On the first day of the week.......... Luke 24:1

Easter is coming up soon. What a special Sunday Easter is! Sundays, in general, are special to people for a variety of reasons. A day off. Sleeping in. How about food? (I thought of hot fudge sundaes, yummy!)

Maybe it means getting up early, rushing around, getting kids ready, going to church as usual - and looking all calm and happy when you get there.

When I was a child, Sundays meant afternoon outings with my dad. Baseball games, long walks to the park. Maybe ice cream. We didn’t see much of him during the week; he went to work before I got up and came home after I went to bed. So Sundays were special.

With our kids, Sundays has been a family day. When they were little, we did simple things with them, mostly everyone sticking around the house. For years, now, we’ve had a hamburger cookout on Sunday noon. Our kids and grandkids like getting together. It makes our Sundays special.

No matter how great our Sundays might be, the very best Sunday ever was the day we call Easter Sunday. The day Jesus came alive again, after being dead. The day He first talked to people in his resurrected form.

Everyday can be Easter Sunday for us, as we encounter the risen Christ in our daily lives. That, is good news!


Christianity means having faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. It means to trust in the Bible as God’s Holy Infallible Word.

It is realizing sin separates us from God who is righteous and just; Knowing we can’t be reconciled on our own, so in Christ we trust.

It is understanding we can not earn God’s grace by virtues or good behavior. It is acknowledging we’re sinners who need the atonement of our Savior.

It’s realizing that laws and religion do not have the power to save us. It’s knowing and loving Jesus and accepting the gift that He gave us.

It is believing that Jesus took our sins at the cross for our debt to be paid. It is assurance we have eternal salvation because of the sacrifice He made.

It’s asking for God’s forgiveness and to help us make a fresh start; Asking Him to be with us always, and to fill us in mind and in heart.

It is having faith in God’s sovereignty for He knows what’s best; Thanking Him for all He has done and for how we’ve been blessed.

This is the message of the Gospel; Good News to those who will hear it. And when we accept and follow Jesus we receive the help of the Holy Spirit.

Being a Christian transforms us within and in every part of life; It gives us hope and joy along with comfort in sorrow and strife.

We know we’re not perfect but we want to please God and obey. We continually ask God to mend us and to show us the way.

We understand this is an ongoing process; not just an event. We strive to reflect Christ’s love for it is Him we represent.

We believe God loves everyone and has a purpose for us all. We know He does not want any of us to be lost or to fall.

We seek to know, to serve and to love God more and more; As we find understanding and meaning we did not know before.

If your faith isn’t evident and doesn’t mean this to you, Carefully reconsider and assess, is your faith really true?

If you have any doubts, seek His wisdom and pray. Invite Him into your life; ask Him to show you the way.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." John 3:16-17


A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them.

She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.

"No", she said. "He's out."

"Then we cannot come in", they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.

"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"

The woman went out and invited the men in.

"We do not go into a House together," they replied.

"Why is that?" she wanted to know.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said, "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"

Their daughter-in- law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed our daughter-in- law's advice," said the husband to his wife. "Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."

Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success:

"I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!! !"


A long time ago, a young, wealthy girl was getting ready for bed. She was saying her prayers when she heard a muffled crying coming through her window. A little frightened, she went over to the window and leaned out.

Another girl, who seemed to be about her age and homeless was standing in the alley by the rich girl's house. Her heart went out to the homeless girl, for it was the dead of winter, and the girl had no blanket, only old newspapers someone had thrown out.

The rich girl was suddenly struck with a brilliant idea. She called to the other girl and said, "You there, come to my front door, please."

The homeless girl was so startled she could only manage to nod.

As quick as her legs could take her, the young girl ran down the hall to her mothers closet, and picked out an old quilt and a beat up pillow. She had to walk slower down to the front door as to not trip over the quilt which was hanging down, but she made it eventually. Dropping both the articles, she opened the door. Standing there was the homeless girl, looking quite scared.

The rich girl smiled warmly and handed both articles to the other girl. Her smile grew wider as she watched the true amazement and happiness alight upon the other girl's face. She went to bed
incredibly satisfied.

In mid-morning the next day a knock came to the door. The rich girl flew to the door hoping that it was the other little girl there. She opened the large door and looked outside. It was the other little girl. Her face looked happy, and she smiled. "I suppose you want these back."

The rich little girl opened her mouth to say that she could keep them when another idea popped into her head. "No, I want them back."

The homeless girl's face fell. This was obviously not the answer she had hoped for. She reluctantly laid down the beat up things, and turned to leave when the rich girl yelled, "Wait! Stay right there."

She turned in time to see the rich girl running up the stairs and down a long corridor. Deciding whatever the rich little girl was doing wasn't worth waiting for she started to turn around and walk away. As her foot hit the first step, she felt someone tap her on the shoulder, turning she saw the rich little girl, thrusting a new blanket and pillow at her. "Have these." she said quietly.

These were her own personal belonging made of silk and down feathers.

As the two grew older they didn't see each other much, but they were never far from each other's minds. One day, the Rich girl, who was now a Rich woman got a telephone call from someone. A lawyer, saying that she was requested to see him.

When she arrived at the office, he told her what had happened. Forty years ago, when she was nine years old, she had helped a little girl in need. That grew into a middle-class woman with a husband and two children. She had recently died and left something for her in her will. "Though," the lawyer said, "it's the most peculiar thing. She left you a pillow and a blanket."


There are times in our lives when we experience unexpected sadness and loss. For me this was a sudden loss of a job one Friday evening. The owner gave me my final paycheck. A question I struggle with is how much of it should we tell to our friends and family. Allow me to explain.

We had A Bible Study meeting that Sunday night and I suggested to Sylvia, my wife, that I might mention to the group that I was no longer working.

Our group leader opened the evening with any prayer requests but I deliberated, thinking that if I told them my situation, that would put a slant on the whole evening. After the Bible Study, I finally told them: "At a friend's house this morning, I saw a sign on their wall, 'If God closes a door, He will open a window.' I have to use this sign of hope that God will provide for on Friday, I was told that this would be my last day as business was very slow."

As I was finishing my last statement, a new couple (Tim and Deborah) in our group suddenly raised their arms in jubilation and said, "That's our answer! He can take the position at work!"

In amazement I asked them what they were talking about.

They provided the details: A fellow at Tim's work was 'let go' and they were looking for a new employee. I had quite a few of the qualifications for the job plus some extra ones. They were excited and Sylvia and I were incredulous. They wanted my card and they asked me to provide a resume in the morning as I would be granted an interview with the owner.

On Monday morning I fixed up a resume, flew off to Burlington and had a good interview. The owner would call me.on Wednesday.

On the way out of the city of Burlington, I came to a traffic light and sat their perplexed. I heard someone honking at me and there was Deborah beside my van asking how the interview went. I was totalled. Like in a city of that size I would see our friend from last night right beside me giving me the 'thumbs up' sign. Do I dare say God is so good?

On Tuesday evening, Sylvia and I discussed the upcoming phone call for she desired to have an answer while at school. We figured something out. At 8:15 the phone call came: We would like to hire you. Are you able to report to work tomorrow?

I gave them an affirmative answer. Immediately, I phoned the secretary of the school and asked her to give Sylvia a note: I found the music! The concert begins on Thursday, 7:30.

I am thankful for the prayers and concerns of friends and family. The movement in this story of God's faithfulness happens very quickly. Not all stories move that quickly but God does provide answers in His own time. When He closes a door, He will always open a window. "God's timing is perfectly exact and exactly perfect," wrote a friend.

If God closes the door, He will open a window.

WHO FEELS THE PAIN? By Sally I. Kennedy

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

This week held a big step for two people close to me. My daughter had said, “I don’t know if I can let him go!” And on Tuesday, my 3 yr. old grandson went to school for the first time. It’s hard to say who felt the pain of separation more; my daughter, her first-born, or Grandma.

It was deja vu for me as I was transported back in time. Our oldest child began morning pre-school at the same age. I suspect the parent feels the pain more than the child. The youngster is on to new and exciting adventures, while the parent is left behind in his or her same routine.

Maybe it’s always easier for the one who moves on than the one who is left. My friend Ed, a counselor, says you grieve when you lose a person, place, or thing. It could be just about anything in life, little or big.

I thought about who was it that felt the pain more when we became separated from God back in the Garden of Eden? And who grieved the most? My guess is that it was our father, God. His pain was unbearable enough to immediately set about implementing the plan He'd had since before the foundation of time to bring us back into that close former relationship with him.

It did finally happen. As all things came together, so long ago, Jesus became the bridge between us and our heavenly parent. Happy endings are always good, and there is none better than this one.

That is definitely good news.

AMBITION By Melanie Schurr

Our world is often very success oriented. We are told we must be ambitious and fight for wealth, status, and recognition.

Desiring a pleasant life and the development of one's skills to their maximum potential is all well and fine, but how much importance do we place on our spiritual ambitions? Does a new house take precedence than one's salvation? Are you more willing to buy a book or take a course in personal improvement or financial success than gaining an understanding of your Creator?

It is true that some individuals have no spiritual ambition at all, seeking only to satisfy their flesh and ignoring the needs of the spirit and threatening their very salvation.

In the Bible we are told there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end, they are the ways of death. Flesh seeks to please the needs of the flesh, while the spirit hungers for food for the soul. Desiring to care for our earthly bodies and welfare is indeed noble, but don't deprive your soul of its salvation in the process. By putting God First, all other things fall nicely into place.


YEARS AGO, a remarkable man did a remarkable thing. Eric Liddell of Scotland refused to run a heat at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris because the race was scheduled on a Sunday, which his faith taught him would violate the Sabbath.

As we know from the Academy Award-winning film, "Chariots of Fire," Liddell managed to negotiate an unheard-of switch from the 100-meter race he had been scheduled to run
to the 400 meter, for which he had not trained, later in the week. On July 11, 1924, Liddell won that race and was showered with Olympic glory.

Instead of cashing in, Lidell turned his back on fame and fortune and followed in his parents' footsteps, becoming a missionary in China, where his most powerful contributions to God and to his fellow humans were made.

In our day of focus groups and leadership weakened by uncertainty of belief, Eric Liddell's example continues to stand out. A fanatic might have demanded that others not run on Sunday, either, and organized a group to enact legislation to conform society to his point of view. Not Liddell. He just said he wouldn't run. Some newspapers denounced him as a traitor to his country and king. How quickly they changed their tune when he won a gold medal. Had he yielded to temptation and compromised his beliefs, we might never have heard of him again.

The account of the race in the July 12, 1924, Times of London conveys the excitement of that day in Paris: "Liddell had the outside berth -- generally considered the worst place. There was a perfect start, and from the first jump-off the pace looked, and was, terrific. Two men of the six fell. But that made no difference, for there was never more than one man in the race, and it was the pace he set that fairly ran them off their legs. Sweeping round into the straight Liddell led by four or five yards, and increased his lead by a couple of yards more in the run home. No one ever looked like catching him.

"When the time was given out as 47 3-5 sec., and it was realized that, for the third time in two days, the world's `record' had been lowered, the Stadium went insane ...."

When Liddell left Edinburgh for China the following year, the number of people wanting to bid him farewell was so large that 1,000 were unable to get in. Twenty years later he was taken prisoner with other missionaries and Westerners and became one of 1,800 crowded into a Japanese camp. His personal space had shrunk to 3 by 6 feet. Before his arrest, Liddell managed to get his wife and two children to safety in Canada (Florence Liddell was pregnant at the time with their third daughter, whom Eric would not live to see). He died of a brain tumor on Feb. 21, 1945.

His biographer Sally Magnusson recalled that most people who knew Liddell observed the consistency of his life. She tried to learn whether he had "clay feet." In her book, "The Flying Scotsman," Magnusson thought she might have discovered something when she "happened on a disillusioning eyewitness account of the behavior of some of the missionaries in the Japanese internment camp where Liddell spent the last months of his life. I read of tempers lost and heavy moralizing, of exclusiveness and selfishness. The author scarcely had a good word for anyone.... Then I turned the page and found this: `It is rare indeed when anyone has the good fortune to meet a saint, but he comes as close to it as anyone I have ever known.' Of course, he was talking about Eric Liddell.'' Magnusson adds that thousands of people live similar lives in obscurity and the world does not know their names.

"And the first to remind us of that would be Eric Liddell -- who would be full of embarrassment at the very idea of being the subject" of a book or film.

At the end of "Chariots of Fire," producer David Puttnam put on the screen: "Eric Liddell, missionary, died in occupied China at the end of World War II. All of Scotland mourned."

Press accounts of the 1980 premiere of the film in Edinburgh told of huge crowds. How fitting. The people of Scotland, who had shared their native son with China, were welcoming him back and affirming the note given to Liddell by his masseur before that 1924 race. It referred to the Biblical passage 1 Samuel 2:30: "He who honors Me, I will honor." And so He did.

And so He still does 75 years later.


"If you knew the gift of God... you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." John 4:10

Large clumps of hot pink pentas are planted in the round clay pots on our back deck. They are hardy flowers, as well as butterfly attractors. Yesterday afternoon I was in the yard and noticed all the brown leaves on them. “It looks as if they’re dying”, I thought. “What in the world?”

An instant replay ran in my mind. The kids making dirt pies and leaves and flower soup over in that area. And oh yes, helping Grandma water the plants! That means taking bucketsful of pool water and dumping them on the pentas.

For a time, the plants flourished. Apparently, however, there is something in the water that didn’t agree with them, perhaps the chlorine in the pool water. And it got ‘em.

Living water; we all need it. If you’re drinking any other kind, it will eventually get ya. And the good news is that the ‘something’ in living water is available for free, to anyone, anytime.


One businessman complained and said:

"The other night, my wife and I were going out for dinner."

She put on eyebrow pencil, eye shadow, eyeliner, eyelashes, mascara, toner, blush and lipstick, then turned to me and said, "Does this look natural?"

Men find it hard to understand women and that's the beauty behind it, the mystery of discovery.

Another one said, "Today is the fifth anniversary of my wife's 39th birthday."

Now you tell me whether you can understand that or not.

Have you ever watched Fashion TV?

When I was still with the garments industry my wife and I watched a great deal of them and I realized that we were watching many of the world's most beautiful women. The clothes may not be great all the time but when these women wear it and walk with it, the beauty comes out. The next thing I discovered is that many fresh and young faces would walk the ramp. And it's only a matter of time before the once hot faces disappear from the scene only to be replaced by the younger ones.

NO amount of cosmetics could ever fight off a woman's terror and trepidation: aging. Age catches up with everyone and there's no exception to the rule.

One woman I know who is in her mid-forties prohibits her children to call her mom. She commanded that all of her grown up kids call her Auntie…and of course it breaks the children's hearts. I wonder how long she could stay in the stage of denial. Yes. Some people live in denial and somebody says it correctly that denial is not a river in Egypt.

Vanity? A refusal to face one's real age?

Mirror…mirror on the wall, who's the prettiest of them all?

What an unforgettable scene in the immortal Disney Classic Snow White.

Are women vain?

Some are of course and then some are not.

Today there are many men who are vain too. Look at the rise of cosmetic products for men.

The cosmetics industry is a major money making industry this is itself would reveal the fact that men and women do pay a lot of attention to how they look.

It is important to look good especially when you are in the work place.

In my seminars I always warn my audience to be wary of speakers who say otherwise. When you hear speakers tell you that "beauty is not important…I can assure you that the speaker is ugly."

Of course beauty is important and we have to make ourselves presentable.

The way we look represent the company we are working for.

But looking good is not as important as being good in person and character.

I got me an article that deals with this issue.

The title is How Females Look in the Mirror.

Age 8: Looks at herself and sees herself as Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty.

Age 15: Looks at herself and sees herself as Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty/Cheerleader or sees fat/Ugly. (Mom I can't go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: Looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too/short/too tall, too straight/too curly" — but decides she's going anyway.

Age 30: Looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too
tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she doesn't have time to fix
it, so she goes anyway.

Age 40: Looks at herself and sees "too fat/ too thin, too short/to
tall too straight/too curly"- but says: "At least I'm
clean" and goes anyway.

Age 50: Looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants

Age 60: Looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who
can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers
the world.

Age 70: Looks at herself and sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes
out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out
to have fun with the world.

That's the way to live life.

But why wait until 80 to develop this great attitude?

Beauty is in the character not on the skin.

A wise guy says: Beauty always comes from within—within jars, tubes,
and compacts. That's not what I mean.

A French proverb says: Beauty without virtue is a flower without

True beauty is that which reflects the beauty of Her Maker.

A godly life and a great positive disposition.

Who can resist such charm?

You don't need those low waist-hip hugging-panty revealing jeans to be

Show the love of Christ and exhibit His character by being a woman of
virtue and I can assure you you're beautiful anytime all the time.

So relax. Be happy and be beautiful.

SMASHED By Marion Smith

Although it happened almost 10 years ago,I remember when we received a call every parent dreads. It was not as devastating as it could have been, however, because our daughter placed it herself. “Mom, I’ve been in a car wreck on Hwy.285”. She was crying and it was difficult to understand her, so she handed the phone to a young man who had stopped to lend assistance. Likewise, I handed the phone to my husband, as I began to cry. The two men discussed the location of the accident and then the one on the scene warned us. "Be prepared, her car looks really bad but I think she is ok."

As we rushed to the scene of the accident, I called one of my prayer partners to start praying for the situation, and call the others in the group. My husband and I exited the appropriate freeway
ramp, and my heart really came to a stand still. Nighttime surrounded us and we saw the flashing lights of a fire truck and two police cars. Our daughters’ little white Celica convertible was SMASHED, terribly, as we had been warned. Then we saw her, and all I could do was cry out the name, “Jesus, Jesus”. As we rushed into each others’ arms, I held her and just cried and cried. They were tears of relief, seeing that she was coherent and seemed physically o.k. . I looked at the mangled mess of twisted metal she emerged from. Thank God there was no one in the car but her..the drivers seat was the only one not terribly damaged. Thank God she had a car with air bags, and had her drivers license and insurance card handy. Thank God for the young man and woman who stopped to help her until we got there. The firemen and policemen were kind and helpful to her, although they see accidents regularly. The man who was charged with the accident was most apologetic. He just couldn’t slow down his Ford Bronco soon enough to avoid hitting her, and pushing her into the car in front of her. I was thankful for all the care given her, but what she told me next assured me angels were also watching over and protecting her.

As she received the hit from behind, the impact swung her car around, so that she was crosswise on one of the lanes of 285. The drivers side was facing oncoming traffic, and a recent few drops of rain had made the roads slick and extra dangerous. The fact that oncoming cars avoided her and moved so they didn’t smash into the left side of her car was a miracle, I believe. I know there were angels surrounding and protecting her, although they were unseen. A person doesn’t have to see to believe… that is what faith is all about. She has a great measure of faith herself, for the first thing she told me was that angels had protected her.

She was bruised and sore for awhile, and had some temporary neck and back damage, but considering her car was declared totaled, we are sure that she had angelic protection that very night.

VACANT PAGES By Marion Smith

At one time my daughter pursued a second career. Besides being a first grade teacher, she decided to sell scrapbook/ photo albums, and teaching folks how to organize and enjoy their boxes of saved photos. The initial class starts, and most women who attend buy a blank photo album. All pages empty- ready to fill with saved memories. I had a lifetime of photos and trip memorabilia which I was ready to categorize and paste. I filled my multiple albums with photos of family and friends which reminded me of relationships through the years-many of them now gone. There were travel photos and keepsakes, photos depicting accomplishments, and pictures of nature which seemed important to me at one time. All the photos showed me things of temporary happiness and short lived beauty.

Temporary is fine, as long as we realize it for just what it is-something which lasts only for a little while. It is wonderful to go back through the years and review happy moments, but each heart longs for something, or someone, who will be there forever. I know just that someone.. God . That longing in our heart for that someone is explained in the Bible, in Ecclesiastes 3:11. It says, “God has set eternity in the hearts of men.” Eternity is not temporary or fleeting. It is forever, and we have someone to share it with. It begins when we realize this fact, and lasts forever.

God can fill the empty pages of our heart’s blank album with all that He is. He is eternal and never ending,, and you can have a love relationship with Him starting today---- it will last forever!!!

FAITH OF A CHILD Author Unknown

The father, a well digger,
strong was he,
And as loving and kind
as a father could be.

And Mary his daughter,
Just five years old,
Was very much dearer
than millions in gold.

To Mary her father
was big, grand and nice,
So each had a treasure,
beyond any price.

One day to the well,
little Mary was sent
To take daddy's lunch,
how gladly she went.

But when she looked down,
not a thing could be seen.
The well, like a pocket,
was dark as could be.

The father saw Mary
and heard her voice, too,
But made not a sound,
just to see what she'd do.

She dropped to her knees,
the dear little soul,
And called down, "Oh, Daddy,
are you down this hole?"

"Why, yes Mary darling,
I'm here at your feet,
Just drop my lunch
for I'm ready to eat.

Just let it go easy,
I'll catch it all right."
She did and she saw
it fall out of sight.

"Why Mary," said father,
"There's enough here for two,
Now this is the thing
I would like you to do.

You jump down here to me
and we'll eat it together,
Down here in the cool
and away from the weather."

"Oh, daddy, I'm afraid,
I can't see you at all,
Be sure now you catch me
and don't let me fall."

'Twas just for a moment
she wavered in doubt,
Then closing her dear
little eyes she jumped out.

In the darkness, yes,
that was the test,
She trusted in faith
At her father's request.

And both were so happy
he kissed her and smiled
Because of the sweet
trusting faith of his child.

"Oh, sweet little Mary,
you put me to shame,
How often my Father
Has called me the same,

But because it was dark
I turned back in doubt.
Refusing the call,
though his arms were stretched out."


When the rains subsided, and the sun peeked out, roots of the mangroves were clearly visible at the canal's edge.

"Aren't they a perfect example of what it says in the Bible about roots?", I thought.

These tropical roots are strong and resilient. They are firmly entrenched below the surface of the water into the ground. Thick, intertwined, bunched together.

Many hurricanes have come and gone here. Houses have flooded out, motels ruined, fruit trees blasted away from the gale force winds. But the mangroves survive. They have weathered the storms. They come back. And, they flourish.

We will have adversity. One way or another. That's not the good news. If we put down roots, into the soil of God's Word, we will do OK when the storms of life come. That is good news.


Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

A sort of mini-crash is what I termed it. After an unknown error, the address book contacts, name and email addresses, were no longer.

I thought of just scrapping the whole project looming in front of me. But then, it seemed the right thing to begin the arduous task of re-entering data.

It was painstakingly slow. I seemed to be getting nowhere fast. It wasn’t the computer’s fault, not really mine either. It was something that just happened.

In life, things happen. The computer scenario seemed to take forever; in actuality it did not. It made me think of the real desert times, experiences of the ‘dark night of the soul’. Those times in our lives when we are waiting, hoping, praying….and things seems to be taking forever.

If by any chance, you are in one of those places, you can know that it will not last forever. We have to hang in there and hold onto the promises that God’s given us in the Bible. We have to do our part, and allow God to to His. He is faithful. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.)

That is good news.


I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called "Smile." The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch ... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was smiling. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you." I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope." I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.

When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me, Honey. To give me hope." We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not churchgoers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?" I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we, as human beings and being part of God, share this need to heal people and be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:

UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE. Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT , LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.


Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Peering over the edge of the naval pier in Monterey California, I was intrigued with the sights below. The seals were diving into the water from the surrounding rock formations, then back again up upon the rocks they would haul their huge bodies to bask in the sunshine. I would try to follow a particular seal as he dove into the water to see exactly what he did when he left the rock. I am not sure how long they can stay underwater, but I notices some air bubbles surfacing near the spot where my seal had dived. The air bubbles increased in size and before long I saw, not my seal, who had probably swum a great distance away, but a scuba diver surfacing to the top of the water. I was really surprise, because I was sure it had been my seal making those air bubbles.

I have been very wrong about other things, too. Drawing the wrong conclusion from appearances or actions. I have been guilty of looking at one who professes to be a Christian but does not meet all my personal requirement to fit the physical bill. Perhaps I find them inappropriately, dressed, wearing heavy make up, or using their time and material possessions in a way I deemed unchristian- like. God forgive me when I sit on the judgment throne . Whether I draw correct conclusions or wrong ones, it is not a place where I should be. The bible tells us that God sees beyond all those trappings- He sees right to the core of an individual, and knows the intention of their heart. That is what is really important- God’s perspective, not mine.

If you, too, find yourself judging others, just remember, you usually see the wrong in them which is most prevalent in your life. That will give you food for thought! Let’s not jump to any personal conclusions – we should leave the conclusions to God.


I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed. Luke 6:47-79

Before the sun was up too high in the heavens, and it was hotter than blue blazes, my grandaughter and I ventured down to the beach.

Right away we noticed a beautiful sandcastle! It had survived the night somehow. Even though it was intricate and had obviously taken some time to do, the rising morning tide would surely wash it away.

We can build our lives on many things. Possessions, money, business, identity. They will all, one day, be washed away. We didn’t bring anything into this world, and we can’t take anything out of it – except our relationship with the Lord. That is forever.

I thought about an action Sunday school song the kids used to sing:
The wise man built his house upon the rock
and the rain came tumbling down.
The rain came down and the floods came up
and thewise man’s house stood firm.
But the foolish man built his house upon the sand
and the rain came tumbling down.
The rain came down and the floods came
and the foolish man’s house went SPLAT!!
So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ
and the blessings will come down.
The blessings come down and the prayers go up
so build your life on the Lord!!

As beautiful as the sandcastles of our lives may be, they are still just that: sandcastles. How awesome we can build our lives on the love of the Lord and the principles of His Word.

That is good news.

Matthew 6:19,21 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”


After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's pastor once again slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and gave a very brief introduction of his childhood friend. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit to speak, "A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast," he began, "when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean."

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. He continued, "Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life....to which boy he would throw the other end of the line. He only had seconds to make the decision.

The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, 'I love you, son!' he threw the line to his son's friend. By the time he pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered."

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the next words to come out of the old man's mouth. "The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son. How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us." With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side. "That was a nice story," politely started one of the boys, "but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian."

"Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But I'm standing here today to tell you that THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me."

"You see....I was that father, and your pastor was my son's friend."

UPLOAD, DOWNLOAD By Sally I. Kennedy

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Upload, Download

For a not-too-techie type person such as myself, computer lingo sounds like a foreign language most of the time. It even took awhile to distinguish ‘download’ and ‘upload’. 8) Here’s my definition of download: something comes in from somewhere in cyber space that has data. I’m sure that is nowhere near correct, but it helps me differentiate.

Recently I was thinking about how we receive downloads from God all the time. Primarily His Word, the Bible. Then, other books, other Christians, and circumstances.

Which then brought to mind the question about uploads. Well, our prayers. And just as the experts say no email is ever really lost or trashed, none of our prayers ever get lost or erased, either. In Revelations 5 we read about a scene in the throne room of God: “Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

Right now I need some supernatural wisdom. I need the mind of Christ, God’s insight and direction. I’m so thankful that I can go to Him, in prayer, and lay everything out before Him, and ask. Ask for what I need at the moment. And I am so thankful that He doesn’t shut me out or shut me down. He knows the cries of our hearts; He listens, and He answers.

Upload- our prayers; download- from the Lord.

That is good news.


Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." John 5:17

Growing up in a large city, I learned to have many fears. I guess they stayed with me, buried underneath the twists and turns that life takes when you’re growing up. So they never really went anywhere, and would surface from time to time in different ways.

Recently a situation came up that would normally cause me to become frightened, even panic. Yet I felt calm and peaceful. In fact, I didn’t even realize I hadn’t been scared, until later.

Somewhere along the line, the Lord did surgery, and took out the unwanted, unnecessary fear. Painless surgery; I wasn’t aware of when it took place.

God is so good to us! He is always at work, helping us and changing us to grow us into His image and likeness. Sometimes we know it, and other times not.

I’m thankful for Holy Spirit who helps us do what we cannot on our own, through Jesus’ name.

That is good news.


They tell the story of a mountain climber, who desperate to conquer the Aconcagua, initiated his climb after years of preparation. But he wanted the glory to himself, therefore, he went up alone. He started climbing and it was becoming later, and later. He did not prepare for camping but decided to keep on going. Soon it got dark...

Night fell with heaviness at a very high altitude. Visibility was zero. Everything was black. There was no moon, and the stars were covered by clouds. As he was climbing a ridge at about 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell. Falling rapidly he could only see blotches of darkness that passed. He felt a terrible sensation of being sucked in by gravity.

He kept falling....and in those anguishing moments good and bad memories passed through his mind. He thought certainly he would die. But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half. Yes!! Like any good mountain climber he had staked himself with a long rope tied to his waist.

In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air he had no other choice but to shout, "HELP ME GOD", "HELP ME!"

All of a sudden he heard a deep voice from heaven..."What do you want me to do?"


"Do you REALLY think that I can save you?"


"Then cut the rope that is holding you up."

There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man just held tighter to the rope.

The rescue team says that the next day they found, a frozen mountain climber hanging strongly to a rope... TWO FEET OFF THE GROUND.

How about you? How trusting are you in that rope? Why don't you let it go? I tell you, God has great and marvelous thing for you.



Remember to take your vitamins every day!

Anxious? Take Vitamin A. "All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Blue? Take Vitamin B. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name." (Psalm 103:1)

Crushed? Take Vitamin C. "Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

Depressed? Take Vitamin D. "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8)

Empty? Take Vitamin E. "Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name." (Psalm 100:4)

Fearful? Take Vitamin F. "Fear not, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God." (Isaiah 41:10)

Greedy? Take Vitamin G. "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put unto your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke 6:38)

Hesitant? Take Vitamin H. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'" (Isaiah 52:7)

Insecure? Take Vitamin I. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

Jittery? Take Vitamin J. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

Know nothing? Take Vitamin K. "Know this that the Lord is God, it is He that made us and not we ourselves. (Psalm 100:3)

Lonely? Take Vitamin L. "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

Mortgaged? Take Vitamin M. "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Nervous? Take Vitamin N. "Never, no never will I leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

Overwhelmed? Take Vitamin O. "Overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)

Perplexed or puzzled? Take Vitamin P. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (John 14:27)

Quitting? Take Vitamin Q. "Quit you like men and women, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Restless? Take Vitamin R. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him." (Psalm 37:7)

Scared? Take Vitamin S. "Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks my life seeks your life; you will be safe with me." (1 Samuel 22:23)

Tired? Take Vitamin T. "Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

Uncertain? Take Vitamin U. "Understand that I am (the Lord). Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me." (Isaiah 43:10)

Vain? Take Vitamin V. "Vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. (Acts 5:16)

Wondering what to do? Take Vitamin W. "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8)

eXhausted? Take Vitamin X. "Exercise thyself rather unto godliness." (1 Timothy 4:7)

Yearning for hope? Take Vitamin Y. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you art with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

Zapped? Take Vitamin Z. "Zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:14)


Home at last," said city Squirrel. He had been in the open lands to the south. He had wanted to see where oranges came from. The new place was terrifying at first. He had always thought that being from the city made him tougher and smarter than country animals.

He remembered telling the first mouse he met, "Where I come from you have to be on your toes. Never look anyone in the eye or act friendly or you'll be done in."

The southern animals were so familiar with Squirrel. They touched too much - patted backs, hugged strangers. They pried into one's affairs, forever asking how things were going and what you had for breakfast. Having been amid strangers, dodging thieves and con artists, Squirrel was wary of this "friendliness. "

A possum came by with a loaf of bread as a gift. Squirrel nearly slammed the door in his face. "What do you want," he demanded. "Are you trying to sell me something? Do you own a bakery? Is this one of those free samples to lure me in?"

The possum laughed, "Man you sure are a jumpy one. You just need to learn to relax and trust folks. Ain't nobody here out to get you. You think you so important that we all spend our days and nights worrying up new ways to do y'all in?"

"Fella, this might come as a surprise, but we got better things to do," possum said. "We gotta gather the food and tie down before tornado season comes on strong."

Tornado season? Squirrel panicked. Natural disaster meant looters and anarchy. He would have to arm himself. He built traps and gathered sharp stones for defense, while the others stored food and water.

When the storms came it was more terrible than anything he could have imagined. Thunder shook the earth and the palm trees bent under the force of the beating wind. Anything that was not tied down was instantly swept away by wind or water.

Alone and terrified Squirrel had run from his burrow and been snared in his own traps. His pitiful thrashing only made the tangle worse and by dawn he lay prone in the mud.

Possum and a band of geckos freed him from the lines and tended his wounds. He was more exhausted than hurt. After a few hours rest he sat up and watched as the animals recovered from the disaster. Most of their homes were gone.

Despite this new hardship, there was a kind of calm after the storm. There was no weeping. Instead they were sitting, sipping palm wine and swapping stories.

Squirrel could hardly believe his ears. "Have you all gone mad," he shrieked. "That was the most terrifying ordeal of my life! How can you sit here so calmly?"

"City folks," chirped the tree frog. "Spend all their time running scared without knowing what danger they're really in."

"What's that supposed to mean," asked squirrel.

The little frog answered, "It means that there's safety in numbers. We all look out for each other here because we spend so many nights like this one here. Truth is, dangerous as it is, at least we're never alone."

"I've never been alone," Squirrel said irritably. "I live with millions of people and animals all around me every day in the big city."

Possum shook his head. "Now see son, you just said it yourself. You live with them all around. You don't see them as beings so much as obstacles to be avoided. All those people and things and animals up there in the city are like the walls in a maze that you run through every day. You try not to look at or touch the walls as you go by, 'cause you're afraid they'll close in on you and do you a mischief."

"But they will," insisted Squirrel. "You have to be tough to survive..." He trailed off as he looked around the shelter at all the weather torn inhabitants. They had been tough, he realized. He had been running blindly through a maze of his own making.

Still he clung to his beliefs. "It can't be that simple," he said. "You can't go into the city acting like some smarty country critter and not be eaten alive."

Possum smiled. "Son, I have been to the city plenty of times. What I saw there were a lot of fellers like you, rushing and snarling. I seen one feller walk right over another who was lying in a gutter sick as death. He just stepped right over him like he was trash."

"I stopped that feller and I told him to mind his ways. I told him that there was a being he was scuttling over," he said. "Do I look like I got eaten for my trouble? No sir. I got that feller to help me show that poor creature a kindness."

Possum gave Squirrel a hard look. "Know what made him listen to me?" Squirrel didn't answer. "He listened to me because he stopped seein' me as a wall and saw what I was. I made him stop. Made him look and see."

Squirrel took a good look at possum. "It's in the eyes isn't it," he said. "You see the soul by looking in the eyes."

"That's the boy," said possum. "Thing is, you can't see it if you never look."

So Squirrel had come back home to take a look for himself, to see his fellows through new eyes. He would make it his business to help others see what he saw. He would write and teach and speak of what he had learned.

First they would see it through his eyes so that someday they could see it through their own.


“.... how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13

Here in sunny south Florida we had the most beautiful winter we have had in years. It was cool, clear, and purely delightful. However it was majorly dry. This morning I saw one of the squirrels, who nests high up in one of the coconut palms, coming towards the wood deck.

On the decking, there’s a defunct jacuzzi under an old canvas cover, which is so stretched it has pockets that hold water. The doves around dusk, and the squirrels, apparently regard this as their watering hole. As this little squirrel approached, he peered into what was a pitiful tiny bit of a pool. He bent over and drank what he could. Could be my imagination, but it seemed to me he acted disappointed as he went off in search of water some other place.

In our country we are usually able to access water through our faucets. Occasions such as hurricanes, water mains bursting and bacteria entering, have all brought to my attention how precious drinking water becomes when it can’t be taken for granted.

We can live without food, but not without water. Jesus said we can have ‘living water’ (John 4). Spiritually speaking, we can’t live without that kind of water, either. How fortunate we are to have free access to that ‘water’, the gift of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.

I am so very grateful I can keep on drinking at this wonderful watering hole of living water, that our loving heavenly father has provided for all of us, anytime, anywhere.

Though we cannot actually see God, our source, If we know Jesus then we have seen Him. (Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? John 14:9)


My Mother's father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at it's height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. "It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this."

Months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather' s small church in Chicago. The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. "But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top.

The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: "Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

There are times we want to blame God instead of thanking him! Perhaps it is something we ought to try more often, "Thank you God for not allowing my car to start this morning." He may have been saving your life from a car accident. "Lord Jesus, thank you for letting me lose my glasses; I'm sure they'll be put to good use or there is a lesson to be learned."


The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable. A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as atypical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

Let me tell you about it. I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself. He was talking about "a thousand marbles" to someone named "Tom". I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital." He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years."

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part."

"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy." "So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away." "I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!" You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show's moderator didn't have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss.

"C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."

THE LILY AND THE BLUEBIRD by Daphne Harrington

Once upon a time there was a beautiful lily. This lily had a bluebird friend who used to perch on a nearby fencepost and visit with her nearly every day. Together they enjoyed observing the rancher and his family who owned the place where they lived. They watched as, day after day, the rancher and his family worked tirelessly. Though their ranch was profitable and their hard work admirable, the conversation the friends overheard and the things they observed were curious to the pair. It seemed the more profitable the ranch became, the more the family thought they needed.

The bluebird made an observational flight over the rancher's domain, "You know, lily," he said upon his return, "All their hard work is really paying off. They have increased and improved this place substantially in the last few years."

"I know," replied the lily, "But have you also noticed that along with their increase they have less and less time for each other. They have all but quit going to church, and I hear them arguing more and more. And come to think of it," she observed, "I used to see the farmer and his wife taking long walks. Sometimes they walked together, hand in hand and at other times I used to see each of them taking time out of their busy days for a stroll alone in the woods, talking with the Lord. Nowadays however, they are too busy for that."

The bluebird chimed in, "Now they've turned the management of the farm over to the farmhands and have both taken jobs in the city in order to earn even more money so they can keep up the possessions they already have."

"Yes, and they've also bought a second home in Florida so they can have a nice warm place to live when it gets too cold here," said the lily.

The bluebird heaved a mournful sigh, "Lily," he said, "When the rancher and his family went to church, do you think they heard how the Heavenly Father told them to take a close look at you and me and to observe the secret of simplicity in how He takes care of His creatures? It seems to me they are complicating their lives instead of making them better.

To all this, the beautiful lily replied, "Why is it that people go to school and study textbooks and learn many great things, yet they aren't smart enough to read God's textbook on life and apply it?"

"Yeah," said the bluebird, "Then they too could fly and be free."


Did you know that

Kissing is healthy?

Bananas are good for period pain?

It's good to cry?

Chicken soup actually makes you feel better?

94% of boys would love it if you sent them flowers?

Lying is actually unhealthy?

Only apply mascara to your top lashes!

It's actually true, boys DO insult you when they like you!

It's impossible to apply mascara with your mouth closed!

89% of guys want YOU to make the first move.

Chocolate will make you feel better!

Most boys think its cute when you say the wrong thing.

A good friend never judge.

A good foundation will hide hickeys!..not that u have any.

Boys aren't worth your tears.

We ALL love suprises!!

THE BARBER Author Unknown

After twenty years of shaving himself every morning, a man in a small Southern town decided he had enough. He told his wife that he intended to let the local barber shave him each day. He put on his hat and coat and went to the barber shop, which was owned by the pastor of the town's Baptist Church. The barber's wife, Grace, was working that day, so she performed the task. Grace shaved him and sprayed him with lilac water, and said, "That will be $20."

The man thought the price was a bit high, but he paid the bill and went to work. The next morning the man looked in the mirror, and his face was as smooth as it had been when he left the barber shop the day before.

Not bad, he thought. At least I don't need to get a shave every day. The next morning, the man's face was still smooth. Two weeks later, the man was still unable to find any trace of whiskers on his face. It was more than he could take, so he returned to the barber shop.

"I thought $20 was high for a shave", he told the barber's wife, "but you must have done a great job. It's been two weeks and my whiskers still haven't started growing back."

The expression on her face didn't even change, expecting his comment. She responded, "You were shaved by Grace and once shaved, always shaved!"


Blessed are the husband and wife who continue to be affectionate, considerate, and loving after the wedding bells have ceased ringing.

Blessed are the husband and wife who are as polite and courteous to one another as they are to their friends.

Blessed are they who love their mates more than any other person in the world, and who joyfully fulfill their marriage vow of a lifetime of fidelity and mutual helpfulness to one another.

Blessed are they who attain parenthood, for children are a heritage of the Lord.

Blessed are they who remember to thank God for their food before they partake of it, and who set apart some time each day for the reading of the Bible and for prayer.

Blessed are those mates who never speak loudly to one another, and who make their home a place "where seldom is heard a discouraging word."

Blessed are the husband and wife who faithfully attend the worship service of the church, and who work together in the church for the advancement of Christ's kingdom.

Blessed are the husband and wife who can work out the problems of adjustment without interference from relatives.

Blessed is the couple which has complete understanding about financial matters, and have worked out a perfect partnership, with all money under the control of both.

Blessed are the husband and wife who humbly dedicate their lives and their homes to Christ, and who practice the teachings of Christ in the home by being unselfish, loyal and loving.

THE OPERATION By Norman Vincent Peale

Having lunch with a group of people, I fell to talking with a surgeon, a very interesting man. "Doctor," I asked, "what was the greatest operation you ever performed?"

"Well," he said, "I really don't know. Many operations I have performed required all my skills. But perhaps the one that meant the most to me was the time I operated on a little girl who was given only a ten percent chance of survival. She was such a little thing, and so pale when they brought her into the operating room.

"At that time, I was having a great deal of trouble, myself. I had a son who was a real problem and there were other things as well. I had allowed myself to become an unhappy man. As the nurses were preparing to administer the anesthetic to this little girl, she asked, 'Doctor, may I say something?'

" 'Yes, honey,' I replied. 'What is it?'

" 'Well,' she said, 'every night when I go to bed I say my prayers, and I'd like to say a prayer now.'

" 'That's all right, honey, please say your prayer, and think of me, too, won't you?'

"In a sweet voice she prayed:

Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me, Bless thy little lamb tonight; Through the darkness be thou near me: Keep me safe till morning light.

"And, dear God, please bless the doctor.' Then she added brightly, 'I'm ready now. And I'm not afraid, because Jesus loves me and He is right here with me and is going to bring me through okay.'

"I was blinded by tears," confessed the surgeon. "I had to turn away and occupy myself with another washup before I could start the operation. And I said, 'Dear God, if You never help me save another human being, help me save this little girl.' I operated on her and the miracle happened. She lived! Leaving the hospital that day, I realized that I was the one who had been operated on, not the girl. She taught me that if I take all my problems and put them in the hands of Jesus, He will see me through."


Dear Staff,

Please be aware that there have been some minor changes to the Personnel Policy as follows:


It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing a signature clothing like Guess, Polo, Dockers, Dickies etc. & carrying a Gucci bag or Marithe Francois Girbaud we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.


We will no longer accept a doctor statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.


Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment.


Each employee will receive 52 personal days a year. They are called Sunday.


All employees will take their vacation at the same time every year. The vacation days are as follows: January 1 & December 25 and all special and regular holidays.


Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in alphabetical Order. For instance, all employees whose names begin with 'A' will go from 8:00 to 8:20, employees whose names begin with 'B' will go from 8:20 to 8:40 and so on.

If you're unable to go at your allotted time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again.

In extreme emergencies, employees may swap their time with a co-worker. Both employees' supervisors must approve this exchange in writing.

In addition, there is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category.


Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast and take a diet pill.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplation, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

Have a nice week.



Boy, do we need a new sofa. There are several reasons why, the first being that we're a wrestle-on-the- sofa kind of family. It's like WWF on a smaller, sofa-sized scale. My teen boys are 6-footers so it was only a few months of wrestling before the couch lost a round or two and started making a loud popping sound every time we sit on it. Hey, if I'd wanted a crunchy couch I would've left the kids' potato chips in there, thank you very much. It's like a cereal sofa with all that snap, crackle, popping. I sat down the other day and I was just sure I'd snapped my spine. Scary.

Even more scary is the second reason we need a new sofa. With five kids, I shudder to think of all the fermenting Pepsi, pizza sauce, Ramen residue and old milk in there (although the milk is more likely closer to cottage cheese by now). It's full of toxic liquid teenager solution. I don't even want to know what kind of juices I'm sitting on. Whatever is in there, it's "couched" in mystery. Come to think of it, maybe it's good that the sofa makes that popping sound. It's probably drowning out the "squish." Any way you look at it, I've done a sofa-check and it's time to burn this thing. Time to put it to death. I have to do a life-check regularly, too, to make sure I get rid of anything squishy. Sitting on sin? That's worse than sitting on a fermenting sofa.

Ephesians 2:1-7 says, "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- -it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus" (NIV). How wonderfully amazing that because of the love of God, we can be forgiven--cleaned up. It's better than the newest, cleanest, top-of-the-line designer couch. Maybe not so much a couch as a "love seat." As for my crackly sofa, I'm off to burn it. I just hope that with all those teenage chemicals in there it's not too flammable. I could lose my eyebrows over this thing.

EXHAUSTED By Marion Smith

The hummingbird darted from one side of the garage to the other. It went from the ceiling to the floor, but found no escape. My daughter thought it was rather odd the bird didn't fly out the open garage door- an obvious means of escape. He didn't, though, and as he continued to fly frantically back and forth, he exhausted himself. Afraid to touch the fragile bird with bare hands, my son in law took the pool skimmer (a net attached to a long pole) and extended it toward the bird. He hopped over to the extended net, barely being able to flitter. He proceeded to take this little treasure out to the back yard, so he could have his freedom. However, the bird was just too exhausted to move. He then walked to the hummingbird feeder, where the bird, sitting on the pool skimmer, hungrily sipped drinks of nourishment . Before too long, he was able to fly away and live in the way God intended, not trapped in a garage.

Do you ever feel exhausted from the wear and tear of everyday life? Does it seem you go endlessly back and forth, running here and there, becoming exhausted by the endless effort you have to exert? There is an escape, and you have probably heard about it sometime during your life. It is like the open garage door… right there, available for you . It is God's holy word, and it is in the Bible. If you are too exhausted to go feed on His word, He is lovingly and willingly able to help you go there. Just as my son in law took the hummingbird straight to the nourishment on a swimming pool skimmer, so God will take you where you need to go. Sometimes He speaks straight to your heart, and sometimes He uses others. Listen. He wants to talk to you!


It takes strength to be firm.

It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard.

It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer

It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain.

It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in.

It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend's pain.

It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide feelings.

It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse.

It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone.

It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love.

It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive.

It takes courage to live.

"....as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage...." (Joshua 1:5b-6a)

THE ULTIMATE JOY By Melanie Schurr

"Joy is not in things; it is in us." -Benjamin Franklin

What is joy but a gladness of heart!

True joy cannot be found in material items or circumstances that may cause a transient smile, such as being on a wonderful vacation or winning the lottery. True joy is internal, not derived from external forces.

How can this be? What great power or force could touch an individual so profoundly that it could replace sadness and discontent with joy and peace?

The answer is God.

You see, true joy comes directly from the hand of God because He alone, is Love in its purest form and in genuine love there is joy.

Think for a moment of when you were a child. You lay cradled in your mother's arms, warm, soft, cared for, well loved, and fully nurtured. In her arms, you were safe from all external forces. Close to her breast was your home.

In like manner, our heavenly Father has this special gift to offer those who call on Him in love and sincerity. His Son's victory over death allows us the most profound joy because even though, in our earthy forms, we may face sickness, hardships, even death, nothing can pull us away from His arms or from the salvation He has promised us!

You have not known true joy until you have experienced the heartfelt touch of God! Call on Him today.


We live in a pathologically dissatisfied world. And I'm going to tell you why. Because we love to compare. Go around the world and discover that people aren't happy with their bodies.

Filipinos want to be fair-complexioned like Westerners, and so buy bleaching stuff. Westerners want to own bronzed bodies like ours, and so purchase tanning lotions.

Those with moles have them removed, while those who don't strategically implant beauty spots.

Some people want to shed a few pounds to look like Ally McBeal, while others want to gain some baby fat to look like Drew Barrymore.

When are we ever going to stop and simply be happy with how we look ? We live in a sick world. I tell you. And that sickness is comparisonitis. Take a look at wealth. When we drive our old Toyota, it really suits us fine. We feel blessed in fact when the rain pours outside and we feel snug and cozy on its faded upholstered seats.

But the moment we see our own officemate (or neighbor, or buddy, or cousin, or brother) drive his sleek sky-blue, four-door, four-wheel-drive Rav4, we automatically feel like third class children of God.

Next time we drive our bumpy, noisy, rusted, dilapidated Toyota (notice how all the defects come out all of a sudden?), we feel deprived, dispossessed, pariah, debased, and only a little higher than the insects of the earth.

Listen carefully. Bill Gates' total assets are worth $60 billion. That's more than the GNP of some small countries. Tiger Woods earns $80 million simply by smiling on TV in a Nike shirt. And the stars of the sitcom Friends are paid $50,000 per episode! My point? No matter how hard you work, there'll still be some people who will be richer than you are.

And there'll be some people who will be more beautiful, have more sex appeal, h ave more boyfriends/girlfrie nds, and have more problems. Try it for once. Stop looking around. Don't compare!

Don't compare her nose with your nose.
Don't compare his wife with your wife.
Don't compare his salary with your salary.
Don't compare her breast size with your breast size.
Don't compare her kid's report card with your kid's report card.
Don't compare his prayer group with your prayer group.
Don't compare her/his cellulite deposits with your cellulite deposits.

Stop comparing and start living and you'll be happier with your life.

This is crucial: The most difficult thing in the world is to be who you are not. Pretending and trying to be someone else is the official pastime of the human race. (I don't think dogs and cats and cows and horses have this problem).

And the easiest thing in the world is to be yourself. Be happy. Live!

There must be a reason why God made you tall or short or fat or thin or bumpy all over.

Love who you are!

KEYS IN THE SNOW By Sally I. Kennedy

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

We had a treat a few years ago when our friends invited to their home in the mountains. My husband was thrilled to have an opportunity to get out his skis and head for the slopes. I, too, enjoyed the R & R in a place so very different from our home in Florida.

Off the back wooden deck of the house, there was a large iron antique key. Keys in the snow, like seeds buried underground in winter. Some big, some smaller. The seeds aren’t just lying there doing nothing. They are gathering energy - while resting - to germinate and sprout. And when the inactivity of a winter season is over, spring gets underway. Pretty soon what’s going on is visible to our eyes. A tiny green blade pokes through, and it’s on the way to blooming.

The dream God has crafted just for you, might be your seed. Perhaps it is still buried deep under a thick layer of snow. The blanket of insulation can protect it, while preparation is happening. God gave you the dream. He takes care to let nothing happen to it.

In the midst of New Year’s resolutions and plannings, it’s good news to remember there’s a divine plan for our ‘keys in the snow’.

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