Category Archives: Inspirational short films

Life’s Greatest Surprises.

    When I reflect back on my life, I would say I have had several unique and wonderful surprises. Looking back even the opportunity to grow up with lots of animals on a small farm was a great surprise. Getting to experience the miracle of life and even death was an experience that has helped form me into the person I am today.
    Some of the surprises in my life have come because of my families lack of even simple pleasures such as a television. When I was ten and my brother was eleven my mom answered an add in the newspaper. The add was requesting children that did not watch television on a regular basis to come to the University of Utah, so people could do some experiments hooking up electrodes on our head to measure how certain short movie clips effected our emotions. I remember watching four short clips, one was a movie about boxing and another one was of cars racing. I forget what the other movies were about. At the end of the experiment my brother and myself were given $10 dollars. We thought we were so rich. I think my mom talked us into getting some clothes with part of the money and the rest we could spend on what we wanted. I just remember how excited we were to get so much money.
    On another occasion our family was the recipients of sub for Santa from our church. Back in the late 70s the big craze were these 15 in one game boards and we got two of them. In my mind I was thinking why couldn’t we get something cool like a television or even a new Monopoly game. I was not being very thankful.
    When our kids were little, it was Christmas Eve when we got a knock on the door and we were surprised with a visit from Santa. A kind neighbor Glen Nelson dressed up like Santa and gave our kids a memory they would never forget. We were all excited that night for the kindness of wonderful neighbors.
    Two more surprises I am saving for last. When Cassie and myself had only been married for 15 months we became the foster parents of two children. Rick was 5 and Stephanie was 4. We went from being Aunt Cassie and Uncle Leonard to mom and dad on a Friday; that coming Monday was the first day of school for Rick.
    Rick and Stephanie have been wonderful additions. Five years after becoming their foster parents we were able to adopt them into our family. The three younger children would have been devastated if their older siblings had to go to a different home. They always looked up to them and loved doing all the family activities together. Our family would be empty without them.
    Finally, on the day I was driving with my parents to get married we looked over and we saw Cassie driving with her parents on the freeway to get married. For me this was a huge relief and a wonderful sign that Cassie really did love me and wanted to marry me. Of all the many delightful surprises I am glad Cassie gets to experience many of them with me.

True Happiness


    You can be as happy as you make up your mind to be. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections in life.

    Being happy is an attitude. The people that are the happiest are happy under every circumstance, regardless of their social status, their age, religion or race. They are the bright lights when they enter a room.

    Have you ever been so happy that you lose track of time? You are so engaged in what you are doing, two hours seems like only five minutes has gone by. This is bliss. You are in the happiness zone.

    I remember as a child, my brother Mel and I asked our parents if we could go play. We couldn’t have been older than nine or ten at the time. We went to Steve’s house for a while. Then we decided to all go over to our house. On the way over to our house, we cut through a field where we noticed an old barn door was open. So we went inside. We found a barn full of wheat. This was a barn that used to have many animals, but now it was just used for storage. We started jumping in the wheat. It must have been 6-8 feet deep. We started

diving and swimming in the stuff. We even buried ourselves. We found a way to climb into the rafters of this old barn, and jump into the wheat. Before we knew it, we were pulling wheat out of our shoes, hair, our pants pockets and our underwear. We decided to take off all of our clothes and jump in the wheat nude. It made it easier to shake the wheat from our clothes. We were gone for

hours. By the time we got home, we knew we were in trouble. It was way past dinner. It had been so much fun that even going to bed without dinner didn’t matter. I still remember thinking it was not possible that we had been gone for hours. Those hours seemed like minutes, I was truly happy.

Anatomy of a Laugh

Anatomy of a Laugh

Your whole body gets a kick out of a good chuckle. Here’s what happens when you laugh, according to research.

  • Your heart and lungs are stimulated.
  • your heart beats faster and your blood pressure rises temporarily.
  • You breathe deeper and oxygenate more blood.
  • Your body releases endorphins, your own natural pain killers, and you produce more immune cells.
  • You burn seventy-eight times as many calories as you would in a resting state.
  • Your diaphragm, facial muscles and internal organs all get bounced around a message sometimes called “internal jogging”

After you’ve laughed, your muscles and arteries relax. That’s great for easing pain. Also, your blood pressure lowers and your pulse drops below normal. Some reachers think all this aids digestion.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

The New Engish Bible translation of that verse says that “a merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but low spirits sap a man’s strength.

Be Thankful In All Things

Life teaches us so many lessons. I have been trying to ask myself “what can I learn from this experience?” when I am going through a really difficult time. Even the good times can teach us things about ourselves and others. I am a huge optimist, even when things get tough. I love looking at things with a positive outlook even when many people might ask the question, “why?” I am saying “why not.”

A few days ago I was cleaning the halls with an auto scrubber, when I noticed large amounts of water was being left on the floor. I checked everything I could think of to remedy the problem, nothing I tried seemed to help the situation. One of the teachers saw me on my knees, then made the comment “that is not a good sign if you are on your knees.” I said in true Pollyanna fashion, “It is always a good sign when you are on your knees” meaning we need to thank the Lord in all things.

After further investigation, I discovered that a hose had been clogged causing the machine to loose suction. What started as an interesting curiosity resulted in solving a several month challenge, trying to figure out why the auto scrubber kept losing more, and more suction. When the auto scrubber stopped sucking up water it forced me to figure out the problem, and I was very grateful the mystery was solved.

This reminds me of another story that took place during the great Chinese Dynasty several hundred years ago. There was a boy that would help his father care for their families farm by taking care of the animals and garden. One day he injured his foot. He was no longer able to help his father with the family chores. The wise father said “we need to be thankful no matter what happens to us.

Soon after the son’s accident the Chinese army arrived in the village requiring the first born son in every family to join the army for battle. The injured son was unable to leave and join the army, saving the fathers son from a more serious injury from battle or even death. You never know what mission you have on earth and what circumstances will help build your character or what your destination will be. I do know being thankful in all things will be a blessing for you, and the people you surround yourself with.