A group of students was asked to list what they thought were the present Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following got the most votes:

  1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
  2. Taj Mahal
  3. Grand Canyon
  4. Panama Canal
  5. Empire State Building
  6. St. Peter’s Basilica
  7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one quiet student hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.

The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.”

The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”

The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

  1. to touch
  2. to taste
  3. to see
  4. to hear

She hesitated a little, and then added

  1. to feel
  2. to laugh!
  3. and to love

The room was so full of silence you could have heard a pin drop. Those things we overlook as simple and “ordinary” are truly wondrous.

A gentle reminder that the most precious things are before you:  your family, your faith, your love, your good health and your friends.

 

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things “in order”, she contacted her Rabbi and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the Rabbi was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

“There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly.

“What’s that?” came the Rabbi’s reply.

“This is very important,” the young woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

The Rabbi stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

“That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the young woman asked. “Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the Rabbi.

The young woman explained. “My grandmother once told me this story, and from there on out, I have always done so. I have also, always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie.

Something wonderful, and with substance!’ So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork…the best is yet to come.”

The Rabbi’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge.

She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman’s casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Rabbi heard the question “What’s with the fork?” And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Rabbi told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The Rabbi told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care. Remember to always be there for them, even when you need them more. For you never know when it may be their time to “Keep your fork.” Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share… being friends with someone is not an opportunity but a sweet responsibility.

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A little girl had been shopping with her Granddaddy in Walmart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful blonde hair, an image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Walmart.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in “Granddaddy, let’s run through the rain,” she said.

“What?” Granddaddy asked.

“Let’s run through the rain!” She repeated.

“No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Granddaddy replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: “Granddaddy, let’s run through the rain.”

“We’ll get soaked if we do,” Granddaddy said.

“No, we won’t, Granddaddy. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Granddaddy’s arm.

This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?

“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Grandma about her cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!”

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.

Granddaddy paused and thought for a moment about what he would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold him for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Granddaddy said.
Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories… So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

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Sometimes we wonder, “What did I do to deserve this”, or “Why did God have to do this to me.” Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”

“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.

“Yuck” says her daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?”

“Gross, Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mom, those are all yucky!”

To which the mother replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves but when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

I hope your day is a “piece of cake”.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Warren Buffet was once asked: When Did You Know You Were Rich?

It’s worth letting him give his answer at length in his own voice:

“I really knew I was rich when I had $10,000. I knew a long time ago that I was going to be doing something I loved doing with people that I loved doing it with. In 1958, I had my dad take me out of the will, as I knew I would be rich anyway. I let my two sisters have all the estate.

I bet we all in this room live about the same. We eat about the same and sleep about the same. We pretty much drive a car for 10 years. All this stuff doesn’t make it any different. I will watch the Super Bowl on a big screen television just like you. We are living the same life. I have two luxuries: I get to do what I want to do every day and I get to travel a lot faster than you.

You should do the job you love whether or not you are getting paid for it. Do the job you love. Know that the money you will follow. I travel distances better than you do. The plane is nicer. But that is about the only thing that I do a whole lot different.

I didn’t know my salary when I went to work for Graham until I got his first paycheck. Do what you love and don’t even think about the money. I will take a trip on Paul Allen’s Octopus ($400M yacht), but wouldn’t want one for myself. A 60 man crew is needed. They could be stealing, sleeping with each other, etc. Professional sports teams are a hassle, especially when you have as much money as him. Fans would complain that you aren’t spending enough when the team loses.

If there is a place that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and you do what you love doing, you will do fine. You’re rich if you are working around people you like. You will make money if you are energetic and intelligent. This society lets smart people with drive earn a very good living. You will be no exception.”

It’s a good time of year to remember that what makes us rich is the family we cherish, the work we love, and the people we know.