The Gift from the Heart

a parable

Here is a short story as my Christmas gift to you!

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There was a man who had everything. There was not a thing in the world that he didn’t have. He owned land, animals, houses, and businesses. He had people who cooked for him, served him, and worked for him. If there was something he wanted, he could get it. If he wanted something to happen, it would.

This man was very wonderful to be around. He was kind, loving, and generous. When people needed food, he provided it. If they wanted water, he delivered it. If they wanted to talk, he would listen. Everyone in this man’s presence loved to be near him. They wanted to do whatever he said because they knew his decisions were good.

One day this man had a party and invited everyone he knew. At the party he had the finest food and the best drinks. He gave many gifts to his guests, and the guests were grateful.

Some guests wanted to keep their gifts from him and leave the party, so they did. And the man was sad, but he let them go their way.

Some guests wanted to give the man gifts in return, so they tried.

“I will volunteer my time in return for the gift,” one guest said. (more…)

I Will Not Be Bullied

snappa-Live your life

When I was young, my mother sat me down and had a talk with me about safety. She told me things like not to take rides from people I didn’t know and to let her look at my halloween candy so she could make sure nothing had been tampered with. Those were the biggest safety issues of our day. Those were times when I could play outside all day and my mother didn’t need to watch me. She knew I was okay. Those were the days when the biggest terror threat was someone who was tampering with Tylenol(r).

Within the last week I had to sit down with my son and have a similar talk about safety. But it was so very different. (more…)

The Shot

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Sunday was an interesting day for me. I was driving home from a great weekend presenting at a retreat. I was driving on the freeway to pick up my dog from the boarding kennel when I noticed a guy crawling under the guardrail towards the freeway. I thought it was strange, so my gaze lingered. And that’s when I saw (more…)

Honoring a Memory

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As I wrote last week, today is the day that my sister left us last year. I’ve been encouraged by the texts and messages I’ve received from my friends, and Deborah’s friends. And today I remain reflective about what Deborah meant to me and how she affected my life.

But today, instead of grieving I choose to remember Deborah’s life; a life of love, and service, and mercy, and generosity. I choose to celebrate her impact on us instead of mourning her loss. I feel like when I think about the positive impact she has had on our family and even try to emulate it, then I can honor her in a better way than I can by just missing her.

During the past year, whenever my family members and I talk about Deborah, we share stories about her humor, her laughter, and her generosity. We talked about how she loved fiercely. And in talking about how she lived, we are inspired to live better lives because of her. (more…)