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"We not only live among men, but there
are airy hosts, blessed spectators, sympathetic
lookers-on, that see and know and appreciate
our thoughts and feelings and acts."
Henry Ward Beecher, Abolitionist & Clergyman (1813-1887)
December 8, 2003
"And the Angels Sing"
From the Inside Out...
Yes You Can!...
Enjoy the Holidays
Phnom Penh Palace
Links That Shine...
Wigs for Kids
Just for YOU ...
Discovery of the Week
Our Brains Are
Laughing It Off...
Kids Write to God
Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Look at That!...
A Cow's Best Friend
Dismantling Our Walls
You Want to See!
The more we bless miraculous events in our lives, the more
they will occur. Sometimes even guardian angels need a "green
~ Chelle ~
From the Inside Out
pre-Christmas snowstorm had blanketed a wide patch of rural
eastern Pennsylvania, and Chris Clark Davidson probably should
have waited until the roads were plowed before she, her mother
and her two small sons attempted a drive. But Chriss
grandmother lived alone over a hundred miles away, and couldnt
get out to buy groceries. Well be fine,
Chris reassured her mother. Well take that shortcut
that we use all summer.
found the shortcut, and turned onto it. Chris had forgotten
how narrow the road was, especially with drifts piled high,
and wind blowing snow across the fields. Usually chatting
on previous drives, neither woman had noticed how deserted
the area was. When another vehicle roared around a curve,
Chris swerved, and skidded into a snowbank. The other car
wheels spun uselessly as she tried to pull out. Mommy,
are we stuck? toddler Phillip asked, from under his
blanket in the back seat. Looks
that way, honey, Chris admitted. They had only seen
that one car since theyd turned onto the shortcut. How
long would it be before someone came along? How long before
the freezing temperature invaded the cars interior?
And why, oh why, had she worn SANDALS and pantyhose instead
of warm boots?
got out, her feet plunging into a high drift, and looked around.
Lord, please send us some help, she prayed. Then she saw it
- a silo and barn roof peeking up from the hills, about
a quarter-mile away. Mom, Chris leaned in the
car, Ill walk down to that barn and see if anyones
there. Keep the kids warm.
journey was incredibly cold, and by the time Chris pushed
open the barn door, her feet were icy. A welcome blast of
heat greeted her, along with the mooing of heifers in their
stalls. It was a working dairy, clean and well organized,
with a shiny window fan circulating the air. Even better,
Chris heard young male voices behind a stall. Maneuvering
around fresh manure, she followed the sound and came upon
two farmhands in overalls and flannel shirts, kidding and
teasing each other. They stopped and smiled when they saw
her, and quickly she explained the situation.
here! one said, tramping past the cows and out the door.
A few moments later, Chris heard a horn honking in front of
the barn. There he was, driving a blue pickup truck. Get
in! he shouted. Chris hesitated. She didnt know
these men. And yet there was something so merry about them
that she couldnt feel afraid. She and the other farmhand
scrambled into the pickup, and bounced down the road. There
was the car, her toddlers bundled up and Mom waving. The driver
roared across the field, spun in a wide circle and screeched
into position in front of it. Way to go!
his buddy yelled. Chris
gripped the seat. Do you always drive like this?
she asked, only half joking. The driver shrugged. Well,
it aint our truck.
minutes, the men had freed Chriss car, and she opened
her purse to reward them. But both backed away. It was
our pleasure, Maam. Just drive safely. Not
like you, Chris grinned as she pulled away. But they had been
didnt realize just how wonderful until two weeks later
when she and her mother decided to make a return visit to
her grandmother. Since the snow was almost melted now, the
short cut was safer. Soon the silo and barn roof came into
view. Let's stop and let the guys know we made it to
Grandmas that day, Chris suggested. But when they
pulled up in front, where Chris had climbed into the blue
truck, she could hardly believe her eyes.
the barn was vacant, shabby, with paint peeling and door hinges
hanging loose. Bewildered, Chris wiped away a heavy film of
dirt and cobwebs on the milk house window and peered inside.
Where were the heifers, the floors littered with fresh manure?
Even the fan was rusty. You couldnt have seen
any farmhands or cattle there, the woman at the next
house told Chris. No ones worked that property
got in the car. Am I crazy, Mom? she asked. No.
Her mother was firm. This is definitely the place.
? Suddenly Chris understood, and like the shepherds
at that first Christmas, she was filled with awe. Her angels
had worn blue jeans instead of white robes.
Joan Wester Anderson © 2003
True Stories of Heavenly Visitors
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MAKE A DIFFERENCE EACH DAY
AT NO COST TO YOU WITH FIVE HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS....
THE HOLIDAYS (Part 2)
week we present the remaining ten ways to make your holiday
season joyful and more meaningful this year:
Promise to teach
a new skill to someone in January, example:
a child to ride a bike or an older person to use a computer.
Force fruit blossoms: plant a sprig of plum, apple or
lilac in wet sand December 1st. Place it in a sunlit window
and water regularly. December is about waiting, so keep watching!
Look through the snapshots you took last summer.
Add funny captions and send to friends instead of cards.
Go as a family to help serve a meal at a homeless shelter.
Place a candy cane and a handwritten greeting at each place
setting. Talk about the experience on the way home.
Visit a nursing home with the whole family, including
the family pets. Practice in advance some questions to ask
and some jokes or poems to share.
Declare one night a week as "family work night."
Make this a time for baking cookies, creating and addressing
greeting cards, singing carols, doing a craft project.
Reach out in friendship to forgotten persons in your
community. Invite them to go with you to see the holiday
displays in store windows or a live nativity. Or invite them
to attend a worship service or a concert or to watch a TV
special with you.
an international student or family to
tell about holiday celebrations in the country they come from.
Mark your calendar for a date in January when you will connect
with this person(s) again.
Take someone who can no longer drive for a ride to see
the holiday decorations around town.
Make a few changes this year, add more the next. That
way, you'll gradually build a tradition of simpler, less stressful
celebrations that everyone in the family can enjoy.
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THE JOY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
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GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS TO FRIENDS & FAMILY
PHNOM PENH PALACE
capital of Phnom Penh still retains an undeniable charm despite
its tumultuous past. The Royal Palace was built in 1866 by
the French, not far from the banks of the Tonle Sap river.
At the northern area of the palace grounds is the Silver Pagoda.
The name of the pagoda derives from the fact that its floor
is made of more than 5,000 silver blocks weighing more than
six tons. In the south part of these grounds is the villa
of Napoleon III. This villa was built in 1866, not in Cambodia,
but in Egypt. There it served as French Empress Eugenie's
accommodations during the opening of the Suez Canal. One year
later Napoleon III gave the villa as a gift to the Cambodian
"Wigs for Kids"
Wigs for Kids is a not-for-profit organization providing hair
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to chemotherapy, alopecia, burns and other medical conditions.
They welcome donations of any kind. Their main purpose is
to help children look themselves - alleviating additional stress due to lack
of understanding among their peers.
Just for YOU ...
DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK
for the World's Most Important Gifts
The idea behind Heifer
is similar to the notion that it's better
to teach a man to fish so he can feed himself
than to give him a fish that will feed him just
once. One animal could eventually benefit an
the goats arrived, there was such an excitement
in the house and enthusiasm to look after them.
Their offspring have given us milk and improved
the appearance and the health of our children.
We were so excited to pass on the gift to another
family. I still follow-up and visit this family
as we have become friends. Actually, we are
even closer than that, as though related, because
we were able to give them a gift."
Lily Daka, Zambia
OUR BRAINS ARE INDEED DIFFERENT
Could He Be Thinking?: How a Man's Mind Really Works
combines two decades of neurobiological research with anecdotes
from everyday life, plus social philosopher and author Michael
Gurian's experience as a family therapist, to present a new
vision of the male psyche. Culture plays a part, but Gurian
argues that biology matters much more than previously realized.
The science has been crucial. Wherever I go, I start by
showing PET scans and people can see for themselves the differences
between the male and female brain. I think that alters life
and marriages, Gurian says. The UC Irvine PET scans
shown here indicate that an emotional film sparked activity
in the left amygdala (which processes memories for
emotions) of female brains, but in the right amygdala
of male brains.
The male brain secretes less of the powerful primary bonding chemical
oxytocin and less of the calming chemical serotonin than the
female brain. So while women find emotional conversations
a good way to chill out at the end of the day, the tired male
brain needs to zone out all that touchy-feely chatter in order
to relax which is why he wants the remote control to
zap through the TV channels. His brain takes in less sensory
detail than a womans, so he doesnt see or even
feel the dust and household mess in the same way.
Gurian says his book is aimed mainly at women. Men get
this already. They are living this brain but they dont
have the conscious language to explain it. Women are not living
it. If they are relating to a man, I hope they will be touched,
informed and entertained and will have a new vision of the
way they can make their relationship work. I beg people to
go back to nature, look at the PET scans, look at the brain
differences and see if it makes sense.
If it does, the consequences could be profound for women brought
up to believe it is men who must change, and men who must
respond to a female way of relating in order for marriage
to succeed. Gurian says men CAN learn new skills and alter
their behavior, but they will not necessarily be able to meet
all of womens expectations. Most people believe
that marriages break up because men and women are not close
enough. But what I am learning about the brain leads to the
idea of 'intimate separateness', in which the brain seeks
less intimacy at times, Gurian said. People want
to love each other. If we can learn who we might be
not what is he thinking, but what could he be
thinking then I am optimistic.
What's the story on Mistletoe?
Click for Answer
KIDS WRITE TO GOD
God, Please put another holiday between Christmas and
Easter. There is nothing good in there now. -Amanda
Mr. God, I wish you would not make it so easy for people
to come apart. I had to have 3 stitches and a shot today.
God, I like the story about Chanukah the best of all of them.
really made up some good ones. I like walking on water, too.
God, My Grandpa says you were around when he
was a little boy. How far back do you go? -Dennis
God, Do you draw the lines around the countries?
If you don't, who does? -Nan
God, Please send Dennis Clark to a different
summer camp this year. -Peter
God, I keep waiting for spring, but it never did
come yet. What's up? Don't forget. -Mark
God, It is great the way you always get the stars in the
right place. Why can't you do that with the moon? -Jeff
God, You don't have
to worry about me. I always look
both ways before I cross the street. -Dean
God, Is it true my dad won't get into heaven
if he uses his golf words in the house? -Anita
God, If you watch in Church on Sunday I will
show you my new shoes. -Elaine
God, I am doing the best I can.
~Contributed by Diane in St. George, Utah
Untangling the Web
WHAT A SITE!
Mighty Hot Gift Buying...
By analyzing the e-shopping habits of consumers in a variety
of categories, MightyHot is the ultimate destination for the
shopper who wants to know the answer to one question: What's
hot? (Contributed by Jean in British
Closing a window...
You can close the current window that you are viewing
by pressing CTRL+W.
COW'S BEST FRIEND
Scientific name: Bubulcus (Egretta) ibis
The very rare Cattle Egret in
is about half the size of the Great Egret. It has a definite
reddish crown and stringy top feathers, with a red back stripe.
When immature it is all white and can be confused with other
small egrets or herons. A distinguishing characteristic is
that it tucks its neck in close to the body in flight, rarely
extending it; another, of course, is that this egret sits
on the back of cows looking for insects.
terrific gift to ourselves this season would be to shift
out of irrational beliefs like If this happens,
then Ill be happy or Someday my prince
will come, then Ill be happy and
replace them with the belief that I CHOOSE to make
HAPPINESS my priority. This is the situation, how can I
perceive it so I am happy? Most peoples
perception of difficult situations softens over time anyway;
so why don't we simply choose to shorten that time
this process, it's important for us to begin dismantling
our self-restrictive walls and patterns from childhood.
Each time we were hurt or disappointed as a child, we put
up an emotional wall as protection. That emotional wall
traps the original energy of the pain, anger or sadness
inside us and keeps our love from getting out and other
peoples love from getting in. When old feelings behind
those walls suddenly express themselves and cause us to
overreact, we experience emotional flashbacks. These flashbacks
can influence us to form personal meanings that may be distortions
of what actually exists. In Woody Allen's film Deconstructing
Harry, this occurrence is profoundly described when
Woody's therapist tells him: You expect the world
to adjust to the distortion you have become.
beliefs often originate from childhood perceptions. We developed
these beliefs based on how we interpreted early experiences.
As young children we had limited experience and, therefore,
took our interpretations as absolute truth. Suppose my parents
had very exacting standards. My response to these standards
may have been to try to be perfect. Blaming my parents for
my perfectionism would be a natural assumption. But, suppose
I had a brother or sister who had no interest in perfection.
In fact, sloppiness and laziness were their claim to fame.
Same parents, different interpretations. So, I cant
blame my parents for my perfectionism ... I have
to take responsibility for my interpretation.
that responsibility doesnt mean blame. It simply means
we made a choice at an early age about how to interpret
our experiences ... perhaps the best choices we could make
at that time. Since WE chose our INTERPRETATION, we can
change our mind and make another choice now we can
create new, positive experiences to heal the old pain.
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor ~
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WITH YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY
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
Editor . Chelle Thompson ~~~ Associate Editor . Geri Merrill
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