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Friday, December 7 2001

Bartoothed Netscape

Just as I was feeling good about the extensive work done on the dropdown menus on the Christmas-decorated Front Page and how good it was looking, I accidentally tried opening it on Thursday in Netscape and behold, the visual of one of the menus you see dropped down for about half a minute when you open it in Explorer is all you get to see in Netscape. It "freezes" at that point in the opening process. I should have expected as much; Netscape has given me nothing but grief as a webmaster, and as a consumer, I detest it all over again today.

After hours and hours of trying to get the applications to work on both Netscape and the much friendlier Internet Explorer, I finally added a frame at the bottom of the Front Page which should appear even in Netscape and give any of its users who visit the Home Page an escape to an older, less feature-rich version of the Home Page that I hope even Netscape will be able to open. Good luck. And please,,,I swear I don't have a single share in Microsoft (Explorer's owner), but...if you're using Netscape, move up to IE ASAP. (I'd welcome any contrary opinions based on anything other than "I won't use IE because Bill Gates is too wealthy"...that may be true, but IE is free!)

Meanwhile, after wasting so much time on mean software, I'm all spent on time and ideas for a Jonal entry for today. Which is fine, because the inspiration contribution for today, from Trudy Myers of the Cambria Library, is a big one and well worth reading. So the rest of today's postcard space goes to her. By the way, she wrote that she thinks she originally got this piece from me, but if I ever saw it before, I don't remember it. Which is indicative of nothing but my membership credentials in the Seniors' Club.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Mouths of babes...

A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: "They couldn't get a baby-sitter."

—Sent by Joe Pelayo

Advent thought for the day

Brian Moore, 17 years old and procrastinating as usual, had only a short time to write something for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. It was his turn to lead the discussion, so he sat down and wrote "The Room."

He showed the essay, titled "The Room" to his mother, Beth, before he headed out the door. "I wowed 'em," he later told his father, Bruce. "It's a killer, It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote." It also was the last.

Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.

"I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it," Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. "I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him again someday," Mrs. Moore said. "It just hurts so bad now."

THE ROOM

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then, without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.

A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger," "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.

Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I have listened to," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind, "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.

No, please, not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes.

But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted, rushing to Him. All I could find to say was, "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards.

I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished." I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me," Philippians 4:13.

# # #

This story is the best email story I have ever read.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life," John 3:16.

If you feel the same way, forward it to as many people as you can, so the love of Jesus will touch their lives also.

My "PEOPLE I SHARED THE GOSPEL WITH" file just got bigger. How about yours?

Sent by Trudy Rummel Myers

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