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 where you can

read insightful posts.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

How's Your Life Going?


"The greater part of our happiness depends on
our dispositions, not our circumstances."
–Martha Washington

Is your life simple or stressful? If your life is stressful, can you ever get back to simple? These days the world seems to expect everybody to multitask—do more than one thing at the same time. Do you ever feel like you're barely staying ahead of a full-blown crash of your life?

Some of us probably would enjoy a life of simplicity. A little child’s life is an example of simplicity. Children can fuss one minute and then a while later are the best of friends.

Seems like once we become adults we’ve learned the words disagree, dislike, argue, and unforgiving. We adults find it easy to remember hurt feelings; unlike little children, we hold grudges against those who have hurt us.


Have you watched how simple a little child faces each day? How they probably don’t remember having their feelings hurt? They embrace everyone, trusting and laughing. Little children who are cared for are happy every day (unless they are sick).

They usually get along with anyone who pays attention to them. Little children are unaware of all the bad around the world; they look at the world through innocent eyes that yet don’t know evil.


We can look at little children and find innocence. Knowing what we know in maturity, some might wish to turn the calendar back a ways and start again. The second time around they might keep that simple innocence that brings such happiness to little children.

An old song sung by the Statler Brothers goes like this: “Life gets complicated when you pass eighteen.” The song tells of the adult lives of members of a high school graduating class—how well some have done and also how some have led miserable lives. 

The truth of that song is that life does get complicated when you outgrow your childhood. And to become responsible citizens, we must at some point, leave childhood behind. However, through the small children in our surroundings, we can sometimes experience childhood again, if only for brief periods of time.


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AMAZON GIVEAWAY for a chance to win 1 of 3 copies of Friendly Persuasion (Kindle Edition). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends Jan 26, 2018, 11:59 PM PST.

Monday, January 8, 2018

A Lifetime to Remember


The TV announcers were analyzing the losing team’s limited options in the closing minutes of the football game. One announcer commented how the coach could just as easily choose correctly and leave the field a victor, or make a wrong decision and go down to defeat. “Three minutes to play, but a lifetime to remember it,” he said. “Whichever way it goes.”

As we step into 2018, we can look at life much like those announcers looked at the end of that football game. We’ll have a lifetime to remember our 2018 decisions and their consequences.

Every day of the New Year will present decisions to be made. Some will be easy, even automatic. Yet, we’ll struggle with other decisions we face, like the football coach with only three minutes left to play.
We make our marks through life with a ballpoint pen, not with a pencil. No eraser is big enough to rub out life’s mistakes.

But I’ve read regret is the silent killer of the soul. Dwelling on past mistakes or mistreatment from others serves no good purpose.

The driver who always looks backward in his rear view mirror doesn’t do a very good job of driving ahead. Once done can’t usually be undone; words spoken can never be taken back.

Care is necessary in the performance of our words and actions. The Golden Rule provides an appropriate road map to help us bypass many regretful mistakes: Treat other people the way we’d want them to treat us. And let us not forget the cleansing effect of a sincere apology when necessary.

The New Year offers a clean slate, a new beginning. It’s our chance to start a fresh record. But we don’t have to wait until each January to decide to turn over a new leaf.

Not just every New Year, but every new day is like flipping to a clean piece of notebook paper. The empty lines are waiting to be filled. What we do each day turns the blank lines into another chapter in the story of our lives.

What kind of reading material are you creating? Would some chapters be more worthy than others? Would you want to acknowledge you’d written some chapters, but not others? Are they of Nobel-prize quality?

It’s up to us what we do with each New Year, each new day. Would our life’s story claim a prominent spot on the bookstore’s shelves? Or would it barely earn space in the lower, right hand corner?

Yes, we will have a lifetime to remember our every day. Here’s hoping all our memories get better and better. May each day of 2018 be a happy one! With few regrets.

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My latest book has released – Friendly Persuasion, a novella. Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here


Monday, December 11, 2017

What Do You Wish For?


I guess store managers think the earlier we’re tempted with Christmas music and decorations, the sooner we’ll start purchasing gifts. Speaking of gifts…As soon as they can write, children delight in making out lists of what they want for Christmas. Many times those lists get longer or get changed every day.

We adults make mental lists and drop hints to our Santas. Along with the children, we begin to feel the Christmas spirit as the time draws nearer for opening gifts resting under the tree.


Lists of things that can’t be packaged stay in our minds as well. This kind of wish list is good all year, not only for December and remains pretty much the same from year to year.

Have you ever wished TV cable wouldn’t go off in the middle of something good; shots didn’t come in a needle; we still had service stations instead of self-serve gas pumps?

Don’t you wish you’d bought stock early on in Coca-Cola, IBM, or Levi Strauss; newborns slept through the night; paper cuts didn’t hurt so much; opportunity would knock more often, or louder; experience wasn’t sometimes the best teacher?

Do you ever wish more money than month occurred instead of the opposite; someone would invent windshield wipers for eye glasses; our mistakes weren’t so noticeable?

Don’t you wish light bulbs didn’t burn out right when you turned them on; you could go back and do some things differently; appliances wouldn’t quit two months after their warranty expires; the check-out line you’re in didn’t move the slowest; shoe strings didn’t break?

On a more serious note, I wish violence would be replaced by kindness; paying health care premiums guaranteed good health; words could adequately express the feeling of love; hearts couldn’t break; it didn’t get dark.

I wish responsibility wasn’t so heavy; the world was a kinder, gentler place; TV programming was more wholesome; good outweighed bad; children didn’t have to be sick; grandparents lived longer.

I wish all good dreams came true.

As we compile our wish lights for Christmas, may we remember the words of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: "The magic message of Christmas is that God gives us so much more than we can possibly give back! He gave the world the greatest gift of all time. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given (Isaiah 9:6).'"

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Simply Christmas is an invitation to take a fresh look at the holiday in hopes Christmas will once again be a time of joy and reflection for your family instead of commercialized chaos. The authors, Vickie Phelps and Jo Huddleston, urge you to keep your celebration simple and grounded in the genuine reason for the holiday—God’s gift of His Son to the world. Simply Christmas is available on Amazon.

Monday, November 27, 2017

What Do We Live For?


What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?
--George Eliot
 
Glimpses at international tragedies offer us hints about people helping people. Regretfully these tragedies sometimes also give us pictures of people unmindful of others’ needs.

We may never be faced with a situation where we can make a difference between life and death for someone else. But if we’ll pay attention, we’ll probably find ample opportunities to help others. Opportunities that perhaps existed before, but had gone unnoticed.

What have you done lately for the single purpose of making another person’s day better?


Like holding a door open for someone whose arms are full of packages or children.

Like allowing another vehicle to ease into backed-up traffic.

Like reading to somebody who is unable to do so.

Like sending a card to let a person know they’re remembered.

Like taking a meal to someone unable to prepare one. Even a phone call to a friend so they’ll know someone thought about them. Sometimes sharing a smile will help brighten another’s day.

Just how long would one of these helpful acts take? A short time out of the day for being nice, doing something good-natured.

Think what difference we could make if we adopted this thought from Henry David Thoreau: “Be not simply good; be good for something.” Only a small portion of our life would be needed to show consideration, compassion, and generosity. What would it hurt to try?

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.



My latest book has released – Betty’s Blessing, a novella, book #2 in the California Bound series. (Book #1 in the series is Donna’s Detour.) Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here


Monday, November 13, 2017

Thankful For What Didn't Happen

"Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining -- it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems."
--Zig Ziglar

I guess most people pause however briefly, and try to be thankful for their blessings around this time of year. Usually we include things we take for granted all year. But, have we ever stopped to be thankful for things that we don’t have; for things that didn’t happen?

I’m grateful that our community wasn’t devastated by a fierce tornado or hurricane this year. I’m glad no trees fell across the roof or through a window, and no power lines lay tangled in the yard.

I’m thankful that El Nino hasn’t yet lashed across our state with abnormal weather: raging fires that consume everything in their path; rolling waters that climb across shoelines, flooding homes and businesses; blizzard conditions that blanket a town and halt all activity. 

I’m glad my community didn’t have an outbreak of dreaded infection or contagious disease. I’m grateful that malnutrition and hunger didn’t bring pain to children’s faces in my community.

I’m thankful I didn’t spend time the past year as a hospital patient. I’m thankful I wasn’t in an accident that left me injured, with a long recovery time.


At the same I’m being thankful for having missed some bad events of the past year, I’m also thankful for the good things.

I’m thankful for the privileges I have because I live in America and for the responsibilities those privileges bring to me. I’m grateful for teachers, from pre-school through college, who teach because they love the student and want to help the student discover learning.

I’m thankful for my town’s police department and fire department that provide for the safety and well-being of our citizens. I’m grateful for every health care worker and medical professional in my area who remains dedicated to the health and welfare of their patients.

I’m thankful for all things electronic. They make my life easier and more interesting even though I can’t understand them.

I’m grateful for neighbors who care. I’m thankful for books to read, sunsets to enjoy, and grandchildren to love.

Most of all, as I count my blessings on Thanksgiving Day, I’m glad I have Someone to thank. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).


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.



My latest book has released – Betty’s Blessing, a novella, book #2 in the California Bound series. (Book #1 in the series is Donna’s Detour.) Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here


Monday, October 30, 2017

False Faces


Please allow me to repeat this post from 2015


False Faces


"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know
who you are on Halloween."
--Erma Bombeck



When I was a youngster enjoying the treats of Halloween, most of our costumes were home-made. We didn’t have the difficult decision as to which store-bought gear we would dress up in on Halloween night. Supplies for costumes were scarce and, so, creativity suffered. Some were fortunate enough to have a spare sheet in the house which led to several ghosts floating around the neighborhood every year. 

But most of us would bundle up against the cold of a Tennessee October evening wearing our own clothes. In the tradition of the holiday, however, we felt it necessary to hide our faces. Thinking that the person who answered our knock at the door couldn’t tell who we were added to the excitement.

The extent of my Halloween costumes usually was just a covering for my face. In my childhood we called these “false faces.” What a highlight it was to go to the drugstore and select a false face for Halloween.

I wonder if grown-ups ever wear false faces. Surely not. Surely we see everyone as they honestly are, never any imitations. Do I ever deal with a false face instead of the real person before me?

Trustworthiness can only thrive in the absence of deception. There can be no honor in one’s word if there is dishonesty in that word.

From individuals to bureaucracies, integrity can pave the way toward principled morality. And if all relationships are bathed in such a freedom from deceit, honest dealings could result. Wouldn’t it be great to replace all fraud with uprightness? To swap suspicions for trust?

Let’s leave the costumes and face covering for the children to enjoy. Deception by adults only brings the need to deceive again and again to maintain the false face. It’s simpler to live in accord with what is right.

Let’s get out from behind those false faces! Let’s discard the adult false faces and walk in honesty with all persons.

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.



My latest book has released – Betty’s Blessing, a novella, book #2 in the California Bound series. (Book #1 in the series is Donna’s Detour.) Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here