There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, 
so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer and he started his journey. 
When he had gone about three blocks, he met anold woman. She was sitting in the park just 
staring at some pigeons.  The boy sat downnext to her and opened his suitcase. He was about
to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered
her a Twinkie. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy 
wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Once again she smiled at him. The boy was delighted!  They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.As it grew 
dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more
than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman and gave her a hug. She gave
him her biggest smile ever.  When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, 
his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.  She asked him, "What did you do today
that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God. " But before his mother could
respond, he added, "You know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!" 
Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home.  Her son was stunned
by the look of peace on her face and he asked, "Mother, what did you do today that made you
so happy?" She replied, "I ate Twinkies in the park with God."  But before her son
responded, she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."
By Julie A. Manhan

Quote of the Week: "Don't be afraid your life will end, be afraid it will never begin." -----------Grace Hansen

Dear Lord,
 So far today, God, I've done all right.  I haven't gossiped, haven't lost my temper, haven't been nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent. I'm very thankful for that.  But in a few minutes Lord, I'm going to get out of bed  And from then
on,  I'm going to need all the help I can get.

1.     Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
 2.     Memorize your favorite poem.
 3.     Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
 4.     When you say, "I love you", mean it.
 5.     When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
6.     Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7.     Believe in love at first sight.
8.     Never laugh at anyone's dreams.
9.     Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
10.    In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11.    Don't judge people by their relatives.
12.    Talk slowly but think quickly.
13.    When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
14.    Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15.    Call your mom.
 16.    Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
17.    When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
18.    Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
 19.    Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
20.    When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
21.     Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22.    Marry who you love to talk to. As they age, their conversational skills will be as important as any other skill.
23.    Spend time alone.
24.    Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
25.    Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26.    Read more books and watch less TV.
27.    Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think  back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
28.    Trust in God, but lock your car.
29.    A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
30.    In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation; don't bring up the past.
31.    Read between the lines.
32.    Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
33.    Be gentle with the earth.
34.    Pray  --  there's immeasurable power in it.
35.    Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
36.    Mind your own business.
37.    Don't trust someone who doesn't close their eyes when you kiss them.
38.    Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
39.    If you make a lot of money,  put it to use helping others while you areew living
40.    Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of  luck.
41.    Learn the rules then break some.
42.    The best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
43.    Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
44.    Remember that your character is your destiny.
45.    Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five.  Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand,
she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.  "Oh please,  Mommy. Can I have them?
Please, Mommy, please!" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and thenlooked back
into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.  A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00 If you
really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy 
them for yourself.  Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.
"As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies.  After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.  Then on her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money
to buy the necklace. Jenny loved her pearls.  They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere; Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath.   Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Jenny had a 
very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and
come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny,  "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy.  You know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls.  But you can
have Princess-the white horse from my collection. Theone with the pink tail.  Remember, Daddy?  The one 
you gaveme.  She's my favorite." "That's okay, Honey.  Daddy lovesyou.  Good night."  And he brushed her
cheek with a kiss.  About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I loveyou." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby-doll.  The brand new one I got for my birthday.  She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket
that matches her sleeper." "That's okay. Sleep well.  God bless you, little one.  Daddy loves you." And as 
always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.  A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was 
sitting on her bed and as he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down
her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to 
her daddy.   And when she opened  it, there was her little pearl necklace.  With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy.  It's for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand
to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue
velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.  He had had them all the time. He was 
just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure. Just like our 
heavenly Father.  As you consider all of the points of the lesson, let me ask you, what are you hanging on
to?   What dime-store stuff is keepingyou from God's genuine treasure?

Life is eternal, and Love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a 
horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. --- Rossiter Worthington Raymond


If Jesus CameToday

  Would you have to change your clothes,
  Before you let Him in?
  Or hide some worldly magazines,
  And put Bibles where they'd been?
  Would you hide your worldly music,
  And put some hymn books out?
  Could you let Jesus walk right in,
  Or would you rush about?
  And I wonder: If the Savior,
  Spent a day or two with you.
  Would you go right on doing,
  The things you always do?
  Would you go right on saying,
  The things you always say?
  Would life for you continue,
  As it does from day to day?
  Would you take Jesus with you,
  Everywhere you go?
  Or would you maybe change your plans,
  For just a day or so?
  Would you be glad to have Him,
 Meet your closest friends?
  Or would you hope they’d stay away,
  Until His visit ends?
  Would you be glad to have Him,
  Stay forever on and on?
  Or would you sigh with great relief,
  When He at last was gone?
  It might be interesting to know,
  The things that you would do.
  If Jesus came in person,
  to spend some time with you.


A short story from A Gentle Thunder

Once there was a man whose life was one of misery.  The days were
cloudy, and the nights were long.  Henry didn't want to unhappy, but
he was.  With the passing of the years, his life had changed.  His children were grown.  The neighborhood was different.  The city seemed harsher.  He was unhappy.  He decided to ask his pastor what was wrong.  "Am I unhappy for some sin I have committed?"  "Yes,  the wise pastor replied.  "You have sinned."  "And what might that sin be?"  "Ignorance," came 
the reply.  "The sin of ignorance.  One of your neighbors is the Messiah in disguise, and you have not seen him." The old man left the office stunned.  "The Messiah is one of my neighbors?"  He began to think who it might be.  Tom the butcher? No, he's too lazy.  Mary, my cousin down the street? 
No, too much pride.  Aaron the paperboy?  No, too indulgent.  The man was confounded.  Every person he knew had defects.  But one was the Messiah.  He began to look for Him.  He began to notice things he hadn't seen.  The grocer often carried sacks to the cars of older ladies.  Maybe
he is the Messiah.  The officer at the corner always had a smile for the
kids.  Could it be?  And the young couple who'd moved in next door. 
How kind they are to their cat.  Maybe one of them... With time he saw things in people he'd never seen.  And with time his outlook began to change.  The bounce returned to his step.  His eyes took on a friendly sparkle.  When others spoke he listened.  After all, he might be listening 
to theMessiah.  When anyone asked for help, he responded; after all this might be the Messiah needing assistance.  The change of attitude was 
so significant that someone asked him why he was so happy.  "I don't know," he answered.  "All I know is that things changed when I started looking for God."

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter.  She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again.   There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:

Dear Ruth,
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit. 
Love Always,  Jesus

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table.  "Why would the Lord want to visit me?  I'm nobody special.  I don't have anything to offer."  With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer.  I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner."  She reached for her purse and counted out its contents.  Five dollars and forty cents.  "Well,  I can get some
bread and cold cuts, at least."  She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.  A loaf of french bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday.  Nonetheless, she felt as she headed home,
her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"  Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags. "Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it."  Ruth looked at them both. 
They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted  to.  "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself.  All I have is a few  cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner
tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."  "Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand.
Thanks anyway."  The man put his arm around the woman's  shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.  As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
"Sir, wait!"  The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them."Look, why don't you take this food.  I'll figure out something else to serve my guest."  She handed the
man her grocery bag.

"Thank you lady.  Thank you very much!"  "Yes, thank you!"  It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.  "You know, I've got another coat at home.  Here, why don't you take this one."  Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders.  Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and
with nothing to serve her guest.

"Thank you lady!  Thank you  very much!"  Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and  worried too.  The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him.  She fumbled through her purse for her key.  But as she did, she noticed another 
envelope in her mailbox.  "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." 
She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth,
It was so good to see you again.  Thank you for the lovely meal.  And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat. Love Always Jesus

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.


 I was walking down life's highway a long time ago.  One day I saw a sign that read,
 As I got a little closer the door came open wide, And when I came to myself I was standing inside.  I saw a host of ANGELS. They  were standing everywhere.  One handed me a basket and said, "My Child shop with care."  Everything a Christian needed was in that grocery
store.  And all you couldn't carry, you could come back the next day for more.  First, I got
some PATIENCE. LOVE was in the same row.  Further down was UNDERSTANDING: you need that everywhere you go.  I got a box or two of WISDOM, a bag or two of FAITH.  I just
couldn't miss the HOLY GHOST, for it was all over the place.  I stopped to get some
STRENGTH and COURAGE to help me run this race.  By then my basket  was getting full,
 But I remembered I needed some GRACE. I didn't forget SALVATION, for SALVATION was
free,  So I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.  Then I started up to the counter to pay my grocery bill,  For I thought I had everything to do the MASTER'S will.
 As I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER: and I just had to put that in, For I knew when I
stepped outside, I would run into sin.  PEACE AND JOY were plentiful; they were last on 
the shelf.  SONG and PRAISE were hanging near, so I just helped myself.  Then I said to the angel, "Now, how much do I owe?"  He smiled and said, "Just take them everywhere you
go."  Again, I smiled and said, "How much do I really owe?"
 He smiled again and said, "MY CHILD,


The Last Day

If today were the last of all days
Would it change how you feel, who you are?
Would you rise for a moment above all your fears
Become one with the moon and the stars?

Would you like what you see looking down?
Did you give everything that you could?
Have you done everything that you wanted to? 
Is there still so much more that you would do?

Follow your dream to the end of the rainbow
Way beyond one pot of gold.
Open your eyes to the colors around you,
And find the true beauty life holds.

Would you live for the moment, like when you were young.
Time didn't travel so fast.
Be free in the present.
Enjoy the now,
Not tied to a future or past.

You would probably say all you wanted to say.
But doesn't it strike you as strange,
That we'd only begin to start living our lives,
If today were the last of all days.

A Little Sleep

 My body betrays by thrusting Sleep aside,
 my bed becomes a battle ground for heat and chills,
and other ills;
 But listen body, it's 4 a.m., 
don't you think it ought to subside?

 Breathing rough and shallow,
 I inhale a drug or two,
 swallow a pill and perhaps a liquid goo.

 Patiently I wait for breathing that will ease;
 And, obnoxious coughing, you really now must leave.

 Please Sleep, I tiredly implore,
 knock gently,
 then come swiftly cross my bedroom floor.

 Ninety-nine sheep, ninety eight,
 and on the little sheep roam;
 but really, Sleep, instead of count,
 I think I'd rather snore.


  I knelt to pray but not for long,
  I had too much to do.
  I had to hurry and get to work
  For bills would soon be due.

 So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
  And jumped up off my knees.
  My Christian duty was now done
  My soul could rest at ease.

  All day long I had no time
  To spread a word of cheer.
  No time to speak of Christ to friends,
  They'd laugh at me I'd fear.

  No time, no time, too much to do,
  That was my constant cry,
  No time to give to souls in need
  But at last the time the time to die.

  I went before the Lord,
  I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
  For in his hands God held a book;
  It was the book of life.

  God looked into his book and said
  "Your name I cannot find.
  I once was going to write it down...
  But never found the time"

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free, I'm following the path God laid out for me.   I took his hand when I heard his 
call.   I turned my back and I left it all.   I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or play.  Tasks left undone must stay that way.  I've found that peace at the close of the day.  I'm so sorry If my parting has left a void.  Then fill it with remembered joy.  A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah yes, these things I too will miss.  Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.  My life's been full, I savored much.  Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.  Perhaps my time seemed all too brief.  Don't lengthen it now with undue
grief.   Lift up your hearts and share with me, God wanted me now,  He set me free.


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his
 employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business
 and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.
He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

 The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he
 could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter
 said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in
 his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior
 materials.  It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

 When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect
 the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter.
 "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

 What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building
 his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to
 live in the home he had built none too well.

 So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting
 rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best.
 At important points we do not give the job our best effort.
 Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find
 that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized,
 we would have done it differently.

 Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your
 house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.
 Build wisely.  It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it
 for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and
 with dignity. Knowing we are all given resources from God with which
to work, we are still responsible for what we do with those resources . .
 life becomes a "Do-it-yourself " project.

 Who could say it more clearly?  Your life today is the result of your
 attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the
 result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

 ~~author unknown~~


It is well said: "Strength and courage aren't always measured in medals and victories. They are measured in the struggles
we overcome. The strongest people aren't always the people who win, but the people who don't give up when they lose."

A story is told that Andrew Jackson's boyhood friends just couldn't understand how he became a famous general and then
the President of the United States. They knew of others who had greater talent but who never succeeded. One of Jackson's friends commented, "Why, Jim Brown, who lived right down the pike from Jackson, was not only smarter but he could throw Andy three times out of four in a wrestling match. But look where Andy is now."

Another friend responded, "How did there happen to be a fourth time? Didn't they usually say three times and out?"

"Sure, they were supposed to, but not Andy. He would never admit he was beat -- he would never stay 'throwed.' Jim
Brown would get tired, and on the fourth try Andrew Jackson would throw him and be the winner."

Andrew Jackson just wouldn't stay 'throwed'! And that determination served him well for many years.

Life will knock us off our feet again and again. You've been there and so have I. But some people just won't stay
'throwed.' They get up again, dust themselves off and go for it one more time. These are people of courage. They are
also people of faith and hope.

Maybe you have been knocked off your feet. Will you stay 'throwed,' or will you rise and give it your best one more time?

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to
leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.  He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

 The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one 
more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see
that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior
 materials.  It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

 When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the
contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter.  "This is your house," he said, 
"my gift to you."

 What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he
would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none
too well.

 So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting  rather than acting, willing
to put up less than the best.  At important points we do not give the job our best effort.
 Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living
in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.

 Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely.  It is the only life you will ever build. Even if
you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. Knowing we are all given resources from God with which to work, we are still responsible
for what we do with those resources . .
 life becomes a "Do-it-yourself " project.

 Who could say it more clearly?  Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices
in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

 ~~author unknown~~

A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes;
a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs;
an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all---he's walking on them.
~~Leonard Louis Levinson

The Most Caring Child

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to
find the most caring child. The winner was a four-year-old child, whose next-door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap and just
sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

By Ellen Kreidman
Sense of a Goose

When you see geese flying along in "V" formation, you
might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in
"V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
People who share a common direction and sense of
community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of 
one another.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in
formation with those people who are headed the same way we are.
When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the
wing and another goose flies point.
It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs,
whether with people or with geese flying south.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to
keep up their speed.
What messages do we give when we honk from behind?
Finally - and this is important - when a goose gets sick 
or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of formation,
two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it
down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.  If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

If God had an Answering Machine

What if God Had an Answering Machine?
Imagine praying and hearing this:
Thank you for calling My Father's house.
Please select one of the following four options:
Press 1 for requests.
Press 2 for thanksgiving
Press 3 for complaints.
For all other inquiries, press 4

What if God used the familiar excuse: 
All of the angels are: helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line.
Your call will be answered in the order it was received.
Can you imagine getting these kinds of responses as you callon God in prayer?
If you'd like to speak with Gabriel, press 1.
 For Michael, press 2.
 For any other angel, press 3.
 If you'd like King David to sing a psalm for you, press 6.

To find out if your relative is here, enter his/her date of
death and listen for the list that follows.
For reservations at My Father's House, 
simply press the letters
 J-O-H-N, followed by the number 3-16

For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs,
the age of the earth and where Noah's ark is,
wait until you get here!

Our computers show 
that you have called once today already.
Please hang up immediately.

This office is closed for the weekend. 
Please call again Monday.

Thank God, you can't call Him too often!!! 
You only need to ring once and God hears you.
Because of Jesus, you never get a busy signal.

God takes each call and knows each caller personally.   When you call and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help and He will say:
Here am I!

When in sorrow, call John 14
When men fail you, call Psalm 27
If you want to be fruitful, call John 15
When you have sinned, call Psalm 51
When you worry, call Matthew 6:19-34.
When you are in danger, call Psalm 91.
When God seems far away, call Psalm 139.
When your faith needs stirring, call Hebrews 11.
When you are lonely and fearful, call Psalm 23.
When you grow bitter and critical, call 1 Cor. 13.
For Paul's secret to happiness, call Col. 3:12-17.
For idea of Christianity, call 1 Cor. 5:15-19.
When you feel down and out, call Romans 8:31-39.
When you want peace and rest, call Matt. 11:25-30.
When the world seems bigger than God, call Psalm 90.
When you want Christian assurance, call Romans 8:1-30.
When you leave home for labor or travel, call Psalm 121.
When your prayers grow narrow or selfish, call Psalm 67.
For a great invention/opportunity, call Isaiah 55.
When you want courage for a task, call Joshua 1.
How to get along with fellowmen, call Romans 12.
When you think of investments/returns, call Mark 10.
If you are depressed, call Psalm 27.
f your pocketbook is empty, call Psalm 37.
If your loosing confidence in people, call 1 Cor. 13.
If people seem unkind, call John 15.
If discouraged about your work, call Psalm 126.

If you find the world growing small, and yourself great, call
Psalm 19.

Emergency numbers are toll free, and may be dialed direct. No
operator assistance is necessary.
 All lines are open to Heaven 24 hours a day!  "Feed your faith,
 and doubt will starve to death!"

At twenty-threee, Gino nearly died of a serious illness.  His condition was critical, but after weeks in the hospital and months in a convalescent facility, he was finally able to go home.  However, it would be too much to say that he had recovered.  His life would never be the same.

It seems that the infection had destroyed most of Gino's liver.  His doctor had the unpleasant task of explaining to him that it would not regenerate itself.  Gino's health would always be fragile, and for the rest of his life he would have to be hooked up to a machine that would do for him what his
devastated liver could not.

With the disability money received from the state, Gino was able to rent a tiny apartment.  his many friends pitched in to do his shopping and cooking and running his errands.  Bedridden and permanently attached by tubes to a machine that had to be wheeled along with him on trips to the bathroom, this
once-athletic young man tried to keep his spirits up despite the knowledge that he was going to spend the rest of his life as an invalid.

Gino had a lot of time on his hands.  In an effort to relieve his boredom, one of his friends brought him 
the book "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain.In it, Gawain describe and ancient spiritual 
technique for changing reality.  She said that you could actually heal yourself by altering the way
you pictured things in your mind.  Glad to fill his tedious days and sleepless nights with constructive activity, Gino began to visualize the healing of his liver.

"I used to lie there and work on my liver one cell at a time," Gino told me years later when he was attending the graduate school where I taught. "it was too damned depressing to focus on the whole
thing at once. My liver appeared in my mind's eye like this big, black blob--all discolored and flabby
with just this one little area of healthy pink tissue."

"So I would lie in bed imagining myself with a teensy-weeny little toothbrush,  scrubbing the crud of
a single cell, rinsing it careful, and gently massaging in magical medicines.  I don't know that I 
seriously thought it was going to help, but it was something to do.  There is just so much television
a person can watch."

As the months wore on, Gino became a little stronger.  He could move about the apartment more 
easily and prepare meals for himself, but he continued to fill his idle hours by mentally tending to his
liver cells.  Sometimes when he was alone, he would even croon to them like a loving father, urging 
the "little guys" to take heart and heal themselves.  And each day the liver in his visualization looked slightly improved.  Little by little, there got to more pink healthy cells and fewer crud-encrusted, 
black ones.

One day as hew stepping out of his tiny kitchen, Gino caught his tubing on the edge of the counter. 
A sudden move on his part, and he felt agonizing pain as the plastic umbilicus was ripped out of his
body.  His doctor had warned that such an eventuality could be fatal, and Gino lost no time in phone
the paramedics.

Gino's doctor met him in the emergency room, looking grim. "I'll have to operate, but I want to do 
some tests first so I know where we stand.  The nurse is going to take you down for some x-rays 
and stuff while I get scrubbed."

The test were quickly competed, and Gino was prepped for surgery.  After ashort wait, however, 
the nurse returned and told him that something had gone wrong with his tests.  They would have 
to be repeated.

Gino was put throughout another battery and again left to wait.  This time it was his doctor who 
appeared with an apologetic expression.  These tests were no good either.  How about one
more round?

However, after the third battery was complete, Gino's doctor strode into his room and eyed him 
with speculation.  He waved the sheaf of results in the airand demanded, "Where the hell did you
get this liver?"

"What" Gino replied weakly.

"This isn't your liver!  I know your liver and this isn't it!"

Gino was nonplused. "What do you mean?  What's wrong?", he asked.

"That's just it!", his physician exclaimed.  "Nothing is wrong!  There isn't a damn thing wrong with
this liver.  You left here five months ago with almost no liver function, and now you show up with 
this perfectly good liver.  And what I want to know is -- how the hell did you do that?"

"You're not going to believe this, Doc," Gino replied, "but it must have been the visualization I've
been doing.  For hours every day I've been visualinzing my liver healing. I guess it did."

Gino was right about one thing.  His doctor never did believe that the visualization could have
worked such a miracle.  Not that he had any other theories to explain how it could have happened.

Gino is now a psychotherapist, helping others to heal themselves by refocusing their thinking.  We 
convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another.  Then 
we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are.  After 
that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with.  We will certainly be happy when they 
are out of that stage.  We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or 
her act together, when we get a nicer car, or are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. 
The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now.  If not now, when?  Your life will 
always be filled with challenges.  It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D. Souza.  He said, "For a long time it had seemed to me
that life was about to begin -- real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way, something
to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. 
Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

 This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way! 
So treasure every moment that you have.  And treasure it more because you shared it with 
someone special, special enough to spend your time . . . and remember that time waits for no
one . . . So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten 
pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until 
you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, 
until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until  Spring, until summer, 
until fall, until winter, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a 
drink -- until you die -- to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

 Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

  - Author unknown

The Present
  Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400.  It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.
  What would you do?  Draw out every cent, of course!!!!

  Each of us has such a bank.  Its name is TIME.  Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.  Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever  of this  you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance.

 It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you.  Each Night it burns the remains of the day. 
If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

  There is no going back.  There is no drawing against  "tomorrow". You  must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!  The clock is running.

.................... ..........
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