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{Straight From the Heart}   *A Goose in the Right Direction*  1/15/01


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Straight From the Heart

I don't know about all of you, but I just love Al Batt's writing!  If you are
touched by his story today, make sure you take a few moments to write him. 
One of the most encouraging things in the world is for a writer to receive an
email letting him or her know how a story they have written has affected the
Take a moment or two this week to let our writers know how their stories touched


By Al Batt

  Bill was my friend.  We had grown up and gone to school together, but had not spent much time in one another's company for some years.  Friends may drift apart, but a childhood friendship is nearly impossible to dissolve.  There have been too many shared experiences-too many embarrassments in common.  I ran into Bill one day at a local café and he told me a story.  He told me a tale of how a nasty divorce, drink and the loss of most of his farm had left his life in ruins.  One afternoon he found himself standing on a bridge overpass looking down onto a busy interstate highway.  Bill told me that he had been drinking heavily and as he drank from a bottle of whiskey, he contemplated jumping off the bridge into the midst of the endless traffic below him.

  "It didn't seem like I had much to offer the world," Bill said.  "I had lost all that I loved-my wife, my children, my farm, my self-respect. I hated my life.  Nothing was fun anymore. I had sunk about as low as a man could possibly sink.  I felt I'd be doing the world a favor by ridding it of me.  I actually climbed up onto the bridge railing, prepared to end it all.  I paused to drink the last of the whiskey remaining in the bottle.  Alcohol had become such an important part of my life that I did not want to leave any of it behind.  As I tipped the bottle up to drain the last bit, I spotted a Canada Goose, all by itself, flying towards me.  Its head was turning from side-to-side, looking this way and then looking that way, as though it was searching for something.  I had never paid much attention to geese before, but this one looked so lonely and pathetic, that I couldn't take my eyes off it.  Suddenly, I heard a great honking.  I turned my head slightly and saw a large flock of geese. Their barking sounds were constant.  It was as though they were calling out to the lone goose.  I stood transfixed as I watched the goose join the flock and fall right into the V-formation.  The goose looked like it belonged-like it had been in that spot forever. As each goose in the formation flapped its wings, it created an uplift for the birds that followed. By flying in a group in a V-formation, their efficiency was much greater than if each bird flew alone.  I watched the flock fly away.  I watched their flight until I could no longer see it.  I climbed down from that bridge.  Suddenly it had all become so clear to me. I knew what I had to do.  Just like that flock of geese, my friends, relatives and neighbors had been calling out to me.  The flock of people offered me help for my problems and answers to my questions.  They would be able to uplift me just as the flock of geese had done for the lone goose.  I got off that bridge and drove my old rusty pickup home.  I joined the flock immediately.  I became a member of AA, my local church and a wonderful service group.  I have found that happiness for me is other people.  It took a goose to show me that.  I have never been happier."

Al Batt,  ©1999

Send Al an email and let him know what you thought of his story!
Al lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife, Gail.  Al is a writer, a newspaper columnist, a radio personality, a speaker and a storyteller. 

Al Batt
RR1 Box 56A
Hartland, MN 56042
From: (Sherri)

I just wanted to thank every one of you that sent a card to my mom for her
birthday.  I could never name each of you for it would be to much.  Many of
you offered prayers and encouragement and she called me saying she couldn't
believe how people really care and how they are praying.  It was a blessing
for her and also for me to know that there are people that will reach out to
a complete stranger.  This is what our world needs more of.  My mom goes
back for her 4th chemo treatment on Wednesday and I ask for more prayers for
her through this.  Each one has left a different mark so she never knows
what to expect from them.  I will keep you updated from time to time and let
you know how she is doing.  Michael thanks so much for letting is post this
on your email.  You are such a blessing.  Also, Lisa thank you so much for
your love and support.
God Bless!

From: (Andy King and Brenda Kulow-King)

Well, I am writing with very sad tidings.  Andy's dad has taken a definite
turn for the worse. He has colon cancer and it spread to his liver and
stomach and he's has been getting progressively worse daily.  Andy already
flew home on Wednesday and now I am flying out tomorrow (Sunday) I booked a
one way trip so I can't say how long I will be staying or if I'll be able to
see anybody.  But I wanted to ask all of you to FIRST pray or just hope for
a miracle that he gets better and then you can add a little attachment that
if a miracle isn't possible, just hope for peace and comfort for him.  I'm
sure God has a purpose for Andy's dad in Heaven.  He has already been an
Angel on Earth for his family and for me.




Thought For The Day:

"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes
an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is." - C.S. Lewis

Verse for the Day:

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not
prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
Habakkuk 2:3

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"It's so hard not to swallow the gum."

Parent's Thought For The Day:

"Laughter is like changing a baby's diaper. It doesn't permanently solve the
problem but it makes things more acceptable for a while."

Coach's Thought For The Day:

"Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there..."
John Wooden

Deep Thought For The Day:

"Streakers re-pant!  Your end is in sight."

\_\  /  
/_/  \    "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but
\_\/\ \   Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live for the Son
   \_\/   of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 

The copyrights to the stories that appear in SFTH are owned by the
authors and are used with their permission.  This email may be forwarded
in its entirety, but please do not cut and paste the stories to be used
elsewhere unless you have contacted, and been given permission,
by the individual writer.  Thanks!

Video Imagery (Michael's Video Production Business.)

"I thought of you first after my family sat down to watch the video we gave
them. They loved it, to say the least!  Within thirty seconds my mom was
crying and my dad did too.  They said it was the best Christmas gift we could
have given them!!  You did such a beautiful job!  They were so surprised and so
touched---they really, really, really loved it.  Thanks for helping to make it so
special to us all.  My mom mentioned how the songs were perfect for the
video too!  Thanks again!"
Kelli  (    College Station, TX

Let me make you a video from your pictures or home movies!
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 Video Imagery
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