Posted 4-20-98

Thought Provoking Stories & Good Jokes

This page has been put together from the great e-mail I've received through the last year or so.
Thanks to all those that made their contributions to make this page possible.

(If any are found to be copyrighted, please e-me and they will be removed.)

I want to start with the stories that make you think...
please take time to read them, and print them out for friends.

You have been counted as...# Thanks for dropping by!

Attitude is Everything

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing he would reply, "If I were any better I'd be twins!"
He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason they followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all the time. How do you do it?" Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can be in a bad mood.
I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life." " Yeah, right but it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments from the bullet still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident, when I asked him how he was he said "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what went through his mind as the robbery took place. " The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I have two choices: I could choose to live , or I could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and the nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action." What did you do?" I asked. "Well there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.. I took a deep breath and yelled 'Bullets!"
Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.
Attitude, after all is, everything.

You have 2 choices now:

1. Forget it.
2. Try to live by this example and Forward it to your dear ones.

I hope, you will choose choice 2.

Ten Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it,
but it's yours to keep for the entire period.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a
full-time informal school called, "life".

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a
process of trial, error, and experimentation. The
"failed" experiments are as much a part of the
process as the experiments that ultimately "work".

4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A
lesson will be presented to you in various forms until
you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can
go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end. There's no part of
life that doesn't contain its lessons. If you're alive, that
means there are still lessons to be learned.

6. "There" is no better a place than "here". When
your "there" has become a "here", you will simply
obtain another "there" that will again look better than

7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You
cannot love or hate something about another person
unless it reflects to you something you love or hate
about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have
all the tools and resources you need. What you do
with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life's
questions lie within you. All you need to do is look,
listen, and trust. (SO HARD !!!)

10. You will forget all this.


People are often unreasonable, illogical, and
self centered; --- FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives; ---
If you are successful, you will win some
false friends and some true enemies; ---
If you are honest and frank, people may
cheat you; --- BE HONEST ANYWAY.
What you spend years building, someone may
try to destroy overnight; --- BUILD ANYWAY.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may
be jealous; --- BE HAPPY ANYWAY.
The good you do today, people will often forget
tomorrow; -- DO GOOD ANYWAY.
Give the world the best you have, and it may
never be enough; --- GIVE THE WORLD THE
You see, in the final analysis, it is between
you and God; --- IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN

Free Bird...

A man was on the side of the road with a large birdcage.
A boy noticed that the cage was full of birds of many kinds.
"Where did you get those birds?" he asked.
"Oh, all over the place," the man replied. "I lure them with crumbs,
pretend I'm their friend then when they are close, I
net them and shove them into my cage."

"And what are you going to do with them now?" The man grinned,
"I'm going to prod them with sticks, and get them really mad so they
fight and kill each other. Those that survive, I will kill. None will escape."

The boy looked steadily at the man. What made him do
such things? He looked into the cruel, hard eyes. Then he looked at
the birds, defenseless, without hope. "Can I buy those birds?"
the boy asked.
The man hid a smile, aware that he could be on to a good thing if he
played his cards right.

"Well," he said hesitantly, "The cage is pretty expensive, and I
spent a lot of time collecting these birds, I'll tell you what I'll
do, I'll let you have the lot, birds, cage and all for
ten pounds and that jacket you're wearing."
The boy paused, ten pounds was all he
had, and the jacket was new and very special, in fact it was his
prized possession. Slowly, he took out the ten pounds and handed it
over, then even more slowly he took off his jacket, gave it one last
look then handed that over too. And then (well, you've guessed it)
he opened the door and let the birds go free.


The Enemy of the world, Satan, was on the side of life's road with a
very large cage. The man coming towards him noticed that it was
crammed full of people of every kind, young, old, from every race and nation.

"Where did you get these people?" the man asked.

"Oh, from all over the world," Satan replied. "I lure them with
drink, drugs, lust, lies, anger, hate, love of money and all manner
of things. I pretend I'm their friend, out to give them a good time,
then when I've hooked them, into the cage they go."

"And what are you going to do with them now?" asked the man.
Satan grinned. "I'm going to prod them, provoke them, get them to
hate and destroy each other; I'll stir up racial hatred, defiance of
law and order; I'll make people bored, lonely, dissatisfied, confused
and restless. It's easy. People will always listen to what I offer
them and (what's better) blame God for the outcome!"

"And then what?" the man asked.

"Those who do not destroy themselves, I will destroy.
None will escape me."

The man stepped forward. "Can I buy these people from you?" he asked.
Satan snarled, "Yes, but it will cost you your life."
So Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid for your release, your freedom
from Satan's trap, with His own life, on the cross at Calvary. The
door is open, and anyone, whom Satan has deceived and
caged, can be set free.

`Twas The Night Before Jesus Came

' Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning ' Just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand,
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said "It's not here" my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above,
With those who were ready He rose without a sound
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!

His Name is Bill

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it,
jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years
of college. He is brilliant. Kinda esoteric and very, very bright. He
became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church.
They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go
about it. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans,
his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Bill
starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are
looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and
closer and closer to the pulpit and when he realizes there are no seats,
he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior
at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church
before!) By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the
church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is
in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, a three-piece suit, and a pocket watch.
A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane
and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves,
You can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man
of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly
silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on
him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The people are thinking, the
minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.
And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor.
With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and
worships with him so he won't be alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion.

When the minister gains control he says,
"What I'm about to preach, you will never remember.
What you have just seen, you will never forget."

Story of Love

Pappy was a pleasant-looking old fellow. He had the whitest hair which he
kept neatly cut and combed. His eyes were blue, though faded with age,
and they seemed to emit a warmth from within. His face was quite drawn,
but when he smiled, even his wrinkles seemed to soften and smile with him.
He had a talent for whistling and did so happily each day as he dusted and
swept his pawnshop; even so, he had a secret sadness, but everyone who knew
him respected and adored him.

Most of Pappy's customers returned for their good, and he did not do much
business, but he did not mind. To him, the shop was not a livelihood as
much as a welcome pastime.

There was a room in the back of his shop where he spent time tinkering with
a menagerie of his own precious items. He referred to this back room as
"memory hall." In it were pocket watches, clocks, and electric trains.
There were miniature steam engines and antique toys made of wood, tin, or
cast iron, and there were various other obsolete trinkets as well.
Spending time in memory hall delighted him as he recalled many treasured moments
from his past. He handled each item with care, and sometimes he would close his
eyes and pause to relive a sweet, simple childhood memory.

One day, Pappy was working to his heart's content reassembling an old
railroad lantern. As he worked, he whistled the melody of a railroad
tune and reminisced about his own past as a switchman. It was a typical day
at the shop. Outside, the sun illuminated the clear sky, and a slight wind
passed through the front screen door. Whenever the weather was this nice,
Pappy kept the inner door open. He enjoyed the fresh air--almost as much
as the distinctive smell of antiques and old engine oil.

As he was polishing his newly restored lantern, he heard the tinkling of his
bell on the shop door. The bell, which produced a uniquely charming resound,
had been in Pappy's family for over a hundred years. He cherished it dearly
and enjoyed sharing its song with all who came to his shop. Although the
bell hung on the inside of the main door, Pappy had strung a wire to the
screen door so that it would ring whether the inner door was open or not.
Prompted by the bell, he left memory hall to greet his customer.

At first, he did not see her. Her shiny, soft curls barely topped the counter.
"And how can I help you, little lady?" Pappy's voice was jovial.

"Hello, sir." The little girl spoke almost in a whisper. She was dainty.
Bashful. Innocent. She looked at Pappy with her big brown eyes, then slowly
scanned the room in search of something special.

Shyly she told him, "I'd like to buy a present, sir."
"Well, let's see," Pappy said, "who is this present for?"

"My grandpa. It's for my grandpa. But I don't know what to get."

Pappy began to make suggestions. "How about a pocket watch? It's in good
condition. I fixed it myself," he said proudly.

The little girl didn't answer. She had walked to the doorway and put her
smalll hand on the door. She wiggled the door gently to ring the bell.
Pappy's face seemed to glow as he saw her smiling with excitement.

"This is just right," the little girl bubbled. "Momma says grandpa loves music."

Just then, Pappy's expression changed. Fearful of breaking the little girl's
heart, he told her, "I'm sorry, missy. That's not for sale. Maybe your
grandpa would like this little radio."

The little girl looked at the radio, lowered her head, and sadly sighed,
"No, I don't think so."

In an effort to help her understand, Pappy told her the story of how
the bell had been in his family for so many years, and that was why he
didn't want to sell it.

The little girl looked up at him, and with a giant tear in her eye,
sweetly said, "I guess I understand. Thank you, anyway."

Suddenly, Pappy thought of how the rest of the family was all gone now,
except for his estranged daughter whom he had not seen in nearly a decade.
Why not, he thought. Why not pass it on to someone who will share it with a
loved one? God only knows where it will end up anyway.

"Wait...little lady." Pappy spoke just as the little girl was going out
the door--just as he was hearing his bell ring for the last time. "I've
decided to sell the bell. Here's a hanky. Blow your nose."

The little girl began to clap her hands. "Oh, thank you, sir. Grandpa
will be so happy."

"Okay, little lady. Okay." Pappy felt good about helping the child; he
knew, however, he would miss the bell. "You must promise to take good
care of the bell for your grandpa--and for me, too, okay?" He carefully
placed the bell in a brown paper bag.

"Oh, I promise," said the little girl. Then, she suddenly became very
still and quiet. There was something she had forgotten to ask. She
looked up at Pappy with great concern, and again almost in a whisper,
asked, "How much will it cost?"

"Well, let's see. How much have you got to spend?" Pappy asked with a
grin. The child pulled a small coin purse from her pocket then reached
up and emptied two dollars and forty-seven cents onto the counter. After
briefly questioning his own sanity, Pappy said, "Little lady, this is
your lucky day. That bell costs exactly two dollars and forty-seven cents."

Later that evening as Pappy prepared to close up shop, he found himself
thinking about his bell. Already he had decided not to put up another
one. He thought about the child and wondered if her grandpa like his gift.
Surely he would cherish anything from such a precious grandchild.

At that moment, just as he was going to turn off the light in memory hall,
Pappy thought he heard his bell. Again, he questioned his sanity; he
turned toward the door, and there stood the little girl. She was ringing
the bell and smiling sweetly.

Pappy was puzzled as he strolled toward the small child. "What's this,
little lady? Have you changed your mind?"
"No," she grinned. "Momma says it's for you."
Before Pappy had time to say another word, the child's mother stepped into
the doorway, and choking back a tear, she gently said, "Hello, Dad."

The little girl tugged on her grandpa's shirttail. "Here, Grandpa. Here's
your hanky. Blow your nose."

Children of Israel

At the Henry Street Hebrew School, Goldblatt, the new teacher,
finished the day's lesson. It was now time for the usual question period.

"Mr. Goldblatt," announced little Joey, "there's somethin' I can't figure out."

"What's that Joey?" asked Goldblatt.

"Well accordin' to the Bible, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, right?"


"An' the Children of Israel beat up the Phillistines, right?"


"An' the Children of Israel built the Temple, right?"

"Again you're right."

"An' the Children of Israel fought the 'gyptians, an' the Children of
Israel fought the Romans, an' the Children of Israel wuz always doin'
somethin' important, right?"

"All that is right, too," agreed Goldblatt. "So what's your question?"

"What I wanna know is this," demanded Joey.
"What wuz all the grown-ups doin' all that time?"

Please Dress Me in Red

In my profession, I have worked with children who have the
virus that causes AIDS. The relationships that I have had with
these special kids have been gifts in my life. Let me tell you
about the courage of Tyler.
Tyler was born infected with HIV; his mother was also
infected. From the very beginning of his life, he was dependent
on medications to enable him to survive. At times, he also needed
supplemental oxygen to support his breathing. Tyler wasn't
willing to give up one single moment of his childhood to this
deadly disease. It was not unusual to find him playing and racing
around his backyard, wearing his medicine-laden backpack and dragging
his tank of oxygen behind him in his little wagon. Tyler's pure joy
in being alive gave him energy that caused all of us who knew him
to marvel. Tyler's mom often teased him by telling him that he moved
so fast, she needed to dress him in red. That way, when she peered
out the window to check on him playing in the yard, she could quickly spot him.
This dreaded disease eventually wore down even the likes of a
little dynamo like Tyler. He became quite ill and, unfortunately, so
did his mother. When it became apparent that he wasn't going to
survive, Tyler's mom talked to him and she comforted him by telling
Tyler that she was dying, too, and that she would be with him soon
in heaven.
A few days before his death, Tyler beckoned me over to his hospital
bed and whispered, "I might die soon. I'm not scared. When I die, please
dress me in red. Mom promised she's coming to heaven, too. I'll be
playing when she gets there, and I want to make sure she can find me."

Electronic Hug



It Takes Guts To Say "Jesus"

*** This is a true story of something that happened just a few years ago at USC. ***

There was a professor of philosophy at USC who was a deeply committed
atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire
semester attempting to prove that God couldn't exist. His students were
always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For
twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the
courage to stand up to him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but
no one had ever really stood up to him. Nobody would go against him
because he had a reputation. At the end of every semester, on the last
day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there's anyone here
who still believes in Jesus, stand up!"

In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going
to do next. He would say "Because anyone who does believe in God is a fool.
If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and
breaking. Such a simple task to prove that he is God, and yet he can't do it."
And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the
classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students
could do nothing but stop and stare. Most of the students were
convinced that God couldn't exist. Certainly, a number of Christians
had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago, there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled
in the class. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about this
professor. He had to take the class because it was one of required
classes for his major. And he was afraid. But for 3 months that
semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to
stand up no matter what the professor said or what the class thought.
Nothing they said or did could ever shatter his faith, he hoped.
Finally the day came. The professor said "If there is anyone here who
still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of 300
people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of
the classroom. The professor shouted "You FOOL!! If God existed,
he could keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the
ground!" He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out
of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg,
and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken.
The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He
looked up at the young man then ran out of the lecture hall.

The young man who had stood up proceeded to walk to the front of the
room and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students
stayed and listened as he told of
God's love for them and of his power through Jesus.

"Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name,
He gave the right to become children of God. Children born not of natural
descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."
John 1:12-13

"But He knows the way that I take. When He has tested me, I
will come forth as gold."
Job 23:10

***Please continue to pass this on from one Christian to
the next as a message of encouragement and hope. ***

This is an awesome display of a little thing called faith!!!!!!


One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise.
Ah the beauty of God's creation is beyond description.
As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work.
As I sat there, I felt the Lord's presence with me.
He asked me, "Do you love me?"
I answered,
"Of course, God! You are my Lord and Saviour!"
Then He asked,
"If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?"
I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest of my body
and wondered how many things I wouldn't; be able to do, the things that
I took for granted.
And I answered, "It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You."
Then the Lord said,
"If you were blind, would you still love my creation?"
How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of
all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God
and His creation.
So I answered, "Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you."
The Lord then asked me,
"If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word?"
How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood.
Listening to God's Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts.
I answered, "It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your word."
The Lord then asked,
"If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?"
How could I praise without a voice?
Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul.
It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a
song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks.
So I answered, "Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name."
And the Lord asked, "Do you really love Me?"
With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly,"Yes Lord! I love
You because You are the one and true God!" I thought I had answered well,
but... God asked,
I answered, "Because I am only human. I am not perfect."
No answers. Only tears.
The Lord continued:
"Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek
Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask
things so unfaithfully?"
The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.
"Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading
the Good News? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer
My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to
serve in My Name?"
I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.
"You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I
have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I
have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have
spoken to you but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but
your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idly by as
they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all."
I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no
excuse. What could I say to this? When I my heart had cried out and the tears
had flowed, I said, " Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child."
The Lord answered,
" That is My Grace, My child."
I asked, " Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do You love me so?"
The Lord answered,
" Because you are My creation. You are my child. I will never abandon you.
When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with
joy, I will laugh with you.
When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will
raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you.
I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever."
Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How
could I have hurt God as I had done? I asked God,
"How much do You love me?"
The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I
bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Saviour.
And for the first time, I truly prayed.

The Night before Christmas for MOM's

IT was the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode
only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo 64 and Barbie, flipped through their heads.
The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what's the matter?"
With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
she descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes and soot, which fell with a shrug.
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."
"Ho-ho-ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake."
"Your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is some time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "I've made you a clone."
"A clone?" she asked, "What good is that?
Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit-chat."
The mother's twin. Same hair, same eyes,
same double chin. "She'll cook, she'll dust, "
she'll mop every mess. You'll relax, take it easy,
watch The Young & the Restless." "Fantastic!" the mom cheered.
"My dream come true! "I'll shop. I'll read., I'll sleep a whole night through! "
From the room above, the youngest began to fret.
"Mommy?! I'm scared... and I 'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She knows her part."
The clone changed the small one, and hummed a tune,
as she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.
"Your the best mommy ever. " I really love you."
The clone smiled and sighed, "I love you, too."
The mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal. "
That's my child's love, she's trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear, "
Only one loving mother, is needed here."
The mom kissed her child, and tucked her into bed.
"Thank you, Santa, " for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget, it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old, for my cradle-song."
The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side Santa said, "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, Mom, You'll be all right."


There is a sweet, angelic look

In every mother's eyes

That makes us stop and wonder

If they're angels in disguise;

For they are always standing by

When someone needs a friend.

No one has as much compassion;

None are quicker to defend.

There is a little bit of God

In every mother's heart.

He molded them of finer clay

That sets them well apart.

They are an earthly blessing

That heaven itself supplies;

And so we can't help believing

They are angels in disguise !!!!

I guess this could be said of Fathers too!!

Valentine's Story

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and
studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station.
He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the
girl with the rose.

His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library.
Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words
of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft
handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.

In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss
Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in
New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her
to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II.

During the next year and one-month the two grew to know each other through
the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart.

A Romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused.
She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled
their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York.

"You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my
lapel." So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he
loved, but whose face he'd never seen.

I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened: A young woman was coming
toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls
from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin
had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive.

I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not
wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips.
"Going my way, sailor?" she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one
step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind
the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat.
She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes.

The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I
was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was
my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.

And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her
gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers
gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify
me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious,
something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been
and must ever be grateful.

I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even
though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment.

"I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad
you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?"

The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what this
is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit who
just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if
you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is
waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street.

She said it was some kind of test!" It's not difficult to understand and
admire Miss Maynell's wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its
response to the unattractive.

"Tell me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "And I will tell you who you are."

Prayer and the Athiest

There was a Christian lady who lived next door to an atheist. Everyday,
when the lady prayed, the atheist guy could hear her. He thought to
himself, "She sure is crazy, praying all the time like that. Doesn't she
know there isn't a God?" Many times while she was praying, he would go to
her house and harass her, saying "Lady, why do you pray all the time?
Don't you know there is no God?" But she kept on praying.

One day, she ran out of groceries. As usual, she was praying to the Lord
explaining her situation and thanking Him for what He was gonna do. AS
USUAL, the atheist heard her praying and thought to himself. "Hmph...I'll
fix her." He went to the grocery store, bought a whole bunch of groceries,
took them to her house, dropped them off on the front porch, rang the door
bell and then hid in the bushes to see what she would do. When she opened the
door and saw the groceries, she began to praise the Lord with all her heart,
jumping, singing and shoutin' everywhere!

The atheist then jumped out of the bushes and told her, "You ol' crazy lady,
God didn't buy you those groceries, I bought those groceries!"

Well, she broke out and started running down the street, shouting and
praising the Lord. When he finally caught her, he asked what her problem

The Difference

I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn't have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,
and heavier came each task.
"Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered.
He answered,"You didn't ask".

I wanted to see beauty,
but the day toiled on,gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn't show me.
He said,"But you didn't seek."

I tried to come into God's presence;
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
"My child, you didn't knock."

I woke early this morning,
and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray.

Alan Grant

"The Last Day of School"

Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very
first day of school in the fall and told the children a lie. Like most
teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved them all the
same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was impossible
because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was
a boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year
before and noticed he didn't play well with the other children, that his
clothes were unkempt and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy was
unpleasant. It got to the point during the first few months that she
would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen,
making bold X's and then marking the F at the top of the paper biggest of
all. Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, no one else seemed to enjoy
him, either.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each
child's records and put Teddy's off until last. When she opened his file,
she was in for a surprise. His first-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a
bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly
and has good manners... He is a joy to be around."

His second-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student well-liked
by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal
illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy continues to work hard but his
mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his
father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him
if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show
much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes
sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem."

By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem but Christmas was coming fast.
It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day
before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy
Stoddard. Her children brought her presents, all in gay ribbon and bright
paper, except for Teddy's, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy,
brown paper of a scissored grocery bag.

Mrs.Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other
presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a
rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that
was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the children's laughter
when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and
dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist. Teddy Stoddard
stayed behind just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled
just like my mom used to."

After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that
very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and speaking. Instead,
she began to teach children.

Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called
"Teddy." As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more
she encouraged him, the faster he responded. On days there would be an
important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of
the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class
and...well, he had also become the "pet" of the teacher who had once
vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.

A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling
her that of all the teachers he'd had in elementary school, she was his
favorite. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He
then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she
was still his favorite teacher of all time. Four years after that, she
got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times,
he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college
with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his
favorite teacher.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he
explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a
little further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite
teacher but that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed,
Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter
that Spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was to be married. He
explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was
wondering...well, if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually
reserved for the mother of the groom. When that special day arrived she
wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing, and she
smelled just like... well, just like she smelled many years before, on
that last day of school, before the Christmas Holiday began.

You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another's life by
your actions or lack of action. Sometimes just a smile on the street to a
passing stranger can make a difference we could never imagine.


Dear GOD,
In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are
on vacation?
* Jane

Dear GOD,
Are you really invisible or is that just a trick?
* Lucy

Dear GOD,
Is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his bowling
words in the house?
* Anita

Dear GOD,
Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an
* Norma

Dear GOD,
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones,
why don't You just keep the ones You have now?
* Jane

Dear GOD,
Who draws the lines around the countries?
* Nan

Dear GOD,
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church.
Is that okay?
* Neil

Dear GOD,
What does it mean You are a Jealous God? I thought You had
* Jane

Dear GOD,
Did you really mean "do unto others as they do unto you"?
Because if you did, then I'm going to fix my brother!
* Darla

Dear GOD,
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a
* Joyce

Dear GOD,
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said
some things about You that people are not supposed to say, but
I hope You will not hurt him anyway.
Your friend
(But I am not going to tell you who I am)

Dear GOD,
Why is Sunday school on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be
our day of rest.
* Tom L.

Dear GOD,
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before, You
can look it up.
* Bruce

Dear GOD,
If You give me a genie lamp like Aladin, I will give you
anything you want except my money or my chess set.
* Raphael

Dear GOD,
My brother is a rat. You should give him a tail. Ha ha.
* Danny

Dear GOD,
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they
had their own rooms. It works with my brother.
* Larry

Dear GOD,
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so
much hair all over.
* Sam

Dear GOD,
I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions.
* Ruth M.

Dear GOD,
I bet it is 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.
* Nan

Dear GOD,
If You watch me in church Sunday, I'll show You my new shoes.
* Mickey D.

Dear GOD,
I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible.
Love, Chris

Dear GOD,
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in school they said You
did it. So I bet he stoled your idea.
Sincerely, Donna


I was walking down life's highway a long time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read, "HEAVEN'S GROCERY STORE".
As I got a little closer the door came open wide, and when I came to
myself I was standing inside. I saw a host of ANGELS. They were standing
everywhere. One handed me a basket and said, "My Child shop with care".
Everything a Christian needed was in that grocery store.
And all you couldn't carry, you could come back the next day for more.
First, I got some PATIENCE: LOVE was in the same row.
Further down was UNDERSTANDING: you need that everywhere you
go. I got a box or two of WISDOM, a bag or two of FAITH. I just couldn't
miss the HOLY GHOST, for it was all over the place. I stopped to get some
STRENGTH and COURAGE to help me run this race. By then my basket
was getting full, but I remembered I needed some GRACE.
I didn't forget SALVATION, for SALVATION was free, so I tried
to get enough of that to save both you and me. Then I started up to the
counter to pay my grocery bill, for I thought I had everything
to do the MASTER'S will.

As I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER: and I just had to put
that in, for I knew when I stepped outside, I would run into sin.
PEACE AND JOY were plentiful; they were last on the shelf. SONG and
PRAISE were hanging near, so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the angel, "Now, how much do I owe?" He smiled and
said, "Just take them everywhere you go." Again, I smiled and said,
"How much do I really owe?" He smiled again and said,

(MATTHEW 21:22

Hello God

Hello God, I called tonight
To talk a little while..
I need a friend who'll listen
To my anxiety and trial...

You see, I can't quite make it
Though a day just on my own...
I need your love to guide me,
So I'll never feel alone
I want to ask you please to keep,
My family safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence
For whatever fate they're bound.

Give me faith, dear God, to face
Each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things
I can't change in any way.

I thank you God, for being home
And listening to my call,
For giving me such good advice
When I stumble and fall.

Your number, God, is the only one
That answers every time.
I never get a busy signal,
Never had to pay a dime.

So thank you,God, for listening
To my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night,God, I love You, too,
And I'll call again tomorrow!
~author unknown~

Gift of Time

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with
$86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening
deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.

What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it
credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost,
whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.

It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it
opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the
day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is
no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow".

You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to
get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success! The clock is running.

Make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a pre-mature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer with kids to feed.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLI-SECOND, ask the person who
won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because
you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your

And remember that time waits for no one.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That's why it's called the present!


1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

2. Memorize your favorite poem.

3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

4. When you say, "I love you", mean it.

5. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.

6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

7. Believe in love at first sight.

8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.

9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the

only way to live life completely.

10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

11. Don't judge people by their relatives.

12. Talk slow but think quick.

13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer,

smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?".

14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

15. Call your mom.

16. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

17. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

18. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others;

Responsibility for all your actions.

19. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

20. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

22. Marry a man you love to talk to. As you get older, his

conversational skills will be as important as any other.

23. Spend some time alone.

24. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

26. Read more books and watch less TV.

27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think

back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.

28. Trust in God but lock your car.

29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all

you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.

30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current

situation. Don't bring up the past.

31. Read between the lines.

32. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

33. Be gentle with the earth.

34. Pray -- there's immeasurable power in it.

35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.

36. Mind your own business.

37. Don't trust a man who doesn't close his eyes when you kiss him.

38. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others

while you are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.

40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.

41. Learn the rules then break some.

42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love

for each other is greater than your need for each other.

43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

44. Remember that your character is your destiny.

45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

An Irish blessing

Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But don't forget to remember
Those who have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget
The trouble that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.


Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a
chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all
his young life.

Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as
possible and had sent him to St. Theresa's Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly
unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became
exasperated with him.

He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting
noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a
spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of
the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day, she
called his parents and asked them to come to St. Teresa's for a

As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris
said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It
isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have
learning problems. Why, there is a five- year gap between his
age and that of the other students!"

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband
spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind
nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to
take him out of this school.

We know he really likes it here." Doris sat for a long time
after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its
coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize
with the Forresters.

After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it
wasn't fair to keep him in her class.

She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a
distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write.
Why waste any more time trying? As she pondered the situation,
guilt washed over her. "Oh God," she said aloud, "here I am
complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor
family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy."

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises
and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk,
dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller,"
he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The
other children snickered, and Doris' face turned red. She
stammered, "Wh-Why, that,s very nice, Jeremy. Now please take
your seat."
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the
coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then
to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each
of the children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them "I
want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with
something inside that shows new life.

Do you understand?" "*Yes, Miss Miller!" the children
responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He just
listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even
make his usual noises.

Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and
resurrection? Did he understand the assignment?
Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to

That evening, Doris* kitchen sink stopped up. She called
the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it.
After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse
and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely
forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and
talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on
Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their Math lesson, it
was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a
flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she
said. "When plants peek through the ground we know that spring
is here." A small girl in the first row waved her arms. "That's
my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked
very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar
changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes that is new
life, too" Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller,
that one is mine."

Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that
the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of
the classroom. "My Daddy helped me!" he beamed. Then Doris
opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely
it must be Jeremy's, she thought, and, of course, he did not
understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to
phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him,
she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.
Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk
about my egg?" Flustered, Doris replied, "but Jeremy - your egg
is empty!" He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes,
but Jesus' tomb was empty too!" Time stopped. When she could
speak again. Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was
empty?" "Oh yes!" Jeremy exclaimed. "Jesus was killed
and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!"

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out
to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted
completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their
respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of
his casket, all of them empty.

The Love of a Father

Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young
son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled 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

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 his 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
solider 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 solider, 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. And 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

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 piece 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 we can 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."

Puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Just as those art
collectors discovered on that Christmas day, the message is still the
same: the love of a Father, a Father whose greatest joy came from His
Son, who went away and gave His life rescuing others. And because of
that Father's love, whoever takes the Son, gets it all.

All the Good Things:

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's
School in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark
Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that
happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischieviousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking
without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though,
was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving

"Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of
it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often,
and then I made a novice-teacher's mistake. I looked at him and said,
"If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!" It
wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I
hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had
stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.

I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to
my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking
tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two
pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned
to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was
doing he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered
as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape and shrugged my
shoulders. His first words were, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."

At the end of the year I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years
flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was
more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully
to my instructions in the "new math," he did not talk as much in ninth
grade as he had in the third.

One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a
new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning,
frustrated with themselves - and edgy with one another. I had to stop this
crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the
other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between
each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say
about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment,
and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled.
Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good
weekend." That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a
separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that
individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire
class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant
anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much!"

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if
they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter.
The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with
themselves and one another again. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at
the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions
about the trip - the weather, my experiences in general. There was a
lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a side-ways glance and
simply says, "Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did
before something important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began.
"Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is."
Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The
funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend." To this
day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark
looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, Mark, I
would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.
The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The
Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral?
It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual
prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark
took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water.

I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the
soldiers who had acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's
math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin.
"Mark talked about you a lot," he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's
farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously
waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking
a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed.
We thought you might recognize it."

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook
paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I
knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed
all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank
you so much for doing that" Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark
treasured it."

Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather
sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my
desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put this in our
wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her
wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this
with me
at all times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for
all his friends who would never see him again.

written by: Sister Helen P. Mrosia

The purpose of this letter, is to encourage everyone to compliment the
people you love and care about. We often tend to forget the
importance of
showing our affections and love. Sometimes the smallest of things,
could mean the most to another. I am asking you, to please send this
letter around and spread the message and encouragement, to express your
love and caring by complimenting and being open with communication. The
density of people in society, is so thick, that we forget that life will end oneday.
And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, I beg of you, to
tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important.

Tell them, before it is too late.

I leave these messages with you and ask you to continue to spread the
message to everyone you know.

Our Gardens

It's time to plant our gardens. As you plant, may I suggest the
following rules for your garden planting:

PLANT three rows of squash:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash criticism
3. Squash indifference

PLANT three rows of peas:
1. Purity
2. Patience
3. Perseverance

PLANT six rows of lettuce:
1. Let us be unselfish and loyal
2. Let us be faithful to duty
3. Let us search the scriptures
4. Let us not be weary in well-doing
5. Let us be obedient in all things
6. Let us Love one another

NO GARDEN is complete without turnips
1. Turn up for church,prayer service, and Bible study
2. Turn up with a smile, even when things are difficult
3. Turn up with determination to do your best for God's cause.

After planting, may you "Grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". 2 Peter 3:18

Sermon on Lying

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach
about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want
you all to read Mark 17."

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon,
the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many
had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and
said, "Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my
sermon on the sin of lying."

Seven Stories Worth Reading

I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful.

#1: Most Important Question
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a
pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the
questions, until I read the last one: 'What is the first name of the
woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I
had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired
and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper,
leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked
if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. Absolutely,
said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people.
All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all
you do is smile and say hello". I've never forgotten that lesson. I
also learned her name was Dorothy.

#2: Say a Prayer
I was taking my usual morning walk when a garbage truck pulled up
beside me. I thought the driver was going to ask for directions.
Instead, he showed me a picture of a cute little five-year-old boy.
"This is my grandson, Jeremiah," he said. "He's on a life-support
system at a Phoenix hospital." Thinking he would next ask for a
contribution to his hospital bills, I reached for my wallet. But he
wanted something more than money. He said, "I'm asking everybody
I can to say a prayer for him. Would you say one for him, please?"
I did. And my problems didn't seem like much that day.

#3: Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 pm, an older African-American woman was
standing on the side of a Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing
rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white
man stopped to help her - generally unheard of in those conflict-filled
1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and
put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote
down his address, thanked him and drove away. Seven days went by
and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant
combination console color TV and stereo record player were delivered
to his home.

A special note was attached. The note read:

Dear Mr. James:

Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night.
The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came
along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's
bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me
and unselfishly serving others.

Mrs. Nat King Cole.

#4: Giving Blood
Giving Blood many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at
Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was
suffering from a disease and needed a blood transfusion from her
five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same
disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the
illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and
asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath
and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liza." As the transfusion
progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did,
seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale
and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I
start to die right away?" Being young, the boy had misunderstood
the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.

#5: Two Nickels and Five Pennies
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old
boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a
glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?"
"Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand
out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. "How much is
a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting
for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she
said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the
ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy
finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the
waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then
swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the
empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.

#6: The Obstacle in Our Path
In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he
hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.
Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and
simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping
the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone
out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.
On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden
and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much
pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked
up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where
the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a
note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who
removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many others never understand.
Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.

#7: Something To Consider
Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very
first day of school in the Fall and told the children a lie. Like most
teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved each
of them the same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was
impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the
third row, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had
watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn't play well with the
other children, that his clothes were unkempt and that he constantly
needed a bath. And Teddy was unpleasant. It got to the point during
the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking
his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then highlighting
the "F" at the top of the paper biggest of all.

Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, no one else seemed to enjoy
him, either. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was
required to review each child's records and delayed Teddy's until
last. When she opened his file, she found a surprise. His first-grade
teacher had written, "Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready
He does his work neatly and has good manners. He is a joy to be around."

His second-grade teacher had penned, "Teddy is an excellent student,
well-liked by all his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother
has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third-grade teacher had noted, "Teddy continues to work hard but his
mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father
doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some
steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth-grade teacher had commented, "Teddy is withdrawn and
doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and
often falls asleep in class. He is tardy and could become a more serious

By now Mrs. Thompson realized the extent of the problem, but
Christmas was coming fast. It was all she could do, with the school
play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was
suddenly forced to focus again on Teddy Stoddard.

Her children brought her presents, all in beautiful ribbon and bright paper,
except Teddy's, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper
of a scissored grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the
middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when
she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a
bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the children's
laughter while she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it
on, and dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist. Teddy
Stoddard stayed behind after class just long enough to say, "Mrs.
Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to." After the
children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and speaking.
Instead, she began to teach children. Jean Thompson paid particular
attention to one they all called "Teddy." As she worked with him, his
mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster
he responded. On those days when there would be an important test,
Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of the year
he had become one of the highest achieving children in the class and,
well, he had also somewhat become the "pet" of that teacher who had
once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.

A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her
that of all the teachers he'd had in elementary school, she was his
favorite. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy.
He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class,
and she was still his favorite teacher of all time. Four yearsafter that,
she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at
times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate
from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson
she was still his favorite teacher.

Four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he
explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a
little further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite teacher
but that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed,
Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter
that Spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was to be married.
He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he
was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually
reserved for the mother of the groom. And on that day, she wore
that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And on that
special day, Jean Thompson smelled just like the way Teddy
remembered his mother smelling on their last Christmas together.

THE MORAL: You never can tell what type of impact you may make
on another's life by your actions or lack of action. Consider this fact in
your venture through life.

:o) The Value of a Smile :o)

A :o) is nature's best antidote for discouragement.
It brings rest to the weary,
sunshine to those who are :o( ,
and hope to those who are hopeless and defeated.

A :o) is so valuable that it can't be bought,
begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will. You have to be
willing to
give a :o) away
before it can do anyone else any good.

So if someone is too tired or grumpy to flash you a :o)
let him have one of yours anyway.
Nobody needs a :o) as much
as the person who has none to give.....


your smile for today...
pass it on to someone...
who needs some sunshine on a cloudy day...

no matter how bad it seems at the time,
it shall pass in a few moments,


a :o( is simply a :o) upside down...
so, stand on your head and look in the mirror...
once you see how silly you look...
:o( turns into :o)


Smiles for Sale

VICKI, an unhappy rich woman, sits impatiently on a bus stop bench.

MIKE, a homeless man, sits down next to her with a big smile on his face.

VICKI: What are you smiling for?

MIKE: It's what I do.

VICKI: I won't ask.

MIKE: I sell smiles for a living.

VICKI: I'm not interested.

MIKE: Here, have a free one - on me.
(He smiles at her.)

VICKI: No thank you.

MIKE: Sorry, can't take it back. You'll have to give it to someone else.

VICKI: What?

MIKE: The smile. You'll have to give it away if you don't want it. Or
sell it if you like - apparently it hasn't been used much.

VICKI: What do you mean by that?

MIKE: You don't smile very often, do you?

VICKI: So what if I don't?

MIKE: Shouldn't waste your smile...there's plenty of people who could use one.

VICKI: Well they can have mine.

MIKE: Your what?

VICKI: My smile.

MIKE: I don't see one.

VICKI: I thought you just gave me one.

MIKE: I tried, but it didn't stick. I think it bounced right off.

VICKI: Fine. What's there to smile about anyway?

MIKE: Well--

VICKI: You don't have to answer that.

MIKE: There's lots of things to smile about. It's a beautiful day outside;
the busses are running on time--

VICKI: I don't want to hear about it.

MIKE: --and look at that flower over there, now that would make anybody smile--

VICKI: Would you leave me alone!
(a long moment of silence. Finally, she gives in.)

VICKI: So what's the going rate on smiles these days?

MIKE: Pardon me?

VICKI: Your much are they?

MIKE: Oh, they're very expensive.

VICKI: So's my taste.

MIKE: You probably couldn't afford one.

VICKI: Try me.

MIKE: I'm'll cost you.

VICKI: Yes, I know, HOW MUCH?

MIKE: One smile.

VICKI: One smile?

MIKE: That's how much they cost.

VICKI: What?

MIKE: The price for a smile is exactly one smile. That's the going
rate. (She thinks about it)

VICKI: Alright. (smiles) I'll take one.

MIKE: It was a pleasure doing business with
you. (he leaves)

(Daisy, a streetwalker, sits down next to her.)

DAISY: What's with the smile?

VICKI: I sell smiles for a living.

This Story is to remind you to always smile and be cheerful! It makes
people happy!

So, forward this to all your friends to remind them to keep a smile on
their face!

Keep on smiling!

More Smiles

Smiles are the precious gems
that add a special glow,
And fill the world with sunshine
in spite of daily woe.

Smiles are the soft white clouds
that cushion every blow,
And chase away misgivings
among our friends and foe.

Smiles are the rainbows that
appear when storms are through;
They turn our pain to joy again;
our courage we'll renew.

Smiles are the bridge between
the darkness and the light
Smiles are a very important part of life.

The Trouble Tree

The Carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just
finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an
hour of work, his electric saw quit and now his ancient pickup truck
refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he
invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door,
he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His
tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small
children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity
got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having
troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in
the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the
tree every night when I come home. Then, in the morning, I pick them
up again."

"Funny thing is," he smiled. "When I come out in the morning to
pick'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the
night before.


When we share laughter,
There's twice the fun;
When we share success,
We've surpassed what we've done.
When we share problems,
There's half the pain;
When we share tears,
A rainbow follows rain.
When we share dreams,

They become more real;
When we share secrets,
It's our hearts we reveal.
If we share a smile,
That's when our love shows;
If we share a hug,
That's when our love grows.
If we share with someone
On whom we depend,
That person is always
Family or friend.
And what draws us closer
And makes us all care,
Is not what we have,
But the things that we share
When you open...your heart
*Author Jill Wolf*

When God Made Mothers

When the Good Lord was creating Mothers
He was into the sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and
said, "You are doing a lot of fiddling around with this one."
And the Lord said "Have you read the spec on this order?"
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic.
Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable.
Run on black coffee and leftovers.
Have a lap that disappears when she stands up.
A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love
affair... and six pairs of hands...
The angel shook her head slowly and said,
"Six pairs of hands...No Way."
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord.
"It's the three pairs of eyes that mother's have to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
The Lord Nodded.
"One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks,
"What are you kids doing in there?" when she already knows.
Another here in the back of her head that sees
what she shouldn't but what she has to know,
and of course the ones here in the front that can look
at a child when he goofs up and say,
"I understand and I love you"
without so much as uttering a word."
"Lord," said the angel touching his sleeve gently,
"Come to bed. Tomorrow..."
"I can't," said the Lord,
"I'm so close to creating something so close to myself.
Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...
can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger.
and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."
The angel circled the model of a Mother very slowly.
"It's too soft," she sighed.
"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly.
"You cannot imagine what this Mother can do or endure."
"Can it think?"
"Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,"
said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran a finger across the cheek.
"There is a leak," she pronounced.
"I told you, you were trying to put too much into this model."
"It's not a leak," said the Lord "it's a tear."
"What's it for?"
"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride."
"You are a genius," said the angel.
The Lord looked somber.
"I didn't put it there."


When the good Lord was creating Fathers,
He started with a tall frame.
An angel nearby said "What kind of a Father is that?
If you're going to make children so close to the ground,
why have you put the Father up so high?
He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling,
Play pretend drinking tea, and kiss dollie good night,
tuck a child in bed without bending,
or even kiss a child without stooping"
God smiled and said,
"Yes, but if I make him child size,
who would children have to look up to?"
And when God made a Father's hands, they were large.
The angel said, "Large hands can't manage diaper pins,
small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails,
or even remove splinters caused from baseball bats."
Again God smiled and said,
"I know, but they're large enough to hold
everything a small boy empties from his pockets,
all the paper dolls, sing songs, jump rope,
and teach her to turn cartwheels.
yet small enough to cup a child's face in them."
Then God molded long slim legs and broad shoulders,
"Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap?"
The angel chuckled.
God said, "A Mother needs a lap.
A Father needs strong shoulders to
pull a wagon, to balance a bicycle,
or to hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."
When God was in the middle of creating
the biggest body any one had ever seen,
the angel said, "That's not fair.
Do you honestly think that form is going to get
out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries,
or walk through a birthday party without
crushing one or two of the guests?"
God again smiled and said,
"It will work. You will see.
It will support a small child who wants to ride to Banbury Cross
or scare mice away from a summer cabin ,
or walk in shoes that will be a challenge to fill."
God worked throughout the night,
giving the Father few words,
but a firm authoritative voice;
eyes that see everything,
but remain calm and tolerant.
Finally, almost as an after thought,
He added tears. Then he turned to the angel and said,
"Now are you satisfied he can love as much as a Mother can?"

The angel said nothing more.

by Erma Bombeck>>

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