The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Stories of Inspiration

Will Rogers Humorous Observations

Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash with his best friend, Wylie Post, was probably the greatest political sage this country ever has known.

  1. Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.

  2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3… There are two theories to arguing with a woman… Neither works.

  1. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

  2. Always drink upstream from the herd.

  3. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

  4. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

  5. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

  6. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  7. If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

  8. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.

  9. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

About Growing Older

First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it’s called golf.

And, finally ~ If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you are old.

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Precious Lord: Birth of a song

Back in 1932, I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s Southside. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis, where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis. I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, had forgotten my music case.

I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED. People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home.

All I could hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.”

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart. For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.

But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died. From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him.

But still I was lost in grief.

Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Frye, who seemed to know what I needed. On the following Saturday evening he took me up to Madam Malone’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.

Something happened to me then I felt at peace. I feel as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, one I’d never heard or played before, and the words into my head-they just seemed to fall into place:

“Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand!
I am tired, I am weak,
I am worn, Through the storm,
through the night lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.”

The Lord gave me these words and melody. He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power. And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

-Thomas A. Dorsey- Gospel Songwriter

Angels in the alley

Diane, a young Christian University student, was home for the summer. She had gone to visit some friends one evening and time passed quickly as each shared their various experiences of the past year.

She ended up staying longer than planned, and had to walk home alone. She wasn’t afraid, because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away.

As she walked along under the tall elm trees, Diane asked “God” to keep her safe from harm and danger. When she reached the alley, which was a short cut to her house, she decided to take it, however, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for “God’s” protection. Instantly a comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her, she felt as though someone was walking with her.

When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely.

The following day, she read in the newspaper that a young girl had been raped in the same alley, just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep.

Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station. She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story. The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a lineup to see if she could identify him. She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed.

The officer thanked Diane for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her.

She asked if they would ask the man one question. Diane was curious as to why he had not attacked her. When the policeman asked him, he answered, “Because she wasn’t alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her.”

There are aspects of the Lord that are better felt than telt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA8VJh0UJtg

“God is the God of the animals in a far lovelier way, I suspect, than many of us dare to think, but he will not be the God of a man by making a good beast of him.” -George MacDonald-

Flying with no hands

Oxford and Cambridge have now decided to remove the words CAN’T and IMPOSSIBLE from their dictionary.

Jessica Cox, 25, a girl born without arms, stands inside an aircraft. The girl from Tucson , Arizona got the Sport Pilot certificate lately and became the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet. Jessica Cox of Tucson was born without arms, but that has only stopped her from doing one thing: using the word “can’t.”

Her latest flight into the seemingly impossible is becoming the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet.

With one foot manning the controls and the other delicately guiding the steering column, Cox, 25, soared to achieve a Sport Pilot certificate.

Her certificate qualifies her to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet.

She’s a good pilot. She’s rock solid," said Parrish Traweek, 42, the flying instructor at San Manuel’s Ray Blair Airport . Parrish Traweek runs PC Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Services and has trained many pilots, some of whom didn’t come close to Cox’s abilities.

When she came up here driving a car," Traweek recalled, “I knew she’d have no problem flying a plane.”

Oxford and Cambridge have now decided to remove the words CAN’T and IMPOSSIBLE from their dictionary

The Old Fisherman -Mary Bartels Bray-

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. “Why, he’s hardly taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face - lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus 'til morning. "He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face… I know it looks terrible, but the doctor says with a few more treatments…”

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.”

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No thank you. I have plenty.” And he held up a brown paper bag. When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn’t tell it by way of complaint. In fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.” I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 am, and wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish or oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.

“Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!”

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!” My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.” She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in Heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won’t mind starting in this small body.”

All this happened long ago - and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

Our Lives are not determined by what happened to us, but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings us but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

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A lesson in faith - Charles Blondin-

The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is.

Blondin’s greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat.

He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times… each time with a different daring feat - once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!

A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across - one dangerous step after another - pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes.

Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd’s applause was louder than the roar of the falls!

Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?”

The crowd enthusiastically yelled, “Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!”

“Okay,” said Blondin, “Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow.”

As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!

This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But… their actions proved they truly did not believe.

A prayer

Heavenly Father, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

This is from today’s CAC newsletter:

Indwelling Spirit

A Constant Grace
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to reveal to us the truth of our being so that the way of our being can match it. — Wm. Paul Young [1]

The love in you—which is the Spirit in you—always somehow says yes. (See 2 Corinthians 1:20.) Love is not something you do; love is something you are. It is your True Self. Love is where you came from and love is where you’re going. It’s not something you can buy. It’s not something you can attain. It’s the presence of God within you, called the Holy Spirit or what some theologians name uncreated grace.

You can’t manufacture this by any right conduct, dear reader. You can’t make God love you one ounce more than God already loves you right now. You can go to church every day for the rest of your life. God isn’t going to love you any more than God loves you right now.

You cannot make God love you any less, either—not an ounce less. Do the most terrible thing and God wouldn’t love you less. You cannot change the Divine mind about you! The flow is constant, total, and 100 percent toward your life. God is for you.

We can’t diminish God’s love for us. What we can do, however, is learn how to believe it, receive it, trust it, allow it, and celebrate it, accepting Trinity’s whirling invitation to join in the cosmic dance.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1090–1153) wrote, “Inasmuch as the soul becomes unlike God, so it becomes unlike itself.” [2] Bernard has, of course, come to the same thing I’m trying to say here: the pattern within the Trinity is the same as the pattern in all creation. And when you return to this same pattern, the flow will be identical.

Catherine LaCugna (1952–1997) ended her giant theological tome God for Us with this one simple sentence:

The very nature of God, therefore, is to seek out the deepest possible communion and friendship with every last creature on this earth. [3]

That’s God’s job description. That’s what it’s all about. And the only thing that can keep you out of this divine dance is fear or self-hatred. What would happen in your life—right now—if you fully accepted what God has created?

Suddenly, this is a very safe universe. You have nothing to be afraid of. God is for you. God is leaping toward you! God is on your side, honestly more than you are on your own.

Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.

[1] Wm. Paul Young, Trinity: The Soul of Creation , session 7 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2017), MP4 download.

[2] Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons on the Song of Songs , 82.5. This translation is from William Harmless, Mystics , (Oxford University Press: 2008), 55.

[3] Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (HarperSanFrancisco: 1993), 411.

Adapted from Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 193-194.

Image credit: The Miraculous Haul of Fishes (detail), Henry Ossawa Tanner, between 1913 and 1914, National Academy of Design, New York, NY.

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How to be happy

Are you almost disgusted with life, little man?
I’ll tell you a wonderful trick that will bring you contentment, if anything can
Do something for somebody, quick!

Are you awfully tired with play, little girl?
Wearied, discouraged, and sick -
I’ll tell you the loveliest game in the world,
Do something for somebody, quick!

Though it rains like the rain of the flood, little man
and the clouds are forbidding and thick,
You can make the sun shine in your soul, little man
Do something for somebody, quick!

Though the stars are like brass overhead, little girl,
and the walks like a well-heated brick
and our earthly affairs in a terrible whirl,
Do something for somebody, quick!

Angel at Presbyterian Hospital

A couple of Wednesdays ago, I got an evening phone call from the pediatric ICU at Presbyterian Hospital, in Charlotte, NC, where I work as a child life specialist. Usually when they call at night, it means something bad has happened. This, however, was different. My coworker told me that the most amazing thing had just happened and she just had to call to tell me.

We had a patient who has really grown up in and out of the hospital. All the staff knows her and her family. She had been in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for about a month, and had been intubated - on life support. She was not doing well. The doctors had approached mom about taking her off life support the Saturday before. Mom was okay with it, and said that she’d been through so much and if was her time to go she wanted to honor that. So they had taken her off.

It was Wednesday and she was still alive. Amazing. The doctors approached mom about taking off her oxygen mask. Mom was supportive, and began praying over her daughter. The mother of another young patient who was in the bed next to her began praying with her.

The nurse practitioner went to the nurses’ station to chart that she had taken off the oxygen mask. While doing so, she looked up at the security monitor that videotapes the double doors leading into the PICU. It records anyone who may be waiting outside the doors to get in since it is a secure unit. She saw a man standing there, and it looked a little funny to her, so she decided to walk down the hall to open the double doors personally. When she opened them, no one was standing there.

She walked back down to the nurses station to finish charting, assuming he had walked away, but saw him still standing there on the monitor. So she opened the doors with a button near the nurses’ station and leaned over to see him walk in, but no one was standing there.

She pulled over another nurse and both stood staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. The nurse practitioner leaned in closely to look at the man on the monitor and said, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s an angel. You can see his wings!’

They said that the sun starting shining so brightly and the whole PICU was strangely filled with light. They said he was a tall man and you could see wings behind him.

They pulled over all the staff of the PICU and the two praying mothers and everyone was staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. Crying, everyone pulled out their camera phones to take pictures, but no one could get it to show up on their camera. The mother of the girl pulled out her camera phone and finally got a picture of the angel who was guarding the doors to the PICU. He turned out as a man of light. I have attached the picture from her phone.

The girl was later discharged from the hospital to go home.

A Miracle.

image

A grateful whale (As Reported In The SF Chronicle)

On the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, Dec 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her - a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around - she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

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Value

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $20 bill. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

200 hands went up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

All 200 hands were still raised.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes.

He picked it up, and showed it to the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?”

All the hands still went up.

“My friends, I have just showed you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!

The following is one of the oldest sermon illustrations used in the Christian church.

It also tests one’s understanding of the Christian life.

There once lived an ugly, hunchback dwarf. No one ever invited him to a party. No one showed him love or even attention. He became disillusioned with life and decided to climb a mountain and throw himself from its peak into the abyss.

When he ascended the mountain, he met a beautiful girl. He talked to her and discovered that she was climbing the mountain for the same purpose. Her suffering was at the other extreme. She had everyone’s attention and love, but the one she loved had forsaken her for another girl, one with riches.

She felt life had no meaning for her any longer, so they decided to make the ascent together.

While they climbed, they met a man who introduced himself as a police officer in search of a very dangerous bandit who had robbed and murdered many people. The king had promised a large reward to the person who captured him.

The police officer was very confident: “I will catch him because I know he has a feature by which he can be recognized. He has six fingers on his right hand. The police have been looking for him for years. For the last two or three, nothing has been heard from him, but he must pay for a multitude of past crimes.”

The three climbed the mountain. Near its peak was a monastery.

Its abbot, although he had become a monk only recently, had quickly attained great renown for saintliness. When they entered the monastery, he came to meet them. You could see the glory of God in his face

As the girl bowed to kiss his right hand, she saw he had six fingers.
With this, the story ends.

Those who hear this story are perplexed. It can’t finish like this! What happened to the dwarf, the girl, the policeman? Was the criminal caught?

The story’s beauty is that it does finish here.

Something beautiful has happened: A criminal hunted because of his many robberies and murders has become a great saint, renowned for his godly life. All the rest is of no further interest.

The great miracle has been performed. Christ has been born in the heart of a man of very low character.

This came today, from the Celebrating Life Ministries newsletter. I knew Ron Roth and spent many years with him.

Today is an auspicious day in the CLM world, as our Spiritual Emeritus Leader, Padre Ron Roth transitioned beyond the veil, on June 1st, 2009.

That was quite the day for me as well as our Spiritual community… It was early in the morning at around 4:25am when Ron took his last breath. I was an eye witness to these events, as Ron was on Hospice and we knew the end was near.

What I remember most vividly about that early morning was it was the Octave of Pentecost, the sun had not come up yet, but the birds were awakening and the sounds of their chirping and praise was very palatable. I had the window open a little for fresh air as well as Mother Nature’s natural sounds filled the room where Ron was resting. There were hundreds of the faithful, praying for Padre Ron’s healing and restoration.

That day, was the day chosen as God’s Angels came to take their servant home into Paradise! Ron turns his head towards me in his bed, then looked up with Joy Unspeakable and gave out this loud gasp: …AWEEEEEEEE, He was finally Home, with his heavenly Father and Blessed Mother! In the twinkling of an eye, his earthly mission was over, he left behind his pain and suffering from multiple strokes and now found FREEDOM in the Spirit with No Pain…

Ten years ago today, I said goodbye to my best friend and spiritual mentor of 28 years. I felt relief, that Ron did not have to suffer one more hour of pain… but on the other hand, grief that I would have to go on living without my Spiritual Father who changed my life for eternity!

I witnessed how the pain had gripped Ron’s body, but two days before his passing his Body began to GLOW this light Dew around him…

There were Saints and Sages of the past, whose followers reported seeing this phenomenon happen to their Beloved saints, and I got to be an eye witness to this Truth happening to Padre Ron Roth.

An interesting fact about Ron Roth’s mission here on earth was to make people aware of the Holy Spirit’s role in bringing us into a relationship with Heaven! Ron was Ordained a Priest on Pentecost Sunday, and He passed on the Octave of Pentecost… mission complete! The Miracles and healings that took place in people’s lives as Ron Roth prayed for the Holy Spirit to be activated in their lives were palatable and mysterious all at the same time. Ron Roth became a national household name as a Spiritual Healer who could heal the sick. The media ate up this charismatic leader, as Ron loved to “show off” what the Holy Spirit could do to change people’s lives for the good! But on this day of his transition, I am ever so grateful for the legacy he left behind, his community of believers, who carry on the Healing Work of the Holy Spirit.

The fruit and legacy were very evident at CLM’s Spring Healing Retreat in San Rafael in California back in April. When our friend the Holy Spirit ushered into our retreat the “Glory of Heaven”, spontaneous healings were taking place, people were stuck to the floor and their chairs, some could not even speak for hours, the worship team was in one accord, leading us in worship to the King of Kings for hours on end. My mentor, Ron Roth, taught me to wait on the Holy Spirit, for His leading, and on that particular Saturday evening healing service, all the right “moves” were made as Heaven Came Down and blessed our socks off! I had personally witnessed this spiritual phenomenon, during Padre Ron’s healing services, but after a 10-year waiting period, the keys to Heaven’s gates were applied and open to the next generation to set people free!

In my world, Padre Ron Roth is still at work within our community. His presence and spirit is alive and well. I treasure his teachings, his writings, but most of all his Prayers. When He prayed “Heaven open its doors and the Angels were released for healings and transformation.”

In the same Spirit, we honor Ron Roth today for showing us the way to JOY in those difficult times we are facing in our families, communities as well as a nation. He is one of our greatest intercessory for our Ministry, “A Great Cloud of Witness” the scriptures promises us.

In closing, I would love to share a closing prayer from Ron Roth himself…BE BLESSED and Remember; God Loves You and so do I…Big Kisses!

Final blessing from Padre Ron Roth:

Heavenly Father, we call upon Your Great Name now to bless this congregation here tonight. Bless them in all manner of their being and what is most basic to them tonight.

I bless them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit—behold God, each with a different anointing, a different job to do.

The Father is the Creator of the Kingdom, Jesus is the Son of God who came here to show us how to live, and the Holy Spirit is the inspiration of Jesus; the Holy Spirit is the Spirit within us all…that calls us to be of service to Jesus, to remember who we are, to be of service to Jesus and our fellow man, fellow woman…always in this service.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, the Father and to the Holy Spirit.

The good of all this is accomplished now. Amen.

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Kemmons Wilson: America’s Innkeeper

By Mike Brewster

It’s hard to imagine that before he founded the Holiday Inn motel chain, travelers had few places to spend a night on the road

In the early 1950s, a new Interstate Highway system, cheap gasoline, big cars, and prohibitively expensive air travel meant that even millionaires packed up the family and took to the road for driving vacations. It was summer, 1951, when Kemmons Wilson, one of Memphis’ most well-known businessmen, left on a two-week trip to Washington, D.C., with his wife and five children.

A highly successful real estate agent and homebuilder, Wilson was famous in Memphis for constructing bigger and better houses than his competitors, but charging similar prices. One of his pet phrases – “The space in the middle of a house doesn’t cost anything” – explained his common-sense approach to both building houses and life in general.

That’s why Wilson was particularly galled at the $2-per-child surcharge that roadside motels commonly attached to his bill on that fateful trip. The room was already rented, Wilson reasoned. Why should it cost more if a few kids are running around the space in the middle? At the end of the vacation, Wilson told his wife he was going to start his own hotel chain.

EVERYBODY STAYS THERE.

The result was Holiday Inn motels, the roadside home-away-from home for millions that ushered in the modern hotel era and popularized the roadside perks that Americans have come to love (albeit take for granted): air conditioning in every room, free parking, free ice, in-room phones, rates by the room and not the number of people, and high cleanliness standards.

While the chain has seen its ups and down depending on the fickle taste of the U.S. vacationer and business traveler, more than 1,000 Holiday Inns today dot byways in all 50 states and in more than 50 countries. According to the company, 96% of Americans have stayed in a Holiday Inn at least once.

Wilson was born in Osceola, Ark., in 1913. His father died when Kemmons was still an infant and his mother, Doll Wilson, took a job as a dental assistant in Memphis. Wilson’s future entrepreneurialism was fueled by early necessity. In fact, his most amazing accomplishment may have come when he was 20. As the Great Depression hit, Doll Wilson lost her job, and her son quit school to try selling popcorn and soda.

MUSIC MAN.

When that didn’t get him very far, Wilson borrowed $50 from a good friend to buy his own popcorn machine, which he set up in a movie theater lobby. By 1933 – the very nadir of the Depression – Wilson had saved enough ($1,700) from selling popcorn that he purchased a house for Doll and himself to live in.

Jukeboxes were the entrepreneur’s next frontier. He purchased the local Wurlitzer franchise, prospered, and started buying lots and building houses. Upon deciding to build his motels, Wilson filched the “Holiday Inn” moniker from a 1942 Bing Crosby film of the same name. Wilson employed his homebuilding experience to immediate effect. He chose ideal locations for the first four Holiday Inns, all in Memphis.

The first, which opened in 1952 just off a two-lane highway on the outskirts of the town, charged $6 per night. Wilson’s business contacts throughout the state translated into wildfire growth. By 1959 100 were in operation, and at the chain’s peak in 1975 1,700 Holiday Inns were spread around the world.

“I’LL TAKE THE REST.”

As the 1970s and 1980s wore on and companies began to value and appeal to the “middle market,” that vast area that most people and companies fall under, Wilson had long figured out that most people wanted simplicity, quality, and low-cost. The Economist quoted him in 2003 as once saying, “You can cater to rich people, and I’ll take the rest. The good Lord made more of them.”

All the while, Wilson started other companies, such as theater and real estate concerns, under the rubric Kemmons Wilson Cos., to sell to this same customer base. Wilson eventually sold the Holiday Inn franchise in 1990. Today, all five of his children participate in Kemmons Wilson Cos., headquartered in Memphis.

Though Wilson never did get that high school degree, he nonetheless gave his most famous public statement when he was invited late in life to speak at a commencement ceremony at the school. “I really don’t know why I’m here,” Wilson said. “I never got a diploma, and I’ve only worked half-days my entire life. I guess that’s my advice to you. Work half-days every day. And it doesn’t matter which half, the first half or the second half.”

Wilson died at his home in Memphis on Feb. 11, 2003. A short anecdote told by a friend at Wilson’s funeral service summed him up best. Wilson, who flew 65 mission as a World War II pilot, was asked by a friend why he gone ahead and volunteered. His response:

“I don’t think they can win that war without me.”

A box full of kisses

The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said,

“This is for you, Daddy.”

The man was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found out the box was empty. He yelled at her, stating, "Don’t you know, when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside? The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and cried,

“Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty at all. I blew kisses into the box. They’re all for you, Daddy.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

Only a short time later, an accident took the life of the child. It is also told that her father kept that gold box by his bed for many years and, whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each one of us, as humans beings, have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses… from our children, family members, friends, and God. There is simply no other possession, anyone could hold, more precious than this.

Oldtimers

A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things.

They decide to go to the doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells them that they’re physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.

His wife asks, “Where are you going?”

“To the kitchen,” he replies.

“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?”

“Sure.”

“Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” she asks.

“No, I can remember it.”

“Well, I’d like some strawberries on top, too. You’d better write it down, because you know you’ll forget it.”

He says, “I can remember that! You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.”

“I’d also like whipped cream. I’m certain you’ll forget that, so you’d better write it down!” she retorts.

Irritated, he says, “I don’t need to write it down, I can remember it! Leave me alone! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream – I got it, for goodness sake!” Then he grumbles into the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and says… "Where’s my toast?

Tooth that saved a soldier’s life

The most miraculous event I witnessed showed how a tooth saved a sergeant’s life!

Christmas Eve morning a soldier came into our clinic at the Ibn Sina Hospital in downtown Baghdad covered in his own blood. He recounted an incredible story. Early Christmas Eve morning, two squads were assigned to sweep and clear two adjacent homes where Iraq terrorists were holed-up. The patient, SGT C, was leading one of those assault squads. The other squad hit their target first.

SGT C said that he heard a lot of small arms fire and yelling, so he thought he would round the corner and size up the situation before advancing his team. Unfortunately, as he turned the corner, he found himself staring directly into the barrel of a 9mm automatic pistol. SGT C said he never had time to be scared, he just knew he was dead. The terrorist pulled the trigger and, miraculously, SGT C found himself still standing.
He figured the bullet had missed. He advanced on the Iraqi, who immediately surrendered. After the enemy was rounded up, SGT C said he started to feel light! headed and one of his soldiers insisted that he proceed to the hospital. He realized at this time that he had lost his front tooth in the gun fight. He figured the ballistic shock from the weapon’s blast had knocked it loose. He was wrong.

When he presented early that morning Major Kimberly Perkins, our oral surgeon, took a panograph and discovered the incredible truth. The 9mm bullet did NOT miss SGT C. He was hit directly in the face. The bullet entered just below his nose where it impacted the apex of #8. The energy from the bullet was transferred to the tooth, literally ejecting the tooth from its socket, and stopping the bullet in its track. Other than the missing tooth, the majority of SGT C’s injuries were confined to soft tissue.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, this is a true account from Las Vegas dentist Dr. Anna Lee Kruyer who served with an Army dental team in Iraq for a year.

A walk with the lord

I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.

As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, “I will work for food.” My heart sank.

I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them.

I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car. Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: “Don’t go back to the office until you’ve at least driven once more around the square.” Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square’s third corner. I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the storefront church, going through his sack.

Continued below

A Walk with The Lord | Inspire 21

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