Technology to blow your mind….

Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of negative things that we hear about everyday, it makes me feel better to know that people are out there inventing incredible things to make this world a MUCH better place.  So check this out:

Good vs. Evil: Are there really demons out there?

Good vs. Evil:  Are there really demons out there?

Click here to read about Exorcisms & Demons…..I think it will blow your mind.

Jot of Joy

Jot of Joy

By putting yourself in unfamiliar situations, you’ll see things with fresh eyes, and solutions you may never have noticed will crop up, one after another, until you realize that you’ve just had a very, very bright idea, one that might just help you realize your heart’s desires.

 “The Joy Diet”

When it’s your time to live….it’s your time to live.

When it’s your time to live….it’s your time to  live.

The 21-year old American B-17 pilot glanced outside his cockpit and froze. He blinked hard and looked again, hoping it was just a mirage. But his co-pilot stared at the same horrible vision. “My God, this is a nightmare,” the co-pilot said.

“He’s going to destroy us,” the pilot agreed.

The men were looking at a gray German Messerschmitt fighter hovering just three feet off their wingtip. It was five days before Christmas 1943, and the fighter had closed in on their crippled American B-17 bomber for the kill.

Watch                                        this video

Brown’s Crippled B-17 Stalked by Stigler’s ME-109

The B-17 pilot, Charles Brown, was a 21-year-old West Virginia farm boy on his first combat mission. His bomber had been shot to pieces by swarming fighters, and his plane was alone, struggling to stay in the skies above Germany . Half his crew was wounded, and the tail gunner was dead, his blood frozen in icicles over the machine guns.

But when Brown and his co-pilot, Spencer “Pinky” Luke, looked at the fighter pilot again, something odd happened. The German didn’t pull the trigger. He stared back at the bomber in amazement and respect. Instead of pressing the attack, he nodded at Brown and saluted. What happened next was one of the most remarkable acts of chivalry recorded during World War Il

Franz                                        Stigler wondered for

Luftwaffe Major Franz Stigler

Stigler pressed his hand over the rosary he kept in his flight jacket. He eased his index finger off the trigger. He couldn’t shoot. It would be murder.

Stigler wasn’t just motivated by vengeance that day. He also lived by a code. He could trace his family’s ancestry to knights in 16th century Europe. He had once studied to be a priest. A German pilot who spared the enemy, though, risked death in Nazi Germany. If someone reported him, he would be executed.

Yet Stigler could also hear the voice of his commanding officer, who once told him: “You follow the rules of war for you — not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity.”

Alone with the crippled bomber, Stigler changed his mission. He nodded at the American pilot and began flying in formation so German anti-aircraft gunners on the ground wouldn’t shoot down the slow-moving bomber. (The Luftwaffe had B-17s of its own, shot down and rebuilt for secret missions and training.) Stigler escorted the bomber over the North Sea and took one last look at the American pilot. Then he saluted him, peeled his fighter away and returned to Germany .

“Good luck,” Stigler said to himself. “You’re in God’s hands now…” Franz Stigler didn’t think the big B-17 could make it back to England and wondered for years what happened to the American pilot and crew he encountered in combat.

Charles Brown, with hisCharles Brown, with his wife, Jackie (left), with Franz Stigler, with his wife, Hiya.

As he watched the German fighter peel away that December day, 2nd Lt. Charles Brown wasn’t thinking of the philosophical connection between enemies. He was thinking of survival. He flew his crippled plan, filled with wounded, back to his base in England and landed with one of four engines knocked out, one failing and barely any fuel left. After his bomber came to a stop, he leaned back in his chair and put a hand over a pocket Bible he kept in his flight jacket. Then he sat in silence.

Brown flew more missions before the war ended. Life moved on. He got married, had two daughters, supervised foreign aid for the U.S. State Department during the Vietnam War and eventually retired to Florida .

Late in life, though, the encounter with the German pilot began to gnaw at him. He started having nightmares, but in his dream there would be no act of mercy. He would awaken just before his bomber crashed.

Brown took on a new mission. He had to find that German pilot. Who was he? Why did he save my life? He scoured military archives in the U.S. and England . He attended a pilots’ reunion and shared his story. He finally placed an ad in a German newsletter for former Luftwaffe pilots, retelling the story and asking if anyone knew the pilot.

On January 18, 1990, Brown received a letter. He opened it and read: “Dear Charles, All these years I wondered what happened to that B-17, did she make it home? Did her crew survive their wounds? To hear of your survival has filled me with indescribable joy…”

It was Stigler.

He had had left Germany after the war and moved to Vancouver , British Columbia , in 1953. He became a prosperous businessman. Now retired, Stigler told Brown that he would be in Florida come summer and “it sure would be nice to talk about our encounter.” Brown was so excited, though, that he couldn’t wait to see Stigler. He called directory assistance for Vancouver and asked whether there was a number for a Franz Stigler. He dialed the number, and Stigler picked up.

“My God, it’s you!” Brown shouted as tears ran down his cheeks.

Brown had to do more. He wrote a letter to Stigler in which he said: “To say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU on behalf of my surviving crew members and their families appears totally inadequate.”

The two pilots would meet again, but this time in person, in the lobby of a Florida hotel. One of Brown’s friends was there to record the summer reunion. Both men looked like retired businessmen: they were plump, sporting neat ties and formal shirts. They fell into each other’ arms and wept and laughed. They talked about their encounter in a light, jovial tone.

The mood then changed. Someone asked Stigler what he thought about Brown. Stigler sighed and his square jaw tightened. He began to fight back tears before he said in heavily-accented English: “I love you, Charlie.”

Stigler had lost his brother, his friends and his country. He was virtually exiled by his countrymen after the war. There were 28,000 pilots who fought for the German air force. Only 1,200 survived.

The war cost him everything. Charlie Brown was the only good thing that came out of World War II for Franz. It was the one thing he could be proud of. The meeting helped Brown as well, says his oldest daughter, Dawn Warner.

They met as enemies but Franz Stigler, on left, and Charles Brown, ended up as fishing buddies.

Brown and Stigler became pals. They would take fishingThey met as enemies but Franz                                            Stigler, on left, trips together. They would fly cross-country to each other homes and take road trips together to share their story at schools and veterans’ reunions. Their wives, Jackie Brown and Hiya Stigler, became friends.

Brown’s daughter says her father would worry about Stigler’s health and constantly check in on him.

“It wasn’t just for show,” she says. “They really did feel for each other. They talked about once a week.” As his friendship with Stigler deepened, something else happened to her father, Warner says “The nightmares went away.”

Brown had written a letter of thanks to Stigler, but one day, he showed the extent of his gratitude. He organized a reunion of his surviving crew members, along with their extended families. He invited Stigler as a guest of honor.

During the reunion, a video was played showing all the faces of the people that now lived — children, grandchildren, relatives — because of Stigler’s act of chivalry. Stigler watched the film from his seat of honor.

“Everybody was crying, not just him,” Warner says.

Stigler and Brown died within months of each other in 2008. Stigler was 92, and Brown was 87. They had started off as enemies, became friends, and then something more.

After he died, Warner was searching through Brown’s library when she came across a book on German fighter jets. Stigler had given the book to Brown. Both were country boys who loved to read about planes.

Warner opened the book and saw an inscription Stigler had written to Brown:

In 1940, I lost my only brother as a night fighter. On the 20th of December, 

4 days before Christmas, I had the chance to save a B-17 from her destruction, a plane so badly damaged it was a wonder that she was still flying.

The pilot, Charlie Brown, is for me as precious as my brother was.

Thanks Charlie.

Your Brother,

Franz

Does what we think influence what happens to us?

Does what we think influence what happens to us?

The other day I said to my sister “What would happen if I parked in a Handicap parking spot and then got a ticket?”  She said “Oh that would never happen…forget it about it” and I went on about my business. Literally the next day I pulled into Best Buy and for some completely moronic reason that escapes me now, I parked in a handicapped spot (I had just dropped my sister off a physical therapy….as she had just had knee surgery…so I had her handicapped placard hanging in the car….but regardless of that it was admittedly, a totally moronic thing to do).  When I exited the store, sure enough, there was a cop standing there.  A really pissed off cop…by the way.  I cannot tell you how stupid I acted or the totally banal things I said to this guy….its any wonder that the guy didn’t arrest me on the spot.  I just got flustered I guess and got myself deeper and deeper with each word.  After the whole ordeal was over…..I felt worse than I had the only time I was ever fired from a job.  So I sat in the car for a while and wondered “is it possible that I just made that happen by thinking about it?  Or was this was just a coincidence?  I wonder what a statistician would say the likelihood of THAT event occurring by chance?  I had JUST said that the day before….had my thoughts or words about this very thing made it happen? Despite feeling pretty blue on the outside, I was actually secretly happy to see that I had influenced SOMETHING…..no matter what it was.  At least I had seen the cause and effect of my thoughts.  And now, I thought to myself, I just have to figure out exactly what I did and do the opposite of that.  Instead of making something bad happen could I figure out how to make good things happen?  Is that even possible?

This is a point worth discussing……and quite frankly I’d love to discuss it with YOU.  I’ve been reading a bunch of books lately about this subject starting with the worst one “The Secret”.  It’s not that I didn’t LIKE that book. I DID.  But I went through the same process as everyone else feeling like a total idiot when a new Mercedes  Benz didn’t show up in my driveway after I time contemplating it.  But it kind of left me wondering “so what the heck do I do next?”.  First of all, if I’m going to read a book like that, I’d appreciate it the author would tell me HOW they made their million dollars and HOW they got their new car, or the Man (or Woman) of their dreams, etc.  Quite frankly if I had to guess I’d say that we’ve all been pretty discouraged by the results (or lack there of) of practicing the tenants of “The Secret”.

But rather than just forget the whole idea because of one mediocre book, I decided that it seems like there’s something to this. AND by the way, it appears that other people are talking about this very thing now (have you ever noticed how that happens?  You discover something new and think it’s totally novel, only to discover that half the planet is already buzzing about it!  But I digress!).  Perhaps it’s time for our species to take a step up to the next level of our development and look beyond the Newtonian Physics that we’ve all been taught as young adults….and at least think about the possibility that there may be some way to manipulate or direct our lives to our benefit.  All I can say is that even if there’s one chance in hell that this can be done I think it’s worth trying to figure it out.  (and by the way I am a Christian and I do not think this conflicts with the tenants of Christianity…..Jesus often taught that the words we speak have the power to influence our lives).

OK so to conclude for today, I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from a book I’ve been reading by “The best known life coach in America” (as per USA Today)….Martha Beck (of Oprah fame).  She opens the book (Steering by Starlight: The science and magic of finding your destiny) with this:

“The first guy to go in always carries a shotgun” says Kirk Fowler.  He’s not a big man, for a law enforcer; in fact he’s not much taller than I am.  This is a quality I appreciate in a martial arts instructor.  Kirk is my sensei, and in the middle of a lesson, he’s telling me how he used to serve warrants on suspected drug runners and coyotes  con-artists who take would-be immigrants’ money, then load them into trucks and abandon them in the desert to die.  “These are really violet people,” Kirk says, “and they have an intense fight-or-flight reaction at the first sight of the officers.  They’re usually doing drugs as well as selling them, and that makes them about as violet and unpredictable as humans get.  You’re never in more danger than when you’re walking into a room to serve a warrant.  It’s scary as hell.”

It’s hard to imagine Kirk terrified.  He’s a master of aikido, a martial art that focuses more on inner peace than on physical power.  I’m learning aikido because it works like magic.  Literally.  An aikido master gently touches your head and suddenly you’re on the floor.  You try to slug him and you can barely lift your arm.  These effects feel almost supernatural, but given a few minutes anyone can use them well enough to see that they’re real.  So it isn’t surprising that Kirk’s aikido training was very helpful when he worked for the border patrol.  What is surprising is the way it helped.

“One day when I was serving a warrant,m I decided to try going in with my energy totally calm and relaxed, instead of high adrenaline.  The suspects were in a motel room, wired, scared and well armed.  To reach a place where my energy was calm, I had to imagine that all of them were already dead.  So I went into that room feeling really quiet and respectful, the way you’d feel going to a funeral.  And when i opened the door, no one did anything.  The suspects just looked at me as though they’d invited me to a summer picnic.  they cooperated with the officers through the whole arrest.  Even to me that was weird.  From then on I kept my energy tuned that way whenever we served a warrant.  I still had the shotgun. But I never needed it.  Over and over, people who should have fought or run simply started cooperating.”

OK just FYI as I discover more about this I will share more with you….if you’re interested.  PLEASE if you see my blog, say hello.