Friday, December 30, 2011

How We Affect Others

We may not always realize
that everything we do,
affects not only our lives,
but touches others too.

A single happy smile
can always brighten up the day,
for anyone who happens
to be passing by your way.

And a little bit of thoughtfulness
that shows someone you care,
creates a ray of sunshine
for both of you to share.

Yes, every time you offer
someone a helping hand,
every time you show a friend
you understand.

Every time you have a kind
and gentle word to give,
you help someone to find beauty
in this precious life we live.

For happiness brings happiness
and loving ways bring love,
and giving is the treasure,
that contentment is made of.

-Author Unknown-

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Christmas Story

As a LifeCycles Christmas tradition, we share the story of one of America's most loved Christmas carols. The spirit of our nation lies deep within this song.

When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow composed this poem, which became the lyrics of a much-loved Christmas carol, America was still months away from General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

Longfellow had long despaired over the Civil War, as it reflected his own darkest personal despair. His beloved wife Fanny had died two years earlier. His oldest son Charles, a Lieutenant in the Army of the Potomoc, had been seriously wounded in the war.

Thankfully, Charles survived. It was the start of the hope for a future without war for Longfellow. He awoke on Christmas Day 1863, and felt the inspiration to write a poem looking forward toward better days. Longfellow captured the nation’s awakening as well, as the poem ends with a confident hope of triumphant peace.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the entry.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:

Each morning your bank will deposit $86,400.00 in your private account for your use. However, this prize comes with rules just like any game has certain rules.

The first set of rules would be:
1. The money that you do not spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.

Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day.

The second set of rules:

1. The bank can end the game without warning. At any time it can say, “It’s over, the game is over!”
2. It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right?

Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and your friends as well, right?

Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every cent, and use it all, right?


Each of us is in possession of such a “magical” bank.

We just can’t seem to see it.


Each awakening morning we receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.

What we haven’t lived up to that day is forever lost.

Yesterday is forever gone.

Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time…….


WELL, what would you do with your 86,400 seconds?

Aren’t they worth so much more than the same amount in dollars?

Think about that, and always think of this:

Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, and enjoy life with your loved ones & friends as well!

Here’s wishing you a Wonderful MERRY CHRISTMAS and a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

*Thanks to Angela who sent me this post.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Good Habit

In 1912, efficiency expert Ivy Lee met with his prospective client, Charles Schwab
who was President of Bethlehem Steel, and outlined how his organization could benefit the company. Lee ended his presentation by saying:

"With our service, you'll know how to manage better."

Schwab then stated: "We don't need more 'knowing' but need more 'doing.' If you can give us something
to help us do the things we already know we ought to do, I'll gladly pay you anything within reason you ask."

"I can give you something in twenty minutes that will step up your doing at least fifty percent," Lee answered.
"Okay", Schwab said, "show me."

Lee then handed Schwab a blank sheet of paper and said:

"Write down the six most important tasks you have to do tomorrow in order of their importance. The first thing tomorrow morning look as item one and start working on it until it is finished."

"Then tackle item two in the same way; and so on. Do this until quitting time. Don't be concerned if you have only finished one or two. Take care of emergencies, but then get back to working on the most important items. The others can wait."

"Make this a habit every working day. Pass it on to those under you. Try it as long as you like, then send me your check for what you think it's worth."

In a few weeks, Schwab sent Lee a check for $25,000 with a letter stating that he learned a profitable lesson.

After five years this plan was largely responsible for turning the unknown Bethlehem Steel Company into the biggest independent steel producer.

Schwab purportedly made a hundred million dollars and became the best known steel man in the world.

~ Author Unknown ~

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Rain

It was a busy
morning, about 8:30, when an elderly
gentleman in his 80's arrived to have
stitches removed from his thumb.
He said he was in a hurry as he had an
appointment at 9:00 am.
I took his vital
signs and had him take a seat,
knowing it would be over an hour
before someone
would to able to see him.
I saw him looking at his watch and
decided, since I
was not busy with another patient,
I would evaluate his wound.
On exam, it was
well healed, so I talked to one of the
doctors, got the needed supplies to
remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of
his wound, I asked him if he
had another doctor's appointment
this morning, as
he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he
needed to go to
the nursing home to eat breakfast
with his wife. I inquired as to her

He told me that she had been there
for a while and that she
was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we
talked, I asked if she would be
upset if he was a bit late.

replied that she no longer knew
who he was, that she had not
recognized him in
five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him,
'And you still go every
morning, even though she
doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he
patted my hand and said,

'She doesn't
know me, but I still know who she is.'

Friday, November 25, 2011

Served by an Angel

It was fifty years ago, on a hot summer day, in the deep south. We lived on a dirt road, on a sand lot. We were, what was known as "dirt poor." I had been playing outside all morning in the sand. Suddenly, I heard a sharp clanking sound behind me and looking over my shoulder, my eyes were drawn to a strange sight!

Across the dirt road were two rows of men, dressed in black and white, striped, baggy uniforms. Their faces were covered with dust and sweat. They looked so weary, and they were chained together with huge, black, iron chains. Hanging from the end of each chained row was a big, black, iron ball. They were, as polite people said in those days, a "Chain Gang," guarded by two, heavily armed, white guards.

I stared at the prisoners as they settled uncomfortably down in the dirt, under the shade of some straggly trees. One of the guards walked towards me. Nodding as he passed, he went up to our front door and knocked. My mother appeared at the door, and I heard the guard ask if he could have permission to get water from the pump in the backyard, so that "his men" could have a drink.

My mother agreed, but I saw a look of concern on her face, as she called me inside. I stared through the window as each prisoner was unchained from the line, to hobble over to the pump and drink his fill from a small tin cup, while a guard watched vigilantly. It wasn't long before they were all chained back up again, with prisoners and guards retreating into the shade, away from an unrelenting sun.

I heard my mother call me into the kitchen, and I entered, to see her bustling around with tins of tuna fish, mayonnaise, our last loaf of bread, and two, big, pitchers of lemonade. In what seemed "a blink of an eye", she had made a tray of sandwiches using all the tuna we were to have had for that night's supper.

My mother was smiling as she handed me one of the pitchers of lemonade, cautioning me to carry it "carefully" and to "not spill a drop." Then, lifting the tray in one hand and holding a pitcher in her other hand, she marched me to the door, deftly opening it with her foot, and trotted me across the street. She approached the guards, flashing them with a brilliant smile.

"We had some leftovers from lunch," she said, "and I was wondering if we could share with you and your men."

She smiled at each of the men, searching their dark eyes with her own blue eyes. Everyone started to their feet. "Oh no!" she said. "Stay where you are! I'll just serve you!"

Calling me to her side, she went from guard to guard, then from prisoner to prisoner -- filling each tin cup with lemonade, and giving each man a sandwich. It was very quiet, except for a "thank you, ma'am," and the clanking of the chains. Very soon we were at the end of the line, my mother's eyes softly scanning each face.

The last prisoner was a big man, his dark skin pouring with sweat, and streaked with dust. Suddenly, his face broke into a wonderful smile, as he looked up into my mother's eyes, and he said:

"Ma'am, I've wondered all my life if I'd ever see an angel, and now I have! Thank you!"

Again, my mother's smile took in the whole group. "You're all welcome!" she said. "God bless you."

Then we walked across to the house, with empty tray and pitchers, and back inside. Soon, the men moved on, and I never saw them again. The only explanation my mother ever gave me, for that strange and wonderful day, was that I "remember, always, to entertain strangers, for by doing so, you may entertain angels, without knowing."

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

~ Author Unknown ~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to Love, God's Way

David was the fifth child in our family of eight kids. He was two years older than me and was born with Downs Syndrome. We lived in the "way outback" in south Alabama.

When I was a small girl, I was so totally embarrassed when people would stare at him as if he were a freak. He always noticed it, too. Many times he would ask the rest of the family why are they looking at me like that? We always told him it was because he was so handsome. But, I was still ashamed to be seen with him in public myself, and I was his sister.

One hot summer afternoon when David was 14 years old, he came running into the house sobbing loudly. His heart was breaking in two. Before I could get to him to see what was wrong, he had fallen down beside his bed and began to cry and pray. This was his prayer:

"God, why me? Why am I so different from everybody else? Nobody understands me. I just want to play with all the other boys and be like them. Why? Why? Why am I so different?"

My heart began to pound. My anger began to rise. I walked outside to see what had happened. My younger brothers said several boys from the neighborhood had been in our yard mocking and making fun of David after he asked if he could play with them. They broke his heart.

Remembering what I had just heard, my anger turned to rage. I went looking for those boys. They were still mocking David when I found them two houses away. I whipped 3 boys that afternoon, all bigger and older than me. I quickly ran home and confessed my fighting to Mom, before those boy's mothers could get to her.

David was still crying when I had gotten home. He stayed beside his bed for over three hours crying and praying to God. When he finally ended his prayer, he so quietly said to God:

"I want your will to be done in my life. Amen. Thank you, God."

Crying myself, I tried to comfort David that afternoon, but could not. He was too broken in spirit to hear me or to feel my compassion for him.

That was the first time I really knew that David fully understood how different he was. My image and view of him totally changed that afternoon. He became a strong focal point in my life. I loved him so dearly and took him with me everywhere when Mom allowed me to.

My admiration and respect for him knew no boundaries. He showed love to everyone he came in contact with. His life was centered around loving people unconditionally. He accepted everyone. He never spoke ill of any person. Even when people hurt his feelings, he forgave them immediately and hugged their necks.

It was many years later, when he died at 49 years of age, that 'I' received the answer to 'his' prayer. I realized the "why" of David's life.

Before he was placed on life support and was unable to speak to us, I was sitting on a short stool beside his hospital bed when David reached for my hand about 2:30 a.m. in the morning. He smiled at me, told me he loved me and asked,

"Sis, will you hold my hand when .... you know?"

I knew from the look in his eye that he knew something I did not even want to think about. I hugged him tightly, gave him a kiss on the forehead and agreed to hold his hand until he got better.

David's earthly body soon gave up. He could not fight to stay alive for us any more. I had been holding his hand and singing worship choruses to him for several hours. He left this life behind as I was singing "Amazing Grace."

So many people attended his funeral. He had touched so many different people. The main topic of conversation about David at the funeral focused on the way he had touched and loved so many people during his lifetime.

Then I remembered his prayer and this was God's answer. The reason David was born with Downs Syndrome, and the reason he was so different was so everyone who knew him could learn to love, God's way, by watching David shine with pure, unconditional, unfailing love, forgiveness and longsuffering. What a wonderful man my brother was!

My heart breaks each time I think of the physical and emotional suffering throughout his lifetime. But I smile each time I think of what he meant to so many people.

His reason for being was to teach us how to love. God's way.

~ Author Unknown ~

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness

During the American Civil War, a young man named Roswell McIntyre was drafted into the New York Cavalry. The war was not going well. Soldiers were needed so desperately, that he was sent into battle with very little training.

Roswell became frightened - he panicked and ran. He was later court-martialed and condemned to be shot for desertion. McIntyre's mother appealed to President Lincoln. She pleaded that he was young and inexperienced and he needed a second chance.

The generals, however, urged the president to enforce discipline. Exceptions, they asserted, would undermine the discipline of an already beleaguered army. Lincoln thought and prayed. Then he wrote a famous statement.

"I have observed," he said, "that it never does a boy much good to shoot him."

He then wrote the following letter in his own handwriting:

"This letter will certify that Roswell McIntyre is to be readmitted into the New York Cavalry. When he serves out his required enlistment, he will be freed of any charges of desertion."

That faded letter, signed by the president, is on display in the Library of Congress. Beside it there is a note which reads,

"This letter was taken from the body of Roswell McIntyre, who died at the battle of Little Five Forks, Virginia."

Given another chance, McIntyre fought until the end. Most of our decisions are of a different magnitude than Lincoln's, but he illustrates that there is always a time to try again.

It never does a boy (or anybody else for that matter) much good to shoot him. But you might be surprised at the power of forgiveness!

~ The Author is Steve Goodier who is publisher of many books as well as a free newsletter on sharing life and love at THIS LINK.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Blueberry Story

The teacher gives the businessman a lesson"

“If I ran my business the way you people operate your schools, I wouldn’t be in business very long!”

I stood before an auditorium filled with outraged teachers who were becoming angrier by the minute. My speech had entirely consumed their precious 90 minutes of inservice. Their initial icy glares had turned to restless agitation. You could cut the hostility with a knife.

I represented a group of business people dedicated to improving public schools. I was an executive at an ice cream company that had become famous in the middle1980s when People magazine chose our blueberry as the “Best Ice Cream in America.”

I was convinced of two things. First, public schools needed to change; they were archaic selecting and sorting mechanisms designed for the industrial age and out of step with the needs of our emerging “knowledge society.” Second, educators were a major part of the problem: they resisted change, hunkered down in their feathered nests, protected by tenure, and shielded by a bureaucratic monopoly. They needed to look to business. We knew how to produce quality. Zero defects! TQM! Continuous improvement!

In retrospect, the speech was perfectly balanced — equal parts ignorance and arrogance.

As soon as I finished, a woman’s hand shot up. She appeared polite, pleasant. She was, in fact, a razor-edged, veteran, high school English teacher who had been waiting to unload.

She began quietly, “We are told, sir, that you manage a company that makes good ice cream.”

I smugly replied, “Best ice cream in America, Ma’am.”

“How nice,” she said. “Is it rich and smooth?”

“Sixteen percent butterfat,” I crowed.

“Premium ingredients?” she inquired.

“Super-premium! Nothing but triple A.” I was on a roll. I never saw the next line coming.

“Mr. Vollmer,” she said, leaning forward with a wicked eyebrow raised to the sky, “when you are standing on your receiving dock and you see an inferior shipment of blueberries arrive, what do you do?”

In the silence of that room, I could hear the trap snap…. I was dead meat, but I wasn’t going to lie.

“I send them back.”

She jumped to her feet. “That’s right!” she barked, “and we can never send back our blueberries. We take them big, small, rich, poor, gifted, exceptional, abused, frightened, confident, homeless, rude, and brilliant. We take them with ADHD, junior rheumatoid arthritis, and English as their second language. We take them all! Every one! And that, Mr. Vollmer, is why it’s not a business. It’s school!”

In an explosion, all 290 teachers, principals, bus drivers, aides, custodians, and secretaries jumped to their feet and yelled, “Yeah! Blueberries! Blueberries!”

And so began my long transformation.

Since then, I have visited hundreds of schools. I have learned that a school is not a business. Schools are unable to control the quality of their raw material, they are dependent upon the vagaries of politics for a reliable revenue stream, and they are constantly mauled by a howling horde of disparate, competing customer groups that would send the best CEO screaming into the night.

None of this negates the need for change. We must change what, when, and how we teach to give all children maximum opportunity to thrive in a post-industrial society. But educators cannot do this alone; these changes can occur only with the understanding, trust, permission, and active support of the surrounding community. For the most important thing I have learned is that schools reflect the attitudes, beliefs and health of the communities they serve, and therefore, to improve public education means more than changing our schools, it means changing America.

Copyright 2011 Jamie Robert Vollmer

Jamie Vollmer is a former business executive and attorney who now works to increase public support for America’s public schools. His new book, Schools Cannot Do It Alone is available at THIS LINK.

Permission given for reposting at this link.



Since its publication, reactions to this story have been overwhelmingly positive. Heartfelt messages of thanks and appreciation have come from around the world. They are always deeply gratifying.

There are people, however, who take issue with the lesson presented. The arguments usually fall into one of two groups. The first is comprised of those who claim that the story is simplistic, and the teacher painted with a broad brush. Sure she did. She had ninety seconds. Since that day, however, I have visited hundreds of schools and her point remains apt.

The second group argues that the comparison of children to blueberries is specious. Most of these people contend that the children are “the customers,” not the raw material. The truth is that no one can agree on who the “customers” are. Candidates include students, parents, grandparents, business owners, corporate executives, human resource directors, and college deans of admission. (I tend to designate the entire taxpaying public as the rightful customers. They are the ones who are paying.) This problem is further complicated by the fact that few of these “customers” can agree on what they want as a finished product, except in the broadest terms. Everyone has an opinion. Politicians and bureaucrats are left to define what children should know and when they should know it. And they are constantly manipulated by dozens of organized, aggressive, well funded special interest groups. Many of these groups have conflicting agendas that are directly at odds with the best interest of kids.

If the final product of the PreK-12 enterprise is a young adult prepared with the knowledge, skills, habits, and values needed to succeed in a fast-paced, global, knowledge society, then the quality of the “raw material”—the student’s talent, intelligence, physical and mental health, attention, and motivation—is a huge variable in the education process over which public schools have little control. Parents, teachers, administrators, board members, civic and business leaders must work together with the students to develop their potential and help them reach the goal. Whether they are called customers or workers is next to irrelevant.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Last Kiss

The Board Meeting had come to an end. Bob started to stand up and jostled the table, spilling his coffee over his notes. “How embarrassing. I am getting so clumsy in my old age.”

Everyone had a good laugh, and soon we were all telling stories of our most embarrassing moments. It came around to Frank who sat quietly listening to the others. Someone said, “Come on, Frank. Tell us your most embarrassing moment.”

Frank laughed and began to tell us of his childhood. “I grew up in San Pedro. My Dad was a fisherman, and he loved the sea. He had his own boat, but it was hard making a living on the sea. He worked hard and would stay out until he caught enough to feed the family. Not just enough for our family, but also for his Mom and Dad and the other kids that were still at home.”

He looked at us and said, “I wish you could have met my Dad. He was a big man, and he was strong from pulling the nets and fighting the seas for his catch.

When you got close to him, he smelled like the ocean. He would wear his old canvas, foul-weather coat and his bibbed overalls. His rain hat would be pulled down over his brow. No matter how much my Mother washed them, they would still smell of the sea and of fish.”

Frank’s voice dropped a bit. “When the weather was bad he would drive me to school. He had this old truck that he used in his fishing business. That truck was older than he was. It would wheeze and rattle down the road. You could hear it coming for blocks. As he would drive toward the school, I would shrink down into the seat hoping to disappear.

Half the time, he would slam to a stop and the old truck would belch a cloud of smoke. He would pull right up in front, and it seemed like everybody would be standing around and watching. Then he would lean over and give me a big kiss on the cheek and tell me to be a good boy. It was so embarrassing for me. Here, I was twelve years old, and my Dad would lean over and kiss me goodbye!”

He paused and then went on, “I remember the day I decided I was too old for a goodbye kiss. When we got to the school and came to a stop, he had his usual big smile. He started to lean toward me, but I put my hand up and said, ‘No, Dad.’
It was the first time I had ever talked to him that way, and he had this surprised look on his face.
I said, ‘Dad, I’m too old for a goodbye kiss. I’m too old for any kind of kiss.’

My Dad looked at me for the longest time, and his eyes started to tear up. I had never seen him cry. He turned and looked out the windshield. ‘You’re right,’ he said. ‘You are a big boy….a man. I won’t kiss you anymore.’”

Frank got a funny look on his face, and the tears began to well up in his eyes, as he spoke. “It wasn’t long after that when my Dad went to sea and never came back. It was a day when most of the fleet stayed in, but not Dad. He had a big family to feed. They found his boat adrift with its nets half in and half out. He must have gotten into a gale and was trying to save the nets and the floats.”

I looked at Frank and saw that tears were running down his cheeks. Frank spoke again. “Guys, you don’t know what I would give to have my Dad give me just one more kiss on the cheek… to feel his rough old face… to smell the ocean on him… to feel his arm around my neck. I wish I had been a man then. If I had been a man, I would never have told my Dad I was too old for a goodbye kiss.”

(Written by Bishop Thomas Charles Clary)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Never The Same Again

There’s a famous story about the lion who came upon a flock of sheep and to his amazement found a lion among the sheep.

It was a lion who had been brought up by the sheep ever since he was a cub. It would bleat like a sheep and run around like a sheep. The lion went straight for him, and when the sheep-lion stood in front of the real one, he trembled in every limb.

The lion said to him, “What are you doing among these sheep?”

The sheep-lion replied in fear, “I am a sheep.”

The lion said, “No, you’re not. You’re coming with me.”

So he took the sheep-lion to a pool and said, “Look!”. When the sheep-lion looked at his reflection in the water, he let out a mighty roar, and in that moment he was transformed.

He was never the same again.

-Author Unknown-

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Ultimate Lesson

In early times in Japan, bamboo-and-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man, visiting a friend one night, was offered a lantern to carry home with him.

“I do not need a lantern,” he said. “Darkness or light is all the same to me.”

“I know you do not need a lantern to find your way,” his friend replied, “but if you don’t have one, someone else may run into you. So you must take it.”

The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely into him.

“Look out where you are going!” he exclaimed to the stranger. “Can’t you see this lantern?”

“Your candle has burned out, brother,” replied the stranger.

-Author Unknown-

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Price of Children

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to18 and
came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That
doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad, if you break it
down. It translates into:n fact going to visit them this weekend in Albuquerque.

* $8,896 a year,

* $741 a month, or

* $171 a week.

* That's a mere $24.24 a day!

* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children, if you
want to be "rich." Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

* Glimpses of God every day.

* Giggles under the covers every night.

* More love than your heart can hold.

* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites

* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your
stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,

* carve pumpkins,

* play hide-and-seek,

* catch lightning bugs, and

* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,

* watch Saturday morning cartoons,

* go to Disney movies, and

* wish on stars.

* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and
collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for
Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,

* taking the training wheels off a bike,

* removing a splinter,

* filling a wading pool,

* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins
but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:

* first step,

* first word,

* first bra,

* first date, and

* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if
you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great
grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications,
and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power
to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart,
police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits,

So.. . one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That is quite a deal for the price.

~ Author Unknown ~

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happily Incompatible

A number of years ago I watched Billy Graham being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on television. Oprah told him that in her childhood home, she use to watch him preach on a little black and white TV while sitting on a linoleum floor.

She went on to the tell viewers that in his lifetime Billy has preached to twenty-million people around the world, not to mention the countless numbers who have heard him whenever his crusades are broadcast. When she asked if he got nervous before facing a crowd, Billy replied humbly,

"No, don't get nervous before crowds, but I did today before I was going to meet with you."

Oprah's show is broadcast to twenty-million people every day. She is comfortable with famous stars and celebrities but seemed in awe of Dr. Billy Graham.

When the interview ended, she told the audience, "You don't often see this on my show, but we're going to pray." Then she asked Billy to close in prayer. The camera panned the studio audience as they bowed their heads and closed their eyes just like in one of his crusades.

Then Oprah sang the first line from the song that is his hallmark "Just as I am, without a plea," and though singing off'-key her voice was full of emotion and almost cracked.

When Billy stood up after the show, instead of hugging her guest, Oprah's usual custom, she went over and just nestled against him. Billy wrapped his arm around her and pulled her under his shoulder. She stood in his fatherly embrace with a look of sheer contentment.

I once read the book "Nestle, Don't Wrestle" by Corrie Ten Boom. The power of nestling was evident on the TV screen that day Billy Graham was not the least bit condemning, distant, or hesitant to embrace a public personality who may not fit the evangelistic mold. His grace and courage are sometimes stunning.

In an interview with Hugh Downs, on the 20/20 program, the subject turned to homosexuality. Hugh looked directly at Billy and said,

"If you had a homosexual child, would you love him?"

Billy didn't miss a beat. He replied with sincerity and gentleness, "Why, I would love that one even more."

The title of Billy's autobiography, "Just As I Am," says it all. His life goes before him speaking as eloquently as that charming southern drawl for which he is known.

If, when I am eighty years old, my autobiography were to be titled "Just As I Am," I wonder how I would live now? Do I have the courage to be me? I'll never be a Billy Graham, the elegant man who draws people to the Lord through a simple one-point message, but I hope to be a person who is real and compassionate and who might draw people to nestle within God's embrace.

Do you make it a point to speak to a visitor or person who shows up alone at church, buy a hamburger for a homeless man, call your mother on Sunday afternoons, pick daisies with a little girl, or take a fatherless boy to a baseball game?

Did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you look when you're looking for what's beautiful in someone else?

Billy complimented Oprah when asked what he was most thankful for; he said,

"Salvation given to us in Jesus Christ" then added, and the way you have made people all over this country aware of the power of being grateful."

When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same person, he said,

"Ruth and I are happily incompatible."

How unexpected. We would all live more comfortably with everybody around us if we would find the strength in being grateful and happily incompatible.

Let's take the things that set us apart, that make us different, that cause us to disagree, and make them an occasion to compliment each other and be thankful for each other. Let us be big enough to be smaller than our neighbor, spouse, friends, and strangers.

Every day, may we Nestle, not Wrestle!

~ Author Unknown ~

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Kindness Within

During Nelson Mandela’s 19 years imprisoned on Robben Island, one particular commanding officer was the most brutal of them all:

“A few days before Badenhorst’s departure, I was called to the main office. General Steyn was visiting the island and wanted to know if we had any complaints. Badenhorst was there as I went through a list of demands. When I had finished, Badenhorst spoke to me directly.

He told me he would be leaving the island and added: ‘I just want to wish you people good luck’. I do not know if I looked dumbfounded, but I was amazed. He spoke these words like a human being and showed a side of himself we had never seen before. I thanked him for his good wishes and wished him luck in his endeavours.

I thought about this moment for a long time afterwards. Badenhorst had perhaps been the most callous and barbaric commanding officer we had had on Robben Island. But that day in the office, he had revealed that that there was another side to his nature, a side that had been obscured but still existed.

It was a useful reminder that all men, even the most seemingly cold-blooded, have a core of decency and that, if their hearts are touched, they are capable of changing. Ultimately, Badenhorst was not evil; his inhumanity had been foisted upon him by an inhuman system. He behaved like a brute because he was rewarded for brutish behaviour.”

(Source: Nelson Mandela, “Long Walk To Fredom”)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


The waves dance light-footedly
To the tempo of the splashing sound, hush.
Clear sky hovers above
Adorned in shades of blue, silver and grey.
Boats swaying sleepily
Uncaring, yet a part of nature.
Everyone is at an unhurried pace.

The waves working up to a frenzy
Their mouths foaming with raucous roar.
And boats wobbling to a Mexican wave.
The darkened sky menacingly threatening
Moody like a wet blanket.
The flashy siren could be heard in the distant sky.

The first drop of rain
Brings relief to the downtrodden beach.
Panicking picnickers rustle by.
The scavenging boats scampering towards shore
As if to pacify the sulky sea.
The heavy battering of the rain
Signalling it is time to wave goodbye.
I roll up my sitting mat
Pledging to watch the setting sun
At another time.

Written by koonoon

*Thanks to koonoon for sharing his beautiful poem with us.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You Never Know Until...

I never thought of myself as one who has any great talent, but like each of us, I have certain skills and abilities. Let me tell you a story passed down through jazz circles. It's a story about a man who had real talent.

This particular man played piano in a bar. He was a good piano player. People came out just to hear him and his trio play. But one night a patron wanted them to sing a particular song. The trio declined, but the customer was persistent.

He told them bartender, "I'm tired of only listening to the piano. I want that guy to sing!"

The bartender shouted across the room to the piano player, "Hey buddy! The patrons are asking you to sing! If you want to get paid, sing the song."

So he did. He sang the song. A jazz piano player who had not sung in public, sang a song that changed his career. Nobody had ever heard Sweet Lorraine sung the way it was sung that night by Nat King Cole!

He had talent he was sitting on! He may have lived the rest of his life playing in a jazz trio in clubs and bars, but because he was forced to sing, he went on to become one of the best-known entertainers in America.

You, too, have skills and abilities. You may not feel as if your "talent" is particularly great, but it may be better than you think! And with persistence, most skills can be improved. Besides, you may as well have no ability at all if you sit on whatever talent you possess!

Some people ask, "What ability do I have that is useful?"

Others ask, "How will I use the ability that I have?"

~ The author is Steve Goodier and the story is from his book "Joy Along the Way" which you can buy from Amazon.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Old Man and his Son

An old man was sitting with his 25 years old son in the train. The train was about to leave the station. All the passengers were settling down in their seats. As the train started to move, the young man was filled with a lot of joy and curiosity. He was sitting on the window side. He put one hand out the window and felt the passing air. He shouted, "Papa, see all the trees are going d behind."

The old man smiled and admired his son's feelings. Beside the young man, a couple was sitting and listening to conversation between the father and son. They were a little awkward with the attitude of the 25-yer-old man behaving like a small child. Suddenly the young man shouted, "Papa, see the pond and animals. The clouds are moving with the train.".

The couple was watching the young man with embarrassment. Now it started raining and some raindrops fell on the young man's hand. He was filled with joy and he closed his eyes. He shouted again, "Papa, it's raining and the water is touching me, see Papa."

The couple couldn't help themselves and asked the old man, "Why don't you visit the doctor and get treatment for your son."

The old man said, "Yes, we are coming from the hospital, as only today my son got his eyesight for the first time in his life."

Moral of story:
"Don't draw conclusions until you know all the facts."

-Author Unknown-

Thanks to Meg who sent me this story.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Loser

For Sparky school was all but impossible. He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school getting a grade of zero. Sparky also flunked Latin, algebra and English. He didn't do much better in sports. Although he did manage to make the school's golf team, he lost the only important match of the season.

Throughout his youth Sparky was awkward socially. He was not actually disliked by the other students; no one cared that much. He was surprised if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school hours. There's no way to tell how he might have done at dating. Sparky never once asked a girl to go out in high school. He was too afraid of being turned down.

Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates...everyone knew it. So he rolled with it. Sparky had made up his mind early in life that if things were meant to work out, they would. Otherwise he would content himself with what appeared to be his inevitable mediocrity.

However, one thing was important to Sparky - drawing. He was proud of his artwork. Of course, no one else appreciated it. In his senior year of high school, he submitted some cartoons to the editors of the yearbook. The cartoons were turned down. Despite this rejection, Sparky was so convinced of his ability that he decided to become a professional artist.

After completing high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios. He was told to send some samples of his artwork, and the subject for a cartoon was suggested. Sparky drew the proposed cartoon. He spent a great deal of time on it and on all the other drawings he submitted. Finally, the reply came from Disney Studios. He had been rejected once again. Another loss for the loser.

So Sparky decided to write his own autobiography in cartoons. He described his childhood self - a little boy loser and chronic underachiever. For Sparky, the boy who had such a lack of success in school and whose work was rejected again and again, was Charles Schultz.

Although his little cartoon alter ego, Charlie Brown, has never been able to get his kite to fly or has succeeded in kicking a football, "Sparky" Schultz long ago dropped his loser image through Charlie Brown's extraordinary successful cartoon home, "Peanuts."

Charles “Sparky” Shultz died in 2000. In high school he may have been considered a loser, but “in life” he was a definite winner. It took time for him to discover what he really loved, and whet he did well with in life. And as Charlie Brown in his own way had the understanding and patience from his family, I am confident that Sparky did along the way as well.

~ From a story told by Earl Nightingale with a touch of Wikipedia and C.F. Pofahl ~

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Richest Woman In the World

I will always remember Stella. Elderly, blind, and living alone, one might think she should have spun long tales of hardship and misery. And I suppose she could have told such stories, but she made little room in her life for self-pity.

She might have mentioned the deaths of friends and family, including her husband; the glaucoma which finally claimed her eyesight; the small pension on which she was forced to subsist and the arthritis which kept her homebound in a little trailer house.

But she never did lament about all her hardships, either past or present. I frequently recall her enumerating her good fortune. Speaking of her son, she often said:

"My Jimmy came to see me today. He's so good to me!" Of her friends, she often commented:

"I've been talking on the phone all morning. I'm so thankful I have such good friends." Then, with a slap on her knee and a broad smile on her lips, she would invariably exclaim,

"I'm the richest person in the world!"

And maybe she was! She had love. She found it in her friends, her family and her faith. She had everything she needed for a happy and fulfilled life. And what"s more, she knew it. Stella spoke of her upcoming 90th birthday.

"All my family will be here," she smiled. And with that familiar slap on her knee, she exclaimed,

"You know, I'm the richest person in the world!"

But she barely made that birthday celebration herself. Several days prior she was laid in a hospital bed and slipped into a coma. Her family was told she would die shortly. I felt sad that she would not experience her long-awaited celebration.

However, a strange thing happened. On the day of her birthday, she opened her eyes and greeted the smiling faces of family and friends surrounding her bed. She sat up and enjoyed birthday cake while someone read cards.

They told her they loved her and they said, "Good-bye." At one point, she looked at me with that familiar twinkle in her eye, smiled and whispered,

"I'm the richest person in the world!"

Stella went to sleep that night and slipped peacefully away. I have often wondered if she felt sorry for those who have everything but happiness. After all, they could be just as wealthy and happy as she, if they only realized that the greatest of all riches love.

Thanks to Stella, I have now decided to become the Richest Person in the World!

-written by S. Goodier-

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Real Gorgeous Story

Anyone who has pets will really like this. You'll like it even if you don't and you may even decide you need one!

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky.' Lucky was a real character.

Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.

Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favourite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this fact; she was just sure it was fatal.

She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her....what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through.

If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him! The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.

Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap..

Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!

While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favourite things in life.

He had covered her with his love.

Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky. He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure. every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget....the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care for us.

If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours! Live simply.. Love seriously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God .

A small request All you are asked to do is keep this circulating.

Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer.

All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it is only to one more people, in memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by cancer or is still fighting their battle.

-Author Unknown-

Thanks to Angela who sent me this post.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stress Management

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it."

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day,you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.
Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can."

"Relax; pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!"

And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

* Never buy a car you can't push.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull.
Some have weird names, and all are different colours,but they all have to live in the same box.

* A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.........I DID.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Wise Old Man

A man of 92 years, very well presented,
who took great care in his appearance,
was moving into an elderly persons home.
His wife had recently passed away,
and he was obliged to leave his home.
After waiting several hours
In the retirement home lobby,
He gently smiles as he is told
That his room is ready.

As he slowly walks to the elevator,
using his cane,
the assistant describes his small room to him,
including the sheet hung at the window
which serves as a curtain.

"I like it very much",
he says,
(with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old boy
who has just been given a new puppy).

"Mr. Jones,
you haven’t even seen the room yet,
just hang on a moment,
we are almost there".

"That has nothing to do with it",
he replies.
"Happiness is something
I choose in advance.
Whether or not I like the room
does not depend on the furniture,
or the decor – rather it depends
on how I decide to see it".
"It is already decided in my mind
that I like my room.
It is a decision I take every morning
when I wake up".

"I can choose whether
I spend my day in bed
enumerating all the difficulties
that I have with the parts of my body
that no longer work very well,
or I can get up and give thanks
to heaven for those parts
that are still in working order".

"Every day is a gift,
and as long as I can open my eyes,
I will focus on the new day,
and all the happy memories
that I have built up during my life".
"Old age is like a bank account.

You withdraw in later life
what you have deposited along the way".

So, my advice to you is to deposit all the happiness you can in your bank account of memories.

And Thank You for your part
in filling my account with happy memories,
which I am still continuing to fill…

Remember these simple guidelines for happiness.

1. Free your heart from hate.

2. Free your mind from worry.

3. Live simply.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less.

If you like, send this message on….
it is the way we touch each other with simple truths
that spreads goodness in the world.

Who knows, a miracle may happen as a result …
After all life is what you make it …

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Are you Happy ?

Does your spouse make you happy, truly happy?
On a certain occasion, during an elegant welcoming reception for the new Director of Marketing of an
important London company, some of the wives of the other directors, who wanted to get acquainted with the
new spouse, asked her with some hesitation:

The husband, who at the moment was not at her side, but was sufficiently near to hear the question, paid attention to the conversation, sitting up slightly, feeling secure, even filling his chest lightly in pride, knowing that his spouse would answer affirmatively, since she had always been there for him during their marriage.

Nevertheless, to both his and the others’ surprise, she replied simply:

“No, no he doesn’t make me happy...

The room became uncomfortably silent, as if everyone were listening to the spouse’s response.

The husband was petrified.

He couldn’t believe what his wife was saying, especially at such an important occasion for him.

To the amazement of her husband and of everyone, she simply placed enigmatically on her head an elegant black silk scarf and continued:

“No, he doesn’t make me happy …I AM HAPPY.”

The fact that I am happy or not, doesn’t depend on him, but on me.

“I am the only person upon which my happiness depends.

I make the choice to be happy in each situation and in each moment of my life.

If my happiness were to depend on other people, on other things or circumstances on the face of this earth, I would be in serious trouble!

“Everything that exists in this life changes continually: humans, wealth, my body, the climate, pleasures, etc.

I could enumerate an infinite list…

“Over my life I have learned a couple of things:

I decide to be happy and the rest is a matter of "experiences or circumstances;” like helping, and understanding, accepting, listening, consoling; and with my spouse,

I have lived and practiced this many times….

Happiness will always be found in forgiveness and in loving yourself and others.

- …It’s not the responsibility of my spouse to make me happy... He also has his “experiences or circumstances.” I love him and he loves me, often inspite of his circumstances and of mine.

“He changes, I change, the environment changes, everything changes; Having forgiveness and true love, and observing these changes, that can be, big or little, but always happen, we must face them with the love that exists in each one of us.

If the two of us love and forgive each other, the changes will only be “experiences or circumstances” that enrich us and give us strength.

Otherwise we would only be “living together.”

For some, divorce is the only solution;
(…in reality it is the easiest…)

To truly love, is difficult,

It is to forgive unconditionally, to live,

To take the “experiences or circumstances” as they are,

Facing them together and being happy with conviction.

There are those who say:

“I cannot be happy because I am sick, because I have no money,

Because it’s too cold, because they insulted me,

Because someone stopped loving me,

Because someone didn’t appreciate me!”

But what you don’t know is that you can be happy even though you are sick,

whether it is too hot, whether you have money or not,

Whether someone has insulted you,

Or someone didn’t love you, or hasn’t valued you.


is an attitude about life and each one of us must decide !


depends on you !

Diseño original y galería de fotos de libre acceso en internet

Cortesía de Carlos Rangel
Santiago de Querétaro, Mex. Dic. 2007
Translated into English by
Paul Cushman

Sunday, July 24, 2011

From Beyond The Grave

My friend, TO, sent me a link to a very beautiful and meaningful letter written by a father to his children. Paul’s greatest gift to his wife and children was a document titled ‘On finding fulfilment’, which Mandy discovered on his laptop, by chance last month.

Please click here to read that article that will surely move you deeply. Take care and have a lovely day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

If I Had My Life To Live Over

I would have talked less
and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to
dinner even if the carpet was
stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in
the "GOOD" living room and
worried much less about the dirt
when someone wanted to light
a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to
listen to my grandfather ramble
about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car
windows be rolled up on a summer
day because my hair had just
been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle
sculpted like a rose before it
melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn
with my children and not
worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less
while watching television and
more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was
sick instead of pretending the earth
would go into a holding pattern if
I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything
just because it was practical,
wouldn't show soil, or was
guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine
months of pregnancy, I'd have
cherished every moment realizing
that the wonderment growing inside
me was the only chance in life to
assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously,
I would never have said,
"Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love
yous" ... more "I'm sorrys"
....but mostly, given another shot
at life, I would seize every
minute.... look at it and really see
it... live it... and never give it back.

By Erma Bombeck

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Blue Rose

Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.

"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.

From an old dandelion!

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!" ANON.

If this story blesses you today Please consider sharing it with others.

Life can be challenging at times. How you deal with challenges has an enormous impact on your happiness and well being.

-Author Unknown-

Thanks to SKT who sent me this post.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Sweet Old Soul

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my eight year old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.

But the appalling thing was his face lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said,

"Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning."

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face...I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..." For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me:

"I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us.

"No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said:

"Could I please come back and stay next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit, I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grown-ups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind."

I told him he was welcome to come again.

On his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 am and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed.

Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.

"Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him. I know our family will always be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself,

"If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!" My friend changed my mind.

"I ran short of pots," she explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven.

"Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman.

"He won't mind starting in this small body."

All this happened long ago and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Author Unknown

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blind But Blessed

The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman
with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and,
using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found
the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her
lap and rested her cane against her leg.

It had been a year since Susan, 34, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis
she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness,
anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt
condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden
on everyone around her.

"How could this have happened to me?" she would plead, her heart knotted with anger.

But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth
her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan's once
optimistic spirit. Just getting through each day was an exercise in frustration
and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was her husband Mark.

Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart. When she
first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help
his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again.
Mark's military background had trained him well to deal with sensitive situations,
and yet he know this was the most difficult battle he would ever face.

Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She
used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself.
Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite
ends of the city. At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark's need to protect
his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task.

Soon, however, Mark realized that this arrangement wasn't working - it was hectic,
and costly. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to
himself. But just the thought of mentioning it to her made him cringe. She was
still so fragile, so angry. How would she react? Just as Mark predicted, Susan was
horrified at the idea of taking the bus again.

"I'm blind!" she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I'm going?
I feel like you're abandoning me."

Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised
Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long
as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened.

For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from
work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing,
to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her
befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. He made
her laugh, even on those not-so-good days when she would trip exiting the bus, or
drop her briefcase.

Each morning they made the journey together, and Mark would take a cab back to his
office. Although this routine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous
one, Mark knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able to ride the
bus on her own. He believed in her, in the Susan he used to know before she'd lost
her sight, who wasn't afraid of any challenge and who would never, ever quit.

Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning
arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus
riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of
gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love. She said good-bye, and for the
first time, they went their separate ways.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday . . . each day on her own went perfectly, and
Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself!

On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying for her
fare to exit the bus, the driver said,

"Boy, I sure envy you."

Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth
would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live
for the past year? Curious, she asked the driver,

"Why do you say that you envy me?"

The driver responded, "It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like
you are."

Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and asked again,

"What do you mean?"

The driver answered, "You know, every morning for the past week, a fine looking
gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you
when you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches
you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a
little salute and walks away. You are one lucky lady."

Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't physically
see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had
given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe
- the gift of love that can bring light where there had been darkness.

~ Author Unknown ~

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Life Is...

We never get what we want,
We never want what we get,
We never have what we like,
We never like what we have.
And still we live & love.

That's life...

The best kind of friend,
is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with,
Never say a word,
and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

It's true that we don't know
what we've got until it's gone,
But it's also true that we don't know
what we've been missing until it arrives.

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back!
Don't expect love in return;
just wait for it to grow in their heart,
But if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only a minute to develop a crush on someone,
an hour to like someone,
and a day to love someone,
But it takes a lifetime to forget someone..

Don't go for looks; they can deceive.
Don't go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile,
because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seems bright.
Find the one that makes your heart smile!

May you have
Enough happiness to make you sweet,
Enough trials to make you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
And enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others' shoes.
If you feel that it hurts you,
it probably hurts the other person, too.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Happiness lies for
those who cry,
those who hurt,
those who have searched,
and those who have tried,
For only they can appreciate the importance of people
who have touched their lives.

When you were born, you were crying
and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die,
you're the one who is smiling
and everyone around you is crying.

This message is also for those people who mean something to you,
to those who have touched your life in one way or another,
to those who make you smile when you really need it,
to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down,
to those who you want to know that you appreciate their friendship!

-Author Unknown-

Have a nice day!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Crabby Old Lady

When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was felt that she had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, it's quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Ireland. The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North A slide presentation has also been...And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the authoress "" Goes to show that we"".....


What do you see, nurses, what do you see?

What are you thinking when you're looking at me?

A crabby old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply""

Who seems not to notice the things that you do,

And forever is losing a stocking or shoe....

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill....

Then open your eyes, nurse; you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,

As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten...with a father ! and mother,

Brothers and sisters, who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,

Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet.

A bride soon at twenty--my heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now, I have young of my own,

Who need me to guide and a secure happy home.

A woman of thirty, my young now grown fast,

Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,

But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.

At fifty once more, babies play around my knee,

Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead;

I look at the future, I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing young of their own,

And I think of the years and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old woman....and nature is cruel;

Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,

There is now a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,

And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,

And I'm loving and living life over again.

I think of the years....all too few, gone too fast,

And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses, open and see,

...Not a crabby old woman; look closer...see ME!!

-Author Unknown-

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Hug

It's wonderous what a hug can do.

A hug can cheer you when you're blue.

A hug can say, "I love you so,"

Or, "Gee, I hate to see you go."

A hug is, "Welcome back again."

And, "Great to see you! Where've you been?"

A hug can soothe a small childs pain,

and bring a rainbow after rain.

The hug! There's just no doubt about it-

we scarcely could survive without it!

A hug delights and warms and charms.

It must be why God gave us arms.

A hug can break the language barrier,

and make your travels so much merrier.

No need to fret about your store of 'em,

the more you give, the more there's more of 'em.

So stretch those arms without delay

and give someone a hug today!

-Author Unknown-

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lessons from Einstein

Albert Einstein has long been considered a genius by the masses. He was a theoretical physicist, philosopher, author, and is perhaps the most influential scientists to ever live.

Einstein has made great contributions to the scientific world, including the theory of relativity, the founding of relativistic cosmology, the prediction of the deflection of light by gravity, the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, the zero-point energy concept, and the quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose–Einstein condensation, to name a few of his scientific contributions.

Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”

He’s published more than 300 scientific works and over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein is considered the father of modern physics and is probably the most successful scientist there ever was.

10 Amazing Lessons from Albert Einstein:


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Simple truths

1. The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

2. Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

3. If you don't have a sense of humour, you probably don't have any sense at all.

4. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

5. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.

6. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

7. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

8. Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?

9. Scratch a cat and you will have a permanent job.

10. No one has more driving ambition than the boy who wants to buy a car.

11. There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.

12. There are worse things than getting a call for the wrong number at 4 am - it could be the right number.

13. No one ever says "It's only a game." when their team is winning.

14. I've reached the age where the happy hour is a nap

15. Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.

16. The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.

17. Do you realise that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old men and old ladies running around with tattoos?
(And rap music will be the Golden Oldies ! ) No! Say it isn't so!

18. Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than in a Yaris.

19. After 60, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead!

Always be yourself.
Because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones that mind, don't matter.

- Author Unknown - Sent to me via email by T.O. Wong- THANKS!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fairy Tale or Positive Thinking

Recently, my friend's brother sent me the link to this story:

Stephen Hawking: 'heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark

As one approaching the sunset years of my life, I found it to be most inspiring that a man who has such physical disabilities can be so positive despite having gone through and survived many challenges.

Far too often, we focus on the have-not's rather than the have's.

May this story inspire you the way it inspired me to live more, regardless!

Take care and have a wonderful day!

Do leave a comment to share your thoughts. Thanks!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


M... is for the million things she gave me,
O... means only that she's growing old,
T... is for the tears she shed to save me,
H... is for her heart of purest gold;
E... is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
R... means right, and right she'll always be.
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.
-- Howard Hohnson (c. 1915)

Blessed is the Mother...
Who can hold onto her children while letting them go;
Who puts a tranquil home ahead of an immaculate house;

Who knows a kind act will be remembered longer than an easy word;
Who really believes that prayer changes things;

Whose faith in the future sweetens the present;
Whose Bible never needs dusting;
 Whose sense of humor is alive and well.

-- The Promoter

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." -- Washington Irving (1783-1859)

"Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face." -- George Eliot

"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary." -- Dorothy C. Fisher (1879-1958)

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his." -- Oscar Wilde

"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her." -- George Washington (1st President of U.S.A.)

"No one is poor who had a godly mother" -- Abraham Lincoln (16th President of U.S.A.)

"My mother was the making of me." Thomas Alva Edison (American Inventor)

"Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." -- Robert Fulghum

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love." -- Mildred B. Vermont

"The sweetest sounds to mortals given are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven." -- William Goldsmith Brown

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." -- Tenneva Jordan

"If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam." -- Lord Langdale (Henry Bickersteth)

"All mothers are working mothers." -- Author Unknown

"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." -- Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

"Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible." -- Marion C. Garretty

"She gave me love, as well as life; so whatever goodness I may bring to earth began with the gift of my mother's heart."
-- Robert Sexton

Wishing all my readers, subscribers, followers and friends a very HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY!!