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Determination

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
May 14, 2001

A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his Father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he’d make a deal with his son, “You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, And get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.”

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the Offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, “Son, you’ve brought your grades Up and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m Disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.”

The boy said, “You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve Noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair, and there’s even strong Evidence that Jesus had long hair.”

The Father replied….. And did you also notice that they all walked everywhere?”

 

Author Unknown - Please respond if you know the author
 so credit can be given
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 9, 2012

More than twenty years ago, I was working the night shift as a registered nurse. It had been a hard night and I was exhausted. It seemed as if I had just fallen into a deep sleep, when the doorbell rang. I stumbled out of bed to the door, I was tired and resented being disturbed. I opened the door to a thin young black child about 12 years old. He had been dropped off with a group of other young people to sell magazines. I snapped, “I am not interested!”

He asked ” Could I please have a drink of water?”

I sharply replied “I don’t have time.”

I slammed the door and went back to bed. When I awakened, I couldn’t believe my behavior to that child. I have never been so ashamed of myself. I remember my parents referring to how “we are tested throughout life.” I had been given a test and failed miserably. For years I have had a heavy heart and a scar on my soul for the way I treated that little boy. Praying for forgiveness did not ease my burden.

In 1998, more than 20 years after I failed one of life’s tests, I was living in Florida, working in a position as Director of Nursing of the Emergency Department. However, for the second time in my career, it was becoming apparent that I was being “downsized” out of my job and was expecting to be laid off. Being in my 50’s, I was angry and grief stricken over the loss of my job. I decided I would do direct patient care during my last days on the job.

One afternoon the medical alert radio sounded and we were informed they were bringing in a man found lying unconscious on the street. I told everyone, “I’ll take this one.”

Shortly, the ambulance arrived. The young man on the stretcher was the filthiest human being I had ever seen. His long brown hair and beard were matted and tangled. His clothes were wet from a recent downpour and appeared to have been worn for months. The paramedics reported he was epileptic and had a seizure, causing him to fall and strike his head. As he came around he said his name was Rick.

This wild looking young man had the most incredible blue eyes I have ever seen. In a calm and soothing voice Rick stated he did not have the money to buy his seizure medication.

The physician checked him and treatment was started. I asked if he was hungry and he replied he had not eaten in four days. A double portion lunch was ordered. I watched as he ate slowly, chewing his food, savoring every flavor and bite. He displayed impeccable manners, the way he handled his silverware and wiped his mouth with the rough paper napkin. Rick ate every morsel of the food, quietly thanking me.

It was time to clean him up. I began peeling the hideous smelly clothes off to give Rick a bath. The staff begged me not to take Rick’s shoes off.

It’s an unwritten rule in the emergency room — if you don’t really need to remove someone’s shoes– DON’T! As I pulled his shoes and socks off I gasped. The thick mud on his feet looked as if he had brown casts on both feet. I thought “Oh this is going to be a terrible mess.”

As I soaked the layers of dirt from Rick’s feet and started washing them, I was nearly knocked over by an overwhelming thought which surprised me. In my mind I heard a voice say, “there is story about the Lord washing a poor person’s feet.” I thought to myself “how weird, wonder what made me think of that?”

Later, Rick was clean, in fresh clothing and shoes, medications given to take with him and ready for discharge… but, to where?

Rick told me his mother lived 60 miles away. I decided the hospital could pay for his cab fare. (The hospital was probably going to lay me off, so I figured if they didn’t like it, that was too bad. My hostility was rearing its ugly head again!)

I made arrangements for a taxi to take Rick home to his mother. Finally, the clerk announced Rick’s ride was waiting so I gathered Rick’s belongings, linked arms with him and we walked to the waiting room.

I almost fainted when I saw a man in a tuxedo standing there and parked outside was a limousine! I had called a cab! I asked the driver if he was at the right place and he replied, “Oh, yes, ma’am, you must have somebody really special here.”

I replied, “Yes, I think he is pretty special.”

Rick turned, softly smiled a beautiful smile with his perfect white teeth and those magnificent blue eyes and in a whisper, he said, “Bless you. I shall never forget what you have done today.”

As he drove off in the huge limousine, I was both stunned and confused. I went back to my colleagues and explained how Rick had driven away in luxury. They were staring at me as if I had been struck by lightening. Was the limo sent by mistake, or was it by design. And who was Rick?

I guess I will never know.

Meantime, my consulting job turned into a full time position as an Emergency Room Director in Maine. It is the most wonderful job I have ever had and I work with people I truly adore. Maine is beautiful and I feel a peace and a joy here like never before.

Looking back, I firmly believe Rick was an important part of my destiny.

Maybe Rick was sent to me to allow me the opportunity to start fresh and renew my journey. Since none of us know when our tests will be given, I am grateful to have had a second chance.

Unknown author - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
December 27, 1989

In life there are people that will hurt us and cause us pain,

but we must learn to forgive and forget and not hold grudges.

In life there are mistakes we will make,
but we must learn from our wrongs and grow from them.

In life there are regrets we will have to live with,
but we must learn to leave the past behind and realize it is something we can’t change.

In life there are people we will loose forever and can’t have back,
but we must learn to let go & move on.

In life there are going to be obstacles that will cause interference,
but we must learn to overcome these challenges and grow stronger.

In life there are fears that will hold us back from what we want,
but we must learn to fight them with the courage from within.

God holds our lives in his hands. He holds the key to our future.
Only he knows our fate.

He see’s everything and knows everything.
Everything in life really does happen for a reason: “God’s Reason”.

By  Angie Flores ©
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 3, 2013

She had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red-haired, freckle-faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside — the kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth that it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child, came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in. “Mom, let’s run through the rain,” she said. “What?” Mom asked. “Let’s run through the rain!” she repeated. “No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied. This young child waited about another minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain.” “We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said. “No we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm. “This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?” “Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'”

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life, a time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith. “Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Mom said. They off they ran.

We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran too. I got wet. I guess I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories. So don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day. I hope you will take time to run through the rain!

By - Bob Perks

 

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 2, 2008

The Master was searching for a vessel to use; On the shelf there were many – which one would He choose? “Take me”, cried the gold one, “I’m shiny and bright, I’m of great value and I do things just right. My beauty and luster will outshine the rest And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!”

The Master passed on with no word at all; He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall; “I’ll serve You, dear Master, I’ll pour out Your drink, and I’ll be at Your table whenever You dine, My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true, And my silver will always compliment You.”

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass, It was wide mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass. “Here! Here!” cried the vessel, “I know I will do, Place me on Your table for all men to view.”

“Look at me”, called the goblet of crystal so clear, “My transparency shows my contents so dear, Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride, And I’m sure I’ll be happy in Your house to abide.”

The Master came next to a vessel of wood, Polished and carved, it solidly stood. “You may use me, dear Master”, the wooden bowl said, “But I’d rather You used me for fruit, not for Bread!”

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay. Empty and broken it helplessly lay. No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose, To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

“Ah! This is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find, I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.” “I need not the vessel with pride of its self; Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf; Nor the one who is big mouthed and shallow and loud; Nor one who displays his contents so proud; Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right; But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might.”

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay. Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day. Spoke to it kindly. “There’s work you must do, Just pour out to others as I pour into you.”

by Beulah V Cornwall
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 1, 2013

The surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him. “Tomorrow morning,” the surgeon began, “I’ll open up your heart…”

“You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed. “I’ll cut your heart open,” he continued, “to see how much damage has been done…”

“But when you open up my heart, you’ll find Jesus in there.” The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly.

“When I see how much damage has been done, I’ll sew your heart and chest back up and I’ll plan what to do next.”

“But you’ll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You’ll find Him in my heart.”

The surgeon had had enough. “I’ll tell you what I’ll find in your heart.  I’ll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I’ll find out if I can make you well.”

“You’ll find Jesus there too. He lives there.”

The surgeon left. The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery: “…damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure.  Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis:” here he paused, “death within one year.”

He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. “Why?” he asked aloud.

“Why did You do this? You’ve put him here; You’ve put him in this pain; and You’ve cursed him to an early death. Why?”

The Lord answered and said, “The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow.”

The surgeon’s tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. “You created that boy, and You created that heart. He’ll be dead in months. Why?”

The Lord answered, “The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock, for he has done his duty.  I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb.”

The surgeon wept.

The surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, “Did you cut open my heart?”

“Yes,” said the surgeon.

“What did you find?” asked the boy.

“I found Jesus there,” said the surgeon.

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be awarded.

Morning Story and Dilbert

At the Christmas Eve church service, I sat with my two boisterous grandchildren, ages three and five. Their parents sat in front of the church to present a nativity reading titled “Silent Night.” They had warned the children to behave. I had warned the children to behave. With scrubbed angelic faces and Christmas wonder in their eyes, they looked like model children posing for a magazine holiday spread. I indulged myself in a few moments of pride.

Alec pinched Aubrey. I was grateful that the organ thundered into the first hymn just then, drowning out her yelp. I grabbed her hand before she could return the pinch. During the Lord’s Prayer, Aubrey shredded the program I had given her to color on. The crayons had already rolled under the pew. I watched bits of paper fall on the carpet like snow. I would help her pick it up later, but for now the naughtiness I was allowing kept her occupied and her brother quietly admiring.

We were enjoying an uneasy truce when their parents stood to deliver the reading.

“Mommy!” Alec yelled.

She frowned, and he sat back in his seat.

“Silence,” my son said to the congregation. “Think for a moment what that word means to you.”

My daughter-in-law signed his words. Earlier that year, she began to use her new signing skills for the benefit of the few hearing-impaired members of our church.

Alec said a naughty word, thankfully too low for many to hear. I scowled at him, shaking my finger and my head. Aubrey grinned. Then she proclaimed, every syllable enunciated perfectly, in a clear voice that carried to far corners of the sanctuary, “Alec is a potty mouth!”

Everyone stared. I was too stunned to speak. My son and his wife looked at each other. But instead of anger, I saw surprise.

My son set aside his script and told another story. He told about their daughter being born profoundly deaf. He talked about four years of hearing aids and speech therapy with no guarantee she would ever learn to speak plainly. He talked about the rugged faith that kept the family praying she would have a normal life.

He said Aubrey’s outburst was an answer to prayer: the first perfectly enunciated sentence she had ever spoken.

From the back of the room, a lone voice sang the last line of a beloved Christmas Carol: Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.

While the congregation sang four verses of the unscheduled hymn, my two little angels wiggled in their parents’ arms, adding laughter and giggles to the joyful Christmas noise.

By Carol Stigger
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