Enthusiasm Makes All the Difference

Of all the things that we can pass on to others and of all the things we can receive from others,
two of the most valuable are zest and enthusiasm.

This, after all, is how  everything is communicated from one person to another.

We have no desire to do something that we’ve seen someone else doing with obvious boredom and reluctance.

But enthusiasm is catching!

If we really want to get the most out of life then we need to find something that we can be enthusiastic about.

Life, then, will never be dull. Trust me………………..


With many peaceful blessings



A One Dollar and Eleven Cents Miracle

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jar from its hiding place in the closet.

She poured the change on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times,even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way  six  blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was busy at the moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster.

No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

‘And what do you want?’ the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice.. I’m talking to my brother
from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,’ he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

‘Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,’ Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. ‘He’s really, really sick….and I want to buy a miracle.’

‘I beg your pardon?’ said the pharmacist.

‘His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?’

‘We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,’ the pharmacist said, softening a little.

‘Listen’ the girl said.   ‘ I have the money to pay for it.. If it isn’t enough,   I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.’

The pharmacist’s brother ,  a well – dressed man , was standing there . He stooped down and asked the little girl, ‘What kind of a miracle does your brother need?’

‘ I don’t know,’ Tess replied with her eyes welling up . I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my
Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.’

‘How much do you have?’ asked the man from Chicago.

‘One dollar and eleven cents,’ Tess answered ,  barely audible.

‘And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I have  to.’

‘Well, what a coincidence,’ smiled the man. ‘A dollar and eleven cents—the exact price of a miracle for little

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said ‘Take me to where you live.
I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the miracle you need.’

That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon,  who specialized  in neuro-surgery.

The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

‘That surgery,’ her Mom whispered. ‘was a real miracle.  I wonder how  much it would have cost?’

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost…one dollar and eleven cents…plus the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will  need.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

I hope  you’ll keep the ball moving!
Here it goes. Throw it back to
someone who means something to you!


With many peaceful blessings


Open Doors – Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide

In North Korea it is an unforgiveable crime to be a Christian.

Hye’s mother and father would open up their house to friends on Saturday nights. Five or six would gather to read from the Bible and sings songs silently. Hye would stand on guard outside, so she could run in and warn them if anyone was coming near the home.

One day, the security forces raided the house during a worship meeting. Hye’s father was arrested and taken away. Hye never saw him again.

Two weeks later, her grandmother passed away. Before she died, she told Hye’s mother to fetch her Bible. “We knew they were coming for us,” Hye remembers, “we had to burn it. My grandmother said it was okay, as long as we stayed true to our faith in God. But when the flames devoured the pages, my grandmother wept intensely.”

Hye’s family were deported to a remote Mountainous area, where they live a hand-to-mouth existence for 10 years. Then, one day, a Chinese pastor, who had managed to find out where they had been sent to, came and offered Hye a chance to defect to China. Her mother convinced her to go, and eventually Hye managed to make her way across the barbed wire, electrified fences and military patrols of the border to cross the river into China.

The pastor and his wife were waiting for her. One of the first things they did was to take Hye to church. As soon as she set foot inside, she burst into tears. “I couldn’t stop thinking about my father and grandmother. They would have longed for this service.”

In prayer, you can take time to reflect on this terrifying walk of faith.

Our Christian brothers and sisters draw strength and encouragement knowing that they have not been forgotten by the family of God. I ask you, from the very bottom of my heart, that you include all persecuted Christians, wherever in the world they may live, in your prayers.

It may surprise you to know that there are at least 50 countries where it is very difficult to be seen publicly to be a Christian.

In many of these countries Jesus means being marginalised and stigmatised, or even facing hostility, violence and death.

Christians are the most persecuted religious minority in the world.

It’s time to pray for the persecuted church, to speak up on their behalf and to support those in greatest need.

For more information about persecuted Christians worldwide please go to:-



Please share this message on all your Facebook Groups and blogs. Let us not remain complacent when so many of our fellow Christians are suffering the extreme penalty for their faith!

With many peaceful blessings


Post No Haste – from Reverend Preben Anderson

“Dear Customer,

We are sorry we missed you today when we tried to deliver a small parcel which would not squeeze through your letter box and we did not want to leave in the back garden or garage as by the sounds of it you have a ferocious dog in there and we dared not take the risk.

So, if you do not mind, please may we ask you to prepare to collect the item at the collection depot but no earlier than five hours after our attempted delivery which was at 10 a.m. this morning, and we close at 1.30 in the afternoon.

We do open at 6 a.m. every day though. Again, we are terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but why you were not in when we came, I shall never know!

Your friendly Post Executive.”

“Dear friendly Post Executive,

When I made haste this morning to collect my item, I was met with a queue numbering fifteen people, and half of them standing outside the collection office in the freezing cold.

And in your car park there were 20 post vans preparing to go out but still being loaded. There was no one to be seen in the collection department about to serve us, and the lady at the front of the queue said I’ve been waiting half an hour now. I said jokingly to a man behind me, ‘Perhaps we should just nick one van each and take care of the deliveries ourselves, and who knows, our little item may still be in there from yesterday?’ Good idea, he thought, but of course we didn’t.

My point is, though, if you do not particularly want people to turn up at 9 a.m. or just after when you are loading the vans, why not say so on your slip of paper. Something like, “We open at 6 a.m. and close at 1.30 p.m. However, as we are busy loading between 7.30 and 9.15 a.m., those times are best avoided. Also, we have two tea breaks, one at 9.45 a.m. and the second and extended one at 11 a.m.

Perhaps your best bet is to ring us and see if we are likely to be more available at a given time than not, but please remember that you should not expect a live person to answer your call. You will be given seven options, and hopefully one of them will get you somewhere.

Please note that there is no parking for unauthorized vehicles in our car park, so you will need to find a space at the small supermarket next door, where of course you are only allowed so long, and likely to be fined. As you can see, we really do excel in customer service and believe in giving our clients the best advice at all times, although of course not all the advice may apply to you on every occasion.”

So there we are, and I hope you find this helpful. My invoice is in the post.”


“Dear Customer,

They say (I believe) that sarcasm is the lowest form of intelligence but the highest form of wit? I am not so sure in which category to place you. I am not entirely sure whether you are serious or just downright rude? Perhaps you could let me know. Do we file your letter under customer complaints or under constructive criticism?”


“Dear Post executive,

If my letter box was too small and the dog ferocious, why did you not try one of my neighbours either side as you used to in the old days? They are both very friendly and I would do the same for them – any time. With regard to where you file my letters, I could not care less. Vertically in the bin if you like for all the response I am likely to get.”


“Dear Customer,

Now that we are down to one delivery a day (if you’re lucky), we have so much more to do in half the time compared to when we had two deliveries, and could get away with loading less each time than we do nowadays.

Which is why there is sometimes no one at the collection office, they are busy helping to load the vans as well. Common sense really. With regard to leaving your items at the neighbours, this is not the best use of our time and bad economy.

If the neighbour happens to be in and agrees to hold the item for us until you are home, then we need to go back to you anyway to deliver a note to say that your item is with the neighbour, and we also need to put on which one, and sometimes we cannot say for sure whether the house numbers go up and down without walking quite a bit to find out first.

So altogether, not such a good idea. Also, who is responsible for the item? The neighbour who may forget that he is holding it for you, or us who have now relinquished our responsibility when perhaps we shouldn’t have?”


“Dear Post executive,

I surrender, and I can only hope that you will not find me wanting ever again in being available on my premises when you arrive with your delivery.

From now on, I promise that I  shall not leave the house until you have been, that I shall chain and gag the dog, that I shall try and get myself a bigger letter box that will take small parcels, that I shall respect your tea times, even the extended ones, that I shall never again even jokingly suggest that I will nick one of your vans and do the delivery myself.

All this I promise, and I apologize for any inconvenience caused in any of my communications and for any hints of irony or sarcasm of which I may have been guilty.

Incidentally, I am sending this letter second class as there is no difference anymore in the speed items are delivered first or second. I do not need an acknowledgement. As far as I am concerned, the subject is now closed.”

                                                 AND SIX MONTHS LATER……

“Dear Customer,

Having not heard from you for several months, may we now take it that the subject is closed? We thank you for entering into communication with us and trust that you will have found it a pleasant experience. We look forward to hearing from you again in the future.”

(Reverend Preben Anderson, Minister of Caldicot Methodist Church)


My grateful thanks to Preben for sharing his postal experiences with us!

With many peaceful blessings


A Brother Like That!

Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present.

On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.

“Is this your car, Mister?” he asked.

Paul nodded. “My brother gave it to me for Christmas.”

The boy was astounded. “You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn’t cost you nothing? Boy, I wish…” He hesitated.

Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that.

But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.

“I wish,” the boy went on, “that I could be a brother like that.”

Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, “Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?”

“Oh yes, I’d love that.”

After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, “Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?”
Paul smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbours that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Paul was wrong again.

“Will you stop where those two steps are?” the boy asked. He ran up the steps.

Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother.

He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car. “There she is, Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn’t cost him a penny.

And some day I’m gonna give you one just like it…then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Christmas windows that I’ve been trying to tell you about.”

Paul got out and lifted the lad to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.

That Christmas Eve, Paul learned what Jesus meant when he had said: “It is more blessed to give…”


With many peaceful blessings


Thanks for All the Gifts – Philippians 4: 10-20

My wife, Marlene, has just created a brand new word search based on:-

Thanks for All the Gifts – Philippians 4:- 10-20

To freely download this new word search please go to:-



With many peaceful blessings


On Meeting Alan Johnson,MP, a former Home Secretary in the Labour Government

Today, I attended the first non-religious meeting that I have been to for many months.

The venue was the beautiful Bedwelty House in Tredegar (where Marlene, my wife, and I were married last year); the speaker was the former Home Secretary – and now successful author – Alan Johnson, MP.

Chairman was our own local MP, Nick Smith.

The former Home Secretary’s autobiography has been received very enthusiastically and with many positive reviews by the media.

During his talk, Mr Johnson shared with us his personal background of how his mother had struggled to raise her family in the slums of the 1950s Notting hill Gate (London)

His family life in the 1950s in Notting Hill Gate was very different to the Notting Hill portrayed in the film starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

His life has been played out against the background of a vanishing community in condemned housing, through the race riots, Chelsea in the swinging 60s to making a record and becoming a husband and father whilst still in his teens.

Although his talk was not especially political, it would not have been complete without mention of his time as Home Secretary and to the tensions caused by the negative energies created between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

I had a brief chat with Mr Johnson after the meeting in which I mentioned that one of my favourite television programmes is ‘This Week’ in which Mr Johnson regularly appears with Michael Portillo and Andrew Neil.

He told me that ‘This Week’ has an audience of around 1.6 million.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAlan Johnson  MP, former Home Secretary


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESNick Smith, MP (who chaired the meeting) and Alan Johnson, MP



The Bold Bad Lamb

They called him the Bold Bad Lamb. His real name was Arthur, but no one called him that except his mother.

‘Arthur, stop butting!’ ‘Arthur, don’t bully!’ ‘Arthur, stay with the others!’ She would bleat a hundred times a day. The Bold Bad Lamb never paid the slightest attention. Right from the beginning, from the moment his wobbly black legs had supported his woolly white body, he had butted, bullied, wandered and generally made a nuisance of himself whenever he could.

‘A bold bad nature, that’s what he’s got,’ the other sheep said.

In an attempt to improve it, they decided to send him to Coventry. ‘You will play on your own, eat on your own and sleep on your own from now on,’ pronounce the Head Ram.

‘ See if I care. I’d rather be on my own, anyway,’ replied Arthur with a bold bad flick of his curly tail.

But when darkness fell, and the flock has settled down for the night, he wasn’t so sure. Without the other lambs around him, it was very cold. Dimly he could make out their forms, huddled together on the opposite side of the fold, sleeping peacefully.

Arthur felt much too cold to sleep. And there were strange noises in the darkness; hoots, crackles and in the distance a faint haunting chorus of voices that made his wool stand on end. ‘Wolves,’ he thought, and trembled from nose to tail, for like all the other sheep Arthur lived in fear of wolves.

‘Perhaps they’re coming this way.’ More terrified than ever he tried to block out the sound, sticking his front hooves in his ears. It was no good. The voices grew clearer and stronger by the minute, surging forward, ringing out on every side.

‘Oh, this is dreadful!’ shuddered Arthur. ‘They are about to attack.’

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the fold, the Head Ram was having a strange and wonderful dream. Awakening at dawn, he immediately summoned the flock.’ Something wonderful as happened,’ he cried. ‘Something wonderful, beyond our imagining.’

At this the sheep broke into an excited bleating. ‘Something wonderful! What is it? Tell us more.’

‘Oh dear!’ Their leader scratched his head, his voice suddenly flecked.’ Oh dear! That’s a pity! I can’t remember.’

What a let down! Still, within minutes, the sheep had something else to think about. Arthur’s mother had glanced across the fold to the spot where Arthur has settled the previous night. Instead of his bold bad early-morning face, all she saw was an empty patch of flat grass.’ He’s gone. Arthur is missing,’ she cried.

The sun was high in the sky before he returned that morning, by which time they had given him up for dead.

‘Arthur! Thank goodness!’ He was almost smothered in a four-legged embrace.

‘You gave us a terrible scare. We thought you’d been eaten,’ said the Head Ram.

Arthur this entangled himself. He looked embarrassed, apologetic, and extremely pleased with himself all at the same time. ‘I had an adventure.’ Rather hesitantly he began to talk about it; about the voices, about his panic, about running for miles as fast as his legs would carry him, about collapsing exhausted at the top of a hill, about realising suddenly that the sky was full of angels.

‘Angels!’ Exclaimed the sheep.

‘Yes, angels,’ said Arthur, and then he stopped. ‘There’s no point in going on. You’ll think I’m making it up.’

‘Know we won’t,’ said the Head Ram.

So Arthur continued. ‘The sky was full of angels singing in human tongue bringing news of a Shepherd; a great Shepherd come to our land.’

‘Yes,’ Breathed the Head Ram. ‘Yes, that’s it. The Great Shepherd promised to our ancestors. Last night I dreamt of his coming.’

The sheep looked at one another in joyful amazement. With the exception of Arthur (who had never bothered to listen) they had all heard the prophecy that someday a great Shepherd would walk their hills. He would protect them and lead them to rich pastures far all danger.

‘Hurrah! Three cheers for the Great Shepherd. Soon we shall be free from fear of wolves,’ they cheered.

‘Soon we shall be celebrating with him in the green land of safety,’ said the Head Ram. ‘We really have something to look forward to now.’

And after had brought the good news. Not only that, but overnight his behaviour had improved. From then on the butting, bullying and wandering came to an end.

He liked nothing better than to sit with the rest of the flock talking about the Great Shepherd, recalling the events of that starlit December night. ‘Those voices, what did they sound like?’ The sheep would asking over and over again. His mother still called him Arthur, of course, but to everyone else he became known as the Lamb who Had Heard the Angels.


It was beautiful hot day and wee Jimmy was down at the River Clyde. He was sitting under at tree just fishing. A man in a white suit and hat walked by and asked

“How is the fishing going today – have you caught anything?”

“I’ve got seven already” replied Jimmy, “but I’ve just put them back into the river”

“That is a bit silly”, said the man “you could have sold them.”

“Why would I want to do that?” quizzed wee Jimmy

“Well you could have made a few pounds profit and bought a bigger and better and stronger Fishing rod to catch lots more fish”

“Why would I want to do that?” quizzed wee Jimmy again

“Well more fish would mean more profit, and you could buy your own fish and chip van and make lots of money”

“But I like being under my tree, just fishing. It makes me happy”

“But” said the agitated stranger, “do you not see that if you had a big van you would make loads of money?.”

“And then what would I do with all that money?”

“Well” snapped the stranger “if you worked hard you could have enough money to open your own Fish and Chip restaurant”

“And then what?” asked Jimmy

“Well, you could be so rich you could go fishing any time you wanted”.

“But that is what I am doing today” said Jimmy.



With many peaceful blessings


My Heart Was Strangely Warmed

On May 24th 1738 John Wesley wrote in his journal:-

‘In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed.

I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given to me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.’

This experience was huge for Wesley and for the people called Methodists who follow in his footsteps. Prior to May 24, 1738, Wesley was a Christian, serving in Christian leadership. But after that fateful day, he was a new person!

When was the last time your heart was strangely warmed and your passion for God increased?



John Wesley