Stories Of Hope & Inspiration

FineLinen

Well-known member
It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice.

Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.

I choose love. No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy. I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace. I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience. I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite Him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness. I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I choose goodness. I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

I choose faithfulness. Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I choose gentleness. Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I choose self-control. I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful-ness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

Excerpted from Let the Journey Begin by Max Lucado © Thomas Nelson.

Originally published in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado © Thomas Nelson
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
The best laid intentions of mice and men often go aglee

One of the great marvels of the Roman Empire was the invention of the aqueduct system to provide water over vast distances. It was an absolutely ingenious method which made use of gravity, with stone arches to support the water channels. An aqueduct was built in 109 AD which carried water to the city of Segovia for eighteen hundred years. For nearly sixty generations this aqueduct provided cool water from the mountains above. But fairly recently, it collapsed.

A well-intentioned citizen, observing the ancient structure, remarked, "This aqueduct is so great a marvel that it ought to be preserved for our children, as a museum piece. We shall relieve it of its centuries-long labor." So the city decided to construct a modern water system with iron pipes to carry the water, intending to give the aqueduct a long-deserved rest. What they failed to realize, of course, was that attempting to preserve the aqueduct by stopping the flow of water through it, assured its rapid disintegration! As the sun beat down on the now dry mortar and stone, the centuries old structure quickly began to fall apart. Amazingly, nearly two millenia of service would not accomplish the destructive work of less than a century of idleness!
 
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FineLinen

Well-known member
I was living in Seward, Alaska, it was winter of 1971, and there was plenty of snow on the ground.

One weekend my uncle asked if I wanted to go "snow-machining" with him and his son. Of course, as a young 22 yr old, I wanted to go! Soon the three of us were riding on up into the hills and mountains, nearly 2000 feet above, on separate machines.

We spent the day playing, having fun chasing each other up and down snow-clogged valleys, high in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula.

Suddenly we noticed the sky was totally clouded over, it had begun snowing, and daylight was fading fast, we had lost track of the time! Everything was white, and because light was fading, poor depth perception set in. It was difficult to judge distances, and it was hard to see bumps and dips in our path.

My uncle asked me to lead the way home, so, without giving it a second thought, I headed in a direction that I thought was right. We wound our way down the mountain single file, with me in the front at about 25mph. I struggled to pick our way through a maze of hundreds of criss-crossing snow machine tracks. There was simply no trail to follow at that altitude, above the treeline. I had to guess the direction.

I remember heading down this gentle slope, perhaps about a 15 degree or so angle downward, when all of a sudden my machine gave an extremely sharp, and VERY sudden abrupt spin to the left and stopped! It had literally stopped in it's tracks sideways.

It was now "parked" in the way, my uncle and cousin pulled up behind me and they also stopped. I didn't know what had happened, or what was going on. My uncle said "why did you stop?" I said "I don't know."

I was still wondering what had happened, as I certainly had not done anything to stop the machine, and I sure hadn't made it turn to the left. Perplexed, I stood up, and that's when I saw it: a deep ravine looming ahead of us. I saw the cliff that we had almost gone over, about 15 or 20 feet directly in front of us, with walls almost straight up and down, and the bottom perhaps a hundred yards below us. I began shaking uncontrollably from head to foot, my whole body shook! I knew we had come very close to dying, all of us. If I'd gone over that cliff, the others were so close they would not have had time to react, they would have followed me over the cliff, and they would have found our bodies down at the bottom. Laughing, my uncle said "it's a good thing you saw that coming!" I said "no Henry, I didn't see it coming, I didn't see ANYTHING!"

We looked all around where my machine had stopped. The brakes weren't locked up. It had not hit anything: no rocks or holes, no tree stumps, nothing.

I couldn't stop shaking for over an hour, but eventually we found our way around that place and got home safely. It was then I remembered my aunt praying for us three before we left, asking God to keep us safe from harm.

Did God send angels to accompany us up that mountain? Did one of them stop my machine from going over that cliff? I don't know, but I do consider it a miracle.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
BudinAk Location: Seward, Alaska

God Cares!

It was the winter of 1971 and we were in a cold snap in Alaska. Where I was living, in Seward, it generally doesn't get too extreme, but this one time it was an adventure for me.

I was unemployed, very poor any just barely getting by with whatever odd jobs I could find.

My home was an old 10X50 house trailer, with very poor insulation. I was living alone. With no job to go to, I had much time on my hands for prayer and Bible reading, which I did.

Early one morning in January, I awoke to find the outside temperature at -17F,
it was COLD!

My morning "ritual" was to wander into the kitchen and make coffee. So off to the kitchen I went. I held the coffee pot under the kitchen sink and opened the cold water valve.

Nothing! Not even a drip! I thought "oh noooooo, the water lines are frozen!".

I'll just go into the bathroom, and get water out of there.".

Off to the bathroom I went, which was roughly 35 feet down the hall. Holding the pot under the faucet of the bathroom sink, I opened the cold water valve: nothing!

And the hot water valve: nothing!

I thought "well...there is still the faucet for the bathtub..." I tried the cold water valve there: nothing. And the hot water valve: NOTHING! Not a drip. Not even air.

I remember feeling so depressed about it. I thought "here I am broke, no job, no money, and now I don't have any water either."

"There is nothing left for me to do except go back into the kitchen, sit down at the table, and read the Bible."

Feeling thoroughly sorry for myself, I got the Bible out, flipped it open to no particular page or passage, and decided I would just read whatever scripture I first saw.

There it was: Psalms 63: O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.

I had read it out loud and when I had said the last four words verbally, instantly all of the faucets in the house gushed water at full force! All of them! I had left the valves on. (I don't know why, I just did).

That's when the awe of it hit me: frozen water lines simply do not thaw themselves out instantly, once they are frozen. Even with a blow torch or space heater, you generally are looking at an hour or so to get water going again, it doesn't "just happen".

Well, this one time it did "just happen". I looked at the verse I had just read: "where no water is", and then stared at the water gushing out of the kitchen faucet.

I knew the Lord was near. I knew right away it was a miracle. It brought tears to my eyes. I did enjoy a cup of hot coffee that morning. And I wondered why God would care so much about me.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Children's Letters To God

Dear God, Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? ~ Norma

Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't you just keep the ones you have now? ~ Jane

Dear God, Who draws the lines around the countries? ~ Nan

Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? ~ Neil

Dear God, Thank you for my baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. ~ Joyce

Dear God, It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him anyway. ~ Your friend (but I am not going to tell you who I am)

Dear God, Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. ~ Bruce

Dear God, If we come back as something, please don't let me be Jennifer Horton, because I hate her. ~ Denise

Dear God, I want to be just like my daddy when I get big, but not with so much hair all over. ~ Sam

Dear God, I think about you sometimes, even when I'm not praying. ~ Elliott

Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. ~ Nan

Dear God, Of all the people who worked for you, I like Noah and David the best. ~ Rob

Dear God, My brothers told me about being born, but it doesn't sound right. They are just kidding, aren't they? ~ Marsha

Dear God, If you watch me in church Sunday, I'll show you my new shoes. ~ Mickey

Dear God, We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school, we learned that you did it. So I bet he stole your idea, RIGHT? ~ Sincerely, Donna

Dear God, I do not think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want you to know that I am not just saying this because you are God already. ~ Charles

Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool! ~ Eugene

Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Last week the United States experienced a polar vortex. Historians call it a 100-year storm! Millions of Texans were without electrical power as the power grid almost fully collapsed.

Between the United States and Canada sits Niagara Falls. An estimated 500,000 tons of water go over the falls every minute. On March 29, 1948, the falls suddenly stopped. Those who lived near enough heard the overwhelming silence, and immediately they thought it was a sign – the end of the world had come!

However, after thirty hours had passed – the flow of water resumed.

What happened? Heavy winds had set the ice fields of Lake Erie in motion and tons of ice had jammed the Niagara River entrance near Buffalo. The ice blocked the flow of water until finally, there was a shift in the blockage and the river began flowing again.

The river had stopped flowing because of ice. 500,000 tons of water per minute stopped because of ice.
 

ok doser

Well-known member
Last week the United States experienced a polar vortex. Historians call it a 100-year storm! Millions of Texans were without electrical power as the power grid almost fully collapsed.

Between the United States and Canada sits Niagara Falls. An estimated 500,000 tons of water go over the falls every minute. On March 29, 1948, the falls suddenly stopped. Those who lived near enough heard the overwhelming silence, and immediately they thought it was a sign – the end of the world had come!

However, after thirty hours had passed – the flow of water resumed.

What happened? Heavy winds had set the ice fields of Lake Erie in motion and tons of ice had jammed the Niagara River entrance near Buffalo. The ice blocked the flow of water until finally, there was a shift in the blockage and the river began flowing again.

The river had stopped flowing because of ice. 500,000 tons of water per minute stopped because of ice.
They dynamite it now if it builds up too thick. :)
Got to keep those hydro turbines spinning
 

FineLinen

Well-known member

The Soldier and the Seagulls​


It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.
Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier.

Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you. Thank you.'

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn't leave. He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place .

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker.

He was a famous hero in World War I, and then he was in WWII. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger and thirst. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were or even if they were alive.

Every day across America millions wondered and prayed that Eddie Rickenbacker might somehow be found alive.
The men adrift needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle.

They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged on. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft...suddenly Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal of it - a very slight meal for eight men. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait....and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea.

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull... And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

Reference: (Max Lucado, "In The Eye of the Storm", pp...221, 225-226)
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
During the American civil war, Jackson's army found itself on one side of a river when it needed to be on the other.

After telling his engineers to plan and build a bridge so the army could cross, he called his wagon master in to tell him it was urgent that the wagon train cross the river as soon as possible. At once, the wagon master started gathering all the logs, rocks, and fence rails he could find and quickly put together a bridge.

Long before daylight, General Jackson got word that all the wagons and artillery had crossed the river. "Where are the engineers and what are they doing?" asked Jackson of his wagon master.

"They are drawing up plans for a bridge, sir." He replied.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Broken wing - don't judge a book by its cover

Some people are just doomed to be failures. That's the way some adults look at troubled kids. Maybe you've heard the saying, "A bird with a broken wing will never fly as high." I'm sure that T. J. Ware was made to feel this way almost every day in school.

By high school, T. J. was the most celebrated troublemaker in his town. Teachers literally cringed when they saw his name posted on their classroom lists for the next semester. He wasn't very talkative, didn't answer questions and got into lots of fights. He had flunked almost every class by the time he entered his senior year, yet was being passed on each year to a higher grade level. Teachers didn't want to have him again the following year.

T. J. was moving on, but definitely not moving up.

I met T. J. for the first time at a weekend leadership retreat. All the students at school had been invited to sign up for ACE training, a program designed to have students become more involved in their communities. T. J. was one of 405 students who signed up. When I showed up to lead their first retreat, the community leaders gave me this overview of the attending students: "We have a total spectrum represented today, from the student body president to T. J. Ware, the boy with the longest arrest record in the history of town." Somehow, I knew that I wasn't the first to hear about T. J.'s darker side as the first words of introduction.

At the start of the retreat, T. J. was literally standing outside the circle of students, against the back wall, with that "go ahead, impress me" look on his face.

He didn't readily join the discussion groups, didn't seem to have much to say. But slowly, the interactive games drew him in. The ice really melted when the groups started building a list of positive and negative things that had occurred at school that year. T. J. had some definite thoughts on those situations. The other students in T. J.'s group welcomed his comments. All of a sudden T. J. felt like a part of the group, and before long he was being treated like a leader. He was saying things that made a lot of sense, and everyone was listening. T. J. was a smart guy, and he had some great ideas.

The next day, T. J. was very active in all the sessions. By the end of the retreat, he had joined the Homeless Project team. He knew something about poverty, hunger and hopelessness. The other students on the team were impressed with his passionate concern and ideas. They elected T. J. co-chairman of the team. The student council president would be taking his instruction from T. J. Ware.

When T. J. showed up at school on Monday morning, he arrived to a firestorm. A group of teachers were protesting to the school principal about his being elected co-chairman. The very first community wide service project was to be a giant food drive, organized by the Homeless Project team. These teachers couldn't believe that the principal would allow this crucial beginning to a prestigious, three-year action plan to stay in the incapable hands of T. J. Ware.

They reminded the principal, "He has an arrest record as long as your arm. He'll probably steal half the food." Mr. Coggshall reminded them that the purpose of the ACE program was to uncover any positive passion that a student had and reinforce its practice until true change can take place. The teachers left the meeting shaking their heads in disgust, firmly convinced that failure was imminent.

Two weeks later, T. J. and his friends led a group of 70 students in a drive to collect food.

They collected a school record: 2,854 cans of food in just two hours. It was enough to fill the empty shelves in two neighborhood centers, and the food took care of needy families in the area for 75 days. The local newspaper covered the event with a full-page article the next day. That newspaper story was posted on the main bulletin board at school, where everyone could see it. T. J.'s picture was up there for doing something great, for leading a record-setting food drive. Every day he was reminded about what he did. He was being acknowledged as leadership material.

T. J. started showing up at school every day and answered questions from teachers for the first time. He led a second project, collecting 300 blankets and 1,000 pairs of shoes for the homeless shelter. The event he started now yields 9,000 cans of food in one day, taking care of 70 percent of the need for food for one year. T. J. reminds us that a bird with a broken wing only needs mending. But once it has healed, it can fly higher than the rest. T. J. got a job. He became productive.

He is flying quite nicely these days.
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
It’s Little Things that Make a Big Difference.

There was a man taking a morning walk at or the beach. He saw that along with the morning tide came hundreds of starfish and when the tide receded, they were left behind and with the morning sun rays, they would die. The tide was fresh and the starfish were alive. The man took a few steps, picked one and threw it into the water. He did that repeatedly. Right behind him there was another person who couldn’t understand what this man was doing. He caught up with him and asked, “What are you doing? There are hundreds of starfish. How many can you help? What difference does it make?” This man did not reply, took two more steps, picked up another one, threw it into the water, and said, “It makes a difference to this one.”

What difference are we making?

Big or small, it does not matter. If everyone made a small difference, we’d end up with a big difference, wouldn’t we?
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Martha Mason

Martha Mason graduated valedictorian of her high school and earned two college degrees at the top of the class—all while living her life in an iron lung. Paralyzed by polio at age 11 in 1948 and confined 23 hours a day in an immobile, 800-pound horizontal tube, the voracious reader stayed “endlessly curious”—and amazingly adaptable. Custom-built intercoms connected her to school and made her a “regular member” in her classes, with the technology helping her from high school through Wake Forest College (now University), where the English major arrived at her dorm room in a bakery truck. By the time she died in 2009, Mason had been in the iron lung for a record-setting 60 years. “Something happens to all of us,” she said in a documentary about her, Martha in Lattimore. “Mine is more visible than yours, but you have to deal with your things, too. None of us are exempt from things that would make us extraordinary people if the world knew the story.”
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Tell Them

Some 14 years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our opening session in the theology of faith.

That was the day I first saw Tommy. He was combing his hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. My quick judgment wrote him off as strange – very strange.

Tommy turned out to be my biggest challenge.

He constantly objected to or smirked at the possibility of an unconditionally loving God.

When he turned in his final exam at the end of the course, he asked in a slightly cynical tone, “Do you think I’ll ever find God?”

“No,” I said emphatically.

“Oh,” he responded. “I thought that was the product you were pushing.”

I let him get five steps from the door and then called out.

“I don’t think you’ll ever find Him, but I am certain He will find you.”

Tommy shrugged and left. I felt slightly disappointed that he had missed my clever line.

Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was grateful for that. Then came a sad report: Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to me. When he walked into my office, his body was badly wasted, and his long hair had fallen out because of chemotherapy. But his eyes were bright and his voice, for the first time, was firm.

“Tommy! I’ve thought about you so often. I heard you were very sick,” I blurted out.

“Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer. It’s a matter of weeks.”

“Can you talk about it?”

“Sure. What would you like to know?”

“What’s it like to be only 24 and know that you’re dying?”

“It could be worse,” he told me, “like being 50 and thinking that drinking booze, seducing women and making money are the real ‘biggies’ in life.”

Then he told me why he had come.

“It was something you said to me on the last day of class. I asked if you thought I would ever find God, and you said no, which surprised me. Then you said, ‘But He will find you.’ I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time. But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, I got serious about locating God. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging against the bronze doors of heaven. But nothing happened.

Well, one day I woke up, and instead of my desperate attempts to get some kind of message, I just quit.

I decided I didn’t really care about God, an afterlife, or anything like that. I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more important. I thought about you and something else you had said:

‘The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you loved them.’

So I began with the hardest one: my dad.”

Tommy’s father had been reading the newspaper when his son approached him.

“Dad, I would like to talk with you.”

“Well, talk.”

“I mean, it’s really important.”

The newspaper came down three slow inches.

“What is it?”

“Dad, I love you. I just wanted you to know that.”

Tommy smiled at me as he recounted the moment. “The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I couldn’t remember him doing before. He cried and he hugged me. And we talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning.

“It was easier with my mother and little brother,” Tommy continued.

“They cried with me, and we hugged one another, and shared the things we had been keeping secret for so long. Here I was, in the shadow of death, and I was just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.

“Then one day I turned around and God was there.

He didn’t come to me when I pleaded with Him. Apparently He does things in His own way and at His own hour. The important thing is that you were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him.”

“Tommy,” I added, “could I ask you a favor? Would you come to my theology-of-faith course and tell my students what you told me?”

Though we scheduled a date, he never made it. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of humanity has ever seen or the mind ever imagined.

Before he died, we talked one last time. “I’m not going to make it to your class,” he said.

“I know, Tommy.”

“Will you tell them for me? Will you . . . tell the whole world for me?”

“I will, Tommy. I’ll tell them.”
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Don’t Hope: Decide!

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.

For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?

Two whole days

“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me.

I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling.

He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!” - Michael D. Hargrove-
 

FineLinen

Well-known member
Against All Odds

An Israeli platoon found themselves in the midst of a minefield along the Syrian border during the Yom Kippur War. When the platoon realized they were in a minefield they pulled out their bayonets and started to dig out mines and to disarm them.

Suddenly, a fierce wind began to blow, removing the sand from the minefield. Each and every mine was exposed and the soldiers ventured through the minefield unscathed.

If you found yourself in the midst of a minefield, but had someone with you that knew where every mine was, and could guide you through, then you'd be sure to stay as close to him as possible.

Life is a minefield, the enemy has planted mines all across your path. The Lord knows where they are and how to guide you around them.

Stay close to Him!
 
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