The sun has begun to set and I hang up the smile I've worn all day. Though I will make sure it is the first thing I put back on in the morning because just in case it is 'that day,' I want her to see me at my very best.
I do the normal routine, eat dinner, clean the house, write -- the usual stuff.
And then I lay down hoping to fall asleep quickly so my new day will hurry up and arrive. A new day with a brand new sun.
But as I lay there and wait for the world to turn half way around, I think about her. And sometimes I smile, and sometimes that smile will turn into a snicker, and then often that snicker will turn into a burst of laughter.
And then there are times I get that lump in my throat and that tight feeling in my chest, and sometimes that feeling overwhelms me and begins to turn into a tear, and often that tear multiplies itself and I can no longer fight the feeling and I lose the battle.
Then somehow through either the joy or the sadness I drift and find myself asleep. Then the dreams begin and keep me company until my new day arrives.
When I awake it's with such excitement! Because I tell myself this could be the day that every other day has led up to and the first day of the rest of my life. I quickly dawn my smile, because I do so want her to see me at my very best. Then I look out the window even though I know it's dawn, but I still have to confirm I've been given another chance to find her.
And there it is ... the sun, even when it's cloudy; somehow I still see it. And it smiles at me and I say "thank you" and I smile back.
Then I ask myself, "Is this the day?" And the excitement rushes over me again. And then I ask myself, "Where's it going to be?"
Maybe it'll be at the water fountain and unexpectedly there I'll find her and much more than my thirst will be quenched.
Maybe it'll be at the grocery store, and there she'll appear as I'm picking out fruit and she'll show me the difference between fresh and spoiled. Then from that moment, nothing that I will eat will ever taste the same. Because she'll bring out the simplest beauties in everything I see, taste, smell, hear, or touch.
Or maybe today will be the day when my Angel brings an item up to the cash register without its price tag. And as I wait behind this Angel with all the frustrated people who are in such a hurry about their busy lives, I will find myself with such blessed extra time. Just enough time to start a conversation with this beautiful vision standing behind me that I might not otherwise would have noticed. But because of a "price check on register 5," I was able to find her.
So will today be the day I say, "THANK YOU GOD!" Thank you for the sun, which began my new day. Thank you for granting me the faith when I arose this morning that I would find her in this new day. But most of all, thank you for me not having to ever wait on another sunrise. Because whenever I want to see it, I will look at her and there it shall always be, in her eyes, she will forever hold it for me.
(A)ccepts you as you are (elieves in "you" (C)alls you just to say "HI" (D)oesn't give up on you (E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts) (F)orgives your mistakes (G)ives unconditionally (H)elps you (I)nvites you over (J)ust "be" with you (K)eeps you close at heart (L)oves you for who you are (M)akes a difference in your life (N)ever Judges (O)ffer support (P)icks you up (Q)uiets your fears (R)aises your spirits (ays nice things about you (T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it (U)nderstands you (V)alues you (W)alks beside you (X)-plains thing you don't understand (Y)ells when you won't listen and (Z)aps you back to reality
She was not beautiful. Nothing about her was extraordinary. Nothing about her made her stand out in a crowd. She grew up in a family of six. The eldest, she learnt responsibility at an early age. As she grew stronger, and brighter, She instilled a sort of light cheer to whomever she met.
She was not beautiful. But she made others feel beautiful about themselves. She meets a rebel boy who thinks he's all man. Befriending him, she teaches him how to read, A little boost the man needed to go to college.
They became friends fast and she fell, Fast in love with her rugged, handsome student. The "man" then finds himself in a dilemma He soon found himself in love with a girl. A girl so beautiful, she turned even the grouchiest men's head. Her hair was a halo of light around her, Her eyes the bluest blue of ocean.
Like an angel he tells his tutor Like a beautiful angel. The girl swallows a lump at her throat
She was not beautiful She did not possess the heart of the one she loved But she did not care. As long as he was happy, She would be or so she tried to.
She helped him write the most beautiful letter to his angel All the time envisioning that it was she herself Receiving those very letters. And so the girl helped him choose the right words, Buy the right gifts for his angel His angel brought him much joy And much pain to the girl who cried behind her smiles. But that never stopped her from giving more Than she will ever receive.
Then one day, all hell broke loose The angel he loved left him for another man, A richer, more successful man. The boy was stunned He was so hurt he did not speak for days The girl went to him He cried on her shoulder and she cried with him He hurt and so did she.
Time went by. And so the wounds heal. The boy realizes something about his friend/tutor He never realized before. How her laughter sounded heavenly Or how her smiles brightened up the darkest days. Or simply how beautiful, yes beautiful she looked to him!
Beautiful. This plain, simple girl was beautiful to him. And he began to fall. Fall so in love with this beautiful girl.
On one day, he picked up all his courage to see her. He walked to her house, nervous ad fidgeting. Running his thoughts over and over in his head. He was going to tell her how beautiful she was to him. He was going to tell her how wonderfully n love he was with her. He knocked. No one was home.
The next day he found out, The beautiful girl he fell in love with had brain aneurysm That put her into a coma. The doctors were grim and the family decided to let her go.
One final time he got to see her. He held her hand. He stroked her hair, And he cried for this beautiful girl. He cried for he will never see her smile Or hear her speak his name
He cried. But it was too late.
The beautiful girl was buried and the heavens broke out In a beautiful spring shower, a cry for their loss. She was the most beautiful girl in the world.
Look around you. Aren't there a lot of plain faces? Take a good look A real good look or you might miss out On that beautiful person.
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war.
He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.
He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting.
The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift".
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. We will start the bidding with this picture of the son.
Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily. We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
"We have $10, who will bid $20?"
"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters" someone shouted.
"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction over."
"What about the paintings?"
"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets every thing!"
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross.
Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?" Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
" He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." -- 1 John 5:12
FRESH WATER IS ESSENTIAL TO ALL LIFE ON EARTH, AND FORESTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO FRESH WATER. FORESTS FILTER AND CLEAN WATER, SOFTEN HEAVY RAINFALLS WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE ERODE SOILS, AND HOLD RIVER BANKS IN PLACE. IN TURN, WATER CARRIES DISSOLVED NUTRIENTS, WHICH IT DISTRIBUTES THROUGH THE FOREST SOIL. FORESTS ARE "SPONGES", CAPABLE OF COLLECTING AND STORING LARGE AMOUNTS OF RAINFALL. FOREST SOILS ABSORB FOUR TIMES AS MUCH RAINFALL AS SOILS COVERED BY GRASS, AND EIGHTEEN TIMES MORE RAINFALL THAN BARE GROUND. WITH THEIR DEEP ROOT SYSTEMS, TREES ARE ABLE TO PULL WATER UP FROM FAR BELOW THE GROUND. THE WATER MOVES THROUGH THE TREE AND IS USED IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS, COOLING, AND OTHER GROWTH PROCESSES. FROM THE LEAVES, IT IS EVAPORATED AS WATER VAPOR. IN THIS CYCLE, TREES ARE LIVING "WATER FOUNTAINS" THAT REDISTRIBUTE LIQUID: MOISTURE THAT WOULD OTHERWISE REMAIN TRAPPED DEEP UNDERGROUND IS RELEASED THROUGH THEIR LEAVES INTO THE AIR, WHERE IT THEN CONDENSES INTO CLOUDS AND FALL AS RAIN ONCE AGAIN. WITHOUT TREES TO REDISTRIBUTE THIS WATER, THE CLIMATE IN MANY AREAS WOULD BE FAR DRIER. TREES RELEASE THIS CONSTANT UNDERGROUND RESERVOIR OF WATER SLOWLY AND EVENLY, HELPING TO PREVENT SEASONAL FLOODS AND DROUGHTS. FOREST CANOPIES INTERCEPT MUCH OF THE PRECIPITATION THAT FALLS OVER THEM. THIS RAIN AND SNOW WOULD OTHERWISE FALL DIRECTLY TO THE GROUND, GRADUALLY WASHING THE SOIL AWAY. THE FOREST PREVENTS THIS EROSION FROM TAKING PLACE. THE WATER THAT LANDS IN THE FOREST CANOPY GENTLY DRIPS TO THE GROUND WITH MUCH LESS FORCE THAN DIRECT RAINFALL. BUT IN MOST CASES, FLOODS DO NOT OCCUR IN A PREDICTABLE PATTERN. LOGGING OPERATIONS IN WATERSHEDS CAN CREATE FLOODS. WHEN YOU REMOVE TREES YOU EXPOSE THE LAND TO SUNLIGHT WHICH MELTS THE SPRING SNOWFALLS AND FILLS THE STREAMS TO QUICKLY AND CAUSE FLOODING. POLLUTANTS CAUSE DAMAGE TO THESE STREAMS, RIVERS AND FORESTS ALONG WITH LIVING HABITAT.
FAKE FRIENDS: Never ask for food. REAL FRIENDS: Are the reason you have no food. FAKE FRIENDS: Bail you out of jail and tell you what you did was wrong. REAL FRIENDS: Would be sitting next to you saying "Damn we fucked up.but that shit was fun!" FAKE FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back. REAL FRIENDS: Keep your shit so long they forget its yours. FAKE FRIENDS: Know a few things about you. REAL FRIENDS: Could write a book about you with direct quotes from you. FAKE FRIENDS: Are for a while. REAL FRIENDS: Are for life. FAKE FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had enough. REAL FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say "Bitch drink the rest of that you know we don't waste." FAKE FRIENDS: Will talk shit to the person who talks shit about you. REAL FRIENDS: Will knock them the fuck out. FAKE FRIENDS: Wont send this back. REAL FRIENDS: Will send this to you and to 10 friends
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," Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown.
Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.
The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture... Jack stopped suddenly.
"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.
"The box is gone," he said.
"What box? " Mom asked.
"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package.
The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.
"Mr. Harold Belser" it read.
Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope.
Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter.
His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.
Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser."
"The thing he valued most... was... my time."
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.
There was a time when all waters ran clean and fish leaped from every stream to catch the hovering mayfly. There was a time when birds and bees stirred summer air with wings of ease, but now that time has gone by. The time I've known, and seen, and felt, has been a time when man have dealt with the world like a belligerent child. In the name of the great money race, they've taken Earth's pristine face, and with muck, and smoke, and oil, defiled. Still I pray for the time to come, when recleansed water sparkles in the sun, and the moon shines down sublime on a world that was lost and found, and we can all feel justified and proud, to tell of the passing of that former time.
Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often?
When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.
Bob? Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.
Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd never seen in uniform. "Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this."
"Hello, Jack." No smile.
"Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids."
"Yeah, I guess." Bob seemed uncertain. Good.
"I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the rules a bit -just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. "Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?"
"I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct." Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.
"What'd you clock me at?"
"Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?"
"Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65." The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.
"Please, Jack, in the car."
Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn't he asked for a driver's license?
Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.
"Thanks." Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.
Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:
"Dear Jack, Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it -- a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only had one, and I'm going to have to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray for me. And be careful, Jack, my son is all I have left." - Bob
Jack turned around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.
Life is precious. Handle with care. This is an important message; please pass it along. Drive safely and carefully. Remember, cars are not the only things recalled by their maker.
Thank you so much to
Pilar Farnsworth, our
dear friend and Associate
Minister at Essentials of
Life Holistic Enrichment
Center, for writing this
week's message for
us. I asked Pilar
to write to us in
preparation for the
Winter Solstice on Dec...
I would like to take this
opportunity to thank all
those who have helped me
along the way. In
other words, everyone
I've ever met, and many I
haven't. I believe
everyone who crosses our
path or our mind is there
for a reason, whether we
Spirituality is, of
course, different from
religion. This is
in part why we changed
our description to that
of being an
rather than an interfaith
interfaith hints at
religion, meaning we are
a church of all...
Excuses don't really
excuse anyone from
anything other than to
g4t out of learning,
advancing and reaching
goals, as in having an
excuse to miss
class. You miss
it. That's what I'm
talking about.Some people
use excuses for
During times of grieving
it seems as if nothing
can ever be right
something of importance
is lost, there
always will be a void,
but things will be right
again, in the end.
can we say that in the
face of the death of a
When a woman covers her
face with a veil, her
face does not change,
just our view of it
changes. The same
can be said of
life. Life is
eternal. It goes on
forever. But when
death comes, it is as if
it is gone, when only our
Lord, make me an
instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred,
let me sow love;
where there is injury,
where there is doubt,
where there is despair,
where there is darkness,
and where there is
O Divine ...
The world's worst
punishment for rape?16
year old Liz was walking
home from her
funeral when she was
ambushed by six men who
took turns raping her and
then threw her
unconscious body down a
6-meter toilet pit. Their
We're not all where we
want to be, but we're all
in the best place for
right now to learn, do
and serve in whatever way
is best for us now; even
to include our state of
mind, for we are one
person in spirit, body
and mind. How else
are we to ch...