Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Minister and IRS Joke

From 48 Days...

When the minister picked up the phone, Special Agent Adams from the IRS was on the line.
"Hello, is this the minister?"

"Yes, this is."

"I'm calling to inquire about a member of your congregation, a Dr. Shipe. Do you recognize the name?"

"Yes, he is a member of our congregation. How can I be of service?"

"Well, on last year's tax return, the doctor claimed that he made a sizable deductible contribution to your church.  Is this true?"

"Well, I'll have to have our bookkeeper verify this information for you. How much did Dr. Shipe say he contributed?"

"Twenty five thousand dollars," answered Agent Adams. "Can you tell me if that amount is true?"

There is a long pause.  "I'll tell you what," replied the minister..."Call back tomorrow. I'm sure it will be."

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late by Bill Myers

I recently read a post on a discussion forum written by a man who had spent years planning to take time off from work to tour the U.S. with his family in a motorhome.

But even with all his planning, his job somehow always got in the way, and he never was able to schedule the time to take the trip.

Recently, he became incapacitated, and will never be able to travel.

He wrote that one of the biggest regrets in his life was he waited way too long to follow his dream.  

He spent too much time working, and not enough time living.

His advice to his own son and to others who read his post was this . . .

"Pursue your adventures now.  Don't wait until the timing is perfect - because it never will be."

I agree with his advice.

Life is short, and in the end your biggest regrets will be the things you didn't do.

Look at your own life.  What things will you regret not having done or at least not having tried?

Maybe now is the time to make a list and start following through on those dreams and plans.

If not now, when?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Greetings, here are some of the blessings and lessons the Lord had for us in 2013:

* Barak reached the half-century mark - a celebration of life and bucket lists with family and friends.

* Victoria survived her first full year of post-professional graduate work - encouragement from family and friends.

* We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary - steady and faithful love.

* Darren (22) is gainfully employed and on his own, awaiting a call from the US Marine Corps to enter Officer Candidate School - patience and more patience.

* Kayla (20) is in her senior year at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, working hard to finish her double major in International Studies and in Latin American Studies - perseverance.


We look forward to 2014 knowing that whatever it will bring will come from the nail-pierced hands of Immanuel, God with us.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Stranger

Sent to me by email today...

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.

But the stranger... he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.

(I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked ... and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?....

We just call him 'TV.'

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Made Me Laugh

Saw this on 48Days and it made me laugh.

---

One day an employee sends a letter to his boss asking for an increase in his salary!

Dear Bo$$,

In thi$ life, we all need $ome things mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ worker$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to your company.

I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon.

Your$ $incerely,

Norman

---

The next day, the employee received this letter of reply :

Dear NOrman,

I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed. You must have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well as yet.

NOw the newspapers are saying the world’s leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the United States may go into aNOther recession. Here we are in NOvember and NOone is sure what the new year will bring.

I have NOthing more to add NOw. I think you kNOw what I mean...

Yours truly,

Manager

Monday, October 28, 2013

How To Move Toward Opportunity

Be aware of red lights in your life. Stop when you need to -but- make sure you start again when the light turns green.

Live in the present because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here yet.

Stop beating yourself up and accept yourself as you are.

Set constructive goals that have the possibility of moving you toward opportunity.

Face any crises head on and turn it into an opportunity for growth.

Find out more about how to develop your inner strength and seize opportunities HERE

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to Become Self-Motivated

"The biggest difference between a "wisher" and a "doer" is motivation."

Why are people not easily motivated into action toward their goals?

What most self-improvement programs never reveal is that your motivation comes from within yourself. The two ingredients of developing your own internal motivation are 1) be involved and 2) be committed. One of these without the other doesn't cut it, you must be involved and committed to whatever you wish to do.

Make a decision about those things which you want to be involved in, and then commit to them with your full awareness and attention. Then you'll accomplish what you’ve set your mind to do.

Here's the formula: Be Involved + Be Committed = Be Motivated

Remember, your motivation comes from within you, but your “reasons why” inspire you from the outside. What are your reasons why? Big reasons why should NOT be material things, but they ARE the things that make a difference in the lives of others.

Now you know how to be motivated...from within!

-

Post inspired by the Ultimate Success Program

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Days 11 and 12 - Coon Rapids MN to Chicago IL to Xenia OH

Just one more stop for a night in Chicago and... I’m getting ahead of myself.

We packed up the rental car for the penultimate time on this journey and headed toward Chicago IL, via Wisconsin.



More farms, but unlike the ones in North Dakota, these seemed relatively small and nicely tucked away between verdant rolling hills. Again, drive-by photo-shooting did not work; you will just need to take our word for it. It was beautiful!

Of course, the ever-present educational signs met us also at the rest areas in Wisconsin. We learned about Sphagnum Moss, a rather unknown but important industry in Wisconsin. And here we thought they were just about cheese.



And we learned a bit more about the Winnebago Indians.



Before crossing into Illinois, we stopped at the “world’s largest” Culver’s and had some or their famous Butterburgers and yummy milk shakes/smoothies.



You know it’s been a rather long two driving days when the navigator (who shall remain nameless), is wearing reading glasses AND using a magnifying glass to decipher a map, not realizing that the darn thing was upside-down. No more map-reading, please!



When we arrived at the outskirts of Chicago, we wished we could have brought the Montana traffic (or lack thereof) with us. We did finally make it to the home of Jerry and Terri Pinney, who were the most welcoming and gracious hosts one could ask for. Chicago style pizza and some good conversation, and a couple of hours later we turned out the lights.

Excellent coffee and breakfast, and more conversation with Jerry were the perfect send-off for the last leg of our trip. Here I am with Jerry right before we left.



4,400 miles, 10 States in 12 days…



Just let me rest in my own bed for a few weeks and I may just succumb to another bout of wanderlust. Hmm…where to next? My four remaining states to visit are Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi and Vermont.

Thanks for following us on our journey...