The Richest Man in the Valley

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Boyer via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Jennifer Boyer via CC Flickr

There are many times throughout our lives where ae all need a little perspective. We sometimes think more of ourselves than we ought to think and a story…like the one today…reminds us what the things in life are…that REALLY make us rich!

A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by.

Hans said, ‘I was just thanking God for my food.’

Carl protested, ‘If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn’t feel like giving thanks.’

Hans replied, ‘God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.’

The old farmer added, ‘It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ I don’t know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.’

Carl snorted, ‘Dreams are nonsense,’ and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans’ words: ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, ‘Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.’

Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man’s dream. At about nine o’clock, a messenger arrived at Carl’s door.

‘What is it?’ Carl demanded.

The messenger explained, ‘It’s about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.’

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Source: agiftofinspiration.com

The Day A Doctor Changed The World Forever

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Photo Credit: Riley's Children Foundation

Photo Credit: Riley’s Children Foundation

I love reading the “story behind the story” of why things happened and turned out the way they are today. For example…where did the name “Sloppy Joe” come from? Where did Walt Disney begin his Disney World empire?…etc. Well, I recently read the following story on a site “Gabe’s Fascinating Stories” that fell into this category. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In the early 1950’s an Austrian educational specialist published a study in America called “Why Johnny Can’t Read.”  His study argued that the Dick and Jane primers used at that time throughout American schools to teach children to read weren’t working.

He believed they were horrible educational tools; according to him they were stupid, pointless, tasteless little readers.  He doubted whether any middle-class, middle-income, middle-IQ student could learn anything by reading  “Look, look” or “Yes, yes” or “Come see Spot” or “See the funny, funny animal.”

He believed the stories in these primers were boring and the books ineffective at best in helping American children learn how to read.

William Spaulding, a publisher from Houghton Mifflin’s Publishing Company who worked in the educational division and read this Austrian study, thought it might be right. He met a man a few years earlier who he’d published a few not-very-well-known but very imaginative children’s books that his children really loved to read over and over.

Mr. Spaulding thought this unknown writer of children’s books might be able to write a book that would really be good for teaching American children how to read, want to read, and read over and over again. So he invited the author over for dinner one night and explained the dilemma to him.  Then Mr. Spaulding asked, “Can you write a book with a simple story that first-graders won’t be able to put down and will just want to read over and over again?”

Stunned by the question and not sure how to respond, the writer asked if he could have some time to think about it and work on it.  He left that dinner and spent the next nine months composing a book he thought would meet the goals of Mr. Spaulding.

A meticulous editor and reviser, he believed that a children’s book must be kept simple.  Every chapter had to be boiled down to just one simple paragraph so a child would be able to understand it.  He worked especially hard on the word count as he wanted to use as few words as possible.

The small children’s reader this writer finally produced at Mr. Spaulding’s request is now considered to be the most popular children’s book ever written in American history. Within less then a year of its initial publication, it was selling 12,000 copies a month and within five years from its release it had sold over a million copies.  This was an incredible feat for a children’s book.

His book contained a grand total of 1,702 words but the kick is he only used 220 different words in the entire book. His simple yet effective book revolutionized the way children in America learn to read.  The book he wrote and presented to Mr. Spaulding nine months later wasThe Cat in the Hat.

Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel) is without a doubt the best-selling children’s book author of all time.  He has since written 63 other children’s books in all, including Horton Hears a Who! (1954), One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960), Green Eggs and Ham(1960), Hop on Pop (1963), Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (1975), The Butter Battle Book (1984), and of course, The Cat in the Hat (1957).

Pictures That Speak Volumes #46

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This might be one of the most beautiful pictures that I have ever posted!

Photo Credit: Unknown

Photo Credit: Unknown

UPDATE!

Kerbey, a follower of my blog, found some further information regarding this picture. If you would like to learn more details about this person, cemetery, etc., please click on this link: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7140314

The Shoe Box

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Photo Credit: Tim Wilson via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Tim Wilson via CC Flickr

I recently read a touching story from The San Francisco Globe that I thought would be something nice to share with you. So…sit back and enjoy this story. I am sure that it will touch your heart in a special way.

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totalling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents.
‘When we were to be married,’ she said, ‘ my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.’

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two Precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two Times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with Happiness.

‘Honey,’ he said, ‘that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?’

‘Oh,’ she said, ‘that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.’

 

 

Life Is About Having Fun….

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Here’s is a great video that will put a smile on your face and hopefully remind you how life is meant for us to enjoy…no matter how old or how we feel. Take the time today to treat yourself to a good time and ENJOY LIFE!

A Letter From God

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Photo Credit: Unknown

Photo Credit: Unknown

WOW! Please take a minute to read this adorable story on FaceBook a while ago and thought that you might enjoy iy! —>

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

Dancing in the Rain

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Photo Credit: John Edwards

Photo Credit: John Edwards

There are many times throughout our lives that we experience circumstances that can either leave us feeling good or bad about ourselves. They can be either positive or negative circumstances but the most important thing that we need to remember..is how we deal with them!!

Unfortunately, I know the feelings of resentment and hurt all too well. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had fallen into a web of negativity over a course of the past few years. In conversations with other people, I had become a “nay-sayer”, someone who talked about people in negative ways instead of being the positive, encouraging kind of person that I was.

Two things opened my eyes and REALLY made me realize how foolish I had been and how much I had gotten away from being kind to others.

One, was a statement that I heard in church a few weeks ago…“Never allow the circumstances in your life take away from the joy of the things that you like to do.” WOW!…how true!!

And the second.. was the following story that I recently read.

It is my hope and prayer that the following story can help encourage you as much as it encouraged me!!!

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A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced 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, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. 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 came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, ‘Mom let’s run through the rain,’ She said. ‘What?’ Mom asked.

‘Let’s run through the rain!’ She repeated.

‘No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,’ Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: ‘Mom, let’s run through the rain..’

‘We’ll get soaked if we do,’ Mom said.

‘No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,’ the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’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 Daddy about his 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 left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her 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 need washing,’ Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

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 every day.

I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN!

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