"Be strong and of good courage,
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

"Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land"
Proverbs 25:25

Think about the last that you received some good news.
Regardless of the particulars, do you remember how you felt?
Good news can change our outlook
and diminish the difficulties and anxieties we face daily.

Think about this Good News !
Jesus not only conquered death for us,
but He is now at the right hand of the Father speaking on our behalf!
Could you ask for a better advocate?
Just think of it, Jesus speaking your name, lovingly, to the Father.
This week remember...the Gospel is good news everyday!
-Chris Olsen

Right Now...

  • somebody is very proud of you.
  • somebody is thinking of you.
  • somebody is caring about you.
  • somebody misses you.
  • somebody wants to talk to you.
  • somebody wants to be with you.
  • somebody hopes you aren't in trouble.
  • somebody is thankful for the support you have provided
  • somebody wants to hold your hand.
  • somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
  • somebody wants you to be happy.
  • somebody wants you to find him/her.
  • somebody is celebrating your successes.
  • somebody wants to give you a gift.
  • somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
  • somebody hopes you're not too cold, or too hot
  • somebody wants to hug you.
  • somebody loves you.
  • somebody admires your strength.
  • somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
  • somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
  • somebody wants to go out with you and have a lot of fun
  • somebody thinks the world of you.
  • somebody wants to protect you.
  • somebody would do anything for you.
  • somebody wants to be forgiven.
  • somebody is grateful for your forgiveness.
  • somebody wants to laugh with you.
  • somebody remembers you and wishes that you were there.
  • somebody is praising God for you.
  • somebody needs to know that your love is unconditional.
  • somebody values your advice.
  • somebody wants to tell you how much they care.
  • somebody wants to share their dreams with you.
  • somebody wants to hold you in their arms.
  • somebody wants YOU to hold them in your arms.
  • somebody treasures your spirit.
  • somebody wishes they could STOP time because of you.
  • somebody praises God for your friendship and love.
  • somebody can't wait to see you.
  • somebody loves you for who you are.
  • somebody loves the way you make them feel.
  • somebody wants to be with you.
  • somebody wants you to know they are there for you.
  • somebody's glad that you're his/her friend.
  • somebody wants to be your friend.
  • somebody stayed up all night thinking about you.
  • somebody is alive because of you.
  • somebody is wishing that you noticed him/her.
  • somebody wants to get to know you better.
  • somebody wants to be near you.
  • somebody misses your advice/guidance.
  • somebody has faith in you.
  • somebody trusts you.
  • somebody needs you to send them this letter
  • somebody needs your support.
  • somebody needs you to have faith in them.
  • somebody will cry when they read this.
  • somebody needs you to let them be your friend.
  • somebody hears a song that reminds them of you.
  • --Author Unknown


A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully, and before it blossomed, he examined it.
He saw the bud that would soon blossom and also the thorns.
And he thought, *How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?*
Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and before it was ready to bloom, it died.

So it is with many people.
Within every soul there is a rose.
The God like qualities planted in us at birth growing amid the thorns of our faults.
Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects.
We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us.
We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies.
We never realize our potential.

Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them.
One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns and find the rose within others.

This is the characteristic of love,
to look at a person, and knowing his faults, recognize the nobility in his soul, and help him realize that he can overcome his faults.
If we show him the rose, he will conquer the thorns.
Then will he blossom, blooming forth thirty, sixty, a hundred- fold as it is given to him.

Our duty in this world is to help others by showing them their roses and not their thorns.
Only then can we achieve the love we should feel for each other;
only then can we bloom in our own garden
-Author Unknown

"Godís hand is personally involved in every aspect of our lives; but often we forget that truth."
Click here to read some truly inspiring words on"Hands" by Pastor Richard L. Rice and you will be encouraged today to know that God is ever near to help you at all times
with whatever you are facing.

blue rose"A BLUE ROSE"

Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox.

So off I went.I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old.
I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there.
This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled, as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by.
His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"
"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.
"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."
"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.
"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"
"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.
"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school.
I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention.
He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son.
She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.
I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness.
You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"
Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."
She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your head and walk off.
Take the time to smile and say Hello.
Because, if not for the grace of GOD, this person could be you.
Or, this could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew.
What a difference a moment could mean to that person or their family.

dandelionFrom an old dandelion!
"Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!"
--Author Unknown

I was in New York the other day and rode with a friend in a taxi.

When we got out, my friend said to the driver,
"Thank you for the ride. You did a superb job of driving."
The taxi driver was stunned for a second.
Then he said, "Are you a wise guy or something?"
"No, my dear man, and I'm not putting you on.
I admire the way you keep cool in heavy traffic."
"Yeah," the driver said and drove off.

"What was that all about?" I asked.
I am trying to bring love back to New York," he said.
"I believe it's the only thing that can save the city."
"How can one man save New York?"
"It's not one man. I believe I have made that taxi driver's day.
Suppose he has 20 fares. He's going to be nice to those 20 fares because someone was nice to him.
Those fares in turn will be kinder to their employees or shopkeepers or waiters or even their own families.
Eventually the goodwill could spread to at least 1,000 people. Now that isn't bad, is it?"
"But you're depending on that taxi driver to pass your goodwill to others."
"I'm not depending on it," my friend said.
"I'm aware that the system isn't foolproof so I might deal with ten different people today. If out of ten I can make three happy, then eventually I can indirectly influence the attitudes of 3,000 more."
"It sounds good on paper," I admitted, "but I'm not sure it works in practice."
"Nothing is lost if it doesn't.
It didn't take any of my time to tell that man he was doing a good job.
He neither received a larger tip nor a smaller tip.
If it fell on deaf ears, so what?
Tomorrow there will be another taxi driver I can try to make happy."

"You're some kind of a nut," I said.
"That shows how cynical you have become.
I have made a study of this.
The thing that seems to be lacking, besides money of course, for our postal employees, is that no one tells people who work for the post office what a good job they're doing."
"But they're not doing a good job."
"They're not doing a good job because they feel no one cares if they do or not.
Why shouldn't someone say a kind word to them?"

We were walking past a structure in the process of being built and passed five workmen eating their lunch.
My friend stopped.
"That's a magnificent job you men have done.
It must be difficult and dangerous work."
The workmen eyed my friend suspiciously.
"When will it be finished?"
"June, a man grunted.
"Ah. That really is impressive. You must all be very proud."
We walked away.
I said to him, "I haven't seen anyone like you since The Man From LaMancha."
"When those men digest my words, they will feel better for it.
Somehow the city will benefit from their happiness."

"But you can't do this all alone!" I protested. "You're just one man."
"The most important thing is not to get discouraged.
Making people in the city become kind again is not an easy job,
but if I can enlist other people in my campaign. .... ."

You just winked at a very plain-looking woman," I said.
"Yes, I know," he replied.
"And if she's a schoolteacher, her class will be in for a fantastic day."

--Victor Lim Fei

"Encourage one another while it is still called Today."

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band, he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take his body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window.
The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue. . . .There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared,is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.
--Author Unknown

"The Initiative Against Despair"

"Rise, let us be going." Matthew 26:46

The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake,
and when they realized what they had done it produced despair.
The sense of irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say:
"It is all over now, it is no use trying any more."
If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken,
it is a very ordinary human experience.
Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing,
then we are apt to sink into despair;
and it is then that we can believe that Jesus will come and say:
"Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it,
BUT...ARISE! and go on to the next thing."

Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ,
and go out into the irresistible future with Him.
There are experiences like this in each of our lives.
We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities,
and we cannot lift ourselves out of it.
BUT! Jesus can.
Remember...the disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing;
they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus,
BUT... He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said:
"Arise and do the next thing."

If we are inspired of GOD, what is the next thing?
To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.
Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action!
--Oswald Chambers


One hundred years from now,
it will not matter what kind of car I drove,
how much I had in my bank account,
nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a little better
because I was important in the life of a child.

Lord, make me like the tree
that stands in my backyard.
It questions not its purpose
Though the rains are hard.

Lord, I want to be that tree
When the winds blow fiercely away
How it stands so firmly
While the branches gently sway.

Lord, could I ever be that tree?
With its roots stretched far and deep
Seeking only something good
For its life to keep.

Lord, I'll try to be that tree
Who does not toil or spin
Yet You trim its branches
And make it new again.

Perhaps you too can be a tree
One firmly rooted in the ground
One who always remains the same
No matter who is around.

A tree is such a simple thing
Depending wholly on its care
From the master gardener
Who picked its place with care.

We too are like the trees
Put just where we belong
By the God who made this earth
And is He ever wrong?

Learn a lesson from the tree
And see what to you it will bring
For once a year they shed the old
Because they look forward to spring.

Be a springtime blossom
As on a flowering tree
The old is gone, the new is here
If you choose to let it be.

©Laura Jae Marcin 4/22/99
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