Time Marches On|Departure [v20]

OCTOBER 2000

GREETINGS — Spring forward…Fall back. Earlier in the year we ‘moved’ our clocks ahead an hour to have more daylight at the end of our day. Now, as the days start to get shorter, we ‘turn’ our clock back… something we can’t do with our lives. Time ‘marches’ on and our lives are getting shorter…and we don’t know the day or time they will end.

Are you ready for this eventuality? Have you gotten all those ‘important things’ ready for your departure?…your will and/or trust…things you have always wanted to do, experience or see…communicate your true feelings to the ones ‘close’ to you…and having a ‘solid confidence’ of ‘what’ will happen to you after you leave this Earth? This reminds me of a story I heard a while ago that addresses this….

“Remember the day I borrowed your brand new car and I dented it? I thought you’d kill me, but you didn’t. And remember the time I dragged you to the beach, and you said it would rain, and it did? I thought you’d say, “I told you so.” But you didn’t. Do you remember the time I flirted with all the guys to make you jealous, and you were? I thought you’d leave me, but you didn’t. Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie all over you car rug? I thought you’d hit me, but you didn’t. And remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was formal and you showed up in jeans? I thought you’d drop me, but you didn’t. Yes, there were lots of things you didn’t do. But you put up with me, and you loved me, and you protected me. There were lots of things I wanted to make up to you when you returned from Vietnam… But you didn’t.” [Author unknown]

This is a timely reminder that none of us has any guarantee of tomorrow. Today is the only day we may ever have. Whatever we need to do today, that will have permanent results, may we do it. Above all else, whatever you do, try to come to a ‘decision’ about what the Bible says about this…”I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” [John 5:24]

Consider taking some time to think about how this makes you feel and what you may want to do about it…it may be the most important ‘thing’ you get ready for before you leave this planet.

It’s also so easy to get burdened with the trivial, even though we really don’t intend to. If I ask you to name the four most important things in your life, what might they be? And if I asked you how you spend most of your time, what would they be? Is it really the important things that get the majority of your time?

If there isn’t a ‘matchup’, it could be that a priority check is in order for you. How much time have we given to our spouses and our families? How much time have you given to thanking and loving others? How much time today have you given to reading God’s Word to you, the Bible? And how much effort are you putting forth in ‘developing’ a relationship with God?

Surveys have shown that a ‘relationship’ with God and relationships with family and friends are consistently rated as the highest priorities by almost all of us.

Think about it, and consider reprioritizing if you think you need to. Here is a poem that says it well…

BEGINNING OR END?

We can never turn back the hands of time
And make a brand new start
To right the wrongs that we have done,
Or mend a beloved’s wounded heart.

Our words seem to fly from our lips
Like down from a torn pillowcase
It’s not so easy to gather them up
It’s so sad and really a disgrace.

They say that hindsight is always 20/20
Looking back it is easy to see
The things we should or shouldn’t have done
To change them is not so easy.

I was told the definition of being insane
Was not complicated, it’s just
Doing the same things in the same old way
And expecting different results.

A heart once wounded and battered
Must have some time to mend.
While we can’t go back to make a new start,
We can start now and make a new end.
[Virginia Strickland]

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v20) for OCTOBER 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:

Joy Asashon
Richard Bachman
Linda Besh
Scott Longo
Terry Longo
Julie Nordberg
Bonnie Parkinson
Cher’re Walters
John Waskin

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HALLOWEEN
In a few weeks, all the little ‘trick-or-treaters’ will enjoy dressing up as ‘someone’ else and running from house to house to get a free surprise— it’s great for kids (like me) to be able to ‘fantasize’ and enjoy creative make-believe if they know what the real intent and importance of the tradition is.

This tradition has gone through many changes from the probable origins of the celebration from the Celtic Festival circa 800 BC. It was a celebration dedicated to the recently completed harvest, and marked the beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay. They went door-to-door to collect food to donate to their gods. It honored “Samhain.” the Celtic god of death that allowed the souls of the dead to return to their earthly homes for this evening. It was a fire festival, with the townspeople taking an ember from the bonfire to their home to light the fire of their family hearth. It was usually carried in a turnip or gourd. Nervous about walking home in the dark among the “evil spirits,” they dressed up in costumes and carved scary faces in their ember holders to frighten away the spirits.

After the fall of the Celts to the Romans, two of the Roman autumn festivals were combined with the festival of Samhain. Many of these customs survived even after the people became Christians. In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV created “All Saints Day,” since there were not enough days in the year to recognize the saints. It was originally called “All Hallows’ Eve,” which means “the evening before the saints day.” This is the tradition the Roman Catholics still celebrate today.

During the 1800’s a large number of immigrants arrived from Ireland and Scotland and introduced their ‘non-religious’ customs. During the mid-1900’s trick-or-treating became less popular in large cities, where neighbors did not know each other. Halloween pranks, which had once been harmless, now became rowdy and destructive. Recently, commercialism and “satanism” has turned it into a ‘holiday’ a long way from its ‘roots.’

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ROSH HASHANAH
On September 29, Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset. The first day of the seventh Hebrew month and the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah is based on a solar calendar and occurs on different dates each year. The anniversary of the creation of the world, Rosh Hashanah is a time of gathering with family and friends, going to the synagogue, making amends, seeking spiritual renewal, and recognizing God as judge of all living things. One of the traditions is the Shofar blast—something that all of us, I think, can relate to.

There are any number of explanations for the meaning of the Shofar blast, but this much is sure: The wail of the Shofar is the quintessential sound of the Jewish High Holidays. Listen to the three different types of Shofar sounds as you read some thoughts on the meaning of this tradition.

* Tekiah, a long single blast
* Shevarim, three short, wail-like blasts
* Teruah, 10 quick blasts in rapid succession

The Tekiah Sound: Rosh Hashanah is the day of appreciating who God is. We then internalize that understanding so that it becomes a living, practical part of our everyday reality. God is all-powerful. God is the Creator. God is the Sustainer. God is the Supervisor. In short, God is King of the Universe.

The Shevarim Sound: When we think about the year gone by, we know deep down that we’ve failed to live up to our full potential. In the coming year, we yearn not to waste that opportunity ever again. The Kabbalists say that Shevarim–three medium, wailing blasts — is the sobbing cry of a Jewish heart–yearning to connect, to grow, to achieve.

Every person has the ability to change and be great. This can be accomplished much faster than you ever dreamed of. The key is to pray from the bottom of your heart and ask God for the ability to become great. Don’t let yourself be constrained by the past. You know you have enormous potential.

At the moment the Shofar is blown, we cry out to God from the depths of our soul. This is the moment — when our souls stand before the Almighty without any barriers — that we can truly let go.

The Teruah Sound: On Rosh Hashanah, we need to wake up and be honest and objective about our lives: Who we are, where we’ve been, and which direction we’re headed. The Teruah sound–10 quick blasts in short succession — resembles an alarm clock, arousing us from our spiritual slumber. The Shofar brings clarity, alertness, and focus. God wants us to make an honest effort to maximize the gifts He gave us. You aren’t expected to be anything you’re not. But you can’t hoodwink God, either. The reason we lose touch and make mistakes is because we don’t take the time everyday to reconnect with our deepest desires and essence. The solution is to spend time alone everyday, asking: Am I on track? Am I focused? Am I pursuing goals which will make the greatest overall difference in my life and in the world?

Make it a habit to keep in touch with yourself, and when Rosh Hashanah comes around, the alarm clock of the Shofar won’t be nearly as jarring!
[Source: beliefnet.com]

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THE SILVER LINING
The only Survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited Island.

Exhausted, he eventually gathered what he could and managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. He prayed feverishly to be rescued, and everyday he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Then one day he left his fire burning in his hut, and went out scavenging for food as was his routine. Upon returning home he found his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened. Everything was lost. He was stunned with anger and grief. “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried. “How could you let this happen!!”

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island.  It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal” they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things seem to be going wrong. But no matter what happens, it’s “how you take it” that, to a large extent, determines your happiness and outlook. One of the great secrets of life is to look for the “silver lining” in the smoking remains of adversity.

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TRIVIA TOUGHIES
1. There’s one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contestants know. What is it?
2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?
3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?
4. At noon and midnight the hour and minute hands are exactly coincident with each other. How many other times between noon and midnight do the hour and minute hands cross?
5. What is the only sport in which the ball is always in the possession of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without touching the ball?
6. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
7. Only three words in Standard English begin with the letters ‘dw.’ They are all common. Can you name two of them?
8. There are fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name half of them?
9. Where are the lakes that are referred to in the ‘Los Angeles Lakers?’

(Answers at the end of the newsletter)

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One cause of depression in people is hunger for appreciation.
[Anonymous]

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IMPORTANT RECALL NOTICE!!!
The maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to the serious defect in the primary and central component, or heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed, ‘Subsequential Internal Non-morality,’ or more commonly known as S-I-N, as it is primarily symptomized by loss of moral judgment.

Some other symptoms are:
(a) Loss of direction
(b) Foul vocal emissions
(c) Amnesia of origin
(d) Lack of peace and joy
(e) Selfish or violent behavior
(f) Depression or confusion in the mental component

The manufacturer, who is neither liable or at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service, free of charge, to correct this S-I-N defect, at numerous locations throughout the world.

The number to call for the recall station in your area is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human unit without correction voids manufacturer’s warranty, exposing owner to dangers and problems too numerous to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently destroyed.

For free emergency service: Kneel and call on the name of J-E-S-U-S for prompt assistance at any location worldwide.
[Author Unknown]

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A man is driving down a country road, when he spots a farmer standing in the middle of a huge field of grass. He pulls the car over to the side of the road and notices that the farmer is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing.

The man gets out of the car, walks all the way out to the farmer and asks him, “Ah excuse me mister, but what are you doing?”

The farmer replies, “I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize.”

“How?” asks the man, puzzled.

“Well I heard they give the Nobel Prize to people who are out standing in their field.”

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JUST PEDAL
As I mentioned last month, my brother and sister-in-law are triathletes and do a good bit of cycling. Here is a wonderful analogy relating cycling to life, especially when they’re finishing the last mile of a race.

At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.

He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized his picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him.

But later on, when I met God, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that God was at the back, helping me pedal.

I don’t know when it was that he suggested that we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when he took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, “Pedal!” I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I’d say “I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed; gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey. And we were off again. He said, ‘Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.’

So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light. I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; but he knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with God as my delightful constant companion. And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore, He just smiles and says, “Pedal!”
[Author Unknown]

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The Rev. Billy Graham tells of at time early in his career when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon.

Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was.  When the boy told him, Rev. Graham thanked him and said, “If you’ll come to the Baptist church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to Heaven.”

“I don’t think I’ll be there,” the boy said. “You don’t even know your way to the post office.”

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At a wedding rehearsal, the minister told the father of the bride, “As you give your daughter’s hand to the bridegroom, you should say something nice to him.”

The father, a grocery-store manager, took the advice.  During the wedding ceremony, he placed the bride’s hand on his son-in-law’s arm and said, “No deposit, no return.”

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LEAVES
The leaves have lost there brilliant green,
tinges of gold can already be seen.

Before too long, the reds will creep in,
the awaited fall will finally begin.

The riot of color calls for long country drives,
watching as God’s paint brush brightens our lives.

The leaves go out in a blaze of glory,
the perfect end for our summer story.

They remind us of the cooling shade,
they provided while our children played.

As we sat under their branches sipping tea,
a gentle breeze blowing over you and me.

Now these leaves will float to the ground,
giving our steps a pleasant sound.

All to soon the tree will be bare,
with only a leaf here and there.

They are the stubborn ones, they refuse to go,
like their staying will ward off winters blow.

Even if they hang on till spring,
they will never stop winters sting.

The tree will rest under winters snow,
as decaying leaves feed the ground below.

Then one day the branches will bloom,
ending the winters deadly gloom.

The brilliant greens will again appear,
as the cycle continues for another year.
[Pamela G. Smith]

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THE INTERVIEW
I dreamed I had an interview with God. “Come in,” God said. “So, you would like to interview Me?”

“If you have the time,” I said. God smiled and said: “My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask Me?”

“What surprises You most about mankind?”

God answered: “That they get bored of being children, and are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again. That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived…”

God’s hands took mine and we were silent for while and then I asked…

“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons You want your children to learn?”

God replied with a smile: “To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved. To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.

To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis!

To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.

To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness. To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings. To learn that money can buy everything but happiness. To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally different. To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about them…and likes them anyway. To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves.”

I sat there for a while enjoying the moment. I thanked Him for His time and for all that He has done for me and my family.

He replied, “Anytime. I’m here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for Me, and I’ll answer.” People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
[Received from Terry Longo]

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To utter pleasant words without practicing them, is like a fine flower without fragrance.
[Buddha]

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On a positive note I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

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

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.”

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

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

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

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

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.

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

I’ve learned that you should pass this on to someone you care about.

I just did.

Sometimes they just need a little something to make them smile.

NOTE: People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel……
[Received from John Waskin]

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WHOSE HANDS?
A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $33 million.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
A baseball in Mark McGuire’s hands is worth $19 million.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
A tennis racket in Pete Sampras’ hands is a Wimbledon Championship.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal.
A rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy.
A sling shot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Two fish & 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
Two fish & 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousands.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
Nails in Jesus Christ’s hands will produce salvation for the entire world. It depends whose hands it’s in.

As you see now it depends whose hands it’s in. So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God’s hands because — It depends whose hands it’s in.
[Received from Bonnie Parkinson]

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The “BUT FIRST” Syndrome. We all have it.

You decide to do the laundry.  So you start down the stairs with the laundry, but then you see the newspapers on the table.  OK, you’ll do the laundry………

BUT FIRST you decide to put the newspapers away.  On your way to put the newspapers away, you notice the mail on the table.  OK, you’ll put the newspapers away……..

BUT FIRST you’ll pay that bill that needs to be paid.  You look for the checkbook.  Oops…  there’s the baby’s bottle from yesterday on the floor.  OK, you’ll pay the bill……..

BUT FIRST you need to put the bottle in the sink.  You head for the kitchen.  There’s the remote for the TV. What’s it doing in here?  OK, you’ll put the bottle in the sink…..

BUT FIRST you need to put the remote away.  Head for the TV room.  Aaagh!!!  stepped on the cat!  Cat needs to be fed.  OK, you’ll put the remote away…

BUT FIRST you need to feed the cat.  At the end of the day…… The laundry is not done; newspapers are still on the floor; baby’s bottle is on the table; bills are still unpaid; checkbook is still lost; cat ate the remote control…….

And when you stop to figure out how come nothing got done all day, you are baffled because……you know you were busy ALL DAY!!
[From: The Rave Humor List]

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After one week without prayer, one becomes spiritually weak.
[Tim Forestoff]

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Pride, like the magnet, constantly points to one object, self; but unlike the magnet, it has no attractive pole, but at all points repels.
[Charles Caleb Colto]

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Success is the usual unusually well done.
[Mark Besh]

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THE SECRET
A woman named Frances once knew a young person at church named Debbie. Debbie always seemed effervescent and happy, although Frances knew she had faced struggles in her life. Her long-awaited marriage had quickly ended in divorce. She had struggled to get a grip on her single life.  She hadn’t chosen it, but she decided she would live it with utmost enjoyment and satisfaction.

Debbie was active in Sunday school, in the choir, as a leader of the junior high girls’ group, and in the church renewal movement.

Frances enjoyed knowing Debbie. Debbie’s whole face seemed to smile and she always greeted Frances with a hug. One day Frances asked Debbie, “How is it that you are always so happy; you have so much energy, and you never seem to get down?”

With her eyes smiling, Debbie said, “I know the secret!”

“What secret is that? What are you talking about?” Frances asked.

Debbie replied, “I’ll tell you all about it, but you have to promise to share the ‘secret’ with others.”

Frances agreed, “Okay, now what is it?”

The secret is this: I have learned there is little I can do in my life that will make me truly happy. I must depend on God to make me happy and meet my needs. When a need arises in my life, I have to trust God to supply according to HIS riches. I have learned most of the time I don’t need half of what I think I do. HE has never let me down. Since I learned that secret I am happy.

Frances’ first thought was, that’s too simple!  But upon reflecting over her own life she recalled how she thought a bigger house would make her happy-but it didn’t!  She thought a better-paying job would make her happy-but it hadn’t. When did she realize her greatest happiness? Sitting on the floor with her grandchildren, eating pizza and watching a movie – a simple gift from God.

Debbie knew the secret, Frances learned the secret, and now you know it too! We can’t depend on people to make us happy-only GOD in his wisdom can do that. Trust him. So pass it on! I’m a witness that the secret is true! And now I pass the secret on to you! So once you get it, whatcha gonna do? YOU have to tell someone the secret, too! That GOD in his wisdom will take care of you.
[Received from Beth McMillan]

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All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
[Ralph Waldo Emerson]

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Our strength is shown in the things that we stand for: Our weakness is shown in the things that we fall for.”
[Anonymous]

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Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.”
[Chinese Proverb]

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I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
[Booker T. Washington]

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We must be silent before we can listen.
We must listen before we can learn.
We must learn before we can prepare.
We must prepare before we can serve.
We must serve before we can lead.
[William Ward]

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STRENGTH vs. AGE

A strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of Morris, one of the older workmen. After several minutes, Morris had enough.

“Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?” he said. “I will bet a week’s wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won’t be able to wheel back.”

“You’re on, old man,” the braggart replied. “It’s a bet! Let’s see what you got.”

Morris reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, “All right. Get in.”
[Received from Richard Bachman]

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Getting something done is an accomplishment; getting something done right is an achievement.
[Bits and Pieces]

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SIGNS FOUND IN KITCHENS
– I’m creative; you can’t expect me to be neat too!
– Ring Bell for Maid Service…If no answer do it yourself!
– I clean house every other day….Today is the other day!
– I came, I saw, I decided to order take out.
– If you don’t like my standards of cooking…lower your standards.
– A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen, and this kitchen is delirious.
– A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
– My next house will have no kitchen— just vending machines.
– Gardening forever…Housework, never!
– I’d live life in the fast lane but I am married to a speed bump.

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Many people have security systems for their houses, or alarms for their cars. They know they have something of value. And they also know that there are thieves loose in the world who are likely to want the valuable possessions they have. While this is true for material possessions, so many men do not have a security system for their emotional and spiritual lives. Part of the reason is that they don’t know they are valuable to God. And another part of the reason is that they don’t know that a thief is loose in the world who wants to steal, destroy, and kill everything of value that they possess.

You can put bars on the windows of your house… You can put an alarm system on your car that will cause sirens to sound and lights to flash on and off… You can put video cameras and silent alarms in your store… You can put padlocks on your bicycle or on trucks filled with things you hold to be valuable… You can put your most prized possessions in sealed vaults with highly sophisticated security systems… But are you putting something in and on and around yourself to guard your precious emotional and spiritual life from the ravages of the thief who wants to steal from you your very life?
[Jeff Lilley]

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When you believe, you are relieved.
[Joyce Meyer]

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HELPFULL HINTS:
* Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
* Use a meat baster to “squeeze” your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you’ll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.
* To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
* Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallow won’t stick to your fingers.
* To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.
* To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove-top.
* Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces and there won’t be any stains.
* When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
* If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant “fix me up.”
* Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
* Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
* To determine whether an egg is fresh place it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away.
* Don’t throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
* If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dish washing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
* Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
* To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
* Ants, ants, ants everywhere… Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
* Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
* When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
* Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.
* Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
* Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
* Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar, Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.
[Received from Richard Bachman]

*****************************
Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
[Henri Bergson]

*****************************
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
[George Eliot]

*****************************
ODE TO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:
English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn’t the preacher praught.

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What on earth does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

English was invented by people, not computers
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn’t a race at all)

That is why
When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this poem
It ends.
[Author unknown]

*****************************
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
[George Eliot]

*****************************
Don’t spend the last half of your life regretting the first half.

*****************************
Little known facts about COKE and BOUNCE:

BOUNCE…the stuff you use in your dryer:
– Repels mosquitoes. Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season. (I wish I had known this before I lost two quarts of blood while watering plants!)
– Eliminates static electricity from your television screen. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.
– Dissolves soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a used sheet of Bounce.
– Prevents thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce to eliminate the static cling on the thread before sewing.
– Eliminates static cling from pantyhose. Rub a damp, used sheet of Bounce over the hose.
– Prevents musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.
– Freshens the air in your car. Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.
– Cleans baked-on food from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in the pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agents apparently weaken the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked-on food.
– Eliminates odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.
– Collects cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.
– Eliminates static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resetting.
– Deodorizes shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight so they’ll smell great in the morning.

And now for COCA-COLA:
– To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet. Let the “real thing” sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
– To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
– To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
– To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
– To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan; Wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake.  Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.
– To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
– It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

And…WE DRINK THIS STUFF!
[Received from Cher’re Walters]

*****************************
A SMILE!
You are an apostle and your smile is your instrument for winning souls.

Smile – on the lonely faces
Smile – on the timid faces
Smile – on the sorrowful faces
Smile – on the sickly faces
Smile – on the fresh young faces
Smile – on the wrinkled old faces
Smile – on the familiar faces of your family and friends. Let all enjoy the beauty inspiring cheer of your smiling face.

Your smile can bring new life and hope and courage into the hearts of the weary, the overburdened, the discouraged, the tempted, the despairing.

Your smile can be the beginning of conversions to the Faith. Your smile can prepare the way for a sinner’s return to God.

Smile, too, at God… Smile at God in loving acceptance of whatever He sends into your life, and you will merit to have the radiantly smiling face of Christ gaze on you with special love throughout all eternity.
[Abbey of Gethsemani – Received from Linda Besh]

*****************************
I’ll believe psychics when one phones me, just in the nick of time, yelling, “Duck!”

Football has as much to do with education as bull riding does to ranching.

If a rabbit is raised indoors, would it be an ingrown hare?

Never run out of altitude, air speed, & ideas at one time.
[Aiken’s Drum]

*****************************
A BOX FULL OF KISSES
The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.”

He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.  He yelled at her, “Don’t you know when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”  The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty, I blew kisses into the box.  All for you, Daddy.”  The father was crushed.  He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.  An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for many years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us as humans, have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family or God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
[Received from Terry Longo]

*****************************
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
[Robert Byrne]
*****************************
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
[Elbert Hubbard]

*****************************
BUYING A BULL
Two sisters, Ann and Sally, inherit the family ranch. Unfortunately, after just a few years, they are in financial trouble. In order to keep the bank from repossessing the ranch, they need to purchase a bull so that they can breed their own stock.

Ann balances their checkbook, then takes their last $600 dollars out west to another ranch where a man has a prize bull for sale.

Upon leaving, she tells her sister, “When I get there, if I decide to buy the bull, I’ll contact you to drive out after me and haul it home.”

Ann arrives at the man’s ranch, inspects the bull, and decides she does want to buy it. The man tells her that he can sell it for $599, no less. After paying him, she drives to the nearest town to send her sister a telegram to tell her the news.

She walks into the telegraph office, and says, “I want to send a telegram to my sister telling her that I’ve bought a bull for our ranch. I need her to hitch the trailer to our pickup truck and drive out here so we can haul it home.”

The telegraph operator explains that he’ll be glad to help her, then adds, “It’s just 99 cents a word.”

Well, after paying for the bull, Ann only has $1 left. She realizes that she’ll only be able to send her sister one word.

After thinking for a few minutes, she nods, and says, “I want you to send her the word, ‘comfortable.'”

The telegraph operator shakes his head. “How is she ever going to know that you want her to hitch the trailer to your pickup truck and drive out here to haul that bull back to your ranch if you send her the word, ‘comfortable’?”

Ann explains, “My sister reads VERY slowly.”
[Received from Richard Bachman]

*****************************
WORDS OF WISDOM
* Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
* Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
* If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
* Never buy a car you can’t push.
* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don’t have a leg to stand on.
* Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
* The early worm gets eaten by the bird— so sleep late.
* When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
[Received from Richard Bachman]

*****************************
The 10 COMMANADMENTS OF E-MAIL
Thou shalt include a clear and specific subject line.
Thou shalt edit any quoted text down to the minimum thou needest.
Thou shalt read thine own message thrice before thou sendest it.
Thou shalt ponder how thy recipient might react to thy message.
Thou shalt check thy spelling and thy grammar.
Thou shalt not curse, flame, spam or USE ALL CAPS.
Thou shalt not forward any chain letter.
Thou shalt not use e-mail for any illegal or unethical purpose.
Thou shalt not rely on the privacy of e-mail, especially from work.
When in doubt, save thy message overnight and reread it in the light of the dawn.

And, here’s the “Golden Rule” of E-Mail:
That which thou findest hateful to receive, sendest thou not unto others.
[Received from Joy Asashon]

*****************************
Friends should be RADICAL, FANATICAL, but most of all, MATHEMATICAL!
A friend should be radical –
Love you when you’re unlovable,
Hug you when you’re unhuggable, and bear you when you’re unbearable.

A friend should be fanatical –
Cheer when the whole world boos,
Dance when you get good news, and cry when you cry, too.
But most of all,

A friend should be mathematical –
Multiply the joy,
Divide the sorrow,
Subtract the past, and add to tomorrow.
Calculate the need deep in the heart, and always be bigger than the sum of all its parts.

*****************************
One morning, a company manager discovered an unusual letter from one of his employee.

Dear Bo$$,

A$ all of u$ have read from the new$paper$, the $ingapore economy ha$ come out of the rece$$ion. In thi$ life, we all need $ome thing mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ worker$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to your company.

I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon.

Your$ $incerely,
$teven $oh
—————-
The next day, the employee received this letter of reply:

Dear Steven,

I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed. You must have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well as yet. NOw the newspapers are saying the world’s leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the United States may go into aNOther recession. After the NOvember presidential elections things may turn bad.

I have NOthing more to add NOw. You kNOw what I mean.

Yours truly,
NOrman Tan
Manager

*****************************
Each day comes bearing its gifts. Untie the ribbons!
[Ruth Ann Schabacker]

*****************************
I see the same algebraic equation on products, trucks, and store fronts all over the South. Will someone tell me what DI x IE equals?
[Lawrence Brotherton]

Half our live is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed though life trying to save.
[Will Rogers]

Life is like wrestling a gorilla— you don’t stop when you get tired; you stop when the gorilla gets tired.

*****************************
SURPRIZING?

1) Psalms 118 is the middle chapter of the entire Bible?
2) Before Psalms 118, Psalms 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
3) After Psalms 118, Psalms 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible?
4) That there are 594 chapters each before and following Psalms 118?
5) That if you add up all the chapters except Psalms 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters.
6) And incidentally, 1188 or Psalms 118 verse 8 also happens to be the middle verse of the entire Bible.

The central verse should have a fairly important message don’t you think?

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

*****************************
NEW BOOK RELEASES:

– How to Write Big Books by Warren Peace
– The Art of Archery by Beau N. Arrow
– Songs for Children by Barbara Blacksheep
– Irish Heart Surgery by Angie O’Plasty
– Desert Crossing by I. Rhoda Camel
– School Truancy by Marcus Absent
– I Was a Cloakroom Attendant by Mahatma Coate
– I Lost My Balance by Eileen Dover and Phil Down
– Positive Reinforcement by Wade Ago
– The Philippine Post Office by Imelda Letter
– Things to Do at a Party by Bob Frapples
– Come on In! by Doris Open
– The German Bank Robbery by Hans Zupp
– Prison Security by Barb Dweyer
– Irish First Aid by R.U. O’Kaye
– My Career As a Clown by Abe Ozo
– Why I Eat at McDonalds by Tommy Ayk
– The Bruce Lee Story by Marsha Larts
– Rapunzel Rapunzel by Harris Long
– Split Personalities by Jacqueline Hyde
– How I Won the Marathon by Randy Hoelway
– Songs from “South Pacific” by Sam and Janet Evening
[Mike Atkinson]

*****************************
COULD YOU?
Could you describe the sky to a person without sight,
the gift of shades and shadows you receive each day and night?

Could you depict the freedom of walking down the street
to a person who has never had the use of their two feet?

Could you express the comfort of sleeping in a bed
to someone who does not have a place to lay their head?

Could you explain the pleasure of a satisfying meal
to a child who has never known the fullness that you feel?

Could you, in all honesty, with good and truthful measure,
say that you are thankful and consider life a treasure?

Could you?
[Terri McPherson]

*****************************
Tragedy is not what we suffer, but what we miss.
[Author unknown]

*****************************
Kites rise against, not with the wind.
[Anonymous]

*****************************
Why does my lipstick last on my lips for only ten minutes but can remain on my glass even after it’s been through the dishwasher?

*****************************
RAINBOWS

Thank you God for the pain that, like rain, when filtered through sunshine paints a rainbow giving life a touch of beauty, while reminding me of your promise that you would never again destroy mankind through a flood.

And that I need to remember, because sometimes I feel overwhelmed by floods which threaten to engulf me and destroy me, and leave me sore afraid when my cries for help seem lost in the storm.

And then behind me where I couldn’t see, I turn and see a rainbow adding a touch of beauty to my life, and then I see even if I don’t understand that as rainbows are painted by raindrops, so faith, hope, and love are somehow all painted by pain.
[Dick Innes]

*****************************
I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.
Og Mandino]

*****************************
I think NASCAR (stock car racing) would be much more exciting if, like in a skating rink, every 15 minutes someone announced it was time to reverse direction.
[Author unknown]

*****************************
We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.
[Heraclitus]

*****************************
A SENSE OF GOOSE

This fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter flying in a “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered about why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a ” V ” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone – and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are headed the same way we are. When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What message do we give when we honk from behind?

Finally – and this is important – when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their own group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

*****************************
Life is a matter of building. Each of us has the opportunity to build something — a secure family, a good reputation, a career, a relationship to God. But some of those things can disappear almost overnight due to financial losses, natural disasters and other unforeseen difficulties.

What are we to do? Daniel Webster offered excellent advice, saying, “If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.
[Source: Morning Glory]

*****************************
It’s SO HOT in Texas, that …
– The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
– Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs.
– The cows are giving evaporated milk.

*****************************
Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects…

*****************************
Just as white light consists of colored rays, so Reverence for Life contains all the components of ethics: love, kindliness, sympathy, empathy, peacefulness, power to forgive.
[Albert Schweitzer]

*****************************
Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.
[Anonymous]

*****************************
YOU WON’T UNDERSTAND
Often people say to me “You just won’t understand.”
“You’re way too old,” or “Way too young,” or “YOU are NOT a man.”

I don’t know why some people feel they suffer unique pain.
As if they are the only ones who’ve lost or ceased to gain.
I don’t know why they hide their pain and clutch it ever tighter.
It seems to me that all should know – a burden shared gets lighter.

Why some folks even deign to think the pain that’s in their heart,
Is all their own, to keep and hoard, they set themselves apart.
They keep their eyes from meeting mine lest I should see their hurt.
And even if we stop and speak their words are often curt.

The Bible says: ‘Two’ can withstand what overcomes just ‘one’.
And also that – a ‘Cord of Three’ can scarcely be undone.

Besides, I know the ways of hurt – My heart’s been crushed before.
Friends have betrayed – I’ve lost at love, Despair’s knocked at my door.

And I Remember – Thoughts gone wild – And crying late at night.
Not having strength to care at all – Much less the strength to fight.
But, someone special came to me – And when my trials were told.
I realized that with their tears – They’d eased my heavy load.

And so, I learned – that Pain – like Love – Is bearable if shared.
I don’t know what I would have done without that friend who cared.

My trials did not vanish fast – In fact the time was long.
But sharing gave me breathing space until I could grow strong
Enough to laugh again and even start to smile –
And though it seemed it could not help – It eased my pain awhile.

So, if you think that you can’t share cause I won’t understand.
At least just give me half a chance to lend a helping hand.
For I know that you’re hurting and I know a place to start.
Perhaps if you could realize – Your pain burns in my heart.

I know I cannot make your trials and troubles go away.
But maybe I can help a bit to get you through today.
And maybe by tomorrow you wont need help anymore.
But if you should – Don’t be ashamed –
For that’s what friends are for.

And after all is said and done – The trials ceased – You’re whole.
Perhaps you’ll know just what to do to help another soul –
Who’s being crushed by hurt and pain – be it woman or a man.
And you won’t have to hear them say “You just won’t understand.”
[Author Unknown]

*****************************
A drunken man staggers in to a Catholic church and sits down in a confession box and says nothing. The bewildered priest coughs to attract his attention, but still the man says nothing. The priest then knocks on the wall three times in a final attempt to get the man to speak.

Finally, the drunk replies: “No use knockin’ mate, there’s no paper in this one either.”

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

– Dormitory = Dirty Room
– The Morse Code = Here Come Dots
– Animosity = Is No Amity
– Snooze Alarms = Alas! No More Z’s
– A Decimal Point = I’m a Dot in Place
– Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one

*****************************
An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing,” on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.

The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women wrote: “Woman! Without her, man is nothing.”

*****************************
THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM
Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem” The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen?

The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die. “Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it.” “Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren’t always what they seem.” Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage.  You might not know it until some time later…Oooo.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.

Some people become friends and stay awhile…leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts… and we are not quite the same because we have made a good friend!!

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present! I think this is special…live and savor every moment…This is not a dress rehearsal!
[Received from Scott Longo]

*****************************
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss.

Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep.

But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night. I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation.

Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.  After a long pause, the door opened.  A small woman in her 80s stood before me.  She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.  All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. “Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.  She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me the address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?” “It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rearview mirror.  Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.” I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.” We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.  They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.  The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. “How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered. “There are other passengers,” I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.  She held onto me tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said.  “Thank you.” I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light.  Behind me, a door shut.  It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift.  I drove aimlessly, lost in thought.  For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
[Received from Julie Nordberg]

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THE BEST GIFTS
The best gifts to give:

To your friend…loyalty;
To your enemy…forgiveness;
To your boss…service;
To a child…a good example;
To your parents…gratitude and devotion;
To your mate…love and faithfulness;
To all men and women…charity;
and to God…your life.

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A LETTER
A letter is the warmest way
to bid a friend the time of day,
A keep-in-touch that brings the smiles
Across the very longest miles.

And what a wealth of strength and hope
Is tucked inside an envelope,
Reminding loved ones that you are,
At least in heart, not very far.

In no country, state or camp,
The wealth beneath a postage stamp,
For memories that never age
Are written down upon each page.

And though it’s nice to telephone,
One of the sweetest pleasures known
Is moments shared in thoughts we send
…That can be read, and read again.

*****************************
“Oh, master…tell me of fate.”

“Ah, my son…it is what has brought great nations together. It has made the world a smaller place in which to live. It has inspired men of worth to work endless hours.  It will some day enable men to span the universe and light years of travel will soon become mere seconds in time.”

“And that, my master, is fate?”

“Oh, FATE! I thought you said FREIGHT.”

*****************************
A parent’s children and garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season.

*****************************
THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY

When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”
[Albert Einstein]

*****************************
GOD HATH NOT PROMISED…
God hath not promised skies always blue
Flower strewn pathways, all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptations, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.
[Author Unknown]

*****************************
From what we get, we can make a living; from what we give, however, makes a life.”
[Arthur Ashe]

*****************************
DEEP THOUGHT:
What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men?

*****************************
ANSWERS TO TRIVIA TOUGHIES:
1. Boxing
2. Nigara Falls
3. Asparagus and rhubarb
4. Ten times
5. Baseball
6. Strawberry
7. Dwarf, dwell, dwindle.
8.  Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, and braces
9. In Minnesota. Their original name was Minneapolis Lakers.

*****************************
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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!

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the LORD turn His face toward you
and give you peace.

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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One Response to “Time Marches On|Departure [v20]”

  1. Trang Harold Says:

    Love your site man keep up the good work

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