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*NRHEG...*  7/31/03


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 readers around the world by sending a blank e-mail to:

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I will be gone next week working at a youth camp and will not be able to send out a story this next Monday or Tuesday so decided to send out one tonight. Enjoy today's humorous story by one of our favorite and most prolific writers: Al Batt!

From my family to yours,



by Al Batt

I liked school. I liked my schoolmates. I liked my teachers. The janitors (that's what we called them then) were wonderful. I have wonderful memories of my years in school-especially the time I spent in the 7th grade. Those were the best 5 years of my life. Oh, sure, I have some painful memories, too. Most of those involving the school lunch program. I graduated from what now is New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva-Bath-Otisco-Matawan-Summit-Cooleyville-Berlin-Hope-Trenton-LeMond High School. On occasion I am privileged to walk the halls of my old alma mater. Times have changed. Was I the only first grader who looked at the paintings of the presidents hanging in the classroom and thought that Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were a married couple? Or perhaps the only one who was concerned because I was unable to brush after every meal? Or bothered by the fact that the school cook refused to prepare the mystery meat to my specifications?

I was in the school recently and had the opportunity to listen as one of the administrators took a few young students on a tour of the school. I was surprised to see my photo hanging on the wall next to the likenesses of Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy. I must admit that I not only was surprised, but I was pretty pleased, too.

"Who are those guys?" asked one of the kids.

"Oh, the first one is George Washington. If you never tall a lie, you could end up becoming President of this country just like George Washington. The second one is Abraham Lincoln. If you work hard, you could end up being President of this country just like Honest Abe Lincoln. The third one is John Kennedy. If you study hard in school and are very brave, you could grow up to be President just like JFK."

"Who is the other guy?" asked another child.

"Oh, him," sighed their leader. "That's Al Batt. If you behave like he did while you are in school, you could end up writing a newspaper column and living on a farm near Hartland."

I can still see those kids shuddering in terror.

I did have my days while I was in school. I remember writing "I will not laugh at Crandall when he acts up because it only encourages him," 100 times on the blackboard. I remember pressing chewing gum against the blackboard with my nose for chewing the stuff in class. I remember one teacher threatening to hit me so hard that I would starve to death before I stopped rolling and another promising to hit me hard enough that my grandchildren would feel it. Fortunately, both were just into threats and not action. The threats were more than enough in my case.

I had an unfortunate incident occur in shop class. We were learning about electronics and I hot-wired the fire hydrant outside school. I just about French-fried Mrs. Paulson's pet poodle, Pierre. Mrs. Paulson still crosses the street to avoid me.

I have clear recollections of a day in the big study hall on the second floor. It was the first day of class and they had overbooked the room. I was standing at the front of the room like a big dork while the teacher was at his desk at the back of the room, reading his newspaper. It was at this time that a classmate of mine decided to toss a marble in the instructor's direction. It hit the newspaper with a loud thwack. Silence fell over the room. The marble hit the desk, rolled to the edge of that piece of furniture and then dropped onto the floor. It bounced across the floor-a deafening noise in the quiet room. The teacher threw his paper down onto his desk and stared out at the room. Everyone, including the culprit, was facing the front of the room, feigning studying. Everyone that is except for poor old deskless me. I was standing up in front of the study hall, facing an angry teacher. That was bad enough, but I made it even worse by grinning like a billy goat eating thistles. The teacher sent me to the principal's office. I had been sent on mandatory field trips to that location before.

Even though there were misunderstandings like this, I did really like school. Honest. Whoa! Look at the time. I have got to get to school. I am working off detention hours. It is going to take me a while because my old school has added interest and penalty hours to my detention hours.

Al Batt

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:

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."

Verse for the Day:

"Remember how short my time is." --Psalm 89:47

Kid's Thought For The Day:

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"Women should not have children after 35. 35 children are enough."

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won?t taste good."--Joe Paterno

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"There's a thing that sometimes happens on the page, where something wasn't in my head -- or anywhere -- a fraction of a second before I got to that moment in the story or the script, and suddenly I find yourself writing something that's making me laugh or shudder or look at it wide-eyed, and I think, 'Where did that come from?' That's the very best bit." --Neil Gaiman

Deep Thought For The Day:

"If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?"



Dear Michael;

Today you put my prayer request into your newsletter,  only a few hours after I e-mailed you about father, Thomas D. and my call for prayer from those who could. 

I first of all wanted to thank you, very much, for honoring my request so promptly and faithfully.  For without you I would never have been put in touch with all the many caring people who have e-mailed a few short hours after that to let me know that they are praying and to share with me their spirit of hope and encouragement.

Thank you to each and everyone of you, as well as to those who have not e-mailed me, but are praying nevertheless.  Thank you so much.  I know it makes a difference--it's made a huge difference in morale already and I know it can make just as huge a difference on the physical plane as well.  

I just wanted to thank you, very sincerely.  I also wanted to say that though he's still not allowed home today he sounds better today than I've heard him since he entered the hospital more than two weeks ago.

May God bless us one and all,




"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:


Would you like to see your story in Writer's guidelines can be found on our Web site here:

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.

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!
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