Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It is always such a great privilege to go and spread some good cheer and blessings to our friends at Parkwood Homes in Snellville, Georgia. The weekend of November 20, 2010, two weeks ago, I was able to visit with my parents in Oxford, Georgia. My mother, Sis. Jean Strawn volunteered on her own, to go with me and play for us on Saturday since I had given Bro. Howard the day off. She is almost 82 years old and in great health but due to circumstances beyond our control has not been able to be together in a worship setting very often in my parents later years. She told me that there may not be many more opportunities for us to sing and play together. It was a somber moment as I knew what she meant.

Bro. Howard Hammond and my mother have very similar piano styles. Our families have known each other for many years as we once fellowshipped in the same organization and church section. There has been a long history of friendship between my mother’s father who pastored in Thomaston, Bro. J.T. Payne (my childhood pastor shown left), and Bro. Hubert Hammonds, who is our pastor’s uncle. So, knowing all this history, I was quite excited to be able to represent the Hammond’s and New Life in Watkinsville and be with a pioneer from the old days, my mother at this service.  

It is always good for me to have great team members and as usual the Garner’s and Chris Greenwood were faithful to the service. We sang our usual numbers from the old choruses and hymns and did not miss a beat. God’s presence was strong and we were touched greatly by an African-American church, which were there before us….The Garner’s, Chris Greenwood, and I spoke with short testimonies and praise. My mother did not miss a beat. My mother asked if she could speak which is very unusual. However, God’s anointing was upon her as she told the crowd that everything would be alright, that God had not forsaken them. Needless to say, we were all very touched by this great testimony.

I drove my mother home after the service, beaming with Godly pride as I pondered the past truths and foundations that had been placed in me by my parents and a Godly heritage from Bro. J.T. Payne. I would have been lost without it. I wondered away from a close relationship with Christ as a teenager and young man, but those foundational truths never went away and they eventually brought me back. As the scripture says:

Proverbs 22:6 (King James Version)

 6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

No matter where I go or travel in this life, I will always be from the little church on 9 Hemlock Street in Porterdale, Georgia. That was the place where I truly found the Lord in the year 1969. Thank you Lord for my foundation. Thank you Lord for my wonderful parents, who still love you. Thank you for the Godly heritage they gave to me. I am not ashamed of where I came from and the gospel for as Paul said:

Romans 1:16 (King James Version)

 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

We had 26 patients and 5 outreach team members for a total attendance of 31 at the service….Pray for Brother Wallace who has been bothered by a terrible sore on his leg. Thanks to the Lord who was gracious in allowing this wonderful day to transpire. See some photos from the service below.

God Bless

Scott Strawn

Amazing Miracle Continues To Grow - Updates on Kristen Clack's Progress

(From the Kristen Clack Website per Misty Clack)

Birthday Wishes………

My Kristen turned 18 last Monday. We had her a surprise Birthday Party at Constance Manor in Winder…. thank you John and Lee Perkins. They called about a week before her Birthday and informed us that she was going to have her party there. Scott and I were very excited and this was so unexpected. We had to get the family together in a hurry for this BIG and Special Day for her. It seemed we just had her welcome home party with our family. Kristen never asks for anything and all she wanted to do was to go bowling at Stars and Strikes and meet up with a couple of her friends. Maybe she will get to do this too.
The week is about near and the planning is in full speed. The cake? I need to get a cake ordered, but how am I going to do this. Then I recieved a call from a dear friend of ours and she said not to worry. Sugar Kneads, out of Loganville will do her cake. They said they would be honored to do her 18th Birthday cake. God is good. I just wanted to cry. I couldn’t wait to see what Sugar Kneads had in mind. They are so creative and can do anything with cake!!!!
Monday is here and time to set up. I only have a couple of hours so I don’t slow down. Thank you Penny and Mat. Kristen is not a “pink” prissy kinda girl, so the theme was going to be in fall colors. To represent this new season of fall. Oranges, yellows and browns covered the reception room. I placed index cards on the table so that everyone could write their own “Words Of Wisdom” to our new adult in the family. I wrapped pens with floral tape and fall flowers.  The plates and napkins were all fall themed as well. The tables were set and everything was placed perfectly. I need to go and get Kristen and head home so she doesn’t think anything is up. I gave her the OK to make plans to go bowling, but it will be a little later than usual.
I have Kristen with me and it is time to go by there. The excuse was Scott was working and we were going to pick him up to go eat dinner. There were no inside lights on and we walked thru the entrance of Constance Manor. Scott greeted us at the door. We all walked thru the dark halls talking and laughing. All of a sudden, the lights came on and voices yelling “Surprise!” Kristen was so surprised. She never knew or had any idea.  We all gathered for prayer and began to eat together.
I walked over to the cake………. can I say, OMG. Absolutely Beautiful. A 2 tiered chocolate on chocolate cake. Perfectly designed for Kristen! Chocolate covered strawberries and chips of milk chocolate delicately cut and placed on top. The cut chips of chocolate was airbrushed like lace and stripes. It looked better than the “Ace Of Cakes”. It took everyone’s breathe away. I had Kristen gather at the back of the cake and made several pictures. Each family member was pictured with Kristen. The plan is to place these individual pictures with the note cards, that has their own “Words Of Wisdom” in a picture album. This will be her first Adult/Family album. We celebrated her life with cake, candles and love.
Singing Happy Birthday to her had a whole different meaning to it.
“Happy Birthday P-Nut”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



First Day of school as a Senior Wildcat…………
The morning came and I walked up the stairs to  wake Kristen up. I opened her bedroom door and there she laid with covers up to her ears. Her clothes perfectly folded on her chair where she had laid them out  the night before. I reach over to touch her and silently tell her that it is time to wake up. She slowly gets up and starts to get ready. This will be her first day as a senior at Apalachee High School. She looks in the mirror and makes sure her short hair is in place and her mascara is applied delicately with every stroke. She places her class ring on her little finger.
She grabs her jacket and places her book bag on her shoulder. We head outside to get in the truck and it’s cold out and raining. We hurry to get inside the truck. I ask her if she ready for today and of course with a smile, she tells me yes. She has been waiting for this day for a very long time. 3 months……………. since the accident and she will be walking thru the halls once again.
We parked and began to walk in to the school. Kristen was greeted by several of her friends awaiting for her arrival. We have a scheduled meeting early this morning with several of her teachers and administration to discuss an academic plan. Kristen and I walk by her locker and she notices that a picture of her in her softball uniform is hanging there. She just “awwwwed” over it. Some one had placed that on her locker. That was very thoughtful. We continue walking down the hall to where the meeting will be held. We get to the office and was directed to the conference room. There sat several teachers, staff and a clinic nurse that are prepared to accommidate Kristen with whatever she may need to help her succeed this year. She will be able to audit her classes the rest of the semester to prepare her for those classes next semester.
The bell for 1st period will ring soon. We both will walk to the gym, where she will have weight training. She was prepared to dress out if needed to. With Kristen leading the way, we both went to the coaches offices where she had greeted them with her smiling face. They were all excited to see her. Once the students started to see her, they were all welcoming her back to school. She seen one of her friends that she’s known since kindergarten. They both had 3 classes and lunch together. She felt  more at ease and so did I. One of her girlfriends welcomed her back with a cute balloon and a bag of treats. This was so very sweet and thoughtful.
I will be leaving Kristen  during this class to take care of her lunch account. I walk away and I don’t look back. I am confident and know she is going to be fine. I walk to the cafeteria to place money in her account. Her account will need to be re-activated. She will have lunch at school today. Everyone has been so helpful to get Kristen back to school. I make my way to the PDC to discuss when I will return to work. I may be starting back on Monday. Kristen and I are ready to move forward. I forgot what my life was like before her accident. It’s all just a fog. I have been so focussed on her and getting her back to normal, somewhat normal.
I don’t take long and head to my place of work to give them a quick update. The elementary school is next the Kristen’s High School. This will make things a lot easier and quicker, if she ever needs me. It was great to see some of the ladies that supported Kristen and my family during this time. I can never thank them enough. I love them all. My mind is on Kristen and can’t get her off of it not one minute.
I leave and make my way back to the High School to check on her. I have a copy of her schedule, so I know where she is. I walk down the hall and see the class room on the right. Students are still in the hall way, making their way to their class. I turn and look anxiously in the classroom. I see her. She looks up and sees me. She waves from afar and we meet in the front of the class. I look at her as she talks to me. I make sure her eyes are fine and her speech is ok. When she gets tired, she says the wrong words and her eyes get really heavy. She doesn’t look tired. She remains excited about this day, so I am excited for her. She hugs me and I tell her to have a good day. I exit the classroom and begin walking down the hall. I will leave once again, but I will go home and prepare the sofa for Kristen to take a nap when she gets home today.
It is close to time to pick Kristen up from school. Still raining oustside, I pick up my umbrella at the door. I lock up and run to the truck to get in out of the rain. I am anxious to hear about her day. My thoughts are of her constantly. I walk in the building meeting staff and administration. They all have been watching her thru out the day. They all said that she seemed to be tolerating the day and looked great. I was pleased and eager to see her again. One of the staff members walked me to her last class of the day. She also watched Kristen thru the day. She said positive things as well. We got to her class room door and I stood there watching her thru the glass window. She is sitting in front of a computer monitor watching and listening to a lecture. This class will be an important one. She will need to get this academic credit to get her closer to graduate with her class. I talked briefly to her teacher and she says Kristen is doing well for her first day.  I was relieved.
It’s about 3:10 and I will go ahead and take her home. She looks great. She is not tired, but she is hungry. She starts telling me about her day in excitement. Her kindergarten friend walked her to each class. Kristen said it was good to see him and all of her other friends. Everyone was so helpful and excited to see her back. She said she enjoyed all of classes. We got home and she got settled in. She was hungry, so I made her a snack. She wanted to watch a movie so we both sat in front of the tv snacking on chips and salsa. I covered us up and snuggled on the couch. I told her how proud I was of her and how brave she is. She tells me, “Thanks mommy.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010



October 26, 2010

Kristen got to sleep in a little bit this morning. She only sees the Occupational Therapist today for her Left Hand. She has been doing so well with range of motion . Her Left hand is almost in a fist. She works so hard with stretching and strengthening the small muscles with in her hand and fingers. When she stretches, Kristen states it feels like her ligaments are going to snap. The therapist informs her that she has to continue to stretch these ligaments to break up the scar tissue and adhesions. At night, I stretch her hand and fingers. I feel the tension when I pull her index finger. I then pull the finger tip down to her palm. I feel the ligaments tighten and stretch along her joint and knuckle. She tolerates the stretching, but it is difficult at times. We place a warm clothe on her hand prior to stretching. This helps warm up the small tendons and ligaments.
Kristen has completed her hand therapy for the day. The therapist is very pleased at her progress. She was tested with her grip and she is ready to start gripping a bat……….. Kristen was excited about this. She will begin wrist and hand strengthening.  She has a project she has to work on with her fingers. She is doing well with this. It is almost knitting with your fingers.
We don’t stay long, we have to get to the rehab facility to have a phone conference with Apalachee High School. We drive over and park the truck. We get there and was directed to classroom #6. We sit and was greeted one by one with all the therapist. Kristen was so excited she couldn’t sit still. The councilor had gotten on the phone and placed it on speaker. We all could hear everyone. The teacher here gave a little overview of the plans for Kristen on her return to school. Each therapist came in to discuss some needs and possible accommidations for her. Kristen will only need to complete 3 academic classes to graduate with her class. Kristen will really have to work hard to do this. Thru-out this phone conference, Kristen wants to talk to the councilor. She begins and does very well with explaining herself and what options would be available for her. The teacher here and I was very proud of her. Thank you Apalachee and she can’t wait to get back there! Her estimated start date is Weds. November 3rd. It will be 3 months and she will be back at school. A_M_A_Z_I_N_G! God is so good!!!!!
I am thinking back when all the Doctors and Nurses told us that she would need to take a year off of high school………. Yes………… God is so good!
(Pictured below is Kristen's homecoming photo. Her dad Scott is also pictured as well)

(NOTE:  See updates on Kristen's progress at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A MIRACLE CONTINUES....By Talmadge McCannon


Timothy has finally gotten over what the doctors call the hump. He spent some time in the hospital lately with fevers due to having low blood counts. He also gave us a scare about a month ago when his speech became slurred and one side of his face was drawing when he would speak, all the sign’s of a stroke but all the test showed nothing was wrong...He was rushed to Atlanta by ambulance and of course there was a prayer chain started immediately, by 11 o’clock that night he was back to normal and as the doctors said the next day it was amazing that he recovered that quickly. He was only the 12th kid that had that reaction to the treatments After going for weekly treatments since Jan. he has moved into what they call the maintenance program where he will go for monthly treatments for up to 3 more years. He will continue to take chemo pills daily and he has even gotten better at taking pills, (Praise the Lord). He had a tough time taking pills and getting sick almost every time he had to do it.

We have a little saying of lately though… What the devil tells him that he can’t do, God says he can! Since we started saying that when it comes time for taking the medicine it’s amazing at how much easier it has been...His hair is growing back and he is gaining weight. God has had it all under control from the start and I sometimes wonder if this thing that we thought was so awful, could it turn out to be a great blessing? It has allowed me to witness to so many people and tell them how good God is. We are a much closer family and have more faith than ever. We thank the lord daily for his blessings and good health. Thanks again from the McCannon family and continue to pray for us. I say it all the time but I’m so thankful to be a part of a praying church and so blessed with great family and friends.

Bro. Talmadge McCannon 
Union Point, Georgia (shown below with Timothy and Bishop Hammond)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

THE MAGIC IS NOT IN THE FACET - Excerpts from sermon by Rev. John Fortner

Matthew 17:14-21
14And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for of times he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say
unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Thomas Edward (T.E.) Lawrence was born on August 16, 1888 in Wales. Popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, Lawrence became famous for his exploits as British Military liaison to the Arab Revolt during the First World War. The desert raids of British officer T.E. Lawrence and his Arab rebels tied down many Turkish troops who could have been fighting the main British armies in the Middle East. Lawrence of Arabia's struggle against the Turks during World War I was a classic of guerrilla warfare, and his personal account has become a classic of world literature. And, of course, many of you have seen the movie about the life of Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence wrote about his Arabian adventures in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

During the war, Lawrence formed close friendships with many of the Sheiks of Arabia. After the war, he brought some of these Sheiks back to England to show his appreciation for their support against the Turkish domination. They had a wonderful visit, appeared before the Joint House of Commons and Parliament, and had an audience with the Queen. On the last night of their visit, Lawrence offered them anything they wanted to take back with them to their desert homes. They led him up to the hotel room, into the bathroom, and pointed to the faucets in the bathtub and said that they wanted to take faucets with them that would provide them with running water in the deserts. They didn't realize that the faucets were superficial. Behind them was plumbing, a hot water heater, an energy source that heated the water, a city main that supplied the water, and from the city main went a line to an outside source of water!

The magic is not in the faucet! It is what is behind the faucet that gives the water! The faucet can be 24 carat gold, but if it’s not attached to a water supply, it’s useless! The magic is not in the faucet, the power comes from what is behind the faucet! Things that are not visible to the human eye, but are there nonetheless! If the pump, or the plumbing, or the reservoir ever to out of service, the faucet is useless! It's what's behind the faucet that gives it its power! It’s the same with us we may have everything on the outside looking good, but if we haven’t laid some ground work some plumbing so to speak were not going to be able to change this world.


I don't want to minimize the importance of a vessel! God needs faucets! God has always worked through human vessels. In fact, most of the time, God works through the most unlikely vessels! God can use anyone. Moses stuttered. David's armor didn't fit. Timothy had ulcers. Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning. Jacob was a liar. David had an affair. Abraham was too old. David was too young. Peter was afraid of death. Lazarus was dead. John was self-righteous. Paul was a murderer. So was Moses. Jonah ran from God. Miriam was a gossip. Thomas doubted who he was Jeremiah was a bullfrog; Just kidding -- he was depressed and suicidal. Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? And such are some of us, but if we will surrender to God and let Him use us we can become the conduit that God can flow through.

Because God doesn't require a job interview. He doesn't hire and fire like most bosses, because He's more our Dad than our Boss. He doesn't look at financial gain or loss. He's not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need. God needs us to be faucets!

John 7:38
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. iii

God can have all the plumbing in place, have the pump hooked up, ready to pour out blessings on His people, on the world, but He needs us to be vessels! He needs a faucet! In many cases, the only thing that stops a move of God is the lack of a vessel. When Elisha was performing the miracle for the prophet's widow, and the oil was flowing freely, the Bible says:

2 Kings 4:6
6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

The only thing that stopped the flow of oil was the lack of a vessel! Now, don't ask me to explain why God decided to use imperfect vessels to accomplish His work. It doesn't make sense to me that this God who can do all things would choose to restrict himself by moving through imperfect, flawed, inconsistent humanity! I don't know why the Creator chooses to move through His creation! But God is always seeking for men and women through which to move!

1. In Isaiah 43:18 He said, "I will work, and who will let it?" God needs a vessel to through which to work!

2. Ezekiel said that God was seeking a MAN to stand in the gap and make up the hedge! When the Lord struck Saul from his horse on the road to Damascus, He then told Saul, "Go see Ananias, he will tell you what to do!" GOD USED A HUMAN VESSEL!

3. In the Book of Revelation, John says that God wept because He could find no MAN to open the book of
salvation, so God Himself took on the form of man to bring redemption!

4. Do you understand how important you are to the work of God! God will not move without a vessel! God will not pour out His spirit without a faucet for it to flow through - you are that faucet!

God needs you and He needs me!


I am a faucet, but I must remember that there is no magic in the faucet! It’s what is behind the faucet that counts! If the power supply ever gets shut off behind the wall, this faucet is useless! I may still look good, may still say the same things, may still appear to be the same, but if my power supply is shut off, I am of no use to anyone!

Romans 7:18
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

I must understand that I am only the vessel, the conduit, the faucet!

2 Corinthians 4:7
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the Excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. vi

The power is God's, I am only the earthen vessel! I can't sing well enough, I can't preach well enough to duplicate what God can only do!

Romans 12:3
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

No matter how much God moves through us, remember it is God and not us! No matter how many prophecies we give, no matter how much anointed preaching and teaching comes forth from us, we must never forget that it is what's behind the faucet that makes all the difference! No matter how many good things happen through us, We are only the faucet, there is a power supply behind me, and if that is ever cut off we are useless!


They had most likely watched Him cast out devils many times before. They had heard Him teach about going into the Strongman's house and taking his armor. They had probably watched as he sent the legion of devils into a herd of swine. Numerous times the scripture speaks of Jesus casting out devils, and it is probable that the disciples were witnesses to these events. So, now they come across a situation that they feel very confident that they can handle! They have watched Jesus do this, they have observed His hand motions, listened to what He said, and how he said it! They have the words, actions, motions, and everything else down pat, but there is one thing missing! They have no power! There is nothing behind the faucet, and they fail miserably at the task at hand. And Jesus takes this opportunity to tell them that there is no magic in the faucet! In other words, if there is no prayer and fasting, there will be no power! There is no magic in the faucet, it’s what is behind the faucet that makes the difference!

You and I can:
  • Say all the right words
  • Do all the right hand motions
  • Use the right tone of voice

But, if there is no prayer and fasting that has taken place behind the wall, there will be no power coming from the faucet! This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting!


A friend of mine told me something that helped me when I get nervous he said you should always get a little nervous every time you preach otherwise you get to cocky or to big for your britches. Preachers get into trouble when they learn how to preach! Singers get into trouble when they learn how to sing! We must never reach the point where we learn how to do what only God can do! I am never going to become so smart that I don't need God!

In the year 1847, a doctor from Edinburgh, Sir James Simpson, discovered that chloroform could be used as an anesthetic to render people insensible to the pain of surgery. From his early experiments, Dr. Simpson made it possible for people to go through the most dangerous operations without fear of pain and suffering. Some people even claim that his was one of the most significant discoveries of modern medicine. Some years later, while lecturing at the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Simpson was asked by one of his students, "What do you consider to be the most valuable discovery of your lifetime?" To the surprise of his students, who had expected him to refer to chloroform, Dr. Simpson replied, "My most valuable discovery was when I discovered myself a sinner and that Jesus Christ was my Savior”. The most valuable discovery that you and I can make is this:

  • No matter how smart I am,
  • No matter how well I can preach,
  • No matter how well I can sing,
  • No matter how much I am used by God,
  • I am still just a sinner saved by grace!
There is no power in me. I am just the faucet, the conduit, the vessel through which His power moves! There is no magic in the faucet - WE NEED JESUS!

FINAL NOTE: We need to take the time to pray and to make sure that our pipes are not clogged so that God can move through us.

Reverend John Fortner is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ (ALJC). John along with his wife Lydia serve as youth ministers at New Life Apostolic Church in Watkinsville, Georgia and serve under Pastor Tim Hammond. John has desires to be used greater in the Kingdom of God. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Welcome to the DASH blog!. . . 

We are the youth group at New Life Apostolic Church in Watkinsville, GA. Composed of youth ages 13 -- 25 (singles!), we are striving to reach out and show the world what great things God is doing! 
We are looking forward to what God will do this month. Get ready!! Check out the youth department's web blog at the site below:

Friday, August 6, 2010


I normally don’t forward e-mails. But this story touched my heart and reminded me of my dad who did not have a great deal of wealth in this world, but was passionate in touching people’s life in a special way. He passed away almost three years ago and had over 1,200 people show up at his funeral within a day of notice.

God bless you,
Toufic Azar, Pastor
Duncan Creek Pentecostal Church 
Bufurd, Georgia

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
 'Hello Barry, how are you today?'
 'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. 
 Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.' 

 'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
 'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.' 
 'Good. Anything I can help you with?' 
 'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'

 'Would you like to take some home?'  Asked Mr. Miller. 
 'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

 'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

 'All I got's my prize marble here.' 
 'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller. 
 'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.' 
 'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I
 sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked. 

 'Not zackley but almost.'

 'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip
 this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

 'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.' 
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.' 

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. 

A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles. Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. 

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. 
Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. 

Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. 

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.' 'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ..' With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles. 

The Moral: 
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath. 
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself... 
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.... Green stoplights on your way to work.... 
The fastest line at the grocery store.... A good sing-along song on the radio... 
Your keys found right where you left them. 


Toufic Azar pastors a new home missions work of the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ (ALJC) in the state of Georgia. The church is called Duncan Creek Pentecostal located in Buford, Georgia. Pastor Azar is married to April and they have four children. They have labored in the ministry a number of years serving as missionaries to Lebanon was well as evangelizing and now pastoring. Visit the church's website for more information and directions at  Thanks Bro. Azar for sharing this wonderful story with us! God Bless! New Life Outreach Team.