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Connecting 61 Countries around the Globe

"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us,
and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to
visit us, and we only know them when they are gone."

~George Eliot, Pseudonym of Marian Evans,
Rank English Novelist (1819-1880)

May 19, 2003


"My Special Angel"


From the Inside Out...
Angelic Hospitality

Yes You Can!...
Boost Your
Immunity with Tea

Far Horizons...
Aitutaki Island

Links That Shine...
Joan Wester Anderson

Fascinating Facts...
Fast Food Picks & Pans

Laughing It Off...
Southern Style

Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Computer Ease

Look at That!...
Panting Off Pounds

Joyful Lifestyles...
Stoking the
Fires of Joy (1)


Uplifting World

BE the World
You Want to See!

We've all had moments of Angelic Intervention ... which have saved us from peril or brightened our existence. The more we acknowledge these magical occurrences, the more they'll feel 'invited' to return.

~ Chelle ~


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From the Inside Out"Two Angels"

As a college exchange student, John had been touring Germany, and had lost his way. By the time he found the bus station, it was dark and the last bus back to his hostel had gone. Now what to do? He barely spoke German, and was uncertain about currency and direction. As he walked to the door of the now-deserted depot, he noticed three unsavory-looking men following him, like foxes circling a chicken. Grimly, John clenched his fists.

Just then a car pulled up. "Jump in!" called a young woman in the front seat. John did. His rescuers, a friendly middle-aged couple, spoke English fluently,

"Two Angels" by Charles Francois Sellier

and agreed that it was fortunate they had happened to be passing the station when he needed help. But when John told them where he was staying, the woman looked doubtful. "That's on the other side of the city," she said. "We live in a different direction."

"Oh, drop me anywhere," John said quickly. "I don't want to take you out of your way."
"Why don't you just come home with us?" the man suggested. "We've plenty of room, and we can bring you back to the bus station tomorrow morning on our way to work."

John protested but the couple assured him he would be no bother at all. They seemed completely sincere. Weren't Europeans noted for being hospitable, perhaps more casual and trusting than North Americans? John felt calm, and decided that this too was part of his adventure, He would relax and enjoy it.

Their route became increasingly deserted into a forest on the outskirts of town. The stretch they now traveled was dark, surrounded on both sides by tall trees and dense vegetation. But this serene and attractive couple — by now Frieda and Hans — chatted comfortably, dispelling any doubts. John asked Frieda where they were, and she mentioned the name of the forest. "It's a bit on the quiet side," she told him, "but we love it here."

Eventually the car stopped in front of a charming house. Frieda and Hans escorted John to the kitchen; Hans whipped up a quick meal while Frieda arranged the guest room. The three of them sat comfortably together, eating and talking. John had never felt so warmly welcomed. John slept blissfully, enjoyed a tasty breakfast the next morning and rode with the couple all the way back to the bus terminal. "You've been wonderful," John told them as he got out of the car. "I'll never forget you." Quickly he scrawled the address Frieda gave him in his notebook — he would certainly keep in touch — and watched until their car merged into the busy traffic.

John returned to Canada, and immediately wrote a thank you note to Hans and Frieda. He was disappointed when they didn't respond, but he was busy with other things. Memories of the trip, and his special rescuers, receded.

The following December, John again vacationed in the same area of Germany. While there he told people of his previous encounter, only to be greeted by suspicious looks. "There's no house in that forest. No one lives there," people told him. But John was adamant. Finally, he drove to the post office that serviced the area where Hans and Frieda lived. On the way he recognized the deserted route, and the dense forest road.

But when he reached the post office, officials confirmed what John had already been told. The address he had written in his notebook was nonexistent. There was no house at all in the forest. Nor, to anyone's recollection, had there ever been. John's thank you note was never returned to him. He thinks his hosts received it — in one way or another.

~ Joan Wester Anderson

Where Angels Walk

True Stories of Heavenly Visitors

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Sun Wave Yes You Can!

Add germ fighting to the health benefits of tea. Sorry, java lovers — the crucial ingredient is in tea leaves, not coffee beans

The tea itself doesn't kill germs. Leave that to tea's extremely rich chemicals called alkylamines. Lots of germs also carry these chemicals. Could there be a link? A research team led by Jack F. Bukowski, MD, PhD, of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, took a look.

Sure enough, test-tube studies showed that alkylamines gave a big boost to some of the most important immune cells in the human body. Once these gamma-delta T cells saw them, they were primed to go after germs.

Next, a real test. Eleven healthy, non-tea-drinking volunteers drank five or six cups — about 21 ounces — of Lipton tea every day for two or four weeks. Another 10 non-tea, non-coffee drinking volunteers drank five or six cups a day of Nescafe instant coffee.

Both groups of volunteers donated immune cells before and after drinking tea or coffee. When the gamma delta cells from coffee drinkers saw pieces of germs, nothing much happened. In contrast, immune cells from tea drinkers went wild. Just two weeks after starting tea drinking, cells from seven of the 11 volunteers jumped into action soon after sensing germs.

This health benefit of tea may go farther than fighting germs. The same kinds of immune responses are important in fighting cancer.

Alkylamines aren't just found in tea. There are smaller concentrations in foods such as mushrooms, apples, and wine.

"These data provide evidence that dietary intake of tea and perhaps other vegetables and fruits containing alkylamine ... may prime human gamma delta T cells that they can provide natural resistance to microbial infections and perhaps tumors," the researchers write.

The study appears in an April, 2003 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

~Daniel DeNoon

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Far Horizons

Cook Islands
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Wafer-thin cays and far-flung atolls, white sand beaches and lush green volcanic mountains, a slow pace, friendly people —- what's not to like about the Cook Islands? Polynesian myth says that beautiful Aitutaki Island is a giant fish tethered to the seabed by a vine from the air. The light turquoise lagoon looks like a huge pale oyster against the vivid blue ocean. The first European to visit Aitutaki was Capt. William Bligh, who discovered it in 1789, a few weeks before he was set adrift in Tonga by the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty.

Travel ArchivesTravel Archives

Spiral LINKS

"Joan Wester Anderson "

Register yourself (or someone you love) to receive an Angel or Miracle Story of the Week ... It's like a "hug from heaven." Joan has published more than 1,000 articles and short stories in publications, including Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, and the New York Times Syndicate.


Fascinating FactsDrive-Thru Nutrition?

Healthy choices at fast-food restaurants are getting easier to find, but a new report shows the devil may lurk in the "deals". The study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) shows fast-food restaurants may be finding new ways to provide lower-fat, more nutritious options, but it's still much too easy to eat more than an entire day's worth of fat and calories in a value meal.

CSPI, whose previous reports raised eyebrows about the hidden fat and calories in movie popcorn, Chinese food, and Mexican foods, surveyed current offerings at popular fast-food establishments and picked the 5 best and worst dining options.

In the "Best" category, new menu items based on fresh, low-fat ingredients got raves for both taste and convenience. The top 5 picks were: ..Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad; Burger King Chicken Whopper Jr.; Subway's Low-Fat Subs; McDonald's Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait; and Burger King BK Veggie Burger

"The major fast-food chains are responding to consumer demand by adding foods that are both good for you and delicious," says Jayne Hurley, CSPI senior nutritionist, in a news release. "Fast-food salads like Wendy's are replacing boring iceberg lettuce with more interesting salads that don't taste like diet food."

Although Burger King garnered praise for two of its healthy menu items, it also swept the "Worst" category with the following items: ..Double Whopper with Cheese; French Fries; Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shake; Hash Browns; Burger King Value Meals. Researchers say the chain has the most fattening hamburgers and french fries in the industry and a Burger King Double Whopper Value Meal packs up to 2,100 calories, more than the total recommended daily calories for most people.

Registered dietitian Joan Carter says it's time to re-evaluate where the value is when it comes to making healthy food choices. She says value meals and super-sized portions are merely marketing tools and not designed to maximize nutritional value. Although pointing out dietary danger zones with reports like this is helpful, Carter says it's more important to develop a healthy relationship with food. "Labeling food as good and bad just feeds into this love-hate relationship that gives food too much power," says Carter, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "Food should be about giving joy and reinforcing connections with people, your ethnicity, and the joys of table," Carter states. "Eating through a drive-thru is not fulfilling what food is supposed to do."

~Jennifer Warner, HealthMSN.com

When and where were
the first eyeglasses made?

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Good Grits!

Laughing It Off

1.) True Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

2.) Only a real Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption, and that you don't "HAVE" them, —- you "PITCH" them.

3.) Only a true Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."

4.) Only a real Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is —- as in: "Going to town, be back directly."

5.) Only a true Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. (If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'!)

6.) A real Southerner knows that "fixin'" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

7.) Only true Southerners make friends while standing in lines. We don't do "queues", we do "lines," and when we're "in line," we talk to everybody!

8.) Only a real Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc. make up "a mess."

9.) Every true Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that redeye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

10.) No real Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

11.) When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin' ... ," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

12.) If something is really hard for a true Southerner to do, it's "like trying to herd cats."

13.) Only real Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it —- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

14.) Only true Southerners know how to recognize happiness —- "If things get any better, I may have to hire someone to help me enjoy it."

15.) All real Southerners, even babies, know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl on the middle of the table.

16.) When the weather's really parched in the south ... "It's so dry, the trees are bribing the dogs."

17.) And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart" and go your own way.

~Contributed by Geri Merrill - Image: www.Grits.com
Humor Archives

Untangling the Web

Penguin Programmer


Food Finder...
Wonderful topics: healthy recipes, fad diets, fast food, diabetes, food science, eating advice, obesity, and drinking water. The site also features links to other sites. For example, one link leads to a site about fast food and gives you the calories, fat grams, cholesterol, fiber etc. for each food item.


System Resources...
within System Tools under Accessories, can give you a constant overall measure. If you select this program, a small icon will appear on your toolbar that, hopefully, is green. If it's green, then you have lots of resources available. If it's yellow, then you might want to close some applications. If it turns red, then you must immediately close applications or risk losing data. Many times, Windows will just begin crashing. Be careful, if your resources reach yellow, it's very easy to go to red VERY fast.

Look at THAT!

Photo: Eriko Sugita /Reuters
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Puppies run on a doggie treadmill...
during a workout at a pet hotel in Tokyo. As Japan undergoes a pet boom and obesity among pampered dogs becomes a problem. On a recent day, a Shetland sheep dog named 'Disney' panted gamely on a tiny treadmill —- made specially for animals —- before a long soak in a bubbling Jacuzzi, its waters fragrant with a special concoction of tea tree and cypress oils combined with elements from a noted Japanese hot spring. ~Reuters


JoyJoyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights

One of our wonderful subscribers, Diane, who lives in St. George, Utah, shares with us these words of wisdom by David Spangler, called THE FIRES OF JOY. David is an internationally-known teacher, lecturer, writer and former codirector of a spiritual community in northern Scotland.

"Part of my spiritual practice is to "stoke the fires of joy." This seems to me especially important at a time when the antithesis of joy seems unleashed upon us and upon the world once again. There are many images I could use to describe what I feel here. One that comes to mind is of a lighthouse. When the storm breaks and all is fierce winds and lashing waves, it is a lighthouse that penetrates the darkness and keeps the ships from crashing into the rocks.

"There are many things in our world such as new diseases appearing and famine and pollution and starvation...the list goes on and on...that confront us with stormy inner seas and challenge us in our humanity. Yet, around all this and permeating it is the presence of what I think of as the sacred and it has power, too. Its power can be expressed individually or collectively, transpersonally or personally, consciously or unconsciously. Its power is rooted in love and in joy, the sheer joy of life, of engagement, of making connections, of being part of wholenesses larger than ourselves.

"I think of joy as an inner quality that is like medicine within the world. It has a healing and restorative, vitalizing and protective vibe to it. In the days ahead, the spiritual forces will be even more called upon for healing and grace, regeneration and blessing. They in turn are empowered by the inner "medicines" we supply, the joy, the love, the vision, the forgiveness, the gratefulness, the light that we can produce.

"I believe we forget the power of joy at our peril, for when we lose it, we can sink beneath the waves and become, to switch metaphors, breeding grounds for the very forces of despair and destruction, frustration and fear. We become part of the storm forces not part of the lighthouse."

Next week David offers two elements for embracing and maintaining joy in our lives ....

~ Chelle Thompson ~


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"The intent of Inspiration Line is to show What Is Possible By choosing new perspectives,
we can change ourselves from the inside out and improve our relationships, our community and our planet."

Editor . Chelle Thompson ~~~ Associate Editor . Geri Merrill

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