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Thread: Stories Of Hope & Inspiration

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLinen View Post
    A Glass Of Milk

    Once, there was a poor boy who made a living by selling various objects from door to door. This was the way he earned money to pay for his school.

    One day, as he was walking from house to house as usual, he felt very hungry and weak. He felt that he couldn’t walk even a few steps. He decided to ask for food at a house. He knocked on the door and was stunned to see a beautiful young girl open the door. With much hesitation, he asked the girl for a glass of water.

    The young girl understood his condition and offered him a huge glass of milk. With an astonished look, the boy drank the milk very slowly.

    “How much do I owe you for this milk?” he asked her.

    The girl replied, “I do not want any money for this.”

    The boy thanked the girl from the bottom of his heart and left the place.

    Years passed by. The young girl grew up. In her youth, unfortunately, she fell ill and was diagnosed with the rarest kind of nervous disorder. Many experienced doctors were baffled at her condition, and she was admitted in the city hospital with the most advanced facilities.

    Dr. Kevin, a renowned neuro specialist was called in by the hospital to examine her. Even with his extraordinary expertise, Dr. Kevin found the girl’s illness very hard to cure. However, with perseverance and hard work that lasted months, he was finally able to get the disease under control. With careful medication and monitoring, the girl was completely cured in the end.

    Everyone praised the doctor, but the girl was quite worried about how much the hospital bill would come to. Her family had just a little money kept away in the bank, which was by no means enough to pay for such a long treatment in that reputed hospital.

    The girl was given the hospital bill finally. With trembling hands, she opened it. She was stunned to see that the bill had been crossed out and cancelled, and there was a note underneath signed by Dr. Kevin.

    “Bill paid years ago with a glass of milk!”
    All bills were settled on that tree at Golgotha. People will not accept the fact because pride gets in the way. If it were not for the insistance of The Prince of Peace (forcing the payment on man) then no freedom from debt would be applied to anyone. Most people attempt to pay with religion. Payment NOT accepted.
    I know Him, correctly, as Messiah whom you call Christ. Yah Shua whom you call Jesus. Messianists who you call Christians.

    "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm".

    I refuse, point blank, to speak peace to the unregenerate, hypocrites, religious dogma lovers and those that oppose the following statement:
    A regenerate man trusts in the evangelism of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed justness of Messiah alone.
    If you are fully persuaded, by experience, of this delightful, beautiful and life giving doctrine then I love you as a brother.

    Anyone who thinks that salvation is conditioned on anything a man thinks, does or says is atheist. I cannot and will not speak peace to him or her.

    I don't make statements online that I wouldn't repeat in front of my Maker, my grandmother or a judge.

  2. #62
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fla6EO07I3E

    Just Push

    A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.


    So, this the man did, day after day.

    For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

    Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved."

    Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

    Satan said, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough."

    That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.

    "Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

    The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.

    And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed.
    But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.

    rTrue, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock."

    At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves mountains.

    When everything seems to go wrong . just P.U.S.H.!

    When the job gets you down ... just P.U.S.H.!


    When people don't react the way you think they should ... just P.U.S.H!

    When your money is "gone" and the bills are due....just P.U.S.H!

    When people just don't understand you, just P.U.S.H.

  3. #63
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    Trust in God

    A man just got married and was returning home with his wife. They were crossing a lake in a boat, when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became very much afraid because it seemed almost hopeless:

    The boat was small and the storm was really huge, and any moment they were going to be drowned. But the man sat silently, calm and quiet, as if nothing was happening.

    The woman was trembling and she said, “Are you not afraid ?”.

    This may be our last moment of life! It doesn’t seem that we will be able to reach the other shore. Only some miracle can save us; otherwise death is certain. Are you not afraid? Are you mad or something? Are you a stone or something?

    The man laughed and took the sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled: What he was doing? Then he brought the naked sword close to the woman’s neck, so close that just a small gap was there, it was almost touching her neck.

    He said,” Are you afraid ?”

    She started to laugh and said,” Why should I be afraid ?,If the sword is in your hands, why I should be afraid? I know you love me.

    ” He put the sword back and said, This is my answer”.

    I know God Loves me, and the storm is in His hands.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fla6EO07I3E

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    Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it.

    She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
    Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

    He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

    After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

    He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

    “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

    “Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it.

    After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

    “Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

    He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

    However, each one reacted differently.

    The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

    The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

    However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

    “Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

    Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

  5. #65
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    Mountain Moving Faith

    Author Unknown

    A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smokies built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member. Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. Until the church doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary.

    Unfortunately, the church with its undersized parking lot had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain out of the back yard.

    Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had "mountain-moving faith".

    They would hold a prayer session asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to somehow provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the scheduled opening dedication service the following week.

    At the appointed time, 24 of the congregation's 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for nearly three hours. At ten o'clock the pastor said the final "Amen". "We'll open next Sunday as scheduled," he assured everyone. "God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time too."

    The next morning as he was working in his study there came a loud knock at his door. When he called "come in", a rough looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered.

    "Excuse me, Reverend. I'm from Acme Construction Company over in the next county. We're building a huge new shopping mall over there and we need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church?

    We'll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge, if we can have it right away. We can't do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly."

    The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned and there were far more members with "mountain-moving faith" on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week!

  6. #66
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    ALL Things Really Work Together

    (by John Newton - Author of "Amazing Grace")

    “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

    My dear friend,

    Certainly, if my ability was equal to my inclination – I would remove your tumor with a word or a touch – I would exempt you instantly and constantly from every inconvenience and pain!

    But you are in the hands of One who could do all this and more, and who loves you infinitely better than I can do – and yet He is pleased to permit you to suffer.

    What is the plain lesson? Certainly, that at the present juncture, He, to Whom all events and their consequences are present in one view – sees it better for you to have this tumor than to be without it. There is a cause, a need-be for it.​

    The promise is express, and literally true – that “all things,” universally and without exception, shall work together for good … The smallest as well as the greatest events have their place and use – like the movement of a watch, where, though some pieces have a greater comparative importance than others – yet the smallest pieces have their place and use, and are so far equally important, that the whole design of the machine would be obstructed for lack of them.​

    Some workings and turns of Divine Providence have a more visible, sensible, and determining influence upon
    the whole tenor of our lives, but the more ordinary occurrences of every day are adjusted, timed and suited
    with equal accuracy – by the hand of the same great Artist who planned and executes the whole.​

    We are sometimes surprised to see how much more depends and turns upon these minor events, than we were aware of.

    Then we admire His skill, and say, “He does all things well!”

    Such thoughts as these, when I am enabled to realize them, in some measure reconcile me to whatever He allots for myself or my friends; and convinces me of the propriety of that verse, which speaks the language of love, as well as authority, “Be still – and know that I am God!”(Psalms 46:10).​

    John Newton (1725-1807)
    (Author of the Hymn, Amazing Grace)
    John Newton’s Letters
    September 28, 1774


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G72NucLEGM

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    An old man lived in the village. He was one of the most unfortunate people in the world. The whole village was tired of him; he was always gloomy, he constantly complained and was always in a bad mood.

    The longer he lived, the more bile he was becoming and the more poisonous were his words. People avoided him, because his misfortune became contagious. It was even unnatural and insulting to be happy next to him.

    He created the feeling of unhappiness in others.

    But one day, when he turned eighty years old, an incredible thing happened.

    Instantly everyone started hearing the rumour: “An Old Man is happy today, he doesn’t complain about anything, smiles, and even his face is freshened up.”

    The whole village gathered together. The old man was asked:

    Villager: What happened to you?

    “Nothing special. Eighty years I’ve been chasing happiness, and it was useless. And then I decided to live without happiness and just enjoy life. That’s why I’m happy now.” – An Old Man

    Moral of the story: Don’t chase happiness. Enjoy your life.

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    The Touchstone

    When the great library of Alexandria burned, the story goes, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book; and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers.

    The book wasn't very interesting, but between its pages there was something very interesting indeed. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the Touchstone!

    The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold. The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles that looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: The real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold.

    So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing pebbles.

    He knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebble hundreds of times. So, when he felt one that was cold, he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this but none of them was the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick up a pebble. Cold - throw it into the sea. Pick up another. Throw it into the sea.

    The days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months. One day, however, about mid-afternoon, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. He threw it into the sea before he realized what he had done. He had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along he still threw it away.

    So it is with opportunity.

    Unless we are vigilant, it's easy to fail to recognize an opportunity when it is in hand and it's just as easy to throw it away.

    Author Unknown

  9. #69
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    A Child's Explanation Of God

    The following was written by an 8 year old from Chula Vista, CA, for his third grade homework assignment. The assignment was to explain God:

    "One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth.

    He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way, He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk; He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

    God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime

    God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off.

    God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.

    Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.

    Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind like His Father and He told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK.

    His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore, He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary only more important.

    You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to hear you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the times.

    You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong! And, besides, the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.

    If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim very good and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.

    But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases. And that's why I believe in God."

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    God Created the Dog

    On the first day, God created the dog and said: "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."

    The dog said: "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"

    So God agreed with the dog.

    black laborador dog

    On the second day, God created the monkey and said: "Entertain people, Do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

    The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"

    And God agreed with the monkey.

    On the third day, God created the cow and said: "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves, and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."

    The cow said: "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"

    And God agreed again.

    On the fourth day, God created man and said: "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years." But man said: "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"

    "Okay," said God, "You asked for it."

    So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

    And that's how life is explained through God's creation.

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    A Kitten From Heaven

    Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about a pastor. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard, and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and grasp the kitten.

    He did all this, kept getting out to check, then figured if he went just a little bit farther, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved a little farther forward... the rope broke.

    The tree went *Boing!* and the kitten instantly sailed through the air- out of sight. The pastor felt very bad. He walked all over the neighborhood, asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a kitten. So he prayed, "Lord, I just commit this kitten to Your keeping," and went on about his business.

    What Happened to the Kitten?

    A few days later, he was at the grocery store, and he met Melissa Jefferson, one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart, and he was amazed to see cat food. Knowing she hated cats, he asked her, "Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?" She replied, "You won't believe this," and told him how her little girl Meghan had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the girl had begged again, and so the Mom finally told her little girl, "Well, if God gives you a cat from heaven, I'll let you keep it."

    You can guess the rest. She told the pastor, "I watched my little girl go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a kitty cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws spread out, and landed right in front of her.

    I've always wondered if he told her what really happened.

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    THE HOSPITAL WINDOW

    There were two men, both seriously ill, who shared the same hospital room. One man got a seat next to the room’s only window. The man was also allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help him drain fluids from his lungs. The other man had to spend all his time lying flat on his back.

    The two roommates quickly bonded and started talking for hours on end. They talked about their lives, their job, children and wives. One day the man on the other side of the window, expressed how he envied the man near the window. From that day the man near the window started describing all the things he could see outside the window.

    The window overlooked a lovely park with a lake. Ducks played on the lake while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. The man on the other bed began to live for those one hour where he could hear and visualize the world outside the hospital room. The one hour of every day would broaden broadened his world and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

    One fine afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could visualize it as the man by the window vividly described.

    Days and weeks passed by.

    One morning, a nurse arrived to examine the condition of the two patients. She found the lifeless body of the man by the window. The man had peacefully embraced his death in his sleep. The nurse sadly called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

    The other man grieved the death of his roommate. But, as the day passed by he started missing the way his roommate described the view out of the window. In a hope to have a peek out of the window and the beautiful world outside, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse happily made the switch. As soon as he was comfortable in his new bed, the man slowly and painfully propped himself to take his first look at the world outside. The nurse delightfully watched as the man attempted to sit on the bed after weeks. But as he strained to slowly turn to look out of the window beside him. He was stunned to see a blank wall outside the window. The agitate man asked the nurse what could have made his roommate to lie about the view outside the window.

    “There is nothing to see from here. Where are all the wonderful things he saw? He described everything so vividly. Is this a new and recent wall? Why did he give me such vivid details that don’t exist?” He asked

    The nurse shook her head and answered his questions, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you and make you happy. You see, your roommate was totally blind”.

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    The Old Fisherman

    Our house was directly across the street from the entrance of a popular hospital in the city. 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 ’till the morning.”

    He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but he had no success as 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 had 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 prefaced 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 the 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. Grownups 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 a.m. 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 more 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, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude.

    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 great 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.”

    -Author Unknown

  14. #74
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    The three strands of hair

    Once a woman woke up in the morning only to realize that she had only three strands of hair left on her head. “ Well”, she said, “ I think I’ll braid my hair today.” She braided her hair and she had a wonderful day.

    When she got up the next day and looked in the mirror she noticed she had just two strands of hair on her head. She said, “ I think I ll part my hair down the middle today”. She parted her hair in the middle and she had a great day.

    The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did, and she had a fun day.

    The next day she woke up and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yippie!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

    Attitude is everything. Be kind, Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly.

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    The Smell Of Rain


    A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing who was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications forced Diana, then only 24 weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver the couples new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

    At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it," he said compassionately.

    "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

    Numb, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the likely problems Dana could face as a survivor. "She might never walk or talk, and possibly be blind. She certainly would be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to retardation.

    "No! No!" was all Diana could say. She, David, and their five year old son, Dustin, dreamed of the day they'd have a daughter to become a family of four.

    Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away but, as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw'. The lightest kiss or caress intensified her discomfort so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone in the tangle of tubes and wires, was pray that God would stay close. There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

    But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

    At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. Two months later, though doctors continued their grim premonitions, Dana went home from the hospital.

    Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty youngster with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life, she showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. She's everything a little girl can be and more but, that's far from the ending.

    One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996, near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother, Dustin's, baseball team was practicing. As always, chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults nearby, Dana suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, the child asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again her mother replied. "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

    Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, No, it smells like Him when you lay your head on His chest." Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other youngsters. Before the rains came her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family knew all along--During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when she was too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it His loving scent that she remembers so well.

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