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Love is like a rose

November 3rd 2012 2:05 pm
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Love is like a rose

It will blossom for a while
If it's not cared for it can
Fade away without a smile

Love is like a rose
As special as it can be
It needs some tender care
Like the love between you and me

Love is like a rose
No matter what color it may bloom
But it may never grow
If we don't give it enough room

Love is like a rose
With its thorny little stem
If you don't watch for the thorns
You can easily get stuck by them

Love is like a rose
That keeps blooming inside your heart
And keeps right on growing
Even if you're so far apart

Love is like a rose
In many shades of color don't you see
But this is one special rose
That grows just for you inside of me


Mission Pawsible

October 1st 2012 7:06 am
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Mission Pawsible

How a service dog named Ben helped a woman help others

By Peggy Frezon

Karen Shirk stroked the ears of the sleek black German shepherd sleeping at her feet. After years of being refused, she finally had her service dog whom she named Ben.

As a young college student, Karen had been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (MG), a rare and debilitating neuromuscular disease. She endured long hospital stays and had to use a ventilator to breathe.

The only thing that kept her going was the thought of a service dog to help her gain some independence. But she was repeatedly told that dogs could not be paired with someone on a ventilator.

After failing to find an agency that could help her, Karen took matters into her own hands. She bought Ben and enrolled in training classes. Ben learned to perform many of the tasks previously performed by personal care assistants, such as picking up objects and opening doors.

Sharing her life with Ben made her wonder: “How many others are turned away because they don’t fit the service dog agencies’ criteria? How many others need the same miracles that Ben offers me?”

That’s when she decided she would do something to improve the quality of life for others with severe handicaps by providing them with service dogs.

Based on her and Ben’s success, Karen started her own agency, 4 Paws for Ability, in 1998, which provides service dogs to any child with a disability who wishes to have a dog.

Most agencies turn down children, feeling that children can’t handle service dogs alone. “Which is true. They can’t,” Karen says. “But we work with kids by having the parents handle the dog, at the same time getting the dog bonded to the child, not the handler.”

4 Paws for Ability trains dogs to help children with autism, Down’s syndrome, diabetes, seizures, cancer, hearing impairment, loss of mobility, mental health impairments, and many other conditions.

One of Karen’s most rewarding experiences was with a 5-year old boy named Connor. He had severe medical issues and was on a ventilator, as she had been. Through the love and assistance of his service dog, Casey, he grew stronger, gained independence and could finally go outside and play.

4 Paws for Ability raises and trains their own dogs, generally working with breeds such as golden retrievers, collies, German shepherds, labradoodles and papillons. In 2000 Karen expanded her enterprise by establishing Mission Pawsible, a program to teach prison inmates to help socialize and train puppies.

“It’s so cool to see how much difference the dogs make for the inmates,” she says, “Even though these men and women are locked away from society, they can do something good.”

Karen recalls a middle-aged inmate who had been involved in a murder when he was 18. He told her that the dog helped ease his stress and build his confidence and self-esteem.

When troubles are at their peak, God can do wonderful things. Karen found a way to help not only herself, but also hundreds of others—all thanks to a nudge from a devoted German shepherd and the countless other service dogs who make her mission pawsible.


Sand and Stone

September 1st 2012 12:12 pm
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Sand and Stone

There is a story about two friends who were walking through the desert. Halfway through the journey they had an argument and one friend slapped the other in the face.

The one who was slapped felt hurt, but without saying anything he wrote in the sand: "Today my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped began to drown and his friend saved him. When he recovered from the ordeal, he wrote on a stone: "Today my best friend saved my life."

His friend asked him, "Why, after I hurt you, did you write in the sand and now you write on a stone?"

The man, smiling, replied: "When a friend hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away. And when something great happens, we should engrave it on the stone of the memory of our heart, where no wind can erase it."


The Miracle Rabbit

August 25th 2012 11:58 am
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The Miracle Rabbit

Yesterday I was mowing my grass in the backyard with my dog Pringles running freely as I so often do with a fenced yard. On the back side I have a large wood pile where some of God's creatures take refuge from my dog's advances. He is a Brittany Spaniel/Pointer mix. Quite the bird dog.

As I was about half done my Pringles came running by with a small bunny in his mouth. One I had seen several times before feeding on the grass. He was shaking it like a rag doll until I yelled at him to let it go. When he did I immediately picked up the lifeless body that had been mangled in several places. Skin ripped bare and one tendon exposed on it's hind leg too. It was not moving one tiny bit.

I began to weep and cry out to Jesus.

After putting the dog back inside the house I picked up that little bunny again and began to pray life back into it's mortal body through the power of the living God and His word. "He shall not die, but live (I said) and declare the works of the Lord!"

"For the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead shall quicken it's mortal body and raise it back up again." I said every scripture I could think of pertaining to healing and restoration. All in the name that is above every other name. Jesus! I continued to do this for at least 30 minutes. Scripture after scripture came from my lips for this little bunny. Still nothing happened, it seemed.

I knew that God's word would work for any situation. Knowing too, it would never return back to Him void. I also reminded God of His promise to watch over His word to perform it. For God is not one to lie.

Finally, having done all I decided to stand and let God do the rest. Knowing that He also said, "Signs shall follow them that believe." I believed!

After the prayers were finished I took our little friend to the fence line between my neighbor's house and mine and set it's body on the other side. The house next door is empty so I knew it would not be bothered, plus my dog could not get to it again either. Again, this was yesterday; Father's Day.

Our Father who art in heaven.

I told God that I would continue to trust him to raise this rabbit up from the dead and to NOT go over to where I placed it's body to SEE if it was there. The just shall walk by faith. Today, one day later, I continued to talk to God about it and thanked Him for doing what I had asked of him the day before. Still I would not go over to that fence line to look.

After I thanking God again I asked Him to let me see that bunny again. Then it happened. As my dog was wanting to go outside, and as I began to open the door ... I saw it. That little bunny came hopping along from the direction along the fence where I had left him, making his way to that wood pile where he had so often made his home and refuge. It was him alright and he was alive and well once again.

Even my dog saw it and ran over to the wood pile to try and catch it. Praise be to God!!

Now I was ready to go over to that fence line where his body once laid, and look. But it was not there. I then remembered when Mary went to the tomb where Jesus was laid after the crucifixion. The angel spoke to her, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" He is risen.

And so is that precious bunny too!

Thank You Jesus!
For You are faithful and worthy to be praised.



August 19th 2012 6:27 am
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Love Island

Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings
lived; happiness, sadness, knowledge, and all the others,
including love.

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 24th 2012 1:15 pm
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I Am Your Dog

I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear.
I know that you humans lead busy lives.
Some have to work, some have children to raise.
It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.
Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer.
See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours?
They are slightly cloudy now.
That comes with age.
The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle.

You smile at me; I see love in your eyes.
What do you see in mine?
Do you see a spirit?
A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world?
A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for the just a simple moment of your time?
That is all I ask.
To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me. So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing.
Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat.
Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes.
Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week.
Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just 'One more day' with me.
Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me.
We have NOW, together.
So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes.
What do you see?
If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart.
Come to me not as 'alpha' or as 'trainer' or even 'Mom or Dad', come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk.

I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general.
You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with.
Someone very different from you, and here I am.
I am a dog, but I am alive.
I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls I do not think of you as a 'Dog on two feet'.
I know what you are.
You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now come sit with me, on the floor.
Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes.
Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self.
We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.
Love today!

(on behalf of canines everywhere)


The Pretty One

July 15th 2012 6:15 pm
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The Pretty One

This was the last litter of puppies we were going to allow our Cocker Spaniel to have. It had been a very long night for me. Precious, our only black cocker, was having a very difficult time with the delivery of her puppies.

I laid on the floor beside her large four-foot square cage, watching her every movement. Watching and waiting just in case we had to rush her to the veterinarian.

After six hours the puppies started to appear. The first born was a black and white party dog. The second and third puppies were tan and brown in color. The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and white. "One, two, three, four, five," I counted to myself as I walked down the hallway to wake up Judy and tell her that everything was fine. As we walked back down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had been born and was now laying all by itself over to the side of the cage. I picked up the small puppy and laid it on top of the
large pile of puppies, who were whining and trying nurse on the mother.

Instantly Precious pushed the small puppy away from rest of the group and refused to recognize it as a member of her family.

"Something's wrong," said Judy.

I reached over and picked up the puppy. My heart sank inside my chest when I saw the little puppy was hare-lipped and could not close its little mouth. We had gone through this once before last year with another one of our cockers. That experience like to have killed me when the puppy died and I had to bury it. If there was any way to save this animal I was going to give it my best shot.

All the puppies born that night, with the exception of the small hare-lipped pup, were very valuable because of their unusual coloring. Most would bring between five to seven hundred dollars each. The next day I took the puppy to the vet. I was told nothing could be done unless we were willing to spend about a thousand dollars to try and correct the defect. He told us that the puppy would die mainly because it could not suckle.

After returning home Judy and I decided that we could not afford to spend that kind of money without getting some type of assurances from the vet that the puppy had a chance to live. However, that did not stop me from purchasing a syringe and feeding the puppy by hand. Which I did very day and night, every two hours, for more than ten days.

The fifth week I placed an ad in the newspaper, and within a week we had taken deposits on all of the pups, except the one with the deformity. The little guy had learned to eat on his own as long as it was soft canned food.

Late that afternoon I had gone to the store to pick up a few groceries. Upon returning I happened to see the old retired school teacher, who lived across the street from us, waving at me. She had read in the paper that we had puppies for sale and was wondering if she might buy one from us for her grandson. I told her all the puppies had been sold, but I would keep my eyes open for anyone else who might have a cocker spaniel for sale. I also mentioned we never kept a deposit should someone change their mind, and if so I would let her know. Within days all but one of the puppies had been picked up by their new owners. This left me with
one brown and tan cocker as well as the smaller hare-lipped puppy.

Two days passed without me hearing anything from the gentleman, who had placed a deposit on the tan and brown pup. So I telephoned the school teacher and told her I had one puppy left and that she was welcome to come and look at it. She advised me that she was going to pick up her grandson and would come over at about eight o'clock that evening. Judy and I were eating supper when we heard a knock on the front door. When I opened the door, the man, who had placed a $100 deposit on the dog, was standing there. We walked inside where I filled out the paperwork, he paid me the balance of the money, and I handed him the puppy.

Judy and I did not know what to do or say if the teacher showed up with her grandson. Sure enough at exactly eight o'clock the doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there was the school teacher with her grandson standing behind her. I explained to her the man had come for the puppy just an hour before, and there were no puppies left.

"I'm sorry, Jeffery. They sold all the puppies," she told her grandson.

Just at that moment, the small puppy left in the bedroom began to yelp.

"My puppy! My puppy!" yelled the little boy as he ran out from behind his grandmother.

I just about fell over when I saw the small child was hare-lipped. The boy ran past me as fast as he could, down the hallway to where the puppy was still yelping.
When the three of us made it to the bedroom, the small boy was holding the puppy in his arms. He looked up at his grandmother and said, "Look Grandma. They sold all the puppies except the pretty one, and he looks just like me."

Well, old Grandma wasn't the only one with tears in her eyes that day. Judy and I stood there, not knowing what to do.

"Is this puppy for sale?" asked the school teacher.

"My grandma told me these kind of puppies are real expensive and that I have to take real good care of it," said the little boy, who was now hugging the puppy.

"Yes, ma'am. This puppy is for sale."

The lady opened her purse, and I could see several one-hundred dollar bills sticking out of her wallet. I reached over and pushed her hand back down into her purse so that she would not pull her wallet out.

"How much do you think this puppy is worth?" I asked the boy.

"About a dollar?" He replied.

"No. This puppy is very, very expensive... More than a dollar," I told him.

"I'm afraid so." Said his grandmother.

The boy stood there pressing the small puppy against his cheek.

"We could not possibly take less than two dollars for this puppy," Judy said, squeezing my hand. "Like you said, "It's the pretty one." She continued.

The school teacher took out two dollars and handed it to the young boy.

"It's your dog now, Jeffery. You pay the man."

I think it must be a wonderful feeling for any young person to look at their selves into the mirror and see nothing, except "The pretty one


The Treasures Within

July 13th 2012 12:10 pm
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The Treasures Inside

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.

They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.

He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.


What Happens in Heaven When We Pray?

July 8th 2012 6:41 pm
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What Happens in Heaven When We Pray?

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section". Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section, my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed." How is it that there is no work going on here? I asked.

"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments"

"How does one acknowledge God's blessings? " I asked.

"Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord."

"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy."

"And if you received this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity."

"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness...You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day. "

"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... You are ahead of 700 million people in the world."

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

"If your parents are still alive and still married are very rare."

"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you're unique to all those in doubt and despair..."

Ok, what now? How can I start?

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you care to, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.


Summer Thoughts

July 5th 2012 10:12 am
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Some Summer Thoughts

Do you know why a car's windshield is so large & the rear view mirror is so small? Because our past is not as important as our future.

So, look ahead and move on. Friendship is like a book. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.

Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, "Relax, it's just a bend, not the end!"

When God solves your problems, you have faith in his abilities; when God doesn't solve your problems, he has faith in your abilities.

A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision."

Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles; it takes away today's peace.

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