What?"

"The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about the stickers."

"I'm not sure I understand."

"You will, but it will take time. You've got a lot of marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care."

Eli lifted Punchinello off the bench and set him on the ground. "Remember," Eli said as the Wemmick walked out the door. "You are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes."

Punchinello didn't stop, but in his heart he thought, "I think he really means it." And when he did, a dot fell to the ground.

Remember that YOU ARE SPECIAL and YOU ARE LOVED, because YOU are God's most important and special creation!

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Old 01-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #3069
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The Perfect Pastor

The perfect pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes.

He condemns sin roundly but never hurts anyone's feelings.

He works from 8 AM until midnight and is also the church janitor.

The perfect pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car, buys good books, and donates $30 a week to the church.

He is 29 years old and has 40 years experience.

Above all, he is handsome.

The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens.

He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church.

He makes 15 home visits a day and is always in his office to be handy when needed.

The perfect pastor always has time for church council and all of its committees. He never misses the meeting of any church organization and is always busy evangelizing the unchurched.

The perfect pastor is always in the next church over!

If your pastor does not measure up, simply send this notice to six other churches that are tired of their pastor, too.

Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of the list.

If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 pastors.

One of them should be perfect.

Have faith in this letter. One church broke the chain and got its old pastor back in less than three months.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #3070
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Another Day

Another day is dawning
Another day's begun
Another day to turn to God
And pray, "Thy will be done"

A day to slay doubt's dragon,
To know within your soul
That as you give yourself to Him
He'll bless and make you whole.

A day to live with purpose
A day to show you care
When others turn to you distraught
Confused or in despair

A day to share God's blessings
In quiet countless ways
That touch the heart with hope and joy
And brighten cloudy days

A day for sweet rejoicing
For gratitude and praise
Because His love enfolds you
Both now, and all your days.

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:27 AM   #3071
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You Don't Have to Tell Me Twice

An early April snow had caught us by surprise here in the mountains of my home. Flowers that had just popped out of the ground a week before were now drowning in a sea of white. It felt like someone had turned back the clock two months. Slowly it grew warm enough for the snow to begin to melt in the late afternoon but soon the temperatures dipped again as the cold, evening air turned the melted snow into ice.

Early the next morning I walked out to my cars. I needed to take my sons to school and then had a 30 mile round trip to make after that. I wondered which car to take. My little one had the better gas mileage, but the tires on my bigger one were less worn. Just as I took a step towards my little car, however, my foot slipped on a patch of black ice and I felt my body hitting the driveway. I got up slowly and smiled. "You don't have to tell me twice God!", I said before heading over to start the car with the better tires. After dropping off my boys at school I made the round trip safely. I felt my car hit patches of black ice several times, but each time the tires gripped and adjusted well. I found myself laughing and grinning even with my still sore left hip and shoulder. I was happy I had followed God's guidance and I felt loved and watched over.

God's loving guidance comes in many ways. You can hear its gentle whisper in your heart. You can listen to it come out in the touching lyrics of a beautiful song. You can see it in the wise passage of a book. You can notice it in an overheard scrap of conversation. You can feel it in the quietness of nature. You can even get it when you fall to the pavement of your driveway. However it comes to you, though, don't turn away from it. Don't make God have to tell you twice. Listen to Him the first time. Trust Him, love Him, and follow Him. He will take you to ever greater love, joy, and learning. He will keep you safe and lead you home.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:54 PM   #3072
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Thank you for that Caterina!! :>)
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:18 PM   #3073
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Did you know the people that are the strongest are usually the most sensitive? Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated? Did you know the one who takes care of others all the time are usually the ones who need it the most? Did you know the 3 hardest things to say are I love you, I'm sorry, and Help me. Sometimes just because a person looks happy, you have to look past their smile and see how much pain they may be in.
You know who you are!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:52 PM   #3074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smileyj View Post
Did you know the people that are the strongest are usually the most sensitive? Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated? Did you know the one who takes care of others all the time are usually the ones who need it the most? Did you know the 3 hardest things to say are I love you, I'm sorry, and Help me. Sometimes just because a person looks happy, you have to look past their smile and see how much pain they may be in.
You know who you are!
Thanks, Joan, this is true with so many people.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:48 AM   #3075
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I often look at people and wonder if the smile is true or if it is hiding something. Then I pray for that person....God knows for sure.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:11 AM   #3076
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Quote:
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I often look at people and wonder if the smile is true or if it is hiding something. Then I pray for that person....God knows for sure.

Good post and something to remember, thanks.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:57 AM   #3077
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Amazing...

Mystery Doctor Saves a Dying Baby in the Most Unbelievable Way
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #3078
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10 Rules for a Happy Day

TODAY I WILL NOT STRIKE BACK:
If someone is rude, if someone is impatient, if someone is unkind... I will not respond in a like manner.

TODAY I WILL ASK GOD TO BLESS MY "ENEMY:"
If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly ask GOD to bless that individual. I understand the "enemy" could be a family member, neighbor, co-worker or stranger.

TODAY I WILL BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT I SAY:
I will carefully choose and guard my words being certain that I do not spread gossip.

TODAY I WILL GO THE EXTRA MILE:
I will find ways to help share the burden of another person.

TODAY I WILL FORGIVE:
I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way.

TODAY I WILL DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE, BUT I WILL NOT DO IT SECRETLY:
I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another.

TODAY I WILL TREAT OTHERS THE WAY I WISH TO BE TREATED:
I will practice the golden rule - "Do unto others as I would have them do unto me" - with everyone I encounter.

TODAY I WILL RAISE THE SPIRITS OF SOMEONE WHO IS DISCOURAGED:
My smile, my words, my expression of support, can make the difference to someone who is wrestling with life.

TODAY I WILL NURTURE MY BODY:
I will eat less; I will eat only healthy foods. I will thank GOD for my body.

TODAY I WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY:
I will spend a little more time in prayer today: I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational today; I will find a quiet place (at some point during this day) and listen to GOD's voice!!!

"But since we belong to the day, let us be self controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and hope of salvation as a helmet."
1 Thessalonians 5:8
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Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:51 AM   #3079
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God Saying "I Love You"

Each of us in this life wants more than anything to be loved. We work for love. We strive for love. We make fools out of ourselves for love. We long to feel that love warming our hearts and souls. We strain our ears each day for just a whisper of those three glorious words: "I love you."

What most of us don't realize, however, is just how much God loves us. God is showing us and telling us how much He loves us everyday. When you see the sun rising over the mountains, feel the cool breeze kissing your face, and hear the sweet songs of birds blessing your ears that is God saying, "I love you." When you see the adoring eyes of your dog looking up at you and feel the gentle brush of your cat against your hand that is God saying, "I love you." When you hear music that uplifts your soul with joy and read words that make your heart and mind soar into the heavens that is God saying, "I love you." When you hear the laughter of children playing and feel the warm hug of your own child against you that is God saying, "I love you." When you have the loving support of your family and the wonderful kindness of your friends no matter what you are going through that is God saying, "I love you." When you find your thoughts and feelings always leading you towards growth, learning, love, and joy that is God saying, "I love you." When your life's circumstances both good and bad help you to keep growing stronger, better, happier, and more loving each day that is God saying, "I love you."

God is always telling you and showing you just how much He loves you. Don't be afraid then to say, "I love you too God." Don't be afraid to live that love in your life either. Love God with everything you have and with everything you are. Love yourself, love your neighbor, and make this whole world your neighborhood. Always remember that God is love, that life is joy, and that we are one. And always listen for the million ways that God says, "I love you."
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Caterina www.colesfoundation.org www.colespages.com www.kidsunitetofight.com
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:12 AM   #3080
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Your Job is to Love

My kitchen table was covered with papers. It was the end of the month and I was trying to get all of my paperwork done and taken to the office on time. I sat down in a chair, picked up my pen, and started writing on the first page. Just then a flash of motion caught my eye. I looked out my window and saw my neighbors' white beagle standing on my back porch. She had gotten free from her yard and was having fun running loose.

Knowing my neighbors were at work I looked at my paperwork, sighed, and put down the pen. I headed out the backdoor and whistled for the dog to come. She looked like she might come to me for a second, but then she caught a scent in the air and headed for the woods. I ran after her calling and whistling the whole time. As I followed her further and further into the woods, I grew frustrated. "Come on!", I said to no one in particular. "I have work to do!"

Suddenly, I heard a soft, gentle voice that was not my own whisper in my mind. "Your job is to love," it said. At that moment my heart was filled with a warmth and love that are beyond my words to describe. My eyes moistened and I smiled at the same time. I squatted down and called my neighbors' dog again. This time the beagle turned and ran happily into my arms. She licked my face over and over as I carried her the quarter mile back to her yard. Even though my arms were tired my heart was light. I was at peace doing my real job. The paperwork could wait.

God loves us all and His greatest joy is in seeing us love each other as well. To love is our job, our mission, and our purpose in this life. Do your job well then and have the time of your life while you do it. Love God. Love yourself. Love others. Love animals. Love this world. Love your life. Share your love in everything you think, feel, say and do. And rejoice in the peace and happiness it brings to you always.
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Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave
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