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Subject: An Atheist
A young woman teacher with obvious liberal tendencies explains to her class of small children that she is an atheist. She asks her class if they are atheists too. Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy fireworks.

There is, however, one exception. A beautiful girl named Lucy has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different. "Because I'm not an atheist." Then, asks the teacher, what are you? "I'm a Christian." says Lucy. The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Lucy why she is a Christian. "Well, I was brought up knowing and loving Jesus. My mom is a Christian, and my dad is a Christian, so I am a Christian. " The teacher is now agitated. "That's no reason," she says forcefully. "What if your mom was a moron, and your dad was a moron. What would you be then?" A pause, and a smile. "Then," says Lucy, "I'd be an atheist."

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is
always in a good mood and always has something
positive to say.

When someone would ask him how he was doing, he
would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was
there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day
I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it!
You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to
myself, you have two choices today.

You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can
choose to be in a bad mood.
I choose to be in a good mood

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be
a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining,
I can choose to accept their complaining or...
I can point out the positive side of life.
I choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about
choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a
choice. You choose how you react to situations.

You choose how people affect your mood. You choose
to be in a good mood or bad mood.

The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon hereafter, I
left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We
lost touch, but I often thought about him when I
made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was
involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet
from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive
care, Michael was released from the hospital with
rods placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were
any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what
had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the
well-being of my soon to be born daughter, " Michael
replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered
that I had two choices: I could choose to live or
...I could choose to die.

I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great.
They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But
when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the
expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses,
I got really scared. In their eyes, I read "he's a
dead man. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting
questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was
allergic to anything.

"Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped
working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep
breath and yelled, "Gravity."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to
live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors,
but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned
from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble
of its own." Matthew 6:34

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.


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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2007 by Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018