Monday, August 21, 2017

Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage

We are never alone

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forest...blindfolded...and leaves him....alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night...and not take off the blindfold until the ray of sun shines through it. He is all by himself. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night...he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience. Each boy must come into his own manhood.

The boy was terrified...could hear all kinds of noise...Beasts were all around him. Maybe even some human would hurt him. The wind blew the grass and earth... and it shook his stump. But he sat stoically...never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could be a man.

Finally, after a horrific night...the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he saw his father...sitting on the stump next to him...at watch...the entire night.

We are never truly alone. Even when we do not know it, our family and friends are watching out for us...sitting on a stump beside us. 

God is always there also!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tips to prevent identity theft

ATTORNEY'S ADVICE-----NO CHARGE 

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.

Unfortunately, as an attorney, I have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month.  Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a computer and received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online.  Here is some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

1.  The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them.  If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks. 

2.  Do not sign the back of your credit cards.  Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."

3.  When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line.  Instead, just put the last four numbers.  The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check-processing channels will not have access to it. 

4.  Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone.  If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address.  If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address.  Never have your SS# printed on your checks, (DUH!).  You can add it if it is necessary.  However, if you have it printed, anyone can get it. 

5.  Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine.  Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc.  You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.  Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad.  We have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards. 

6.  When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for keys (and they all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in.  Take them with you and destroy them.  Those little cards have on them all of the information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card numbers and expiration dates.  Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever. 

7.  We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call.  Keep those where you can find them. 

8.  File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen.  This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).  However, here is what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this.) 

9.  Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number.  I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.  The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.  By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done.  There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases,! none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in).  It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks. 

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet and contents being stolen: 

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742 
3.) Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289 
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Love stays

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. "Your son is here," she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened. Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night, the young marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night. Along towards dawn, the old man died. The marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited. Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

"Who was that man?" he asked. The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.

"No, he wasn't," the marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."

The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.

Inspirational stories

Beautiful 10 lines

 📎 1). PRAYER is not a "spare wheel" that YOU PULL OUT when IN trouble, but it is a "STEERING WHEEL" that DIRECTS the RIGHT PATH THROUGHOUT LIFE.

📎2). Why is a CAR'S WINDSHIELD so LARGE the REAR VIEW MIRROR so small? BECAUSE our PAST is NOT as IMPORTANT as OUR FUTURE. So, LOOK AHEAD and MOVE ON.

📎3). FRIENDSHIP is like a BOOK. It takes a FEW SECONDS to BURN, but it TAKES YEARS to WRITE.

📎4). All THINGS in LIFE are TEMPORARY. If they are GOING WELL, ENJOY them, they WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. If they are going wrong, don't WORRY, THEY CAN'T LAST LONG EITHER.

📎5). Old FRIENDS are GOLD! NEW friends are DIAMONDS! If you GET a DIAMOND, DON'T FORGET the GOLD! To HOLD a DIAMOND, you ALWAYS NEED a BASE of GOLD!

📎6). Often when WE LOSE HOPE and THINK this is the END, GOD SMILES from ABOVE and SAYS, "RELAX, SWEETHEART; it's JUST a BEND, NOT THE END!"

📎7). When GOD SOLVES your PROBLEMS, you HAVE FAITH in HIS ABILITIES; when GOD DOESN'T SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS, HE has FAITH in YOUR ABILITIES.

📎8). A BLIND PERSON asked GOD: "CAN THERE be ANYTHING WORSE THAN LOSING EYE SIGHT?" HE REPLIED: "YES, LOSING YOUR VISION!"

📎9). When YOU PRAY for OTHERS, GOD LISTENS to YOU and BLESSES THEM, and SOMETIMES, when you are SAFE and HAPPY, REMEMBER that SOMEONE has PRAYED for YOU. 

📎10). WORRYING does NOT TAKE AWAY TOMORROW'S TROUBLES; IT TAKES AWAY today's PEACE. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Growing Good Corn

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.


It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself.

- From  Inspiration Peak

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Album Review: Born Cages - I'm Glad I'm Not Me


Album Review

Band: Born Cages
Album: I'm Glad I'm Not Me
Year: 2015

This is a strong debut album. There is not really a bad track here. There are great guitar riffs and catchy melodies galore. I liked this album a lot. Standout tracks are: Don't Look Back, Dirty Money, and Finding Beauty In a Broken World. Probably their best song is Our Revolution on the Transformers Roll Out soundtrack so check that out also.

The lead singer is nothing like Brandon Flowers but their sound is similar to The Killers.

Here is the list:
1.             Rolling Down the Hill ★★★
2.             Bigger Than Me ★★★
3.             Don’t Look Back ★★★
4.             Moving On ★★★
5.             I Just Want the Truth, Baby ★★
6.             Give Me a Smile ★★
7.             Caiti ★★★
8.             Metaphor ★★★
9.             Dirty Money ★★★
10.          Volcano ★★
11.          Green ★★
12.          Finding Beauty In A Broken World ★★



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The black dot

One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.
The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.
To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions–just a black dot in the center of the paper. The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.” The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students.
All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain:
“I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives. However, we insist on focusing only on the black dot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds. Take your the eyes away from the black dots in your lives. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love!”
From Thoughts and Inspirational Stories

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Child's View of Thunderstorms

Kaboom
\\,,/A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that
morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to school. 

As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with The lightning and thunder!

The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be
frightened as she walked home from school. She also feared the electrical
storm might harm her child. Full of concern, the mother got into her car
and quickly drove along the route to her child's school. As she did, she saw her little girl walking along.

At each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up, and smile. More lightning followed quickly and with each, the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile

When the mother drew up beside the child, she lowered the window and called, "What are you doing?"

The child answered, "I am trying to look pretty because God keeps taking my picture."

May God bless you today and every day as you face the storms that come your way.

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so... Love the people who treat you right. Pray for those who don't.

Monday, July 10, 2017

12 Ways To Strengthen Your Family

  1. Spend time with each other, do things together as a family.
  2.  Plan ahead with your family so things will happen and not just happen.
  3. Establish a reasonable balance between outside activities, work schedules, and your family.
  4. Talk with each other and listen carefully to understand the other's viewpoint.
  5. Show each family member consideration and appreciation, especially in everyday ways.
  6. Respect each other – his or her ideas, thoughts and feelings.
  7. Develop pride in your family.
  8. Resolve problems and conflicts in a constructive way.
  9. Help each other and be willing to let others help you.
  10. Contact and build ties with other families.
  11. Take part in community affairs and use community services.
  12. Develop a spiritual focus within your family.

 From Appleseeds

Monday, July 3, 2017

Believe in yourself!

Believe in yourself!
Believe you were made to do any task without calling for aid.
Believe, without growing too scornfully proud,
that you, as the greatest and least are endowed.
A mind to do thinking, two hands and two eyes
are all the equipment God gives to the wise.
Believe in yourself!
You are divinely designed and perfectly made
for the work of mankind.
The truth you must cling to through danger and pain;
the heights others have reached you can also attain.
Believe to the very last hour, for it is true.
That what ever you will, you've been gifted to do.
Believe in yourself and step out unafraid.
By misgivings and doubt be not easily swayed.
You've the right to succeed;
the precision of skill which betokens the great
you can earn if you will!
The wisdom of the ages is yours if you'll read.
But you've got to believe in yourself to succeed.

Winning Words of Champions

Monday, June 26, 2017

The First Pizza Hut


It's Up to You! - ready. set. go!

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.

One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room.

One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.

One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true.

One life can make the difference,

You see, It's Up to You!


Apple Seeds -

Monday, June 19, 2017

A summer prayer

Long warm days...
The pace of life slows...
A time for picnics and rest in the shade...
Lord,
help me to rest awhile in the cooling shade of your presence.
Slow down my restless heart and fill me with gentle compassion for all your people.
Amen.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Two Pots

The Two Pots
 THE CRACKED POT
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side?

That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table.

In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste.

So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks He has appointed for you, don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway.

Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength, and that "In Him every one of God's promises is a Yes."