A young man learns what's most
important in life from the guy next door
Long but worth it all! Don't miss the last
15 admonitions. ~Sumner
It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls,
career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across
the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy
life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to
spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing
could stop him.
Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The
funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old
newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
"Jack, did you hear me?"
"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of
him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were
doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of
the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.
"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.
"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make
sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said
"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this
business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me
things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral,"
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his
hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no
children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to
see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing
over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was
exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every
piece of furniture.... Jack stopped suddenly.
"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.
"The box is gone," he said
"What box?" Mom asked.
"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I
must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell
me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered
it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had
"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better
get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from
work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required
on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within
the next three days," the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and
looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was
difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. "Mr.
Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open
the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands
shook as he read the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack
Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped
to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack
carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold
Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched
the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:
"Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser."
"The thing he valued most was...my time"
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and
cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his
assistant asked. "I need some time to spend with my son," he said.
"Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!"
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the
moments that take our breath away,"
Think about this. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true.
1. At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
3. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't
4. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
5. You mean the world to someone.
6. If not for you, someone may not be living.
7. You are special and unique.
8. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you
probably won't get it, but if you trust God to do what's best, and wait
on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.
9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look:
you most likely turned your back on the world.
11. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
12. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude
13 . Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much
better when they know and you'll both be happy.
14. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they
15. Sumner's addition. That one you took time to lead to Christ will be
eternally grateful to you. I know. I am so grateful, every day, to Gene
Gaskins for his part in my salvation
Send this letter to all the people you care about, if you do so, you
will certainly brighten someone's day and might change their perspective
on life...for the better. To everyone I sent this to "Thanks for your
You DO Make A Difference!
"A New York teacher decided to honor each of her high school seniors
by telling them the difference they each made. Using a process developed
by Helice Bridges of Del Mar, California, she called each student to the
front of the class, one at a time.
"First she told the class how each student made a difference to her and
the class. Then she presented each of them with a blue ribbon imprinted
with the words 'Who I Am Makes a Difference.'
"Afterwards the teacher decided to do a class project to see what kind
of impact such recognition would have on the community. She gave each
student three ribbons and instructed them to go out and spread this
"One of the boys went to a junior executive in a company and honored him
for helping him with his career planning. He gave the man a blue ribbon
and pinned it on his shirt.
"Then he gave that businessman two extra ribbons, and said: 'We're doing
a class project on recognition, and we'd like you to find someone to
honor, give him or her a blue ribbon, and give that person an extra
ribbon so he or she could acknowledge a third person to pass on this
"Later that day that junior executive went in to see his boss, who was
known as a real grouch. He told his boss he deeply admired him for being
a creative genius. The boss looked very surprised--especially when asked
if he also would accept a blue ribbon as recognition. 'Well, sure,' the
surprised boss responded, and let the junior executive pin the blue
ribbon on his jacket. "Then the junior executive gave his boss another
ribbon and asked if he would pass it on by honoring someone else.
"So that night the boss came home to his 14-year-old son and sat him
down, and told him: 'The most incredible thing happened to me today! One
of my junior executives came into my office and told me he admired me
and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine, he
thinks I'm a creative genius!'
"'Then on my jacket he pinned this blue ribbon that says "Who I Am Makes
A Difference," and gave me an extra ribbon to honor someone else. As I
was driving home tonight, I started to think about whom I would honor
with this ribbon, and I thought about you. I want to honor you, my son.
"'My days are really hectic, and when I come home I don't pay much
attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough
grades and for making a mess of your room. But somehow tonight, I just
want to sit here and just let you know that you do make a difference to
me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life.
You're a great kid and I love you.'
"The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he just couldn't stop
crying. He cried so hard that his whole body shook. Finally, he looked
up at his father and said through his tears, 'Dad, I was planning to
commit suicide tomorrow, because I didn't think you loved me. Now I
don't need to.'"
Prelude to the Main
A woman in Florida had a malignant tumor in the facial area. Her
physician told her that the
only available treatments would cause much pain and some disfigurement.
The treatments did not
offer a cure, but they would probably buy her more time. She listened
and then said, 'No thanks,
doctor, I'm not going to take the treatments.' Somewhat alarmed, he
said, 'Look, if you don't
take the treatments you are going to die.' With an angelic smile and a
steady faith she replied,
'Doctor, I didn't come here to stay.'
All of us are transients on this earth - some here for 90 years, some
for 50, and some for less
than a year. This life is just a prelude to the main event. That does
not mean that this life is
unimportant. It just means that the most important thing one can do on
this earth is to make
reservations for eternity.
"Christ died for our sins, (paid our debt in
full) rose again, and was seen by hundreds."
Believe Him and receive Him as your Savior too. Jn 1:12. Dear God, I
have sinned too and
believe Jesus suffered and died for my sins and rose again. I want to
receive the Lord Jesus as
my Savior too and invite Him to come into my heart and give me the new
birth so I can and go to
heaven and live for You now. . In Jesus name.
Let me know it you do this!
Are You Building
Your Eternal Mansion?
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his
employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business
and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended
family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could
get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if
he could build just one more house as a personal favor.
The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart
was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior
materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career. When the
carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. He
handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he
said, "my gift to you."
The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was
building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting
less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we realize we
have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do
it much differently. But we cannot go back. You are the carpenter. Each
day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. "Life is a
do-it-yourself project," someone has said. Your attitudes and the
choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow. Always
do the best you can. Build wisely!!!! The mansion you will live in for
Who are you
I am reminded of an American tourist who was traveling in the Mid
East. He came upon several shepherds whose flocks had intermingled while
drinking water from a brook. After an exchange of greetings, one of the
shepherds turned toward the sheep and called out, "Manah. Manah. Manah."
(Manah means "follow me" in Arabic.) Immediately his sheep separated
themselves from the rest and followed him.
Then one of the two remaining shepherds called out, "Manah. Manah." and
his sheep left the common flock to follow him. The traveler then said to
the third shepherd, "I would like to try that. Let me put on your cloak
and turban and see if I can get the rest of the sheep to follow me."
The shepherd smiled knowingly as the traveler wrapped himself in the
cloak, put the turban on his head and called out, "Manah. Manah." The
sheep did not respond to the stranger's voice.
Not one of them moved toward him. "A stranger will they not follow."
"Will the sheep ever follow someone other than you?" The traveler asked.
"Oh yes," the shepherd replied, "sometimes a sheep gets sick, and
then it will follow anyone."
We have seen it, haven't we? Sheep, young and old, who are "sick."
Leaving their first love and polluted by loving the world and the things
of the world. Infected with the sins of the flesh. Wandering in the
wilderness. Even murmuring at God like Israel did, with no appetite for
the Word of God, (the Manna) and the things of God.
But the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. He suffered and
died for their sins, paid their debt in full, rose again and was seen by
hundreds. "The thief cometh not but for to steal and to kill and to
destroy: I am come that they might have life and have it more
abundantly." Who are you following today?
My Reality is
Someone once quipped, "A lot of my reality is virtual!" Whether or
not you can say the same thing, I find it is true that a lot of my
reality is the way I perceive it. Let me explain what I mean with a true
In the "Journal of the American Medical Association," Dr. Paul Ruskin
demonstrated how our perception of reality (not actually what is going
on, but how we perceive it) determines how we feel about it. While
teaching a class on the psychological aspects of aging, he read the
following case to his students:
"The patient neither speaks nor comprehends the spoken word. Sometimes
she babbles incoherently for hours on end. She is disoriented about
person, place, and time. She does, however, respond to her name. I have
worked with her for the past six months, but she still shows complete
disregard for her physical appearance and makes no effort to assist her
own care. She must be fed, bathed, and clothed by others. Because she
has no teeth, her food must be pureed. Her shirt is usually soiled from
almost incessant drooling. She does not walk. Her sleep pattern is
erratic. Often she wakes in the middle of the night, and her screaming
awakens others. Most of the time she is friendly and happy, but several
times a day she gets quite agitated without apparent cause. Then she
wails until someone comes to comfort her."
After presenting the case, Dr. Ruskin asked his students how they would
like caring for this person. Most of them said they would not like it at
all. He then said that he believed he would especially enjoy it and
thought that they might, also. He passed a picture of the patient around
for his puzzled students to see. It was his six-month-old daughter!
Most of the students had already made up their minds that they would not
like caring for such a patient. But the age of the patient, rather than
the actual duties, made the task seem fun and enjoyable! When they
thought the task might be fun, they were positive about it, though their
reaction just moments before was quite negative.
You and I have numerous tasks ahead. How will you look at them today? As
pleasant or unpleasant? As chores or as fun? When you think you may
actually enjoy them - you probably will!
"This is the day which the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad
in it" Ps 118:24
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed
each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably coifed and
shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing
home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home,
he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual
description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been
hung on his window.
"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having
just been presented with a new puppy.
"Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait."
"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied "Happiness is
something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not
doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange
my mind. I already decided to love it. "It's a decision I make every
morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed
recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no
longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new
day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank
account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank.
I am still depositing." Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
To realize how short life really is, think of a life span of seventy
years as a single day- from 7:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night. If
your age is:
15, the time is 10:25 a.m.
20, the time is 11:34 a.m.
25, the time is 12:42 p.m.
30, the time is 1:51 p.m.
35, the time is 3:00 p.m.
40, the time is 4:08 p.m.
45, the time is 5:16 p.m.
50, the time is 6:25 p.m.
55, the time is 7:34 p.m.
60, the time is 8:42 p.m.
65, the time is 9:51 p.m.
70, the time is 11:00 p.m.
Being 83 makes this a real wake up call for me.
May it have an impact on you to get more serious about laying up
treasures in heaven and pleasing God more every day, being a blessing to
others and sharing the gospel with everyone.
Fire in the Heart
The teacher quizzed her class: "He drove straight to his
goal. He looked neither to the right nor to the left, but pressed
forward, moved by a definite purpose. Neither friend nor foe could delay
him, nor turn him from his course. All who crossed his path did so at
their own peril. What would you call such a man?"
A student replied, "A truck driver!"
If he is a truck driver, he is likely a successful truck driver, for
anyone who pursues a vision with such passion is sure to be a success.
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel got it right when he said:
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."
Nothing will kill a dream or douse the fire of a good
idea more quickly than indifference. To whatever endeavor you commit
yourself, be on guard primarily against that spirit-quenching attitude
At what do you wish to succeed? A project? A job? A relationship? A
personal mission? A financial goal? A life purpose? "Each one of us has
a fire in our heart for something," says Mary Lou Retton. "It's our goal
in life to find it and keep it lit."
In order to succeed greatly, one must care greatly. For indifference is
no match against a well-attended fire in the heart.
The Person God Uses
1. God uses people who
realize they are weak. Gideon, "I am
least" "go in this thy might" Judges 6:14. Josh "be strong"
Three times inadequate-"My strength Perfect in
weakness" 2 Cor. 12:9. "Chose the weak to confound mighty, that no flesh
2. God uses people who are faithful. Moses'
minister, born in Egypt, survive the wilderness, a worthy successor to
Moses. Required of stewards 1Cor.4:2, be steadfast always abounding
3. God uses people who live by His Word.
1:8 "Meditate" to have
authority to be used by God. study 2 Tim 2:15 a work-man not
ashamed, Josh 1:8 "success, prosper" Luke 5:5, Is 40:28ff
4. God uses people who are patient and wait
on His timing. Is. wander 40 years,
and finally. "In fullness of time" Gal 4:4
5. God uses the person who cares about lost
souls. Rahab. saved first. Matt 4:19
Acts 1:8, do the work of evangelist 2 T 5:4, 5
6. God uses the person who is set apart.
"Sanctify yourselves," Josh. 3:5, 2 Tim 2:21 Not perfect but
"Purge himself...sanctified, meet for the master's use" "Exercise unto
godliness" 1 T. 4:7.
7. God uses the person who knows how to
work with others. "Not as lords,
examples" 1 Pet. 5:2,3. "Humble self" 5:5,6 communicate,
encourage, leading, Josh 1:10, 13 led people, "remember what
The Bible says, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the
whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is
loyal to Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9). Will you be that person He can use?
Do Not Mock God
It is written in the Bible (Galatians
6:7): " Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap. Here are some men and women who mocked God:
Some years before during his interview with an American
Magazine, he said: "Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not
have to argue about that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects
were too simple, today we are more famous than Him" (1966)". Lennon,
after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was
shot six times.
During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500 votes
from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he
got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then
During a show in Canecão ( Rio de Janeiro), whilst smoking
his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: God,
that's for you. I can't even explain how he died.
The Man Who Built Titanic:
After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how
safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: "Not even God
can sink it" The result: I think you all know what happened to the
She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a
show. He is a preacher and Evangelist and the Spirit of God had sent him
to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said:
"I don't need your Jesus" A week later, she was found dead in her
The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he
sang: "Don´t stop me, I´m going down all the way, wow the highway to
hell". On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had
been choked by his vomit.
Campinas in 2005:
In Campinas, a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend.
The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the
drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter - holding her
hand, who was already seated in the car: "My
daughter, go wtih God and may he protect you", She responded:
"Only if He (God) travels in the trunk, 'cause inside
here it's already full!" Hours later, news came by that they had
been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not
be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk
was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have
remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of
eggs, none was broken.
A Baby's Hug; Long but Worth It
We were the only family with children in the restaurant.
I sat Erik in a highchair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and
Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, "Hi." He pounded his fat
baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter
and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose
pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of
would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and
unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose
was so varicose
it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was
sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.
"Hi there, baby. Hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster," the man said to
My husband and I exchanged looks, "What do we do?"
Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi."
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man.
The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.
Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, "Do ya
patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo."
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for
Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid row
bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went
to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot.
The old man sat poised between me and the door.
"Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik," I
As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and
avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm,
reaching with both arms in a baby's "pick-me-up" position.
Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the
man's. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated
their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and
submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's
eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands
full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and
stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a
time. I stood awestruck.
The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and
set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, "You take care
of this baby." Somehow I managed, "I will," from a throat that contained
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were
in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, "God bless you, ma'am,
you've given me my Christmas gift." I said nothing more than a muttered
With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I
was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, "My God,
my God, forgive me."
I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny
child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and
a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind,
holding a child who was not.
I felt it was God asking, "Are you willing to share your son for a
moment?" When He shared His for all eternity.
The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, "To enter the Kingdom
of God, we must become as little children."
You and I have principles. And we also have opinions. I
have opinions about what I think is right or wrong or good or bad. But
they're only opinions - I COULD be wrong! I won't try to build my life
around my opinions, but I WILL endeavor to stand by my principles.
A 15-year-old boy learned a valuable lesson about life principles. He
wrote a letter to "Dear Abby" about finding a woman's wallet that
contained $127 as well as the woman's identification. He hopped onto his
bicycle and peddled over to her house - about a mile away. He told her
he found her wallet and she gave him a big hug. She also gave him twenty
That evening the boy told his parents about the event and his father
said, "I don't think you should have accepted $20 for doing what you
should have done. A person shouldn't be rewarded for being honest."
He pondered his father's statement and decided he would return the
money. He biked to the lady's home and gave her back the twenty dollars.
She didn't want to take it, but he told her she had to - that his father
pointed out something to him that he had never realized before. Her eyes
filled with tears as she said, "This is one for Ripley."
The boy's question to Abby? "Abby, who is Ripley?"
Is a life built around principles so unusual that Robert Ripley should
mention it in his column "Believe It or Not"? When ideals such as
honesty and a personal standard of always doing the right thing guide
our every action and decision, we actually change. These great
principles shape our lives and make us into persons of character. They
build self esteem and teach confidence. That boy is fortunate to be
raised by a wise father who had the wisdom to say, "Those are my
What Teachers Make
The dinner guests were sitting around the table
discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with
He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his
best option in life was to become a teacher?" He reminded the other
dinner guests what they say about teachers:
"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." To stress his point he said
to another guest, "You're a teacher, Susan. Be honest. What do you
Susan, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want
to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they
could. I make a C+ feel like the winner of the Congressional Medal of
Honor. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute
silence. You want to know what I make? I
make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make
them apologize and mean it. I make them write. I make them read, read,
read. I make them show all their work in math and perfect their final
drafts in English. I make them understand that, if you have the brains
and follow your heart, and if someone ever tries to judge you by what
you make, you must pay no attention because they just didn't learn."
Susan paused and then continued. "You want to know what I make? I MAKE A
DIFFERENCE. What do you make?"
Oh, dear people, you and I must make a difference in this world. God
left you here to do that or else He would have already taken you to
Some people understand life better, and
they call some of these people "retarded"...
At the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or
mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
As the gun fired, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with
a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one
little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times,
and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down
and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back... everyone
One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This
will make it better." Then all nine linked arms and walked together to
the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, the cheering went on for several minutes.
People who were there are still telling the story... Why? Because, deep
down, we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than
winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win,
even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
God Hasn't Forgotten You
This is a big time tear jerker but a fantastic
message for us.
I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying
groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 7 years was
still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.
He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and
look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot
him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.
He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only
wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was
different since he had passed on.
Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.
Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and
remembered how he had loved his steak.
Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a
soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of
T-bones, dropped them in her basket hesitated, and then put them back.
She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.
She saw me watching her and she smiled. "My husband loves T-bones, but
honestly, at these prices, I don't know."
I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.
"My husband passed away eight days ago," I told her. Glancing at the
package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. "Buy
him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together."
She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the
package in her basket and wheeled away.
I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy
products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy.
A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing
else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.
I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the
front. I saw first the green suit, and then recognized the pretty lady
coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was
the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled
her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.
As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my
eyes. "These are for you," she said and placed three beautiful long
stemmed yellow roses in my arms. "When you go through the line, they
will know these are paid for." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss
on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done,
what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked
away as tears clouded my vision.
I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue
wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the
answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.
Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my
eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.
Unfold the Rose
A young, new preacher was walking with an older, more
seasoned preacher in the garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about
what God had for him to do, he was asking the older preacher for some
advice. The older preacher walked up to a rose bush and handed the young
preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing any of the
petals. The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and
was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with
his wanting to know the will of God for his life and ministry. But,
because of his great respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to try
and unfold the rosebud while keeping every petal intact. . It wasn't
long before he realized how impossible this was to do. Noticing the
young preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the
older preacher began to recite the following poem:
It is only a tiny rosebud
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.
The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
Then, in my hands, they die.
If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
The flower of God's design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?
So, I'll trust in Him for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to Him for His guidance
Each step of the Pilgrim's way
The pathway that lies before me
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I'll trust him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an
hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, and an entire lifetime to