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Offline irishrick

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only God knows how much a prayer weighs
« Reply #60 on: June 22, 2010, 10:02:15 PM »
HOW MUCH DOES A PRAYER WEIGH     

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work. They had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?" Louise replied, "Yes sir." "Okay" he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."

Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head. Then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scale went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it." The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales.

The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list. It was instead a prayer which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it."

It was sometime later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.


- AUTHOR UNKNOWN -

Offline irishrick

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COME AS YOU ARE
« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2010, 11:44:36 PM »
COME AS YOU ARE     

I shook my head in disbelief. This couldn't be the right place. After all, I couldn't possibly be welcome here. I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, and I had finally decided to see what this place was all about. But, this just couldn't be the right place. Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand. I scanned past the words, "Come as you are. No jacket required," and found the location. Yes, I was at the right place.

I peered through the window again and saw a room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant. Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in stains. I was dirty, in fact, filthy. A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn't shake the grime that clung to my body.

As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me..."Come as you are. No jacket required." I decided to give it a shot. Mustering up every bit of courage I could find, I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium. "Your name, sir?" he asked me with a smile. "Jimmy D. Brown," I mumbled without looking up. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains.

He didn't seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he continued, "Very good, sir. A table is reserved in your name. Would you like to be seated?" I couldn't believe what I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said, "Yes, of course!"

He lead me to a table, and sure enough, there was a place-card with my name written on it in a deep, dark red. As I browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed. There were things like, "peace," "joy," "blessings," "confidence," "assurance," "hope," "love," "faith," and "mercy." I realized that this was no ordinary restaurant! I flipped the menu back to the front in order to see where I was at... "God's Grace," was the name of this place.

The man returned and said, "I recommend the 'Special of the Day'. With it you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu." You've got to be kidding! I thought to myself. You mean, I can have ALL of this?! "What is the 'Special of the Day'?" I asked with excitement ringing in my voice. "Salvation," was his reply.

"I'll take it," I practically cried out. Then, as quickly as I made that statement, the joy left my body. A sick painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes. Between my sobs I said... "Mister, look at me. I'm dirty and nasty. I am unclean and unworthy of such things. I'd love to have all of this, but, but, I just can't afford it."

Undaunted, the man smiled again. "Sir, your check has already been taken care of by that Gentleman over there," he said as he pointed to the front of the room. "His name is Jesus." Turning, I saw a man whose very presence seemed to light the room. He was almost too much to look at. I found myself walking towards Him and in a shaking voice I whispered, "Sir, I'll wash the dishes or sweep the floors or take out the trash. I'll do anything I can do to repay You for all this."

He opened His arms and said with a smile, "Son, all of this is yours if you just come unto me. Ask me to clean you up and I will. Ask me to allow you to feast at my table and you will eat. Remember, the table is reserved in your name. All you must do is accept this gift that I offer you." Astonished, I fell at his feet and said, "Please, Jesus. Please clean up my life. Please change me and sit me at your table and give me this new life." Immediately, I heard the words, "It is finished."

I looked down and white robes adorned my body. Something strange and wonderful had happened. I felt new, like a weight had been lifted and I found myself seated at His table. "The 'Special of the Day' has been served," The Lord said to me. "Salvation is yours."

We sat and talked for a great while and I so enjoyed the time that I spent with Him. He told me, me of all people, that He would like for me to come back as often as I liked for another helping from God's Grace. He made it clear that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible.

As it drew near time for me to go back outside into the "real world," He whispered to me softly, "And Lo, I am with you always." And then, He said something to me that I will never forget. He said... "My child, do you see these empty tables?" "Yes, Lord. I see them. What do they mean?" I replied.

"These are reserved tables...but the individuals whose names are on each place-card have not accepted their invitation yet. Would you be so kind as to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us as yet?" Jesus asked. "Of course," I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations. "Go ye therefore into all nations." He said as I turned to leave.

I walked into God's Grace dirty and hungry. Stained in sin. My righteousness as filthy rags. And Jesus cleaned me up. I walked out a brand new man...robed in white, His righteousness. And so, I'll keep my promise to my Lord. I'll go. I'll spread the Word.

I'll share the Gospel... I'll hand out the invitations. And I'll start with you. Have you been to God's Grace? There's a table reserved in your name, and here's your invitation... "Come as you are. No jacket required."


- AUTHOR UNKNOWN -


Offline irishrick

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GOD'S UNDER THE BED
« Reply #62 on: June 23, 2010, 09:33:04 PM »
GOD'S UNDER THE BED     

My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed.  At least that's what I heard him say one night.  He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped outside his closed door to listen.  "Are you there, God?" he said.  "Where are you?  Oh, I see.  Under the bed."  I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room.

Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement.  But that night something else lingered long after the humor.  I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.  He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor.  Apart from his size (he's 6'2"), there are few ways in which he is an adult.  He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7 year old, and he always will.  He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas, and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different.  Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?  Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, returning to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.  The only variation in the entire scheme are laundry days, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.

He does not seem dissatisfied.  He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05 eager for a day of simple work.  He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.  And Saturdays -- oh, the bliss of Saturdays!  That's the day my dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside.  "That one's goin' to Chi-car-go!" Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.  His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

I don't think Kevin knows anything exists outside his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.  He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.  His life is simple.  He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats.  He recognizes no differences in people, treating each person as an equal and a friend.  His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.

His hands are diligent.  Kevin is never so happy as when he is working.  When he  unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.  He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished.  But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.  He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.

His heart is pure.  He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.  Free from pride and  unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry.  He is always transparent, always sincere.

And he trusts God.  Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child.  Kevin seems to know God -- to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated" person to grasp.  God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.  It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.  It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap -- I am.  My obligations, my fears, my pride, my circumstances -- they all become disabilities when I do not submit them to Christ.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn?  After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of the Lord.  And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won't be surprised at all.


- AUTHOR UNKNOWN -

Offline irishrick

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THE PEARLS
« Reply #63 on: June 27, 2010, 06:58:28 PM »
THE PEARLS     

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five.  Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them:  a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.  "Oh please, Mommy.  Can I have them?  Please, Mommy, please!"

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.  "A dollar ninety-five.  That's almost $2.00.  If you really want them, you can save enough money to buy them for yourself.  Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies.  After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.   On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill, and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls.  They made her feel dressed up and grown up.  She wore them everywhere -- Sunday School, kindergarten, even to bed.  The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath.  Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.  One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"  Oh yes, Daddy.  You know that I love you."  "Then give me your pearls."  "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls.  But you can have Princess -- the white horse from my collection.  The one with the pink tail.  Remember, Daddy?  The one you gave me.  She's my favorite."  "That's okay, Honey.  Daddy loves you.  Good night."  And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"  "Daddy, you know I love you."  "Then give me your pearls."  "Oh Daddy, not my pearls.  But you can have my baby doll.  The brand new one I got for my birthday.  She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."  "That's okay.  Sleep well.  God bless you, little one.  Daddy loves you."  And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style.  As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.  "What is it, Jenny?  What's the matter?"

Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy.  And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace.  With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy.  It's for you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a stand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.  He had had them all the time.  He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.


So like our heavenly Father, what are you  hanging on to?


- WRITTEN BY ALICE GRAY -

Offline irishrick

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THE FOLDED NAPKIN
« Reply #64 on: June 29, 2010, 09:58:37 PM »
   

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome.

I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheel drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ"; the pairs of white shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie, so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place. Not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table.

Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration.

He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often had heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, headwaitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.  "We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."

"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?" Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK" she said. "But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is."

Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup." She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something For Stevie."

"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds.

Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement counselor said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work, met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!" I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.

"First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother.

"There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. "Happy Thanksgiving."

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table.

Best worker I ever hired.


- AUTHOR UNKNOWN -

Offline irishrick

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Today we mourn
« Reply #65 on: July 04, 2010, 08:59:03 PM »
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing

Offline Paladin (Site Admin)

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Re: Today we mourn
« Reply #66 on: July 04, 2010, 09:29:43 PM »


Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing

Sadly missed by cousins Faith, Hope and Charity  :(

Offline irishrick

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Run In The Rain
« Reply #67 on: August 11, 2010, 10:53:12 PM »
                            She had been shopping  with her Mom in Wal-Mart.  She must have been 6 years old, this  beautiful red-haired, freckle-faced image of innocence.   
It was pouring outside -- the kind of rain that  gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the  earth that it has no time to flow down the spout.  We all stood  there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.   We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up  their hurried day.
I am always mesmerized by rainfall.  I got lost  in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust  of the world.  Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a  child, came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my  day.
Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic  trance we were all caught in.  "Mom, let's run through the  rain," she said.  "What?" Mom asked.  "Let's  run through the rain!" she repeated.  "No, honey.   We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.  This  young child waited about another minute and repeated:  "Mom,  let's run through the rain."  "We'll get soaked if we  do," Mom said.  "No we won't, Mom.  That's not  what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged  at her Mom's arm.  "This morning?  When did I say we  could run through the rain and not get wet?"  "Don't  you remember?  When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer,  you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through  anything!'"
The entire crowd stopped dead silent.  I swear  you couldn't hear anything but the rain.  We all stood  silently.  No one came or left in the next few minutes.   Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.   Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly.  Some  might even ignore what was said.  But this was a moment of  affirmation in a young child's life, a time when innocent trust can  be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.  "Honey, you  are absolutely right.  Let's run through the rain.  If GOD  lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.   They off they ran.
We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they  darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles.  They held  their shopping bags over their heads just in case.  They got  soaked.  But they were followed by a few who screamed and  laughed like children all the way to their cars.  And yes, I  did.  I ran too.  I got wet.  I guess I needed  washing.


Circumstances  or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away  your money, and they can take away your health.  But no one can  ever take away your precious memories.  So don't forget to make  time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.  I  hope you will take time to run through the rain!
- Story by Bob Perks -

 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 10:55:32 PM by irishrick »

Offline irishrick

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THE HOT WATER BOTTLE
« Reply #68 on: August 11, 2010, 11:07:45 PM »
THE HOT WATER BOTTLE - A True Story By Helen Roseveare, Missionary to Africa
         
   One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the   labor ward; but in spite of all that we could do, she died leaving us   with a tiny, premature baby and a crying, two-year-old daughter.
         
   We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive. We had no incubator.   We had no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding   facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly   with treacherous drafts.
         
   A student-midwife went for the box we had for such babies and for the   cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up   the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly, in   distress, to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber   perishes easily in tropical climates. "...and it is our last hot water   bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over   spilled milk; so, in Central Africa it might be considered no good   crying over a burst water bottle. They do not grow on trees, and there   are no drugstores down forest pathways. All right," I said, "Put the   baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the   door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm."
         
   The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with   many of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the   youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them   about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm   enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die   if it got chilled. I also told them about the two-year-old sister,   crying because her mother had died. During the prayer time, one   ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt consciousness of   our African children. "Please, God," she prayed, "send us a water   bottle. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, the baby'll be dead; so, please   send it this afternoon." While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the   prayer, she added by way of corollary, " ...And while You are about it,   would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You   really love her?" As often with children's prayers, I was put on the   spot. Could I honestly say, "Amen?" I just did not believe that God   could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything: The Bible says   so, but there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer   this particular prayer would be by sending a parcel from the homeland. I   had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never,   ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send a parcel,   who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!
         
   Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses'   training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front   door. By the time that I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on   the veranda, was a large twenty-two pound parcel! I felt tears pricking   my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone; so, I sent for the orphanage   children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each   knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement   was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the   large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored,   knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then, there were the   knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children began to   look a little bored. Next, came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - -   that would make a nice batch of buns for the weekend. As I put my hand   in again, I felt the...could it really be? I grasped it, and pulled it   out. Yes, "A brand-new rubber, hot water bottle!" I cried. I had not   asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was   in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If   God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!" Rummaging   down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully   dressed dolly. Her eyes shone: She had never doubted! Looking up at me,   she asked, "Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that   little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?"
         
   That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my   former Sunday School class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's   prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. One of the   girls had put in a dolly for an African child -- five months earlier in   answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "That   afternoon!" "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will   answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24
         
   Helen Roseveare a doctor missionary from England to Zaire, Africa, told   this as it had happened to her in Africa. She shared it in her   testimony on a Wednesday night at Thomas Road Baptist Church.         

Offline irishrick

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Re: something a little different from the archives
« Reply #69 on: August 14, 2010, 11:44:54 AM »
                            Summary of eRumor:
This  email is about Jody McCloud who is principal at the Roane County High  School in Kingston, Tennessee.  In September, 2000, he opened a  football game by saying that normally there would have been a prayer,  but a Supreme Court decision had ended that...so he read a statement  commenting on that and inviting people to pray anyway.



                            The Truth: 
The  story is true.  TruthOrFiction.com has confirmed both the event  and the text of McCloud's statement.  McCloud has gotten  response and requests for copies from all over the country.

 
                                               A real example of the story as  it has been circulated:
 
                            This is a  statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at  Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee by school Principal  Jody McLoud, on September 1, 2000.

 I thought it was  worth sharing with the world, and hope you will forward it to all  your friends. It clearly shows just how far this country has gone in  the wrong direction.

"It has always been the custom at  Roane County High School football games to say a prayer and play the  National Anthem to honour God and Country. Due to a recent ruling by  the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a prayer is a violation of  Federal Case Law.

As I understand the law at this time, I can  use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it  an alternate lifestyle, and if someone is offended, that's OK.

I  can use it to condone sexual promiscuity by dispensing condoms and  calling it safe sex. If someone is offended, that's OK.

I can  even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an  unborn baby as a viable means of birth control.

If  someone is offended, no problem.

I can designate a school day  as earth day and involve students in activities to religiously  worship and praise the goddess, mother earth, and call it ecology.

I  can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that  depict people with strong, traditional, Christian convictions as  simple minded and ignorant and call it enlightenment.

However,  if anyone uses this facility to honour God and ask Him to bless this  event with safety and good sportsmanship, Federal Case Law is  violated.

This appears to be at best, inconsistent and at  worst, diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything  and anyone except God and His Commandments.

Nevertheless, as a  school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by  rules which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise  would be at best, inconsistent and at worst, hypocritical. I suffer  from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need  to add an intentional transgression.
For this reason, I shall,  "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," and refrain  from praying at this time.

However, if you feel inspired  to honour, praise and thank God, and ask Him in the name of Jesus to  bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's  not against the law
               ----yet." 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 11:49:53 AM by irishrick »

Offline irishrick

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Re: something a little different from the archives
« Reply #70 on: April 15, 2011, 10:07:38 PM »
   Two Choices
>
> What would you do?....you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the
> same choice?
>
>
>
> At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that
> would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its
>
> Dedicated staff, he offered a question:
>
> 'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
>
> Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
>
> Where is the natural order of things in my son?'
>
>
>
> The audience was stilled by the query.
>
>
>
> The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to
> realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'
>
> Then he told the following story:
>
>
>
> Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most
> of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him
> a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
>
>
>
> I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're
> losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..'
>
>
>
> Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart.
> The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
>
> In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
>
> In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just
> to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
>
> In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.
>
> Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
>
>
>
> At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
>
> Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly,
> much less connect with the ball.
>
>
>
> However, as Shay stepped up to the
>
> Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball
> in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
>
> The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
>
> The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
>
> As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
>
>
>
> The game would now be over.
>
> The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
>
> Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
>
>
>
> Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.
>
> Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!
>
> Run to first!'
>
> Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
>
> He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
>
>
>
> Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'
>
> Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
>
> By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the
> hero for his team.
>
> He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball
> high and far over the third-baseman's head.
>
> Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
>
>
>
> All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'
>
>
>
> Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!
>
> Shay, run to third!'
>
>
>
> As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
>
> Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team
>
>
>
> 'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity
> into this world'.
>
>
>
> Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing
> his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
>
>
>
> AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:
>
> We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people
> hesitate.
>
> The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and
> workplaces.
>
>
>
> If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the
> 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.
>
> We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'
>
> So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
>
> Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
>
>
>
> A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.
>
>
>
> You now have two choices:
>
> 1. Delete
>
> 2. Forward
>
> May your day, be a Shay Day.
> MAY GOD BLESS EVERYONE WHO
> DECIDES TO PASS THIS ON IN
>
>
> MEMORY OF SHAY..............
>

Offline irishrick

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heaven
« Reply #71 on: September 23, 2011, 09:08:17 PM »
A man and his dog were walking along a road.
The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years.
He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road.

It looked like fine marble..

At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.



When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'

The man gestured, and the gate began to open. 'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed.

There was no fence.

 

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book....

 




 


'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'

'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.

'There should be a bowl by the pump,' said the man.

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said.

'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'



 

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

Offline irishrick

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Christmas at the old garage
« Reply #72 on: December 13, 2012, 02:13:20 PM »
Christmas at the old garage

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He
didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I'll just go." "Not without something hot in your belly." George said.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh."

Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. "You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.

"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good."

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to
himself. So he put a new one on.

"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me."

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance."

The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area."

George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain."

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked. "None for me," said the officer. "Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.

"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."

The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!"

The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop, "we got one too many in here now."

He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pea shooter away."

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week."

George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out."

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer." "Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said. George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"

"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran."

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued. "Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"

Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks for everything."

"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems."

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."

"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need."

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours."

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family."

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."

"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?"

"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"

"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby."

The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man."

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked the old man.

"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again."

The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."

George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus"

Merry Christmas!!

This story is better than any greeting card.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

Offline willie c wuddle

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Re: something a little different from the archives
« Reply #73 on: December 14, 2012, 02:00:48 AM »
Wowsers! Service with a smile, and less than $65.00 an hour.
 If yoo can brrrrew scottish whiskey in yourrr bagpipes, then yourr're a Plaidneck, laddie. - Jeff Scotsworthy