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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 23, 2003
"Church is not an exclusive club of saints, but a inclusive club of sinners. - Robert Barlow
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Jim Sowards of Lampe, Missouri, was cleaning out an old storage box one day when among the ancient bills and canceled checks he found a tattered business card. Queen City Casket Company, Springfield, Missouri, it said. And on the back of the card was a hand-written message.
Immediately, Jim's mind went back several decades to the week before Christmas 1939. He was nine years old, trudging down the cold, wet streets of Springfield. One of his shoes had a hole in the top, and the ragged coat he wore was at least two sizes too big. A tattered bag containing magazines hung from one shoulder.
Jim's mother had died from pneumonia when he was five. His father worked two or three jobs, and Jim sold magazines to help out. He had a regular route of customers, which included the Queen City Casket Company on Clay Street. The owner, a Mr. Rader, always took him back into the factory to ask his workers if they wanted any magazines.
On this particular day, Jim was in the office shaking off the rain like a wet dog when Mr. Rader noticed his shoes, one of which had a hole in the top. Mr. Rader asked to see the soles and was shocked to find them completely worn through with cardboard inserts covering the holes.
"You can't walk around like that," he said. "Come with me!" Then he whisked Jim into his pickup truck before the boy could protest. They drove to a nearby shoe store.
"Inside, a salesman fitted me with the finest pair of shiny new oxfords I had ever seen," Jim recalls. "When I stood up, I felt about ten feet tall!" Mr. Rader also bought Jim a pair of socks.
Back in Mr. Rader's office, the businessman took out a business card and wrote on the back of it, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Then he handed the card to Jim, put his hand on his shoulder, and said, "Jimmy, I want you to know that I love you."
Jim was stunned. "For the first time in my young life I sensed a flicker of hope that somehow things would be all right," he says. "Maybe not that Christmas, and maybe not even the next year, but with people like Mr. Rader in the world, there was kindness and love, and that would always make a difference."
By Victor M. Parachin, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Source: Signs of the Times, Copyright (c) December 2002, Pacific Press, http://www.signstimes.com
Submitted by Dale Galusha
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
When I returned home from college for a break, I noticed a paper posted on the refrigerator. It listed some goals my dad had set for himself: help wife more; lose weight; be more productive at work.
I promptly added: "Send Michelle money every month."
A few days later my brother wrote: "Make payments on car for Jason."
Then my boyfriend joined in with: "Buy Tom a Jeep."
Finally my father added a new goal to his amended list: "Wean kids."
Contributed by Michelle L. Friedrichsen
Source: Reader's Digest, Copyright (c) December 2000, http://www.readersdigest.com/
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
A man was on his way home with a new car, which was absorbing all his attention, when it struck him that he had forgotten something. Twice he stopped, counted his parcels, searched his pockets, but finally decided he had everything with him. Yet the feeling persisted.
When he reached home his daughter ran out, stopped short, and cried, "Daddy, where's Mommy?"
Source: Marty's Joke of the Day, mailto:email@example.com
Amazon.com unveiled a massive new search engine Thursday called "Search Inside the Book", containing 33 million pages of a collection of 120,000 books. Amazon's registered customers can receive specific pages by entering words or phrases into the search engine. Search Inside the Book allows users to view search results by returning images of actual pages, without the ability to download an entire book.
Source: Science and Technology, http://www.arcamax.com