UpLifts – I Choose to Forgive

I Choose to Forgive

You know, without an assurance of God’s presence and a knowledge of His plan for us, life can become at best a guessing game, and sometimes at worst a cruel joke. If you think about it, it’s as though whom we know and what we know strengthens us to face what we don’t know.

Gretchen’s teenage son, Tommy, left their home one night to go to a dance with two of his friends. While enroot their car was hit by a drunk driver. The driver of the boy’s car was killed instantly. Tommy was taken to the hospital.

Gretchen, his mother, stood by Tommy’s hospital bed. Numerous tubes connected him to machines that worked to save his life. A small bandage on Tommy’s left knee was the only visible evidence of injury, but unseen Tommy’s life hung in the balance as he struggled to overcome the severe injury to his brain and spleen.

As Gretchen looked at her son lying in the bed, she realized that there were those who would justify her anger and bitterness. Slowly she let the anger come, until in boiled into fury! Her throat tightened, her breathing became rapid, and her hands clenched into tight fists.

“How could anyone do this to him?” she thought.

Then the feelings began to subside as her imagination carried her away to future holiday scenes – birthdays with cakes and candles, Thanksgiving tables spread with food, and a Christmas tree surrounded by gifts and people singing. Strangely though, all these merry scenes lacked any color, warmth, or joy.

It was then by the Spirit that Gretchen was given to understand that if she chose not to forgive the man who hurt her son, this was how her life would be – no color, no warmth, no joy.

She made her decision: It was to forgive. Peace filled her soul as the Spirit of God welled up within her. A desire to forgive filled her soul, and there at Tommy’s bedside she prayed for the blessings of God upon the man who had injured her son.

Well, Tommy died! But Gretchen’s resolution did not – never did. A few days later, she wrote a letter to the man who had killed her son “… hoping,” she said, “that he would accept our complete forgiveness.” She explained to him that her family had been blessed with understanding and peace. Because of their knowledge and belief in life after death, they knew that Tommy and his friend still lived, and that life could go on.

Now, may the Lord bless us with a desire to better know Him – a fervent desire, a burning desire – and to come to know better the principles of His plan of happiness so that come what may in this uncertain life we too will have the strength to go on, and the peace to find joy. The true joy of forgiving will bring peace both to the victim and to the offender. Have a great week and learn to turn the other cheek.

Adapted from “I Chose To Forgive,” by Gretchen Knecht Clark

UpLifts – Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge

Not long ago I mentioned in one of my stories that my family took a vacation to Yellowstone Park. An experience from that vacation keeps coming to mind. So if you don’t mind, I’d like to share it.

One night my daughter, Sherise, and I were walking side-by-side on the boardwalk through Norris Geyser Basin. All around us were the boiling pots of Yellowstone. Now, we’d read the signs going in telling us that those boardwalks were there for our own safety, and that we’d better stay on ‘em.

As we strolled along, Sherise suddenly stepped out on the very edge of the boardwalk, and began a sort of balanced walking still holding my hand. Well, I jerked her back into the middle of the boardwalk.

“But, Dad,” she protested, “I want to walk on the edge.”

I — I couldn’t resist. Seeing an opportunity to teach, I said, “Do you know what that means?”

Now, the look she gave me told me that she had no clue what I was talking about. I explained to her that ‘walking on the edge’ is what some people call ‘living on the edge.’ It means they’re always flirting with danger. They push the limits of safety, seeing just how far they can go and just how much they can get away with.

Now, all the while I’m explaining this, Sherise is still out there dancing on the edge. I could see that she’d heard me, but the message hadn’t registered. So while she skipped merrily along, I sidled over — and with a quick jerk on my hip I bumped her off the boardwalk near one of the hotpots.

“Dad!” she protested indignantly.

Well, she scrambled back up before she got caught walking where the law said she shouldn’t. She gave me one of those looks that’s hotter than the water she’d been standing by.

When she was back up beside me, this time interestingly enough in the middle of the boardwalk, I said, “Now, why shouldn’t we walk on the edge?”

“‘Cause you might fall off,” she said.

“Now, do you understand?” I said.

She nodded her head, and you know for the rest of the trip I never again caught her walking on the edge. And you know, for the rest of her life — I hope I never do.

Whether we’re speaking of our physical safety or our spiritual health, it is the same. Walking or living on the edge is dumb and dangerous. It wouldn’t be so bad if Satan weren’t walking right by us, but he is. He’s just waiting for us to get out on the edge.

Now, don’t be fooled. Satan’s not a guy in a red suit with little horns and an attitude. He’s real! His hatred is real, and his vigilant opposition is constant. If we live on the edge, sooner or later — and it’s not an ‘if,’ it’s a ‘when’ — he will push us off into forbidden territory. And I assure you — the pain and the effort it takes to get back once we’re off is just not worth the risk or the thrill.

And one last thing: For those who find themselves already off the boardwalk and trying to get back, thank God we have a Savior with an outstretched hand.

Glenn Rawson — July 1998

UpLifts – Dates with Destiny

Dates with Destiny

I care not for any theory that makes me an evolutionary end product, a random accident of nature, or some kind of mutated monkey.

My friends, we are the children of God, born of love with purpose in our being. The day of our birth, our life’s mission, and the day of our death are planned and prepared by our loving Father. All of His designs are for our greatest happiness. Yet — you know, sometimes we fail to recognize that the obstacles of our present course can be a shadowed pathway to greatness. And if we’re not careful, we may in our kickings and flounderings ruin Heaven’s plans for us. The Almighty has given us that privilege.

This reminds me of a very talented young man many years ago who almost missed his eternal appointment. You see, he was elected to congress at the tender age of 32, becoming its second youngest member. He quickly distinguished himself in what were then very turbulent times. Well, congress adjourned, and he went home for much needed rest. But while at home, tragedy stuck. His 18-month-old daughter Jane suddenly died. Stricken with grief, he returned with a heavy heart to his duties in congress.

His wife, however, became very low until he begged leave to go home and care for her. He worried about her constantly. As he made preparations to return to congress, his mother died unexpectedly at he age of 57. Now the weight of it all reduced him, and he was incapacitated for weeks with terrible headaches.

And then, after he returned to congress, he learned that his home-state of Virginia was writing a new constitution. Considering that, that was a work of greater import than anything going on in congress, he wanted to be there. There was perhaps no man more qualified with learning, truth, and pen to contribute to such an undertaking as Virginia’s new constitution. He tried to get himself called home to participate, but no invitation was forthcoming. So, reluctantly he remained behind in congress worried about his ailing wife, but attentive to his responsibilities. And well for us that he did.

You see, within just a few weeks this junior member of congress would be called on to speak for his country in her greatest national decision. He would write these words:

“These united colonies are and of a right ought to be free and independent states.”

It was the Declaration of Independence — and that reluctant congressman, Thomas Jefferson. No one in 1776, including Mr. Jefferson, had any idea how deeply his eloquence would change this world.

So keep on track and do that which you know to be right in your heart and you will find your purpose as well. Have a great week.

Inspiried by Glenn Rawson writings.

QUESTION: Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the “OTHER SIDE” of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his CURRENT problems before adding NEW problems.

Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

That chicken crossed the road because he’s GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

Did the chicken cross the road?
Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes, the chicken crossed the road,
but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

To die in the rain. Alone.

In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

JOHN LENNON (x-Beatle) :
Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

To go from a poor America to an affluent America. “Hey chicken, if you get hit by a vehicle, call me, I am a great attorney.”

I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never mailto:cra..#@&&;^( C \ …. reboot.

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

I invented the chicken!

Did I miss one?

Where’s my gun?


Mitt Romney Not Our “Pastor-in-Chief”

Nancy French Wednesday, May 23, 2007

There’s a question I’m often asked by my closest friends and casual acquaintances alike: “How could a committed Christian like you support a Mormon for president?”

I get that question a lot as co-founder of the Evangelicals for Mitt organization – especially now that Rev. Al Sharpton has apparently taken it upon himself to question the validity of Mitt Romney’s faith.

In fact, the news that I’m supporting Romney for president recently brought one of my Christian friends to tears – she couldn’t understand it.

The mainstream media often seems as incredulous as my friend. They maintain that Romney has no chance in the Bible-Belt, due to the differences between the Mormon faith and mainstream Christianity. However, my emotional friend’s reaction notwithstanding, the media have it wrong.

Let me explain why. To paraphrase Jerry Falwell, I wouldn’t want Gov. Romney as my Sunday school teacher, but that’s not the office he’s running for. The fact is, we’re not electing a “Pastor-in-Chief.” Voters who care about traditional values are smart enough to keep that in mind.

In countless conversations with Southern evangelicals, here are the questions asked most frequently: Can Evangelicals and Mormons really work together and trust each other? The fact is that in spite of our theological differences, Christians and Mormons are already political allies. In fact, if Mormons weren’t consistently more conservative than their evangelical neighbors, Al Gore would be America’s president now – instead of his newfound role as the earth’s “weather psychic.”

Does believing “Mormon stuff” make Romney gullible? All religions require leap of faith that appears silly to outsiders. If a reporter questioned me about my religion, he’d raise an eyebrow over my belief that Noah was a floating zookeeper, that Jesus was the best sommelier in Galilee, and that he paid taxes with coins from a fish’s mouth.

No one belongs to the Church of the Scientific Method, so religion falls outside normal reasoning. Gov. Romney’s beliefs certainly require faith – including his quite miraculous notion that Jesus is his personal Savior.

In my experience, evangelicals loathe religious litmus tests, ever-since Democrats tried to disqualify Christian and Catholic judges because of their beliefs. And as far as gullible goes, well, don’t forget: Mitt Romney has two Harvard degrees.

Is America ready for a Mormon president? If someone asked me whether I’d support a “former alcoholic,” a “divorced Hollywood actor,” or a “Southern Baptist,” I’d pick the “Baptist” every time. However, when actual names are associated with the traits, I’d pick the former alcoholic (George W. Bush) or actor (Ronald Reagan) over the Baptist (Bill Clinton) faster than you can say “Lewinsky.”

The point is, individual personalities matter. As America learns more about Gov. Romney, his political triumphs will overshadow his religion. For example, after brazen judges legalized homosexual “marriage,” he stopped Massachusetts from becoming “gay Las Vegas” by refusing to marry out-of-state gay couples.

He also erased a $3 billion dollar debt without raising taxes, and has forcefully advocated pro-life positions. In other words, the question isn’t whether we’re ready for a Mormon, but are we ready for this Mormon.

What about Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee? John Mark Reynolds wrote that “my faith in the holiness standards of Baptists survived Clinton and my belief in their sanity survived Carter, though that was a closer call.” But Gov. Huckabee doesn’t deserve to be tainted by the dubious political legacy of recent Baptist leaders – i. e. Clinton’s moral failure, Carter’s weak foreign policy, Johnson’s social programs, and Gore’s use of the word “lock-box.” Evangelicals evaluate candidates on their political-merits and don’t vote for the “most Christian” person on the ballot. (Note the Oval Office absence of Alan Keyes.)

Doesn’t theology matter? Of course it matters! If a candidate belonged to the “Church of Killing Canadians,” to use an absurd illustration, voters would rightly ask whether he planned on invading Canada and stealing their moose. Some theologies do lead to flawed political decisions. But Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity have common moral and, therefore, political values.

In fact, the only difference between a Mormon and a Presbyterian at a cocktail party is the Mormon isn’t getting a chardonnay refill. Perhaps someone less scandalous than Ward Cleaver is just what a Mark Foley/Ted Haggard fatigued nation needs.

How many “first ladies” will Mitt bring to the White House? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gave up polygamy in 1890. In fact, the polygamists and their bun-wearing wives on Dateline are as realistic a portrayal of Mormons as mountain-dwelling snake handlers are of evangelicalism. Romney’s been married to the same woman for 38 years – while Rudy Giuliani walked down the aisle three times, John McCain twice, and Newt Gingrich three times. As Kate O’Beirne recently noted, the only GOP frontrunner with one wife is the Mormon.

Are you really a Christian? Please: I’ve eaten countless unidentifiable casseroles at potlucks and I’ve sung “Just As I Am” 73 million times. I just so happen to support Mitt Romney for President – in spite of our theological differences. I happen to think it’s more “Christian” to give the man a fair shake, than to pave the way for candidates without a commitment to social issues.

I’m apparently not alone – donors in Tennessee gave more money to Romney than any other candidate. Plus, he beat all current GOP candidates in straw polls in Memphis, Washington, D. C., and even Greenville, S. C. He’s also garnered endorsements by prominent evangelicals like Jay Sekulow, Mark DeMoss, and Hugh Hewitt.

Most importantly, though, the mere mention of his name makes the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the mainstream media break out into hives. That, of course, is enough to make any evangelical put aside theological differences, and take notice.

This comes from Nancy French is co-founder of www.EvangelicalsforMitt.org and the author of “Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle”

Crabby Old Man/Woman

Crabby Old Man/Woman

What do you see nurses? ……… What do you see?
What are you thinking…… when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man, ….. not very wise,
Uncertain of habit …….. with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food……. and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice…..”I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice ….. the things that you do.
And forever is losing …… a sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not……….. lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ……. the long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?……. Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse…… you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am ……. as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, ……… as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten…… with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters ……. who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen ……….. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now. ……….. a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty ………. my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows…….. that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now ………. I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide ……… and a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ……… my young now have grown fast,
Bound to each other ……… with ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons …….. have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me…….. to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, ……….. babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children ……… my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me ……… my wife is now dead.
I look at the future ………….. I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing ……… young of their own.
And I think of the years…… and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man……… and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age ……. look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles………. grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone…….. where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass …… a young guy still dwells,
And now and again ………. my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys………….. I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living…………. life over again.

I think of the years……..all too few, gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact……. that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people ………. open and see…
Not a crabby old man. Look closer……see…….. ME!!

Percentages Are All Relative


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are
giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%.
How about achieving 101%?
What equals 100% in life?

Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help
you answer these

Questions: If

Is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


1+ 20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

AND, look how far the love of God will take you

L- O- V- E-O-F-G-O-D

12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:
While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close,
and Attitude will get you there, it’s the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Have a great over the top day!

Gilbert Howe

UpLIfts For Life – Thoughts


Just what kind of a cat was the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland? (answer below)

Something To Think About!

“You have to recognize when the right place and the right time fuse and take advantage of that opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities out there. You can’t sit back and wait.” –Ellen Metcalf

“Practice being excited.” –Bill Foster

“Each day the world is born anew for him who takes it rightly.” –James Russell Lowell

Word of the Day:

munificent \myoo-NIH-fuh-sunt\ (adjective) 1 : very liberal in giving or bestowing : lavish *2 : characterized by great liberality or generosity
Example sentence: The Walford-Smythe family bestowed a munificent endowment upon their beloved alma mater, contributing more than a million dollars to the college.

A Little Philosophy


Meaning: The followers of a leader will take advantage of his absence for their own needs.

Different languages have variances on this proverb, but the meanings are all the same. The French say, “When the cat runs on the roofs, the mice dance on the floors.” The Spanish and Italians say, “When the cat is not in the house, the mice dance.” The Germans say, “Cat outside the house, repose for the mouse.”

Most of us are familiar with this saying in terms of the workplace, often said when the boss is out. Rules tend to be more lax, spirits more jovial.

Acknowledge your mistakes:

“I have made mistakes but I have never made the mistake of claiming that I never made one.” –James Gordon Bennett

“Admitting Error clears the Score / And proves you Wiser than before.” –Arthur Guiterman
“They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance.” –Edmund Burke

Not every thing that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin


Never trust a grinning cat like the one Alice encountered. He’s probably just trying to distract you while he picks your pocket. And if he disappears, leaving only the grin, as he did when Alice met him, he’s probably picking both pockets.

In reality – a condition quite scarce in Alice in Wonderland – there is no such feline as the “Cheshire.” It has been suggested that Lewis Carroll, Alice’s creator, got the idea from Cheshire cheese, once sold in England in the form of a cat that seemed to be grinning. Another theory holds that the grin without the cat represents mathematics, Carroll’s profession – abstract and otherworldly, at best a wispy outline of things corporeal. “I dunno.” My cat not only grins, but also laughs hysterically. But only at his own jokes.

“Independence forever!”

July the 4th, 1776 was, of course, a most momentous day for every American. The delegates of the Second Continental Congress having voted to seek independence just two days earlier now came together on the 4th to declare by the written word their independence from England. Remember these words?

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

That’s what Thomas Jefferson had written. For 20 days during the month of June in 1776, he had labored to craft every word of that declaration. Now his written work sat before the committee of the whole Congress as they debated his simple, yet eloquent expressions. Remember these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights: that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I don’t believe any of those men assembled could have ever comprehended the immortality that awaited those words. For his part, Jefferson sat painfully while the delegates argued, debated and altered his words. Yet, with dignity, the Virginian said nothing. It was the aging Benjamin Franklin who sat by him and attempted to administer a bit of comfort.

But John Adams — John Adams did not sit in silence during the debates. He fought for every word of the Declaration as Jefferson had written it, every expression of its sentiments. In the end, it was accepted for the most part as Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin had proposed it. The changes made in the Declaration of Independence from Jefferson’s original “were minor and served to improve it.”

One change I think you might find worthy of note. At the end of the document, the Congress as of whole added these words:

“…with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence”

Well, the Declaration went forth and was eagerly received, and out of its inspired doctrines a new nation emerged that fulfilled the Latter-day purposes of the Almighty.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams stood by the Declaration of Independence all the rest of their lives.

Jefferson’s last letter said the following:

May [the Declaration] be to the world, what I believe it will be, the signal of arousing men to burst [their] chains…and assume the blessings and security of self-government.”

Adams last words to the subject were much more direct:

“Independence forever!” He cried spiritedly.

And now this: 12:50 p.m., to the distant sound of celebratory bells pealing in the valley below, the Master of Monticello, Jefferson, departed this mortal life firm in the conviction that he would live again in another.

Far to the north in Quincy, Massachusetts, at 6:20 p.m. “A final clap of thunder…shook the house; the rain stopped and the last rays of sun of the day broke through dark low-hanging clouds, bursting forth with uncommon splendor” just as the great heart of John Adams stopped beating.

The date of passing for both of these noble warrior patriots was July 4, 1826, fifty years to the day of the Declaration of Independence. On the same jubilee day, The Pen and The Voice of Independence were called home by Almighty God. A coincidence? — Not on your life, liberty, or happiness!!!!

Glenn Rawson — June 2006

Remember The Signers

The Signers

“…And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Those words were not rhetoric for a speech for the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Of those 56 men who signed it, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died; twelve had their homes sacked, looted, and occupied by the enemy.

For example, Thomas Nelson Jr. at the Battle of Yorktown had his home taken over by the British General Cornwallis. Nelson quietly urged General Washington to open fire on the home anyway. It was destroyed. Nelson died a pauper.

Nine of the signers died in that war, and two lost their sons to it.

Carter Braxton, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas. He died in rags.

Thomas KcKeen was forced to move his family five times in five months to hide from his enemies. While his family hid from the British in abject poverty, McKeen served in Congress without pay — oh, for men like that today!

Francis Lewis’ home and possessions were seized, and his wife imprisoned where she died a short time later.

And perhaps the most touching story of all is of the signer John Hart, who was driven from his wife’s bedside as she lay dying. Their thirteen children had to flee for their lives as well. For over a year Hart lived in caves and in the forest. After the surrender, he returned to find his wife dead, his children gone — thirteen children, and every one of them vanished! John Hart died a few weeks later of a broken heart.” (Lund, The Freedom Factor, Deseret Book, 1987, p. 101)

I believe, that if the opportunity was given to us to face each of them and ask them if the price they paid was worth it, I believe there would be a unanimous and a resounding “Yes.”

It has been said that the single most important word in the English language is “Remember.” Oh, may God grant that every citizen in America will never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom.