May 26th 2011 6:33 pm
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Woman and a Fork
There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.
She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scri ptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.
Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.
'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly..
'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.
'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'
The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.
That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.
'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.
The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'
So, I jus t want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..the best is yet to come.'
The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand.. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.
During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.
He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare jewel , indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed Cherish the time you have , and the memories you share .... Being friends with someone is not an opportunity, but a sweet responsibility.
May 29th 2011 4:28 pm
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Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings
lived; happiness, sadness, knowledge, and all the others,
One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island
was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean.
So all the feelings prepared their boats to leave.
Love was the only one that stayed. She wanted to preserve
the island paradise until the last possible moment.
When the island was almost totally under, Love decided it was
time to leave. She began looking for someone to ask for help.
Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. Love asked,
"Richness, Can I come with you on your boat?"
Richness answered, " I'm sorry, but there is a lot of silver and
gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere."
Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who was passing in a
beautiful vessel. Love cried out, "Vanity, help me please."
"I can't help you", Vanity said, "You are all wet and will
damage my beautiful boat."
Next, Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, "Sadness, please
let me go with you." Sadness answered, "Love, I'm sorry, but, I
just need to be alone now."
Then, Love saw Happiness. Love cried out, " Happiness, please
take me with you." But Happiness was so overjoyed that he
didn't hear Love calling to him.
Love began to cry. Then, she heard a voice say, "Come Love,
I will take you with me." It was an elder.
Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the
elder his name.
When they arrived on land the elder went on his way.
Love realized how much she owed the elder.
Love then found Knowledge and asked,
"Who was it that helped me?"
"It was Time", Knowledge answered.
"But why did Time help me when no one else would?", Love asked.
Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered,
"Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."
July 28th 2011 3:15 pm
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I've only one life; it soon will be gone.
What will remain of the things that I've done?
Will I be remembered as someone who cared?
Someone who sympathized? Someone who shared?
Will the things that I did while on earth be worthwhile?
Have I lightened a load?
Gone the second mile?
Did I put off my ambitions?
Put them on hold?
To help someone else in reaching their goal?
If I can say YES to these things, and more,
Then I'll not be ashamed when I reach Heaven's shore.
I will hold my head high, when I'm called by my Lord
To stand before God to receive my reward.
August 15th 2011 11:25 am
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Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then I have to remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.
If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.
I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys I grow.
I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.
My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.
Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.
Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.
Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!
© Jane Eggleston
November 16th 2011 6:44 am
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"Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day,
"What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?"
"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,"' I told him.
"All the food was slow."
"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"
"It was a place called 'at home,'" I explained. "Grandma cooked
every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down
together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she
put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."
By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was
going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him
the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.
But here are some other things I would have told him about my
childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:
Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot
on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit
card. In their later years they had something called a revolving
charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe
it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck
anymore. Maybe he died.
My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly
because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that
weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).
We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but
my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black
and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover
the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom
third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was
perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding
across someone's lawn on a sunny day.
Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the
picture look larger.
I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called
'pizza pie.' When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth
and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my
chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.
We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car
in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a 'machine.'
I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house
was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you
could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you
didn't know weren't already using the line.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.
All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered
newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7
cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at
4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents
from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave
me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite
customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on
Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in
the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called
French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know
what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we
weren't allowed to see them.
If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you
may want to share some of these memories with your children or
grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.
~Old Author Unknown~
November 20th 2011 9:05 am
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There was a little boy,
On the week's first day,
Coming home from Sunday School
And wandering on the way.
He scuffed his shoes into the grass
And found a caterpillar.
He found a fluffy milkweed pod
And blew out all the filler.
A bird's nest in a tree above,
So wisely placed on high,
Was just another wonder
That caught his eager eye.
A neighbor watched his crooked course
And hailed him from the lawn.
He asked him where he'd been that day
And what was going on.
"I've been to Sunday School," he said
As he turned a piece of sod,
And picking up a worm, he smiled,
"I've learned a lot from God!"
"That's a fine way," the neighbor said,
"For a boy to spend his time.
"Now if you can tell me where God is,
I'll give you a brand new dime."
Quick as a flash the answer came,
The boy said without complaint,
"I'll give you a dollar, Mister,
If you can tell me where God ain't!"
December 9th 2011 9:25 am
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I am the center of my universe
But I do not live here alone.
Each move I make creates a ripple in someone else's ocean
Each breath I take effects the air all around me
Each word I utter falls on someone else's ears
That which I touch is felt by another
That which I do will certainly affect another
That which I do not, will also affect another
We never know how far reaching something
we say or do really is until it returns to us
And it always does...
ALL THINGS IN LIFE FORM A CIRCLE
Whether we see the circle or not.
“Life is not what it's supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”
December 27th 2011 9:15 am
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An excerpt from
The Strangest Secret
by Earl Nightingale
George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."
Well, it's pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.
Now, it stands to reason that a person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that's what he's thinking about. And we become what we think about.
Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety, fear and worry—his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing...he becomes nothing.
How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I'll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.
Suppose a farmer has some land, and it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make a decision.
We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant.
Now, let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand—one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds—one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted. As it's written in the Bible,
"As ye sow, so shall ye reap."
Remember, the land doesn't care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the plants—one corn, one poison. The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant...success...or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety, and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.
You see, the human mind is the last great, unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.
January 6th 2012 7:45 pm
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A little boy the age of six
Come home from school one day
With tear filled eyes he told his mom
What he'd heard the teachers say
We can't have prayer in school no more
The teacher say's it's law
Please tell me why we can't pray mom
I don't understand at all
Some kids are saying God is dead
And Jesus isn't real
Mom all this talk confuses me
How am I suppose to feel
I know I'm just a little kid
But kids have questions too
So if there is no God mom
Then who made me and you
Who made all the trees mom
Who made the flowers to bloom
Who put the stars up in the sky
And hung the silver moon
Who made the gentle breeze to blow
Who made the deep blue sea
Who made all the mountains mom
Who made the air we breath
Why can't we pray in school no more
We use to every day
Our Bible teacher's there no more
They said she went away
All this just can't be right mom
They pushed God out the door
And if He can't be in school with me
I don't want to go no more
The mother lifted up her child
And held him to her breast
She gently wiped his tears away
Then answered his request
She said, yes son, there is a God
And Jesus is alive
He goes to school with you each day
He never leaves your side
And as you grow older son
You'll hear it more and more
It's not just schools, it's others too
That's pushed God out the door
Just keep your trust in God son
No matter what you hear
And when you want to talk to Him
You'll find He's always near
The one's that say there is no God
And Jesus isn't real
Will one day face their Master's son
Their fate will then be sealed.
January 10th 2012 5:29 am
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This is a beautiful story that's analogous to what our Savior went through.
I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me for.
Hush, child. Hush, now, and I will tell it to you.
Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: "Rags!" Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.
"Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!"
"Now, this is a wonder," I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city?
I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn't disappointed.
Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking.
The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers.
"Give me your rag," he said so gently, "and I'll give you another."
He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver.
Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then HE began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.
"This IS a wonder," I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.
"Rags! Rags! New rags for old!"
In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek.
Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.
"Give me your rag," he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, "and I'll give you mine."
The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood - his own!
"Rags! Rags! I take old rags!" cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.
The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry.
"Are you going to work?" he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head.
The Ragman pressed him: "Do you have a job?"
"Are you crazy?" sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket - flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.
"So," said the Ragman. "Give me your jacket, and I'll give you mine."
Such quiet authority in his voice!
The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman - and I trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman's arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one.
"Go to work," he said.
After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, and old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.
And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider's legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.
I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.
The little old Ragman - he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.
Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope - because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.
I did not know - how could I know? - that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too.
But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence.
Light - pure, hard, demanding light - slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.
Well, then I lowered my head and trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: "Dress me."
He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!
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