Heaven as written by a 17 Year Old Boy
This is excellent and really gets you thinking about what will happen in Heaven.
17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. "I wowed 'em," he later told his father, Bruce. It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote." It also was the last.
Brian's parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager's locker at Teays Valley High School in Pickaway County
Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them, notes from classmates and teachers, and his homework. Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen's life. But it was only after Brian 's death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven.
It makes such an impact that people want to share it. "You feel like you are there," Mr. Moore said.. Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.
The Moore 's framed a copy of Brian 's essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it," Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. "I'm happy for Brian . I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him.
" The Room."
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings.
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at."
Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents Often there were many more cards than expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived.
Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I have watched," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me.
One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards...
But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.
And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes... No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.
No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own.. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes.
Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.
Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, and so alive.
The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."
I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written..
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
I Am Enough
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
CREATING A NEW POSITIVE BELIEF SYSTEM
by Mark Victor Hansen
It is because of your belief system that you are where you are in life right now. You have created your success or failure with the beliefs that you have established within yourself.
Most people would be astounded to know how many of their beliefs are based on lack, limitation, and shortage—and that these thoughts reproduce themselves directly into their life experiences.
You owe it to yourself to think only of unlimited prosperity, because abundance IS reality. There is no lack, no shortage. There are no limits except for those we impose on ourselves. Prosperity doesn’t start with someone or something outside of you.
Get the picture yet? Your success or failure begins and ends with you.
Getting Better Results Starts with Thinking Bigger!!
Go beyond the confines of human thought into the realms of imagination and possibility.
Wow! Think about that for a minute. What you think and what you believe determines your success or failure.
Your conscious mind is a powerful thing. What you concentrate on comes back to you—multiplied. Your mind is a source of unlimited, overflowing abundance—and its manifestation into the physical world depends on your thoughts and beliefs. Your belief in the possibility or impossibility of a situation determines the outcome. If you don’t believe in the possibility of success, it’s just not going to be possible.
So, how do you replace your old, self-defeating belief system with a new prosperity-focused belief system? Start from within. Delete any “can’t do” beliefs you may have lurking deep inside, and start believing that you CAN.
But simply eliminating old beliefs is not enough. You have to replace them with new positive ones, because something must occupy that empty space. Remember, the universe abhors a vacuum, so choose something positive to take its place.
The second step is to stay away from the “can’t do” people in your life. If you can’t avoid them totally, then don’t get infected with their negativity. Give yourself a “prosperity booster shot” by remembering that the beliefs and opinions of other people do not have to become your reality. Someone is always going to try to tell you it’s not possible. You have to train your mind to block out these negative words.
Every time you hear a “you can’t—it’s not possible” say “NEXT!” to yourself and flip back to your new way of thinking. Tell them that you have moved forward, and that old, negative way of thinking has no place in your life. If they can’t accept the new you simply stop discussing your goals with them. Stay focused in your new mindset and become a joyful example of what happens when you believe in yourself and what’s possible. Think big and prosperous and you’ll get big, prosperous results. Think small and lacking and you’ll achieve just that. The choice is yours.
“Our inner image of ourselves and what we want to accomplish in life makes us become what we were meant to be.”
Mark Victor Hansen
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I have been awarded the Sunshine Blog Award by Melanie from Oh Where Does the Time Go? Melanie’s blog inspires me to keep working for the causes I believe in. Check it out here: http://musings-by-melani.blogspot.com/
I’m so honored because I try to keep things uplifting, thought provoking and informative. Thank you so much!
Following the rules of acceptance, I need to name 12 blogs where I find inspiration - here are the rules...
1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award.
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
My Rays of Sunshine:
http://www.boo-bahslittlesunshines.blogspot.com/ I really like Iris’ Wordless Wednesdays. Beautiful photos
http://www.crochetinsider.com/ Some of the most beautiful crochet you will ever see
http://jeffbeals.wordpress.com/ For those of you who are starting your own blogs, organizations, etc, the concept of personal branding is highly important
http://www.blisstree.com/kettleandcup/ This blog is always fun
http://livingawoohoolife.blogspot.com/ This blog is always uplifting and leaves me in a better frame of mind for the day
http://drcrew.blogspot.com/ In my efforts to become more aware of how my thinking affects my actions, this blog is a great help to me
http://mosway.blogspot.com/ Beautiful photos as a spiritual practice
http://thehungryhousewife.blogspot.com/ If you need some cooking inspiration, this is a great little place
What You Need to Know If Your Bank Fails
If it seems that more banks are closing this year than normal, you are absolutely right. Since January 2009, 106 banks and 19 credit unions have failed in the U.S. That's more than four times the number of closings in 2008. It's the most since the big savings and loan crisis of 1992. As grim as these statistics may be, you should not worry about your bank or credit union provided it is FDIC- or NCUSIF-insured.
In the unlikely event that your bank should hang a "Closed" sign on the front door, here's what you need to know:
SEAMLESS TRANSITION. Closures typically occur on a Friday afternoon. In most cases, another bank takes ownership. Other than a different name on the front door, it should be business as usual on Monday morning. Your ATM card, debit card and checks will continue to work until the new bank ownership issues replacements to you.
WHAT IS COVERED. Checking accounts and Certificates of Deposit up to $250,000 are protected. As long as you are not over that limit, your money is safe.
WHAT IS NOT COVERED. Money in mutual funds, annuities, stocks, bonds or other investments that were purchased through this bank are not covered through an insured bank or credit union. If you have a safe deposit box, the contents are not covered by FDIC or NCUSIF insurance. The bank that takes over will allow you to access your safe deposit box so you can retrieve your possessions. If no other bank takes over and the FDIC takes ownership, you will receive a letter instructing you how to get your things from your box.
WORST CASE. While usually another bank will take over the failed bank, that is not a guarantee. If there is no takeover, the FDIC uses its insurance fund to make good on all customer accounts, up to the $250,000 limit. The law says that these payments must be made as soon as possible. Typically, this is just a matter of days. However, you need to be prepared for a few days to become more than a few days if many banks fail at the same time. While this is not a reason to panic, it is wake-up call for all of us to have a stash of cash available in a secret place that is not the bank. You need to be prepared to keep food on the table and gas in the car without access to your account funds.
Call your bank or credit union right now. Confirm that your deposits are insured. Check on the limits. If you have money in several accounts, make sure you have not exceeded the $250,000 limit.
ONE LAST THING. Prior to 2008, FDIC insurance was $100,000. It was increased to $250,000 to improve consumer confidence. The increase, however, was not permanent, and it could return to $100,000 in the future.
While a bank failure is a terrible thing, it should not be devastating to its depositors.
Source: Everyday cheapskate NL
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I have written here for awhile so I think an update is long overdue.
The Lenten and Passover season are upon us so things are busy with spiritual reflection, renewal, and tradition. Always a beautiful time of year and fun too since the Midwest tradition of church fish fries began last Friday.
For the unfamiliar, fish fries are usually done by the men in the Catholic church and are used as a fundraiser during the church year. Everyone seems to have their favorite church for these things, but the tradition involves standing in line with a few hundred of your neighbors, coolers full of your favorite beverage, free beer (if you're so inclined) with your dinner, usually a few prominent people sightings, bingo and a great sense of community. One of our personal favorites is St. Pius X, which has a pasta feed instead of a fish fry and beer cheese sauce!
The quarter ends this week and I have successfully completed another class, despite a few challenges. Mostly, the challenges involved plagiarism on the part of the professor and I turned her in for it. She was doing a horrible disservice to the students and possibly costing them their financial aid. All's well that ends well and she liked my paper "Do You Mind" which dealt with the positivity movement and its cookie cutter approach to affirmations, etc.
The nonprofit now has a registered tradename, Persons Becoming and the logo appears above. I've always been touched by the Heart in Hand icon symbol used by the Shakers. It is purported to mean charity, given from the heart. I have been comparing the needs that foster care alumni say they had upon ageout and making up a chart that shows which programs meet those needs, etc so that I can see where the gaps exist and begin crafting a response. I have been asked by the Foster Care Alumni of America to help craft research guidelines so that when someone makes a research request, the intention of the request is clear and doesn't cause emotional harm to alumni.
I've been sitting on the Empowerment Network foundation, which responds to the challenges facing our city by having law enforcement, elected officials, educational officials, hospitals, drs., gang interventionists, prison officials, etc work together to influence legislation and city ordinances. Right now, our city is facing very high rates of gang violence. I'm trying to make a difference. Very interesting stuff.
David is still very busy with his Masonic activities and will be even more so shortly since he sits on the maintainence committee (fundraising arm) of the Omaha Home For Boys.
So. . .that's what trouble we've been getting into. How about yourselves??
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
by Ron White
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a poem on success. One of his measures of success in that poem was to, “Leave the world a bit better.” That line has always stuck in my head. Emerson said you have succeeded if you leave the world a bit better. I have made that line part of my life philosophy. When the tide goes out, there is a mark where the water was. When the waters of life recede from the shore of my being and my heart pumps for the last time, my desire is that there will be a mark where I stood. My aim is that the mark will say, “For some decades, a man occupied this space that saw others more important than himself and made an effort to leave the world a better place for them and those yet to come.”
Our society tells us that success is measured by bank accounts, power, beauty and wealth. These are often the result of hard work, luck or birth. They are not evil and I strive for some of them daily. However, they are not the marks by which I will measure the success of my life.
So how do you do it? How do you “leave the world a bit better?”
- Give a percent of your income away to a charity or church. This makes your community better.
- Save a percentage of your income to pass down to your family when you leave.
- Volunteer your time for those who are less fortunate. Are you volunteering anywhere?
- Mentor someone who needs a positive direction in life.
- Follow and get involved in politics. Our laws and leaders will determine the future. You can have a hand in that future.
Or you can amass as much wealth as you can, spend it as fast as you can on the fading desires of your heart and seek to please yourself first. Our culture might tell you that this is success. Emerson tells us that it is not. I encourage you to realize that the waters of your life will eventually withdraw from the shore. When it does, will there be a watermark?
Ron White is the nation's #1 Memory Expert and is one of the top in the world.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The Veteran ~ Author Unknown
He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.
And 'tho sometimes to his neighbours
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.
He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?
The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.
While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.
It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys,
Went to battle, but we know,
It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?
Or would you want a Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.
He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."
It's been a while since I've written so think it's time for an update:
I'm doing OK, walking every day and getting to the Y when my schedule allows. Swamped under finals prep (last day is on the 25th) so I have term paper editing, etc, gearing up for next quarter (starts March 11th) which will be Intro to Human svc, doing lots of footwork for the nonprofit and being involved in the community.
There have been upper level mgmt layoffs at work, none of which affect me too much but it's still a distraction. That's the news from my side of the fence.
Monday, February 1, 2010
All photos copyright Paulissa Kipp @ 2010
If you're as tired of winter as I am, come on a little virtual vacation with me.
Saint Cecelia is the patron saint of music. The Festival features interpretive works of art, music, and floral design with a different theme each year. This year marks the 25th annual festival.