A Jar and Two Beers

>> Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough ... remember the mayonnaise jar and the two beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes....'

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else---the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls’.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.
Visit with grandparents.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

(Author Unknown)


I Love My Attorney

>> Monday, August 29, 2011

After living what I felt was a 'decent' life, my time on earth came to the end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table.

As I looked around I saw the 'prosecutor.' He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me.. He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen. I sat down and looked to my left and there sat My Attorney, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed so familiar to me, I felt I knew Him.

The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as He moved across the room I couldn't take my eyes off of Him. As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, 'Let us begin.'

The prosecutor rose and said, 'My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell.' He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and in the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't look at anyone, even my own Attorney, as the devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at My Attorney who sat there silently not offering any form of defense at all. I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life - couldn't that at least equal out part of the harm I'd done?

Satan finished with a fury and said, 'This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.'

When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might approach the bench. The Judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward. As He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His full splendor and majesty. I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.

He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, 'Hi Dad,' and then He turned to address the court. 'Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won't deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wage of sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished.' Jesus took a deep breath and turned to His Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, 'However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life. When he heard my word, he repented of his sins, he confessed that I am the Son of the Living God, and believes that I rose from the dead, so he is Mine.'

My Lord continued with, 'His name is written in the Book of Life, he tried the best he could to live according to my will and no one can snatch him from Me. 'Satan still does not understand yet. This man is not to be given justice, but rather mercy.'

As Jesus sat down, He quietly paused, looked at His Father and said, 'There is nothing else that needs to be done. I've done it all.'

The Judge lifted His mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from His lips.....'This man is free. The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed.'

As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, 'I won't give up, I will win the next one.'

I asked Jesus as He gave me my instructions where to go next, 'Have you ever lost a case?' Christ lovingly smiled and said, 'Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them has received the same verdict as you, ~Paid In Full.'

(Author Unknown)  

Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free].” Matthew 20:28 (AMP)


I Didn't Tell Her

>> Saturday, August 27, 2011

Her real name was Eva. But somehow that just didn’t fit … so she was called Ernie. She came into my life when my husband and I became friends with her son and his wife. As our friendship grew, we were included as family on many occasions. How special that was to me, having been raised with a mother who didn’t seem to know how to smile. Ernie smiled.  

Halloween was always a costume party. One year she and her children came dressed in wedding clothes (I don’t remember whose wedding they had worn them to). We’ve watched the Super Bowl together … accepted as part of the group. And always eating … wonderful food … prepared by family.  

She and her husband were the true patriarch and matriarch of that family line. I loved being around them. They laughed and loved and cared about each other. With her children, grandchildren and eventually great-grandchildren enjoying life all around her, she would sit … observing. But she was never idle. Her hands were always busy with a knitting project.  

Just over a month ago, once again, I sat beside her in the shade by the swimming pool at her son’s home. I had been told her cancer had returned (but I hadn’t been aware she had it before) and that this time the treatments would be easier. She wouldn’t get so sick and her hair wouldn’t fall out. But cancer was not mentioned that day. We talked of life and love and happy things as her fingers flew … working on the ever-present project.  

She gave no indication her life was in serious trouble.  

That’s why the text this morning saying she passed away last night was such a shock. My thoughts bounced around in my head. What will Bob do (her husband)? What can we do? And in between all those other thoughts, one came repeatedly. I never told her … that she was my role model for being a mom … a grandma … a great-grandma … and for facing the challenge of cancer without any grumbling or seeking pity.  

I didn’t tell her.  

And so I’m left to work through that. But if there is someone you want to say something to … do it.  

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14 (NIV)


Humorous Church Signs

>> Friday, August 26, 2011



>> Thursday, August 25, 2011

I stood on the front porch of my home ready to greet my guest who was just climbing out of her car. While I waited, I turned to look at the two landscaping grasses I had planted a few weeks before … checking to see how they were doing. Looking good, I thought.  

With a wave of my hand, I welcomed my friend. As we walked in the house, my mind returned to that grass plant closest to the house. There were two colors of green in there. Was that right?  

Plant forgotten, we spent some time visiting. But again, as I was saying goodbye at the door, my eyes broke contact with hers and returned to the plant. That’s when I spied it. In the center of that decorative grass was a weed … a big one. It was as tall as the plant, but camouflaged by its stems and fronds.  

I had to pull hard to remove it.  

As an overeater, I have a lot of practice with camouflage; a bowl of ice cream eaten with a friend because it would be rude to say no. Eating everything on my plate at the restaurant … even though I am full … because I would be wasting money if I didn’t. And then there are those starving children in China my mother told me about. I needed to eat for them too.  

For others, it’s not food. A drink with a friend leads to another one. But you don’t have a problem with drinking … you are just being friendly.  

There are many ways to camouflage an undesirable habit. Sometimes it takes another person to point them out.  Other times we just have this little feeling in the back of our minds that something is just not quite right. But when we finally spy the problem, we need to take action.  

We have to pull hard to remove it.  

Sin is like that too. It comes camouflaged in many designs. That’s why we read our Bible and have other Christ-follower friends. We then can see the camouflage for what it is and deal with the issue.  

But if we turn to Christ, we don’t have to pull hard to remove it. He does that for us.

“It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.” Romans 7:21-25 (MSG)


Sad Day

>> Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.  

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and Maybe it was my fault.  

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more then you earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.  

Reports of a six-year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student.  

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.  

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.  

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.  

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.  

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason. He is survived by his four stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.  

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.  

(Author Unknown)


How Did We Ever Survive?

>> Monday, August 22, 2011

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags (not to mention any air conditioning!) Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Not one parent sued to get their son on the team. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them! You survived your youth. Imagine that. 

(Author Unknown)


The Plug In Dilemma

>> Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our refrigerator just wasn’t providing enough space for our food needs, plus the cold drinks we wanted to have on hand for when folks dropped by … or for our impromptu get-togethers. So I measured the garage wall between the door to the laundry room and the heating/cooling system. Leaving room for the light switch to be accessible, I had 23” available for a small refrigerator. Even though I work at an appliance store, it was not a size we kept in stock, so it had to be special ordered. In the meantime, cans of pop and bottles of water and various types of teas were stored on wire shelving in that space.  

The refrigerator was to be delivered on Thursday, so Tuesday night I cleaned off the shelving … moving it out of the way for the arrival of the new appliance. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was no plug-in behind that shelf.  

Now what?  

A #12 extension cord is stretched from another wall to allow the refrigerator to receive power. There are plug ins further down on that wall being used by other equipment. The builder of our home will provide direction on what can be plugged where, so the cord across the floor is only temporary.  

As I worked in the garage, I thought about the various types of people in the world. There are those who assume they have power available. Their philosophy is all they need to do is just move some issues around in their life and they will be able to discover a plug in. Some spend their whole life, never moving anything … hoping that when power is needed, it will be there.  

Others have realized even though they re-arranged their life … new wife …new house … new job … that what they really have is an extension cord strung through their relationships … family … toys … that is only temporary. This re-arrangement is not a true fix.  

Christ-followers know exactly where the plug in is … and no extension cord is needed. No re-arranging of our issues is required. This plug in can handle the big jobs as well as the small ones. And the power never goes out … not even when the tornado hits.  

I know. I’ve been through some life tornadoes … relying totally on the power available in Christ.

“How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension.” Psalm 147:5 (NLT)



>> Friday, August 19, 2011

I was in the six item express lane at the store quietly fuming. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward looked into the cart and asked sweetly, 'So which six items would you like to buy?' Wouldn't it be great if that happened more often?

Because they had no reservations at a busy restaurant, my elderly neighbor and his wife were told there would be a 45-minute wait for a table. 'Young man, we're both 90 years old,' the husband said. 'We may not have 45 minutes.' They were seated immediately.

All eyes were on the radiant bride as her father escorted her down the aisle. They reached the altar and the waiting groom; the bride kissed her father and placed something in his hand. The guests in the front pews responded with ripples of laughter. Even the priest smiled broadly. As her father gave her away in marriage, the bride gave him back his credit card.

Three friends from the local congregation were asked, 'When you're in your casket, and friends and congregation members are mourning over you, what would you like them to say?'

Artie said: ' I would like them to say I was a wonderful husband, a fine spiritual leader, and a great family man.'

Eugene commented: 'I would like them to say I was a wonderful teacher and servant of God who made a huge difference in people's lives.'

Al said: 'I'd like them to say, 'Look, he's moving!'

A man goes to a shrink and says, 'Doctor, my wife is unfaithful to me. Every evening, she goes to Larry's bar and picks up men. In fact, she sleeps with anybody who asks her! I'm going crazy. What do you think I should do?'

'Relax,' says the Doctor, 'take a deep breath and calm down. Now, tell me, exactly where is Larry's bar?'

John was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully. 'Give me one last request, dear,' he said.
'Of course, John,' his wife said softly.
'Six months after I die,' he said, 'I want you to marry Bob.'
'But I thought you hated Bob,' she said.
With his last breath John said, 'I do!'

A man goes to see the Rabbi. 'Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk to you about it.'
The Rabbi asked, 'What's wrong?'
The man replied, 'My wife is poisoning me.'
The Rabbi, very surprised by this, asks, 'How can that be?'
The man then pleads, 'I'm telling you, I'm certain she's poisoning me. What should I do?'
The Rabbi then offers, 'Tell you what. Let me talk to her, I'll see what I can find out and I'll let you know.'
A week later the Rabbi calls the man and says, "I spoke to her on the phone for three hours. You want my advice?'
The man said yes and the Rabbi replied, 'Take the poison'
(Author Unknown)


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