How Now Shall We Live? [v7]

OCTOBER 1999

GREETINGS — I read a very thoughtful book, “How Now Shall We Live?”  It ‘grapples’ with the important concept of “worldview”—how our ideas about the world shape the way we live.  It is written by Charles Colson, the former presidential aide to Richard Nixon, that went to prison for the Watergate cover-up—but found God’s goodness and mercy there and came out a ‘changed’ person.

Since then, he founded the “Prison Fellowship” ministry, has written several books, and was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize, given for extraordinary leadership in advancing humanity’s understanding of God.  So, no matter who we are or what we have done, we can receive a “new heart”—as is said in the Scriptures, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v7) for OCTOBER 1999
(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at: mbesh@ameritech.net)

Thanx for some of this edition’s material IS GROWING!!! — I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me…Thank you’s to:

Richard Bachman
Bob Hart
Jake Izatt
Jeff and Stacey Jezak
Michelle Jones
Terry Besh Longo
Nanci Lewis
David Osborne
Suzi Wilkinson
John Waskin

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In the many years since this test was developed, we found a few people who could solve more than half the 30 questions in the first try. Many, however reported getting answers long after the test had been set aside, particularly at unexpected moments when their minds were relaxed and some reported solving all of the problems over a period of several days. There are no jokes or tricks. The problems are well known. Here is an example below:

Example:    l2 M in a  Y       Answer: l2 months in a year.

1. 26 L of the A
2. 7 W of the W
3. 1001 A N
4. 12 S of the Z
5. 54 C in a D (with the J,s)
6. 9 P in the S S
7. 88 K on a P
8. l3 S on the A F
9. 32 D F at which W F
10.18 H on a G C
11. 90 D in a R A
12. 200 D for P G in M
13. 20000 L U the S
14. 8 S on a S S
15. 100 D C at which W B
16. <lost this one>
17. 4 Q in a G
18. 24 H in a D
19. 1 W on a U
20. 5 D in a Z
21. 57 H V
22. 11 P on a F T
23. 1000 W that a P is W
24. 29 D in F in a L Y
25. 64 S on a C B
26. 40 D and N of the G F
27. l2 K of the R T
28. 76 T in the B P
29. 9 M in a S Y
30. 9 J on the S C

( Some of the answers are at the end of this e-mail)
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YOU KNOW YOU’RE DRINKING TOO MUCH COFFEE WHEN:

— Juan Valdez names his donkey after you.
— You ski uphill.
— You answer the door before people knock.
— You just completed another sweater and you don’t know how to knit.
— You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
— You sleep with your eyes open.
— You have to watch videos in fast-forward.
— You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using
the timer.
— You spend every vacation visiting “Maxwell House.”
— You’re the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you
don’t even work there.
— You chew on other people’s fingernails.
— The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.
— Your so jittery that people use your hands to blend their margaritas.
— Your only source of nutrition comes from “Sweet & Low.”
— You don’t sweat, you percolate.
— You buy milk by the barrel.
— You’ve worn out the handle on your favorite mug.
— You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
— You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it’s not
plugged in.
— People get dizzy just watching you.
— Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
— Your life’s goal IS to “amount to a hill of beans.”
— Instant coffee takes too long.
— When someone says. “How are you?”, you say, “Good to the last drop.”
— Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.
— You’d be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison.
— You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
— You name your cats “Cream” and “Sugar.”
— Your Thermos is on wheels.
— Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.
— You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
— You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
— You short out motion detectors.
— You have a conniption over spilled milk.
— You don’t even wait for the water to boil anymore.
— Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.
— You don’t tan, you roast.
— You don’t get mad, you get steamed.
— You help your dog chase its tail.
— You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.
— Your coffee mug is insured by Lloyds of London.
— You introduce your spouse as your “Coffeemate.”
— You think CPR stands for “Coffee Provides Resuscitation.”
— Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.

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BreakPoint Commentary #90827 – 8/27/1999
No Faustian Bargains : The Limits of Knowledge
by Charles Colson
(www.breakpoint.org)

Tomorrow marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany’s greatest poet and writer.  All across Germany celebrations are being held in his honor, featuring readings of his work, performances of his plays, and films based on his work.

The one work of literature for which Goethe is best known is Faust, which retells a legend exploring the moral limits of human power.  Today, two hundred years after he wrote it, Faust seems eerily prophetic: Never before have these themes been more timely.

The Faust legend goes back many centuries, and tells the story of a man who yearns for infinite knowledge and god-like power.  Eventually, Faust turns to black magic and makes a pact with the devil, known in the play as Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles grants Faust the knowledge he craves–in exchange for his soul. That’s where we get the phrase “to make a Faustian bargain.”

In earlier versions of the legend, Faust is damned to hell for his Promethean overreaching, his yearning to “be like God, knowing good and evil,” as the serpent put it in the Garden of Eden.  “Faust covets divine status,” explains literary critic Roger Shattuck, and in the end he is suitably punished.

But surprisingly, in Goethe’s version, Faust is not condemned but goes to heaven.  In other words, Goethe “calmly usurps the Lord’s role and reverses the verdict,” as Shattuck writes.  “Here is our modern Adam, raised up to heaven by a chorus of angels for conduct more proud and defiant than what earned the original Adam banishment from paradise.”

The message is that there is no forbidden knowledge, nothing beyond human reach—even if it costs us our soul.

Goethe has reversed the very essence of the story. He has abandoned the classical view that knowledge has a moral dimension and that it can sometimes cost us our humanity.  This classical perspective looks back to Adam and Eve, whose grasping for the knowledge of good and evil meant disobedience, and ultimately death.  The same view is conveyed in myths like the story of Pandora’s box.  It was expressed by one of Goethe’s own contemporaries, Mary Shelley, in her classic novel Frankenstein, where an attempt to play God creates a monster who comes back to haunt its human creator.

By contrast, with Goethe we begin to see a distinctively modern view: that the search for knowledge is sacrosanct and should not be limited in any way—not even by moral considerations.  Scientific progress is the new summum bonum, which trumps all other values: If an experiment can be done, you can bet that eventually it WILL be done. Modern science has unleashed first the atom and now the gene, yet we rarely hear anyone ask, What price will we pay for these technologies?  Ours is Faustian generation if there ever was one.

We need to help people to see that certain kinds of experiments may in the end destroy our humanity.  Why not read Goethe’s play for yourself, to better understand the intellectual challenges we face today.

Faust may help us understand what we are up against, in an age ready to sell its own soul in exchange for scientific knowledge.

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WISHES AND A PRAYER
Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let’s continue praying for one another. Make a wish before you read this poem/prayer: (Did you make a wish)? (Be sure to make a wish~!)

“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let His spiritual presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, and to bask in the sun. It is there for each and every one of us.”
Love and Blessings.

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THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE

2000 B.C.  –  Here, eat this root.
1000 AD.  –  That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
1850 A.D.  –  That prayer is superstitious. Here, drink this potion.
1940 A.D.  –  That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
1985 A.D.  –  That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
2000 A.D.  –  That antibiotic doesn’t work anymore. Here, eat this root.

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THINGS TO PONDER

1. Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift?
2. Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?
3. Can I yell “movie” in a crowded firehouse?
4. Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
5. How do a fool and his money GET together?
6. How do you know when its time to tune your bagpipes?
7. How is it that a building burns up as it burns down?
8. If a train station is where the train stops, what is a work station?
9. If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan?
10. If the pen is mightier than the sword, and a picture is worth a thousand words, how dangerous is a fax?
11. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
12. If you throw a cat out the car window, does it become kitty litter?
13. What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men?
14. What was the best thing before sliced bread?
15. Why do banks charge you a “non-sufficient funds” fee on money they already know you don’t have?
16. Why do they put Braille on the drive through bank machines?
17. Why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?
18. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
19. What happened to the first 6 “ups”?
20. If you get cheated by the Better Business Bureau, who do you complain to?
21. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
22. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too?
23. What are Preparation A through Preparation G?
24. After Eating, do amphibians have to wait one hour before getting out of the water?
25. In a country of free speech, why are there phone bills?
26. Did Washington flash a quarter when asked for ID?
27. How come there aren’t B batteries?
28. If the post office has machines that can sort snail mail at 1000’s of times per minute, then why do they give it to a little old man on a bike to deliver?
29. How do “Do not walk on the grass” signs get there?
30. Why do black olives come in cans and green olives come in jars?
31. Is a metaphor like a simile?
32. Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
33. How do I set my laser printer on stun?
34. How is it possible to have a civil war?
35. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
36. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
37. If the #2 pencil is so popular, why is it still #2?
38. If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry?
39. Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
40. If I melt dry ice, can I take a bath without getting wet?
41. Could crop circles be the work of a cereal killer?
42. Crime doesn’t pay…does that mean that my job is a crime?
43. Did Noah keep his bees in archives?
44. How can there be self-help “groups”?
45. How do you throw away a garbage can?
46. How do they get the deer to cross at that yellow road sign?
47. How does a thermos know if the drink should be hot or cold?
48. How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?
49. Do you realize how many holes there could be if people would just take the time to take the dirt out of them?
50. If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?
51. If Superman is so smart, then why does he wear his underpants on the outside of his trousers?
52. If you’re in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
53. What happens to an 18 hour bra after 18 hours?
54. Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
55. Why do hot dogs come 10 to a package and hot dog buns only 8?
56. Why do tourists go to the tops of tall buildings and then put money into telescopes so they can see things on the ground close-up?
57. Why do we kill people for killing people to show that killing people is wrong?
58. Why is it that bullets ricochet off of Superman’s chest, but he ducks when the gun is thrown at him?
59. Why is it that night falls but day breaks?
60. Why is it that you must wait until night to call it a day?
61. How do you remove a club soda stain?
62. What if the Hokey Pokey IS what its all about?
63. When your pet bird sees you reading the newspaper, does he wonder why you’re just sitting there, staring at carpeting?

–Mark Lowry

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PRAYER FOR GUIDANCE

Dear God, in Your hands
I place myself on this day.
Your purpose for my life,
Your perfection for my body,
Your abundance to fill my need-
In Your hands lie these,
And their fulfillment in my life
Is sure if by my will and my desire
I, too, am totally in Your hands.
Guide me, then, in Your ways
Throughout the whole of this day-
Free my mind of fear and doubt
That I may think creatively,
Free my body of its limitations
That it may be strong and vital,
Free my spoken word of hesitation
And my action from indecision.
In Your hands I place my total self
For I am Yours, dear Father-God.

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THE HUMAN RACE….

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through
stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods:

On a Sears hair dryer:
Do not use while sleeping.
(Gee, that’s the only time I have to work on my hair!)

On a bag of Fritos:
You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
(The shoplifter special!)

On a bar of Dial soap:
Directions: Use like regular soap.
(and that would be ….. how??)

On some Swanson frozen dinners:
Serving suggestion: Defrost.
(But it’s JUST a suggestion!)

On a hotel provided shower cap in a box:
Fits one head.
(!!!)

On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert:
(printed on the bottom of the box)–Do not turn upside down.
(Too late! You lose!)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:
Product will be hot after heating.
(Are you sure???)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
Do not iron clothes on body.
(But wouldn’t that save more time???)

On Boot’s Children’s cough medicine:
Do not drive car or operate machinery.
(We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we just kept those 5 year olds off those fork lifts!)

On Nytol sleep aid:
Warning: may cause drowsiness.
(One would hope!)

On a Korean kitchen knife:
Warning: keep out of children.
(Or pets!)

On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights:
For indoor or outdoor use only.
(As opposed to outer space or underground)

On a Japanese food processor:
Not to be used for the other use.
(Hmmmm, now I’m curious)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:
Instructions: open packet, eat nuts.
(what is going on here?)

On a Swedish chainsaw:
Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.
(Hmmmm!)

On a child’s superman costume:
Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.
(Way to destroy a universal childhood fantasy!)

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YOU KNOW YOU ARE FROM MICHIGAN WHEN………..

1. YOU THINK ALKALINE BATTERIES WERE NAMED FOR A TIGER  OUTFIELDER.
2. YOU CAN IDENTIFY AN OHIO ACCENT.
3. THE BIG MAC IS SOMETHING YOU DRIVE ACROSS.
4. YOU BELIEVE “DOWN SOUTH” MEANS TOLEDO.
5. YOU BAKE WITH SODA AND DRINK POP.
6. YOU KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE “MACKINAC”.
7. THE WORD “THUMB” HAS A GEOGRAPHICAL RATHER THAN ANATOMICAL SIGNIFICANCE.
8. YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED FROSTBITE AND SUNBURN IN THE SAME WEEK.
9.YOU EXPECT ‘VERNORS’ WHEN YOU ORDER GINGER ALE.
10.YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAYS ARE CHRISTMAS, THANKSGIVING, AND THE OPENING OF DEER SEASON.
11.AT LEAST ONE PERSON IN YOUR FAMILY DISOWNS YOU DURING THE MICHIGAN – MICHIGAN STATE FOOTBALL GAME.
12.YOUR YEAR HAS TWO SEASONS WINTER AND CONSTRUCTION.
13.TRAVELING COAST TO COAST MEANS DRIVING FROM PORT HURON TO MUSKEGON.
14.HALF THE CHANGE IN YOUR POCKET IS CANADIAN.
15.YOU SHOW PEOPLE WHERE YOU GREW UP BY POINTING TO A SPOT ON YOUR RIGHT HAND.
16.YOUR DEFINITION OF A SMALL TOWN IS ONE THAT DOESN’T HAVE A  LAKE.
17.AT LEAST HALF YOUR RELATIVES WORK FOR THE AUTO INDUSTRY.
18.SNOW TIRES COME STANDARD ON ALL YOUR CARS.
19.FUDGE AND BICYCLES REMIND YOU OF YOUR HONEYMOON.
20.YOU CAN NAME ALL FIVE GREAT LAKES AND POINT TO THEIR LOCATIONS AROUND YOUR HANDS.
21.YOU KNOW THAT PONTIAC AND CADILLAC ARE CITIES.
22.YOU CAN ACTUALLY PRONOUNCE YPSILANTI.
23.YOU GO TO WORK IN A SNOWSUIT IN THE MORNING AND RETURN HOME WEARING SHORTS.
24.YOUR CHILDREN DESCRIBE THEIR SUMMER VACATION OUT-OF-STATE AS A TRIP TO CEDAR POINT.

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THOUGHTS…..

** The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!
** I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
** If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
** Mental backup in progress – Do Not Disturb!
** Support bacteria – they’re the only culture some people have.
** The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
** When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
** Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
** If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
** Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.
** When I’m not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.
** Everyone has a photographic memory…some don’t have film.
** If a Smurf gets a sunburn, what color does it turn?
** Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?
** What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
** Energizer Bunny arrested…charged with battery.
** I poured Spot remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.
** I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
** Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.
** How do you tell when you run out of invisible ink?
** Laughing stock: cattle with a sense of humor.
** Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
** OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
** Corduroy pillows: They’re making headlines!
** Black holes are where God divided by zero.
** All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

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FUNNY SIGNS IN GREAT BRITAIN (but could be anywhere)

IN A LAUNDROMAT: Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.
IN A LONDON DEPARTMENT STORE: Bargain Basement Upstairs
IN AN OFFICE: Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday kindly bring it back or further steps will be taken.
IN ANOTHER OFFICE: After the tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.
ON A CHURCH DOOR: This is the gate of Heaven. Enter ye all by this door. (This door is kept locked because of the draft. Please use side entrance)
QUICKSAND WARNING: Quicksand. Any person passing this point will be drowned. By order of the District Council.
NOTICE IN A DRY CLEANER’S WINDOW: Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of.
IN A HEALTH FOOD SHOP WINDOW: Closed due to illness.
SPOTTED IN A SAFARI PARK: Elephants Please Stay In Your Car
SEEN DURING A CONFERENCE: For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the first floor.
NOTICE IN A FIELD: The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges.
MESSAGE ON A LEAFLET: If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons.
ON A REPAIR SHOP DOOR: We can repair anything (Please knock hard on the door – the bell doesn’t work)
SPOTTED IN A TOILET IN A LONDON OFFICE BLOCK: Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.

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BreakPoint Commentary #90906 – 09/06/1999
Little Green Men: Where Did Life Come From?
by Charles Colson

In 1967 astronomers were startled to discover radio pulses coming from outer space. “Our first thought,” they said, was that “this was another intelligent race” trying to communicate with us. They labeled the signals “LGM,” standing for Little Green Men.

But it turned out they had discovered a pulsar, a rotating star that mimics a radio beacon.

How can scientists tell whether something is coming from a natural or an intelligent source? When you think of it, this is the question at the heart of the creation-evolution debate: How can we tell whether life originated by natural causes or was created by an intelligent being?

Think for a moment of some common analogies. Imagine we are traveling through South Dakota and see a mountain with the faces of four presidents carved in it. Immediately we recognize the work of an intelligent agent. No one would mistake Mount Rushmore for a natural phenomenon.

Or imagine finding an arrowhead beside a stream. No one would attribute the shape to water erosion.

This ability to distinguish human workmanship from the products of nature is crucial in archaeology. Digging through the dust in Mesopotamia, the archaeologist has to decide whether he has found a bit of rock or a bit of  broken pottery.

It’s true that the physical world can produce a regular pattern–like the ripples on a beach. Or like the radio pulses that fooled astronomers into thinking they had found Little Green Men. But what nature cannot produce is complexity.

Imagine we’re walking along a beach and come across some words written in the sand: “John Loves Mary.” Immediately we recognize a different level of order from the surrounding ripples–what scientists call complexity.

Or imagine we’re looking up at the sky and we see something that looks fluffy and white like a cloud but spells out the words “Drink Coca-Cola.” Without a moment’s doubt we conclude that this is no ordinary cloud, and we start looking around for an airplane pilot doing sky-writing.

You see, common everyday experience gives us a good idea of the things nature is capable of creating by itself–and the things that can be created only by an intelligent source.

So what does that tell us about the origin of life?

At the core of life is the DNA molecule. Geneticists tell us the structure of DNA is identical to a language. It acts like a code–a molecular communication system within the cell.

In other words, when geneticists probed the nucleus of the cell they came across something analogous to “John Loves Mary” or “Drink Coca-Cola.”

Of course, DNA contains a lot more information than these simple phrases. The average DNA molecule contains as much information as a city library. So if “John Loves Mary” had to be written by an intelligent being, how much more the DNA code?

You don’t have to have sophisticated knowledge of chemistry and genetics to respond to challenges from evolution. Based on common experience–and, after all, science is supposed to be based on experience–you can argue logically that life was created by an intelligent agent.

Which is exactly what Christians have always believed.

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Millennium Pie
(with apologies to Don McLean, American Pie)

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember how

Computers used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance,
That I could make electrons dance,
And maybe I’d be happy for a while.

But January made me shiver,
it chilled me deep down in my liver,
Bad news I’d collected…
I couldn’t get connected.

I can’t remember back that day
When I first knew the Y2K
But something touched me anyway,
The day computers died.

So, …Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail replies
Saying this will be the day I retire
this will be the day I retire

Can you write in C plus plus ?
And do you have faith in your local bus
If the driver tells you so ?

Do you believe in Compaq’s goals
Can software save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to type real slow ?

Well I thought that you were prepared
‘Cause your memo said you weren’t impaired
Your stationery’s swell
But you can go to hell

I was a lonely teenage Unix hack
With an incantation and a modem jack
but I knew the cat had left the sack
The day computers died
I started singin’…

Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail replies
Saying this will be the day I retire
this will be the day I retire

Now for 10 years we’ve ignored the threat
And we haven’t solved the problem yet
But that’s not how it used to be

When the luddites read for the king and queen
with a light they filled with kerosene
And some manuals they stole from you and me

And while Bill Gates was looking pleased
Time stole his monopolies
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

While Apple tried a color scheme
The engineers returned to steam
And we had purges of their dreams
The day computers died
We were singin’

Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail replies
Saying this will be the day I retire
this will be the day I retire

Intel inside in an iron smelter
The food leftover from my fallout shelter
Twinkies old and aging fast
I’d rather eat the grass
Q and A tried for a system crash
With the tester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the timeshare net was running Doom
While mainframes played a marching tune
We all tried to log in
Oh, but we never could begin

‘Cause Cobol tried to take the field,
And Holerith refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed,
The day computers died?
We started singing

Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail replies
Saying this will be the day I retire
this will be the day I retire

There we were all in a state
A generation- really late
With no time left to start again

So come on mouse be nimble, mouse be quick
Don’t let my spreadsheet data stick
‘Cause data is the devil’s only friend.

As I watched him on my screen
My hands and face were drenched in steam
No angel born in hell
Could run that stupid shell

And as the ball climbed high into the night
To call the sacrificial rite
I saw Dick Clark laughing with delight
the day computers died.

I met a girl with a cell phone
And I asked her for a dial tone
But she just smiled and turned away

I went down to the software store
Where I’d seen computers years before
But the man there said the games there
wouldn’t play

And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
their interface was spoken
The Internet was broken

And the three things I connect to most
The Website, Lan and the Network host
Every single one was toast
The day computers died
They were singin’

Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail replies
Saying this will be the day I retire
this will be the day I retire

–Scott McNulty

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Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade-named BOOK. BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no
electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be
used anywhere – even sitting in an armchair by the fire – yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Here’s how it works: BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of
information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKS with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.

BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though, like other devices, it can become damaged if coffee is spilled on it and it becomes unusable if dropped too many times on a hard surface. The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish.

Many come with an “index” feature, which pin-points the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval. An optional “Bookmark” accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it
in a previous session – even if the BOOK has been closed. Bookmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single Bookmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers.  Conversely, numerous BOOK markers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with optional programming tools, Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Styli (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking to invest. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

*****************************
ONLY IN AMERICA….
… can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
… are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.
… do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
… do people order double cheese burgers, extra large fries and a diet coke.
… do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
… do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
… do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
… do we use the word “politics” to describe the process so well: “Poli” in Latin meaning “many” and “tics” meaning “bloodsucking creatures.”
… do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

*****************************
BreakPoint Commentary #90913 – 9/13/1999
Dogma for the Diaper Crowd: Teaching Kids about Origins
by Charles Colson

Not long ago, a friend of mine picked up a picture book for her young son about the well-known Berenstain Bears.  In this book, the Bear family invites young readers on a nature walk.  After a few pages, they are struck by a startling slogan, sprawled across the page: Nature is “all that IS, or WAS, or EVER WILL BE.”

Where did this strange credo come from?

The words are borrowed from the late science popularizer Carl Sagan, host of the famous PBS show “Cosmos.”  Sagan’s trademark phrase was: “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”  Sagan
was echoing the classic Christian liturgy- “Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.”  Sagan was offering nothing less than a religion of naturalism-where nature takes the place of God as the ultimate and eternal reality.

What Sagan did for adults, the Berenstain Bears are doing for youngsters-introducing them to the religion of naturalism.  Yet, ironically, the most recent scientific discoveries actually contradict naturalism.

Take the big bang theory.  For centuries, the scientific evidence seemed to suggest that matter was eternal-without beginning or end.  Then, just thirty years ago, several lines of evidence came together indicating that matter is not eternal after all–that the physical universe exploded into existence at a definite point in time. And if the universe popped into existence, then something-or Someone–outside the universe must have brought it into existence.  Science itself points to a transcendent Creator.

Even more striking, science is turning up evidence that the universe was designed for a purpose.  Take the position of Earth: If it were even
slightly closer to the sun, all water would be scorched away and life would be impossible.  On the other hand, if the Earth were only slightly farther away from the sun, all water would freeze and there would be nothing but barren deserts.

Or consider the force of gravity.  If it were only slightly stronger, the universe would have collapsed back in on itself shortly after the big bang.  If gravity were only slightly weaker, the universe would have expanded far too quickly for stars and galaxies to form.

Why is the force of gravity just right for our universe to form?  No one knows.  There’s no physical cause to explain it.  Is it just coincidence?  Or was the universe designed this way for a purpose?

Cosmologists are discovering that the slightest tinkering with the values of the fundamental forces of physics would have resulted in a universe where life was impossible.  It looks more and more like the best explanation for the exquisitely balanced structure of the universe is that someone intended it to be that way.

If you’re a parent or teacher, make sure you read your children’s books-and that you can help them answer the challenge of naturalism.  Nature is NOT all  there is or was or ever will be.  Science itself is  turning up evidence that the universe had a beginning,  and that came from the hand of God for a purpose.

*****************************
Cherish your vision; Cherish your ideals;
Cherish the music that stirs in your heart,
The beauty that forms in your mind,
The loveliness that drapes
Your purest thoughts,
If your remain true to them,
Your world will at last be built

–James Allen

*****************************
Lost In Seattle…

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft’s electronic navigation and communications equipment. Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter’s position and course to steer to the airport.

The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter’s window. The pilot’s sign said ‘WHERE AM I?’ in large letters.

People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said ‘YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.’

The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely.

After they were on the ground, the copilot asked the pilot how the ‘YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER’ sign helped determine their position.

The pilot responded ‘I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because they gave me a technically correct, but completely useless answer.’

*****************************
Subject:   Something to think about …

Take it to heart, people…  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  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 their 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 her the  cow instead.  Things  aren’t always what they seem.”

Sometimes this 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.

Think about this:

Should you find it hard to get to sleep tonight;  Just remember the homeless family who has no  bed to lie in.

Should you find yourself stuck in traffic;
don’t despair.  There are people in this world for  whom  driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; Think of the man who has been out of work for  the last  three months.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad;  Think of the person who has never known what  it’s like to love  and  be  loved in return. Should you grieve the passing of another  weekend;  Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve  hours a day,  seven  days a week, for $15.00 to feed  her family.  Should your car break down, leaving you miles  away from  assistance;  Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that  walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror;  Think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes  she had  hair to examine.  Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering  what is life all  about, asking “what is my purpose”;  Be thankful, there are those who didn’t live long  enough to get the  opportunity. Should you find yourself the victim of other  people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities;  Remember, things could be worse. You could be them!!!

*****************************
Life Without Crutches

If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you, when through no
fault of your, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then, you are almost as good as your dog or your cat.

*****************************

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they  wanted to become when they grew up.  The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure.  I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones.  I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!”

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it’s way to the ocean. “I want to be raveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!”

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and  women worked in a busy town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all.   I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise  their eyes to heaven and think of God.  I will be the tallest tree in the world.”

Years passed.  The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.  The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is  beautiful. It is perfect for me.”

With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell.  “Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall  hold wonderful treasure!”  The first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong. It is perfect for me.”  With a swoop of his shining ax, the second   tree fell.  “Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree.  “I  shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!”

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way.  She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.  But the woodcutter looked up.  “Any kind of tree will do for me.”  He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no  mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat.  She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even river; instead she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and  left her in a lumberyard.”What happened?”  The once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God…

“Many days and nights passed.  The three trees nearly forgot their dreams.  But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box.  “I wish I could make a cradle for him.” Her husband whispered.  The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood.  “This manger is beautiful.”  She said.  And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing  boat.   The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake.   Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened.  He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace, be still.”  The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun.  And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of Heaven and Earth.

Early one morning a couple years later, the third tree was startled when her beam was yanked from the forgotten woodpile.  She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd.  She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.  But three days later, with the sun shining and the earth trembling with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything.  It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

So next time you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

–Laura Kirkley

*****************************

A little boy was in a relative’s wedding. As he was coming down the aisle he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd (alternating between bride’s side and groom’s side). While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar.  So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR all the way down the aisle.

As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard by the time he reached the pulpit. The little boy, however, was getting more and more distressed from all the laughing, and was also near tears by the time he reached the pulpit.  When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said, “I was being the Ring Bear.”

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.    “Momma, look what I found,” the boy called out. “What have you got there, dear?” his mother asked.  With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered: “I think it’s Adam’s suit!”

Six-year old Angie and her four-year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud.   Finally, his big sister had enough.  “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked.  Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door?  They’re hushers.”

One Sunday in a midwest city a young child was “acting up” during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle.  Finally the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer the little one called loudly to the congregation, “Pray for me! Pray for me!”

And this particular four-year old prayed: “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.”

During the minister’s prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle from one of the back pews. Gary’s mother was horrified. She pinched him into silence, and after church, asked: “Gary, whatever made you do such a thing?” Gary answered soberly:  “I asked God to teach me to whistle…And He did, just then!”

One night Mike’s parents overheard this prayer. “Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow’s test, if I should die before I wake, that’s one less test I have to take.”

–Authors Unknown

*****************************
BIG ROCKS

One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business
students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.  As he stood in front of the group of high powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.”

Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on the
table in front of him.  Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks
and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.  When the jar was
filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar
full?” Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”

Then he said, “Really?”  He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket
of gravel.  Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”

By this time the class was on to him.  “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied.  He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.  He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.  Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

No!” the class shouted.  Once again he said, “Good.”  Then he grabbed a
pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.  Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?” One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is,
no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always
fit some more things in it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point.  The truth this illustration teaches us is:  If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”  What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life? Your children; Your loved ones; Your education; Your dreams; A worthy cause; Teaching or mentoring others; Doing things that you love; Time for yourself; Your health; Your significant other.

Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at
all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you’ll fill
your life with little things you worry about that don’t really matter, and
you’ll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks).

So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story,
ask yourself this question: What are the ‘big rocks’ in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.
*****************************

Many years ago we lived in a city neighborhood in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to help make ends meet. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. “Why, he’s hardly taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face — lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came to town this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’til morning.” He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guessit’s my face… I know it looks terrible…”

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.” I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished preparing supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No thank you. I have plenty.” And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.  He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have to come to town? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.” I told him he was welcome to come again.

On his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us. In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had, made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. “Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse, As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!” My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.” She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won’t mind starting in this small body.”

All this happened long ago-and now, in the Lord’s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.”…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart..”
(1 Samuel 16:7)

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MURPHY’S LAW FOR PARENTS

1. The tennis shoes you must replace today will go on sale next week.
2. Leak-proof thermoses–will.
3. The chances of a piece of bread falling with the grape jelly side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
4. The garbage truck will be two doors past your house when the argument over whose day it is to take out the trash ends.
5. The shirt your child must wear today will be the only one that needs to be washed or mended.
6. Gym clothes left in school lockers mildew at a faster rate than other clothing.
7. The item your child lost, and must have for school within the next ten seconds, will be found in the last place you look.
8. Sick children recover miraculously when the pediatrician enters the treatment room.
9. Refrigerated items used daily will gravitate toward the back of the refrigerator.
10. Your chances of being seen by someone you know dramatically increase if you drive your child to school in your robe and sans-makeup!

–Mikey’s Funnies (Youth Specialties): http://www.YouthSpecialties.com

*****************************
A MEMO FROM GOD

This is God. Today I will be handling all of your problems.
Please remember that I do not need your help.

If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle,
DO NOT attempt to resolve it. DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it
in the SFJTD (something for Jesus to do) box. It will be addressed in My
time, not  yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to
remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem.

If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please
consult Me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution.

Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose
any sleep. Rest, My child.  If you need to contact Me, I am only a prayer
away.

–Author unknown.

*****************************
GUILTY

Scene: A court room in Oklahoma where a person is on trial for murder.
There is strong evidence indicating guilt; however, there is no corpse. In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client is guilty and that it looks like he’ll probably be convicted, resorts to a clever trick. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all,” the lawyer says as he looks at his watch. “Within 1 minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this court room,” he says and he looks toward the courtroom door. The jury, somewhat stunned, all look on eagerly. A minute passes. Nothing happens. Finally the lawyer says: ‘Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that there is reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.” The jury, clearly confused, retires to deliberate. A very few minutes later, the jury returns and a representative pronounces a verdict of guilty. “But how?” inquires the lawyer. “You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door.” Answers the representative: “Oh, we did look. But your client didn’t.”

*****************************
This lady surprised a burglar in her kitchen. He was all loaded down with the things he was going to steal. She had no weapon and was all alone. The only thing that she could think to do was quote scripture. So, she holds up a hand and says, “ACTS 2:38!”

The burglar quakes in fear and then freezes to the point that she is able to get to the phone and call 911 for the cops. When the cops arrive, the burglar is still frozen in place. They are very much surprised that a woman alone with no weapon could do this. One of them asked the lady, “How did you do this?”

The woman replied, “I quoted scripture.” The cop turned the burglar, “What was it about the scripture that had such an effect on you?” The burglar replied, “Scripture! What scripture? I thought she said she had an axe and two 38’s.”

Stay uplifted, stay strengthened, and be blessed!

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I N S T R U C T I O N S  F O R  L I F E

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Memorize your favorite poem.
3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or loaf all you want.
4. When you say, “I love you,” mean it.
5. When you say, “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You may get hurt, but it’s the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don’t judge people by their relatives, or by the life they were born into.
12. Teach yourself to speak slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
14. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Call your mother.
16. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
18. Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
20 When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22. Marry a person you love to talk to. As you get older, his/her
conversational skills will be even more important.
23. Spend some time alone.
24. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26. Read more books. Television is no substitute.
27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
28. Trust in God but lock your car.
29. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.
30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.  Don’t bring up the past.
31. Don’t just listen to what someone is saying. Listen to why they are saying it.
32. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
33. Be gentle with the earth.
34. Pray or meditate. There’s immeasurable power in it.
35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
36. Mind your own business.
37. Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t close his/her eyes when you kiss.
38. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. It is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.
40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
41. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
42. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
44. Live with the knowledge that your character is your destiny.
45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

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IS YOUR HUT BURNING?

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.  He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.  The worst had
happened; everything was lost.  He was stunned with grief and anger.  “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried.

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 are going bad.  But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering  Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

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For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it:

You say:  “It’s impossible”
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say:  “I’m too tired”
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: “Nobody really loves me”
God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: “I can’t go on”
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: “I can’t figure things out”
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: “I can’t do it”
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: “I’m not able”
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say:  “It’s not worth it”
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say:  “I can’t forgive myself”
God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say:  “I can’t manage”
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say:  “I’m afraid”
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy1:7)

You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated”
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: “I don’t have enough faith”
God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 2:3)

You say:  “I’m not smart enough”
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say:  “I feel all alone”
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews13:5)

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JUST SMILE

This is a good story, please read it all the way through.  (After the story there are some very interesting facts!): I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.  The last class I had o take was Sociology.  The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.  Her last project of the term was called “Smile.”

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.  I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son.  We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch…an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.  As I turned around I smelled a horrible “dirty body” smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.  As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was”smiling”.  His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance.  He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.  The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend.  I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them.  The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.  He said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they could afford.  (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something.  He just wanted to be warm).  Then I really felt it – the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.  I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.  I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot.  I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman’s cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.”

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.” I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.  When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, “That is why God gave you to me, Honey.  To give me hope.”

We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not church goers, but we are believers.  That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.  I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it.  Then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?”  I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.  She began to read and that is when I knew that we, as human beings and being part of God, share this need to heal people and be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.   I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.  Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS – NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

If you think this story has touched you in any way, please send this to everyone you know.

Many people will walk in and out or your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. To handle yourself, use your head, To handle others, use your heart. Anger is only one letter short of danger. Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. God Gives every bird it’s food, but He does not throw it into it’s nest., He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all. Beautiful young people are acts of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. Learn from the mistakes, of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. The tongue weighs practically nothing, but so few people can hold it.

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SOME OF THE ANSWERS……
This did not come with any answers…so I’m going to fill in the ones I was able to decipher below. Please do me the favor and send this back to me with the answers to any of the ones I have missed. Thanks…

1. 26 Letters of the Alphabet
2. 7 Wonders of the World
3. 1001 Arabian Nights
4. 12 Signs of the Zodiac
5. 54 cards in the deck (with the Jokers)
6. 9 Planets in the Solar System
7.  88 keys on a piano
8. 13 Stripes on the American Flag
9.  32 degrees Fahrenheit at which water freezes
10. 18 Holes on a Golf Course
11. 90 degrees in a right angle
12. 200 Dollars for Passing Go in Monopoly
13. 20000 Leagues Under the Sea
14. 8 sides on a stop sign
15. 100 degrees Celsius at which water boils
16. (Lost One)
17. 4 Quarts in a Gallon
18. 24 Hours in a Day
19. 1 wheel on a unicycle
20.
21. 57 Heinz varieties
22. 11 Players on a Football Team
23. 1000 Words that a Picture is Worth
24. 29 Days in February in Leap Year
25.
26. 40 Days and Nights of the Great Flood
27. 12 Knights of the Round Table
28.
29. 9 MONTHS IN A SCHOOL YEAR
30.

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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!
Mark

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