Dayzee Dayz

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The Last Butterfly

June 27th 2012 7:15 am
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The Last Butterfly

"Poor little butterfly," the young girl said. "Poor little butterfly."

Then reaching down slowly so as to not scare it away, she slid her tiny fingers underneath, urging it to step upon her hand.

It would appear to anyone that this delicate creature was lifeless leaving behind remains of what once was.

But not her. She sensed something. She knew right away that there was indeed some life left in this most fragile example of God's work.

The butterfly nearly tumbled onto her hand, wings folded straight up, apparently unable to fly.

Then, perhaps it was the warmth of her hands or the welcoming response to the attention it was given, but the butterfly began to walk slowly up to her palm.

"Poor little butterfly," she repeated again as she brought it closer to her face.

"If I could kiss you I would, " she said.

The butterfly, appearing to respond, slowly opened its wings, to reveal its beautiful designand colors. Now open fully, the child brought it closer and gave an angel's kiss of love.

Just off in the distance watching this precious moment, her grandmother walked toward them.

"Oh, you have found it," she said. "I was waiting for it and wondered where it was."

The child looked a bit surprised and said. "You were waiting for this butterfly? Why?"

"It is sent to remind us," grandmother said.

"But it is dying. I feel sorry for it. Don't they fly away when it gets cold?"

"Yes, they do. But one is always chosen to remain behind," she said.

Maybe this was just grandmother's way of softening the the truth so that the child would not be saddened by the thought of the butterfly dying. But what unfolded here was an incredible moment, an opportunity seen and taken to teach a lesson of love.

"Why would they choose to be left behind?" the child asked as she gently stroked the butterfly.

"They don't choose to be, they are chosen," she told her.

The child looked down again and held it closer.

"It is a great honor to be chosen. The story goes that God realized that when winter comes color disappears. The color of the flowers fade into the earth and all the delicate butterflies leave for warmer places. So, God decided that one should remain to remind us of the beautiful world He has created and the promise of Spring's return."

The child looked down and then lifting her head slowly, she whispered, "And I found it, grandmother."

"Yes, and with that you have a great responsibility," she said as she held the young girl's face in her hands.

"What?"

"You must now take time to see God's colors in the darkness of winter. You must be the sunshine. You must help those who have forgotten how beautiful life is, to see the color of God's love for them."

"Oh, grandmother. I don't know how to," she said.

"It is simple. Be yourself. People believe only what they see. Like the flowers and butterflies. But God makes people beautiful inside. It is up to us to bring that beauty out by loving each other, helping each other and when we find someone who has fallen, just like that butterfly, it is up to us to pick them up, carress them and care for them. For one day it may very well be His Chosen One left behind."

The child moved closer to her grandmother as they sat admiring God's messenger.

Take time to see the beauty, the colors of God in the people around you.

You, too may find the "Poor little butterfly!"

 

The Two Gates

June 22nd 2012 6:55 am
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The Two Gates

A man was walking down a road next to a tall glistening white wall. Beside him walked his favorite dog who he realized with a start had been dead for several years. He realized that he must be dead also.

With a shrug of his shoulders he set off down the path with a hand on his dog's head. A little down the road he saw a beautiful pearl gate that glistened in the sunlight. Standing next to it was a beautiful man. When he got to the gate he asked where the gates lead to. The man replied "Heaven."

He asked if he could come in and get a drink for himself and his dog because the day was very warm. The beautiful man replied that he could, but dogs were not allowed into Heaven. The man smiled, patted his dog and turned away from the gates to continue down the path.

After a little while he came to a much shabbier gate that was in much need of attention. Beside it stood a somewhat dirty farmer. Again the man asked where the gate lead to, and again he was told "Heaven". He then asked for a drink for him and his dog, and the man gladly gave him a cup and a bowl. After he filled the bowl, and drank his cup from the fountain inside he asked the man if he knew that the other gatekeeper was claiming that the other gate also led to Heaven.

The Farmer said "Yes, but that was Hell." A bit confused, the man asked if that upset the Farmer. "No," he said giving the dog a pat, "They help us weed out the ones who would leave their best friends behind."

 

The Two Wolves

June 9th 2012 7:48 am
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The Two Wolves

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice,"Let me tell you a story: I have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."

He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

 

An Unforgetable Cab Ride

June 1st 2012 3:38 pm
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Today's Story

An Unforgetable Cab Ride

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One night I took a fare at 2:30 AM, when I arrived to collect, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once.

But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened.

A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knick-knacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."

"Oh, you're such a good man," she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long." I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

"What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse. "Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered. "Oh, there are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. Our hug ended with her remark, "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy." After a slight pause, she added, "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware, beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

 

A Dogs Prayer

May 20th 2012 7:03 am
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A Dog's Prayer

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of mine.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.

Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

Keep my pan filled with water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing, and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And my friend, when I am very old and no longer able to enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I shall leave this Earth knowing with the last breath I draw, that my fate was always safest in your hands... I will always be your BEST FRIEND.

 

You Still Have Hope

May 17th 2012 7:18 pm
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You Still Have Hope

If you can look at the sunset and smile,
then you still have hope.

If you can find beauty in the colors of a small flower,
then you still have hope.

If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly,
then you still have hope.

If the smile of a child can still warm your heart,
then you still have hope.

If you can see the good in other people,
then you still have hope.

If the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep,
then you still have hope.

If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder,
then you still have hope.

If the soft fur of a favored pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips,
then you still have hope.

If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism,
then you still have hope.

If you give people the benefit of a doubt,
then you still have hope.

If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life,
then you still have hope.

If receiving an unexpected card
or letter still brings a pleasant surprise,
then you still have hope.

If the suffering of others still fills your with pain and frustration,
then you still have hope.

If you refuse to let a friendship die,
or accept that it must end,
then you still have hope.

If you look forward to a time or place of quiet and reflection,
then you still have hope.

If you still buy the ornaments,
put up the Christmas tree or cook the supper,
then you still have hope.

If you can look to the past and smile,
then you still have hope.

If, when faced with the bad,
when told everything is futile,
you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase..."yeah...BUT.,"
then you still have hope.

Hope is such a marvelous thing.
It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides,
but rarely does it break.
It sustains us when nothing else can.
It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead,
when we tell ourselves we'd rather give in.

Hope puts a smile on our face
when the heart cannot manage.

Hope puts our feet on the path
when our eyes cannot see it.

Hope moves us to act
when our souls are confused of the direction.

Hope is a wonderful thing,
something to be cherished and nurtured,
and something that will refresh us in return.
And it can be found in each of us,
and it can bring light into the darkest of places.
NEVER LOSE HOPE!

 

In The Valleys We Grow

May 15th 2012 6:58 am
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In The Valleys We Grow

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then we have to remember
That it's in the valleys we grow.

If we always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
We would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.

We have so much to learn
And our growth is very slow,
Sometimes we need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys we grow.

We do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

The little valleys are nothing
When we 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 the valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!

Have a blessed day!

REMEMBER...
The shortest distance between a problem and a solution
is the distance between your knees and the floor.
The one who kneels to the Lord,
can stand up to anything.

 

How Gods Grace Works

May 14th 2012 4:24 pm
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How God's Grace Works
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

Sometimes things loom up before us that seem impossible. Facing a big surgery, or the death of a loved one, or a lost job, or even a pile of unending laundry can feel like facing Mount Everest. We know that with God all things are possible, and we know He gives us the grace we need. But will it be enough? Fear closes in. Weakness. Uncertainty. How will we ever have enough strength to handle it?

I was thinking about this one day when I was baking bread. It smelled so good coming out of the oven. The dark gold color of the outside signaled perfect crispness. Like my Granny used to do, I rubbed butter over it, allowing it to melt into the fluffy interior. Before the bread could even cool, my family devoured a whole loaf. This was fun, but it’s not typical of our bread-eating behavior.

We buy most of our bread at the store, and it comes pre-sliced. On Monday I use two slices for my husband’s sandwich, and on Tuesday he gets two more. It’s the same for my kids. Two slices each, lathered in peanut butter and jelly. Then two slices the next day. Not the whole loaf at once.

Our bread-eating habits are the perfect metaphor for how God’s grace works—and His strength, His mercy, His power. When we’re contemplating Mount Everest we may want the whole loaf, but God knows what is good for us. He knows what we really need. He slices off enough for the first step. Then, when it’s time for the next one, another slice is there. And another and another and another till the journey is done. The whole loaf is ours—but God gives it as needed. Never too little, always just the right amount to fit our need.

Faith step: What is your deepest need today? Trust Jesus for it. He is Your manna from heaven.

 

A Bouquet for Mother

May 11th 2012 6:26 am
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A Bouquet for Mother
This puts it all into perspective. Happy Mother's Day.

A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away.

As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars."

The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose."

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers.

As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother."

She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother's house.

 

The Heart of the Watermelon

May 7th 2012 5:45 pm
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The Heart of the Watermelon

True riches can't be measured with money :)

When I was a kid in Minnesota, watermelon was a delicacy. One of my father's buddies, Bernie, was a prosperous fruit-and-vegetable wholesaler, who operated a warehouse in St. Paul.

Every summer, when the first watermelons rolled in, Bernie would call. Dad and I would go to Bernie's warehouse and take up our positions. We'd sit on the edge of the dock, feet dangling, and lean over, minimizing the volume of juice we were about to spill on ourselves.

Bernie would take his machete, crack our first watermelon, hand us both a big piece and sit down next to us. Then we'd bury our faces in watermelon, eating only the heart - the reddest, juiciest, firmest, most seed-free, most perfect part - and throw away the rest.

Bernie was my father's idea of a rich man. I always thought it was because he was such a successful businessman. Years later, I realized that what my father admired about Bernie's wealth was less its substance than its application. Bernie knew how to stop working, get together with friends and eat only the heart of the watermelon.

What I learned from Bernie is that being rich is a state of mind. Some of us, no matter how much money we have, will never be free enough to eat only the heart of the watermelon. Others are rich without ever being more than a paycheck ahead.

If you don't take the time to dangle your feet over the dock and chomp into life's small pleasures, your career is probably overwhelming your life.

For many years, I forgot that lesson I'd learned as a kid on the loading dock. I was too busy making all the money I could.

Well, I've relearned it. I hope I have time left to enjoy the accomplishments of others and to take pleasure in the day. That's the heart of the watermelon. I have learned again to throw the rest away.

Finally, I am rich.

 
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