Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Lessons to Learn

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. 
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 
  4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch. 
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month. 
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. 
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it. 
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck. 
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. 
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. 
  13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. 
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks. 
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 
  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 
  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. 
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. 
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow. 
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. 
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. 
  25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?". 
  26. Always choose life. 
  27. Forgive everyone everything. 
  28. What other people think of you is none of your business. 
  29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time. 
  30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 
  31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 
  32. Believe in miracles. 
  33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. 
  34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 
  35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young. 
  36. Your children get only one childhood. 
  37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 
  38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 
  39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. 
  40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 
  41. The best is yet to come. 
  42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 
  43. Yield. 
  44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
It's estimated 93% won't share this. If you are one of the 7% who will, share this with the title '7%'. I'm in the 7%. Remember that I will always share my spoon with you! Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.

Mary Hennigan
Executive Director
Texas Occupational Therapy Association

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Daniel's Gloves"

A good friend sent this to me as an e-mail and I have seen it before, but it is such a good story I just had to share it with you.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Chet
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A terrific story for all the time, but especially as we celebrate the Savior's birth. Take a moment to think about what's really important.....Merry Christmas

"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me"
(John 14:1 NLT)

An Anonymous Story called "Daniel's Gloves"

(Author Unknown or is it? Please. Read on.)

I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.

As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, 'I will work for food.' My heart sank.

I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car.

Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: 'Don't go back to the office until you've at least driven once more around the square.'

Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square's third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the store front church, going through his sack.

I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest visitor.

'Looking for the pastor?' I asked.

'Not really,' he replied, 'just resting.'

'Have you eaten today?'

'Oh, I ate something early this morning.'

'Would you like to have lunch with me?'

'Do you have some work I could do for you?'

'No work,' I replied 'I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch.'

'Sure,' he replied with a smile.

As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions. Where you headed?'

' St. Louis '

'Where you from?'

'Oh, all over; mostly Florida ...'

'How long you been walking?'

'Fourteen years,' came the reply.

I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, 'Jesus is The Never Ending Story.'

Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences.. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought.

He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God

'Nothing's been the same since,' he said, 'I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now.'

'Ever think of stopping?' I asked.

'Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles That's what's in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads.'

I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked: 'What's it like?'

'What?'

'To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?'

'Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of other folks like me.'

My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused He turned to me and said, 'Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in.'

I felt as if we were on holy ground. 'Could you use another Bible?' I asked.

He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. 'I've read through it 14 times,' he said.

'I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop by our church and see' I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

'Where are you headed from here?' I asked.

'Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon.'

'Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?'

'No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next.'

He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we'd met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things.

'Would you sign my autograph book?' he asked. 'I like to keep messages from folks I meet.'

I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, 'I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a future and a hope.'

'Thanks, man,' he said. 'I know we just met and we're really just strangers, but I love you.'

'I know,' I said, 'I love you, too.' 'The Lord is good!'

'Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?' I asked.

A long time,' he replied

And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed.. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, 'See you in the New Jerusalem.'

'I'll be there!' was my reply.

He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, 'When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'

'You bet,' I shouted back, 'God bless.'

'God bless.' And that was the last I saw of him.

Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them.... a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them.

Then I remembered his words: 'If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'

Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry. 'See you in the New Jerusalem,' he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will....

'I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.'

My instructions were to send this to people that I wanted God to bless and I picked you. Please pass this to people you want to be blessed.

This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached. Please do not break this pattern. Prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another. God bless and have a nice day!

'Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and e-mail buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace, In Jesus' precious Name......Amen.'

I sent this to more than four, but this story is so touching I felt each of you would enjoy it greatly.

GOD BLESS YOU MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Thank You For The Miracles

by Chet Nowlen

Lord, You deserve all the thanks and praise I can think of for you have for you have blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. Oh, by the way, the word deserve reminds of the phrase I hear some people use, “I have been blessed more than I deserve.” I never really understood why people would say that to me, but now when I look back on my life I find that I too have been blessed more than I deserve.


Do you believe in miracles? I don’t know about you, but I do because I’ve seen several in my life time. I cannot go into a lot of detail about each miracle, but I will tell you as much as I can at this time. The first miracle happen when I was in my twenties. There was a very troubling issue at church with a person that had threatened me because he thought I had stolen his position in the church. The Lord came to me in a dream and said, “Do not worry, everything will be alright!” I found out later the man that had threatened me was killed in a car accident, but the good news he had accepted Christ shortly before his death. My faith was uplifted to the next level as I knew then God does hear and answer our prayers.

The next miracle was my Father’s salvation experience. My Dad was, on the outside, a rough and tough John Wayne type. He could out cuss and out drink everyone around. My Dad hated Christians because of what some mean spirited Christian woman said to him. I had prayed for my Dad for years and it looked impossible for him to every accept Jesus as his personal Lord and savior. One Sunday morning Dad woke my Mom and told her she has to pray for him right now. He told her they must get on their knees and she must lead him in the sinner’s prayer. My Mom was shocked as she had never heard him talk like this before. She did as he asked the best she could and then he said something else that shocked her. He asked her, “What time does church start?” She could not believe her ears. They went to church and when the invitation was offered my Dad was the first one down the isle to make his profession of faith.

I don’t know what happened that caused my Dad to repent, but I have a feeling the Lord came to him in a dream and warned him that he had to be ready for what was coming. Two weeks later my Dad suffered a brain aneurism which caused some brain damage. He was no longer mentally able to handle his affairs and had to retire at age 62. My Dad lived to age 83 and spent most all of the last 20-years of his life in a VA nursing home, but he always made sure my Mom is she was still going to church.

Shortly after my Dad’s brain issue my Mom kind of went off on the dark side for a while. I guess she couldn’t take the stress with dealing with my Dad and she was easily seduced by some predators into the night life. I could not believe have my Mom had changed into someone I didn’t know. I called my Mom my “Prodigal Mother” because she had wandered away into a life that was just totally not her. I kept praying for her and God heard my prayer and delivered her so she was miracle number three.

There were two other miracles that I didn’t mention before that I must not forget to mention. These two are the births of my two sons, Eric and Tim. I think we take the miracle gift from God of our children for granted. Our children are a gift of Love from our Heavenly Father and I thank Him for blessing me with these gifts.

I wish there were no such thing as divorce, but sometimes it happens whether we believe in it or not. When my divorce happened I thought my world had come to an end. When you allow yourself to not stay connected with God you open yourself up to the snare of the evil one and that’s what happened in my marriage that failed. We both have accepted our responsibility for the failed marriage and have asked each other’s forgiveness, but life must go on.

After the divorce I dated several women and the relationship got kind of serious, but failed because I think I the Lord was protecting me. He was keeping me for the right person and this brings my next miracle. One day a friend girl of mine told me she wanted me to meet a lady that would be perfect for me. She described her as tall, trim, blonde, and very pretty. She said that this lady is not ready yet because she is going through a divorce, but she will call me when she is ready. I didn’t take it to serious so I sort of forgot about it.

After a few weeks my friend girl called me and told me that this lady, Gale, is ready now and gave me the Gale’s name and phone number. She said it was up to me to call her and ask her out. It took me a while to work up the courage to call this lady, but when I did I could not believe how much fun it was to talk to her. The month was July and I stood out in the blazing sun and talked to this wonderful lady for two hours. My shirt was ringing wet with sweat from the heat, but I enjoyed every minute of the conversation. She tested me with a few choice questions to see if I qualified and then she tried to discourage me by saying that she weight 210 lbs. I knew that was not the way my friend girl had described her and I didn’t care if she did because I enjoy talking to so much I asked her out on a date.

We scheduled the next Saturday for our date and I took her to Amerigo’s Restaurant in Ridgeland, Ms. When I knocked on her door I was so taken with her beauty I could not speak without stuttering. She was just as my friend had described her and she did not weight 210 lbs. I was so impressed with Gale that while waiting outside to be seated at the restaurant I asked her for a second date and to my surprise she accepted and we’ve been together ever since.

What a joy my life has been since Gale came into my life. When God decides to bless you He does it in such a tremendous way. Gale and I are so much alike in so many ways and in the ways and where we are not alike we compliment one another. We’ve been married 16-years, as of this writing, and I thank God everyday for the joy and happiness I have because of the many wonderful gifts of love God had given to me. I call them my miracles because even though I may not deserve them God gave them to me as a Father gives good gifts to his children.

To Him that gives to His children exceeding and abundantly beyone all we can ask for think of deserves all my praise and thanks.  Ephesians 3:20