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WITandWISDOM(tm) - July 26, 2002
Rather than focusing on things and time, focus on preserving and enhancing relationships and on accomplishing results. - Stephen Covey
Source: DailyThought http://www.sperience.net/lists/signlist.html#thought
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Stephanie Slater was in graduate school when her mother passed away. "Mom had always pushed her children toward higher education," Stephanie says. "Among the seven of us, there are five bachelor's degrees and five masters'-one of my sisters has two masters." Stephanie's mom was a brisk, assertive person too, who hated to stand by and do nothing, when a response was indicated. At least people could try, she felt. "Would it kill you to ASK?" she had told Stephanie more than once-most recently when Stephanie hesitated to apply for college financial aid in the belief that she would be turned down. She had taken her mother's advice---and received a student loan. Now, despite being devastated over the loss, Stephanie decided to continue her courses. It was what her mom would have wanted her to do.
One evening a few weeks after the funeral, Stephanie was driving home from a study group meeting in Tampa. It hadn't gone well. An important participant hadn't attended, and Stephanie was upset about it. In fact, she was uncharacteristically irritated over a lot of things lately. Her father had just had a stroke, she was carrying a heavy load of work and school, "even the fact that it was late and dark bothered me," she says. "I continued to stew as I sat at a red light at a busy intersection."
Then-suddenly---a little boy walked in front of her headlights.
Stephanie was startled. "He was so out of place, and too young to be alone-probably only seven or eight years old," she says. "It was dark, and there were no sidewalks on the side of this road." The child looked dirty and bedraggled too, as he continued past her. What was he doing here? She should get involved, but..what if her intention was misjudged? Or what if she called to him, and he responded rudely? After the day's hassle, she was just not in the mood, and the light was about to change.
Then Stephanie heard a strong inner voice: "Well, would it KILL you to ASK?" Immediately, Stephanie rolled down her window and called to the child. "Honey, are you lost?"
Another few feet and he would have been gone. But now he stopped, and looked towards her car. "Yes," he said, his lower lip trembling.
The light changed. "Stay where you are!" Stephanie pulled around the corner up to the boy, reached out of the window and handed him her cell phone. He was obviously scared, but he punched in some numbers. As Stephanie watched him, she had a sense of unexpected peace and power. This was how the situation was supposed to work out, wasn't it? Her daily cares somehow floated away. Now Stephanie heard the joyful shriek of a woman on the other end of the phone. The boy handed it to her. "I'm so glad you found Michael!" the woman was crying and laughing at the same time. "The police have been looking for him for four hours!"
Stephanie and the mom agreed to meet at a nearby video store, and Michael took the phone again to receive permission to get in the car. He had wandered five miles from home, Stephanie discovered as they drove and talked. And he was twelve, far older than she had thought. "What happened?" she asked. "Did you just walk too far?"
Michael paused. "I have Tourette's Syndrome," he told her. "Sometimes I stutter. My friends were playing and they started making fun of me, so I got mad, and started walking. All of a sudden, I didn't know where I was." Stephanie thought her heart would break. Who would make fun of such a precious little boy?
Just a few moments after they reached the store, Michael's mother arrived. She wept and hugged him, and hugged Stephanie too. How terrified she must have been, Stephanie thought, as she tried to put herself in the woman's place. And now, how joyous! Maybe God feels that way about us too, loving us just the way we are, rejoicing when we return to Him. She hadn't ever thought of that. It added to the inexplicable serenity she had been experiencing ever since she met Michael. Then he turned to her. "Are you an angel?" he asked.
"No, Michael," Stephanie answered, her own eyes filling with tears. "But I think an angel put you in my path tonight."
Stephanie is more open to situations now. She often finds herself asking, "Was I put here to help in some way?" And the work in God's earthly kingdom continues, aided most by those who are willing to ask!
Copyrighted 2002 by Joan Wester Anderson. To receive a new Story of the Week each weekend, subscribe at Joan's website, http://joanwanderson.com/
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
Church Bulletin Bloopers
Any church member over the age of 18 is invited to participate in this lay ministry program. It requires a minimal amount of training and time. The orientation will include six weekly classes of about 200 hours each Tuesday night.
Everyone is excited about the upcoming wedding of Brad and Melody. They are having a "country style" wedding. Everyone is invited to join them as they exchange cows in the church courtyard June 7th.
Remember, we'll be gathering with other area churches for the singing in the park Sunday night. I want to remind the choir and all sinners to be at the park by 4:30 p.m. for warm up and sound checks.
The Seniors group will have a picnic Saturday. Each person is asked to bring a friend, a vegetable, or dessert in a covered dish. Meat and drinks will be furnished.
We are especially thankful that when Sister Dora was At Death's Door, The Lord and her Doctors Pulled her through.
Anna Anderson requested that she be cremated before her death.
Brian has been added to our prayer list due to back problems. Please pray for Brian K., who is a pain.
Many thanks to everyone who had any part in preparing for, helping with, and cleaning up Vacation Bible School.
These Church Bulletin Bloopers compiled by The Sermon Fodder list http://www.sermonfodder.com Copyright 2002 Sermon Fodder Ministries. If you have a
"NEW" blooper to share please send it to mailto:Sermon_Fodderfirstname.lastname@example.org with "blooper" in the subject line. To join the Sermon Fodder List please send a blank email to Sermon_Fodderemail@example.com
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
At a golf course, four men approached the sixteenth tee. The straight fairway ran along a road and bike path fenced off on the left.
The first golfer teed off and hooked the ball in that direction. But the ball went over the fence and bounced off the bike path onto the road, where it hit the tire of a moving bus and was knocked back on to the fairway.
As they all stood in silent amazement, one man finally asked him, "How on earth did you do that?"
He shrugged his shoulders and said, "You have to know the bus schedule."
Source: Clean Hewmor, http://associate.com/lists.shtml
At the end of the Spanish-American War, in 1898, the United States occupied Cuba. Rioting mobs in the street, along with outbreaks of malaria and yellow fever, created havoc in the country. Lieutenant James Moss was sent with is troops to maintain order; they were successful. The unique thing about Moss's 25th Infantry of only 100 men was that they were a bicycle corps -- they all rode bicycles, they were all black, and they never once used their weapons while in Cuba.
Source: Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts by Isaac Asimov, Published by Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated, Sep 1991, ISBN: 0517065037 http://isbn.nu/0517065037/price