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It was September 1997. Labor Day Weekend. I was in Jubilee Park in Cave Junction, Oregon for the Annual Lion’s Club Labor Day Festival. I was representing the radio station I worked for at the time. It was a lot of fun!

Can I just say, there is nothing quite like a small-town festival weekend! There is always Tuff Truck Racing, a Tarzan swing, and a greased pole climb. You will find rides for the kids to enjoy, nightly concerts, daily talent contests, baseball tournament, cornhole tournament, and a model airplane airshow.

The Illinois Valley Lions Club has hosted this 3-day event since 1962 and it is the biggest festival in the Illinois valley. The three days include the Lions Burger Booth; vendors with craft booths, food booths, jewelry booths, art booths, boutique booths, flag booths, and a dunk tank. The kids, big and small, will enjoy the Lions train ride, banana splits, pancake breakfast, free school supplies all three days, kids’ carnival booths, and a parade down Redwood Hwy on Labor Day Monday.

It was at this event that an older gentleman approached me and handed me a nice, leather-bound type, day-planner.

When I think of gifts, that one was a bit strange. Especially from someone I had just met. It is not small. It measures 9”x 7 ½” and, it was for the year 1996, keep in mind this was 1997.

Such an odd gift, don’t you think? A year-old day planner? What could I possibly do with it?

Well, what he knew, and perhaps you do not, is that I always signed off my air shift with a Thought for the Day. For instance, (the only one I have remembered after all these years) Golda Meir once said, “Whether women are better than men I cannot say, but they certainly are no worse.”

Each week in that year-long calendar had a quote. For instance: “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I shared that quote on 7/15/98 also 7/14/99 also 10/30/01. I know that because I date everything!

“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” – Native American saying that I shared on 6/6/98 also 4/27/99 also 11/3/00 and 5/21/01.

Quotes and thoughts. Poems and songs. Words, when strung together like lights on a tree, paint colorful scenes that create unforgettable images.

I have a book titled “Foods That Harm; Foods That Heal”. It’s an A-Z guide to safe and healthy eating.

I also have a book I call “Words That Harm; Words That Heal”.

Have you heard of either of them? You may know the last title by its more popular name, Holy Bible. Both books are filled with instructions on what to put in our body and what to leave out.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Isn’t that the truth!

I have a desk calendar that gives me daily quotes from the Bible and today’s quote inspired me this morning. It is this:

“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.”

Words that give direction.

The Message Bible puts it this way. “Give me your lantern and compass, give me a map, so I can find my way to the sacred mountain, to the place of your presence, to enter the place of worship, meet my exuberant God, sing my thanks with a harp, magnificent God, my God.” Psalm 43:3-4

Words that praise.

President Abraham Lincoln once said, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from The Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book.”

And King David wrote, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

May that be our request as well.

Lord, the only thing I ask, the only thing I want, is to dwell in your house. To gaze upon your face and reflect on all that you did for me. To talk with you, and walk with you, and laugh with you and learn from you.

May that be our prayer today and every day.

by Jeanette Stark – Tuesday, December 13, 2022

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