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Good morning HeartTouchers.com readers!
Kristi and I spent Valentine's Day rereading the hundreds of love letters we sent to each other while we were dating in high school. Man oh man was that fun! It was so interesting to take that trip back down memory lane. I was a freshman and Kristi was a senior when we started dating, and we laughed and laughed at how I poured my heart out to the woman I loved. I wrote poetry to her, songs about her, and this classic line from a letter I sent to her a few months after we became friends: "Kristi, your name is as special to me as freedom is to the United States." (Now that is a love-struck freshman boy!)
Last night, we decided to read some of our letters to our youth group. As I sat there, reading one of the poems I wrote to Kristi, my five-year-old son Connor made his way up to sit next to us. As I lovingly read the last lines to one of the greatest love poems ever written, Connor said, "That is DIS-GUST-ING!"
Do you and your spouse have old love letters and cards that you have saved over the years? If you do, get them out and go back over them. You will be surprised at the depth of love that you "had" for each other, and hopefully still "have" for each other.
If you have never read the story of how my wife and I met, you can do so at:
Hoping all of you had a wonderful weekend and that you are looking forward to what God has in store for you this week!
From my family to yours,
Before we get to today's story I have a huge favor to ask of all of you. We would like to do something special for a young man who is serving in Iraq. His name is John Knox and he is the son of Tedi Knox, an incredible woman who is one of the youth leaders who works with us in our youth group. John's 21st birthday is coming up on March 2nd and I wanted to know if you would help us make his birthday a special one. Would you be willing to take five minutes of your time to send him some birthday greetings this week? You can wish him a "Happy Birthday" by writing to him at this address:
CPL Knox, John
1st LAR H&S CO MT
FPO AP 96426-0595
Not only will it be a special birthday for him, but it is also a tangible way for all of us to say thank you to those who are putting their life on the line in service to our country.
What do you say? Got some time to make a difference in someone's life?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart... Michael
by Rubel Shelly
Researchers call it "work-family spillover." My wife and I call it "kick-the-dog syndrome." It is the problem some of us have with letting stress at work poison the most important relationships in our lives.
Police officers, customer-service workers, air-traffic controllers, teachers, practically all of us who serve the public -- we occasionally get barked at by unhappy people. The customer bought a product that doesn't work. The person who answers the phone catches grief for something about which she knows nothing. Hurt, angry, or grieving people vent raw emotions on some innocent soul.
Years ago my wife and I heard somebody tell about a fellow who got chewed out at work. When he came home that evening, he turned away from his wife's welcome kiss to gripe about a tricycle in the driveway. She in turn went to a happy child and chewed him out for failing to put his toys away. So the five-year-old boy went to put his bike away -- and kicked the family dog on his way. When I come home grumpy and out of sorts, my wife doesn't get in my face about it. She just asks, "Are we going to have to buy a dog?" Point taken!
The domino effect of toxic emotions is very real. The good-faith effort to put customers first leads companies to train employees to take verbal abuse without firing back. Those companies seldom go the next step to teach those people what to do to keep from internalizing the attacks they suffer. So they get home at the end of a workday irritable, defensive, and unavailable to their families.
Some people are able to deflect these blows easier than others. They don't take them personally. They take deep breaths. They drink herbal tea. They exercise hard at day's end and sweat out their tensions. They let a coworker, friend, or mate in on what has happened and drain some stress simply by talking about it. They pray for God to give them the power to be present for the people who love them -- and to keep them from dumping their stress on those people.
Maybe one or more of these coping strategies will help the next time you face the problem. The point in raising the topic of work-family spillover is less to tell you how to avoid it than to remind you and me not to put others in that difficult spot. I've found it is easier to ask for God's help to avoid venting my anger on the fellow at the counter or a lady on the phone than to try to make amends later.
"As far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Romans 12:18).
Write Rubel and let him know what you thought of his story!
(c) 2004 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission.
Visit: http://www.faithmatters.com to read more of Rubel's writing or to sign up for his weekly column: FAX of Life.
Rubel Shelly has preached for the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville since 1978. During that time, he has also taught at David Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 20 books, including several which have been translated into languages such as Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. He is married to the former Myra Shappley, and they are the parents of three children: Mrs. David (Michelle) Arms, Tim, and Tom.
Thought For The Day:
"Beware lest your footprints on the sands of time leave only the marks of a heel."
Verse for the Day:
"The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot." Proverbs 10:7
Kid's Thought For The Day:
"You feel a lot braver the second time you jump out of the tree."
Parent's Thought For The Day
"The advice your child rejected is now being given to your grandchild."
Coach's Thought For The Day
"On the day of victory, no fatigue is felt."
Writer's Thought For The Day;
"The story, the people, the neighborhood: they're all in my own mind. But the notebook still helps to keep the details fresh and true, to hold the quotations clear as consonants, to provide those little touchstones that will rescue me from the slough of writer's despondency." --Anna Quindlen
Deep Thought For The Day:
"The guy who invented the first wheel wasn't that smart. The guy who invented the other three, he was the genius."
Have you been to the HeartTouchers.com 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 HeartTouchers.com and with 325,000 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 HeartTouchers.com 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:
MICHAEL T. POWERS
"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
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: http://www.hearttouchers.com/video_imagery
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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you? http://www.greatcom.org/english/four.htm
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Reading Books, Changing Lives!
For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the HeartTouchers.com 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.
You can join the 15,000 followers on his Facebook Nature Photography by clicking on the link above!