Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We mad this video for a training event we did at Forward.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jar of Marbles parable

3900 Saturdays And 1,000 Marbles
3900 Saturdays And 1,000 MarblesThe older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say–
“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s “dance recital” he continued.”Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.“
“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.“
“Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.“
“I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.“
“Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight .“
“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.“
“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!“
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “
C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile.
“Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.“
p/s … “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.” – Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Another retelling of the Good Samaritan

Once there was a woman who lived in the town of Nursery. Nursery was located in an out of the way part of churchland. Now most people avoided the road to nursery because of the strange smells and sounds that came from there. They also questioned the devotion of those who dwelt there because of their claims one could worship God in the nursery as well as the sanctuary!
One bright and sunny Sunday morning this woman, the mayor of nursery was left alone with 14 children because of all the nice weather no one showed up in nursery that morning. The mayor did not know what to do, the babies were crying, they needed to be fed and the paging system wasn’t working! She prayed and hoped that someone would walk down the seldom traveled path and would help her.
At last someone did come, a deacon member of the exalted board. He saw the poor woman, dishevelled and wide-eyed pleading for help, but he said I am sorry I cannot help you. I am a deacon and I have a very important meeting to attend immediately after the service, and he passed by on the opposite side of the path.
The woman was in despair; someone had passed by, someone very spiritual, and had just left her there to fend for herself. Surely no one else would come, but still she cried out to God for help! Suddenly from around the corner came a choir member. At once the woman felt hopeless. She knew that no one from the choir would help, but she had to try. “Please come and help me,” she begged. The choir member saw the bugged eyed woman and began to run. As she turned the corner she called out “I’ll find the children’s pastor – after I’m done singing!”
Now the mayor of Nursery was left alone to waller in her despair and dirty diapers. There was no hope anymore. Yet still she mumbled out a feeble prayer of mercy. Then out of nowhere came one of the dreaded inhabitants of student ministry. This young man with a mop head surely would not help. Had he even passed the background check?
Then suddenly he stopped and saw the woman with a glazed look in her eyes. He asked her if she needed help. “Help, yes I need help, I am alone in here with 14 children. We are surely above ratio, she replied. So the young mop head took out his cell phone and texted his mom, his sister and three of his friends and told them the place to be was Nursery. He even offered to pass out Cherrios and tell a story to lend a hand.
Now I ask you which of these three showed love to his neighbour?