A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Friday, December 27, 2013


©2007 Kathleene S. Baker
The man had just filled his car with gas; he was cold, wet, and ready to head for home. He opened his car door and bent down to climb inside.
"Sir, sir."

He glanced in the direction of the frail voice to find a well-dressed, elderly lady attempting to get his attention.

He closed the car door and walked towards her. "Can I help you, ma'am?"
The older woman explained that the gas pump was not working properly, and asked if he knew what she was doing wrong.

"These are new pumps and very touchy-even for me. I've found the easiest thing to do is forget locking them while I fill; they keep shutting off for some reason."

"Oh my! I can't keep pressure on that handle until my tank is full. My hands don't have much strength in them anymore." She cast her blue eyes to the ground in frustration.

"I'd be honored to fill your tank for you!" The man's Texas accent was gentle and he gave her a little wink. "By the way, I love your British accent."

"Yes, a British accent in Texas.people always notice!" She smiled. "We just came to the States a few years ago. That's my husband in the car." She paused for a moment, "He has Alzheimer's now."

"I'm so very sorry for both of you." After a slight lull the gentleman continued. 

"Why don't you get back in the car while I do this; the snow is picking up and you're going to get wet."

She was a lovely woman with snowy-white hair; her attire was prim and proper as one would expect from a Brit. "I'd rather visit if you don't mind. Our son is out of town for Christmas; he's with his wife's family this year and I'm feeling a bit blue."

A knot formed in the Texan's throat and he hoped to change the subject. "Just what are the two of you doing out in this weather? I hope your drive home is a short one. You know these Texas drivers aren't the best when it comes to snow and sleet," he teased.

"We're on our way home from a Christmas party. The medical center has one each year for the Alzheimer patients. They are rather like children's parties and they have Santa visit. Oftentimes patients will have moments they recall things from their past. Some sing along to Christmas carols when they haven't carried on an actual conversation in quite a long while."

"Did anyone recognize Santa today?"

"Oh, yes, my husband recognized Santa and tried to steal his hat! He even said, 'Ho, ho, ho-Merry Christmas.' His recollection was rather brief but it was the highlight of my day." She grinned.

The gas pump clicked off, the woman swiped her credit card to make payment, and turned to thank the man who had been willing to help her. The two were saying their farewells when the squeal of brakes, a thud, and breaking glass at the intersection caught their attention.

"Oh, my!" The lady whimpered with a distressed expression. "It's getting so slick. I've got to hurry and get home."

"Ma'am, I'd be honored to follow you in case you have problems."

She hesitated momentarily and then appeared relieved, "Oh, I'd be so grateful. I can't thank you enough. And by the way, my name is Margaret." She reached out to shake hands with her new friend.

"Margaret, I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. My name is Ray." He patted her hand gently before they released their grasp. "You just drive slowly; I'll be right behind you."

When Margaret pulled into her garage Ray stopped curbside. "I just want to be sure you get inside safely," he shouted.

Margaret waved and asked him to wait for a moment-then nodded and spoke to her neighbor hanging Christmas lights. She guided John into the house, quickly reappeared in the garage, and motioned for Ray to pull into the driveway.

She thanked Ray again and soon mentioned this being the first Christmas she and her husband had ever spent alone. Ray, always a soft touch for older folks, was happy to listen. She spoke fondly of traditions her family adhered to when she was a child in England and revealed an interesting glimpse into her past plus a taste of her cherished memories from across the pond.

"You know mistletoe is very traditional in England. My first "real" kiss was under the mistletoe when I was a teenager. Oh, what memories I have." For a split second, Margaret looked like a young girl again.

Several minutes passed before Margaret began to shiver and they were forced to say farewell.


Christmas morn found Margaret peeking out her front door just as the sun crested the horizon. She stepped outside, instantly clasped her hands like a small child, and peered up and down the street. With not a soul in sight she began to examine the items discovered on her porch each one dredged up memories of years gone by in Merry Old England.

Just above her head hung an arrangement of mistletoe adorned with elegant lace; she touched it gently. Bedecked with Victorian ornaments, a small, lighted Christmas tree sat in the corner-beneath it a homemade mincemeat pie wrapped securely and tied with golden ribbon. The card attached said only, 

"From: Santa." Hanging from the doorknob a brilliant red Santa Claus hat with tag, "To: John."

Margaret called to John; he slowly made his way and stepped outside. Nothing on the porch sparked his interest until Margaret placed the Santa hat in his hands. After staring at it and stroking the velvety softness, he plopped it onto his head. It sat askew but John's face beamed as his voice rang out across the neighborhood, "Ho, ho, ho! Ho, ho, ho!"


Parked several houses away, a Secret Texas Santa sniffed and wiped at a lone tear a happy tear. "Merry Christmas and God Bless." He smiled and turned towards home.

Kathleene and husband, Jerry, reside in Plano, Texas. They share their home with two terribly spoiled schnauzers. A freelancer, she has contributed to newspapers, anthologies, magazines, online ezines, and writes a weekly column entitled "Heart of Texas." She is Editor for Starfish, a daily inspiration ezine. Visit Kathy's website at: www.txyellowrose.comor feel free to email her at: Lnstrlady@aol.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quote of the day...

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

~Bob Hope

Friday, December 20, 2013


By Susan Fahncke
It was December 23, 1993. For a single mom who was going to college and supporting my children completely alone, Christmas was looking bleak. I looked around my little home, realization dawning like a slow, twisting pain. We were poor.

Our tiny house had two bedrooms, both off the living room. They were so small that my baby daughter's crib barely fit into one room, and my son's twin bed and dresser were squeezed into the other. There was no way they could share a room, so I made my bed every night on the living room floor.

The three of us shared the only closet in the house. We were snug, always only a few feet from each other, day and night. With no doors on the children's rooms, I could see and hear them at all times. It made them feel secure, and it made me feel close to them -- a blessing I wouldn't have had in other circumstances.

It was early evening, about eight o'clock. The snow was falling softly, silently, and my children were both asleep. I was wrapped in a blanket, sitting at the window, watching the powdery flakes flutter in the dimming light, when my front door vibrated with a pounding fist.

Alarmed, I wondered who would stop by unannounced on such a snowy winter night. I opened the door to find a group of strangers grinning from ear to ear, their arms laden with boxes and bags.

Confused, but finding their joyous spirit contagious, I grinned right back at them.

"Are you Susan?" The man stepped forward as he held out a box for me.
Nodding stupidly, unable to find my voice, I was sure they thought I was mentally deficient.

"These are for you." The woman thrust another box at me with a huge, beaming smile. The porch light and the snow falling behind her cast a glow over her dark hair, lending her an angelic appearance.

I looked down into her box. It was filled to the top with delicious treats, a fat turkey, and all the makings of a traditional Christmas dinner. My eyes filled with tears as the realization of why they were there washed over me.

Finally coming to my senses, I found my voice and invited them in. Following the husband were two children, staggering with the weight of their packages. The family introduced themselves and told me their packages were all gifts for my little family. This wonderful, beautiful family, who were total strangers to me, somehow knew exactly what we needed. They brought wrapped gifts for each of us, a full buffet for me to make on Christmas Day, and many "extras" that I could never afford. Visions of a beautiful, "normal" Christmas literally danced in my head. Somehow my secret wish for Christmas was materializing right in front of me. The desperate prayers of a single mom had been heard, and I knew right then that God had sent his angels my way.

My mysterious angels then handed me a white envelope, gave me another round of grins, and took turns hugging me. They wished me a Merry Christmas and disappeared into the night as suddenly as they had appeared.

Amazed and deeply touched, I looked around me at the boxes and gifts strewn at my feet and felt the ache of depression suddenly being transformed into a childlike joy. I began to cry. I cried hard, sobbing tears of the deepest gratitude. A great sense of peace filled me. The knowledge of God's love reaching into my tiny corner of the world enveloped me like a warm quilt. My heart was full. I fell to my knees amid all the boxes and offered a heartfelt prayer of thanks.

Getting to my feet, I wrapped myself in my blankets and sat once again to gaze out the window at the gently falling snow. Suddenly, I remembered the envelope. Like a child, I ripped it open and gasped at what I saw. A shower of bills flitted to the floor. Gathering them up, I began to count the five, ten, and twenty-dollar bills. As my vision blurred with tears, I counted the money, then recounted it to make sure I had it right. Sobbing again, I said it out loud: "One hundred dollars."

I looked at my children sleeping soundly, and through my tears I smiled my first happy, free-of-worry smile in a long, long time. My smile turned into a grin as I thought about tomorrow: Christmas Eve. One visit from complete strangers had magically turned a painful day into a special one that we would always remember...with happiness.

It is now several years since our Christmas angels visited. I have remarried, and our household is happy and richly blessed. Every year since that Christmas in 1993, we have chosen a family less blessed than we are. We bring them carefully selected gifts, food and treats, and as much money as we can spare. It's our way of passing on what was given to us. It's the "ripple effect" in motion. We hope that the cycle continues and that, someday, the families we share with will be able to pass it on, too.

Susan Fahncke can be reached at www.2TheHeart.com/SusanFarrFahncke
See my latest book projects and learn about my writing workshops!
www.Angels2TheHeart.com - Be an angel!

Friday, December 13, 2013


By Suzanne Willis Zoglio, Ph.D.

"May I take your wrap?" he said
As I stepped just past the door.
His words were clear and welcoming,
But his eyes said so much more.

With arms outstretched he beckoned me;
I stepped quickly to his side.
With clasp released and belt unfurled,
My coat began to slide.

Off my shoulders strained from the day,
Away from my hungry heart.
Down my back of history,
Exposing each tender part.

"I'll set it here," he said protectively,
"In case you feel a chill."
Then he led me by the hand
And whispered, "I truly doubt you will."

Mixing with others, I soon lost sight of him,
And yet I felt his warmth all night.
I wore a cloak of threads unseen,
Woven from love and light.

"Who was that man who took my coat?" I asked,
But no one seemed to care.
"Perhaps it was my Uncle Bill," Jane said.
"Or maybe our neighbor upstairs."

He was kind and calm and so accepting.
Such non-judgment is truly rare.
I felt so loved and safe with him,
That I freely shed my cloak of fear.

"I wish that others could feel his presence,"
I thought. "I wish that I could see him again."
Suddenly I was drawn to a flickering candle
And there at its base, a small card read:

"May you find grace in the face of adversity;
And see the fear behind a critic's eye.
May you embrace love and joy as they're offered;
And give generously of your heart and time.
It is then.you'll feel the presence of Christmas."

Suzanne Zoglio is the author of Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul and Recharge in Minutes. Website: www.zoglio.com

Saturday, December 7, 2013


While incarcerated on Robben Island prison, Nelson Mandela recited William Earnest Henley's poem "Invictus" to other prisoners and was empowered by its message of self-mastery.

"When you read works of that nature you become encouraged. It puts life in you" ~ Nelson Mandela, 1993

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll. 
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

-William Earnest Henley

Friday, December 6, 2013


By Cynthia Kersey

The idea comes to you like a lightning bolt. A-ha, that's it! It's the perfect gift. It is thoughtful and personal and it will bring great joy to the other person. You can imagine their face when they open it; the big smile, the surprised and delighted eyes and perhaps a tear or two. It's the kind of shared joy you want to experience in person. You just can't wait to give it.

Have you ever given that perfect gift? Have you ever experienced the sheer bliss and excitement that comes with it? Your delight is unrelated to any acknowledgement or accolades you might receive in return. It comes from deep inside you - from your desire to bring joy to others.

My perfect gift was birthed when I took a huge leap of faith and unabashedly followed my calling. I had been speaking, teaching and coaching people on how to be unstoppable for over a decade while a deeper passion had been evolving. I had been involved in many philanthropic endeavors throughout the past years that brought me sheer joy. But over the last couple of years, a deeper calling emerged.

Something captured my heart like never before. In my travels to undeveloped countries, I witnessed children and their families barely surviving and living without hope of a better future. I also saw a few communities where the children actually had a school to go to, but they were nothing more than shacks made of sticks, dung and dirt floors. These children literally ran to these huts in pure delight for the opportunity to learn and have hope for a better future. The fact that 120 million children, 30% of whom live in Africa, will never step foot into a classroom was something that haunted me.

Feeling called to do something to support these children and their communities, I started to do research and found that there is no magic bullet to eliminate poverty. But if there was something close to magic, it would be universal primary education. Education has a larger impact than any other form of help or aid we can give. Studies show that for every year of education a child receives, HIV rates go down, early pregnancy rates decrease and earning potential increases. Just by learning to read and write 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty.

With that information, I got inspired to create my first project. In 2008, I decided to turn my birthday into a fund-raiser and invited everyone I knew to a party to help me with this mission. That evening was truly magical for all who attended and we raised $80,000 that helped fund two schools in Uganda in partnership with Vivian Glyck, Founder of Just Like My Child Foundation.
That night I got hooked! I thought if I could raise the money to build two schools in one night, what could I do if I really put my mind to it? It was now a full-blown passion of mine.

The following two years, I shared this mission with virtually everyone I encountered and have raised enough money to build 11 schools in Africa and educate a few thousand children. While I was deeply grateful for what we had been able to do so far, I was compelled to do more.

This past summer, I went on my fourth trip to Africa and visited the communities we were in partnership with. When I arrived, I was unaware that I was about to receive the perfect gift.

We were met by the entire community. There were hundreds of people who had lined the streets, waiting for hours in the sun for our arrival. As we made our way down the bumpy and dusty road, we were greeted by the mamas and their children who were singing and dancing. Elders of the community and parents had come for miles to welcome me and the group of donors who joined me in this trip to thank us for our partnership. It was a huge celebration with a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of one of the school's we had funded and I joined the women as we danced our way into the building that represented such hope for this community.

In that moment, they were giving me the perfect gift. Their smiles of gratitude and open hearts were the most treasured gifts I had ever received.

When I came home from that trip I knew what I had to do. I could no longer participate in this amazing work on a part-time basis. Now keep in mind, I was single with no financial support coming from any other sources but my own business. My live coaching courses and speaking engagements were my primary source of income and if I weren't doing both, I wasn't bringing in enough money to support myself. While the idea of leaving the security of my business petrified me, I called my associates and said it would no longer be business as usual and that I was now focusing 100% of my energy on my mission.

Leaving my business behind, I came up with my first project. I would leverage the relationships I already had and invite leaders in the personal development, business, and internet marketing world to do something that's never been done before. I would ask them to donate their best-selling programs to my foundation for free - some currently selling for hundreds and even thousands of dollars to generate donations to help educate children.

That's how GiveALittleGetALot.com was born. My goal was to create a new way of funding this important mission that went beyond just asking for donations - I wanted it to be a campaign that tangibly rewarded the giverand the receiver.

I put a strategy together and hit the phones. My mentors encouraged me to call at least three people each day to ask them for support in whatever capacity they could contribute. Even if their answer was 'no' that was okay. What was more important was getting into consistent action.

As I shared my vision with deep conviction, people started stepping up. Experts were happy to donate their amazing products to the cause and friends stepped up to contribute to help fund the launch. I even got a sponsor who donated money for the campaign. All of these small (and large) miracles began to happen because I had the courage to take the first step.

By the time I was ready to launch GiveALittleGetALot.com on November 30, 2010, I had 30 bestselling authors and experts donating products that they were currently selling for hundreds (even thousands) of dollars each - for free - for a small donation to educate a child!

If you have ever had fear or anxiety about what it would take to follow your passion, I hope that my story will encourage you to take your first steps. You don't need to know how it will all work out, you only need to have faith that when you are committed, you will be supported. As you connect with a Divine calling that is bigger than yourself, miracles await you.

My wish is for you to experience the joy of giving the perfect gift this holiday season. One way to take your first steps is to go to GiveALittleGetALot.com and register. You will have an opportunity to not only give yourself the gift of educational tools that can change your life, but you'll receive the gift of knowing that you've transformed the life of a child forever.

Cynthia Kersey
Chief Humanitarian Officer
Unstoppable Foundation

Monday, December 2, 2013

Quote of the day...

It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit.

~ Isabel Currier

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quote of the day...

Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas.  They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.

Lenore Hershey

Quote of the day...

Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'.

~ Bing Crosby