Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Give a gift....

Most of our giving at Christmas involves an even exchange of gifts—something appropriate to the friendship or the family connection. We sometimes base our gifts on what we received the year before. But the Bible talks about giving as well to those who can’t give anything back. This is the way God gave that first Christmas. He owes us nothing, yet He has given us everything in His only Son, and He asks for nothing other than for us to believe it and receive it. We, in turn, can give nothing back that comes anywhere near the value of His gift to us. The closest we can come is to give Him our own lives in service and obedience, which in truth is all that we have. Which makes our service not a duty, but a gift. Not an obligation, but a joy. Our service to God is our gift back. It’s nothing we can buy and wrap up. It costs more than that.

This Christmas, as you work on your lists, think of giving to someone who is not in a position to give back. And do it quietly, perhaps even anonymously, so that the person receiving feels no obligation to the giver. This will give us a small taste of what God feels all the time.

The streets are very dirty; my shoes are very thin.
I have a little pocket to put a penny in.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha' penny then God bless you.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Being lifted up in prayer...........

Thank you Renee...............

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the blessing that Martha has been in my life, for her
honesty, for her openness, and for her ability to be direct and

Father, you know what Martha is dealing with at this point in her
life, as a wife, as a mother, and as your child. Father, direct her
steps, show her the way in which to walk. Let her hear your voice in
her ear, saying "this is the way, walk in it."

Show her your tenderness and mercy and help her to distinguish your
voice from that of the enemy. Give Martha the ability to see herself as
you see her, as your precious child, adored, precious in your sight and
loved beyond anything she could ever imagine.

Father, you have promised to supply all of our needs according to your
riches in glory and to pour out peace, patience, joy, and love wherever
your spirit dwells. Your spirit dwells within Martha; please honor your
promises to her, let her see the mark of your hand in her life. Show
her the purpose that you have for her, and give her the ability to turn
to you in every circumstance she faces.

Father, as Alex's mother, help her to raise and nurture him in ways
that will cause him to love and serve only you. Give her respect for
Rick as his wife, in ways that neither of them have ever imagined. Make
her heart sensitive to your calling and give her a desire to spend time
with you.

Father, please enrich their finances. Give Rick wisdom and knowledge
as the spiritual leader of their home that their money may be spent
wisely in ways that honor you and serve your purposes. Father, help
Martha to honor his decisions and to fully participate in financial
planning for their family. Give her a new willingness to find ways to
save money and to avoid spending.

Father, thank you for the daycare situation Alex has. He has opened up
and grown up so much in the past months, and I know that you have a
plan for his future, to give him hope and prosperity and an abundant
life in you. Help him to keep to your paths of righteousness. Let him
clearly hear your voice. Speak into his life and give him ears to hear.

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, December 18, 2005

My worst Mommy Moment!

Friday at about 11:20am I had my WORST Mommy moment. I live on a long hill with my mailbox at the bottom so I always stop to grab the mail while either coming or going. I had Alex and we were running home for lunch before heading off to run an arm full of errands. I jumped out quickly and left Alex in the car seat, with the engine running. When I returned.... yep.. you guessed it I had hit the lock button with my arm and my dear lil' 3 year old was now locked inside the van! UGH.... my cell phone, house keys, everything was IN the van. I tried to get Alex to unbuckle himself but he doesn't know how. He was calm while I was freaking out. I raced up the hill and thanked the lord for having me put a spare key in my laundry room... I grabbed my phone and dialed Rick's work number. As I raced down the hill.. THANK YOU GOD for allowing my cordless to reach all the way to the bottom (which it never has before). Lori called in the midst of my panic and I had her call our friend from church Laura, who's husband is a locksmith. She sent him right over.... mean while, I cried and freaked out and Alex just sat happily in the car laughing at me. Tom arrived and had Alex out in minutes. YEAH.. praise God for small miracles. He assured me that almost every Mama does it at least once. As far as I am concerned I NEVER want to do it again. I now have at least 5 new gray hairs on my head.
It might well have been the longest 20 minutes of my entire life.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Asthma does not mean death sentence!

Woo Hoo! I am not necessarily going to die before I hit 50. Okay a little back ground, I was born with asthma and have been labeled a "severe" asthmatic since I was about 8 years old. I have used every inhaler known to man, and have been on some sort of daily medication since I was 8. About 2 months ago my medication slowly stopped working and I have needed my nebulizer and "rescue" inhaler far more than I care to admit. Let's just say I went through one inhaler in less than 2 weeks were it use to last me 4-6 months. Yeah.. It's been bad. A month ago I ended up in the ER with an "attack" upon arrival my O2 level was sitting in the low 80's. (most people sit between 98 to 100%). I made an appt. With my regular GP, after and tried to explain that I felt my medication was no longer working. What I got in return was a shock. He accused me of not taking my medication properly, or at all. Would not listen to my concerns and told me in front of my 3 year old son that if I didn't start taking my disease seriously I was going to die before I hit 50. I was PISSED... Sad.. Hurt.. Mad... Angry.. Depressed.. Full of anxiety. All of which by the way only make your asthma worse. UGH... After some serious venting to my friend Lori and my Mom, the convinced me to see a Pulmonary specialist. (which in reality I should have been doing all along). I found one and was able to get an appt in under 2 weeks. Thank GOD for small Miracles. I saw him today and he felt horrible for the way I was treated. He said he feels I have some under lying issues that may be making my asthma worse but wanted to concentrate on getting the asthma controlled first. He was nice, listened, gave me full answers, heard my concerns about medications, explained "myths" about things I had heard about certain medications and even gave me documentation to back up what he said. I really LIKED him. YEAH.... He did a lung function test which I passed with flying colors, he said he is shocked but he sees no damage in my lungs from my asthma. YIPPEE........ He did Chest x-rays that showed some scare tissue but not severe, and congestion that was headed towards pneumonia but gave me some meds to help kick it before it got bad. Did I mention he actually listened to me and actually took what I said into consideration. God, did I like that. In most cases I have been an asthmatic longer than these people have been doctors.... Yet they treat me like I am some dumb girl who smokes 2 packs a day and says uhh why am I wheezing?? DOH'! Anyway... I start my new meds tomorrow... Back on the prednisone.. YUCK!!!!!! But, gotta do it! Pray for my husband... He's the one who has to deal with me. I guess this is one less stressor for me... For now!

Oh my Gosh...

Where has the time gone! Okay Okay.. enough e-mails.. I'm alive! Honest.. just really really busy. Well okay I am busy but also I fell into a rut. A spiritual, emotional, nasty old rut. Sigh.. I felt like how could I be spiritual for others when I was feeling so dead. Sadly, not much has changed but I have gotten so many e-mails asking where I am hiding I felt like I needed to address it.

I am now working part-time for our Church (Hope Community Church) as an office assistant. Getting use to my new schedule has been interesting. Of course that meant adding an extra day of preschool for Alex. I was a little sad about that but honestly I didn't have a choice. We NEED the money. Like a serious NEED. Money is a part of a lot of my issues.... I am not sure how much I want to get into that here... but maybe a little later I will share my families struggles. BUT, in the mean time maybe you all could pray for us. Pray for self control, for a better paying job for Rick, for us to get into a budget and stick to it, for our landlord to have mercy on us. I think you get my drift!

I could sit here and list all of the things I need prayers for but during the season of love and giving that just seems wrong.

I think I will try to start journaling more... they may be vague at first or scattered in the mind... BUT, I will try my best. I miss my on-line friends and my freedom to babble, vent, praise, and just be here!

I'm back...... I promise!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Remember, it's almost my birthday...

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.
During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.

It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.

Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don't know the meaning of the celebration. I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits,
assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were
many, many beautifully wrapped gifts. But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation.

The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside,
they closed the door in my face......... and I wanted to be with them and share their table.

In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me. Since I was not invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner. They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a great time.

To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard
entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa
and all the children ran to him, saying : "Santa Claus, Santa Claus"... as if the party were in his honor!

At 12 midnight all the people began to hug each other ; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and .... do you know .... no one hugged me. Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me.

What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one ? I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left. Every year it gets worse. People only remember to eat and drink, the gifts, the parties and nobody remembers me. I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life.

I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you. Today, only want that you believe this with all you heart. I want to share something with you. As many didn't invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party. I'm still making the final arrangements. Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book.

Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party. Those who don't answer the invitation, will be left outside. Do you know how you can answer this invitation? it is by extending it to invite me in your heart and by extending to the......others whom you care for... I'll be waiting for all of you to attend my party this year...

See you soon .... I love you !

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Would you have made the same choice?

You make the choice. Don't look for a punch line; there isn't one. Read it anyway.
My question to all of you is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question.

"When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. "I believe, that when a child like Shay comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child."

Then he told the following story: Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.

Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?"

Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging. Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play.

The boy looked around for guidance and, getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield.

Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base, and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible 'cause Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and turned and threw the ball on a high arc to right field, far beyond the reach of the first baseman.

Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!"

Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"

By the time Shay rounded first base, the right fielder had the ball.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions and intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home.

Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!"

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay, run home!"

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."

AND, NOW A LITTLE FOOTNOTE TO THIS STORY: We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people think twice about sharing.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.

If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people on your address list that aren't the "appropriate" ones to receive this type of message.

Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference. We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the "natural order of things."

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up that opportunity, and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

You now have two choices:
1. Delete this.
2. Forward it to the people you care about.

You already know the choice I opted for.

Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Safety Tips For Woman!

We can now add to the list of victims the retired 77 yr. old TCU professor from Ft Worth whose body was found last week in Oklahoma--and the 11 yr. old in Sarasota, FL. Because of these recent abductions in daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation...This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, everyone you know.

After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. People have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T D O THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

a. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back
seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passengerdoor. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your
car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it mo st likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP. It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women.
He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not
verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anne Rice goes to Christ?

A friend of mine pointed out the article and I found it.. Interesting! I am curious what some of you think about this.. I know I have my own thoughts but want to hear yours first!!!

Anne Rice turns to Jesus

'Vampire Chronicles' author returns to faith, writes new book

"I wanted to write only for Jesus Christ," Anne Rice says of her change of subject matter.
(AP) -- After stupendous sales for her tales of vampires, witches and lust, novelist Anne Rice has turned to Jesus -- personally and literarily.

Her innovative new novel "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" (Knopf) depicts Jesus as a 7-year-old lad, speaking in his own words as the holy family moves from Egyptian exile to Nazareth.

"What did it feel like to be God and man as a child?" Rice asked herself. Oddly, the question carries an echo of her first supernatural thriller three decades ago, which explored a vampire's first-person perspective.

Rice said in a telephone interview that she has no regrets about writing her Gothic novels, which include "Interview with the Vampire," later a movie, and "The Vampire Lestat," theme of an upcoming Elton John musical.

"I see this as a journey," she said. "They were written with complete commitment."

But that's all behind her now, she stressed; her 2003 vampire novel, "Blood Canticle," was her last. Why give it all up?

"I wanted to write only for Jesus Christ," she replied, noting that the current novel is intended as part of a series.

"My hope is to live long enough to finish the life of Christ," the 64-year-old author said. "God is interesting again."

'The desire was tremendous'

Rice's new burst of creativity stems from her return to Roman Catholicism -- though she seems a most unlikely recruit. Leaving aside those past novels (the more erotic ones appeared under pseudonyms), she quit church as a teen and never looked back for decades. Her late husband was a convinced atheist; her son is a gay activist.

But some critics thought her vampires' angst reflected the author's spiritual restlessness.

As Rice describes matters, there was "a yearning, a nostalgia, a grief" toward Catholicism but "I had this idea lodged in my head, I could never go back ... the longing was tremendous. The desire was tremendous."

"I gradually realized I could return, that I believed again."

After years of pondering, the climax occurred in 1998 at her home in New Orleans. Rice asked part-time assistant Amy Troxler, a parochial school religion teacher, to recommend a priest. Troxler immediately took Rice to the Rev. Dennis Hayes of Arabi, Louisiana, who became her spiritual director.

The move wasn't easy because "I was tortured by questions I couldn't resolve." She told Hayes: "I'll do my best on the unresolved questions." Among these are her church's ban on women priests and opposition to gay sex. She's convinced both will vanish eventually.

Though some popular preachers claim faith produces good fortune, Rice has faced serious problems since rejoining the church: the death of her husband, a diabetic coma and burst appendix (both life-threatening), gastric bypass surgery to counter a dangerous weight gain and surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Didn't that shake her newfound faith? "God is as much with the person who drowns in the flood as with the person who's rescued," she asserted. "It has never occurred to me to blame him for anything. Things happen. People are always getting sick and dying."

An "author's note" at the end of the novel tells of Rice's religious turn, years of research and hostility toward liberal academics' doubts about the New Testament. "Absurd conclusions were reached on the basis of little or no data," she complains.

'Maybe people are hungry'


Rice's "Lord" is perhaps the unexpected development at a time when spiritual themes are hot in popular entertainment -- from TV to best-selling novels to Mel Gibson's box-office smash "The Passion of the Christ" to Disney's upcoming film adaptation of C.S. Lewis' Christian allegory "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

By coincidence, Rice's book also appears simultaneously with the artful "Jesus: A Novel" (Zondervan) by National Book Award winner Walter Wangerin Jr.

"Maybe this is inevitable after years of popular atheism dominating our culture. Maybe people are hungry," Rice mused.

Rice says her Jesus novel didn't result from commercial calculations but her return to faith. In fact, she expressed anxiety about how her fans, accustomed to darker themes, will react.

"I have received no resistance from believers. The only skeptics about this book are skeptics," she said. Her prose is devoutly awe-struck toward its lead character and orthodox in theology.

There are odd notes, however, as "Lord" opens. Jesus denounces a neighborhood bully who then dies, after which Jesus resurrects him. Also, Jesus' brother recalls how he magically fashioned clay birds that became alive.

The strange tales didn't come from Rice. Rather they originate with the "Infancy Gospel of Thomas," a late apocryphal book the early church rejected. (The bird incident reappears in Islam's Quran.) Bart Ehrman, religion chair at the University of North Carolina, says "nobody takes this seriously as history" but it shows how some ancient Christians speculated about Jesus' childhood.

John Wilson, editor of the evangelical journal Books & Culture, said the conjunction of the Jesus novels by Rice and Wangerin isn't surprising -- writers have continually produced fiction about Jesus. Among them: Sholem Asch, Anthony Burgess, Robert Graves, Nikos Kazantzakis, D. H. Lawrence, Norman Mailer, Jose Saramago and Gore Vidal.

It's a difficult challenge. None of these novels are masterpieces and "often they just seem absurd," Wilson said. "You don't know whether to laugh or to cry, both with the pious variety and the debunkers."

As for Rice, he thinks she simply "had taken this flirtation with evil as far as it would go and returned to the good."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Cross


Repeat this prayer and see how God moves!!

"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen."

I pray YOU will receive a miracle tomorrow, and that God will bless you.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I found this over at my friend Amanda's Blog and thought I needed to try it out!

Your Inner Child Is Scared

Like a kid, you tend to shy away from new experiences.
You prefer what's tried and true - novelty is scary!
New foods, new places, and new friends are difficult for you to deal with.
Some say you're predictable, but you enjoy being comfortable.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Thousand Marbles

A Thousand Marbles

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement ham-shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to ! time. Let me tell you about it. I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net.
Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital" he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."

And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see! , I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. "Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one! marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. "Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work! on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife
up with a kiss.

"C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.

Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles... A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said...

"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you." - Winnie the Pooh.

50 things about me!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:30

2. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? In the theater??? I seriously have no clue!!!

4. What are your favorite TV shows? Survivor, Grey's Anatomy, Biggest Loser, Amazing Race

5. What did you have for breakfast? Hot Chocolate

6. What is your middle name? Ellen

7 What is your favorite cuisine? Lobster

8. What foods do you dislike? Mayo, Mustard, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, Guacomole,

9. Your favorite Potato chip? Dorito's

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Mark Schultz

11. What kind of car do you drive? 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport

12. Favorite sandwich? Ham and Swiss

13. What characteristics do you despise? Dishonest

14. Favorite item of clothing? Thong Sandals

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Australia

16. What color is your bathroom? Blue

17. Favorite brand of clothing? Umm no clue!

18. Where would you want to retire to? Where ever my son is!

19. Favorite time of day? Early Morning

20. Where were you born? Nashua, NH

21. Favorite sport to watch? Football

22. What laundry detergent do you use? Tide

23. Coke or Pepsi? Cherry Pepsi

24. Are you a morning person or night owl? Morning

25. What size shoe do you wear? 7 1/2

26. Do you have pets? 1 dog 1 cat

27. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? Umm I got a new car

28. What did you want to be when you were little? An Olympic Gymnast

29. Favorite Candy Bar? Snickers

30. What is your best childhood memory? Going to Gymnastics camp with the "team"

31. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? Apartment Manager, Lifeguard, Swimming Instructor, Camp Director, Preschool teacher, Jewlery Sales, Maid,

32. What color underwear are you wearing? Red

33. Nicknames: Sunshine

34. Piercing? My ears

35. Eye color? Blue

36. Ever been to Africa? No

37. Ever been toilet papering? No

38. Love someone so much it made you cry? Yes

39. Been in a car accident? Yes

40. Croutons or bacon bits? Croutons

41. Favorite day of the week? Friday

42. Favorite restaurant? Hmmm none at the moment

43. Favorite flower? Purple Roses

44. Favorite ice cream? Peanut Butter Cup

45. Disney or Warner Bros? Disney

46. Favorite fast food restaurant? Taco Bell

47. What color is your bedroom carpet? brown multi colored

48. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0

49. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail? Theresa

50. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Any Furniture Store

51. What do you do most often when you are bored? Web Surf

52. Bedtime? 10pm

53. Last person(s) you went to dinner with? Alex and Rick

54. What are you listening to right now? The Disney Channel

55. What is your favorite color? Purple

56. How many tattoos do you have? none

57. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Chicken

58. What time did you finish this? 1:22pm

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Prematurity Awareness Day is November 15th


Thank you all in advance for your support with the March of Dimes and our mission to fight Prematurity, Birth Defects and Infant Mortality. Please visit the website above at your convenience. Please take note of the “spread the word” section and all that it offers.

If your company has a website, you can easily download an awareness banner to it. The e-cards are spectacular! Help Mississippi March of Dimes spread the word about the seriousness of premature birth. Perhaps your group could wear pink and/or blue on November 15th in honor of premature babies.

Thank you for supporting the March of Dimes mission to help save babies!!

Connie J. Snell

Community Director

March of Dimes

777-B Holly Hill Drive

Tupelo, MS 38801

662-844-6901 (office)

662-844-6963 (fax)

Monday, October 24, 2005

How to start your Day!

Rules from God
1. Wake Up !!

Decide to have a good day.
"Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalms 118:24
2. Dress Up !!

The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.
A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
"The Lord does not look at the thin gs man looks at.
Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart."
I Samuel 16:7
3. Shut Up!!

Say nice things and learn to listen.
God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant
for us to do twice as much listening as talking.
"He who guards his lips guards his soul."
Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up!!...

For what you believe in.
Stand for something or you will fall for anything..
"Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time,
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Ther efore, as we have opportunity, let us do good..."

Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up !!...

To the Lord.
"I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."


6. Reach Up !!...

For something higher.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path."
Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up !!...

Your Prayers.
"Do not worry about anything;
Philippians 4:6

Do you smell that?

Yesterday was our March Of Dimes Walk for the Starkville area! Alex was chosen as ambassador and it was a blast. Getting to share the joy of Alex's life with others is such a blessing. Although no one can truly understand where we have been or what we went through it was AWESOME to get to let them peer into that window. Alex hammed it up for everyone too... We got interviewed for the WCBI news and were on the 10:00 news! PLUS.. had an interview with The Starkville Daily News. I have to go buy one today to see if we are in it! With no family here I just love it when others shower Alex with love as if they were our family! Connie the director of the March of Dimes for our area does just that, and Alex loves her right back!! We raised $230.00 and were very excited with that. I received this e-mail this morning and thought it went well with my day yesterday!!


At the end of this story, it gives you two options. I think

you will figure out what option I chose.

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas

as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana

Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband,

David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the

latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced

Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency

Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu


At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces,

they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the

doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly

as he could.

"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the

night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make

it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor

described the devastating problems Dana would likely face

if she survived.

She would never walk, she would never talk, she would

probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to

other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to

complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say.

She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long

dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a

family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream

was slipping away.

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for

David and Diana.

Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was

essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only

intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle

their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the

strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana

struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle

of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close

to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of

weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were

able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And

two months later, though doctors continued to gently but

grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living

any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home

from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young

girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for

life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or

physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little

girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the

end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her

home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap

in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother

Dustin's baseball team was practicing.

As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and

several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell


Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do

you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a

thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

Once again, her mother replied,

"Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her

thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced,

"No, it smells like Him.

It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to

play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what

Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family

had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months

of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to

touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His

loving scent that she remembers so well.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

BFL.... Hmph....

Okay today is Day 11 of my new Body For Life Healthy Eating lifestyle. I lost 2 pounds as of day 7. BUT... I don't feel like anything is changing this week. Hmph.. I thought taking away all that soda I was drinking and sweet tea I would see a bigger drop in weight right away. I guess I need to be patient and I really STINK at being patient! LOL.... If you could send me some patient prayers and some will power that would be awesome!!!!

Ohhh... I am really enjoying cooking the meals at night though! It has REALLY helped me to make a weekly menu so I know I have everything I need, and also... Can prepare in advance. This way by the time Rick walks in the door dinner is just about ready to hit the table!

I prepped for our dinner this morning, we are having chicken enchiladas! YEP... straight out of the Eating for Life cookbook! So far this week we have had Baked Chicken Tenders, Shrimp Scampi, and French Dip. Everything has tasted GREAT!!

I need to start getting more exercise.. I think that is the biggest challenge I am facing right now!

Survivor is on tonight.. Woo Hoo!!!! Ohh and I am loving Amazing Race this season!!!