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*Be Happy*


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Good Afternoon HeartTouchers Readers!
Only five more weeks until the newest Baby Powers is born, so there is lots of excitement in our home this January...
Enjoy today's story by Al Batt and be sure to read the short little snippet in CalCon Corner below about an experience that I shared with my son Caleb recently...

From my family to yours,

P.S. A very happy birthday to Sara Douglas who will turn 21 this Saturday January 31. Sara is a former player of mine and a young lady whom we have gotten to know very well over the years. Sara, may you continue to be the classy young lady that we have come to know and love in a special way, and may this birthday be the most memorable one you have ever had... The Powers family would not be the same if Sara Douglas had not come into our lives....

If anyone would like to send birthday greetings to Sara you can do so by emailing her at:



Cal-Con Corner (Stories about our two little boys!)

I was driving home with my two boys the other night when Caleb, my eight-year-old said, "Daddy, you are the best Daddy in the whole world!"

"Thank you, Caleb," I responded, my heart swelling with pride.

Too bad my father/son moment didn't end right there...

Caleb continued without missing a beat, "But Daddy, I think you should know something. Most kids my age think their daddies are the best daddies in the world. So there are a lot of daddies out there that are being told they are the best daddies in the world by their sons..."

"Well, thank you for sharing that with me son," I sarcastically replied.

"No problem, Dad. I just thought you should know that," Caleb said with an angelic smile on his face...


Be Happy

By Al Batt

I watched and listened to an irate customer berate a young fast food restaurant clerk. Young minimum wage workers appear to be fair game. The angry man grew red in the face as he yelled at the young man.

What was the young man's sin that deserved this wrath? He gave the man onion rings instead of french fries.

I advised the man to calm down, that he was making a scene. He told me to mind my own blankety-blank business. He quieted down only after he saw the looks being given to him by the other customers.

I don't understand such behavior.

If you are having a bad day, that's a shame. Get over it. You are not going to make your day better by ruining the day of another.

Misery needs to stop loving company.

Our days are not going to be perfect. Find a bless in the mess.

A neighbor once told me, "You might as well be happy, no one cares if you ain't." He is the same guy who was fond of saying, "If ignorance is bliss, how come there aren't more happy people?"

The older I get the more I value time and good folks. The more I want my loved ones to be happy. The more I want to spend my time being happy.

We owe it to our loved ones, our friends and our co-workers to be happy.

Warren Zevon said it well in one of his songs, "Enjoy every sandwich."

My mother was one who enjoyed every sandwich. She found joy in the joy of others. She believed in a principle called "Santosa." I doubt that she'd even heard of Santosa, but she lived it. Santosa means finding contentment regardless of outer circumstances. "It's good enough," was something often said by my mother. She knew that things turn out best for those who make the best out of the way things turn out. She had a gift for appreciating life's pleasures. She rejoiced in a light breeze on a hot day, the song of the crickets and the full moon that illuminated the night. She felt that there was no reason to be unhappy when you could be happy. She taught by example that one of the best things we could do in life is to find happiness and then share it with others.

I don't enjoy watching depressing movies or disturbing TV programs. I don't want to hear about any more conspiracy theories. I don't want to hear negative campaign ads. I don't want to listen to personal attacks on those willing to take leadership roles. I don't want to hear mean-spirited talk show hosts attack all who do not agree with them.

What makes us happy?

Perhaps it is as the cartoonist Charles Schulz said, "Happiness is a warm puppy." I do know that my dog is happy. It is easy to make my faithful canine companion happy. All I have to do is to say, while leaving the house, "You can go." James Thurber observed that, "Dogs are obsessed with being happy." Dogs need no reason to be happy. That's because they have every reason to be happy.

We are told that money cannot buy us happiness. The stories in the supermarket tabloids-if only a few are true--have proven that. This is no reason for pessimism. No one will ever be rich enough to be able to afford to be pessimistic.

Good memories make us happy. Memories provide more beginnings than endings.

We gather good memories from our experiences.

We should spend more on experiences and less on things.

Travel produces great experiences and wonderful memories.

We need to seek happiness, not pleasure. Pleasure alone does not bring happiness--as anyone who has ever been on a diet because of an appetite for fattening food can attest.

We need to choose to be happy. We need to find joy in green lights, the antics of chipmunks, rainbows and the smell of sunshine.

Barrow, Alaska is located 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is the USA's northernmost city. It is a place where polar bears roam and the minimum temperature is below freezing for 324 days of the year. Barrow is a place that when the sun sets on November 18, it does not rise again until January 23. That is a lot of darkness.

4400 people live there. How can they do that--with all that darkness?

Ernie Banks said, "If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy any place."

The residents of Barrow survive by remembering that the sun does not set at all between May 10 and August 2. The residents are given 82 days of sunshine. They survive by enjoying the northern lights that dance across their darkened sky. The aurora borealis brightens their world.

We should all rejoice with the light rather than find sorrow in the darkness.

Be happy.

Al Batt, 2004

Write Al and let him know your thoughts on his story!


Al Batt is a husband, father and grandfather who lives on a farm near Hartland, Minnesota.  He is a writer, speaker and storyteller.  He writes a newspaper column. He does a regular TV and radio show, contributes to many magazines and newspapers, and is an avid birder.

Al Batt
71622 325 St.
Hartland, MN 56032

Thought For The Day:

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Verse for the Day:

"Man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit." --Proverbs 29:23

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Everyone's afraid of funny noises at night."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"The quickest for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable." --Lane Olinghouse

Coach's Thought For The Day

"As a coach the important thing is not what happens when you are there, but what happens when you are not there."

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"Ultimately you have to choose your writing over something else. It has to become a priority. Only the writer can decide what you are going to carve out of your life in order to fit this in." --David Ebershoff

Deep Thought For The Day:

How do you pronounce my name?  With reverence.


Have you been to the website lately? If you like what you see and would like to have your own professional looking website, visit the link below. Bizstudio has been a wonderful service for and with 320,000 visitors in the past three years, the website has been a tremendous tool in helping us to "Touch Lives, One Email at a Time." Although I had no prior experience building a website, I was able to create and build the site easily utilizing Bizstudio's online editor. It includes an Online Site Editor, Unlimited Updates, Unlimited Pages, Professional Themes, Pre-Programmed Features, E-mail Accounts, and free Search Engine Submission. If I could do it with no prior experience you can too! Check it out at this link:



"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos! Check out my video production business by visiting:


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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?


The copyrights to the stories that appear in are owned by the authors and are used with their permission. We refuse to run stories without the author's permission and contact info listed after the story. We also refuse to publish stories listed as "author unknown." (All of which violates Copyright Law and the rights of the authors.) This e-mail may be forwarded in its entirety, but please do not cut and paste the stories to be used elsewhere unless you have contacted and been given permission by the individual writer. Thank you so much for honoring the rights of those writers who graciously share their stories with us!


Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with! And best of all, every penny from the book sales are going to youth ministry!


A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions. An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $8.95 (No other charges), as compared to $14.95 + shipping and handling for the print book. Plus you can download the EBook and begin reading the stories in a few minutes! EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that most of you already have on your computer. And if for some reason you don't, it can be downloaded free of charge at the web site. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this web site to order the EBook version of Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life."
Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

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