"In the cards"
(© 2002 By Bob Perks Bob@BobPerks.com)

6-4-02 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #191

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Light And Life Garden Update
Since the last update (about a week and a half ago), we've been quite busy here at the Light and Life Gardens. With the removal of a huge stump and a good deal of backhoe tilling of the soil, I will soon be able to Double the size of our Raspberry area in the Faith Garden. I still need to haul some logs in for raised beds, walkway and stairs… work in some extra top soil from the upper level and put in drip system, and of course transplant some of our extra Raspberry plants into it, but it's well on the way!

I also began the process of milling the lumber (with the chainsaw mill and Rick Giles table saw) for building the Blue Pine fence surrounding the Patio/Jacuzzi area that overlooks the Faith Garden. The 50' fence is now about 2/3 complete and is a very nice background for the 1st Rose Garden. Jill also planted an Azalea bush and a goodly number of Annuals for extra color. In the process of milling the Pine for the fence, I cut a 2½" thick by 10" wide by 4' long slab of gorgeously grained pine that will serve as the sign overhanging the Main Entrance to the Faith Garden. As soon as I can get around to carving it, it will read:

In Loving Memory of - Faith Forman Coulby

Please come visit! We're going to need some help eating all the Raspberries in about a month or less. ;-)

Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds"].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

Story of the Week
"In the cards"
(©2002 By Bob Perks - Bob@BobPerks.com)
It was a simple act of kindness that brought this all about.  It all started when a server in a restaurant was exceptionally nice to me one day. 
During the time we were facing the challenge of my son Keith having cancer, I found it difficult to carry on the attitude and image one should portray as an inspirational speaker.  Oh, I still believed in the basic principles of all that I shared with my audience.  But being human, I would also succumb to the pressures of life. 
There were times I was downright nasty.
But on this day, while seated in a restaurant somewhere along the road, one server sensed my pain.  Without saying a word about it or asking me what was wrong, she took extra steps to try to make my day a little easier.  Her attitude, her special attention to details, awakened me from the deep depression-like mood I was in. 
Looking up from the meal I struggled to consume, I saw a shining, bright example of what life could be for anyone who chose to rise above it all.
Her eyes said "I care about you."  Her gentle voice comforted my spirit.  Her slow, deliberate movements gave me the feeling that she knew my pain.
It was from that experience that I decided to always recognize someone's efforts to make a difference in this world.  It wasn't necessary that their actions affected big life changing events in the world.  I wanted to recognize the uniqueness of the individual and celebrate the impact they have on the world around them just being themselves.
So I created a message the size of a business card that I could hand to or leave for any individual I felt was making a difference.  Yes, even for those who, like me that day, appeared to be struggling with life.
The card reads:
"You've made my day in a special way just by
 being who you are. 
You are important!
Lives intersect, our paths cross one another.  Along the way we leave an impression on each other and serve as an example to friends and perfect strangers without knowing it.  (A smile, a kind gesture, an action noticed from afar)  But each of us play an important part in life.  Thanks for being you.  "I believe in YOU!"
I keep them in my car and have used them periodically over the past six years.
I received a call yesterday and the following message was left for me: 
"Sir,  you probably don't remember me.   But about four years ago, at a time when I most needed it, you gave me my life back.   For whatever reason, you took time to talk to me.  The words you said that day caused me to lift my head up for the first time in many months.  In doing so I began to see the beauty in my world again.  Although it is tattered and barely readable I carry your card with me everyday.  The three words in the center of that card are all I need to see..."You are important!" This weekend I will carry it across the stage to receive my college diploma.   I was lucky to have met you that day.  Thank you for believing in me!"
She then hung up the phone.
I don't know how she found me.  My name is not on that card.  And I must admit that I don't remember her.  But that is unimportant.  What I do know is a simple act of kindness will validate a life.  A small card with just the right words made a world of difference for one person. 
She called it "lucky."  I believe it was..."in the cards."

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help me to make a loving difference in the lives of others each and every day… and thank You for all of those Precious Children of Yours who make a Loving Difference in mine.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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