* Thoughts & Words of Encouragement

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Facts about Santa Claus and God from the Webmaster.

Santa Claus:
Santa’s suit isn’t dirty from sliding down chimneys; it comes from the pollution in the air. Santa doesn’t slide down chimneys, and he doesn’t go down them one at a time. He lands in a central area and then broadcasts himself and his reindeer, similar to halogens, into regions around the world. He lands on a rooftop that is central to that region, then stands by the chimney,( thus the belief that he slides down them.) He then broadcasts himself to all of the homes in that region. So any child who happens to be near the chimney at a certain given moment will see Santa as if he is solely in their home. How else could he get around to all of those children in one night?

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God:
Stop asking some nut to connect you to God. You are already connected. You just have to say, "Hello God!" and your are there. God is you, so naturally he hears you and knows your thoughts. God is within all of us. If you believe God is some huge man sitting on a throne up in a cloudy region called heaven, you are in for some big disappointments. 
        God cannot be defined. I believe that everything we do in our lifetimes are recorded and that we will have to review those records (Like sitting at a theatre), and then given chances to correct the bad causes we have made. We have to help each other so that we can get to the next level, I feel that as long as there is one person still lingering in this planet none of us will make it. We have to help each other.
          If that is so, then when I view my movie, I want to see a happy one. One where I do good for my fellow man, where there is no evil from me, one where all my wrongs are righted and one where I serve God. If God is within us then we are also serving ourselves. Helping others is helping God.    Sam: 02/02/2003

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THE DOVES OF PEACE
by Samuel Younghans

I see a scenario of a great battle that is about to begin. This is to be the battle of the century. Millions of people will view this event on their television sets.  Thousands of armed troops line up on either side of a great battlefield, ready to go into battle.
They are in this battle because of politics and self interest groups on both sides. The soldiers know that many of them will be dead at the end of this day, yet because of their indoctrinations and beliefs in patriotism, they go forward to death, believing it is for a good cause. No one told them that what they were dying for was money and power.
            The troops on both sides begin moving forward into position to attack. They can see each other as they move closer towards the approaching battleground. Suddenly a hush falls over the whole area. Two beautiful, white doves circle in the sky, swooping over the heads of the soldiers, first on one side, then on the other, finally, they set down in the middle of the battleground - they are courting. Suddenly, they hear beautiful music - it is an old world waltz. The doves move to the sounds of the music.
            The advancing troops stop to behold this beautiful sight. They lay down their weapons and sit on the ground watching the doves. There is a strong feeling of peace, permeating the battleground. The troops on both sides begin humming and swaying to the sounds of the waltz. The male dove is strutting around his mate with his feathers all ruffled up. The troops cheer; there are tears in their eyes.
            The Commanders, who are watching from a safe distance, only see the troops sitting with their weapons on the ground. “What is going on? Get those men off the ground - they must fight!” Immediately, orders are dispatched; the troops ignore them. They wave to each other and they are laughing with happiness.
            Hate, instilled by the authoritarians, is dissolving, replaced by an acknowledgment of each other. Some of the men are calling to the doves; others are walking towards each other, their weapons left behind on the ground. As they converge, they shake hands and embrace each other. They watch as the two doves fly off into the sun. A huge cheer bellows up from the, would be, battleground. There will be no killing today. A rainbow appears in the horizon.
            The millions, who watched on television, applaud and cheer. Never in the history of the world has so many tears flowed. Could this be the end of war? Why not? What greedy politician would dare mention the word “war,” let alone suggest starting another war? Those sad individuals will have to find another source of income.
            We are most fortunate to be living in this perfect world. If we stop our authoritarian, dichotomous thinking, we might even make this planet a paradise for every "Cosmic" on earth. Who knows, it might even spread out into the universe.
Peace and love, from a "Cosmic"

Thank you to: Dr. Wayne Dyer for the use of his words; “authoritarian” and “dichotomous.”

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Anonymous submission:

 Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.
    When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.
    The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with,  never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.
    It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.
     Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back!  Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.
    It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
     Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away.  Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.  Find the one that makes your heart smile.
      There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real!
     Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.
    The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
     Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.
     Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
      When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.  Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

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A Buddhist Tale

Shariputra and several other disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha went to visit a lay believer named Vimalakirti, who had been ill. Toward the end of their visit, a goddess suddenly appears and scatters flowers on everyone. Shariputra, known as "foremost in wisdom," is alarmed to see that the flowers are sticking to him. He tries to pull them off.

The goddess laughs, "Why do you try to pull the flowers off?"

"Because such flowers are not appropriate on the person of a monk!" he says.

The goddess points out that the flowers have no preconceived ideas about what is appropriate or not. The flowers, she says, are sticking to him because he still has preconceptions and remnants of discriminatory thinking, which are based on delusion. Further, she implies that Shariputra still fears the eternal cycle of death and re-birth. And because of this fear, his senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch are sources of delusion.

She's right, of course, which irritates Shariputra. So he taunts her, "Goddess, why don't you change out of your female form?" (You have to remember - his was a society in which women were considered impure. In his mind, no one would ever choose to be a woman.)

Without skipping a beat, the goddess takes Shariputra's form and turns him Into a woman.

Shariputra is horrified.

The goddess then quotes Shakyamuni: "In the equality of all beings, there is neither man nor woman."

In relation to the Mystic Law, everyone is equal. Buddhism teaches that we can free ourselves from the type of thinking that puts people into hard and fast categories such as male/female, black/white or gay/straight. These categories are fluid and transient - they may last for a life time but are not eternal. In the Buddhist view, one form or category is neither better nor worse than any other.

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Steve Storc sent this to me today.
The Power of Your Actions
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friend tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
    As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives."
    He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"
There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.
    I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his
books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Darn boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.
    Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.
    Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach... but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story." I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met.
    He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.
      Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

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From your Webmaster:
Placing labels on people makes it easier to kill them. One of the headlines In The San Diego Union Tribune the other day read "Mexican Soldiers Kill 11 Rebels". What if the headline read "Humans in soldier uniforms killed 11 humans in rebel uniforms" Either way you put it, 11 human beings were killed by other human beings. Life is our most precious gift, to take life away from any one individual is a crime against all mankind. At one time these "rebels" were born, had parents, were children and then became adults who wanted something better for their people. There was something wrong with the way they were being treated and they wanted to change it. I am not making judgments, but isn't that they way our forefathers felt when they rebelled against their English government (another label).

Rebels cause revolutions, revolutions cause change (good and bad). If the governments listened to the people and served the people instead of being so self-serving, would there be rebels? There may be criminals (another label) but no rebels.

Labels make it easy to hate, mistreat, rip off, and kill.. When we see each other as human beings instead of labels we will be starting the biggest revolution in the world; human revolution. If we conquer hate, we will be the most victorious rebels in the world. Stop hate and there will be peace. Human beings will be victorious.

Hate is taught, we don't come into this world with hate. To teach hate is the most criminal of all acts against mankind. Teach compassion and soon there will be no reason to hate. So simple, yet so hard. It starts with you. Can you wear it?

QUESTION: How do you teach compassion?
ANSWER: By Example. Like it says above: "It all starts with you." Don't wait for someone else to do it. Do it now!

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Click here for words about Freedom.   

From Francis Khun, Hawaii:
I want to be serious for a moment and talk about the holiday which will be celebrated here in the United States on Monday. Memorial Day is on the last Monday in May and honors those men and women who lost their lives serving their country. What we celebrate as Memorial Day today, began at the end of the Civil War. Family members of the many soldiers slain in battle would visit the grave sites of their fallen relatives or friends and decorate the graves with flowers. 
On May 5, 1868, General John Logan proclaimed this day a holiday through his General Order No. 11. The day was entitled Decoration Day and was first observed on May 30, 1868. The northern states celebrated this day every year, but the southern states celebrated a day similar to this on a different day until sometime after World War I.
In 1882, the name Decoration day was changed to Memorial Day, and in 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday to be held on the last Monday of May every year. Over the years it has come to serve as a day to remember all U.S. men and women killed or missing in action in all wars. I am truly grateful for the freedoms which we enjoy today. Too often, we take these gifts for granted, little realizing the sacrifice which was involved in ensuring that these freedoms continue to be a part of all of our lives. Be honest, how many of us think of Memorial Day as just another chance for a three-day weekend? A chance to go the the lakes or beaches or mountains? A trip to Disneyland or Six Flags or some other amusement park? If you are here in the United States, please remember to display your flag. Let's not forget the real reason for having this holiday. The quote below says it all. Please take the time to read it. Take care everyone.
Tom (USN 65-69)
"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember." -- Ronald Wilson Reagan  Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery = Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985

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