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July 2011

Look For God In Others

 

With one small gesture you can change a person's life.

 

 

One day, when I was a freshman in high school,
I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.
His name was Kyle.  It looked like he was carrying all of his books.  I thought to myself, 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?  He must really be a nerd.'
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
 

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him.They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.
His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him...

 


He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes .
My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
 

As I handed him his glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks.'
They really should get lives.
' He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!'
 

There was a big smile on his face.
It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.
As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.  He said he had gone to private school before now.  I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.  We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.  He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.

 


I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends .  He said yes.  We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

  


Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.  I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!' He just laughed and handed me half the books.

 


Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.
When we were seniors we began to think about college.
Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.
I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.  He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class.  I teased him all the time about being a nerd.

He had to prepare a speech for graduation.  I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak .

Graduation day, I saw Kyle.  He looked great.
He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.  He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.   He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.  Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days.  I could see that he was nervous about his speech.  So, I smacked him on the back and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!'  He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled....
' Thanks,' he said.

 


As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began ...

 


'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.  Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends....
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.

 


I am going to tell you a story.'
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met.

He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.
He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.  He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.  'Thankfully, I was saved.  My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.'

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.  Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.
With one small gesture you can change a person's life.
For better or for worse.
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.

Look for God in others.

'Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.'

  


There is no beginning or end..

 

Yesterday is history.

Friends 

 

Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.

 

 

 


Perseverance

From a homily on the Gospels by Gregory the Great, pope
She longed for Christ, though she thought he had been taken away

When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: The disciples went back home, and it adds: but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.

We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.

At first she sought but did not find, but when she persevered it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love; and again: My soul is melted with love.

Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened; for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.

Jesus says to her: Mary. Jesus is not recognized when he calls her “woman”; so he calls her by name, as though he were saying: Recognize me as I recognize you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself. And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognizes who is speaking. She immediately calls him rabboni, that is to say, teacher, because the one whom she sought outwardly was the one who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.

Office of Readings. 7-22

Perseverance

A Little Humor on Human Nature

 
 
 
 
 

 

Feather


 
Well, the Pope didn't know what to do, so an idea popped into his head. He asked everyone to please be quiet for a few minutes and he told all of them that he was going to throw down a feather. Whoever the feather landed on, he would take his or her heart for the transplant.
 
Pope John Paul II then threw the feather down upon the people. Everyone was still screaming and waving their hands, "Take my heart, Pope," but with one difference: they were leaning their heads back and blowing the feather back into the air. "Take my heart, Pope (blow), Take my heart (blow)."


There is a silly story going around that makes a powerful point about where many of us are right now. According to the story, Pope John Paul II was needing a heart transplant. There was much concern throughout the Roman Catholic world. Everyone gathered outside of the Vatican screaming and waving their hands. "Take my heart, Pope, take my heart!"

Two Great Stories

Two Stories BOTH TRUE - and worth reading!!!!

STORY NUMBER ONE

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago . Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.

And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.

Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.

He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street . But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he would ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."

STORY NUMBER TWO

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.

He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.

He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.

His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American Fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.

Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes.. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.

Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.

Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.

SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?

Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son..

(Pretty cool, eh!)

=

--
A. Philip Lomonaco, Attorney at Law
800 S. Gay Street
Suite 2610
Knoxville, TN 37929
(865) 521-7422
(865) 521-7433 (Fax)

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Well, they have eaten $60 of my flowering plants and bathed in my porch fountain, and now they have the neve to knock on my sliding glass door and look at me in disgust. "Where is the food???" Fun to watch, but boy they can be distructive.

Squirrel tree


Did you experience your angel today?

Did you experience your angel today?

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.."

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really
felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts....dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often.

The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his
prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a
heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside
alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased
him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had
done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An
ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders.

Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and
insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped
altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small
farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him
adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed
nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became
frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick.
We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The
clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad 's troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.."

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at
a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic
depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a
questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of
disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each
contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair.

As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner
struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It
was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a
caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?"

The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny
one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought
him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow."

He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're
going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for
every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision.
"I'll take him," I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached
the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch... "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I
would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen
than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm
scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad . He's staying!"

Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad ?" I screamed.

At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his
eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He
wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly,
carefully, he raised his paw..

Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion
replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad
was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the
pointer Cheyenne ...

Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years..
Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night.

I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in
his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime
during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad 's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad 's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show
hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels
without knowing it."

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not
seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right
article...

Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. . ..his calm
acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of
their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly
and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Forgive now those who
made you cry. You might not get a second time.

And if you don't send this to at least 4 people ---nobody cares? But do
share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.

God answers our prayers in His time........not ours.