Gregory Central Inspirational Pages
Dad of the Year
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Who packed your parachute???
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam . After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk . You were shot down!"
"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.
"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory -- he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important.. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.
Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?"
The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it."
Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?"
The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."
Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.
"Would you like a lock of his hair?" the nurse asked.
Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. "I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom." She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could."
Sally walked out of Children's mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.
It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:
"Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say I LOVE YOU I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him 'Where was He when I needed him?' "God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.
Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm, sure the food will be great.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?
Signed with Love from: God, Jesus &Me.
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An old man, probably some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the park bench
He didn't move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands.
When I sat down beside him he didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was ok.
Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was ok.
He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," he said in a clear strong voice.
"I didn't mean to disturb you, sir, but you were just sitting here, staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were ok?"
He asked, "Have you ever looked at your hands?" "I mean really looked at your hands."
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making.
Then he smiled and related this story: Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years.
These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.
They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.
They dried the tears of my children and caressed the love of my life.
They held my rifle and wiped my tears when I went off to war.
They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.
They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.
Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.
They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse
and walked my daughter down the aisle.
Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friends foot.
They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body.
They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.
And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.
These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of my life.
But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And He won't care about where these hands have been or what they have done.
What He will care about is to whom these hands belong and how much He loves these hands.
And with these hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.
No doubt I will never look at my hands the same again. I never saw the old man again after I left the park that day but I will never forget him and the words he spoke.
When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife I think of the man in the park. I have a feeling he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.
I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel his hands upon my face.
Thank you, Father God, for hands.
What would you do?
You make the choice Don't look for a punch line. There isn't one. Read it anyway. My question to all of you is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children, 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 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 his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and, getting none, he took matters into his own hands 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."
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 outfield. 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 his father 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, 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 'cause 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 moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to 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 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 took the ball and turned and threw the ball on a high arc to right field, far beyond the reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"
By the time Shay rounded first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions and intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
Shay ran toward second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home. Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!"
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay, 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."
Four Wives Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.
He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.
He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.
He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confident and was always kind considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times
The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her!
One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurio! us life and wondered, "I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone."
Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!", replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.
The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!", replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!" His heart sank and turned cold.
He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!", replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave." Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.
Then a voice called out: "I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matterwhere you go." The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!"
In truth, we all have the 4 wives in our lives: Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.
Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others. Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
And our 1st wife is our Soul . Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity
Evolution Hoaxes --click on this link to get there.
"Friends are God's way of taking care of us"
This was written by a Hospice of Metro Denver physician
I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and wanted to
share it with my family and dearest friends:
I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on
Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely
managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not
be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow
truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a
woman walking out of the "quickie mart" building, and it looked like she
slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she
was okay. When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs
than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard
with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up,
and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.
At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the
ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car
seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95. I asked her if she was okay and if
she needed help, and she just kept saying "I don't want my kids to see me
crying," so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said
she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right
So I asked, "And you were praying?" That made her back away from me a
little but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, "He heard you, and He
I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she
could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling walked to the
next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates
for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car
who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and
talking a little. She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City.
Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends
She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in
desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in
about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with
them and try to get on her feet there. So she packed up everything she
owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas,
but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for
safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, "So, are you
like an angel or something?" This definitely made me cry. I said,
"Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular
people." It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle.
And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away
and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check,
but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.
Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter
of their wings...
Psalms 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee He
shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
JESUS AND THE MUD PUDDLE
Howard County Sheriff Jerry Marr got a disturbing call one Saturday
afternoon a few months ago. His 6-year-old grandson Mikey had been hit by a car while fishing in Greentown wish his dad. The father and son were near a ridge by the Kokomo Reservoir when a woman lost control of her car , slid off the bridge and hit Mikey at a rate of about 50 mph.
Sheriff Marr had seen the results of accidents like this and feared the worst. When he got to Saint Joseph Hospital , he rushed through the emergency room to find Mikey conscious and in fairly good spirits.
"Mikey , what happened?" Sheriff Marr asked.
Mikey replied, "Well, Papaw, I was fishin ' with Dad, and some lady runned me over, I flew into a mud puddle, and broke my fishin ' pole and I didn't get to catch no fish!"
As it turned out, the impact propelled Mikey about 50 feet, over a few trees and an embankment and in the middle of a mud puddle. His only injuries were to his right femur bone which had broken in two places. Mikey had surgery to place pins in his leg. Otherwise the boy is fine.Since all the boy could talk about was that his fishing pole was broken,
the Sheriff went out to Walmart and bought him a new one while he was
in surgery so he could have it when he came out.
The next day the Sheriff sat with Mikey to keep him company in the hospital . Mikey was en=oying his new fishing pole and talked about when he could go fishing again as he cast into the trash can. When they were alone, Mikey , just as matter-of-factly, said, "Papaw, did you know Jesus is real?" I mean Jesus is REALLY real."
"What do you mean?" asked the Sheriff.
"I know he's real 'cause I saw him." said Mikey , still casting into the trash can.
"You did ?" said the Sheriff.
"Yep," said Mikey .
"When that lady runned me over and broke my fishing pole, Jesus caught me in his arms and laid me down in the mud puddle."
Guest For Dinner
Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then=she looked at the envelope again.
There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:
I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always, Jesus
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer."
With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least."
She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.
A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total twelve cents to last her until Monday.
Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"
Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags
"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we'd really appreciate it."
Ruth looked at them both.
They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.
"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."
The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food? I'll figure out something else to serve my guest."
She handed the man her grocery bag.
"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!"
"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.
"Thank you lady!
Thank you very much!"
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him.
She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.
"That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Love Always Jesus
The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
KIDS' LETTERS TO GOD - THEOLOGY . KID STYLE!
1. Dear God .. Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now. Amanda
2. Dear God ... Thank you for the baby brother, but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for an=thing before. You can look it up. Joyce
3. Dear Mr. God ... I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had to have 3 stitches and a shot. Janet
4. Dear God . How did you know you were God? Who told you?! Charlene
5. Dear God .. Is it true that you always hear my father when he uses his golf words in the house? Anita
6. Dear God .. I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Nancy
7. Dear God .. I like the story abo=t Noah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. I like walking on water too. Glenn
8. Dear God ... My Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go? Love, Dennis
9. Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool.! Thomas
10. Dear God . Do you draw the lines around the countries? If you don't, who does? Nathan
11. Dear God ... Did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident? Norma
12. Dear God ... In bible times, did they really talk that fancy? Jennifer
13. Dear God ... How come you did all those miracles in the old days and don't do any now? Billy
14. Dear God ... Please send Dennis Clark to a different summer camp this year. Peter
15. Dear God ... Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out OK with me and my brother. Larry
16. Dear God .. I keep waiting for spring, but it never did come yet. What's up? Don't forget. Mark
17. Dear God ... My brother told me about how you are born, but it just doesn't sound right. What do you say? Marsha
18. Dear God .... If you watch in Church on Sunday, I will show you my new shoes. Barbara
19. Dear God . Is Reverend Coe a friend of yours or do you just know him through the business? Donny
20. Dear God ... I do not think anybody could be a better God than you. Well, I just want you to know that. I am not just saying that because you are already God. Charles
21. Dear God .... It is great the way you always get the stars in the right place. Jeff
22. Dear God ... I am doing the best I can. Really. Frank
23. Dear God . Would you please make my daddy love you and mommy and me like my mommy does? Cuz he doesn't love us anymore. Love, Annie
24. Dear God . Was Noah's wife really Joan of ark? I was just wondering. Steve
25. Dear God ... It's really awesome how you made worms hide. Then they surprise us and become butterflies. Can you please make snakes and spiders do that too? Tracy
26. Dear God. My mother told me that you are a very wonderful crator, who made everything from nothing. That is a great trick. Peter
27. Dear Jesus, I think your red blood is very good. I am glad it covers up all my scarlet red sins. That way if a spot is missed, it doesn't show. Thank you very much. Belinda
28. Dear God, My bible teacher told me that i am a new creature in Jesus. I don't understand this. Is that why i don't like the same old me? Love Luke
29. Dear God. I like hope your blood from the cross blots out my sins. All of them. This is much better even than secretarel whiteout, isn't it? Samantha
30. Dear Jesus. My mom tells me that i am saved from hell by your blood. She says i am not saved by doing good things. I am so glad you love me. I want to do them anyway. Is that ok with you? Love, Karen
31. Dear God. Why did you let them make beer? I don't like what it does to my mom. Can you please change this? Bruce
32. Dear God, I didn't know we were enemies. But it was very hard to be good. Jesus said that you love me now so it is easier. Thank you. Melissa
33. Dear God. I am learning about your presents from the whole spirit. But why do people fall down? I don't see any cents in that. Maybe the pastor does. Do you? Tony
34. Dear God. Are you really invisible? Or is this just a trick? Sam
35. Dear Jesus, Last sunday the teacher told us about Jesus. Why did my mommy cry and cry? I was happy. Maybe I mist something. Would you please tell our paster to tell it all again next week? Maybe she mist something. Love, Denny
36. Dear Jesus. My sunday school teacher told me that when i am bad you still love me, How do you do that? Mike
37. Dear God. thank you for giving my mommy two babies. But one was enough. Do you want the other one back? Tommy
38. Dear God . I am glad heaven is a gift. My techer said we will also get some a big reword. She said the reword is special joys of you. Are you beter than nintendoe? Charles
39. Dear Jesus. Thank you for giving me a nayber. He isn't very smart. My mom said he is menduly shalunjd. But I like helping him learn. He loves me too. He is the nicest friend I have. Patrick
40. Dear Jesus. i am not mad at you because you took my mother to heaven. I know you can explain it to me if you want. But my father needs your help now. Do you have time? Love, Owen
41. Dear God. I am in first grade. Why did you make so many? I have seven more to go. I am tired already. The kids aren't very nice. Cindy
42. Dear Jesus. Thank you for my bible teacher. She said I am a juel on your crown. That made my heart sing. Are you wearing me today? Love, Patty
43. Dear God. Why am I so sick? Do you need me in heaven? Susan
44. Dear God. I am glad you are like a hospital in my body. I like looking how you fix me. But I don't knowing how or when or why. Daniel
45. Dear God. Are scabs the dried up cut that you heal and make fall off? It is like a meeracul, isn't it? Diane
46. Dear Jesus ... I love you. I felt you should know. Love, David
47. Dear God . My teacher lie= to us today. She said I came from a monky. Would you please tell her the truth? Michael
48. Dear God. You said for me to forgive forever. This is hard. Butch is very mean. But one thing i found out. You help more than I thought. Love, Justin
49. Dear Jesus. How can you have no beginning and no end? You must be very big. Tim
50. Dear God, sometimes I think I see you in my heart. But sometimes I don't. You are like water from the fawsit, aren't you? I have to tern you on and be ready to catch you. Love, Denise
51. Dear Jesus, today I asked you into my heart. I feel good. Yesterday wasn't so bad. I thought it was. Love, Margaret
52. Dear Jesus. Thank you for paying for all my sins. I am glad you will not remember them anymore. And that you cassed them all into the sea of forgeting. That leaves lots more room. Love, Steffie.
53. Dear Jesus. I am glad you are in my heart. I was afraid of the dark. But now i know monstirs runs away from your light. Thank you for beating them for me. Love, Terry
54. Dear God, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Except nice. Is that ok? Or do I have to d=cide now? Everyone keeps asking me. They laugh when I say nice. Is that wrong? your friend, Randolph
55. Dear Jesus, i know you are very big. How do you fit in my heart? I hope you have enough room. Love, Michelle
56. Dear God, today I learnedd that nothing is impossible for you. Would you please make my brother love me and you too? He is very mean to me. Love, Sally
57. Dear God. I hit my mother. I am very sad. I think something came over me. Please let her know I am sorry. And i will not do that again, ok? And can you help me before I do it? Bruce
58. Dear God. Thank you for making my mom and dad pray for me every day. I feel safe. Love, Christy
59. Dear Jesus ... When I was a child I tuched the red hot stov. Now I undirstant. Some thins are vary pritty. But I need to lisen to mom and dad and not tuch them. Plese tell others abowt this. I no you can so they don't get burnd too. Love, Bryant
60. Dear God. When I pray you are like a warm bubble bath. But it is hard. I fall asleep. I miss telling you I love you. Should I kneel down instead? Francis
61. Dear God. I am looking for you. Aaron
62. Dear God, I am a boy. But it's ok with me for you to love me a lot. Frank
63. Dear God, I always love you. Please don't let me stop. your best friend, Sara
64. Dear God . Girls are silly. But one day I will have to marry one of them. Will you please change them? I am eight, so I think you have time. Thank you very much. Stanley
65. Dear Jesus. I can hardly wait to go to heaven. Can you please wait until i am done here, ok? Love Robin
66. Dear God, I heard a man say bad things about you today. I told him you love him. But he just frowned. Can you fix him so he understands? Love, Dan
Some people understand life better and they call some of these people
"retarded"... At the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically
or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to
run the race to the finish and win.
All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt tumbled over
a couple of times, and began to cry.
They slowed down and looked back.
Then they all turned around and went back......every one of them. One girl with
Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better."
Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in
the stadium stood, the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were
there are still telling the story... Why?
Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in =his life is more
than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it
means slowing down and changing our course.
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-wheeler 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 have 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, the head waitress, 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 this 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 worker 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. I then 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 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. Plant a seed and watch it grow.
Breakfast at McDonald's
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.
The last class I had to take was! Sociology.
The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called "Smile."
The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.
It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.
We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.
I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.
As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was "smiling".
His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.
He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).
Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.
That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.
I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.
I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you."
I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope."
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope."
We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.
We are not church goers, but we are believers.
That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love. I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.
I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it.
Then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?"
I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.
She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE !.
Stop telling God how big your storm is.
Instead tell your storm how big your GOD is!
In Phoenix, Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared
down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of
terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled
with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of
determination. Like any parent, she wanted her
son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now
that was no longer possible..
The leukemia would see to that. But she still
wanted her son's dreams to come true. She took
her son's hand and asked, "Billy, did you ever
think about what you wanted to be once you grew
up? Did you ever dream and wish
what you would do with your life?"
Mommy, "I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up."
Mom smiled back and said, "Let's see if we can
make your wish come true."
Later that day she went to her local fire
department in Phoenix, Arizona, where she met
Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix.
She explained her son's final wish and asked if
it might be possible to give her six-year-old son
a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than
that. If you'll have your son ready at seven
o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an
honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come
down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on
all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if
you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire
uniform for him, with a REAL fire hat.
One-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire
Department on it, a yellow slicker like we
wear and rubber boots. They're all manufactured
right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast."
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy,
dressed him in his fire uniform and escorted him
from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and
ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the
truck and help steer it back to the fire station.
He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in
Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all
three calls. He rode in the different fire engines,
the paramedic's van, and even the fire chief's car.
He was also videotaped for the local news
program. Having his dream come true, with all the
love and attention that was lavished upon him, so
deeply touched Billy that he lived three months
longer than any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop
dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in
the hospice concept that no one should die alone,
began to call the family members to the hospital.
Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a
fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked
if it would be possible to send a fireman in
uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he
made his transition. The chief replied,
"We can do better than that.
We'll be there in five minutes.
Will you please do me a favor?
When you hear the sirens screaming and see the
lights flashing, will you announce over the PA
system that there is not a fire? It's just the
fire department coming to see one of its finest
members one more time.
And will you open the window to his room?
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck
arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder
up to Billy's third floor open window
16 firefighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room.
With his mother's permission, they
hugged him and held him and told him how much
they loved him. With his dying breath, Billy
looked up at the fire chief and said,
"Chief, am I really a fireman now?"
"Billy, you are, and the Head Chief, Jesus, is
holding your hand," the chief said.
With those words, Billy smiled and said,
"I know, He's been holding my hand all day,
and the angels have been singing.."
He closed his eyes one last time.
Hymns for all Things:
The Optometrist's Hymn: Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent's Hymn: I Surrender All
The Gossip's Hymn: Pass It On
The Electrician's Hymn: Send The Light
The Shopper's Hymn: Sweet By and By
The Realtor's Hymn: I've Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
The Massage Therapists Hym: He Touched Me
The Doctor's Hymn: The Great Physician
AND for those who speed on the highway - a few hymns:
45 mph God Will Take Care of You
55 mph Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
65 mph Nearer My God To Thee
75 mph Nearer Still Nearer
85 mph This World Is Not My Home
95 mph Lord, I'm Coming Home
Over 100 mph Precious Memories
Babs Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy,delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas.. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas . sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?"
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it."
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"
"Not zackley . but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."
I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering.
Several years went by, each more rapid that the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... all very professional looking.
They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket.. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.! They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size ... they came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that takes our breath.
Today ... I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ... .. A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself .. An unexpected phone call from an old friend .. Green stoplights on your way to work . The fastest line at the grocery store A good sing-along song on the radio . Your keys right where you left them.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, An hour to appreciate them, A day to love them, But an entire life to forget them.
Kids' Ideas on Love
"You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming." -- Allan, age 10
"You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a big ring and her own VCR, 'cause she'll want to have videos of the wedding." -- Jim, age 10
"Never kiss in front of other people. It's a big embarrassing thing if anybody sees you. But if nobody sees you, I might be willing to try it with a handsome boy, but just for a few hours." -- Kally, age 9
"It's never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you. That's why I stopped doing it." -- Tammy, age 10
"I know one reason kissing was created. It makes you feel warm all over, and they didn't always have electric heat or fireplaces or even stoves in their houses." -- Gina, age 8
(on seeing a couple kissing) "He is trying to steal her chewing gum!" -- Boy, age 6
"No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with." -- Kirsten, age 10
Theology, kid style..
1. Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now. Amanda
2. Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. Carly
3. Dear Mr. God, I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had to have 3 stitches and a shot. Janet
4. God, I read the bible. What does beget mean? Nobody will tell me. Love, Allison
5. Dear God, how did you know you were God? Who told you? Charla
6. Dear God, is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house? Ann
7. Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Linda
8. Dear God, I like the story about Noah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. I like walking on water, too. Glenn
9. Dear God, my Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go? Love, Dennis
10. Dear God, do you draw the lines around the countries? If you don't, who does? Nathan
11. Dear God, did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident? Jack
12. Dear God, in bible times, did they really talk that fancy? Jennifer
13. Dear God, how come you did all those miracles in the old days and don't do any now? Billy
14. Dear God, please send Dennis Clark to a different summer camp this year. Steve
15. Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out OK with me and my brother. Brian
16. Dear God, I keep waiting for spring, but it never did come yet. What's up? Don't forget. Mark
17. Dear God, my brother told me about how you are born but it just doesn't sound right. What do you say? Jill
18. Dear God, if you watch in Church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes. Barbara
19. Dear God, is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through the business? Donny
20. Dear God, I do not think anybody could be a better God than you. Well, I just want you to know that. I am not just saying that because you are already God. Charles
21. Dear God, it is great the way you always get the stars in the right place. Why can't you do that with the moon? Jeff
22. Dear God, I am doing the best I can. Really. Chris And, saving the best for last . . .
23. Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool. Thomas