The Fireplace

Photo Credit: Stephane Juban via Unsplash

A member of the church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the firey sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.’

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

The Lord is my Shepherd —– that’s a Relationship!

I shall not want —– that’s Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures —-that’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters —–that’s Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul —– that’s Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness –that’s Guidance!

For His name sake —– that’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death–that’sTesting!

I will fear no evil —– that’s Protection!

For Thou art with me —– that’s Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me —–that’s Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies——that’s Hope!

Thou annointest my head with oil —–that’s Consecration!

My cup runneth over —– that’s Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life—-that’s Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord —–that’s Security!

Forever —– that’s Eternity!

Face it, God loves you!

What is most valuable is not what we have in our lives, but WHO we have in our lives!

This Years Christmas Star – AMAZING!

Photo by Ian Panelo from Pexels

I know some have seen the post about The Christmas Star appearing this year on December 21st. A friend couldn’t help but really take a deeper look at how amazing that this occurrence would be happening in the year 2020. The following information about this rare event is not only fascinating…it is also very uplifting and encouraging!

In the year when Jesus was born, there was violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It was dark.

The Magi found him by way of the star, which was the “meeting” of 3 stars: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. They followed the star until it rested on where he was and they began to worship him. In a time where is was dark, Light was brought in to our world. Jesus stepped in to the chaos and brought peace.

Fast forward to this year, 2020. It’s a time of violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It is dark. Winter Solstice, December 21st, being a time where the day is the shortest and night is the longest…it’s literally the “darkest day” and is the beginning of what most would say the cold, dark winter season.

But on the darkest day this year, Jupiter and Saturn meet, giving us the Christmas Star! How fitting…that in the moment of time during the Christmas season that we get to see this beautiful reminder…that even in the darkest of times…Light will, and has, stepped in. In our chaos He is there. In our darkest time, He is there. He brings Light, and makes all things new.

So as you look out on Dec 21st for the Christmas Star, may we be reminded of His power, and His Light that he brings for all mankind. He is perfect at stepping into chaos and bringing it into peace.

I Need Your Help!

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I am getting ready to write another blog called, “THINGS I HAVE LEARNED.” So…I am asking your help…please share with me, in one or two sentences, “What is something that you have learned during your life? (that you would like to share with others / give them advice for with life). I will just post your first name and last initial…if you would rather me not post your name, please LMK. Thanks!

Please leave your thoughts / “nuggets of truth” in the Comment section below 🙂

Three Simple Stories of Truths

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Photo by Simon English on Unsplash

For thousands and thousands of years, numerous people have tried to explain simple concepts and truths that have stood the test of time. Well, I have some good news!! A little while ago, I came across three short stories that illustrate three Truths in simple and straightforward ways.

The tales are brief but mighty in what they teach.

——————

Once upon a time, all the villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of the prayer, everyone gathered together but only one little child came with an umbrella. – That’s FAITH

 

When you toss a one-year-old into the air, he laughs because he knows his father will catch him. – That’s TRUST

 

Every night we go to bed, we have no assurance that we will wake up alive the next morning, but we still set the alarm for tomorrow. – That’s HOPE

The Grateful Whale

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Photo by Daniel Ross on Pexels.com

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

A Millenial at 56 Years old!!

timelapse photography of fireworks at night

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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.

It’s Time to Clean the Refrigerator!

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

 

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!

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

A Nightmare in Norway

architecture buildings europe houses

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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!

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.

The Greatest Distance in the World

Kevin Gill

Photo Credit: Kevin Gill via CC Flickr

A mile is 5.280 feet long. The distance between New York City and London, England is approximately 3,500 miles, New York City to Hong Kong around 8,000 miles. If you took a trip around the globe, you would travel almost 25,000 miles! Yet, this distance is still not the farthest in the sense of importance to an individual and what they do with the life they are given.

What is the greatest, most important distance in the world? It was once said, that the greatest distance in the world is an astounding 18 inches…the distance from a person’s heart to their head. People can have all the knowledge about a particular subject matter in their head and be as smart as the wisest individuals who walk the earth but unless they LIVE it and USE their abilities, it will mean nothing.

Here is a story to illustrate what I am trying to say:

One morning a man was sitting at the breakfast table intently reading the morning paper when his wife came up to him and started to ask him questions about their plans for the upcoming day. The man just sat there, slightly nodding his head and showed no other reactions. Despite numerous attempts to get a conversation with her husband started…he was just too busy reading his paper.

Then the lady had an idea to try and break her husband’s trance from his paper. She said to him in a calm voice, “Honey, there a huge, hairy spider crawling up your sleeve.” The man just sat there, nodded slightly, and continued to read the paper never even giving her a glance.  She tried the same tact a few other times…again, to no avail. Suddenly she screamed, “HONEY! THERE’S A HUGE, HAIRY SPIDER CRAWLING UP YOUR SLEEVE!”  Her husband screamed, jumped up from his seat, threw down his newspaper, and started making moves that a Ninja would be proud of!

You see, the man had HEARD his wife but he didn’t LISTEN. He knew that there was a spider crawling up his arm but he didn’t do anything about it because he was TOO BUSY doing something else. It wasn’t until he took what he KNEW and put it into ACTION that did anything about combating the evil creature.

Many people are like that man who was reading the newspaper. They hear what is going on and KNOW what to do but without putting their knowledge into action, they are no different than anyone else.

One of my favorite slogans in athletics is also so very true in a person’s everyday life: “The difference between an ordinary person and an extraordinary individual, is that little EXTRA.” There are an untold number of people that have great ideas, thoughts, inventions, solutions to the world’s problems, etc., and do actually DO anything about them. They do ACT on their THOUGHTS. A person may have all of the book knowledge of something but if they never actually use it…it is worthless. An individual may know how to build a house, where to place the lumber, the plumbing, the electrical systems, the foundation, etc., but if that person never goes out and physically builds a house…what good is having that knowledge?

So,  I ask you today…are you a THINKER or a DOER? How well are you conquering the greatest distance in the world?

Things People Will Never Learn in School

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Photo Credit: BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives via Flickr

I came across a short article about Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, when he spoke to a high school not too long ago. There has been some debate whether or not he actually delivered this speech, but the points here are “right on the money”.   The following eleven points are things that people either did not or will not learn in school. He spoke about how the feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a generation of children who have no concept of reality and how these ideas have set them up for failure in the real world.

Personally, I think that these eleven ideas are very insightful and are things in which, if we are wise enough, can help us to enrich our everyday lives.

————————————

Rule 1: Life isn’t fair…get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough…wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up…it’s not your parents’ fault…so don’t whine about your mistakes…learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they will give you as MANY TIMES you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are, you’ll end up working for one.