Take Your Stand - Click Here
The FCC will soon be posting a change to the rule and the order will be posted in the federal register abolishing morse code as a requirement for an Amateur Radio License.My advice to those Techs who had trouble learning Morse Code,is to now take your General written exam,its good for one year,and you will be able to get on the air as soon as the change is posted in the federal register.You would use your call sign and temp AG in the areas of the general class bands.If you are able to pass the extra written exam take both the general and extra exams as they are both good for one year.
Don't Click Here!
QRZ callsign lookup:
Solar X-rays:

Geomagnetic Field:
From n3kl.org
VHF Aurora:
144 MHz E-Skip in EU:
144 MHz E-Skip in NA:
From The DXrobot
Subscribe to jerrygaule
Powered by groups.yahoo.com
Click for Albany, Oregon Forecast

National Homeland Security Knowledgebase

KE7GGV'S Links

KE7GGV'S Site:
Search for gas prices by US Zip Code

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook
Amateur Radio Practice Exams
Select an exam element
Enter your callsign to see if you have an eQSL waiting!

dxzone.com amateur radio guide

amateur radio search engine
Ham Test Online


welcome!!! Welcome to this site....My name is Gerald R.Gaule...about me...I am a retired NW Radio Broadcaster...I started on August 10,1976(10 days before I turned 13)until August 22,2005. So just over 29 years. I have worked all over from Longview Washington to Springfield Oregon. I worked from KLOG AM to KRKT...(Clear Channel)...KWBY...KORE...KGAL..KXPC...KCKX...and others...From 1997 to 2004 I had a #1 Syndicated Oldies Show(DADDY G SHOW)targeted to small non-commercial stations)..I have also built and consulted very smalll low power stations...and even built a few stations on my own. Over the years..I had a chance to work and or interview great legends from Bob Shane(Founder of The Kingston Trio)..Paul Revere..Jimmie Rodgers(HONEYCOMB Fame).....and knowing great people like...The Temptations...The Coasters...and so on....it has been fun.. I last owned AM 1610 here in Albany Oregon from April 15,2004 to August 22,2005..About Albany Oregon..Albany is a city in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 42,280 making it the 12th largest city in Oregon. Albany was named for Albany, New York by the brothers Walter and Thomas Monteith, a family of early prominence in the area, in 1850. It is the county seat of Linn County. Albany is located at 44°37'49" North, 123°5'46" West (44.630188,-123.095992). Albany, Oregon is adjacent to Interstate 5, while Highway 99E runs through it in a north and south direction and Highway 20 runs through it in an east and direction.Location: Willamette Valley, 45 miles north of Eugene, 69 miles south of Portland, 24 miles south of Salem. Albany is known as the rare metals capitol of the world: Local industry produces zirconium, hafnium and titanium. Local farms grow varying crops like corn, beans, mint, hazel nuts, and grass seed, just to name a few. Zipcodes 97321 and 97322. Elevation: 180-430 feet above sea level. Founded: 1848, incorporated in 1864, and adopted home rule charter in 1891. I have decided to do this site on HAM Radio...(as of 9/28/05)I have for some time been studying for my TECH AMATEUR LICENSE..I have been using several ways to study from printing the latest TECHN FCC QUESTION POOL/w answer key(highlighted the correct ones)...and copied also The TECH/GEN/EXTRA Study guides..and also I have been studying CW...on the net...both using Farnsworth and The Koch Metheod...both work for me...I want to prove that anyone like me new to ham can be resourceful and doing much research nad finding ways to do things...that you do not have to pay a arm and a leg for study materials....and you can do it on the net...thank goodness for GOOGLE.. I feel that HAM Radio is a great hobby and it is fun and you get to help people...following from E-HAM Amateurs or Hams? Amateurs are often affectionately called hams or ham radio operators and frequently the public is more familiar with this term than with the legal term Radio Amateur. The source of the name ham is not known but it has been around almost from the beginning of amateur radio radio in the early 1900s. The name amateur has nothing to do with skill or knowledge but rather implies that ham radio cannot be used for commercial or revenue generating purposes. It is truly a hobby but often one that makes a difference especially in emergency or disaster situations. IT IS A HOBBY!!!!...AND HAM OPERATORS DO NOT GET PAID... How many licensed ham radio operators are there? Today, there are approximately 675,000 amateur radio operators in the United States, and more than 2.5 million around the world. What Can Amateur Radio Operators Do? Ham radio operators use two-way radio stations from their homes, cars, boats and outdoors to make hundreds of friends around town and around the world. They communicate with each other using voice, computers, and Morse code. Some hams bounce their signals off the upper regions of the atmosphere, so they can talk with hams on the other side of the world. Other hams use satellites. Many use hand-held radios that fit in their pockets. Hams exchange pictures of each other using television. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their own radios and antennas. A few pioneers in Amateur Radio have even contributed to advances in technology that we all enjoy today. There are even ham-astronauts who take radios with them on the International Space Station and thrill thousands of hams on earth with a call from space! (FROM A.R.R.L) The rules for earning an Amateur Radio license vary depending on which country you live in. In the US, there are three license levels, or "license classes" (Technician class, General class and Extra Class). These licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It's Easy to Get Started The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which requires only a 35 multiple-choice question written examination. The test is written with the beginner in mind. Morse Code is not required for this license. With a Technician Class license, you will have all ham radio privileges above 30 megahertz (MHz). These privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. You can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple equipment. Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. First, locate a radio club in your area. Some radio clubs offer ham radio licensing classes, or they can find a club volunteer to answer your questions. You may even be invited to attend a local radio club meeting. The Amateur's Code The Radio Amateur is CONSIDERATE...never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others. LOYAL...offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally. PROGRESSIVE...with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach. FRIENDLY...slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit. BALANCED...radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community. PATRIOTIC...station and skill always ready for service to country and community. --The original Amateur's Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928. Why Should I Want a Ham License? With an appropriate ham license, you can use high technology radios for personal communications between friends and family, with no air time charges like cellular. You can provide assistance to your community during emergencies. You can access 911 from your radio (available on many repeater systems) to call for help. You can also place personal phone calls through many repeater systems. Personal note....there is some talk that taking the 5 WPM Test for upgrading HF operation should be taken away... Brief History of Wireless The wireless network seems to be a recent technological development after the discovery of wired internet connection, but wireless technology was developed more than 100 years ago. Wireless has been used since the 19th century when Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, made his mark in the world of wireless technology. Marconi transmitted a Morse-code telegraph signal by radio in 1895. He completed the word’s first truly long-distance communication. In 1901, a radio transmission of the Morse code letter 'S' was broadcast with equipment built by John Ambrose Fleming, English electrical engineer. Marconi used a wire antenna and received the first transatlantic radio signal, the letter "S" in Morse Code, from a distance of over 2,000 miles. The wireless telegraph developed by Marconi was first used by the British Army in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The British Army experimented with the wireless system and the British Navy communicated among naval vessels in Delagoa Bay. In the United States, wireless technology was eventually developed and used by the U.S. Military during wars. During WWI, the United States had initially declared its neutrality. In order to enforce the neutrality, President Woodrow Wilson issued an Executive Order which instructed the Navy Department to censor international telegraph messages sent and received by radio firms. During World War II, the military configured wireless signals to transmit data for sending battle plans or Navy instructions. So some like it and some feel it is outdated just to upgrade to operate on the HF Ham Bands... So how I did it was searching on the net....and really looking...and you will find the right program for you..STAY AWAY from rip-offs..if it does not feel right do not do it...I am trying to prove that you do not have to be ripped-off or made to buy...but using the cheapest route and resources to study...I cna prove it..I can send you via e mail my materials....and notes....get your printer ready....and lots of printer ink.... RESEARCH DOES PAY OFF.... And some barriers....it will happen....You can overcome that barrier. You can do it in a reasonable amount of time and with a minimum of frustration and pain. In order to do so, you must approach code training from a different perspective and use different techniques from those common among amateurs. It will require work. You will have to commit yourself to at least one 15-30 minute training session every day until you reach your goal. You may succeed in a month or in several months; individuals differ greatly. Its just like learning to ride a bicycle. It's far better to learn the Morse symbols by sound, and not sight! It is not a good idea to memorise a written table. Get an experienced Morse operator to send characters to you with an audio oscillator, saying each symbol after it's sent. You want to recognise the symbols by their sound. PRACTICE...PRACTICE...PRACTICE!!! Why Morse code is still in use? Despite the capability of voice communication, Morse code is still in use. One important reason is that a vast group of the radio amateurs still adore Morse code. A ham radio operator employing digital communication techniques (like Packet Radio, Radio Tele Typing-RTTY or Amateur Tele-printing Over Radio-AMTOR) in his ham radio operation treats Morse code with much the same affection he has for those modern innovations. A ham radio operator wearing his headphone and the Morse Key in hand can send message silently without disturbing family members who are in sleep! Another reason is that short wave radio telephone (voice) signals often suffer very rapid and deep fading; two frequencies separated by only a few hertz, fade at different times. To overcome this, modulated code tones are transmitted. The situation is now that under severe conditions of fading, the carrier frequency may fade out completely but one or the other side band may remain strong as a result a continuously readable signal is received. This is the reason that we hear a band full of exotic sounding CW callsigns at any time of day or night. When the a band appears to be dead, and we can barely copy phone signals, the band remains alive with many CW signals. Learning the characters For the FCC morse test you will need to know all the letters A-Z, the numbers 0-9, some punctuation and some of the more common procedural signals used in amateur radio. US Amateur Transmitter Power Limits At all times, transmitter power must be the minimum necessary to carry out the desired communications. Unless otherwise noted, the maximum power output is 1500 watts PEP. All classes are limited to 200 watts PEP in the 80, 40, and 15 meter Novice/Technician Plus subbands. Geographical power restrictions apply to the 70 cm, 33 cm and 23 cm bands; 160 Meters General, Advanced, Amateur Extra licensees: 1.800-2.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, RTTY/Data 80 Meters Novice and Technician Plus classes: 3.675-3.725 MHz: CW Only General class: 3.525-3.750 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 3.850-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Advanced class: 3.525-3.750 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 3.775-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Amateur Extra class: 3.500-3.750 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 3.750-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image 60 Meters: Five Specific Channels The FCC has granted hams secondary access on USB only to five discrete 2.8-kHz-wide channels. Amateurs can not cause inference to and must accept interference from the Primary Government users. The NTIA says that hams planning to operate on 60 meters "must assure that their signal is transmitted on the channel center frequency." This means that amateurs should set their carrier frequency 1.5 kHz lower than the channel center frequency. General, Advanced and Amateur Extra classes: Channel Center Amateur Tuning Frequency 5332 kHz 5330.5 kHz 5348 kHz 5346.5 kHz 5368 kHz 5366.5 kHz 5373 kHz 5371.5 kHz 5405 kHz (common US/UK) 5403.5 kHz Amateurs may use USB *only* with a maximum effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 W. Radiated power must not exceed the equivalent of 50 W PEP transmitter output power into an antenna with a gain of 0 dBd. For details, see the 60 Meter FAQ page. 40 Meters Novice and Technician Plus classes: 7.100-7.150 MHz: CW Only General class: 7.025-7.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 7.225-7.300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Advanced class: 7.025-7.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 7.150-7.300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Amateur Extra class: 7.000-7.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 7.150-7.300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Note: Phone and Image modes are permitted between 7.075 and 7.100 MHz for FCC licensed stations in ITU Regions 1 and 3 and by FCC licensed stations in ITU Region 2 West of 130 degrees West longitude or south of 20 degrees North latitude. See Section 97.307(f)(11). Novice and Technician Plus licensees outside ITU Region 2 may use CW only between 7.050 and 7.075 MHz. See Section 97.301(e). These exemptions do not apply to stations in the continental US. 30 Meters Maximum power, 200 watts PEP. Amateurs must avoid interference to the fixed service outside the US. General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes: 10.100-10.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 20 Meters General class: 14.025-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 14.225-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Advanced class: 14.025-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 14.175-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Amateur Extra class: 14.000-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 14.150-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image 17 Meters General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes: 18.068-18.110 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 18.110-18.168 MHz: CW, Phone, Image 15 Meters Novice and Technician Plus classes: 21.100-21.200 MHz: CW Only General class: 21.025-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 21.300-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Advanced class: 21.025-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 21.225-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image Amateur Extra class: 21.000-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 21.200-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image 12 Meters General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes: 24.890-24.930 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 24.930-24.990 MHz: CW, Phone, Image 10 Meters Novice and Technician Plus classes: 28.100-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data--Maximum power 200 watts PEP 28.300-28.500 MHz: CW, Phone--Maximum power 200 watts PEP General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes: 28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data 28.300-29.700 MHz: CW, Phone, Image 6 Meters All Amateurs except Novices: 50.0-50.1 MHz: CW Only 50.1-54.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data 2 Meters All Amateurs except Novices: 144.0-144.1 MHz: CW Only 144.1-148.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data 1.25 Meters The FCC has allocated 219-220 MHz to amateur use on a secondary basis. This allocation is only for fixed digital message forwarding systems operated by all licensees except Novices. Amateur operations must not cause interference to, and must accept interference from, primary services in this and adjacent bands. Amateur stations are limited to 50 W PEP output and 100 kHz bandwidth. Automated Maritime Telecommunications Systems (AMTS) stations are the primary occupants in this band. Amateur stations within 398 miles of an AMTS station must notify the station in writing at least 30 days prior to beginning operations. Amateur stations within 50 miles of an AMTS station must get permission in writing from the AMTS station before beginning operations. ARRL Headquarters maintains a database of AMTS stations. The FCC requires that amateur operators provide written notification including the station's geographic location to the ARRL for inclusion in a database at least 30 days before beginning operations. See Section 97.303(e) of the FCC Rules. Novice (Novices are limited to 25 watts PEP output), Technician, Technician Plus, General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes: 222.00-225.00 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data 70 Centimeters All Amateurs except Novices: 420.0-450.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data 33 Centimeters All Amateurs except Novices: 902.0-928.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data 23 Centimeters Novice class: 1270-1295 MHz: CW, phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data (maximum power, 5 watts PEP) All Amateurs except Novices: 1240-1300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data Higher Frequencies: All modes and licensees (except Novices) are authorized on the following bands [FCC Rules, Part 97.301(a)]: 2300-2310 MHz 2390-2450 MHz 3300-3500 MHz 5650-5925 MHz 10.0-10.5 GHz 24.0-24.25 GHz 47.0-47.2 GHz 75.5-81.0 GHz* 119.98-120.02 GHz 142-149 GHz 241-250 GHz All above 300 GHz * Amateur operation at 76-77 GHz has been suspended till the FCC can determine that interference will not be caused to vehicle radar systems. From ARRL ABOVE.. So again...you can do it....I am...the hardest thing for me that there no or little HAM Clubs here...or at least ANY formal meeting clubs....but if all fails please keep on going....you will find the way....and the hardest thing for me now is finding a ELMER...a person in HAM Radio that can guide you and help you get into ham radio....so when you get your license..BE A ELMER.....and help...I have found out that some older and established hams are not much active and meet sometimes....So there is nothing wrong with that...do not get me wrong....So I am dedicated not only be a good ham...but a ELMER...and help those and show ways to be very resourceful....and not to misguide a person.... There are some out there I have found out...have been rude....but you go on....there are still great HAM operators out there...do not give up... I have also decided to continue to use CW(Morse Code)...and use 10 meters HF...so after you do your homework...find your niche of operation... How to Choose Ham Radio Equipment Ham radio operators communicate around the world using simple equipment. New hams will find used equipment a practical choice. Steps: 1. Decide which modes of transmission most interest you. 2. Think about the frequencies you intend to operate. 3. Consider what space you have available for equipment and antennas. 4. Consider how much time you plan to devote to the hobby. 5. Expect to invest larger amounts if you intend to become a serious contester or chase DX. 6. Choose equipment that can be used in all types of operations - portable, mobile and fixed. 7. Consider constructing equipment if you feel capable of working soldering irons, circuit boards and integrated circuits. 8. Construct antennas from scrap wire to save on costs. Tips: Simple Morse code transceivers can be purchased for $300 and up. Find an "Elmer," a friendly neighborhood ham operator who enjoys guiding newcomers in purchasing and setting up equipment. Join a local ham radio club. Find used equipment at hamfests and swap meets. Some active equipment manufacturers include Kenwood, Yeasu, Icom and Ten-Tec. Avoid overinvesting in equipment initially. Many ham operators find that their choice of method of operation evolves. The most expensive radio cannot operate satisfactorily when hooked to a poor antenna. Some inactive equipment manufacturers include Heathkit, Drake, Atlas, Hallicrafters and Swan. Don'ts Don't try to transmit without a license. Don't connect the lightning-switch to an inside ground. * * * * Don't forget that tube sets are far more efficient than crystal sets. Don't use iron for an aerial. * * * * Don't handle the crystals of your set. Don't forget to keep the aerial and lead-in insulated from all other objects. * * * * Don't try to get a fine adjustment while touching the detector with bare hands. Don't expect to get good results with an aerial less than 100 feet long or low down among other buildings. * * * * Don't fail to make good connections. Don't run your aerial parallel with electrical wires, elevated tracks or steel bridges. * * * * Don't forget to scrape off the insulation and have wires bright before making connections. Don't forget that a good ground is necessary. * * * * Don't cover joints with adhesive tape; use "spaghetti" or varnish cambric tubing wherever possible. Don't try to use your instruments just before, just after, or during a thunder storm. * * * * Don't oil any portion of a set. Don't be discouraged if the first galena crystal you try is not very sensitive. Try a number of pieces. * * * * Don't blame your set until you are sure it is not your fault that something is wrong. Don't rush blindly at the set and turn knob and handles hit or miss if anything goes wrong. Be calm and patient and go slowly. Haste makes waste in radio as in all things. How to File for a Ham Radio Operator's License Amateur radio - "ham radio" - allows you to use powerful high frequency and very high frequency radio spectrums for recreational and public service purposes. In the United States, you need to get a license from the Federal Communications Commission to operate a ham radio. Steps: 1. Be prepared to study. You'll need to pass an exam written by the FCC. 2. Find a neighborhood ham operator and introduce yourself. Many hams like to "Elmer," or mentor, prospective amateur operators. 3. Locate a ham club and attend meetings. Most clubs offer license-study classes and arrange for testing. 4. Gather material from the American Radio Relay League, the nation's premier radio organization. Study materials should cost less than $50. 5. Study first for the Technician license. 6. Devote at least a half-hour each day to the radio. You should be able to pass the Technician test within four to six weeks. 7. Have your Elmer or the local club help you find a VEC (volunteer exam coordinator). Exam fees should be less than $10. 8. Expect your license from the FCC in three to six weeks. Tips: There are three levels of ham licenses - Technician, General and Amateur Extra with increasing technical knowledge required as you progress to Amateur Extra. The FCC recently reduced Morse code requirements for all classes to 5 words per minute. The ARRL offers video courses and training tools for Morse code. Warnings: You may be discouraged at first if you have little technical experience, but learning the jargon and technical terms will become easier quickly. AGAIN....If you have any questions e mail me... I have decide to start a local formal HAM CLUB....I will keep you posted...and ALL WILL BE WELCOME...and I am willing to help.... Thanks Gerald R.Gaule... End Of Line Full Stop End of message Stand by; wait Separation (break) between address and text; between text and signature. (Error in sending. 8 dits - Transmission continues with last word correctly sent.) Short form of above Repeat; I say again. (Difficult or unusual words or groups.) Number follows Out; clear (end of communications, no reply expected.) The following without the < > are other commonly used two letter procedural signals -- some Hams run them together -- others do not. BK Break CL Going off the air (clear) CQ Calling any amateur radio station (Many add a space between the C and the Q) DE This or From KA Beginning of message KN Go only, invite a specific station to transmit VE Understood (VE) Commonly used in CW - single letter meanings C Correct yes K Go, invite any station to transmit N No Negative R All received OK More in the table below CW ABBREVIATIONS Prosigns in < > AA - All after End Of Line AB - All before ABT - About ADEE - Addressee ADR - Address ADS - Address AGN - Again AM - Amplitude Modulation ANI - Any ANS - Answer ANT - Antenna End of message Stand by; wait - used for the @ sign for E-Mail Addresses New proposal is AC run together BCI - Broadcast Interference BCL - Broadcast Listener BCNU - Be seeing you BD - Bad BK - Break, Break in BN - All between; Been Separation (break) between address and text; between text and signature. BTH Both BTR - Better BTW - By The Way BUG - Semi-Automatic key BURO -Bureau B4 - Before C - Yes, Correct CB - CallBook CBA - Callbook Address CFM - Confirm; I confirm CK - Ckeck CKT - Circuit CL - I am closing my station; Call CLBK - Callbook CLD - Called CLG - Calling CMG - Coming CNT - Can't CONDX - Conditions CPI - Copy CQ - Calling any station CRD - Card CS - Call Sign CU - See You CUAGN - See You Again CUD - Could CUL - See You later CUM - Come CUZ - Because CW - Continuous wave DA - Day DE - From, This Is DIFF - Difference DLD - Delivered DLVD - Delivered DN - Down DR - Dear DSW - Russian CW abbreviation for goodbye. DWN - Down DX - Distance EL - Element ES - And ENUF - Enough EU - Europe EVE - Evening FB - Fine Business, excellent FER - For FM - Frequency Modulation: From FONE - Phone FQ - Frequency Freq -- Frequency FWD -- Forward GA - Go ahead; Good Afternoon GB - Good bye, God Bless GD - Good, Good Day GE - Good Evening GESS - Guess GG - Going GLD -- Glad GM - Good morning GN - Good night GND - Ground GP -- Ground Plane GS - Green Stamp GUD - Good GV - Give GVG - Giving Error in sending HI - The telegraph laugh; High HPE - Hope HQ - Headquarters HR - Here; Hear, Hour HRD - Heard HRS - Hours HRD -- Heard HV - Have HVG - Having HVY - Heavy HW - How, How Copy? II -- I Repeat Short form of - Repeat, Say Again INFO - Info JA - Japanese Station K - Invitation To Transmit KA Beginning of message KLIX - KeyClicks KN Go only, invite a specific station to transmit LID - A poor operator LNG - Long LP - Long Path LSN - Listen LTR - Later; letter LV - Leave LVG - Leaving LW - Long Wire., Long Wave MA - Millamperes MGR - Manager MI - My MILL - Typewiter MILS - Millamperes MNI - Many MOM - Moment MSG - Message; Prefix to radiogram MULT - Multiplier N - No, Negative, Incorrect, No More N - Nine (as in Signal Report) NCS - Net Control Station ND - Nothing Doing NIL - Nothing; I have nothing for you; Not In Log NM - No more - Number, Near NW - Now; I resume transmission OB - Old boy OC - Old chap OK - Correct OM - Old man OP - Operator OPR - Operator OT - Old timer; Old top OW - Old Woman PBL - Preamble PKG - Package PSE - Please PT - Point PWR - Power PX - Press, Prefix R - Received as transmitted; Are; R - Decimal Point (with numbers) RC - Ragchew RCD - Received RCVR - Receiver RE - Concerning; Regarding REF - Refer to; Referring to; Reference RFI - Radio frequency interference RIG - Station equipment ROTFL - Rolling on the floor laughing RPT - Repeat, Report RTTY - Radio teletype RST - Readability, strength, tone RX - Receive, Receiver SA - Say SASE - Self-addressed, stamped envelope SED - Said SAE - Self-Addressed Envelope SEZ - Says SGD - Signed SHUD - Should SIG - Signature; Signal SINE - Operator's personal initials or nickname Out; clear (end of communications, no reply expected.) SK - Silent Key SKED - Schedule SN - Soon SP - Short Path SRI - Sorry SS - Sweepstakes SSB - Single Side Band STN - Station SUM - Some SVC - Service; Prefix to service message SWL - Short Wave Listener /ST short timer on check in T - Zero (with numbers) TEMP - Temperature TEST - Testing or Contest TFC - Traffic TIA - Thanks In Advance TMW - Tomorrow TKS - Thanks TNX - Thanks TR - Transmit T/R - Transmit/Receive TRBL - Trouble TRIX - Tricks TRX - Transceiver TT - That TTS - That is TU - Thank you TVI - Television interference TX - Transmitter; Transmit TXT - Text U - You UFB - Ultra Fine Business UNLIS - Unlicensed UR - Your; You're URL - Universal Resource Locator Address For a WebPage URS - Yours VE Understood (VE) VERT - Vertical VFB - Very fine business VFO - Variable Frequency Oscillator VY - Very W - Watts WA - Word after WATSA - What Say WB - Word before WD - Word WDS - Words WID - With WKD - Worked WKG - Working WL - Well; Will WPM - Words Per Minute WRD - Word WRK - Work WUD - Would WW - Would WX- Weather XCVR - Transceiver XMAS - Christmas XMTR - Transmitter XTAL - Crystal XYL - Wife YF -Wife YL - Young lady YR - Year Z - Zulu Time 30 - I have no more to send 33 - Fondest Regards 55 - Best Success 73 - Best Regards (NOT 73'S) * 88 - Love and kisses (NOT 88'S) 161 - 73+88=161" first came about in FOC circles (First-Class CW Operators' Club, founded by Louis Varney G5RV a number of years ago). The essential meaning is "Best regards to you and your XYL". ? question (like QRL?) * 73 IS BEST REGARDS. 73'S (PLURAL) MAKES NO SENSE AND IS IMPROPER USE. The RST (Readability-Strength-Tone) System The RST System of Signal Reporting has been used for years (circa 1934) as a shorthand method of reporting Readability, Signal Strength and for CW, Tone (i.e., quality of the CW tone). For voice contacts only the R and S are used. The S component is usually not the same as your S-Meter reading as most S-Meters aren't calibrated to track the RST System. The RST is also reported on QSL Cards and must be filled in correctly -- e.g., a 569 report for a Voice Contact is invalid. Note that many DX operations and contest stations merely report 59(9) as a convenience to avoid having to log each of the real reports. A questionable practice but a fact of DXing/Contesting READABILITY 1 -- Unreadable 2 -- Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable 3 -- Readable with considerable difficulty 4 -- Readable with practically no difficulty 5 -- Perfectly readable SIGNAL STRENGTH 1 -- Faint signals, barely perceptible 2 -- Very weak signals 3 -- Weak signals 4 -- Fair signals 5 -- Fairly good signals 6 -- Good signals 7 -- Moderately strong signals 8 -- Strong signals 9 -- Extremely strong signals TONE 1 -- Sixty cycle a.c. or less, very rough and broad 2 -- Very rough a.c. , very harsh and broad 3 -- Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered 4 -- Rough note, some trace of filtering 5 -- Filtered rectified a.c.but strongly ripple-modulated 6 -- Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation 7 -- Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation 8 -- Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation 9 -- Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind Infrequently used is the addition of a letter to the end of the 3 numbers. These are: X = the signal is rock steady like a crystal controlled signal; C = the signal is chirpy as the frequency varies slightly with keying; and K = the signal has key clicks. X is from the early days of radio when such steady signals were rare. Today most all signals could be given an X but it is hardly ever used. It is helpful to report a chirpy or clicky signal by using the C or K, e.g. 579C or 579K. It is very common to send RST reports in abbreviated form, for example 599, is sent as 5NN. "N" in place of the number "9". Also another time saver is for the zero using a long "T". "T" is sent in place of the number zero as in "POWER HR IS 3TT WATTS". There is a number code for all numbers, however, the N and T codes are the most common ones. Also CW stations sometimes report their zones as "A4" or "A5" instead of sending "14" or "15". 1 = A, 2 = U, 3 = V, 4 = 4, 5 = E, 6 = 6, 7 = B, 8 = D, 9 = N, 0 = T Q-Signals For Amateur Radio Operators Q-Sig Message QRA What is the name of your station? The name of my station is ___. QRB How far are you from my station? I am ____ km from you station QRD Where are you bound and where are you coming from? I am bound ___ from ___. QRG Will you tell me my exact frequency? Your exact frequency is ___ kHz. QRH Does my frequency vary? Your frequency varies. QRI How is the tone of my transmission? The tone of your transmission is ___ (1-Good, 2-Variable, 3-Bad.) QRJ Are you receiving me badly? I cannot receive you, your signal is too weak. QRK What is the intelligibility of my signals? The intelligibility of your signals is ___ (1-Bad, 2-Poor, 3-Fair, 4-Good, 5-Excellent.) QRL Are you busy? I am busy, please do not interfere QRM Is my transmission being interfered with? Your transmission is being interfered with ___ (1-Nil, 2-Slightly, 3-Moderately, 4-Severly, 5-Extremely.) QRN Are you troubled by static? I am troubled by static ___ (1-5 as under QRM.) QRO Shall I increase power? Increase power. QRP Shall I decrease power? Decrease power. QRQ Shall I send faster? Send faster (___ WPM.) QRR Are you ready for automatic operation? I am ready for automatic operation. Send at ___ WPM. QRS Shall I send more slowly? Send more slowly (___ WPM.) QRT Shall I stop sending? Stop sending. QRU Have you anything for me? I have nothing for you. QRV Are you ready? I am ready. QRW Shall I inform ___ that you are calling? Please inform ___ that I am calling. QRX When will you call me again? I will call you again at ___ hours. QRY What is my turn? Your turn is numbered ___. QRZ Who is calling me? You are being called by ___. QSA What is the strength of my signals? The strength of your signals is ___ (1-Scarcely perceptible, 2-Weak, 3-Fairly Good, 4-Good, 5-Very Good.) QSB Are my signals fading? Your signals are fading. QSD Is my keying defective? Your keying is defective. QSG Shall I send ___ messages at a time? Send ___ messages at a time. QSJ What is the charge to be collected per word to ___ including your international telegraph charge? The charge to be collected per word is ___ including my international telegraph charge. QSK Can you hear me between you signals and if so can I break in on your transmission? I can hear you between my signals, break in on my transmission. QSL Can you acknowledge receipt? I am acknowledging receipt. QSM Shall I repeat the last message which I sent you? Repeat the last message. QSN Did you hear me on ___ kHz? I did hear you on ___ kHz. QSO Can you communicate with ___ direct or by relay? I can communicate with ___ direct (or by relay through ___.) QSP Will you relay to ___? I will relay to ___. QSQ Have you a doctor on board? (or is ___ on board?) I have a doctor on board (or ___ is on board.) QSU Shall I send or reply on this frequency? Send a series of Vs on this frequency. QSV Shall I send a series of Vs on this frequency? Send a series of Vs on this frequency. QSW Will you send on this frequency? I am going to send on this frequency. QSY Shall I change to another frequency? Change to another frequency. QSZ Shall I send each word or group more than once? Send each word or group twice (or ___ times.) QTA Shall I cancel message number ___? Cancel message number ___. QTB Do you agree with my counting of words? I do not agree with your counting of words. I will repeat the first letter or digit of each word or group. QTC How many messages have you to send? I have ___ messages for you. QTE What is my true bearing from you? Your true bearing from me is ___ degrees. QTG Will you send two dashes of 10 seconds each followed by your call sign? I am going to send two dashes of 10 seconds each followed by my call sign. QTH What is your location? My location is ___. QTI What is your true track? My true track is ___ degrees. QTJ What is your speed? My speed is ___ km/h. QTL What is your true heading? My true heading is ___ degrees. QTN At what time did you depart from ___? I departed from ___ at ___ hours. QTO Have you left dock (or port)? I have left dock (or port). QTP Are you going to enter dock (or port)? I am going to enter dock (or port.) QTQ Can you communicate with my station by means of the International Code of Signals? I am going to communicate with your station by means of the International Code of Signals. QTR What is the correct time? The time is ___. QTS Will you send your call sign for ___ minutes so that your frequency can be measured? I will send my call sign for ___ minutes so that my frequency may be measured. QTU What are the hours during which your station is open? My station is open from ___ hours to ___ hours. QTV Shall I stand guard for you on the frequency of ___ kHz? Stand guard for me on the frequency of ___ kHz. QTX Will you keep your station open for further communication with me? I will keep my station open for further communication with you. QUA Have you news of ___? I have news of ___. QUB Can you give me information concerning visibility, height of clouds, direction and velocity of ground wind at ___? Here is the information you requested... QUC What is the number of the last message you received from me? The number of the last message I received from you is ___. QUD Have you received the urgency signal sent by ___? I have received the urgency signal sent by ___. QUF Have you received the distress signal sent by ___? I have received the distress signal sent by ___. QUG Will you be forced to land? I am forced to land immediately. QUH Will you give me the present barometric pressure? The present barometric pressure is ___ (units). Note that Q signals can take the form of a question when followed by a question mark.

UPDATE...AS OF 1/26/06 I AM KE7GGV(TECH)....

Write: Gerald.R.Gaule 720 13Th Avenue S.E. Albany Oregon,97322-3228 USA 73 and 75. (73 is ham radio jargon for "Best Wishes", and 75 is for "May God Bless You and Your Family)...

Albany, OR (Linn) Longitude: 123° 6' 17" W (-123.1047°) Latitude: 44° 38' 12" N (44.6367°) Grid: CN84 Also latitude 44.629, longitude -123.094

NW HAMS(Oregon-Washington-Idaho)is dedicated to QRP HAM practices and promotes goodwill of ALL AMATEUR RADIO.There are No Dues, No Officers, and No Scheduled Meetings..BE NICE ON THE AIR…CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OK…PLEASE DO NOT BE RUDE…ANYONE WELCOME!!.. All Operators Welcome ham radio nets,no numbers or dues required.(NO FLAMING!!!)

RAGCHEW CAN USE QRP **28,385 KHz(SSB)10 METERS IF BUSY **28,388(3+KHZ)from the other Freq… The net is dedicated to hams that enjoy talking about their daily lives (work, interests, vacations, radio, etc.) and like to listen to others share. 6-9 PM(PST)SUNDAYS-(9PM-12AM)EST..0200-0500 UTC WINTER…7-10PM(PST)SUNDAY(10PM-1AM)EST SUN-MON MORNING…FOR SUMMER-0200-0500…TO BE PLAIN EITHER SUMMER OR WINTER…0200-0500 UTC…

I will ALSO monitor..The WA7ABU Repeater..Located in the Silverton Hills about 15 miles East of Salem, the repeaters transmit on **145.29 MHz..


BE AN ELMER.....HELP SOMEONE!!..NOW MIND YOU...NOT TO JUMP THE GUN....WHEN I PASS...I will do this....Sorry..not being Cocky...but being honest and optimistic!!!!!..Vi Minore, Plus Gaudium Less Power More Fun!!!!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phi 4:6-7 (NKJV)

I will keep you posted(asap)when I get my License and thus I will be the control operator/primary operator...and I will MONITOR THE ABOVE** Marked Frequencies....thank you...73 Again....take care...

I will be using E-QSL..to save$$



"The rules were set down long ago when the spikes went in the wood." -- Larry Norman

KE7GGV(tech)Gerald Gaule...

How fitting….to share with you…

Teaching about Giving to the Needy

1"Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do--blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. 4Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting

5"And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you. 7"When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. 8Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9Pray like this:Our Father in heaven,may your name be honored. 10May your Kingdom come soon.May your will be done here on earth,just as it is in heaven. 11Give us our food for today,* 12and forgive us our sins,just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 13And don't let us yield to temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.* 14"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. 16"And when you fast, don't make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, who try to look pale and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I assure you, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18Then no one will suspect you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in secret. And your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. 20Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. 21Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. 22"Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. 23But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be! 24"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 25"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? 26Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. 28"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! 31"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. 32Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. 34"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.


Don't read this until you can read it all without interruption...

The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before. Its not influenza, but three or four people are dead, and its kind of interesting, and they are sending some doctors over there to investigate it. You don't think much about it, but on the way home from church, you hear another radio spot. Only they say its not three villagers, its 30,000 villagers in the back hills of this particular area of India, and it's on TV that night. CNN runs a little blurb; people are heading there from the disease control center in Atlanta because this disease strain has never been seen before.

By Monday morning when you get up, its the lead story. For its not just India; its Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and before you know it, you're hearing this story everywhere and they have coined it "the mystery flu." The President has made some comment that he and everyone are praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering, "How are we going to contain it?"

That's when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks Europe. He is closing their borders. No flights from India, Pakistan or any of the countries where this thing has been seen. And that's why that night you are watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed. Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is translating from a French news program into English; There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu. It has come to Europe.

Panic strikes. As best they can tell, once you get it you have it for a week before you know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms. And then you die. Britain closes its borders, but it's too late; South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton.....all infected. Tuesday morning the President of the United States makes the following announcement: "Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this thing."

Within four days our nation has been plunged into unbelievable fear. People are talking about "What if it comes to this country"? Preachers on Tuesday are saying it is the scourge of God. It's Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer gathering when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says "Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!" And while the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made. Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu. Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working. California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts. It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders.

And then all of a sudden the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. Its going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest! , through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, every one is asked to do one simple thing: Go to your local hospital and have your blood tested. That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly and safely, to the hospitals. Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line and they've got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, "Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name you can be dismissed and go home." You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is the end of the world.

Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? HE! e yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me." Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. "Wait a minute. Hold on!" And they say, "It's okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. We think he has got the right type." Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses crying and hugging one another; some are even laughing. Its the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week. An old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you sir. Your son's blood type is perfect. It's clean, it's pure, and we can make the vaccine."

As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and crying. But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, "May we see you for a moment? We didn't realize that the donor would be a minor and we need you t o sign a consent form." You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. "H-h-h-ow many pints?" you ask. And that is when the old doctor's smile fades. "We had no idea it would be a little child. We weren't prepared. We need it all. But- but... I don't understand. He's my only son! "We are talking about the world here. Please sign. We... we need it all!" But can't you give him a transfusion?" If we had clean blood we would. Please, will you please sign?"

In numb silence, you do. Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?" Could you walk back? Could you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on? Could you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you and we would never ever let anything happen to you that ! didn't just have to be. Do you understand that?" And when that old doctor came back in and said, "I'm sorry, we've got to get started. People all over the world are dying." Could you leave? Could you walk out while he is saying, "Dad? Mom? Dad? Why... why have you forsaken me?"

And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some folks sleep through it, and some folks don't even bother to come because they have better things to do, and some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care. Would you want to jump up and say, "EXCUSE ME! MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON'T YOU EVEN CARE? DOES IT MEAN NOTHING TO YOU?"

I wonder, is that what God wants to say? "MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DOES IT MEAN NOTHING? DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?"

Seeing it from Our Father's eyes should break our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to! comprehend the great love he has for all of us.

So that' s the gospel in a nutshell. Author Unknown to me Do You Believe in God? Are you willing to risk your soul spending eternity in Hell because you didn't What if? What if Jesus really did die on the cross for our sins? What if What if the way to an eternity in Heaven is as simple as confessing to Jesus that your a sinner and placing you trust in Christ? What if ? What do you really have to to lose by accepting Christ as your savior? An eternity with God in heaven? What if ? What if you continue on your present path without believing any of this is true? Are you willing to A Columbine Truth Very powerful message....from the parent of a Columbine victim... On Thursday, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript-- --both good & evil exists in the hearts of men and women. "We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart. "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. "I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today.

Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our makeup, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? "We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. "We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! "We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School - prayer was brought back to our schools." "Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!:" Be courageous enough to do what the media did not, let the nation "hear" this man's speech. Please send this out to everyone you can.!!! New School Prayer (This was written by a teen in Baghdad, Arizona. This is incredible and unfortunately so true. Please pass this page on to a friend.) Now I sit me down in school Where praying is against the rule For this great nation under God Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites, It violates the Bill of Rights. And anytime my head I bow Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green, That's no offense; it's a freedom scene. The law is specific, the law is precise. Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice. For praying in a public hall Might offend someone with no faith at all.

In silence alone we must meditate, God's name is prohibited by the state. We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks, And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks. They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible. To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen, And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King. It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong, We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong. We can get our condoms and birth controls, Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles. But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

It's scary here I must confess, When chaos reigns the school's a mess. So, Lord, this silent plea I make: Should I be shot; My soul please take!


If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the directions. Jesus said, " If you are ashamed of me," I will be ashamed of you before my Father."

Not ashamed - Pass this on . . . only if you mean it. Yes, I do Love God. He is my source of existence and Savior. He keeps me functioning each and everyday. Without Him, I will be nothing. Without him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Phil 4:13. This is the simplest test . . . if you Love God, and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done for you. send this page to ten people and the person who sent it to you! The Pastor's Pen - By: JUAN NINGUNO

As you know, we've been working real hard in our town to get prayer back in the schools. Finally, the school board approved a plan of teacher-led prayer with the children participating at their own option. Children not wishing to participate were to be allowed to stand out in the hallway during the prayer time. We hoped someone would sue us so we could go all the way to the Supreme Court and get that old devil-inspired ruling reversed. Naturally, we were all excited by the school board's action. As you know, our own little Billy (not so little, any more, though) is now in the second grade. Of course, Margaret and I explained to him no matter what the other kids did, he was going to stay in the classroom and participate.

After the first day of school, I asked him, "How did the prayer time go?" "Fine." "Did many kids go out into the hallway?" "Two." "Excellent. How did you like your teacher's prayer?" "It was different, Dad. Real different from the way you pray." "Oh? Like how?" "She said, 'Hail, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners...'" The next day I talked with the principal. I politely explained I wasn't prejudice against Catholics but I would appreciate Billy being transferred to a non-Catholic teacher. The principal said it would be done right away. At supper that evening I asked Billy to say the blessings. He slipped out of his chair, sat cross-legged on the floor, closed his eyes, raised his hands palms up and began to hum. You'd better believe I was at the principal's office at eight o'clock the next morning. "Look," I said. "I don't really know much about these Transcendental Meditationists, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if you could move Billy to a room where the teacher practices and older, more established religion.'" That afternoon I met Billy as soon as he walked in the door after school. "I don't think your going to like Mrs. Nakasone's prayer, either, Dad." "Out with it." "She kept calling God 'O Great Buddha...'" The following morning I was waiting for the principal in the school parking lot. "Look, I don't want my son praying to the Eternal Spirit of whatever or to Buddha. I want him to have a teacher that prays in Jesus' name!" "What about Bertha Smith?" "Excellent." I could hardly wait to hear about Mrs. Smith's prayer. I was standing on the front steps of the school when the final bell rang. "Well?" I asked Billy as we walked towards the car. "Okay." "Okay what?" "Mrs. Smith asked God to bless us and ended her prayer in Jesus name, amen - just like you." I breathed a sigh of relief. "Now we're getting some place." "She even taught us a verse of scripture about prayer," said Billy. I beamed. "Wonderful. What was the verse?" "Let's see..." he mused for a moment. " 'And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.'" We had reached the car. "Fantastic," I said, reaching for the door handle. Then I paused. I couldn't place the scripture. "Billy, did Mrs. Smith say what book that verse was from?" "Third Nephi, chapter 19, verse 18." "Third what?" "Nephi," he said, "It's in the Book of Mormon." The school board doesn't meet for a month. I've given Billy very definite instructions that at prayer time each day he's to go out into the hallway. I plan to be at that board meeting. If they don't do something about this situation, I'll sue. I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to. I don't need the schools or anybody else teaching my son about religion. We can take care of that ourselves at home and at church, thank you very much.

Your buddy, Juan The Letter from God

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?" The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it." Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?" The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. "Would you like a lock of his hair?" the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. "I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom." She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could."

Sally walked out of Children's mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said: "Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him 'Where was He when I needed him?' "God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm, sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from: God, Jesus & Me. author unknown by me Born Again ? What does it really mean to be born again? Some people think you can be born again by reincarnation. Others believe that going to church makes you born again. The bible says there is only one way to be born again. Who Coined the Phrase "Born Again" You may be suprised to learn that the first person to ever use the phrase "born again" was JESUS CHRIST . When He was speaking to Nicodemus, a leader of the Jewish religion, JESUS told him: "Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3) Nicodemus wondered how a grown man could become a baby in his mother's womb and be born into this world again. JESUS explained that He was not talking about a physical birth but a spiritual birth: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). JESUS told Nicodemus that a person could be born again only by believing that He (JESUS CHRIST) was the Son of God. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16) What Does it Mean to be Born Again? According to the Bible, to be born again is to be reborn by the Spirit of God into the family of God: "As many as received Him (JESUS CHRIST), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12) A born again Christian is one who has confessed his or her sins and asked JESUS CHRIST to save them ( See 1st John 1:9 and Revelation 3:20.) A born again Christian is one who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9) A born again Christian is one who believes that the blood of Jesus has washed away his or her sins: " Jesus Christ ..........loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood"(Revelation 1:5). To be born again is to become a new person in Christ: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" ( 2 Corinthians 5:17 ) Who Needs to be Born Again? Every human being who has been physically born into this world needs to be spiritually reborn for the next world. That's what Jesus meant when He said being born again was the only way you can enter the kingdom of God. As human beings, we have all sinned. No one--not one person--is good enough to enter God's kingdom of heaven. Because God is pure and holy, only those who have been made clean by the blood of Jesus can enter into His eternal kingdom of heaven. Have you been born again? If not , you can be. God has made the way for us to be cleansed of our sin so we can enter into His kingdom of heaven when we die. How You Can be Born Again? Let's answer that question very straight forward with what the Bible says we need to do. First, we must believe that God is real, and that He is the maker and ruler of all things. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish bet have everlasting life." (John 3:16) "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) But is faith alone enough? Well, it depends on what we mean. The Bible says that "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) You can't "do anything" to deserve God's gift of heaven. We believe it and we receive it. But what does it mean to believe, or to have faith? Is it just saying, 'yea, I guess that's probably true.' No Faith is more than a passing acknowledgment. James tells us that "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" (James 2:17), and he explains by saying, "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble!" (James 2:19). We need a little more than the demons. Our faith needs actions to prove it is real. One of these actions that makes our faith alive is the second step to becoming Born Again. We need to turn away from the sin that does not please God, and then turn back to God by trying to do what God would want us to do. We call this repentance. "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3) "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30) The third step to becoming Born Again, and another way of making our faith live, is confession. As Christians we should want to tell others about the new faith we have in God and that our sins are washed away and we are now ready to go to heaven. And to become a christian we are asked by God to do just that-to stand before people and express our faith. "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32) "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe inyour heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Romans 10:9-10) The fourth step to becoming Born Again is being baptized. Jesus thought baptism was important. He was baptized "for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15) He also told his new leaders of the church to "Go therefore and make desciples of all the nations," and "baptizing them" (Matthew 28:19) When Peter preached the first sermon, people wanted to know how to become christian. He told them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; (Acts 2:38) And every person in the book of Acts that become a christian was baptized.(Acts 8:12, 8:36-38, 9:18, 10:47-48, 16:29-33, ect) After that, you are Born Again It's that simple. God says to simply trust in Him and do what He askes. Can you do that? New christians are then asked to stay faithful. "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10) And the best way to stay faithful is to attend a strong, loving, encouraging church. And the Orleans Christian Church would like to be that church. THE ROMAN ROAD All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

If you confess with you mouth,'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in you heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that who ever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Please understand I don't want to cram this "religion" down your throat, I just want you to know that there is a loving God who cares for you!

The Easter Bunny by Beth H. Arbogast

Featured in Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul Picked by CS intern: Jaclyn Bauer

The Easter Bunny by Beth H. Arbogast

The Easter Bunny

When I was a little girl, every Sunday my family of six would put on their best clothes and go to Sunday School and then church. The kids in elementary school would all meet together to sing songs, and then later divide into groups based on their ages.

One Easter Sunday, all the kids arrived with big eyes and big stories about what the Easter Bunny had brought. While all of the kids shared their stories with delight, one young boy, whom I will call Bobby, sat sullenly. One of the teachers, noticing this, said to him, "And what did the Easter Bunny bring you?" He replied, "My mom locked the door on accident so the Easter Bunny couldn't get inside."

This sounded like a reasonable idea to all of us kids, so we kept on going with the stories. My mom knew the true story, though. Bobby's mom was a single parent, and she suspected that they just couldn't afford the Easter Bunny.

After Sunday School was over, everyone went off to church. When my dad came to meet us my mom announced that we were going home instead. At home, she explained that to make Bobby feel better, we were going to pretend to be the Easter Bunny and make a basket of goodies for him and leave it at church. We all donated some of our candies to the basket, and headed back up to church. There, mom unzipped his coat, hung the basket over the hanger, and zipped up the coat and attached a note.

Dear Bobby, I'm sorry I missed your house last night. Happy Easter. Love, The Easter Bunny

Beth H. Arbogast From Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul

Anna Mae's Honor

Can it really be thirty years since I received the last of the payments from Annie Mae? I find myself thinking about them more often as I approach my sixtieth birthday. Something about closing the chapters on six decades and opening the pages of a new one makes one reflect.

Annie Mae’s life has deeply touched mine. I first met her at the home of my in-laws in 1959. I had moved with my husband and our one-year-old child to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, so my husband could complete his undergraduate work at the University of Alabama. My father-in-law was a professor of finance at the university, and my mother-in-law was active in university and community affairs. I vividly recall entering their driveway and being overwhelmed by the size of their home, the beauty of the furnishings, the manicured grounds and the pecan orchard.

Annie Mae was my in-law’s maid. She prepared and served meals in her quiet, gentle way and then returned to the kitchen to read her Bible while we ate. She was a dedicated and devoted Christian. To me, she reflected the fruit of the Holy Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23. I found this increasingly true even though I came to know her more by observation than by conversation.

My husband and I visited his parents frequently, and I became increasingly taken with this gentle, remarkable lady. Often when I saw her eating alone, reading her Bible, I wanted to sit down with her and just talk. However, whites did not do that with African Americans in the South in those days, and I conformed to the local practice -- though it conflicted with my Christian beliefs. I watched my son, Jimmy, play with her daughter, Jennifer Ann, who on occasion came to my in-laws’ place with her mother. The two children laughed and frolicked amid the trees in the pecan orchard. It was so easy for them.

In 1965, my world was suddenly uprooted. I found myself alone with two young sons when my husband wanted a divorce. I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to the University of Connecticut in the field of special education. I decided to sell the furniture and household items and return to my home state with just our clothes.

Annie Mae asked if she could buy the boys’ beds. When I answered yes, she asked the price. “Thirty-five dollars,” I replied. Then, in her quiet way, she asked if I would sell them to her and trust her to send a little money each month. I admired her and knew her to be a woman of God, trustworthy and honest. The words of Proverbs 11 came to mind: “A good man [person] is guided…and directed by honesty…Be sure you know a person well before you vouch for his [or her] credit.”

Annie Mae was honest, and I knew her well. So I said, “Annie Mae, take them, they are yours.”

I returned to Connecticut with my two sons and found a chicken coop that had been converted into four apartments. My neighbors and I all became family as we struggled to earn our degrees. Faithfully each month, while my boys and I lived there, an envelope arrived from Annie Mae -- two dollars, three dollars, five dollars, always in cash. That became the surprise money for my boys; I used it to get them something special -- an ice cream, cookies, an outing. My sons were thrilled when Annie Mae’s money came, for they knew that a surprise would be coming their way.

A year passed. I earned my master of arts degree in special education and accepted a position as a special education teacher for the state of Connecticut. I had learned my lessons well. However, I was about to learn an even greater lesson, and Annie Mae would be the teacher.

Annie Mae’s last payment arrived about the time I completed my studies. Along with it came the following note:

Dear Mrs. Holladay,

I am sending you my last payment of three dollars to pay for the beds in full. I told my two sons that they could now go to the storage shed and put the beds together and sleep in them, for they are now paid for and rightfully ours. Thank you for your trust.

Love in Jesus, Annie Mae

I could not believe my eyes. I read the note two or three times, my eyes filling with tears. Had I only known earlier, I would have said, “Use them now. Don’t wait until you pay for them.”

Those would have been my thoughts, yet Annie Mae had other thoughts -- thoughts the world could truly use. She sacrificed. She struggled. And finally, when the beds were truly hers, she let her sons, Paul and John, sleep in them. She was a living example of absolute honesty, the honesty that should characterize all who claim to be Christian.

This story has a postscript. After thirty years, I called directory assistance and found that Annie Mae still lived in Tuscaloosa. I called her, and later my second husband and I visited her, and I had that chat I never had thirty years ago. What a joy it was! Annie Mae had become a family and children’s worker for the state of Alabama and retired in May of 1996.

Romans 13:8 says, “Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others, never finish paying that!” How Annie Mae reflects those words! Truly she is a remarkable woman, one whose life has been shaped by Bible principles.

By Carol Holladay Treiber, from Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul

A Child's Blessing

A couple invited some people to dinner. At the table, the mother turned to her six-year-old daughter and asked her to say the blessing. "I wouldn't know what to say," she replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the mother said. The little girl bowed her head and prayed, "Dear Lord, why on Earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

by Richard Lederer As appeared in Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul

The Tablecloth

A young minister had been called to serve at an old church that at one time had been a magnificent edifice in a wealthy part of town. Now the area was in a state of decline and the church was in bad shape. Nevertheless, the pastor and his wife were thrilled with the church and believed they could restore it to its former magnificence.

When the minister took charge of the church early in October 1948, he and his wife immediately went to work painting, repairing and attempting to restore it. Their goal was to have the old edifice looking its best for Christmas Eve services.

Just two days before Christmas, however, a storm swept through the area, dumping more than an inch of rain. The roof of the old church sprung a leak just behind the altar. The plaster soaked up the water as if it were a sponge and then crumbled, leaving a gaping hole in the wall.

Dejected, the pastor and his wife looked at the defaced wall. There was obviously no chance to repair the damage before Christmas. Nearly three months of hard work had been washed way. Yet the young couple accepted the damage as God’s will and set about cleaning up the damp debris.

It was a depressed minister and his wife who attended a benefit auction for the church youth group that afternoon. One of the items put of for bid was an old gold-and-ivory-colored lace tablecloth, nearly fifteen feet long.

Seized with an inspiration, the pastor was the high bidder at $6.50. His idea was to hang the orange cloth behind the altar to cover the ragged hole in the wall.

On the day before Christmas, snowflakes mingled with the howling wind. As the pastor unlocked the church doors, he noticed an older woman standing at the nearby bus stop. He knew the bus wouldn’t be there for at least half an hour, so he invited her inside to keep warm.

She wasn’t from the neighborhood, she explained. She had been in the area to be interviewed for a job as a governess to the children of a well-known wealthy family. She had been a war refugee, her English was poor and she didn’t get the job.

Head bowed in prayer, she sat in the pew near the back of the church. She paid no attention to the pastor, who was hanging the tablecloth across the unsightly hole. When the woman looked up and saw the cloth she rushed to the altar.

“It’s mine!” she exclaimed. “It’s my banquet cloth!”

Excitedly she told the surprised minister its history and even showed him her initials embroidered in one corner.

She and her husband had lived in Vienna, Austria, and had opposed the Nazis before the Second World War. They decided to flee to Switzerland, but her husband said they must go separately. She left first. Later she heard that he had died in a concentration camp.

Touched by her story, the minister insisted that she take the cloth. She thought about it for a moment but said no, she didn’t need it any longer, and it did look pretty hanging behind the altar. Then she said good-bye and left.

In the candlelight of the Christmas Eve services, the tablecloth looked even more magnificent. The white lace seemed dazzling in the flickering light of the candles, and the golden threads woven through it were like the brilliant rays of a new dawn.

As members of the congregation left the church, they complimented the pastor on the services and on how beautiful the church looked.

One older gentlemen lingered, admiring the tablecloth, and as he was leaving he said to the minister:

“It’s strange. Many years ago my wife -- God rest her -- and I owned such a tablecloth. She used it only on very special occasions. But we lived in Vienna then.”

The night air was freezing, but the goosebumps on the pastor’s skin weren’t caused by the weather. As calmly as he could, he told the man about the woman who had been to the church that very afternoon.

“Can it be,” gasped the old man, tears streaming down his cheeks,” that she is alive? How can I find her?”

The pastor remembered the name of the family who had interviewed the woman. With the trembling old man at his side, he telephoned the family and learned her name and address.

In the pastor’s old car they drove to her home on the other side of town. Together they knocked on her apartment door. When she opened it, the pastor witnessed the tearful, joyful and thrilling reunion of husband and wife.

Some people would call it an extremely lucky chance happening, the result of a hole in the church wall, an old tablecloth, a pastor’s ingenuity in solving a problem and so on. But the combination of events was far too complex for it to have been merely “coincidence.”

If one link in the fragile chain of events had been broken, the husband and wife might never have found each other. If the rain hadn’t come, if the church roof hadn’t leaked, if the pastor had decided not to go to the auction, if the woman hadn’t been looking for a job or standing on that corner at just the right time…the list of ifs is virtually endless.

It was simply God’s will. And, as it has been said many times, He works in mysterious ways.

By Richard Bauman from Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul

A Perfect Mistake

Grandpa Nybakken loved life -- especially when he could play a trick on somebody. At those times, his large Norwegian frame shook with laughter while he feigned innocent surprise, exclaiming, “Oh, forevermore!” But on a cold Saturday in downtown Chicago, Grandpa felt that God played a trick on him, and Grandpa wasn’t laughing.

Mother’s father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to an orphanage in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. He remembered putting them there that morning, so he drove back to the church. His search proved fruitless.

When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what happened. The glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at its height, and Grandpa had six children. He had spent twenty dollars for those glasses that very morning.

“It’s not fair,” he told God as he drove home in frustration. “I’ve been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this.”

Several months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak on Sunday night at my grandfather’s small church in Chicago. Grandpa and his family sat in their customary seats among the sparse congregation.

“But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate.”

“Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staffed removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top.”

The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: “Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as thought they had been custom-made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that!”

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas.

But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

By Cheryl Walterman Stewart from Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul

The Last Straw

Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. -- Heb. 10:24

It was another long, winter afternoon with everyone stuck in the house and the four McDonald children were at it again -- bickering, teasing, fighting over their toys. At times like these, Mother was almost ready to believe that her children didn’t love each other, though she knew that wasn’t really true. All brothers and sisters fight, of course, but lately her little lively bunch had been particularly horrible to each other, especially Eric and Kelly, who were just a year apart. They seemed determined to spend the whole winter making each other miserable.

“Gimme that. It’s mine!”

“Is not, fatso! I had it first!”

Mother sighed as she listened to the latest argument coming from the living room. With Christmas only a month away, the McDonald house seemed sadly lacking in Christmas spirit. This was supposed to be the season of sharing and love, of warm feelings and happy hearts. A home needed more than just pretty packages or twinkling lights on the tree to fill it with the Christmas spirit. But how could any mother convince her children that being kind to each other was the most important way top get ready for Christmas.

Mother had only one idea. Years ago her grandmother had told her about an old Christmas custom that helped people discover the real meaning of Christmas. Perhaps it would work for her family. It was worth a try. Mother gathered her four little rascals together and sat them down on the stairs, smallest to tallest -- Mike, Randi, Kelly and Eric.

“How would you kids like to start a new Christmas project this year?” she asked. “It’s like a game, but it can only be played by people who can keep a secret. Can everyone here do that?”

“I can!” shouted Eric, wildly waving his arm in the air.

“I can keep a secret better than he can,” yelled Kelly, jumping up and waving her arm in the air, too. If this was a contest, she wanted to make sure she beat Eric.

“I can do it!” chimed in Randi, not quite sure what was happening but not wanting to be left out.

“Me too, me too, me too,” squealed little Mike, bouncing up and down.

“Well then here’s how the game works,” Mother explained. “This year we’re going to surprise Baby Jesus when he comes on Christmas eve by making him the softest bed in the world. We’re going to build a little crib for him to sleep in right here in our house, and we’ll fill it with straw to make it comfortable. But here’s the catch: Each piece of straw we put in the manger will represent one kind thing we do for someone between now and Christmas. The more kind things we do, the more straw there will be for Baby Jesus. The secret part is -- we can’t tell anyone what good things we’re doing and who we’re doing them for.”

The children looked confused. “How will Baby Jesus know it’s his bed?” asked Kelly.

“He’ll know,” said Mother. “He’ll recognize it by the love we’ve put into the crib, by how soft it is.”

“But who will we do the kind things for?” asked Eric.

“It’s simple,” said Mother. “We’ll do them for each other. Once every week between now and Christmas, we’ll put all of our names in this hat, mine and Daddy’s too. Then we’ll each draw a name and do kind things for that person for a whole week. But here’s the hard part. We can’t tell anyone whose name we’ve drawn for that week, and we’ll each try to do as many favors as we can for our special person without getting caught. And for every secret good thing we do, we’ll put another piece of straw in the crib.”

“But what if I pick someone I don’t like?” frowned Kelly.

Mother thought about that for a minute. “Maybe you could use extra fat straws for the good things you do for that person, because they might be harder to do. But just think how much faster the fat straws will fill up our crib. Then on Christmas eve we’ll put Baby Jesus in his little bed, and he’ll sleep that night on a mattress made of love. I think he’d like that, don’t you?”

“Now, who will build the crib for us?” she asked.

Since Eric was the oldest, and the only one of the children allowed to use tools, he marched off to the basement to give it a try. For the next couple of hours loud banging and sawing noises came from the basement. Then for a long time there were no noises at all. Finally Eric climbed back up the stairs with the manger in his arms. “Here it is,” he grinned. “The best crib in the world! And I did it all myself.”

For once, everyone agreed: the little manger was the best crib in the world. One leg was an inch too short, of course, and the crib rocked a bit. But it had been built with love -- and about a hundred bent nails -- and it would certainly last a long time.

“Now we need some straw,” said Mother, and together they headed out to the car to go searching for some in the nearby fields. Surprisingly, no one fought over who was going to sit in the front seat that day as they drove around the countryside, looking for an empty field. At last they spotted a small vacant patch of land that had been covered with tall grass in summer. Now, in mid-December, the grass had dried down to yellow stalks that looked just like real straw.

Mother stopped the car and the kids scrambled out to pick handfuls of the long grass.

“That’s enough!” Mother finally laughed, when she saw that the cardboard box in the trunk was almost overflowing. “Remember, it’s only a small crib.” So home they went, where they spread the straw carefully on a tray Mother had put on the kitchen table. The empty manger was placed gently on top, and the straw hid its one short leg.

“When can we pick names!” shouted the children.

“As soon as Daddy comes home for dinner,” Mother answered.

At the supper table that night, the six names were written on separate pieces of paper, folded up and shuffled around in an old baseball hat. Then the drawing began.

Kelly picked first and immediately started to giggle. Randi reached into the hat next. Daddy glanced at his scrap of paper and smiled quietly behind his hand. Mother picked out a name, but her face never gave away a clue. Next, little Mike reached into the hat, but since he couldn’t read yet, Daddy had to whisper in his ear and tell him which name he had picked. Eric was the last to choose, and as he unfolded his piece of paper a frown crossed his face. But he stuffed the name in his pocket and said nothing. The family was ready to begin.

The week that followed was filled with surprises. It seemed the McDonald house had suddenly been invaded by an army of invisible elves, and good things were happening everywhere. Kelly would walk into her room at bedtime and find her little blue nightgown neatly laid out and her bed turned down. Someone cleaned up the sawdust under the workbench without being asked. The jelly blobs disappeared magically from the kitchen counter after lunch one day while Mother was getting the mail. And every morning, while Eric was brushing his teeth, someone crept quietly into his room and made his bed. It wasn’t made perfectly, but it was made.

“Where are my shoes?” asked Daddy one morning. No one seemed to know, but before he left for work, they were back in the closet, all shined up.

Mother noticed other changes during that week, too. The children weren’t teasing or fighting as much. An argument would start and then suddenly stop for no good reason. Even Eric and Kelly seemed to be getting along better. In fact, all the children wore secret smiles and giggled to themselves at times.

By Sunday, everyone was anxious to pick new names again, and this time there was even more laughter and merriment during the picking process, except for Eric. Once again he unfolded his paper, looked at it, and stuffed it in his pocket without a word. Mother noticed, but said nothing.

The second week of the game brought more amazing events. The garbage was taken out without anyone being asked. Someone even did two of Kelly’s hard math problems one night when she left her homework out on the table.

The little pile of straw grew higher and softer. With only two weeks left until Christmas, the children wondered if their homemade bed would be comfortable enough for Baby Jesus.

“Who will be Baby Jesus anyway?” Randi asked on the third Sunday night after they had all picked new names.

“Perhaps we can use one of the dolls,” said Mother. “Why don’t you and Mike be in charge of picking out the right one?”

The two younger children ran off to gather up their favorite dolls, but everyone else wanted to help pick Baby Jesus, too. Little Mike dragged his Bozo the Clown rag doll from his room and proudly handed it over, sniffling later when everyone laughed. Soon Eric’s well-hugged teddy bear, Bruffles, joined the dolls filling up the couch. Barbie and Ken were there, along with Kermit the Frog, stuffed dogs and lambs, and even a cuddly monkey that Grandma and Grandpa had sent Mike one year. But none of them seemed quite right.

Only an old baby doll, who had been loved almost to pieces, looked like a possibility for their Baby Jesus. “Chatty Baby,” she had once been called, before she stopped chatting forever after too many baths.

“She looks so funny now,” said Randi, and it was true. Once while playing beauty shop, Kelly had cut her own blonde hair along with Chatty Baby’s, giving them both a raggedy crew cut. Kelly’s hair had eventually grown back, but Chatty Baby’s never had. Now the wisps of blonde hair that stuck out all over the dolls head made her look a little lost and forgotten. But her eyes were still bright blue and she still had a smile on her face, even though her face was smudged here and there by the touch of many chubby little fingers.

“I think she’s perfect,” said Mother. “Baby Jesus probably didn’t have much hair when he was born either, and I bet he’d like to be represented by a doll who’s had so many hugs.”

So the decision was made and the children began to make a new outfit for their Baby Jesus -- a little leather vest out of some scraps and some cloth diapers. Best of all, Baby Jesus fit perfectly into the little crib, but since it wasn’t quite time for him to sleep there yet, he was laid carefully on a shelf in the hall closet to wait for Christmas eve.

Meanwhile, the pile of straw grew and grew. Every day brought new and different surprises as the secret elves stepped up their activity. The McDonald home was finally filled with Christmas spirit. Only Eric had been unusually quiet since the third week of name picking.

The final night of name picking was also the night before Christmas eve. As the family sat around the table waiting for the last set of names to be put in the hat, Mother said, “You’ve all done a wonderful job. There must be hundreds of straws in our crib -- maybe a thousand. You should be so pleased with the bed you’ve made. But remember, there’s still one whole day left. We all have time to do a little more to make the bed even softer before tomorrow night. Let’s try.”

For the last time, the hat was passed around the table. Little Mike pulled out a name, and Daddy whispered it to him, just as he had done every week. Randi unfolded hers carefully under the table, peeked at it and hunched up her shoulders, smiling. Kelly reached into the hat and giggled happily when she saw the name. Mother and Daddy each took their turns, too, and then handed the hat with the last name to Eric. But as he unfolded the small scrap of paper and read it, his face pinched up and he suddenly seemed about to cry. Without a word, he ran from the room.

Everyone immediately jumped up from the table, but Mother stopped them. “No, stay where you are,” she said. “Let me talk to him alone first.”

Just as she reached the top of the stairs, Eric’s door banged open. He was trying to pull his coat on with one hand while he carried a small suitcase with the other hand.

“I have to leave,” he said quietly, through his tears. “If I don’t, I’ll spoil Christmas for everyone!”

“But why? And where are you going?” asked Mother.

“I can sleep in my snow fort for a couple of days. I’ll come home right after Christmas. I promise.”

Mother started to say something about freezing and snow and no mittens or boots, but Daddy, who was now standing just behind her, put his hand on her arm and shook his head. The front door closed, and together they watched from the window as the little figure with the sadly slumped shoulders and no hat trudged across the street and sat down on a snowbank near the corner. It was very dark outside, and cold, and a few snow flurries drifted down on the small boy and his suitcase.

“But he’ll freeze!” said Mother.

“Give him a few minutes alone,” said Dad quietly. “Then you can talk to him.”

The huddled figure was already dusted with white when Mother walked across the street 10 minutes later and sat down beside him on the snowbank.

“What is it, Eric? You’ve been so good these last few weeks, but I know something’s been bothering you since we first started the crib. Can you tell me, honey?”

“Aw, Mom, don’t you see?” he sniffed. “I tried so hard, but I can’t do it anymore, and now I’m going to wreck Christmas for everyone.” With that he burst into sobs and threw himself into his mother’s arms.

“But I don’t understand,” Mother said, brushing the tears from his face. “What can’t you do? And how could you possibly spoil Christmas for us?”

“Mom,” the little boy said through his tears, “you just don’t understand. I got Kelly’s name all four weeks! And I hate Kelly! I can’t do one more nice thing for her or I’ll die! I tried, Mom. I really did. I sneaked in her room every night and fixed her bed. I even laid out her crummy nightgown. I emptied her wastebasket, and I did some homework for her one night when she was going to the bathroom. Mom, I even let her use my race car one day, but she smashed it right into the wall like always!”

“I tried to be nice to her, Mom. Even when she called me a stupid dummy because the crib leg was short, I didn’t hit her. And every week, when we picked new names, I thought it would be over. But tonight, when I got her name again, I knew I couldn’t do one more nice thing for her, Mom. I just can’t! And tomorrow’s Christmas eve. I’ll spoil Christmas for everybody just when we’re ready to put Baby Jesus in the crib. Don’t you see why I had to leave?”

They sat together quietly for a few minutes, Mother’s arm around the small boy’s shoulders. Only an occasional sniffle and hiccup broke the silence on the snowbank.

Finally Mother began to speak softly, “Eric, I am so proud of you. Every good thing you did should count as double because it was especially hard for you to be nice to Kelly for so long. But you did all those nice things anyway, one straw at a time. You gave your love when it wasn’t easy to give. Maybe that’s what the spirit of Christmas is really all about. If it’s too easy to give, maybe we’re not really giving much of ourselves after all. The straws you added were probable the most important ones, and you should be proud of yourself.”

“Now, how would you like a chance to earn a few easy straws like the rest of us? I still have the name I picked tonight in my pocket, and I haven’t looked at it yet. Why don’t we switch, just for the last day? It will be our secret.”

“That’s not cheating?”

“It’s not cheating,” Mother smiled.

Together they dried the tears, brushed off the snow and walked back to the house.

The next day the whole family was busy cooking and straightening up the house for Christmas Day, wrapping last-minute presents and trying hard not to burst with excitement. But even with all the activity and eagerness, a flurry of new straws piled up in the crib, and by nightfall it was overflowing. At different times while passing by, each member of the family, big and small, would pause and look at the wonderful pile for a moment, then smile before going on. It was almost time for the tiny crib to be used. But was it soft enough? One straw might still make a difference.

For that very reason, just before bedtime, Mother tip-toed quietly to Kelly’s room to lay out the little blue nightgown and turn down the bed. But she stopped in the doorway, surprised. Someone had already been there. The nightgown was laid neatly across the bed and a small red race car rested next to it on the pillow.

The last straw was Eric’s after all.

By Paula McDonald from Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul

Thanksgiving Story

Help carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will obey the law of Christ. Gal. 6:2

It was the day before Thanksgiving -- the first one my three children and I would be spending without their father, who had left several months before. Now the two older children were very sick with the flu, and the eldest had just been prescribed bed rest for a week.

It was a cool, gray day outside, and a light rain was falling. I grew wearier as I scurried around, trying to care for each child: thermometers, juice, diapers. And I was fast running out of liquids for the children. But when I checked my purse, all I found was about $2.50 -- and this was supposed to last me until the end of the month. That’s when I heard the phone ring.

It was the secretary from our former church, and she told me that they had been thinking about us and had something to give us from the congregation. I told her that I was going out to pick up some more juice and soup for the children, and I would drop by the church on my way to the market.

I arrived at the church just before lunch. The church secretary met me at the door and handed me a special gift envelope. “We think of you and the kids often,” she said, “and you are in our hearts and prayers. We love you.” When I opened the envelope, I found two grocery certificates inside. Each was worth $20. I was so touched and moved, I broke down and cried.

“Thank you very much,” I said, as we hugged each other. “Please give our love and thanks to the church.” Then I drove to a store near our home and purchased some much-needed items for the children.

At the check-out counter I had a little over $14.00 worth of groceries, and I handed the cashier one of the gift certificates. She took it, then turned her back for what seemed like a very long time. I thought something might be wrong. Finally I said, “This gift certificate is a real blessing. Our former church gave it to my family, knowing I’m a single parent trying to make ends meet.“

The cashier then turned around, with tears in her loving eyes, and replied, “Honey, that’s wonderful! Do you have a turkey?”

“No. It’s okay because my children are sick anyway.”

She then asked, “Do you have anything else for Thanksgiving dinner?”

Again I replied, “No.”

After handing me the change from the certificate, she looked at my face and said, “Honey, I can’t tell you exactly why right now, but I want you to go back into the store and buy a turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie or anything else you need for a Thanksgiving dinner.”

I was shocked, and humbled to tears. “Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes! Get whatever you want. And get some Gatorade for the kids.”

I felt awkward as I went back to do some more shopping, but I selected a fresh turkey, a few yams and potatoes, and some juices for the children. Then I wheeled the shopping cart up to the same cashier as before. As I placed my groceries on the counter, she looked at me once more with giant tears in her kind eyes and began to speak.

“Now I can tell you. This morning I prayed that I could help someone today, and you walked through my line.” She reached under the counter for her purse and took out a $20 bill. She paid for my groceries and then handed me the change. Once more I was moved to tears.

The sweet cashier then said, “I am a Christian. Here is my phone number if you ever need anything.” She then took my head in her hands, kissed my cheek and said, “God bless you, honey.”

As I walked to my car, I was overwhelmed by this stranger’s love and by the realization that God loves my family too, and shows us his love through this stranger’s and my church’s kind deeds.

The children were supposed to have spent Thanksgiving with their father that year, but because of the flu they were home with me, for a very special Thanksgiving Day. They were feeling better, and we all ate the goodness of the Lord’s bounty -- and our community’s love. Our hearts were truly filled with thanks.

By Andréa Nannette from Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul

Soldiers Prayer I want you to close your eyes and picture in your mind the soldier at Valley Forge, as he holds his musket in his bloody hands.

He stands barefoot in the snow, starved from lack of food, wounded from months of battle and emotionally scarred from the eternity away from his family surrounded by nothing but death and carnage of war.

He stands tough, with fire in his eyes and victory on his breath. He looks at us now in anger and disgust and tells us this...

"I gave you a birthright of freedom born in the Constitution and now your children graduate too illiterate to read it.

I fought in the snow barefoot to give you the freedom to vote and you stay at home because it rains.

I left my family destitute to give you the freedom of speech and you remain silent on critical issues, because it might be bad for business.

I orphaned my children to give you a government to serve you and it has stolen democracy from the people."

It's the soldier, not the reporter, who gives you the freedom of the press.

It's the soldier, not the poet, who gives you the freedom of speech.

It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who allows you to demonstrate.

It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.