No Admittance

>> Monday, November 28, 2011

A dog had followed his owner to school. His owner was a fourth grader at a public elementary school. However, when the bell rang, the dog went inside the building and made it all the way to the child's classroom before a teacher noticed and shooed him outside, closing the door behind him. The dog sat down, whimpered and stared at the closed doors. Then God appeared beside the dog, patted his head, and said,  


'Don't feel bad fella'...they won't let ME in either.'  

(Author Unknown) 



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Thanksgiving Traditions - by guest blogger, Lorri

>> Thursday, November 24, 2011

Today’s blog is written by my daughter, Lorri, who is home for Thanksgiving 

Macaroni and cheese. Cupcakes. Beef jerky. Nachos. Chips and dip. What does this food list cause you to imagine? The inventory of a convenience store? A football-watching party? A group of teenagers raiding the refrigerator for a late-night snack? While all of those scenarios would qualify as plausible guesses, you might be surprised to learn that those are some of the foods served during our Thanksgiving dinners throughout the years. On a day which often emphasizes deep-rooted traditions for American families, the Thanksgiving holiday has been remarkably untraditional for us in regard to the menu.  

For as long as I can remember, guests have always been invited to join us for Thanksgiving. In an effort to encourage others to feel included in the celebration, we have always allowed each person who attends the dinner to choose one menu item to be served that day, regardless of what it is. Often, our guests are quite surprised when their requests are honored, as they have never experienced a family that dares to defy tradition in such a bold manner. WHAT? No stuffing, gravy, or mashed potatoes?? Brownies instead of pie? Chicken and noodles? You can almost hear Peppermint Patty, in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, berating Charlie Brown for having the audacity to serve toast, pretzels, jellybeans, and popcorn for the Thanksgiving feast. You call this a Thanksgiving dinner? Apparently, there is a Thanksgiving manual in existence that clearly outlines acceptable menu choices. However, like many other manuals and guidebooks throughout history which have defined respectable behaviors as determined by a group of closed-minded, legalistic individuals, my family has blessedly chosen to dare to be different. For that, I am thankful!  

In many ways, our approach to the Thanksgiving meal parallels our approach to life in general. Include others. Question motives behind decision-making. Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by unwritten rules which limit creativity and self-expression. Advocate for what is important to you regardless of the opinions of others. Dare to be an individual! The other day I was discussing our Thanksgiving tradition with a friend who seemed incredulous in regard to the prospect of going outside the boundaries of tradition. “Come on,” I challenged, “think outside the box!” I was told without hesitation that this would be impossible in her family, and that although she envied our free-spirit attitude, she would never be allowed to deviate from what was expected of her.  

Today, as you sit down to a wonderful meal, I pray that you are blessed through conversations with friends and family, as it is our relationships with others that are more valuable than what is on the menu. If you can touch the life of another person, and make a difference in their life, it doesn’t matter whether you eat turkey and mashed potatoes or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. May God bless you and your family today and every day!  

“Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” Matthew 15:2 (NLT)  

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Going Through the Motions

>> Saturday, November 19, 2011

It was a blustery fall day … with the wind gusting to 35 mph (according to the radio). Leaves swirled down the street as I drove through our neighborhood. Turning right on the main street lined with businesses, I literally stared in amazement at the man in front of the store to my right.  

He was busily removing leaves from the parking lot … using a leaf blower. Did he not get it? No matter how hard he worked, he would never make any progress. His actions were futile. Perhaps it was his business and he wanted to look as good as possible. Maybe he had been hired to clear away the leaves. As long as I could see him in my rearview mirror, he continued going through the motions of blowing away the leaves … a never-ending job.  

I’ve seen Christians like that … and I’ve been one.  

For years I went through the motions of “being” a Christian. Everyone knew a Christian could be identified by what they wore, words they didn’t say, if they carried a Bible, if the ladies wore no makeup or jewelry, and for sure that they went to church “religiously” every time there was a service.  

Oh yes, I used my leaf blower through the wind, rain, sleet and snow. I would show the world I was a Christian. Little did I know that the world looked at me just like I looked at that man. And they probably said to themselves, “Does she not get it? Why would I want to go through life just doing the motions?” But I had a job to do.  

My actions were not only futile, but they caused damage in others.  

I’ve put my leaf blower away. I no longer go through the motions. Since I have a personal relationship with Jesus, I am aware of my world around me. If someone has a need and I can help, then I miss church.  

That’s what Jesus would do.  

“Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” James 1:26-27 (MSG)


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What I Want in a Man

>> Friday, November 18, 2011

Original List: age (20 something)
1. Handsome
2. Charming
3. Financially successful
4. A caring listener
5. Witty
6.. In good shape
7. Dresses with style
8... Appreciates finer things
9. Full of thoughtful surprises


What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 32)

1. Nice looking
2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
4. Listens more than talks
5. Laughs at my jokes
6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
7. Owns at least one tie
8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries
 

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 42)

1. Not too ugly
2. Doesn't drive off until I'm in the car
3. Works steady - splurges on dinner out occasionally
4. Nods head when I'm talking
5. Usually remembers punch lines of jokes
6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
8.. Knows not to buy champagne with screw-top lids
9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
10. Shaves most weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 52)

1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
2. Doesn't belch or scratch in public
3. Can tow a RV or drive a Motor Home
4. Can cook a BBQ
5. Doesn't re-tell the same joke too many times
6. Appreciates a good TV dinner
7.. Helps with the housework


What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 62)
1. Doesn't scare small children
2. Remembers where I have put things
3. Can still tow a van without causing chaos on the road
4. Only snores lightly when asleep
5. Remembers why he's laughing
6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himself
7. Usually wears some clothes
8. Doesn't notice my facial hair and wrinkles
9. Remembers where he left his teeth
10. Stops trying to tell jokes


What I Want  in a Man, Revised List (age 72)

1.
Breathing.
2. Doesn't miss the toilet.
3. Remembers where we both live.

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My Name is Rose

>> Thursday, November 17, 2011


The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being...

She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded; 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze.

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'
''No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium... As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.' She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.  

At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.  

(Author Unknown)


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Here's a Story Without Words

>> Monday, November 14, 2011

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It All Began With An iPhone

>> Friday, November 11, 2011

March was when our son celebrated his 17th birthday. We got him an iPhone. He just loved it. Who wouldn’t?

 I celebrated my birthday in July. My wife made me very happy when she bought me an iPad.

Our daughter’s birthday was in August. We got her an iPod Touch.


My wife celebrated her birthday in September. I got her an iRon.


It was around then that the fight started … What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean.

This inevitably activates the iNag reminder service.  

I should be out of the hospital next week!!!


(Author Unknown)


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Patriotism

>> Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I recently read the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand … a true story about World War II. It shares in detail what it was like to be a POW … an unbelievable epic about what the human body and mind can endure.  


As I read the pages, my thoughts turned repeatedly to my own brother. He was in that war, yet I’ve never heard him mention it. This picture was taken when they received word the war was over. My brother is in the middle of the front row. What I learned from him was the strong sense of patriotism I have today.  

No, America does not have it all together. And lately it seems our reputation as a world leader is faltering. There are times I just shake my head in disbelief at some of the activities of the American people. I know all of that. But I still believe in the basic goodness of what we founded our country on.  

It breaks my heart when I watch the news and see the maimed young people returning from war … but they did return. Others gave their lives. Yet when these returnees are interviewed, they tell us they would do it again … fight for their country. One man was recently killed … in his 14th tour of duty. No one made him do that.  

Deep within me … and you … is an allegiance to the concept of freedom. I’ve never been asked to give my life for that belief. Therefore, I acknowledge those who have been willing to go in my place … to protect my freedom.  

Thank you.  

“When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you safely out of Egypt, is with you!” Deuteronomy 20:1 (NLT)  


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The Old Paths

>> Monday, November 7, 2011

I liked the old paths, when Moms were at home. Dads were at work. Brothers went into the army. And sisters got married BEFORE having children!  

Crime did not pay; hard work did; and people knew the difference.  

Moms could cook; Dads would work; children would behave.  

Husbands were loving; wives were supportive; and children were polite.  

Women wore the jewelry; and men wore the pants.  

Women looked like ladies; men looked like gentlemen; and children looked decent.  

People loved the truth, and hated a lie.  

They came to church to get IN, not to get OUT!  

Hymns sounded Godly; sermons sounded helpful; rejoicing sounded normal; and crying sounded sincere.  

Cursing was wicked; drugs were for illness.  

The flag was honored; America was beautiful; and God was welcome!  

We read the Bible in public; prayed in school; and preached from house to house.  

To be called an American was worth dying for;
To be called an American was worth living for;
To be called a traitor was a shame!  

(Author Unknown) 

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)


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Semi-Old People's Memory Test - Part A

>> Friday, November 4, 2011

1. What builds strong bodies 12 ways?

A.    Flintstones Vitamins
B.    The Butt Master
C.    Spaghetti
D.    Wonder Bread
E.     Orange Juice
F.     Milk
G.    Cod Liver Oil 

2. Before he was Muhammad Ali, he was …
            A. Sugar Ray Robinson
            B. Roy Orbison
            C. Gene Autry
            D. Rudolph Valentino
            E. Fabian
            F. Mickey Mantle
            G. Cassius Clay 

3. Pogo, the comic strip character said, “We have met the enemy and …
            A. It’s you
            B. He is us
            C. It’s the Grinch
            D. He wasn’t home
            E. He’s really me
            F. We quit
            G. He surrendered 

4. Good night, David.
            A. Good night, Chet
            B. Sleep well
            C. Good night, Irene
            D. Good night, Gracie
            E. See you later alligator
            F. Until tomorrow
            G. Good night, Steve 

5. You’ll wonder where the yellow went …
            A. When you use Tide
            B. When you lose your crayons
            C. When you clean your tub
            D. If you paint the room blue
            E. If you buy a soft water tank
            F. When you use Lady Clairol
            G. When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent 



Don’t cheat. Answers below:

  1. D – 2. G – 3. B – 4. A – 5. G


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