>> Friday, February 24, 2012
The pastor asked if anyone in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers.
>> Thursday, February 23, 2012
Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
"Jack, did you hear me?"
"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.
"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.
"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.
"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away. The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories … every picture, every piece of furniture. Jack stopped suddenly.
"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.
"The box is gone," he said.
"What box?" Mom asked.
"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said. It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filled his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:
"Jack, thanks for your time! - Harold Belser."
"The thing he valued most was ... my time."
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.
"I need some time to spend with my son," he said. “And by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!"
>> Tuesday, February 21, 2012
In the late 1960’s, before anyone coined the phrase Presidents’ Day, I happened to live in the
>> Monday, February 20, 2012
They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are "Baby Boomers" getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and grown old together.
>> Saturday, February 18, 2012
>> Friday, February 17, 2012
The following quotes were taken from insurance and accident forms.
>> Tuesday, February 14, 2012
It’s everywhere … on television … in the newspaper … on the radio … in magazines … and even mentioned at church. Valentine’s Day. And the focus is on what to get her for this special day … something that will show your undying love.
>> Saturday, February 11, 2012
It’s a weekly date … our trip to Costco. I’m not sure I would ever go there except it’s so important to my husband. But the ritual is now ingrained. I no longer ask “why?” … just “when?” He gets lost in the “techie” section and I spend time at the book table. When we join up again, it’s time to select our food purchases.
>> Friday, February 10, 2012
I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
>> Tuesday, February 7, 2012
My world was full of sound. As I walked on the treadmill, Chuck Swindoll’s voice came through my headset, expounding on the word of God. The gym’s radio was doing what it does best … blaring obnoxious music … if you can call it that. To my right … two treadmills down … were two ladies … friends … talking and laughing. I heard the clank of free weights and then the thud as they were dropped to the floor.
>> Saturday, February 4, 2012
Life is full of turbulence. The problem is not the turbulence, but how we handle it.
As a child, I was programmed to be afraid of everything. My mother and I walked almost everywhere. The church we attended was on the other side of town. Someone from church would come by and give us a ride twice on Sunday and once in the middle of the week. Mother endured these terror filled trips to be able to get to church.
Many years went by before flying in an airplane was an option for me, but I was terrified at the thought. Days before the trip, I began to feel sick. As I packed, tears ran down my face. They continued to flow on the way to the airport and as we waited for the flight. The most terrifying moment of all was when we were at the end of the runway, ready to take off. I would force myself to take deep breaths.
But I would not let the fear make me stay home.
Then came the windy morning when my husband, John, and I had tickets for a plane trip. A ferocious wind gust awoke me … and there was no more sleep. We packed and drove to the airport … with the wind jerking the car around. I had no tears, but told John I felt funny. They announced a 30-minute delay … and then another 30-minute delay. The plane had some mechanical problem. Finally the announcement said we would need to re-book … that plane could not fly. The reason given … the flight to
Then that plane was canceled … due to turbulence.
We were re-booked for a flight at 2:30. By now, I was not in good shape. The time came to board. I did not feel right, but we got settled in our seats. John always goes to sleep even before the plane takes off. He put his head back, closed his eyes … and then sat up and looked at me.
“Are you ok?”
I shook my head … unable to speak … fighting for my breath. I was in trouble. For the next 30 minutes a battle raged. The airplane was assaulted by turbulence on the outside, but I was having my own struggle. John kept squeezing my hand … and praying. I felt like I was in a battle for my life. The thought that repeated over and over in my head was, “I can’t let the devil win”.
Unbelievable turbulence … inside and out.
Over time I was able to take a deep breath. Slowly I took in more and more air. By the time I was breathing normally, we began our descent into
What do you do with the turbulence in your life? Do you just let it throw you around … jerking you sideways and up and down … like that airplane? Or do you turn to the God who is in control of all turbulence, both inside and out?
>> Friday, February 3, 2012
- We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
- Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
- How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
- I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
- Women will never be equal to men till they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they're sexy.
- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
- You don't need a parachute to skydive, but you do need one to skydive again.
- The voices in my head may be fake, but they have good ideas!
- Hospitality is making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
- I scream the same way whether I'm about to be eaten by a shark or seaweed touches my foot.
- Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.
- You're never too old to learn something stupid.