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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 27, 1996

I was only 5 years old when I became an uncle. I had been pleading with Mom to give me a little brother. Mom said no, which I’m sure is the reason my eldest sister Jean decided to have a baby boy. I could always count on her to come through for me when Mom wouldn’t.

Jean loved to get Mom’s goat by spoiling me. And I didn’t really care whose goat was got as long as I was getting what I wanted.

And baby Mark was exactly what I wanted. He was cute. He was little. He was fun – especially when Ol’ Sure Shot drenched my sister whenever she was slow in making the transition from wet diaper to dry.

I loved the little guy from the moment I first saw him that mid-October day 52 years ago. Mom and I took the train to California to help Jean get back on her feet. Riding the train was great. Being the first in the family (besides Jean, of course) to see Mark was even greater. But greatest thing about that trip was the elevator in Jean’s apartment building.

The elevator was an antique, which is a kind way of saying the thing was a death trap. It had accordion doors that had to be closed for the elevator to run, and when it ran it shook and rattled and convulsed until it jerked to a stop – usually about a foot too high or too low. Mom rode the elevator once; for the rest of the week she took the stairs. I, on the other hand, saw the elevator as a great adventure. It was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – with the added excitement of the distinct possibility of death and/or dismemberment.

On the second day we were there Mom and Jean were engrossed in something diaper-related, so I decided to play on the elevator. I was riding the elevator from floor to floor, pausing just long enough to stick my head out the door to inspect the fascinating sameness of each floor. Suddenly, somewhere between floors, the elevator came to a lurching, herky-jerky, bone-rattling stop. I tried to force the outside doors open but they were sealed shut, like King Tut’s tomb. I pushed every button on the control panel – several times. Nothing happened. No response at all.

My 5-year-old brain began to panic as fear gripped my heart. The elevator walls, once so fun and interesting, suddenly seemed frighteningly close – and getting closer with each passing second. I was sure I was going to be stuck there for the rest of my natural life, which, judging by the way the walls were closing in on me, would only be a few more minutes.

I screamed for help. When that didn’t bring help immediately I kneeled down on the elevator floor and prayed. I was still on my knees when I heard a voice from above, reverberating majestically through the elevator shaft: “Joey? Are you in there?”

It was a lovely, loving voice, at once foreign and yet strangely familiar. I was sure God had sent one of his most glorious angels to rescue me.

“Yes,” I replied, my voice trembling with emotion.

“Is the inside door closed?” the voice asked.

I checked. “No,” I said. “It’s open.”

“Push it closed,” the voice commanded. “Tight.”

I slammed the door shut. Suddenly the elevator jerked upward, shaking and rattling its way to the next floor, where it lurched to a stop once again. The doors parted slowly, revealing a smiling female face in a long, flowing . . . yellow flannel bathrobe?

“Hey, you’re not an angel,” I said through my tears.

“All of the angels were busy,” Jean said, “so God sent me.”

There’s a lesson in that for all of us, I think – maybe two: steer clear of tight, closed-in places. And don’t expect God to send an angel when a big sister will do.

Author – Joseph B. Walker

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 26, 1997

It was bitterly cold that day when Chelsea and her mom set out to visit grandma.

It was only a short cross town journey, but Chelsea was only six and her little legs would easily stress under normal conditions let alone such a walk as this.

“Momma, can we walk a little faster?” she begged.

“What’s the hurry?” Momma replied.

“Today is cookie day!” she said with much enthusiasm. “Grandma needs me!”

“What do you mean Grandma needs you?” asked Momma.

“Who is gonna eat all those cookies?” she said.

Momma smiled as she remembered growing up in Grandma’s house.

“Yes, yes it is cookie day,” she said. “I think I can smell chocolate chips already.”

Chelsea stopped. Then raising her head up and standing tip-toed she took a deep breath.

“Momma, can we walk a little faster?” she said again. “I think I can smell peanut butter, too!”

Now I don’t know about you, but I think I’d be running to Grandma’s house. I can clearly remember how great my Mother’s cookies tasted.

I don’t remember when all the rules changed, but I always got to lick the beaters back then. I can’t for the life of me remember being worried about raw eggs or other concerns we have today. Back then I had enough cake batter and raw cookie dough to satisfy my young boy appetite.

As they approached the house Chelsea suddenly bolted up the steps struggling to get the door open.

“We must knock, Chelsea!” Momma shouted. “It’s not polite to just barge in like that.”

“Okay,” she said then began knocking so fast the cold glass in the door rattled.

The door opened and in she flew, dropping her hat, gloves and scarf along the way.

“Mother, I’m sorry. I know she knows better.” her Momma said.

Grandma just smiled and added, “Just like you did.”

They both laughed.

The house was filled with the sweet smell of freshly baked cookies.

The still hot oven offered the extra warmth they both needed from the winter chill.

As Grandma and Momma walked into the kitchen, they discovered young Chelsea seated at the table eagerly waiting.

“Young lady? What will it be, milk or hot cocoa?” Grandma asked.

“Cookies!” Chelsea replied.

“Okay, but you will need something to drink. I suggest milk.” Momma said.

“And two of each cookie,” Chelsea added.

The three ladies sat quietly around the table for some time. The youngest was there for the cookies. The oldest was there for the love. The kind of love you can’t buy in a package or a fast food restaurant.

And Chelsae’s Momma? She was there to relive her own childhood, stir up some memories and make new ones.

For one day, with God’s blessing, Momma will be a Grandma, too.

These are the things of life we so often take for granted. They occur and often go unnoticed until one day, much too late, they are gone.

Sit for a moment right now and remember. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath.

Can you smell the memories?

If it wasn’t cookies, maybe pie.

If it wasn’t pie then maybe mom’s meatloaf or dad’s stew.

Whatever captures your heart is a memory in the making.

Never pass up a chance to make memories. They are bound to warm your heart on the coldest of days.

They will always brighten the darkest moments and lift you up whenever you’ve fallen down.

Author - Bob Perks
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 22, 1999

I want to relate an event which happened nearly ten years ago. I was nine at that time, still a small child back then. It happened in a village in Alibaug a place in Maharashtra in India during the summer holidays.

We (my mom and me) were at the beach for quite some time when we decided to go back. Normally, after walking for about 10 minutes, we would reach the hotel.

My mom asked her friend where our sandals were (we were still at the beach). Her friend pointed in some direction, and my mom then went there. However, soon mom realised we were lost.

We were now in a quite a big jungle. And since it was noon, the ground was quite hot and my mom had to carry me. I was scared. I didn’t understand then, our plight, mom was in a big jungle with her 9-year-old kid and completely lost.

I was scared and didn’t know what to do. So I began to pray. As a child, the only prayer I knew was “Our Father” and “God Our Protector” (Psalms 92). I don’t remember which of the two I prayed, but I do remember my mother telling me that as soon I had finished praying, a woman stood before my mother. The woman gave mom her chappal (slippers) and told my mom that she had crossed an entire village and currently was in a different village. That woman safely took us back to the hotel we were staying at.

My parents told me it was that kind woman who helped mom back then. However, I know it was Master Yahuwah (LORD) who helped us.
Author – Mark Mascarenhas

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 22, 2013

…all things work together for good to them that love God. Romans 8:28.

A Missionary was captured by cannibals. “I suppose you intend to eat me?” said the Missionary, and the chief grunted his affirmation. “Try a sample first, and see if you like me.” said the Missionary as he took his knife and cut a slab from the calf of his leg and handed it to him. “Try this and see!”

The chief took one bite and choked. The Missionary had a cork leg. The chief wanted no more of it and the Missionary was spared.

Years before, he had thought it a “great misfortune” to lose his left leg and to wear an artificial leg, but afterwards it saved his life. It also preserved a great ministry that would have other wise been terminated immediately by the cannibals. Yes, it worked out “for good!”

Are you going through a “tragedy” at this moment dear friend? Then remember ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD, TO THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD JESUS! ALL THINGS!

“Those who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything!”

Author Unknown - Comment if you know the author
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"Working for Christ"

“Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.” (Matthew 5:1-2, NIV)

VICTORY

(photo credit – reclaimingvictory.com)

The thrill of victory can be intoxicating. In business, winning is pretty straightforward: You generate profit, get promoted, and make more money.

What does winning actually mean for our families? The measure of success in business is identified by riches, power and fame, but our family’s success demands generosity, service, and humility. Winning in our home means turning the other cheek and loving others as we love ourselves.

If winning as a believer means growing in relationship with God and drawing others into relationship with Him, then we need to continually check whether our actions reflect that goal. Failing to put our family first, treating subordinates and/or coworkers as inferiors, and being political or divisive…

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Kay Dee Speaks

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Life is a song
Life is a song I sing
Full of sweet notes
Sweet notes of love
Sweet notes that flow through the breeze
Flow through the air, flow through the trees

Life is a song
A song of woe
Woeful sadness
It’s blue and it’s cold
Deep bitter tones of heartache and heart-break
Swirling down to the ground

Life is a song
A song of questions
Where will I go?
How will I get there?
What will I do?
Questioning the paths I should take to reach my goals

Life is a song
A song of calm
A song of waiting
A song of patience
It’s quiet and serene
Like a still autumn morn’

Life is a song
A song of wisdom
Wisdom learned from life’s experiences
Sober notes
Notes swelling from well-crafted instruments
Instruments that are seasoned with time

Life is a song
Life is a song…

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 21, 2013

Mrs. Durango has one rather strict rule. Everyone who lives in our house is expected to live by this rule, those that don’t inevitably pay the consequences.

It’s a rather simple rule, all Mrs. Durango asks is that we all take our shoes off when we come in the house and that we put them away.

This has been a standard rule around the Durango household since day one.

Now for one reason or another it seems that my 3 sons have a real problem following this simple rule.

My youngest son usually forgets the entire rule altogether, he is the one most likely to be tracking the mud across the carpeting or the freshly cleaned kitchen floor.

But even when he does remember to remove his shoes he ends up leaving them right in front of the front door, next to his brother’s shoes.

You see that’s where the other 2 boys fall short of following the rule, they never put their shoes away, they leave them right in front of the doorway.

Not only do they drop their shoes there, it seems anything they bring in the house with them gets dropped there as well . . . baseball gloves, footballs, skateboards . . . anything and everything!

Well that was exactly what brought Mrs. Durango to the boiling point last night.

For quite sometime now “Mom” has been threatening to throw anything left in front of the doorway out onto the front lawn.

Last night as we were leaving the house to go to dinner “Mom” tripped over the sneakers left at the front door.

Needless to say, Mrs. Durango blew a gasket over it and holding true to her word, she threw all the shoes, sneakers, baseball gloves and everything else left in the doorway out onto the front lawn.

The boys were already outside waiting to get into the car when they saw all their stuff being tossed out onto the front lawn.

Of course they were all apologetic and said that they all had meant to put the stuff away but they just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

So this morning as I was sitting there sipping my coffee I thought about all that happened last night.

I thought about how those boys knew what the rule was . . . how they all know the consequences of NOT following the rule and how they had been warned about the idea of finding their stuff out on the front lawn.

Then I thought about how the Lord has set down certain rules for us to follow, we know them, they are all found right there in that book of guidelines called the Bible.

I thought about how us not following those rules results in us committing sin . . .

And how we have been told to remove sin from our lives, repent and sin no more.

Then I wondered how many of us are just like those boys of mine . . .

How many of us will be apologizing and saying “I meant to do that but didn’t have the time” when we meet Our Lord and he says to us “I never knew you”!

Just a thought over coffee.

Author Unknown - Comment if you know the author
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