UpLIfts For Life – Thoughts On Life

The darkest day in life is the one in which we expect something for nothing. — Allen Shawn

Men can alter their lives. By altering their attitudes. — William James

Today’s Trivia: (scroll down for answer)
What was Hoss’s mother’s country of origin in Bonanza?
How old was Michael Landon when Bonanza began?

A New Word:
querulous \KWAIR-yuh-luss\ adjective 1 : habitually complaining *2 : fretful, whiningExample sentence:”Sally, I’m tired of waiting,” complained Grandfather in a querulous voice, his peevish expression revealing unmistakable irritation at the girl’s dawdling.

“It is by giving our whole hearts to the Master and keeping His commandments that we come to know Him. In time, through the power of the Atonement, our hearts are changed, and we can become like Him.” — Henry B. Eyring,

Simple Thoughts:
“God loves us. He is watching us. He wants us to succeed. We will know some day that He has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. If we only knew it, heavenly hosts are pulling for us–friends in heaven we cannot now remember who yearn for our victory. This is our day to show what we can do–what life and sacrifice we can daily, hourly, instantly make for God. If we give our all, we will get His all from the greatest of all.” — Ezra Taft Benson

My Philosophy:
When I need to regenerate my batteries, lift my mood or need help in finding a better attitude, I usually listen to music.Isn’t there a saying that “music soothes the soul or is it music soothes the wild beast”? Whatever, I think you may get my drift, especially if you enjoy the beauty of sound.Now it does help enormously that I happen to be an auditory individual who very rarely enjoys stillness or absolute quiet “for me music definitely soothes my soul!

”There are many, marvelous forms that music takes, and the trick is to find the sounds that soothe or motivate you personally. I would suggest you get “your soul music” and play it in the car, in the house (we have CD players all over the place!) – just play it and really listen to the words or the sounds, thereby letting it take over your whole being.

You really need to HEAR the sounds to let the healing take over.I often marvel at the absolute brilliance and talent composers, singers, and musicians bring to this world, a great gift that truly is there for all to enjoy and benefit from.Believe me, finding your very own soul music will do wonders for your image “happy hunting!”

My Strange Humor:
Q: How many believable, competent, “just-right-for-the-job” presidential candidates does it take to change a light bulb?

A: It’s going to be a dark 4 years, isn’t it?

Scientists have discovered a food that suppresses sexual desire. It’s called “Wedding Cake.”

There are more important things in life than money – but they won’t go out with you if you’re broke.

Trivia Answer:

The darkest day in life is the one in which we expect something for nothing. — Allen Shawn

Have a great week and enjoy every breath you take.

Gil Howe

UpLifts – Old Isn’t All So Bad – Thinking Quick

‘Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people
stealing things from my shed Well, you don’t have to worry about them
now because I’ve just shot them.’ Then he hung up.


(not that any of you are old )

George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi was going up to bed when his
wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she
could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go
turn off the light but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked ‘Is someone in your house?’ and he said
‘no’. Then they said that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply
lock his door and an officer would be along when available.
George said, ‘Okay,’ hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again.

‘Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people
stealing things from my shed Well, you don’t have to worry about them
now because I’ve just shot them.’ Then he hung up.

Within five minutes three police cars, an Armed Response Unit, and an
ambulance showed up at the Phillips’ residence and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said to George: ‘I thought you said that you’d shot them!’
George said, ‘I thought you said there was nobody available!’

I LOVE IT – Don’t mess with old people!!

David and Goliath

There is a popular story in the Old Testament, the story of David and Goliath. David, whose name means ‘beloved’ or ‘my beloved,’ enters the story as a rosy-cheeked teenager, the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse.

David and Goliath

There is a popular story in the Old Testament, the story of David and Goliath. David, whose name means ‘beloved’ or ‘my beloved,’ enters the story as a rosy-cheeked teenager, the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse. When Samuel came among Jesse’s sons searching for Israel’s new king, no one took David seriously enough to even send for him at first. And even after he was anointed, the incident seems to have been discounted by David’s family: ‘David, a king? — ah!’Later, when Israel went to war with the Philistines, it was David who was left behind to tend the sheep.One day Jesse sent David with food and supplies to the battlefront in the valley of Elah some ten miles away, to find out also how his sons were doing.

David left the sheep in the hands of a keeper, and made the journey. He arrived among the men just as Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, walked out into the valley between the two contending armies. For forty days the two armies had been at a standoff, and everyday, twice a day, Goliath would come out and taunt and insult the armies of Saul, calling for them to send out a man to fight. I guess rather than the two armies to fight, it was a custom of the time for the champion of each army to fight, and let the victor of their fight be the victor of the cause. But no one dared challenge Goliath, and who can blame them? According to our present text, Goliath stood over 9 ½ feet tall. His armor weighed in around 150 pounds. The staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, while the head of it weighed somewhere between 12 and 26 pounds.

He was a part of the feared race of the Anakim and a warrior trained from his childhood.Well, David heard the blasphemy of the giant and was incensed, especially when the armies of Israel around him cowered in fear.”… who is this uncircumcised Philistine,” he said, “that he defy the armies of the living God?”(1 Samuel 17:26)When David’s brothers heard him, they were angry and scolded him for pride, naughtiness and neglect of his duty at home. David’s words reached the king, and David was brought before Saul.”Let no man’s heart fail because of him;” David said, “thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.””… Thou are not able to go against this Philistine … ,” Saul said, “for thou art but a youth …”(1 Samuel 17:33)David pleaded for the chance to fight.

Finally — finally the king said, “… Go, and the Lord be with thee.” (1 Samuel 17:37)When David entered the field, Goliath was insulted that they would send a mere boy. Her cursed David by his gods, and threatened to feed his flesh to the birds.David’s response to the giant allows us a glimpse into his great heart, wherein was the source of his power. He said, “… Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts … This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; …”(1 Samuel 17:45-46) Enraged, the giant charged, David rushed to meet him, drawing from his shepherd’s purse as he went a smooth stone, which he slung with a practiced aim. When he released that stone, it flew true and buried itself in the forehead of the giant, dropping him to the ground. David ran, pounced on him, drew out the massive sword, and with it slew the arrogant Philistine.

The horrified Philistine army scattered with Israel in hot pursuit. It was not just a victory; it was a rout.I love this story. It proves to me that if the cause is just, and there is faith in the God of Israel, what does it matter who scorns you or insults you? Now, why do I tell this story? Well, there are a lot of beloved ruddy-cheeked youth to them I say, ‘Welcome to the field, David. Goliath is waiting.’ Adapted from 1 Samuel 16-17
Glenn Rawson — June 1998

UpLifts – What Happened To Our States?

Do you know the Preamble for your own state’s constitution? This is quite interesting. It is an important commentary on what happened to our states when they pushed God out.

Alabama 1901 , Preamble . We the people of the State of Alabama , invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution.

Alaska 1956, Preamble . We, the people of Alaska , grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.

Arizona 1911, Preamble .. We, the people of the State of Arizona , grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution…

Arkansas 1874, Preamble . We, the people of the State of Arkansas , grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government…

California 1879, Preamble . We, the People of the State of California , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom.

Colorado 1876, Preamble . We, the people of Colorado , with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe.

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut , acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.

Delaware 1897, Preamble . Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.

Florida 1885, Preamble . We, the people of the State of Florida , grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution….

Georgia 1777, Preamble .. We, the people of Georgia , relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution…

Hawaii 1959, Preamble . We , the people of Hawaii , Grateful for Divine Guidance . Establish this Constitution.

Idaho 1889, Preamble . We, the people of the State of Idaho , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings..

Illinois 1870, Preamble . We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil law, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble . We, the People of the State of Indiana , grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.

Iowa 1857, Preamble We, the People of the State of Iowa , grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings ! establish this Constitution

Kansas 1859, Preamble . We, the people of Kansas , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.

Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties…

Louisiana 1921, Preamble We, the people of the State of Louisiana , grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.

Maine 1820, Preamble. We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity … And imploring His aid and direction.

Maryland 1776, Preamble We, the people of the state of Maryland , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty…

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble . We…the people of Massachusetts , acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe .. In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction . Hey Ted Kennedy what happened to your state?

Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom establish this Constitution.

Minnesota , 1857, Preamble . We, the people of the State of Minnesota , grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:

Mississippi 1890, Preamble . We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Al mighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.

Missouri 1845, Preamble . We, the people of Missouri , with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness .. Establish this Constitution .

Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution ..

Nebraska 1875, Preamble . We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom . Establish this Constitution.

Nevada 1864, Preamble . We the people of the State of Nevada , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V . Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.

New Jersey 1844, Preamble . We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

New Mexico 1911, Preamble . We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty

New York 1846, Preamble . We, the people of the State of New York , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.

North Carolina 1868, Preamble . We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those

North Dakota 1889, Preamble . We , the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain…

Ohio 1852, Preamble . We the people of the state of Ohio , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble . Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty … establish this ..

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences…

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble We, the people of Pennsylvania , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble . We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

South Dakota 1889, Preamble . We, the people of South Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience…

Texas 1845, Preamble . We the People of the Republic of Texas , acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.

Utah 1896, Preamble . Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.

Vermont 1777, Preamble . Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other

Washington 1889, Preamble . We the People of the State of Washington , grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution

West Virginia 1872, Preamble . Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ..

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble We, the people of Wisconsin , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility

Wyoming 1890, Preamble . We, the people of the State of Wyoming , grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties … establish this Constitution.

After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe, the ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong! If all these states only practiced what they had originally intended from the beginning.

UpLifts – Do You Know Your Country?

How well would you do if you took the citizenship test. Try this out – it is educational and fun. 24 out of 30 is considered a passing grade. I understand that 96% of all High School Seniors FAILED this test…AND if that’s not bad enough, 50+% of all individuals over 50 did too!! Why should we WONDER why America’s in the shape she’s in?

Click on link below.

The Citizenship Test

UpLifts – Wow – Have You Forgotten too?

Independence? Have You Forgotten?

“Are we fighting a war on terror or aren’t we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation’s capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn’t they?

And I’m supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was “desecrated” when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don’t. I don’t care at all.

I’ll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns him self in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I’ll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

I’ll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg ‘s head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I’ll care when the cowardly so-called “insurgents” in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I’ll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I’ll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don’t care.

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured; I don’t care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the Bank; I don’t care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed “special” food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being “mishandled,” you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts; I don’t care. And oh, by the way, I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s spelled “Koran” and other times “Quran.” Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and -you guessed it – I don’t care!

“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” — Ronald Reagan

I have another quote that I would like to add.

“If we ever forget that we’re One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” also by Ronald Reagan

One last thought for today:

In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the anti-American sentiment and negativity, we should remember England ‘s Prime Minister Tony Blair ‘s words during an interview. When asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America , he said: “A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in… And how many want out.”

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The American Marines and our G. I.’s.
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom..

Have You Forgotten?

UpLifts – Red lights flashing.

State Trooper

I have a question for you – something I want you to think about. What kind of a father is God? How does He work with His children? What’s His ‘style of discipline?’ – if you will. Well, I hope this story will illustrate a point.

Not long ago, I was driving across a busy Idaho highway in a truck. It was a beautiful morning, and I was thoroughly enjoying it. Now, part of that particular highway is posted with a 55 mile-per-hour speed limit. The other part is 65. I – I thought I was on the 65 mile-per-hour part. I – I wasn’t, but I was driving like I was. There I was clipping along taking in the scenery enjoying the day, just – just loving life, when suddenly I passed an Idaho State Trooper. I didn’t give him much thought. I mean, why should I? I was legal – wasn’t I? No sooner had I passed him than my CB radio came to life, causing me to jump.

“Hey, Handy,” a deep voice said.

“Yes,” I answered.

“You’re going 69 miles-per hour.”

I laughed nervously, “Yes.” I – I knew who it was.

And then he said with kind of a drawl, “You have an extra $53 you don’t know what to do with?”

“No,” I said. “I’ll keep it.”

“55 will do just fine,” he said firmly.

“Okay, thank you.”

Then you could almost see the grin on this officer’s face as he added, “You owe me.”

“That I do,” I said, “that I do.” And I went on my way down the road, relieved and chuckling to myself. And you know, I obeyed that speed limit for the rest of the day.

Now that patrolman: He could have really taken it to me. He had every right. I was clearly in the wrong; I was breaking the law. He could have pulled me over, chewed me out, inspected my rig, cited me, and a host of other things if he’d have [a] wanted to. But he didn’t, and at least for my case, he didn’t have to; it wasn’t necessary. I’m pretty conscientious about obeying traffic laws. All I needed was a gentle reminder.

Now we are not perfect. All of us break the laws of God. And you know if God wanted to, He could be pretty harsh. Now He could – He could ‘really’ be harsh! But He’s not that way. For those of us who are trying, He doesn’t need to. His style of discipline doesn’t do radical surgery when a hug and a band-aid will do just fine. He’s kind, He’s gentle, and He’s persistently persuasive with reminders. In fact, a line from a hymn comes to mind, and to me it says everything about the parenting style of Heavenly Father. It says, “How gentle God’s commands. How kind His precepts are.”

From thoughts and stories of Glenn Rawson

UpLifts – Road Trip

Road Trip

Recently, I experienced what could only be called a sensory adventure. I began that day standing on the lush green banks of the North Platte River near Glenrock, Wyoming – old Pioneer Trail. The river ran slowly and was rife with birds and life, and vegetation – beautiful!

Then, I headed west crossing the Wyoming’s high desert near[ly] 6000 feet in elevation. It was hot and unbelievably dry! The vegetation out there was sparse low growing sage and bunch grass. It was as opposite from the North Platte as anything you can imagine, but the contrast was the beauty! It was in a place such as that that Moses and Abraham found their God.

Well, as I rolled on west, I climbed 3000 feet up into the mountains. I rolled down my window and caught the rich wonderful aroma of Pine and Fir. I pulled over close to the summit of Togwotee Pass and walked about 200 feet off the road into the trees. I was swallowed by the forest, and from then on all I heard were the sounds of nature: scolding squirrels, singing birds, creaking trees. I stood atop a high bluff, and I could hear the unique sound of the descending mountain stream below me. Now I love music, but there are few compositions that can compare with that.

I looked down, and there at my feet noticed the last drops of a recent rain trapped in the trough of Lupine leaves. I knelt down. The rich alpine soil was as soft and fluffed as a pillow. I offered a quick and quiet prayer. As I did so, the sun came out and felt like an oven-warmed blanket on my back. With my eyes closed, I became conscious then of a gentle breeze sweeping up the mountain. It was like a cooling caress.

I moved on. Down the mountains I went into Jackson Hole. As I journeyed south through the valley, the Tetons loomed off to my right. I can see why the early explorers called them the “Pilot Knobs.” Any traveler within eyeshot can get his bearings if he’ll just look up. Maybe that’s why God created such things – so we would look up once in a while, think higher, and be inspired by something besides the worldly and mundane. The Tetons? – you had to see it! They were shrouded like ancient Sinai in dark storm clouds, adding all the more to their mystery and majesty. I couldn’t get enough.

Then it was on through the Snake River Canyon and along the South Fork where the river rafters and fisherman like to play. It is this river where sunlight so often sparkles off that water to make one think it is a river of diamonds.

And then, from the palisades above Palisades Reservoir, I stared down with appreciation noting how the water, usually blue, reflected now the iron gray of the thunderstorm above it.

Well by now it’s late in the day, and I was almost home. Coming along Interstate 15, my window down, when all of a sudden I caught the sweet musty smell of curing alfalfa. I was back to my childhood on the hay crews. I noticed as I drove on the patchwork quilt of fields, some green and others ripening shades of yellow.

Just before I reached home, I passed through the lava rocks on the Arco Dessert and caught the distinct smell of rain-soaked juniper and sage – mm! And then I was home, and glad to be there.

Now, in case some of you think that I’ve been up in my truck too long, may I remind you of the word of the Lord, “The fullness of the earth is yours,” He said, “All things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart. Yea for food and for raiment, for taste, and for smell, to strengthen the body and enliven the soul.”

‘Tis the season, my friends, for a road trip! Sure, gas is expensive! But what costs more? – gas, or discouragement, boredom, and misery. The Earth is a gift of joy and life. It’s yours. Go get some – now!

Glenn Rawson – July 27, 2007

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