He was looking forward to this moment all day long, after 6 days of labor and it finally arrived-Visiting Day! The man with the keys arrived to swing open the large, heavy doors. The cold gray hall springs to life in the warm glow of light. He could hardly control his emotions. The families began to arrive. He peers from the corner of the room, longing for the first glimpse of his loved one.

He lives for the weekends. He lives for these visits.

As the cars arrive, he watches intently. Then, finally, she arrives-his bride, for whom he would do anything. They embrace, eat a light lunch and reminisce how things used to be. At one point, they break into singing, with interruptions of laughter and applause. But all too soon it is over. A tear comes to his eyes as his bride departs.

Then the man with the keys closes the heavy doors. He hears the key turn in the lock marking the end of a special day. There he stands, alone again. He knows that most of his visitors will not contact him again until next week.

As the last car pulls away from the parking lot, Jesus retreats into loneliness as He waits until next Sunday - Visiting Day. Is the time that we spend with Jesus an everyday thing, or do we just visit Him on Sunday????

There is a beautiful
crystal castle
it sits on a hill
and watches the land
The soul owner is
a beautiful little girl
She plays in the garden
has everything she needs
and lives in happiness
One morning she looked
into the mirror
and saw a stranger
It was a woman
and she realised it was
herself, all grown up
In the background
scenes of her future life
flitted before her
She looked deep into the woman's eyes
and what she saw made her want to cry
She had never seen or felt
such pain
The woman stared at her
and could not understand
why such a happy little girl
would have reason to cry
The little girl said
""I am you and you are me
I need you to love me
and I will love you
Take me away from this place
and I will make your heart my home
there is much love there but you
must unlock the door
and we can face the world
together""

Turkeys and cornucopias and pilgrim hats. Seasoned stuffing hot from the oven. Creamed onions, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Uncles and aunts and cousins to play with. Grandmothers and grandfathers with family gathered round. Children waiting for the Great Pumpkin rise over Charlie Brown´s pumpkin patch and dads watching college football. A day to relax and maybe rake leaves in the afternoon.

But Thanksgiving? How much will our celebrations on Thanksgiving have to do with giving thanks?

A glance at the first Thanksgiving brings it all back. On December 21, 1620 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth rock. Through the dead of winter the colony struggled with poor and meager food, strenuous labor, a biting wind that chilled to the bone, and the ravages of disease. Nearly half the 102 Mayflower passengers did not live to see Spring refresh Cape Cod Bay.

But God sent Indians-Samoset, Squanto, and Massasoit-to help the English settlers plant and hunt and fish. The bountiful harvest that autumn led Governor Bradford to invite the Indians to celebrate God´s goodness. Ninety tall braves accepted the invitation to join the Pilgrims in a feast of Thanksgiving to God for His blessings.

The Pilgrims lived close enough to the soil to know how dependent they were on God´s Providence. They had learned to thank God in the midst of the bitterness of winter past. And they were quick to thank Him during abundant blessing, too.

We teach our children to say ˝please˝ and ˝thank you˝ as the rudiments of courtesy, yet it is so easy to be rude and unthinking toward God. How often we forget to gratefully acknowledge His goodness towards us.

This Thanksgiving let your prayers and expressions of love rise toward your Heavenly Father.


˝What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.˝ (Psalm 116:12-13)

Three young men were once given three kernels of corn apiece by a wise old sage, who admonished them to go out into the world, and use the corn to bring themselves good fortune.

The first young man put his three kernels of corn into a bowl of hot broth and ate them. The second thought, I can do better than that, and he planted his three kernels of corn. Within a few months, he had three stalks of corn. He took the ears of corn from the stalks, boiled them, and had enough corn for three meals.

The third man said to himself, I can do better than that! He also planted his three kernels of corn, but when his three stalks of corn produced, he stripped one of the stalks and replanted all of the seeds in it, gave the second stalk of corn to a sweet maiden, and ate the third. His one full stalk's worth of replanted corn kernels gave him 200 stalks of corn! And the kernels of these he continued to replant, setting aside only a bare minimum to eat. He eventually planted a hundred acres of corn. With his fortune, he not only won the hand of the sweet maiden but purchased the land owned by the sweet maiden's father. And he never hungered again.




The more you give, the more you get. However, that should NOT be the reason for your giving.

Proverbs 11:24 NLT
It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything.

Proverbs 11:25 NLT
The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

There was this man that was pronounced dead for 20 minutes on the operating table and as far as ˝Seeing the Light˝ goes.

He said he went to heaven and it was of visions and senses that a human cannot express. The streets of Gold that everybody talks of was but a mere speck of the beauty that radiated from this wonderous place...

But what he most vividly remembers is Jesus walking with him as he led him to Acres and Acres of Daffodills far and beyond. The man said, ˝Wow, I looove daffodills; they´re my favorite flower!˝

Jesus simply replied, ˝Why does that surprise you? I said that I was going to prepare a place ESPECIALLY FOR YOU.˝

Be a person of prayer...

Those of us committed to a lifestyle of loving the world need to learn to pray, to be sensitive to the Lord's nudges, to regularly spend time at the throne.



--------------------


A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan...

While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival In the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time witnessed to him of Lord Jesus Christ. I then travel two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, ""Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.""

At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said ""No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.""

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day that this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:

""On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?""

The men who had met together that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with who they were - he was to busy counting how many men he saw.

There were 26.

Today I will be handling all of your problems.
Please remember that I do not need your help.

If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you
cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it.
Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box.

It will be addressed in My time, not yours.
Once the matter is placed into the box,
do not hold on to it.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic; Don't despair.
There are people in this world for whom driving is an
unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work;
Think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad;
Think of the person who has never known what it's like
to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend;
Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve
hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away
from assistance;
Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror;
Think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she
had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what
is life all about, asking what is my purpose?
Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long
enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's
bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities;
Remember, things could be worse.
You could be them!!!!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; You might
brighten someone's day!

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt several farmers before it was through. Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn't see some rain soon... we would lose everything.

It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort... trying to be as still as possible. Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed.

Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for over an hour: walking carefully to the woods, then running back to the house. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me. I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen... as he was obviously doing something important and didn't need his Mommy checking-up on him).

He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked; being very careful not to spill the water he held in them... maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked closer as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his little face but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much greater purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site.

Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him... he didn't even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand.

When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house; to a spigot that we had shut off the water to. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle of water began to creep out. He knelt there, letting each drip of water slowly fill up his makeshift ""cup,"" as the sun beat down on his little back. It was just last week he was punished for playing with the garden hose, and received a stern lecture on the importance of not wasting water. So, I'm sure that is why he didn't ask me to help him.

It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His little eyes just filled with tears. ""I'm not wasting,"" was all he said. As he began his walk, I joined him... with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away... it was his job.

I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save a life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by other drops... and more drops... and more. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, Himself, was weeping with pride.

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That miracles don't really happen. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that... I'm not even going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm... just like the actions of one little boy saved a life.


Epilog (SkyWriting.Net editor): I have received this same story from other sources, which do not include the ""to honor the memory of my beautiful Billy."" However, out of respect to the parent(s) that lost a child, I'm including it as an addendum; along with my sincere heart felt sympathy.


Addendum - ""This story is to honor the memory of my beautiful Billy, who was taken from me much too soon.... but not before he showed me the true face of God; in a little sunburned body.""

A careful man I ought to be,
A little fellow follows me.
I dare not go astray,
For fear he´ll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whatever he see me do, he tries.
Like me, he says, he´s going to be,
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see,
That little fellow who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Thru summers´ sun and winters´ snow.
I am building for the years to be,
In the little chap who follows me.

Just walk it.
Just talk it.
Just preach it.
Just teach it.
Just tell it.
Just live it.
Just give it.
Just wear it.
Just share it.
Just shout it.
Just sing it.
Just proclaim it.
Just prove it.
JUST DO IT.
Live For Jesus!

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don´t have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn´t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Charles Plumb, a US Navy Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile.

Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent the next six years in a Communist prison.

He survived that ordeal and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when he 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 Nam from the carrier, Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!""

""How in the world did you know that?"" asked Plumb.

""Oh, I was the one who packed your parachute,"" the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man smiled and said, ""Yep, I guess it worked!""

Plumb assured him, ""It sure did work - if your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today.""

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about the man who has packed his parachute. Plumb kept wondering what the man might have looked like in a Navy uniform.

""I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you or anything, because you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.""

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on 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 the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now Plumb asks his audiences, ""Who's packing your chute?"" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.

Plumb also points out that we all need many kinds of parachutes. We need mental, emotional and spiritual parachutes as well.

While a prisoner of war, Plumb called on all of these supports before reaching safety. His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead - and to recognize and appreciate all of those people who pack our parachutes everyday, for they are the ones who truly deserve the credit for our survival.

Once there was a man,
As lonely as could be,
He sat alone,
He slept alone,
Then thought came to he,
He needed land,
And water too,
Solid green,
and liquid blue,
He needed a ball,
With inner light,
It needed a name,
Sun sounded right,
He needed plants,
To give off shade,
he snapped his fingers,
and trees were made,
He needed creatures,
To amuse his day,
So animals were born,
on every cay,
But something wasn't right,
The notion wouldn't leave,
Then he thought of humans,
Known now as Adam and Eve.

Oh...she was terrible! Her voice was too low and garbled, she did not look up, she was slouched in the chair and her knees were visibly shaking. I can not believe her goal in life was to be a TV anchor woman. Of course, she was only 18 and this was only a Forensic competition. But, it was a District competition and the score I gave her determined if she would make it to the finals.



I had put off doing my duty, as the parent of a speech team member, by being the judge for at least one Speech/Forensics competition. By procrastinating and waiting until the end of the year and judging the districts, little did I know that what I saw...what I heard and the score I gave them could effect the rest of their lives.



As each student came in to be judged, I explained that, to me, they all deserved to get a (1)! (The perfect score) By the mere fact they were there, impressed the socks off of me. I can not imagine getting up in front of my peers, or complete strangers for that matter, and commanding the room. I did explain that 3 of them would have to get the 6, the 5, and the 4, but that it wasn´t personal. I was frantic with my decisions. I did not want to crush one student´s spirit. It was the end of the year, so only the best of the best were here. That had to mean something to them.



I joked with them and tried to make them comfortable. I´m sure I looked a little goofy because I was so UNcomfortable. Some of these young adults were brilliant. I heard them in the halls talking about which colleges they were attending and what law schools and medical schools they planned to attend. Oh yes...I felt very intimidated at times. But, they were all polite...every last one of them.



As I pondered the TV anchor lady´s performance, I wondered how my words might influence the rest of the day´s judging for her. I was only the first round that she would encounter. I thought carefully and ranked her 4th. I wondered if she´d ever been ranked higher than 6th? I carefully wrote:



˝You have everything it takes to be on TV except confidence in your self. Try looking the next judge in the eye and pretend she is the camera and there is no one else in the room. Straighten your shoulders, lift your head and smile. Show them proudly what kind of spirit you have, girlfriend! Best of luck...I believe in you!˝



I sighed and went on the next competition, which, HEAVEN HELP ME, was pantomime! That´s probably the only thing worse than TV anchoring...well, besides poetry! I forgot about the girl~slash~young lady and tried to find my daughter to see how she thought she was doing.



Well, my daughter won first place in HUMOR SOLO. We laughed and clapped and teared up and started for the car.



I heard a voice screaming ˝JUDGE, JUDGE....STOP!˝ I turned around and there was the young lady whose aspirations were beyond my comprehension. ˝Oh, thank you! I won 3rd place in the finals! I´m going to STATE and it´s all because of you!˝ I stood there stunned and unable to say anything. ˝You are the only judge that ever ranked me higher than a 6. You believed in me and now I´m believing in me! Thank you so much, I´ll never forget you!˝ Off she ran to join her friends.



So, I was taught a very valuable lesson about myself. When given a choice...ALWAYS take the high road. It takes very little thought to drag someone down...but, it´s worth the added time to give them a few seconds of feeling good about themselves.



I don´t even remember her name. Hopefully, I will recognize her on the TV some years from now. I know one thing....she sure made my millennium.

A young man had been to Tuesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord. The young man couldn´t help but wonder, ˝Does God still speak to people?˝ After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several of the people talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o´clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, ˝God...If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen, and I will do my best to obey.˝

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had a strange thought - stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, ˝God is that you?˝ He didn´t get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought of Samuel and how he didn´t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. ˝Okay, God, in case that´s you, I will buy the milk.˝ It didn´t seem like too hard a test of obedience. Besides, he could always use the milk.

He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home. As he drove passed Seventh street, he felt a strange urge - ˝Turn down that street.˝ This is crazy he thought, and drove on by the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down seventh street. At the next intersection, he turned around and headed down Seventh street. Half jokingly, he said out loud, ˝Okay, God, I will.˝

He drove several blocks, then suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in semi-commercial area of town. It wasn´t the best but it wasn´t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark, like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, ˝Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.˝ The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were gone or already asleep. He started to open the car door and then sat back in the car seat. ˝Lord, this is crazy. Those people are probably asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I´ll just look stupid.˝

Again, he felt he should take the milk to the house. Finally, he opened the car door. ˝Okay God, if this is your will, I´ll take the milk to the house, even if I end of looking like a stupid fool. I want to be obedient. But if they don´t answer right away, I am out of here.˝

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man´s voice yelled out, ˝Who is it? What do you want?˝ Then the door opened before the nervous young man could run away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He had a strange look on his face and didn´t seem happy to have a stranger at his door.

˝What is it?˝ The young man handed him the milk. The man took the milk and rushed down a hall way speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk, headed towards the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. While half crying, the man said: ˝We were just praying - my wife has no milk, and we had some big bills this month, so we ran out of money to buy milk for the baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.˝ His wife in the kitchen yelled out, ˝I ask Him to send an Angel with some... milk. Are you an Angel?˝

The young man reached for his wallet, and gave the man a few dollars - all he had. As the young man turned and walked back toward his car, tears were streaming down his face. God still answers prayers! Yes, and God talks to us too. Are you listening?

There were two roommates in college, one a believer and one not. One day they were discussing the validity of God. The believer said to the non-believer, give me five good reasons why God does not exist and we will go from there. The nonbeliever thought for a while and finally came up with his five reasons. He said to the believer, ˝can you see God?˝

˝No,˝ said the believer.

˝Can you smell God?˝

˝Not really,˝ said the believer.

˝Can you touch God?˝

˝No,˝ said the believer.

˝What about taste?˝

˝No,˝ said the believer.

˝Well can you hear God?˝.

˝Well, ya I can hear God, in the wind and stuff˝.

˝Well,˝ said the nonbeliever, ˝four out five, God does not exist.˝

The believer thought and asked for a while to think about it. Finally he came back and said to his friend, ˝Okay. Can you touch your brain?˝

˝No.˝

˝Can you see your brain?˝

˝Nope.˝

˝Can you smell your brain?˝

˝No.˝

˝What about hear it?˝

˝I guess not,˝ replied the nonbeliever

˝Then can you taste your brain?˝

˝No.˝

˝Well then,˝ said the believer, ˝I guess it is pretty obvious. Five out five, you have no brain.˝