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Christmas is a time for being with family, good food, giving gifts, and celebrating the birth of Christ. Let us not forget though, that some of the most meaningful gifts we can give come from our heart and need not cost anything at all. Here are a few of those …..
– Shovel snow off your neighbors sidewalk and driveway.
– Rather than give advice to someone, ask for some.
– Open the door for someone else.
– Read stories in your local library to children or seniors who can’t.
– Help in your local nursing home by just visiting and talking with some of the residents there who never have anyone to come and visit them.
– Let someone go on ahead of you while in line at the store.
– Give away some of your secret and most favorite recipes to your friends.
– Visit the Humane Society and adopt an animal if you can.
– Smile whenever you can at others. You never know how much you may change their day or outlook on life.
– Save up some fabric scraps and give them away to someone who quilts.
– Write a letter to the editor agreeing with his views on something.
– Volunteer to be a bell-ringer at your local Salvation Army.
– Write a letter to your friends you haven’t talked to in a long time and see how much it means to them.
– Say please and thank you whenever you are given the opportunity.
– Pick up after yourself around the house, and give others who usually do it a break.
– Say you’re sorry when you need to and forgive others when they do the same and are sincere.
– Call your family members on the phone just to tell them you love them.
– Tell someone you are proud of them.
– Be a mentor to a young person and show them the way to go.
– Take a cancer or dialysis patient to their treatments if they have no one who can help out.
– Volunteer to babysit for parents with a newborn baby to give them a night out once in a while.
– Pray for those who need prayer.
– Bake a cake or pie and take it to the new neighbors on the block.
– Don’t hold a grudge more than 12 hours and try to reconcile differences before the sun goes down each day. It will give both of you a good nights rest!
– Give yourself a gift by not worrying. It ends up getting you nowhere in the long run. Most of the stuff we worry about never comes to pass anyway. Worrying is just a changeless proposition.
He tried to raise cattle. That didn’t pan out that well. He tried his hand at remodeling houses and pretty much lost everything he had back when he was twenty-one years old. Oh well, that’s the past. And now, oh well, now is all he has left. That’s all any of us really have is the now. We can’t live in the past and we certainly can’t live in the future. Although many of us do try our hand at that even if we can never seem to make it all come together.
He sits there all alone in his creakity old chair. It’s no different from any other time at two in the morning now. The only light in the living room is the orange glow at the tip of his cigarette. Usually says he can’t sleep for one reason or another. Is it a lie? Well, you figure it out. He takes a drag – inhales slow, pushes his mouth towards the ceiling and lets the smoke come out in one slow – long – swirl. Flicks his ashes in the bottom of the rolled up cuff of his jeans and sighs. Coughs and tries to clear his throat. Inhales as the glow of his cigarette lights up the dark room once again. That’s been his usual routine for these past five years.
Just a common man without much education. He’s worked hard all his life – not a paper pusher as he says. But a man who worked with his hands and made a living sweating. Not that he has anything against paper pushers. It’s just he never could understand how someone could get paid to push papers and push buttons on a computer all day long. Never made much sense to him.
Tonight I’m spending the night with Dad. Mom passed away just this past October. Dad seems more restless than usual tonight for some reason. As he shifts and turns in his chair I hear every creak and moan of the worn out recliner from a nearby bedroom. I wish just once he would stay in bed for an entire night!
Well now Dad is making it so that I can’t sleep either tonight. I just had to drive 500 miles from Houston to get here and now this! I wipe the crusted sleep from my eyes, roll over and grab my t-shirt and jeans that are laying on the dresser nearby. I slither them on as best as I can without any light and in the process bang a glass of water sitting on the same dresser. Ice cold water drenches my bare feet. “Man – that water is cold”.
I latch on to my cell phone and push a button so that I have some sort of light to make my way to the living room. I look through the arched door opening to the living room and see that glow of his cigarette staring me in the face. “Hey Dad”. “Hi Son.”, he says. “Why don’t you get up and go to bed Dad?” “I would if I could Son.” “I just keep thinking, maybe I should have got a better education in my life so as to take better care of you kids and your mom somehow.”, he says.
“Oh now come on Dad, you worked 35 years down at the steel company every single day. It was hot and hard work! You gave the best you could to your family.” “And besides that Dad. Do you know you gave me more by not giving me everything I wanted in life? You gave us all a roof over our heads and food on the table. We never once went without food or a place to live. And you taught us about the LORD – not by just what you said, but by what you did.” ” If I had it to do all over though son, I would have gone to college.”, he says.
“Why’s that Dad?” “Oh, to make something of myself.” he says. ” Can I just tell you something Dad?” “When I was a little boy, I looked up to you. And even though I’m all grown up now I’m still looking up to you. I am the man I am today because of you, and even though you might not know it, you’ve made something of yourself. I love you Dad.”
“Thanks son, today you’ve given me more education than I could have ever had at any college”
In honor of all hard-working dads and moms!
Your heart hurts bad
It really makes me mad
Not a day goes by
That questions don’t fly
I wish I had some answers for you
I really, really do
From joy to sad
That’s what makes me mad
Give me your tears
For all those years
That could have been
And should have been
How can I not be sad
To see the joy that others have
That you could have had
You can’t discern
One day, it will be your turn
Your joy will be here
Even now, it’s so very near
I know your heart hurts bad
Try to turn from this valley of sad
Can’t you see
The light of joy will shine on you and me
Do you have anything to worry about in the world we live in today? The United States stock market started off the year with some severe rattling in the old pipes. The US owes a ton of money to China and China is starting to hiccup a bit. The big “C” in command of the second largest economy of the world will never admit that their economy is starting to flail and flounder. The hot glowing embers are starting to cool. The demand for production is starting to wane and they just can’t keep the old furnace purring like it used to. The wood pile is running out and it seems there is no where for the fellows on “C” street to turn to chop more wood.
There are legitimate concerns about employment, lack of leadership, rising pollution, extreme weather patterns causing crop failure, lack of water, and wars in the world we live in. Thousands are dying everyday in our world from starvation. It seems like there are more earthquakes than ever before; and not just those associated with the ground. Recession and depression seem to want to pop their ugly heads above the sand more and more. Where do we turn and what can we do to stomp all of our troubles away? Is it all just a hopeless mess of quicksand?
The out of control mess we are faced with did not happen overnight and things certainly won’t be fixed by tomorrow morning. But there is hope if you trust in the LORD. We don’t have to worry, because GOD said he would see us through no matter what we are going through or what trials we come up against in this world. Take a look at Psalm 37: 18,19, 29 – NIV of the Bible for some encouraging words from the creator of all.
“The blameless spend their days under the LORD’S care, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.”
So don’t look down at the quicksand, look up and grab hold of the hand that can pull you out and set you on dry ground. No worries, just keep walking and he’ll see you through to the other side with plenty of hope.
How many names can you remember of the people you have met in the past? I have a hard time remembering the names of someone I met even a few months ago. I do much better remembering faces. I know there are little tricks and tools you can use to remember names to associate with the faces, but I just never really learned those tricks.
Can you imagine being able to remember more than 150 sextillion names? Yes, that’s 150,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 names! There are more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy which is known as the Milky Way. There are also probably more than 150 billion galaxies outside of the Milky Way. The Sun is 93 million miles away from planet Earth. The closest star to us is Alpha Centauri which is really a triple star system that is bound together by gravity. Alpha Centauri is 4.24 light years away from us or approximately 25 trillion miles. That just gives you the magnitude of our galaxy alone and how big GOD really is.
GOD created all of the stars and all of the galaxies in existence. In Psalm 147:4 KJV it is written “He telleth the number of the stars, he calleth them all by their names.” All I can say is wow!
Scientists have determined that an average person weighing approximately 154 pounds has roughly 70 trillion cells. Yes, that’s 70, 000,000,000,000 cells in one single human body. There are approximately 7.125 billion people on planet earth today or approximately 5 octillion human cells in existence. GOD created every cell just like the stars and knows about every cell. “I will praise him; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works, and that thy soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14 = KJV.
What a big and amazing, all-knowing, all-powerful GOD! He is so big and great, and yet he cares and knows about each of us and what we are going through at every moment in our lives. He knows about every single cell. He knows each or our names and has inscribed them on the palms of his hands. He cares about our welfare and has great plans for us just like all of his creation.
This is a peaceful scene of a Japanese fisherman fishing off a bridge in the mountains. This hand painted and signed Japanese silkscreen painting has something that is not so very peaceful associated with it though. As a matter of fact it is the opposite of peace and relates to utter and complete evil. and destruction. Perhaps you will be able to understand what I am referring too with a little more information to follow here.
The painting was given to my father-in law by an architect in Detroit, Michigan many years ago when he was working with him on some projects as a contractor in the Detroit area. My father-in law, Albert Petrucci was close friends with an architect named Minoru Yamasaki who gave him this painting at the conclusion of one of the projects they worked on together. Minoru came to Detroit in 1945 and started out working for a firm called Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, and then went on to form his own firm called Yamasaki & Associates.
Minoru Yamasaki is best known for the design of the original twin towers called the World Trade Center towers in New York City. At one time, the towers were the tallest in the world at 1368′ and 1362′ tall. The towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001 when al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist flew American Airlines planes into the buildings. The buildings stood for more than 30 years and were leveled within 1 hour and 42 minutes on that fateful day when almost 3000 people were murdered.
John 10:10 KJV
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 14:27 KJV
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nether let it be afraid.