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We were driving home the other day when we saw above us, in the distance, a cloud that resembled a hand. With outreaching fingers and even a thumb. This cloud truely looked like an open hand. One of the kids said, “It looks like the hand is going to come down and smash us. It is going to squash us like we are little ants.”


I said, “Or it is reaching down to scoop us up and take us into the heavens.” With that came a long list of could be’s. Like the hand was playing basketball with the world. Or, pushing the planet across space.


My nephew was complaining about how our little dog was chasing the deer out of the yard. Stating that the dog was being mean, until I explained that the dog was being protective. The dog loves us and was guarding the yard by chasing off any and everything that was not part of the family. He saw the dog differently and gave the dog a big hug for being the protector.


We were watching ‘Survivor’ and they were about to cut the head off of a chicken to cook it, and eat it. The kids were all astounded that the people on the show were having a hard time dealing with such a task. “But we buy chickens in the store all the time?”


“It is all in how we look at it!”


have a zen filled day





‘Life is like a roller coaster ride,’ … I have heard this before and it really stuck in my mind while the family and I spent our vacation at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio the last last few days. The kids wanted to do nothing but go from roller coaster to roller coaster. The Rattler, Superman, Poltergiest and then there is the Boomerang.

My little girl who is no bigger than a minute had a hard time because some of the rides had height requirements based on the security restraints used to keep you in your seat while spinning 50 miles an hour upside down. However some rides had a restriction that stated if you are this size, (48” = 4 foot) you must be accompanied by an adult, like the Boomerang roller coaster.

She had been crying most of the day that, “it was not fair that she could not go on a roller coaster ride that did a loop and spun you upside down.” Then we found the Boomerang. This ride would allow her to ride if an adult went with her and the line was not long. So… I volunteered. (rolls my eyes … like I could really help her while traveling at such speeds)

This ride starts out by slowly pulling you back wards and up till you are nearly looking straight down. Holding on for dear life, then it releases and shoots you into loops and spins that have to be what the astronauts do going the speed of sound and yes, it loops upside down.

How horrific and thrilling at the same time. Life truly is the same way. So many times I just want to stop everything and reset my thoughts but life is moving so fast you can’t. Ever tried meditating on a roller coaster. My Lil sunshine wanted to ride this ride over and over because it was the only one that she was allowed to ride that went upside down so, I practiced meditating on a roller coaster, strange huh?

Life truly is like a roller coaster, you have to pay, stand in lines (traffic jams everyday) it spins and twists and goes faster than we want them to, (the day is gone before you know it) and it leaves you feeling exhilarated. When it is over, we reflect on the event. Thank goodness for Dramamine (~_~). All in all we had a great time and as always, we were making memories.


..this is the actual, “Boomerang,” roller coaster ride at Fiesta Texas.

It pulls you up and up then realeases you at a very fast speed.

“life… what a ride!”


Life is full of challenges… hold on tight!


One day a tiger was hunting around in a forest. An unlucky fox was met and caught by the tiger. For the fox, the inescapable destination was very clear — death. Despite the danger, the fox thought hard to find a way out.

Promptly, the fox declared to the tiger, “How dare you kill me!”

On hearing the words the tiger was surprised and asked for the reason,” The fox raised his voice a bit higher and declared arrogantly: “To tell you the truth, it’s I who was accredited by God to the forest as the king of all the animals! If you kill me, that will be against the God’s will, you know?”

Seeing that the tiger became suspicions, the fox added: “Let’s have a test. Let’s go through the forest. Follow me and you will see HOW THE ANIMALS ARE FRIGHTENED OF ME.” The tiger agreed.

So the fox walked ahead of the tiger proudly through the forest. As you can imagine, the animals, seeing the tiger behind, were all terribly frightened and ran away. Then the fox said proudly: “There is no doubt that what I said is true, isn’t it?”

The tiger had nothing to say but to acknowledge the result. So the tiger nodded and said:

“You are right. You are the king.”

moral: whip them with your mind. I always tell my students this, being sharp minded is equally as important as being skilled in martial arts. In fact they go hand in hand, confontations are like a game of chess long before they get physical.



the rabbit and the crab

Once there was a rabbit, whom as always knew it was the fastest creature in the forest and always challenged any and all creatures to a race. Generally, no one would take the challenge to race the obviously fast rabbit. But one day a crab decided it would take the rabbits challenge. The rabbit laughed and accepted the challenge.

The two stood next to each other, the crow squacked three times and the race was on. The rabbit blasted off and ran the entire length of the race with-out looking back until it had come up on the finish line.

Just before crossing the finish line it stopped and looked back. Unknowingly to the rabbit, the crab had taken hold of the rabbit’s furry tail with its large pincher and trailed behind the rabbit the entire length of the race. As the rabbit turned to look behind itself, this placed the crab across the finish line first. The crab won the race.

(moral; some use others abilities to prevail.)


have a peace-filled day


That year, in the local school, there was a new Math teacher, as well as some new pupils. One of the new kids was the stupidest child anyone had ever seen. It made no difference how quickly or how slowly they tried explaining numbers to him; he would always end up saying something enormously dumb. Like two plus two was five, seven times three was twenty-seven, or a triangle had thirty corners…

Before this boy arrived, Maths lessons had been the most boring of all. Now they were great fun. Encouraged by the new teacher, the children would listen to the pieces of nonsense spouted by the new kid, and they would have to correct his mistakes.
They all wanted to be the first to find his mistakes, and then think up the most original ways to explain them. To do this they used all kinds of stuff: sweets, playing cards, oranges, paper planes…

It didn’t seem like any of this bothered the new kid.
However, little Lewis was sure that it was bound to make him feel sad inside.
So, one day, he decided to follow the new kid home after school; Lewis was sure he would see him crying.

On leaving school, the new kid walked a few minutes to a local park, and there he waited for a while, until someone came along to meet him…

It was the new teacher!

The teacher gave the new kid a hug, and off they went, hand in hand. Following from a distance, Lewis could hear they were talking about Math.

And that stupid new kid knew everything about it, much more than anyone in the class!



have a ‘superfabtabulous’ day



Once there was an owl who sat on a limb and was listening to a song bird that was singing a lovely tune. When a wood pecker flew in and landed on this same tree and began banging its beak against the bark of the tree. “Rap, Rap, Rap.”

“Excuse me,” started the little song bird, “But, I am trying to sing here!”

“So,” replied the woodpecker and continued to pound its beak against the tree’s bark, making a loud and annoying sound. “Tap, Tap, Tap.”

The owl thought about this a moment and suggested, “Mr. Woodpecker… perhaps you could play precusion for the little song bird?”

“Nope, I am to busy,” The woodpecker replied.

“Busy doing what? Making noise?” The little song bird huffed.

“Tap, rap, tap, tap, tap,” the woodpecker continued. “I am looking for my dinner.” The woodpecker spat.

“There are bugs all over the forest floor,” the owl stated, “Why must you go about it the hard way?”

“It is what I do,” the woodpecker said. “Rap, rap, rap.” The little song bird got annoyed and flew away, while the owl tucked its head under its wing and ignored the woodpecker. Eventually the woodpecker moved on to another tree and eventually moved on to another part of the forest.

The little song bird returned and began complaining about the ways of the woodpecker, “That hard headed pecker-wood, ruined my whole day!”

“Why is that?” asked the owl. “You are free to go back to singing your lovely song.”

“I’m too upset to sing now. That woodpecker will probably come back and do the same thing again.” The little song bird huffed.

“Do not allow others to change you. You are a song bird, sing. Do not waste your time complaining about what others do. You have to accept them the way they are or you will spend a lot of time being unhappy because they do not see the world the same way as you.” With this the song bird thought about what the owl had said and then began to sing again.

A little while later the little song bird asked the owl,”And what is it you do, Mr. Owl?”

“Learn, by listening to the ways of others,” replied the owl. “Who, who, who am I to judge the ways of others.”

story by Art~ 3/2012




have a wise day

Super Hero

Author: Nathaniel Bronner Jr.

Dr. Marilyn spoke at our staff meeting. She took us through exercises as she worked to get our minds and spirits adjusted to a more positive direction.

“Close your eyes and think back to when you were small. What did you want to be? What were your dreams? What did you want to do? Close your eyes and think back.” she instructed.

I closed my eyes and thought back. I remembered what I wanted to be.

Dr. Marilyn then told of her early beginnings as a writer. She told of the articles and the publishing successes that she experienced but so many of them were punctuated by, “I didn’t get paid for that.”

Her words struck me.

I worked in a corner drug store when I was very small. I was below the age limit to work but the store made an exception. My father owned the store, thus the exception.

I worked long and hard. I treasured my lunch breaks. Not so much for the food or the rest, it was what I did during my lunch breaks that I treasured. I read comic books. I read the action books, not the romance or the comedies, action, pure action.

When I closed my eyes and thought back, I knew instantly what I had aspired to be.

A Super Hero!

Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Ironman were some of my heroes.

In all of the action comics that I read, there were two distinct patterns. Those two patterns were in every action comic book that I can recall.

First, there was always a battle between good and evil. The battle was always tough. The battle was always a close call. No matter how strong or how many powers the Super Hero had, evil pushed him to the very limit and most times almost defeated him.

Second, the Super Hero was never paid for his contribution to society; he always earned his living in his alter ego.

Superman made money as Clark Kent, a newspaper reporter.
Batman made money as Bruce Wayne, a rich industrialist.
Spiderman made money as Peter Parker, a photographer.
Ironman made money as Tony Stark, owner of Stark Industries.

None of them were paid for being a Super Hero and the contributions they made as Super Heroes.

As I listened to Dr. Marilyn state how she had never been paid for many things, a light popped on in my mind.

“The real Super Heroes don’t get paid for the Super Hero stuff!”

I pastor a church and have never accepted a salary or taken up love offerings for myself. It’s correct to be fairly compensated but I, like Paul, simply choose not to.

I am the editor of MountainWings and the websites, and I don’t get any money for that either.

I realized as my eyes were closed that it is Super Hero stuff and my dream has been realized.

You’ve got Super Hero stuff too.

Helping a stranger or friend in need
Doing anything beneficial that takes time, effort, energy or resources and where you expect no monetary return is Super Hero stuff.

Use your powers well.


have a super day


Zendictive’s… 300th post
(after 300 stories and poems, I still enjoy doing this as much now as when I started- the up side is I am getting a grip on the gadgets offered and used to blog)
A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him. “Master, I wish to become your disciple,” said the man.
“Why?” replied the hermit. The young man thought for a moment.
 “Because I want to find God.” The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river, and plunged his head under water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the master finally pulled him up out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath.
When he eventually quieted down, the master spoke. “Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under water.”

“Air!” answered the man.

“Very well,” said the master. “Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just wanted air.”

 this story found here Spiritual short stories
Once there was a Zen Master in Japan. He cultivated many years in many different temples and had countless disciples.  He was an abbot of a huge temple and many monks quit cultivating due to the unbearable hardships.  However, he had more and more followers because of his reputation. After he had enlightened to the true meaning of life, he left the temple and none of his disciples knew his whereabouts.
Three years later, one of his disciples found the Zen Master living with a bunch of beggars under a bridge in Tokyo.  This disciple
immediately asked the Zen Master to teach him how to cultivate.
 The Zen Master said that only if the disciple could stay with him for two or three days.   So, this disciple dressed like a beggar and
lived for a day like a beggar. The following day, one of the beggars
died and the Zen Master and the disciple buried the body on the
After the burial, the Zen Master came back and slept
soundly until the next morning, but the disciple could not sleep. 
At daybreak, the Zen Master said that they did not have to beg for food that day because the dead beggar had left some food.  The disciple looked at the food, but could not eat even one bite. The Zen Master said, “I already knew that you could not let go of life and
death.  You cannot cultivate with me.” The disciple was speechless
and ashamed.  The Zen Master said, “You can go now. And don’t
bother me again.”
The disciple left with sadness. People who understand the essence of life and the everlasting truth have no fear and will not be saddened by any separation and death of loved ones.  In the carefree spiritual realm, they can laugh about life and death and then transcend life and death. To take life and death lightly is the important first step.
Letting go of life and death enables us to reach the higher spiritual realm. Only when we truly see through the essence of life and death, can we face life and death optimistically and follow its natural course with no fear. In that way, we will have an enjoyable and carefree life.
this story found here … Pure Insight
have a zendictive day


Confucius and his disciples were often persecuted by fearful despots. Having been deported from another state, the band – passing through a remote region – encountered an old woman crying beside a grave. Confucius asked her why she wept. A tiger had killed her husband and his father, she explained, and had recently attacked her only son.

“Why do you live in this savage place?” Confucius asked. “Because there is no oppressive government here,” the woman replied.

“My children,” Confucius said, addressing his disciples, “remember that oppressive government is worse than a tiger.”


While traveling through an arid region with his students one day Confucius, suffering from intense thirst, was offered a bowl full of water collected by a disciple from a rain puddle. He immediately emptied the bowl on the ground. “It would be too much for one, too little for all,” he declared. “Let us continue our journey.”


Once when Confucius and his students were in the State of Chen, they ran out of food and all of the students fell ill. One of the students, Zi-lu, also a famous scholar, complained, “So, it is possible for a righteous person to become destitute!” Confucius replied, “A righteous person can guard his morality and virtue even when he is destitute; whereas a wicked person will resort to all sorts of vices when he is destitute.”

Our moral standard shouldn’t change according the situation we’re in. We are sometimes tested to see whether we can stay unmoved and hold on to our principles in tough situations. Many people will compromise themselves according to the situation, and they gradually and slowly move away from their own principles.


Confucius travelled to many kingdoms to spread his views. One time he left the Kingdom of Wei for the Kingdom of Chen via Kuang City.

The people in Kuang City mistook Confucius as Yang Hu from Lu. Indeed, Confucius looked like Yang Hu. Yang Hu had invaded Kuang City before, and the people in Kuang City resented Yang Hu very much, so they encircled Confucius and his followers. The situation became very tense, and his followers were afraid. Confucius said, “King Wen of Zhou has died and the cultural system of Zhou has fallen upon me. If heaven wants the system to die, it will not allow me to master it. If heaven doesn’t want the system to die, what harm can the people of Kuang City do to me?”

After Confucius and his followers were surrounded for five whole days, they were finally out of danger.

During the times Confucius travelled to various kingdoms, he had come across similar situations many times. Confucius once came across somebody who wanted to harm him. Confucius said, “Heaven bestowed upon me such virtue. What can he do to me?”

this story found here… stories from ancient china

Confucius was China’s most famous Philosopher. He lived in Ancient China during the Zhou Dynasty.

Confucius was a government official, and during his lifetime (he lived from 551 to 479 B.C. ) he saw growing disorder and chaos in the system.

Perhaps due to the turmoil and injustices he saw, he set himself to develop a new moral code based on respect, honesty, education, kindness and strong family bonds.

His teachings later became the basis for religious and moral life throughout China.


 “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right”  

“Let the prince be a prince, the minister a minister, the father a father, and the son a son”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do”

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it”

“What a superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others”

read more here… a china family adventure


may you day be filled with enlightenment


(They did the surgery on Alan’s hip and arm yesterday but soon after he developed 103 fever? He is still under by sedation. a ying yang… good and bad news!!)

(I read this and it touched me. It might not fill you with wisdom but it might touch the heart strings and since valentines day is just around the corner, I felt it is a great story to kick off the the weekend before valentines. setting the mood! “Love”)


salty coffee

He met her at a party, she was so outstanding, many guys chasing after her, while he was so normal, nobody paid attention to him. At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him. She was surprised, but as he was polite, she agreed.
They sat in a nice coffee shop, he was too nervous to say anything. She felt uncomfortable, she thought, “please, take me back home”.
Suddenly he asked the waiter: would you please give me some salt? I’d like to put it in my coffee. Everybody stared at him, so strange! His face turned red, but still, he put the salt in his coffee and drank it.
She asked him curiously: “why salt?”
He replied: “when I was a little boy, I was living near the sea, I liked playing in the sea, I could feel the taste of the sea, salty and brite, just like the taste of the salty coffee. Now everytime I have the salty coffee, I always think of my childhood, think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my parents who are still living there.” While saying that, tears filled his eyes. She was deeply touched.
That’s his true feeling, from the bottom of his heart. A man who can say he is homesick, he must be a man who loves home, cares about home, has responsibility of home.. Then she also started to speak, telling about her faraway hometown, her childhood, her family. That was a really nice talk, also a beautiful beginning of their story.
They continued to date. She found that he was a man who met all her demands: he had tolerance, was kind hearted, warm, careful…he was such a good person but she almost missed him! Thanks to his salty coffee !Then the story was just like every beautiful love story: the princess married to the prince, then they were living the happy life… And, every time she made coffee for him, she put some salt in his coffee, as she knew that’s the way he liked it.After 40 years, he passed away, left her a letter which said: “My dearest, please forgive me, forgive my whole life lie. This was the only lie I said to you—-the salty coffee. Remember the first time we dated? I was so nervous at that time, actually I wanted some sugar, but I said salt.
It was hard for me to change so I just went with it. I never thought that could be the start of our communication! I tried to tell you the truth many times in my life, but I was too afraid to do that, as I have promised not to lie to you for anything. Now I’m dying, I’m afraid of nothing so now I tell you the truth: I don’t like the salty coffee, what a strange bad taste. But I had the salty coffee for my whole life since I knew you, I never felt sorry for anything.  I did it for you. Having you with me is my biggest happiness my whole life. If I can live for the second time, I still want to know you and have you for my whole life, even though I have to drink the salty coffee again.”
Her tears made the letter totally wet. Someday, someone asked her: what’s the taste of salty coffee? It’s sweet. She replied.


have an sweet day



One day a malcontent was sitting under a walnut tree, and his eyes fell on a great pumpkin growing nearby.

“Oh God,” said the malcontent, “how foolish you are to give such small nuts to such a big tree and such immense fruit to this tiny vine. Now if pumpkins were growing on this big tree and nuts on this vine, I’d have admired your wisdom.

Just after he said this, a walnut fell down on the man’s head and startled him.

“Oh God,” he continued, “you are right after all. If the pumpkin had fallen from such a height, I might have been killed. Great is your wisdom and your goodness.”


Life as a pig

One day, a old master had a vision of his next life. He immediately called in his favorite disciple and begged a favor of him.

“Anything for you master.” the disciple replied.

“In my next life, I will come back as a pig. Soon after I die, our sow will give birth and I will be the fourth pig of the litter. You will recognize me by a mark on my brow. When that happens, please take a sharp knife and end my life quickly.

Within the year, the master passed away and the sow gave birth. The disciple sharpened his knife and found the small piglet. Suddenly the little pig screamed “Stop! Don’t kill me!”

The disciple dropped his knife in surprise and stared at the little pig. “When I was like you I didn’t know what a pig’s life would be like. It’s great. Just let me go.”



Sozan, a Chinese Zen master, was asked by a student: “What is the most valuable thing in the world?”

The master replied: “The head of a dead tiger.”

“Why is the head of a dead tiger the most valuable thing in the world?” inquired the student.

Sozan replied: “Because no one can name its price.”


here are two piglets, dressed in tiger clothes and in a tiger pit…??? (I searched for a source and an explanation but couldn’t get the story) they say a picture paints a thousand words, well I add that it also raises a few questions. There has to be a …


In case you haven’t noticed… I like tigers…

I had this made for my wife at christmas (wood burned art- box)

(click on pic to enlarge)


may your day be filled with reason



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Emma (Sunshine),

wedding day