It's always hard to lose someone you love. It's especially hard when it's a child. Amy was only two years old. She went to sleep with a little cold and a little fever, but by the end of the night, Amy was gone from a cause that is still a medical mystery. Her parents were in deep grief, but they also felt a little comfort from something beautiful that happened right before Amy went to sleep that night. Her mother began singing "Jesus Loves Me" to her, and little Amy sang along with her. Her last words were, "Jesus loves me, this I know." Then she was with Him.

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      The Myth of Plenty of TimeThere was a "Family Circus" cartoon in the newspaper where the Dad and the little boy were in a cemetery looking at Grandpa's gravestone. Pointing to the epitaph on the tombstone, Dad says, "Those two dates are the year Granddad was born and the year he died." Then, pointing to the mark between his grandfather's date of birth and date of death, the little guy said, "That means that little dash between the years is Granddad's lifetime!"

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        Do you know where you are going after you take your last breath? Have you ever thought about that? It sure does help to know where you are going.

        Joe was trying to return his rental car, and he managed to find the ramp that pointed to "rental car returns." The sign he came to didn’t list the company he rented the car from, but at that moment, the van from his rental company went by. Joe took off behind him. It's a good thing he did because the roads and ramps took him on a chase all around the airport and beyond the airport. He would have never figured out how to get there because he didn’t know where he was going!

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          They're usually some of the most exciting moments in sports: the touchdown or field goal that wins the game with no time left on the clock, that game-winning basket as the final buzzer sounds, or the game-winning home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Whatever the sport, there is nothing like a sudden victory when victory seems out of reach. It makes the fans go ballistic.

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            Someone to Trust With the Keys to Everything

            When improvement or remodeling needs to be done at your house, sometimes you can't always be there when the workers are working. They might need keys to everything, so there is no place in your home that they couldn't go to get the job done. You need not only workers who can do the job, but workers you can totally trust.

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                When you're the parent of a little child, you know that one of your great challenges could be getting that little one to sleep at night. When you are the little child, you know why it's hard to get to sleep at night. First, there's that prayer. You know, the one where your Mommy has you pray, "Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep." OK, so far, so good. Then, "If I should die before I wake..." OK, that's it! I am not going to sleep! Who in the world put that line in that prayer? Then there's another reason little kids have a hard time getting to sleep - the monsters, you know the ones in the closet. See, parents never really seem to get it. All kids know that once all the lights go out, there might be a really scary monster waiting in the closet. So, you lie there with your eyes wide open, afraid of what that monster might do if you fall asleep.

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                  The Shadow That Scares UsHave you ever seen a large shadow of something that looks kind of scary? Sometimes you can't figure out what's creating the shadow, but all you can see is a massive shadow on the wall or ground around you. You might feel like running for help even though there's not an actual reason to run. When you see what is casting those huge shadows, the reality behind the shadow isn't very scary at all.

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                      There is often a shortage of blood available in blood banks due to severe winter weather, a holiday season, and a bad flu season. If you've had a bad car accident or a couple of gunshot wounds, you're in a world of trouble. There is no fact more basic to human life - without the blood you need, you die.

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                        There are verdicts given in court rooms all over the country every day, but most of them don't affect you. One verdict that really does affect you is the one that determines where you'll spend eternity.

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                          The Place to Say YesEvery once in a while, comic strips have something really good to say. Have you ever seen "B. C."? He is this little scraggly-haired caveman that makes some fairly modern observations. The best one appeared one Easter and began with B. C. outside a tomb with a rock next to it. Then, in the next panel, he goes in the tomb and looks around. In the third panel, he finds the tomb empty. Finally, in the last panel, he comes out, stands outside the empty tomb, and shouts one word: "Yes!"

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                            Looking up at the starsIf you've looked up at the night sky recently and thought about all those galaxies out there, or looked out over the majesty of the ocean or the mountains, you can get to feeling kind of small. The God who made all that can seem pretty far away. That's too bad because, in so many ways, you really need God to be close right now, don't you? For the challenges you're facing, for the love you need, for the peace, or for the answers that only God can give you.

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                                Starting With the ArchitectIn any construction project, there is a specific order in which you have to do things. Obviously, you don't just start by having the carpenters show up and start putting up the building. There has to be a foundation laid first, but you can't lay the foundation or start building until you have the detailed plans for the building. It takes contractors, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, pavers, and heating and air conditioning people, but first you need the architect! Without his design, it would be mass confusion at the construction site.

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                                  People are trying to get into heaven and are expecting to be there someday, but many will be turned away. They will hear the words, "I don't know you." They'll end up weeping as they are thrown out.

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                                    Reaching Through the FlamesKevin Shea was one of the New York firefighters who got a call to the World Trade Center - those famous twin towers in lower Manhattan. A bomb blast had ripped through the basement of the World Trade Center, killing six people.

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                                      Margaret had just been to a family gathering in the Midwest, and she saw many loved ones there, including her deputy sheriff nephew. As she started heading home, her foot got, shall we say, a little heavy - or at least that's what the officer who pulled her over seemed to think. As he turned to go back to his car with her license and registration in hand, Margaret said, "Do you know Deputy _________?" and she mentioned her nephew's name. After a few minutes of record checking and paperwork in his squad car, the officer returned to Margaret's car. "I'm just going to give you a warning," he said, followed by, "I checked with your nephew."

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                                        Hope is hard to come by during the "winter" seasons of your life, like the loss of someone you love. Sometimes someone close to you dies suddenly, and the grief is almost unbearable. You are overwhelmed.

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