April, 2001

Life is precious
See new things

Life is full of surprises

Jesus is the way

Use your time well

Find eternal life

"To Be A Success In 2001"
April 8th, 2001, Omaha World-Herald

"The California Adventure"
(now with 27 pictures)
April 15th, 2001, Omaha World-Herald

(April 27, 2001 6:40 AM CDT)

Spring To Life will be on hold until May 1st.
Keep reading Matthew one chapter each day.
You can do it.
I know you can.

Read Matthew 20 .

God is very generous. (verse 15)
God is good.
He is full of mercy.
He gives many gifts over and over.
He is generous to all people.
"The last shall be first
and the first shall be last." (verse 16)
God does not think like us.
He sees things differently.
The undeserving get a gift.
It is not fair.
Jesus knew he would die in Jerusalem. (verse 19)
He went anyway.
He knew the suffering.
He knew the price.
He continued.
He did it for you and me.
"What is it you want?" (verse 21)
"What do you want me to do for you?" (verse 32)
Answer Jesus.
What do you want?
Put it into writing.
Sometimes he will grant your request and sometimes not.
That is prayer---respond to God---answer him.
He asked you a question.

(April 26, 2001 6:18 AM CDT)

I'd like to go on record as saying
there is no reason to kill Timothy McVeigh on May 16th.
We can keep him in prison for the rest of his life.

Read Matthew 19 .

"Great crowds followed him and he cured them there." (verse 2)
Jesus had a great following.
He went with him from town to town.
They hung on his every word.
They witnessed the miracles.
They were amazed.
"We have put everything aside to follow you." (verse 27)
Let us follow him.
Let us read all his words.
Let us be healed.
Divorce. (verse 3)
What does God think of it?
That is not the way it is meant to be.
"They are no longer two but one flesh." (verse 6)
Pray for strong marriages.
"For man (or woman) it is impossible;
but for God all things are possible." (verse 26)
We pray for all married people.
We pray for all divorced people.
Many people that I know are divorced.
God be with them.
"Then who can be saved?" (verse 25)
To make it to heaven is something.
Will I make it?
Will you make it?
It is only possible with God's help.
We can not get there on our own.
Being a good person does not get you to heaven.
Heaven is a gift.
You need the concept of "gift."
You must learn this.
Study this.
It is a key.
What is a gift?
All good gifts come from heaven above.

(April 25, 2001 6:09 AM CDT)

Are you getting the hang of it now?
Reading a chapter per day is not that hard.
And besides that you get blessed!

Read Matthew 18 .

There are a lot of things to comment on.
Who is the greatest? (verse 1)
That is us.
That is our culture.
Who is number 1?
You see it everywhere.
Jesus says to be lowly, to be a child.
Jesus stirs things up.
He makes you think.
Scandal. (verse 7)
"What terrible things will come on the world through scandal!"
Need I say anything?
Live a holy life.
Live a life that gives glory to God.
We have angels. (verse 10)
They are watching over us.
They are there for us.
Call on God's angels to help you.
Everyone is important---every single person. (verse 14)
God wishes all to come to him and be with him in heaven.
He does not want anyone to perish.
He actively seeks those who stray.
He searches for them.
He invites them home.
Pray together. (verse 19)
A few times I have prayed with people over the phone.
They were scared. I was scared.
You join together in prayer.
You agree in prayer about something.
Forgive. Forgive over and over (verse 22)
God is a God of mercy.
He forgives us.
We forgive each other.
We should have mercy.
Be generous with mercy.
Be a forgiving person.
If we don't forgive,
God will treat us the same way. (verse 35)
We need God's forgiveness.

(April 24, 2001 6:29 AM CDT)

Yesterday I was talking to someone at work.
She was telling me about one time
trying to walk across Douglas Street at 20th
and she felt someone/something pulling her back.
She turned to see no one there.
Just then a car came speeding by
and probably would have hit her.
Was it an angel?
Was it the hand of God?

Read Matthew 17 .

I mean, where do you begin?
There is so much there.
Jesus is transfigured. (verse 2)
He shows without any doubt that he is God.
He shows that Moses and Elijah are still alive.
There is life after life.
A voice is heard from above. (verse 5)
"Listen to him."
Listen to Jesus and what he says.
These are words of life.
Elijah has returned. (verse 13)
He was John the Baptizer.
The prophecy has been fulfilled about Elijah returning.
We need prayer and fasting. (verse 21)
I skipped lunch yesterday.
I'm trying to lose those extra pounds from recent trips.
Is that fasting?
I did not even think about it.
If your heart is in it, it is.
Fasting is just not very popular.
I don't hear much talk about it.
"They were overwhelmed with grief." (verse 23)
I know all about that,
but I don't want to think about it this morning.
I'm going to have a happy day.
There is a time to be sad and a time to rejoice.
I'm going to rejoice that Jesus arose from the dead.
Easter joy...for you and me.
Jesus paid his taxes. (verse 27)
It does not say, if Peter caught this fish or not.
It is assumed he did catch it, I guess.
It must have been a very interesting fishing experience.
A fish with a coin in its mouth---
that would be something to see.
It's like me finding the $50 bill yesterday.
It's definitely something you would not forget.

(April 23, 2001 6:52 AM CDT)

(Update at 6:40 PM
I just had to sit down and write about
what just happened a few minutes ago.
There I was out for my walk at the Westroads Mall
minding my own business.
It was perfect timing.
I saw this guy drop something as we passed.
I called to him and told him that he dropped something.
I didn't see what it was until I picked it up.
It was a $50 bill .
I did not see the numbers at all.
It was folded so that you could only see the portrait of Grant.
I said, "I think you'll be needing this."
He was heading for the food court to buy something to eat.
The whole sequence was over in 5 seconds
and I continued my walk.
I had a funny thought later---
another 20 seconds and Boys Town would of had a nice donation.
I see this guy all the time.
He works there.
We never say hello.
Next time I see him
we will have a very interesting conversation I imagine.

Yesterday I went to the zoo and
saw the 3 PM showing of the IMAX film
"Island of the Sharks" .
Very good. Very well done.
Something for all the family to enjoy.
It shows the awesome beauty of God in His creation.

I'd like to acknowledge the music group Dream .
This is from the text inside their CD cover.
"First off, I'd like to thank God for blessing my life.
God's been there every step of the way
and continues to be there for me.
I thank the lord, Jesus Christ,
for placing the people I love and care for in my life."
It think Ashley wrote this.
It is very hard to read because the text is so small.
#15 (you count the dots .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .)
on the CD is titled "Our Prayer."
The newspaper yesterday said they have sold
over a million copies of this CD.
I wonder what kids think
when they read this about Jesus on this CD.

Read Matthew 16 .
I did this for many years reading one chapter a day.
I hope you do this too.
These are eternal words.
They wanted a sign in the sky. (verse 1)
Are we too looking at the skies for something to happen?
Is that you?
"God forbid that any such thing ever happen to you!" (verse 22)
The plan of God is beyond our comprehension.
We don't know.
We think we know, but we don't.
"What profit would a man (or woman) show
if he (or she) were to gain the whole world
and destroy himself (or herself) in the process?" (verse 26)
Excellent question from Jesus for you and me to ponder.

(April 22, 2001 7:29 AM CDT)

Yesterday I got out the lawn mower for the first time in 2001.
It would not start.
Then I drained out the old gasoline and put in some new and
then on the first pull it started right up.
The grass is just starting to grow and I evened it out.

And I've been sick with a cold and allergies 6 days now.
And you expect that since I'm "knocked down"
from my uncle's death.
Keep praying for me and my family. Thanks.

Read Matthew 15 .

The key is what Jesus said,
"Give ear and try to understand." (see verse 10)

You hear the word of God.
You read the word of God.
You hear a sermon.
It is God who helps you understand.
You need God's help.
"Help me, Lord!" (verse 25)
You need a change.
Replace that old "gasoline" whatever that may be in your life.
It will be so much easier.
The Lord will pull you closer.
Then you will understand.
7:54 AM It's time for church.

(April 21, 2001 8:12 AM CDT)

Read Matthew 14 .

There are many things to comment about in this chapter.
John the Baptist dies.
He died for his faith.
He was a witness to Jesus.
He had found the treasure of great price.
He gave up everything.
Jesus feeds over 5,000 people.
He takes what little we have
and multiplies it over and over.
Give a little and God performs a miracle.
You wonder what would happen,
if we would give a lot.
Jesus goes to a mountain by himself to pray.
He sets an example for us.
If he needs to pray, we need to pray.
We need time for individual prayer.
Do you take time daily to converse with God?
Jesus comes to the disciples on the lake at 3 in the morning.
He walks on water.
You hear this saying in normal conversations.
Jesus was God, so miracles are normal for him.
He made the laws of nature, so he can suspend them.
Peter is sinking.
Jesus stretches out his hand to save him.
Faith---if we only knew what it is.
Lord, increase my faith.
Everywhere he went he performed miracles.
He healed people.
He healed a lot of people.
It would seem miracles are normal.
May God touch you today.

(April 20, 2001 7:15 AM CDT)

I'm serious.
Did you read Matthew 13 today?
You will find several parables.

"The reign of God is like a buried treasure
which a man found in a field.
He hid it again,
and rejoicing at his find
went and sold all he had and bought that field."
Matthew 13:44

The idea is to put Jesus first.
All other things are put aside for God.
You focus on Jesus and not material things.
He is a treasure beyond price.
He is a fine pearl.
He is all that you need.
You sell everything and all that is left is Jesus.
You get rid of all the distractions.
Then you can rejoice.
You will shine like the sun (see verse 43).
Jesus is the treasure you are searching for.

(April 19, 2001 7:20 AM CDT)

Yesterday at the copier machine at work
someone was telling me that I was another person's brother.
All three of us work on the same floor.
I told her we were not brothers.
I told her my name.
We don't have the same last name.
It took some effort to convince her of the truth.
But that is the nature of truth---
one day it comes out.
There are lots of misunderstandings in life.
Now there is one less.

Did you read Matthew 12 today yet?

Jesus said,
"He who is not with me is against me,
and he who does not gather with me scatters."
Matthew 12:30

You are either with Jesus or not.
You can't hang out on the fence.
You make a choice.
It is one side or the other.
Make the right choice.
"Gather" means to learn of God and his ways.
Get all the knowledge you can.
Read the Bible everyday.
Pray everyday.
Don't live a scattered life.
You are either a brother/sister of Jesus
(see verse 50) or not.
Don't let there be any misunderstandings.

(April 18, 2001 7:02 AM CDT)

Here is a reading from the funeral yesterday.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all your sins
and heals all your infirmities."
Psalms 103:1-3

We give praise to God today.
We bless the name of Jesus.
We thank the Lord for his benefits.
We ask Jesus to forgive all our sins.
The Lord heals us.
We continue on the journey.
It is not easy.

Here is a "snapshot" from yesterday.
Are you ready for this?
We were at the cemetery.
It was cold (40F), sunny and a little windy.
There were just a few scattered clouds in the blue sky.
I was one of the pallbearers.
All the pallbearers had a white carnation
pinned on their lapel.
Maybe you have seen this before,
but at the very end of all the ceremonies and prayers
each pallbearer puts their carnation
one by one on the coffin as they leave.
One of the toughest things I have ever done.

(April 17, 2001 6:28 AM CDT)

Last night at the wake for my uncle
I was given the privilege to say some prayers.
The pastor could not make it for some reason
and my aunt asked me to "fill in."
It was interesting.
If you could only see me looking around the mortuary
for a Bible, that was something.
I did find one after a minute or two.
What was I wearing?
I had a black pull-over jacket from "The California Adventure."
You had to be there.
I had a few minutes to prepare something to say.
I wonder if I had more time, what would I have said.
Then again, it was better this way.
It was words for the "present moment."
Anyway I read my favorite Psalm.

"Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me..."
Psalms 23:4

Even in death the Lord is there.
He is there to comfort us.
He is there to take my uncle home.
We have nothing to fear.
He is there in our tears.
And I told everyone that it should be a time of joy.
My uncle would want us to be happy.
He has gone home to Jesus and
hopefully all of us will be together again
one day in heaven.
This was my prayer for my family and friends last night.
This is my prayer for you today.

(April 16, 2001 6:25 AM CDT)

I just wanted to say what a blessing KGBI 100.7 FM
is in my life.
I hope you tune it in, if you live in the Omaha area.
They are available on the Internet also
for all the rest of you.
It is a great way to start the day.
God bless Ken and Jeff!

If you have been reading one chapter per day of Matthew
since April 8th, you read this today.

"As he moved on,
Jesus saw a man named Matthew at his post
where taxes were collected.
He said to him,
'Follow me.'
Matthew got up and followed him."
Matthew 9:9

Jesus comes to you today and asks you to follow him.
What do you do?
Do you ignore him?
Do you listen to what he has to say?
It is interesting for Matthew to be writing about himself.
This must have been a key moment in his life.
It was very important to him.
He wanted all the world to know about it
and even future generations.
This moment comes to all of us.
It is a key.
Some will follow and some will not.
Don't be left behind.
Jesus keeps on walking.
Get up.
Follow him.

(April 15, 2001 6:47 AM CDT)

Yesterday I received a phone call from my Mom at 11:50 AM.
She said that her brother had passed away.
The funeral is Tuesday.
So pray for my family. Thanks.

Happy Easter to you!
May today be filled with much joy and blessings.

TCA is in the newspaper on page 11 of TV-Entertainment today.
There are two page 11 in Entertainment.
This is the second page 11.

"While they were still speaking about all this,
Jesus stood in their midst
and said to them,
'Peace to you.'
In their panic and fright
they thought they were seeing a ghost."
Luke 24:36-37

Jesus says that to you today.
Peace to you.
Maybe someone you love just died, like with my family.
Maybe you are confused and don't know what to do.
Maybe you are under a lot of stress in your life.
Yesterday afternoon I was out in my front yard
raking up the dead leaves.
The green grass is trying to grow,
but the dead leaves were in the way.
You need to get that dead stuff (sin) out of your life.
You need the new life of God's grace.
Peace comes from being forgiven by the Lord.
He will forgive all your sins, just ask him.
That is why he died,
so that you could live.
Then it will truly be a happy Easter.

(April 14, 2001 6:15 AM CDT)

I survived the blizzard of 2001 in Denver, Colorado.
I was there.
Talk about an adventure!
It was something to experience.
We had about a foot of snow when we woke up
on Wednesday, April 11th.
DIA (Denver International Airport) was closed for
the first time in 6 years someone said.
I cleared the snow off the rental car with a towel
from the hotel where I stayed.
There was no brush or scraper in the car.
It was a heavy wet snow and the wind was 30 mph.
I had fun driving the 4-wheel-drive car (Montero) around.
I've never driven a 4WD before.
We even picked up the teacher to give him a ride to school.
Cars were getting stuck in the parking lots.
As of yesterday morning there were still 10,000 people
around Denver without electricity from that storm.

Here is the proof for TCA tomorrow.
That was really something
to try to proof this advertisement
from 550 miles away from home.
They lost the text that I sent them,
so I had to fax it again.
Betty was nice enough to do this for free for me
even though it was a long distance call.
I told her I would pay for the call.
She works at the place where we had our class.
God bless her.
It is done and ready to go.
I changed some of the words in the last paragraph
to say look at page 10 of Entertainment,
since I now know the exact location of the advertisement.

7:13 AM It's time to go pray.
Keep praying for my Uncle. Thanks.

(April 9, 2001 6:01 AM CDT)

I won't be able to update spring2life.com for a few days.
I will be in a computer class.
I will write again on April 14th.
Read a chapter each day this week from
the Gospel of Matthew .

(April 8, 2001 6:44 AM CDT)

(Update at 8:20 PM
My uncle is very sick in the hospital.
They are running many tests on him.
Please, pray for him.

I just went outside and grabbed the newspaper.
It is on Page 10 of the Entertainment Magazine .
It is part of history now.
It is a scary thing to change the course of history.
I hope and pray it is a good change.

Last night the movie Apollo 13 was on ABC TV.
That is a nice coincidence.

Maybe tomorrow I will get a proof copy of TCA.
I reserved 2 columns by 5 inches length for it on April 15th.

My, yesterday was such a nice day:
just to drive around with the windows all open in the sun.
It was 72F (22C) degrees.
We had warmer temperatures than California.
When I was in California I liked to listen to KBIG 104.3 FM .
They had this interesting question at 6 AM each morning.
People would call in and try to guess the right answer.
They were very good questions that make you think.
I listened to KBIG a lot on Friday, March 16th
when I was driving the I-5 and I-10 in L.A.
on the way to Santa Monica and
later on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, Hwy-1) along the ocean.

(April 7, 2001 6:40 AM CDT)

(Update at 10:19 AM
It's still windy as can be, but the sun is out now.
Tom paid for my breakfast this morning at Bakers 132 and Center.
Isn't he nice?
Frank was also at breakfast.
He's into buying/selling used cars.
He gave me his card .
Don't you think it's kind of amazing that
yesterday I'm talking about selling my car
and today I run into Frank?
I'm never met him before this morning.
Jean was our server and I wished her a "Happy Easter"
as I left.

And Russell is 37 years old today.
God bless him.

Yesterday at 9:35 AM I received word that
the person's Mom I had you pray for a few days ago is back home.
She is doing well and they can't find anything wrong with her.
A miracle?
The person said to me, which I relay to you,
"Thanks for the prayers."
I'm just the messenger.
Praise the Lord.

This morning at 4:37 AM I looked out the west windows of my bedroom.
The wind is really strong and I was praying that
my house would hold together.
There was a full moon half way up in the sky
with bright white puffy clouds flying eastward.
It was like a video in fast motion.
The movie effect.
God showing off.

(April 6, 2001 6:15 AM CDT)

Yesterday I was walking here and there around downtown.
My friend was getting lunch at one place
and I was walking to lunch at another place.
She was telling me about helping at Francis House
just north of downtown Omaha.
This is a shelter for the poor and homeless.
I used to help there many years ago and we "compared notes."
I told her that we need that---we need contact with the poor.
I am like a billionaire from their point of view
with that 1997 Lexus I have and all the money.
I told her that I will sell that car.
And she said, "You will sell it."
God bless her for helping the lowly and forgotten.
The Bible says,

"You cannot give yourself to God and money.
I warn you..."
Matthew 6:24

Jesus said it.
I'm relaying it to you.
I'm telling myself that.
It's something to think about.
Do you ever think about the poor?

Did you notice that
"To Be A Success In 1996"
says to read the "Gospel of Mark,"
but "To Be A Success In 2001"
says to read a different Gospel?
I wonder what "To Be A Success In 2006" will say?

(April 5, 2001 6:28 AM CDT)

(Update at 10:10 PM
I added the pictures to TCA .)

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and wonder...
if my life was a movie, what would be the next scene?
So one of my thoughts was that I would have my first car accident.
(I have never had a car accident.)
It would be a fender-bender at 72nd and Dodge.
The person that I literally run into
would be the girl (MPB) I had a crush on in grade school.
She lived on my newspaper route.
And, of course, she would just happen to be single or divorced.
We would exchange driver's licenses and I would see her name.
I would ask her where she went to grade school.
If life was a movie...

I was talking to Dan on the phone yesterday.
I bought a new suit for 2001 from him back on January 27th.
It is very dark gray almost black
with very light blue stripes 3/4 of an inch apart.
Here I scanned it in , so you can see the effect.
I wore the suit to Josephine's funeral on March 26th.
I will wear it to my B-day dinner in a few months.
He was asking me about how things were going and
I told him, "Life is full of surprises."
For example, Karen asked me if I was sitting down yesterday.
She said the advertisement would not be in the TV Section
of the Entertainment Magazine.
It would just be in the Entertainment Magazine.
So I just updated success2.html
to delete the words "TV Section".
I told her
"God makes all things work together for the good..."
Romans 8:28

The advertisement will not be where I wanted it to be,
so that means that a slightly different set
of people will see it.
There is nothing I can do about it.
You learn from your mistakes and move on.
"The California Adventure" WILL be in the TV Section the next week.
I need to scan in a lot of pictures from that day (March 17th).
It's 7:31 AM and I hear thunder and rain on the house
and I better get to work.

(April 4, 2001 6:03 AM CDT)

As I left work yesterday around 5 PM,
someone just inside the front door
asked me to pray for their Mom
who has been in the hospital for 3 days.
So could you pray for her to get well?

Here is the final proof for April 8, 2001.
That is it.
It is not perfect.
I saw something else to correct,
but you get to the point where it is close enough.
I tried to call Karen about 20 times
without success yesterday afternoon,
but there was some problem with their phones.
I contacted someone near her and they relayed the message
to go with this final proof.
So that makes it 1 down and 1 to go.
And now it is time to pray for all who will read this.
There will be over 265,000 copies of it spread
over eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
May it plant a seed of faith.
May it grow and grow.

"The Lord sets captives free;
the Lord gives sight to the blind.
The Lord raises up those that were bowed down;
the Lord loves the just."
Psalms 146:7-8

Lord, we ask that you open our eyes.
Raise us up.
Set us free from sin.
We love you, Lord.
Change us, Lord.

(April 3, 2001 6:23 AM CDT)

"Through her tears
she looked up to heaven,
for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly."
The Book of Susanna (in Daniel)
or Daniel 13:35 in some Bibles

The story of Susanna is something to read.
She is on trial.
She is innocent.
The Lord rescues her from death.
Her accusers are given her sentence.
God heard her prayers.

(April 2, 2001 6:22 AM CDT)

One of my goals for today
is to get "To Be A Success In 2001" corrected.
It's just 6 days away.
I will call Karen this morning at the newspaper
and that should take care of it.
I have never met her.
She is "just" a voice on the phone.
God bless her for help me.
Another goal is to change parking spots.
It will be very hard to give up my current spot.
I waited on a list 4 years to get it and now its gone.
It's not a good feeling to let it go,
because next year they could move me right back
to the same building and I will be sick.
But---to be a success means to be honest,
so I have to give up the spot.
You have to work in that building to park there is the rule.
And you never know what God has in store for me---
maybe I do get to move to California.
I tell myself, "Keep on dreaming."
(i.e. California Dreaming)

Last night I kicked out Version 2 of
"The California Adventure" for April 15th, 2001.
So read it over and if you have comments,
write to me.
If you see something or it does not sound right to you,
a few thousand others will think the same thing.
Please, let me know.

(April 1, 2001 7:10 AM CDT)

Welcome to April, 2001!
This is the year for blessings.
I thought 2000 was to be the year,
but it turns out that 2001 is the year.

Like I always say about Daylight Savings Time:
turn the clocks forward and leave them there all year long.
Some people in Congress have proposed this.
I wonder when the idea will "catch."

Did you catch these errors in the proof ?
Warren Buffet (Buffett) is misspelled.
(Should I leave Warren's name misspelled?
I'm thinking about it.
Then I could say I was referring to a different Warren.
Warren lives here in Omaha.
Our newspaper treats him like some celebrity superstar.)
Mother Theresa (Teresa) is misspelled.
In paragraph 5 the word "success" should be "successful."
Spell-checking would never catch something like that.

Jack Nicholson is running around the Omaha area making a film.
His picture was on the front page of the newspaper yesterday.

Today is the St. Ann's Spaghetti Dinner
at 24th and Poppleton Ave. in Omaha Noon to 6 PM.
They have it twice a year.
My family and I never miss it.
Be there.

Time for church at 8 AM at Boys Town USA, Dowd Chapel.
You go to church today too.
Pray with others.
This is very important.
Get out there and receive those blessings!

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