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The Blind Horse
Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.

If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Sometimes we can feel like either of these horses. There are times when we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those placed in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see. Where in your life are you the one who is leading others? Where are you being led?

Something to Warm Your Heart
Imagine a studio musician who devotes his time (with the help of other studio musicians) to write, arrange, and record PERSONALIZED SONGS written for seriously ill children and teens called Songs of Love. I first saw them on 60 minutes with Dan Rather. If you want to be inspired ... do this: click here to go to their site ... and ... click on the video. In 10 seconds you'll be captivated with this man's heart and generosity. Well, anyway, I sent them an email and asked them how we could get a chapter started in Lubbock for our special children and youth facing tough medical treatments and times. We're not sure where all this is heading ... but at a time when we're celebrating love ... I can't help but share SONGS of LOVE with you . As of right now, they have written and delivered 8,600 songs ... and they're hoping to hit 10,000 in August! If you know of a seriously ill child or teen that is facing a difficult medical time or treatments, click here to send me an email and I'll see it is forwarded to the right people.

The Eagle & The Wolf - REVISED (see below**)
There is a great battle that rages inside me.
One side is the soaring eagle. Everything the eagle stands for is good and true and beautiful, and it soars above the clouds. Even though it dips down into the valleys, it lays its eggs on the mountaintops.
The other side of me is the howling wolf. And that raging, howling wolf represents the worst that's in me. He eats upon my downfalls and justifies himself by his presence in the pack.
Who wins this great battle?
The one I feed.

** I like this story so much ... but lately I've been aware of two sides of me ... doubt and believing. It's tricky because they don't seem as black and white as an eagle and a wolf. In fact, at times, it feels as if they are the other sides of the same coin. Some times I feel like I'm as much "doubt" as I am "believing" ... that I could tip to either side so easily. Here's my point ... when torn by any two things, doubt and believing, anger or love, loyalty or betrayal ... you can be sure that the outcome will be determined by WHICH ONE YOU FEED. So in the end, it's not feelings ... but our POWER OF CHOICE that determines our course. Feed the strength you want to have and it will be strong. "Attitude is everything!" Choose wisely.

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat,” stated Theodore Roosevelt.
Determination is a quality in life that can help overcome anything else you may lack. Whatever the setback or circumstance, if the spark of determination is there, things happen. It is a powerful ally when faced with difficulty. One step at a time, one small victory after another and soon you are looking back at some measurable progress.

Life is not about being right or wrong. It’s not about having the correct information, or the proper answers. It’s not about playing the right notes. Life is about hearing the music. In other words, it’s not the number of breaths you take that gives you life, it is the number of moments that take your breath away. Most people go through life asleep. But the ones who are awake live in constant total amazement. Contentment is swell ... but Passion is Living!


"You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."

Imagine for a moment that someone gave you this prescription,
with the warning that your life depends on it. Consider the
possibility that perhaps your life does depend on it. Hurry is
the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. Hurry can
destroy our souls. Hurry can keep us from living well. As Carl
Jung wrote, "Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil."

Again and again, as we pursue spiritual life, we must do
battle with hurry. For many of us the great danger is not that
we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so
distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for
a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead
of actually living them.

-- John Ortberg in "The Life You've Always Wanted"

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have
into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos
to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a
feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and
creates a vision for tomorrow.
-- Melody Beattie

These are the words to a song recently performed by David Gaschen with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra!

There’s a flower in the smallest garden reaching for the light
There’s a candle in the darkest corner conquering the night

There is amazing strength in a willing hand
There are victories that you’ve never planned
There’s a hero in everybody’s heart

There’s a fire inside of everybody burning here and now
There’s a power in the faintest heartbeat that cannot be denied

You gotta trust yourself … Cause you can ride the wind
Your gonna take your dreams where they’ve never been
There’s a hero in everybody’s heart

Gotta play the game if you expect to win
Gotta take your dreams where they’ve never been
There’s a hero in everybody’s heart

In our own lives, we have periods of great activity and periods of rest. Just as high tide is no better than low tide and summer no better than spring, activity is not, in itself, better than inactivity. In fact, these times help us connect to ourselves and to our divine source.

Our culture tends to applaud action and achievement. We are often most comfortable with ourselves when we are clearly traveling toward a goal. During these times of striving, we direct our energy outward. We take action on our vision and follow the steps that lead us to our goal. But there are moments in this process when the urge comes to take a break, retreat, or just lay low. The tendency may be to judge ourselves negatively or feel like we are “lazy” or doing nothing. Sometimes “laying low” can actually give us a higher perspective.

When you feel the urge to have down time, trust that as part of your path. It may actually prove to be a shortcut. Curl up under the covers with a favorite book or catch an old movie on TV. Soak up some sun or daydream the day away. Better yet, do nothing at all. Allow yourself to simply be - alive and at ease.

A speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"
Hands started going up.
He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?"
Still the hands were up in the air.
"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.
He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, here is a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in life, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt either by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. When we are tempted to feel worthless or “less valuable”
we need to remember … no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Each of us is a one of a kind masterpiece!

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.
Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.

A TRIBUTE TO MY DOG ... in quotes
Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and
then giving Fido only two of them.

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul...They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!

My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am.

"Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Maybe this life lesson just hit me on the right day ... but the short message is so profound, I felt it was enough as is.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body;
but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Lessons from an Oyster

There once was an oyster whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand had gotten into his shell.
It was only a grain, but it gave him great pain.
For oysters have feelings although they seem plain.

Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him to such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government, Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should have given him protection?

'No,' he said to himself as he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it, I shall try to improve it.
Over time the grain of sand that had bothered him so
Became a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral, for isn't it grand
What an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?
There's no telling what we humans could do if we'd only begin
to work with what life brings that gets under our skin!

Lesson from a Frog (#2)
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began. Honestly.. No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.

You heard statements such as: "Oh, WAY too difficult!!!" They will NEVER make it to the top!!!"
or: "Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!!!"

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one...Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!!!"

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up...But ONE continued higher and higher and higher.
This one wouldn't give up!!
At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal? It turned out … the winner was DEAF!

The lesson in this story is clear:
NEVER listen to other people's negative or pessimistic ideas because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you...the ones you have in your heart!!!
Always think of the power words have. Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!!!

Ann has seven grandchildren. The two youngest live in Connecticut. Last spring their parents took them to Scottsdale, Arizona to a theme park. Since they were so close, they rented a car and drove about three hours to the Grand Canyon. The boys would rather have been at the water park. When they finally got there, Mike -- who is 7 -- said, "You mean we drove all this way just to see a big hole in the ground?"
What's fun for kids is often the simplest things and they can be entertained by the craziest things. Save yourself some money and driving time! Ask them what they'd like to do and they will certainly tell you

We Are Like Kites
One windy spring day, I observed young people having fun using the wind to fly their kites. Multicolored creations of varying shapes and sizes filled the beautiful skies. As the strong winds gusted against the kites, a string kept them in check.

Instead of blowing away with the wind, they pushed against it to achieve great heights. They shook and pulled, but the restraining string and the cumbersome tail kept them in tow, facing upward and against the wind. As the kites struggled and trembled against the string, they seemed to say, "Let me go! Let me go! I want to be free!" They soared beautifully even as they fought the imposed restriction of the string. Finally, one of the kites succeeded in breaking loose. "Free at last" it seemed to say. "Free to fly with the wind."

Yet freedom from restraint simply put it at the mercy of an unsympathetic breeze. It fluttered ungracefully to the ground and landed in a tangled mass of weeds and string against a dead bush. "Free at last" free to lie powerless in the dirt, to be blown helplessly along the ground, and to lodge lifeless against the first obstruction.

How much like kites we sometimes are. Life gives us adversity and restrictions, rules to follow from which we can grow and gain strength. Some of us tug at the rules so hard that we never soar to reach the heights we might have obtained. Some of us never rise high enough to get our tails off the ground.

For today, let's rise to the heights life has in store for us. And let's do so by recognizing that some of life's restraints and gusty winds are actually the steadying force that helps us ascend and achieve.


United we stand, Steadfast and tall,
Commited to peace, And freedom for all.
For times like these, That try all our souls,
Can renew our commitment to the world and our goals.
Let's open our hearts, As our proud banners wave,
O'er the land of the free, And the home of the brave!

The Grumble Family
There is a family nobody likes to meet,
They live, it is said, on Complaining Street.
In the city of Never-Are Satisfied,
The River of Discontent beside.
They growl at that, and they growl at this;
Whatever comes there is something amiss;
And whether their station be high or humble,
They are known by the name of Grumble.
The weather is always too hot or too cold,
Summer and winter alike they scold;
Nothing goes right with the folks you meet
Down on that gloomy Complaining Street.
They growl at the rain, and they growl at the sun;
In fact, their growling is never done.
And if everything pleased them, there isn't a doubt
They'd growl that they'd nothing to grumble about!
And the worst thing is that if anyone stays
Among them too long he will learn their ways,
And before he dreams of the terrible jumble
He's adopted into the family of Grumble.
So it were wisest to keep our feet
From wandering into Grumbling Street.
And never to growl whatever we do,
Lest we be mistaken for Grumblers too.

Father And Son Conversation
A father was having trouble getting his son to cut his long hair. When the boy asked to borrow the family car. The father said, "You may borrow the car when you cut your hair."
Later that same evening the father passed by the son's room where he was stretched out on the bed reading the Bible.
He said, "Dad, did you know it says here that Jesus never cut his hair?"
His dad said, "Yes, son, and if you read further, you notice it says he walked everywhere he went."

Thoughts about Fathers

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."

"Fathers, like mothers, are not born.
Men grow into fathers - and fathering is
a very important stage in their development."

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."
~~By William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was."
~~By Anne Sexton (1928-1974) U.S. poet

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."
~~By Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

"A Man's children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season."

Holy Humor!
These are various church signs with a "creative" message.

That took care of a parking problem!

2. "No God - No Peace? Know God - Know Peace."

3. "Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!"

4. "Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin-Robbins."

5. "Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!"

6. An ad for one Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads: "For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets."

7. When the restaurant next to another Church put out a sign with big red letters that said, "Open Sundays," the church reciprocated with its own message: "We are open on Sundays, too."

8. "People are like tea bags - you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."

9. "Fight truth decay - study the Bible daily."

10. "How will you spend eternity - Smoking or Non-smoking?"

11. "Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives"

12. "Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world."

13. "It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin."

14. "Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church."

15. "If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns."

16. "If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."

17. "Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon."

18. "This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?" ----- (U R)

19. "In the dark? Follow the Son."

20. "Running low on faith? Step in for a fill-up."

21. "If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd."

A Dogs Soul
Every dog must have a soul
Somewhere deep inside
Where all his hurts and grievances
Are buried with his pride.
Where he decides the good and bad,
The wrong way from the right,
And where his judgement carefully
Is hidden from our sight.
And when accused unjustly for
Himself, He cannot speak,
Rebuked, He finds within his soul
The comfort he must seek.
He'll love, tho'he is unloved,
And he'll serve tho' sometimes used,
And one kind word will wipe away
The times when he's felt abused.
Altho' his heart may break in two
His love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog
An understanding Soul!

Trust Your Gut! (Listen to your intuition)
Decisions that you may not be satisfied with can lead you to ask yourself how could I have made one choice, when my gut feeling pointed to the other. Because we can look to the past and imagine the future with clarity, there exists a tendency to mull over even minor choices and to over-analyze people and situations. But when we choose to put aside reasoning processes for just a moment, insights may be revealed. Listening to your intuitive mind allows you to access a natural cache of wisdom within. You may find that in "trusting your gut," your innate sense of what is right and wrong will become both strong and reliable.

To get in touch with your intuition, first pay attention to sudden perceptions and feelings, even if nothing more than a prickling of the hairs on the back of your neck. Acknowledge it and let go of your fear of being wrong. Trust your inner voice. Keep track of these instances in a journal and, regardless of your decision in each case, decide whether your intuitive feeling was correct. If you already have strong gut feelings, practice acting on those feelings without fear. Don't let doubt keep you from embracing them.

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
It's almost certain you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost;
For out in the world you'll find
Things begin with your will;
It's all in the state of your mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise;
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Enjoy these groaners!
1. A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired.
2. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).
3. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
4. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you a-flat minor.
5. When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
6 .The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
7. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
8. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
9. A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and 'taint mine.
... and my favorite ...
10. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

Class and Grace
It was my sister Katie's wedding day. She floated through the reception hall smiling and thanking guests, dancing with each of the grandpas, and taking time to chat with the flower girls. She looked so beautiful and serene that no one would have guessed that the florist had used the wrong flowers, the three-tiered cake had arrived lopsided, and a bridesmaid had torn her skirt minutes before the ceremony.

Incidents that could have turned the day into a tense and disappointing event were cause for laughter because of Katie's outlook. Behind the scenes, I watched as she reacted calmly and sympathetically to the apologetic florist, then laughed and posed for candid pictures with the uneven cake. When the bridesmaid tripped in her heels and tore the hem of her skirt, Katie didn't panic, but assisted her in stapling the tear together, which resulted in more candid photos of the two of them posing with the stapler.

Today when friends share their stories about stressed brides, I remain silent.
I have a picture hanging on my wall of my smiling sister posing with a lopsided
cake that reminds me of the lasting impression of class and grace in all circumstances.

"The values we live by are worth more when we pass them on...."
(story from the Foundation for a Better Life)

Boy's Petition to God for $100
A little boy who wanted $100 very badly prayed and prayed for two weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write a letter to God requesting the $100.

When the postal authorities received the letter to "God, USA," they decided to send it to President Clinton. The president was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5 bill. Mr. Clinton thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.

The little boy was delighted with the $5, and immediately sat down to write a thank you note to God which read, "Dear God, Thank you for sending me the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington D.C., and as usual, they deducted $95!"

This is one cool billboard.
Where did we get the notion that we have to be all things to all people? Why do we think we have to be better than we are? "You are quite enough." How would you feel if you heard someone say that to you? How would you feel if you said that to yourself? Well, after all the movies about prince charming, it's nice to finally see one where the ogre is an ogre, stays and ogre, and becomes an ogre achiever. You are to be the best YOU you can be. You cannot be anyone else. So today ... celebrate the ogre in you ... and know there's one in everyone else too. .

Who packs your Parachute?
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. He ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.
"I packed your parachute," the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man shook his
hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night for thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering about the many hours the sailor spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what he or she needs to make it through the day. Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We need to take the time to recognize the people packing our parachutes.

Click here to what all is that involved in packing a parachute.

Who are you the world to?
To the world, you may just be one person.
But you may mean the world to one person.

- or - (changed to reflect my feelings about Lubbock ...

To the world,
Lubbock may just be one city.
But Lubbock is one city
that means the world to me.

A Pebble in the Water

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Learning from Martha and Tom
This week, I have been watching Martha Stewart talking about how good it is to be home. As she addressed the 600+ people that work for her company, she said something that registered as very profound to me. She said "We have been focussing and doing a great job on the HOW TO of things" ... but I'm afraid we haven't been focussing enough on the WHY of things. When she said that, it reminded me of Ton Landry (who was my Sunday School teacher at the time.) Everytime he spoke, I remember him saying this saying that has stayed with me these 20+ years.
Don't let the URGENT ... outweigh the IMPORTANT! Very wise words.

Lubbock Can Change the World!

A Scorpion Moment
There was a very loving man who saw a scorpion floundering around in the water. He decided to save it by stretching out his finger, but the scorpion stung him. The man still tried to get the scorpion out of the water, but the scorpion stung him again.
A man nearby who was watching told him to stop saving the scorpion that kept stinging him.
But the man said:
"It is the nature of the scorpion to sting. It is my nature to love.
Why should I give up my nature to love just because he doesn't have the same nature."

The moral
Don't give up loving. Don't give up your goodness.
Loving is a decision to do what is your choice to do, regardless of the actions of others.
Loving is a gift you give yourself.

The Fisherman

A fisherman observed a snake swimming towards his boat.
When the snake reached the boat the fisherman could see that he had a frog in his mouth. Feeling sorry for the frog he reached down and carefully removed the frog from the snake's mouth and set it free.

But then, feeling sorry for the snake he looked around to see what he could give him. He found a piece of chocolate and gave it to the snake. The snake then swam away.

The fisherman was feeling content from his good deeds when about ten minutes later he heard a knocking at the side of the boat. When he looked over the side he saw the snake had returned . . this time with "two" frogs in his mouth.

The moral
It's a universal truth. Give people -- or animals -- what they want and they'll come back again and again. Even better, they'll bring their family and friends back with them.

What's Prettier Than Freckles?
An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws."You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" a girl in the line said to the little fella. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head.
His grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful."
The boy looked up, "Really?"
"Of course," said the grandmother. "Why just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles."
The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma's face, and softly whispered, "Wrinkles."
Lesson: The things we love, like freckles and wrinkles are all around us. Take time to notice this Valentine's Day … tell the people you love … and let them tell you. Happy Valentine's Day!

Quotations about Love
“Good works are links that form a chain of love.”
—Mother Teresa

“The heart only knows what the hands do.”

“Love is a verb.”
—Clare Boothe Luce

“To do great things is not to do big things but to do small things with great love.”
—Mother Teresa

“Love is love’s reward.”
—John Dryden

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Three Travelers
One night a group of nomads were preparing to retire for the evening, when suddenly they were surrounded by a great light. They knew they were in the presence of a celestial being.Finally, the voice spoke. "Gather as many pebbles as you can. Put them in your saddle bags. Travel a day's journey. Tomorrow night you will be both glad and sad."

The nomads had expected the revelation of a great universal truth but instead they were given a menial task that made no sense. However, each one did pick up a few pebbles and put them in their saddle bags.

They traveled a day's journey. That night, while making camp, they reached into their saddle bags and discovered that the pebbles they had gathered the night before had turned into beautiful and brilliant diamonds! Indeed, they were both glad and sad, just as the voice had promised.

They were glad they now had beautiful and valuable diamonds. They were sad they had not gathered more pebbles when they had the opportunity.

The moral: If you take the time to pick up some pebbles today - the small things that are in every day life - when you turn around, you'll find they have become some of your greatest treasures.

The Three Frogs
Q. Three frogs sat on a log and one decided to jump off. How many frogs were left on the log?
Although almost everyone answers "two," the correct answer is "three." Just because the frog decided to jump off the log does not necessarily mean that it actually did it. It's our actions, not our intentions that will bring us success. Here's to our success in 2005!

Champagne for the Brain -- soul boosters for the New Year!
Find something to do that stirs your soul. "The excitement of learning seperates youth from old age. As long as you're learning, you're not old."
-Rosalyn Yalow, a physicist and Nobel Prize winner

Learning is living and tackling the fun stuff -- like taking a great photo, reading someone's palm, or putting on tap shoes and dancing. Got shaky hands and two left feet? No matter. The triumph is not just in the mastery but in the attempt. So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground. Picking up a skill -- whether it's kayaking or whipping up souffles is one way to enrich your life. - Oprah Winfrey (introduction to January 05 issue of O Magazine.)

We become sad in the first place because we have nothing stirring to do.
- Herman Melville quoted in The Nature of Generosity

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first time or last time. Then your time on Earth will be filled with joy.
- Betty Smith in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The Confidence in the Shore
Florence Chadwick was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.
On the Fourth of July in 1951, she attempted to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. The challenge was not so much the distance, but the bone-chilling waters of the Pacific. To complicate matters, a dense fog lay over the entire area, making it impossible for her to see land. After 15 hours in the water, and within a half mile of her goal, Chadwick gave up. Later she told a reporter, "Look, I'm not excusing myself. But if I could have seen land, I might have made it." Not long afterward she attempted the feat again.
Once more a misty veil obscured the coastline and she couldn't see the shore. But this time she made it because she kept reminding herself that land was there. With that confidence she swam on, achieved her goal, and broke the men's record by 2 hours!
The CONFIDENCE YOU HAVE in the certainty of your goal is what will keep you swimming. Whatever it is you are reaching for, get your confidence set on the shoreline and Never give up. Never give up. Never give up. Even when you temporarily can't see it.

Holiday Wishes
"May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love." … Ada V. Hendricks
-- "Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." -- Hamilton Wright Mabie
-- The three stages of man ... 1.) He believes in Santa Claus. 2.) He doesn't believe in Santa Claus. 3.) He is Santa Claus.
-- May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
-- May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
-- May all your troubles in the coming year be as short as your New Year's resolutions.
-- As we approach the New Year, let's get down on our knees to thank God we're still on our feet.

Christmas Cards
I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book.
And every year at Christmas time, I go and take a look.
And that is when I realize that these names are a part
Not of the book they're written in, but of my very heart.

For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,
And while they may not be aware of any special link
Just meeting them has changed my life,
a lot more than they would ever think.

For I am the total of the many folks I have ever met
And you happen to be one of those I will not forget.
And when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It's because you are on the list of folks I am indebted too.

Whether I have known you for many years or few,
In some way you have been a part in shaping things I do.
So this year as Christmas comes, I realize anew
The best gift life can offer is meeting folks like you.

May the spirit of Christmas that forever endures,
Leave the richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours.
And may the coming year bring joy, and peace, and plenty of things to do
The Lubbock Fun Club extends our wishes for the Merriest Christmas for you!

Drive Through World
I rose this morn with much to do - Hopped in the car and off I flew.
No time for breakfast, that I knew - Glad "Krispy Kreme" has a Drive Thru.
In need of dollars, quite a few - Went to the bank's Drive Thru.
Then filled all my prescriptions too - At "United's" nearby Drive Thru.

Some bills to mail in box of blue - Off to the "Post Office" Drive Thru.
Picked up the laundry cleaned anew - Just stopped at "Gristy's" Drive Thru.
The car by then was low on fuel - and needed a car wash - in their Drive Thru.
Library books were overdue - The curbside slot is a Drive Thru.
Then videos must go back too - "Blockbuster" has their own Drive Thru.
As lunchtime nears, what will I do - Get a "Big Mac" from the Drive Thru?

No wonder I'm tired at the end of the day - I've driven through life two fast today
So next time I'm in a drive through - I'm pulling away
To remind myself to slow down - and find a new way

The holidays are coming and it's time to refocus
On the reason for the season … not all the hocus pocus.

Swimming With The Current

Life can often seem like a rush in which it is necessary to make headway by applying more force in actions and struggling for control. The course each life takes is like a river and many people choose to swim against the current without realizing that, for all their frustrated efforts, they are making little or no progress.

Giving yourself over to the natural flow of events can seem difficult or humbling, but in letting go of the need to always be in control and accepting that the world is both benevolent and supportive, you will become able to access a peaceful and intuitive part of yourself and will find freedom from anxiety.

Surrender, or swimming with the current, can be many things.
Surrender may involve being aware that you can only really control yourself and your own reactions. That change alone can affect your entire world! Surrender can mean giving yourself over to the natural flow of things … to walk in step with things as they happen. Letting go and trusting that the journey is as important as the outcome.

Doing this requires confidence in your self and the ability to accept what is, accepting new directions and detours as they present themselves rather than fighting against the current.
During those times when you can flow with the stream of life as it comes, you will notice unhappiness, stress, frustration, and resentment can easily and naturally transform into simplicity, peace, and freedom. You will find infinite opportunities to be satisfied with the moment.
At this time of year, when we begin to look for Peace on Earth, maybe we can practice swimming with the current.

Don't Quit!
When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high;
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit -
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things go wrong that you mustn't quit.

The Comfort Zone
I used to have a Comfort Zone, Where I knew I couldn't fail
The same four walls of busy work, Were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things, I'd never done before,
But I stayed inside my Comfort Zone, And paced the same old floor.

I said it didn't matter, That I wasn't doing much
I said I didn't care for things, Like diamonds, furs and such.
I claimed to be so busy, With the things inside my zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn't let my life go by, Just watching others win.
I held my breath and stepped outside And let a change begin.
I took a step and with new strength, I'd never felt before,
I kissed my Comfort Zone "g
oodbye", And closed and locked the door.

If you are in a Comfort Zone, Afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were At one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise, Can make your dreams come true.
Greet your future with a smile, Success is there for you!

Don't Change the World, a Fable
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous country. One day, he went for a trip to some distant areas of his country. When he was back to his palace, he complained that his feet hurt because it was such a long trip and the road that he went through was very rough and stony. He then ordered his people to cover every road of the entire country with leather. Definitely, this would need thousands of cows' skin, and would cost a huge amount of money.

Then one of his wise servant dared himself to tell the king, "Why do you have to change all the land? Why don't you just cut a little piece of leather and cover your own feet?"
The king was surprised, but agreed to his suggestion.

Moral to this story : to make this world a happy place to live, the needed changes are within yourself to make. If you change yourself (and your heart) you do not need to change the rest of the world.

Creation: A Sioux Story
The Creator gathered all of Creation and said, "I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality."

The eagle said, "Give it to me, I will take it to the moon."
The Creator said, "No. One day they will go there and find it."

The salmon said, "I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean."
"No. They will go there too."

The buffalo said, "I will bury it on the Great Plains."
The Creator said, "They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there."

Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, sees with spiritual eyes, said,
"Put it inside of them, they will never think to look there!"

Remember: All the resources you need are already with you! Don't forget to look inside.

The Eagle & The Wolf
There is a great battle that rages inside me.
One side is the soaring eagle. Everything the eagle stands for is good and true and beautiful, and it soars above the clouds. Even though it dips down into the valleys, it lays its eggs on the mountaintops.
The other side of me is the howling wolf. And that raging, howling wolf represents the worst that's in me. He eats upon my downfalls and justifies himself by his presence in the pack.
Who wins this great battle?
The one I feed.

I have a friend who has found a business opportunity and she is experiencing wealth! What's ironic is this business is open to others … but a lot of people have a hard time believing good things like this could happen to them. They look at her and say, wow, she's so lucky. Of course they didn't say that when she was sharing a car with her husband or couldn't pay her bills. So I looked up luck. In a book called the LUCK PROJECT, Dr. Richard Wiseman researched what makes lucky people lucky and he found:

1) Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities.
They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.

2) Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings.

3) Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune, and these expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.

4) Lucky people cope with the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on the ill fortune, and take control of the situation.

How lucky do YOU want to be?
(By the way, if you're interested in growing a business that has the potential for unlimited income, send me an email and I'll tell you where it is.)

What can sink a ship?
Get rid of negative people or things in your life. Think of it this way, all of the water in the world cannot sink a ship unless it gets on the inside. And all of the negative in the world cannot affect you unless it gets on the inside. Avoid negative people at all cost; they will suck the life right out of you. If a negative situation happens to you, immediately begin to look for the blessing. There is always one there. You sometimes have to look harder to find it.
This article was given to me by a friend -- a good friend -- who knew just what I needed to hear.) Underneath the paragraph it says "For your wellness" ... Dr. T.D. Wilson

What I learned (or remembered) at Ron Chapman's Roast
* People who "give boldly" are blessed boldly. The room was filled with hundreds of people filled with gratitude for the many mornings they've started their day with Ron's energy and joy.
* You get what you expect for yourself. One of the jokes was that Ron had a larger expense account for clothing than David Letterman ... and "HE's ON THE RADIO". Why? He wanted to be the best he could be and how you feel about yourself is everything! They didn't just give him that budget, he had to understand the value, feel like he deserved it, and stand firm.
* Dressing up is fun. I felt like Cinderella at the ball! It's good to have fun and dress up from time to time. It's nice to have a date night too.
* I'm blessed to be me. It's easy to begin to feel jealous of others who have more or are further along the journey ... but "seeing is believing" and their lessons empower and encourage me to reach for more and be my best.
* Jerry Jones has a great sense of humor ... and appreciates Ron and his career. (Ron helped bring the Dallas Cowboys radio broadcast from another radio station to his station and they've been together for years.)

* A chef who can cook 600 game hen and serve them all hot at the same time is my hero.
* The world is really small. I knew about 10 people in that room ... and it was nice to see them all. Even one couple at our table had attended our Lubbock trip in 2001.
* Life is good. Get all you can. Nance and her taste for shoes (and several pairs) reminded me that it is sometimes the 'small things' in life that bring joy. Find what works for you and DO IT!
* It's good to get away ... and it's good to come home!
* In the end, friendships are most important. Life is what happens when you're making plans. And the Beatles said it best, "In the end ... the love you take ... is equal to the love you make." We felt a lot of love there and appreciated the opportunity to attend!
Thanks, Dallas CVB!

Ron Chapman's Roast
(Below is the Life Lesson heard on Stars 104.3 on August 18 in honor of Ron on the day of his Roast in Dallas. Sandy and Rodney (aka "Dusty" by Ron) attended the Roast compliments of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau as a surprise for Ron and it was fun! Sandy (left), Ron (center) and Rodney (right). That's also me standing by this huge truck size banner across from the Fairmont hotel where the Roast was held.)

Ron Chapman's Sermon
Life is a Theater…..invite your Audience Carefully.
Not Everyone is Good Enough to have a Front Row Seat in our Lives.
There are Some people in your life who need to be Loved from a Distance.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you Let Go of draining, negative relationships.

Observe the Relationships Around You. Which Ones Lift…..Which Ones Lean?
Which ones Encourage…Which Ones Discourage
Which ones are on a path of Growth Uphill …. Which are going Downhill?
When you Leave certain people…do you feel Better…or Worse?
Which Ones don’t really understand or appreciate you?

The More you Seek Quality and Growth, the easier it will become to decide who gets to
sit in the Front Row… and who should be Moved to the Balcony of your Life.

Choose Wisely.

Beauty Remains, The Pain Passes
Although Henri Matisse was nearly 28 years younger than Auguste Renoir, the two great artists were dear friends and frequent companions. When Renoir was confined to his home during the last decade of his life, Matisse visited him daily. Renoir, almost paralyzed by arthritis, continued to paint in spite of his infirmities. One day as Matisse watched the elder painter working in his studio, fighting torturous pain with each brush stroke, he blurted out: "Auguste, why do you continue to paint when you are in such agony?"

Renoir answered simply: "The beauty remains; the pain passes." And so, almost to his dying day, Renoir put paint to canvas. One of his most famous paintings, The Bathers (seen above), was completed just two years before his passing, 14 years after he was stricken by this disabling disease.

The Trouble Tree
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward, he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."
Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before".

Life Lessons & Inspirational Thoughts

Beauty Tips by Audrey Hepburn

For attractive lips, Speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, Seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, Share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, Let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, Walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed. Never throw out anybody.
Remember: if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find One at the end of your arm.
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The Cracked Pot
Once there was a water bearer in India and each day he would walk down a steep hill to a stream below to collect water for his master. Across his back and shoulders he carried a tree branch with a pot on each end to hold the water. One of the pots was new and carried a full supply; however the other pot was broken and leaked water. By the time the water bearer would reach the top of the hill to deliver his load, the cracked pot was already half empty. Yet, despite its inefficiency, the servant never replaced it with a new pot.

This confused the cracked pot, who was continually embarrassed by its own imperfections. One day it confronted the water bearer, saying, "I'm not carrying my share of the load. I'm broken, imperfect and inadequate - and not as good as the perfect pot you carry on the other side. You need to replace me with another vessel - one that can make your load easier to bear."

Instead of agreeing with the pot, the servant turned and pointed up the steep hill. On one side of the road the soil was dry and scorched, but on the other side of the road beautiful flowers in an array of colors had bloomed. When the pot took notice of the differing landscape, the water bearer said, "Some time back, I laid seed along this side of the road. I used the water that leaked from your cracks to nurture them. Now they have bloomed into a beautiful garden where I pick flowers to decorate the master's table."

Everything I need to know about life,
I learned from Noah's Ark...

One: Don't miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.
Seven: For safety sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you're stressed, float a while.
Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God and others, there's always a rainbow waiting..

WHO You Are Is As Important As What You Do
A proud father named Bobby Lewis was taking his two little boys to play miniature golf. He walked up to the fellow at the ticket counter and said, "How much is it to get in?"
The young man replied, "$3.00 for you and FREE for any kid who is younger than six. How old are they?" Bobby replied, "This one's three and the big guy is seven, so I owe you $6.00."

The man at the ticket counter said, "Hey, Mister, You could have told me that the your son was was six and he could have gotten in free. I wouldn't have known the difference." Bobby replied, "Yes, that may be true, but my kids would have known the difference."

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying." In challenging times when ethics are more important than ever before, make sure you set a good example for everyone you work and live with.

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu.
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling, too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin
when he smiled, I realized I'd passed it on to him!
I thought about that smile and then realized its worth,
a single smile, just like mine, could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected,
let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!

Keep Swimming
Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl.
One was an optimistic soul.
But the other took the gloomy view.
"We'll drown," he lamented without much ado,

and with a last despairing cry, he flung up his legs and said "Goodbye."
Quote the other frog with a steadfast grin, "I can't get out but I won't give in,
I'll just swim around till my strength is spent, then I'll die the more content."

Bravely he swam to work his scheme, and his struggles began to churn the cream.
The more he swam, his legs a flutter, the more the cream turned into butter.
On top of the butter at last he stopped, and out of the bowl he gaily hopped.

What is the moral? It's easily found...
If you can't hop out, keep swimming around!

A Most Important Lesson
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely, this was some kind of joke.
I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.

Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'." "I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Decide What your Reaction Will Be
The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. "I love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

"Mrs.. Jones, you haven't seen the room .... just wait."

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it "It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away ... just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account ... you withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.

The Story of the Moso Bamboo Tree
The moso is a bamboo plant that grows in China and the far east. After the moso is planted, no visible growth occurs for up to five years - even under ideal conditions!
Then, as if by magic, it suddenly begins growing at the rate of nearly two and one half feet per day, reaching a full height of ninety feet within six weeks.
But it's not magic. The moso's rapid growth is due to the miles of roots it develops during those first five years, five years of getting ready.

Never, Never, Never Give Up!
Colonel Sanders went to more than 1,000 places trying to sell his chicken recipe before he found an interested buyer. The fact that we can buy Kentucky Fried Chicken today attests to his perseverance.
Thomas Edison tried almost 10,000 times before he succeeded in creating the electric light. If he had given up, you would be reading this in the dark!
Sir Winston Churchill took three years getting through eighth grade because he had trouble learning English. It seems ironic that years later Oxford University asked him to address its commencement exercises. He arrived with his usual props. A cigar, a cane and a top hat. As Churchill approached the podium, the crowd rose in appreciative applause. With unmatched dignity, removing the cigar and carefully placing the top hat on the podium, Churchill gazed at his waiting audience. Authority rang in Churchill's voice as he shouted, "Never give up!" There was a deafening silence as Churchill reached for his hat and cigar, steadied himself with his cane and left the platform. His commencement address was finished.


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