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Thread: Just sharing.

  1. #2081
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    A Mature Birthday Celebration


    On this day I celebrate another birthday as I sit here
    rhapsodizing and soliloquizing of the incredible grace and
    blessings of God on my life!

    My real wealth is in my salvation, my relationships, my joy,
    my peace and the love in my heart! The older I become, the more
    I appreciate the little things in life that others often take
    for granted.

    It is not about where I am or what I have but who I am with that
    matters most. In earlier years I rejoiced over things, but now
    I am fulfilled by pursuing my purpose, leaving a legacy and
    reaching my destiny.

    In essence, the longer I live the more I realize that it is not
    about me but ALL about HIM and serving others!

    I'm honored to be His servant...
    still cheerfully serving!

  2. #2082
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    The sneeze



    They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing ... and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

    Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

    This class would NOT pray during the commencements - not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

    The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

    The speeches were nice, but they were routine ... until the final speech received a standing ovation.

    A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

    All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!

    The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, "GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!" And he walked off stage ...

    The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.

    This is a true story; it happened at the University of Maryland.

  3. #2083
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    Nothing To Lose

    I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose.
    ~S. I. Hayakawa~

    I'm not sure of the circumstance that Hayakawa spoke those words
    but there are many occasions where you definitely do have
    something to lose from speaking your mind.

    Especially when your mind is agitated and not filled with
    nice thoughts.

    Be careful of speaking your mind, especially in the heat of
    the moment.

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    Default Re: Just sharing.


  5. #2085
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    Gratitude

    Years ago I was in a devastating accident.

    I am still in recovery daily.

    The thing that has pulled me through it all has been having an
    Attitude of Gratitude.

    When I read the issue "Why Me," I wanted to share with you what
    I have learned to do for myself each and every day.

    To keep an Attitude of Gratitude at all times,
    I have learned to have a "Gratitude Prayer" once a day.

    I have this prayer just before laying down for the night.

    I do nothing in it but pray my thankfulness for things that I am
    grateful for on that particular day.

    When I first started this practice, my prayers were very short.

    As the years have passed, they have become a time of peace each
    day that I look forward to as I share with my Father in Heaven
    all the bounty He has given me that day.

    I acknowledge His hand in the giving of that bounty.

    My world is beautiful because of constant gratitude.

    I have made it such a part of my life, that at times during the
    day when something happens, I raise my eyes to Heaven and say
    "Thank you, God."

    My change in taking charge of my life in this manner has indeed
    been a gift, for I have a constant smile, inside and out,
    by merely looking at the world differently.

  6. #2086
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    To Whom Much Is Given


    A Mother was having a hard time getting her son to go to school
    in the morning.

    "Nobody in school likes me," he complained.

    "The teachers don't like me, the kids don't like me, the
    superintendent wants to transfer me, the bus drivers hate me,
    the school board wants me to drop out, and the custodians have
    it in for me. I just don't want to go to school."

    "But, John, you have to go to school," said his mother sternly.
    "You're healthy, you have a lot to learn, you have something to
    offer others, you are a leader.

    And besides, you're 40 years old and YOU ARE THE PRINCIPAL."



    Have you ever felt like the principal in the above joke?

    Mothers?

    Bosses?

    Husbands?

    Even Pastors?


    You are in charge; yet, the charges that you are in charge of
    can be a real challenge.

    Leadership always has its price.
    It's full of rewards, but the price can be heavy.

    Everyone expects you to boost them, but who boosts you?

    I was in the church one day.
    I was alone (at least no other person was there).

    The day had been hectic and the responsibilities great. I stood
    in the sanctuary and asked God, "Why do I have to do so much?"

    I had the burdens of the church, the burdens of two businesses,
    and a family to deal with. Plus, I had my own stuff.
    Everyone has their own stuff in addition to other's stuff.
    Your own stuff hides in the corners of your mind just waiting
    for an opportunity to jump forth.

    Your own stuff is enough to deal with by itself.

    Do you remember seeing the pictures of Atlas?
    He is the Greek titan with the world on his shoulders.
    That's what it feels like sometimes.
    I'm sure you know the feeling.

    I stood as the echoes of my voice slowly faded.
    "Why did I have to do so much?"

    I clearly heard God breathe a soft answer into my spirit,
    but it wasn't complete. It was half of a sentence
    and half of a statement.

    "to whom much is given. . ."

    That was my answer, "to whom much is given. . ."

    There is a quote that goes "you can judge a man by whether he
    will ask for a light load or a strong back."

    It's the principle of the principal.

    "to whom much is given. . .

    . . . much is required."

  7. #2087
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    The son


    A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war.

    He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

    About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

    He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.

    He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

    The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting.

    The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift".

    The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

    The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

    On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. We will start the bidding with this picture of the son.

    Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence.

    Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."

    But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily. We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

    But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"

    Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

    "We have $10, who will bid $20?"

    "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters!" someone shouted.

    "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

    The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

    The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"

    A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"

    The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."

    "What about the paintings?"

    "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets every thing!"

    God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross.

    Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?" Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

    -----

    " He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." - 1 John 5:12

  8. #2088
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    The Other Side of The River



    A man went out for a walk.

    He came to a river and saw a woman on the opposite bank.

    "Yoo-hoo," he shouted, "how can I get to the other side?"

    The woman looked up the river then down the river then shouted
    back,

    "You're already on the other side."

    Life and truth is often a matter of perspective and viewpoint.


    I thought about that issue for a good part of the day.
    It was short and somewhat funny but extremely profound.

    Do you realize how many people are trying to get to the very
    side that you are already on while you are trying to get
    somewhere else?

    Do you know how many people wish they had a good husband or
    wife like you do?

    Do you realize how many couples wish they could have children
    like you do?

    Do you know how many suffering people wish they had a pain free
    body like you do?

    Do you know how many people wish they just had enough money to
    pay their basic bills like you do?

    Do you realize how many people wish they could get to the weight
    that you are already at?

    Do you realize how many people wish they had a job like you do?

    Do you realize how many people wish they could see like you can?

    ...could hear like you can?

    ...could walk like you can?

    I, like most of you reading this, wish for many things.
    I have a lot of dreams and visions.

    "Perspective" really made me think and realize
    that with so many of the rivers of life,

    I'm already on the "other" side.

    So are you.

  9. #2089
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    Recognition and Honor is Coming

    You will be recognized and honored as a community leader.

    Yes you will, as lead the community.

    You don't have to be elected mayor. All you need to do is set
    an example of how a person should live.

    No one is perfect but many are examples.

    Sooner or later, whether formally or informally, you will be
    recognized as a community leader.

    Just lead and don't worry about the recognition.

    It will come.

  10. #2090
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    Courage


    Look, I've never written anything like this before so please
    forgive my "roughness."

    I spent the last twenty plus years watching every walk of life
    kill, maim, steal, torture, lie, and every form of hideous death
    from babies to holy men.

    It all culminated in my wife dying in my arms from medical
    incompetence recently, which resulted in my financial
    devastation and loss of all physical possessions, friends, and
    family.

    Over middle age, broke and living in an alley shack, I write
    this...

    Wondering, how did one of the highest awarded police officers in
    this country come to this end?

    In the darkness, an old friend I'd not heard from for years sent
    me a forwarded email containing your site.

    I went there and I opened the area you offer for "past issues"
    and I started reading.

    I look around my walls, hung with medals and hundred of awards
    from our country's president, senate, state governor, halls of
    fame, children groups, grateful families, fellow officers, etc.
    But I feel empty.

    I've saved so many lives and put my life on the line for
    strangers in scenarios where I knew I would and should have
    died...but didn't. Our President gave me the highest award in
    our country in law enforcement for one of those acts.

    But when it mattered most, no one would take my life to save my
    partner's. Oh how I begged.

    I failed her.

    In this blackness, alone, it wasn't what I read exactly. It was
    you offering the words, making the effort to reach out to total
    strangers.

    It finally dawned on me about courage. I have the medals and
    awards for many acts of bravery, but you folks are awarded
    something much more honorable...

    the grace to bestow courage when all is lost.

    Thank you for what you do and this priceless gift I've just
    received from your heart

    ...the courage to go on.

    From this dark pit of hell, please hear one weak voice that lost
    his faith in so much evil.

    Thank you for what you do. Maybe it was all worth it if there
    are people like you.

    God bless you all.

    J.S. Everett, Washington

    Our reply to J.S. :
    If you were there for her, you didn't fail her.

    For all who have lost loved ones, go to www.AirJesus.com and
    listen to the message, "One Hour and 40 Minutes."

    J.S.'s reply:

    The doctor wept at our side.
    He'd never heard a death rattle say, "I love you" softly.

    It would be my honor, gratitude to you all and a loving memory
    to all the lives this wonderful person's spirit has touched.
    You have my permission to publish this.

    I was at her side for six years fighting; you're the first to
    ever mention that.

    This time I believe she held me through the tears.

    I believe you people are being 'guided.'

    Thank you,
    J.S.

  11. #2091
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    The Toy



    El and Josees, my 6 and 3-year-old boys, were wailing at the top
    of their lungs in the back of the van.

    Tears were streaming down their cheeks.

    "What's wrong?" I asked, not knowing who had upset whom and
    preparing to try to figure out what would have stumped Sherlock.

    "Josees won't give me the toy, and he's played with it already!"
    EL exclaimed loudly through tears while tugging at the small
    airplane clasped in Josees' Super Glue grip.

    "I had it first!" Josees wailed.

    It was not a simple solution. All parents have faced similar
    situations. Suddenly, I had a brilliant flash of insight.

    I said,

    "I will let whoever stops crying first play with the toy."

    I was smug in my wisdom. Here was a solution that would help
    them consider not crying when they didn't get their way and
    would allow me to administer some form of justice.

    I had not counted on what happened next.

    Before I spoke my basis for judgment, the van was a cacophony of
    sound, each trying to out cry the other.

    "I will let whoever stops crying first play with the toy."

    DEAD SILENCE

    I mean not a peep.

    Instantly.

    ...from them both.

    There was no basis for rendering judgment because each of them
    shut up instantly. Not a single whimper escaped. They were
    both quiet before my words could stop echoing.

    I was standing there with my mouth hanging open wondering how
    could two kids turn crying off so suddenly and completely.

    How much whimpering, whining, complaining, crying, and
    bellyaching do we do that we can really cut off if we want to?

    Maybe we don't have the toy we want.
    Maybe someone else has what we want.

    So we cry.

    I learned a lesson from my sons.

    Often if we choose, we can stop the crying.

    Instantly.

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  13. #2093
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    What Do You Value Most?

    A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy
    next door.

    It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man.

    College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way.
    In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his
    dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little
    time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his
    wife and son.

    He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

    Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last
    night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through
    his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his
    childhood days.

    "Jack, did you hear me?"

    "Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I
    thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years
    ago," Jack said.

    "Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him, he'd ask how
    you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent
    over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

    "I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

    "You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in
    to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.

    "He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be
    in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time
    teaching me things he thought were important.
    Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

    As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next
    flight to his hometown.

    Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no
    children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

    The night before he had to return home, Jack and his mom stopped
    by to see the old house next door one more time.

    Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like
    crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and
    time.

    The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held
    memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture...

    Jack stopped suddenly.

    "What's wrong, Jack?" his mom asked.

    "The box is gone," he said.

    "What box?" Mom asked.

    "There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his
    desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside.
    All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.

    It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack
    remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the
    Belser family had taken it.

    "Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said.
    "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

    It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning
    home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox.

    "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop
    by the main post office within the next three days," the note
    read.

    Early the next day Jack retrieved the package.

    The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a
    hundred years ago.

    The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address
    caught his attention.

    "Mr. Harold Belser" it read.

    Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package.
    There inside was the gold box and an envelope.

    Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

    "Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack
    Bennett.

    It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped
    to the letter.

    His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully
    unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket
    watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing,
    he unlatched the cover.

    Inside he found these words engraved:
    "Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser."

    "The thing he valued most...was...my time."

    Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office
    and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

    "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

    "I need some time to spend with my son," he said.

    "Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time!"

    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take
    but by the moments that take our breath away."

  14. #2094
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    The storm


    After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's Pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest Minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the Pastor told the congregation that the guest Minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, the elderly gentleman stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.

    "A father, and his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast," he began... "when a fast storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized."

    The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story...

    "Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the end of the life line? He had only seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves.

    As the father yelled out 'I Love You, Son!' he threw out the life line to his son's friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black night. His body was never recovered," the old man said sadly.

    By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old Minister's mouth.

    "The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son's friend. How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us? Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son so that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service."

    With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The Pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. But, within moments after the service ended, the two boys were at the old man's side.

    "That was a nice story," politely stated one of the boys, "but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other would become a Christian."

    "Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. As a big smile broadened his narrow face, he looked up again at the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But I'm here today to tell you this story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His only Son for me. You see...I was that father, and your Pastor is my son's friend."

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    The tide pool

    -- By Kathy Anne Harris

    The middle-aged man parked his car at the top of the cliff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The early Spring sun was hanging low on the horizon, a warm silver-yellow. Lemony foam purled atop the incoming tide, as waves broke gently on the beach.

    Slipping his hands into the pockets of his jacket, Jeremy walked over to the ledge. A cold breeze, heavy with a salty mist, brushed over and around him, ran phantom fingers through his hair, as he descended the steep sand and wood stairs to the beckoning beach.

    There was a lovely tide pool circled with boulders and tucked away behind a bend in the cliff side that few visitors to the beach would ever discover. A tiny ribbon of sand abutted the rocks and provided enough room for him to sit at water's edge. He sat down, leaned back against a large smooth rock, and gazed into the clear water of the tide pool. Each time a wave stretched out and collapsed on shore a ribbon of seawater would pulse into the pool then trickle back toward the ocean.

    Colorful anemone and starfish moved slowly in their isolated world. Watching them usually managed to calm him. However, today he found himself on the other side of "usually managed." It was the kind of day where things that happened in the past, resurface, wanted or not! Nothing unique to the human race, just the usual emotions that assail us all: grief, anger, sadness, loneliness, shame… And this is where Jeremy came to work things out in his mind, if possible.

    He did not hear the tinkling chime of disintegrating waves on sand. Nor the cries of the gulls overhead. Where the stairs bottom out on the sands of a nice sized beach, a family was playing fetch with their black, Labrador Retriever. He did not hear their laughter, or the excited bark of the dog.

    His chest felt tight and weighted down. It was difficult for him to breath. He got to his knees and bent over the tide pool. Unbidden, tears welled up, and he wept. The sound of a crab scuttling over rock and sand drew his attention. He looked down and saw the crab disappear into a rock crevasse. He then studied his reflection in the still water. How ragged he looked, he thought. How worn down. He took a deep, settling breath and found the weight around his chest had lifted.

    Another wave broke on the beach, a rivulet flowed into the pool and the water shivered. Jeremy reached out and dragged his fingers across the rippling surface. In moments the tidal pool was still and there, at his side, reflected in the pool was an angel. A grand being, with heavy, flowing wings the color of sunlight on pearls. And light pulsed from the angel like the flame of a candle. Such an image only the Divine could sculpt for it was beyond human beauty, The visage that regarded Jeremy was radiant with grace and the angel's countenance was like none Jeremy could describe. No such emotion or like expression had every played across a human face.

    Jeremy trembled and all thoughts fled him, save for the presence of the angel. "Why?" he said, as he turned to the heavenly being at his side.

    "I am an emissary, sent by the Creator, to be with you at such times as He decrees.

    "As you sat here, your breathing was labored and you felt a heaviness inside of you."

    Jeremy nodded.

    "That weight was my presence with you, as I lifted the burden in your heart."

    "The tears you wept, I gathered unto myself. I will present them to our Lord and he will return them to the heavens, to bless all things on the earth that flourish when gentle rains fall.

    "The joy that will lift you up as you return to your world today will come as I embrace your spirit, to accompany me briefly, on my flight heavenward.

    "And when it is your time to leave this place, I will hold your soul--for we will both be heaven bound, and my wings will take you home."

    Jeremy shook his head. "But why am I allowed to see you? To hear you? Why was this done for me?"

    The angel smiled. "It was allowed more for me. He gave me these few moments with you as a gift. A glorious token of His love... For it is an angel's heart's desire to be given time to commune with humans openly. To see one another with our eyes and to speak together with words."

    "Will I remember my visit with you?"

    The angel's eyes flashed the colors of sunrise. "Whether you shall recall our meeting I cannot say... that decision rests in our Lord's hands."

    ~*~

    Jeremy did not remember, but the vision he beheld, and the words he heard, his spirit-soul will never forget.

    ~~**~~

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