But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.

Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say.


Sitting at the computer one day, I was typing a research paper. Setting the format for the page had been simple, spell check had found only a few errors, and I had done well in my vocabulary. I was just about finished with the body of the paper when suddenly, the power went off. My heart sank. I had been typing my paper but hadn't saved it. Maybe the program was one of those programs that saves it automatically for you. At least I hoped it was. I waited about 30 minutes and when the power came on, I ran to the computer. My heart pounding and mind racing, I wondered if the document had been saved. After searching the program and practically the whole computer, it was nowhere to be found. I had lost it all. The whole thing...gone! Why didn't I save it? It would've been so easy.

Our lives are like living documents. Everything we do, say, and think is recorded in God's Book of Life. But there are two kinds of "living documents," those that are saved and those that are not saved. Those who live their lives according to the will of God and the instruction of Jesus Christ, will have their "living documents" saved forever and ever in heaven. Those who live their lives in defiance of the will of God and the commandments of Jesus, will lose their them to the pit of fire.

How do you save your "living document?" It's easy. Jesus says, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest... my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved (Romans 10:9).

You will never have to worry that your "living document" will be lost. You will never have to worry about losing it all.

Are you a saved or unsaved "document?"


A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door. It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important... Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture... . Jack stopped suddenly.

"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.

"The box is gone," he said.

"What box? " Mom asked.

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

"Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life."

A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.

Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser."

"The thing he valued most...was.. .my time."

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

"Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said.

"Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time!"

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away,"

Thank you for your time.....

TIME OUT By Sally I. Kennedy

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

Remember when ‘time out’ was when the umpire called for a break? Then maybe you’re as old as I am. The little blue chair, off to the side in my daughter’s family room, is the “time out” spot. She has used it on only a few occasions. Her 2 1/2 year old quickly connected sitting there with disciplinary action.

Last winter my husband I and I rented a condo on our vacation. I saw the pictures in the bedroom, but it wasn’t until we had been there several days that I really looked at them, while resting, and simply being still. Interesting, I thought, how you have to get quiet to really see.

Same with snorkeling. We don’t do much of it anymore, but our familyused to. It is so quiet under the surface of the water. And if you stay still, and hover over a reef, it is amazing and wonderful what comes out and what you notice.

Likewise with the Word. The bible says, “Be still.” I add, “and look at what you see with your spiritual eyes, the eyes of your soul”.

For sure I need to discipline myself. Sitting still, looking, seeing, doesn’t come too naturally for me. I enjoy being on the move. However, setting aside just ten minutes, and putting my own self in ‘time out’, is bound to make a difference.

BAM! By Sally I. Kennedy

...though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:24

It was still early morning. Not much stirring. Even the neighborhood cat that lurks around the bird feeder hadn’t shown up yet. The activities of a frisky baby squirrel caught my eye. “He is the youngest squirrel I’ve ever seen out there!” I thought.

He was so cute. Tiny face. Tail still thin and unfluffy. Running all over the wood roofing as if the chase was on. He began turning and hopping like a little bunny, darting back and forth. Clearly he was having the most wonderful playtime. Looked like his mom could have cared less what he was up to. She was ensconced at the cardinal feeder, merrily munching away.

He came up to the corner closest at the window where I was watching. All of a sudden, bam! He hit the ground with an awful sound. “Oh, man!” I whispered. At least it was the wood decking and not the concrete. He was stunned, didn’t move. Slowly he turned and sat up.

He lifted his very tiny left paw. As it dangled, he cautiously licked it. After a minute he went over to the post and gingerly made his way up.

Once again, safe on the top beam, he began slowly to nurse his foot back to health. The mother squirrel never once checked on him or even glanced his way. The correlation crossed my mind. If we’re on cruise control, let’s say just going along, ordinary everyday, and inadvertently have an accident, we wouldn’t be left to fend for ourselves the best we could. Fortunately, we have a “parent” who would
immediately - if not before - check on us. He would be taking situation in hand to restore and heal us.

That’s the kind of dad our heavenly Father is. Oh thank God!


* A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

* An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

* A loss of interest in judging other people.

* A loss of interest in judging self.

* A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

* A loss of interest in conflict.

* A loss of ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom).

* Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

* Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

* Frequent attacks of smiling.

* An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

* An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

PUPPY SIZE Author Unknown

"Danielle keeps repeating it over and over again. We've been back to this animal shelter at least five times. It has been weeks now since we started all of this," the mother told the volunteer.

"What is it she keeps asking for?" the volunteer asked.

"Puppy size!" replied the mother.

"Well, we have plenty of puppies, if that's what she's looking for."

"I know...we have seen most of them," the Mom said in frustration. ..

Just then Danielle came walking into the office.

"Well, did you find one?" asked her Mom. "No, not this time,"

Danielle said with sadness in her voice. "Can we come back on the weekend?"

"You never know when we will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there's always a supply," the volunteer said.

Danielle took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. "Don't worry, I'll find one this weekend," she said.

Over the next few days, both Mom and Dad had long conversations with her. They both felt she was being too particular.

"It's this weekend or we're not looking any more," Dad finally said in frustration.

"We don't want to hear anything more about puppy size either," Mom added.

Sure enough, they were the first ones in the shelter on Saturday morning. By now Danielle knew her way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs. Tired of the routine, Mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages.

There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times when visitors weren't permitted. Danielle walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out and she held each one. One by one she said, "Sorry, you're not the one."

It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup. The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer.

"Mom, that's it! I found the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!" she screamed with joy. "It's the puppy size!"

"But it's the same size as all the other puppies you held over the last few weeks," Mom said.

"No not size ---- the sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed," she said.

"Don't you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sigh!"

The two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both.

"Mom, every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms," she said. Then holding the puppy up close to her face she said, "Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!"

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the love that makes you sigh. I not only find it in the arms of my loved ones, but in the caress of a sunset, the kiss of the moonlight and the gentle brush of cool air on a hot day. They are the sighs of God. Take the time to stop and listen; you will be surprised at what you hear. "Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

LISTEN TO ME Author Unknown

Effective immediately, please be aware that there are changes YOU need to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. I know, I already gave you the 10 Commandments. Keep them. But follow these guidelines, also:

Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

Something needs to be done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all... God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs. YOUR problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.

I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me; you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.

As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only -- to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to Me. Don't ever forget that!

With all my heart, I love YOU!

TRAPPED By Sally I. Kennedy

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:5

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

It was irresistable. Too warm and sunny, too lovely an afternoon to not take a few minutes to sit outside on the back porch where we were staying. I moved the rocker over to get a better view of the moss-covered towering oaks. Ah, this was good.

A cat crawled into a space under the house. Bees busied themselves around a clematis vine. I heard a faint buzzing. Another mosquito? Thought I’d cleared out the corner of the porch of those pesky critters.

The hum persisted. Turning around, I spied a glint of green. Near the sliding door was a glass bottle. It looked antique-y. The glass stopper had a green bee, or fly perched ontop.

I picked it up, an saw that there were legs about ½ inch high to keep the bottle barely off the ground. It also had a fake bottom - a large hole with a lip around the inside of it. Inside were a couple dead flies, and another flying frantically around the top trying to get out.

Apparently the insects entered from underneath. They could leave the same way they came in, but it looked as if for some reason they didn’t do that. They would continue towards the stopper, which was a dead end.

Sometimes we feeled trapped. We try and escape pressures of the world, panic or just give up from the stress, yet sometimes the way out is available. Jesus overcame the world and all its trappings (John 16:33*) and He has told us that we can too.

We are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37**). Our Saviour rose from the dead and transcended circumstances; we can too b/c our lives are hidden IN Him (Colossians 3:1-3***).

Let’s start living out the truth, above our circumstances. We are not trapped. We are more than conquerors in Him who gave His life for us and saved us.

This is good news!


Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door.

Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole that from her.

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come for the holiday.

Then Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. She has no idea what I'm feeling, thought Sandra with a shudder.

Thanksgiving? Thankful for what? She wondered. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her.

"I....I need an arrangement, " stammered Sandra.

"For Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving "Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this thanksgiving? "

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong."

Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Just then the shop door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi, Barbara... let me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.

"Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara, replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her chest. And she left with her order.

"Uh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uh....she just left with no flowers!

"Right, said the clerk, "I cut off the flowers. That's the Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that!" exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery."

"That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk, "and for the first time in my life, had just spent the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and never questioned the good things that happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask questions! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to
the balding, rotund man.

"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving Special.... 12 thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?"

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said. "It's all too...fresh. "

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first."

It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Praise Him for your roses; thank him for your thorns!

THE HAND Author Unknown

The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment -- to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.

Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student's art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher's true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.

His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went -- until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas' desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was.

The little boy looked away and murmured, "It's yours, teacher."

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, "Take my hand, Douglas, we'll go outside." Or, "Let me show you how to hold your pencil." Or, "Let's do this together." Douglas was most thankful for his teacher's hand.

Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they'll remember the hand that reaches out.


It was fifty years ago, on a hot summer day, in the deep south. We lived on a dirt road, on a sand lot. We were, what was known as "dirt poor". I had been playing outside all morning in the sand.

Suddenly, I heard a sharp clanking sound behind me and looking over my shoulder, my eyes were drawn to a strange sight! Across the dirt road were two rows of men, dressed in black and white, striped, baggy uniforms. Their faces were covered with dust and sweat. They looked so weary, and they were chained together with huge, black, iron chains. Hanging from the end of each chained row was a big, black, iron ball.

They were, as polite people said in those days, a "Chain Gang," guarded by two, heavily armed, white guards. I stared at the prisoners as they settled uncomfortably down in the dirt, under the shade of some straggly trees. One of the guards walked towards me. Nodding as he passed, he went up to our front door and knocked. My mother appeared at the door, and I heard the guard ask if he could have permission to get water from the pump, in the backyard, so that "his men" could "have a drink". My mother agreed, but I saw a look of concern on her face, as she called me inside.

I stared through the window as each prisoner was unchained from the line, to hobble over to the pump and drink his fill from a small tin cup, while a guard watched vigilantly. It wasn't long before they were all chained back up again, with prisoners and guards retreating into the shade, away from an unrelenting sun. I heard my mother call me into the kitchen, and I entered, to see her bustling around with tins of tuna fish, mayonnaise, our last loaf of bread, and two, big, pitchers of lemonade. In what seemed "a blink of an eye", she had made a tray of sandwiches using all the tuna we were to have had for that night's supper.

My mother was smiling as she handed me one of the pitchers of lemonade, cautioning me to carry it "carefully" and to "not spill a drop." Then, lifting the tray in one hand and holding a pitcher in her other hand, she marched me to the door, deftly opening it with her foot, and trotted me across the street. She approached the guards, flashing them with a brilliant smile. "We had some leftovers from lunch," she said, "and I was wondering if we could share with you and your men." She smiled at each of the men, searching their dark eyes with her own eyes of "robin's egg blue." Everyone started to their feet. "Oh no!" she said.

"Stay where you are! I'll just serve you!" Calling me to her side, she went from guard to guard, then from prisoner to prisoner, filling each tin cup with lemonade, and giving each man a sandwich.

It was very quiet, except for a "thank you, ma'am," and the clanking of the chains. Very soon we were at the end of the line, my mother's eyes softly scanning each face. The last prisoner was a big man, his dark skin pouring with sweat, and streaked with dust. Suddenly, his face broke into a wonderful smile, as he looked up into my mother's eyes, and he said, "Ma'am, I've wondered all my life if I'd ever see an angel, and now I have! Thank you!" Again, my mother's smile took in the whole group. "You're all welcome!" she said. "God bless you." Then we walked across to the house, with empty tray and pitchers, and back inside.

Soon, the men moved on, and I never saw them again. The only explanation my mother ever gave me, for that strange and wonderful day, was that I "remember, always, to entertain strangers, for by doing so, you may entertain angels, without knowing."

Then, with a mysterious smile, she went about the rest of the day. I don't remember what we ate for supper, that night. I just know it was served by an angel.


Rubber band
Band aid
Chewing gum
Candy Kiss
Tea Bag

Here's why:

Toothpick - to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others...Matt 7:1

Rubber band - to remind you to be flexible, things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out...Romans 8:28

Band Aid - to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else's...Col. 3:12-14

Pencil - To remind you to list your blessings everyday...Eph1: 3

Eraser - to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it's okay...Gen. 50:15-21

Chewing gum - to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything ...Phil 4:13

Mint - to remind you that you are worth a mint to your heavenly father...John 3:16-17

Candy Kiss - to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday...1 John 4:7

Tea Bag - to remind you to relax daily and go over that list of God's blessings... 1 Thess 5:18

This is my gift to you. May God richly bless you.

To the world, you may just be somebody...but to somebody, you may be the world.

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