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Archive for June, 2010

How Heaven Screens Its Applicants

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble.  At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?” “This is heaven, sir,” the man answered.

“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked. “Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.” The man gestured, and the gate began to open. “Can my friend,” gesturing toward his dog, “come in, too?” the traveler asked.

“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.” The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

“Excuse me!” he called to the reader. “Do you have any water?”

“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there” The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. “Come on in.”

“How about my friend here?” the traveler gestured to the dog.

“There should be a bowl by the pump.”  They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

“What do you call this place?” the traveler asked. “This is heaven,” was the answer.

“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was heaven, too.”

“Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.”

“Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?”

“No. I can see how you might think so, but we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who’ll leave their best friends behind”.

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An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a Penetrating picture of God’s wings.

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies.

When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

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Let’s Grade a Nigerian Scam Letter

HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?. (Note the period after a question mark) HOPE ALL IS WELL. (I am glad that he cares so much about my nephew in jail, my brother who married an alcoholic, and my father who passed away eighteen years ago) MY NAME IS SGT 1ST CLASS MIKE PETERS, I AM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER, SERVING IN THE MILITARY WITH THE ARMY’S 3RD INFANTRY DIVISION WITH A VERY DESPERATE NEED FOR ASSISTANCE. (What better way to seek immediate assistance than an email?) I HAVE SUMMED UP COURAGE (He has no courage? Wait…isn’t he’s supposed to an American soldier?) TO CONTACT YOU. I FOUND YOUR CONTACT PARTICULARS IN AN ADDRESS JOURNAL. (Of course! Where else would it be?)

I AM SEEKING YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE (Would my assistance not be kind?) TO MOVE THE SUM OF $28 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS (Now say it again, as if it’s actually on a check.) TWENTY EIGHT MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS TO YOU, (Should have been a period, not a comma) AS FAR AS I CAN BE ASSURED THAT MY SHARE WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR CARE (Trusting soul, isn’t he?) UNTIL I COMPLETE MY SERVICE HERE. SOURCE OF MONEY: SOME MONEY IN VARIOUS CURRENCIES (Shekels, Spanish Doubloons, Old French Francs and MONOPOLY Money!) WAS DISCOVERED IN (Whiskey?) BARRELS AT A FARM HOUSE NEAR ONE OF SADDAM’S OLD PALACES (by the 7-Eleven) next to IN TIKRIT-IRAQ DURING A RESCUE OPERATION, AND IT WAS AGREED BY STAFF SGT KENNETH BUFF (I see, a staff sergeant runs the scam there) AND I THAT SOME PART OF THIS MONEY BE SHARED AMONG BOTH OF US BEFORE INFORMING ANYBODY ABOUT IT SINCE BOTH OF US SAW THE MONEY FIRST. (Finders keepers!) THIS WAS QUITE AN ILLEGAL THING TO DO, (So now he has a conscience?), BUT I TELL YOU WHAT? NO COMPENSATION CAN MAKE UP FOR THE RISK WE HAVE TAKEN WITH OUR LIVES IN THIS HELL HOLE (Wow! A true American saying) OF WHICH MY BROTHER IN-LAW WAS KILLED BY A ROAD SIDE BOMB LAST TIME. (How many times can this guy get killed?)

THE ABOVE FIGURE WAS GIVEN TO ME AS MY SHARE, AND TO CONCEAL THIS KIND OF MONEY BECAME A PROBLEM FOR ME, SO WITH THE HELP OF A BRITISH CONTACT WORKING HERE (Let make sure we’ve got more people involved here) AND HIS OFFICE (The plot thickens) ENJOY SOME IMMUNITY, (Everybody must be a crook over there!) I WAS ABLE TO GET THE PACKAGE OUT OF IRAQ TO YOUR COUNTRY (Huh? His country is somewhere else? I thought he said that he was an American soldier!) FOR YOU TO PICK UP, AND I WILL DISCUSS THIS WITH YOU WHEN I AM SURE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO ASSIST ME, AND I BELIEVE THAT MY MONEY WILL BE WELL SECURED IN YOUR HAND (Oh goody, he trusts me already!) BECAUSE YOU HAVE FEAR OF GOD. (What happens if I am an Atheist or simply have no fear?)

I WANT YOU TO TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU WILL TAKE FROM THIS MONEY FOR THE ASSISTANCE YOU WILL GIVE TO ME. (All of it, you crook!) ONE PASSIONATE (The last time I was passionate, my husband accused me of being drunk) APPEAL I WILL MAKE TO YOU IS NOT TO DISCUSS THIS MATTER WITH ANYBODY, SHOULD YOU HAVE REASONS TO REJECT THIS OFFER, PLEASE PLEASE (Third time’s a charm) AND PLEASE DESTROY THIS MESSAGE AS ANY LEAKAGE OF THIS INFORMATION WILL BE TOO BAD FOR US SOLDIER’S HERE IN IRAQ. (You mean that nobody else is to know?) I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE WILL REMAIN HERE (Apparently he hasn’t heard from Obama yet), AND I HAVE BEEN SHOT (Should have been shot in the brain before he thought of this), WOUNDED AND SURVIVED TWO SUICIDE BOMB ATTACKS BY THE SPECIAL GRACE OF GOD (The grace of God tried to commit suicide twice?), THIS AND OTHER REASONS I WILL MENTION LATER (Later? This is his only correspondence!) HAS PROMPTED ME TO REACH OUT FOR HELP, I HONESTLY (Really?!?!) WANT THIS MATTER TO BE RESOLVED IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE CONTACT ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITH MY E-MAIL ADDRESS WHICH IS MY ONLY WAY OF COMMUNICATION (Because letters and telegrams can be traced).

Sincerely a true American, (Ya think??)

SGT. MIKE PETERS

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There’s still time!!

For anyone who’s read Flaherty’s Crossing, be sure to post your book review comment on one of the following sites before 6/30 & automatically be entered to win a $100 American Express Gift Card!

http://ning.it/c3aeM8
http://tinyurl.com/2g89xdx

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Kaylin’s Five Favorite Heartfelt Books

Kaylin McFarren, author of Flaherty's Crossing at Frank Mundo's LA Books Examiner/Photo courtesy of McFarrenFive Favorites is a new feature at the LA Books Examiner in which our favorite authors share and discuss their five favorite books within a category. In this edition, Kaylin McFarren, debut author and community leader, discusses her five favorite and most heartfelt books.

Five Favorite Heartfelt Books by Kaylin McFarren

1) The Help, Kathryn Stockett (Putnam, 2009)
This remarkable story takes place during the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, where black women raised white children but couldn’t be trusted with the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan returns from college and begins collecting stories from black maids who have been employed by the upper white echelon. The shocking stories these women share give Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Full of heart and history, this book will educate, infuriate and bring tears to the eyes of every person who reads it.

2) Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen (Algonquin, 2007)
Jacob Jankowski, a nursing home resident, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. As a young man, he learns his parents have been killed in a car crash while attending Cornell Veterinary School. With no source of income available, he drops out of school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus. There he falls in love with Marlena, one of the show’s star performers and although the romance is destined for disaster, the cast of characters in this story are guaranteed to capture your imagination.

3) Cider House Rules, John Irving (Modern Library, 1999)
This is by far my favorite John Irving novel. I was amazed at how he effortlessly broached topics like adoption, abortion, faithfulness, love and discrimination. It doesn’t matter whether you’re liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between. Irving will make you think while giving you a chance to question and refine some of your own views. This engaging story provokes and entertains, and leaves you longing for more.

4) Marley and Me, John Grogan (William Morrow, 2005)
When I was originally given this book as a gift, I thought it would be a cute tale that I could scan, put away, and forget. Was I wrong! I found myself immediately drawn into this great family drama which involves Marley, a sweet, affectionate Labrador puppy whose antics would drive the most patient dog lover nuts. Yet, as time passes, the obstacles encountered by Marley’s youthful exuberance fall to the wayside. He manages to integrate himself into a family of growing children and together they learn the importance of unconditional love.

5) Night, Elie Wiesel (Hill and Wang, 2006)
The word memorable is an understatement when it comes to this amazing story. In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, a scholarly teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust that ultimately consumed his family. His memories of the horrific death camps leave him questioning all aspects of his life including his closely-held faith. A shocking, revealing character study that will continue to amaze you for years to come.


Kaylin McFarren
, a 2008 Golden Heart Finalist and recipient of ten national first place writing award, is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College in Seattle, Washington, which originally sparked her passion for writing. While performing the responsibilities of a director for a nationally-acclaimed art gallery, Kaylin was appointed as one of nine art commissioners for the State of Oregon by Governor John Kitzhaber. She presently serves on numerous boards and, in her free time, enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

Kaylin also intends to donate 100% of the proceeds generated from sales of Flaherty’s Crossing to the Cancer Research Center at Portland’s Providence Medical Center and is presently working on a romantic suspense series titled Severed Threads. Her debut novel – Flaherty’s Crossing is now available in both eBook and trade paperback formats. Direct-buy purchase links can be found on her author and book websites, www.kaylinmcfarren.com and www.flahertyscrossing.com, or at Amazon.com.

One final note: If you’re headed to Oregon this summer, check out ARTFUL GIVING, Saturday, July 24th, 3pm-6pm, The Riverview Restaurant & Gardens, 29311 SE Stark Street, Troutdale, OR 97060 – This event will feature some of the most appreciated elements in our lives – good friends, great food, fine wine, stunning visual art, inspiring literature, and amazing musical entertainment – in a beautiful, serene setting. In other words, a true celebration of life with all proceeds benefiting cancer research at Providence Medical Center. Kaylin will be on hand to sign copies of her latest release, Flaherty’s Crossing.

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WHY MEN ARE NEVER DEPRESSED

Men Are Just Happier People– What do you expect from such simple creatures. Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier. Wanna be happier yet?? Pick up a copy of Flaherty’s Crossing at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble today! 🙂

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Just Bee Cause

A man was driving down the road and ran out of gas. Just at that moment, a bee flew in his window.


The bee said,  Photobucket ‘What seems to be the problem?’

‘I’m out of gas,’ the man replied.

The bee told the man to wait right there and flew away. Minutes later, the man watched as an entire swarm of bees flew to his car and into his gas tank. After a few minutes, the bees flew out.

‘Try it now,’ said one bee.

The man turned the ignition key and the car started right up. ‘Wow!’ the man exclaimed, ‘what did you put in my gas tank’?

The bee answered,

Photobucket
Photobucket

I see you smiling….  Photobucket

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