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WITandWISDOM(tm) - February 28, 2003
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
Source: Quotes of the Day, mailto:email@example.com?subject=Subscribe_Quotes_of_the_Day
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
I suppose I walked by the little white corner house a hundred times without ever meeting its occupants. The windows were covered with what looked like sheets, and I never saw the renters in the front yard. My first inkling that "someone of interest" lived there came when another walker confided that the woman in that house was asking for prayer.
That got my attention. But though the house was only a half block from my own, I didn't knock on the door. After all, what would I say? I was not left long with my timidity.
It turned out that the woman from the corner house, while visiting a church in the area, had met our son. One day she observed him entering our home, recognized him, and decided to come to our door. I invited her in.
Becky was, as we say, "a bundle of nerves" - quitting smoking, she explained. While her two boys, Mark and J.P. gathered flowerbed snails for "pets," I listened to snatches of her story.
A single parent and recovering alcoholic, Becky had been hospitalized for depression. It was at the hospital that someone visiting another patient found her weeping.
"Here, honey," the woman had said softly, "would you like this little book?" The book she held out said ‘Steps to Christ' on the cover. Becky had reached for it.
After that first visit Becky kept coming to my house. She needed recipes. She wanted counsel. She wanted to pray.
I never heard anyone pray like Becky. Sometimes when she prayed I said "Amen." Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I laughed out loud. If prayer is the opening of the heart to
God as to a friend, Becky had that down pat.
I was impressed with the way Becky used Bible promises and prayer to deal with her fears and needs. As she struggled alone to bring up the boys, she got lots of practice. And she would need it. Shortly after she moved to a nearby trailer park in order to stay within her budget, the real blow fell. Eight-year-old J.P. was diagnosed with cancer.
As soon as I heard, I set out for the hospital to find Becky. There, her eyes puffy from crying, she led me to a secluded phone booth at the end of a hall.
"This is my prayer room," she said. "Let's pray."
J.P. is at home now, except during chemotherapy. Someone has provided a computer for him. Teachers come by. People help with groceries sometimes, and Becky accepts each gift with gratitude. When I stopped by to see her the other day, she had a new blessing to tell me about.
The night before, a sudden autumn wind had whipped through our valley. I'd awakened at some still-dark hour, surprised by its howling. Then I forgot all about it.
"Look at this," Becky gestured, sweeping her hand toward the paving around her mobile home. "Last evening when I came out here and saw all the leaves around my place, I said, 'God, I wish I had a leaf blower. I'd like to clean this up."'
She gestured again, her face shining like a child's on Christmas morning. "And now look."
I looked. Leaves were piled around the trailer across the street. They were strewn around the trailer next door. But there were no leaves around Becky's trailer.
"When I came out here this morning," Becky continued happily, "I said, 'God was here."'
I had no grounds for disagreeing.
"Maybe that was a miracle," my husband said when I told him the story. I really don't know. But doesn't the Bible say something about the "stormy wind, fulfilling His word"? (Ps. 148:8, NKJV) Who's to say that when I heard merely the night wind gusting, it wasn't God's commissioned wind cleaning up Becky's leaves?
By Ann Burke, Yucaipa, California
Source: Adventist Review, ISSN 0161-1119, (c) October 24, 2002, http://www.adventistreview.org/
Submitted by Nancy Simpson
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
The Child's Eye View of Religion . . .
A little boy who prayed for a bicycle had an even more startling surprise instead-a baby sister. That night he had a talk with God about His delivery service. "I got a sister instead of a bike," he explained to God. "Maybe some other kid wanted a sister and got my bike. Is there any chance we can keep the girl and get me a bike, too?"
One of the most effective ways of sharing the feeling of God's daily presence with the family is to have the children ask the blessing for the evening meal. But, of course, many families don't have this custom, which accounts for the puzzlement of a little boy who went to dinner with his parents at the home of a very elderly gentleman. After watching the old
man bow his head and speak in hushed tones, the boy asked his mother, "What did Mr. Bryan say to his plate?"
Three-year-old Laurie was delighted with the reception she got at church. She told her mother, "They sang a whole song just for me...'Laurie, Laurie Hallelujah'."
Instead of singing the Doxology phrase "Praise all creatures here below," a little girl sang instead, "Praise all preachers, here we go." It made sense to her because everybody sang it at the end of the service, just as they were leaving.
A tiny boy of four was warned by his slightly older sister that he wouldn't be allowed to talk in church. "They just won't let you say a word," she said. "Who won't?" the boy asked. "The hushers," she replied.
The small son of a football coach in Ft. Worth, Texas, was dragging his feet on Sunday morning because he didn't like Sunday school. Finally his mother said, "Hurry up," and he said, "Aw...let's wait and go at half time."
In Littleton, Colorado, a girl watching her mother shell hard boiled eggs said, "Jesus must like these a lot." "Why do you say that?" asked the mother, and the girl explained: "Last week in church we sang 'Hard Eggs, Take Them All To Jesus.' "
From: "Faith, Hope and Hilarity: The Child's Eye View of Religion." by Dick Van Dyke
Source: Bill's Punch Line, http://www.tcmr.com/billspunchline.html
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
A tour guide was showing a tourist around Washington, D. C. The guide pointed out the place where George Washington supposedly threw a dollar across the Potomac River.
"That's impossible," said the tourist. "No one could throw a coin that far!"
"You have to remember," answered the guide. "A dollar went a lot farther in those days."
Source: Ed Peacher's "Laughter for a Saturday" mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscribe_to_Laughter_for_a_Saturday
New national ID plan checks in
By Declan McCullagh
February 18, 2003, 4:52 AM PT
A little-known company called EagleCheck is hoping to provide a standardized identity check technique that governments and corporations will use to verify that you are who you claim to be.
EagleCheck, a privately held firm in Cleveland proposes that whenever someone uses a driver's license or a passport for identity verification, the ID's authenticity will be checked through EagleCheck's network that is tied to state motor vehicle and federal databases. The databases will respond by saying whether the ID is valid.
I ran into David Akers, EagleCheck's president, last week in a Senate office building where he was hawking his system to a crowd of politicians understandably nervous about Threat Level Orange, Osama bin Laden, and possible terrorist attacks sparked by a looming invasion of Iraq. Stacked on a table were brochures warning in stark crimson letters that "EagleCheck could have flagged" 14 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, because some had used expired visas and stolen passport.
From: ZDNet, http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1107-984835.html
EagleCh eck's website:
For EagleCheck's analysis of the 19 terrorists visit: