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This was sent to me today...enjoy. Carol M.

IF...

If... you can start the day without caffeine;
If... you can get going without pills;
If... you can always be cheerful ignoring aches and pains;
If... you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles;
If... you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it;
If... you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time;
If... you can forgive a friend's lack of consideration;
If... you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, through no fault of your own, something goes wrong;
If... you can take criticism and blame without resentment;
If... you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him;
If... you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend;
If... you can face the world without lies and deceit;
If... you can conquer tension without medical help;
If... you can relax without liquor;
If... you can sleep without the aid of drugs;
If... you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against anyone,
then,
my friend...
You are almost as good as your dog!

from Pat L.

You

"You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons, accept the lessons, learn from the lessons, or not think too much about them.

You'll make mistakes and you'll learn. From your learning you will
experience. From each experience you will gain knowledge, acceptance, and a lifelong education. This choice is yours.

You can, and will, repeat lessons. A lesson can be presented to you in various ways and when you have accepted what a particular lesson has to offer, then gently comes the next lesson. And so it goes.

Learning lessons doesn't end, you don't graduate. There isn't a day you won't have the opportunity to learn. Some days you won't want to learn and that's a lesson in itself.

You may want to remember yesterday or project into tomorrow but don't. Each day you will realize where you were isn't where you are and where you are doesn't have to be where you could be. "Life is, after all, what happens while you were making other plans."

Other folks, be they family, friends, co-workers, strangers on the street, are really mirrors of you. Whatever you feel about another child of God, you feel about yourself. Choose love.

What you make of your life is up to you. Not up to me, your parents, your mate, your children, just you. You have opportunities and they aren't set in stone, your first choice doesn't need to be your last. Your lessons can lead to choices, so you decide.

from JohnPaul

MY SHEPHERD

My appetite is my shepherd; I always want.
It maketh me sit down and stuff myself.
It leadeth me to my refrigerator repeatedly.
It leadeth me in the path of Burger King for a Whopper.
It destroyeth my shape.
Yea, though I knoweth I gaineth, I will not stop eating
For the food tasteth so good.
The ice cream and the cookies, they comfort me.
When the table is spread before me, it exciteth me
For I knoweth that I sooneth shall dig in.
As I filleth my plate continuously,
My clothes runneth smaller.
Surely bulges and pudgies shall follow me all the days of my life
And I shall be "pleasingly plump" forever.

from JohnPaul

If I Knew As A Child

If I knew as a child what I know now, Mom,
I probably wouldn't have made things so hard for you.
I would have understood that you were looking out for my best interest..
even though it may not have seemed so at the time.

I would have known how difficult it is to let go,
to stand back and let someone you love
learn from their mistakes.

I would have realized how fortunate I was to have a mother
who was always there for me,
even after an argument, even after I'd said things
I shouldn't have.

While it's too late for a lot of things
it's not too late for me to tell you
that I appreciate how loving you are,
how giving you've always been
and that even though
I may not always be good at showing it,
I love you very much.

Renee Duvall

from Pat

THE BOTTOM LINE

"FACE IT, nobody owes you a living.
What you achieve, or fail to achieve in your lifetime,
is directly related to what YOU do.

No one chooses his or her parents or childhood, but
you can choose your own direction.

Everyone has problems and obstacles to overcome, but, that, too, is relative to each individual.

NOTHING IS CARVED IN STONE!

If YOU want to change something in your life,
YOU can. Are you willing to?

Those who take responsibility for their actions
are the real winners in life.

TIME PLAYS NO FAVORITES AND WILL PASS WHETHER YOU ACT OR NOT.

The Bottom Line? BELIEVE IN YOURSELF"

A Pebble

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you've started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you've stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn't believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there's gladness still a-swelling, and there's joy circling yet,
And you've rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

~~ Author James W. Foley

from JohnPaul

Points to Ponder

Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don't set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.

Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as they would your life, for without them, life is
meaningless.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don't give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect.
It is this fragile thread that binds us each together.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love;
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
And the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don't dismiss your dreams.
To be without dream is to be without hope;
To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been,
but also where you are going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

from JohnPaul

MAKE TODAY SPECIAL...

Share a joke, hum a song,
pass some special joy along.
And if someone should come your way
who doesn't share your joy today...
The hell with 'em!

from JohnPaul

"I'm just gettin' on for a MINUTE"

I got up this morning, but haven't yet dressed.
My dishes aren't done, and my house is a mess.
Have not done my work, have not fed the cat,
Just on line for a second, and popped in to "chat".

I used to watch TV, I used to cook Mex,
I think I remember...yeah, I used to have SEX!
I used to walk upright, now roll on my chair,
Tho' it causes the neighborhood children to stare.

I wanted to travel around on the Net,
Been too busy chatting to get on there yet.
I wanted to spreadsheet, word process, or paint,
But gettin' on with them is just what I ain't!

So much to learn and I wanted to....but
I'm too busy chatting and splitting a gut,
Talkin' and listenin'...is it such a sin?
Oh, gawd, what a fix I have got myself in!

Then up pops a name on my neat Buddy List,
Think I'll go out and give HIS tail a twist!
And in comes an IM from some weirdo guy
I cuss 'im, insult 'im, and tell him "bye bye".

Is there a 12 step, support group, or such?
For those of us folks who chat on too much?
If there was a group, I would like it just fine,
Except that it prob'ly would be here online!

Are there therapists here? I think that I saw some
Its got me, its got me, its power is AWESOME.
It's my new computer, I've had it one week,
Now I look in the mirror and I see a "geek."

Or maybe a geekess, but I see the signs,
Please help me, please help me, please get me offline!
Or better, please Email a burger and fries,
'Cause I'm staying ONLINE, at least 'til I die!!!

from JohnPaul

THE QUITTER

Fate handed the quitter a bump, and he dropped;
The road seemed too rough to go, so he stopped.
He thought of his hurt, and there came to his mind
The easier path he was leaving behind.
Oh, it's all much too hard, said the quitter right then;
I'll stop where I am and not try it again.

He sat by the road and he made up his tale
To tell when men asked why he happened to fail.
A thousand excuses flew up to his tongue,
And these on the thread of his story he strung,
But the truth of the matter he didn't admit;
He never once said, I was frightened and quit.

Whenever the quitter sits down by the road
And drops from the struggle to lighten his load,
He can always recall to his own peace of mind
A string of excuses for falling behind;
But somehow or other he can't think of one
Good reason for battling and going right on.

Oh, when the bump comes and fate hands you a jar,
Don't baby yourself, boy, whoever you are;
Don't pity yourself and talk over your woes;
Don't think up excuses for dodging the blows.
But stick to the battle and see the thing through.
And don't be a quitter, whatever you do.

Edgar A. Guest

from JohnPaul

One of these days...

I'll be free
To do everything that pleases ME!
I'll eat popcorn with a spoon or lie down to rest at half-past noon.
I'll call my children on the phone and ask THEM for a personal loan!
I'll start my car with no place to go
And instead of fast,
I'll drive very slow.
I'll keep my life simple and learn not to fret
And toss out old papers I used to collect.
I'll smile at myself when I look in the glass
And say "Hey Sweetie, you've really got class!"
I'll wear my clothes, the ones I've been saving
And eat all the candy I've so long been craving.
I'll bake some fresh cookies instead of a dinner
And I won't give a darn if I don't get thinner!
I won't care if I'm fit, fancy or fat
There won't be time to worry about that.
And soon all my friends will easily see
The brand new person who has always been ME!
But don't be surprised if it takes me some time I can't do it yet.
I'm still in my prime.

Elizabeth Lucas

from Mary Ann

AND GOD SAID

I said, "God, I hurt."
And God said, I know."

I said, "God, I cry a lot."
And God said, "That is why I gave you tears."

I said, "God, I am so depressed."
And God said, "That is why I gave you Sunshine."

I said, "God, life is so hard."
And God said, "That is why I gave you loved ones."

I said, "God, my loved one died."
And God said, "So did mine."

I said, "God, it is such a loss."
And God said, I saw mine nailed to a cross."

I said, "God, but your loved one lives."
And God said, "So does yours."

I said, "God, where are they now?"
And God said, "Mine is on My right
and yours is in the Light."

I said, "God, it hurts."
And God said, I know."

Posted on the wall at the
Oklahoma City bombing site
by K. C. and Myke Kuzmic
Stockton, CA