The Lighter Side of Life

Laughing

My dear Terry received this posting from a friend, shared here for a look at the lighter side of life:

  1. My goal for 2018 was to lose just 10 pounds. Only 15 to go!
  2. Ate salad for dinner, mostly  croutons & tomatoes … actually just  one big, round crouton covered with tomato sauce … and  cheese. OK, it  was a pizza. I ate a pizza!
  3. How to  prepare Tofu: Throw it in the trash and grill some meat.
  4. I just did a week’s worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.
  5. I don’t mean to brag but I finished my 4-day diet food in 3 hours and 20 minutes!
  6. A study found that women who carry extra weight live longer than men who mention it.
  7. Kids today don’t know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk nine feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.
  8. Senility has been a smooth transition for me.
  9. Remember when we were kids and every time it was below zero outside they closed school? Me neither.
  10. I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented … I forgot where I was going with this.
  11. I love being over 70. I learn something new every day, and forget five other things.
  12. A thief broke into my house last night. He started searching for money, so I woke up and searched with him.
  13. My dentist told me I need a Crown. I said, “Awesome! Pour mine over the rocks.”
  14. I think I’ll just put an “Out of Order” sticker on my forehead and call it a day.
  15. Just remember: Once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed!

Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us: “There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh.” Laughter is good for the soul. Lighten up a little! Laugh a lot! Enjoy the lighter side of life! God bless your day!

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A Christmas Story

Here’s a mother’s Christmas story from an unknown source:

A proud moment came during the children’s Christmas pageant. My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds, and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line: “We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.” But he was nervous and said, “The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes.” My four-year-old “Mary” said, “That’s not wrinkled clothes, silly. That’s dirty, rotten clothes.”

That exchange caused a wrestling match to break out between Mary and the shepherd. Their conflict was resolved by an angel, who in the process bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, “Mama-Mama.” Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown. He knelt at the manger and announced, “We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense, and fur.” The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation.

“I’ve never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,” laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes. “For the rest of my life, I’ll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense, and fur.”

In my mind, the image of wise men bringing gifts for the Christ child is a poignant one. That’s what people do at Christmas. We give gifts. Most of those gifts are for people we love. Many gifts are also given for the charitable causes and Christian ministries near and dear to our heart.

Terry and I give at Christmas time in various ways. We give gifts to each other, numerous gifts to our children and grandchildren, and special gifts to special causes. For the past several years we have foregone the tradition of sending Christmas cards to loved ones and friends. Frankly, we don’t know where to draw the line. Instead, we make a significant contribution to a number of many favorite charities, including Legacy Deo. You may do something similar. I hope you do.

As this Christmas approaches, Terry and I send our love and blessings to each of you who receive and read these weekly articles. We pray for a special measure of God’s abundant blessing in your life. And the staff of Legacy Deo joins us in wishing each of you a joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

The Greatest

Little League

Last week I heard on the radio a song by Kenny Rogers and thought it would be worth sharing. It’s about eternal optimism and positive thinking. Here are the words:

Little boy in a baseball hat stands in the field with his ball and bat.
Says, “I am the greatest player of them all,”
Puts his bat on his shoulder and he tosses up his ball.
And the ball goes up and the ball comes down,
Swings his bat all the way around.
The world’s so still you can hear the sound, the baseball falls…to the ground.

Now the little boy doesn’t say a word, picks up his ball, he is undeterred.
Says, “I am the greatest there has ever been,”
And grits his teeth and he tries it again.
And the ball goes up and the ball comes down,
Swings his bat all the way around.
The world’s so still you can hear the sound, the baseball falls…to the ground.

He makes no excuses, he shows no fear,
He just closes his eyes and listens to the cheers.
Little boy, he adjusts his hat, picks up his ball, stares at his bat.
Says, “I am the greatest, when the game is on the line,”
And he gives his all…one last time.
And the ball goes up with the moon so bright,
Swings his bat with all his might.
And the world’s as still as still can be,
The baseball falls…and that’s strike three.

Now it’s suppertime and his momma calls,
Little boy starts home with his bat and ball.
Says, “I am the greatest, that is a fact.
But even I didn’t know I could pitch like that!”
Says, “I am the greatest, that is understood.
But even I didn’t know I could pitch that good!”

Some may call that denial. I call it positive thinking, putting the best construction on everything.

Party Time!

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.03.52 AMAs some may recall, my dear mother attained her 100th birthday this past April 10. Prior to and on the actual date, appropriate but relatively low key celebrations took place. There’s a reason.

Some of Mom’s grandchildren and great grandchildren are still in school, which made coming from out of state for a Texas weekend in April a tall order! Having the main celebration this summer allows the branches of our family that still have school aged twigs and leaves to attend.

Accordingly, nearly 50 of Mom’s 54 living immediate family members from Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas will soon descend on New Braunfels, Texas, for the big celebration. It’s almost party time!

How does one celebrate a centennial birthday? With cake and candles and balloons, just like any birthday! In our case, we’ve rented a spacious old home in New Braunfels, which will serve as headquarters for the event. While not large enough to house all 50 of us, it will allow us to have our home cooked meals together, along with activities, laughter, conversation and devotions.

The main character, of course, is Mother herself. While quietly but happily anticipating the event, she’s certainly not as active or as vibrant as she has been for nearly a century. Her physical condition has weakened significantly, making it nearly impossible to walk. Although still in good spirits, she regularly expresses her fervent desire to go home to heaven to see Jesus.

Those of you who have experienced the lengthy illness of a loved one, particularly one who has achieved advanced chronological maturity, can understand what I’m about to say. There may come a time when a loved one reaches the point where a return to physical health and strength is almost assuredly not going to happen. Under those circumstances, for family and friends to pray for restoration of health and strength for that loved one in all reality becomes a selfish prayer.

So my prayer for our dear mother is that her real party would soon begin. Birthday parties may not even occur in heaven. If they do, they may or may not have cake, candles and balloons.

Be that as it may, that eternal party will be held in the place where all believers in Christ will someday be at home. The hymn aptly states: “I’m but a stranger here. Heaven is my home!”

Happy Birthday, dear Mother! It’s party time! Let the celebration begin!

Pithy Sayings

LaughterFrom time to time I run out of fresh ideas on topics of practical or theological or political interest, so I decide simply to share stuff that some find humorous. That’s what I have for you this week. Some of you may even be old enough to recognize the source of a few of these sayings.

  • The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending and to have the two as close together as possible. George Burns
  • Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. Victor Borge
  • Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. Mark Twain
  • By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. Socrates
  • I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. Groucho Marx
  • I have never hated a man enough to give back his diamonds. Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. Alex Levine
  • My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying. Rodney Dangerfield
  • Money can’t buy you happiness. But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery. Spike Milligan
  • I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap. Bob Hope
  • We could certainly slow the aging process if it had to work its way through Congress. Will Rogers
  • Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you. Winston Churchill
  • Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty, but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out. Phyllis Diller
  • By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere. Billy Crystal
  • The cardiologist’s diet: If it tastes good spit it out.
  • May your troubles be less, may your blessings be more, and may nothing but happiness come through your door!

God bless your day!

Reasons to be Joyful at Christmas!

Christmas OrnamentLast week I invited readers to submit their reasons to be joyful at Christmas. Here’s a summary:

  • Singing carols from the Karaoke channel.
  • Christmas cards that renew friendships from long ago.
  • Carolers’ smiles and contagious children’s joy!
  • Heart-warming flowers of the season (poinsettias, amaryllis).
  • Grandchildren walking with the Lord!
  • Family eating, singing carols and opening presents, with no iPhones or iPads allowed!
  • Being blessed by precious memories.
  • Remembering that God is still at work revealing His Son, Jesus, to us.
  • Knowing Christ is with us and we are never alone, regardless of our circumstances.
  • Giving and receiving from those near and dear to us.
  • Loved ones, by God’s grace, successfully battling cancer and other dread diseases.
  • Sensitivity for people who have a difficult time at Christmas.
  • Grandkids whose faces light up when seeing a tree full of presents.
  • Special late night candlelight worship services on Christmas Eve.
  • Silent night, holy night! All is calm all is bright! Thank you Lord!
  • Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given!
  • His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!
  • Preparation, giving, family time, joyful memories of childhood.
  • Embracing those who live alone or experience grief of any kind.
  • Welcoming the future, confident my Lord will lead in a time of uncertainty.
  • Offering support to those suffering from illness, abuse, or addiction.
  • Acceptance of those who are “different” from me.
  • Enjoying good food and drink (in moderation, of course).
  • Giving to help eradicate world hunger.
  • Seeing everyone pitch in the day after to restore normalcy.
  • Recalling the blessedness of another Christmas with precious family time together!

And here are a few of my own:

  • Worshiping and celebrating Christmas with family, including my 99 year old mother!
  • Watching family members read my personal Christmas letter to each of them, check enclosed!
  • Thanking God for peace in the midst of pandemonium, tranquility in a season of terror, freedom in the face of oppression, light in the darkness, forgiveness in a manger in Bethlehem!
  • Knowing that a thousand times in history a baby has become a king but only once in history did a King become a baby!

A very Blessed, Christ filled and Merry Christmas to you all!

Fishing, ISIS, Waco

FishingThat’s a seemingly strange title for a Perspectives article. I chose it because it reflects activities in which I was involved or which caught my attention this past week.

Fishing

The past two years I have been the recipient of a special Christmas gift from our daughter Angie and her husband Todd: a guided striped bass fishing trip on Lake Buchanan in central Texas with their son Kolby and their daughter Kayla, who just happen to be Terry’s and my grandchildren.

This year’s trip took place last Friday. My lucky catch was a 34-inch striped bass weighing 16.25 lbs. Our guide said it’s the largest such fish he’s seen taken from Lake Buchanan in the past 6-7 years. All four witnesses wanted me to mount it, which I was considering until I heard the cost: $18/inch. Do the math. Guess what I told the guide: “Clean it!”

To see the fish (before it was cleaned and eaten) go to: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=860028237406000&set=a.860028470739310.1073741825.100001964954873&type=1&theater

ISIS

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Over the weekend, ISIS militants seized the key Iraqi city of Ramadi. An Associated Press report said: “The contested city of Ramadi fell to the Islamic State group on Sunday, as Iraqi forces abandoned their weapons and armored vehicles to flee the provincial capital in a major loss despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes.”

“Bodies, some burned, littered the streets following mass killings of Iraqi security forces and civilians. Humvees, trucks and other equipment sped out of Ramadi, with soldiers gripping onto their sides. More than 250 civilians and security forces were killed, including police and others shot dead in the streets or their homes, along with their wives and children.”

Waco

Monday’s Austin American Statesman reported details of what first appeared on Sunday’s newscasts: “A chaotic shootout Sunday between rival biker gangs that also involved Waco police left nine dead and a city on alert for further violence.

“The shooting erupted at the Twin Peaks restaurant just after 12:15 p.m. Sunday during a ‘Bike Night’ event police had sought to shut down. Waco police said they had feared the large gathering of up to 200 bikers from at least five different motorcycle gangs would turn violent after tensions had risen in the past month.”

How strange that while deadly manifestations of ungodly greed and childish pride erupt around the world and places closer to home, in this land of the free and home of the brave I spend a morning on a lake catching a big fish. I am blessed! And so are you! Don’t take those blessings for granted. All of us are blessed to be a blessing!