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WITandWISDOM(tm) - January 2, 2003
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. - Chinese Proverb
Source: Inspire, http://www.inspirelist.com/
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
The throbbing of tom-toms and the cloying scent of marijuana hung about my head as I gathered my few belongings into my backpack. Hefting the oversized beast onto my slender shoulders, I fairly staggered down the mountain path, past free-spirited flower children and chanting Hare Krishnas. It was July 1978. I was leaving Oregon's Umpqua National Forest and the Rainbow Family's* annual gathering; heading to the highway to catch a ride north to the cherry orchards, where I hoped to find work.
In Roseburg I stowed the leaden pack against a darkened wall and crossed the road to a hamburger joint. While I munched, I kept a watchful eye on my backpack - or at least what I thought was my back-pack. When I returned I discovered the unbelievable truth - I had been keeping careful vigil over a garbage can that, from a distance, had doubled for the bulky pack. My backpack, along with my clothes, sleeping bag, and everything I owned in the world, was gone. All I had were the clothes on my back and $4 in my pocket - and too much pride to call home for help.
Some sympathetic hippies, fresh from the Rainbow gathering, gave me a ride to a Christian halfway house in Eugene, where I was graciously given refuge. Those kind people provided me with food, shelter, a much-needed shower, and abundant prayer. But I appreciated none of it. To my hostile, unconverted mind, Christians were weaklings; Christians were fools, and I determined I would literally beg, borrow, and steal to escape their insufferable goodness and recover my coveted freedom.
I'm ashamed to admit it, but steal I did. Disdaining the faded "discards" offered by the local Salvation Army, I spent the next few days brazenly shoplifting a brand-new backpack and its entire contents. The only article too large for me to smuggle out of a store was a sleeping bag, without which I remained, in my estimation, trapped.
As I wandered aimlessly through town, sullenly considering my options, I paused absently in front of a funeral home. Dejected, I glanced down at the sidewalk - and spotted a neatly folded $20 bill. Elated, I snatched up the bill and fairly flew down the street - and ran smack into a camping supply store sporting a banner that read: "Clearance - Sleeping Bags $19.95." I was back on the interstate without so much as a thank-you to those kind Christians.
Why the $20 bill? Did it fall there by chance? Was it placed there by Providence - perhaps in response to the earnest intercession of "weak and foolish" Christians? I've never doubted it, at least not since I've happily joined their ranks. And every time I think of it, I shake my head in awe and disbelief that a pure and holy God would so graciously favor such an undeserving wretch.
* The Rainbow Family is a worldwide, self-described "nonorganization of nonmembers" united by a shared devotion to alternative lifestyles and spirituality.
By Leslie Kay, Chloride, Arizona
Source: Adventist Review, ISSN 0161-1119, (c) June 28, 2001, http://www.adventistreview.org/
Submitted by Nancy Simpson
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
Top Seven Church Oxymorons
7. Brief meeting
6. Preacher's day off
5. Early sign up
4. Clear calendar
3. Volunteer waiting list
2. Realistic budget
1. Concluding remarks
Source: Sermon Fodder, http://www.sermonfodder.com
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
The FBI IS watching you ...
The new Homeland Security Bill has passed. Things will be different now. The FBI says you won't notice anything different ... but one wonders ... Check it out, click:
Source : Monday Fodder mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscribe_Monday_Fodder
Don't Know Much About The Everglades
Can you give a swamp a birthday party? Fifty-five years ago, December 1952. President Truman dedicated Everglades National Park, a subtropical region of sawgrass, pines and mangroves at Florida's southern tip.
What do you know about this "river of grass," as it was dubbed by preservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas? Try a quick quiz by Kenneth C. Davis, the author of Don't Know Much About Geography®.
True or false? Answers below.
1. The Everglades were created by the Army Corps of Engineers.
2. The park covers less than one-fourth of the Glades' original area.
3. The Everglades are home to both alligators and crocodiles.
4. Until Ponce de Leon landed in Florida, the Glades were uninhabited.
1. False. The Everglades were created thousands of years ago, after the last major ice sheet melted, flooding the outlets of streams and turning the area into a swamp.
2. True. The park's 1.5 million acres are about one-fifth of the Glades' original area, which has shrunk because of development.
3. True. It's the only place in the world where they co-exist.
4. False. Various peoples have lived there over the centuries.
Source: USA Weekend, December 6-8, 2002, http://usaweekend.com