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Old 08-09-2013, 05:40 PM   #3281
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6 Encounters with the Afterlife: Near Death Experiences of Heaven and Hell

It still remains one of the most pressing questions in the human experience: what happens when we die?

Before Jesus, most Jews believed in Sheol, a separated place below the heavens where all went. In some religions, reincarnation awaits us, and in others there is nothing after death at all. Jesus promised the comfort of Heaven, and told of Hell, too. Six amazing testimonies of those who have gone beyond this life and lived to tell about it!

6 Encounters with the Afterlife: Near Death Experiences of Heaven and Hell | Jesus Loves You
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:12 AM   #3282
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Moving story...

In Phoenix, Arizona a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son who was dying of terminal leukemia.

Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible..the leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dream to come true.

She took her son's hand and asked, ' Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?'

Mommy, 'I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.' Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can make your wish come true.'

Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix. She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.

Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards!

And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy - one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, and a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.'

'They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix so we can get them fast.'

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck.

Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire
station. He was in heaven.

There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and even the fire chief's car.

He was also videotaped for the local news program. Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone,
began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman

In uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition.

The chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes.... Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire?'

'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?'

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window-------- 16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room with his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him.

With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, 'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'

'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief
said with those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and the angels have been singing..'

He closed his eyes one last time.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #3283
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Waiting for Love

If you have ever felt lonely or sad, this short poem will lift your spirits:

We can envy others who have someone to love
But what we have is better because our love comes from up above

We may not have someone to physically hold
But we have God who will never leave us alone

Many times at night I wonder, when that day will be
When I will have somebody to make me happy

In the meantime I'll just wait, sit and contemplate
Of how this love will be, so precious and great

So don't envy those who has someone now
Our day will come, someday, somehow…

~Corazon Santiago
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:48 AM   #3284
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If You Never...

God Said…

If you never felt pain,
Then how would you know that I'm a Healer?

If you never went through difficulties,
Then how would you know that I'm a Deliverer?

If you never had a trial,
Then how could you call yourself an over-comer?

If you never felt sadness,
Then how would you know that I'm a Comforter?

If you never made a mistake,
Then how would you know that I'm forgiving?

If you knew all,
Then how would you know that I will answer your questions?

If you never were in trouble,
Then how would you know that I will come to your rescue?

If you never were broken,
Then how would know that I can make you whole?

If you never had a problem,
Then how would you know that I can solve them?

If I gave you all things,
Then how would you appreciate them?

If I never corrected you,
Then how would you know that I love you?

If you had all power,
Then how would you learn to depend on me?

If your life was perfect,
Then what would you need Me for?
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:21 PM   #3285
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Cute chuckles....

Children in Church

A little boy was in a relative's wedding.
As he was coming down the aisle, he would take two steps,
Stop, and turn to the crowd.
While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar.
So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle.
As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard
By the time he reached the pulpit.
When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,
"I was being the Ring Bear."

One Sunday in a Midwest City ,
A young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour.
The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew
But were losing the battle.
Finally, the father picked the little fellow up
And walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.
Just before reaching the safety of the foyer,
The little one called loudly to the congregation,
"Pray for me! Pray for me!"

One particular four-year old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
As we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."

A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service,
"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination,
Looking at the old pages as he turned them.
Then something fell out of the Bible.
He picked it up and looked at it closely.
It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between the pages.
"Mama, look what I found," the boy called out..
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered,
"It's Adam 's suit".

The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,
And as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,
Jerking the mike cord as he went.
Then he moved to one side,
Getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again.
After several circles and jerks,
A little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,
"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"

Six-year old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in church.
Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,
"See those two men standing by the door?
They're hushers."

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked ,
"Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?"
I mentally polished my halo, while I asked,
"No, how are we alike?"
"You're both old," he replied.

A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother,
Was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.
Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking,
"Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the
King James Virgin ?"

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.
They were ready to discuss the last one.
The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.
Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,
"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:13 PM   #3286
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Inspirational One-Legged Boy Will Show You How to Enjoy Life!

God has blessed this little boy with the strength to endure a hard situation that seems unfair. He only has one leg, but he is filled with so much light and joy, you won't notice! Watch him play baseball with gusto - it'll drop your jaw.


Inspirational One-Legged Boy Will Show You How to Enjoy Life!
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:53 PM   #3287
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he truly is an inspiration.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:04 AM   #3288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smileyj View Post
he truly is an inspiration.

He sure is and much more!
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:05 AM   #3289
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The Handwriting on the Wall

A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

"While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It's on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you'd be mad at having to do it again."

She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
"Where is your little brother right now?"
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.

She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear – he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper, and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!

She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, "I love Mommy," surrounded by a heart.

Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:15 PM   #3290
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A Perfect Mistake

My mother's father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at its height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was really upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. "It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this."

Months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather's small church in Chicago.

The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. "But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses wedged between two blankets.

The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: "Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

There are times we want to blame God instead of thanking him! Perhaps it is something we ought to try more often, "Thank you, God, for not allowing my car to start this morning." He may have been saving your life from a car accident. "Lord Jesus, thank you for letting me lose my glasses; I'm sure they'll be put to good use or there is a lesson to be learned."

I have to remember this in these times of trial with my own family.

May GOD bless your week. Look for the perfect mistakes!
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:03 AM   #3291
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It is that time of year for students and teachers...

Trust?

As a new school principal, Mr. Mitchell was checking over
his school on the first day. Passing the stockroom, he was
startled to see the door wide open and teachers bustling in
and out, carrying off books and supplies in preparation for
the arrival of students the next day.

The school where he had been a principal the previous year
had used a checkout system only slightly less elaborate than
that at Fort Knox.

Cautiously, he asked the school's long-time custodian, "Do
you think it's wise to keep the stockroom unlocked and to
let the teachers take things without requisitions?"

The custodian looked at him gravely. "We trust them with the
children, don't we?" he said.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:50 PM   #3292
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Hope this will encourage....
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:22 AM   #3293
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Love your encouraging thoughts and especially the funny things kids say. So here's one for you:
I teach middle school science. One day the students needed a microwave for their lab so I sent them in groups to the faculty room to use the one in there. We also have a wonderful water filter in the room. At the end of class, a girl came up to me and asked, "how did you get a preacher to bless the sink?" Confused, I asked her what she meant. She answered, "because I tasted it and only holy water can taste that good!"
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:42 AM   #3294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylee_s View Post
Love your encouraging thoughts and especially the funny things kids say. So here's one for you:
I teach middle school science. One day the students needed a microwave for their lab so I sent them in groups to the faculty room to use the one in there. We also have a wonderful water filter in the room. At the end of class, a girl came up to me and asked, "how did you get a preacher to bless the sink?" Confused, I asked her what she meant. She answered, "because I tasted it and only holy water can taste that good!"
Cute!
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:45 AM   #3295
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If You're Happy and You Know It...

Most of us are really great at being miserable and noticing it. Our backs ache, our feet hurt, someone was cross with us and put us in a bad mood—there are many, many levels of knowing you're not very pleased with life. What most of us are not good at is noticing—and rejoicing at—those moments when all is well.

Little kids in Sunday school often sing, "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands." They all clap their hands and sing with unbounded enthusiasm. Isn't it great that their genuine happiness can be expressed so freely?

Years ago there was a period of time when I was miserable. It was not a long period of time and I no longer know what I thought was so terrible in my life; but I remember sitting in my rocking chair rocking my little boy and being depressed. Then for some reason I found myself analyzing how I felt and comparing it to how I felt a few days before. I have never forgotten the illumination that dawned on me. I realized I had gone through a relatively long period when I was basically happy and content but I hadn't even thought about that wonderful state and I hadn't really even enjoyed it. I vowed if I ever felt happy again I would make the most of it. A couple of days later the tides of time did return me to happiness and I did remember to realize it.

I was young back then and now I'm old but I still make a fool out of myself enjoying my happy days. I smile, I chatter, I hum, sing and whistle and most of all, I'm happy and I know it.

~Betty Killebrew
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:28 PM   #3296
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Two Visitors

Two visitors came to see me, both at the same time,
Both were trying to win control of my body, heart, and mind
One was dressed quite plainly, one dressed fit to kill,
I couldn't see the battle they were waging for my will.

One promised to give fame, friends and riches beyond compare,
Anything I wanted, it seemed, and while I was standing there,
He showed me how life could be, for a little while at least,
I couldn't see beneath the clothes, to recognize the beast.

The other told of hard times, of sacrifice and pain,
Ridicule and persecution, nothing much to gain,
But there was something deep in this visitor's eyes
That made me feel to choose Him, somehow would be wise.

I guess you know the outcome, I hope my life reflects,
The one I picked, the path I chose, the one that He directs.
But now at last I see Him, as He truly is THE KING!
So, did I choose so poorly, I wonder as I sing…

Eternal praises to my God at last in heaven's city.
Could I have been richer, more popular, what a pity-
For now all I have to show for the pain and unkind laughter,
Is a crystal mansion on a street of gold, living happily ever after.

~Beth Fisher
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #3297
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Choices

I've heard it said that life's unfair;
that too many people just don't care,
and while that opinion may be true,
perhaps the answer may lie within you.

No one chooses from whence he came,
the color of his skin, his parents or name.
Each of us is given, by God's own plan,
free will to choose any card in our hand.

Wealth and fame don't guarantee success,
without God in your life, you don't stand a chance.
There is only one right guaranteed to be true,
and the choice that you make well, it's all up to you.

Not a day goes by that a memory isn't made;
not a word ever spoken will entirely fade.
Love isn't love til you given away,
and hate never ends til you call it a day.

Revenge is the reason that many are lost;
they cling to their slights no matter their cost.
There are none so blind as those who won't see
that forgiveness begins with a person called, Me.

~ Linda Lee Gleason ~
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:00 AM   #3298
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I Refuse!

I refuse to be discouraged, To be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted, and here's the reason why:
I have a God who's mighty, Who's sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me, and I am on His team.
He is all-wise and powerful. Jesus is His name;
Though everything is changeable, My God remains the same.
My God knows all that's happening; Beginning to the end;
His presence is my comfort; He is my dearest Friend.
When sickness comes to weaken me, To bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God; Into His arms I go.
When circumstances threaten to rob me of my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast, Where all my striving cease.
When my heart melts within me, and weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms, He soothes my heart and soul.
The great "I AM" is with me. My life is in His hand.
The "Son of the Lord" is my hope. It's in His strength I stand.
I refuse to be defeated. My eyes are on my God;
He has promised to be with me, As through this life I trod.
I'm looking past all my circumstances, To Heaven's throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God I'm resting in His love.
I give God thanks in everything. My eyes are on His face;
The battle's His, the victory mine; He'll help me win the race.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!!!

Pass it on!
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:59 PM   #3299
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A Newborn's Prayer

Here I am, Daddy and Mama, a gift from the Lord up above,
To brighten your days with joy untold, and fill our home with love.
I'm tiny, precious and fragile, but made miraculously,
To fulfill God's plan for my life and be what He wants me to be.

Some say I look like you, Mom, other say more like Dad.
But I have distinct traits from both of you, whether that's good or bad.
I love it when you hold me securely in your strong arms,
You let me know you're my protector in this world with all it's harm.

Please teach me about my Creator, of all His amazing acts.
Show me the awe and wonder, not just the basic facts.
Tell me He love me, even before I was born,
So much that He sent HIS Baby, to bear unspoken scorn.

And how He watched as His Child was put on a tree to die.
How sad it must have made Him, Mom and Dad, did He cry?
He must really love me, for my salvation He bought then,
To make sure I could go to heaven, and be forgiven of my sins.


~ Beth Fisher
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:29 AM   #3300
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By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW.

The freedoms we have in this great country were earned by our U.S. Veterans? ................... I did.

Let us always remember the men and women of our military and the rights they have won for us.


History Teacher Martha Cothren Does the Most Inspirational Thing on First Day of Class
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #3301
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Caterina- the story is fabulous!
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:26 PM   #3302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smileyj View Post
Caterina- the story is fabulous!
Glad you liked it!
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:11 AM   #3303
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Time for a Chuckle...


Walking On Course
==================

The room was full of pregnant women and their partners, and the Lamaze class was in full swing.

The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly, along with
informing the men how to give the necessary assurances at this stage of the
plan.

The teacher then announced, "Ladies, exercise is good for you.
Walking is especially beneficial. And, gentlemen, it wouldn't hurt you to
take the time to go walking with your partner!"

The room really got quiet.

Finally, a man in the middle of the group raised his hand.

"Yes?" replied the teacher.

"Is it all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?"
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:17 AM   #3304
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God bless this Labor Day!
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:21 AM   #3305
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The precious babies in this compilation have something to laugh about... and we love it! They are blessed gifts from God and they REALLY love life. Awww.



What the Babies Do in This Compilation Will Make Your Day - So Precious
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:47 PM   #3306
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Grew up in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood and this brings so many good memories...btw, Happy New Year to my Jewish friends.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYuY...e_gdata_player
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:23 AM   #3307
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The Old Fisherman

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face - lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning."

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face ... I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments ..." For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning." I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready to eat I asked the old man if he would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going. At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us. In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail,always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. "Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illness' would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God. Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse, As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!" My friend changed my mind. "I ran short of pots," she explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden." She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. "Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body." All this happened long ago-and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:31 AM   #3308
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Offer It Up
Offer your concerns to Jesus, and let him take the wheel. God is faithful; we need to allow him to show us that.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #3309
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You Are Blessed

If you own just one Bible ... you are abundantly blessed. 1/3 of all the world does not have access to one.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death ... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep ... you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace ... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married ... you are very rare, even in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful ... you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder you are blessed because you can offer God's healing touch.

If you prayed yesterday and today ... you are in the minority because you believe God does hear and answer prayers.

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:59 PM   #3310
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Different Footsteps

Imagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures, and returns.

For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends! This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: Your footprints that once etched the sand next to Jesus' are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints are your smaller ones, you and Jesus are becoming one.

This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change. The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger. Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints they have become one. This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back. This time it seems even worse! Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Gashes in the sand. A variable mess of prints. You are amazed and shocked. Your dream ends.

Now you pray: "Lord, I understand the first scene with zigzags and fits. I was a new Christian; I was just learning. But you walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you."

"That is correct."

"... And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps; followed you very closely." "Very good. You have understood everything so far."

"... When the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like you in every way."

"Precisely."

"So, Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than at first."

There is a pause as the Lord answers with a smile in his voice. "You didn't know? That was when we danced."

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:37 PM   #3311
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The Broken Tree

It was just an ordinary tree
That I had planted years ago
It drew no special attention
As through time, I watched it grow

Extracted from, the woods close by
It's shape and form, was mundane
Blending well with those nearby
Another "tree-in-the-forest" it became

A vicious storm, one day came through
Then it was reduced to just a shrub
I thought of removing what remained
All that was left, was just a stub

As other issues, occupied my time
It was allowed to linger there
The winter season, came and went
As springtime came, it was so bare

Bathed by sunlight and the rain
Soon - new growth appeared
It's contour and mold was superb
It's ugly form, had disappeared

In reality, God can take a simple life
That we might deem but nil
The dull and stark is then transformed
When pruned according to His will

Another chance -- now given
To what would have been a castaway
That which was wrecked by a storm
Now stands erect, in His bouquet

For me, God gave this metaphor
To convey a lesson, that is true
Sometimes a harsh and bitter storm
Can be the beginning, of life anew

~ Colan L. Hiatt ~
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:37 AM   #3312
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The Cloud

It was a morning in early March, 1945, a clear and sunny day. I was 24 years old and a member of the U.S. Army's 35th Infantry Division, 137th Infantry Company I.

Along with several other companies of American troops, we were making our way through dense woods, towards the Rhine River in the German Rhineland. Our objective was to reach and take the town of Ossenberg, where a factory was producing gunpowder and other products for use in the war.

For hours we had pressed through an unrelenting thicket. Shortly after midday word was passed that there was a clearing ahead. At last, we thought, the going would be easier. but then we approached a large stone house, behind which huddled a handful of wounded, bleeding soldiers who had tried to cross the clearing and failed.

Before us stretched at least 200 yards of open ground, bordered on the far side by more thick woods. As the first of us appeared on the edge of the clearing there was an angry rat-tat-tat and a ferocious volley of bullets sent soil spinning as far as we could see. Three nests of German machine guns, spaced 50 yards apart and protected by the crest of a small hill to the left, were firing across the field. As we got our bearings it was determined that the machine guns were so well placed that our weapons couldn't reach them.

To cross that field meant suicide. Yet, we had no choice. The Germans had blockaded every other route into the town. In order to move on and secure a victory, we had to move forward.

I slumped against a tree, appalled at the grim situation. I thought of home, of my wife and my 5-month old son. I had kissed him good-bye just after he was born. I thought that I might never see my family again, and the possibility was overwhelming.

I dropped to my knees. "God," I pleaded desperately, "You've got to do something. Please do something."

Moments later the order was given to advance. Grasping my M-1 rifle, I go to my feet and started forward. After reaching the edge of the clearing I took a deep breath. But just before I stepped out from cover, I glanced to the left.

I stopped and stared in amazement. A white cloud - a long fluffy white cloud - had appeared out of nowhere. It dropped from over the trees and covered the area. The Germans' line of fire was obscured by the thick foggy mist.

All of us bolted into the clearing and raced for our lives. The only sounds were of combat boots thudding against the soft earth as men dashed into the clearing, scrambling to reach the safety of the other side before the mist lifted. With each step the woods opposite came closer and closer. I was almost across! My pulse pounding in my ears, I lunged into the thicket and threw myself behind a tree.

I turned and watched as other soldiers following me dove frantically into the woods, some carrying and dragging the wounded. This has to be God's doing, I thought. The instant the last man reached safety, the cloud vanished! The day was again bright and clear.

The enemy, apparently thinking we were still pinned down behind the stone house on the other side, must have radioed their artillery. Minutes later the building was blown to bits but our company was safe and we quickly moved on.

We reached Ossenberg and went on to secure more areas for the Allies. But the image of that cloud was never far from my mind. I had seen the sort of smoke screens that were sometimes set off to obscure troop activity in such situations. That cloud had been different. It had appeared out of nowhere and saved our lives.

Two weeks later, as we bivouacked in eastern Germany, a letter arrived from my mother back in Dallas. I tore open the envelope eagerly. The letter contained words that sent a shiver down my spine. "You remember Mrs. Tankersly from our church?" my mother wrote.

Who could forget her? I smiled. Everybody called Mrs. Tankersly the prayer warrior.

"Well," continued Mom, "Mrs. Tankersly telephoned me one morning from the defense plant where she works. She said the Lord had awakened her the night before at one o' clock and told her, 'Spencer January is in terrible trouble. Get up now and pray for him!"

My mother went on to explain that Mrs. Tankersly had interceded for me in prayer until six o' clock the next morning, when she had to go to her job. "She told me the last thing she prayed before getting off her knees was this "Lord, whatever danger Spencer is in, just cover him with a cloud!"

I sat there for a long time holding the letter in my trembling hand. My mind raced, quickly calculating. Yes, the hours Mrs. Tankersly was praying would indeed have corresponded to the time we were approaching the clearing. With a seven-hour time difference, her prayer for a cloud would have been uttered at one o'clock, the exact time Company I was getting ready to cross the clearing.

From that moment on, I intensified my prayer life. For the past 52 years I have gotten up early every morning to pray for others. I am convinced there is no substitute for the power of prayer and its ability to comfort and sustain others, even those facing the valley of the shadow of death.

~Spencer January
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:30 PM   #3313
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NEVER EVER FORGET

12 years ago, nearly 3,000 innocent people died as a result of terrorists hijacking multiple planes. As the years go by, don't forget the victims and the families touched by this massive tragedy. Watch, pray and share. God bless you.


Nearly 3,000 Innocent People Died at the Hands of Terrorists - Watch & Share This Tribute Video
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:51 PM   #3314
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Don't Let Me Cry

My son Gilbert was eight years old and had been in Cub Scouts only a short time. During one of his meetings he was handed a sheet of paper, a block of wood and four tires and told to return home and give all to "dad".

That was not an easy task for Gilbert to do. Dad was not receptive to doing things with his son. But Gilbert tried. Dad read the paper and scoffed at the idea of making a pine wood derby car with his young, eager son. The block of wood remained untouched as the weeks passed.

Finally, mom stepped in to see if I could figure this all out. The project began. Having no carpentry skills, she decided it would be best if she simply read the directions and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. She read aloud the measurements, the rules of what they could do and what we couldn't do.

Within days his block of wood was turning into a pinewood derby car. A little lopsided, but looking great (at least through the eyes of mom). Gilbert had not seen any of the other kids cars and was feeling pretty proud of his "Blue Lightning", the pride that comes with knowing you did something on your own.

Then the big night came. With his blue pinewood derby in his hand and pride in his heart they headed to the big race. Once there Gilbert's pride turned to humility. His car was obviously the only car made entirely on his own. All the other cars were a father-son partnership, with cool paint jobs and sleek body styles made for speed.

A few of the boys giggled as they looked at Gilbert's lopsided, wobbly, unattractive vehicle. To add to the humility Gilbert was the only boy without a man at his side. A couple of the boys who were from single parent homes at least had an uncle or grandfather by their side, Gilbert had "Mom".

As the race began it was done in elimination fashion. You kept racing as long as you were the winner. One by one the cars raced down the finely sanded ramp. Finally it was between Gilbert and the sleekest, fastest looking car there. As the last race was about to begin, my wide eyed, shy eight year old ask if they could stop the race for a minute, because he wanted to pray. The race stopped.

Gilbert hit his knees clutching his funny looking block of wood between his hands. With a wrinkled brow he set to converse with his Father. He prayed in earnest for a very long minute and a half. Then he stood, smile on his face and announced, 'Okay, I am ready."

As the crowd cheered, a boy named Tommy stood with his father as their car sped down the ramp. Gilbert stood with his Father within his heart and watched his block of wood wobble down the ramp with surprisingly great speed and rushed over the finish line a fraction of a second before Tommy's car.

Gilbert leaped into the air with a loud "Thank you" as the crowd roared in approval. The Scout Master came up to Gilbert with microphone in hand and asked the obvious question, "So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?" To which the young boy answered, "Oh, no sir. That wouldn't be fair to ask God to help you beat someone else. I just asked Him to make it so I don't cry when I lose."

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

No, he went to his Father for strength. Perhaps we spend too much of our prayer time asking God to rig the race, to make us number one, or too much time asking God to remove us from the struggle, when we should be seeking God's strength to get through the struggle. Gilbert didn't pray to win, thus hurt someone else, he prayed that God supply the grace to lose with dignity. Gilbert, by his stopping the race to speak to his Father also showed the crowd that he wasn't there without a "dad", but His Father was most definitely there with him. Yes, Gilbert walked away a winner that night, with his Father at his side.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:25 AM   #3315
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His Will Be Done

While God's ways are not our ways and God's timing is not our timing, he does have a plan. He is intimately concerned about the details of our lives.

— from The Bible's Best Love Stories
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WITH GOD, NOTHING IS LOST. WITHOUT GOD, EVERYTHING IS LOST. ~Pope Francis

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Old 09-14-2013, 05:19 AM   #3316
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Default A hug for you

A special gift to you!
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WITH GOD, NOTHING IS LOST. WITHOUT GOD, EVERYTHING IS LOST. ~Pope Francis

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Old 09-15-2013, 05:55 AM   #3317
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This little angel loves Jesus SO much - and you'll love her! Children know how important Jesus is, we could learn a thing or two about faith from them! God bless her heart.


Precious Angel Singing Jesus Loves Me Will Melt Your Heart Into Pieces
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:09 PM   #3318
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Love Duck Dynasty... Si is terrific!

The Robertson family from Duck Dynasty all have a strong Christian faith; it's so inspiring to see celebrities stay true to their beliefs. Listen to this interview with the funny and lovable Uncle Si. His faith will make you smile.

Duck Dynasty's Uncle Si Shares his Christian Faith - Listen to His Interview.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:49 PM   #3319
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20 Signs Technology Has Taken Over Your Life

Your stationery is more cluttered than Warren Beatty's address book. The letterhead lists a fax number, your cell number, 2 email addresses, your Facebook address, your MySpace address, and your Twitter address. In essence, you have conceded that the first page of any letter you write *is* letterhead.

You have never sat through an entire movie without having at least one device on your body beep or buzz.

You think of the gadgets in your office as "friends," but you forget to send your father a birthday card.

You disdain people who still are on "dial-up".

You have an iPod playing in your ears, iPhone in your hand, and laptop on your lap - and you're somehow using them all at the same time...

When you go into a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson talking with customers -- and you butt in to correct him and spend the next twenty minutes answering the customers' questions, while the salesperson stands by silently, nodding his head.

You use the phrase "digital compression" in a conversation without thinking how strange your mouth feels when you say it.

You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say the phrase "digital compression." Everyone understands what you mean, and you are not surprised or disappointed that you don't have to explain it.

You know the e-mail addresses of 10 of your closest friends by heart, but you have to look up your own social security number.

You stop saying "phone number" and replace it with "voice number," since we all know the majority of phone lines in any house are plugged into contraptions that talk to other contraptions.

You have 1000 "friends" on Facebook and get tweeted by all the great tweeting Twitterers, yet somehow have this nagging feeling that you're actually LESS connected than you were just a few short years ago - you know, when you actually TALKED to the few people that you really WANTED to talk to?

You sign Christmas cards by putting next to your signature.

Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke symbols that are far more clever than .

You are able to argue persuasively that Ross Perot's phrase "electronic town hall" makes more sense than the term "information superhighway," but you don't because, after all, the man still uses hand-drawn pie charts.

You would rather get more dots per inch than miles per gallon.

While contemporaries swap stories about their recent hernia surgeries, you compare texting-induced finger strain with a nine-year-old.

You rotate your screen savers more frequently than your automobile tires.

You have ended friendships because of irreconcilably different opinions about which is better -- the mouse or the track pad.

You spend more time on Facebook reading such important status updates as "I am now home" or "I am now going to the bathroom", than you do praying or reading your Bible (ouch!!)

You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend, technology has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own good, that you go lie under a tree and write a haiku. And don't use a laptop.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:32 AM   #3320
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A Prayer for You

May the pain you're feeling come to pass
May your joyful mood return and last
May your suffering be washed away
May you find some rest in the bed where you lay.

May you sleep peacefully in the quiet of night
May your spirits soar like an eagle in flight
May there be an end to your feelings so blue
May the healing hand of God reach out to you.

~Jeffrey Eilerman
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