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Hope and Encouragement For Teenagers!
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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 readers around the world by visiting:

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

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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 $6.95!

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



By Joseph Walker

For most of the past half-century, Mother Nature and I have had this understanding: her creatures leave me alone, I leave them alone.

For the most part, we've both managed to maintain our respective ends of the bargain.  Aside from one bee sting, one minor dog bite and a run-in with a crazy Arabian horse named - appropriately - Crazy, my life has been relatively free from beastly entanglements.  And if you don't count a brief childhood foray into grasshopper experimentation and three small rainbow trout that somehow found the shriveled worm on my hook too tempting to resist, I've managed to maintain a fairly amicable relationship with all creatures great and small.

Until recently.

A few weeks ago I was cleaning up some stuff in the garage when I noticed something shiny and black on the ground out of the corner of my eye - and it was moving.


On eight legs.

In my view, something that moves quickly on eight legs is never a good thing to see -- especially not in my garage.  But when it is shiny and black and has bright red -- you might even say "blood red" -- markings on its back... well, it is cause for alarm.

Which, of course, I sounded.  Boisterously.

"We have a black widow in our garage!" I screamed.  I'm not sure if anyone heard me, since I was standing on the roof by the time the words finally escaped my mouth.

Hey, I don't know how sensitive black widows are to the deranged ramblings of arachnophobic old men.  And I didn't want to take a chance of... you know ... upsetting her.  At least, not as long as she was within range to do to me what she did to her late husband.

Eventually I made my way back down to the garage.  I carefully, cautiously crept toward the corner to which she had scampered.  Sure enough, there was a large, delicately constructed web (note to self: clean garage more often!), and she was perched squarely in the middle of it.  As soon as I took a step toward her, however, she scrambled off the web, across the floor and under the garage baseboard.

Well, I wasn't going to poke around under there.  And while I waited for her to come out again, I started thinking.  I mean, it's not like we had anything of value in that corner of the garage.  And it's not like we ever went over there.  If we left her alone, I was sure she would leave us alone.  Maybe.

So I warned my teenage children and my wife that we had a black widow in that corner of the garage, and told them that if we left her alone she would leave us alone.  Probably.

But then Sammie Jo came over.  Sammie is our youngest grandchild, and at age 2 has developed a mind and will entirely her own.  As far as she is concerned, "no" is just a pit stop on her way to going wherever she wants to go.  So when she wandered toward that part of the garage and I told her "no," I knew that that is precisely where she would go the next time she got the chance.  That's just the way it works with Sammie.

Which meant that the black widow had to go.  Immediately.  That night I went out to the garage with my flashlight, my hard hat (in case it jumped or attacked or something) and my plastic baseball bat, and I did what I had to do.  I've tried to blot out the details because... well, I still have to go into that garage.  But no matter how scary it was, I did it.  Turns out there are a lot of things you're willing to do for your family that you would never do otherwise.

Understandings notwithstanding.

Joseph Walker

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

Joseph Walker has been writing professionally since 1980, when he left college to join the staff of a daily metropolitan newspaper. For 10 years -- including six as the paper's TV columnist and critic -- he was part of the mainstream media, and was painfully aware of the overwhelming negativity of contemporary journalism. Joe says, "Nobody was looking for real solutions to the problems society was facing; they were just looking for someone or something to blame the problems on." So in 1990 Joe began writing ValueSpeak, a weekly syndicated column that attempts to look at contemporary issues from the perspective of traditional values. Joe and his wife, Anita, are parents of five children, and one grandchild.

You'll love his new book, "How Can you Mend a Broken Spleen!" Ordering is simple and fast at the following Amazon address:

AOL Users click here: How To Mend A Broken Spleen


Thought For The Day:

"The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank." --Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Verse for the Day:

Only a fool would say to himself, "There is no God." --Psalm 53:1

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"If a lady has a black thing on her tooth, tell her."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"If you think it's easy to take candy away from a baby - you should try it."--Henny Youngman

Coach's Thought For The Day

"The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm."

Writer's Thought For The Day

"Page one is scary, page two not as scary, and then it gets better after that. You get your whole mind wrapped up in a book." --Steve Hamilton

Deep Thought For The Day:

"Daisy Air Rifles: "Keeping kids off your lawn for over forty years."



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 430,000 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:


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!


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, $6.95 (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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