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by Art 2013

A father watched his little girl run through the back yard, chasing fireflies. Running and jumping trying to catch one. Pamela laughed as she run toward another firefly that had just lit up then as soon as she got to them they disappeared. Finally in her persistence she jumped up and grabbed at the night sky and as she landed, there in her hands was a tiny firefly.

“Daddy, I caught one.” Pamela ran back to where her father sat and opened her hand. There in her tiny palm was a firefly. “Can I keep it?” She asked with excitement.

“Sure, go get a jar,” Her father said. Pamela ran into the house while her father held the little insect in his hand. His daughter ran back with a little glass jar in hand. They placed the firefly in the jar and twisted the lid on. Her father took his pocket knife out and cut little holes in the top, allowing air to seep into the jar.

“I’m going to catch another one.” Pamela blurted as took off toward the back yard and began her pursuit of more fire flies. It wasn’t long till she came back with another, then another. It wasn’t long and she had half a dozen fireflies. Pamela then took the jar of fireflies and held it in front of her as she walked around the back yard using it for a light so that she could see.

Eventually she came back to where her father sat and she held the jar up high to see the lightning bugs a tad better. “These little bugs will help me see better..” Pamela said.

“That’s right,” her father said. “Just remember this, just by being themself, some one or something can light the way for others.”

moral: just by beeing ourselves we light the way for others


have a quality day


 Consider the story of David and Saul. Pay attention to the spear.

Saul was the king. He had a promising start, but began to fall short of his responsibilities. David was king-in-waiting, a man after God’s own heart. He was young, courageous, and principled. Saul was jealous of David. Public opinion for David was on the rise, and Saul was beginning to hate him. One day, Saul threw his spear at David, trying to pin him to the wall. David took the hint and ran away. David and his friends had to live as fugitives while Saul hunted them down. One would have thought that David would take every opporunity to find Saul and exact his revenge.

Finally, the opportunity came. Saul and his army were camped in a field with Saul protectively placed in the middle. God caused a deep sleep to fall over the camp so that David was able to enter and move right to Saul’s position. David’s officer made it clear by saying, “Today God has handed your enemy over to you. Let me thrust the spear through him into the ground just once. I won’t have to strike him twice!” Remember, that was the same spear that Saul had thrown at David earlier. But David knew that it was wrong to kill a man who had been anointed by God. He believed that God would one day bring him justice. He only took Saul’s spear as proof of what he could have done. He used it to show Saul that he wasn’t an enemy. He even gave the spear back at the end.

Eventually, God did take care of the situation. In a heated battle against the Philistines, Saul found himself all alone. Knowing that the end was near, he killed himself. How did he do it? He fell on his own spear. Yes, the same spear with which he had tried to kill David. It was the same spear that David borrowed from the camp – the spear with which David refused to kill Saul. That spear represents Saul’s crime, David’s self-control, and God’s vengeance.

Thsi story found here ….David and Saul


Things got a little hectic at the unit this week. I watched some very solid people start to become frantic. I knew that we would all have to pull it together to make it through this tough time. My supervisor came by and in their silence I could tell they had a tornado racing between their ears. When they expressed that they were ready to give up, I said. “Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance it is best to keep peddling. If you stop, it takes a lot more to get started again.”

Later, when things got frantic, this person (supervisor) asked, “What words of wisdom do you have for this…?” I looked at them and stated, “There is a handle on a knife and then there is the blade. Always stay sharp. (Supervisors are the handle that drive the blade) Then there is the tip of the spear, those who always dive into battle first.

With that being said, Where I work, many of our supervisors are brave souls that run toward the kaos without any idea what they are going to run into. My hats off to them. We, the officers may be the tip of the spear (or blade) but it is the handle that drives the blade in, to finish the job.

When you look at a knife you see the blade and the handle, it is the combination that makes the knife. Where I work, it is a comfort to know that my supervisors have a firm grip on the handle and handle situations in a superb manner. Art~


courage is being scared to death and saddling up any way

John Wayne




A Miser had buried his gold in a secret place in his garden. Every day he went to the spot, dug up the treasure and counted it piece by piece to make sure it was all there. He made so many trips that a Thief, who had been observing him, guessed what it was the Miser had hidden, and one night quietly dug up the treasure and made off with it.

When the Miser discovered his loss, he was overcome with grief and despair. He groaned and cried and tore his hair.

A passerby heard his cries and asked what had happened.

“My gold! O my gold!” cried the Miser, wildly, “someone has robbed me!”

“Your gold! There in that hole? Why did you put it there? Why did you not keep it in the house where you could easily get it when you had to buy things?”

“Buy!” screamed the Miser angrily. “Why, I never touched the gold. I couldn’t think of spending any of it.”

The stranger picked up a large stone and threw it into the hole.

“If that is the case,” he said, “cover up that stone. It is worth just as much to you as the treasure you lost!”


A possession is worth no more than the use we make of it.


Give to Ceasar that which belongs to Ceasar


Have you ever seen a crab walking on land ? It walks as if tilted to one side. Its body is such that it cannot walk straight. And it is a fact that is true of all the crabs on the earth.

One day a mother-crab was sitting on the bank of a river. Her young son was playing nearby. The mother was feeling very happy to see him move about.

Suddenly the mother noticed one thing. She saw that her son walked tilting his body side-ways—not straight. She felt worried about it and wanted him to walk straight.

“You ought to walk straight, not sideways, my son,” advised the mother-crab.

“Show me, dear mother, how to walk straight. I shall follow your example,” retorted the young crab.

The mother-crab tried her best to walk straight but could not. So, she realized her folly. Never find fault with others.


The faults of others

are like headlights on a passing car

they seem more glaring than our own


A man had two dogs: a Hound, trained to assist him in his sports, and a Housedog, taught to watch the house. When he returned home after a good day’s sport, he always gave the Housedog a large share of his spoil. The Hound, feeling much aggrieved at this, reproached his companion, saying, “It is very hard to have all this labour, while you, who do not assist in the chase, luxuriate on the fruits of my exertions.” The Housedog replied, “Do not blame me, my friend, but find fault with the master, who has not taught me to labour, but to depend for subsistence on the labour of others.”

The moral of the story is: Children are not to be blamed for the faults of their parents.


deal with the faults of others as gently as you deal with your own





A spiritual leader got very tired of her flock arguing about whose sufferings was worst. Week after week, not only did they proclaim the supremacy of their own suffering, but they demeaned their neighbors as not being justified in their personal suffering.

They each thought, “If my pain was as little as theirs, I could laugh and be joyous, rather than be forced to go about with this pained look in my eye.”

The leader called her flock together around a gnarly little tree one winter day and handed each person a pencil and an envelope with a string through a hole in the corner, and a blank piece of paper inside.

“I have been very troubled that many of you feel that Spirit has given you a more severe burden to carry than your neighbors. I took this heartfelt concern to prayer with me, and Spirit has offered a solution.

We will each take the blank paper out of the envelope, write down our personal suffering, and put the paper back in the envelope. Write your name on the front of the envelope and find a limb to tie your envelope on.

This is our suffering tree. When you tie your envelope, your suffering, onto the tree, Spirit has promised that you will be free of it. However, as you have left a suffering on the tree, you must take one from the tree. Every person will be allowed to exchange their suffering for any other that they pick off this tree as we walk around it. Once all the sufferings have been taken back from this tree, we will be done, and Spirit promises that each of us will then be more content with the suffering we bear.”

It took quite a long time of walking around the tree before anyone took any suffering to be their own. But eventually, the first envelope was claimed. Little by little, every envelope came off the tree, each person claiming the suffering of their choice.

And each person claimed the very same suffering they had hung on the tree… but Spirit was correct. Each one was more content with what was thiers to bear.

……….this story found here!


I have a cat who thinks it is a dog. A dog who thinks it is a cat and a kid who thinks they are grown up while an adult thinks they are still a child or perhaps I am over thinking?  Art~

have a quality day


Life is like photography; we develop from the negatives…

perhaps we can not see the big picture due to over exposure from a certain experience or obstacle.

When we share the photos of our inner thoughts with the world, are they negatives or full color potentials and possibilities?

Developing a photograph begins in a dark room. A negative is taken and a process transforms the image into a colorful and recognizable photo. So, is life, in that a process must take a timely course in order to develop a positive situation. Take school or college for example; the many hours of study, enduring the class lectures and hurdling the tests lead to a rewarding finish.

Love, the process that goes from seeing each other for the first time, the first words between two souls and the days that bring them closer and closer. The first kiss, first date and the days turned into years that essentially developed into a lasting relationship. (perhaps even wedding photos)

I was preparing for this years summer vacation and came across two rolls of film that we had taken on our vacation two years ago. We never had them developed. But, the memories are alive and well. I can close my eyes and recall that vacation when we went to Padre Island and played in the surf, fed the hermit crab that had made a home under the picnic table we sat at during the day. The doves that had made a nest in a palm tree nearby and the sea gull that had flown by several times and relieved himself in flight as a bombardier would release its bombs. I still have the sand dollars we had found that summer as memorabilia.

I remember summer vacations as a child. We went to my Aunt and Uncles who owned a resort on the coast. I had my first job washing dishes in their diner making a wop ping .75 cents an hour in the early 70’s. I bought my first camera (a Polaroid) and took a lot of pictures that I still have. When I see the snap shot that takes a millisecond image, I recall a full event in a mental video that unfolds the days of that time.

Life is like an album of memories. A photograph simply reminds us of a time in our life. A picture paints a thousand words … to say the least, if memories are attached.

There is a café in town (now, allow me to remind you that our town has about 400 citizens and at least that many dogs and cats) the photos on the wall at this café are of the olden days. When the town was thriving from timber and steam boats that use to frequent the river but no longer do due to the damns and regulations that have been developed since it is ecologically unsound. The people in the pictures are no longer alive. The general store is now a cabinet shop and the mill no longer exists. Snap shots of what once was becomes memorabilia of a time long ago.

When I was driving to town this morning I saw the sun rise. I can’t recall every sunrise I have ever seen but the one this morning reminds me of so many I have been fortunate enough to have embraced. When I lived in California, (being from Texas) I was amazed every day at the beauty of the distant mountains. I would make a comment about how beautiful the mountains are and the people I worked with (who grew up there) simply would reply… “There just mountains.” They had grown up seeing them every day so to them it was no big deal, but for me they were majestic. The same is with the story of the man with the bag (a bag of happiness) you don’t really appreciate what you have till it is gone.

I don’t dig up pictures of those mountains but when I see a sun rise like the one that adorned the sky this morning, I recall the sun coming over the mountains when I lived in Arvin, California. It reminds me of the song… ‘Till I gain control again’


(one of my all time favorite songs)

“Till I gain control again”

Just like the sun over the mountain top you know I’ll always come again
You know I love to spend my morning time like sunlight dancing on your skin…..

link to a youtube version of this song with mountain pictures (beautiful)


In the story of  ‘Balls of clay’  ‘ we are inspired to take the time to open others up and find a gem in them. Each of us are an album of memories. Each of us have stories to tell that no one else has. We are all as unique as a photograph waiting to tell a story of a time long ago. Life is an album of memories.


Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” Albert Einstein.

~today is a day for making memories~ picture it!!!



A man just got married and was returning home with his wife. They were crossing a lake in a boat, when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became very much afraid because it seemed almost hopeless:

The boat was small and the storm was really huge, and any moment they were going to be drowned. But the man sat silently, calm and quiet, as if nothing was happening.

The woman was trembling and she said, “Are you not afraid ?”. This may be our last moment of life! It doesn’t seem that we will be able to reach the other shore. Only some miracle can save us; otherwise death is certain. Are you not afraid? Are you mad or something? Are you a stone or something?

The man laughed and took the sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled: What he was doing? Then he brought the naked sword close to the woman’s neck, so close that just a small gap was there, it was almost touching her neck.

He said,” Are you afraid ?”

She started to laugh and said,” Why should I be afraid ?,If the sword is in your hands, why I should be afraid? I know you love me.

” He put the sword back and said, This is my answer”. I know God Loves me, and the storm is in His hands.


Happy Anniversary, Honey (by Art ~~) 

It was on our honeymoon that our love was tested. At the casino hotel, (remember) ‘You broke the shower’ (we tease each other as to who really broke the shared shower that night.) But the fact was that the hot water would not turn off since the handle was broken off. (grin)

I went to the hotel office and reported it, (I am knee-deep in hot water) since it would not take too long till the hot water run out at the rate it was coming out. (and I didn’t want the heat in my wife’s heart to turn cold, if you know what I mean) They said they would send a maintenance man to the room. We waited about thirty minutes or more till a man came knocking on the door. He came in and said he would have to get with his supervisor since he was unable to turn the water off. I explained we were on our honeymoon and would like to make these repairs quickly or if it was going to take a while could we get another room? (no rooms were available since it was valentines day)

About another thirty minutes went by when a knock came at the door and a second maintenance was there to look at the broken shower. We now had two strange men in our room on our honey moon. This man said he could not figure out how to turn the water off either, He would have to call his supervisor too. My new wife and I tried to make the best of this delay by eating strawberries and drinking sparkling white wine. (which was tasty by the way)

About an hour later a third man showed up to look at this broken shower. We now had three strange men in our honeymoon suite, huddled up in the bathroom trying to turn off the water. They finally figured out how to turn off the hot water and I finally got to have the room to my self with my new wife. I often tease my wife that it took four men in our room on our honeymoon to finally finish the job. Our marriage is based on love but tested by our patience. (Making memories is the thing that strange days are made of.)



happy valentines day





One wintry day a Woodman was tramping home from his work when he saw something black lying on the snow. When he came closer he saw it was a Serpent to all appearance dead. But he took it up and put it in his bosom to warm while he hurried home.

As soon as he got indoors he put the Serpent down on the hearth before the fire. The children watched it and saw it slowly come to life again. Then one of them stooped down to stroke it, but the Serpent raised its head and put out its fangs and was about to sting the child to death. So the Woodman seized his axe, and with one stroke cut the Serpent in two. “Ah,” said he, “No gratitude from the wicked”


A scholar used to teach his students in a certain city. Once one of his students went to another city where he used very bad words for his teacher. A man who knew the scholar heard him. He happened to visit that city after few weeks. He went to meet that scholar. During the meeting the man mentioned that particular student who had used bad words for the scholar.

The scholar replied, ” My student threw an arrow towards me which didn’t reach me. You picked up that arrow and made sure it is inserted in my heart.”

How many times in our daily life are we responsible for picking up arrows from the ground and inserting it in the person’s heart for whom it was thrown ?


They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water,
it will leap out right away to escape the danger.

But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling,
the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late.
The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

This is a story that is used to illustrate how people might get themselves into terrible trouble.

This parable illustrates how humans have to be careful to watch slowly changing trends in the environment, not just the sudden changes. Its a warning to keep us paying attention not just to obvious threats but to more slowly developing ones.



You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one!





these stories found here

The great scientist Sir Isaac Newton worked several hours every day for twenty years and wrote down the results of his brilliant research. One day he went out for a walk leaving the papers on the table. His pet dog ‘diamond’ was lying in the room. A few minutes later, it jumped on to the table playfully. Due to this, the burning candle fell on the bundle of manuscript and it caught fire. Twenty years of hard research was reduced to ashes within minutes. When Newton came back he was shocked. His precious papers were now a handful of ashes. Any one else would have beaten the dog to death. But Newton simply stroked the dog’s head and said looking at it with pity ‘Diamond, you know not what you have done.’

He started writing again. It took him several years to complete the task. How great was his compassion for the dumb animal. Newton’s heart was as big as his Ideas.
It is difficult to forgive a wrong done to you – yet, with a stronger will it is possible. To forget the whole episode requires super human effort and nobility of heart. If you develop the habit of forgiving and forgetting, you will not have any enemy in this wide world. You will be friendly with all.

“Know that talking ill of others in private is a sin. You must wholly avoid it. Many things may occur to the mind, but it gradually makes a mountain of a molehill if you try to exprerss them. Everything is ended if you forgive and forget.”

this story found here


Newton’s first law,

an object in motion stays in motion,

an object at rest stays at rest…

(life is 90 percent maintenance so get busy!!!)





There was a famous sage, who lived high up in the Himalayan Mountains, far away from humanity. He choose a simple life and spent most of his time meditating. People from all over the globe would travel for days on end to meet him and ask for his advice.

Once such a group of people approached this sage with their problems, but they were unruly and fought amongst each other, because all of them wanted to speak first. The Sage, a peaceful man, watched the commotion and finally said out loud, “Silence!”

The people were awe-struck and immediately kept quiet. Then the sage said, “Sit down in a circle on the ground and await my return!”

He went into his little cottage and soon returned with some sheets of paper, pens, and a small cane basket. He passed out the paper and pens, and placed the basket in the middle of the circle. Then he told the people to write down the one most important problem they were troubled by and put it in the basket. When everyone had finished, the sage shook the papers in the basket so as to mix them and calmly said, “Now pass the basket around and pick up which ever paper is on top. Read the problem and if you choose, make it your own or take back your own problem.”

One by one the people picked out a paper and read each other’s problems and were horrified. They came to the conclusion that their worst problem no matter how bad, was better than the next person’s problem. Within minutes each of them exchanged their problems, and when they finally had their original paper in hand they felt content. They thanked the sage and went on their way.

Happiness is finding peace with your problems


When I was younger, I went to California and back to Texas three times. I even became a truck driver and drove all over the United States. I suppose I was looking for a place that made me happy. (either that or I was an eagle sprouting my wings) Until I became older and wiser and realized that happiness is not a place but a feeling that comes from within. So I settled in Texas where my family is… that makes me happy.

happiness is a journey, not a destination


Happiness is a garden that grows many emotions…





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Emma (Sunshine),

wedding day