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Friends are like stars,
you don't always see them
but you know they are there!

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Communication Skills 

“The single biggest problem with communication…Is the illusion that it has taken place.”           


            When you approach a conversation about controversial issues or where strong emotions will be involved, keep four strategies in mind.

          First, listen more than you talk.  Speaking, not listening, is a recipe for argument.

          Second, unveil areas of agreement.  If you start with what you have in common, areas of disagreement will be easier to approach.

          Third, stick to the facts.  Information can be open to interpretation, but unfounded opinion typically leads conversations deeper into division.

          Fourth, search for understanding.  Trying to dominate or intimidate may allow you to win this battle, but it rarely builds positive relationships or respect in the long term.

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One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list.  Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered.  "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much."  Were most of the comments?

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again.  She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter.  The exercise had accomplished its purpose.  The students were happy with themselves and one another.  That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student.  She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before.  He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends.  One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin.  The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her.  "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. She nodded, "yes.”  Then he said, "Mark talked about you a lot."

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon.  Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket.  "They found this on Mark when he was killed.  We thought you might recognize it."  Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times.

The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

"Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said.  "As you can see, Mark treasured it."

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around.  Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home."

Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album."  "I have mine too," Marilyn said, "It's in my diary."  Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group.  "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued, "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried.  She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day.  And we don't know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important.  Tell them, before it is too late.

And One Way To Accomplish This Is: Forward this message on.  If you do not send it, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do something nice and beautiful.

If you've received this, it is because someone cares for you and it means there is probably at least someone for whom you care.

If you're "too busy" to take those few minutes right now to forward this message on, would this be the VERY first time you didn't do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?

The more people that you send this to, the better you'll be at reaching out to those you care about.

Remember, you reap what you sow.  What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.

May Your Day Be Blessed And As Special As You Are.

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George Carlin (Absolutely Brilliant)

IF YOU DON'T READ THIS TO THE VERY END, YOU HAVE LOST A DAY IN YOUR LIFE. AND WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED, DO AS I AM DOING AND SEND IT ON.

George Carlin's View on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?"  "I'm four and a half!"  You're never thirty-six and a half.  You're four and a half, going on five!  That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back.  You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?"  "I'm gonna be 16!"  You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony.   YOU BECOME 21.  YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30.  Oooohh, what happened there?  Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out.  There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling.  What's wrong?  What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40.  Whoa!  Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50

and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!!  You MAKE it to 60.  You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.  And it doesn't end there.  Into the 90's, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens.  If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again.  "I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.  Let the doctors worry about them.  That is why you pay "them "

2. Keep only cheerful friends.  The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning.  Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.  Never let the brain idle.  "An idle mind is the devil's workshop."  And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud.  Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen.  Endure, grieve, and move on.  The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.  Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.  Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health:  If it is good, preserve it.  If it is unstable, improve it.  If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9 Don't take guilt trips.  Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And if you don't send this to at least 8 people - who cares?  But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!!

Have a wonderful day!!!!!!!

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I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received."

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many
angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps
from people all over the world. Then we moved on down a long corridor until
we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them."  I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section," my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed. "How is it that?

There's no work going on here?" I asked.

"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.

"How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked.

"Simple," the angel answered. "Just say, "Thank you, Lord."

"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep ... you are richer than 75% of this world.

"If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

"And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity."

 Also, "If you woke up this morning with more health than illness… you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.

"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…you are ahead of 700 million people in the world.

If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you are unique to all those in doubt and despair."

Ok, what now? How can I start?

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you want, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

Attn: Acknowledge Dept.: Thank You Lord!

"Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people to share it with."

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I believe God has a plan for us, but wants us to be good freinds.  The poem is a good reminder of that!!! 

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.

Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.
"Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."

But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."

And that's what we get and deserve in the end.

Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Remember to always say what you mean.

If you love someone, tell them.

Don't be afraid to express yourself.

Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.

Because when you decide that it is the right time it might
be too late.

Seize the day. Never have regrets.

And most importantly, stay close to your friends
and family, for they have helped
make you the person that you are today.

Thanks, Heather

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THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE:

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on.

Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.  

Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.  

Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?

Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.  

If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?  

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.  

Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.  

We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors.... but they all exist very nicely in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day, and know that someone who thinks you're great has thought about you today!

Working for God on earth does not pay much, but His retirement his out of this world.

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Lovely Rose at 87

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose.

I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze.

"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.
She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids..."

"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.

She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football
banquet.

I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know."

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.


We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.


If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose."

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our
daily lives.

At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it!

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Pass this message to 7 people except you and me. You will receive a
miracle tomorrow.

If you choose not, then you refuse to bless someone else.

"Good friends are like stars.........You don't always see them, but you
know they are always there."
 

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Paul Harvey & Prayer


Paul Harvey says: -
"I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.

I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.
So what's the big deal?  It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts.  They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
"But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue.  Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles.  According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1.  So what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna?  If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.  If I went to a ping-pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.  And I wouldn't be offended.  It wouldn't bother me one bit.  When in Rome...
"But what about the atheists?" is another argument? What about them?  Nobody is asking them to be baptized.. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds...  If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of earplugs.  Go to the bathroom.  Visit the concession stand.  Call your lawyer!  Unfortunately, one or two will make that call.  One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do.  I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights.  Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep.
Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us.  And if that last sentence offends you, well..........just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It’s time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don't care what they want... it is time the majority rules!  It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray... you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right... but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back... and we WILL WIN!
God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him... God bless America, despite all her faults, she is still the greatest nation of all...
God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God...
May 2005 be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.
Keep looking up... In God WE Trust.  If you agree with this, please p.a.s.s it on.  If not, delete

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George Carlin: 
 
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. 

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. 
 
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. 

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. 
 
We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. 
 
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. 
 
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete. 
 
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all, mean it. 
 
A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. 
 
Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. 
 
HOW TO STAY YOUNG 

Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. 

Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's. 
 
Enjoy the simple things. 
 
Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. 
 
The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. 
 
Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. 
 
Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 
 
Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is. 
 
Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. 
 
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. 

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