For the last 20 years I have presented the Gospel to each new youth at the highly secure prison for the kids ages 13 to 19 at Gainesville, Texas. It is the first time that most any of them have stopped “running on the streets” and had the time to think about their life. Most every one made a decision to make God part of their life. After our hour+ together I would write each one a letter. As a result I corresponded more with many of them. And in each letter I would enclose a group of short stories or poems. They really liked them, especially those with an emotional message. You probably would not believe how many locked-up prison boys have loved theses little stories, and read them over and over.
In my soon to be published book I enclosed a long list of those short stories in the Appendix. Since the prison boys liked them so much, I thought you may like to see some of them. So, here is a 15th group of them for you. And you are welcome to share them with others.
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Teacher Debbie Moon’s first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different color hair than the other family members. One child suggested that he was adopted and a little girl said, “I know all about adoptions because I was adopted.” “What does it mean to be adopted?” asked another child. “It means,” said the girl, “that you grew in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy.”
* * * * * * * * * *
A four year old was at the pediatrician for a check up. As the doctor looked down her ears with an otoscope, he asked, “Do you think I’ll find Big Bird in here?” The little girl stayed silent. Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. He asked, “Do you think I’ll find the Cookie Monster down there” Again, the little girl was silent. Then the doctor put a stethoscope to her chest. As he listened to her heart beat, he asked, “Do you think I’ll hear Barney in there?” “Oh, no!” the little girl replied. “Jesus is in my heart. Barney’s on my underpants.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
As I was driving home from work one day, I stopped to watch a local Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was. “We’re behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile. “Really,” I said. “I have to say you don’t look very discouraged.” “Discouraged?” the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. “Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t been up to bat yet.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in a school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. “Guess what Mom,” he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.”
* * * * * * * * * * * *
A lesson in “heart” is my little 10 year old daughter, Sarah, who was born with a muscle missing in her foot and wears a brace all the time. She came home one beautiful spring day to tell me she had competed in “field day.” That’s where they have lots of races and other competitive events. Because of her leg support, my mind raced as I tried to think of encouragement for my Sarah, things I could say to her about not letting this get her down, but before I could get a word out, she said “Daddy, I won two of the races!” I couldn’t believe it! And then Sarah said, “I had an advantage.” Ah. I knew it. I thought she must have been given a head start… some kind of physical advantage. But again, before I could say anything, she said, “Daddy, I didn’t get a head start… My advantage was I had to try harder!”
* * * * * * * * * * * *
An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. “You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a girl in the line said to the little fella. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles,” she said, while tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful!” The boy looked up, “Really?” “Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why just name me one thing that’s more beautiful than freckles.” The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face, and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”
Living and Love
Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift. When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one which has been opened for us.
The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve every had.
It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.
Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they’ll love you back! Don’t expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn’t, be content it grew in yours.
It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
Don’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.
There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real!
Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.
Always put yourself in others’ shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can’t go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is smiling because they are so glad you were there. (Romans 8:38-39)
The Big Lottery Winner
How would you feel if you won the lottery?
I mean a really big one, like 100 million or so?
Pretty good huh?
That’s what I thought. If you won 100 million that would undoubtedly make your day. It won’t make your life but I will admit, it will do a pretty good job of making your day.
It would be hard to convince anyone that you weren’t very fortunate if you won a big lottery.
Which prize is greater, money or life?
Do you know how many sperm are released from the average male during the act of procreation?
Approximately 300 million sperm are released. Only one fertilizes the egg.
Each sperm will produce a different person with different characteristics.
300 million sperm compete in a race to fertilize the egg.
The one that wins makes the baby.
Out of 300 million, you won.
You got life.
Many lotteries have odds of around fifty something million to one. You won a race with odds of 300 million to one.
You won a greater prize than money in a race with greater odds than the lottery.
You won life.
Studies have shown that most big lottery winners aren’t as happy five years later. I have a friend that knew two people who won a 50 million dollar lottery. I asked my friend, were your friends happier before they won or now?
My friend paused in deep thought as she compared in her mind her friends before and after their big win.
“They were happier before they won”, my friend replied.
I know countless ones that have won the prize of life.
Unfortunately, they, like the big lottery winners, often end up sad.
The thing about life. . …Not only did you win the initial race, each morning that you wake up you’ve won again.
Don’t be like the typical big lottery winner.
Celebrate the win.
Celebrate the day.
Each day: Live well, love much and laugh often.
Eat desert first. Life is short!
HOORAY FOR MAE!
One day I had a date for lunch with friends. Mae, a little old “blue hair” lady, about 85 years old, came along with them. All in all, a pleasant bunch.
When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Mae who said, “Ice cream, please. Two scoops.”
I wasn’t sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. “Along with warm apple pie,” Mae added, completely unabashed. We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time. But when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off Mae as her pie a-la-mode went down. The other ladies showed dismay. They ate their lunches silently and frowned.
The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Mae. I lunched on white meat tuna. She ordered a parfait. I smiled. She asked if she amused me. I answered, “Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?”
She laughed and said, with wanton mirth, “I’m tasting all that’s possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life’s so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I am.” She grinned, “I haven’t been this old before. So, before I die, I’ve got to try those things that for years I had ignored.”
“I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many books I haven’t read. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are many malls I haven’t shopped. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of Broadway hits and potato chips and cokes. I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.
“I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most. I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind in my hair. I want to fall in love again. So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired.”
With that, I called the waitress over. “I’ve changed my mind,” I said. “I want what she is having, only add some more whipped cream!”
Live well, love much and laugh often.
If you would like to watch a wonderful, life changing movie, get yourself all prepared with the time to watch a full length movie, and then go to this site and be ready for a life changing experience. .…………….. https://www.jesusfilm.org/watch/jesus.html/english.html