He was in the first grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School
in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund
was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that
happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional
Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that
talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so
much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him
for misbehaving – “Thank you for correcting me,
Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but
before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.
One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too
often, and then I made a novice teacher’s mistake. I looked at
Mark and said, “If you say one more word, I am going to tape your
mouth shut!” It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted
out, “Mark is talking again.”
I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but
since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act
on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I
walked to my desk, deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of
masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk,
tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth.
I then returned to the front of the room.
As I glanced a Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did
it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to
Mark’s desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His
first words were, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister.”
At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The
years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again.
He was more handsome that ever and just as polite. Since he had to
listen carefully to my instruction in the “new math,” he
did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third.
One Friday, things just didn’t feel right. We had worked hard on
a new concept all week and I sensed that the students were frowning,
frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another.
I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked
them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets
of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think
of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and
write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment,
and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers.
Charlie smiled. Mark said, “Thank you for teaching me, Sister.
Have a good weekend.”
That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate
sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that
individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long,
the entire class was smiling. “Really?” I heard whispered.
“ I never knew that meant anything to anyone!” “I
didn’t know others liked me so much.” No one ever mentioned
those papers in class again. I never knew if the discussed them after
class of with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise
had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves
and one another again.
That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned
from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving
home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip – the
weather, my experiences in general. There was a lull in the
conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said,
My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something
important. “The Eklunds called last night,” he began.
“Really?” I said. “I haven’t heard from them in
years. I wonder how Mark is.”
Dad responded quietly. “Mark was killed in Vietnam,” he
said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you
To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told
me about Mark. I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin
before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that
moment was, “Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world
if only you would talk to me.”
The church was packed with Mark’s friends. Chuck’s sister sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult
enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the
bugler played tapes. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk
by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last one to
bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as a
pallbearer came up to me.
“Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked, I nodded as
I continued to stare at the coffin. “Mark talked about you a
lot,” he said.
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates headed to
Chuck’s farmhouse for lunch. Mark’s mother and father were
there, obviously waiting for me. “We want to show you
something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket.
“They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two warn pieces of notebook
paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I
knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had
listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said
about him. “Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s
mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.”
Mark’s classmates sheepishly said, “I still have my list.
It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Chuck’s
wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding
album.” “I have mine too,” Marilyn said.
“It’s in my diary.”
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out
her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I
carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said without batting an
eyelash. “I think we all saved our list.” That’s when
I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends
who would never see him again.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life
will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So
please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special
and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
John Powell, A Professor at Loyola University in Chicago writes
about a student in his theology of Faith class named Tommy:
Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students’
file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith.
That was the first day I first saw Tommy.
My eyes and my mind both blinked. He was combing his long flaxen hair,
which hung six inches below his shoulders. It was the first time I had
ever seen a boy with hair that long. I guess it was just coming into
fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn’t what’s on
your head but what’s in it that counts; but on that day I was
unprepared and my emotions flipped. I immediately filed Tommy under
“S” for strange…very strange.
Tommy turned out to be the “atheist in residence” in my
Theology of Faith course. He constantly objected to, smirked at, or
whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father-God.
We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I
admit he was for me at times a serious pain the back pew.
When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final exam, he
asked in a slightly cynical tone: “Do you think I’ll ever
I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. “No!” I said very emphatically.
“Oh,” he responded, “I thought that was the product you were publishing.”
I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then called out:
“Tommy! I don’t think you’ll ever find him, but I am
absolutely certain that he will find you!”
He shrugged a little and left my class and my life. I felt slightly
disappointed at the thought that he had missed my clever line:
“He will find you!” At least I thought it was clever.
Later I heard that Tommy had graduated and I was duly grateful. Then a
sad report, I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could
search him out, he came to see me.
When he walked into my office, his body was very badly wasted, and the
long hair had all fallen out as a result of chemotherapy. But his eyes
were bright and his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe.
“Tommy, I’ve thought about you so often. I hear you are sick!” I blurted out.
“Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It’s a matter of weeks.”
“Can you talk about it, Tom?”
“Sure, what would you like to know?” “What’s it like to be only twenty-four and dying?”
“We’ll it could be worse.”
“Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals. Like
being fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money
are the real ‘biggies’ in life.”
I began to look through my mental file cabinet under “S”
where I had filed Tommy as strange. (It seems as though everybody I try
to reject by classification God sends back into my life to educate me.)
“But what I really came to see you about,” Tom said,
“is something you said to me the last day of class.” (He
remembered!) He continued, “ I asked you if you thought I would
ever find God, and you said, ‘No!’ which surprised me. Then
you said, ‘but he will find you.’ I thought about that a
lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time. (My
“Clever” line. He thought about that a lot!)
But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it
was malignant, then I got serious about locating God. And when the
malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging bloody
fists against the bronze doors of heaven. But God did not come out. In
fact, nothing happened.
Did you ever try anything for a long time with great effort and with no
success? You get psychologically gutted, fed up with trying. And the
you quit.” “Well, one day I woke up, and instead of
throwing a few more futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God
who may be or may not be there, I just quit. I decided that I
didn’t really care…about God, about an afterlife, or
anything like that. I decided to spend what time I had left doing
something more profitable. I thought about you and you class and I
remembered something else you had said: ‘the essential sadness is
to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad
to go through life and leave this world without ever telling those you
loved that you had loved them.”
“So I began with the hardest one: My dad. He was reading the
newspaper when I approached him.” “Dad.”
“Yes, what?” he asked without lowering the newspaper.
“Dad, I would like to talk with you.”
“I mean… It’s really important.”
The newspaper came down three slow inches. “What is it?”
“Dad, I love you. I just wanted you to know that.”
Tom smiled at me and said with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt
a warm and secret joy flowing inside of him: “The newspaper
fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I could never
remember him ever doing before. He cried and hugged me. And we talked
all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning. It felt
so good to be close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to
hear him say that he loved me.”
“It was easier with my mother and little brother. They cried with
me, too, and we hugged each other, and started saying real nice things
to each other. We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so
many years. I was only sorry about one thing: that I had waited so
long. Here I was just beginning to open up to all the people I had
actually been close to.”
“Then, one day I turned around and God was there. He didn’t
come to me when I pleaded with him. I guess I was like an animal
trainer holding out a hoop, ‘C’mon, jump through.
‘C’mon, I’ll give you three days…three
weeks.’ Apparently God does things in his own way and at his own
hour.” “But the important thing is that he was there. He
found me. You were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for
“Tommy,” I practically gasped, “I think you are
saying something very important and much more universal than you
realize. To me, at least, you are saying that the surest way to find
God is not to make him a private possession, a problem solver, or an
instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening love, You
know, the Apostle John said that. He said, “God is love, and
anyone who lives in love is living with God, and God is living in
“Tom, could I ask you a favor? You know, when I had you in class
you were a real pain. But (laughingly) you can make it all up to me
now. Would you come into my present Theology of Faith course and tell
them what you have just told me? If I told them the same thing it
wouldn’t be half as effective as if you were telling them.”
“Oooh…I was ready for you, but I don’t know if I’m ready for your class.”
“Tom, think about it. If and when you are ready, give me a call.”
In a few days Tommy called, said he was ready for the class, that he
wanted to do that for God and for me. So we scheduled a date. However,
he never made it. He had another appointment, far more important than
the one with me and my class. Of course, his life was not really ended
by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into
vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever
seen or the ear of man has ever heard, or the mind of man had ever
Before he died, we talked one last time. “I’m not going to make it to your class,” he said.
“I know Tom.”
“Will you tell them for me? Will you… tell the whole world for me?”
“I will, Tom. I’ll tell them. I’ll do my best.”
So, to all of you who have been kind enough to hear this simple
statement about love, thank you for listening. And to you, Tommy,
somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven: “I told them,
Tommy…as best I could.”
Where is God’s Perfection?
In the Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning
disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire
school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional
At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a
speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After
extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out,
“Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is
done with perfection. But my child cannot remember facts and figures as
other children do. Where is God’s perfection?”
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s
anguish and stilled by the piercing query. “I believe,” the
father answered, “that when God brings a child like this into the
world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this
He then told the following story about his son Shaya: One afternoon
Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were
playing baseball. Shaya asked, “Do you think they will let me
play?” Shaya’s father knew that his son was not at all
athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But
Shaya’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked
if Shaya could play.
The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he
took matters into his own hands and said, “We are losing by six
runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our
team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth
Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was
told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the
bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few runs but
was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning,
Shaya’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases
loaded with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to
be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give
away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all
but impossible because Shaya didn’t even know how to hold the bat
properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the
plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya
should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came in and
Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s teammates came up
to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting
for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss
the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his
teammate swung at the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown
the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would
have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on
a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling “Shaya, run to first. Run to
first.” Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered
down the baseline wide-eyed and startled.
By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He
could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out
Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the
pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over
the third baseman’s head. Everyone yelled, “Run to second,
run to second.”
Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously
circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base, the
opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of the
third base and shouted “Run to third.” As Shaya rounded
third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shaya
run home.” Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys
lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit
a “grand slam” and won the game for his team.
“That day,” Said the father softly with tears now rolling
sown his face, “Those 18 boys reached their level of God’s
Funny how this is so true and shame on us! Funny how simple it is for
people to trash God then wonder why the world is going to hell. Funny
how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible
says. Or is it scary?
Funny how someone can say “I believe in God” but still
follow Satan (who by the way, also “believes” in God) and
they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages
regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through
cyberspace, but the public discussion of Jesus is suppressed in the
school and workplace. Funny isn’t it?
how someone can be so fired up for Christ on Sunday, but be an
invisible Christian the rest of the week. Are you laughing?
Funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to
many on your address list because you’re not sure what they
believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.
Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.
Subject: A Good Friend
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my
class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like
he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would
anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?” He must really be a
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my
friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As
I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at
him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he
landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the
grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible
sadness n his eyes.
My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled
around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I
handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerk. They really
should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Hey
There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that
showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him
where he lived. As it tuned out, he lived next to me, so I asked him
why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school
I would have never hung out with a private kid before. We talked all
the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty
cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me
and my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got
to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books
again. I stopped him and said, “boy, you are gonna really build
some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" he just laughed
and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I
became best friends.
When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on
Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be
friends, and that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to
be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about
being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad
it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was on of those guys
that really found himself during high school. He filled out and
actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the
girls loved him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those
I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on
the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!”
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and
smiled. “Thanks,” he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.
“Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it
through those though years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings,
maybe a coach…but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of
you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.
I am going to tell you a story.”
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the
first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He
talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn’t
have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at
me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved, My
friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.” I heard the gasp go
through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his
weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that
same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture
you can change a person’s life. For better or fo r worse. God puts
us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for God in others.
A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter
was very sick with a fever. She left her work and stopped by the
pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter. When returning to her
car she found that she had locked the keys in the car.
(A story that addresses prejudice, forgiveness and God’s Providence)
She was in a hurry to get home to her sick daughter, she didn’t
know what to do, so she called her home and told the baby sitter what
had happened and that she did not know what to do. The baby sitter told
her that her daughter was getting worse. She said, “You might
find a coat hanger and use that to open the door.”
The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had
been thrown down on the ground possibly by someone else who at some
time of other had locked their keys in their car. Then she looked at
the hanger and said, “I don’t know how to use this.”
So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help.
Within five minutes and old rusty car pulled up, with a dirty, greasy,
bearded man who was wearing and old biker skull rag on his head. The
woman thought, “Great God. This is what you sent to help
me.” But she was desperate, so she thanked God.
The man got out of his car and asked her if he could help. She said,
“Yes, my daughter is very sick, I stopped to get her some
medication and I locked my keys up in my car, I must get home to her.
Please, can you use this wire to unlock my car.” He said,
He walked over to the car, and in less than one minute the car was
opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, “THANK
YOU SO MUCH. You are a very nice man.”
The man replied, “Lady, I am not a nice man, see, I just got out
of prison today. I was in prison for car theft, I have only been out
for about an hour.”
The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud,
“THANK YOU, GOD, FOR SENDING ME A PROFESSIONAL.”
WE ARE NEVER ALONE!!! This is a true story that occurred in 1994 and
was told by Lloyd Glen. Throughout our lives we are blessed with
spiritual experiences, some of which are very sacred and confidential,
and others, although sacred, are meant to be shared.
Last summer my family had a spiritual experience that had a lasting and
profound impact on us, one we feel must be shared. It’s a message
of love. It’s a message of regaining perspective, and restoring
proper balance and renewing priorities. In humility, I pray that I
might, in relating this story, give you a gift of my little son, Brian,
gave our family one summer day last year.
On July 22nd I was enroute to Washington DC for a business trip. It was
all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As
I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was
made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service
Representative immediately. I thought nothing of it until I reached the
door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if
they were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my
When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and
said, “Mr. Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I don not
know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to
the phone so you can call the hospital.
My heart was pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I
followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the
number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to
the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been
trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and
that when my wife had found him he was dead.
CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the
paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the
hospital. By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed
he would live but they did not how much damage had been done to his
brain, nor to his heart. They explained that the door had completely
closed of his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely
After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not
hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness. The return flight
seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours
after the garage door had comedown.
When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared
me to see my little son lying so still on a great big bed with tubes
and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife
who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a
terrible dream. I was filled in with the detail and given a guarded
Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his
heart was ok, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would
tell if his brain received any damage.
Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that
Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith
like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained
unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business
trip the day before. Finally at two o’clock that afternoon, our
son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words
I have ever heard spoken. He said, “Daddy hold me” And he
reached for me with his little arms.
(TEAR BREAK …smile)
By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical
deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout
the hospital. You cannot imagine our gratitude and joy. As we took
Brian home we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our
Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.
In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home.
Our two older children were much closer the their little brother. My
wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very
close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace.
Perspective seemed to be more focused, and balance much easier to gain
and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.
The story is not over (smile) Almost a month later to the day of the
accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, “Sit down
mommy. I have something to tell you.”
At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to
say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his
bed and began his sacred and remarkable story.
“Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well it
was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called you, but you
couldn’t hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And
then the ‘birdies’ came.”
“The birdies?” My wife asked puzzled.
“Yes,” he replied. “The birdies mad a wooshing sound
and flew into the garage. They took care of me”
“Yes” he said. “One of the birdies came and got you.
She came to tell you I got stuck under the door.”
A sweet reverent feeling filled the room. The spirit was so strong and
yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no
concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who
came took him from beyond as “birdies” because they were up
in the air like birds that fly.
“What did the birdies look like?” She asked.
Brian answered, “They were so beautiful. They were dressed in
white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some had on
“Did they say anything?”
“Yes” he answered. “They told me the baby would be alright.”
“The baby?” my wife asked confused. And Brian answered, “The baby laying on the garage floor.”
He went on, “You came out and opened the garage door and ran to
the baby. You told the baby to stay and not to leave.” My wife
nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt
beside Brian’s body and seeing his crushed chest and
unrecognizable features, knowing he was already dead, she looked up
around her and whispered, “Don’t leave us Brian, please
stay if you can.”
As she listened to Brian telling her the words he had spoken, she
realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from
above on this little lifeless form. “Then what happened?”
“We went on a trip.” He said, “far, far away..”
He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn’t seem to have
the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know
it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that
obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was
difficult. “We flew so fast up in the air. They’re so
pretty Mommy.” He added. “And there is lots and lots of
My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit
enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before
Brian went on to tell her that the ‘birdies’ had told him
that he had to come back and tell everyone about the
‘birdies’. He said they brought him back to the house and
that a big fire truck, and an ambulance was there. A man was bringing
the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the mother that the
baby would be okay, but the man couldn’t hear him. He said the
birdies told him he had to go with the ambulance, but they would be
near him. He said, they were so pretty and so peaceful, and he
didn’t want to come back. And then the bright light came. He said
that the light was so bright and so warm, and he loved the bright light
so much. Someone was in the bright light and put their arms around him,
and told him, “I love you but you have to go back. You have to
play baseball, and tell everyone about the birdies.
Then the person in the bright light kissed him and waved bye-bye. Then
woosh, the big sound came and they went into the clouds. The story went
on for an hour. He taught us that “birdies” were always
with us, but we don’t see them because we look with our eyes and
we don’t hear them because we listen with out ears. But they are
always there, you can only see them in here ( he put his hand over his
heart.) They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because
they love us so much. Brian continued, stating, “I have a plan,
Mommy. You have a plan. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must
all live our plan and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that
cause they love us so much.”
In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part
of it again and again, Always the story remained the same. The details
were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits
of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It
never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond
his ability when he spoke of the birdies. “Everywhere he went, he
told strangers about the ‘birdies’.
Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this.
Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled.
Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I
pray we never will.
WHO WILL TAKE THE SON?
Who will take the son a wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare
works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso the
Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of
When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very
courageous and died in battle while rescuing anther soldier. The father
was notified and grieved deeply of is only son. About a month later,
just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood
at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, “Sir, you
don’t know me, but I am the soldier to whom your son gave his
life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety
when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often
talked about you, and your love for art. The young man held out his
package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a
great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have
The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with
tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.
“Oh, no, sir, I could never repay what your son did for me.
It’s a great gift.”
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came
to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he
showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died
a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings.
Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great
paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their
On the platform sat the painting of his son. The auctioneer pounded his
gavel. “We will start the biding with this picture of the son.
Who will bid for this picture?”
There was a silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted,
“We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one. But the
auctioneer persisted. Will someone bid for this painting? Who will
start the biding? $100? $200?”
Another voice shouted angrily. “We didn’t come to see this
painting. We came to see the VanGoghs, the Rembrandts, and the
Raphaels. Get on with the real bids!” But the auctioneer
continued. “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the
longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10
for the painting. “Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
“We have $10, who will bid $20” “Give it to him for
$10. Let’s see the masters.”
$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?” The crowd was
becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They
wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The
auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, >twice, SOLD >
A man sitting in the second row shouted. “Now let’s get on with the collection.”
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”
“What about the paintings?” “I am sorry. When I was
called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in
the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time.
Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Who ever bought that
painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The
man who took the son gets everything!”
God gave his son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the
auctioneer, His message today is, “The son, the son, who’ll
take the son?” Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets
My son Gilbert was eight years old and had been in Cub Scouts only a
short time. During one of his meetings he was handed a sheet of paper,
a block of wood and four tires and told to return home and give all to
“dad”. That was not and easy task for Gilbert to do. Dad
was not receptive to doing things with his son. But Gilbert tried. Dad
read the paper and scoffed at the idea of making a pine wood derby car
with his young, eager son.
The block of wood remained untouched as the weeks passed. Finally, mom
stepped in to see if I could figure this all out. The project began.
Having no carpentry skills, I decided it would be best if I simply read
the directions and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. I read aloud
the measurements, the rules of what we could do and what we
couldn’t do. Within days his block of wood was turning into a
pinewood derby car. A little lopsided, but looking great (at least
through the eyes of mom).
Gilbert had not seen any of the other kids cars and was feeling pretty
proud of his “Blue Lighting” the pride that comes with
knowing you did something on your own. Then the big night came. With
his blue pinewood derby in his hand and pride in his heart we headed to
the big race. Once there my little one’s pride turned to humility.
Gilbert’s car was obviously the only car made entirely on his
own. All the other cars were a father-son partnership, with cool paint
jobs and sleek body styles made for speed. A few of the boys giggled as
they looked at Gilberts, lopsided, wobbly, unattractive vehicle.
To add to the humility Gilbert was the only boy without a man at his
side. A couple of the boys who were from single parent homes at least
had an uncle or grandfather by their side, Gilbert had
As the race began it was done in elimination fashion. You kept racing
as long as you were the winner. One by one the cars raced down the
finely sanded ramp. Finally it was between Gilbert and the Sleekest,
fastest looking car there. As the last race was about to begin, my
wide-eyed, shy eight-year-old asked if they could stop the race for a
minute, because he wanted to pray.
The race stopped. Gilbert hit his knees clutching his funny looking block of wood between his hands.
With a wrinkled brow he set to converse with his Father. He prayed in
earnest for a very long minute and a half. Then he stood, smile on his
face and announced, “Okay, I am ready.”
As the crowd cheered, a boy named Tommy stood with his father as their
car sped down the ramp. Gilbert stood with his Father within his heart
and watched his block of wood wobble down the ramp with surprisingly
great speed and rushed over the finish line a fraction of a second
before Tommy’s car. Gilbert leaped into the air with a loud
“Thank you” as the crowd roared in approval.
The Scout Master came up to Gilbert with microphone in hand and asked
the obvious question, “So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?”
To which my young son answered, “oh, no sir. That wouldn’t
be fair to ask God to help you beat someone else. I just asked him to
make it so I don’t cry when I lose.”
Children seem to have a wisdom far beyond us. Gilbert didn’t ask
God to win the race, he didn’t ask God to fix the outcome,
Gilbert asked God to give him strength in the outcome. When Gilbert
first saw the other cars he didn’t cry to God, “No fair,
they had a fathers help.” No, he went to his Father for strength.
Perhaps we spend too much of our prayer time asking God to rig the
race, to make us number one, or too much time asking God to remove us
from the struggle, when we should be seeking God’s strength to
get through the struggle.
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.
Gilbert’s simple prayer spoke volumes to those present that
night. He never doubted that God would indeed answer his request. He
didn’t pray to win, thus hurt someone else, he prayed that God
supply the grace to lose with dignity. Gilbert, by his stopping the
race to speak to his Father also showed the crowd that he wasn’t
there without a “dad”, but His Father was most definitely
there with him. Yes, Gilbert walked away a winner that night, with his
Father at his side.
Date: Tuesday, August 17, 1999 18:43:32
From: Cynthia M Van Cleve
During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way
or another. One man was Butch O’Hare. He was a pilot assigned to
an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. One time his entire squadron was
assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked
at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off
his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to
complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told
him to leave formation and return.
As he was returning to the mother ship, he could see a squadron of
Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. And with all the
fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless. His only
opportunity was to distract and divert them. Single-handedly, he dove
into the formation of Japanese planes and attacked them.
The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they
flew and fought, pictures were taken so pilots could learn more about
the terrain, enemy maneuvers, etc. Butch dove at them and shot until
all his ammunition was gone, then he would dive and try to clip off a
wing or tail or anything that would make the enemy planes unfit to fly.
He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships.
Finally, the Japanese squadron took off in another direction, and Butch
O’Hare and his fighter, both badly shot up, limped back to the
carrier. He told his story, but not until the film from the camera on
his plane was developed, did they realize the extent he really went to,
to protect his fleet. He was recognized as a hero and was given one of
the nations highest military honors. And as you know, Chicago
O’Hare Airport was also named after him.
Prior to this time in Chicago, there was a man named Easy Eddie. He was
working for a man you’ve all heard about, Al Capone. Al Capone
wasn’t famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the
murders he’d committed and the illegal things he had done.
Easy Eddie was Al Capone’s lawyer and he was very good. In fact,
because of his skill, he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail. To
show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned
big money, he would get extra things, like a residence that filled an
entire Chicago City block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in
help and all of the conveniences of the day.
Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things
while he was growing up; clothes, cars, and a good education. And
because he loved his son he tried to teach him right from wrong. But
one thing he couldn’t give his son was a good name, and a good
Easy Eddie decided that this was much more important than all the
riches he had given him. So, he went to the authorities in order to
rectify the wrong he had done. In order to tell the truth, it meant he
must testify against Al Capone, and he knew that Al Capone would do his
best to have him killed. But he wanted most of all to try to be an
example and to do the best he could to give back to his son, a good
name. So he testified. Within the year, he was shot and killed on a
lonely street in Chicago.
These two stories sound unrelated…but Butch O’Hare was Easy Eddie’s son.
Subject: A True Story!!!
One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered
the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the
rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter
for the night.
“Could you possibly give us a room here?” the husband asked.
The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple
and explained that there were three conventions in town. “All of
our rooms are taken,” the clerk said. “But I can’t
send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in
the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room?
It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you
folks comfortable for the night.”
When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. “Don’t
worry about me; I’ll make out just fine,” the clerk told
them. So the couple agreed. As he paid his bill the next morning, the
elderly man said to the clerk, “You are the kind on manager who
should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe
someday I’ll build one for you.”
The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good
laugh. As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful
clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly
and helpful isn’t easy.
Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he
received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and
enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay
them a visit. The old man met him in New York, and led him to the
corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th street. He then pointed to a great new
building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers
thrusting up to the sky.
“That.” Said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”
“You must be joking,” the young man said.
“I can assure you I am not,” said the older man, a sly
smile playing around his mouth. The older man’s name was William
Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original
Woldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk, who became its first manager,
was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events
that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world’s
most glamorous hotels.
The Bible reminds us that we are not to turn our backs on those who are
in need, for we might be entertaining angels. Life is more accurately
measured by the lives you touch than the things you
acquire…’Work like you don’t need the money.’
Dance like nobody’s watching.’ ‘Love like
you’ve never been hurt, and don’t be afraid to reach and
touch someone’s life’ You never know who’s heart you
may be touching.
A Six Year Old’s Prayer
Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son had
asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, “God
is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank
you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice
for all, amen.”
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a
woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country.
Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream.
Why, I never.”
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it
wrong? Is God mad at me?” As I held him and assured him that he
had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him. An
elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said,
“ I happen to know that God thought that was a great
“Really?” My son asked.
“Cross my heart.” Then in a theatrical whisper he added
(indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing),
“Too bad she never asks God for Ice cream. A little ice cream is
good for the soul sometimes.”
Naturally, I bought the kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son
stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the
rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over
and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her,
“Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes,
and my soul is good already.”
I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool! –Eugene
Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? –Norma
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why
don’t you just keep the ones you have right now? –Jane
Who draws the lines around the countries? –Nan
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? –Katy
Thank you for my baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. –Alex
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some
things about you that people aren’t supposed to say, but I hope
you will not hurt him anyway.
-Your friend (but I am not going to tell you who I am)
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. –Ryan
If we come back as something, please don’t let me be Jennifer Horton, because I hate her. –John
I want to be just like my daddy when I get big, but not with so much hair all over. –Sam
I think about you sometimes, even when I’m not praying. –Elliot
I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world.
There are only four people in our family and I can never do it.
Of all the people who worked for you, I like Noah and David the best. –Michael
My brothers told me about being born, but it doesn’t sound right.
They are just kidding, aren’t they? –Christopher
If you watch me in church Sunday, I’ll show you my new shoes. –Cathy
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school, we learned that
you did it. So I bet he stole your idea. -Sincerely, Courtney
I do not think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want you to
know that I am not just saying this because you are God already.
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with me and my brother. –Larry
Subject: My Resignation!!
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999
I am hereby officially tendering me resignation as an adult. I have
decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old
again. I want to go the McDonalds and think that it’s a four-star
restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a
sidewalk with rocks. I want to think M&M’s are better than
money because you can eat them. I want to lie under a big oak tree and
run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day. I
want to return to a time when life was simpler. When all you knew were
colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that
didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you
didn’t know and you didn’t care.
All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all
the things that should make you worried or upset. I want to think the
world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that
anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of
life and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of
computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to
survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor
bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones. I want to believe I the
power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the
imagination, mankind, and making angles in the snow. So…
here’s my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my
401k statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you
want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first,
cause’ “Tag! You’re it!!”
(Pass this to someone and brighten their day by helping them remember the simple things of life)
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
His brand new glasses were heading for China! The Great Depression was
at its height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20.00 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 co-workers 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 apart 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 extra ordinary way.
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.
I had so much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for awhile,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said “This is eternity,
And all I’ve promised you.”
Today for life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same day
There’s no longing for the past.
But you have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Thought there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you take my hand
And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.
My grandparents were married for over half a century, and played their
own special game form the time they had met each other. The goal of
their game was to write the word “shmily” around the house,
and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it
They dragged “shmily” with their fingers through the sugar
and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They
smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my
grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring.
“Shmily” was written in the steam left on the mirror after
a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath.
At one point, my grandmother even unrolled and entire roll of toilet
paper to leave “shmily” on the very last sheet. There was
no end to the places “shmily” would pop up. Little notes
with “shmily” scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards
and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed
inside shoes and left under pillows. “Shmily” was written
in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace.
This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents’ house
as the furniture. It took me a long time before I was able to fully
appreciate my grandparents’ game. Skepticism has kept me from
believing in true love-one that is pure and enduring. However, I never
doubted my grandparents’ relationship. They had love pat. It was
more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life.
Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection,
which not everyone is lucky to experience. Grandma and Grandpa held
hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into
each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other’s
sentences and shared the daily crossword and word jumble.
My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome
and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew “how
to pick’ em.” Before every meal they bowed their heads and
gave thanks, marveling at their blessing: A wonderful family, good
fortune, and each other.
But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents’ life: my
grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years
earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He
comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could
always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go
outside. Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of
a can and my grandfathers’ steady hand, they went to church every
Sunday morning. But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally,
she could not leave the house anymore.
For awhile, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to GOD to watch
over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened.
Grandma was gone. “Shmily.” It was scrawled in yellow on
the pink ribbons of my funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the
last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncle, cousins and other
family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.
Grandpa stepped up to my grandmothers’ casket and taking a shaky
breath, he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song
came, a deep and throaty lullaby. Shaking with my own sorrow, I will
never forget that moment. For I knew that, although I couldn’t
begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to
witness its unmatched beauty. S-h-m-I-l-y: See how much I Love You.
Pass this on to some of your friends and tell them how much you love
for there may not be another day that you will talk to them
Something to Remember
Some time ago, a friend of mine punished his 3-year-old daughter for
wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became
irritated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next
morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was
embarrassed by his earlier overreaction but his anger flared again when
he found the box was empty. He yelled at her, “Don’t you
know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be
something inside of it?”
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said,
“Oh, Daddy it’s not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All
for you, Daddy.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl and he
begged for forgiveness. My friend told me that he kept that gold box by
his bed for years. Whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an
imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us has been given a gold container filled
with unconditional love and kisses. There is no more precious
possession anyone could hold. You now have the choice, you can: 1) pass
this on to your friends; or 2) delete it and act like it didn’t
touch your heart.
Subject: The day I met Daniel
It was an unusually cold day for the month of May. Spring had arrived
and everything was alive with color. But a cold front from the North
had brought winter’s chill back to Indiana. I sat with two
friends in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the
corner of the town square. The food and the company were both
especially good that day. As we talked, my attention was drawn outside,
across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to
be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying a
well-worn sign that read, “I will work for food.”
My heart sank. I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed
that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved
in a mixture of sadness and disbelief. We continued with our meal, but
his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went to our
separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish
I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for
the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would
call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made
some purchases at a store and got back in my car. Deep within me, the
Spirit of God kept speaking to me: “Don’t go back to the
office until you’ve at least driven once more around the
square.” And so, with some hesitancy, I headed back into town.
As I turned the square’s third corner, I saw him. He was standing
on the steps of the storefront church, going through his sack. I
stopped and looked, feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting
to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign
from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached
the town’s newest visitor. “Looking for the pastor?”
I asked. “Not really,” he replied, “just
“Have you eaten today?”
“Oh, I ate something early this morning.”
“Would you like to have lunch with me?”
“Do you have some work I could do for you?”
“No work,” I replied. “I commute here to work from
the city, but I would like to take you to lunch.”
“Sure,” he replied with a smile.
As he began to gather his things. I asked some surface questions. “Where you headed?”
“Where you from?”
“Oh, all over; mostly Florida.”
“How long you been walking?”
“Fourteen years,” came the reply.
I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the
same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly
beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an
eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to
reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, “Jesus is the Never Ending
Then Daniel’s story began to unfold.
He had seen rough times early in life. He’d made some wrong
choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years earlier, while
backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona.
He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and
some equipment. A concert, he thought.
He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival
services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his
life over to God. “Nothing’s been the same since,” he
said, “I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did,
some 14 years now.”
“Ever think of stopping?’ I asked.
“Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me. But
God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles. That’s
what’s in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them
out when His Spirit leads.”
I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission
and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment
and then I asked: “What’s it like?”
“To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?”
“Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make
comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a
gesture that certainly didn’t make me feel welcome. But then it
became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and
change people’s concepts of other folks like me.”
My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his
things. Just outside the door, he paused. He turned to me and said,
“Come ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I’ve
prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was
thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in. I felt as if
we were on holy ground.
“Could you use another Bible?” I asked.
He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was
not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. “I’ve
read through it 14 times,” he said.
“I’m not sure we’ve got one of those, but let’s
stop by our church and see.” I was able to find my new friend a
Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.
“Where you headed from here?”
“Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon.”
“Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?”
“No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that
star right there needs a Bible, so that’s where I’m going
next.” He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the
sincerity of his mission.
I drove him back to the town square where we’d met two hours
earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded
his things. “Would you sign my autograph book?” He asked.
“I like to keep messages from folks I meet.”
I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had
touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a
verse of scripture, in Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for
you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to
harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope.”
“Thanks, man,” he said. “I know we just met and
we’re really just strangers, but I love you.”
“I know,” I said, “I love you, too.”
“The Lord is good.”
“Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?” I asked.
“A long time,” he replied. And so on the busy street corner
in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep
inside that I had been changed. He put his things on his back, smiled
his wining smile and said, “See you in the New Jerusalem.”
“I’ll be there!” was my reply.
He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from
his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said,
“When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray
“You bet,” I shouted back, “God bless.”
And that was the last I saw of him. Late that evening as I left my
office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the
town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for
the emergency brake, I saw them…a pair of well-worn brown work
gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and
thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that
night without them. I remembered his words: “If you see something
that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?”
Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the
world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two
hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry. “See
you in the New Jerusalem,” he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I
will… “And behold, I am coming quickly, an my reward is
with me, to give to every one according to his work.” Revelation
Jenny was a bright-eyed, pretty five-year-old girl. One day when she
and her mother were checking out at the grocery store, Jenny saw a
plastic pearl necklace priced at $2.50. How she wanted that necklace,
and when she asked her mother if she would buy it for her, her mother
said, “Well, it is a pretty necklace, but it costs an awful lot
of money. I’ll tell you what. I’ll buy you the necklace,
and when we get home we can make up a list of chore that you can do to
pay for the necklace. And don’t forget that for your birthday
Grandma just might give you a whole dollar bill, too.
Okay?” Jenny agreed, and her mother bought the pearl necklace for
her. Jenny worked on her chores very hard every day, and sure enough,
her grandma gave her a brand new dollar bill for her birthday. Soon
Jenny had paid off the pearls.
How Jenny loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere-to kindergarten,
bed and when she went out with her mother to run errands. The only time
she didn’t wear them was in the shower; her mother had told her
that they would turn her neck green.
Now Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny went to bed, he would get
up from his favorite chair every night and read Jenny her favorite
story. One night when he finished the story, he said, “Jenny, do
you love me?”
“Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you,” the little girl said.
“Well, then, give me your pearls.”
“Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!” Jenny said. “But you can
have Rosie, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me last
year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party outfit, too.
“Oh no, darling, that’s okay.” Her father brushed her
cheek with a kiss. “Good night, little one.” A week later,
her father once again asked Jenny after her story, “Do you love
“Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you.”
“Well, then, give me your pearls.”
Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! But you can have Ribbons, my toy horse. Do
you remember her? She’s my favorite. Her hair is so soft, and you
can play with it and braid it and everything. You can have Ribbons if
you want her, Daddy,” the little girl said to her father.
“No, that’s okay,” her father said and brushed her
cheek again with a kiss. “God bless you, little one. Sweet
Several days later, when Jenny’s father came in to read her a
story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and he lip was trembling.
“Here, Daddy,” she said, and held out her hand. She opened
it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She let it slip into her
father’s hand. With one hand her father held the plastic pearls
and with the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box.
Inside of the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls. He had them all
along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the cheap stuff so he could
give her the real thing.
So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the
cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure.
Isn’t God good? Are you holding onto things, which God wants you
to let go of. Are you holding on to harmful relationships, habits and
activities, which you have come so attached to that it seems impossible
to let go. Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but
do believe this one thing…………….God
will never take away something without giving you something better in
My father Fred Marion had forwarded this story about how the telephone began and what friendships began.
Telephone Story-Information Please
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in
our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened to the
wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little
to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my
mother used to talk to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the
wonderful device lived an amazing person-her name was Information
Please and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could
supply anyone’s number and the correct time.
My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one day
while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool
bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was
terrible, but there didn’t seem to be any reason in crying
because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the
house sucking my throbbing ginger, finally arriving at the
stairway—The telephone! Quickly I ran for the footstool in the
parlor and held it to my ear. Information Please I said into the
mouthpiece just above my head.
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.
“Information.” “I hurt my finger…” I
wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an
audience. “Isn’t your mother home?” Came the question.
“Nobody’s home but me,” I blubbered.
“Are you bleeding?”
“No,” I replied. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.”
“Can you open your icebox?” She asked. I said I could.
“Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your
After that I called Information Please for everything. I asked her for
help with my Geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She
helped me with my math, and told me my pet chipmunk—I had caught
in the park just the day before—would eat fruits and nuts. And
there was the time that Petey, our pet canary, died.
I called Information Please and told her the sad story. She listened,
then said the usual things grown-ups say to console a child. But I was
unconsoled. Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring
joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers, feet up on
the bottom of a cage? She must have sensed my deep concern, for she
said quietly, “Paul, always remember that there are other worlds
to sing in.”
Somehow I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone. “Information Please.”
“How do you spell fix?” I asked. All this took place in a
small town in the Pacific Northwest. Then when I was 9 years old, we
moved across the country to Boston—I missed my friend very much.
Information Please belonged in that old wooden box back home and I
somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on
the hall table. Yes as I grew into my teens, the memories of those
childhood conversations never really left me; often in moments of doubt
and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then.
I appreciated now how patient, understanding and kind she was to have
spent her time on a little boy. A few years later, on my west to
college, my plane put down within minutes I was on the phone with my
sister, who lived there now.
Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator
and said, “Information Please.” Miraculously, I heard again
the small, clear voice I knew so well, “Information.”
I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, “Could
you tell me how to spell fix.” There was a long pause. Then came
the soft spoken answer, “I guess that your finger must have
healed by now.”
I laughed, “So it’s really still you,” I said.
“I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during
“I wonder,” She said, “if you know how much you calls
meant to me. I never had any children, and I used to look forward to
your calls.” I told her how often I had thought of her over the
years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit
my sister. “Please do, just ask for Sally.”
Just three months later I was back in Seattle…A different voice answered Information and I asked for Sally.
“Are you a friend?”
“Yes, a very old friend.”
“Then I’m sorry to have to tell you. Sally has been working
part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks
ago.” But before I could hang up she said, “Wait a minute.
Did you day you name was Paul?”
“Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down. Here it
is, I’ll read it—‘Tell him I still say there are
other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.” I thanked
her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.
This message came from a friend of mine Frannie Cook in Cle Elum. It is
about how the signer enjoyed great hardship after signing the greatest
document ever known to man called the Declaration of Independence.
Mark K. Marion
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO ALL!
Just take a moment to read and have a great 4th…
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the
Declaration of Independence? Five singers were captured by the British
as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their
sacred honor. What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and
jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation
owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of
Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships
swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and
properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to leave
his family almost constantly. He served in the congress without pay,
and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him
and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British
General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters.
He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was
destroyed, and Nelson died Bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying.
Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill
were laid waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves,
returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few
weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.
These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were
soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they
valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they
pledged: For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the
protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other,
our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” They gave you and
me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a
lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War.
We didn’t just fight the British. We were British subjects at
that time and we fought our own government! Some of us take these
liberties so much for granted. So, take a couple of minutes while
enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots.
It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his
employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business
and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended
family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he
could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said
yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.
He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was
an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his
work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed
the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,”
he said, “my gift to you.”
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his
own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live
in the home he had built none too well.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting
rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important
points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we
look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living
in the house we have built. If we had realized that, we would have done
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day
hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the
only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day
more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The
plaque on the all says, “ Life is a do-it-yourself
project.” Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the
result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow
will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.
In a message dated 1/26/00 4:20:00 PM Central Standard Time, Roazaqha writes:
You are my sunshine……..
Sometimes we need the faith of a little child. Like any food mother,
when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she
could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling.
They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl, and day after
day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in Mommy’s
tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he
even met her.
The pregnancy progresses normally for Karen, an active member of the
Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. In
time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three
…every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery
and Karen found herself in hours of labor. Would a C-section be
Finally, after a long struggle, Michael’s little sister was born.
But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the
night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care
unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inched by. J The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had
to tell the parents, “There is very little hope. Be prepared for
the worst.” Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery
about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house
for their new baby but now they found themselves having to plan for a
funeral. Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his
sister. “I want to sing to her,” he kept saying.
Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the
week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but
kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen made up her mind,
though. She would take Michael whether they liked it or not! If he
didn’t see his sister right then, he may never see her alive.
She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He
looked like a walking laundry basket. But the head nurse recognized him
as a child and bellowed, “Get that kid out of here now! No
children are allowed.” The mother rose up strong in Karen, and
the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head
nurse’s face, her lips a firm line. “He is not leaving
until he sings to his sister!” Karen towed Michael to his
He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment,
he began to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael
sang: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy
when skies are gray.” Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond.
The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady. “Keep on
singing, Michael,” encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes.
“You never know dear, how much I love you, Please don’t
take my sunshine away, I dreamed I held you in my arms…”
Michael’s little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest,
seemed to sweep over her. “Keep on singing, Michael.” Tears
had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don’t take
my sunshine away…”
The next, day…the very next day…the little girl was well
enough to go home! Woman’s Day Magazine called it a miracle.
Karen called it a miracle of God’s love! NEVER GIVE UP ON THE
PEOPLE YOU LOVE. LOVE IS SO INCREDIBLY POWERFUL.
Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good
mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask
him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better,
I’d be twins!” He was a natural motivator. If an employee
was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to
look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to
Michael and asked him, “I don’t get it. You can’t be
positive all the time. How do you do it?”
Michael replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself,
‘Mike, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good
mood. Or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a
good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to learn from
it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me
complaining I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out
the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”
“Yeah, right. It isn’t that easy,” I protested.
“Yes it is,” Michael said. “Yes it is,” Michael
said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk,
every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations.
You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good
mood or bad mood. The bottom line is: it’s your choice how you
I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the power
industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought
about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard Michael was involved in a serious
accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18
hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from
the hospital with rods placed in his back.
I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how
he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins.
Wanna see my scars?”
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
“The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of
my soon to be born daughter,” Michael replied. “Then, as I
lay on the ground, I remember I had two choices: I could choose to live
or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”
“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.
Michael continued, “…the paramedics were great. They kept
telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER
and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got
really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘He’s a dead
man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at
me,” said Michael. “She asked me if I was allergic to
anything. ‘Yes’ I said. The doctors and nurses stopped
working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled,
‘Gravity.’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am
choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not
Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of
his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have a
choice to live fully. Attitude is everything.
You have two choices now: 1) delete this; 2) forward this to the people you think about.
I hope you will choose 2) I did.
Come join the celebration!
THE BRICKS OF LIFE
About ten years ago, a young and very successful executive named Josh
was traveling down a Chicago neighborhood street. He was going a bit
too fast in his sleek, black, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only
two months old.
He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and
slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no
child darted out, but a brick sailed out and-WHUMP!—it smashed
into the Jag’s shiny black side door! SCREECH…!!!! Brakes
slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar
back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. Josh jumped out
of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car. He
shouted at the kid, “What was that all about and who are you?
Just what the heck are you doing?!” Building up a head of steam,
he went on. “That’s my new Jag, that brick you threw is
gonna cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?”
“Please, mister, please…I’m sorry! I didn’t
know what else to do!” Pleaded the youngster. “I threw the
brick because no one else would stop!” Tears were dripping down
the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked car.
“It’s my brother, mister,” he said. “He rolled
off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him
Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me
get him back into his Wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too
heavy for me.”
Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow
the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young
man back into the wheel chair and took out his handkerchief and wiped
the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be
Ok. He then watched the younger brother push him down the sidewalk
toward their home.
It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE – a long and slow walk.
Josh never did fix the side door of his jaguar. He kept the dent to
remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a
brick at him to get his attention…Some bricks are softer than
Fell for the bricks of life coming at you. For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has positive answers:
You Say: “It’s impossible.”
God says: All things are possible. (Like 18:27
You Say: “I’m too tired”
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
You Say: “Nobody really loves me.”
God Says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)
You say: “I can’t go on.”
God says: My grace is sufficient. (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm)
You Say: “I can’t figure things out.”
God Says: I will direct your steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You Say: “I can’t do it.”
God Says: You can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)
You say: “I’m not able.”
God Says: I am able. (II Corinthians 9:8)
You Say: “It’s not worth it.”
God Says: it will be worth it. (Roman 8:28)
You say: “I can’t forgive myself.”
God Says: I FORGIVE YOU. (I John 1:9 & Roman 8:1)
You Say: “I can’t manage.”
God Says: I will supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19)
You Say: “I’m afraid.”
God Says: I have not given you a spirit of fear. (II Timothy 1:7)
You Say: “I’m always worried and frustrated.”
God Says: Cast all your cares on ME. (I Peter 5:7)
You Say: “I don’t have enough faith.”
God Says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
You Say: “I’m not smart enough.”
God Says: I give you wisdom. (I Corinthians 1:30)
You say: “I feel all alone.”
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
Pass this on, you never know whose life maybe in need of this today!
SUBJECT: DOES GOD STILL SPEAK TO US?
A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible study. The pastor had
shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice. The
young man couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak
After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and the
discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had
led them in different ways. It was about then o’clock when the
young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to
pray, “God..if you still speak to people I will do my best to
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest
thought, stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out
loud, “God is that you?” He didn’t get a reply and
started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.
The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn’t recognize
the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. “Okay, God,
in case that is you, I will buy the milk.”
It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always
us the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started
off toward home. As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge,
“Turn down that street.” This is crazy he thought and drove
on pass the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down
At the next intersection, he turned back headed down Seventh. Half
jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will.” He drove
several block, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled
over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of
town. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst of
neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses
looked dark like the people were already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people
in the house across the street.” The young man looked at the
house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or
they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back
in the car seat. “Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep
and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look
Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened
the door, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I
will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person,
okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but
if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.”
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise
inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you
want?” Then the door opened before the young man could get away.
The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he
just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he
didn’t seem to be happy to have some stranger standing on his
“What is it?”
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this to you.”
The man took the milk and rushed down the hallway speaking loudly in
Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward
the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was
crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began
speaking and half-crying. “We were just praying. We had some big
bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk
for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, “I ask him to send and Angel with some.. Are you and Angel?”
The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he
had on him and put it in the man’s hand. He turned and walked
back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew
that God still answered prayers.
Lessons from Noah’s Ark
ALL I REALLLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM NOAH’S ARK.
1) Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
2) Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
3) Don’t listen to critics – do what has to be done.
4) Build on high ground.
5) For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
6) Two heads are better than one.
7) Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
8) If you can’t fight of flee – float!
9) Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.
10) Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat.
11) When the doo-doo gets really deep, don’t sit there and complain – shovel!!!
12) Stay below deck during the storm.
13) Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.
14) If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.
15) Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger treat than the storm outside.
16) Don’t miss the boat.
17) No matter how bleak it looks, there’s always a rainbow on the other side
Once there were three trees on a hill in a woods. They were discussing
their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, “Someday I hope
to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and
precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone
would see the beauty.”
Then the second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I
will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of
the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my
Finally the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest
and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the
hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and
how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all
time and people will always remember me.”
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group
of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he
said, “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to
sell the wood to a carpenter.” And he began cutting it down. The
tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into
a treasure chest.
At the second tree a woodsman said, “This looks like a strong
tree, I should be able to sell it the shipyard.” The second tree
was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened
because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come
true. One of the woodsman said, “I don’t need anything
special so I’ll take this one,” and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed
box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This
was not at all what he had prayed for.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams
of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had some to and end.
The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.
The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one
day, a man and women came to the bar. She gave birth and they placed
the baby in the hay in the feed box that was mad form the first tree.
The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this
manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this
event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the
second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were
out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think
it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping
man, and he stood and said, “peace” and the storm stopped.
At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the king of kings in
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through
the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they
came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to
die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize
that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as
close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don’t seem to be
going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place
your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts.
Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had
imagined. We don’t always know what God’s plans are for us.
We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always
The important things in life
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
“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 now. Please tell me, how much do you make and hour?” pleaded the little boy.
“If you must know, I make $20.00 and 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 every day and don’t have time for such childish
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat
down and started to get even madder about the 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 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
The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you
daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out
some more crumpled bills. The man, since the boy already had money,
started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted his money,
then looked up at his father.
“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?”
I dreamed I was in heaven
Where an angel kept God’s book.
He was writing so intently
I just had to take a look.
It was not, at first, his writing
That made me stop and think
But the fluid in the bottle
That was marked eternal ink.
This ink was most amazing,
Dark black upon his blotter
But as it touched the parchment
It became as clear as water.
The angel kept on writing,
But as quickly as a wink
The words were disappearing
With that strange eternal ink.
The angel took no notice,
But kept on writing on and on.
He turned each page and filled it
Till all its space was gone.
I thought he wrote to no avail,
His efforts were in vain
For he wrote a thousand pages
That he’s never read again.
And as I watched and wondered that
This awesome sight was mine,
I actually saw a word stay black
As it dried upon the line.
The angel wrote and I thought I saw
A look of satisfaction.
At last he had some print to show
For all his earnest action.
A line or two dried dark and stayed
As black as black can be,
But strangely the next paragraph
Became invisible to see.
The book was getting fuller,
The angel’s records true,
But most of it was blank, with
Just a few words coming through.
I knew there was some reason,
But as hard as I could think,
I couldn’t grasp the significance
Of that eternal ink.
The mystery burned within me,
And I finally dared to ask
The angel to explain to me
Of his amazing task.
And what I heard was frightful
As the angel turned his head.
He looked directly at me,
And this is what he said…
I know you stand and wonder
At what my writing’s worth
But God has told me to record
The lives of those on earth.
The book that I am filling
Is an accurate account
Of every word and action
And to what they do amount.
And since you have been watching
I must tell you what is true;
The details of my journal
Are the strict accounts of YOU.
The lord asked me to watch you
As each day you worked and played.
I saw you as you went to church,
I saw you as you prayed.
But I was told to document
Your life through all the week.
I wrote when you were proud and bold,
I wrote when you were meek.
I recorded all your attitudes
Whether they were good or bad.
I was sorry that I had to write
The things that make God sad.
So now I’ll tell the wonder
Of this eternal ink,
For the reason for its mystery
Should make you stop and think.
This ink that God created
To help me keep my journal
Will only keep a record of
Things that are eternal.
So much of life is wasted
On things that matter not
So instead of my erasing,
Smudging ink and ugly blot…
I just keep writing faithfully and
Let the ink do all the rest
For it is able to decide
What’s useless and what’s the best.
And God ordained that as I write
Of all you do and say
Your deeds that count for nothing
Will just disappear away.
When books are opened someday,
As sure as heaven is true;
The Lord’s eternal ink will tell
What mattered most to you.
If you just lived to please yourself
The pages will be bare,
And God will issue no reward
For you when you get there.
In fact, you’ll be embarrassed,
You will hang your head in shame
Because you did not give yourself
In love to Jesus’ name.
Yet maybe there will be a few
Recorded lines that stayed
That showed the times you truly cared,
Sincerely loved and prayed.
But you will always wonder
As you enter heaven’s door
How much more glad you would have been
If only you’d done more.
For I record as God sees,
I don’t stop to even think
Because the truth is written
With God’s eternal ink.
When I heard the angel’s story
I fell down and wept and cried
For as yet I still was dreaming
I hadn’t really died.
And I said: O angel tell the Lord
That soon as I awake
I’ll live my life for Jesus-
I’ll do all for His dear sake.
I’ll give in full surrender;
I’ll do all he wants me to;
I’ll turn my back on self and sin
And whatever isn’t true.
And though the way seems long and rough
I promise to endure.
I’m determined to pursue the things
That are holy, clean and pure.
With Jesus as my helper,
I will win lost souls to Thee,
For I know that they will live
With Christ for all eternity
And that’s what really matters
When my life on earth is gone
That I will stand before the Lord
And hear Him say, well done.
WHEN I ASKED GOD
I asked for the strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brain to work.
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed.
My prayer has been answered.