Skip to main content
Touching Lives Across the Globe -- One E-mail at a Time!
Hope and Encouragement For Teenagers!
Author Michael T. Powers
Author Kristi Powers
Inspired Audio
Creation News
The Most Touching, Heartfelt Gift You Can Give -- Guaranteed!
Give the Gift of Inspiration to Others... And Yourself!
Christian Nation?
Inspirational books for sale!
Heroes Among Us
Even writers need inspiration! readers share their hearts on this fateful day
Interviews with some of the best writers on the Internet! Writer's Guidelines
Ways to Help You Honor your Pastors
State Champions
Life Purpose
Site Map
E-Mail Help

Check out our Creation News Section!
Weekly articles, daily Q & A, and a Creation Comic!


{SFTH}   *Ringing the Bells*  8/2/01


If you enjoy this free daily email service, I encourage you to
spread the word to family and friends that we may bring
inspiration into the lives of many!  If you are not on the list
and this has been passed along to you, join us by sending
a blank email to:

Michael's long awaited book Straight From the Heart: "A
Celebration of Life," is finally here!  Close to 200 pages
of true short stories filled with love and laughter await
you!  Visit our web site to order the EBook, or to order
by credit card! You can also read some sample stories
from the book here!

We have another "cool" story to try and beat the heat that is
stifling the U.S. right now! This one is from SFTH regular, Al Batt
and his experience Ringing the Bells... ahhhhhh!  I can feel the
temperature dropping already!


By Al Batt

It was a winter day and it was such a day in Minnesota.  That
means it was cold.  I was ringing the bells for the Salvation Army
outside a large store in a shopping mall.  This is a pleasurable
activity for me, raising money for a wonderful organization. It is
one of those activities that makes me feel good. Doing
something for others is a great way to spend a day.

As I started my bell ringing duties, the temperature was about
zero.  Then the temperatures went north, so to speak.  People
walking by my kettle kept me informed as to the current
temperature.  There is a source of pride among Minnesotans
to be out doing things in even the most frigid of days. Two
below zero, four below zero.  Then the wind began blowing,
kicking in the dreaded windchill factor.  The windchill factor
is a pathetic invention created to make people feel uncomfortable
who are too dense to know when they are miserable. It also
serves to make those who know when they are not comfortable,
feel even more uncomfortable. As I rang the bell, the comfort
level became_well, there was no comfort.  Oh, I was ready
for whatever Old Man Winter would throw at me.  I was wearing
the ugliest hat I could find.  A furry thing made out of Chinese
rabbits. It was huge with two floppy earflaps that made me
look a bit like Goofy.  I didn't just look goofy, I actually looked
like Goofy.  It kept my head as warm as toast, but it was not
an attractive look.  But that is the good thing about living in
the cold climes.  The few folks that survive have learned that
you must dare to look like a dork.  I was equipped with
insulated gloves, long underwear, a couple of pairs of socks
and good pair of boots.

People scrambled in and out of the store getting what they needed
and then hurrying on their way.  Most greeted me or at least grunted
in my general direction.  Some stopped to give me temperature
updates. A few tossed a little money in, but most were hesitant to
stop and remove their gloves in order to dig into their purse
or pockets for money.  People are good, but sometimes it
is hard to be really great when you are frozen stiff.  Especially
when you have a windchill factor breathing down your neck.  I
began to feel as though I were all alone.

Just when it appeared that I would accomplish little more
than becoming frostbitten, a miracle happened.  The sun
came out. The sun changed the day. It became a beautiful day.
It didn't get any warmer-it probably got colder-but what a difference
it made in the attitude of people. The bright star energized people.
People began to smile.  They stopped to talk to me and they
filled the Salvation Army kettle to the point of overflowing.

Oh, my joints continued to stiffen in the cold, but whenever I
thought that I couldn't take it any longer, someone's smile would
let me know that I could. Everyone needs to be smiled at--maybe
we need it most when we least deserve it.

The day was rewarding in many ways for me. Mother Theresa said,
"Peace begins with a smile." Perhaps giving does also.  The
experience reaffirmed something that my parents had taught
me--a smile is sunny face for all to see and a smile can change
a person's life.  So the next time you feel cold or all alone, put
the sun to work for you.  Smile.

Al Batt,  c2001

Send Al an email and let him know what you thought of his story!


Al Batt lives on a farm near Hartland, Minnesota with his wife, Gail.
Besides being a husband, father and grandfather; Al is a newspaper
columnist, a radio and TV personality, a storyteller, a tour leader
and an avid birder.

Al Batt
RR1 Box 56A
Hartland, M 56042

From the E-mail Box!

Dear Michael,                                                                                                                   A friend told me about the devotions you send via e-mail & I'm so glad
she did.  I enjoy each & every one, most bring tears to my eyes.  I just
thought I'd let you know how much I look forward to these stories.                                                                         


Dear Michael,
 I am writing this letter to Max Lucado, the writer of "The Woodcutter's
 I have just been back from the holiday and I jumped when my letter box is
filled with SFTH newsletters. I am always eager to read them!  Max's story
is the first I read after a week. And I shouted when I read it. For a very
 Do you know that "The Woodcutter's Wisdom" is one of our folk tales? It is
the story that originated in China and has passed many many countries. In
Vietnam we call the Woodcutter: Tai Ong and his story of the horse:" Tai
Ong who lost the horse". The story's name is also a proverb and it is one
of the best encouragements when we face misfortune. We say:"Don't
worry! No one knows its ending. It's just like the story of Tai Ong". And
if you have a chance to read Vietnamese literature or Chinese one
you will see this story in many poems and books.
 I am really happy when I read your story. The tale has spread, it has
traveled all over the world. People everywhere understand and appreciate
it. Here in SFTH I see it again through the feeling of a foreigner, a
Western man. So Max if you have time, come to visit my country--
we have lots of tales to tell!
Sincerely yours,
Le Thanh Tam

The stories are most inspirational and touching. Some are outright
comedy like the little chap who acted like Batman. The stories have
been very useful to me in reaching out to souls through preaching
and teaching. I can't thank enough my friend for introducing me to
you. You have been a blessing. To share prayer needs with people
has been most fufilling to me. May God expand your ministry.
Julius Mwangi
Kenya, Africa


Thought For The Day:

"The secret to being tiresome is to tell everything."

Verse for the Day:

"Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise."

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Make your mom and dad prove that there are no monsters under
the bed!"

Parent's Thought For The Day

"I taught my child the value of a dollar. This week he wants his
allowance in yen." (Milton Berle)

Coach's Thought For The Day

"A coach has succeeded when he is no longer needed."

Deep Thought For The Day:

"When people ask me if I have any spare change, I tell them I
have it at home in my spare wallet."



God Bless You. That story "A Brother's Love" is just wonderful. It
was simply beautiful. We all need heroes. I do not know what else to say.

I would like to thank everyone who said prayers and sent prayers re:
Charlotte, my daughter and the difficulty she has had with her knee.
Today the doctor says she can finally start putting weight on her left
leg. God has been with us from the very start. She just needed a little
more encouragement. By Friday she should be off the crutches and
next week she can get on with more therapy. Once again I send my
sincere thanks to all who shared their prayers with her.
God Bless you all.


I was so touched by your publishing my prayer request about my
grandmother the day after you received it.  I'm sure you must receive
dozens, if not hundreds, of requests each day, and I just couldn't
believe my eyes when I saw it Friday morning.  Thank you so
much.  The support I have received from total strangers has been
so heartwarming, I can't imagine how I could get through this
without it.  I am printing out the e-mails I receive and mailing
copies to my stepmother and father to comfort them, too.
Your website is the best thing that's ever happened to me,
because it's also allowed me to carve out a few minutes of
my workday to sit quietly and be transported into a more
caring, gentle, and spiritual world when I read the stories
and letters.  And I also pray on the spot for the people who
post requests; I just never dreamed I would be one of them
so soon after beginning to receive SFTH.  Thank you again
all the way around -- for your prayers; for having such an
uplifting site; for being the means by which I have made
a terrific online friend, Jennifer Oliver; and for setting such
a wonderful yet human example of what family life should be.
Mary Jo


\_\  /  
/_/  \    "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.  We refuse to run stories
without the author's permission and contact info listed after the story.
We also refuse to publish stories listed as "author unknown."
(All of which violates Copyright law and the rights of the authors.)
This e-mail 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.
Thank you so much for honoring the rights of those writers who
graciously share their stories with us!

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!
Check out the web page for Michael's video production business!


Would you like to see your story in Straight From the Heart?
Writer's guidelines can be found on our Web site here:


Purchase your copy of Michael T. Powers' new book!  For
a sneak preview, visit:


"I need a daily source of inspiration and encouragement in my life!"

To become a Straight From the Heart Member send an e-mail with
"Subscribe" in the subject line to:

Then get ready to laugh, cry, and be deeply touched by some
of the best stories on the Internet!


All you have to do is send an e-mail with "Unsubscribe" in the
subject line to:

Give it a day or two to be processed...

Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?

Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

You can join the 15,000 followers on his Facebook Nature Photography by clicking on the link above!

Touching Lives - One E-mail at a Time!
Author Michael T. Powers - HeartTouchers @
Site Powered By
    BizStudio Site Manager
    Online web site design