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dilbert

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They’d laugh at me I’d fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said
“Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down…
But never found the time.”

— Author unknown

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dilbert

Have you ever wondered what the real essence of the saying “A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed” is? People talk about the true value of friendship actually without knowing what it stands for. True friendship is the one, in which the individuals do not have to maintain formalities with each other. Sharing true friendship is the situation, when the person you are talking about is counted as one among your family members, when the relation you share with him/her reaches a stage that even if you don’t correspond for sometime, your friendship remains unscathed. Best friends need not meet up often to make sure that the friendship remains constant.

The trust between best friends is such that if one friend falls in trouble, the other will not think twice to help. If the bond between two friends is strong, true friends can endure even long distances. For them, geographical separation is just a part of life. It would not affect their friendship. They make it a point to stay in touch, even in the verge of being exhausted due to the drudgery of everyday life. True friendship never fades away. In fact, it grows better with time. True friendship thrives on trust, inspiration and comfort. Best friends come to know, when the other person is in trouble, merely by listening to their “Hello” over the phone. They can even understand each other’s silence.

True friends don’t desert each other when one is facing trouble. They would face it together and support each other, even if it is against the interests of the other person. Best friends don’t analyze each other; they don’t have to do so. They accept each other with their positive and negative qualities. Nothing is hidden between true friends. They know each other’s strengths as well as weaknesses. One would not overpower the other. They would respect each other’s individuality. In fact, they would understand the similarities and respect the differences. Best friends don’t stand any outsider commenting or criticizing their friendship and they can put up a very firm resistance, if anyone does so.

True friends are not opportunists. They don’t help because they have something to gain out of it. True friendship is marked by selflessness. Best friends support even each other, even if the whole world opposes them. It is not easy getting true friends for the lifetime. If you have even one true friend, consider yourself blessed. Remember, all best friends are friends, but not all friends can be best friends. In this world of cynics and back stabbers, there are still some people who are worth being friends with. They have to be recognized and respected for being best friends, for the lifetime.

— Author unknown

dilbert

I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.

As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, ‘I will work for food.’ My heart sank.

I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car.

Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: ‘Don’t go back to the office until you’ve at least driven once more around the square.’

Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square’s third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the church, going through his sack.

I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town’s newest visitor.

‘Looking for the pastor?’ I asked.

‘Not really,’ he replied, ‘just resting.’

‘Have you eaten today?’

‘Oh, I ate something early this morning.’

‘Would you like to have lunch with me?’

‘Do you have some work I could do for you?’

‘No work,’ I replied. ‘I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch.’

‘Sure,’ he replied with a smile.

As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions. ‘Where you headed?’ ‘ St. Louis .’

‘Where you from?’

‘Oh, all over; mostly Florida …’

‘How long you been walking?’

‘Fourteen years,’ came the reply.

I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, ‘Jesus Is The Never Ending Story.’

Then Daniel’s story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He’d made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought. He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert, but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God.

‘Nothing’s been the same since,’ he said, ‘I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now.’

‘Ever think of stopping?’ I asked.

‘Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me. But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles… that’s what’s in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads.’

I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked: ‘What’s it like?’

‘What?’

‘To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?’

‘Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn’t make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people’s concepts of other folks like me.’

My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused. He turned to me and said, ‘Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I’ve prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in.’

I felt as if we were on holy ground. ‘Could you use another Bible?’ I asked.

He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite… ‘I’ve read through it 14 times,’ he said.

‘I’m not sure we’ve got one of those, but let’s stop by our church and see.’ I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

‘Where are you headed from here?’ I asked.

‘Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon.’

‘Are you hoping to hire on there for a while?’

‘No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that’s where I’m going next.’

He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we’d met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things.

‘Would you sign my autograph book?’ he asked… ‘I like to keep messages from folks I meet.’

I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, ‘I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a future and a hope.’

‘Thanks, man,’ he said. ‘I know we just met and we’re really just strangers, but I love you.’

‘I know,’ I said, ‘I love you, too.’ ‘The Lord is good!’

‘Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?’ I asked.

A long time,’ he replied

And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, ‘See you in the New Jerusalem.’

‘I’ll be there!’ was my reply.

He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, ‘When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?’

‘You bet,’ I shouted back, ‘God bless.’

‘God bless.’ And that was the last I saw of him.

Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them… a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them.

Then I remembered his words: ‘If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?’

Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry. ‘See you in the New Jerusalem,’ he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will… ‘I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.’

Author Unknown

dilbert

This was the last litter of puppies we were going to allow our Cocker Spaniel to have. It had been a very long night for me. Precious, our only black cocker, was having a very difficult time with the delivery of her puppies.

I laid on the floor beside her large four-foot square cage, watching her every movement. Watching and waiting just in case we had to rush her to the veterinarian.

After six hours the puppies started to appear. The first born was a black and white party dog. The second and third puppies were tan and brown in color. The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and white. “One, two, three, four, five,” I counted to myself as I walked down the hallway to wake up Judy and tell her that everything was fine. As we walked back down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had been born and was now laying all by itself over to the side of the cage. I picked up the small puppy and laid it on top of the large pile of puppies, who were whining and trying nurse on the mother.

Instantly Precious pushed the small puppy away from rest of the group and refused to recognize it as a member of her family.

“Something’s wrong,” said Judy.

I reached over and picked up the puppy. My heart sank inside my chest when I saw the little puppy was hare-lipped and could not close its little mouth. We had gone through this once before last year with another one of our cockers. That experience like to have killed me when the puppy died and I had to bury it. If there was any way to save this animal I was going to give it my best shot.

All the puppies born that night, with the exception of the small hare-lipped pup, were very valuable because of their unusual coloring. Most would bring between five to seven hundred dollars each. The next day I took the puppy to the vet. I was told nothing could be done unless we were willing to spend about a thousand dollars to try and correct the defect. He told us that the puppy would die mainly because it could not suckle.

After returning home Judy and I decided that we could not afford to spend that kind of money without getting some type of assurances from the vet that the puppy had a chance to live. However, that did not stop me from purchasing a syringe and feeding the puppy by hand. Which I did very day and night, every two hours, for more than ten days.

The fifth week I placed an ad in the newspaper, and within a week we had taken deposits on all of the pups, except the one with the deformity. The little guy had learned to eat on his own as long as it was soft canned food.

Late that afternoon I had gone to the store to pick up a few groceries. Upon returning I happened to see the old retired school teacher, who lived across the street from us, waving at me. She had read in the paper that we had puppies for sale and was wondering if she might buy one from us for her grandson. I told her all the puppies had been sold, but I would keep my eyes open for anyone else who might have a cocker spaniel for sale. I also mentioned we never kept a deposit should someone change their mind, and if so I would let her know. Within days all but one of the puppies had been picked up by their new owners. This left me with one brown and tan cocker as well as the smaller hare-lipped puppy.

Two days passed without me hearing anything from the gentleman, who had placed a deposit on the tan and brown pup. So I telephoned the school teacher and told her I had one puppy left and that she was welcome to come and look at it. She advised me that she was going to pick up her grandson and would come over at about eight o’clock that evening. Judy and I were eating supper when we heard a knock on the front door. When I opened the door, the man, who had placed a $100 deposit on the dog, was standing there. We walked inside where I filled out the paperwork, he paid me the balance of the money, and I handed him the puppy.

Judy and I did not know what to do or say if the teacher showed up with her grandson. Sure enough at exactly eight o’clock the doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there was the school teacher with her grandson standing behind her. I explained to her the man had come for the puppy just an hour before, and there were no puppies left.

“I’m sorry, Jeffery. They sold all the puppies,” she told her grandson.

Just at that moment, the small puppy left in the bedroom began to yelp.

“My puppy! My puppy!” yelled the little boy as he ran out from behind his grandmother.

I just about fell over when I saw the small child was hare-lipped. The boy ran past me as fast as he could, down the hallway to where the puppy was still yelping.

When the three of us made it to the bedroom, the small boy was holding the puppy in his arms. He looked up at his grandmother and said, “Look Grandma. They sold all the puppies except the pretty one, and he looks just like me.”

Well, old Grandma wasn’t the only one with tears in her eyes that day. Judy and I stood there, not knowing what to do.

“Is this puppy for sale?” asked the school teacher.

“My grandma told me these kind of puppies are real expensive and that I have to take real good care of it,” said the little boy, who was now hugging the puppy.

“Yes, ma’am. This puppy is for sale.”

The lady opened her purse, and I could see several one-hundred dollar bills sticking out of her wallet. I reached over and pushed her hand back down into her purse so that she would not pull her wallet out.

“How much do you think this puppy is worth?” I asked the boy.

“About a dollar?” He replied.

“No. This puppy is very, very expensive… More than a dollar,” I told him.

“I’m afraid so.” Said his grandmother.

The boy stood there pressing the small puppy against his cheek.

“We could not possibly take less than two dollars for this puppy,” Judy said, squeezing my hand. “Like you said, “It’s the pretty one.” She continued.

The school teacher took out two dollars and handed it to the young boy.

“It’s your dog now, Jeffery. You pay the man.”

By Roger Dean Kiser

dilbert

“Grandpa, why are you wearing that red plastic flower on your shirt?” Mikey pointed to a poppy on his grandfather’s breast pocket.

“It’s Memorial Day,” Grandpa said.

“Mikey flopped on the floor in front of Grandpa’s chair. “I know. No school today.”

“Memorial Day is more than that. I wear this flower in honor of those who died serving our country during war.” Grandpa crossed his legs.

Mikey stood with his hands on his hips. “No, Grandpa. Memorial Day is about hot dogs, hamburgers and barbeque. School is almost over and summer is about to begin.”

Grandpa pushed himself from his chair. “You like parades?”

“Oh boy,” said Mikey. “I sure do.”

“Good,” Grandpa said. He grabbed his jacket. “There’s one in Waterloo. Let’s go!”

As Grandpa drove his car, Mikey asked, “How did Memorial Day get started?”

Grandpa turned onto the highway. “Have you studied about the Civil War in 4th grade?”

“Sure,” said Mikey. “We just had a test on the War Between the States in Social Studies. That was when Abraham Lincoln was president.”

“Right. After the war, a pharmacist named Henry Welles went to a parade.”

“Like the one we’re going to?”

“Not exactly. His parade welcomed home Civil War soldiers. Anyway, he got to thinking about those soldiers who didn’t make it back home.”

“You mean the ones who died, right Grandpa?”

“Yes. Mr. Welles wanted an important day set aside to remember those who didn’t make it back alive.”

Grandpa turned off the parkway and followed the signs into town.  “You see that sign?” he asked.

Mikey read, “WATERLOO, NEW YORK. HOME OF MEMORIAL DAY.”

“This was where Henry Welles lived. Back then, they called this day Decoration Day.”

“Why?” asked Mikey.

“It was the custom to decorate every soldier’s grave with flowers,” Grandpa said.

Mikey’s eyes widened. “That’s why you wear that rose bud.”

Grandpa nodded and parked the car. “Due to Henry Welles’ efforts, the first Decoration Day was May 30, 1868. Now, let’s go see the parade.”

Mikey sat on the curb waving an American flag while Grandpa stood beside him. Soldiers marched by. One sat upon a white horse wearing a blue uniform. He waved his hat and saluted Mikey.

A drum and bugle corps, led by an Indian princess, passed followed by soldiers home from the War in Iraq. When the parade finished, three jet planes flew overhead.

As Mikey and Grandpa returned to their car, Mikey asked, “What happens next?”

“We’re going to the cemetery to honor your uncle.” Grandpa wiped a tear from his eye. “He died in the First Gulf War when you were just a baby.”

As they drove back onto the highway, Mikey asked, “When did Decoration Day become Memorial Day?”

“Good question,” said Grandpa. “That didn’t happen until 1971 when Congress passed the National Holiday Act. They wanted to make sure every national holiday had a three day weekend.”

“So that’s why I don’t have school today,” said Mikey.

At the cemetery, Grandpa pulled a wreath from his car’s trunk. Mikey carried it to a tombstone, which said, “Here lays David Siegel. Devoted son and loving brother. He died for his country.

Grandpa said a prayer. Walking from the grave, he blew his nose and returned to the car.

Mikey turned around on his seat and stared out the back window. Gravestones passed like soldiers standing in columns.

He plopped back into the seat. “I’m hungry, Grandpa.”

“Me too. I hear your dad is making hamburgers, frankfurters, and barbeque chicken.”

“Yeah!” said Mikey.

Author –Michael L. Thal

dilbert

On the day after Jack Benny’s death in December, 1974, a single long stemmed red rose was delivered to Mary Livingstone Benny, his wife of 48 years.

When the blossoms continued to arrive, day after day, Mary called the florist to find out who sent them.

“Quite a while before Jack passed away,”the florist told her, “He stopped in to send a bouquet. As he was leaving, he suddenly turned back and said, “If anything should happen to me, I want you to send Mary a single rose every day.”

There was complete silence on Mary’s end of the line, then weeping, she said, “Goodbye.”Subsequently, Mary learned that Jack had actually included a provision for the flowers in his will, one perfect red rose daily for the rest of her life.  –Author Unknown

Dilbert 5-22-2012

They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the
already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing and
the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away
tears.

This class would NOT PRAY during the commencements, not by choice, but
because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the
guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and
challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one
asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine until the final speech
received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still
and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED !!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, ‘GOD
BLESS YOU’

And he walked off the stage…

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a
unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their future with or without
the court’s approval.

Author Unknown

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