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Saw God Paying it Forward


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Saw God in Building the New

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God in Rivals Rallying Together

Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan have their respective heated football rivalries, but one little boy fighting for his life has united and bonded them.

Chad Carr, the 5-year old son of Tammi and Jason Carr, a former quarterback at Michigan, and the grandson of former UM All-American Tom Curtis and of longtime Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr, is battling an inoperable brain tumor. Tammi Carr revealed in a Facebook post on Nov. 11 that Chad now is in hospice care.

Michigan State and Ohio State face each other on Saturday at Ohio Stadium in an important Big Ten East Division game, but players from both schools will pay tribute to Chad Carr by wearing specially designed decals on their helmets.

The decals feature the image of a little boy flexing his muscles and “ChadToughFDN” for the foundation Tammi and Jason have created to raise money for research, and also the widely known “#ChadTough” hashtag. Tammi created the hashtag almost immediately following her son’s diagnosis to drive awareness and encourage prayers from people around the world for her son.

The Ohio State decal is scarlet and grey, while Michigan State’s is green and white.

Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett received a call from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith informing him of the decals and the fact he and MSU athletic director Mark Hollis wanted to not only pay tribute to Chad Carr but also to Lloyd Carr.

“He made it clear to me their respect for Lloyd is what radiates in all of this,” Hackett told The Detroit News on Friday. “They have great respect for him. I called and told Lloyd, and he was touched all the way around.

“For me that’s what makes college sports so much better. It is wonderful being able to stand for that.”

This is not the first time Michigan rivals Michigan State and Ohio State have reached out to the Carr family in the last year since Chad was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) just before his fourth birthday.

Last year after the Michigan-Michigan State football game in East Lansing, bands from both schools joined to silently form “#ChadTough” on the Spartan Stadium field. It was something Hollis wanted to do for the Carr family, Tammi has said.

Shortly after Tammi Carr posted her update last week, Michigan and Ohio State basketball coaches and staffs had the Carr home decorated for Christmas.

“They came together to do this for Chad,” Tammi posted on Facebook with a photo of the decorated home. “Amazing!!!! Bigger than the rivalry!!”

Chad Carr has not been far from the hearts of the Michigan athletics community. Before the Wolverines football game at Indiana last Saturday, the Michigan players wrote #ChadTough on the backs of their helmets and dedicated the game to him. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said the Wolverines, which needed double overtime to win, drew inspiration from Chad to pull out the victory. Captains Joe Bolden and Joe Kerridge delivered the game to Chad the following day.

Last fall during the home game against Minnesota, the coaching staff wore wristbands with “Pray for a miracle #ChadTough”. Chad Carr also was an honorary captain.

This season, Chad and his family were on the field for the coin toss before the home opener against Oregon State.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein signed autographs during a summer garage sale fundraiser for with the proceeds going to the foundation.

The Michigan softball team also has been a big supporter of Chad and wear the orange rubber wristband the Carrs designed to raise money for awareness. And Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins and Michigan women’s basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico ran in the RunTough for ChadTough run this fall that raised $120,000 for research

Chad also threw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game this past summer.

Tammi Carr on Nov. 11 made her heartbreaking post, which she said she been putting off.

Here’s a portion of her post: “Jason and I made the very difficult decision yesterday to start Chad on hospice care. His breathing and swallowing have been getting worse not better, he can no longer walk and his speech is sporadic. We kept waiting to see improvement, kept waiting to see things turning around, but the reality is that they aren’t. We are taking him off of steroids because they make him ravenous and we don’t want him to be starving and not have the capability to eat…that is torture. The treatments we started him on in June, including the panobinostat, they did help. He was going downhill quickly in June and once we started the treatments, he really did get better … and we’ve had another almost 6 months to enjoy our family. But now we believe it’s time to stop fighting and to let him relax and be at peace.”

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God out the Window of the Plane


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Saw God at McDonald’s


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Saw God in The Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live.  So as she was getting her things ‘in order,’ she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

‘There’s one more thing,’ she said excitedly..

‘What’s that?’ came the Pastor’s reply?

‘This is very important,’ the young woman continued.  I want to be buried with a fork in my Right hand.’

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

‘That surprises you, doesn’t it?’  The young woman asked.

‘Well, to be honest, I am puzzled by the request,’ said the Pastor.

The young woman explained.  ‘My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.  In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ’Keep your fork.’  It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!’

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder ’What’s with the fork?’  Then I want you to tell them: ‘Keep your fork..the best is yet to come.’

The Pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death.  But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.  She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge.  She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman’s casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand.  Over and over, the Pastor heard the question,  ‘What’s with the fork?’  And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died.  He also told them about
the fork and about what it symbolized to her.  He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right.  So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Carolyn–Venice, FL

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Saw God in the Streak

Alan Ruben, 58, has run every New York City Marathon since 1987, and for 25 years, from 1989 to 2014, he kept a sub-3:00 streak at the race alive. Until Sunday, his slowest NYC Marathon was the 3:01:57 he ran in 1988.

That’s why some might have been surprised to see one of the most recognizable fixtures on the New York City racing scene cross the finish line of his 28th consecutive NYC Marathon on Sunday in 4:28:24. But for much of 2015, it looked like running the race might not even be an option. Alison Wade Runners World

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Ruben’s year started off well, but on the afternoon of March 12, he started feeling some numbness at the side of his mouth. Later that night, he found that he was unsteady on his feet and had to hold on to walls and doors to get around.

Ruben had once had an attack of vertigo and thought he might be experiencing something similar. After developing numbness down the entire right side of his body, he consulted a doctor.

After about two and a half weeks, he learned that he had suffered a mild stroke. No one could tell him exactly what caused it, but doctors told him that he was deficient in proteins C and S, naturally occurring proteins that serve as anticoagulants. This meant that his blood was more likely to clot. He now takes two baby aspirin a day to prevent clotting from occurring when it shouldn’t.

By the time Ruben received his diagnosis, he was able to walk relatively normally, so he began to think about exercising again.

“I thought, ‘I used to run every day, so I’ll just walk every day,’ but then I got down to the river to a flat area and thought, ‘Let’s see what happens when I try to run,’” Ruben told Runner’s World.

He started out running a mile at a time, around 10:00 pace. He gradually increased his pace and distance, until he was running around 8:00 pace on training runs, close to his previous pace. He returned to doing speedwork with his Central Park Track Club teammates, running with a slightly slower group than in the past.

Ruben raced a pair of five-milers in June and August, coming in roughly two minutes slower than he would have prior to the stroke. But in August, he realized that he had developed a bad case of plantar fasciitis. The numbness on the right side of his body had persisted; Ruben’s doctor told him it might never go away. Because he didn’t have normal feeling in his right foot, he didn’t recognize the injury when it developed.

Ruben had remained remarkably healthy for much of his running career by listening to his body and taking days off when something seemed off. But because he couldn’t feel the pain until it was really bad, he unknowingly ran through his injury.

Ruben took time off, beginning in August, to heal his foot. By October, his foot had improved, so he started going for short runs.

“I was thinking, ‘I could probably just run the marathon without having run any miles,’” Ruben said. “There was no pain that was stopping me.”

In the three weeks leading up to the marathon, Ruben recorded mileage totals of six miles, five miles, and 11 miles, with a longest run of four miles.

Ruben thought he might be able to run 3:30 off of his limited training, so he went through the halfway point in 1:44:37. But after 16 miles, he had to stop and walk, partially due to cramping in his back. He walked the majority of the final 10 miles.

Ruben attributes most his slowdown to a lack of fitness, rather than the stroke.

“The stroke has had some effect, probably, on my running, but it’s hard to determine that because I haven’t really managed to get my training back to where it was,” Ruben said. “If I’m able to train and [I] get over the plantar injury, I think [I can] probably [run] like 3:05, 3:10, so that’s kind of time the stroke has cost me.”

Ruben is happy that his sub-3:00 streak made it to 25 years, and he thinks that without the stroke, he might have been able to extend it one or two more years at most. He’s even more proud of the 15 consecutive sub-2:40 marathons he ran within his New York streak, from 1991 to 2005.

Ruben, who is married to the former elite woman marathoner Gordon Bakoulis, said that in some ways, a slower pace this year allowed him to enjoy the race more.

“I could feel [the crowd support] more, because I had more time to see [the spectators] and pick out people I knew,” he said.

Ruben said he plans to continue his NYC Marathon streak as long as his body cooperates, and is already setting his sights on running a time closer to 3:10 or 3:15 next year.

“I don’t want to run it like I did this year again. I want to be able to run the whole thing,” he said.

Saw God in Life

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

From The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


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Saw God in a Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, i5 spoke to the woman one  day by the stream;

‘I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’

The old woman smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other portsa side?

‘That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.’

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’
Very interesting and rewarding

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together interesting and rewarding.

You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Ann–The Villages, FL

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Saw God in Faith in the Penny

Otha Anders saved his first penny more than 45 years ago when he found it on the ground.

The coin reminded him to pray and give thanks.

“I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful,” said Anders, 73. “There have been days where I failed to pray and more often than not, a lost or dropped penny would show up to remind me.”

Fifteen five-gallon plastic water jugs and half a million pennies later, Anders on Tuesday deposited $5,136.14 into his account to go toward a recent dental bill.

He cashed in the coins to the Ruston Origin Bank, in Ruston, La.

After that first coin, Anders said his penny pile began to grow and he ultimately stopped spending pennies and always made sure whenever he made a purchase, his change contained at least three to four pennies.

Bank Vice President Jennie Cole said it was not a typical day at the bank when Anders had his collection of pennies rolled in on a dolly, but Anders is a longtime customer who they wanted to help.

“We value his business, as we do all of our customers,” she said. “But if we can help Anders with his endeavors, we are happy to do so.”

Cole said a machine counted the coins that saves much time, and Origin Bank’s part is to help get the pennies counted, so Anders can get to his destination.

“Anders will inform us on where he wants the cashed-in money to be placed,” she said.

Cole said the bank will then send the pennies off to the FDIC, and the bank will receive their credit for them.

“I would never spend a penny,” he said. “I would break a dollar before giving up a penny.”

As a supervisor for in-school suspended children for the Jackson School Board, Anders said his students learned about his penny fascination and would save them up to sell to him.

“But I never allowed anyone, not even my wife nor children, to give me pennies without being compensated,” he said. “I wanted the inner satisfaction that God and I acquired this collection.”

The pennies are counted at Origin Bank in Ruston.The pennies are counted at Origin Bank in Ruston. (Photo: Frededreia Willis/The News-Star)

Anders said he has truly enjoyed looking at his penny collection to the extent that in the 1970s, when the U.S. government offered a $25 bonus for every $100 worth of pennies turned in, he refused to cash in his collection.

Five of Anders’ closest friends and family helped him and bank employees load the coins from the back of a pickup truck into the company’s coin room.

During the five-hour process of counting the pennies, the plastic jugs were hacked open with an ax and hammer.

The pennies were then poured into the coin machine with small plastic buckets.

Anders sat next to the machine watching his collection go down the counter and the bank workers come in to the change the coin bag every 20 minutes, since the coin machine bags need to be changed after every $50.

Anders said he would be truly remiss if he did not acknowledge his friend, Jack ‘Domino Kid’ Brown, for helping him with his penny collection.

“Jack saved nickels as I saved pennies and every nickel that passed through my hands I would save for him,” he said. “He did likewise with pennies for me.”

He said Brown could only redeem his nickels with pennies and he could redeem his pennies only with nickels.

“Our exchange became competitive by each trying to outdo the other and consequently our collections; his nickels, my pennies began to multiply,” he said.

But now, since Anders homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover his collection, he has reluctantly turned them in to Origin Bank.

“If I was at someone’s house and I found a penny, I would pick it up and I would keep it,” he said. “I will always tell the person that if it was a quarter, I would give it back, but since it is a penny, I’m keeping it.”

Frededreia Willis, Special to The (Monroe, La.) News-Star

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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