Photo by Mallory

Photo by Mallory


Today is another day on our life’s journey.

Perhaps here you can find encouragement

for wherever your journeys may take you.

Welcome to my thinking place. On Mondays

read insightful posts here.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Sweet Humor


"Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes.  It's unbridled, it's unplanned, it's full of surprises."
--Erma Bombeck
   

Last week, I wrote about our sense of humor and shared a clean joke with you about the cost of male and female brains. 


Please allow me to share one more clean joke with you this time. This joke is more of a chuckle instead of a belly laugh—it’s a sweet reminder that children do listen when we talk. Sometimes they put a different slant on what the speaker may have meant and that’s what makes this little story endearing to me. Here it is:

One early morning a dad and his young son were in
the pickup truck on their way to a fishing hole.

"Dad," the boy said, "look at that pretty sunrise."


"You're right, it sure is pretty," his dad said.


"And just think, Dad, God made it with His left hand."


"What do you mean?"


"Well, He had to make the sunrise with His left hand because Jesus is sitting on His right hand."


Along with humor, our children and grandchildren are a blessing, a gift from God.


NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mankind's Greatest Blessing?


Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.” –Mark Twain


Much has been written about humankind’s sense of humor. For example, some think that a sense of humor prevents insanity, is necessary for a successful marriage, or is the pole that helps to balance your life.


The Bible mentions humor several times: Proverbs tell us a cheerful heart is like medicine, and Sarah laughed when she overheard the angel say she would have a child in her old age.

I enjoy a clean joke now and then, so I’ll test your sense of humor by giving you a funny one here. Gentlemen readers, please remember this is just a joke. Ladies, you'll probably like this one.



In the hospital where their family member lay gravely ill, the relatives gathered in the waiting room. Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and somber.


"I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news," he said, as he surveyed the worried faces. "The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It's an experimental procedure, semi-risky and you will have to pay for the brain yourselves."



The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time, someone asked, "Well, how much does a brain cost?"

The doctor quickly responded, $5,000 for a male brain, and $1,000 for a female brain."


The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked. A man, unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, "Why is the male brain so much more?"


The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and so to the entire group said, "It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because they've been used!"


NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Zika, Anyone?


 “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.
Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or
predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
–William Faulkner


The 2016 Olympics Summer Games began this past weekend in Brazil where the best of the best will compete athletically. 



Will you watch them on TV? Would you want your child or other loved one competing in that location? Newscasters and papers continue to tell us of increasing incidences of the Zika virus.

I saw this recently in The DailyMail.com: “Could rampant Zika virus that causes deformed babies stop the Olympics? Rio faces crisis as female spectators and athletes are warned not to go.“Rio’s Olympics are on the verge of disaster as fear grows over the Zika, which has left more than 4,000 newborns with shrunken heads.


“Female spectators and even athletes of childbearing age are being warned by countries and medical professionals around the world to reconsider their plans to travel to Brazil for fear of what could happen to their unborn children after the country was overrun by the mosquito-borne disease.”


But as the adage goes, “The show must go on.” Or, in this case, the games must go on. I admire the athletes from America and other countries who qualify to compete in the Olympics. To reach that goal, they’re all profoundly dedicated and determined. However, I wonder about the wisdom of holding the games in Brazil this summer in the face of even medical personnel advice not to do so.


This year’s Olympics will be subjecting the participants to potential tragedy by bringing them into the current environment in Rio. Athletic competition has become paramount, from pre-school through professional sports. I’m not opposed to athletic endeavors and have enjoyed watching my share over the years.


But when we put athletes in harm’s way, be it from bodily injury or the Zika virus, we’re dismissing reasonable thought. I can only hope and pray for any athlete that faces potential and unnecessary damage anywhere.

 
NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


 
Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.
 

Monday, August 1, 2016

What's Your Inside Age?


"We are always the same age inside."
–Gertrude Stein, American novelist, 1874-1946

I’ve heard many people say age is relative, that you’re as old as you feel. Do you agree with that? Some folks have said about others that they’re old before their time.


When I look at pictures from history, it’s obvious the lifestyle forced upon many did age them early. Those living before adequate or knowledgeable health care were available aged, grew infirm, and had a shorter life span than we do today.

In high school, when my daddy turned forty, I thought he was an old man. Now, age forty looks very attractive to me. Most thing are indeed relative. The perspective from the other side of forty is different than through my eyes as a teenager.

Sophia Loren, Italian film actress and Oscar winner talked with People magazine in their April 4, 2016 issue. On the topic of age, she said, “When you are 20 years old, you don't think that you will turn 80, but when you do, you still can't believe it." She went on to say she still feels like she’s that 20-year-old.

As a young person, I don’t remember ever thinking of myself as growing old. I don’t think my thoughts ever went too far into the future. Of course, I did my high school homework to prepare for tomorrow. I studied for upcoming exams in college. But I didn’t plot or plan for the future.


Then along comes marriage and children and you look into the mirror and suddenly wonder where that carefree person is. You begin to think of others more than of yourself, and you’re concerned for their welfare. Your priorities change and your focus shifts to less selfish pursuits.


Even now, I still don’t look too far ahead. I’ve heard folks say, “It is what it is.” So true. I try not to be concerned about things I can’t change. Sometimes it most certainly is not easy, but I try. I remind myself that if I don’t have a responsibility in a situation, then it’s none of my business. That’s sometimes not easy as well.


A wise move would be to learn, like the apostle Paul, to be content in our circumstances. (Philippians 4:11) We all experience aging. We can choose to accept our age—both outside and inside—and cherish the days we have been given.


NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Do You Have a Bad Habit?


Anything done twice becomes easier to do.” –Unknown 

When someone mentions the word “habit,” do you automatically think bad habit? Many times we remember people by their habits. It’s a shame these memories sometimes rest on negative implications.


Scientific studies show it takes twenty-one days to establish a habit, whether it’s good or bad. So, since a bad habit and a good habit require the same amount of time to set up, why not put that effort toward something good instead of the opposite?


We all probably have at least one bad habit if we’d admit it. But do we think that habit is bad enough to break or to exchange for a good one? Maybe bad habits are like beauty—deemed so in the eye of the beholder, not in the mind of the person with the habit.


Our habits flavor our daily behavior and sometimes speak volumes about us. We’re often known by our habits. Is there possibly some bad behavior we could exchange for good behavior? After all, we could have a good habit going in just three weeks.


How about replacing impatience with patience? How about swapping hate for love? And what about more kindness instead of violence? A smile instead of a frown?

And we could do without anger and dishonesty and gossip and greed and jealousy and pessimism and pride and rebellion and revenge and worry. The list could to one and one.


But this isn’t a perfect world. We all sometimes display undesirable habits and behavior. But just think of what redirecting our efforts could accomplish if we tried to make a more positive impact on our own life and on those around us.


We can form good habits or bad habits. It’s our choice. 


NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gripe of the Day


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Ephesians 4:29, NIV


Many of the almost 1,000 talk radio programs that fill the airways 24 hours a day simply give a forum for listeners to vent their gripe-of-the-day. These shows air complaints about the way things are. More often than not, they keep the coals of dissent stirred up, seldom offering feasible, effective solutions.


If, by chance, these hosts truly believe they can effect changes in the political realm, then it’s not improbable for them to think they could bring about change in our country’s lifestyle mentality. They could appeal to the individual’s basic knowledge of good and bad. They could give a clarion call for a return of the common, garden-variety, old-fashioned decency that has worked for ages in successful relationships between human beings.


Decency that could lessen crime and fear while at the same time strengthen brotherhood among us all. 

 

Instead of spouting criticism about everybody and everything over the airwaves, we could be expressing how thankful we are for what good there is. And if what we have to say is not good, perhaps we should say nothing. 

Let’s sound the trumpet for good. For encouragement and constructive thoughts rather than for negative opinions. For harmony among all peoples. Applying the Golden Rule could accomplish that: “So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you? (Matthew 7:12).


Can you imagine a world where that rule would be universally applied? Really applied by all men, women, and children in every relationship? Perfection might describe the result.


Can such perfection exist in our world? Perhaps not. But what pleasure there would be in trying for it. Then we might not need all those talk radio shows for griping and complaining and criticizing, and …


NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Is Your Past a Foreign Country?


The past is a foreign country;
they do things differently there."
–L.P. Hartley, British author, 1895-1972


We can’t be certain of the author’s intent when he wrote the above quotation. He could have intended to convey a somber mood; he could have meant to be sarcastic; or perhaps he wanted the statement to be humorous. We can never know for sure.


When I first read the above quotation, here’s how my thinking went:


First, he refers to the unknown THEY. Growing up, I often heard statements about they did so and so, or they went here and there, or they spent their money on this and that. When I was old enough or brave enough to challenge, I’d ask who they were. No one could or would ever identify they.


Allow me to substitute some words into the quotation above and let it be thus: “The past is a foreign country; I would do things differently there.” 



Yes, the past is a foreign country, another location separate from where we currently are. In the here and now as we look back over our past actions and words, we have what we call 20-20 hindsight: we can see the beginning, middle, and end of everything that transpired in the past.

Therefore, concerning those things in the past that we now know didn’t turn out so well, in hindsight we would of course do things differently in order to have a better ending. Of course we would, no doubt about it.


Would that be wonderful to have the benefit of hindsight and the opportunity to apply it to the past? My, oh my, what a difference we could make!

But that will never be. No, the only good I see from hindsight is to use the experience of it and apply it to situations in the present. That would help us to prevent missteps and bad judgments so we won’t repeatedly make the same mistakes and reap the same consequences.


NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.