Valentines|’True’ Love [v24]

FEBRUARY 2001

GREETINGS — With Valentines Day not far off, it reminds me of a story of “true love.” It is about a wealthy man who died, apparently without leaving a will. According to the law, the estate would be divided among next of kin and the personal property was to be converted into cash at public auction. During the sale, the auctioneer held up a picture of the deceased man’s only son, but no one bid on it, including the cousins. Later, a women approached the auctioneer and asked if she could purchase it for a dollar, which is all she had. She went on to relate that she had been a servant in the deceased’s household when the boy lost his life trying to rescue a drowning person, and that she loved him very much. The auctioneer accepted the dollar and the woman went home and placed it on her bedside table. It was then that she noticed a bulge in the back of the frame. When she undid the backing, to her amazement, it was the rich man’s will. The instructions were simple: “I give and bequeath all my possessions to the person who cares enough for my son to cherish this photograph.”

True love is so “mysterious,” “untouchable,” and “undefinable,” though many have tried before, so shall I. It is doing for others without any expectation of receiving back; it is choosing to forgive and to sacrifice; it is patient and kind; it is putting others before yourself; it is not boastful; it is that indescribable feeling of “ecstasy”; it is a quiet understanding and an acceptance of imperfection; it is deep compassion; it is the calming security of total trust; true love is the most important “thing” for us to aspire for.

H. Richard Niebuhr said it this way: “Love is gratitude: it is thankfulness for the existence of the beloved; it is the happy acceptance of everything that he gives without the jealous feeling that the self ought to be able to do as much; it is a gratitude that does not seek equality; it is wonder over the other’s gift of himself in companionship.”

Just imagine what you would “do” for your children out of the love you have for them. Without sounding “self-righteous,” I would give my life for them. But that is exactly what God did for us. As did the deceased rich man, God will give us “everything” if we “care” for His Son, Jesus Christ. And Christ “cared” enough to give His life so that we may “live.”

God is “true love.” He is forgiving, caring, understanding, encouraging, unerring, rewarding, and ceaseless in wanting to have this relationship with us. And even if we “run” from Him, He continually pursues us. He is the great “hunter” and “initiator.” Francis Thompson wrote a poem about his experience in verse. The poem is “The Hound of Heaven,” which has been called one of the finest ode in the English language. Thompson said it for all of us:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up-vistaed hopes, I sped;
And shot, participated
Down titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

So, it’s up to you. If you earnestly seek Him with all your heart, He will answer you and you can experience the only “true love” available here on earth. It will change your life!

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v24) for FEBRUARY 2001
(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at: mbesh@ameritech.net)

I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me… Thank you’s to:

Joy Asashon
Richard Bachman
Linda Besh
Nozer Buschia
Sandy Lerner
Cher’re Walters
Laurie Westman

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LOVE – WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW

Burt Barcharach and Hal David wrote the following lyrics

What the world needs now
Is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing there’s just too little of.

How could you disagree with the songwriters?  We all want love. Several years ago, Thomas Malone, a psychiatrist in Atlanta said, “Almost every emotional problem can be summed up in one particular bit of behavior.  It’s a person walking around screaming, ‘Love me! Love Me!’ That’s all. He goes through a million manipulations to get somebody to love him.”   The late Eric Fromm, also a noted figure in the mental health field, said, “The final goal in all therapy is to release within the individual a greater capacity for love.”

The songwriters and the therapists did not make a new discovery in our time.   Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).  He also said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13).

In one way or another you can trace the root cause of practically all human conflict and degeneracy to a lack of love. Our involvement with family ministry convinces us that families are breaking down in the Western world because we neither understand nor properly practice love. But why is it so hard?

If the answer to love will cure some of life’s worst problems, why don’t more people do it?   Will people really punish themselves and refuse to provide what they need for emotional and spiritual survival?  Apparently they do, but there is really more than one reason why people don’t love.

1. We confuse love with sentimentality. Aldous Huxley was a cynical secularist, but he was not entirely wrong when he wrote, “Of all the worn, smudged, dog-eared words in our vocabulary, love is surely the grubbiest, smelliest and slimiest.” What was Huxley getting at?  Perhaps he was taking a swipe at sentimentality.  Some people don’t think you love at all if you don’t have warm, tender, caring feelings. Husbands and wives walk away from each other with the lame excuse, “I don’t love him/her anymore.”  If they really want to stick the knife in a partner’s back and twist it, they will say, “I never did love you.” If you really want to make a mess of your relationship, you might try saying that in front of your children.  What people actually mean when they say that kind of thing is that their sentimental feelings are no longer present.

But that’s not love in the truest sense. Look carefully at the words of Jesus. He said “a new commandment I give you.” You don’t command a sentiment. Sentiments fluctuate like the weather, food preferences and clothing styles.  Marriage is not based on sentiment. No where does the Bible say that we are entitled to have marriage partners who are intelligent, attractive, romantic, affectionate and polite. What the Bible does say is “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

2. We confuse love with sexuality. With ever increasing regularity we hear sexual intercourse described as “making love.”  When your local movie theater features a love story, you’re almost guaranteed that the protagonists will end up in the same bed together and it’s a pretty safe bet that they will not be married to each other. Somehow we have bought into a belief that if you really love a person of another gender, you will prove that love by performing a sex act. The Greek word for sexual love is “eros.” That word never appears in the New Testament. When Jesus commanded love he used the word “agapao” which is a type of love which can only be known by the actions it prompts. It is a love that does not always run with natural inclinations, a love in which you give yourself to another person unselfishly.   You even sacrifice your own interests and desires for the good of the other person.

3. It is difficult to practice love because it is often painful. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  When you do that, you aren’t always appreciated. When you do that, you make yourself vulnerable. Sometimes people don’t understand your intentions.  Sometimes they take advantage of you. People have the capacity to hurt you and it is very tempting to retreat from expressing love to anyone when you have been hurt. A person who has been abused sexually, physically or verbally may find it hard to ever risk loving again. It’s human nature to be self-protective.

4. It is difficult to love because many of us have not been trained to love.  We don’t instinctively know how to love. If we did there would have been no need for the Bible writers to tell us, “love one another.” It’s necessary to acquire many skills in life, like swimming and riding a bicycle. We have the capacity to do those things, but we have to develop our capabilities. I know just enough of the Spanish language to get myself in trouble. I can order from a menu in South America and I know how to find the rest room, but don’t ask me to discuss events of the day. However, I believe that I have the capacity to learn how to speak Spanish.  I’m a reasonably intelligent person.  I have a working knowledge of grammar, which is essential to all languages. If I ever decide I want to pay the price of becoming fluent in the Spanish language, I will have to submit to training.

The same thing is true with loving. Some of us are taught how to love by our parents.  Some of us don’t get that from our parents, so we look elsewhere for training.  Books can help. Workshops and seminars can help. Mentors can help.  Sometimes counselors can be effective in love training but the Bible is our primary love-training manual because Jesus Christ models love. Near the end of his personal ministry, he knew it was time to leave this world.  According to John 13:1,  “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.”

CONCLUSION

To us it seems strange that the whole world screams for love and yet they look for it everywhere except in the one credible place they can find it – the Word of God.  Dr. Malone, the Atlanta psychiatrist, who spoke of people screaming for love, also said, “When they realize that if they give up their screaming and go on to the other business of loving another human, they can get all the love they have been screaming for all their lives.”  I wonder if he ever read Matthew 10:39.  “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
[Norman and Ann Bales]

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John, noticing his friend’s hunting bow, said that the string was loose whereupon the man replied, “Yes, I always loosen the string of my bow when it’s not in use. If it stayed tight, it would lose its resilience and fail me in the hunt.”

“And I am now relaxing the bow of my mind,” said  John, “so that I may be better able to shoot the arrows of divine truth.”

Work is important. We need to eat and we need to take care of our family, but over-busyness can be a curse. Without sufficient rest and relaxation we will eventually lose our health and not be able to work efficiently. And without taking time to nurture and be nurtured in loving relationships, life becomes empty and meaningless.

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RESEMBLANCE

Lord, somewhere I read
That when two people love deeply
When they live together
Sharing
Caring
Giving
Forgiving
Eventually they begin
To resemble each other.
Lord, how long will it be
Before I look like You?
[Ruth Harmes Calkin]

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A RECIPE FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Take twelve whole months. Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness,hate, and jealousy. Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty or thirty-one different parts, but don’t make the whole batch at once. Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

Mix well into each day one part of faith, one part of patience, one part of courage, and one part of work. Add to each day one part of hope, faithfulness, generosity, and meditation, and one good deed. Season the whole with a dash of good spirits, a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play, and a cupful of good humor.

Pour all of this into a vessel of love. Cook thoroughly over radiant joy, garnish with a smile, and serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness. You’re bound to have a Happy New Year.  [Lou Bascaglia]

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SOMETHING TO PONDER

– Doing beats stewing!
– Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up.
– This year I am planning on being more spontaneous
– He who slings mud generally loses ground.
– Life’s heaviest burden is to have nothing to carry.
– Suffering with truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
– Life consists not in holding good cards but playing the cards dealt.
– A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.

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SOUL AT THE WATERFALL

Empty thyself
so that God
may fill you,
and He will,
more than that which
tumbles over the falls.

He will continue to pour
His gifts unto you
as the water continues
to pour over the stone
century after century.

We will be washed clean,
refreshed with a spirit
white as the mist
of His outpouring.
[Linda Besh]

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We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.  [Jim Rohn]

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The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.  [Nelson Mandela]

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Well done is better than well said.  [Benjamin Franklin]

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BIG MAN IN A SMALL TOWN

Joe grew up in a small town, then moved away to attend college and law school. He decided to come back to the small town because he could be a big man in this small town. He really wanted to impress everyone. So he returned and opened his new law office.

The first day, he saw a man coming up the sidewalk. He decided to make a big impression on this new client when he arrived. As the man came to the door, Joe picked up the phone. He motioned the man in, all the while talking.

“No. Absolutely not. You tell those clowns in New York that I won’t settle this case for less than one million. Yes. The Appeals Court has agreed to hear that case next week. I’ll be handling the primary argument and the other members of my team will provide support. Okay. Tell the DA that I’ll meet with him next week to discuss the details.”

This sort of thing went on for almost five minutes. All the while the man sat patiently as Joe rattled instructions. Finally, Joe put down the phone and turned to the man. “I’m sorry for the delay, but as you can see, I’m very busy. What can I do for you?”

The man replied, “I’m from the phone company. I came to hook up your phone.”  [Received from Richard Bachman]

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ROBBING OURSELVES?

Back in 1887 in a small neighborhood grocery store, a middle-aged gentleman named, Emanuel Nenger, gave the assistant a $20 note to pay for the turnip greens he was purchasing. When the assistant placed the note in the cash drawer, she noticed that some of the ink from the $20 came off on her hands, which were wet from wrapping the turnip greens.

She’d known Mr. Nenger for years and was shocked! She ponders, “Is this man giving me a counterfeit $20 note?” She dismissed the thought immediately and gave him his change. But $20 was a lot of money in 1887, so she notified the police who, after procuring a search warrant, went to Emanuel Nenger’s home where they found in his attic the tools he was using to reproduce the counterfeit $20 notes. They found an artist’s easel, paint brushes, and paints which Nenger was using to meticulously paint the counterfeit money. He was a master artist!

The police also found three portraits that Nenger had painted – paintings that ultimately sold at public auction for just little over $16,000! The irony was that it took him almost as much time to paint a $20 note as it did to paint the three portraits that sold for more than $5,000 each. The man that robbed Emanuel Nenger was himself!

We do the same whenever we cheat or break the law – including God’s laws – for illegitimate gain. While most of us wouldn’t rob another person of his or her material possessions, it is very easy to rob a person’s reputation through idle gossip. We also rob and cheat ourselves when we don’t give to God and to others in need . . . whether it is of our time, talents, resources or love.

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PROVEN WAYS TO GET ALONG BETTER WITH EVERYONE

1.Before you say anything to anyone, ask yourself 3 things:
– Is it true?   Is it kind?   Is it necessary?
2.Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully.
3.Never miss the opportunity to compliment or say something encouraging to someone.
4.Refuse to talk negatively about others; don’t gossip and don’t listen to gossip.
5.Have a forgiving view of people.  Believe that most people are doing the best they can.
6.Keep an open mind; discuss, but don’t argue (It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable).
7.Forget about counting to 10.  Count to 1,000 before doing or saying anything that could make matters worse.
8.Let your virtues speak for themselves.
9.If someone criticizes you, see if there is any TRUTH to what he is saying; if so, make changes.  If there is no truth to the criticism, ignore it and live so that no one will believe the negative remark.
10. Cultivate your sense of humor; laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
11. Do not seek so much to be consoled, as to console; do not seek so much to be understood, as to understand; do not seek so much to be loved as to love.

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The Bible, like retail stores, is only ‘profitable’ to someone when it is open.  [Mark Besh]

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Asking if computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim.

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If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If God had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.
When you want to talk, He’ll listen.
He could live anywhere in the universe and yet He chose your heart.
And remember that Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem?
Not to mention that Friday at Calvary.
Face it. He’s crazy about you!
Remember: God answers knee-mail!

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A SLAVE

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting discouraged, he headed back to dinner.

As he was walking back, he saw Grandma’s pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved.

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today, didn’t you, Johnny?”

And then she whispered to him, “Remember the duck?”

So Johnny did the dishes.

Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help me make supper.”

But Sally smiled and said, “Well, that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.”

And she whispered again, “Remember the duck?”

Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed. After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck.

She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing. But because I love you, I forgave you. But, I was just wondering how long would you let Sally make a slave of you.”

I don’t know what’s in your past. I don’t know what one sin the enemy keeps throwing up in your face. But, whatever it is, I want you to know something. Jesus Christ was standing in the window and  he saw the whole thing. But because he loves you, he is ready to forgive you. All you need to do is to confess to him and ask for his forgiveness. (For help see No.12 below).

Perhaps he’s wondering how long you’ll let the enemy make a slave out of you. The great thing about God is that he not only forgives, he forgets.
[Author unknown]

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DURING THE NEW YEAR MAY YOU HAVE

Enough happiness to keep you sweet.
Enough trials to keep you strong.
Enough sorrow to keep you human.
Enough hope to keep you happy.
Enough failure to keep you humble.
Enough success to keep you eager.
Enough friends to give you comfort.
Enough wealth to meet your needs.
Enough enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow.
Enough determination to make each day better than the day before.

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THE MONTH AFTER CHRISTMAS

Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
And the way I’d never said, “No thank you, please.”
As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt—
I said to myself, as I only can
“You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!”
So–away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
“Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won’t have a cookie–not even a lick.
I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore—
But isn’t that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

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Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
[Samuel Johnson]

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According to an article in “Restore” magazine, Edward Gibbon in his “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” said that there were five major attributes that marked the closing days of the great Roman Empire.

1. There was an increasing love of show and luxury; that is, affluence.
2. There was a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor.
3. There was an obsession with sex.
4. There was a freakishness in the arts masquerading as originality and creativity.
5. There was an increased desire to live off the state.

The application for today is obvious. Without a doubt our nation needs God. Many well-informed people believe our Western civilization is already in moral decay which will eventually lead us to self-destruction.

At the time of King Hezekiah, ancient Israel had collapsed morally and spiritually, had turned from God, and had become weak and powerless.

The nation was divided and Israel, the Northern Kingdom, had been taken into captivity. King Hezekiah was king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and because he led his nation back to God, God delivered them from destruction in an amazing way. In one night the angel of the Lord put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men of the Assyrian army who were poised to attack and destroy Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35).

Where do we begin to turn our nation back to God?

Perhaps we need to do it one at a time — in our heart, in our manner of life, and in our prayers for ourselves, and for a spiritual awakening throughout our land.  [Dick Innes]

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Karl Valletin of Munich, Germany, was a master among that rare group of performing artists we call clowns. The scene for which he is best remembered took place on a darkened stage illumined only by a solitary circle of light thrown by a street lamp. Valletin, with long-drawn face and deeply worried expression, walks around and around this circle of light, desperately looking for something.

A policeman enters the scene and asks, “What have you lost?” “The key to my house,” replies the clown. The policeman then joins the search, but they and nothing. After a while the policeman inquires, “Are you sure that you lost it here?” “No,” says the clown, pointing to a dark comer of the stage, “over there.” “Then why on earth are you looking for it here?” asks the policeman. The reply, “There is no light over there.”

Clowns are not only performers; they are pedagogues, teaching us by their ridiculous parables, and by becoming themselves absurd expressions of our common frailty. Valletin’s parable is a picture of the snare in which we become entangled. We go to whatever promise of light is available. Not unlike the Colossians, we respond to explanations that appeal to rational thought, to offers of salvation that put us and our efforts in the center, to any philosophy that defines clearly and closes all the gaps of mystery.
[Maxie Dunnam]

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STEADFAST HEART

I’ve dreamed many dreams that never came true.
I’ve seen them vanish at dawn.
But I’ve realized enough of my dreams, thank God,
To make me want to dream on.

I’ve prayed many prayers when no answer came,
Though I waited patient and long,
But answers have come to enough of my prayers
To make me keep praying on.

I’ve trusted many a friend that failed,
And left me to weep alone,
But I’ve found enough of my friends true blue,
To make me keep trusting on.

I’ve sown many seed that fell by the way
For the birds to feed upon,
But I’ve held enough golden sheaves in my hands,
To make me keep sowing on.

I’ve drained the cup of disappointment and pain
And gone many days without song,
But I’ve sipped enough nectar from the roses of life
To make me want to live on.
[Source unknown]

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The Lord is my pacesetter, I shall not rush.
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals;
He provides me with images of stillness,
which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency
through calmness of mind.

And His guidance is peace.

Even though I have a great many things
to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here.
His timelessness, His all-importance
will keep me in balance.

He prepares refreshment and renewal
in the midst of my activity
by anointing my mind
with His oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall
be the fruit of my house,
for I shall walk in the place of my Lord
and dwell in His house forever.
[Marian Wright Edelman – Received from Linda Besh]

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BEATITUDES FOR THE HOME

– BLESSED are the husband and wife who continue to be affectionate and considerate, loving after the wedding bells have ceased ringing.
– BLESSED are the husband and wife who are as polite and courteous to one another as they are to their friends.
– BLESSED are they who have a sense of humor, for this attribute will be a handy shock absorber.
– BLESSED are they who love their mates more than any other person in the world and who joyfully fulfill their marriage vows of lifetime of fidelity and mutual helpfulness to one another.
– BLESSED are they who attain parenthood, for children are a heritage of the Lord.
– BLESSED are they who remember to thank God for their food before they partake of it, and who set apart some time each day for the reading of the Bible and for prayer.
– BLESSED are those mates who never speak loudly to one another and who make their home a place where “seldom is heard a discouraging word.”
– BLESSED are the husband and wife who faithfully attend the worship service of the church and who work together in the church for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
– BLESSED are the husband and wife who can work out problems of adjustments without interference from relatives.
– BLESSED is the couple who has a complete understanding about financial matters and who has worked out a perfect partnership with all money under the control of both.
– BLESSED are the husband and wife who humbly dedicate their lives and their home to Christ and who practice the teachings of Christ in the home by being unselfish, loyal, and loving.  [Author unknown]

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FRIENDSHIP’S ROAD

I have a warm and friendly feeling
As I think of you today;
And I wish that we could visit,
But you’re many miles away.

Separated by such distance,
Yet our emails bring us near;
Through the miles we share a friendship
That’s become to me most dear.

Friends through correspondence;
Still, your face I need not see
For your soul shines through the words
Every time you write to me.

You have a special way of writing,
Warming as the sunshine rays,
Bringing joy and inspiration,
Brightening up my days.

You have enriched my life, my dear one,
And I’m glad God willed we meet,
“Friendship’s Road” is that much nicer
Traveling it with one so sweet.
[Received from Joy Asashon]

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There once was a priest who really LOVED to play golf. He awoke one Sunday morning to a beautiful sunny day and thought, “I’ve just got to play golf today!” He called over the assistant priest and told him he didn’t feel well and asked him to say mass for him. The assistant priest agreed and the priest snuck out the back door with his golf bag. An angel in heaven, after watching all of this, went to God and said, “He is ditching his duties to go play golf. He should be punished!” God replied that He would keep an eye on the situation. The priest decided to drive a long distance away to ensure he wasn’t seen by anyone from his church. He took his first shot and got a hole in one! As the priest danced around celebrating his good fortune, the angel went to God and said, “God, I am surprised at you! That doesn’t seem to be a severe punishment to me!” God replied, “Who is he going to tell?”

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THE GIFTS OF LISTENING…
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

THE GIFTS OF AFFECTION…
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

THE GIFTS OF LAUGHTER…
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN WORD…
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, hand-written note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

A GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT…
A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

THE GIFT OF A FAVOUR…
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE…
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone.
Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION…
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank you.

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise. And they always want to open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care.  [Received from Sandy Lerner]

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‘THOUGHTFUL’ SIGNS:

– A Plumber: “We repair what your husband Fixed.”
– Pizza shop: “7 days without pizza makes one Weak.”
– Tire shop: “Invite us to your next blowout.”
– Plastic surgeon: “Can we help you pick your nose?”
– Towing Company: “We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.”
– Nonsmoking Area: “If we see smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”
– On Maternity Room Door: “Push, Push, Push.”
– Optometrists Office: “If you don’t see what you’re looking for you’ve come to the right place.”
– On a Taxidermist’s window: “We really know our stuff.”
– Podiatrist’s office: “Time wounds all heels.”
– On a Butchers window: “Let me meat your needs.”
– On a fence: “Salesman Welcome, Dog food is expensive.”
– Car Dealership: “The best way to get back on your feet — Miss a car payment.”
– Muffler Shop: “No appointment necessary — We’ll hear you coming.”
– Hotel: “Help! We need inn-experienced people.”
– In a Veterinarians waiting room: “Be back in 5 minutes, Sit! Stay!”
– Electric Company: “We would be de-lighted if you send in your payment. However, if you don’t you will be.”
– On the door of a Computer Store: “Out for a quick byte.”
– In a Restaurant window: “Don’t stand there and be hungry, come on in and get fed up.”
– Inside a Bowling Alley: “Please be quiet, we need to hear a pin drop.”
– In a Counselors office: “Growing old is mandatory, growing wise is optional.”

*****************************
WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN’T LOOKING……

-When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking, I felt you kiss me good night and I felt loved and safe.
-When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.
-When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
-When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.
-When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.
– When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.

Each of us, parent or friend, influence the life of a child. Today I said a prayer for you. How will you touch the life of someone today? Just by sending this to someone else, you will probably make them at least think about their influence on others.   [Received from Cher’re Walters]

*****************************
THE PARADOX OF OUR TIME

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but  shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.  [George Carlin – Received from Laurie Westman]

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FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE

Friendship is a quiet walk in the park with the one you trust.
Love is feeling as if you are the only two around.

Friendship is someone gazing into your eyes and your knowing he or she cares.
Love is someone gazing into your eyes, and it warms your heart.

Friendship is being close even when you are far apart.
Love is still feeling his or her hand on your heart when the person is not  near.

Friendship is hoping that he or she experiences the very best.
Love is bringing him or her the very best.

Friendship occupies your mind.
Love occupies your soul.

Friendship is knowing that you will always try to be there when needed.
Love is when giving up everything to be at his or her side.

Friendship is a warm smile in the winter.
Love is a warming touch that sends a pulse through your heart.

Love is a beautiful smile to which nothing compares, a tender laugh which opens your heart, a single touch that melts away your fears, a smell that reminds you of the tenderness of heaven, a voice that reminds you of the innocence of youth.

Friendship can survive without love.
Love cannot live without friendship.
[Author unknown]

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Our contentment doesn’t depend on what we do, or on where we find ourselves; it depends on what we think.  [Dale Carnegie]

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INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!!!

– If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?
– Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
– If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible?
– Why isn’t 11 pronounced onety one?
– Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?
– If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
– Why do women wear evening gowns to nightclubs? Shouldn’t they be wearing night gowns?
– When someone asks you, “A penny for your thoughts,” and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?
– Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

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Your destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. Many people have the right aims in life — they just never get around to pulling the trigger. When you determine what you want, you have made the most important decision in your life. You have to know what you want in order to attain it.  [John Mason]

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It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
[Frederick Douglas]

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The following is a reflection our popular culture. Technically this year is the end of the old and the beginning of the new millennium. The facts below send a chilling message to all of us concerning how the world views people and events.

Here is Time Magazine’s 1999 poll of the top 20 people of the 20th Century. Remember this is simply public opinion.

NUMBER / PERSON / % / TALLY
1 / Elvis Presley / 13.96 / 622,930
2 / Yitzhak Rabin / 13.38 / 597,064
3 / Adolf Hitler / 11.55 / 515,517
4 / Billy Graham / 10.53 / 469,759
5 / Albert Einstein / 9.90 / 441,775
6 / Martin Luther King / 8.53 / 380,444
7 / Pope John Paul II / 8.33 / 371,736
8 / Gordon B. Hinckley / 5.70 254,261
9 / Mohandas Gandhi / 3.64 / 162,683
10 / Ronald Reagan / 1.80 80,619
11 / John Lennon / 1.43 / 63,895
12 / Henry Ford / 1.23 / 55,237
13 / Mother Teresa / 1.11 / 49,709
14 / Madonna / 0.86 / 38,445
15 / Winston Churchill / 0.83 / 37,194
16 / Linus Torvalds / 0.53 / 24,018
17 / Nelson Mandela / 0.47 / 21,200
18 / Princess Diana / 0.36 / 16,138
19 / Pope Paul VI / 0.35 / 15,829
20 / Franklin D. Roosevelt / 0.32 / 14,703

Here is Time Magazine’s 1999 poll of the top 20 events of the Century.
Remember this is simply public opinion.

NUMBER / EVENT / % / TALLY
1 / Elvis teaches American teens to rock ‘n’ roll (1954) / 12.97 / 47,212
2 / First landing on the moon (1969) / 11.24 / 40,913
3 / Gandhi opposes Britain with civil disobedience (1915) / 11.20 / 40,792
4 / U.S. civil rights movement (1964) / 7.58 / 2,7626
5 / World War II (1939) / 7.49 / 2,7293
6 / The Holocaust (1933-1945) / 6.71 / 24,423
7 / Internet created (1969) / 5.43 / 19,787
8 / Invention of the microchip (1958) / 5.41 / 19,705
9 / Model T Ford introduced (1908) / 4.35 / 15,844
10 / Theory of relativity presented (1916) / 4.29 / 15,617
11 / First atomic bomb dropped (1945) / 3.53 / 12,865
12 / World War I (1914) / 2.97 / 10,820
13 / First electronic computer unveiled (1946) / 2.20 / 8,037
14 / First radio signal broadcast (1901) / 2.08 / 7,602
15 / Berlin Wall falls (1989) / 1.86 / 6,772
16 / Invention of the airplane (1903) / 1.63 / 5,947
17 / Invention of the transistor (1947) / 1.27 / 4,636
18 / Russian Revolution (1917) / 1.13 / 4,115
19 / First nuclear chain reaction (1942) / 0.91 / 3,344
20 / The U.S. approves use of oral contraceptives (1960) / 0.84 / 3,059
[Time Magazine]

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The end never justifies the meanness.

*****************************
Character is doing right when no one is looking [J.C. Watts]

*****************************
Money will buy a bed, but not sleep; books, but not brains; food, but not appetite; finery, but not beauty; a house, but not a home; medicine, but not health; luxuries, but not culture; amusement, but not happiness; a church, but not Heaven.  [Source unknown]

*****************************
WORDS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

DID – a word of achievement
WON’T – a word of retreat
MIGHT – a word of bereavement
CAN’T – a word of defeat
OUGHT – a word of duty
TRY – a word of each hour
WILL – a word of beauty
CAN – a word of power
[Author Unknown]

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ABOUT TELEVISION:
“This instrument can teach, it can entertain and yes, it can inspire. But only to the extent that humans are prepared to use it for those purposes. Otherwise, it is only tubes and lights in a box.”  [Edward R. Murrow]

*****************************
Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.  [Fyodor Dostoyevsky]

*****************************
Life has no other logic
And time no other creed
Than: I for joy will follow
Where thou for love dost lead.
[Source unknown]

*****************************
When the Statue of Liberty was remodeled, it was discovered that the entire inside support system had to be replaced. The outside copper skin of the statue was okay; it only had to be cleaned. Rust and corrosion had ruined the inner iron supports. If repairs had not been made, the statue in 20 years would have fallen over. The iron supports were replaced with stainless steel. Now it can withstand 125 mph winds. A nation without inner supports of moral integrity is doomed to lose her liberty.
[John R. Brokhoff]

*****************************
The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given
set of circumstances.   [Victor Frankl]

*****************************
We all need love, especially when we don’t deserve it.
[paraphrasing Harold Hulbert]

*****************************
Blessed is the man who having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.  [George Eliot]

*****************************
If Danny Simpson had known more about guns, he might not have needed to rob the bank. But in 1990, in Ottawa, Canada, this 24-year-old went to jail, and his gun went to a museum. He was arrested for robbing a bank of $6,000 and then sent to jail for six years. He had used a .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic, which turned out to be an antique made by the Ross Rifle Company, Quebec City, in 1918.

The pistol is worth up to $100,000 much more than Danny Simpson had stolen. If he had just known what he carried in his hand, he wouldn’t have robbed the bank.

In other words, Danny already had what he needed.  [The Province]

*****************************
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.  [John F. Kennedy]

*****************************
– Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns.
– A person’s true character is revealed by what he does when no one is watching.
– Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it.
– Falling down doesn’t make you a failure, but staying down does.
– Don’t be afraid of pressure. Remember that pressure is what turns a lump of coal into a diamond.
– Even a woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head.
– The poorest of all men is not the man without a cent but the man without a dream.
– The only preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today.
– People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
– Temper is what gets most of us into trouble. Pride is what keeps us there.
– The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little “extra.”
– The heart is the happiest when it beats for others.
– One thing you can learn by watching the clock is that it passes time by keeping its hands busy.   [Received from Nozer Buschia]

*****************************
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.  [Plutarch]

*****************************
Opportunity knocked at my door, but I was at the pier waiting for my ship to come in. [Mike Atkinson]

*****************************
Children are love made visible.

*****************************
EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW, I LEARNED FROM NOAH’S ARK

1. Don’t miss the boat.
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. When you’re stressed, float a while.
10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

*****************************
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.  [Plato]

*****************************
An anagram, as you all know, is a word of phrase made by or rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. The following are exceptionally clever. Someone out there either has way too much time to waste or is deadly at Scrabble.

– Year Two Thousand = A Year To Shut Down
– Dormitory = Dirty Room
– Desperation = A Rope Ends It
– The Morse Code = Here come Dots
– Slot Machines = Cash Lost in ’em
– Animosity = Is No Amity
– Snooze Alarms = Alas! No More Z’s
– Alec Guinness = Genuine Class
– Semolina = Is No Meal
– The Public Art Galleries = Large Picture Halls, I Bet
– A Decimal Point = I’m a Dot in Place
– The Earthquakes = That Queer Shake
– Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one
– Contradiction = Accord not in it
– Astronomer = Moon Starer
– Princess Diana = End Is A Car Spin

*****************************
Don’t pray for fewer problems, pray for more skills.
Don’t ask for smaller challenges, ask for greater wisdom.
Don’t look for an easy way out, look for the best possible outcome.
[Steve Goodier]

*****************************
It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of
wisdom to listen.  [Oliver Wendell Holmes]

*****************************
Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, didn’t believe the road to happiness and success was all that complicated. In fact, he often listed their components in balance sheet format.

Liabilities:
=======
Reactionary Ideas!
Love of money!
Unwholesome companions!
Lax character!
Lack of love for others!
False Friends

Assets
=====
Vision
Unselfishness
Love
Good Character
Good manners
Friendship

*****************************
Human things must be known to be loved: but Divine things must be
loved to be known.  [Blaise Pascal]

*****************************
YOUR HOUSE

The walls of a house are not built of wood, brick or stone, but of truth and loyalty. Unpleasant sounds of grumbling, the friction of living, the clash of personalities, are not deadened by Persian rugs or polished floors, but by conciliation, and concession.

The house is not a structure where bodies meet, but a hearthstone upon which flames mingle, separate flames of souls, which, the more perfectly they unite, the more clearly they shine and the straighter they rise toward heaven.

Your house is your fortress in a warring world, where a woman’s hand buckles on your armor in the morning and soothes your fatigue and wounds at night.

The beauty of a house is harmony.
The security of a house is loyalty.
The joy of a house is love.
The plenty of a house is in children.
The rule of a house is service.

The comfort of a house is in contented spirits. The maker of a house, of a real human house, is God himself, the same who made the stars and built the world.  [From Mary ?]

*****************************
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.  [Helen Keller]

*****************************
BEAUTY TIPS

Some great and everlasting Beauty Tips…..
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.
[From Mary ?]

*****************************
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.  [Henry David Thoreau]

*****************************
How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.  [George Washington Carver]

*****************************
Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservations.
[Elton Trueblood]

*****************************
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. [Norman MacEwan]

*****************************
JUST IN CASE YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW EVERYTHING

– Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
– Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite.
– There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
– The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.
– A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
– There are more chickens than people in the world.
– Two-thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in New Jersey.
– The longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.”
– On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.
– No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
– “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.
– All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the
back of the $5 bill.
– Almonds are a member of the peach family.
– Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
– There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
– Los Angeles’ full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula”
– A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
– An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
– Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
– In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.
– The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after
Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
– A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
– A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
– It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. (Don’t try this at home!)
– The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.
– In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
– The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
– The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
– There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.
– “Stewardesses” is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

NOW YOU KNOW EVERYTHING!

*****************************
The real judges of your character aren’t your neighbors, your relatives, or
even the people you play bridge with.  The folks who really know you are waiters, waitresses, and clerks.  [Katherine Piper]

*****************************
An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.
[Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis]

*****************************
A MOTHER’S PRAYER

Oh Lord, give me the patience when tiny hands tug at me with their small demands. And give me gentle and smiling eyes; Keep my lips from sharp replies. And let not fatigue, confusion or noise keep me from sharing my child’s new found joys. And most of all, help me to look above when at times I think I have no love. For you have promised to bear my load as these precious lives unfold.

*****************************
“Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.”

*****************************
DEEP THOUGHT:

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s
own sunshine.  [Ralph Waldo Emerson]

*****************************
*****************************
Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the
fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose
to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in
itself, but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people
withdraw from God.  [St Augustine]

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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