I have in my hands two boxes, which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black box, and all your joys in the gold."

I heeded His words, and in the two boxes, both my joys and sorrows I stored,
But though the gold became heavier each day, the black was as light as before.

With curiosity, I opened the black, I wanted to find out why,
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole, which my sorrows had fallen out by.

I showed the hole to God, and mused, "I wonder where my sorrows could be!"
He smiled a gentle smile and said, "My child, they're all here with me."

I asked God, why He gave me the boxes. Why the gold and the black with the hole?
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings, the black is for you to let go."


With four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items. I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.

"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the centre of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."

The next time you see a blue rose, whichever differences that person may have, take the time to smile and say Hello.


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “ My son, the battle is between two wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, lust, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, unforgiveness, & self hatred.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, gratitude for life & gifts & faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute & then asked his Grandfather “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied. “The one you feed.”


A man was exploring caves by the Seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock . Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.

We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know each person we come in contact with, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.


A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning : "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, 'There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!' The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap . . . alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. However, in the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife and the farmer rushed her to the hospital. Later that day she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

The moral of the story is that the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember ---- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to help and encourage one another.

Remember, each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry. Our lives are woven together. So be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.


When things seem to be going wrong in our life, we sometimes ask ourselves why God is doing this to us. Here is the explanation:

One day a daughter complained to her mother how everything was going wrong for her. She had lost her wallet, she scrapped the side of her car that morning, and her boyfriend just dumped her for her best friend.

The mother said, "I know what you need to cheer you up - a piece of cake." Then the mother hugged her daughter and walked her to the kitchen. While the mother got out the utensils and ingredients, the daughter sat across the counter continuing to feel gloomy and down in the dumps.

When the mother had finally gotten all the ingredients together she asked her daughter, "Would you like a piece of cake?"

"Sure, Mom," the daughter said.

"Alright," the mother replied, "here, drink some of this cooking oil."

Shocked, the daughter responded, "What??? No way!!!"

"How about a couple of raw eggs?" the mother asked.

"Are you kidding?"

"How about eating a cup of flour?" "No Mom! Are you trying to make me sick?"

The mother answered, "Because all of these things are uncooked they taste bad but if we mix them all together and put them under a lot of heat, they make a delicious cake. God works the same way with us. When we ask ourselves why He makes us go through difficult times, it's because we don't understand what God is trying to make us into. When things happen in our life that seem hard to endure that's when we need to trust in God's love and know that He's going to make something fantastic come from it all."


A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. Nevertheless, he was closely watching for kids darting out from between parked cars. He saw a child standing in the street beside a parked car waving at him, but he didn't slow down. As his car passed, the child threw a brick which smashed into the side of his car. The angry driver slammed on his brakes, jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him against the damaged car.

"Why did you do that?" the man yelled at the frightened child. "That brick you threw is going to cost you a lot of money!" the man continued to yell.

The young boy was apologetic. "Please mister… Please. I'm sorry… I threw the brick because I didn't know what else to do to get you to stop. No one else would." With tears dripping down his face, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother. He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing the boy asked, "Would you please help me to get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

The driver was deeply moved by the boy's story. With a lump in his throat, he helped lift the handicapped boy back into his wheelchair, then took out his spotlessly clean handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him that everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you, mister." The grateful boy told the stranger. "And may God bless you."

The man stood still as he watched the young boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to his Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dent in the side of his car. He kept the dent there to remind him of the message: Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. But sometimes, when we are going through life so fast that we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick to get our attention. It's our choice: Listen to the whisper… Or wait for the brick.


There once lived a woman in England who habitually gossiped and told sordid stories about almost everyone in her village. After years of doing this, she found that eventually, no one wanted to be friends with her. Feeling troubled by this, she went to her vicar and asked him how she could make people like her.

Knowing of her reputation for gossip, he decided to help teach her why people stayed away from her. He told her that if she wanted to make peace with her neighbors, she should take a bag of goose feathers and drop one on the porch of everyone she had gossiped or said unkind things about. The woman hurried off to do as he asked, and several hours later, when she had placed a feather on the porch of every house in the village, she excitedly ran back to tell the vicar.

"Will everyone now be my friend?" she hopefully asked.
"No," replied the vicar. "There is one more thing you need to do. You must now go back and gather every feather and bring them all back to me again.

The woman once again hurried off to do as she was instructed, but after a very long time, she returned without a single feather. When asked where they were, she sadly complained, "The wind has blown them all away."

The vicar kindly explained, "So it is with gossip and unkind words. They are easily dropped but once said, they are very hard to take back again. If you want people to come to you, make sure your words are always kind and good."


Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world is going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say but question what the scriptures say.
Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they don't have to believe, think, say, or do anything the scriptures tell us.
Funny how we are quick to judge but not be judged.
Funny how you can send a thousand jokes through the email and they spread like wild-fire, but when you start sending messages concerning the Lord, people think twice about sharing it.
Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on Sunday but be an invisible Christian the rest of the week.
Funny how some people can be more worried about what others think of them than what God thinks of them.

Are you laughing or are you thinking?

If you are laughing, you can't complain about how bad a shape the world is in.
If you're thinking this is terrible, at the least, you can be committed to making sure it's not true about you.


For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in other people.
To lose weight, let go of hatred, anger, contention and the need to control others.
To improve your ears, listen to the word of God.
To strengthen your arms, hug at least 3 people a day. Touch someone with your love.
To strengthen your heart, forgive yourself and others.
To lose wrinkles, don't worry so much. Instead, trust in God.
For poise, rather than focus on the thorns of life, count your blessings.
For ultimate business, casual or evening attire put on the robe of Christ. It fits like a glove but allows room for growth. Best of all, it never goes out of style and is appropriate for any occasion.

Doing these things on a daily basis will certainly make you a BEAUTIFUL person.


I dreamed I had an interview with God. I asked, "What surprises you most about mankind?

God answered, "They lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. They are so anxious about the future that they forget the present and end up living neither for the future or the present. They live like they will never die, and then die as though they had never lived."

I asked, "What do you want your children to learn?"

God replied with a smile, "To learn that it is not good to compare yourself with others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis. To learn that there are people who love others dearly, but simply don't know how to show it. To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally differently. To learn that it is not always enough to be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."

I thanked God for his time. He said kindly, "I'm here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me and I'll answer."


My Dear Friend,

As you got up this morning, I watched and hoped you would talk to me even if it was just a few words, but I noticed you were too busy trying to find the right outfit to put on and wear.

I continued waiting anxiously as you ran around the house getting ready. I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you seemed so busy. At one point you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing to do and I thought for sure you'd speak to me, but you didn't. Instead, you picked up the phone and called a friend. I watched as you went to work and I waited patiently all day long but I guess you were too busy to say anything to me with all your activities. That's okay. There was still more time left.

When you came home and it seemed you had lots of things to do, but when you were done I thought you would finally talk to me. Instead, you turned on the TV. Still I waited patiently. When you finally became tired you got ready for bed, and I waited for you to say even just a few words before falling asleep, but it happened so fast you never had time.

That's okay because I've got patience more than you will ever know. Because I love you so much, I left a wonderful place called Heaven and came to Earth. I even died so you could live. Now I wait everyday for a prayer, a thought, or even a thankful, knowing nod. It is hard to have a one-sided conversation. Well, you are getting up again and I will once more lovingly wait, hoping that today you will give me just a little of your time, even if it is just a minute or two, to show that you also care for me.

Your loving friend,


Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed elderly man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.

As one particular winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram informing him that the young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness.

On Christmas morning, the depressed old man was awakened by a knock on the door. Upon opening it, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand. The soldier said, "I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you." Inside, as the two began to talk, the solider told of how the man's son had often told everyone of his father's love of fine art. "I'm an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to give you this." As the old man unwrapped the package, he saw a portrait of his son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail.

Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, pushing aside thousands of dollars of paintings, the old man hung the newly acquired portrait where promised. The rest of the day the man sat in his chair gazing at the gift he had been given.

During the days and weeks that followed, the man learned that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the works of the masters.

The following spring, the old man became ill and eventually passed away. With no surviving relatives to inherit his collection, it was announced that the paintings would be sold at an auction. In fact, according to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day.

When the long anticipated day arrived, eager art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on these most spectacular paintings. However, the auction began with a painting that was not on any museum's list. It was the painting of the man's son. When the auctioneer asked for an opening bid, the room was silent. "Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked. Minutes passed, but no one spoke.

"It's just a picture of his son. Let's forget it and go on to the good stuff, " someone yelled out. More voices echoed in agreement.

"No, we have to sell this one first," replied the auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?"

Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. "Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it."

"I have ten dollars. Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice. Gone." The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures!"

The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son What about all of these paintings? They're worth millions of dollars! I demand that you explain what's going on here!"

The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son...gets it all."

The message is still the same for us today. Because of a Father's love for His Son who went away and gave his life rescuing others, whoever takes the Son gets it all.

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"
"Yeah, sure, what is it?" replied the man.
"Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?"
"That's none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.
"I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy.
"If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour."
"Oh," the little boy replied. After a moment of serious thought the boy asked, "Daddy, may I borrow $3.00 please?"

The father was furious. "If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you're being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish games."

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The more the father thought about his son's request, the angrier he got, but after an hour or so, he began to calm down, and started to think that perhaps he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $3.00. When he realized that his son didn't ask for money very often, he reasoned that his son must need the money really bad. Deciding that he could easily afford the $3.00, the father went to his son's room. "I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," he said to his son. "It's been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here's that $3.00 you asked for."

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. "Oh, thank you, daddy!" he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills.

Seeing that the boy already had money, the father became angry again. "Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied. With a big smile on his face he asked, "Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?"

Side By Side

On the table, side by side, The Book of Mormon and the TV Guide
One is well worn and cherished with pride; Not the Book of Mormon, but the TV guide,
One is used daily to help folks decide, No, not the Book of Mormon, but the TV Guide.
As the pages are turned, what shall they see? Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV!
So they opened the book from which they confide, No, not the Book of Mormon, but the TV guide.
The word of God is seldom read Maybe a verse or two before they fall to bed,
Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be, Not from reading the scriptures, but from watching TV.
So back to the table, side by side The Book of Mormon, and the TV Guide
The Plan of Salvation is full and free But is found in the Book of Mormon, not on the TV.


I was walking down life's highway, a long time ago.
One day, I saw a sign that read, "HEAVEN'S GROCERY STORE."
As I got a little closer, the door came open wide.
And when I came to myself, I was standing deep inside.

I saw a host of angels They were standing everywhere.
One handed me a basket and said, "My Child, shop with care"
Everything a Christian needed was in that grocery store.
And all you couldn't carry, you could come back the next day for more.

First, I got some PATIENCE; LOVE was in the same row.
Further down was UNDERSTANDING; you need that everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of WISDOM, a bag or two of FAITH.
I just couldn't miss the HOLY GHOST, for it was all over the place.

I stopped to get some STRENGTH and COURAGE to help me run this race
By then my basket was getting full, but I remembered I still needed some GRACE.
I didn't forget SALVATION for I know that salvation was for free,
So, I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.

Then I started up to the counter to pay my grocery bill
For I thought I had everything to do the Master's Will.
As I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER; and I knew I just had to put that in,
For I knew that when I stepped outside I would run into sin.

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


Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE." When the houselights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. And the audience was mesmerized.

Whatever our situation in life, however desperate we may become, whatever dry spell of the spirit we may encounter, whatever dark of night may fill our soul, God whispes to us, "Don't quit. Keep playing. You are not alone. Together we will transform the broken patterns into a masterwork of my creative art. Together, we will mesmerize the world with our song of peace."


Around the corner I have a friend, in this city that has no end
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on, and before I know it a year is gone.
And I never see my old friend's face, for a life is a swift and terrible race.
But he knows I like him just as well, as in the days when I rang his bell.
"Tomorrow" I say "I will call on Jim, just to show I was thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes, and the distance between us grows and grows.
Then a telegram comes that Jim died today, around the corner, yet miles away.


A man died and went to heaven. St. Peter met him at the pearly gates and told him, "You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."

"Okay," the man said, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her. "
"That's wonderful," St. Peter replied, "that's worth three points!"
"Three points?" the man said. "Well, I attended church all my life and faithfully paid my tithing."
"Terrific!" St. Peter exclaimed. "That's certainly worth a point."
"One point? Golly. How about this: I had a hundred percent home teaching record."
"Fantastic," Peter responded. "That's good for two more points!"
"TWO POINTS!!" the man said in despair. "At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!"
"That's right!, Now you have got it!" said Peter.

(For we know that it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do -- 2 Nephi 25:23)


Evxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll xxcxpt for onx of the kxys. I havx many timxs wishxd that is workxd pxrfxctly. It is trux that thxrx arx forty-onx kxys that function wxll xnough, but just onx kxy not working makxs thx diffxrxncx.

Somxtimxs it sxxms to mx that the church is somxthing likx my typxwritxr -- not all thx kxy pxoplx arx working propxrly. As onx of thxm, you may say to yoursxlf, "Wxll, I am only onx pxrson, I don't makx or brxak thx church." But it doxs makx a big diffxrxncx, bxcasx a church, to bx xffxctivx, nxxds thx activx participation of xvxry pxrson.

So, thx nxxt timx you think your xfforts arx not nxxdxd vxry much, rxmxmbxr my typxwritxr and say to yoursxlf, "I am a kxy pxrson in thx congrxgation and I am nxxdxd vxry much." This is what happxns to thx wholx church, and multiply this by many timxs -- thx whole thing just doxs not makx sxnsx! So, don't be a broken key -- be a useful one.


A man, his wife, and his three year old daughter needed to drive 3 days continuously, day and night, to get to Germany. The little girl had never traveled at night before and the first night she was scared because of the deep darkness outside.

"Where are we going, Daddy?"
"To your uncle's house, in Germany."
"Have you been to his house before?"
"Then, do you know the way?"
"Maybe, we can read the map."
There was a short pause, then the girl asked, "Do you know how to read the map?"
"Yes, we will get there safely."
Another pause. "Where are we going to eat if we get hungry before arriving?"
"We can stop at restaurants if we are hungry."
"Do you know if there are restaurants on the way?"
"Yes, there are."
"Do you know where?"
"No, but we will be able to find some."

The same dialogue was repeated a few times within the first night, and also the second night. But on the third night, the little girl was quiet. The mother thought that perhaps she had fallen asleep, but when she looked into the mirror, she saw that her daughter was awake and was just looking around calmly. The mother couldn't help wondering why she was not asking any more questions.

"Dear, do you know where we are going?" the mother asked.
"Germany, Uncle's house," the girl replied
"Do you know how we will get there?"
"Then why aren't you asking anymore questions?"
"Because Daddy is driving."

As we journey through the darkness of life, many of us have questions and fears. We may know what our destination is, but don't always know the way. We might know how to read the map, but we don't always know if we can find restaurants along the way. But, like the little girl, the most important thing thing we need to know is that Father is driving and that He will provide all that we need in order for us to reach our destination in safety.


St. Peter was giving a newly arrived soul a tour of heaven. The two of them were walking side by side inside a large workroom filled with angels. St. Peter stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all the petitions sent to God in prayer are received." The soul saw that the section was a very busy one with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous sheets of paper from all the people of the world.

They resumed walking until they reached the second section. St. Peter told the soul, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings are packed and delivered to the petitioners down on earth." The soul saw how busy it was. There were a great many angels working in that room because countless blessings were being packed and delivered to earth.

Finally, at the farthest corner of the room, they stopped at the last section. To the surprise of the soul, only one angel was there and he was idle.

"This is the Acknowledging Section," St. Peter told the soul.
"How is it that no work is being done here?"
"That's the sad thing," St. Peter answered. "After people on earth received the blessings they asked for, very few of them bother to send their acknowledgments."
"How does one acknowledge God's blessing?"
"Simple," St. Peter answered. "Just say, 'Thank you, Lord.'"


It was a warm summer day when the gods placed it in her hands. She trembled with emotion as she saw how fragile it appeared. This was a very special gift the gods were entrusting to her. A gift that would one day belong to the world. Until then, they instructed her, she was to be its guardian and protector. The woman said she understood and reverently took it home, determined to live up to the faith the gods had placed in her.

At first she barely let it out of her sight, protecting it from anything she perceived to be harmful to its well- being; watching with fear in her heart when it was exposed to the environment outside of the sheltered cocoon she had formed around it. But the woman began to realize that she could not shelter it forever. It needed to learn to survive the harsh elements in order to grow strong. So with gentle care she gave it more space to grow...enough to allow it to grow wild and untamed.

One day she became aware of how much the gift had changed. It no longer had a look of vulnerability about it. Now it seemed to glow with strength and steadiness, almost as if it were developing a power within. Month after month she watched as it became stronger and more powerful, and the woman remembered her promise. She knew deep within her heart that her time with the gift was nearing an end.

The inevitable day arrived when the gods came to take the gift and present it to the world. The woman felt a deep sadness, for she would miss its constant presence in her life. With heartfelt gratitude she thanked the gods for allowing her the privilege of watching over the precious gift for so many years. Straightening her shoulders, she stood proud, knowing that it was, indeed, a very special gift. One that would add to the beauty and essence of the world around it.

And the mother let her child go.


Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter: "Dear Ruth, I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit. Love Always, Jesus "

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents.

"Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it." Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."

"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway." The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. "Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag.

"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!" the man said. "Yes, thank you!" said the man's wife. Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

"Dear Ruth, It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat. Love Always, Jesus "

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.


By Ken Martin

Our grandson, Burke Davis, four years old at the time, was putting together a puzzle of the face of Jesus near Christmas time when his mother asked, "Do you know who that is?" He answered, "Yes, it's Jesus." Then thoughtfully he asked, "Mom, what happened to Jesus?" His mother told him that some wicked men didn't understand His mission on earth and arranged for Him to be killed. Burke quickly responded, "Does Dad know about this!" His mother assured Burke that his dad new about it and Burke returned to his puzzle.

Several hours later, when Burke's dad came home, as soon as he walked through the door, Burke ran up to him and said, "Dad, some mean men killed Jesus-----WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?!"

I have often reflected that Burke's message really says--Jesus died for us--what are we going to do about it. It is appropriate that we consider the atonement of the Savior and what we will do in out lives to be worthy of His eternal sacrifice.


Lord, Thou knowest me better than I know myself and every day I find that I am growing older. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all; but help keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. When I must use my tremendous wealth of knowledge, give me wings to get to the point.

Oh, Lord, seal my lips on my aches and pains for I find that they are increasing, and the love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that I may occasionally be mistaken. Or if, as is most often the case, I know I am not, give me the generosity to smile and let others have their little say without deriding them.

Keep me reasonably sweet, because a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. But also keep me from becoming holier than my neighbor. Such people are so hard to live with and they have so very few friends. Give me the ability to see good things in places I had not expected to find them, especially in people, and give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

And now, my Lord, help me to forgive the many faults of others that I may have the courage to ask thee to forgive the few which I might have. Amen.


*You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
*Life has many choices, Eternity has two. What's yours?
*Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.
*A man's character is like a fence. It cannot be strengthened by whitewash.
*Preach the gospel at all times ... Use words only if necessary.
*Delay is preferable to error.
*It's hard to stumble when you're on your knees.
*God answers knee mail.
*A clear conscience makes a soft pillow.
*Never give the devil a ride. He will always want to drive.
*Forbidden fruit creates many jams.
*To belittle is to be little.
*Don't let the littleness in others bring out the littleness in you.
*People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
*Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your Feet.
*Christians should believe our beliefs and doubt our doubts but too often we believe our doubts and doubt our beliefs.
*Children need your presence more than your presents.
*Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
*I have found in my life and marriage that quarreling never pays - truth and love are always the loser.
*If God is on your side, the task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you.
*Take care of the possible and trust in God to take care of the impossible.
*Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.
*Don't expect praise, but always deserve it.
*Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.
*When you don't forgive others, you burn the bridge over which you yourself must travel to receive God's forgiveness for yourself.
*Everything we do and say without love is a step in darkness.
*It's not what we do that's important; it's why we do what we do that makes all the difference.
* Being kind is more important than being right.
* When you hold a grudge, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
* It's love that heals all wound, not time.
* When you harbor bitterness, resentment, and anger, happiness will dock somewhere else.
* He who throws dirt loses ground.
* It's the little things in life that determine the big things.
* Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.
* We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
* There are times when silence has the loudest voice.
* When God measures a person, He puts the tape around their heart not their head.
* The worst example is a more effective teacher than the best sermon.
* Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
* To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart.
* Anger is only one letter short of danger.
* He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all.
* Adversity is like the rain of spring. Without it there is no growth.
* Fight fire with fire, and all you'll end up with is ashes.
*There are two types of pain in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons.
*You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is give people the opportunity to love you.
*It's not what you have in life that is important. It's who you have in life that's most valuable.
*A rich person is is not someone who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
*It only takes a few seconds to cause wounds in people we love, but often takes years to heal them.

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