Vacation Trip|Independence [v17]

JULY 2000

GREETINGS — The kids and I were able to get away for a week in the middle of June—we went out to the West side of Michigan. In Battle Creek, we visited Tony the Tiger and all his friends at Cereal City. After visiting a few ‘hands-on’ museums, we were off to Holland to see the windmill and Dutch Village. Holland also has a great state park on Lake Michigan, but the day we were there, swimming was not allowed—on account of the large waves and “undertow”—the ‘jet skis’, on the other hand, were having a “field day.”

In Grand Haven, we saw the “world’s largest musical fountain,” a 400-foot wide area, across the river from downtown, with hundreds of ‘dancing’ sprays, synchronized to various musical scores, some that soared over 100 feet into the air—pretty cool (60 degree night)! In Grand Rapids, we saw the 118-acre Meijer Gardens—which boasts, in addition to over 100 sculptures gracing extensive gardens, one of only two copies in the world of Leonardo da Vinci’s bronze Horse sculpture (24-feet high). It was originally commissioned 500 years ago by the Duke of Milan, but the French decimated the clay casting ‘study’ and it was never finished. In 1996, Frederik Meijer combined with a group in Pennsylvania to produce one for the gardens and one for Milan.

We were “free” to do these and other activities when we wanted to (weather permitting)—and free to choose to express our opinions without fear of persecution. Although we often complain about encroachments on our liberties, we have many reasons to celebrate. Our freedom dare not be taken for granted. Americans enjoy more freedom than any other country. We can worship openly with no fear of arrest or hindrance.

Our “founding fathers” literally put their lives, families and a possessions ‘on the line’ to stand for freedom—against the most ‘powerful’ nation at the time, the British Empire. Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 5 were captured by the British and tortured before they were killed; 12 had their homes ransacked and burned; 2 lost their sons in the war; and 9 either died from war wounds or from hardships suffered in the war.

July 4, 1776, is the day that the Continental Congress introduced to the world the Declaration of Independence, which separated the American colonies from the British Empire (signed on July 2).

What makes July 4 different than any other day? It is our country’s most important holiday, and it has a surprisingly rich spiritual heritage.

As I understand this holiday—and the Declaration of Independence—I can see a spiritual parallel to what Jesus did to purchase our independence from the penalty of sin.

We must never take for granted our freedom in the United States, which was purchased with a great price. We need to exercise our freedoms, enjoy our freedoms, and pray for those who don’t have the same freedoms. We should also never take our spiritual freedom for granted. It was purchased at a great price on our behalf.

The writers of the declaration separated themselves from their own past. A growing hostility between the American colonies and Great Britain led the colonists to list their grievances against the tyrannical King George II that demonstrated why Britain had forfeited her right to rule.

You also can ‘separate’ yourself from the tyrannical ‘rule’ of Satan over your life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior—the only way to true freedom.

We should also pray for those who are still under great restriction—even persecution—for their faith. The doors seem to be closing again in Russia. In many Islamic nations, Christians are denied basic freedoms of press, speech and association. In China, Communism is valued more than faith in God (some might say it is wealth and convenience in the U.S.).

So, pray for our national, state, and local leaders. Give praise and thanksgiving for the freedoms that we enjoy and the sacrifices that were made to ensure them. Pray for the millions who do not have the same freedoms we have and are persecuted for their faith.

I have included a copy of the Declaration of Independence—spend a few minutes reading it—hopefully it will remind you of the ‘treasure’ of our nation’s freedom, written with God’s perspective in mind, and firmly based on scriptural truth.

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v17) for JULY 2000
(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:

Lezlie Besh
John Gibson
Beth McMillan

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THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Signed July 2, 1776

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bond which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts or pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states.

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world.

For imposing taxes on us without our consent.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses.

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies.

For taking away our characters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments.

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

INDEPENDENCE DAY QUOTATIONS

In contemplating the effect that separation from England would mean to him personally, John Adams wrote:

“If it be the pleasure of heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!”

On July 3, 1776, the day following the approval by Congress of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, regarding the gravity of the
decision:

“It is the will of heaven that the two countries should be sundered forever. It may be the will of heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect, at least: it will inspire us with many virtues which we have not, and correct many errors, follies and vices, which threaten to disturb, dishonor and destroy us … The furnace of affliction produces refinements in states, as well as individuals.”

As the Declaration of Independence was being signed, Samuel Adams declared:

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

Shortly after the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Alexander Hamilton stated:

“For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.”

Alexander Hamilton, who led his household regularly in the observance of family prayers, wrote to his friend James Bayard in April 1802, revealing the important connection between Christianity and constitutional freedom:

“In my opinion, the present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banner bona fide must we combat our political foes, rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provided for amendments. By these general views of the subject have my reflections been guided.

I now offer you the outline of the plan they have suggested. Let an association be formed to be denominated “The Christian Constitutional Society,” its object to be first: the support of the Christian religion, second: the support of the United States.”

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CLIMB ‘TILL YOUR DREAM COMES TRUE

Often your tasks will be many,
And more than you think you can do –
Often the road will be rugged
And the hills insurmountable too –

But always remember, the hills ahead
Are never as steep as they seem,
And with faith in your heart start upward
And climb ’till you reach your dream.

For nothing in life that is worthy
Is ever too hard to achieve
If you have the faith to believe –

For faith is a force that is greater
Than knowledge or power or skill
And many defeats turn to triumph
If you trust in God’s wisdom and will –

For faith is a mover of mountains,
There’s nothing that God cannot do.
So start out today with faith in your heart
And climb ’till your dream comes true!

[Helen Steiner Rice]

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For years, the opening of “The Wide World of Sports” television program illustrated “the agony of defeat” with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure.

What viewers didn’t know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe sloping landing area, which could have been fatal. As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. To change one’s course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a ‘fatal’ landing at the end.

[Source: Craig Brian Larson]

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Very often when I teach about our need to resolve super-charged, repressed negative emotions from hurt experiences in the past, one or more people will quote the verse above saying, “God has taken care of my past and it’s all forgotten.”

The reality is that the mind never forgets any of these emotions until they are dealt with and resolved. The Bible tells us to get rid of them (See 1 Peter 2:1-2) –never to bury or deny them. And we don’t get rid of them until we confess, deal with and resolve them. Unless we do this, we cannot forget them, only bury and deny them and may nurse grudges for years. When we do this (if you’ll pardon the expression), we get as it were “emotional constipation” and this poisons our whole being–physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. Literally.

I once read about two monks who were returning home on foot from a journey to a distant abbey. It was a dismal, rainy day. On rounding a bend on the way, they came to a swollen stream which was threatening to overflow its banks. Standing by the stream was a beautiful woman too afraid to chance the flooded crossing for fear she might be swept away.

“Allow me to carry you across the stream,” said one of the monks to the lady, then picked her up and carried her safely to the other side.

Later that night the other monk suddenly blurted out, “I think you made a grave mistake today picking up that woman. You know we are not to have any dealings with the opposite sex.”

“How strange,” remarked the helpful monk, “I carried her only across the stream. You are carrying her still.”

[Dick Innes]

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FUNNY WARNING LABELS

– On a cardboard windshield sun shade: Warning: Do not drive with sun shield in place

– On an infant’s bathtub: Do not throw baby out with bath water

– On a package of Fisherman’s Friend(R) throat lozenges: Not meant as a substitute for human companionship

– On a Magic 8 Ball: Not advised for use as a home pregnancy test

– On a roll of Life Savers: Not for use as a flotation device

– On a cup of McDonald’s coffee: Allow to cool before applying to groin area

– On a refrigerator: Refrigerate after opening

– On a disposable razor: Do not use this product during an earthquake

– On a handgun: Not recommended for use as a nutcracker

– On pantyhose: Not to be used in the commission of a felony

– On a piano: Harmful or fatal if swallowed

– On a can of Fix-a-Flat: Not to be used for breast augmentation

– On a Pentium chip: If this product exhibits errors the manufacturer will replace it for a $2 shipping and a $3 handling charge, for a total of $4.97

– On work gloves: For best results, do not leave at crime scene

– On a palm sander: Not to be used to sand palms

– On a calendar: Use of term Sunday™ for reference only. No meteorological warranties expressed or implied

– On Odor Eaters: Do not eat

– On a blender: Not for use as an aquarium

– On syrup of ipecac: Caution: May cause vomiting

– On a revolving door: Passenger compartments for individual use only

– On a microscope: Objects are smaller and less alarming than they appear

– On children’s alphabet blocks: Letters may be used to construct words, phrases and sentences that may be deemed offensive

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COLLEGIATE TEST QUESTION

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term. The answer was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

The student received the only “A” given.

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Al and Joe are bungee jumping one day. Al says to Joe, “You know, we could make a lot of money running our own bungee jumping service in Mexico.” Joe thinks this is a great idea, so they pool their money and buy everything they’ll need; a tower, an elastic cord, insurance, etc. They travel to Mexico and begin to set up on the square.

As they are constructing the tower a crowd begins to assemble. Slowly, more and more people gather to watch them work. When they had finished, there was such a crowd they thought it would be a good idea to give a demonstration. So Al jumps.

He bounces at the end of the cord, but when he comes back up, Joe notices that he has a few cuts and scratches.

Unfortunately, Joe isn’t able to catch him, and he falls again, bounces again and comes back up again. This time he is bruised and bleeding. Again Joe misses him. Al falls again and bounces back up. This time he comes back pretty messed up. He’s got a couple of broken bones and is almost unconscious.

Luckily Joe catches him this time and says, “What happened? Was the cord too long?” Barely able to speak, Al gasps, “No, the bungee cord was fine. It was the crowd… WHAT IS A PINATA?”

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A teenage boy and his grandfather go fishing one day. While fishing, the old man starts talking about how times have changed. The young man picks up on this and starts talking about the various problems and diseases going around.

Teen says, “Grandpa, they didn’t have a whole lot of problems with all these diseases when you were young did they?”

Grandpa replies, “Nope.”

Teen says, “Well, what did you guys use for safe sex?”

Grandpa replies, “A wedding ring.”

[Received from Terouge]

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SIGNS ON CHURCH PROPERTY

*No God — No Peace.     Know God — Know Peace
*Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!
*Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin-Robbins
*Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!
*Have trouble sleeping? We have sermons — come hear one!
*People are like tea bags — you have to put them in hot water before you
know how strong they are
*God so loved the world that He did not send a committee
*Come in and pray today. Beat the Christmas rush!
*When down in the mouth, remember Jonah. He came out all right
*Sign broken. Message inside this Sunday
*Fight truth decay — study the Bible daily
*How will you spend eternity — Smoking or Non-smoking?
*Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives
*It is unlikely there’ll be a reduction in the wages of sin
*Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church
*If you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns
*If you don’t like the way you were born, try being born again
*This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?”   ———> (U R)
*Forbidden fruit creates many jams
*In the dark? Follow the Son
*Running low on faith? Stop in for a fill-up
*If you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd

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One of my teachers had each one of us to bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person we’d refused to forgive in our life experience, we were told to choose a potato, write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of our bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy.

We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere for one week, putting it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work. The hassle of lugging this around with us made it clear what a weight we were carrying spiritually, and how we had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget, and keep leaving it in embarrassing places.

Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and it clearly is for ourselves! So the next time you decide you can’t forgive someone, ask yourself….

ISN’T YOUR BAG HEAVY ENOUGH?

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MAKING A POINT

Jesus saw a crowd chasing down a woman to stone her and approached them. “What’s going on here, anyway?” he asked.

“This woman was found committing adultery and the law says we should stone her!” one of the crowd responded.

“Wait,” yelled Jesus, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Suddenly, a stone was thrown from out of the sky, and knocked the woman on the side of her head.

“Aw, c’mon, Dad…,” Jesus cried, “I’m trying to make a point here!”

[Received from Lezlie Besh]

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Sandy began a job as an elementary school counselor and she was eager to help. One day during recess she noticed a girl standing by herself on one side of a playing field, while the rest of the kids enjoyed a game of soccer at the other.

Sandy approached and asked if she was all right. The girl said she was.

A little while later, however, Sandy noticed the girl was in the same spot, still by herself. Approaching again, Sandy offered, “Would you like me to be your friend?”

The girl hesitated, then said, “Okay,” looking at the woman suspiciously.

Feeling she was making progress, Sandy then asked,
“Why are you standing here all alone?”

“Because,” the little girl said with great exasperation,
“I’m the goalie!”

[Submitted by Joy Patterson]

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KEEP P.U.S.H.ing

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

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

Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind.  “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged.  Why kill yourself over this?  You are never going to move it.”  Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.  These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.” And that what he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter.  What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted; I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it.  Your task was to push, and now you come to me, with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed.  But, is that really so?  Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass at which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom.  This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”

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

P.U.S.H!

* When everything seems to go wrong – just P.U.S.H.!
* When the job gets you down – just P.U.S.H.!
* When people don’t react the way you think they should – just P.U.S.H.!

* When your money looks funny and the bills are due – just P.U.S.H.!
* When you want to tell them off for whatever the reason – just P.U.S.H.!
* When people just don’t understand you – just P.U.S.H.!

P.U.S.H  —  Pray Until Something Happens!

[Received from Beth McMillan]

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THE PLEDGE

” I went to a party, Mom”

I went to a party, Mom and remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom so I had a Sprite instead.

I felt proud of myself, Mom the way you said I would,
that I didn’t drink and drive, Mom though some friends said I should.

I made a healthy choice, Mom and your advice to me was right
as the party finally ended, Mom and the kids drove out of sight.

I got into my car, Mom sure to get home in one piece,
I never knew what was coming, Mom something I expected least.

Now I’m lying on the pavement, Mom And I hear the policeman say,
The kid that caused this wreck was drunk, Mom, His voice seems far away.

My own blood’s all around me, Mom I can hear the paramedic say, Mom
“This girl is going to die.”

I’m sure the guy had no idea, Mom while he was flying high,
because he chose to drink and drive, Mom now I would have to die.

So why do people do it, Mom, knowing that it ruins lives?
And now the pain is cutting me, Mom, like a hundred stabbing knives.

Tell sister not to be afraid, Mom, tell daddy to be brave,
and when I go to heaven, Mom, put “Daddy’s Girl” on my grave.

Someone should have taught him, Mom, that its wrong to drink and drive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mom, I’m getting really scared.
These are my final moments, Mom, and I’m so unprepared.

I wish that you could hold me Mom, as I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say I love you, Mom, so I love you and good-bye.

THE PLEDGE:
“I pledge that I will not drink alcoholic beverages and then drive while I am under their influence.”

[Received from John Gibson]

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THE DIFFERANCE BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR BOSS

When you take a long time, you’re slow.
When your boss takes a long time, he’s thorough.

When you don’t get something done, you’re lazy.
When your boss doesn’t get something done, he’s too busy.

When you make a mistake, you’re an idiot.
When your boss makes a mistake, he’s only human.

When you do it your own way, you don’t do what your told.
When your boss does it, he’s showing creativity.

When you do it on your own, you’re overstepping your bounds.
When your boss does it, he’s demonstrating initiative.

When you take a stand, you’re being bull-headed.
When your boss takes a stand, he’s being firm.

When you violate a rule, you’re self-centered.
When your boss skips a few rules, he’s being original.

When you please your boss, you’re brown-nosing.
When your boss pleases his boss, he’s being co-operative.

When you help a peer, you’re not busy enough.
When your boss does it, he’s a team player.

When someone else does your work, you’re passing the buck.
When someone else does his work, he’s assigning responsibility.

When you’re out of the office, you’re wandering around.
When your bosses out of the office, he’s on business.

When you call in sick, you’re going golfing.
When your boss calls in sick, he must be very ill.

When you apply for leave, you must be going for an interview.
When your boss applies for leave, it’s because he’s overworked.

When you’re seen shopping during work hours, you’re a slacker.
When your boss is doing the same, he’s picking up office supplies.

When you get a raise, you’re lucky.
When he gets one, he really earned it.

When you do a good job, you get a pat on the back.
When he does a good job, he gets a bonus.

[Forwarded by Diane Smith]

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The REAL Difference

A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell.  The Lord said to the man, “Come, I will show you hell.”

They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished, desperate and starving. Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each
spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it could not be used to get the stew into their own mouths. The suffering was terrible.

“Come, now I will show you heaven,” the Lord said after a while.

They entered another room, identical to the first – the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But there everyone was happy and well-nourished.

“I don’t understand,” said the man. “Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?”

The Lord smiled, “Ah, it is simple,” he said. “Here they have learned to feed each other.”

[Keith Todd]

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THINGS I HAVE LEARNED (at various ages)

Age 6: I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night”…….

Age 7: I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either.

Age 9: I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.

Age 12: I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way
I like it,  Mom makes me clean it up again.

Age 14: I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.

Age 15: I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it,
I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me.

Age 24: I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.

Age 26: I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.

Age 29: I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.

Age 39: I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.

Age 42: I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.

Age 44: I’ve learned that you can make some one’s day by simply sending them a little note.

Age 46: I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others.

Age 47: I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.

Age 48: I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

Age 49: I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours.

Age 50: I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone.

Age 51: I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

Age 52: I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.

Age 53: I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.

Age 58: I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

Age 61: I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, work to improve your marriage.

Age 62: I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

Age 64: I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

Age 65: I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

Age 66: I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.

Age 72: I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.

Age 75: I’ve learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth, I’ve seen several.

Age 82: I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

Age 85: I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch – holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

Age 92: I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

[Author unknown]

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I’M FREE

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God has laid you see,
I took His hand when I heard Him call.
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day;
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Task left undone, must stay that way
I found my peace at the close of day.

If my parting leaves a void,
fill it with remembrances and joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you sunshine in your tomorrow.
My life has been full, I’ve savored much,
Good times, good friends, a loved ones touch.

Perhaps my time has been too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and peace to thee.
God wanted me now, HE SET ME FREE.

[Author unknown]

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“I would rather stumble a thousand times
attempting to reach a goal,
Than to sit in a crowd
In my weather-proof shroud,
A shriveled and self-satisfied soul,
I would rather be doing and daring
All of my error-filled days,
Than watching, and waiting, and dying,
Smug in my perfect ways.
I would rather wonder and blunder,
Stumbling blindly ahead,
Than for safety’s sake
Lest I make a mistake,
Be sure, be safe, be dead.”

[Author Unknown]

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I read recently about certain ants that have a passion for the sweet glandular substance given off by the caterpillar of a large blue butterfly. The ants become so enthralled by this substance that they carry the supplier into their nest with great delight. What they don’t realize is that the caterpillar gorges himself on the ant larva.

Usually such a threat would be attacked by an army of ants which would attack and repel such an invader. But because they enjoy the caterpillar’s tasty secretions so much, they become “addicted” to it. And all the while
they are oblivious to the fact that their young are being destroyed!

Many temptations for we humans can be very “sweet to the taste” too, but can readily lead down a path of destruction. This is why we need to constantly “watch and pray” so we don’t fall for the “sweet” temptations.

It’s very easy to become addicted to the “sweeter things of life” too. It may not be to drugs or alcohol, but it can be to living for fame, fortune, success, or the so called “good life” of materialism and ignore or neglect the lasting values of life such as living for family, loving relationships and God.

[Dick Innes]

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BACKSEAT INSTRUCTION

I was driving in heavy traffic on 285, the perimeter road in Atlanta, cars moving at a fast rate of speed on all six lanes. I was in the far left lane when I realized my exit was just one away, and I needed to cross over many lanes to exit the freeway. My daughter was in the back seat and I asked her to look out the back window, telling me when I could move over, lane by lane.

She gave me specific directions – “O.K., mom” or, “after this red car,” or,
“not now !” I listened to her with complete confidence that she knew what she was talking about and I never turned my own head to make sure she was correct. I followed her directions and made it to the exit lane with plenty of time to spare.

Oh that I would listen to God that way. He does tell me how to maneuver from one lane of life to another, and He is always ready, willing and able
to give me those directions. I need to listen to Him and follow those directions, not turning my head and using my own eyes to plot my course. If I do this, I will make it safely to the other side of the road of life.

[Contributed by Marion Smith]

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A young woman teacher explains to her class of children that she is an atheist. She asks her class if they are atheists too. Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy fireworks.

There is, however, one exception. A beautiful girl named Lucy has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different.

“Because I’m not an atheist.”

Then, asks the teacher, what are you?

“I’m a Christian.”

The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Lucy why she is a Christian.

“Well, my mom is a Christian, and my dad is a Christian, so they helped me become a Christian.”

The teacher is now angry. “That’s no reason,” she says loudly.
“What about if your mom was a moron, and your dad was a moron.
What would you be then?”

A pause, and a smile. “Then,” says Lucy, “I’d be an atheist.”

[Author Unknown– From The Tidbits Devotional-Bill Champion]

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A THOUGHT

It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow.

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A RECIPE FOR SUNSHINE

Take two equal parts of FAITH and KINDNESS,
add enough LOVE for a suitable and even consistency.

Blend in GENEROUSLY, THOUGHTFULNESS,
add ENCOURAGEMENT to taste.

A pinch of CHEERFULNESS will improve the flavor.
Stir the whole thing with a hale and hearty laugh, and share with everyone.

It’ll grow on you.

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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!

Our “fight” for freedom has created our hope for the future…
“And not only this, but we also rejoice in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope.” [Romans 5:3-4]

Mark

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