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{}   *The Wolves Are Circling * 


If you enjoy this email service, I encourage
you to spread the word to family and friends that we
may bring inspiration  the lives of many!  If you
are not on the list and this has been passed along
to you, join us by visiting:

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


Good morning readers!

Before we get to today's story I wanted to share something with all of you again.  As you know we don't do any outside advertising on our list, but that we made an exception for a family in our church. The Uppenkamps have gone through some pretty trying times this past holiday season.  Tom Uppenkamp, the father, lost his eye in an accident at work this past month.  His wife Brenda has been working on an instrumental CD this past year and she finally has it ready to go.  I wanted to let all of you know about it in case you might be interested in purchasing it for a gift or for yourselves.  I asked them to send me some info on it and have included it below.  I have purchased copies of it to give as gifts this year and have a copy for my family that we have listened to and enjoyed... One friend of ours recently lost her husband to a brain tumor and Brenda gave her the Soft Winds CD and our friend remarked that it was one of the main things the Lord used to help her get through !
that first trying week after his death...

Consider checking out their website and listening to some of the music they have there...  And please keep the Uppenkamp family in your thoughts and prayers as Tom heals from this terrible injury...

From my family to yours,


Soft Winds

Basic Elements Productions has produced their first CD called "Soft Winds".  Soft Winds is an easy listening CD for times of relaxation and refreshing that will soothe and inspire you.  Soft Winds is a great addition for exercising and stretching and it has the capability of meeting background music needs in many professional settings.  The calming melodies will soothe your soul and refresh your mind.  Check out their website for more information at

You can email Brenda at: if you have any questions!


The Wolves Are Circling

by Rubel Shelly

People who dream big dreams and proceed to put substance under them are always open to criticism. Some people just don't grasp dreams. Others are jealous because they didn't have them first. And, I have come to suspect, there are some people who think their job in the world is to tear down the rest of us.

You have a dream, don't you? So it is a given that you should expect to endure your share of criticism. What are you going to do about it?

If the criticism is legitimate, learn from it. The people and corporations that fail are the ones so thin-skinned that they cannot hear bona fide complaints. A true friend will run the risk of speaking the truth because he cares about you. A criticism of a product or service can be the insight needed to improver it.

If the criticism is mistaken or mean-spirited, rise above it. Maintain the high ground when you're under fire. No victory is worth winning at the expense of picking up the mud that has been slung at you and throwing it back. If you must respond, just use facts. Try never to give in to the temptation to get even. Jesus is the perfect example of turning the other cheek and returning good for evil.

When you are criticized, hold fast to your dream and continue pursuing it. The critics win if you stop doing your job in order to fight them. Your best long- term answer will be to see your task through to completion. Theodore Roosevelt had a credo about the criticism leaders must take for their daring and boldness.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

Today gives you a chance to do something significant. Don't let critics turn you away from doing your duty, finishing your task, and pursuing your dream.

Rubel Shelly

Write Rubel and let him know what you thought of his story!

(c) 2004 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission.

Visit: 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:

"A poor man is not the one without a cent. A poor man is the one without a dream."--Henry Ford

Verse for the Day:

"The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them." --Proverbs 18:15 TLB

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Children's tea parties are more fun then grown-ups' tea parties."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken."  --Bill Dodds

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Give them the benefit of your convictions but keep your doubts to yourself for they already have enough of their own." --John Kessel

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"Writer's block would only be acceptable in my own case if the people who send me bills, or otherwise absorb my money became blocked at precisely the same moment." --Andrew Martin

Deep Thought For The Day:

"As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few
minutes each day. At the end of the year, you'll have a couple of days
saved up."


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


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 570,000 visitors and over 1,090,000 page views 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:


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!
Check out my video production business
by visiting:


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, $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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