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#677711 12/27/00 12:18 AM
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Hi everyone,<P>I just wanted to take a few minutes to convey a couple holiday stories really showing me that "someone is really there watching over us"...<P>The first event has been something that has been happening regularly for the past few months (most recently happening again last week). As I may have mentioned here before, I own and run my own business with a couple employees. Since my wife left, I have been juggling a full mortgage payment, office rent payment, salaries, credit cards and all the rest. To say the least, it has been "tight". Add to that some slow paying clients and the stress really adds up. Plus on top of everything is the emotional stress that really made it tough even showing up for work many days over the past months. Through it all I only have been praying that I get through this point in my life. But just more than praying, I decided to put 100% faith in God. For some, God may not be in your life right now and that is fine, but I can attest that there is definitely some greater power at work, at least in my life. For the past few months there are two weeks each month that I have come to dread - both of these weeks require rather large outlays of money to pay bills. Each week preceding the "payout weeks", my bank accounts may be down to less than $100. (leading to many sleepless nights). But just when I think I am not going to make it, I say a prayer and believe. Amazingly, EVERY WEEK that the bills come due, somehow, somewhere the money comes in! Nothing more, nothing less - just enough to cover the expenses. What is even more amazing is that the sources of the money were ones that I did not even expect. I KNOW that there is someone (something) listening to my requests and while He/She doesn't think it is the right time for a landfall of money to come through my door, He/She has made it perfectly clear that they will be there to help get me through this "valley of darkness".<P>The next story happened on Friday night. I went out with some friends to a holiday party. When I arrived I ran into a very good female friend from long ago. We rarely have seen each other in the past years, but she knows all that I am going through. I feel confident in calling her one of my best friends. Midway through the night she walked up to me and we started talking. While we always hug, we aren't really "touchy" friends. At this point in the night I became very sad, although I did my best to hide it. At that exact moment I felt someone scratching my back JUST AS MY WIFE USED TO. In fact my wife was the only one to have ever "touched me" like that. I looked over and it was my female friend. She didn't even realize she was doing it for she was totally involved in another conversation! It felt so good to have that kind of touch - it made me feel more comfortable than I have in over 7 months, yet she did not even realize it. What is more is that there were no "sparks" towards her or anything like that - we truly are just best friends.<P>Well for the next couple days I thought about that moment and how warm it made me feel. Then I went to Xmas eve mass. During the homily, the priest began talking about the people who were not having a "fun" holiday - the ones who were sad and depressed for whatever reason (I thought of us all here at MB and said a quiet prayer). He then spoke of God's love and how He is always there to reach out to us, if only we allow him to. He said to keep our eyes open and look for His actions and love coming through other people - family, friends and strangers. He said that often God's love will appear without us even knowing it through....<P>...the unexpected touch of another's hand.<P>At that moment, my eyes filled up with tears. Right then I knew that He was working through my friend - When she scratched my back for those few seconds, I felt a love that I have not felt in many months. It was a love that I often felt coming from my wife, but that originated in God. Knowing that I did not have my wife at that time and knowing that I still needed to feel His love, He used my friend as a channel for His compassion. <P>Those few seconds to me was the best Christmas present I received!<P><BR>----------------------------------------<P>As some of you may have noticed (even me when I re-read some of my posts), my words here have become centered a lot around God. Sometimes I believe that it is just my mind looking for something to comfort my soul. But then things start happening that give me know other belief other than that God truly does exist and He is there for me, and for all of us in these tough times in our lives.<P>I hope you don't mind my sharing or my sometimes religious talk, it is just that I find myself feeling a "power" in my life that seems to go beyond anything that I have come to know in the past. I only share here to maybe give others hope. If you don't share my religious beliefs, that is fine as well - maybe to you, that power is just something beyond our human comprehension. Whether to you it is God or our subconsious mind or whatever, if you open your eyes, really open them, you will see things that go beyond explanation - and if you 'believe', good things can and will happen. <P>For me it is God.<P>I hope everyone here had a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Chanukah - or just a nice holiday weekend.<P>Mike

#677712 12/26/00 01:00 PM
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Dear mike, <BR> I understand all too well the business dealings you are going through. I, too own a business and it seems that, along with everything else, it has been so tough. But, I have great employees, and a "drive to survive". <BR>I often think someone is watching over me as well. While I have never been a religious person, I know that I have had help to get through all of the issues that my X's affair, our divorce, and putting my life back together. <BR>It is amazing to me that we can all survive this. I look back on the past three years, and the pain and desperate times, and through all of that, I am still here, and doing well!<P>------------------<BR>Susan

#677713 12/26/00 01:26 PM
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Mike, <P>I have to tell you something. I am as staunch in my Jewish beliefs as you are in your Catholic beliefs, but my man, I love the way you see and recognize God when He's there. More and more, I am beginning to recognize the earth-bound angels that are in my life, and I know for a fact within myself that they have been sent directly from God Himself--even if they don't know it. My whole life and my every waking thought are not revolving around God and spirituality, yet I am beginning to find so much more out there than I realized. <P>Like you, I had an amazing experience this weekend. I have a whole bunch of friends here at MB and just from life that I write to and pray for every day. As you know, some are going through the most difficult times of their lives--and quite often, they are trying to save their marriages and not really wanting to accept that they are going to actually end up divorced. You know what I mean, right? Well, I have stayed up very late talking to people, crying with people, and praying for people, and I started to feel like, "What good has it all done? Most of them end up divorced anyway, and all the time I've put in has been ineffective." <P>Okay, it's a little hoakie, but go with it. One night, I was particularly bummed, very tired, veged on the couch and flipping through channels when I saw an old M*A*S*H episode and stopped for a second. It was an episode where Father Mulkayhe (sp?) felt like his presence there was not helpful and his praying was ineffective, so I kept on watching. Well, in the end of the episode, all the M*A*S*H folks told him how much he meant to them--even though he couldn't see it, his presence made life there tolerable. He ended the show reading aloud from a letter to his sister, and he said, "Even when bad and sad things seem to keeping moving on and it seems like everything I do is ineffective, the trick is for me to just keep moving too." I know it sounds a little goofy (God works in mysterious ways, but through an old M*A*S*H show?), but boy it was just what I needed to hear. I don't need to always see the results and see the difference I make--just keep moving. In many ways, I might affect people's lives and never know it--just keep moving. I might feel tired of my life and their lives and all the sadness--just keep moving. <P>For me, this meant that the moving forward (growing and learning) is the important thing. Be steadfast, be determined, be faithful and KEEP ON MOVING. We all put "shoulds" on ourselves, and I do that exact same thing myself, but the journey of moving forward, growing, learning, practicing, making a mistake, and doing it again--that's the really meaningful thing. Don't sit back and get complacent, KEEP MOVING.<P>Well, here's a special hug for you today, Mike. I'm glad God sent an earth-bound angel to you as a channel for His love. <P>{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Mike}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}<P>CJ<P><P>------------------<BR>Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

#677714 12/26/00 02:33 PM
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I truly believe in God and it the wonderful things He does in my life - especially in the tiny one. I have a magnificent story about the manifestations of his love.<BR> <BR>One day, several years ago, I had to go register my daughter for kindergarten. Until x's mlc, she had been in line to spend her educational years at a private school. But, x flushed that. And I knew that the public school to which we are zoned was not the place she needed to be. But right then I had no choice but to register her. And it was killing me.<P>So, I go in to the school on the appointed day and get the forms. Now, no one from the staff or the school's pta is there with the forms. It seemed I was just supposed to intuitively know what to do with them. So, I sit down with my stack and start to work. And the tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't see. And all I could do at this point was take my forms and leave. <P>So I got in my car and drove 1 mile to my friend Bunny's house. She wasn't in. Drove another 1/2 mile to Jane's house but she wasn't in. Drove 4 miles to Susan's house but she wasn't in. At this point I had come completely unglued. So I drove to the church where one of my therapists, Mona, does her sessions. I looked down on the seat of my car and pick up this stack of one dollar bills that has just slipped out of my purse. I know I don't need to leave them there, it was around $12, so I pick them up and go inside the church. Mona isn't there that day. By this time, I was a blubbering mess. So I go out to my car to leave. In getting my keys out of my purse, I pull out this stack of dollar bills. And written on the one on top are the words "I Love You." <P>To this day, I have that bill. I know a mortal wrote those words. But I know they were sent to me by God on that day because I needed them. At that second. <P>He's there. He cares. And He is at work. Even if you don't get it.

#677715 12/26/00 03:33 PM
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Nice stories...I have had a few, too.<P>I try to say in response to those situations NOT to "expect a miracle", but to "recognize a miracle".<BR>rrunrr<BR>

#677716 12/26/00 10:01 PM
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AMEN AMEN AND AMEN!!!<P>


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