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{}   *Build it and They Will Come* 


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Michael's updated book Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter," is finally here! ($13.95)

Visit the link below to preview the book!  Personalized autographed copies are available at no extra charge and we pay the shipping for you!  An E-book version is also available for just $3.25!

Be sure to let us know who you would like it autographed for and then allow about two weeks for us to sign it and send it on its way to you.Credit card, PayPal, Checks, and Money orders accepted! The book is also available through,,, and


Build it and They Will Come

by Carole Conway-Merwin

In my younger life, I had 2 goals:

#1 was to live in a nice house, and
#2 was to live in a warm climate. 

I know setting these goals was the result of growing up in a somewhat shabby, cold farmhouse in the midwest.  I remember the below zero nights trying to sleep in an unheated bedroom, in an uninsulated house.  I remember running downstairs in the morning to the only source of heat in the house, a space heater in the living room.  I would stand very close to the heater, trying to get warm but not burned. 

In the early years, we didn't have indoor plumbing, and my baths were in the living room, too, in a metal washtub placed next to the space heater. The outhouse was another story.  It was the home of the bumble bees from 'you know where', and those bees hated me!   Getting indoor plumbing was probably the highlight of my young life! 

We were poor.  None of our funiture matched, and the stuffing was usually hanging out.  With a family of eight to feed, my mother spent most of her time in the kitchen, and house cleaning was not a priority.
This must have bothered me way back then, because visitors to our home said they could tell which room was Carole's.  Although the furniture in my room wasn't any different than in the rest of the house, my room was usually neat and clean.

I married at 18 and had 4 kids by the time I was 24.  Most of my furniture still didn't match, however, my house was neat and clean.....and I know now,  too neat and too clean. 

Before I knew it, the kids were all grown up, and I had settled into a good paying job.   My furniture started to be matched sets,  the house was being remodeled, and of course, it was neat and clean!

However, not too many years later, I became a widow.  I also had to leave my job because of a disability.  I had my nice house, but I was loney, and I still longed for that warmer climate.

Then an idea came to me.  I would rent a big house in a warm climate, for the months of January and February. And I'd invite everyone I knew to come to visit me.  I chose a house on Jekyll Island, Ga., a place I had fallen in love with  years before.

And I did have company!  It was a fun filled 2 months.  One of my many visitors was a man named Bart, whom I had met in a hospice bereavement group.  He was now living in Florida, but made several trips to Jekyll Island that winter.

Bart and I were married the following October.  We  decided to rent a house on Jekyll Island that next winter and again invite friends and family.  It was another very happy time for us and our visitors, but something we couldn't afford to continue doing.

Within a few years, I had sold the Wisconsin house, Bart had sold his Clearwater condo, and we were living in a Crystal River condo, which was of course neat and clean, with matching furniture. We still had several visitors, but we didn't have the room we had in the Jekyll Island houses. 

We found that condo living was a bit restrictive,  so we bought a lot and started building a house.  We told God if we were able to build the home of our dreams, we would share it with family and friends, like the days on Jekyll Island.

When it came right down to it, though, we found sharing a rental house wasn't quite the same as sharing our neat and clean "dream home", with matching furniture!  But God has been at work, and we have come to realize that the joy we've been able to give others is far more important than neat and clean.  The jelly does comes off the tile floors, the spaghetti fingerprints on the white walls will wash off, and the pool bathroom floor will dry out... eventually!

We have found that we can look forward to the arrival of all our visitors, even the group of nine that have just visited us for the second time!  This bunch includes my nephew's 5 adopted sons.  Spending spring break in Florida, with Uncle Bart and Aunt Carole has become their yearly vacation.  This is a very important event for these boys who come out of the foster care program in Ohio. 

Three of our grandsons from Wisconsin met up with their cousin from Seattle  at Grandpa's and Grandma's last August, and have told everyone that this is their "tradition", and they can't wait to meet again this August.  It is really a blessing to know that they love to come to our home.

The count of those with whom we've shared our new home is now over 60. They come from all walks of life.  Some have arrived as strangers, brought in by others, but we like to think they leave as friends. 

Why do they come?  Well, maybe because the price is right, and Florida is a lot warmer than the midwest in the winter.  Maybe it's the pecan waffles, or Bart's famous meatloaf.  It could be the marathon scrabble games, the pool, or the quiet trail through the woods.  The bike rides, or the trips to the donut shop.  Maybe the unlimited supply of lizards and frogs to catch, the driveway basketball games, the tire swing or the somemores around the fire.  Maybe they come because God is teaching us to listen, and not lecture.

But I don't think they come because the house is neat and clean, and the furniture matches!  I hope they feel love, and acceptance in our home.  And if they do, it's only because God's is changing us to be more loving and accepting.   He has given us the perfect example, in Christ.       

My two goals have been met in a way I never imagined in my wildest dreams.  I constantly thank God for the life he has given me, and the way he is working in us, and through us.   


Carole Conway-Merwin

You can write to Carole by replying to this email ( and I will pass along the responses to her!

A little bit about Carole:

I have been a Florida resident for 7 years, after living in the same county in Wisconsin all my life, and the same house for 36 years. I have 4 children, 2 stepchildren, 6 grandchildren, and 5 step-grandchildren. I am retired from the U.S. Postal Service, where I worked as rural carrier.

Bart and I have a wonderful life together, and enjoy biking, spending time with family and friends, volunteer work at our church, and a State Park.  I also enjoy digging in the dirt, and my new love is Florida native plants.

I've done very little writing, but remember my high school English teacher encouraging me to do so.  I love putting my thoughts down on paper, which is much easier than reading them in public!


Thought For The Day:

"Other book were given for our information, the Bible was given for our transformation"

Verse for the Day:

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."--Romans 12:2

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"One hundred times is not too many when it is your favorite book."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"There's one thing about children - they never go around showing snapshots of their grandparents." --Leopold Fechtner

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing and one thing endures...character." --Tom Landry

Writers Thought For The Day:

"When you slap the covers closed on a Norm Partridge book, I don't want you to feel like you've been sitting in your easy chair for two or three hours. I want you to feel like you've been somewhere ... and I'm the only guy who could take you there." -- Norman Partridge

Deep Thought For The Day:

"When her husband and herself arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up their car they were told that the keys had been accidentally locked in it. When they went to the service department they found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As she watched from the passenger's side, she instinctively tried the door handle and discovered it was open.

"Hey," she announced to the technician, "It's open!"

"I know," answered the young man, "I already got that side."


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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!
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?


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!


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, $3.25 (No other charges), as compared to $13.95 for the print book. Plus your EBook will arrive the same day you order it and you can begin reading the stories right away!

EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that is already on your computer. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this link to order the EBook version of Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter."
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!

Touching Lives - One E-mail at a Time!
Author Michael T. Powers - HeartTouchers @
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