Hoy Wisconsin Today Hola amigos que tal soy mariella Godinez-Munoz…
God isn’t far away
But surrounds you with his love.
It was him who opened your eyes this morning,
It is his strength
That will carry you through this day,
And it is in his peace
That your heart will find rest tonight.
God isn’t far away.
He is the light of this day,
He is the sky above you,
And the earth beneath you,
And the life of every living thing.
God isn’t far away.
He is in every smile,
In every thought that gives you hope,
In every tear that waters your soul,
In every moment you can’t face alone.
God isn’t far away.
He is the love on a loved one’s face,
He is in the friends along the way,
In strangers you’ve yet to meet
And blessings you’ve yet to receive.
God isn’t far away.
He is in every good thing that touches you.
He is in every step you make
And every breath you take.
God isn’t far away
For He is with you always………
A little girl once asked, “Mommy does
“Don’t be silly, God can’t cry baby,” her mother replied.
“But what about when He looks down from Heaven above
And sees all the people who needs His love?
And what about when He looks down and sees
The playground kids fall and scrape their knees?
Or how about Aunt Jane who can’t have baby girls or boys?
Or what about the poor kids who gets no Christmas toys?
Maybe God would cry if He lived with my friend Tommy.
Whose daddy beats and bruises him and his mommy.
Or maybe if He looked down and saw people being killed,
I think He’d surely have eyes that are tear filled.
But I think most of all, mommy, what would have made God cry,
Is when He looked down at the cross and watched His
The mother stood in silence as her eyes filled with tears,
For she knew her little girl was wise beyond her years.
Staring into deep blue eyes, the mother found courage to say,
“Yes baby girl, I think God looks down and cries every day.”
God Bless you and keep you safe in Jesus’ arms!
I woke up this morning and knew that today,
the sun would not be shining and the clouds would be gray,
As I stepped outside, rain fell upon my head.
My car wouldn’t start so I walked to work instead.
I forgot all of my work I took home from the office,
The coffee machine didn’t work and the boss was screaming, I dropped my head in disgust and asked the Lord for one request. “Lord, why is it that things won’t go my way?”
He gently replied, “Dear child, it is because you didn’t thank me yesterday. I woke you up and enabled you to see the sun again. I gave you shelter, protected your family, and even let you make a new friend.
I blessed you far greater than I ever had before.
But you were too busy to thank me once more.
You didn’t feel sick because I maintained your health.
You had money in your pocket because I maintained your wealth.
You had shoes on you feet and clothes to wear, too.
You had plenty of food to eat, and what did you do?
You ignored me and went about your tasks.
But when you wanted something you never hesitated to ask.
I was there when you needed me and that wasn’t too long ago. But when things started going your way, it was me you did not know. As if that weren’t enough, I provided your favorite luxuries. This was something I didn’t have to do-they weren’t even necessities.
And when it was time to get on your knees and show your gratitude, You decided that after such a fulfilling day, you weren’t in the mood. So I decided to give you just a little test. To show you how it would feel to stop being blessed.”
I began to realize what the Lord was saying.
And when I got home, I fell to my knees and started praying. He said, “My child, you have learned and you know I do forgive. But remember to remember this day as long as you shall live.
I love filling your life with joy, and your pain I’ll alleviate it
But, just a simple thank you would show how much you appreciate it.”
Break my will to match yours
Lord, when You come in the form of a trial,
no matter howsmall, like
the disappointment of having someone
disagree with me and
facing rejection from those I love;
when I know that I am in the right
and am blamed for what is wrong,
when I have worked hard
to make things pleasant,
yet meet with criticisms of
what might have been;
when the expectancy of waiting
seems to have no end,
and I see others
I pray to have a share in, Oh, Lord,
make it easy for my will to conform
For doing Your
a wrenching and a tearing apart
My will cracks, and in the
becomes whole again
while it yields
Oh, God, the process is painful
while it lasts.
But no sooner do I yield to
than you unlock the torrent of joy!
What surging wave of peace You bring!
What overwhelming power of being free
while it lasts.
If this be a way of union with You, Lord,
Let my will conform to Yours,
no matter what the pain and the price,
that I may be one with You
in everything I do.
Lord, this is
Write it in Your heart
as I write it in mine.
Cross in my pocket
I carry a cross in my pocket
A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be.
This little cross is not magic
Nor is it a good luck charm.
It isn’t meant to protect me.
From every physical harm.
It’s not for identification
For all the world to see.
It’s simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me.
When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or key.
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price He paid for me.
It reminds me, too, to be thankful
For my blessings day by day
And strive to serve
Him better In all that I do and say.
It’s also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my master
And give themselves to His care.
So, I carry a cross in my pocket
Reminding no one but me
That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life
If only I’ll let Him be.
Barbara was driving her six-year-old son, Benjamin, to his piano lesson.
They were late, and Barbara was beginning to think she should have cancelled it. There was always so much to do, and Barbara, a night-duty nurse at the local hospital, had recently worked extra shifts.
She was tired. The sleet storm and icy roads added to her tension. Maybe she should turn the car around.
“Mom!” Ben cried. “Look!” Just ahead, a car had lost control on a patch of ice. As Barbara tapped the brakes, the other car spun wildly rolled over, then crashed sideways into a telephone pole.
Barbara pulled over, skidded to a stop and threw open her door. Thank goodness she was a nurse – she might be able to help these unfortunate passengers.
Then she paused. What about Ben? She couldn’t take him with her. Little boys shouldn’t see scenes like the one she anticipated. But was it safe to leave him alone? What if their car were hit from behind?
For a brief moment Barbara considered going on her way. Someone else was sure to come along. No! “Ben, honey, promise me you’ll stay in the car!”
“I will, Mommy,” he said as she ran, slipping and sliding toward the crash site. It was worse than she’d feared. Two girls of high school age were in the car. One, the blonde on the passenger side, was dead, killed on impact.
The driver, however was still breathing. She was unconscious and pinned in the wreckage. Barbara quickly applied pressure to the wound in the teenager’s head while her practiced eye catalogued the other injuries. A broken leg, maybe two, along with probable internal bleeding. But if help came soon, the girl would live.
A trucker had pulled up and was calling for help on his cellular phone. Soon Barbara heard the ambulance sirens. A few moments later she surrendered her lonely post to rescue workers.
“Good job,” one said as he examined the driver’s wounds. “You probably saved her life, ma’am.” Perhaps.
But as Barbara walked back to her car a feeling of sadness overwhelmed her, especially for the family of the girl who had died. Their lives would never be the same. Oh God, why do such things have to happen?
Slowly Barbara opened her car door. What should she tell Benjamin? He was staring at the crash site, his blue eyes huge. “Mom,” he whispered, “did you see it?”
“See what, Honey?” she asked.
“The angel, Mom! He came down from the sky while you were running to the car. And he opened the door, and he took that girl out.”
Barbara’s eyes filled with tears. “Which door, Ben?”
“The passenger side. He took the girl’s hand, and they floated up to Heaven together”
“What about the driver?”
Ben shrugged. “I didn’t see anyone else.”
Later, Barbara was able to meet the families of the victims. They expressed their gratitude for the help she had provided. Barbara was able to give them something more – Ben’s vision.
There was no way he could have known what happened to either of the passengers. Nor could the passenger door have been opened; Barbara had seen its tangle of immovable steel herself. Yet Ben’s account brought consolation to a grieving family. Their daughter was safe in Heaven. And they would see her again.
A man wanted to be a missionary, when the time came he was sent to the church thanking God for his desire, waiting anxiously for God to send him.
The time came, but to go he would need to go in a plane and to his surprised the way to get there it was by jumping out in a parachute. Yes! You read right a PARACHUTE! But he didn’t care he only new he finally was a missionary!!!
He got on the plane and the pilot said when you see the green light you need to jump. Okay great! The missionary replied, “I’ll jump! So he notices they flew over several nations, countries, and as he flew over a few he kept saying HERE?
Here?! No the pilot reply, only when you see the GREEN LIGHT!
Paris? No, no green light!
Egypt, yes! No, no green light!
Oh there it is Australia! No???No Green light!
OMG! Jamaica??? No? No green light!.
As the plane kept flying, the new missionary kept waiting for that green light to jump. Then it happened,
THE GREEN LIGHT! He jumps full of excitement, thanking God for the honor of been a missionary willing to do God’s work.
Well he jumped and landed on a roof top. Struggling to take the parachute off himself and sees where he landed,.
He looked around and it looks familiar he said, He landed on his neighbor’s house!
The lesson of this story to me is this, if I want to do good for others, then the need starts with my neighbor, with my family, with my city, learn to do this home then you will be an expert by the time you go somewhere else.
Galatians 6:9 says: So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.
Also says: “And he said unto them, Go ye into the entire world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Matthew 16:15
The message is simple:
GOD LOVES YOU AND GAVE HIS ONLY SON JESUS TO SAVE YOU AND FORGAVE YOU.
HIS LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL.
BY dg JOB 42:5
Por Araceli Roman
En la vida las personas pasamos por etapas que vivimos desde nuestra infancia hasta que llegamos a ser adultos. En cada etapa vamos conociendo personas a las que nosotros terminamos considerando amigos pero en realidad, Quienes son los verdaderos amigos? Estamos en una epoca en donde ya no hay valores ni principios y nos olvidamos de el valor mas importante que es el Respeto. Hay un dicho muy conocido que dice: Amigos hay pocos,conocidos bastantes.Todos los dichos se hacen porque tienen toda la razon. Muchos hemos tenido supuestos amigos pero resultan estar contigo por beneficio propio, estan ahi para pasar un rato de diversion, muchos terminan undiendote en el vicio de el alcohol, las drogas y no miden las consecuensias de lo que estos actos nos afectan como al perder la familia, el trabajo y en casos hasta la propia vida. Al contrario de el conocido un amigo te ofrece su amistad incondicionalmente, un amigo te quita la botella de la mano cuando ve que tuviste demasiado y se preocupa por tu bienstar al que llegues con bien con tus seres queridos porque tu familia es su familia. Un amigo es el que te escucha, te entiende, te valora es con quien podemos compartir nuestros sueños, fracasos, problemas, emociones, tristezas, estar contigo en las buenas y en las malas y lo mas importante nos tenemos confianza.
Feel so sad and lonely; feel like I want to die
I know it´s wrong to feel that, but it is how I feel
I try to fight it off, but the feeling is so real
“My poor dear child, I know it can get tough
I always hear you yelling, ‘Lord, I’ve had enough’
Tell me all your problems; pass your weight to me
Don’t cry My dear child, you’ll be OK just wait and see”
OK well, work for example, it’s always on my mind
Put all my heart into it, but get treated so unkind
And what about the gossip, whispers behind my back
I can’t trust anybody; it’s like attack after attack
“Gossip and unkindness is not something that’s new
Put all your trust in Me, and I will bring you through
Do good always, even though you get let down
When you feel that love is lost, know that Mine is still around”
God it’s like I have no luck, something’s always wrong
I’ve been struggling with my health, struggling for so long
When I feel the pain is going, it returns again but worse
Please stop this suffering Lord, please cast away this curse
“Whenever you’re in pain, remember I was there first
I’ll be by your side forever, for better or for worse
Carry your cross proudly; know that I’m watching you
I’ll provide you comfort, I died to make all things new”
OK Lord I will, I’ll try not to give in
But each time I have a problem I always turn to sin
I fall into temptation, even though I know it’s wrong
Help me God Our Father, help me to be strong
“Child of mine listen, take refuge in Me
Use Me as your light, and in darkness you will see
In Me you can do all things, Mountains you can sway
And if you feel you can’t, turn to Me and pray”
I can’t believe how better I feel, I came to you with doubt
But now I walk away knowing what your love is all about
Already I feel stronger, any challenge I can beat
I feel your presence in me, from my head down to my feet
“That’s the Spirit child, the Truth will set you free
Shine your light so bright, so those who doubt will see
I will not let go of your hand, so you can soar so high
I will shield you from all danger so that evil pass you by”
OK thanks for listening Jesus, you have truly made my day
I’ll continue to do your will, no matter what they say
I know its going to be tough, but I know I will survive
Nobody can defeat me; in my heart you are alive
“Remember to stay humble; love others as I love you
Continue to help the needy, continue to be true.
My Kingdom is coming child, Soon you’ll be in Paradise
I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life”
John 14:6 – (Jesus answered) “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.”
Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little
boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.
In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door,
leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
His mother in the house was looking out the window saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late.
Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.
From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.
Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived.
His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.
The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the
trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs.
And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”
You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too.
No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But the scars of a painful past, Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret.
But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.
In the midst of your struggle, He’s been there holding on to you.
Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.
As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!”
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!”.
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?”
As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”
“Really?” my son asked. “Cross my heart.” Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing) “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.
He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you.
Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already.”
An explanation of God
This one was written by an 8 year old, Danny Dutton of Chula Vista, CA, for his third grade homework assignment. The assignment was to explain God.
I just wonder if any of us could do as well???
One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are
smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn’t have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.
God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An
awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off.
God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting His time by going over your Mom and Dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.
Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there
are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren’t any who come to our church.
Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking
on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like His Father and He told His Father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.
His Dad [God) appreciated everything that He had done and all
His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.
You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you
because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.
You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God
happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God. Don’t skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach.
This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.
If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will
be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.
But…you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you.
I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.
And…that’s why I believe in God.
Checking In Today
A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn’t shaved in a while.
His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed,
the man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap,
each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the minister’s suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him, “What are you doing here?”
The old man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.
“I stay only moments, see, because the factory is so far away;
as I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say:
“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY.”
The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.
It’s time to go, Jim smiled, said “Thanks.” He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar, he’d never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love, and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim’s prayer:
“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY.”
Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn’t come.
As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried, but he’d given them a thrill.
The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, were his reward.
The head nurse couldn’t understand why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.
The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse’s concern:
No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;
“the nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know, that in here all the while
everyday at noon He’s here, a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM,
HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,
AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.
ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,
I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS
CHECKING IN TODAY.”
Letter from Heaven
To my dearest family, some things I’d like to say.
But first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I’m writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there’s no more tears of sadness; Here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I’m out of sight.
Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through.
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, “I welcome you.
It’s good to have you back again, you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, They’ll be here later on.
I need you here badly, you’re part of my plan.
There’s so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.
God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night the day’s chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you….in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years.
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry: it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.
I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you, you wouldn’t understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o’er.
I’m closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I’d like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who’s in sorrow and pain;
Then you can say to God at night……”My day was not in vain.”
And now I am contented….that my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you’re walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind;
I’m walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.
And when it’s time for you to go….from that body to be free.
Remember you’re not going…..you’re coming here to me.
By Cathy Rodriguez-Malave
Documentation shows that the suicide rate among Hispanics islower compared to non-Hispanic whites in the 15-19 age group. Unfortunately Hispanics are more likely to suffer from serious psychological stress when over the age of 18, according to the CDC.
While actual suicide rates are lower and even though most Hispanics are raised to believe that suicide is a sin, the idea of committing suicide and suicide attempts happen at a higher rateamong Hispanics and especially among Hispanic girls.
Why? I can only speak from my experience as a Latina.
As the first generation born in the U.S. by immigrant parents, I felt many times that things were a bit harder for me than they were for my American school mates.
I was the voice for my parents, whose limited English hinderedproper communication at appointments, grocery stores, or even school events. I felt that I had to be the voice for my parents so that they wouldn’t be taken advantage of. This was actually the case for many of my Hispanic friends as well. That is a lot of pressure for a child. In essence it was kind of like being the parent sometimes.
Assimilation to the American culture can be difficult for Hispanic families as well. Some aspects of American culture clash with Hispanic culture. I used to watch in awe, the way my American friends spoke to their parents or any adult, thinking all the while how, if that was me; I would’ve gotten a chancleta so immediately!
As a Hispanic woman I have felt a lot of pressure to keep my culture, assimilate, be the caregiver for my parents, raise children who are culturally aware, respectful and successful, be a super wife, keep my problems well-hidden and be successfuljust to name a few.
At times I felt duties overwhelmed anddepressed; there was no place to turn. After all I didn’t want someone to think that I was loca; but there is so much more to mental illness then just feeling sad or depressed.
There are many Latinos battling mental illness. We need to remove the stigma attached to mental health issues in the Latino community. We need to view mental illness as the treatable medical condition that it is.
Everybody needs some help at one point or another in their lives and we need to stand behind our friends and family and let them know that it is ok to ask for help.Feeling overwhelmed, depressed and anxious makes us human. We are perfectly imperfect beings.
Even through our vulnerabilities and imperfections, we show how strong and courageous we can be. We can never give up.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide please get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Patrick came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front garden.
The door of his wife, Valerie’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the hall, Patrick found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the rug was piled up against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the worktop, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
Patrick quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for Valerie. He was worried she might be ill, collapsed, that something serious had happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and sink.
As he rushed to the bedroom, he found Valerie still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.
Patrick looked at Valerie, bewildered and asked, ‘What happened here today?’
Valerie again smiled and answered, ‘You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me sarcastically what in the world I do all day?’
‘Yes,’ was Patrick’s startled reply.
Valerie answered, ‘Well, today, I didn’t do it.’
By Tony Campolo
It seems that there was a lady named Jean Thompson and when she stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very first day of school in the fall, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved them all the same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were unkempt and that he constantly needed a bath. Add to it the fact Teddy was unpleasant. As the school year went by it got to the point that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold ‘X’s and then marking the ‘F’ at the top of the paper biggest of all.
Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, nobody else seemed to enjoy him, either. Now at the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s records and because of things, put Teddy’s off until the absolute last. But, when she opened his file, she was in for a surprise.
His first-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh. He does work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.”
His second-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student and is well-liked by his classmates — but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”
His third-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy continues to work hard, but his mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”
Teddy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometime sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem.”
By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem, but Christmas was coming fast. It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard on that last day before the vacation would begin. Her children brought her presents, all in gay ribbon and bright paper, except for Teddy’s, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper of a scissored grocery bag.
Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents and some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet, with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and she dabbed some of the perfume behind the other wrist.
At the end of the day, as the other children joyously raced from the room, Teddy Stoddard stayed behind, just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to.” As soon as Teddy left, Mrs. Thompson knelt at her desk and there, after the last day of school before Christmas, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading and writing and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children. And Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called “Teddy”.
As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded and, on days that there would be an important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class and…well, he had also become the “pet” of the teacher who had once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.
A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that of all the teachers he’d had in elementary school, she was his favorite.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. And then he wrote that as he finished high school, third in his class, she was still his favorite teacher of all time.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, that he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his favorite teacher.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite teacher, but that now his name was a little longer. And the letter was signed, “Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.”
The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said that…well, that he’d met this girl and was to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering…well, if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom.
Most people overlook a child’s heart when it is buried under pain. Take the time to give a wounded child your love and he will learn to love the world. Love is very powerful. Use it’s power wisely and someone will be the better for it.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139:2). I am familiar with your ways (Psalm 139:3). Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matt 10:29-31) for you were made in my image (Genesis 1:27). In me, you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28) for you are my offspring (Acts 17:28).
I knew you even before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5). I chose you even before I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12). You were not a mistake; all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:15-16). I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). You were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I knit you together in you mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71:6).
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me (John 8:41-44). I am not distant and angry, but I am the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16), and it is my desire to lavish my love on you (1 John 3:1). I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11) for I am the perfect father (Matthew 5:48). Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17) for I am your provider, and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31-33)
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), my thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139:17-18) and I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40) for you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19:5). I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 32:41).
I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3). If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4:29). Delight in me, and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4) for it is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2:13).
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20) for I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). I am also the father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18). As a Shepard carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11).
One day, I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:3-4) and I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Revelation 21:3-4). I am your father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31) and to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
Jesus died so that you could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10). I gave up everything I loved so that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32). If you receive the gift of my son, Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23), and nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-39).
Come home, and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15:7). I have always been your father and will always be your father (Ephesians 3:14-15).
My question is, will you be my child (John 1:1-13)?
I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32).
Your Dad, Almighty God