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Posted: 22-Jul-2004, 03:27 PM
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Got this from a friend and thought I'd pass it along.

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Five-Finger Prayer

This is so neat. I had never heard this before. It is beautiful and surely makes the 5 finger prayer a worth while part of our lives.

1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, dentists, physicians, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Pass this on to someone special

Steve Ewing

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

"Non sibi sed patriae!"

Reviresco (I grow strong again)
Clan MacEwen motto

Audaciter (Audacity)
My Ewing Family Motto
(descendants of Baron William Ewing of Glasgow, born about 1630)

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum." from "Epitoma Rei Militaris," by Vegetius

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Posted: 10-Aug-2004, 07:40 PM
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From A Joke a Day Ministries

Putting Anger to Rest
Charles Stanley
In Touch Ministries

Have you ever known someone who seemed persistently angry? With their
critical and grumpy attitude, you could always sense them coming from
a mile away. Maybe you are that way yourself.

Angry people are easy to spot. Like an out-of-control tornado, they
seek to destroy everyone and everything in their path. Instead of
identifying the source of their animosity and resolving the true
issue, they usually vent their frustrations on innocent individuals
around them. Hurtful words, hateful tones, and harmful attitudes
follow them like a black cloud. Quite simply, angry people seem to
wallow in bitterness.

Unfortunately, anger permeates our society. In a culture that often
operates under a "what have you done for me lately" mindset, we are
bombarded by the consequences of uncontrolled, selfish anger. School
shootings, road rage, domestic abuse, and terrorism are a few.
Sometimes it's easy to look at these extreme examples and believe
that all forms of anger are sinful; however, that simply is not true.

In Mark 3, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand in the synagogue.
After watching Him perform this miracle, the Pharisees and Sadducees
accuse Christ of healing on the Sabbath. Jesus looks at them in
"anger, grieved at their hardness of heart" (verse 5). He could not
believe they were so cold-hearted toward this disabled, disadvantaged
man. So, through the example of Jesus, we can see that all anger is
not sin.

But when does justified anger-or righteous indignation-become selfish
and sinful? Like Christ, a righteously indignant person is solely
concerned with correcting a wrong in someone else's life, not their
own. Justified anger isn't explosive, rage-filled, and selfish. It
isn't an excuse to hate someone but, rather, it is a caring,
unselfish anger entirely focused on improving someone else's

Think of how Christ handled His emotion. Did He explode and attack
the Pharisees and Sadducees? Of course not. Jesus actually "grieved"
over their callousness. He didn't become enraged toward them, but He
sorrowed over their spiritually deprived state. Even though Christ
was frustrated with them, He was also saddened by their hardened

Unfortunately, though, most of our anger is far from righteous.
Resentment and rage, if unmanaged, can lead to devastating
consequences such as depression, an unforgiving spirit, and a host of
physical ailments.

In Ephesians 4:26-27, Paul tells us to "be angry, and yet do not sin;
do not let the sun go down on your anger," he says, "and do not give
the devil an opportunity." These harmful feelings must be dealt with
swiftly, because if we allow them to sit, seethe, and build up inside
of us, our unforgiving spirit will alienate us from God and we will
become prime targets for Satan.

Unless we turn to God and release our bitter spirit, Satan will begin
manipulating our thoughts and actions. Resentment will turn to rage,
rage may turn to violence, and we will ultimately find ourselves in a
dire predicament-all because we allowed our emotions to control us.

We must make a conscious choice to let go of bitterness. Regardless
of how we have been wronged, we cannot expect to live for Christ
while this debilitating emotion consumes us. Selfish anger builds a
barrier between us and God. With this sin in our life, we are useless
to God, unable to display the forgiving nature of Christ to those who
need His message.

1) Identify sources of anger in your own life. Who and what provokes
you? Is there bitterness you need to let go or people you need to
forgive? Prayerfully hand over your burdens to God.
2) Read the key passages for this month and think back on instances
in your life where you became angered easily. How have these verses
given you insight into what God expects of you when you are dealing
with anger?
3) Do you know people that are being mistreated? Just as Christ
defended the disabled man in the synagogue, how can you come to the
defense of those that may need your help?
4) Commit Ephesians 4:26 to memory and recite it every night before
you go to bed. Make a point to deal with your anger swiftly and never
go to sleep in a foul mood. Instead, release your burdens to God and
enjoy the peaceful rest that comes with a clear conscience.

To delve deeper into this subject and more, visit the In Touch Web
site: www.intouch.org. Also, for a free online discipleship study
from Dr. Charles Stanley, visit www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com. Need
biblical advice for teens? Visit www.teen-connection.info --the
official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries.
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Posted: 01-Sep-2004, 05:37 PM
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Your Recycling Miracle

The first time I ever landed in New York City, it was at LaGuardia
Airport. And as I chatted with the folks who met my plane, they told me
something I wasn't sure I wanted to know. They said, "You know, Ron, your
plane just landed on the garbage of New York City." Excuse me? Well, they
explained to me that LaGuardia Airport is built on landfill that extends
out into Jamaica Bay. Landfill - as in the garbage of New York. Well, so
far none of those runways has sunk into the bay. It's pretty amazing what
engineers can do with our garbage, huh?

Actually, I believe that God invented recycling. See, He has this amazing
ability to recycle the garbage of our lives into something beautiful,
something useful, something that can really make a difference. It happens
through a process that God describes in our word for today from the Word
of God. It's in 2 Corinthians 1, beginning at verse 3.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our
troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we
ourselves have received from God." Now, obviously, you can never
experience God's comfort without some things in your life that are
uncomfortable. And the greater the discomfort, the more His comfort means
to you, maybe the deeper you experience it.

Through the troubles, we learn compassion. Through the trash, we develop
a sensitivity to other wounded people - if we surrender our pain and our
wounds and our memories to the God of all comfort. Now, if we hang onto
our wounds, they will just turn into the rotting stench of bitterness and
anger and negativity. It's either recycled by God or rotting inside you.

Last Sunday, my friend Alan was honored by our church for 45 years of
working with the boys of the church. Can you imagine 45 years? Let's see,
how old was I when he started? Anyway, later his wife told us why he had
dedicated his life to being there for boys. Alan's dad apparently had one
kind of relationship with his sons - work, and that was it! And Alan
carried the hurt of having a Dad who just didn't take time with him. That
hurt could have turned into stinking trash in Alan's heart. But he
brought it to Jesus, and Jesus recycled that wound into something
beautiful - a commitment to be there for his own sons and for other boys
who didn't have the attention of a father.

Now, God's recycling miracle heals a wound from the past by using it to
sensitize you to people with that same kind of wound. By God's grace, you
commit your life to doing for others what wasn't done for you instead of
repeating that mistake and scarring another generation. Because of what
you've been through, you could become a bitter, self-centered, angry
person or you could let Jesus recycle it into compassion. You're uniquely
equipped to help heal people who have the same kind of wound you do. If
you'll let the "Father of compassion, the God of all comfort" have the
pain of your past. I thought it was amazing that human engineers could
make an airport out of garbage. But what's really amazing is what the
Master Engineer can make out of the garbage of our lives - Jesus turns
the bleeding into a blessing, the garbage into gold, and the hurter into
a healer!

Today's Daily Wisdom is written by Ron Hutchcraft, based on his popular
radio broadcast, "A Word With You" which can be found at:
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Posted: 08-Sep-2004, 07:02 PM
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Impossible Made Possible!

"...What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with
- Luke 18:27

My relationship with my mother has, at times, been a source of confusion
and frustration to me. Perhaps the problem was that we were simply two
very different people. Regardless of the why, based on past experience,
it seemed that this is simply the way things were, and were most likely
going to remain.

However, God had something else in mind. He used another circumstance in
my life to show me a better way to break through the differences and
conflicts, and to find our common bond. Love.

How simple a common denominator this was; right in front of me all along,
and yet, even in its simplicity, I did not see. Setting pride and past
differences aside, I picked up pen to paper and wrote a letter from the
heart, one which my mother was happy to receive. She responded back, and
several more back and forth letters from the heart followed. Then, the
next step; a phone call. It had been years since we spoke, and I was not
sure how either of us was going to react, but I dialed nonetheless.

Mother was clearly overjoyed to hear from me. We had so much to say we
spoke long distance for almost 4 hours! This happened again, and again,
and again. The next step was a simple gesture of thoughtfulness. Knowing
how much I enjoy getting packages in the mail, I decided to send mom a
care package. Along with a box of cake mix for her past birthday I
missed, and a few other odds and ends I thought might make her smile. I
also sent her a beautiful white Bible with gold print on the cover.
Mother loved it and wrote to tell me how much she appreciated me thinking
of her.

During this time, I could sense a subtle difference with each gift of
love. Mom and I didn't need to agree or disagree on everything anymore
because we both seemed to finally understand that love is much bigger
than petty divisions. Our relationship is slowly blossoming, and it is
truly a wonder to see.

A few years ago, if you told me such a thing would occur, I would have
laughed and said, "Impossible!" I should have remembered that nothing is
impossible with God, and since God is Love, likewise, nothing is
impossible with love!

Today, if a situation you are encountering could benefit from the healing
power of God's love, won't you call on Him to assist you?

Contributed by Melanie Schurr ©2004 Melanie Schurr
Melanie Schurr is author of "Ecstatic Living Ecstatic Loving: How to
have more peace and joy in marriage, and life in general by walking
in harmony with God," and "Son Salutations: A refreshing collection
of modern inspirations for those who seek God each day."
For more information, visit her web page at
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Posted: 13-Sep-2004, 05:06 PM
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This is a wish and prayer for all my friends here at CR.net

MacE smile.gif

Big Mud Puddles and Sunny Yellow Dandelions
Author Unknown

When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds that are going to take over my yard.
My kids see flowers for Mom and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person who probably wants money and I look away.
My kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune and don't have much rhythm so I sit self-consciously and listen.
My kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing out the words. If they don't know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk.
My kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say thee and thou and grant me this, give me that.
My kids say, "Hi God! Thanks for my toys and my friends. Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don't want to go to Heaven yet. I would miss my Mommy and Daddy."

When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.
My kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross, and worms to play with.

I wonder if we are given kids to teach or to learn from? No wonder God loves the little children!

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

I wish you Big Mud Puddles and Sunny Yellow Dandelions!!!

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."
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Posted: 23-Sep-2004, 05:35 PM
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Here is a question for anyone who reads this post: Does the story attached below Illustrate what the author of the 23rd Psalm was talking about?

Psalm 23 (KJV)
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

MacE smile.gif

"Run in the Rain"

A little girl 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 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.

The little 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

"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

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
let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.

Then 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. I got wet. 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 everyday. To everything
there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

A friend sent this to me to remind me of life. Hope you enjoy it.


They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to
appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget
them Send this to the people you'll never forget and remember to also
send it to the person who sent it to you. It's a short message to let
them know that you'll never forget them.

If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry.

Take the time to live!!!

Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when
you'll need each other -- and don't forget to run in the rain!
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Posted: 18-Oct-2004, 04:29 PM
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Halloween is coming. This all appears to have started with our ancestors.
What do you think?

CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON HALLOWEEN from "a joke a day ministries"


By Pastor Ken Klaus

Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, the Celts, inhabitants of
Britain and Ireland, observed a festival on Oct31st. Unlike modern-day
Halloween, theirs was no children's holiday. The Celts and their priests,
the Druids celebrated Samhain, a festival that marked the eve of the Celtic
New Year, which began on Nov 1. The fall harvest was complete and winter
loomed. The Celts believed the power of the sun was fading. For the next
several months, darkness would prevail.

The Celts believed that during Samhain the veil separating the living from
the dead was at its thinnest. They believed that on the evening of October
31, evil spirits and the souls of the dead passed through the barrier and
entered the world of the living. Departed family members would revisit their
earthly homes. The thought was frightening -- and exciting!

The Celts believed these spirits and dead souls could torment the living.
Crops might be destroyed, babies stolen, farm animals killed. But this was
also an opportunity to commune with the spirits -- and divine the future.
The Devil, the lord of darkness, was ordinarily feared, but during Sambain,
his power would be called on to foretell the future.


The Druids were charged with appeasing the goblins and preventing harm to
the people. Huge Samhain bonfires were lit to guide the way of the spirits.
Various sacrifices -including human -- were performed to assure a good year.
Ancient authors commented on the gory religious rites of the Druids. It is
believe that, like many pagan cultures around the world, the Celts left out
food for the spirits, hoping that a "treat" would prevent an evil "trick."

Centuries later, descendants of the Celts continued to observe the Samhain
festival by dressing as evil spirits. They roamed from house to house
demanding food in exchange for the "spirits" leaving the home. They carved
demon faces in hollowed-out turnips and put candles inside.

That night they also practiced many customs designed to divine the future.
Young people threw nuts into Samhain fires to see which would crack first --
and tell them who they would marry. The person who retrieved an apple with
his mouth from a tub of water assured himself of a lucky year. Obviously
some of these customs (like "apple-bobbing") have remained with us, strictly
as amusement.


When Christianity began to spread through Europe in the third and fourth
centuries, the pagan temples were torn down. But pagan worship never
completely disappeared. The festival of Samhain remained a primary pagan

Belief in spirits may have waned, but many of the old Samhain traditions
continued to be practiced -- especially by the children. Primarily in
Ireland, children dressed as spirits went from house to house demanding a
treat. If they received none, they performed an unwelcomed trick. They were
play-acting the part of evil spirits that had to be appeased, just as in the
old Samhain festival the people believe they really did have to appease

In the 700s the Church decided to combat this festival by replacing it with
a celebration of the Lord of life. Instead of honoring evil spirits and the
souls of the dead, the church chose to recognize the saints -- or hallowed
ones -who had lived godly lives. The Church seemed to be saying, "All right,
if you must have a day to celebrate the dead, then celebrate those who died
and are now with the Lord."

So November 1 came to be called All Saints' Day, also called All Hallows'
Day. The evening before was called All Hallows' Evening. From that we get
the modern name of Halloween. But pagan customs continued. And with the
growth of witchcraft in the Middle Ages, additional symbols became
associated with Halloween -- black cats, witches, bats, and skulls.


Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s brought to America the Halloween customs
we're familiar with -- costumes, trick-or-treat, carved Jack-o-lanterns,
etc. (The Jack-o-lantern is simply an American version of the hollowed-out
turnip. The pumpkin did not grow in Ireland and Britain.) They also brought
"tricks" with them -- which often involved breaking windows and over-turning

Even though the practice of actually performing a trick if no treat is given
has faded, the custom of children going "trick-or-treating" has become an
established American tradition. Only in recent years have parents hesitated
to send their children into the streets because of the increased danger of
accidents, poisoned food, and menacing strangers.

Nonetheless, despite the dangers associated with trick-or-treating,
Halloween is celebrated more than ever. In fact, the night is the second
most popular party night of the year (after Dec 31) for "baby-boomer"
adults. Many adults look at it as the one night of the year they can dress
up and act foolish.

But while children and adults innocently imitate ancient Celtic customs,
darker practices persist. Witches and Satanists still consider Halloween to
be one of the strongest times during the year to cast a spell. On Halloween
most practitioners participate in a ritual called "drawing down the moon."
In this the chief witch of the coven becomes, they believe, a channel for
the moon goddess. During this ritual the participants are 'sky-clad" -- that
is , naked.

Stonehenge, the mysterious ancient stone formation in England, is often the
site for bizarre gatherings of occultists, some of who believe they are
modern-day Druids. (Many people believe that Stonehenge was a Druid
religious site.) And evidence persists that some Satanist and voodoo groups
offer sacrifices -- usually animals, but, possibly, human babies.


Witches and Satanists are, of course, a small minority. Few people who
celebrate Halloween these days ever think about the darkness that underlies
most Halloween practices.

A beaming child dressed in a black pointed hat and matching gown -- with a
wart carefully drawn on her nose and a trick-or-treat bag held tightly in
her hand -- is hardly thinking of death or the spirits of departed
relatives. Nor should she be. She's thinking of candy and fun. She's glowing
because of her delight in her special costume. And she's anticipating the
adventure of her house-to-house pilgrimage. Merchants also look forward to
October 31. The sale of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods make
Halloween one of the major retail seasons of the year.

Surely, no one can deny children or adults all the Halloween fun simply
because of its unsavory history. Can there really be anything wrong with
this lighthearted revelry?

Does the Bible have anything to say about Halloween?

In Corinth, meat that had been sacrificed to idols was sold in the market.
People who bought it then ate it in honor of that particular pagan god.
Speaking of his freedom to eat food that a pagan had dedicated to an idol,
the apostle Paul said, "Everything is permissible" (I Corinthians 10:23).
After all, he didn't believe the pagan gods really existed.

If we apply Paul's statement to the celebration of Halloween, then one could
argue that Christians are free to dress in ghostly costumes and practice the
traditions that have been passed down from the ancient Celts. After all,
Christians know that the supernatural powers they tried to appease don't
have power over those who belong to Christ.

The Bible says that Jesus destroyed the power of death when He went to the
cross. By Jesus' death and resurrection, anyone who gives his or her life to
Jesus doesn't need to fear evil. But Paul didn't stop with a statement of
his freedom. He said, "'Everything is permissible' -- but not everything is
beneficial." It is in this light that Christians need to examine how to
observe Halloween.


1. What may not hurt you may hurt others.

Paul said that it wouldn't harm a Christian to eat meat sacrificed to an
idol. After all, the pagan gods that the meat had been sacrificed to weren't
real gods. In the same light, he probably would say that Christians are not
prohibited from dressing in costumes and going trick-or-treating or
attending Halloween parties. After all, "We know that an idol is nothing at
all in the world and that there is no God but one" (I Corinthians 8:4).

But Paul went on to say that by doing what the believer was free in the Lord
to do, the believer may be distressing another believer who doesn't realize
he has this freedom. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom
does not become a stumbling block to the weak" (I Corinthians 8:9). The weak
ones would be those who still had problems with the idea of eating the food
sacrificed to idols.

Children in particular are the weak ones. Many children today are exposed to
occult influences. We may be opening our children to these influences if we
approve of these things in Halloween fun. We adults may be aware that we are
spoofing witches, but the young many not be so sure.

If we have given our lives to Jesus Christ, then our eternal destiny is safe
in the hands of Almighty God. But that's not true of most of the people
around us.

There is a valid reason for most people to fear a "lord of death" -- even if
they don't take him seriously on Halloween. We who have found life in Jesus
should be careful that our freedom doesn't keep others from finding that
same eternal life.

2. Some permissible things may hinder your Christian growth.

The Bible encourages us to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin
that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked
out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2).

This one night of the year, most eyes are not fixed on Jesus but on a darker
image. The Christian's "race of faith" leads him to eternal life, to a joy
that has no shadow. Should we really be focusing on the devil, witches and
other dark beings, even for one night?

3. God says, "Don't imitate evil!"

"When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to
imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among
you who...practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in
witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium, or spiritist or who
consults the dead? (Deut 18:9-11).

If our children dress as witches and sorcerers, if we hang cardboard ghosts
in our windows, if we entertain with tales of ghouls and haunted houses --
what are we doing but imitating that which is evil? We need to make it clear
as Christians that witches and evil spirits are not funny and not harmless,
even if people are only play-acting.


As Christians, we have plenty of reason to celebrate. While the world around
us focuses on activities honoring fear and death, we can celebrate the One
who brings life.

The following ideas might help you celebrate October 31 in a way that's
joyful for you and your family:

1. Celebrate All Saints' Day Protestants shy away from honoring saints.
Their reluctance generally is based on a fear that the honor will cross the
line into worship or prayer to saints. We are to worship and pray to no one
but God.

However, there I good biblical basis for looking to those who have
faithfully followed God in the past: Hebrews 11 has a roll call of believers
who have set examples for us. But in his Letters to the Corinthians, Paul
makes it abundantly clear that he and other saints are only servants -- men
and women like ourselves who are following God. And it is God and God alone
to whom we look in our worship and prayers.

But with nearly 2000 years of church history, we can well remember many
faithful believers whose lives can encourage us in our walk with the Lord.
That can include not only famous figures from the church's history, but also
the saints we have know personally -- people in our own family and our own
church who are now with the lord. While the Celts trembled at the thought of
their departed kin returning on Samhain, we can celebrate Halloween and All
Saints Day by joyfully recalling our own departed saints. (Christians from
many Protestant traditions may want to recall that October 31 is also
Reformation Day, celebrating Martin Luther's beginning the Reformation by
posting his "95 Theses" on the church door.)

2. Have a different kind of party.

You can have a fall harvest party, an All Saint's Day party, or simply a
costume party. Have children (and maybe adults too) dress up as biblical
characters and/or figures from Christian history. Some Christians plan a
"Fools for Christ" party (see I Corinthians 4:10). This involves costumes
and craziness, but none of the traditional symbols of death and witchcraft.
Whatever you choose, avoid the usual Halloween symbols in decorations and
activities. The way to "celebrate the dead" is by honoring God's saints,
already in heaven, part of the body of Christ that the living saints are
also part of.

3. Hold a Bible study on what God says about the occult and witchcraft.

This might be especially good for teenagers, since they are coming into
frequent contact with influences of this type. This may sound farfetched to
you, but in recent years there has been an amazing growth of witchcraft and
Satanism in the U.S. Some New Age cultists are attracted to many aspects of
witchcraft, especially the ideas of tapping the "powers of the universe" and
of controlling our own destinies.

4. Use trick-or-treating as an opportunity to tell about the love of Jesus.

Most Christian bookstores carry small pamphlets about the Lord designed for
children on Halloween. These could be taped to candy and dropped into each
trick-or-treat's bag.

5. Gather for a prayer and praise meeting.

During this night when Satanists and witches covens meet to cast their
spells and perform grotesque rituals, it seems appropriate for believers to
gather to praise the one and only God. Praise God for His victory over
death, Satan, hell and all evil. (Recall Paul's words in Romans 16:20: "The
God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.") And pray for all the
people who don't know that Jesus Christ wants to give them peace with God
and eternal life. Pray for all the people who don't know that Jesus Christ
wants to give them peace with God and eternal life. Pray that Jesus will
reveal Himself to their minds and spirits.

Whatever you do on Halloween, use this Biblical guidelines as you make your
plans: "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (I Corinthians
10:31).do we get it?

Written by Pastor Ken Klaus of
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Dallas, TX. in response to questions
about Halloween.
Special thanks to Andy Brill for sharing it.
7611 Park Ln
Dallas, TX, 75225
214-368-1371 (O)
214-368-1473 FAX
[email protected]

Check out our Website: www.ourredeemer-dallas.org
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From A Joke a Day Ministries

Guilty But Free

Romans 3:9-20

A young woman was caught going one hundred miles an hour in a fifty-five-
mile-per-hour zone outside of one of those small towns. The
policeman brought her into court where the judge fined her one
hundred dollars.

"But I don't have one hundred dollars," she wailed.

"I'm sorry, but you will have to spend the weekend in jail," the
judge told her. "You owe the court one hundred dollars. You may not
have the money, but the law is the law."

She began to cry. "Please, your honor, I don't have one hundred
dollars, but I don't want to spend the weekend in jail."

The judge said, "I can't change the law."

But the young woman begged for mercy again -and to the surprise of
the bailiff and the policeman, the judge did something very
interesting. He pushed his chair back from the bench, took off his
robe, walked around to where the woman was standing, pulled out his
wallet, and gave the bailiff a one-hundred-dollar bill, went back to
the bench, put his robe back on, and sat down.

Then the judge picked up his gavel and said, "young lady, I see
someone has paid your fine. Case dissmissed, You are free to go."

That's what God did for you and me. We stood before the bench of His
justice, and He said, "You've been found guilty of sinning against My
holy character. You've either got to pay the price of perfection or
spend eternity in the prison called hell."

But God the Judge also heard us cry out for mercy. He knew we had
nothing to pay our debt with. So in the Person of Jesus Christ He
stepped out of heaven, "zipped down" His deity, put on the robe of
humanity, and paid the price Himself on the cross.

Three days later, He put His robe of deity back on and ascended back
to the bench of heaven.

Now He looks down and says to anyone who comes to Him and begs for
mercy, "I can't change the law, but I can PAY the PRICE!" You will
never have to worry about heaven again if you know Jesus Christ.

Think about it... The judge who pronounced sentence against you also
paid your fine. He'll do it for anyone who comes to Him. Do you
know someone who needs good news like that?

Sent in by A Joke A Day Member: [email protected]
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Got this from a friend:


There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't
hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious
holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to
also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

One snowy Eve, his wife was taking their children to service in the farm community in which they lived. They were to talk about Jesus' birth. She asked him to come, but he refused.

"That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to
come to Earth as a man?

That's ridiculous!"

So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a
blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding
snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he
heard a loud thump.

Something had hit the window. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window.

In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A
couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm.

So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them.

The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away.

He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn.

Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would
be warm and safe.

"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed.

"Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?"

He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.

He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn -- and one-by-one, the other geese followed it to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese--blind, lost, perishing.

God had His Son become like us so he could show us the way and save us.
As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come.Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:"Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"
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Some Scottish History


In the latter half of the sixteenth century, during what was known as "the
killing time" in Scotland, John Welsh (or Welsche), a Covenanter preacher and
son-in-law of Scottish reformer John Knox, was pursued mercilessly by those
who wished to take his life. For a long time he managed to elude his
pursuers, but finally there seemed to be no safe place to go. He prayed, and
believed God gave him a plan to outwit his enemies.

That night Welsh knocked at the door of a man who was well known for his
bitter opposition to the so-called field preachers, a man who was seeking to
arrest Welsh but who had never met him. Unrecognized by the householder,
Welsh was received with kindness. During the evening the conversation turned
to the hated Welsh. His host complained bitterly that he had not been able to
apprehend this man whom he considered a rebel and an agent of Satan.

"I have been commissioned," said Welsh, "to apprehend these people. I know
where Welsh is going to preach tomorrow. If you like, I will put him in your

"Nothing could please me better," said his host.

The next day Welsh and his host walked to the place where the Covenanters had
agreed to meet. Welsh invited his host to sit in the only chair available -
one Welsh had especially provided for him. Then he began to preach about
God's love for sinners. He spoke with such persuasive power and pathos that
his enemy's heart was melted.

At the close of the meeting Welsh said, "Sir, I am Welsh. Take and arrest me,
and do whatever you wish."

His former enemy, now his friend and convert, declined!

By Donald E. Mansell


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A friend sent this to me. (If you'd like a copy of this e-mail with all the graphics PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send it to you, MacE)

A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people were in and out of the cold. The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell many papers. He walked up to a policeman and said, "Mister, you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay."

The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, "You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16, and they will let you in."

So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said, "John 3:16." The lady said, "Come on in, Son."

She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: John 3:16...I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.

Later she came back and asked him "Are you hungry?"He said, "Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food,"

The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat any more. Then he thought to himself: John 3:16...Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry boy full.

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16... I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean. You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out. The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room, tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself: John 3:16...I don't understand it but it sure makes a tired boy rested.

The next morning the lady came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food. After he ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible.

She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face. "Do you understand John 3:16?" she asked gently. He replied, "No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it," She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought: John 3:16 -- don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.

You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the directions.

Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father." Pass this on only if you mean it.

I do Love God. He is my source of existence. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Phil 4:13 If you love God and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done for you, send this on.

Take 60 seconds & give this a shot! Let's just see if Satan stops this one.

All you do is:

1) Simply say a small prayer for the person who sent you this, "Father, God bless this person in whatever it is that You know he or she may be needing this day!"

2) Then send it on to ten other people. Soon ten people will have prayed for you,
and you will have caused a multitude of people to pray to God for other people. Then sit back and watch the power of God work in your life for doing the thing that you know He loves.
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From Sermon Fodder and Joke A Day Ministries. To subscribe go to
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[email protected] Please leave this attached
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The Maestro at His Best

When the famous violinist Paganini played a concert in one of the great
halls of Europe, it was equivalent to the draw of a modern rock concert.
The story is told of one such night in Paris. As Paganini appeared on the
stage, the excited buzz of the audience turned to expectant applause. But
as the maestro began to play, a string broke on his exquisite violin. Any
concern passed quickly as the artist picked up the tune on his remaining
three strings. Unbelievably, another string snapped - followed moments
later by a third string. Now the buzz in the audience was more anxious,
even disgruntled, it wasn't expectant anymore. But the old maestro just
raised his hand, calling for silence. As the audience became quiet again,
he made a simple announcement - "Ladies and gentlemen - Paganini - and
one string." What followed was easily the most amazing musical
performance that crowd had ever seen, or ever would see - as the master
played a rich and flawless melody - on one string.

When did the master most powerfully demonstrate his skill? When he had
the least to work with - one string. When does the Lord Jesus - our
Master - most powerfully demonstrate how much He can do? When He has the
least to work with. When our strings are broken and we have almost
nothing left - that's when He plays His masterpieces.

That's what the great Apostle Paul learned when virtually all the strings
of his life had broken. His testimony is in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, our
word for today from the Word of God. Paul had been given some spiritual
revelations that no man had ever experienced before. He says, "To keep me
from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations,
there was given me a thorn in my flesh ... Three times I pleaded with the
Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient
for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.'"

Because Paul experiences God's power the most when he has nothing left,
he says, "Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my
weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me ... For when I am weak,
then I am strong." Why? Because the less there is of you, the more there
is of God - and the more of His power you experience. Which actually can
make you, much like Paul, really greet your hard times, your hurting
times with a sense of expectancy instead of dread or discouragement. Not
that you like the pain, but you realize what that pain can produce. And
all through it, you have God's unbreakable promise, "My grace is
sufficient for you."

Our weakness means an opportunity for a display of His strength, His
glory ... a chance to experience God's ability to heal, to intervene, to
carry you. Malcolm Muggeridge, the brilliant British journalist who
gloriously came to Christ late in life, put it this way: "Everything I
have learned in my seventy-five years in this world, everything that has
truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction
and not through happiness."

So maybe most of your strings have broken and you're down to one string.
That's the moment when the Maestro is at His very best. He lovingly holds
you in His arms and says, "Almighty God - and one string." He's about to
play something beautiful, something unforgettable, something amazing
through your life.

Today's Daily Wisdom is written by Ron Hutchcraft, based on his popular
radio broadcast, "A Word With You" which can be found at:

"A Word With You" daily devotionals are now available via e-mail.
To subscribe send a blank email to:
[email protected]
Or, to request the "Yours for Life" booklet, fill out the form on this site:
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From Sermon Fodder and Joke A Day Ministries. To subscribe go to http://www.sermonfodder.com or drop an email note to [email protected] Please leave this attached if you forward this to friends.

Enlightened Self-Interest?

We live in an enlightened age. We think we are enlightened because we have thrown off the old taboos. The old puritanical moral standards which held us in check have been discarded. Now we are free to express ourselves in more creative ways. Society can advance to the utopian ideals of equality and true human dignity.

It all sounds so good. But where is this kind of thinking leading us? The sexual revolution of the sixties brought a flood of illegitimacy. Over twenty-six percent of the births in America now occur outside of marriage. The number of single-parent homes is skyrocketing. Millions of children are brought into the world without the benefit of a loving mother and father living in a committed relationship. Children growing up in single-parent homes are more likely to be 'at risk'.

The fact that this high sounding enlightenment has led to turmoil has biblical precedent. People can have deep spiritual experiences and not be true followers of God. It is possible for individuals to have special gifts and receive light from God regarding the Bible and yet remain unconverted. As in the secular enlightenment just mentioned, religious enlightenment is possible when people are on the road to destruction. It might even be called enlightened self-interest. But that's the problem; without Godly love, "it profits me nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3).
(also Mark 8:35-37 MacE smile.gif )

Contributed by Dr. Dennis J. Prutow
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Voice message and free tapes: 1-800-777-0389 [USA]

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Today's cassette is 282

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Ok, this is a test to see if anybody is actually still reading these posts. What do you think about this one? Are we "free" to show our "warts and imperfections" to each other? The world? Tell me what you think and why.

From Sermon Fodder and Joke A Day Ministries. To subscribe go to http://www.sermonfodder.com or drop an email note to [email protected] Please leave this attached if you forward this to friends.

Free to be honest!

A few Sunday mornings ago, I came out of the early service at my church
to find that my car battery had died. It was cold, stone dead. It didn't
even try to turn over the engine. Just the deafening silence.

You're thinking, "What a great place to have one's car battery go dead."
All those people who will help you and, if you need it, even pray for
you. If something is going to happen like that, best it happen with
Christians around. That's sort of like having a coronary in the lobby of
a hospital.

Are you crazy?

The last place (and you can trust me on this) you want your car battery
to go dead is in the church parking lot. You can't "cuss and spit"
(metaphorically speaking, of course). You can't kick the car. You can't
yell. You simply have to smile, look calm and pretend you're following
the Biblical mandate to "give God thanks for everything" (Ephesians

If you had been there, I would have impressed you with my calm, quiet
acceptance of this circumstance as from a sovereign God who is good and
good all the time. Everybody was concerned and I thanked them, and said
I would be fine. I was nice and very "Christian."

But, can we talk? I wasn't fine at all. In fact I was ticked; really,
really ticked.

I was thinking, "I would rather this happen in the parking lot of the
local motorcycle gang." I didn't feel nice, Christian or calm. I wanted
to kick the car, shout at someone (anyone) and spit. I wanted to sue the
guy who sold me the car and the company that made it. I wanted
to.....well, you get the idea.

A couple of church friends tried to help me "jump" the car with the
jumper cables in my trunk. That battery didn't even try. Then, another
friend tried his jumper cables with the same result. I was finally
forced to call AAA and have them send out a tow truck. All this time,
I'm up to my ears with Christians who were kind and nice. I hated it!

But there was hope. The guy who showed up to tow my car looked like a
member of the local rock band; tattoos, long hair, untrimmed beard and
an irritated look on his face. I thought, "And they say there's no God!
Thank you. Lord for sending me someone who will understand my anger and
my frustration, someone before whom I don't have to pretend to be nice."
I could hardly wait to get in the tow truck and "let her rip" with my
true, less-than- Christian sentiments.

"This your car?" the tow truck driver asked.

"Yeah," I said, trying to smile, "It's mine and I'm so glad you're

"Hey, man!" he said with the first smile he had shown, "I know your
voice. You're Steve Brown? Key Life? Right? Man, I listen to you all the

"Lord," I prayed silently (still with a silly grin on my face), "don't
this to me. I thought You loved me."

Now, let me move from a small incident to a very big point. I pretended
to be something I wasn't in the very places where I should have been
free to be honest. I put on my "Christian mask" around Christians and
thought that when a pagan showed up I could finally be honest about how
I really felt.

Is that warped or what?

The Apostle Paul would never have been able to play poker. Do you know
why? Because he was what he was and he couldn't hide it. You have to
pretend (i.e. bluff) if you're going to play poker and Paul just
couldn't do that. If he was angry it was quite clear that he was angry.
If he was hurt, he showed it. If he was in a really, really good mood it
showed in everything he wrote. He was honest about his afflictions.

'For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we
experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength
that we despaired of life itself" (2 Corinthians 1:8).

He was honest about his hurt feelings and felt he had to defend himself.
He was quite "in your face" and honest about his feelings of anger.

And, if Paul was in a good mood, he couldn't hide that either.

He wrote to the Philippians who had stood with him, "Therefore, my
brothers, whom I love and long for... Rejoice in the Lord always; again
I will say rejoice" (Philippians 4:1,4).

Do you know why Paul could be that vulnerable? God accepted him without
condition and, because of that, he wasn't driven to be something he
wasn't. In other words, God had ripped off Paul's mask and hugged him.
Paul said that he had been "crucified" with Christ and that the life he
now lived he lived "by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave
himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

I would like to blame my dishonesty on the folks at church. But, to be
honest, I'm a member of a church where people would have accepted me if
I had acted in a less-than-Christian manner. The church is a very open
and accepting place where grace is taught and lived.

I was protecting myself. What would they think if they saw me
frustrated, angry and kicking a car? After all, I'm a "religious
professional" and we have an image to maintain.

So I faked it.

The worst part is that Jesus told me I had to tell you. Now, I feel

So, the next time my battery goes dead in a church parking lot (or even
the parking lot of a motorcycle gang) you won't have to ask me how I'm
doing. I'll tell you clearly and then, probably, tell you to leave me

I may "cuss and spit," yell and kick the car in the safe and secure
knowledge that Jesus is fond of me.

You can do that too for the same reason. He told me to remind you.

Today's Daily Wisdom is by Steve Brown. Steve's Bible teaching is heard
on Christian stations nationally via the Key Life Network. For a
station near you go to www.keylife.org
If you are interested, there is more information about the
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Posted: 16-Feb-2005, 08:02 PM
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I, for one, enjoy your posts and actually look forward to them. This thread is flagged so I know when you post here. Some are hilarious and others are so poignant. Please keep posting.

As far as the imperfections, maybe. Appropriateness is sometime hard to gauge. But between family, I don't think it is much of a problem.


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Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer "am I worth dying for?" - Eleanor Roosevelt

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
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