When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

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There are times throughout our lives when we are faced with situations that make us angry, upset or annoyed with other people. We might then begin to spread yell, argue, gossip, spread rumors, tear down the individuals that we may disagree with…the list can go on and on. The sad reality is, that many times, we are the ones that look foolish and end up “eating our words.”

Today’s post is a great reminder of what we should do when these circumstances come our way.  The following is a list is a compilation of helpful advice…I have included a Scripture verse (that you can click on) with each point.

DON’T OPEN YOUR MOUTH:

  1. In the heat of anger – Proverbs 14:17
  2. When you don’t have all the facts – Proverbs 18:13
  3. When you haven’t verified the story – Deuteronomy 17:6
  4. If your words will offend a weaker brother – 1 Corinthians 8:11
  5. If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family – 1 Peter 2:21-23
  6. When you are tempted to joke about sin – Proverbs 14:9
  7. When you would be ashamed of your words later – Proverbs 8:5
  8. When you’re tempted to make light of Holy things – Ecclesiastes 5:2
  9. If your words convey a wrong impression – Proverbs 17:27
  10. If the issue is none of your business – Proverbs 14:10
  11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie – Proverbs 4:24
  12. If your words will damage someone’s reputation – Proverbs 16:27
  13. If your words will destroy a friendship – Proverbs 25:28
  14. When you are feeling critical – James 3:9
  15. If you cannot speak without yelling – Proverbs 25:28
  16. When it is time to listen – Proverbs 13:1
  17. If you have to eat your words later – Proverbs 18:21
  18. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person – Proverbs 24:24
  19. If you have already said it more than one time (then it becomes nagging) – Proverbs 19:13
  20. When you are supposed to be working instead – Proverbs 14:23

 

“Whosoever keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from trouble.”

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Wisdom to Make Life Happier

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I have always found it encouraging and edifying to find “words of wisdom” that I can think about and, hopefully, try to apply to my everyday life. I think that for an individual to become a wise person, they are smart to find things such as quotes, anecdotes, learn from experiences from other people, etc.

I have always found it interesting how much better life seems to be when you look at the world through a lens of positive thinking and with the heart of helping and showing acts of kindness towards others.

A little while ago, I came across the following collection of wise sayings that I hope you find as encouraging and inspirational as I did!

———————————-

  1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return. But what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel.

 

  1. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go.

 

  1. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.

 

  1. It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.

 

  1. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

 

  1. Don’t go for looks, they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth, even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.

 

  1. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

 

  1. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the person too.

 

  1. A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may heal and bless.

 

  1. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

 

  1. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.

—————————-

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” ~ Socrates

—————————

Source:  http://relationshipsinlife.wordpress.com

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Cherish Your Dog

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I am a huge animal lover. Growing up, our house always had pets such as cats, gerbils, goldfish, and lizards. Just before I left for my first year of college, my mom and dad decided to get our first dog…needless to say, it was my favorite pet. He was a Collie-German Shepard and was smart as a whip. We could teach him tricks within five minutes…yes, he was that smart. He was just like another member of the family and he went everywhere with us. He went swimming, played soccer (he was the goalie), went for walks, protected us from strangers, on and on. He was an amazing dog that I still miss to this day.

I found the following little description of the life with a dog that I thought all my dog-lover friends out there might relate to and appreciate like I did…

It funny, but no one tells you how quickly dogs age. How one day you wake up and suddenly their face is all white and gray, how their eyes start to seem milkier than before, how you have to call their name a few more times than you used to.

People tell you not to blink when you have children, but what about the dog who was with you before your children were even thought of? The dog who was by your side before you found the love of your life, the dog who jumped from apartment to apartment in your early 20’s. No one tells you to cherish every moment you have with them.

Cherish your dog. The one who’s been there through every break up and every dumb fight with your best friend. That dog who slept in the bed with you when you were lonely and made you feel safe when you left home. Cherish him, because one day you’ll take him on a walk and he’ll start to get tired before you and you’ll realize just how many years he’s been walking by your side.

Cherish your dog.

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Aging Like Sea Glass

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I have bad news folks…we are all getting older! Have you ever considered how you want to age as you get older? Will you be someone who finishes your life bitter and crass? Will you be an individual full of regret of the things that you COULD have accomplished? Or will you be gratified and content knowing that you met all of your life’s goals and dreams?

How will you allow your experiences and happenings in your life shape you as the years go on?

I recently found the following poem that I think is a beautiful illustration of someone who has a fantastic goal of the kind of life that they would like to have. I hope that it encourages you.

———————

Sea Glass

I want to age like sea glass.

Smoothed by the tides

But not broken.

 

I want my hard edges to soften.

I want to ride the waves

and go with the flow.

 

I want to catch a wave

and let it carry me

to where I belong.

 

I want to be picked up

and held gently by

those who delight in my

well earned patina and

appreciate the changes I went

through to achieve that beauty.

 

I want to enjoy the journey

and always remember that if

you give the ocean something

breakable it will turn it into

something beautiful.

I want to age like sea glass.

 

~ Author Unknown

 

Author Unknown

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What to Give Up…

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There are times throughout our lives when we get so discouraged or frustrated that we really want to give up? Have you ever felt like that? Most people think that if you give something up, it makes them feel like a loser or insignificant…but that is not always the case. An alcoholic can give up drinking and that is wonderful. A smoker can give up smoking and add years to their life…the same goes for a drug user.

Well, I have good news! There are many more things that, if you give them up, you will gain positive and optimistic traits that may affect you for the rest of your life!! The following list is a compilation of some of these characteristics of what you may attain…if you know…What to Give Up!

 

Give up complaining. . . focus on gratitude.

 

Give up pessimism. . . become an optimist.

 

Give up harsh judgements . . .think kind thoughts.

 

Give up worry. . . trust Divine Providence.

 

Give up discouragement. . . be full of hope.

 

Give up bitterness. . . turn to forgiveness.

 

Give up hatred. . . return good for evil.

 

Give up negativism . . .be positive.

 

Give up anger. . .be more patient.

 

Give up pettiness. . . become mature.

 

Give up gloom. . . enjoy the beauty that is all around you.

 

Give up jealousy. . . pray for trust.

 

Give up gossiping. . . control your tongue.

 

Give up sin. . .turn to virtue.

 

Give up giving up. . . and hang in there!

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Until Death Do Us Apart

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“Until death do us part.” This sentence is usually included when two people make their vows to each other on their wedding day. It symbolizes a sense of an unconditional kind of commitment, that, regardless of what may happen during the duration of the marriage, will remain strong and long-lasting. Unfortunately, many people fall short of this type of commitment for a variety of reasons…some realize their mistake and reconcile with their spouse while others may discover too late, that any kind of resolve is beyond restoration.

Today’s story is written by a man who made a bad decision with his marriage. He became involved with a co-worker, lost interest in his wife, and ended up learning a valuable lesson. It is my hope that his account of what happened to him and his relationship with his marriage will help encourage and inspire you to stay strong in the relationships of the people you love.

——————————–

A year or so ago, I came home one night and found my wife serving dinner. Walking up to her, I held her hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.” She sat down and ate quietly. Again, as it had been in the past months, I saw the hurt in her eyes. I tried to open my mouth and speak but couldn’t find the words. After an awkward moment of silence, I finally let her know what I was thinking. “I want a divorce.” I said calmly. She didn’t seem to be upset by my words, instead she asked me softly, “why?” I avoided her question. This made her angry. She began to yell and scream, threw away her utensils and shouted as I stood there and listened.

That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She just sat there quietly weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage, but I just couldn’t give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to my co-worker, Jane. I just didn’t love her anymore, I pitied her!
The next day, with a deep sense of guilt and sadness, I drafted a divorce agreement. In it, I stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. My wife, the woman who had spent ten years of her life with me and had become the mother of our child, was a stranger. I felt sorry for the time she wasted with me, the resources and energy she had spent with me, but I could not take back what I had said to her. The most important thing was that I loved Jane and loved her dearly.
Later that day, I came back home very late from work and found her writing something at the table. I decided not to have any dinner, went straight to bed and quickly fell asleep. I had spent a very eventful day with Jane and was dead tired. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
Early the next morning, she presented her divorce conditions to me. She didn’t want anything from me but requested that I give her a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month, we both try to live as normal a life as possible. Her reason was simple, our son had his exams later in the month and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

I agreed to her terms.  But then she had something more…she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going a little crazy but just to make our last days together bearable, I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was silly and absurd. “No matter what tricks or shenanigans she tries, she has to face the fact that the divorce will happen”, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any physical contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So, when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Behind us, our son applauded and yelled, “daddy is holding mommy in his arms!” His words
brought me a sense of pain and embarrassment. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; “don’t tell our son about the divorce.” I nodded and feeling somewhat upset, I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to go to work and I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more relaxed. As she leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked this closely at this woman for a long time. I realized she was not young anymore. There were fine wrinkles on her face and her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me and gave our family a son.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again, and I decided that I wouldn’t tell Jane about it.  As the month slipped by, I discovered that it became easier to carry her. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She had tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed and said, “all my dresses have gotten bigger.” I suddenly realized how much thinner she had become…which was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me like a punch in the gut, she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart and never once complained about it. Subconsciously, I reached out and touched her head and caressed her face.

At that moment. our son came into the room and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out of the house every day, had become an essential part of his life.

My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid that I might change my mind at this last-minute. Then, lifting her in my arms, I walked from the bedroom, through the sitting room, and to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally, I held her body tight…just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms, I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and told her that I hadn’t noticed that our marriage had lost so much intimacy and the love that we once shared.

Then it happened.

I drove to my office and jumped out of my car without locking the door. I was afraid that if I waited too long, I would change my mind. I walked upstairs and Jane opened the door. I said to her, “I am sorry, Jane, but I do not want the divorce anymore.” She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead and asked, “do you have a fever?” I moved her hand off my head. “I’m sorry, Jane,” I said, “I made a decision…I am not going to divorce my wife. You see, my marriage had become boring and shallow because we didn’t value the essential things of our lives, it wasn’t because we didn’t love each other anymore. We had just lost sight of the important things that hold a marriage together. Since I began to carry my wife this past month or so, I realized that I had started our marriage carrying my wife into my house on our wedding day and I am supposed to hold and take care of her until death do us apart…and that’s what I am going to do”

Jane was stunned then, suddenly, she seemed to wake up. She gave me a hard slap across my face, slammed the door, walked away, and burst into tears.

I walked downstairs and drove away. I soon came upon a floral shop and had a great idea. I decided to order a bouquet of flowers for my wife! The salesgirl smiled then asked me to write on the little card that came with the bouquet.  I smiled and wrote, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us part”.

Later that day, I finally arrived home with the flowers in my hands, a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I ran up the stairs, burst through the door and called out my wife’s name. There was no answer. Puzzled, I searched each room, but she was nowhere to be found.  Finally, I went to our bedroom and found, to my great surprise…my wife in the bed. But she wasn’t moving or breathing…she was dead.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife had been fighting cancer for months and I was too busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon, and she wanted to protect and save me from whatever negative reactions and actions that may have come from our son if the divorce had taken place. At least, in the eyes of our son, I was a loving and caring husband.

—————————————————–

Folks, there is a moral to learn from this story: The small details of our lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansions, the cars, properties, or the riches that we may have. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. It’s the little, unseen things that are the most important…love, faithfulness, commitment, and selflessness, things that money cannot buy, that makes a relationship, like marriage, endure the test of time. So, find the time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy, love, and trust. For it is the unseen things in a marriage that no only have the most value…they are the most important things.

Here’s to successful relationships, thriving friendships, and happy marriages!

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Leadership and the Wisdom of Wolves

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Photo Credit: Unknown

Leadership can come in a variety of forms. Some people lead by example, some good, some bad. Some individuals lead others from the front while others lead from behind. Some people think that their popularity from their peers is a type of leadership. There are leaders that lead their group with a laissez-faire type of attitude, while others are more autocratic and don’t listen to the opinions and thoughts of their charges. Then there are the people whose leadership characteristics shine the most in certain situations…whether they be good or bad.

Take some time and observe the picture of the wolf pack at the top of this blog. I would like you to notice a few interesting things about this photo…

The three wolves in front are old & sick, they walk in front to set the pace of the whole pack so they will never be left behind.

 The next five are the strongest and best, their task is to protect the front side if there is an attack.

 The five wolves at the tail of the group are also among the strongest; they are in charge to protect the backside from any possible threat.

 The group in the middle is always protected from any attack.

 The very last wolf is the LEADER, the Alpha. He ensures that no one is ever left behind, and he keeps the pack united on the same path. He controls everything from the rear. He can keep his eye on the pack and circumstance or happening that is currently taking place. The leader is the one who decides the direction of his flock and guides them where he wants them to go.

So, if anyone wanted to know what it really means to be a leader here is your answer. A true leader never leaves anyone behind but cares for each and every member of the “pack” laying the foundations of a society built upon humanity, care, and respect.

Remember folks,

A Leader is one who

Knows the way

Goes the way

And Shows the way!

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A Bowl of Noodles

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Learning lessons can be a curious business. People learn lessons in life in a variety of ways and today’s story is a fabulous tale how a little girl learned a valuable lesson…a lesson that we should all take to heart and thank those special people that we know and love.

Sometimes, even the simplest things in life can teach us lessons that will serve as reminders to us about the goodness of life…such as a simple bowl of noodles.

One night, a little girl had a terrible quarrel with her mother, then stormed out of the house. While she was out roaming the town, she suddenly realized that she did not have any money in her pocket, she didn’t even have enough coins to make a phone call home.

After walking around for what seemed like hours, her stomach began to growl and she began to get very hungry. She suddenly smelled a sweet fragrance and discovered a noodle shop, one of her favorite foods to eat. How she wished for a bowl of noodle soup! But she had one problem, she had no money!

The owner of the eatery saw her standing at the counter and noticed her sad face and demeanor and said, “Hi there little girl, you want to have a bowl of noodles?

The little girl just shook her head and shyly replied, “I do not have any money

“Okay, I’ll tell you what, I’ll treat you,” said the owner, “come in, I will cook you a bowl.”
A few minutes later the owner brought her a steaming bowl of noodles. The little girl was so happy to see the food and started to gobble up the delicious food…then suddenly started to cry.

“What is it? What’s the matter? Why are you crying?”, asked the store owner.

“Nothing. Nothing at all. I am just touched by your kindness!”, the girl said as she wiped her the tears from her face. “I can’t believe it. Even a stranger on the street gives me a bowl of noodles. My mother is so mean and cruel. We had a huge fight and I decided to leave her. I have the worst mother on earth”

The store owner sighed and asked, “why did you think so? I want you to think again. I gave you a simple bowl of noodles and you were happy and content. Your mother has raised you since you were little. She has taken care of you, fed you, clothed you, and loved you. Why are you not grateful and thankful? Is this soup more important than your mother?

After hearing this, the girl was very sad then said to herself, “Why did I not think of that? A bowl of noodles from a stranger made me feel thankful and happy, while my mother has raised me since I was born, and I have never once felt so grateful and appreciative…I never once said thank you.”

On her way home, the little girl thought to herself what she would say to her mother when she arrived home: “Mom, I’m sorry. I know it is my fault, please forgive me … ”

After a while, she arrived back to her home and started to climb the stairs. Suddenly, she looked up and saw her mother full of worry and exhausted from looking for her everywhere. Upon seeing her daughter, her mother gently said: “Come inside honey. You are probably very hungry. I cooked rice and prepared the meal already, come eat while it is still hot …”
Unable to control her regret and sadness any longer, the little girl began to sob in her mom’s hands.

You see folks, in life, we sometimes find it easy to appreciate the small actions of some people around us, but for the relatives, especially parents, we often overlook their love and sacrifices and look at them as a matter of natural, mundane actions…we take them for granted.

Parental love, care, and concern are the most precious gifts we have been blessed to have since the day we were born.

Parents do not expect us to pay them back for nurturing and caring for us…but how much do REALLY appreciate or treasure the unconditional sacrifice and love of our parents?

A great point to ponder.

So…take some time today to thank your parents. Give them a hug, a kiss, thank them for all that they have done for you, or just tell them a simple I love you.

Remember…

Love your parents

And treat them with loving care

For you will only know their value

When you see their empty chair

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Story Source (Revised): Moral Stories – Ogbuagu Henry Chiedozie

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Attitude is Everything

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Perspective and attitude is everything in our lives. Many times, the way that we look at certain situations and circumstances that we are facing, will greatly determine if the outcome results in a negative or positive experience.

The following story gives us a great example of why having a positive attitude and a proper perspective can lead

Once a woman woke up in the morning only to realize that she had only three strands of hair left on her head. “ Well”, she said, “ I think I’ll braid my hair today.” She braided her hair and she had a wonderful day.

When she got up the next day and looked in the mirror she noticed that she only had two strands of hair on her head. She said, “ I think I will part my hair down the middle today”. She parted her hair in the middle and she had a great day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So she did, and she had a fun day.

The next day she woke up and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yippie!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

Attitude is everything.

Be kind.

Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

 

 

Source: alltimestories.com

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Sunken Ships

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Today’s blog is a quick encouragement for us to remind us to stay positive despite the fact that you may be going through some hard, sad, or desperate time right now.

I hope and pray that the following little ditty speaks to your heart today!

Ships don’t sink

Because of the water around them;

Ships sink because of the

water that gets in them. Don’t 

let what’s happening around

you get inside you and weigh

you down!

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Praying for Pappy

Praying for Pappy

Photo Credit: George Hodan via publicdomainpictures.net
Photo Credit: George Hodan via publicdomainpictures.net

This is a story that took place in the south and involved a little boy and his mom. It shows us the sad side of war and reactions that a family endured at the loss of their loved one. Get a box of tissues ready as you read this story of a little boys love of this mom and dad.

Tommy’s Maw Maw and Pappy used to take Tommy to church every Sunday before his Pappy left to go to war.

Tommy had learned early in life all about God and how to pray. Every night Tommy would kneel by his bed and pray before going to sleep.

Today is the day the soldiers are to come home. Tommy and his Maw Maw dressed and went and stood at the dock waiting for his Pappy to arrive. They would wait and wait… Until the last boat left the dock but Tommy’s Pappy would not be arriving this day.

When they got home Tommy was too tired to care about eating. He kissed his grand mother goodnight and went straight to his room. He changed into his pajamas and knelt by his bed.

“Lord,
It’s Tommy.
We stood at the dock all day. Every one walked away and we just stood there. Pappy must have missed the boat so we waited for the next one then the next one until all the boats were gone and the tall man in the uniform said all the soldiers had gotten off but he is wrong ’cause Lord, Pappy didn’t get off none of those boats. I hate it when maw maw cries Lord. Please send Pappy home so she will stop crying.
Thank you.”

 

All week long Tommy listened as his Maw Maw cried. He heard her on the phone several times asking about why his Pappy didn’t come home like the rest of the soldiers. On the seventh night he knelt by his bed and prayed.

 

“Lord ,
It’s Tommy .
It has been a long week. Maw Maw just sits and stares out the window when she ain’t cooking and cleaning or on the phone asking where Pappy is and why they didn’t send him home.. She hasn’t hardly spoke in days other than when she is on the phone.
Mrs. Nelly Baker from down the road came by to see if Pappy had come home yet but he hasn’t and Maw Maw began to cry again as Mrs. Nelly Baker talked to her. I heard her say You might have Pappy with you Lord. If you do , could you please tell him it is time to come home ’cause Maw Maw and me miss him and Maw Maw cries at night and calls for him. I’d sure ‘preciate it if you would.”

 

Slowly the days passed by, then weeks. Every day was more of the same. Tommy was worried about his Pappy and his Maw Maw. It had been a little over a month now and Pappy still hadn’t come home. He walked in the living room and there his Maw Maw sat staring out the window until a knock came upon the door. A man in a uniform stood at the door. He backed up and Maw Maw walked outside. His Grand Mother screamed falling to the ground. Then the women in the neighborhood came running.
Tommy was confused. Why was his Maw Maw screaming and crying Pappy was coming home finally. He felt heavy hearted, So he went and knelt by his bed and prayed.

 

“Lord,
It’s Tommy.
It’s been a month and three days since Maw Maw and I went to meet Pappy at the dock. Some man in a uniform just showed up at Maw Maw’s door and made her scream. He ‘pologized for making her scream and cry before he left. Mrs. Nelly Baker and some other women came running . I guess they heard Maw Maw screaming before she fell to the ground.
I don’t understand Lord. Why is she so upset ? The man said Pappy would be coming home tomorrow with something in a pine box. Don’t know why he needs a box. I guess he lost his suitcase. I thank Lord for sending Pappy home.”

 

Tommy didn’t know his Maw Maw stood silently by the door. She listened as the little boy of ten prayed through sobs.

 

“Lord,
It’s Tommy.
I un’ stand now. My Pappy came home today. I know all about the pine box now. I guess I forgot to ask for you to send him back to Maw Maw alive. I hope she will forgive me. I thought You knew what I meant when I asked you to bring my Pappy home. But you did do what I asked. I made a mess of things. Now my Maw Maw will never be happy again. Lord, the next time I ask for something make sure I ask the right way please and tell Pappy I am sorry I got him dead I didn’t mean to. It’s all my fault Maw Maw is sad. I am so sorry.”

 

Tommy opened his tear stained eyes to see his Maw Maw standing in his doorway , tears streaming down her face. ” Dear child, it is not your fault.” She said through sobs and held her arms out to him. ” If it had not been for your prayers, your Pappy may never had come home at all.”

———————–

Source: friendburst.com

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When God Laughs

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It’s funny how things work out sometimes. There are those occasions when we stop and scratch our heads and ask ourselves, “Was what just happened a coincidence or an act of God?” Well, today’s story is one of those kind of tales…and I am sure that God had a little chuckle. Enjoy!

I climbed into my van, aka the Mom Mobile, and headed to the library where I worked evenings. Just on the highway, I got an urge to pray. Please, Lord, don’t let anything hit me!

Why on earth had I prayed that?

Okay, I’m a fearful driver. Highways, lane changes, parallel parking all make me nervous. I always prayed before getting on the road. But this prayer was so specific that I decided not to listen to my audiobook or the radio. I had to be super vigilant.

I came up behind a beat-up pickup. The only other vehicle around. A bunch of two-by-fours was piled in its bed. Every time the truck hit a bump, the wood bounced. I peered closer. Nothing was tied down! No ropes or straps. Nothing.

My prayer! I had to switch lanes. Now!

The moment I swerved left, a two-by-four flew out of the truck. If I hadn’t moved, I could’ve been speared through the windshield.

I took the exit for the library and turned on the radio just as a song came on. Guess what it was?

“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees!

~ Source: Guideposts

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The Grateful Whale

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If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, December 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her – a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around – she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate today – to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude!!!

Source: Unknown

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A Friendly Toast

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There is nothing better that having good friends. Having those special people that we can go and share our thoughts, concerns, as well as the good and bad times we experience, are simply priceless. That’s why, I believe, that whenever we can, we should take the time to honor our friends. friends truly are a blessing!

Today’s little poem is actually a toast. It is a nice little thing that you can share the next time you have the opportunity to make a toast and give a nice, small toast of thankfulness to your friends 🙂

Make new friends,
But keep the old;
The new are silver,
The old ones are gold.

New made friends
Like new made wine;
With age doth mellow,
It and refine.

But unlike age,
that turneth gray;
Old friendship,
Never doth decay.

So, make new friends,
But keep the old;
The new are silver,
The old are gold.

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The Cost of a Smile

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Smiles and happiness are SO good for the heart and soul. It is great medicine a person. The following thoughts are fabulous reminders as to why a smile is so important. So, take time every day to laugh, giggle, or smile.  A smile is not only good for yourself but an encouragement to others! 

A smile costs nothing, but gives much.

It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give.

It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor, but that he can be made rich by it.

A Smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship.

It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature’s best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone, until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile;

Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

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A Millenial at 56 Years old!!

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Congratulations!! I would like to thank you for reading this blog because today, you will one of the people that discovers why, at age 56, I am a Millenial. The reason? Today, this blog will be number 1,000 for me as the founder, editor, writer for this blog!! I am now an official Millenial Blogger!! I don’t know if that is actually a word but it sounds good!  🙂

It wasn’t until recently that I looked how many stories that I have posted and discovered that I was just a few away from this magical number. I NEVER thought that I would ever find that many interesting stories, pictures, anecdotes, etc., to make it this far! I consider myself very fortunate and blessed to have had almost 1.4 million views and the untold number of people who have been impacted in some way from the site. Hopefully, I will be able to post many, many more of these kinds of things that will enlighten and uplift people around the globe.

In celebration of my latest achievement (if you want to call it that), I have decided to post the FIRST BLOG that I ever created starting back on February 26, 2013. The name of the posting was “A Mother’s Love”.

It is my hope that you will enjoy it the same way as the first people who ever visited “Good Time Stories” did “Aa way back then.”

A MOTHERS LOVE

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his Mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:

For cutting the grass: $5.00

For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00

For going to the store for you: $.50

Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25

Taking out the garbage: $1.00

For getting a good report card: $5.00

For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00

Total owed: $14.75

Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote:

For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me:

No Charge

For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you:

No Charge

For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years:

No Charge

For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead:

No Charge

For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose:

No Charge

Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is:

No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.” And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL”.

Lessons to Learn:
1) You will never how much your parents worth till you become a parent
2) Be a giver not a taker, especially with your parents. there is a lot to give, besides money.

Advice: IF your mom is alive and close to you, give her a big kiss and ask her for forgiveness. If she is far away, call her. if she passed away, pray for her.

Mom’s are Awesome….ALWAYS Remember them and love them.

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Things Aren’t Always As They Appear

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Are you having a lousy day and need something to make you smile? Then today’s little story is just for you!

Enjoy!


A woman was flying from Melbourne to Brisbane …
Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sydney.
The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes.

Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind.

A man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her Seeing Eye Dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight.
He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, ‘Kathy, we are in Sydney for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?’

The blind lady replied, ‘No thanks, but maybe Max would Like to stretch his legs.’

Now Picture This:

All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Seeing Eye dog!

The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.

People scattered.

They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!

Apparently, a True story…

Have a great day and remember…

…THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR.

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The Incredible Power of Music

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Music. Its power and effect on people are unmistakable. It can soothe and comfort the soul, it can create an air of nostalgia, make that special moment more romantic, make you mad, make you sad, the list goes on an on.

It’s funny how sometimes the small things in life can make such a huge impact on other people’s lives and we don’t even know it.

We all are aware of how our actions can affect an individual’s well being, etc. but what about other things that we may use every day? Music can affect people’s lives in many ways… take watching a movie as an example. Imagine if you were watching a sad movie and the background music was a fast-moving pop song. Or imagine viewing a scary movie and ballet music was playing in the background? The music would not fit into the movie and you wouldn’t enjoy the film…..but used correctly, music has a huge impact on the total movie-watching experience.

Another example of music’s effect is how well music “can soothe the soul” or how athletes sometimes use loud music to get “pumped up” for a game.

Music can be used in many ways and affect every person differently.

In today’s story (it’s actually a video), watch how the power of music totally transformed this old man’s state of wellness. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and heartwarming. The power of music…AMAZING!

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What Marriage is Really All About

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What makes up a marriage? What makes every moment in a marriage full of smiles, laughs, and excitement? We all now that the married life always runs smoothly and really is a Bed of Roses. Good times! Right? Unfortunately, we all know, without question, the marriage is hard work and there are times when couples face adversity, sorrow, or suffering. It how we react to these circumstances that can make all the difference.

A friend of mine, (my sister-in-law 🙂 recently shared the following little ditty that I think sums up what a marriage really is in a beautiful and positive way!!

————————————————

Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It’s not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep. It’s not a clean home filled with laughter and love making every day.

It’s someone who steals all the covers, and snores, it’s slammed doors and a few harsh words at times.

It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal, and then forgiveness.

It’s coming home to the same person every day that you know loves and cares about you in spite of, and because of, who you are.

It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid.

It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds.

It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life.

It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.

It’s about eating the easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at a late hour because you both had a crazy day.

It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your love lays down with you and holds you, and tells you everything is going to be okay. And you believe them.

It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.

Loving someone isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s hard. But it is amazing and comforting and one of the best things you will ever experience.

If you are blessed to have a wonderful partner in your life, then leave a thought here and please feel free to share this post with others!

 

Have a WONDERFUL day!!

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Gonna Be A Bear

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The following is a great “wish list” that I think a lot of women (even men) would probably like to be some day. But for now, I hope that you enjoy the following humorous dream than a lady once wrote…

In this life, I am a woman. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear. When you are a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When you are a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that!

If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows that you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excessive body fat.

Yup…gonna be a bear!!

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It’s Time to Clean the Refrigerator!

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Nobody likes a mess! Dirty laundry, dusty shelves, unkept rooms, filthy floors, greasy dishes, dungy basements, smudged windows, smelly garbage cans, the list can go on and on. Unfortunately, and we all have to do it, we need to put on our working shoes, roll up our sleeves, and get to work to clean up these messes.

Today, I am sharing a story contributed by my friend, Charlene, author of the website, “Boot-camp Has Chandeliers”. in which she shares an enjoyable little tale of a mundane job, that most of us have done at some point of our lives, and describes the chore to us in an amusing way.

I would like to encourage you to visit her site and read other contributions that she has written. I am sure that you will like some of her other writings as well.

Here we go…

Clean the Refrigerator Day!
Don’t ya just dislike cleaning a refrigerator? Don’t ya wish they would be self-
cleaning; wouldn’t ya think someone would have come up with that by now?

Ya know, I don’t remember if Mom taught me how to clean one or if I am self-
taught. I just know that I pretty much follow a routine and do not use chemicals
to do so.

The first thing that I do is “dress for it” like putting grubby clothes on cause I know
I’m going to get dirty more or less and I just don’t like it. Anyway, then I put my
hair up so it doesn’t get in my face and head to the kitchen.

I grab a bundle of paper towels, a couple of scrubbers that don’t scratch
anything but do the job; my trusty Mr. Clean thingys (I know… that is probably
not a word, but anyway….I just love those things because they do a wonderful
job on just about anything!) Then I put the stopper in the sink and run hot water
with Dawn, using a couple of cap-fulls of Vinegar in the water and I’m ready. I
am prepared to sit on a chair if I have to for some of those sections because
getting on my knees is very uncomfortable and at the bottom sections; yup, I sit
on the floor.

I think I watched Mom once just empty the whole “refrige” at once; I don’t do
that, I do little areas at a time….I know, maybe it sounds like it will take forever
but there is really a method to my madness. I just do it in sections; remove the
stuff that’s in that particular section and depending on how bad it is I might just
take the paper towel and dampen it to get surface stuff up first and do the inside
of the doors. Those are the easier areas as surfaces go. I gotta remove all the stuff
in the door and if it’s there more than a year and marked that way, I just toss it.
If I can liquefy anything and put it down the disposal I do that and then throw
away the container.

The yuckiest part is the cleaning the trays and crispers; right? You know what
those are…..ewwww! I won’t go into detail cause you might get sick but…..those
“have” to come out and soak! Then I have to stick my head in those hard to
reach areas and get the crud out of there. Oh, I hate doing that (who designed
these things anyway?) This is the most difficult area to reach! The trays and
crispers are soaking while I do this part and I can’t wait to get to the higher
places so I don’t have to bend over so much; get my drift?

Now, what I have also been doing is wiping off those bottles, jars, food containers
that I keep and taking everything sticky off of them, make sense? What good is a
clean and fresh fridge if containers are yucky?

Ok; I’m just about done, it’s getting easier and the trays and crispers are back in
place and the bottom and middle parts are done; just have the top…..whew! The
hard part is over; to my thinking anyway. Just a few more things to put in place
keeping everything neat and tidy as I go. I look at the clock…..it just took me two
and a half hours to do this, wow! I don’t know what the standard is but I’m
thinking “not too bad.”

So; that is what I did today my fellow travelers. Did you enjoy your little
adventure with me? Are you as tired as I am? Time for a little snack so I will
finish off with a Klondike bar while a sit and relax. Oh yes, I still listen for the
Father’s voice but I think He was enjoying this because He knows there are no
refrigerators in Heaven…..LOL! I think I can hear Him chuckle…….till next
time…..

Have a wonderful day and share a smile with someone!

**If you have a story or an anecdote that you would like to contribute, please send them my way or LMK…IT’S FREE ADVERTSING!

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A Secret to Inner Peace

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What is inner peace? What are the attributes of a life that can give us peace and solace in the things that we think and do each day? What are the true secrets that will calm our soul and soothe our spirits in today’s tumultuous world?

Well, today I am sharing with you a checklist, of sorts, that might give you an idea of how much inner peace you may have…and discover who might be the perfect “person” that holds this treasure.

 If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then You Are Probably

The Family Dog!

And you thought I was going to get all spiritual …

Handle every Stressful situation like a dog.

If you can’t eat it or play with it,

Pee on it and walk away 🙂

Have an awesome day and share a smile with someone!

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The Crab and the Ocean

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What in the world is happening? Why did something like this happen to me? Why is it that this individual continues to do this annoying thing to me? Don’t they understand that when they continue to do this same thing over and over, it really, really bothers me!?! What is this jerk doing? Why is this person so mean? Why is it, that it always seems like bad things always happen to me?

Occasionally, there are things or situations in life that happen that we simply don’t understand at the time we are experiencing them. Sometimes people will continuously do things to us, like our bosses, parents, or a host of other kinds of people, that we don’t comprehend why they are doing what they are doing. The result? We jump to negative conclusions, make poor judgments and assessments of others…many times resulting in embarrassing or awkward moments.

The following little story is a great little illustration which demonstrates a simple truth of life…that we should attempt to truly understand the unfortunate things that may happen to us before we judge others wrongly.

Once upon a time, there was a crab. It was walking on the shore of the ocean, leaving its beautiful footprint behind. The crab adored its footprints. Suddenly as the crab was adoring it footprints, the waves of the ocean washed the footprints away. The crab turned towards the ocean wave and said, “Hey!! I thought you were my best friend. Why did you do that?? Why did you wash my footprints away?” The ocean said, “A fisherman was chasing you, my dear friend, looking at your footprints, so I washed them away so that fisherman could not chase you.” It’s a general human tendency. We all judge each other in different situations and conclude about the person. Even in our relationships, we judge the people by the actions or behavior. But it is important not to conclude about that person and react without understanding other person’s intentions. (Divya Nimbalkar). http://frtonyshomilies.com/

JUDGING A PERSON DOES NOT DEFINE WHO THEY ARE…IT DEFINES WHO YOU ARE!

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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

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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!

 

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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.”

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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!

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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!

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“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.”

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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

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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.

 

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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

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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

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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!

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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…

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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!

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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/

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A Nightmare in Norway

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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!

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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.”

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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!

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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?”
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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.
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Value Your Time.

Value Your Family.

Value Your Friends.

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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.

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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

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Wonderful Traditions of New Year’s in America

man with fireworks
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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

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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

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Lessons From A Christmas Tree

box celebrate celebration christmas
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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.
Featured post

A Story of Christmas Magic

4123836032_424fbe1779_b
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!”

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Building the Castles of Our Lives

architecture building castle daylight
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

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.

——————-

Source: All Time Short Stories

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Stop Your Quacking!

animals beak close up ducklings
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

Featured post

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.

Featured post

No Greater Love….

My Good Time Stories

English: Brother and sister sitting in flowers

There is an old saying that goes…”No greater love has no man than to lay down his life for a friend.” Many of us would go out of our way to help a friend or family member, but how many of us would give up our life for a person that we love? The following is a true story that will show us an example of “no greater love”…..

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease.

Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be…

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Freedom Comes With A Price

***From the Archives*** A nice little post about the 4th of July!!!

My Good Time Stories

Photo Credit: Wonderlane via CC Flickr Photo Credit: Wonderlane via CC Flickr

Freedom. There is nothing that is more valued and treasured by an individual. It is that one word that has made millions and millions of people to decide to come to America to live…free to worship, speak, travel, salute the flag, and many, many other wonderful things but freedom is NEVER free! Down through the ages, a great many number of people have sacrificed their lives, their lifestyles, the security of their families and friends…all for the right to enjoy the fruits of Freedom.

We all know about the Declaration of Independence which was created and signed over 200 years ago but what isn’t well known by many people, is the sacrifice and cost that many of the men who signed the declaration suffered.

Kenneth L. Dodge, in his book, Resource, wrote: “Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Their conviction resulted in untold sufferings for…

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Aging Like Sea Glass

***RE-POST*** A post that will certainly make your day 🙂

My Good Time Stories

seashore under white and blue sky during sunset Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have bad news folks…we are all getting older! Have you ever considered how you want to age as you get older? Will you be someone who finishes your life bitter and crass? Will you be an individual full of regret of the things that you COULD have accomplished? Or will you be gratified and content knowing that you met all of your life’s goals and dreams?

How will you allow your experiences and happenings in your life shape you as the years go on?

I recently found the following poem that I think is a beautiful illustration of someone who has a fantastic goal of the kind of life that they would like to have. I hope that it encourages you.

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Sea Glass

I want to age like sea glass.

Smoothed by the tides

But not broken.

I want my hard edges to…

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Until Death Do Us Apart

My Good Time Stories

“Until death do us part.” This sentence is usually included when two people make their vows to each other on their wedding day. It symbolizes a sense of an unconditional kind of commitment, that, regardless of what may happen during the duration of the marriage, will remain strong and long-lasting. Unfortunately, many people fall short of this type of commitment for a variety of reasons…some realize their mistake and reconcile with their spouse while others may discover too late, that any kind of resolve is beyond restoration.

Today’s story is written by a man who made a bad decision with his marriage. He became involved with a co-worker, lost interest in his wife, and ended up learning a valuable lesson. It is my hope that his account of what happened to him and his relationship with his marriage will help encourage and inspire you to stay strong in the relationships…

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My Best Friend – My Dad

This is a re-blog of my best friend ever…my dad!

My Good Time Stories

My Best Friend - My Dad My Best Friend – My Dad

I think back of all the awesome times that I shared with my dad. My dad was a photographer (long before the digital age and the internet) and he would work a lot of weddings, take portraits, and snap pictures for organizations such as the local Little League or the Boy Scouts. We used to go on these road trips just about once a week, in which he would have to drive about an hour and half away to deliver pictures to a Boy Scout camp inNorth Jersey. He had this Ford Galaxy which he called his “sacred cow” that he loved and always took special care of. Under his driver’s seat, he had a cassette player, and he would play all this German music; the polka, beer hall, German bands, etc. He would blast the music all the time and I even got…

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