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This page will be dedicated to you my dear friends, you have to build it. like the page for testimonies, special experiences and jokes.  I post this page for the best talk, or lesson, or whatever that I will receive, that it means that not all will be posted but only the more spiritual and interesting, it is your task to maintain it updated.

Mother's father worked as a carpenter.  On this  particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to some orphanage 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 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 C

 


The Great Depression was at it's height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning.  He was 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.  "Several 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 lying on top. 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.

A man who had previously been a sailor, was very aware that ships are addressed as "she" and "her". He often wondered what gender computers
should be addressed. To answer that question, he set up two groups of computer experts. The first was comprised of women, and the second of men.  Each group was asked to recommend whether computers should be referred to in the feminine gender or the masculine gender. They were asked to give 4 reasons for their recommendation.

The group of women reported that the computers should be referred to in the masculine gender because:

1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.

2. They have a lot of data, but are still clueless.

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem.

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer you could have had a better model.

The men, on the other hand concluded that Computers should be referred to in the feminine gender because:

1. No one but the Creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest........... perfect peace.

The King chose the second picture. "Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.

Heaven and Hell - The Real Difference

A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell. The Lord said to the man, "Come, I will show you hell." They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished, desperate and starving. Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it could not be used to get the stew into their own mouths. The suffering was terrible.

"Come, now I will show you heaven," the Lord said after a while. They entered another room, identical to the first - the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But there everyone was happy and well-nourished.

"I don't understand," said the man. "Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?"

The Lord smiled, "Ah, it is simple," he said. "here they have learned to feed each other."

A Child's Angel

Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born.
So one day he asked God:

"They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

"Among the many angels, I chose one for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you. "

"But tell me, here in Heaven, I don't do anything else but sing and smile, that's enough for me to be happy."

"Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day. And you will feel your angel's love and be happy."

"And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me, if I don't know the language that men talk?"

"Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you? "
"Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray. "

"I've heard that on earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?"
"Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life. "
"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."
"Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard, and the child in a hurry asked softly:

"Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel's name"
"Your angel's name is of no importance, you will call your angel: "Mommy"

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

"Yeah, sure, what is it?" replied the man. "Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?"

"That's none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.

"I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy.

"If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour."

"Oh," the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said,
"Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?"

The father was furious. "If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you're being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish games."

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy's questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money.

After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often.

The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

"Are you asleep, son?" he asked. "No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.

"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the man.

"It's been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here's that $10.00 you asked for."

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. "Oh, thank you, daddy!" he yelled.

Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills.

The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

"Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied.

"Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?"

Share this story with someone you like...but even better, share $20.00 worth of time with someone you love.

It is a good thing to be rich.
It is a good thing to be strong,
but it is a better thing to be loved by many friends.

My Dear Friend,
As you got up this morning, I watched you and hoped you would talk to me even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday, but I noticed you were too busy trying to find the right outfit to put on and wear to school.
I waited again.
When you ran around the house getting ready I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were too busy.
At one point you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip. I watched as you went to work and I waited patiently all day  long.
I guess you were too busy to say anything to me with all your activities.
I noticed that before lunch you looked around. Maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to me, that is why you didn't bow your head.
You glanced three or four tables over and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate, but you didn't. That's okay. There
was still more time left, and I have hope that you would talk to me. Even yet you went home and it seemed as if you had lots of things to do. After
a few of them were done you turned on the TV.
I don't know if I like TV or not, just about anything goes there & you spend a lot of time each day in front of it not thinking  about anything-just enjoying the show. I waited patiently again as you watched TV and ate your meal but again you didn't talk to me. As you did your homework I waited again-you did what you had to do. At bedtime I guess you felt too tired. After you said goodnight to your family, you plopped into bed
and fell asleep in no time.
That's okay because you may not realize that I am always there for you. I've got patience more than you will ever know. I even want to teach you
how to be patient with others as well. Because I love you so much, a long time ago I left a wonderful place called Heaven and came to Earth. I gave it up so that I could be ridiculed. I even died so you wouldn't have to take my place. I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer, a thought, or even a thankful part of your heart. It is hard to have a one-sided conversation.
Well, you are getting up again and once again I will wait with nothing but love for you, hoping that today you will give me some time. Just a minute or two to show me that you also care for me.

Your loving friend,
Jesus

Shake It Off And Step Up

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' - or - whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened...and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back...a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back...HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This he did, blow after blow.

"Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!

You're right! It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL! What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him...all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

THAT'S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity...THE ADVERSITIES THAT COME ALONG TO BURY US USUALLY HAVE WITHIN THEM THE POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT AND BLESS US! Remember that FORGIVENESS--FAITH--PRAYER--
PRAISE and HOPE...all are excellent ways to "SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP" out of the wells in which we find ourselves!

This story reminded me of life. The dirt is a symbolism of the tests and trials that we go threw in life. The stepping up is the symbolism of growing and learning from our life experiences.

The Important Things Life Teaches You...

1 Most Important Question
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave usa pop quiz.
I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans
the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would
I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.
Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers
you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'. "I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2 Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her
car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her - generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety. Helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She
seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him  and drove away. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the
highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my
dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King  Cole


3 Always remember those who serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of
water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled hish and out of his pocket and
studied a number of coins in it. "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress
was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The
waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.
The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed
hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.

4 The Obstacle in Our Path

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hidhimself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.  Some
of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear,
but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the
boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone  to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant  learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.



5 Giving Blood

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I  got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liz." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?" Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he though he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood. Attitude, after all, is everything.

The Art Collector
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world. As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days, his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season- a season that he and his son had so looked forward to-would visit his house no longer.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man.
As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand.
He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I was a friend of your son.
I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you." As the two began to talk, the solider told of how the man's son had told everyone of his-not to mention his father's-love of fine art. "I'm an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to give you this.
"As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man's son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail. Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace.  A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars of paintings. And then the man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given. During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched. He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief. The painting of
his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation. With the collector's passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the day he had received his greatest gift. The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would claim "I have the greatest collection." The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum's list. It was the painting of the man's son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent. "Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked. Minutes passed. No onespoke.
It's just a picture of his son. Let's forget it and go on to the good stuff.
"More voices echoed in agreement. "No, we have to sell this one first," replied the auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?"
Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. "Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it." "I have ten dollars. Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice. Gone."
The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures!" The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room.
Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars of art here! I demand that you explain what's going on here!"  The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son...gets it all."  Puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Just as those art collectors
discovered on that Christmas Day, the message is still the same--the love of a Father--a Father whose greatest joy came from his son who went away and gave his life rescuing others. And because of that Father's love...whoever takes the Son gets it all.


THE PAINTBRUSH
I keep my paintbrush with me Wherever I may go, In case I need to cover up So the real me doesn't show. I'm so afraid to show you me, Afraid of what you'll do--that You might laugh or say mean things. I'm afraid I might lose you.

I'd like to remove all my paint coats To show you the real, true me, But I want you to try and understand, I need you to accept what you see. So if you'll be patient and close your eyes, I'll strip off all my coats real slow. Please understand how much it hurts  To let the real me show.

Now my coats are all stripped off. I feel naked, bare, and cold, And if you still love me with all that you see, You are my friend, pure as gold.

I need to save my paintbrush, though, And hold it in my hand, I want to keep it handy In case somebody doesn't understand. So please protect me, my dear friend And thanks for loving me true, But please let me keep my paintbrush with me Until I love me, too.

Side By Side

On the table, side by side The Book of Mormon and the TV Guide One is well worn and cherished with pride; Not the Book of Mormon, but the TV guide, One is used daily to help folks decide, No, not the Book of Mormon, but the TV Guide. As the pages are turned, what shall they see? Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV! So they opened the book from which they confide, No, not the Book of Mormon, but the TV guide. The word of God is seldom read Maybe a verse or two before they fall to bed, Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be, Not from reading the scriptures, but from watching TV. So back to the table, side by side The Book of Mormon, and the TV Guide The Plan of Salvation is full and free But is found in the Book of Mormon, not on the TV.

THE LEGEND OF THE CHRISTMAS SPIDER

Once upon a time, long ago , a gentle mother was busy cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year. The day on which the Christ Child came to bless the house not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had vanished from their cozy corner in the ceiling to avoid the housewife's busy cleaning. They finally fled to the farthest corner of the Attic.

'It was Christmas eve at last! The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it. But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree nor be present for the Christ Childs visit. The oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see him Silently they crept out of the attic, down the stairs and across the floor to wait in the threshold. Suddenly the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room. They needed to see the tree more closely, because their eyes were not accustomed to the Brightness of the room. So they crept all over the tree, up and down over ever  branch and twig and saw everyone of the pretty things. At last they saw the whole beauty of the Tree.

But alas! Everywhere they went they had left their webs and when the Christ child came to bless the house he was dismayed. He loved the little spiders for they were God's creatures too. But he knew the mother, who trimmed the tree for the children, wouldn't feel the same.
As he touched the webs they all turned to sparkling and shimmering silver and gold.

Since that time we, have hung tinsel on the Christmas trees and according the legend it has become a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.
( German and Ukraine legend)

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS, From your friend Sheila in Utah

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
by Erma Bombeck

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner, even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you".. more "I'm sorry"... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it... Live it... and never give it back.

Don't forget to stop and smell the roses today! Take time to tell a loved one how much you love them, do something nice for yourself, and stop to give God thanks for all of it.

--part0_911057376_boundary--

The Room

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small indexcard files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "People I Have Liked". I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed". The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read", "Lies I Have Told", "Comfort I Have Given", "Jokes I Have Laughed At". Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I Have Yelled at My Brothers". Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents". I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousand or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To", I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to the file marked "Lustful Thoughts", I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.

And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With". The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that the hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelved swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw the sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally, he turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I
dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many
things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no", as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written in His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant is seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished". I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.



Don't ever stop dreaming your dreams; they're a very essential part of you. Do whatever you can to make them a reality by the course you take, the plans you make, and all the things you do. Don't dwell on past mistakes; leave yesterday behind you --- along with any of its problems, worries, and doubts. Do realize you can't change the past, but just ahead is the future --- and you can do something about that. Don't try to accomplish everything at once; life can be difficult enough --- without adding frustration to the list. Do travel one step at a time, and reach for one goal at a time. That's the way to find out what real accomplishment is. Don't be afraid to do the impossible, even if others don't think you'll succeed. Do remember that history is filled with incredible accomplishments of those who were foolish enough ..... to believe. Don't forget that there are so many
things that are wonderful, rare, and unique about you. And do remember that if you can search within and find a smile ..... that smile will always be a reflection of the way people feel ..... about YOU!

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.

She read the letter:

Dear Ruth,
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always,
Jesus

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table.

"Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets.

"Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner."

She reached for her purse and counted out its contents.

Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt satisfied as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway.

A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags. "Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it."

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."

"Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."

The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

"Sir, wait!"

The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them.

"Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag. "Thank you Lady. Thank you very much!"

"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders.

Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. "Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him.
She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.

"That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day."

She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth,
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always,
Jesus

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.

My son's a CTR ... I go to PEC.
I work for CES....I study the TG.
I read the B of M .... I probe the D&C.
I search the KJV ... I ponder the JST.
Today in BYC ... we planned for EFY.
I stayed a little after ... and had a PPI.
The YM and YW ... are putting on a play.
It's one that I remember ...we did in MIA.
Soon our oldest daughter ... is heading for the Y.
Soon our oldest clothing ... is going to DI.
Now, if you've understood ... this alphabetic mess,
The chances are quite good ... that you are LDS.

SATAN'S CONVENTION

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, "We can't keep the Christians from going to church."
"We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth."
"We can't even keep them from conservative values."

"But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that experience in Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" shouted his angels.

"Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent unnumbered shams to occupy their minds," he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then, borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work and the husbands to work six or seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work. Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice.

Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, the VCR, and their CD's going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ." "Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade any other moments with order catalogues, every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services, and false hopes."

"Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don't let them go out in nature. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, and concerts instead."

"And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion."

"Let them be involved in soul-winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause."

It was quite a convention in the end.

And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments, causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.

Has the devil been successful at his scheme?

You be the judge.

WHAT DO ANGELS LOOK LIKE?
Author Unknown

Like the little old lady who returned
~ your wallet yesterday.

Like the taxi driver who told you that your eyes
~ light up the world, when you smile.

Like the small child who showed you
~ the wonder in simple things.

Like the poor man who offered to
~ share his lunch with you.

Like the rich man who showed you that it
~ really is all possible, if only you believe.

Like the stranger who just happened to come along,
~ when you had lost your way.

Like the friend who touched your heart,
~ when you didn't think you had one to touch.

Angels come in all sizes and shapes,
~ all ages and skin types.

Some with freckles, some with dimples,
~ some with wrinkles, some without.

They come disguised as friends, enemies,
~ teachers, students, lovers and fools.

They don't take life too seriously,
~ they travel light.

They leave no forwarding address,
~ they ask nothing in return.

They wear sneakers with gossamer wings,
~ they get a deal on dry cleaning.

They are hard to find when your eyes are closed, But
~ they are everywhere you look, when you choose to

THE OBSTACLE IN OUR PATH

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the kindgom's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along, carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that The gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
The peasant learned what many others never understand: Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.


A True Story


A soldier was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam.

He called his parents from San Francisco. "Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask. I'd like to bring a friend home with me."

"Sure" They replied. "We'd love to meet him."


"There is something you should know", the son continued. "He was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us."


"I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live."


"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."

"Son," Said the father," You don't know what you are asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden to us. We have our own life to live and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own. "


At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building. They were told. The police believed it was suicide.
The grief stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know their son had only one arm and leg. He himself was the man he wanted to bring home to his Mom and Dad.

VISUALIZATION

I've discovered that numerous peak performers use the skill of mental rehearsal of visualization.
They mentally run through important events before they happen.


We sort of did some role-playing with me playing the part of the person trying to lead them astray and they reacted by using what they had been taught. I would use several methods so they could see that there were also subtle ways of getting someone to do wrong. When the kids didn't know what to do in a given situation we had some good talks about things they could do--some suggestions from me, some thought on their part and some brainstorming. A couple of the kids said that it helped them get out of uncomfortable situations far better, because it wasn't new--we'd already "rehearsed" it and they felt confident.

I have also found it helpful when I need to do something in front of people to visualize what I'm being asked to do and then when I do it it's far easier to do. (like giving a talk, etc., etc.)


Blessings,
Ronna

yes I know.....I'm the sentimental type and had tears in my eyes when I first went through this....and I realized.......that at times everyone EVERYONE...no matter what is going on in their lives......needs to know that ppl care........it makes the day better.....no matter how small the deed......a smile.....a note to say you care.......a flower.....simple words of praise............it can make a difference....whether it be life changing or not........and I also realized that this is the type of person I want to be.......to be able to love my family and friends unconditionally. to be there for someone when needed....to let that person know no matter what happens in their life, no matter what decisions they choose, what lifestyle they live......that I will love and be there for them no matter what.......that I can be counted on to be the friend, the sister, the daughter, the niece, the cousin that a person needs. if you are wondering what brought this on....it's basically the fact that these last few months one things that ppl have been saying is to make sure you let ppl know how you feel....for the basic reason...no one knows what is in store for them......and I might as well take the chance no to tell you then to sit and ask myself after something has happened.....why, why didn't I let that person know before I wasn't able to..........so here ya'll go.......love you guys.........hope things are going

Bruce R. McConkie

The "I Believe in Christ" Legacy

Today in our fast and testimony meeting we had the rare opportunity to hear Sister Amelia McConkie bear her testimony and tell the following
story, as near as I could record it: "In Relief Society today our closing song was 'I Believe in Christ.' Then, as we began our Fast and Testimony meeting, our opening song was "I Believe in Christ."  This made me think that perhaps it's time I share with you how we got this hymn.

"Some 15 years ago, my husband Bruce R. McConkie was very ill.  The doctor told us he had two months to live, at the most.  However, Bruce felt he still had some things he wanted to do.  The Brethren gave him a  blessing and his family gathered to share their faith and prayers. He lived an additional fourteen months, although he was very ill much of that time.  He never thought he wasn't going to get better.  He told  me time and time again that this was the Lord's test for him and that he had  enough faith in and of himself to be healed.

"Early in February, on an overcast day much like today, I  decided to make a pie to cheer him up, as he loved pie.  While I was doing this he lay on the floor in our bedroom, which he often did.  He had a pencil and  paper in hand and was writing.  Then he came into the kitchen where I  was  working and said 'do you want to hear what I'm going to talk about in  Conference?'

"The pie was almost finished and I wanted to get it into the oven, but I soon realized that you don't make pies while he's talking like this. So I stopped and sat down to listen.  He read to me his talk, and I said, 'it's the most beautiful thing you've ever written, but how will you ever do it?'  He was so ill and so weak.

'I don't know,' he answered, 'but I  will.'

"His doctor was so worried.  'You've got a dying man on your  hands; you must not let him speak at conference.  If he tries, he will collapse  on nationwide television..'  but I couldn't try to stop him.

He was determined to do it and nothing could have sopped him.  Our son said,  'I  don't think there's anything Dad wanted to do more than preach that last sermon at Conference.'  So our children fasted together, asking that their father would have the physical and emotional strength to
fulfill his wish.  During the Saturday morning session of April 1985 General Conference, a  thin Bruce R. McConkie took his place at the pulpit and despite his weakened condition, he bore majestic testimony to the truths so integral  to his life and mission.  He testified, 'I am one of his witnesses,  and  in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his  feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.  But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God's Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.' (Excerpted from his Conference address.)

"The following Sunday Elder Packer visited him at home and gave him a blessing in which he told Bruce he should 'quit resisting the will of the Lord.'  We both knew what he meant.  At the conclusion, with tears running down his face, Bruce looked at me as I stood at the foot of the bed, and said, 'Amelia, do you know what he just did?'  'Yes, he has sealed you unto death.'"

"That was so hard on Bruce,'; she said.  'He wanted so much to live.'

But as I showed Elder Packer out, Bruce got up, folded the bedspread as he always did at night, got ready for bed, and got under the covers. Always before he's insisted that I make the bed and he'd lay on top of it, fully dressed.  But this was his way of saying to the Lord, 'I am bowing to your will.'  He passed away a short time later."  What a great blessing to have the beautiful hymn "I Believe in Christ", taken from his testimony.

Sister Amelia McConkie
Canyon Road Ward
September 6, 1998

One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stone out of stumbling

blocks...many receive advise; only the wise profit by it...if you want to feel rich, just count all of the things money can't buy...when looking for faults, use a mirror, not a telescope...the only way to have the sort of obituary you want is to start living the way you want to be remembered...success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom...habit is like a soft bed-easy to get into but hard to get out of.

We judge other by their action, yet we would like to be judged by our intentions.   -unknown-

There are two types of pain in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.  Discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons.


THOUGHT TO LIVE BY

True faith and courage are like a kite - an opposing wind raises it higher.
In order to receive direction from God you must be able to receive the correction from God Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves It's the little things in life that determine the big things. He who throws dirt loses ground.
Contentment isn't getting what we want but being satisfied with what we have. Too many people quit looking for work when they find a job.
The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all is the person who argues with him.
Blessed is he who, having nothing to say, refrains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. Luck:  a loser's excuse for a winner's position.
Ignorance is always swift to speak.

The Cocoon:

A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On the day, a small opening
appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck. Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its
life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening were a way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its
freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle.
By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we are allowed to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

If you're encouraged by this story, pass on to someone who needs a word of encouragement as well.

I hope you have a few Kleenex tissues left in that box.  This story is a true story sent out by Ruth Peterson.  It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other.


The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study.  Six words - one for each year of her life - that speak to me of harmony, courage, undemanding love.  A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color of sand -- who taught me the gift of love.

On a quiet street in the city a little old man walked along, shuffling through the autumn afternoon. And the autumn leaves reminded him of other summers come and gone.

He had a long lonely night ahead waiting in June. The among the leaves near an orphan home a piece of paper caught his eyes, and he stooped to pick it up with trembling hands. As he read the childish writing the old man began to cry. 'Cause the words burned inside like a brand.

"Whoever finds this, I love you, whoever finds this, I need you. I ain't even got no one to talk to. So whoever finds this, I love you!"

The old man's eyes searched the orphan's and came to rest upon a child with her nose pressed up against the window pane. And the old man knew he found a friend at last so he waved to her and smiled.

And they both knew they've spend the winter laughing at the rain. And they did spend the winter laughing at the rain. Talking through the fence and exchanging little gifts they had made for each other.

The old man would carved toys for the little girl. She would draw pictures for him of beautiful ladies. Surrounded by green trees and sunshine, and they laughed a lot.

But then on the first day of June the little girl ran to the fence to show the old man a picture she drew, but he wasn't there. And somehow she knew he wasn't coming back, so she went to her room, took a crayon and paper and wrote...

"Whoever finds this, I love you, whoever finds this, I need you. I ain't even got no one to talk to. So whoever finds this, I love you!"

HEAVEN'S GROCERY STORE

I was walking down life's highway, a long time ago. One day, I saw a sign that read, "HEAVEN'S GROCERY STORE." As I got a little closer, the door came open wide. And when I came to myself, I was standing inside.

I saw a host of angels They were standing everywhere One handed me a basket and said, "My Child, shop with care"

Everything a Christian needed was in that grocery store.
And all you couldn't carry, you could come back the next day for more. First, I got some PATIENCE; LOVE was in the same row. Further down was UNDERSTANDING; You need that everywhere you go.

I got a box or two of WISDOM, a bag or two of FAITH. I just couldn't miss the HOLY GHOST, For it was all over the place.

I stopped to get some STRENGTH and COURAGE, To help me run this race By then my basket was getting full, But I remembered I needed some GRACE.

I didn't forget SALVATION For Salvation was free, So, I tried to get enough of that To save both you and me.

Then I started up to the counter To pay my grocery bill For I thought I had everything To do the Master's Will.

As I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER; And I knew I just had to put that in, For I knew when I stepped outside. I would run into sin.

PEACE and JOY were plentiful; They were last on the shelf Then I said to the angel, "Now, how much do I owe?" He smiled and said, "Just take them everywhere you go." Again, I smiled and said, "How much do I really owe?" He smiled again and said, "MY CHILD, JESUS PAID YOUR BILL A LONG, LONG TIME AGO."

"All things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." Matt 21:22

4 YEARS OF AGE My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE Naturally, Mother doesn't know that either.

16 YEARS OF AGE Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE My Mother ??? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE Well, she might know a little bit about it.

35 YEARS OF AGE Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

60 YEARS OF AGE Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE Wish I could talk it over with Mom once more.

Many years ago, a four-year-old girl named Sandra Louise Doty described what she thought a grandmother was like. She said, "A grandmother is a lady who has no children of her own, so she likes other people's little girls. A grandfather is a man grandmother. He goes for walks with the boys, and they talk about fishing and tractors and things like that.


Grandmas don't have to do anything except be there. They're old, so they shouldn't play hard or run. It is enough if they drive us to the market where the pretend horse is and have lots of dimes ready. Or if they take us for walks, they should slow down past things like pretty leaves or
caterpillars.

They should never, ever say, "Hurry up."

"Usually, they are fat, but not too fat to tie kids shoes. They wear glasses and funny underwear. They can take off their teeth. They don't have to be smart, only answer questions like why dogs hate cats and how come God isn't married. They don't talk baby talk like visitors do, because it is hard to understand. When they read to us, they don't skip or mind if it is the same story again.

Then she finished, "Everybody should try to have a grandmother, specially if you don't have television, because grandmas are the only grown-ups who have got time."


NO EXCUSE SUNDAY: DEDICATED TO MISSING CHURCH MEMBERS!
To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday, we are going to have a special "No Excuse Sunday."

Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep in."

There will be a special section with lounge chairs for those who feel that our pews are too hard.

Eye drops will be available for those with tired eyes from watching TV late Saturday night.

We will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof would cave in if ever came to church."

Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who say it is too hot.

Scorecards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.

Relatives and friends will be in attendance for those who can't go to church and cook dinner, too.

We will distribute "Stamp Our Stewardship" buttons for those that feel the church is always asking for money.

One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature.

Doctors and nurses will be in attendance for those who plan to be sick on Sunday.

The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who never have seen the church without them.

We will provide hearing aids for those who can't hear the preacher and cotton for those who can!

Hope to see you there!

always be there."

CONFIDE IN A FRIEND

When you're tired and worn at the close of the day And things just don't seem to be going your way, When even your patience has come to an end, Try taking time out and confide in a friend. 
Perhaps they may have walked the similar road, With a much troubled heart and burdensome load, To find peace and comfort somewhere near the end, When they stopped long enough to confide in a friend.

For then are most welcome a few words of cheer, For someone who willingly lends you an ear. No troubles exist that time cannot mend, But to get quick relief just confide in a friend.

Author Unknown

THE WALLET

Writer unknown. (Great story. Great ending.)

As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a wallet someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and looked inside to find some identification so I could call the owner. But the wallet contained only three dollars and a crumpled letter that looked as if it had been in there for years.

The envelope was worn and the only thing that was legible on it was the return address. I started to open the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then I saw the dateline--1924. The letter had been written almost sixty years ago.

It was written in a beautiful feminine handwriting on powder blue stationery with a little flower in the left-hand corner. It was a "Dear John" letter that told the recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael, that the writer could not see him any more because her mother forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love him.

It was signed, Hannah.

It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way except for the name Michael, that the owner could be identified. Maybe if I called information, the operator could find a phone listing for the address on the envelope.

"Operator," I began, "this is an unusual request. I'm trying to find the owner of a wallet that I found. Is there anyway you can tell me if there is a phone number for an address that was on an envelope in the wallet?"

She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who hesitated for a moment then said, "Well, there is a phone listing at that address, but I can't give you the number." She said, as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain my story and would ask them if they wanted her to connect me. I waited
a few minutes and then she was back on the line. "I have a party who will speak with you."

I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she knew anyone by the name of Hannah. She gasped, "Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!"

"Would you know where that family could be located now?" I asked.

"I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some years ago," the woman said. "Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be able to track down the daughter."

She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought the daughter might be living.

I thanked them and phoned. The woman who answered explained that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.

This whole thing was stupid, I thought to myself. Why was I making such a big deal over finding the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost 60 years old?

Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which Hannah was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone told me, "Yes, Hannah is staying with us. "

Even though it was already 10 p.m., I asked if I could come by to see her. "Well," he said hesitatingly, "if you want to take a chance, she might be in the day room watching television."

I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The night nurse and a guard greeted me at the door. We went up to the third floor of the large building. In the day room, the nurse introduced me to Hannah.

She was a sweet, silver-haired old timer with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye.

I told her about finding the wallet and showed her the letter. The second she saw the powder blue envelope with that little flower on the left, she took a deep breath and said, "Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael."

She looked away for a moment deep in thought and then said Softly, "I loved him very much. But I was only 16 at the time and my mother felt I was too young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor."

"Yes," she continued. "Michael Goldstein was a wonderful person. If you should find him, tell him I think of him often. And," she hesitated for a moment, almost biting her lip, "tell him I still love him. You know," she said smiling as tears began to well up in her eyes, "I never did marry. I
guess no one ever matched up to Michael..."

I thanked Hannah and said goodbye. I took the elevator to the first floor and as I stood by the door, the guard there asked, "Was the old lady able to help you?"

I told him she had given me a lead. "At least I have a last name. But I think I'll let it go for a while. I spent almost the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet."

I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he said, "Hey, wait a minute! That's Mr. Goldstein's wallet. I'd know it anywhere with that bright red lacing. He's always losing that wallet. I must have found it in the halls at least
three times."

"Who's Mr. Goldstein?" I asked as my hand began to shake.

"He's one of the old timers on the 8th floor. That's Mike Goldstein's wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks."

I thanked the guard and quickly ran back to the nurse's office. I told her what the guard had said. We went back to the elevator and got on. I prayed that Mr. Goldstein would be up.

On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, "I think he's still in the day room. He likes to read at night. He's a darling old man."

We went to the only room that had any lights on and there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said, "Oh, it is missing!"

"This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours?"

I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with relief and said, "Yes, that's it! It must have dropped out of my pocket this afternoon. I want to give you a reward."

"No, thank you," I said. "But I have to tell you something. I read the letter in the hope of finding out who owned the wallet."

The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. "You read that letter?" "Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is."

He suddenly grew pale. "Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me," he begged.

"She's fine...just as pretty as when you knew her." I said softly.

The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, "Could you tell me where she is? I want to call her tomorrow." He grabbed my hand and said, "You know something, mister, I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I've always loved her. "

"Mr. Goldstein," I said, "Come with me."

We took the elevator down to the third floor. The hallways were darkened and only one or two little night-lights lit our way to the day room where Hannah was sitting alone watching the television. The nurse walked over to her.

"Hannah," she said softly, pointing to Michael, who was waiting with me in the doorway. "Do you know this man?"

She adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn't say a word. Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, "Hannah, it's Michael. Do you remember me?"

She gasped, "Michael! I don't believe it! Michael! It's you! My Michael!" He walked slowly towards her and they embraced. The nurse and I left with tears streaming down our faces.

"See," I said. "See how the Good Lord works! If it's meant to be, it will be."

About three weeks later I got a call at my office from the nursing home. "Can you break away on Sunday to attend a wedding? Michael and Hannah are going to tie the knot!"

It was a beautiful wedding with all the people at the nursing home dressed up to join in the celebration. Hannah wore a light beige dress and looked beautiful. Michael wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made me their best man.
The hospital gave them their own room and if you ever wanted to see a 76-year-old bride and a 79-year-old groom acting like two teenagers, you had to see this couple.

A perfect ending for a love affair that had lasted nearly 60 years. [3]

This is an eye witness account which happened in the City of New York, on a cold day in December...

A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, "My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?" "I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boys reply. The lady took him by the hand and went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel, and he replied: "Certainly," and quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet and dried them with a towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes, and tying up the remaining pairs of socks, gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt,my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?"

As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered the question with these
words, "Are you God's Wife?"

 

From Ron Cappelli

TRUST IN THE LORD

In the fifth verse of the third chapter of Proverbs, the wise King Solomon counseled us, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Being a father is not an easy task. Especially if you have children. As a father, you always want the best for your children, and so you put forth great effort to teach and train them in the way they should go. And one of the ways we strive for them to go is to follow the counsel of our modern-day prophets that every worthy young man should go on a mission. Of course, when they are young, they look up to you as being this all knowing, all wise all powerful being known as daddy. But as they begin to grow a little older, and get, as they suppose, a little knowledge of their own, you gradually go from being all knowing to being a no nothing. And one day you finally figure out that the reason for this is that your child has a mind of their own that's totally different from yours. And that's when the fun begins.

Usually when we find that our child doesn't want to listen to our advise, we often call upon the words of a higher authority to impress them - the prophets of the church. But even this doesn't impress children. They're response is "Who are they to tell me how to run my life? I thought we had our free agency to make up our mind. Besides, they're old men and they're living in the past." And it doesn't take long before you find out that they think of you as an "old man".

In an effort to help my son understand where I was coming from, I used the example of traveling down a river in a raft. The river represents what life in general. As we go through life there are times when it's smooth sailing and everything is calm and peaceful. There are also times when life is full of rapids, with rough ups and downs and lots of turbulence. But either way there are also dangers both seen and unseen lurking in the river that can ruin the raft. The raft represents his own personal life. He's in control of it, and he can steer it anywhere he wants to as he moves along life's river. I'm in that raft with him, but I'm there only as his personal guide. My job is not to steer the raft, (although that's what he often thinks I'm trying to do). My job is to give him advice. And there are two main reason I'm qualified to do that. The primary one is because I've been down this very river before and I've experienced some of those dangers myself. The second reason is because , over the years, I've been taught by modern prophets to know where there's safety in life's river. As such, I know what he can do to either avoid danger or to get himself out of danger once he's gotten himself into it.

All I can do is just give advice. I can't steer the raft for him, and even if I tried it wouldn't work. So I sit there with him and hope that he'll listen to me. But listen to me or not, I'm strapped into his raft with him, and whatever he goes through, so do I. Whether we like it our not, this is OUR ride. I go through all the ups and downs that he goes through, whether he listens to me or not. And when he gets into trouble for not listening to me, it's hard. Not on him, on me. It's hard to see someone you love do something you know will get them in trouble. It's hard to sit there unable to do anything but give advice and watch that advice be ignored and then it's harder still to see your child suffer the consequences that could have avoided if only they had listened to you.

For 19 years David has traveled along on this river, and somewhere along the line the words of the prophets have made an impression upon him, because he has reached a point in his life where he is now qualified and worthy to go on a different journey. It's a journey he'll have to take without me, but it's one that I'm very proud of him for taking. Now it's David's turn to step out of his own raft, stand in the stream of life and ask people to let him be their guide. Only this time, it won't be with his own children. This time he will leave his own life behind, and go seeking those who are wandering around in the stream of life, not knowing where they're going. For two years he'll waving his arms, trying to get someone to take him into their life so that he can be their guide, to show them the true path they should follow. And why is qualified to be their guide? Because he has been taught the way by modern-day prophets.

There will be some people who will move past him without paying any attention to his pleas. And if he loves those people, that will hurt him. There will be others who will let him into their life, but they won't be interested in his message. They'll only like him for who he is. And, if he loves those people, it will hurt when they don't listen to his counsel and advice. Then there will be still others who will take him into their life, follow his counsel, become baptized and then decide to take a different course than the one he taught them. And, if he loves the people he's teaching, that will be his greatest hurt.

When you love someone and you try to help them but they don't want your help, that's frustrating. That's disappointing. That's discouraging. That's what it's like to be a father, and even though David isn't a father, he's about to find out what that's like. So what do you do in that situation? Almost four thousand years ago, a very wise man name King Solomon counseled us to "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

In our day and age, President Kimball has said, "Let us trust the Lord... He has promised us that he will be our tender tutor, measuring out what we are ready for"

Like most fathers, I wanted to be the best father I could. I felt keenly aware of my responsibility to "train up a child in the way he should go." And when I didn't do the kind of job I thought I should or things were out of my control, I would feel frustrated. I felt as though all that responsibility to raise my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord rested solely on MY shoulders. And since nobody's perfect, that made a very heavy burden for me to bear. More than that it made ever little failure of mine seem more frustrating, more disappointing and more discouraging. And I felt that way because of my love for my children.

In the beginning I felt that since I knew what the counsel of the prophets was raising children, and I had a fairly good understanding of the gospel, that it was then totally up to me for the way my children turned out. That's what I though the prophets had told me to do. And as such, I tried to raise them according to mine own understanding. It took time for me to finally realize that the prophets had also counseled me to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding. Slowly I began to understand that if I wanted my children to turn out right, they needed more help than I could give.

Doing the best job I can, David wouldn't have turned out as good as he has without the support and help of teachers and friends like you to assist me in my responsibility. And even with all of that, David has a responsibility to help himself. Therefore, I had to trust in the Lord, with all my heart, that God would watch over my children and fill in where I couldn't. And so, David is where he is ere today because of a team effort that includes him, you, me, and above all the Lord.

Now David is about to help others find the right path in life. He's been to Seminary. He's been taught in Sunday School. When he gets to the MTC they'll get him all pumped up to thrust in his sickle with all of his might and bring many souls unto Christ. And I'm sure his mission president will also do his part to reinforce that feeling. He heard and responded to the call of the prophets to serve a mission. And, as such, it will be easy for him to lean on his own extensive understanding of the gospel. It'll be natural for him to think, "Lord, let me show you how much I can do for You."

But David can't convert anyone. All he can do is give counsel, advice, teach the principles of the gospel and set a Christ-like example by the way he conducts himself. After that, all he can do is trust in the Lord with all of his heart that the people he loves will follow the words he's teaching them. For two years he'll learn how to live by the Spirit. For two years the more he grows in knowledge the more he'll realize how little he actually knows. For two years the Lord will teach him not to rely solely on his own understanding.

And just when he's gotten comfortable with trusting in the Lord with all of his heart, he'll come home. However when he comes off his mission and seeks a job, or schooling, he'll need to trust in the Lord with all of his heart instead of just leaning on his own understanding to make the correct choice. When he seeks a companion for life, he needs to trust in the Lord with all of his heart and lean not solely on his own understanding if he wants to find the right mate. When he becomes a father, or when he's called to serve within the church, he'll need to trust in the Lord with all of his heart he if hopes to succeed in those callings. When he is faced with troubles and problems in his life, he'll need to trust in the Lord with all of his heart if he wants to find answers and have peace.

But like David, each of us are sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven and each of us are moving along the river of life in our own raft. But, strapped in there with us, through all of our good times and through all of our trials and problems, is our own personal Heavenly guide. He's not there to run our life for us. His only job is to give us counsel, advice and direction. But too often, as humans, we tend to get caught up in the ways of the world and begin to think we're wiser than we actually are. We know where we're going. We know what we're doing. We're smart enough to handle life on our own. And, I'm afraid, that perhaps all too often we tend to forget the words of the prophets: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." And when we fail to do that I'm sure that must be frustrating to our Heavenly Father. I'm sure that many times He must feel disappointed and discouraged in trying to help those of us who don't want to listen to Him.

Therefore, as we attend these missionary farewells I pray that each of us might reflect on our own relationship with the Savior as these young men and women have had to do. As we watch them go off to serve in strange lands they know nothing of, trusting in the Lord to help and guide them, may we too recommit ourselves to rely less on our own understanding and to increase our own trust in the Lord until we can do so with all of our heart. For this I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I've discovered on my own...

to wrap those people and memories that are so very precious to me in cotton-wool and tuck them deep inside my heart where nobody can take them away from me... that the great challenge of life is to decide what's important and to disregard everything else...

that I am quick to count other's offenses against me, but seldom think about what others suffer because of me...

that you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life...

that I cannot expect to others to solve my problems...

that if you care, it shows...

that eating chocolate won't solve your problems, but it doesn't hurt anything either...

that kindness is more important than perfection...

that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be...

that it takes a certain amount of grace to recognize when the time for a disabling relationship is over...

I've learned that eating chocolate won't solve your problems, but it won't hurt anything either...

some days are just more tumble than others...winneh the pooh from a. a. milne

It came my way Monday
Did you know that the space program is busy proving that what has been called myth in the bible is true? Mr Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore Maryland and a consultant in the space program relates the following development:

I think of the most amazing things that God has for us today happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at GreenBelt, Maryland.
They were checking the position of the sun, moon and planets out in space where they would be 100 years and 1000 years from now. We have to
know this so we won't send satellites up and have it bump into something later on its orbits. We have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of
the satellite and where the planets will be so the whole thing will not bog down. They ran the computer measurements back and forth over
centuries and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put up a red signal, which meant that there was something wrong either with the information fed into it or with the results as compared to the standards. they called the service depart. to check it out and they said "what's wrong?"

Well, they found there is a day missing in space in elapsed time! They scratched their heads and tore their hair. There was no answer.

Finally a Christian man on the team said: "You know, one time I was in Sunday school and they talked about the sun standing still." While they  didn't believe him they didn't have an answer to they said "Show us" He got a Bible and went back to the book of Joshua where they found a pretty ridiculous statement for anyone with "common sense" There they found the Lord saying to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given
them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you."

Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and if darkness fell they would overpower them. so Joshua asked the Lord to make the sun stand still! That's right, "So the sun stood still and the moon stopped...the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going
down about a full day!
The astronauts and scientists said "There is the missing day!"

They checked the computers going back into the time it was written and found it was close, but not close enough. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua's day was 23 hrs and 20 min, not a whole day.
They read the Bible passage again and there it was "about" a day.

These little words in the Bible are important. But they were still in trouble because if you cannot account for 40 minutes you will still be in trouble 1000 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.
As the Christian team member thought about it he remembered somewhere in the Bible where is said that the sun went Backward. The scientists
told him he was out of his mind, but they got out the bible and read these words in 2 Kings: Hezekiah, on his death bed, was visited by the prophet

Isaiah who told him that he was not going to die. Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof. Isaiah said "Do you want the sun to go ahead 10 degrees?

Hezekiah said "it is nothing for the sun to go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backward 10 degrees. Isaiah spoke to the Lord and
the Lord brought the shadow ten degrees backward. Ten degrees are exactly 40 minutes. Twenty three hours and 20 minutes in Joshua, plus the 40 minutes in 2 Kings make the missing day in the universe.
Isn't it amazing! Our God is an awesome God! 
The Joshua reference took place around 1400 BC That's about 3400 years ago. Until now we couldn't understand how that could be possible that

God made the sun stand still for almost a day. But God knows what He is doing, using an event in scripture so many years ago to baffle us only 
to use the scientists of today to prove our God is an awesome God! References: Joshua 10:8 and 12-13 2 Kings 20:9-11


May 24, 1998

Speaking of Jesus Christ, President Hinckly has said,

"There is none to equal him. There never has been. There never will be. Thanks be to God for the gift of his Beloved Son, who gave his life that we might live, and who is the chief, immovable cornerstone of our faith and his church" (CR Oct 1984).

"No group of people on the face of this whole earth believes in the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ to the degree that we carry that belief." (New England Area Conference, Apr 1995)

"The Lord does not always give reasons for each commandment. Sometimes faithful members, like Adam of old, are called upon to obey an injunction of the Lord even though they do not know the reason why it was given. Those who trust in God will obey him, knowing full well that time will provide the reasons and vindicate their obedience." (Ezra Taft Benson, CR Oct 67)

from Ronna
It really touched my heart. I thought some of you would enjoy it, too.


Brotherly Love
~~~~~~~~~~~
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liza."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice. "Will I start to die right away?" the young boy didn't realize what the doctor had told him, and was willing to give his own life to save his sister.

judgment--True Story

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly
without an appointment into the president's outer office.

The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in
Cambridge.

She frowned. "We want to see the president", the man said softly. "He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped.

"We'll wait," the lady replied. For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They
didn't. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do. "Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him.

And he sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham
dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.

The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year.
He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial
to him, somewhere on campus".

The president wasn't touched, he was shocked. "Madam," he said gruffy, "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery".

"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard".

For a moment the lady was silent.

The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now.

And the lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don't we just start our own?" 
Her husband nodded.

The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.

And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them. --Malcolm Forbes  CLOSE TO, ROUND ABOUT, NEAR BY One Sunday, the minister was talking on baptism and in the course of his sermon he was illustrating that baptism should be performed by sprinkling and not by immersion by pointing out some instances from the Bible.


He said, "In the Bible where it says that John baptized Christ IN the river Jordan, it didn't mean IN but meant close to, round about, or near by. Then
again where it tells us that Philip baptized the eunuch in the river it didn't mean IN but close to, round about, or near by."

After the service, as the people were filing out, one old fellow stopped by the minister and said, "Reverend, that was the best sermon I ever heard and it uncovered many mysteries of the Bible to me. For example, it tells us in the Old Testament that Jonah was IN the whale for three days which seemed hard for me to believe but now I can see that he was not IN the whale, but that he was close to, round about, or near by swimming in the water."

"Then there is the story of the three young Hebrew boys who were thrown Into the fiery furnace but not burned. Well, it seemed impossible but now I see they were not IN the furnace, but were close to, round about, or near by just keeping warm. But the hardest to believe was where Daniel was thrown IN the Lion's den but wasn't hurt. Now I see that he wasn't IN the den but was close to, round about, or just near by - like the zoo."

"The revealing of these mysteries was very rewarding to me but the greatest comfort of your sermon was because I am a wicked man who sinned much and it tells us in the Bible that the wicked will by cast into Hell. But now I see that I won't be cast INto Hell but close to, round about or near by."

"And next Sunday. I won't have to be IN church, I can just be close to, round about or near by. Thanks for the great sermon. You have really put my mind at ease."

-Anonymous

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go not further. Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. As we could never fly!

THE INVISIBLE DISEASE

What is it you ask, this invisible disease...
I answer, it is all encompassing,
It invades your mind, your body, your soul.
It eliminates your independence.
It restricts your cognitive process,
It invalidates your dreams for the future,
It asks for too much, giving nothing but pain in return.
It is an endless abyss filled with red and black,
A vortex that creates sensations that will bring you to your knees,
Deceiving those on the outside,
Devastating those who have intimate knowledge.
Criticized, many a victim seek to isolate themselves,
Misunderstood, many a victim seek the ultimate release.
Trying to rationalize won't stop the pain,
The cost is high for each movement made, to appease others......and ourselves.
Minds that were once sharp, now struggle through a caliginous fog,
Bodies once agile, now struggle over the simplistic,
Souls that were effervescent, now become reflective.
What is this invisible disease called Fibromyalgia?
Simply put...it is all encompassing.

Janis Manning wrote:

What House Do You Live In?
--Author Unknown

"I got two A's," the small boy cried,
His voice was filled with glee.
His father very bluntly asked,
"Why didn't you get three?"

"Mom, I've got the dishes done!,"
The girl called from the door.
Her mother very calmly said,
"And did you sweep the floor?"

"I've mowed the grass," the tall boy said,
"And put the mower away!"
His father asked him, with a shrug.
"Did you clean off the clay?"

The children in the house next door
Seem happy and content.
The same things happened over there,
But this is how it went:

"I got two A's," the small boy cried,
His voice was filled with glee.
His father proudly said, "That's great!
I'm glad you live with me!"

"Mom, I've got the dishes done!"
The girl called from the door.
Her mother smiled and softly said,
"Each day I love you more."

"I've mowed the grass," the tall boy said,
"and put the mower away!"
His father answered with much joy,
"You've made my happy day!"

Children deserve a little praise
For tasks they're asked to do -
If they're to lead a happy life...
So much depends on you.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he or she learns confidence!

Nancy Thompson wrote:

The President of Harvard made a mistake by prejudging people and it cost him dearly.

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the president's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned. "We want to see the president," the man said softly.

"He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped.
"We'll wait," the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do. "Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him.

And he sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested
gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed, and my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus."

The president wasn't touched; he was shocked.
"Madam," he said gruffly, "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery."
"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "We don't want to erect a statue.

We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard. The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much  a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard."

For a moment, the lady was silent. The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now. Then the lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don't we just start our own?"

Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.


"Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much"

A number of years ago (1983-1987), I had the opportunity to play the character of Ronald McDonald for the McDonald's Corporation. My marketplace covered most of Arizona and a portion of Southern California.


One of our standard events was "Ronald Day." One day each month, we visited as many of the community hospitals as possible, bringing a little happiness into a place where no one ever looks forward to going.

I was very proud to be able to make a difference for children and adults who ere experiencing some "down time." The warmth and gratification I would receive stayed with me for weeks. I loved the project, McDonald's loved the project, the kids and adults loved it and so did the
nursing and hospital staffs.......

There were two restrictions placed on me during a visit. First, I could not go anywhere in the hospital without McDonald's personnel (my handlers) as well as hospital personnel. That way, if I were to walk into a room and frighten a child, there was someone there to address the issue immediately. And second, I could not physically touch anyone within the hospital. They did not want me transferring germs from one patient to another. I understood why they had this "don't touch" rule, but I didn't like it. I believe that touching is the most honest form of communication we will ever know. Printed and spoken words can lie; it is impossible to lie with a warm hug.

Breaking either of these rules, I was told, meant I could lose my job........ Toward the end of my fourth year of "Ronald Days," as I was heading down a hallway after a long day in grease paint and on my way home, I heard a little voice. "Ronald, Ronald." I stopped. The soft little voice was coming through a half-opened door. I pushed the door open and saw a young boy, about five years old, lying in his dad's arms, hooked up to more medical equipment than I had ever seen.

Mom was on the other side, along with Grandma, Grandpa and a nurse tending to the equipment.
I knew by the feeling in the room that the situation was grave. I asked the little boy his name---he told me it was Billy---and I did a few simple magic tricks for him. As I stepped back to say good-bye, I asked Billy if there was anything else I could do for him.

"Ronald, would you hold me?"..... Such a simple request. But what ran through my mind was that if I touched him, I could lose my job. So I told Billy I
could not do that right now, but I suggested that he and I color a picture. Upon completing a wonderful piece of art that we were both very proud of, Billy again asked me to hold him. By this time my heart was screaming "yes!" But my mind was screaming louder. "No! You are going to lose your job!"

This second time that Billy asked me, I had to ponder why I could not grant the simple request of a little boy who probably would not be going home. I asked myself why was I being logically and emotionally torn apart by someone I had never seen before and probably would never see again.
..."Hold me." It was such a simple request, and yet... I searched for any reasonable response that would allow me to leave. I could not come up with a single one. It took me a moment to realize that in this situation, losing my job may not be the disaster I feared.

Was losing my job the worst thing in the world? Did I have enough self-belief that if I did lose my job, I would be able to pick up and start again? The
answer was a loud, bold affirming "yes!" I could pick up and start again. So what was the risk? Just that if I lost my job, it probably would not be long before I would lose first my car, then my home...and to be honest with you, I really liked those things. But I realized that at the end of my life, the car would have no value and neither would the house. The only things that had steadfast value were experiences.

Once I reminded myself that the real reason I was there was to bring a little happiness to an unhappy environment, I realized that I really faced no risk at all......I sent Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa out of the room, and my two McDonald's escorts out to the van. The nurse tending the medical equipment stayed, but Billy asked her to stand and face the corner.

Then I picked up this little wonder of a human being. He was so frail and so scared. We laughed and cried for 45 minutes, and talked about the things that worried him. Billy was afraid that his little brother might get lost coming home from kindergarten next year, without Billy to show him the way. He worried that his dog wouldn't get another bone because Billy had hidden the bones in the house before going back to the hospital, and now he couldn't remember where he put them. These are problems to a little boy who knows he is not going home.

On my way from the room, with tear-streaked makeup running down my neck, I gave Mom and Dad my real name and phone number (another automatic dismissal for Ronald McDonald, but I figured that I was gone and had nothing to lose), and said if there was anything the McDonald's Corporation or I could do, to give me a call and consider it done......Less than 48 hours later, I received a phone call form Billy's mom.

She informed me that Billy had passed away. She and her husband simply wanted to thank me for making a difference in their little boy's life. Billy's mom told me that shortly after I left the room, Billy looked at her and said, "Momma, I don't care anymore if I see Santa this year because I was held by Ronald McDonald."

Sometimes we must do what is right for the moment, regardless of the perceived risk. Only experiences have value, and the one biggest reason people limit their experiences is because of the risk involved.

For the record, McDonald's did find out about Billy and me, but given the circumstances, permitted me to retain my job. I continued as Ronald for another year before leaving the corporation to share the story of Billy and how important it is to take risks.

A little part of US history that will make you sit up and go hmmmmm!

Abraham Lincoln was elected to congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost children while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners.
Both successors were named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are comprised of fifteen letters.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named "Kennedy".
Kennedy was shot in a car called "Lincoln".

Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

And here's the kicker....

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was with friends in Monroe, Maryland.

A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 12:31  

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