Kafka and the Doll

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Death, grief, despair: these scorns of life are devastating. Death is arguably the most sorrowful time an individual can experience in life. Most unfortunate is when people encounter death within a family, a friendship, or an acquaintance. Sometimes, the loss can hurt so bad that it may seem like the pain and suffering will never go away.

Bill, a dear friend of mine, lost his wife to cancer at age 60 and a brother to murder at age 42. He uses faith, philosophy, family, and friends to mitigate his loss.

I would like to share the following story/essay that he wrote a while ago while thinking of these unfortunate events. It is our hope that this story will help ease the pain and sadness of others who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one.

Here is Bill’s story/essay.

As part of the human race, we all suffer loss. Loss is not a one-time occurrence, it happens to us and then it happens again. Loss is always difficult to accept. On the loss of a loved one, we wish to hold open the door into the next world and pull the deceased out. We wish to kiss those vanished lips, to hear that silenced voice; but it doesn’t work that way.

There is an instructive story on grief titled, “Kafka and the Doll.” In the story, Franz Kafka encountered a little girl in the park where he and his friend Dora walked daily. The little girl was disconsolate and weeping as if her heart would break. When Kafka inquired about her tears, the girl said she had lost her doll. Kafka told the girl that he knew for a fact the doll was fine. How he could be so certain, the little girl asked? Why just that morning, Kafka told the girl, he had received a letter from the doll.

Kafka arranged to meet the little girl the next day at the same spot in the park. That night he composed a letter from the doll and read it to the little girl when they met. “Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”

The meetings and the letters from the beloved doll continued. The little girl was comforted. When the meetings came to an end, Kafka presented her with a new doll. The doll obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “Do not be surprised at my appearance, my travels and adventures have changed me.”

Many years later, the now-grown girl found a letter stuffed into a deep fold in the cherished replacement doll. Kafka had written, “Everything you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”

Grief and loss are ubiquitous and an inescapable part of being human. Holding the perspective of the universality of loss, helps us deal with our loneliness and regret in times of grief, for if grief is omnipresent, we are less alone, less regretful. Holding the conviction that “love will return” is the path towards healing. As with the little girl in the story, following our loss and a period of grief, our job is to recognize love when it returns in its new form.

Those loved ones for whom we mourn would not want us to be in tears and sadness. They want us to remember them with laughter and with smiles, and to find love in all its new forms.

 

*Editor’s Note: Bill is simply a wonderful, charming, and outgoing man. After the loss of his wife, he continued teaching until he retired a few years ago.  Since then, he has traveled across America, hiked great mountains of the world, explored various countries and cultures, and has see and discovered the many beautiful things in this world. His warm personality and sense of humor have brought encouragement and happiness to all that have met him.

“The song may have ended but the melody lingers on.” ~ Irving Berlin

The Better Side of Life

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Life. It can be downright hard but it can simply beautiful. Life can be depressing and difficult or it can be fun and enlightening. It really all depends on how a person perceives it. It was once said that the difference between an individual who is successful and a person who won’t achieve the goals and desires of their life…is simply how they deal with circumstances that they experience. They can either learn from a negative experience and grow…or wallow in self-pity and disappointment and never make their life better.

Life is a peculiar thing…everything in it has two sides. How you choose to perceive and manage each event will affect the direction of your life.

This leads me to the following little reminder that I thought would give you “food for thought” when thinking about the virtues of life.

HATE has four letters…so does LOVE

ENEMIES has seven letters…so does FRIENDS

NEGATIVE has eight…so does POSITIVE

UNDER has five…so does ABOVE

CRY has three letters…so does JOY

ANGER has five letters…so does HAPPY

RIGHT has five letters…so does WRONG

HURT has four letters…so does HEAL

It means that Life is like a double-edged sword…..

so transform every negative side into an aura of positivity…

We should ALWAYS CHOOSE THE BETTER SIDE OF LIFE!

 

The Boy Who Changed A Village

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We all have struggles and burdens that we deal with on a daily basis. For untold thousands of people, they can carry hardships, misery, and a sense of doom with them for years.

Today, I would like to share the following story from a blogger friend of mine, Chuck L., author of a fabulous site, “Dr.JoyFinder.com” I think that you will enjoy his “Bits of Wisdom,” art, and other ways of finding joy.

The Boy Who Saved A Village

Once upon a time in a small mountain village, it was the custom for the villagers to strap on their knapsacks each morning. Then, during the day, each time they worried about something or felt depressed about a problem, they would pick up a small pebble and put it in their knapsack. The knapsacks were heavy and a burden to carry because the villagers never emptied them. They carried their burdens every day.  It was all they knew.

One day one of the village elders walked down to the river bank bent over from his knapsack full of burdens and noticed one of the small boys from the village skipping pebbles across the water. The boy’s knapsack was empty.

“What are you doing?” the old man asked. “And why is your knapsack empty? Why aren’t you carrying your burdens like the rest of us?”

“I come down to the river bank at the end of each day,” the boy said, “and skip my pebbles across the water until my knapsack is empty. I see no reason to keep carrying them.”

The old man was stunned and so bent over from his knapsack full of burdens that he could hardly move. He had never seen anyone cast their burdens away like that.

“Would you like to try it?” the boy asked.

The old man was hesitant, yet it seemed like such a good idea.  Slowly he reached into his knapsack that was large and heavy from all the burdens he had accumulated over many years. He grabbed a pebble and studied it, recalling the burden of pain that he felt when he had placed it in his knapsack.  He was so bent over that it was difficult to cast the burden away and watch it skip across the water and finally disappear, but he somehow did it.

The boy smiled.

The old man smiled also.  It was easier than he thought to let go of the burden. Then he tossed another pebble, another burden, then another, and another.  The boy stayed and watched.  They built a fire and the old man kept throwing until his knapsack was at last empty. He felt so relieved.

The next day the old man, standing straight and tall, told the other villagers what happened and how good he felt.  They could see how happy he was, how he looked and acted like a different person. They were amazed.

At the end of the day, all the villagers joined the old man and the small boy and went to the river bank and skipped their burdens across the water until their knapsacks were empty. They were amazed at how good and happy they felt.  They never continued to hang onto their burdens again.

A sign was erected at the entrance to the village that said, “IT’S HARD TO BE ON TOP OF THE WORLD WHEN YOU’RE CARRYING IT ON YOUR SHOULDERS. LET GO AND LIVE.”

Surprises in Heaven

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It is so foolish to believe that anyone is better than someone else. Sometimes our pride gets in the way so much, that we don’t realize what other people are really like. There are times individuals put themselves on such a high pedestal, that I believe that some people may be very surprised one day when they get to heaven.

The following poem is a good reminder of the foolishness of judging others. Let it serve as a reminder to us all.

Judge Not

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade..
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

Have a wonderful and rewarding day!

Teacher Arrested at JFK Airport

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I came across this story a short time ago that I thought would be an interesting thing to share.

A Public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport this morning as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule, and a calculator. At a press conference just before noon today, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. Although he did not identify the man, he confirmed the man has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

“Al-Gebra is a problem for us”, the Attorney General said. “They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.” They use secret names like “X” and “Y” and refer to themselves as “unknowns” but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to every triangle.” The Attorney General went onto say “teaching our children sentient thought processes and equipping them to solve problems is dangerous and puts our government at risk.

 

There is nothing better than a giggle!

“Perhaps I Never Will”

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I have always enjoyed discovering heartwarming, inspirational, and motivational stories and anecdotes for my blog. Every once in a while, I like to “change gears” and read poems and quotes written by others. I have always been fascinated by how every individual writes poetry in their own special way.

I recently came across a few poems on a friend of mine’s blog, “Timeless Classics“, in which the poetry and prose are written by Ana Daksina herself. If you like different kinds of poetry, then I recommend you check out her site…I think you’ll love it.

Today, I would like to share one of her poems with you named, “Perhaps I Never Will.

“Perhaps I Never Will”

We came back to the farm that day
Where dogs had in our absence been
Describe to you the scene we found
I could not e’en begin

The custom in deep country is
If you let your dog get away
For someone else’s chickens
Ducks and geese prepare to pay

Nor will you seeing be
That dog ever again
The farmer has the given right
To shoot it there and then

Walking our farm I understood
They willing were to take one out
For feathered wildlife full of blood
Was strewn that ground all round about

Not even eaten — just destroyed
In malice and in sport
I might myself unto a rifle
Given chance had had resort

That cataclysm did provide
As cataclysms sometimes do
A most amazing story
Which I will tell to you:

Of all the carcasses that lay
About the farmstead strewn —
An aftermath of genocide
Upon a sunny afternoon —

A single goose survived
But did so with a broken wing
Being a goose there’d be no way
To put it in a sling

At that time but a callow girl
Sixteen years of age
And city bred, this in my life
Turned an untouched page

The closest I had ever been
To one of Nature’s creatures when
My sister’d got a hamster
Around the age of ten

The other people on that farm
To save the bird did not agree
They walked away and left
Its healing or its death to me

I sat down there beside it
Stroked its head and murmured low
That if it wished to live
That mangled wing would have to go

And that I really hated
What I’d have to put it through
And asked the goose what it prefer
That I prepare to do

Looking back, I should have been
In that moment more amazed
That when I lifted it to move
It didn’t get all crazed

But quietly lay in my arms
And let me take it to
The bathroom and into the tub
To see what I could do

Anyone skilled in medicine
Would hate me for the blundering
Ineptitude with which I cut
From that poor goose its wing

But strange to say, the bird itself
Not only didn’t hate me, it
Didn’t even slightly twitch
As I ministered to it

But settled down as though to help
A partner in a team of two
Me operating surgic’lly
The goose quietly pulling through

And pull through ‘gainst all odds
And expectation’s what it did
I always will be happy that I
Did as my good conscience bid

But sometimes stop to wonder:
How did that goose stay so, so still?
I still don’t understand it
Perhaps I never will

**If you enjoyed this poem and would like to read others, I would ask you to please visit Ana’s page, “Timeless Classics.”

The Mother with One Eye

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Judging other people can be a struggle for almost anyone on a daily basis. People can find themselves judging others in a variety of ways. If could be something as small as how someone looks or how they act. We could be judging them based on what their government affiliation might be or their religious beliefs. The list can go on and on.

An example of how we can sometimes judge is this short story from psychologist and meditation teacher, Tara Brach who frequently tells this story: Imagine you are walking through the woods and you see a small dog. It looks cute and friendly. You approach and move to pet the dog. Suddenly it snarls and tries to bite you. The dog no longer seems cute and you feel fear and possibly anger. Then, as the wind blows, the leaves on the ground are carried away and you see the dog has one of its legs caught in a trap. Now, you feel compassion for the dog. You know it became aggressive because it is in pain and is suffering.

Your judgement changed once you understood the situation.

————————

I came across this story that simply broke my heart and reminded me of an important lesson: never judge a person until you know exactly of what made them the way they are…

My mom only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed.

How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mom only has one eye!”

I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?”

My mom did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.

Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my Mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!”

And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” – and she disappeared out of sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.

My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

“My dearest son,

I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children.

I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

You see……..when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine.

I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.

With all my love to you,

Your Mother.”

————————-

“If you judge people….you have no time to live them” ~ Mother Teresa

Life Lessons From A 90-Year-Old Woman

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There is much wisdom to be gained from individuals of advanced age. If we are wise, we would take heed of things that they have experienced throughout their lifetime, and apply it to our everyday lives.

The following list of “Life Lessons” was written by 90-year-old Regina Brett, in the publication, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. It is certainly a fantastic collection of helpful tidbits of knowledge that we should all use.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 44 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:” ~ Regina Brett

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

 

Hooray! Free Publicity for Your Blog!

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Have you ever wanted the opportunity to get free publicity for your site and have the chance to have your blog shared with other people…for free? Well, I have great news…here is your opportunity!!!

As some of you already know, I enjoy finding stories that inspire, encourage, motivate, or uplift people. There is nothing better than sharing a good story with others…there is enough garbage and bad news going on in the world today. What people REALLY want is to hear uplifting, good-news stories.

So, I am asking anyone who may be interested in sharing a story (or two) of something or someone that you think would be an encouragement or inspiration to others, to send them to me, Once I receive them (and approve them), I will post your story and give your site exposure and publicity to my readers and other visitors…FOR FREE!

Once again, they should be stories that are funny, inspirational, motivational, encouraging, anecdotes, stories that teach morals, etc.

Please send your stories to: 1986purpleknights@gmail.com

The Miracle Kitten from Heaven

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Sometimes, there is nothing better than a good story about animals. Mix the story with a little humor and good old-fashioned Faith…and you will have a story that will bring a smile to your face and maybe even a little giggle or laugh.

Today is an entertaining little tale that I think that you will enjoy.

It’s a Miracle Kitten from Heaven story.  What could be more fun than a little girl wanting a kitty cat?  And what if she prayed really hard for God to send a kitty to her from heaven?  And what if God answered her prayer immediately? When A Child Prays, Their Faith is Strong and Alive, Expecting an Answer. Read on . . .

Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about a pastor. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard, and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and grasp the kitten.

He did all this, kept getting out to check, then figured if he went just a little bit farther, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved a little farther forward… the rope broke.

The tree went *Boing!* and the kitten instantly sailed through the air- out of sight. The pastor felt very bad. He walked all over the neighborhood, asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a kitten. So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to Your keeping,” and went on about his business.

A few days later, he was at the grocery store, and he met Melissa Jefferson, one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart, and he was amazed to see cat food. Knowing she hated cats, he asked her, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?” She replied, “You won’t believe this,” and told him how her little girl Meghan had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the girl had begged again, and so the Mom finally told her little girl, “Well, if God gives you a cat from heaven, I’ll let you keep it.”

You can guess the rest. She told the pastor, “I watched my little girl go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a kitty cat. And really, Pastor, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws spread out, and landed right in front of her.

I’ve always wondered if he told her what really happened.

——–

Hope you have a purr-fect day!

Source: atimetolaugh.org

Revealed Promises of Psalm 23

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The 23rd Psalm is arguably the most well-known, most memorized, most beloved passage in all of the Scriptures. Millions of people of people have recited it during times of stress, despair, war, and disaster to give them strength and courage. People have used it during times of death, sorrow, and loss for a source of comfort and security. Still others read or cite the Psalm as a foundation for showing thankfulness and gratitude for their blessings.

Whatever be the case, this Psalm has many assurances that many people have, most likely, never considered or realized. Today’s version of the 23rd Psalm is a verse-by-verse breakdown of each verse ending with one of God’s promises. It is my hope and prayer that this “breakdown” of the 23rd Psalm will serve as a source of encouragement and comfort for you.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd = RELATIONSHIP

I shall not want = SUPPLY

He makes me lie down in green pastures = REST

He leads me besides the quiet waters = REFRESHMENT

He restores my soul = HEALING

He guides me in the paths of righteousness = GUIDANCE

For His name’s sake = PURPOSE

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = TESTING

I will fear no evil = PROTECTION

For You are with me = FAITHFULNESS

Your rod and your staff they comfort me = DISCIPLINE

You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = HOPE

You anoint my head with oil = CONSECRATION

My cup runneth over = ABUNDANCE

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life = BLESSING

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = SECURITY

Forever = Eternity


The Lord is an amazing God. His promises and love for us is everlasting and a great source of comfort for all of us!

Catching Monkeys in India

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This is a great little story that I found a little while ago that demonstrates two primary things that generally will decide whether or not a person ever becomes successful. It has always been fascinating to me how many people are afraid to let go of their fears or to think “outside the box” in order to be successful. The following short illustration, gives us a good example of this concept…

Monkey-hunters use a box with an opening at the top, big enough for the monkey to slide its hand in. Inside the box are nuts. The monkey grabs the nuts and now its hand becomes a fist. The monkey tries to get its hand out but the opening is big enough for the hand to slide in, but too small for its fist to come out. Now the monkey has a choice, either to let go off the nuts and be free forever or hang on to the nuts and get caught. Guess what it picks every time? You guessed it. He hangs on to the nuts and gets caught.

We are no different from monkeys. We all hang on to some nuts that keep us from going forward in life. We keep rationalizing by saying, “I cannot do this because . . .” and whatever comes after “because” are the nuts that we are hanging on to which are holding us back. Successful people don’t rationalize. Two things determine if a person will be a success: reasons and results.

Reasons don’t count while results do…

It’s Time to Celebrate!!!

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My grandma was an awesome lady. She used to give my brother and I great words of advice and words of wisdom as we grew up…but that story is for another day. But there is one quote that she used to say to us…especially as she got older…that I am understanding more and more each day, “the older you get, the days get longer and the years get shorter.” WOW! Isn’t that the truth!!

It is hard to believe that it was almost six years ago, February, 2013, that I decided to start a little blog in which I could share motivational, inspirational, heartwarming, and entertaining stories that I would find on the internet or from other people. I used to thunk that if I ever posted 100 posts…that would be amazing…200 or 300 posts would be “out of this world.”

Well, today marks my 1,000 post on “Good Time Stories!”

I never imagined in a million years that I would ever post that many stories, etc. I have enjoyed every minute and every word of each one of them. For people that know me (and even if you don’t), there is nothing in the world that makes me happier, makes my life feel so fulfilled as helping and encouraging others! I truly believe that human beings are wired in such a way, that “it is truly better to give than to receive.” Think about it…when do you feel the best? When you receive something or when you give something to someone and see the joy and happiness in someone. The gratitude and joy that they send back to you is immeasurable…simply awesome. If you ever have a lousy day, try helping someone else or show them an act of kindness…it will change your whole day!!

So, my journey of finding and posting new words and stories of encouragement will continue. Hopefully, I will be able to continue to find these stories and anecdotes to brighten others in a world that primarily a dark place…and give them a reason to smile, laugh, and see that every life is beautiful and our amazing world is a good place to be!

Why Would God Really Want Me?

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Have you ever felt like a loser? Worthless? Have you ever felt like you are simply “spinning your wheels” and getting nowhere in your life? Have you ever asked yourself something like, What is the purpose of my life?”, or “What can’t I use the gifts and skills that I have?”

Maybe you say to yourself things like, “I’m not perfect.” “I have all kinds of problems.” “I have no ability.” “I have no gifts.” “I’m just not worthy. Why would God want me?”

Well, here are some interesting facts about many of the people that were mentioned in the Bible that God used in mighty ways DESPITE their shortcomings and weaknesses.

Did you know that?…..

Moses stuttered.
David’s armor didn’t fit.
John Mark deserted Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a persecutor of the church.
Moses was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God’s will.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul – well, lots of folks did.

But God doesn’t require a job interview for salvation. He’s our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss. He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need. He knows who we are and what we are and loves us in spite of ourselves

SATAN SAYS, “YOU’RE NOT WORTHY.”
JESUS SAYS, “SO WHAT? I AM.”
SATAN LOOKS BACK AND SEES OUR MISTAKES.
GOD LOOKS BACK AND SEES THE CROSS.

He doesn’t calculate how you failed in in the past. It’s not even on the record.

Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t call us. But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been, what we have done, or the fact that we are not perfect!

—————

Source: http://gatewaytojesus.com/

A Nightmare in Norway

architecture buildings europe houses
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As most of you already know, I enjoy finding inspirational, motivational, heartwarming stories and any other kind of story, picture, etc. that will leave a person giggling, smiling, or feeling good about life. Well, today’s story is no exception. The author is unknown, but the story is a tale about some soldiers who confronted a mob of angry warriors and an eyewitness account of what they experienced…then lived to tell the tale.

Here is their story.

“We were in the United States Marines, doing a mock war in the Norwegian city of Trondheim with the Dutch, Germans, and other allies, training in urban combat> My infantry unit was positioned in a large soccer field next to an elementary school. Keep in mind there was no actual combat, even simulated; it was mostly just practicing maneuvers and tactics. But we still looked out of place with our weapons and gear, etc. It was February in Norway. Cold a sheck. Snow up to our knees. Norway obviously has no snow days, so the kids were all in school.

Anyway, so Norway has this most delicious and amazing delicacy, I have no idea what it is called, but it is basically a bacon-wrapped hot dog; we assumed it was called Candy of the Lord. As Americans, we were naturally and instantly addicted. You find them in gas stations, and there just happened to be one on the other side of the school where we were camped. A few of my fellow Marines and I requested permission to go to the gas station and we set out on our way.

We made it to right about where the main entrance of the school was, and the doors opened…school was out. There were only a few kids, probably 6 or 7 years old. Lots of talking and laughing. Gawking at us as we walked by, with our guns and huge ridiculous snow suits. One precocious little guy made shooting noises at us. We made shooting noises right back.

Then someone in my group…I don’t know who…God help me, I don’t know who…

Someone threw a snowball and hit a little girl in the leg.

Then those little Norwegian children unleashed hell.

There was a shrill cry of unintelligible gibberish and the doors of the school burst open. School children flooded out like a never-ending flood of something that never ends. Screeching, smiling, sprinting – how in the world were they sprinting?” the little bastards were slinging snowballs faster than the law of physics should allow. It was like the movie Elf. If you can imagine riding fast in a car during a snowstorm and sticking your head out the window. Now imagine the snowflakes that are hitting your face are snowballs.

We couldn’t see a thing. We couldn’t run.

We could barely breathe

We were in hell.

We tried to return fire and threw one, maybe two half-packed crappy snowballs that fell apart in the air, arms flailing like a wimpy little kid. I am from Texas. We are a unit stationed in North Carolina. We were so outmatched and out of our element, it made them laugh even harder. We were cut off from our main forces. We tried to perform a flanking maneuver, but they were too fast. I think that some of them were even throwing rocks!

As for my comrades, I could see them speed waddling in their huge snow suits back to camp like a messed-up pair of Teletubbies under withering fire. Screw tactics, screw me, screw the Candy of the Lord…this was survival! I was the slow one in the group. My snow boots were too big but they were the smallest size they had at the Issue tent! My Marines had left me behind!

I tried pulling my hood over my head and keeping my head down. No longer content to pelt my body with ballistic snow, the enemy swarmed me and dragged me down, cackling like a bunch of hyenas descending on a wildebeest.  I tried to sling them off me by spinning. I came out of one of my boots and fell. I began to scream and plead for them to stop but they neither understood nor gave a single Nordic damn. They literally pinned me down with about five kids on each limb. It was then that I actually thought – “oh crap…I’m really in trouble.” My snow mittens were ripped off and flung into the trees. They started shoveling snow down my suit. Have you ever had anyone drop an ice cube down your back? Well, now imagine someone shoveling handfuls of ice cubes down your shirt. It literally shocked the breath out of my body!

They left me laying there like a Family Guy accident victim. Moaning and screaming in the cold. Rifle packed with snow and dirt. Boot buried somewhere. The kids ran away laughing and jabbering in their crazy language. I just lay there trying to figure out what in the world had just happened.”

 

Have a safe, warm day!

Growing Old: An Encouragement for Women (and Men)

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Bad news folks…we are all getting older!! The creaky bones, heavy legs, achy joints, blurry vision, and a host of other “jewels” that will adorn us throughout our “Golden Years” is either here or just around the corner. For many people, the realization that our bodies are getting older and that our aging is getting more apparent as time goes on, can be a troublesome thought, or sometimes, just downright depressing.

What we older people need is some encouragement !!

Well, I have good news! A friend of mine from college recently posted the following little ditty that I thought would be a good thing to share with everyone and encouragement all of us “old people” (I am going to be 56 in a couple weeks) that we have much to be proud of!

“To all my female friends of “age”… Most of us are going through the next stage of our lives. We are at that age where we see the wrinkles, gray hair, extra pounds. Menopause has already showed up or just waiting around the corner. We see the pretty 25-year olds and sigh. But, we were 25, too, just like they will one day be our age. What they bring to the table with their youth and zest for life, we bring with our wisdom, experience and good hearts. For all we’ve been through earning each gray hair… raising kids, bills and ills and whatever else life brought you/us over the 30s, 40’s, 50’s, & 60’s we are survivors… we are warriors… we are women (and men). Like a classic car or fine wine. While our exterior may not be what it once was, it is traded for our spirit, our courage and our strength to enter this chapter of our lives with grace and pride for all we’ve been through and accomplished. Never feel bad about aging. It is a privilege denied to many.”

Have a great day everyone and remember what Samuel Ullman once said,

“Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm, wrinkles the soul.”

A Man’s Guide to Lasting Relationships

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I recently came across the following guidelines that I think was a very interesting and helpful tool for all the men out there around the world who are involved with relationships with their wives, girlfriends, or other loved ones. Speaking as a man, there are many times that I wish that I had a simple guide to follow, and now I do! So, out of the goodness of my heart, I will share these principles with you. Enjoy.

A Man’s Guide to Lasting Relationships

  1. Find a woman who makes you laugh.
  2. Find a woman who has a job and loves housework.
  3. Find a woman who is honest.
  4. Find a woman who will wait on you hand and foot.
  5. Find a woman who is awesome in the bedroom.
  6. Most importantly of all, and it is very important…make sure that these five women never meet!!

PS This is a “tongue in cheek” guide folks…or is it? 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the giggle!

Have a great day and SMILE!

The Things Money Can’t Buy

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In today’s world, many people spend many, many hours working hard to earn money that they will need. Unfortunately, many people put so much time and effort into their work that they quite often forget about the important things in life, spending quality time with their family and friends. Today’s story gives us a good reminder for all of us…time is precious. Don’t neglect the time that you should spend with your loved ones.

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door. “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?”

“That’s none of your business. What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed.

Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?”

The father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money. After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

“Are you asleep son?” he asked.

“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man.

“It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that $10.00 you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy” he yelled.
Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man. “Why did you want more money if you already had some? ” the father grumbled.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

“Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”
————
Share $20.00 worth of time with someone you love…just a short reminder to all of us working so hard for our living. However, let us not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some quality time with those who really matter to us.
————

Value Your Time.

Value Your Family.

Value Your Friends.

The Golden Slippers

Hilary McHone
Photo credit: Hilary McHone via CC Flickr

There are times in each of our lives when we need a reminder of the importance of having a spirit of giving and generosity towards others. Thus, is the case for the following story that I had posted on an old blog page of mine. While the author of this story is unknown, it is a beautiful story that I am sure will touch your heart and hopefully, remind all of us of the wonderful essence of a caring heart. (warning: tissues may be needed 🙂
It was only four days before Christmas. The spirit of the season hadn’t yet caught up with me, even though cars packed the parking lot of our local discount store. Inside the store, it was worse. Shopping carts and last-minute shoppers jammed the aisles. Why did I come today? I wondered. My feet ached almost as much as my head. My list contained names of several people who claimed they wanted nothing, but I knew their feelings would be hurt if I didn’t buy them anything. Buying for someone who had everything and deploring the high cost of items, I considered gift-buying anything but fun.

Hurriedly, I filled my shopping cart with last minute items and proceeded to the long checkout lines. I picked the shortest but it looked as if it would mean at least a 20 minute wait. In front of me were two small children — a boy of about 5 and a younger girl. The boy wore a ragged coat. Enormously large, tattered tennis shoes jutted far out in front of his much too short jeans. He clutched several crumpled dollar bills in his grimy hands. The girl’s clothing resembled her brother’s. Her head was a matted mass of curly hair. Reminders of an evening meal showed on her small face. She carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold house slippers.

As the Christmas music sounded in the store’s stereo system, the girl hummed along, off-key but happily. When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed the shoes on the counter. She treated them as though they were a treasure.

The clerk rang up the bill. “That will be $6.09,” she said.
The boy laid his crumpled dollars on top of the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally came up with $3.12. “I guess we will have to put them back, ” he bravely said. “We will come back some other time, maybe tomorrow.”

With that statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. “But Jesus would have loved these shoes, “she cried.

“Well, we’ll go home and work some more. Don’t cry. We’ll come back,” he said.

Quickly I handed $3.00 to the cashier. These children had waited in line for a long time. And, after all, it was Christmas. Suddenly a pair of arms came around me and a small voice said, “Thank you, lady.”

“What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes?” I asked.

The boy answered, “Our mommy is sick and going to heaven. Daddy said she might go before Christmas to be with Jesus.”
The girl spoke, “My Sunday school teacher said the streets in heaven are shiny gold, just like these shoes. Won’t mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these shoes?”

My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear streaked face. “Yes,” I answered, “I am sure she will.”

Silently I thanked God for using these children to remind me of the true spirit of giving.

Chuckles for Christmas

man in santa claus costume
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The Holiday Season can be a time of great stress and make people anxious as they rush around stores, malls, etc., to find gifts and presents for the family, friends, and loved ones. Whether it be preparing dinners, snacks or great feasts, getting ready for the relatives, the list goes on and on.  After a while, it can simply become overwhelming.

Well, today, I have good news for you! I collected a few quips about the Holiday Season that, I hope, will bring a smile to your face, gladness in your heart, and a giggle or two, to help brighten your day.

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“Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.” – Victor Borge

 

“For Christmas this year, try giving less. Start with less attitude. There’s more than enough of that in the world as it is – and people will usually just give it back anyway!” – Anne Bristow

 

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.” – Shirley Temple

 

“The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.” – Joan Rivers

 

“Christmas, here again. Let us raise a loving cup; Peace on earth, goodwill to men, and make them do the washing up.” – Wendy Cope

 

“It’s all fun and games until Santa checks the Naughty List”. – Anon

 

“Christmas: the only time of year that you can sit in front of a dead tree eating candy from socks”. – Anonymous

 

“Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.” – Unknown

 

“Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.” – Unknown

“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men”. – Jay leno

 

“I set a personal record on Christmas. I got my shopping done three weeks ahead of time. I had all the presents back at my apartment, I was halfway through wrapping them, and I realized, ‘I used the wrong wrapping paper.’ The paper I used said, ‘Happy Birthday.’ I didn’t want to waste it, so I just wrote ‘Jesus’ on it.” – Demetri Martin

 

“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” – Unknown

 

“Christmas is a magical time of year… I just watched all my money magically disappear.” – Unknown

 

“Even before Christmas has said Hello, it’s saying ‘Buy Buy’.” – Robert Paul

 

“Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.” – Unknown

 

“You know you are getting old, when Santa starts looking younger”. – Bart Simpson

 

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly”. – Andy Rooney

 

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall”. – Larry Wilde

 

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. But if the white runs out I’ll drink the red”.  – Unknown

 

“Three Wise WOMEN would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, bought practical gifts, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and there would be peace on earth”!

– Anonymous

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“At Christmas, all roads lead home”. – Marjorie Holmes

Wonderful Traditions of New Year’s in America

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The annual celebration of New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite times of the year. It is during this time that we reminisce about the past year and, at the same time, look ahead, plan, and make resolutions for the future. Millions and millions of people around the world take part in the festivities and revelry as they welcome in the New Year.

As with many of the holidays that we have throughout the year, I always find it very interesting and enjoyable to find some history and fun facts about each day. This holiday is no different. So, I decided to share some interesting facts with you about the celebration of New Year and some other intriguing things…so…here we go.

Interesting Things That Are Dropped New Year’s Eve

Most people from around the world, know that every year, New York City welcomes in the New Year in Times Square, by dropping a big “ball” which gradually descends from the top of a pole to the bottom, where it rests while all kinds of lights blink and shine as the new year begins. It all started in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. In 1907, the iron and wood ball weighed 700-pounds and was covered with 25-watt bulbs made of iron. Today, it weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals. Meanwhile, close to a million people in the square, dance, party, hug and kiss, and have a good time at this joyous moment. Around the world, approximately 1 billion people watch world-wide festivities from their televisions or computers.

But are there other things that are dropped in celebration of New Year’s instead of a giant ball? You bet there is!!! Here are some remarkable objects that are “dropped.” So, without further ado, here are some things from around the United States that I think you will find entertaining.

In Brookville, Florida, a giant tangerine was dropped 40 feet in 2009.

In Traverse, Michigan, a cherry is dropped.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, a pine cone is dropped from a hotel.

In Prescott, Arizona, a boot is dropped

In South Lake, California, a gondola is lowered.

In Temecula, California, a bunch of grapes is dropped.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, a 10 foot guitar is dropped from a specially designed 120-foot scaffold at the Hard Rock Café.

In Easton, Maryland, a red crab is dropped.

In Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a 100-pound stick of bologna is dropped.

In Easton, Pennsylvania, and giant M&M is dropped

In St. George’s, Bermuda, a paper-Mache Bermuda onion covered with Christmas lights is dropped.

In Black Creek, North Carolina, a large red heart drop is lowered.

In Eastover, North Carolina, a three-foot-tall, thirty-pound flea is dropped.

In Elmore, Ohio, a sausage is dropped.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, a flying pig is “flown”, not dropped, demonstrating to everyone that there is at least one occasion “when pigs fly.”

In Red Lion, Pennsylvania. A wooden cigar held by a lion is raised.

In Panama City, Florida, an 800-pound beach ball is lowered from a tower 12 stories high.

In Praire du Chien, Wisconsin, A carp (real but dead) caught by a local fisherman and weighing between 25-30 pounds is lowered.

In Vincennes, Indiana, a giant 18-foot, 500-pound steel, and foam watermelon is raised 100 feet during the final 60-second countdown to midnight.

…..and there are many, many others!!!

 

Several Amazing Facts About the New Year Celebration

The Babylonians celebrated New Years over 4,000 years ago.

The New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne,” means, “times gone by.”

If you want to have a happy new year, don’t eat lobster or chicken. Lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are usually eaten to celebrate.

In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.

In some countries, the use of fireworks are used for more than just celebrations…they are also believed to scare off evil spirits and bring good luck

44% of American adults plan to kiss someone at midnight.

61% of people say a prayer.

Over 1 million people line the 40 miles of shoreline of the city of Sydney, Australia.

In Japan, at the stroke of midnight, Buddhist monks strike the gongs 108 times in an effort to drive out the 108 human weaknesses.

New Year’s Day is the oldest celebrated holiday.

Many people in America, eat Black Eyed Peas, cabbage, and ham on New Year’s Day for good luck.

In South America & Spain.
A person will take 12 red grapes and 12 green grapes and at midnight, they eat their first 12 red grapes, thinking about each month that passed this year, and all the things that they are grateful for that happened this year. Then they eat the 12 green grapes, thanking in advance for each new month’s blessings that will come the next year. (I know, it’s a lot of grapes to eat, so most people only do 12 grapes, and I guess they combine the gratitude for the months past and the months to come) I remember Pink or red underwear was usually for Christmas and yellow undergarments for good luck in the New Year.
No matter what tradition, this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect with gratitude for the experiences and lessons we receive this year, and to pan on the areas we want to improve or change as we have an exciting fresh chapter in our lives to start anew. (Contributed by Amira of Body and Soul Nourishment Blog).

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Well, I hope that you enjoyed these tidbits and facts. I would like to personally wish each and every one of you the healthiest and happiest New Year!!

And here’s to many, many more! J

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Sources:

Ducksters.com

Ibtimes.com

Qualitylogoproducts.com

CNN.com

History.com

Worldwide Traditions of Christmas

brown and red pinecone christmas decoration
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We as Americans know the customs of Christmas here in the United States…but have you ever wondered what some of the traditions of Christmas are like in other parts of the world? Well, sit back and discover some short, interesting facts, how other people from around the globe celebrate Christmas. 

Belgian

The children there believe it is kindly Saint Nicholas who brings them their presents. They also believe he rides a horse so they leave him hay and carrots and water for the horse just outside the house on December 6.

Canada/U.S.

Christmas trees are decorated and stockings are hung on the fireplace for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. Cards and gifts are exchanged with friends and relatives. Children put on pageants and go caroling.

China

The Christians in China light their homes with beautiful paper lanterns. Santa is called Dun Che Lao Ren. The children hang stockings just as we do.

Czechs

They serve a very large and delicious dinner with many courses. Courses are like a appetizer, followed by soup, then a salad, then maybe the first meat dishes, and so on till the dessert is served. They serve this meal on Christmas Eve and it does not matter how big the family is, there is always a place set at the table that is set for the Christ Child.

Denmark

Santa is known as Julemanden and he arrives in a sleigh pulled by reindeer with a sack full of gifts. Danish children know the elves as Juul Nisse, and believe that they live in the attics of their homes. Instead of cookies and glasses of milk, they leave rice pudding and saucers of milk out for them.

England

From England we have acquired several customs. The first is the use of Christmas trees. This was made popular during the rein of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prince Albert came from the country of Germany and missed his native practice of bringing in trees to place on the tables in the house, therefore one Christmas the royal couple brought a tree inside the Palace and decorated it with apples and other pretty items.

The second custom is what is known as Boxing Day. It is celebrated the first weekday after Christmas. What this means is that small wrapped boxes with food and sweets, or small gifts, or coins are given to anyone who comes calling that day.

Santa is known as Father Christmas, wearing long red robes and had sprigs of holly in his hair. Instead of mailing out their christmas list, children throw it into the fireplace and Father Christmas reads the smoke. England is also where the tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney began, due to the fact that Father Christmas once accidentally dropped some gold coins on his way down the chimney which got caught in a drying stocking. Another interesting thing is that instead of opening up their gifts as soon as they wake up, English children wait until the afternoon.

France

Santa is known as Pere Noel. He is accompanied by Pre Fouettard who keep track of who has been good or bad for Pere Noel. In some parts of France, Pere Noel brings small gifts in the beginning of December (Dec 6) and comes back to deliver more on Christmas. In France the children get to open their gifts on Christmas, but the parents and other adults have to wait until New Years. In France the children place there shoes by the fire place in hopes that le Pere Noel/Father Christmas of le Petit Jesus/Little Jesus will place gifts for them. They also have dinner at midnight on December 24 this is called Le Reveillon. They have a cake called La Buche de Noel that is served after the dinner.

Tiny clay figures are used in the Christmas Crèches, Mangers. These figures are most unique as they are dressed in what is popular in provincial clothing that year. The figures are Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Wise Men, the Shepherds, and Angels.

Italy

It Italy, the main exchange of gift doesn’t occur until January 6th, the day traditionally believed that the Wise Men reached the baby Jesus. Italy has La Befana who brings gifts to for the good and punishment for the bad. She is the same character as Russia’s Babouschka who refused to give the Wise Men food and shelter. The nativity scene may have first been set up by Saint Francis of Assisi. This first one was set up in a cave outside of a village and the villagers were so impressed by the display that now many of the communities compete for the best nativity.

India

Houses are decorated with strings of mango leaves. Lights are place on the window sills and walls and a star is hung outside. A sweet holiday treat is made called thali and it is brought to neighbors and friends.

Japan

The Japanese decorate their stores and homes with greens. The only part of Christmas that they celebrate is the giving of gifts. HOTEIOSHA the priest is like our Santa Claus, and he brings the children their presents.

Mexico

Mexico calls Christmas Navidad. They celebrate Christmas for nine days with Las Pasdas. It is a time where people dress as Mary and Joseph, traveling from house to house asking if Mary may stay the night. They are told the is full. After which the door opens back up and all are invited in for a party with food, songs, and for the children a Pinata. The Pinata is made of paper mache and filled with all kinds of goodies. The object is to break it open with your eyes blindfolded. After which the children all dive for all the goodies they can pick up. On the ninth night they are told yes there is room for Mary in the stable and all come in for food and after all go to Church to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

The Netherlands

Santa is known as Sinterklaas, and he came to Sweden originally by boat, setting out on December 6th from Spain. He makes his gift deliveries by horseback. The children leave their shoes out, filled with hay and sugar for Sinterklaas’ horse. In the morning they find their shoes filled with candy and nuts. When Sinterklaas appears to the children, he takes the form of their father or a favorite male relative.

North Pole

Santa and his helpers are getting ready to deliver gifts to the children of the world.

Poland

From Christmas to New Years the streets are lined with lovely stalls called, JOSELKI, each one is carefully painted with scenes from the Christmas story. The booths are elaborately decorated in tinsel and lighted candles.

Spain

The children of Spain leave their shoes on the windowsills filled with straw, carrots, and barley for the horses of the Wise Men, who they believe reenact their journey to Bethlehem every year. One of the wise men is called Balthazar, who leaves the children gifts. They call Christmas Eve Nochebuena, and families gather together to rejoice and share a meal around the Nativity scene.

Russia

Russia has someone named Babouschka, who would bring gifts for the children. The tradition says that she failed to give food and shelter to the three wise men and so she now searches the countryside searching for the baby Jesus, visiting all children giving gifts as she goes. Santa was known as Saint Nicholas but today is called Grandfather Frost, wearing a blue outfit instead of red.

The Russians use to celebrate Christmas with great joy and happiness before the Revaluation of 1917. They used to stroll up and down the streets with stars on the end of sticks that they called Stars of Bethlehem. The people went to church services and shared a special meal at home. After the Revaluation the Soviet Government banned Christmas. What the Russians do today is celebrate New Years Day with a special tree decorated like we do ours for Christmas and they have a New Years Day Children’s party. The children join hands and sing songs as they walk around the tree. They wait for DYET MOROZ Grandfather Frost, and his helper SYYEGORACHKA The Snow Maiden to bring them their gifts.

Switzerland

Santa Claus is called CHRISTKIND, the Christ Child coming to bring gifts to the children dressed in all white with a golden crown, He is helped by Saint Nicholas.

Uruguay and Argentina (Added From Blogger Amira)

In Uruguay and Argentina, children wait for January 6 to receive the big gifts that are brought by the 3 wise Magi : Balthazar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India. Children leave their shoes outside and a bucket of water and hay for the camels. One of the 3 Magi usually leaves a handwritten personalized letter sealed with red wax, telling the children about how they behaved during the year. On Christmas Eve a dinner is shared with family and friends, and smaller gifts are left under the tree by Papa Noel. Usually a Nativity set is also placed near the Christmas tree, and the baby Jesus is added to the Nativity set on Christmas day.Special sweets are made for Christmas like “turron” ( a nougat confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake), and “Pan Dulce” or “Sweet bread” which is made with nuts and dry fruits.
Some people go to the midnight mass. There are fireworks at midnight on Christmas Eve as well as in New Year’s eve. Feliz Navidad & Merry Christmas to all! Amira

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What is your favorite Christmas or Holiday tradition? Do you know of a tradition from another country that wasn’t mentioned? Please share your thoughts with us if you would like!

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Have an AWESOME Christmas and Holiday Season!

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Source: portharbor.com

Lessons From A Christmas Tree

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The Christmas and Holiday season is a beautiful time of the year. There are millions of lights, decorations, and celebrations taking place all around the world. It is truly a season in which )on the most part) people focus their time and energies trying to give and help others. It is a time of hope, happiness, and a time of reflection.

Thus, the reason for this short blog.

We all can learn a lot during this time of celebration and mirth. A few days ago, I came across the following little “Lesson List”, that I thought would be a cute reminder of some things that we could learn…from a Christmas Tree!

“Lessons from A Christmas Tree” ~ Jane Lee Logan

  1. Be a light in the darkness.
  2. We all fall over sometimes.
  3. You can never wear too much glitter.
  4. Bring joy to others.
  5. Sparkle and twinkle as much as possible.
  6. It is okay to be a little tilted.

A Story of Christmas Magic

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Photo Credit: Dragon Lady via Flickr

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season, is finding interesting and heartwarming stories that touch your soul and put a smile on your face. Well. today, I was reading some stories on the web page “The Gathering Place” and came across this story. Even though the author is unknown, I felt that it was a sweet little tale to share with you! Please be prepared…a box if tissues may be required.

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Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

“Who is this?” asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend? Your sister?”

“Yes, Santa,” he replied. “My sister, Sarah, who is very sick,” he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

“She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” the child exclaimed. “She misses you,” he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but ….” the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

“…The girl in the photograph … my granddaughter . well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays,” she said through tear-filled eyes. “Is there any way, Santa . any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do.

Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do.

“What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying,” he thought with a sinking heart, “this is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children’s Hospital.

“Why?” Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day.

“C’mon …. I’ll take you there,” Rick said softly.

Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a Chair near the bed ! with weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!”

“Santa!” shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes intact.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement.

Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he ad to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.

Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands.

Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.

“Oh, yes, Santa … I do!” she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over you,” he said.

Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still
with eyes closed, he started singing softly,

“Silent Night, Holy Night …. all is calm, all is bright.”

The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all. When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own.

“Now, Sarah,” he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!”

He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he “had” to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!” Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.

He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.

“My only child is the same age as Sarah,” he explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.”

They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

“Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”

“Of course, I do,” Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a “good” Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the “only” child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”

Santa’s jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest.
“Sarah!” he exclaimed.

He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.

He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus. He had witnessed — and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”

Building the Castles of Our Lives

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We all have dreams and goals of the things that we would like to accomplish in our lives…building a successful business, establishing an effective career, having a positive, worthwhile job, the list can go on and on. The real question is HOW we go about attaining of life-long goals. How do we treat our family and friends? How much time and effort do we dedicate to achieving the material things in life like a nice house, fancy cars, good-looking clothes, lots of money, etc.?

Where is your heart? Your focus? Your priorities?

A short time ago, I came across the following story which, I hope, will serve as a helpful reminder that we should all be careful and wise when we are building the castles of our lives.

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A little while ago, on a nice, warm summer day, a little boy, on his knees, scoops and packs the sand with plastic shovels into a bucket during his time at the beach. He upends the bucket and dumps its contents on the beach and starts to work on his creation. After a short time, to the delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created. He spends the entire afternoon shoveling out the moat, packing the walls, and strategically placing the guards around the castle using bottle tops and building bridges with Popsicle sticks. With his hours of hard work on the beach, a sandcastle will be built.

Meanwhile, in a big city with busy streets and rumbling traffic, a man works in an office.  He shuffles papers into stacks, delegates assignments, cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. He juggles with numbers, contracts get signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made. All his life he will work. Formulating the plans and forecasting the future. His annuities will be sentries and Capital gains will be his bridges. An empire will be built.

The two builders of the two castles have very much in common. They both shape granules into grandeur. They both make something beautiful out of nothing. They both are very diligent and determined to build their world. And for both, the tide will rise and the end will come. Yet that is where the similarities cease. For the little boy sees the end of his castle while the man ignores it. As the dusk approaches and the waves near, the child jumps to his feet and begins to clap as the waves wash away his masterpiece. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He is not surprised, he knew this would happen. He smiles, picks up his tools and takes his father’s hand, and goes home.

The man in his sophisticated office is not very wise like the child. As the wave of years collapses on his empire, he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He tries to block the waves with the walls he made. He snarls at the incoming tide. “It’s my castle,” he defies. The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs.

So, go ahead and build your dreams but build with a child’s heart. When the sun sets and the tides take – applaud. Salute the process of life and go home with a smile.

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Source: All Time Short Stories

Stop Your Quacking!

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A little while ago, I found a story that has been one of my favorites for quite some time. I decided to pass this story along. It is a beautiful little story that shows us the value of life and the depth of a mother’s love for her children.

It was a typical hectic wet spring Saturday and I was driving to a local department store in search of a baby shower gift for my daughter, she was having my first Grandchild. I told my husband I would only be gone a short while cause I kind of knew what I wanted to buy. As most rainy spring Saturday’s would have it, the traffic was heavy and everyone seemed to be in a mad hurry.

As I was leaving BABIES ARE US, and scampered across the parking lot to my car, I noticed a large brown duck circling a sewer grid. As I approached the duck she came waddling up to me frantically quacking. As soon as she knew she had my attention, she turned and waddled back to the sewer grid. As I looked down into the sewer I counted eleven tiny yellow ducklings. I thought for a moment saying out loud that I was very late and very wet and there was nothing I could do. Besides, the sewer grid was much to heavy for me to move. Even out loud, no excuse sounded good enough, I knew I couldn’t leave. This was a mother duck and her ducklings were in trouble and she came to me for help. As I stood there helpless, other people approached to see why I was standing in a parking lot talking to a duck. She circled me relentlessly quacking. It was quite the spectacle.

Just then a young man and his pregnant wife approached me and I began explaining the situation. Without coaxing, the young man took action. He carefully lifted off the grate and went in after the ducklings. One by one he lifted them to me. An employee from a nearby store came out with a box and we began filling the box with the little quackers. Seven ducklings filled the box and the young man assumed his rescue feat was completed. As he returned the sewer grid and turned to me he saw the sadness in my face, I knew in my heart I had counted eleven ducks, four were still lost…

By now a small crowd had gathered to watch the rescue. With seven ducklings in the box I set the box on the ground and moved away. The mother duck cautiously entered the box of quackers and quieted them down. A couple from the crowd volunteered to take the box to a nearby pond. When they tried to pick up the box the Mother duck flew from the box in noisy fright. Again, the employee from the nearby store ran through the rain with a top for the box. As the Mother duck settled down the second time in the box of quackers I quickly placed the cover on top. Although, the Mother duck protested, the couple put the box in their car and set off for the pond. Everyone seemed happy, applauding everyone’s efforts and then left. But I couldn’t! There were four more baby ducks down there.

I stood quietly listening and worrying… they were baby ducks! A half hour had passed as I stood the rainy vigil with no sounds from the sewer, except the gushing water. Two new people came by to ask me why I was standing near the sewer staring down. I explained what happened and that four ducklings were still missing. The woman and her daughter then lifted the grate and suddenly we heard the low quacks of the ducklings calling for their Mother over the gushing water.

The man with his pregnant wife came to the rescue again, this time armed with a flash light. He smiled at me and said, “Four more huh!” He disappeared again into the sewer drain and was gone for several minutes. The rain had picked up and the sewer was again being filled with water. The pregnant young woman began to openly worry about her husband being in the sewer and how wet he would be. Suddenly, his head popped out of the sewer drain followed by a huge smile. In his jacket were 4 ducklings quacking their heads off.

We covered the sewer drain and got into our cars. He waited until we lined up to follow him in his truck to the nearby pond where the mother duck and the other ducklings had been released. With lights on high-beam and windshield wipers flapping, as though in a parade, we approached the pond. Standing near the water, the quacking of the four stragglers brought the mother duck and her brood to the shore line to be re-united. My heart was singing and everyone was smiling like we had all just won the million dollar lottery.

I didn’t ask any of the rescuer’s names or what made them want to get involved with saving eleven tiny ducklings on a very wet busy Saturday in spring, I only know I felt as though the mother duck and God were counting on us.

When I finally arrived home dripping wet my husband looked at me with some annoyance saying “where were you for so long.” I just smiled and said, “Someone quite small reminded me just how precious life is and the love that bonds mothers and their offspring, so just stop your quacking! I’m going to be a GRANDMOTHER!”

Source: Truthbook.com

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Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. ~Mother Teresa

A Pleasant Reminder of the Reason for Thanksgiving

img_20131128_182723One of my favorite time of each year is the celebration of Thanksgiving and all that it entails. Meeting with family, friends, and relatives…eating the Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings…playing football in the cool weather then coming into a warm house and smelling all of the scrumptious food…watching NFL football games on TV…or simply going around the dinner table and listening to each person share the things that they are thankful for.

Thanksgiving is truly a time to give thanks. We have SO MUCH that we should be thankful for but sometimes, we can forget just how much we have been blessed. The following story, that was conveyed by Cary Schmidt, is a cute little story that (I hope) will serve as a reminder to the many blessings that we have been given.

Two old friends met each other on the street one day.  One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears.  His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you:  three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”

“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted.  “Last week my great-aunt passed away.  I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”

Now the man’s friend was really confused.  “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week . . . nothing!

That’s a problem with receiving something on a regular basis.  Even if it is a gift, we eventually come to expect it.  The natural tendency is that if we receive a gift long enough, we come to view it almost as an entitlement.  We feel hurt, even angry if we don’t receive it any longer.

It is the same way with the blessings God gives us every day.  I don’t deserve the comfortable home that I live in, the beautiful scenery around me, the clean water I drink.  But after receiving these gifts (and a multitude of others) for years, I sometimes fail to be grateful.  I’ve come to expect these good things.  And when one of them is removed for a short time (like water or electricity or the internet going down), I get upset.

Let’s make an effort today to recognize the blessing we’ve come to take for granted.  Focus on what we have rather than on what we don’t have, and see if it doesn’t improve our attitudes.

Great Mysteries of the World

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Over the course of time, the civilization of man has always had great questions that they sometimes spent years and years to try to solve those mysteries. How can man fly like a bird? They invented the airplane. Could they discover a way to light up a room without a candle? The light bulb was invented. How cool would it have been to our ancestors to go to the moon? The rocket ship was created. The list goes on and on and on.

Unfortunately, mankind still has a plethora of other great unsolved mysteries that may never be resolved. These are the problems that inquisitive minds want to know the answer to…but may never know!

Here we go…

Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat?

Why do banks charge a fee on ‘insufficient funds’ when they know there is not enough?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Would lightning come down faster if it came down in a straight line instead of crooked ones?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Whose idea was it to put an ‘S’ in the word ‘lisp’?

What is the speed of darkness?

Why is it that people say they ‘slept like a baby’ when babies wake up every two hours?

Are there specially reserved parking spaces for ‘normal’ people at the Special Olympics?

If the temperature is zero outside today and it’s going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?

Do married people live longer than single ones or does it only seem longer?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out that it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why do people park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Did you ever stop and wonder……

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, ‘I think I’ll squeeze these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?’

Who was the first person to say, ‘See that chicken there… I’m gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it’s bum.’

Why do toasters always have a setting so high that could burn the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don’t point to their bum when they ask where the bathroom is?

Why does your Obstetrician, Gynecologist leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Stop singing and read on…….

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

And the list goes on and on…

What is YOUR favorite “life mystery”? Please feel free to share!

Hope you enjoyed your time and some giggles!

A Marvelous Kind of Medicine

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There is a medicine that has been around for thousands of years and has been used by millions of people around the world in every culture known to man. It is known for its power to change the way people feel about themselves and have a powerful and positive effect on people that are experiencing anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, depression, and a host of other issues.

The great thing about this medicine is that it will cost you nothing and is available for your use at any time, anywhere.

What is this marvelous medicine? Where can you find it?

Simple. It is called kindness. It is available at any time of day and you can use it wherever you may be.

You see, kindness is an amazing and powerful thing, The simple act of being kind to people and developing a habit of thinking of others instead of focusing on ourselves can have a huge, positive effect on an individual’s total well-being.

Let’s see what the positive impact kindness can have on a person who consistently uses this practice…

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Like many medicines that treat depression, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin which is known as the “feel-good” chemical. Seratonin assists in healing wounds, relaxation and is responsible for making people happy.

Acts of kindness can be very contagious. Once someone witnesses another person perform an act of kindness to another individual, they, in turn, will use it to help others. You can see this happen quite often. For example, a person is going to enter a building and the person in front of them stops and holds the door open for them. Sometime later, that person holds the door open for someone else. These actions can create “domino effect” and can improve the day of many people!

It has been shown that kindness can actually reduce a certain amount of pain that a person may be experiencing. When an individual does something nice, their brain releases hormones called endorphins to the nervous system. These hormones interact with receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine.

It that been found that people who are kind have 23% less cortisol in their bodies than people who are living under stressful conditions. This results in a person’s ability to have lower blood pressure and stress levels. Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” and can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems. Perpetually kind people also age slower! According to Dr. David Hamilton, not only does acts of kindness lower blood pressure, but it also creates emotional warmth, which releases the “love hormone” called oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of the chemical nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. which in turn reduces blood pressure and protects the heart.

Research from Emory University proved that when people are kind to another person, an individual’s brain’s pleasure and reward centers “light up”…as if that person was the recipient of the good deed…not the giver. This phenomenon is otherwise known as the “helper’s high.”

In a study done by the University of British Columbia, it was demonstrated that a group of people who were classified as “highly anxious individuals” performed as little as six acts of kindness a week for a month. After that one month, participants reported an increase in positive moods, relationships, and a decrease in socially anxious people.

Another interesting fact about the power of kindness was reported by Mr. Stephen Post of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine who discovered that when we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortunes are increased.

In addition to the aforementioned information, people which practice consistent acts of kindness also enjoy other attributes of a quality life. In a 2010 Harvard Business School survey of happiness in 136 countries found that people who were altruistic…in this case, people who were generous with their money…were the happiest overall.

Lastly, individuals who steadily show kindness to others can have a longer lifespan. According to Christine Carter, Author, “Raising Happiness in Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”, people who volunteer their time, tend to have fewer aches and pains. giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an incredible 44% lower likelihood of dying early…and that’s after eliminating other contributing factors such as physical health, smoking habits, exercise, gender, and a host of other things.

(Resource: http://www.randomactsofkindness.org)

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There are two great quotes about kindness from two well-known people that I would like to leave with you…

The great philosopher, Aesop, once stated one of my favorite quotes regarding kindness…“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Mark Twain, the legendary American author, once said about kindness… “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” 

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So, increase your quality of life today…go out and be kind to someone today. It will make you feel great, make your life happier, increase your physical well-being, build your self-esteem, and lead to good fortune!

 

 

Conquering the Barriers of Life

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Discouragement. Frustration. Exasperation. Defeated. These are just a few words that describe the way many people feel when they fall short of achieving a goal that they have set for themselves. Failing to reach a goal can test one’s patience to its limits and, if not attained, can lead to an individual to just quit and give up.

It is an important concept to remember that the “answer” or the accomplishment of achieving your goal may be just around the corner…if you are persistent and don’t give up.

Consider the following story…

A marine biologist was involved in an experiment with a shark. He placed a shark in a tank along with other small bait fishes.

As expected, the shark ate every single fish.

The marine biologist then inserted a clear fiberglass to create two sections within the tank.  He placed the shark in one section and smaller fished in the other section.

The shark quickly attacked, but then he bounced off the fiberglass. The shark kept on repeating this behavior. It just wouldn’t stop trying.

While the small fish in the other section remained unharmed and carefree. After about an hour, the shark finally gave up.

This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time, the shark got less aggressive. Eventually the shark got tired and simply stopped attacking altogether.

The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass. The shark, however, didn’t attack. It was trained to believe in the existence of a barrier between it and the bait fish.

It is good to remember that many of us, after experiencing setbacks and failures, emotionally give up and stop trying. Like the shark, we chose to stay with past failure and believe that we will always be unsuccessful. We build a barrier in our heads, even when there is no ‘real’ barrier between where we are and where we want to go. Don’t give up. Keep trying because success may be just a try away.

Great Exercises for People Over 50

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We all know the importance of daily exercise and all the benefits that it can bring. For people who are over 50 years of age, like me, the following exercise regimen might be one that you may find attainable!

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Stand on a comfortable surface.

With a 5-pound potato sack in each hand, extend your arms out horizontally and hold that position for one minute, then relax.

Each day you will find that you can hold this position a little longer.

After two weeks, move up to 10-pound potato sacks.

After one month, try 60-pound potato sacks.

Eventually, you will be able to lift 100-pound sacks in each hand, holding your arms out for one minute.

After you feel confident at this level…put a potato in each sack!!


I hope you enjoy your workout,,, and the giggle!

Have a wonderful day!

I Went to See A Friend Today

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I recently came across a poem about friends and friendship the other day that is, in some ways, related to a previous post of mine, “Do It All the Way”. Friendships and the passing of time, are things that we need to consider more and more each day. The following poem was posted on May 6, 2016 by oldmainer It serves as a great reminder to us all!

 I Went to See A Friend Today

I went to see a friend today
A friend I had not seen
Since he was in his twenties
And I was still a teen

We were both inseparable then
See one, you’d see the other
Sharing everything we did. 
He was like a brother

But as so often happens
Too soon there came the day
When he decided to remain
And I to move away

We wished each other good luck
Recalled good times we’d shared
Said that we would keep in touch
See how each other fared

But of course that didn’t happen
The days just came and went
No phone calls were ever made
No greetings ever sent

How quickly the time passes
And friendships start to dim
Although we went our separate ways
I often thought of him

I wondered how he looked today
How he had weathered life
Did he still live in our old home town
Did he ever take a wife

One day I got a letter
And when I looked inside
I read I regret to inform you
That your friend has died

I went to see a friend today
As I’ve often said I would
To visit for a little while
My promise to make good

I wish that I could tell him
How bad I feel that I
Never took the time to say hello
Before I said goodbye

Friendships are precious. Be sure to take some time to visit the people that are special in your life. Enjoy the time you spend together and remember the good memories from the past.

 

“There is nothing on this earth more prized than true friendship.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

Do It All the Way

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Time really does fly and unfortunately, this thing called “life” really does become busy and gets into our way from allowing us to do the things that we love to do. Whether it be enjoying our favorite hobbies, visiting the eatery of our choice, going on a date with our special loved one, or simply spending time with our friends, we all need to carve out some time throughout our lives, to make sure that we are fully enjoying the fullness and blessings of life.

A little while ago, I received the unfortunate and sad news that one of my childhood buddies had suddenly passed away. I felt horrible. We always told each other how much we wanted to get together, hang out, have some good laughs, and reminisce about our “glory days.” We had gotten together sporadically over the years and had recently decided to make plans for a get-together. It never happened. He passed away suddenly after a simple procedure went horribly wrong and he was gone. I felt saddened and dismayed about the whole situation, but it made me realize, even more so than ever, how precious our life is and how much we need to spend as much time doing the things we enjoy…even if it means that we sacrifice some of the “busy things” in our life.

You never know how much time you have left with the ones you love. I thought that I had more time. I didn’t know that so many moments were the lasts. I have learned this: instead of living with the fear of the lasts, live with love for all the moments. Even the ones you are pulling your hair out and screaming…don’t do it halfway. Do it all the way, and don’t let those moments escape you.

Dive in fully.

Soak them up.

Live.

Love.

Savor it all.

Family Problems and the Theory of Relativity

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Everyone comes from a family and it goes without saying that problems and negative situations will occasionally show their ugly heads. But the one thing that some just can’t seem to figure out is the family and relative terminology such as who is their second or third cousin, great uncle, etc. Stuff like this can drive us crazy. They can really create turmoil and misunderstanding.

But…

If you think your family has problems figuring this stuff out, consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London recently wed Edna Harvey. She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother. That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lynn.

“My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother. My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law. My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew. But even crazier is that I’m now married to my uncle and my own children are my cousins.”

From this experience, Lynn should gain profound insight into the Theory of Relativity.

~ Campus Life, March, 1981, p. 31

Life

Laugh

Love

God’s Time

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you had an opportunity to speak with God? What would you say? What would you ask Him for? What would you do? This is an interesting question, right? Well, hopefully, your conversation wouldn’t end up as the following one did!

A man walked to the top of a hill to talk to God.

The man asked, “God, what’s a million years to you?” and God said, “A minute.”

Then the man asked, “Well, what’s a million dollars to you?” and God said, “A penny.”

Then the man asked, “God…..can I have a penny?” and God said, “Sure…..in a minute.”

Hope you enjoyed this cute little story and the smile and giggle that went along with it.

Have a wonderful day!

Just One More Breath

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Life. It is so precious. It is the essential thing that allows us to experience the beautiful things in the world around us. Whether it be by smelling a lovely aroma, tasting scrumptious food, listening to soul-moving music, seeing the beauty and grandeur of some scenic location, or simply touching something meaningful to you…all of life should be prized and cherished.

But how many times throughout our lives do we forget the gift of life and all that goes along with it and take it for granted? Enjoying time with your family and friends, having dinners or parties with your loved ones? Traveling to some destination, experiencing good (or bad) times with others, or simply just spending time by yourself relishing and appreciating the world around us. Life is good and worth living.

But it all can be gone in a second.

I recently came across a copy of letter written by a miner to his loved ones that was posted in the “United Mine Workers Journal,” in August 1974. The letter (see the image below) was written in 1902 by Jacob L. Vowell, in Fraterville, Tennessee. In the short letter, he tells his dear wife how much he loves her and the kids. He tells her to take care of the children and actually communicates to her where to bury him. The amazing thing about this letter, was how he kept referring to the important things in his life…the things that really mattered…his family and God.

You see, he only had moments to live…for he was slowly suffocating to death in the 1902 Fraterville, Tennessee mine disaster. The second to the last sentence he wrote really touched my heart and reminds me how precious life really is and how much we should value it each and every day of our lives.

This is a picture of a copy of the letter that Mr. Vowell wrote:

MIne Disaster
Photo Credit: United Mine Journal, 85th Year, No. 17, August 16-31, 1974

 

In case you had problems reading this letter, this is what was stated:

“Ellen, darling, goodbye for us both. Elbert said the Lord has saved him. we are all praying for air to support us, but it is getting so bad without any air.

Ellen, I want you to live right and come to heaven. Raise the children the best you can. Oh how I wish to be with you, goodbye. Bury me and Elbert in the same grave by little Eddy. Goodbye Ellen. Goodbye Lily. Goodbye Jemmie. Goodbye Horace. Is 25 minutes after two. There is few of us alive yet.

                                                                                                    Jake and Elbert

Oh God for one more breath. Ellen remember me as long as you live. Goodbye darling.”


This is quite a sad letter but it a terrific reminder to all of us…to be thankful for the breath of that life we have each day and for the things that really worthwhile.

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – is to be happy – it is all that matters.”              ~ Audrey Hepburn

.

A Beautiful Short Story of Love

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This is a short little story of unconditional love that will be certain to make your day!

An elderly man hurried to his 8:00am doctor appointment, he wanted to finish quickly so that he could get to another appointment. The doctor asked what it was, and the old man proudly said that every morning at 9:00am he would go to the hospital and have breakfast with his wife.

The doctor asked what her condition was, and he replied that for the past 5 years his wife has had Alzheimer’s and hasn’t known who he is. The doctor asked the old man why he continued to visit her of she had no idea who he was…and the old man replied…” Because I still know who she is.”

Beautiful words of unconditional love.

I hope this little story made your day and put a smile in your heart!!

Things Our Mothers Taught Us

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Mothers. This special group of ladies are more valuable than gold and can have more impact on an individual’s life than almost anything a person can experience throughout their lifetime. They can teach us the wide assortment of life lessons as we are growing up. The following is an interesting list of some of the wonderful words of wisdom that a mother can instill in their children every day.

 

  1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

 

  1. My mother taught me RELIGION. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet!”

 

  1. My mother taught me TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week.”

 

  1. My mother taught me LOGIC. “Because I said so, that’s why.”

 

  1. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

 

  1. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

 

  1. My mother taught me IRONY. “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

 

  1. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

 

  1. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. “Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck?”

 

  1. My mother taught me about STAMINA. “You will sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

 

  1. My mother taught me about WEATHER. “This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it.”

 

  1. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. “Just wait until we get home!”

 

  1. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. “You’re going to get it when you get home!”

 

  1. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to stick that way.”

 

  1. My mother taught me ESP. “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

 

  1. My mother taught me HUMOR. “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

 

  1. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you will never grow up.”

 

  1. My mother taught me GENETICS. “You’re just like your father.”

 

  1. My mother taught me about me about my ROOTS. “Shut that door behind you. Do you think we live in a barn?”

 

  1. My mother taught me WISDOM. “When you get to my age, you will understand.”

 

  1. And my favorite: my mother taught me about JUSTICE. “One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!”

——————–

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING THAT YOUR MOTHER TAUGHT YOU?

Giving Someone A Push

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Have you ever had a want, desire, or dram that you have always wanted to accomplish in your life and just never saw it come to fruition? Or, how many of us have a job or project that we would like to do but just haven’t gotten around to get it done? If you are like most people, all they need is that little motivation or push to get them going…once they get going…they finish well. We need someone to give us that extra push.

Such is the case in a story that I discovered a while ago written by Irene Sax in Newsday which demonstrates this thought in a great way.

Jean Nidetch, a 214-pound homemaker desperate to lose weight, went to the New York City Department of Health, where she was given a diet devised by Dr. Norman Jolliffe.

Two months later, discouraged about the 50 plus pounds still to go, she invited six overweight friends home to share the diet and talk about how to stay on it.

Today, 28 years later, one million members attend 250,000 Weight Watchers meetings in 24 countries every week.

Why was Nidetch able to help people take control of their lives?

To answer that, she tells a story.

When she was a teen-ager, she used to cross a park where she saw mothers gossiping while the toddlers sat on their swings, with no one to push them. “I’d give them a push,” says Nidetch. “And you know what happens when you push a kid on a swing? Pretty soon he’s pumping, doing it himself. That’s what my role in life is–I’m there to give others a push.”

Who will be the person or group of people that you will help “push” today?

 

Saving A Life: It Could Be Your Own

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Let’s say it’s 7:30pm and you’re going home in your car (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job. You find yourself really tired, upset and frustrated. Your job has been very stressful, the boss has been giving you a hard time, and your deadline for getting a project done is fast approaching.
Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only a few minutes from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately, you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy who taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.
What do you do?  HOW DO YOU SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE?

 

Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

There is good news, however! These victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly
and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.
Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way,
heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

If everyone who gets this little note decides to send it to 10 people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life!

 

Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!!

The Explanation of Life

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What is the meaning of life? For thousands and thousands of years, there has been an untold number of scientists and people who have attempted to explain the true meaning of life. Who can truly explain the reasons why human being act the way that they do? What makes them tick?

Well, I have great news for you…I discovered the real explanation of life and would like to share it with you…

A long time ago, God created the dog and said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.”

The dog replied, “That’s a long time to be barking. How about you only give me ten years and I’ll give back the other ten?”

So God agreed.

Then God made the monkey and said, “Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I will give you a twenty-year life span.”

The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back the ten years like the dog did?”

And God agreed.

Then God created the cow and said, “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long, suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.”

The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?”

And again, God agreed.

Soon thereafter, God created the humans and said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry, and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.”

But the human said, “Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, okay?”

“Okay,” said God, “You asked for it.”

So, that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren, and for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch barking at everyone.

LIFE HAS NOW BEEN EXPLAINED TO YOU!

 

Get the Point?

close up photography of a hand pointing
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Sometimes, in each of our lives, we fall into a state of boredom, lethargy, or become tired of the same mundane happenings of our everyday lives. It is always a comforting feeling knowing that we can have friends around us that will encourage us and give us the “wake-up call” when we need it.

The following short story will demonstrate why we should always stay awake and pay attention to things going on around us…otherwise, you might get a “wake-up call” …hopefully, not in the same way as the star in this story 😊

———————-

Little Mary Margaret was not the best student in Catholic School and she usually slept through her classes.

One day her teacher, a Nun, called her while she was sleeping.

“Tell me Mary Margaret, who created the earth?”

When Mary Margaret didn’t stir, little Johnny who was sitting behind her, took his pencil and jabbed it in her rear end.

“God Almighty!” shouted Mary Margaret.

The Nun said, “Very good” and then continues teaching her class.

A little while later the Nun asked Mary Margaret, “who is our Lord and Savior?” But Mary didn’t stir from her slumber.

Once again, Johnny came to her rescue and stuck Mary Margaret in the butt. “Jesus Christ!!!” shouted Mary Margaret and the Nun once again said, “Very good,” and Mary Margaret fell back asleep.

Soon thereafter, the Nun asked her a third question…”What did Eve say to Adam after she had her twenty-third child?”

Again, Johnny came to the rescue.

This time Mary Margaret jumped up and shouted, “if you stick that thing in me one more time, I’ll break it in half!”

 

So, stay awake, be alert, and remain vigilant in all that you do…get the point?

The Entertaining Wisdom of a Child

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You have to love how children can be so blunt and truthful. It can sometimes be amusing (or quite embarrassing) when a child blurts out an answer that most people didn’t anticipate. Such is the case for today’s short story. I am sure that the wisdom of this little darling will bring a smile to your face!

In a grade school lesson, a teacher was explaining a little bit about whales.

A little girl in class piped up and said: “I just learned that Jonah in the bible was swallowed by a whale.”

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was relatively small.

The girl said: “I am sure Jonah was swallowed by a whale.”

The teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; that it was physically impossible.

The little girl replied: “My Sunday school teacher told me Jonah was swallowed and she would not lie to me.”

A bit perturbed by this, the teacher proclaimed: “That is a “story” from the bible, it is not factual, and I will not argue with you.”

After a little thought, the girl responded: “Well, when I get to heaven, I will ask Jonah”.

Now challenged, the teacher spouted: “What if Jonah didn’t go to heaven?”

Not at all daunted, the girl quipped,  . . . “ok then you ask him.”  ~ Author Unknown ~

– – “Out of the mouth of babes . . . “

 

What I Learned From the Easter Bunny

bunny cute ears easter bunny
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Throughout my life, I have been blessed to listen to many inspiring, motivational, and heartwarming speakers. I have met a lot of famous people and rubbed elbows with the “rich and famous.” But of all the people that I have ever met and listened to, none of them were more inspirational than one of the most well-known entities of all-time…that’s right…the Easter Bunny,

It is my hope that these great words of wisdom will touch your heart as much as they do mine 🙂
——————-
What I learned from the Easter Bunny……

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.

There’s no such thing as too much candy.

All work and no play can make you a basket case.

A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.

Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.

Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.

Some body parts should be floppy.

Keep your paws off of other people’s jelly beans.

Good things come in small, sugar coated packages.

The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket.

To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.

The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.

May the joy of the season fill your heart.
———–
Remember: “A true friend is someone who thinks you are a good egg 
even though they know you are slightly cracked.” 🙂

When Life Isn’t Fair

Proactive Coaching
Photo Credit: Via Proactive Coaching

Have you had times in your life when everything seems to go wrong and nothing that you can say or do goes right? People get a flat tire on a way to a meeting. Someone slept through their alarm clock and got to work late.  A person loses their car keys and will be late for an appointment. The list goes on and on.  You might decide to make excuses for other things…things that you may have wanted to do your whole life but haven’t, a failed relationship, a job that you never finished, etc. Some people make excuses for everything and never get anyhting accomplished.

Let me tell you a short story that I recently came across that was found on the site, “Proactive Coaching,” that I think will illustrate the power of NOT making excuses and performing to the fullest talents and gifts that you possess.

Look at the picture above. This is Jim Thorpe and you can see that he’s wearing different socks and shoes. This wasn’t a fashion statement. It was the 1912 Olympics, and Jim, an American Indian from Oklahoma represented the U.S. in track and field. On the morning of his competitions, his shoes were stolen. Luckily, Jim ended up finding two shoes in a garbage can. That’s the pair that he’s wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so he had to wear an extra sock. Wearing these shoes, Jim won two gold medals that day.

This is a perfect reminder that you don’t have to resign to the excuses that have held you back. So, what if life hasn’t been fair? What are you going to do about it today? Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen shoes, ill health, failed relationships, don’t let it stop you from running your race. You can experience more in life if you’ll get over the excuses and get on with living.

You can have reasons, or you can have results…but you can’t have both.

Special Note (from Wikipedia):

Thorpe’s monument, featuring the quote from Gustav V (“You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.”), still stands near the town named for him, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.[17] The grave rests on mounds of soil from Thorpe’s native Oklahoma and from the stadium in which he won his Olympic medals.[101]

Thorpe’s achievements received great acclaim from sports journalists, both during his lifetime and since his death. In 1950, an Associated Press poll of almost 400 sportswriters and broadcasters voted Thorpe the “greatest athlete” of the first half of the 20th century.[102] That same year, the Associated Press named Thorpe the “greatest American football player” of the first half of the century.[103] In 1999, the Associated Press placed him third on its list of the top athletes of the century, following Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan.[104] ESPN ranked Thorpe seventh on their list of best North American athletes of the century.[105]

Thorpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, one of seventeen players in the charter class.[106] Thorpe is memorialized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame rotunda with a larger-than-life statue. He was also inducted into halls of fame for college football, American Olympic teams, and the national track and field competition.[18]

President Richard Nixon, as authorized by U.S. Senate Joint Resolution 73, proclaimed Monday, April 16, 1973, as “Jim Thorpe Day” to promote the nationwide recognition of Thorpe.[107] In 1986, the Jim Thorpe Association established an award with Thorpe’s name. The Jim Thorpe Award is given annually to the best defensive back in college football. The annual Thorpe Cupathletics meeting is named in his honor.[108] The United States Postal Service issued a 32¢ stamp on February 3, 1998 as part of the Celebrate the Century stamp sheet series.[109]

In a poll of sports fans conducted by ABC Sports, Thorpe was voted the Greatest Athlete of the Twentieth Century out of 15 other athletes including Muhammad AliBabe RuthJesse OwensWayne GretzkyJack Nicklaus, and Michael Jordan.[110][111]

 

Children: They Learn What They Live

three children sitting on stairs
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Children have always fascinated me. I have been a teacher, coach, camp director, and counselor, etc., for over 30 years. I have seen all kinds of children during that time. There are children who are very well behaved, fun to have around, and a joy to know. Some are quiet, reserved, secluded, and would rather do things by themselves. Still others, are belligerent, disobedient, nasty and mean. It really is a fascinating thing how individuals can have such a variety of personalities, behaviors, and mannerisms.

I have discovered that a majority of the time, the people that are good, wholesome, and well-rounded, have been brought up in a caring, loving, and nurturing family whereas individuals that have been raised in a negative or repressed environment possess the traits that aren’t as likable. Basically, it all comes down to the way a person is raised.

All of this leads me to today’s story.

Many years ago, a woman named Dorothy Law used to write a daily column for one of her local newspapers regarding family matters. One day, she was up against the deadline to get an article into the newspaper and she was short on material, so she created a 14-line poem which dealt with childrearing. It soon took on a life of its own and became a type of guideline millions and millions of parents around the world.  For many, many years after the article was published, it was widely thought that the poem was written anonymously. Dr. Nolte never received credit or compensation and, believe it or not, wasn’t even aware that her writing had grown to the great popularity that it has become, and had forgotten about it. It wasn’t until 1974 that she decided to copyright her poem and later, wrote a best-selling book, “Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values,” along with a co-author, Rachel Harris.

Dr. Dorothy Nolte died in 1988 at the ripe old age of 81, but she left with the world, a timeless poem that will forever serve as a reminder to parents, the importance of raising their children with integrity, character, and thoughtfulness towards others.

It is my hope that you will enjoy this poem and share it with your loved ones.

Children Learn What They Live ~ by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about

them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

 

As a parent…what will you do? If you are NOT a parent, how will you treat others?

Kids Can Say the Funniest Things!

adorable baby child cute
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Ah! The innocence of youth, If you ever want to hear “the truth” or “honest opinion” from someone…just ask a kid. On the other hand, children can be mysterious. You never know what precious “words of wisdom” may come out of their mouths and many times, you can’t keep yourself from smiling, giggling, or down-right laughing.

I recently asked a few of my friends to share with me some funny stories about some of the things that their young children have said or done. It is my great pleasure to share with you some of these stories from my dear friends Crystal, Mimi, Caroline, Heidi, Sabrina, and a few others selected from around the web. So, without further ado, sit back read on, and get ready for some stories that will be certain to put a smile on your face and some warmth in your soul!

———————–

Lulu: “What is a paparazzi?”

Mom: “People who take pictures of famous celebrities.”

Lulu: “What’s a celebrity?”

Mom: “Someone who everyone knows.”

Lulu: “Like Taylor Swift or God?”

———————–

Levi: “Can I please have another cookie?”

Gigi: “No, but I have something more important to tell you…”

Levi: There is nothing more important than cookies!”

———————–

Dylan: “My shoes are tired.” (instead of, “My feet hurt or I’m tired.”)

———————–

“When it thunders, my son always says, “God must be really hungry!” (As if he is saying that the sky/heaven is God’s belly)

———————–

A men’s boxer brief commercial was advertising on the TV when Crystal’s little girl explained to her how the “extra room” zone was actually just a kangaroo pouch!

———————–

The other day, Sabrina and her little boy were down by the sea looking at a lighthouse when he suddenly, ” blurted out, “holy ship!” He looked at his mom in awe and said, “whooooo Baby!  Holy ship mama…” People who were standing around them turned and started laughing. Sabrina informed everyone, “He said SHIP! I swear!” The world will never know…

———————–

A little while ago, Eddie brought his daughter to the doctor’s office for one of his visits. She kept asking her dad if things hurt him. “Are your ears OK? Does your throat hurt? Do you have a belly ache?” Then, the loudest question of all…one that made everyone look up and stare at Eddie…” Daddy! Does your hiney hole hurt?”

———————–

Gigi: “You did a good job staying in your bed at Gigi’s last night.”

Levi: Well, I did get up one time, Gigi.”

Gigi: “Really?”

Levi: “Yes, because I picked a booger with my finger and I needed a flashlight so I could look at it.”

SMH, such a boy!

———————–

Crystal walked into her little girl the other day and found her putting on her deodorant. Her daughter said that she had to put her “armpit tickler protector on.” Obviously, it is made to prevent tickle attacks, not excess sweating or smells 😊

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Levi brought over a new puppy the other day when he saw Po (his grandpa) scolding the cat for hissing at him.

Levi: “Po, why are you talking to the cat? Don’t you know that cats can’t talk?”

A few minutes later, when Levi was talking to his puppy…

Po: “Levi, why are you talking to the dog? Don’t you know that dogs can’t talk?”

Levi: “I know Po, but they are good listeners!”

Po: Well, you got me there!”

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A three-year-old boy went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother, “There were two boy kittens and two girl kittens.” “How did you know?” his mother asked. “Daddy picked them up and looked underneath,” he replied. “I think it’s printed on the bottom.”

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On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, “If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers.” A little voice from the back of the room asked, “How will that help?”

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After dinner, one night, Caroline’s little boy’s tummy made a noise…probably digesting what he just ate…when he says to everyone, “My tummy is saying thank you!”

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Me: Did you know that she has a baby in her belly? (referring to a pregnant co-worker)
Kid: (horrified) You ate your baby?!

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During an elementary recess, a 2nd grader approached her Physical Education teacher who was on Recess Duty…

Lara: “Coach, can I ask you a question?”

Coach: “Yes Lara, what is it?”

Lara: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

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6-Year-Old: “Is kindergarten two years?”

Teacher: “No, just one.”

6-Year-Old: Well, it felt like two!”

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We say that we go to work to pay the bills a lot because now my son, Dylan, thinks that’s what we do for a living says his mom. When he asks, “Where’s daddy?” and I tell him that he’s at work, he responds by saying, “Daddy’s paying the bills.” When I asked him, “what does daddy do at work?” Dylan answered, “Daddy pays the bills.”

Dylan loves picking up his toy toolbox and say he’s going to work. The other day, when he was asked what he was going to do, he said, “I am going to pay the bills and mortgage.” Adorable!

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“Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” ~ Nelson Mandela

The Lesson of the Penny

JD Hancock
Photo Credit: JD Hancock via CC Flickr

It’s funny how you can learn things from even the smallest things in our life. In today’s story, you’ll find an interesting way to remember where our trust SHOULD be every day.

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Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband’s employer was quite generous as a host and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband.

He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts.

Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up? Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her.

Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

“Look at it.” He said. “Read what it says.”

 

She read the words “United States of America.”

“No, not that; read further.”

“One cent?”

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”

“Yes!”

“And?”

“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, “In God We Trust,” and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message. It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful…and God is patient.

~Author Unknown

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Have an awesome, blessed day!!

Why Dogs Live Less Than Humans

tan and white short coat dog laying down in a brown wooden floor
Photo by Bruno Cervera on Pexels.com

Dogs really are man’s best friend. Most people have had some sort of pet sometime in the life and can attest to the fact that they were a joy to have. Dog’s are usually the most favorite kind of animal that people have. There is no other pet that is so adoring, loving, faithful, happy, and dedicated to their masters. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and for many people, this sad time can be very sad, depressing, and lead to a great deal of despair. On the other hand, there are some instances in which people remember fondly their pet, learn from the situation and move on. They look at the circumstances from a different perspective.

Such is the case in today’s story. A dear college friend of mine, Heidi, sent me the following story which…I am sure…will warm your heart and, maybe, cause you to look at life a little differently.

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Here’s a surprising answer from a 6-year-old child.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owner Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle,

I examined Belker and found that he was dying of cancer. I told the family that we couldn’t do anything for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for their old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me that they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped away peacefully.

The boy seemed to accept the transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that dogs’ lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It changed the way I try and live.

He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life like loving everybody all the time and be nice, right?” The six-year-old continued.

“Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay for as long as we do.”

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Live Simply.

Love Generously.

Care Deeply.

Speak Kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be faithful.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

 

That’s the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog!

 

 

A Coach Is Always Right…Right?

lights night crowd stadium
Photo by Shawn Reza on Pexels.com

A few days ago, a good friend of mine, Bill, sent me this cute little story, written by John Killinger, that I thought would be something fun to share. Even though it is a funny story, it does demonstrate the unfortunate instances when certain individuals take the fun out of a game because of anger and frustration. Hopefully, it will serve as a motivation to people how NOT to act towards others when things do not work out the way that they desire.

A little while ago, the manager of a minor league baseball team got so frustrated with his center fielder’s performance that he jerked him out of the game and decided to play the position himself. He was determined to show his player how simple it really was to play this position. The first hard-hit ball that came to the manager took a bad hop and smashed into his mouth. A short time later, he had his second chance. The next play was a high fly ball that he lost in the sun—until it smacked him in the forehead. Then, for his last opportunity, a ball that came his way was a hard line-drive that flew between his hands and popped him right in the eye.

Furious, he ran off the field to the dugout, grabbed the center fielder by the shirt and shouted, “You’ve got center field so messed up, even I can’t play it!”

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I hope you enjoyed this story. If you have any kind of motivational, inspirational, or heartwarming short stories, please don’t hesitate to send them to me and I will re-post them and credit you!

LIVE
LAUGH
LOVE