An Unforgettable Halloween

>> Monday, October 31, 2011

I could see it coming. The scene was being prepared. It was fun to watch.  

John asked me if he could borrow some of my big candles. He was having a special dinner and wanted candlelight. I loaned him candles. A few days later the request was for some romantic music records (remember what those were?). I loaned him my records. Time passed and then he asked me over to his apartment for dinner.  

I borrowed my teenage daughter’s slinky dress and showed up at his door.  

“Oh, you must have misunderstood. I am just cooking dinner here.”  

I understood. He was flustered. But if the night turned out the way I thought it was going to, I wanted to be dressed for the occasion.  

Dinner was fine … and then we moved to the living room. That’s when the evening began going downhill. He had trouble lighting the candles. The records were old, and had scratches. They kept getting stuck.  

But he persevered.  

Sitting on the floor … our backs against the couch … I could sense it was nearing time for the BIG question. And I knew there was one more thing that could go wrong.  

Candlelight … music … wine … and a knock on the door.  

“Who in the world could that be?” When John opened the door, there stood several children, dressed in their Halloween costumes.  

“Trick or treat.”  

The look on his face was priceless when he turned to me and asked, “Is this Halloween?”  

“Yes.”  

So much for romance. Between the constant knocking on the door and my uncontrollable laughter, it was difficult for John to ask. But he did.  

“Will you marry me?”  

I said “Yes.”


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Futility

>> Saturday, October 29, 2011

The alarm goes off. Bleary eyed I rise from my bed … dress … exercise … shower … go to work … come home from work … do housework … go to bed … to rise another day and repeat the procedure.

Is there a purpose in this?  

Have you ever felt that way? In my early days, I moved through life as a robot … and truly felt I had no purpose. I’m so delighted to tell you I no longer feel that way. I live each day deliberately … focusing on precious present moments and being alert to any contact that could turn into a divine appointment. But the feeling of life being a futile exercise is not new.  

In Haggai 1 (yes, there is a book of the Bible with that name) God is talking to His people.  

“Consider how things are going for you. You have planted much but harvested little.” What do you have to show for the long, hard days at work? Or maybe you are exhausted at the end of the day from housework, three children and poor health. Do you feel a lack of reward in those efforts?  

“You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst.” As an overeater, I certainly understand this one. I have eaten and eaten my way through my days, trying to feel satisfied. Do you search for a food or drink … or something more … to satiate your needs?  

“You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm.” Even though you dress nicely … leaving a good impression … do you still feel cold inside? Or maybe what you wear is just an extension of the mask you don each morning. You long for a warm, fuzzy feeling that is just beyond your reach.  

And this one is my favorite … the one that really started this whole thought process.  

“You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” For years I tried to live paycheck to paycheck … but there was never enough. My purse had big holes. One day I discovered that God cares about my finances. The Bible gives good counsel on how to handle our money. Right now, on the radio, there is a man named Dave Ramsey who gives biblical advice about money. The bottom line is … don’t spend more than you have. It’s a simple solution, but not easy to achieve.  

Life is not an exercise in futility. It takes God to help us change our view. When we walk through each day with Him, we see life differently. A chance encounter with another person can turn into a rewarding moment. With the right small group of people, we can remove our masks and let our insides show … and the love we feel in return warms that cold spot.  

And only when we turn our money over to Him, will the holes in our purse be mended.  

“I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.” Haggai 2:19 (NLT)


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Holy Humor

>> Friday, October 28, 2011

GOOD SAMARITAN

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?"  

A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up."  

DID NOAH FISH?
A Sunday school teacher asked, "Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?"  

"No," replied Johnny. "How could he, with just two worms."  

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm.

After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."  

UNANSWERED PRAYER
The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon. One day, she asked him why. "Well, Honey," he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages. "I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon."  

"How come He doesn't answer it?" she asked.  

BEING THANKFUL
A Rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, "So your mother says your prayers for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?"  

The little boy replied, "Thank God he's in bed!"  

ALL MEN / ALL GIRLS
When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every animal (current and past). For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, "and all girls." This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, "Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?"  

Her response, "Because everybody always finishes their prayers by saying 'All Men'!"  

SAY A PRAYER
Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother's house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.  

"Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer." said his mother.  

"I don't need to," the boy replied.  

"Of course, you do "his mother insisted.” We always say a prayer before eating at our house."  

"That's at our house." Johnny explained. "But this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook.  

(Authors Unknown)

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Connection at the End

>> Saturday, October 22, 2011

A story out of Iowa has touched me deeply … and caused me to do some heavy thinking. A couple who had been married for 72 years were in a car accident … sent to the emergency room … and then admitted to the intensive care unit. Yet their concern was for each other. As the minutes passed and they didn’t improve, the couple was moved into a room together in beds side by side where they could hold hands … his right hand with her left one.  

Then he died. Even though he was no longer breathing, the monitor still showed he had a heartbeat. His wife’s heart was beating through him and into the monitor.  

That’s quite a connection.  

My heavy thinking moved past my earthly bond with my husband … and I’ve been pondering the strength of my connection to God. Just how in tune with Him am I? Am I allowing Him to work through me? Do others see His heartbeat instead of mine?  

Or am I still seeking my own way?  

If someone claims, "I know him well!" but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar. His life doesn't match his words. But the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” I John 2:4-6 (MSG)

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Funny Stories

>> Friday, October 21, 2011

The Service

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. It was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it. The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning," replied the young man, still focused on the plaque. "What is this?" Alex asked.

"Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."

Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex's voice was trembling and barely audible when he asked, "Which service, the 9:45 or the 11:15?"
 

Weight Loss Plan

A man calls a company and orders their 5-day, 10 lb. weight loss program. The next day, there's a knock on the door and there stands before him a voluptuous, athletic, 19 year old babe dressed in nothing but a pair of Nike running shoes and a sign around her neck. She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company. The sign reads, "If you can catch me, you can have me."

Without a second thought, he takes off after her. A few miles later huffing and puffing, he finally gives up. The same girl shows up for the next four days and the same thing happens. On the fifth day, he weighs himself and is delighted to find he has lost 10 lbs. as promised.

He calls the company and orders their 5-day/20 pound program. The next day there's a knock at the door and there stands the most stunning and beautiful woman he has ever seen in his life. She is wearing nothing but Reebok running shoes and a sign around her neck that reads, "If you catch me you can have me." Well, he's out the door after her like a shot. This girl is in excellent shape and he does his best, but no such luck. So for the next four days, the same routine happens with him gradually getting in better and better shape. Much to his delight on the fifth day when he weighs himself, he discovers that he has lost another 20 lbs. as promised.

He decides to go for broke and calls the company to order the 7-day/50 pound program. "Are you sure?" asks the representative on the phone. "This is our most rigorous program." "Absolutely," he replies, "I haven't felt this good in years."

The next day there's a knock at the door; and when he opens it he finds a huge muscular guy standing there wearing nothing but pink running shoes and a sign around his neck that reads,"If I catch you, you are mine!!!"

He lost 63 pounds that week.


Nasty Bug

Every night, Harold would go down to the liquor store, get a six pack, bring it home, and drink it while he watched TV. One night, as he finished his last beer, the doorbell rang. He stumbled to the door and found a six-foot cockroach standing there. The bug grabbed him by the collar and threw him across the room, and left.

The next night, after he finished his 3rd beer, the doorbell rang. He walked slowly to the door and found the same six-foot cockroach standing there. The big bug punched him in the stomach, then left.

The next night, after he finished his 1st beer, the doorbell rang again. The same six-foot cockroach was standing there. This time he was kneed in the groin and hit behind the ear as he doubled over in pain. Then the big bug left.

The fourth night Harold didn't drink at all. The doorbell rang. The cockroach was standing there. The bug beat the snot out of Harold and left him in a heap on the living room floor.

The following day, Harold went to see his doctor. He explained events of the preceding four nights. " What can I do? " he pleaded.

" Not much " the doctor replied. " There's just a nasty bug going around."


I Know This Lawyer

A small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial-a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Yes, I do know you Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Why, yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He's lazy, bigoted, he has a drinking problem. The man can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."

At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be in jail within 3 minutes!"

(Authors Unknown)


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No One Knows

>> Thursday, October 20, 2011

It’s on the news and in the papers. According to Harold Camping, the world will end tomorrow. But this isn’t the first time he’s predicted the end. His first time was in 1994. Last May, he was quite sure he had his numbers correct. One man drove from Maryland to Oakland, CA to be with fellow believers when the event occurred. Others quit their jobs or left their families to get ready for the “last day”.  

This is nothing new. I grew up with Hal Lindsey and his predictions. I’m sure there are more that I’ve never heard about. I just have one question for these folks. What do they do with Matthew 24:36? To me, the words are very clear.  

”But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (NIV)


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Slow Dance

>> Monday, October 17, 2011

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask “how are you?” Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child, " We'll do it tomorrow?"
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time to call and say,'Hi'?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift .... thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

(Author Unknown)

Note: I had this scheduled to post on Monday, 10/17/11. On Sunday, 10/16/11, a 33-year old young man named Dan Wheldon, who won the Indy 500 this year, driving in the last Indy race of the season, lost his life in a crash. I dedicate this poem to him.


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Embarrassing Moments and More

>> Friday, October 14, 2011

“A mother was taking a shower when her two-year old son came into the bathroom and wrapped himself in toilet paper. Although he made a mess, he looked adorable, so she ran for a camera and took a few shots. They came out so well that she had copies made and included one with each of their Christmas cards. Days later, a relative called about the picture, laughing hysterically, and suggesting that she take a closer look. Puzzled, the mother stared at the photo and was shocked to discover that in addition to her son, she had captured her reflection in the mirror wearing nothing but a camera!"  

******

"A lady picked up several items at a discount store. When she finally got up to the checker, she learned that one of her items had no price tag. Imagine her embarrassment when the checker got on the intercom and boomed out for the entire store to hear, ‘PRICE CHECK ON LANE THIRTEEN, TAMPAX, SUPER SIZE." That was bad enough, but somebody at the rear of the store apparently misunderstood the word 'Tampax' for ‘THUMBTACKS.’ In a businesslike tone, a voice boomed back over the intercom: ‘DO YOU WANT THE KIND YOU PUSH IN WITH YOUR THUMB?’  

*****

There was a man who worked all of his life and saved all of his money. He was a real miser when it came to his money. He loved money more than just about anything, and just before he died, he said to his wife, "Now listen, when I die, I want you to take all my money and place it in the casket with me. I wanna take my money to the afterlife."  

So he got his wife to promise him with all her heart that when he died, she would put all the money in the casket with him.  

Well, one day he died. He was stretched out in the casket; the wife was sitting there in black next to her closest friend. When they finished the ceremony, just before the undertakers got ready to close the casket, the wife said "Wait just a minute!"  

She had a shoe box with her; she came over with the box and placed it in the casket. Then the undertakers locked the casket down and rolled it away. Her friend said, "I hope you weren't crazy enough to put all that money in the casket."  

"Yes," the wife said, "I promised. I'm a good Christian, I can't lie. I promised him that I was going to put that money in that casket with him."  

"You mean to tell me you put every cent of his money in the casket with him?"  

"I sure did. I got it all together, put it into my account and I wrote him a check." 

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Microcosm of Humanity

>> Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I was people watching. And since I was in Seattle, with humanity flowing all around me, there was a lot to see. My husband, John, and I sat in the Ferry Terminal … waiting to board. Next to us was the typical American young couple … with two-year old twins … boy and girl … with red hair. Adorable. The girl was feisty … constantly moving … with her dad constantly chasing her. The little boy shyly said “hi.”  

As we traveled from Seattle to Bremerton, we walked to the front of the ferry and briefly stepped outside on the deck. It was too cold and windy for me. But for the entire journey, one lady stood alone on the deck, facing forward … her hair standing straight out in the wind. What was her story?


On the Bremerton side of the trip, waiting to return to Seattle, the people got more interesting. An older couple arrived … very classy. I wondered if they lived in Seattle and had gone to Bremerton for the day … or maybe they lived in Bremerton and were attending an event in Seattle that evening.


The very un-matched couple standing against the wall caught my attention. She seemed to be trying to emulate Lady Gaga with her looks … and he was a mountain man. His jeans looked dirty … beard down his chest … and a knit cap on his head.  

I heard a tapping sound and turned to see a tall, slender older man. He was dressed in neatly pressed jeans, a khaki jacket and sunglasses. The tapping came from his white cane. He must have business in Seattle … he obviously isn’t going on a ferry for the scenery.  

Just past the blind man stood a young couple … holding hands. She was near her due date … according to the size of her stomach. They only had eyes for each other. We didn’t exist.  

A large lady with some kind of service dog walked past. She could see … so it was not a Seeing Eye dog. She stepped to the side and waited with the rest of us.

Two young men … one white and one black … walked up beside us. The white guy began asking me questions. “Is this where you line up for the ferry? Do I need a ticket?” And then he offered the words “I’ll be right back. I’m going to the restroom.” I hope that information was for the other young man.  

A younger man walked past … his face painted blue. Was he going to the Blue Man Group … performing at the Paramount? Or was he supporting some team?  

A young man wearing a baseball cap … dreadlocks flying around his head … carried a cardboard sign making a statement about Corporate Greed. On his back was a bongo drum. Apparently he was headed to the protests going on at Westlake Park 

Last, but not least, was the most unusual of the bunch. We heard him approaching from behind us … talking on a cell phone. Imagine my surprise when he passed us wearing a hot pink blouse and a black sequined skirt, its tiers of ruffles reaching mid-calf on his legs. His long hair was gathered in a ponytail … and as he passed I could see he needed a shave. He paced endlessly in the corridor … still talking on the phone.  

I had witnessed a microcosm of humanity. Each one has a story. And God knows each story in minute detail … including mine and yours.


“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)


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Noah the Dove

>> Monday, October 10, 2011

These little bunnies, about six days old, were attacked by a dog and orphaned. Two out of the litter of five did not survive, and these three were not dong very well. Noah is a non-releasable, one-legged homing pigeon/rock dove that is in the rehab centre. Noah kept going over to the bunny cage and looking in … even sleeping in front of the door to the cage.  

Then, suddenly, there were only two bunnies in the cage. But when Noah moved a bit from the front of the cage … to everyone’s surprise … there was the tiny bunny, under Noah’s wing, sound asleep. That little bunny had crawled through the cage, preferring a featherbed to snuggling up with its littermates.  

Now they are all together and the bunnies are doing great. When the bunnies scoot underneath Noah’s feathers, he carefully extends his wings out to surround them and then they snuggle. When one of them moves and they start sticking out here and there, he gently pushes them back under him with his beak.  

It is beautiful and amazing to see.  

This is what God does with us when we need the warmth and love He offers. He gathers us under His loving wings to a warm cradle of protection. All we need do in return is give Him the thanks and praise for being with us.  

Wild Rose Rescue Ranch, Whitehouse, Texas


“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” Psalm 91:4 (NIV)


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Why God Made Moms

>> Friday, October 7, 2011

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?


1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?


1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?


1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?


1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?


1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?


1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine..

What does your mom do in her spare time?


1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?


1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?


1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.



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A Little Talk With My Friends

>> Monday, October 3, 2011

I’m taking a time out to just talk with my friends.  


For almost a year I have been learning and growing as a blogger. When I began, I misunderstood instructions from others … and so I blogged every day. It seems most bloggers only post once or twice a week. I do know that posting daily was a stretch for me … to find the time to compose, edit and then find the scripture and pictures to go with it.  

My website has a new look … thanks to Mari, my ever present support and technical advisor. Along with the softer, cleaner screen I am going to back off some with my postings. Right now, my plan is to blog something I’ve written on Tuesdays and the weekend. If I find an article I wish to share … by Author Unknown … I will post it on Monday or Wednesday. That leaves Friday for my Fun Friday stuff.  

This has been fun … and somewhat scary … as I’ve placed my heart in front of you. I’ve received such encouragement and love in your feedback. Thank you so much.

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