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*The New Father Fog*

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If you enjoy this free email service, I encourage you to spread the word to family and friends that we may bring inspiration into the lives of many! If you are not on the list and this has been passed along to you, join the thousands of HeartTouchers.com readers around the world by sending a blank e-mail to:

HeartTouchers-subscribe@myinjesus.com

Visit our inspirational web site and read all the past stories in our archives at:
http://www.HeartTouchers.com/Archives

Be sure to check out our brand new inspirational list just for teenagers!

Heart4Teens.com

To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: Heart4Teens-subscribe@myinjesus.com or visit:
http://www.Heart4Teens.com


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Good afternoon HeartTouchers.com readers!

We just came home from the hospital today with our brand new baby boy!

Chase William Powers was born on Monday March 1st at 8:23 am. He was 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 21 inches long. The spiritual meaning of his name means: Pursuer of Truth, and we hope that our little boy will grow up to "Chase" after God in all that he does.

Kristi ended up having her third C-Section and lost a lot of blood during the operation, but she is doing well now. About the only prayer concern we have is that we were told Chase has a small hole in his heart, but it is expected to close up on it's own as he grows.

As many of you remember, Caleb (8 yrs. old) our first born, went through twenty hours of labor and then had to come via a C-section because he was too big for Kristi to deliver at about 9 1/2 lbs. (You can read about Caleb's birth in today's story!). Connor (5 yrs.) our next son was just under 11 lbs. and was our "SUMO" baby. So we were very glad to see that Little Chase actually looks like a baby is supposed to when they come out...

We can't even begin to tell all of you how loved we have felt during the four day stay at the hospital. We had many phone calls, visitors, and people who have gone above and beyond what friendship is all about and have touched our hearts in a special way. Kristi and I feel as if we have just received the biggest, warmest hug that God could give through the friends and family He has given us. Especially Kristi's mom Carole, who is one of the most giving people I have ever met in my entire life. She came back from warm and sunny Florida to stay with us for about a month to help us out with our new bundle of joy. I say with pride, "I Love My Mother-in-law!"

We are blessed indeed...

From my family to yours,
Michael

P.S. Please pray for the Boudreau family, a wonderful family that I have gotten to know and love through coaching. I first coached their daughter Nikki in volleyball back in 1991 and her sister Kim is currently in our basketball program. Kim, e-mailed me recently:

"Could you please pray for my father? Last Wednesday he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Thanks." Kim
kimbo377@hotmail.com

Please lift this family up in prayer and offer encouragement via email to them at the above email address.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.. Michael

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I thought I would run my story entitled: "The New Father Fog". It tells of how I felt when my first son Caleb was born. At the end of the story is a link that will take you to our website where you can see a picture of both Caleb and Connor when they were born. We hope to have a picture of Chase up soon...


The New Father Fog

By Michael T. Powers


Kristi has been extremely creative in how she tells me I am going to be a father. When she knew she was pregnant with our first son, Caleb, she took me to a nice restaurant for dinner. At the end of our delicious meal, the waitress handed me the bill and a sealed envelope. She told me it was from someone in the restaurant. I looked around, searching for a familiar face, but found none. I opened it and read the typed message. In the mean time, all the employees, including the chefs from the kitchen, started moving closer to our table.

The message read, "Michael, this is to inform you that you will be changing the kitty litter for the next nine months. In other words, congratulations, you are going to be a father!"

I looked across the table at my beloved wife with disbelief on my face. "How did this happen!" flashed through my head. I remembered the talk my father had with me long ago, so I knew how it happened, but I wanted to know HOW this had happened! I started bawling like a baby. I had wanted to have children all seven years of our marriage, but Kristi wanted to wait. This was not something we had planned, and I wasn't emotionally ready for it. There I sat, tears streaming down my face, surrounded by my now crying wife, a bunch of sobbing waitresses, and a couple of chefs who went back into the kitchen in a suspicious hurry.

The next eight months were filled with anticipation and moments of wonder. I remember hearing the sound of my baby's heartbeat. Nothing prepares a man for the moment he hears his child's heartbeat for the first time. It was nothing like I expected. The chugging that came through the speakers sounded just like a train to me. I know that doesn't sound too exciting or romantic, but to me it was incredible.

I remember watching my wife's tummy grow, longing for the day when I would be able to feel Caleb moving inside of her. We would sit for long periods of time, my hands pressed gently against her abdomen, waiting for Caleb to move, but he wouldn't. I would pray that God would give him the hiccups just so I could feel my son through the thin that protected him from the outside world.

And then miraculously he moved and I felt him for the first time! I waited breathlessly for him to move again, not believing that it actually happened. I can't even imagine what it must have felt like for Kristi to sense her offspring moving within her.

As I waited for the day of his birth, I would have dreams of seeing him for the first time; intensely vivid dreams of a baby's face that would stay with me long after sleep ended. Looking back now, I am amazed at how long, and how short, nine months can be.

We never did get to rush off to the hospital like on TV because Caleb decided he liked it too much inside the womb. After being three weeks overdue, the doctors decided to induce labor, so there we sat in the hospital waiting for something to happen. Kristi wanted a CD player in the room so she could listen to relaxing music as she went through the huffing, puffing, and pushing. I, however, thought it would be funny to put in a CD by Salt-N-Peppa and play their song, "Push It," so as soon as I was sufficiently bored with waiting, I turned the CD player on and out blasted: "PUSH IT! PUSH IT GOOD!"

I was so proud of my little joke.

When I looked up, I saw Kristi and her mom giving me the death stare. Not even a crack of a smile. I was grinning from ear to ear, but realized that if I wanted to be a part of this miracle and stay in the room, I had better turn it off in a hurry and put on some soothing music. To this day they don't think it was funny, while I am still laughing out loud as I write this. In their defense, Kristi tells me that the music was so loud that they couldn't make out the words.

Labor finally set in -- twenty hours of it. At the end of the twenty hours, Caleb's head was too big for the birth canal, and the doctor told us he would have to do a C-Section. At this point I was a little worried, but trusted that God and the doctors knew what they were doing.

Then it finally happened! I was sitting at the head of the operating table, holding Kristi's hand, when the doctor said, "We have a healthy baby boy." All throughout surgery, I was afraid to stand up so that I could see what was going on. I figured the doctors and nurses would yell at me and say, "Boy, what do you think you are doing?! You sit back down now!" However when I heard the doctor say that he could see the baby, I didn't care if they threw a scalpel at
me; I was going to look at my child.

There he was! I could almost hear the angels singing as my precious baby boy was brought into the world. He was perfect in every way, and the tears began to fall. "Oh Kristi! He's beautiful!" was all I could stammer.

I was in the "new father fog."

In reality, Caleb looked terrible. His skin color changed about four times in the first five minutes, and I wouldn't have been surprised to be on the cover of the National Enquirer: "Reptile Boy Born in Wisconsin! Man fathers chameleon in real life X-Files episode!" His hands and feet were extremely wrinkled, like he had been in the pool too long, and all kinds of bodily secretions were oozing from his pores.

Everything else seemed fine though. Except for THE TWO HEADS! Yes, my boy had two heads, and that was the first thing Kristi noticed when the nurse handed Caleb to her for the first time. She told me later that she was thoroughly convinced that she had married a psycho. "My husband called this thing beautiful?"

Because Caleb went through twenty hours of labor, but had been too big to fit through the birth canal, it was obvious where his head had been stuck all that time. It had swollen up like a balloon in two different places, and it really did look like he had two heads. Being the proud father, I figured that was God's way of storing all the brain matter he inherited from me. The swelling did go down in a few days, but Caleb wasn't looking his best for the first few weeks.

It is amazing, though, how being a new father blinded me to certain realities. I kept telling everyone how beautiful he was. It wasn't until a year or so later, after looking at photos, that I realized Caleb had looked like a swollen two-headed lizard that had been in the water for too long. To me though, he was the most beautiful creation that had ever appeared on the earth.

Fatherhood. You gotta love it!


Michael T. Powers, Copyright 2000
HeartTouchers@aol.com

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

To see Caleb and his "two heads" or Connor our Sumo baby visit:
http://www.hearttouchers.com and click on the Caleb and Connor button on the left hand side.

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Michael T. Powers, the founder of HeartTouchers.com and Heart4Teens.com, is the youth pastor at Faith Community Church in Janesville, WI. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart Kristi and proud father of "My Three Sons": Caleb, Connor & Chase. In his spare time he loves coaching the JV Lady Cougars basketball team in Clinton, Wisconsin.

He is also an author with stories in 19 inspirational books including many in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. To preview his books or to join the thousands of world wide readers on his inspirational e-mail lists, visit:
http://www.HeartTouchers.com

Most importantly, Michael believes that life is not about religion, but about a relationship -- a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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Thought For The Day:

"If you were given a nickname descriptive of your character, would you be proud of it?"


Verse for the Day:

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches..." --Proverbs 22:1


Kid's Thought For The day:

"If it's going to be two against one, make sure you are not the one."


Parent's Thought For The Day

"Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids. -Sam Levinson


Coach's Thought For The Day

"Talent is overrated. You win with character." -Lewis Shaffel


Writer's Thought For The Day:

"Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." --William Strunk, Jr.


Deep Thought For The Day:

"Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up 'cause they're looking for ideas." -- Paul Poundstone


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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 335,000 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:

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MICHAEL T. POWERS
www.HeartTouchers.com

"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
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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:
http://www.hearttouchers.com/video_imagery


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Would you like to see your story in HeartTouchers.com? Writer's guidelines can be found on our Web site here:
http://www.HeartTouchers.com/guidelines/
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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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The copyrights to the stories that appear in HeartTouchers.com 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!

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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!

http://www.HeartTouchers.com/books


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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."

http://www.booklocker.com/bookpages/michaeltpowers01.html
Transfer your photographs or old home movies over to DVD all set to music that makes your memories come alive! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.
Chimney Balloon Fireplace Damper

Do you have a drafty or stinky fireplace? A Chimney Balloon fireplace damper can stop the cold draft, bad smell and save you money on your heating bill.

 

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