GOD IS BIGGER By Marion Smith

Proverbs 22:6 -Train a child in the way he should go.

When our 2nd grandson was 4, he attended a Christian pre-school. It was exciting for us to watch him grow in the Lord, learn songs about Jesus, and relate Bible stories to us. He went through quite a stage where his reply to everything was…well, whatever…but I know “God is bigger.” If we were talking about the amount we had spent at the grocery store, the size of a magnificent oak tree, the problems we faced, the joy we felt…whatever..! his input was-“God is bigger!”

You know..from the mouth of babes. How BIG is our God? How big is your God? Is He bigger than the problems you face, discouraging times you experience, and trials that come your way? Is He bigger than the joy you feel from a fleeting worldly experience, a hearty meal, a touch of a loved one? HE IS!! HE IS! YES!! God is bigger than anything we can experience on this earth. He is totally beyond our compression with His mighty creation, His omnipotence, omnipresence, and His unfailing love for us.

Let’s just take a minute right now to stand in His Presence, soaking up the fact that GOD is BIGGER….bigger and better than anything in this world. Amen? Amen!


Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. Hebrews 2:11

"Blood is thicker than water". That's an _expression I've heard all my life. "When the chips are down, you can count on your family."

My parents taught us that our family may not like or approve of what we do, but they don't throw in the towel, walk away, and disown us. When the chips are down, even if friends desert you, family will stand by you. Others can help, but family, relatives, kinfolk ...it's best to turn to them if at all possible.

It is very cool that Jesus is twice a blood relative. First, we're both children of Abraham. Second, He sacrificed his life and shed his blood on Calvary, making it possible for us to be reconciled to our Father God. In fact God adopted us, making us brothers and sisters with Jesus. Family.

The church universal, the body of Christ, is our family, too! There's an old Gaither song that goes something like, "....I've been washed in His goodness, washed in his blood; joint heirs with Jesus as we travel along, we're part of the family, the family of God."

Last summer I received this email from a friend in Michigan: "The family reunion is well under way this whole week. All 30 of us park on our dock and eat from our kitchen. While it has been nice I am ready to say so-long. Our golf cart was driven into a creek by a nephew ( that was on my side), one of my nieces broke the boat key in half ( my husband's side). Two nephews collided in jet skies and damaged one completely.. ..thank God not themselves too badly. Oh family life!"

Regardless, family is beautiful. The Bible encourages, in chapter 6 of the book of Galatians... ...as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Blood brothers and sisters in the Lord. Thank God, blood IS thicker than water, and exceedingly priceless.

OLD JOE By Melanie Schurr

Old Joe was the local derelict. No one really knew the cause of what sent him to the streets It was rumored he only had an elementary education. His disheveled and dirty appearance made him seem older than his 30 years. When he would walk by, people would whisper behind his back saying, "Poor old Joe. Will nothing good come of him?"

Old Joe spent his days searching in garbage cans for redeemable bottles and his nights sleeping in an alley. One day, Joe seemed to disappear without a trace. Some thought he hopped a train to the south, but no one knew for sure.

Ten years later, a new preacher came to town; he had a quiet and relaxed way about him as he stood on the corner handing leaflets out. On occasion, he could also be seen treating a homeless person to lunch as they sat and talked and he was also a favorite guest speaker at the local church.

After one sermon, a group of elderly ladies gathered together, commenting on how wise the preacher was. "Obviously, he came from a very good college," remarked one lady. "Yes, it is rumored he came from a very well to do family," said another.

The following Sunday, the preacher began to speak, "Ten years ago I felt I was a nobody. I had no real family, a limited education, and couldn't get a job. No one seemed to care, so I, too, began to not care about my self. A woman reached out to me one day, told me about someone who DID care, God. She told me that God does not look at the outer appearance, but at one's heart.

She told me that He loved me so much He sent His Son to die on the cross for my sins and that, through Him, I could have salvation." The preacher continued, "On that day, my life changed dramatically because for once I had a sense of hope. I may not have had an earthly family, but I had a whole slew of 'brother's and sister's' in the family of Christ! No longer did I have to be 'poor old Joe,' because in the
Bible, it told me I was now a child of God! ("How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" I John 3:1)"

The whole congregation sat and stared in awe, now knowing the distinguished man before them was 'ole Joe. That day, the sharing of his story of faith, hope, and love changed many lives.

Through the example of Old Joe, we can know ALL things are not only possible through Christ who strengthens us, but, through Him, former things are passed away and the new is now upon us! If ole Joe can do it, so can you! Call on your heavenly Father today.


Some of the most significant messages people deliver to one another often come in just three words. When spoken or conveyed, those statements have the power to forge new friendships, deepen old ones and restore relationships that have cooled.

The following three word phrases can enrich every relationship:

I'LL BE THERE - Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and to us. We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. 'Being there' is at the very, very core of civility.

- Perhaps more marriages could be salvaged and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other, "I miss you." This powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved.

I RESPECT YOU - Respect is another way of showing love. Respect conveys the feeling that another person is a true equal. It is a powerful way to affirm the importance of a relationship.

MAYBE YOU'RE RIGHT - This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an argument and restoring frayed emotions. The flip side of "maybe you're right" is the humility of admitting "maybe I'm wrong."

PLEASE FORGIVE ME - Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should
never be ashamed to own up to he has been in the wrong, which is by saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

I THANK YOU - Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don't take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude.

- "A friend is one who walks in when others walk out." "Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship; it is the emotional glue that bonds people. Those who are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there, indicating "you can count on me."

LET ME HELP - The best of friends see a need and try to fill it. When they spot a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they pitch in and help.

I UNDERSTAND YOU - People become closer and enjoy each other more if they feel the other person accepts and understands them. Letting others know in so many little ways that you understand him or her is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship.

GO FOR IT - Some of your friends may be non-conformists, have unique projects and unusual hobbies. Support them in pursuing their interests. Rather than urging your loved ones to conform, encourage their uniqueness - everyone has dreams that no one else has.

I suppose the 3 little words that you were expecting to see have to be reserved for those who are special; that is I LOVE YOU.

PARA KAY LORD forwarded by Papaleng

Sa isang kapanahunan, humarap si Satanas kay Hesus doon sa Harden ng Eden , at masayang nagyayabang. (Luke 4: 1-12; Job 1: 6-12)

' Opo, Panginoon, sa ngayon, silang lahat ay sakop ko na, ( halos lahat sila doon sa ibaba). Naglagay ako ng mga patibong, gamit ko rin ang pa-in ng tukso, Alam ko lahat ang mga bagay ng kanilang kahinaan. Halos nabitag ko silang lahat !' (1 Ped 5: 8-9; Efe 6: 10-17)

'Ano ang gagawin mo sa kanila?' tanong ni Hesus. at Siya ay nanalangin sa Dios Ama.

Sumagot si Satanas 'Oh, gagawa ako ng katuwaan sa kanila !'

Pagdidiborsyohin ko sila pagkatapos nilang magpakasal upang ang pondasyon ng sangkatauhan ay hindi maging matatag ' ang pamilya' (Mat 19: 4-6; Mal ak 2: 16)

Pag-aawayin ko sila sa isat-isa at mag-aabusuhan silang lahat , malulong sila sa alak at droga ng walang pakundangan. (Rom 13: 12-14)

Tuturuan ko silang gumawa ng mga armas at pampasabog , upang magpatayan silang lahat

'Talagang mag e-enjoy ako ng husto!'

'At kung magsawa ka na sa katuwaan sa kanila, anong gagwing mo?' tanong ni Hesus, habang patuloy na nananalangin.

' Eh di 'patayin ko silang lahat at ang kanilang kaluluwa'y magiging akin magpakailanman'

'Panginoon sa lahat ng aspeto , desisyon nila 'yan ' (1John 3: 8-10)

' Magkano lahat ang gusto mo para sa kanila?' tanong ni Hesus.

' Uhmn, hindi mo sila kailangan. Wala silang maidudulot na mabuti para sa 'Yo. Bakit mo pa sila kailangan kung ayaw nilang sumunod ni magmahal sa Iyo? Galit sila sa Iyo! Nakita ko na maraming dumudura sa 'yo , isinumpa Ka a t hindi kinikilala.'

' Dagdag pa, mahal na mahal nila ako ' (Mat 24: 10-13)

' Hindi mo kailangan ang mga taong ito!!'

' Magkano?' tanong ulit ni Hesus

Tumingin si Satanas sa Kanya ng may pangungutya..

' Lahat ng iyong luha at dugo, lahat ng kapighatian sa sanlibutan , lahat-lahat' (Isaiah 53: 4-10; I Ped 2: 24)

sumagot si Hesus ...' Gawin ko'

'at binayaran Niya lahat ng katumbas ' (II Cor 5: 21)

Napakasaklap isipin na hindi ninanais ng tao na hanapin ang Dios , ngunit nagtatanong sa sarili kung bakit ang mundo'y pabagsak sa impyerno !

Mas nabigyang pansin pa ang balitang pang araw-araw hinggil sa trahedya sa ating kapaligiran ngunit hindi natin hinahanap ang Biblia

Halos lahat ay walang katuturang nagnanais na mapunta sa kalangitan , at naniniwalang makarating sila roon kahit walang pananalig, kahit hindi umibig sa Dios higit pa sa lahat ng bagay, ni sumunod sa sinabi ng Biblia ..., ang kautusan ng Dios.

Napakasaklap na may nga taong nagsasabi 'Sumasampalataya ako sa Dios' subalit kay Satanas pa rin sumusunod (at sa totoo lang, ni hindi natatakot sa Dios ) (2 Tim 4: 3-4; II J uan 1: 7-11)

Sa palagay nyo'y hindi isang kahinaan ang magpadala ng libo-libong 'biro o katuwaan' sa email, upang ito'y kumalat ng parang 'salot' .

Ngunit pag itoy mensahe na mula sa Panginoon, nagda-dalawang isip pa tayo bago natin ito maibahagi sa iba; at kinalimutan na lang natin ang mailboxes ng ating mga kaibigan na hindi nakabasa nito

Sa pakiwari nyo, hindi nakakagimbal na ang mga malalaswa, makamundo at kawalanghiyaan ay kusang umiiral sa Internet, na marami ang halos gusto nang ipasak ang sarili sa 'screen'.

Pero ipinagbabawal sa publiko ang magbahagi tungkol kay Hesus sa mga eskwelahan, lugar ng pinagtrabahu-an, pang kasarinlang lupon, atbp... ( Gawa 4: 19-20)

Kahit ngayong malaman ang ginawa Niya para sa atin. dahil hindi siya pinatay ng mga Romano. Kungdi ng ating mga kasalanan. upang lahat tayo'y mapatawad, at makilala Siya sa kanyang kaluwalhatian kasama ng Ama.

Parang hindi kapanipaniwala kung paanong ang iba ay nagiging ilaw sa panahon ng 'Simba' pag pumasok sa Bahay-panambahan, sumasamba at nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon dahil sa kanyang 'habag', sa isang pa muling araw na naragdagan ang buhay.

Subalit sa ibang mga araw ng Linggo sya ay nagiging invisible na Kristyano! (2 Tim 3: 1-5; Rom 10: 9-13)

Ano kaya, makatarungan ba ito?

Hwag hayaang itigil ni Satanas ang magbahagi ng e-mail na ito para sa kakilala natin sa Web, Hayaan na lang kahit kahit sabihin nilang 'ayaw nilang maniwala nito' Hwag hayaang umayong sa kanyang mga balak !

Hwag mabagabag tungkol sa sasabihin ng iba para sa iyo. Panahon na upang mabahala tayo sa 'kung ano ang iniisip ng Dios para sa atin '

Pakiusap lang mga kapatid , ibahagi mo rin ito! 'Ako, nagawa ko na, Salamat'

Pagpapalain ka nawa ng Dios ( 2 Cor 13: 13)


A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself (and doesn't feel even the least bit weird shutting your 'beer/Pepsi drawer' with her foot!)

A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears..

A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after they've gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!


A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit the conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in their work and lives.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite, telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the alumni had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “Notice that all of the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; your job, money, and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life. The type of cup one has does not define, nor change the quality of Life a person lives. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”

God makes the coffee, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Enjoy your coffee!

Relationships 101: BE PATIENT

This is a true story which happened in the States. A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily hammering dents into the shiny paint of the truck. The man ran to his son, knocked him away, hammered the little boy's hands into pulp as punishment. When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital.

Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate the fingers from both the boy's hands. When the boy woke up from the surgery and saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, " Daddy,I'm sorry about your truck." Then he asked, "but when are my fingers going to grow back?" The father went home and committed suicide.

Think about this story the next time someone steps on your feet or u wish to take revenge. Think first before u lose your patience with someone u love. Trucks can be repaired.. Broken bones and hurt feelings often can't. Too often we fail to recognize the difference between the person and the performance. We forget that forgiveness is greater than revenge.

People make mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes. But the actions we take while in a rage will haunt us forever.

Relationships 101: PERSONAL PERCEPTION

Different people have different perception. One man's meat could be another man's poison. A couple bought a donkey from the market. On the way home,a boy commented, "Very stupid. Why neither of them ride on the donkey?"

Upon hearing that, the husband let the wife ride on the donkey. He walked besides them. Later, an old man saw it and commented, "The husband is the head of family. How can the wife ride on the donkey while the husband is on foot?" Hearing this, the wife quickly got down and let the husband ride on the donkey.

Further on the way home, they met an old Lady. She commented, "How can the man ride on the donkey but let the wife walk. He is no gentleman." The husband thus quickly asked the wife to join him on the donkey. Then, they met a young man. He commented, "Poor donkey, how can you hold up the weight of two persons. They are cruel to you." Hearing that, the husband and wife immediately climbed down from the donkey and carried it on their shoulders.

It seems to be the only choice left. Later, on a narrow bridge, the donkey was frightened and struggled. They lost their balance and fell into the river. You can never have everyone praise you, nor will everyone condemn you. Never in the past, not at present, and never will be in the future.

Thus, do not be too bothered by others words if our conscience is clear.

Relationships 101: RIGHT SPEECH

There is a Chinese saying which carries the meaning that "A speech will either prosper or ruin a nation." Many relationships break off because of wrong speech. When a couple is too close with each other,we always forget mutual respect and courtesy. We may say anything without considering if it would hurt the other party.

A friend and her millionaire husband visited their construction site. A worker who wore a helmet saw her and shouted,"Hi, Emily! Remember me? We used to date in the secondary school." On the way home, her millionaire husband teased her, "Luckily you married me. Otherwise you will be the wife of a construction worker." She answered, "You should appreciate that you married me. Otherwise, he will be the millionaire and not you."

Frequently exchanging these remarks plants the seed for a bad relationship. It's like a broken egg - cannot be reversed.

Relationships 101: NO OVERPOWERING

Many relationships fail because one party tries to overpower another,or demands too much. People in love tend to think that love will conquer all and their spouses will change the bad habits after marriage. Actually, this is not the case. There is a Chinese saying which carries the meaning that "It is easier to reshape a mountain or a river than a person's character."

It is not easy to change. Thus, having high expectation on changing the spouse character will cause disappointment and unpleasantness.

It would be less painful to change ourselves and lower our expectations.


A person visited the government matchmaker for marriage, SDU, and requested "I am looking for a spouse. Please help me to find a suitable one."

The SDU officer said, "Your requirements, please."

"Oh, good looking, polite, humorous , sporty, knowledgeable, good in singing and dancing. Willing to accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure hour, if I don't go out. Telling me interesting stories when I need companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest." The officer listened carefully and replied, "I understand you need television."

There is a saying that a perfect match can only be found between a blind wife and a deaf husband, because the blind wife cannot see the faults of the husband and the deaf husband cannot hear the nagging of the wife. Many couples are blind and deaf at the courting stage and dream of perpetual perfect relationship. Unfortunately, when the excitement of love wears off, they wake up and discover that marriage is not a bed of roses. The nightmare begins.

Relationships 101: NO POINTING FINGERS

A man asked his father-in-law, "Many people praised you for a successful marriage. Could you please share with me your secret?"

The father-in-law answered in a smile, "Never criticize your wife for her shortcomings or when she does something wrong. Always bear in mind that because of her shortcomings and weaknesses, she could not find a better husband than you."

We all look forward to being loved and respected. Many people are afraid of losing face. Generally, when a person makes a mistake, he would look around to find a scapegoat to point the finger at. This is the start of a war. We should always remember that when we point one finger at a person, the other four fingers are pointing at ourselves.

If we forgive the others, others will ignore our mistake too.

Relationships 101: TRUST

TRUST is a very important factor for all relationships. When trust is broken, it is the end of the relationship. Lack of trust leads to suspicion, suspicion generates anger, anger causes enmity and enmity may result in separation.

A female telephone operator received a phone call one day. She answered, "Public Utilities Board." There was silence. She repeated, "PUB." There was still no answer. When she was going to cut off the line, she heard a lady's voice, "Oh, so this is PUB. Sorry, I got the number from my husband's pocket but I do not know whose number it is."

Without mutual trust, just imagine what will happen to the couple if the telephone operator answered with just "hello" instead of "PUB".


The Young - To learn how to live.
The Old - To know how to die.
The Ignorant - For wisdom.
The Learned - For humility.
The Rich - For compassion.
The Poor - For comfort.
The Dreamer - For enchantment.
The Practical - For counsel.
The Weak - For strength.
The Strong - For direction.
The Haughty - For warning.
The Humble - For exaltation.
The Troubled - For peace.
The Weary - For rest.
The Doubting - For assurance.
The Sinner - For salvation.
The Christian - For guidance.

A TRUCKER'S STORY Author Unknown

If this doesn't light your fire...your wood is wet!

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table
until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag.

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.

Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.

"We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."

"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?"

Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK," she said. "But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is." Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time
to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the
girls were bussing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup."

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something for Stevie".

"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and bussing cart were waiting.

"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!" I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. "First thing you have to do,
Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It ad "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. "There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. "Happy Thanksgiving, "

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table.

Best worker I ever hired.




This Can Be Your Year!

Are you wishing for a great new year? Are you just hoping or are you doing some planning? Are you considering your options or waiting for whatever options might come your way? What we really should be asking ourselves at the start of 2008 is what we can do to make it a great year.

We are filled with hopes and dreams and plans at the start of each new year. But a new year in itself holds no magic or power to help us be better. We are accountable for our actions. We are accountable to others. And that means we are responsible for what we do. We are free to make choices and take responsibility for what we choose.

I have always been proud of America as a "can do" nation. Our history pages are filled with examples of Americans who started with little but their own ambition and imagination and who worked hard to build successful lives. We need to preserve our "can do" legacy and protect against a temptation to rely on government programs or other well-intentioned efforts that chip away at our values of self-reliance. We never do anyone a favor by shielding them from accountability and responsibility.

People live in different circumstances and face varying temptations and obstacles. But I believe God has given us talents and free will to make choices. We all are accountable to someone. We all need to take responsibility for our actions. Accountability and responsibility can be a bit daunting to those who feel more comfortable having choices made for them. But taking responsibility for our actions actually liberates us by putting us more in control for improving our lives. You are in the driver's seat of your life. You can navigate the road ahead and choose which ways to turn and when to stop or proceed.

All of our most common New Year's resolutions require a choice and responsibility. The smoker needs to choose to quit and snuff out that last cigarette. A resolution to lose weight is a choice to eat a healthier diet and exercise. A better income is a choice to pursue a different career or earn a college degree.

We can wish and hope and wait to see what a new year brings. Or we can choose to be accountable for our actions and responsible for our own lives. We can blame our circumstances or choose to change them. We can hope to be in the right place at the right time or choose to put ourselves there. We can choose to focus on our doubts or on our dreams. Or, to sum it up using the title of one of my speeches, we can "Try or Cry."

The idea that the start of a new year automatically holds the promise of a brighter future usually leads only to disappointment. The idea that you can choose the start of a new year as a time to take action can begin to create a brighter future.

This year, make a choice to be accountable to all those who count on you. Be responsible for how you live today and how you might live better tomorrow. A Happy New Year is a choice you can make.

Rich DeVos is the former chairman of Gospel Communications. He is also the author of "Hope From My Heart: Ten Lessons for Life," co-founder of Amway Corp., and owner and chairman of the NBA's Orlando Magic.

  © Blogger Template by Emporium Digital 2008

Back to TOP