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Old 03-02-2013, 03:02 PM   #3121
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Tim Hawkins is our favorite Christian comedian! My son saw him twice in person and I have a picture of the two of them together! He's hilarious! Thanks...
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:34 PM   #3122
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Thanks Caterina!
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:38 AM   #3123
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HAPPY LORD'S DAY!


I Met Truth at a Strip Mall
by Jim Munroe

The night before I went to the weird little church in the strip mall, I was out drinking on 6th street until 2 am. I wasnít buzzed or tipsy, I was ďpassed-out-and-wake-up-in-MexicoĒ drunk. Luckily, I didnít, and somehow, I managed to pull myself together, take a quick nap, hop in the shower, and jump in my truck.

I rolled into the back of the church with my hat pulled low, wearing my sunglasses. I didnít want anyone to see my bloodshot eyes, and my hangover pounded away on the sides of my skull louder than the drum kit. The drummer, the lead singer, and the style of music were way different than anything Iíd ever seen or heard in ďchurchĒ before. They were African-Americanóthis was a full-on Gospel music experience.

To say I was uncomfortable and out of my element would be a huge understatement ... and yet ... I stayed. I canít explain it. I donít understand why I didnít find a reason to bail. Something was happening, but I knew too much to let it happen. I was a master of illusion, a psych major, keenly aware of the culture and psychological triggers ministers use to captivate their audience.

But it wasnít about them. I was looking for something deeper. And suddenly, unexpectedly, miraculously, I found it.

Through the passion, the music, and the message, I experienced something new. It wasnít a feeling. It wasnít an emotion. It was more mysterious and profound. It was a supernatural connection, pulling at my heart.

My head couldnít stop this. These werenít facts that I was learning through the recesses of my mind. I donít remember what was said. In that moment, the undeniable reality of Godís existence became so clear. He wasnít a series of facts to be debated or researched. Truth wasnít a set of right answers.

Truth was a personóand He and I met that morning.

Iíve never been the same since.


Watch Jim Munroe this Monday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from The Charlatan by Jim Munroe.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #3124
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Love Mark Twain....

The Wisdom of Will Rogers
==========================

Don't squat with your spurs on.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad
judgment.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin'
it back in.

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to
make sure it's still there.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin'
somebody else's dog around.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started
roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.......The
moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

There's two theories to arguin' with a woman.
Neither one works.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

Never slap a man who's chewin' tobacco.

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don't be
surprised if they learn their lesson.

When you're throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around
by somebody else.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in
your pocket.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

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Old 03-05-2013, 05:40 AM   #3125
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We Hang On By a Thread

We sometimes hang on by a thread,
Because of what we're going through,
We feel like we're helpless,
And we just don't know what to do.

Then we are sent a message,
From the great God above,
He tells us to believe in Him,
Because He will send us His love.

He will help us,
But you need to talk to Him,
He will guide you the right way,
Even if things look grim.

So look up to the heavens,
Your answer will be right there,
Just give Him a chance,
Because He really does care.

~ Debbie Bongiovanni
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:37 AM   #3126
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Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:39 PM   #3127
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Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk
Amen!
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #3128
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You Are My Comfort

As I look out on to the ocean
My heart basks in your devotion
Your love and blessings are vast as the sea
Dear Lord you do hear the plea
Of the sorrowful, and the down trodden
A repenting heart's sins are long forgotten
The raging sea can not sink the ship
That's held in your grip
You are my anchor that holds
As the bad times unfold
My fountain of joy and peace
Where life's storms will cease.
You walk on water, calm the sea with your hand
Guide me as I go through this land.

~ Veronica Eudy
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:10 AM   #3129
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The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost 5. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

"Oh, Mommy, please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" she asked.

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.

"A dollar ninety-five," she said. "That's almost $2. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for 10 cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere -- Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Her mother said if they got wet they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy," she said. "You know that I love you."

"Then give me your pearls," he said.

"Oh, daddy, not my pearls," she said. "But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favorite."

"That's okay, Honey," he said, "Daddy loves you. Good night."

And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"

"Daddy, you know I love you." she said.

"Then give me your pearls," he said.

"Oh Daddy, not my pearls," she said. "But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."

"That's okay," he said. "Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you."

And, as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style.

As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.

"What is it, Jenny?" he asked. "What's the matter?"

Jenny didn't say anything, but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace.

With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy, this is for you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that He can give us beautiful treasures.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:29 AM   #3130
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Caterina, you continually bless me with your wonderful posts!!

(( BIG Hugs ))

Rita
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:53 AM   #3131
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Awesome, Caterina!
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:27 AM   #3132
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Originally Posted by Stamping Servant View Post
Caterina, you continually bless me with your wonderful posts!!

(( BIG Hugs ))

Rita

Thank you my friend for the encouragement.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #3133
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Awesome, Caterina!

Much thanks to you, Kathy!
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:29 AM   #3134
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Take Me As Is

On her 50th wedding anniversary, a woman revealed the secret of her long and happy marriage. She said, "On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of ten of my husband's faults which, for the sake of the marriage, I would overlook."

One of her guests asked her what some of the faults she chose to overlook were. "To tell you the truth," she replied, "I never did get around to making that list. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, 'Lucky for him that's one of the ten!'"

It's nice to decide what to overlook. In relationships, I get plenty of practice overlooking the foibles of other people. And I suspect they get plenty of practice with me, too.

As they hung wallpaper together, one husband became frustrated with his wife. She seemed, to him, to be indifferent about the quality of her work. He felt she was doing a poor job. He finally put it into words this way: "The problem is that I'm a perfectionist and you're not."

"Exactly!" she replied. "That's why you married me and I married you!"

Miss Perfect certainly did one thing well. She knew how to overlook annoying observations from her perfectionist husband.

We human beings are nothing if not flawed and imperfect. But, the point is, people are not meant to without blemish. We're scraped and scarred, flawed on the inside and marred on outside. It's just the way we are. (Sometimes I think it's one of our more endearing qualities.) I never want to forget that "perfect" is only found in the dictionary.

All of us sport an invisible sign around our necks -- "AS IS." It means, take me as I am. I may not become what you want me to be. And I'm far, far from perfect. But I have some great qualities, too, as well as my share of faults. You will have to take me "AS IS" and I'll take you that way, too.

AS IS will be the best guarantee any of us can offer. But quite frankly, most of the time we're getting a pretty good deal.

~Steve Goodier
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:36 AM   #3135
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Planting Potatoes

When I was a boy growing up we had several gardens around our old house. The largest one of all was used just for growing potatoes. I can still remember those potato planting days. The whole family helped. After my Dad had tilled the soil, my Mom, brothers, and I went to work. It was my job to drop the little seed potatoes in the rows while my Mom dropped handfuls of fertilizer beside them. My brothers then covered them all with the freshly turned earth.

For months afterward I would glance over at the garden while I played outside and wonder what was going on underneath the ground. When the harvest time came I was amazed at the huge size of the potatoes my Dad pulled out of the soil. Those little seedlings had grown into bushels and bushels of sweet sustenance. They would be turned into meal after meal of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, and my personal favorite: potatoes slowed cooked in spaghetti sauce. They would keep the entire family well fed throughout the whole year. It truly was a miracle to behold.

Thinking back on those special times makes me wonder how many other seeds I have planted in this life that have grown unseen in the hearts and minds of others. How many times has God used some little thing that I said or did to grow something beautiful? How many times has Heaven used these little seedlings to provide another's soul with sweet sustenance?

Every single day of our lives we step out into the garden of this world. Every single day we plant seeds that can grow into something wonderful. We may never see the growth that comes from the kind words or loving acts we share but God does. I hope then that you always tend the garden around you with care. I hope that you plant only goodness, peace, and compassion in the lives of everyone you meet. I hope that everyday you help miracles to grow.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:07 AM   #3136
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Hello Caterina,
my dear friend, and tireless servant of God. Hoping you have a wonderful day today. Not sure why you popped into my head today. Here is something I was just reading. John 4:13-14
"All who drink this water will be thirsty again. But anyone who drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty. In fact, the water I give him will become a spring of water in him. It fill flow up into eternal life."
Hugs,
Lisa
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:46 AM   #3137
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In response to Take Me As Is: I can be very hard on myself and also take others' criticism to heart. It is more common, I think, to see our faults and not give ourselves credit for the good things. I am thankful for the reminder that there are good things that come with the not so good. Thank you Caterina for the article that came with this reminder. :>)
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #3138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamp2bless View Post
Hello Caterina,
my dear friend, and tireless servant of God. Hoping you have a wonderful day today. Not sure why you popped into my head today. Here is something I was just reading. John 4:13-14
"All who drink this water will be thirsty again. But anyone who drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty. In fact, the water I give him will become a spring of water in him. It fill flow up into eternal life."
Hugs,
Lisa

Dearest Lisa, how encouraging to know that the Lord placed me on your mind. God has such a beautiful way through His other children to let you know that you are loved. God bless you, dear sister and thank you.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:19 AM   #3139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv Flowers View Post
In response to Take Me As Is: I can be very hard on myself and also take others' criticism to heart. It is more common, I think, to see our faults and not give ourselves credit for the good things. I am thankful for the reminder that there are good things that come with the not so good. Thank you Caterina for the article that came with this reminder. :>)

Grateful that it was an encouragement to you, Kim. It was a good reminder for me as well... we can be extremely hard on ourselves and criticism of any kind can be so hurtful as well as damaging to our spirits. Just know that none of that negative stuff ever comes from God who loves you big time! <3
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:48 AM   #3140
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God Saved a Boy That Suffered a Massive Stroke and Lost Half of His Skull

15 year-old Phoenix North was playing a normal game of basketball... that ended with severe head trauma, a massive stroke and doctors removing half of his skull. But, miraculously, God gave him a normal life!


God Saved a Boy That Suffered a Massive Stroke and Lost Half of His Skull
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #3141
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The Gift Of Happiness
It was the Summer of my freshman year of college. Instead of heading home for a nice, long break three of my friends and I had decided to stay and take some extra courses. The four of us had rented the top floor of an old house to live in. My own bed was jammed into a stuffy former laundry room and each night was a new adventure in humidity. Still, it felt exciting to be out of the dorms and in my own place for the first time. After the first few weeks, though, the thrill faded and homesickness set in. I found myself sitting alone in my sweaty bedroom each night thinking of my home, my Mom, and my Dad.

My Summers growing up had always been a special time. I spent hours riding my bike, playing basketball and swimming. I sat on the porch and talked to my Mom while she tended her flowers. I took pride in helping my Dad haul firewood for the Winter. And every night I sat at a dinner table full of delicious food prepared with love while my family filled the room with the sound of sweet laughter. Now I found myself missing them more than ever.

Finally when my spirits were at their lowest I heard a knock at the door. I opened it and was delighted and surprised to see Mom and Dad standing there with big smiles to fill my hungry heart and a box full of food to feed my hungry friends. We spent the afternoon eating, catching up, and just being together. It felt so good, and I felt so loved.

Victor Hugo wrote that, "The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that one is loved; loved for oneself, or better yet, loved despite oneself." It was that gift of happiness that my Mom and Dad gave me that afternoon and everyday of my life. It was their love that gave me a taste of the even greater love that God has for us all. May you always know that you are loved. May you always feel Godís love within you. And may you always share your happiness with the world.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:16 AM   #3142
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The Rich Family in Our Church, by Eddie Ogan

I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy, 12, and my older sister Darlene, 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died 5 years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money. By 1946 my older sisters were married, and my brothers had left home.

A month before Easter, the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially. When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. Then we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn't listen to the radio, we'd save money on that month's electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us baby sat for everyone we could. For 15 cents, we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1. We make $20 on pot holders.

That month was one of the best of our lives. Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we'd sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so we figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the Pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.

The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change. We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before. That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn't care that we wouldn't have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering. We could hardly wait to get to church!

On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn't own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn't seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet. But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt so rich.

When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us girls put in a $20. As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn't say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills. Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn't talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash.

We kids had had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn't have our mom and dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the fork or the spoon that night. We had two knives which we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn't have a lot of things that other people had, but I'd never thought we were poor. That Easter Day I found out we were.

The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn't like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed that I didn't want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor! I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew we were poor. I decided I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time.

We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn't know. We'd never known we were poor. We didn't want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn't talk on the way.

Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun-dried bricks, but they need money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, "Can't we all sacrifice to help these poor people?"

We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week. Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering. When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn't expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, "You must have some rich people in this church." Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that "little over $100." We were the rich family in the church! Hadn't the missionary said so? From that day on I've never been poor again. I've always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:19 PM   #3143
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What a beautiful story; I hope to remember it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:03 AM   #3144
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What a beautiful story; I hope to remember it.

Glad you enjoyed it!
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:04 AM   #3145
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Saving Grace

Lord, you are so wonderful
And deserve our love and praise
I cannot express just how I feel
When I think of your saving grace

To think of what you went through
That day upon the cross
And in the moments leading up to it
When soldiers spat and scoffed

And beat you with no mercy
Making sport and having fun
You said not a word in your defence
Even though you were God's son

You bore it all out of your love
For the lost and dying souls
To give us a hope we can hold on to
For a future yet to unfold

It's such a beautiful description, Lord
Of what your grace can do
For no one's exempt from your saving grace
But it's a gift freely given from you

© By M.S.Lowndes
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:54 AM   #3146
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It Is Finished

The disciples surely thought it was finished,
that the world had gone insane.
How could the Father allow this to happen?
Was Jesus teaching all in vain?

Both Mary's surely thought it was finished,
as they witnessed their worst fears,
seeing the Man they both loved near death.
They could hardly see Him through their tears.

The high priests surely thought it was finished,
their voices rising in a victory shout,
as they watched their plan grow to fruition,
thinking their competition had been wiped out.

Pontius Pilate just wanted it finished.
To what crimes can this Man confess?
Since I can find no fault with Him,
I will simply wash my hands of this mess.

Judas conscience surely knew he was finished,
as he regretted his actions too late.
He had betrayed the only Son of God,
and his name would earn history's hate.

The thief surely thought he was finished,
receiving just punishment for his life of sin,
until a single plea, Lord, remember me,
his new home in paradise to win.

The centurion surely thought, we're finished.
What is this wicked deed we have done?
As the earth beneath his feet trembled,
Surely this Man was God's Son.

Jesus cried out, it is finished.
Yet it had only just begun.
The Father and Son were reunited.
The two deities again became one.

Christ cried out, it is finished.
But it was only just beginning.
The apostles would continue His mission.
Hearts and souls they would soon be winning.

Satan's power over us, it is finished,
since Christ played the Sacrificial Lamb's part.
Jesus gave His life for you and me.
He's become the focus of the Christian's heart.

~ Lanette Kissel
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:37 AM   #3147
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The Humble Servant

One day a humble servant of the Lord lost a very dear friend to the scourge cancer. The humble servant felt great sorrow and prayed that he would someday see his friend again. After much time in prayer, the humble servant was confronted by a demon. The demon said to him, "Why do you waste your time in prayer? There is no proof that God exists."

The humble servant answered him, "I have faith and that is why I pray."

The demon then said to him with disdain, "Faith is no more than superstition. On what do you base this 'faith?'"

The humble servant answered, "I base this faith on trust."

"Trust in whom?" the demon retorted. "In whom do you have such trust that you would ignore the laws of probability and the laws of science?"

"I trust in Christ," the humble servant replied.

"In Christ!" the demon exclaimed. "In Christ! Name one thing Christ has done to earn your trust. Tell me please, what has He ever done to earn your prayers? I dare you to name one miracle He has ever performed that has been proven by science to be true. Name it! Name it!" he taunted with glee.

The humble servant stood with patience, and then answered with three simple words: "The Church exists."

"What?" the demon declared in confusion. "What!" he said again with vexation. "What do you mean 'the Church exists?' Please tell me how this relates to trust. Please tell me how this justifies your wasted time in prayer?"

The humble servant calmly explained his answer. "Jesus Christ made a promise--the simple promise 'Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.' And now after 2000 years the Church still endures. It endures despite a history of heresies and persecutions. It endures despite the tyranny of despots. It endures despite the laws of probability and the laws of science. What greater miracle is there than thisóthat the son of a simple carpenter, who lived a life of poverty, and dwelled with the lowly, who never ventured more than a hundred miles from the town of his birth, and who died a criminal's death on a cross, would establish a great and holy Church, and that the teachings of this Church would be spread throughout the world by twelve simple men--men who hid in fear after the crucifixion? Yet in a mere three days after this lowly criminal's death, these twelve sprang forth and proclaimed His word and gave up their lives so that His promise would ring true. And over the centuries thousands of others gave their lives also, so that the Church would go on. The most powerful kings and most menacing armies stood against her, but the Church did not falter. For 2000 years this Church has withstood the test of time, overcoming the greatest of odds again and again. It surmounted the insurmountable. It beat the unbeatable foe. It prevailed through the harshest of storms. I say to you, this Church has shattered the very laws that you exalt. It defied that laws of probability, and it humbled the laws of science."

The humble servant continued on, "The existence of this Church is not a myth. The existence of this Church is not a legend. That this Church exists is an undeniable fact. That Christ's promise was kept is an undeniable fact. And if He kept this promise, then how can there be any doubt that He will keep His greatest promiseóthe promise that was central to His ministry, the promise that said 'If you believe in me, and eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, you shall live forever.' So when you ask 'why do I have faith,' I tell you, it is because I have trust, and nothing that your fair science can offer can break that trust. This is why I pray, so that someday I will enjoy that most sacred covenant of all"--the humble servant paused briefly and then added with solemnity and conviction--"together with my friend!" He then looked the demon right in the eye. "What good can your science and probability offer that is greater than this?"

With those words, the demon turned away, never to bother the humble servant again.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:58 AM   #3148
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Betwixt and Between

Time has passed; I'm growing old.
There is much that I have seen
betwixt the time when I was born
and all the years between.

Many a lesson has been learned
on this journey of my life
with mountains of joy and happiness
and valleys of toil and strife.

Through years of struggle, I came to see
the value of work and trial.
In time I learned to be content
and reflect on it awhile.

And in those quiet moments,
I learned this to be true:
My life would have no meaning, Lord
if I had not found you.

Every day I thank you
for the joy I have known
and for blessed assurance
I was never left alone.

Bless the people who have touched my life;
bless the ones I'll never know.
Plant seeds of love within my heart
and nurture them to grow.

Take my heart and soul, dear Lord
that I might do your will
and lead some other long lost soul
to kneel on Golgotha's Hill.

~ Linda Gleason
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:38 AM   #3149
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8 Free Gifts You Should Give

THE GIFT OF LISTENING . . .
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

THE GIFT OF AFFECTION . . .
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER . . .
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE . . .
It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT . . .
A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.

THE GIFT OF A FAVOR . . .
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE . . .
There are times when we want nothing better, than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION . . .
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:26 PM   #3150
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No Hopeless Situations

Some 40 years ago, when he was only 11 years old, Morgan Rowe lost his left arm and much of the use of his right arm. It happened when he fell off a tractor at his father's fence company in Valdosta, Georgia, and was dragged beneath the machine. Morgan's left arm was destroyed and his right, mangled.

Young Morgan was released from the hospital after three-and-a-half months. The first thing he set out to do was to help pay the bills -- $30,000 worth. That was a lot of money back then as it is now. For a boy of 11 to accomplish such a task, the situation seemed hopeless.

For five years Morgan scoured roadsides picking up cans and bottles. He collected thousands of cans and collected and sold newspapers. He never gave up hope. First, he paid off the $455 ambulance bill. Then he put $2,500 down on the hospital bill.

He was still a long way off though his parents raised another $9,000 toward the debt.

People began to hear about the injured boy and eventually some 2,000 donations poured in, totaling $25,000. The bill was paid in full! Morgan set aside the additional money for future education.

What then? Though the bill was paid up, Morgan kept his projects going to collect money for the hospital so he could help others.

Someone forgot to tell the boy he was too injured for that kind of work. Someone forgot to tell him that the situation was hopeless. Somehow young Morgan didn't realize that an 11-year-old boy could never pay off a hospital bill so large.

Church reformer Martin Luther once said, "Everything that is done in the world is done by the hopeful." And entertainer Dinah Shore observed, "There are no hopeless situations - only people who are hopeless about them." Morgan Rowe should know.

I will not always be young and strong. My life circumstances can change in an instant. My health may leave me and I may lose people who are important in my life. But there are no hopeless situations. So I won't easily turn loose of my hopeful outlook, even when things seem bleak. Without hope, I'm lost. But with it, I suspect that any situation can be creatively redeemed.

~Steve Goodier
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:41 PM   #3151
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That's such an encouraging and uplifting story, Caterina. Thank you!!

~ Rita
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:24 AM   #3152
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That's such an encouraging and uplifting story, Caterina. Thank you!!

~ Rita

Glad you liked it.

Btw, did not let anyone know on here about going to the hospital on Wednesday for a procedure. The doctor said everything went well. Must say Mercy Hospital staff were wonderful and urologist is so very kind. So very grateful the gave me complete peace before and after. Have slept a lot...
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:25 AM   #3153
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Everyday Miracles

Every ray of sunshine
every drop of rain
every starry night
every sheaf of grain

Balmy springtime breezes
bluebird on the sill
colorful leaves in autumn
winter's blustery chill.

Every tiny heartbeat
every breath you take
every time you close your eyes
every time you awake.

Blessings taken for granted
right before your eyes
miracles happen every day
What a nice surprise!

Even when it's cloudy
or when the cold winds blow
God is watching over you
Just thought you'd like to know!

Each new day is a present
His gift to you and to me
wrapped in precious miracles
for those who choose to see.

~ Linda Lee Gleason
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:41 PM   #3154
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Quote:
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Glad you liked it.

Btw, did not let anyone know on here about going to the hospital on Wednesday for a procedure. The doctor said everything went well. Must say Mercy Hospital staff were wonderful and urologist is so very kind. So very grateful the gave me complete peace before and after. Have slept a lot...

Caterina .... I'm so glad that you had such a kind doctor and were treated so well by the hospital staff. I pray that you are recovering well from the procedure.

Hugs, Rita
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:34 AM   #3155
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Caterina .... I'm so glad that you had such a kind doctor and were treated so well by the hospital staff. I pray that you are recovering well from the procedure.

Hugs, Rita

Thanks Rita, am doing well, just a bit tired.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:35 AM   #3156
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Time for a Chuckle

Nuts in a Cemetary

On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

'One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me,' said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, 'One for you, one for me, one for you, One for me...'

He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.

'Come here quick,' said the boy, 'you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls!'

The man said, 'Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk.' When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.

Standing by the fence they heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, One for me.'

The old man whispered, 'Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord.

Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, 'One for you, one for me. That's all.. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done....

They say the old man had the lead for a good half-mile before the kid on the bike passed him.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:04 PM   #3157
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A Smile

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called "Smile."

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reaction. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say, hello anyway ... so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonalds, one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch ... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body smell" and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was "smiling". His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentle man was his salvation. I held my tears ... as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because that was all they could afford. To sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something, and they just wanted to be warm.

Then I really felt it ... the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me ... judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you." I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said,"I did not do this for you ... God is here working through me to give you hope." I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.

When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me honey ... to give me hope." We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given that we were able to give. We are not church goers but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love. I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it ... then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?" I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.

She began to read and that is when I knew that we, as human beings and being part of God, share this need to heal people and be healed. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonalds, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn ... UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Much love and compassion sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:04 AM   #3158
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Mirrors

Several years ago I noticed something strange: people seemed to be smiling at me more often. During my young adult years people had never smiled at me that much. Most of the people I saw seemed to have grim, tense faces. They would look at me for only a second or avert their eyes altogether. Sometimes they would nod or say "hi" but more often said nothing at all.

All that seemed to change, though, as I got older. For some surprising reason people were suddenly greeting me with a warm smile when I passed them. Their eyes seemed to sparkle when they said, "hello" and many times they would even stop to chat happily with me for a few minutes. At first I didn't know what to make of this. Had the whole world suddenly gotten kinder without telling me? Had the hearts and souls of everyone I met suddenly grown more loving and joyful for some reason?

Then one day when I was walking alone in a store the answer came to me. I was thinking to myself of how much God loved me and of all the blessings I had been given in this life. At that moment I walked by a display of mirrors and saw that I had the happiest expression on my face. I had been smiling without even knowing it. Then suddenly I realized that I was the one who had changed. I had grown so much in love, joy, and oneness with God. And it was the light shining from my own soul that others were reflecting back to me.

We are all mirrors in this life. We all reflect each other's love. We all share each other's light. We all help each other to become the image of God that we were meant to be. May you always mirror every bit of goodness, kindness, and joy that you see in this world. May your own soul always shine bright as well. And may you make your whole life here a reflection of the light of Heaven and the love of God.
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Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:51 AM   #3159
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Answer God's Call

If we answer God's call it opens the path to heaven not only for ourselves, but also provides us with many opportunities to help others discover that same heavenly road.

— from Answer Your Call
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:48 AM   #3160
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Truly Special Story

A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry.

The other eight heard the boy. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said,"This will make it better." All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know one thing. What matters most in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What truly matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
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