Wednesday, December 24, 2008

After watching the news this morning, I realized that may of my blogging friends will be having a white Christmas....Here in Houston, we have temps in the mid 60's and drizzling rain. Where ever you live, I hope you have the best Christmas ever...Filled with love, friendship, hope for a better world, and a belief in Jesus Christ as we celebrate his birth....

Love to you all, TF and Lucy Stern

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What goes around, comes around.......

"The message of this season that is applicable throughout the year lies not in the receiving of earthly presents and treasures but in the forsaking of selfishness and greed and in going forward, seeking and enjoying the gifts of the Spirit, which Paul said are 'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
--James E. Faust, "A Christmas with No Presents", Ensign, Dec. 2001, 6

Gal. 5:22–23

Here is a story that pretty much says it all.....

One day a man saw a old lady, stranded on the side of the road. Even in the dim light of dusk, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.

He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty, and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled dow n the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.

Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, 'And think of me.'

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road, the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas p umps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan .

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.'

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard....
She knew how worried her husband was. As he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, 'Everything's going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.'

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


Friday, December 05, 2008

Letter by a Florida teacher ................

A teacher speaks:

This is a subject close to my heart. Do you know that we have adult students at the school where I teach who are not US citizens and who get the PELL grant, which is a federal grant (no pa y back required) plus other federal grants to go to school?

One student from the Dominican Republic told me that she didn't want me to find a job for her after she finished my program, because she was getting housing from our housing department and she was getting a PELL grant which paid for her total tuition and books, plus money leftover.

She was looking into WAIT which gives students a CREDIT CARD for gas to come to school, and into CARIBE which is a special program (check it out - I did) for immigrants and it pays for child care and all sorts of needs while they go to school or training. The one student I just mentioned told me she was not going to be a US Citizen because she plans to return to the Dominican Republic someday and that she 'loves HER country.'

I asked her if she felt guilty taking what the US is giving her and then not even bothering to become a citizen and she told me that it doesn't bother her, because that is what the money is there for!

I asked the CARIBE administration about their program and if you ARE a US Citizen, you don't qualify for their program. And all the while, I am working a full day, my son-in-law works more than 60 hours a week, and everyone in my family works and pays for our education.

Something is wrong here. I am sorry but after hearing they want to sing the National Anthem in Spanish - enough is enough. Nowhere did they sing it in Italian, Polish, Irish (Celtic), German or any other language because of immigration. It was written by Francis Scott Key and should be sung word for word the way it was written. The news broadcasts even gave the translation -- not even close. Sorry if this offends anyone but this is MY COUNTRY.

IF IT IS YOUR COUNTRY SPEAK UP -- please pass this along. I am not against immigration -- just come through like everyone else. Get a sponsor; have a place to lay your head; have a job; pay your taxes, live by the rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all other immigrants have in the past -- and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

PART OF THE PROBLEM, Think about this: If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone -- YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is Time for America to Speak up If you agree -- pass this along, if you don't agree --- delete it!

Note from Lucy: Thanks Dick Webster, for emailing this to me. This makes my blood boil. I have a daughter who has gone back to school after 12 years on her own and she is working tooth and nail to get some funds for school. In the state of Texas, many of the "illegal’s" go to school on "in state" tuition....There is no way they are in state.... I read a story last year where one of our solders could not get in state tuition because he had been gone for a year.....Guess where he was? IRAQ! Who gave the government permission to use my taxpayer money like this? Don't get me started!!!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Subject: Noise Complaint at Luke AFB, AZ

Sometimes just a bit of clarity is needed...

Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before they were.

A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back.

Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:

'Question of the day for Luke Air F orce Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird
special? Any response would be appreciated.

The response:

Regarding 'A wake-up call from Luke's jets' On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m, a perfectly timed four- ship fly by of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques. Capt Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.

At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the letter writer's recount of the fly by, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand
the sacrifices they have endured.

A four-ship fly by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

The letter writer asks, 'Whom do we thank for the morning air show? The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you.....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr. USAF

Note from Lucy: Sometimes we complain about the stupidest things...Thanks Bro. Sutton for sharing this with me. We all need to remember the men and women who defend our freedoms.....I had written a totally different blog for this week, but somehow I erased it by accident. This article came to mind and I figured that I was supposed to post this instead.

Have a great week everyone!