Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Should Have Guessed...

Today eight-year-old grandson Lincoln gave me a jelly bean to taste.
Just one. One little jelly bean. I should have suspected something.
Not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill jelly bean.
It was a weird yellowish green color with some dark flecks sprinkled in.

I popped it into my mouth. He watched eagerly.
I should have guessed something was up.

"What's it taste like, Meemaw?" he asked.
"Well," I chewed and tasted and tasted and chewed. Very slowly.
"I'm not sure...but it is..."
Nasty, I thought to myself. Nasty.
I couldn't place the taste. But it was vaguely familiar.

"It's buger. It's buger flavored, Meemaw!"
Akky. That was it. That was the flavor. I knew it from some 65 years ago.
It was one of those "flavors" you just don't forget.
(Why do kids think they have to taste their bugers?)

At this point the jelly bean was the consistancy of sticky and slimy, laced with small soft chunks.
I tried to swallow it but it wouldn't go down. Tried again.
And I tried again. I didn't want to puke.

As I delicately spit it out into a kleenex, Lincoln was cracking up.
He showed me the package of Jelly Belly "Bean Boozled" candies his big brother JD had received as a gift from Uncle Josh.
Gross. Gag. Ack.

I am left with one question: How many bugers did the developer have to taste to perfect that exact jelly bean flavor?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Love is Patient...

Patience is the ability to keep your motor idling when you feel like stripping your gears.

"Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city," (Proverbs 16:32 NLT).

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Lord is My Shepherd

There was once a Shakespearean actor who was known everywhere for his one-man shows of readings and recitations from the classics. He would always end his performance with a dramatic reading of Psalm 23.

Each night, without exception, as the actor began his recitation - "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."  The crowd would listen attentively. And then, at the conclusion of the Psalm, they would rise in thunderous applause in appreciation of the actor's incredible ability to bring the verse to life.

But one night, just before the actor was to offer his customary recital of Psalm 23, a young man from the audience spoke up. "Sir, do you mind if tonight I recite Psalm 23?"

The actor was quite taken back by this unusual request, but he allowed the young man to come forward and stand front and center on the stage to recite the Psalm, knowing that the ability of this unskilled youth would be no match for his own talent.

With a soft voice, the young man began to recite the words of the Psalm. When he was finished, there was no applause. There was no standing ovation as on other nights. All that could be heard was the sound of weeping.

The audience had been so moved by the young man's recitation that every eye was full of tears.

Amazed by what he had heard, the actor said to the youth, "I don't understand. I have been performing Psalm 23 for years. I have a lifetime of experience and training - but I have never been able to move an audience as you have tonight. Tell me, what is your secret?"

The young man quietly replied, "Well sir, you know the Psalm... I know the Shepherd."

(Thanks to friend Angie for sharing this story with me.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


36 have been accused of spousal abuse

7 have been arrested for fraud

19 have been accused of writing bad checks

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

3 have done time for assault

71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

8 have been arrested for shoplifting

21 currently are defendants in lawsuits, and

84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

Can you guess which organization this is? NBA or NFL?

Neither. It's the 435 members of the United States Congress.

The same group of individuals who crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.

Monday, June 09, 2008

How Many Zeros in a Billion?

Following is another email I received today. It's worth thinking over.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no one walked on the earth on two feet.
A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number. What does it mean?

Well, if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, and child) you each get $516,528.

Or if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.

Or if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D. C., HELLO! Are all your calculators broken??

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax < BR>Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Tel ephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt. We had the largest middle class in the world. And Mom got to stay home to raise the kids.

What happened?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Perfect Mistake

(This story was forwarded to me by my daughter, Susan, who is a missionary along with her husband and kids, in southern Africa. I don't know the name of the author.)

My mother's father worked as a carpenter.

On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China.

On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at its height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. "It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this."

Months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States . He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came speak one Sunday at my grandfather's small church in Chicago .

The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. "But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year.

You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this.

Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top. The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: "Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas.

But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.