##This page was going to be for prayers and poems which would give you a lift
when feeling down, give courage, hope....
but I decided to add some little stories (and some not so little) which
I've found on the Web and think deserve a place on this page.
Reading them made me see that I don't have many problems at all, compared
to some. I now realise I'm glad to be me and thank God for what I have...
it could be far worse!

This page is not for one particular religion, it's for all religions, creeds and nations.

I hope at least one of them is of some help to someone and that you
enjoy reading them.



~ Footprints In The Sand ~

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;
one belonging to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life passed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, You said that once I decided to follow You,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times
in my life there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed You
most You would leave me."
The Lord replied,
"My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints in the sand

.........it was then that I carried you."

- Author Unknown -

~ The Burning Hut ~

The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small,
uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day
he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect
him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. Then one day, after
scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke
rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost.
He was stung with grief and anger.
"God, how could you do this to me?" he cried.

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching
the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the
weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

- Author Unknown -


~ God's Land ~

Every part of this earth is sacred.
Every single pine needle,
every shore,
every mist in the dark woods,
every clearing,
every humming insect is holy
in the memory and experience of our race.
YOU are part of the earth
the earth is part of you.
You did not weave the web of life;
you are merely a strand in it.
Whatever you do to the web, you do to yourself.
You may think you own the land.
You do NOT.
It is GOD'S.
The earth is precious to Him
and to harm the earth is to heap contempt
on its Creator.
Love the land as those who have gone before you
have loved it.
Care for it as they have cared for it.
Hold in your mind the memory of the land
as it is when you take it.
And with all your strength,
with all your mind,
with all our heart,
preserve it for your children to love it....
...as God loves us ALL.

Chief Seattle 1854 ##

 ~ The Home Beyond ~

We feel so sad when those we love

Are called to live in the home above,

But why should we grieve

when they say good-bye

And go to dwell in a cloudless sky?

For they have but gone to prepare the way,

And we'll meet them again some happy day,

For God has told us that nothing can sever

A life He created to live forever.

So let God's promise soften our sorrow

And give us new strength for a brighter tomorrow.

Author Unknown

~ The Most Beautiful Flower ~

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."

But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine.

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.


~ The Old Fisherman ~

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins
Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients
at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was knock at the door.
I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. Why, he hardly taller than my eight-year-old,
thought as I a stared at the stooped, shoveled body. But the appalling thing was his
face-lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for
just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no
bus till morning. He told me he’d been hurting for a room since noon but with no
success - no one seemed to have a room.

I guess it’s my face.. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..
For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: I could sleep in this rocking
chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning. I told him we would find him a bed,
but to rest on the porch meanwhile. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were
ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. No thank you. I have plenty, and he held up
a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes.
It didn’t take long to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body.
He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband,
who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn’t tell it by way of complaint: in fact,
every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that
no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer.

He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going. At bedtime, we put a camp
bed in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were
neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before
he left for his bus haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, Could I please come back and
stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.
He paused a moment then added, Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are
bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.

I told him he was welcome to come again. And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven
in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever
seen, He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh.
I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us
fish or oysters, or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail,
always by special delivery, fish and oysters placed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale,
every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and
knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these
little rememburances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left
that first morning. Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away!
You can lose roomers by putting up such people!

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh!-if only they could have known him,
perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be
grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without
complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman.
He won’t mind starting in this small body.

How quickly we are to judge people?



~ Two Babes in a Manger ~


In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education
to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools.
They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and
a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused,
and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage.
They relate the following story in their own words:


It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time,
the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem.
Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and
placed in a manger.

Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened.
Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story,
we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger.
Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me.
No coloured paper was available in the city.

Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger
for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady
was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby's blanket. A doll-like baby
was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.

The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they
needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be
about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, I was
startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to
ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and
looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously.

For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the
happenings accurately--until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the
manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said,
"And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had
a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay.
Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift
to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought
about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm,
that would be a good gift.

So I asked Jesus, "If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?"

And Jesus told me, "If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me."
"So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him...
...for always."

As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his
little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders
shook as he sobbed and sobbed.

The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him,
someone who would stay with him...FOR ALWAYS.

I've learned that it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.



 ~ The Father's Son ~


Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a
passion for art collecting. Together they travelled around the world, adding only the finest
art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many
others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed, elder man looked on with
satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye
and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors
around the world.


As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his
country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was
missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never
see his son again. Within days, his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while
rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming
Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season, a season that he and
his son had so looked forward to, would visit his house no longer.


On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked
to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not
coming home. As he opened the door,he was greeted by a soldier with a large package
in is hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I was a friend of your son.
I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments?
I have something to show you."


As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man's son had told everyone of his,
not to mention his father's, love of fine art. "I'm an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to
give you this." As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a
portrait of the man's son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius,
the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail.


Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture
above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about
his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands
of dollars of paintings. Then, the man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the
gift he had been given.


During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was
no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched.
He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet
stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly
pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief. The painting of his son soon became his
most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around
the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.


The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away.
The art world was in anticipation! Unmindful of the story of the man's only son,
but in his honor; those paintings would be sold at an auction.


According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on
Christmas day, the day he had received his greatest gift. The day soon arrived and art
collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular
paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would
claim "I have the greatest collection." The auction began with a painting that was not on
any museum's list. It was the painting of the man's son. The auctioneer asked for an
opening bid. The room was silent. "Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked.
Minutes passed. No one spoke. From the back of the room came,
"Who cares about that painting? It's just a picture of his son.
Let's forget it and go on to the good stuff."
More voices echoed in agreement. "No, we have to sell this one first,"
replied the auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?"

Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. "Will you take ten dollars for the painting?
That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it."I have ten dollars.
Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said,
"Going once, going twice. Gone." The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and
someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and bid on these treasures!"
The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over.


Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked,
"What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son.
What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars of art here!
I demand that you explain what's going on here!"
The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple.
According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son . . . gets it all."





~ The Fence ~

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told
him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down.
He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it
and the father suggested that the boy now pull one nail for each day that he was able to
hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that
all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well,
my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say
things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out.
It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is
as bad as a physical one.

Friends are a rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.
They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
Always show your friends how much you care.



~ The Cantor and the Klansman ~

~~ Kathryn Waterson~~

Taken From "Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul"

"Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that.
Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life.
Love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it."

Martin Luther King Jr.

One sunny Sunday morning in June 1991, Cantor Michael Weisser and his wife,
Julie, surrounded by half-unpacked boxes in the kitchen of their new home in Lincoln,
Nebraska, were talking and laughing with a friend when the phone rang.

Michael, who answered with his usual warmth, heard a harsh and hateful voice say slowly and loudly: "You will be sorry you ever moved in [to that house], Jew boy!" Then the line went dead.

Two days later, the Weissers received a thick brown packet in the mail with a card on top that read, "The KKK is watching you, Scum." The stack of flyers and brochures included ugly caricatures of Jews, Blacks and "Race Traitors" being shot and hung, and spelled out other threatening messages, including "Your time is up!" and "The Holohoax was nothing compared to what's going to happen to you."

The Weissers called the police, who said the hate mail looked like the work of Larry Trapp, who was the state leader, known as the "Grand Dragon" of the Ku Klux Klan. Also an avowed Nazi, Trapp was suspected of leading skinheads and Klansmen who had been terrorizing black, Vietnamese and Jewish families in Nebraska and Iowa.

"He's dangerous," the police warned. "We know he makes explosives." They advised the Weissers to keep their doors locked and call if they received any unlabeled packages--just in case Trapp sent a letter bomb.

Although Trapp, forty-four, was diabetic and in a wheelchair, he was a major Midwestern link in the national white supremacist movement. He was, in fact, responsible for the fire-bombings of several African-Americans" homes around Lincoln and for what he called "Operation Gooks," the burning of the Indochinese Refugee Assistance Center in Omaha. At the time, he was making plans to bomb B'nai Jeshuran, the synagogue where Weisser was the spiritual leader.

Trapp lived alone on the southwest side of Lincoln in a cramped one-room apartment. On one wall he kept a giant Nazi flag and a double-life-size picture of Hitler. Next to these hung his white cotton Klan robe with its red belt and hood. He kept an arsenal of assault rifles, pistols and shotguns within reach in case his perceived "enemies" came crashing through his door.

After the hate mail, Julie Weisser began to wonder about Trapp, who had gone public to recruit new members of the Klan. She was struck by how lonely he must be, how isolated in all his hatred. She found out where he lived and sometimes would drive past his apartment complex. While she felt infuriated and revolted by him, she was also intrigued by how he could become so evil. She told Michael she had an idea: She was going to send Trapp a letter every day, along with a passage from Proverbs--her favorite book of the Bible--one that talks about how to treat your fellow man and conduct your life.

Michael liked the idea, but didn't want Julie to sign her name. And friends were horrified, warning that Trapp was crazy and violent and might try to kill her.

"He's the one who does things anonymously," Julie responded. "I won't do that." She held off on her plan, but later on, when Trapp launched a white supremacist series on a local-access cable channel, Michael Weisser was incensed. He called the number for the hotline of the KKK--"the Vigilante Voices of Nebraska"--and listened to Trapp's harsh voice spewing out a racist diatribe on the answering machine.

Michael called several times just to keep the line busy, but then began to leave his own messages. "Larry," he said. "Why do you hate me? You don't even know me, so how can you hate me?"

Another time he said, "Larry, do you know that the first laws Hitler's Nazis passed were against people like yourself who had physical deformities, physical handicaps? Do you realize you would have been among the first to die under Hitler? Why do you love the Nazis so much?"

Whenever he thought of it, Michael called and left another message. One night, however, he asked Julie, "What will I do if the guy ever picks up the phone?"

"Tell him you want to do something nice for him," she said: "Tell him you'll take him to the grocery store or something. Anything to help him. It will catch him totally off guard."

For weeks, Michael listened to Trapp's taped invectives denouncing "niggers", "queers," "kikes" and "gooks". Each time, Weisser would reply with a message of his own.

One day, just after Michael said, "Larry, when you give up hating, a world of love is waiting for you," Trapp, who was feeling increasingly annoyed by the calls, picked up the phone and shouted, "What the----do you want?"

I just want to talk to you," said Michael.

"Why the----are you harassing me? Stop harassing me!"

"I don't want to harass you, Larry," Michael said. "I just want to talk to you."

"I know your voice. You black by any chance?"

"No, I'm Jewish."

"You are harassing me," said Trapp. "What do you want? Make it quick."

Michael remembered Julie's advice. "Well, I was thinking you might need a hand with something, and I wondered if I could help," he said. "I know you're in a wheelchair and I thought maybe I could take you to the grocery store or something."

Trapp couldn't think of anything to say. Michael listened to the silence. Finally, Trapp cleared his throat and, when he spoke, his voice sounded different.

"That's okay," he said. "That's nice of you, but I"ve got that covered. Thanks anyway. But don't call this number anymore."

"Before Trapp could hang up, Michael replied, "I'll be in touch."

Michael's calls were making Trapp feel confused. And a letter he received from a former nurse in Lincoln also affected him. If you give your love to God, "like you gave yourself to the KKK," she wrote, "he'll heal you of all that bitterness, hatred and hurt...in ways you won't believe."

Then, at a visit to his eye doctor, Trapp felt his wheelchair moving. "I helping you on elevator," said a young female voice behind him. He asked where she was from. "I from Vietnam," she said. That evening, he found himself crying as he thought about the scent of the woman's gardenia perfume, his memories of "Operation Gooks" and his assaults on the Vietnamese community.

"I'm rethinking a few things," he told Michael in a subsequent phone call. But a few days later he was on TV, shrieking about "kikes" and "half-breeds" and "the Jews' media."

Furious, Michael called Trapp, who answered his phone. "It's clear you're not rethinking anything at all," Michael said, demanding an explanation.

In a tremulous voice, Trapp said, "I'm sorry I did that. I've been talking like that all of my life....I can't help it....I'll apologize."

That evening, Michael Weisser asked his congregation to include in their prayers someone "who is sick from the illness of bigotry and hatred. Pray that he can be healed, too." Across town, Lenore Letcher, an African-American woman whom Trapp had terrorized, also prayed for Trapp: "Dear God, let him find you in his heart."

That same night, the swastika rings Trapp wore on both hands began to sting and itch so much that he pulled them off--something he had never done before. All night, he tossed in his bed, restless, confused and unsettled.

Around dinnertime the next day, the Weissers' phone rang. "I want to get out," Trapp said, "but I don't know how."

Michael suggested that he and Julie go over to Trapp's apartment to talk in person and "break bread together." Trapp hesitated, then finally agreed.

As they were preparing to leave, Julie started running around, looking for a gift, and decided on a silver friendship ring of intertwined strands that Michael never wore.

"Good choice," said Michael. "I've always thought all those strands could represent all the different kinds of people on this earth." To Julie, it was a symbol of how "somebody's life can be all twisted up and become very beautiful."

When the door to Trapp's apartment creaked open, Michael and Julie saw the bearded Larry Trapp in his wheelchair. An automatic weapon was slung over the doorknob and a Nazi flag hung on the wall. Michael took Trapp's hand, and Trapp winced as if hit by a jolt of electricity. Then he broke into tears.

He looked down at his two silver swastika rings. "Here," he said, yanking them off his fingers and putting them in Michael's hand. "I can't wear these anymore. Will you take them away?" Michael and Julie looked at each other in stunned silence.

"Larry, we brought you a ring, too," Julie said, kneeling beside him and sliding the ring onto his finger. Larry began to sob. "I'm so sorry for all the things I've done," he said. Michael and Julie put their arms around Larry and hugged him. Overwhelmed by emotion, they started crying, too.

On November 16, 1991, Trapp resigned from the Klan and soon quit all his other racist organizations. Later, he wrote apologies to the many people he had threatened or abused. "I wasted the first forty years of my life and caused harm to other people," Larry said. "Now I"ve learned we're one race and one race only."

On New Year's Eve, Trapp learned he had less than a year to live. That night, the Weissers invited him to move into their home, and he did so. They converted their living room into his bedroom. As his health deteriorated, Julie quit her job to care for him. She fed him, waited on him, sometimes all through the night, emptying pans of vomit.

Having a remorseful, dying Klansman in their home was disruptive to the whole family, which included three teenagers, a dog and a cat, but everyone pitched in. Once Trapp said to Julie, "You and Michael are doing for me what my parents should have done. You're taking care of me."

On days when Larry was well enough, he listened to speeches by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King and books on Gandhi and Malcolm X. He also began to listen to books on Judaism and to study the faith in earnest.

On June 5, 1992, Larry Trapp converted to Judaism in ceremonies at B'nai Jeshurun, the very synagogue that he previously had planned to blow up. Three months later, on September 6, 1992, he died in the Weisser home, with Michael and Julie beside him, holding his hands.

At Larry's funeral, Michael Weisser said, "Those of us who remain behind ask the question, 'O Lord, what is man? We are like a breath, like a shadow that passes away....' And yet, somehow, we know there is more to our lives than what first meets the eye."

~ Checking In ~

A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,
the minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while.
His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.

The man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap,
each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the minister's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,
he decided to stop the man and ask him "What are you doing here?"

The old man, said he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
for finding strength and power.
"I stay only moments, see,
because the factory is so far away.
As I kneel here talking to the Lord,
this is kinda what I say:


The minister knelt at the alter,
he'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart,
he repeated old Jim's prayer:


Past noon one day, the minister noticed
that old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without him,
he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him,
learning he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried,
but he'd given them a thrill.
The week that Jim was with them,
brought changes in the ward.
The head nurse couldn't understand
why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came,
not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
he voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up
and with a winsome smile;
"The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
that in here all the while
everday at noon He's here,
a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand,
leans over and says to me:


~ The Daffodil Principle ~

~~ Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards ~~

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday, "I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car." "How far will we have to drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!" "We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns -- great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

There were five acres of flowers. "But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster:

"Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking"

50,000 bulbs.

One at a time, by one woman.

Two hands, two feet, and very little brain.


Began in 1958.


There it was...."The Daffodil Principle." For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.

I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun -- one bulb at a time -- to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time -- often just one baby-step at a time --and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.

When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world!

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!

"My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask....

"How can I put this to use today?"

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.

The truth is there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with... and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting...

Until your car or home is paid off

Until you get a new car or home

Until your kids leave the house

Until you go back to school

Until you finish school

Until you lose 10 lbs.

Until you gain 10 lbs.

Until you get married

Until you get a divorce

Until you have kids

Until you retire

Until summer

Until spring

Until winter

Until fall

Until you die

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching.




~ Angel ~

Angel came down from Heaven yesterday,
She stayed with me just long enough to rescue me....
And she told me a story yesterday,
Abougt the sweet love between the moon and the deep blue sea.
And then she spread her wings high over me..
She said she's going to come back tomorow....And I said,

Fly on my sweet Angel,
Fly on through the sky,
Fly on my sweet angel,
Tomorrow I'm gonna be by your side.

Sure enough, This morning came on to me,
Silver winged silhouette against a child's sunrise.
And my angel, she said unto me,
"Today is the day for you to rise
Take my hand, your gonna by my man.
Your gonna rise."
And then she took me high over yonder, Lord....And I said,

Fly on my sweet angel,
Fly on through the sky.
Fly on my sweet Angel,
Forever I'm gonna by your your side......

Jimi Hendrix




~ God's Cake ~

Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?" or
"Why did God have to do this to me?"
Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she's failing
 maths, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like
a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely mum, I love your cake."

"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers.

"Yuck" says her daughter.

"How about a couple raw eggs?" "Gross, Mum!"

"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking powder?"

"Mum, those are all yucky!"

To which the mother replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves.
But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such
bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order,
they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and
 He chose your heart.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.








~ The Price of a Miracle ~

Tess was eight years old when she heard her Mum and Dad talking about her
little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were
completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month
because Daddy didn't have the money for both the doctor bills and for the
house payment.

Only very costly surgery could save her brother now and it was looking like there
was no one to loan them the money. She heard her Dad say to her Mum,
"Only a miracle can save him now."

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jam jar from its hiding place in
the cupboard. Pouring the change out on the floor, she counted it carefully three
 times: the total had to be exact; no chance for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins
 back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made
 her way six blocks to Rexall's Drug Store where the big, red Indian chief sign
 hung above the door.

Though she waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, he
seemed too busy at the moment with another customer. Tess twisted her feet,
making a scuffing noise, thereby hoping to elicit his attention, but nothing
happened. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster,
but that, too, proved ineffective. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged
 it on the glass counter. That did it! "And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked
 in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I
haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question. "Well, I want
 to talk to you about my brother," Tess replied in the same annoyed tone. "He's really,
really sick, and I want to buy a miracle." ''I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
 "His name is Andrew," she continued, "And he has something bad growing inside
his head, and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does
 a miracle cost?" "We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry, but I can't help
you," the pharmacist said, softening a little. Not to be dismissed, Tess went right on,
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I'll get the rest. Just tell me
 how much it costs."

Now, throughout this exchange, the pharmacist's brother, a well-dressed man,
stood by silently, listening in. Stooping down to the little girl, he asked, "What kind
of a miracle does your brother need?" "I don't know," Tess replied, her eyes beginning
to well up. "I just know he's really sick, and Mummy says he needs an operation.
But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money." "How much do you have?"
asked the man from Chicago. "One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered, barely
audible. "It's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to." "Well, what
 a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents; that's the exact price
of a miracle for little brothers."

He took her money in one hand, and with the other hand he grasped her mitten
 and said, "Take me to your house. I want to see your brother and meet your parents.
Let's see if I have the miracle you need." As providence would have it, that well-dressed
man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a renowned neurosurgeon. He performed the operation completely free of charge, and it wasn't long before Andrew was home again and
 recovering nicely. Talking excitedly with the family about the chain of events that
preceded her son's successful recuperation, Tess' mum whispered, "That surgery was a
miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?" Little Tess just smiled, knowing exactly
 how much a miracle cost: one dollar and eleven cents, plus the unshakable faith of
a devoted sister.

(Original source unknown)







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© Lyn Rennick 2005