Anecdotes and Other Nice Stuff

Too Old?
The Handwriting on the Wall
Salty Sayings
The Angry Tongue
The Ant
The Parable of the Cracked Pot
Lessons You Can Learn from Your Dog

Too Old?

Several years ago a man encountered the idea that we should live our lives in such a way that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry that we are gone!

The saying is that life begins at 40. It really begins when you want it to begin!

  • At age 71 an agent turned down Jack Benny thinking he was washed up. Jack found another agent and fulfilled twelve million dollars more in bookings before he died at the age of 81.
  • Moses was 80 when he received the Law.
  • Aaron was 83 when he began to perform miracles and plagues in Egypt.
  • Joshua was 85 when he led Israel into the promised land.
  • Will Durant sold a series of television programs at the ripe young age of 91.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright created the magnificent Guggenheim Museum at 89.
  • Colonel Sanders was in his 60s when he sold his first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.
  • Golda Meir was 71 when she became Prime Minister of Israel.
  • George Bernard Shaw was 94 when one of his plays was first produced.
  • Benjamin Franklin was a framer of the United States Constitution when he was 81.

A University of Wisconsin study says that if you keep active as you get older, you can enjoy people, laugh at yourself, and get as much out of life at 90 as you could when you were 40!

The Handwriting on the Wall

A weary young mother returned from the store,
Arms filled with groceries, she came through the door.
Awaiting her there was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to tell what his brother had done.

"While me and my Dad were outside playing ball,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
He's ruined the wallpaper there in the den.
Spank him real good. It's a terrible sin!"

Mom made a groan as she furrowed her brow.
"Where is that rascal? I'll see him right now!"
She emptied her arms and with purposeful stride,
She marched to the closet where T.J. did hide.

She called his full name as she entered the room.
He trembled and wept--he knew it meant doom!
For several minutes she scolded and raved
About her wallpaper and how she had saved.

She went to the den to confirm her worst fears.
But the scrawl on the wall made her eyes fill with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul like a dart.
It said, "I love Mom!" -- in the midst of a heart.

Well, the wallpaper stayed, just the way that she found it,
With a nice picture frame hanging there to surround it.
And TJ grew up. Then in war he did fall.
But his love still abides where he wrote on the wall.

Salty Sayings

Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.

God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will live forever.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the moment of temptation.

Amazing! You just hang something in your closet for a while, and it shrinks two sizes!

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the
principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain)

Selected maxims from the pen of Publius Syrus...

  • The loss which is unknown is no loss at all.
  • Whatever you can lose, you should reckon of no account.
  • A cock has great influence on his own dunghill.
  • Any one can hold the helm when the sea is calm.
  • It is only the ignorant who despise education.
  • It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.
  • Prosperity makes friends; adversity tries them.

The Angry Tongue...

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy hammered 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he gradually learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave scars in people just like the holes in this fence. Hurtful words are like a knife you drive into a person's heart. No matter how many times you say you're sorry, the wound will still be there."

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. (James 3.8-10, NKJ)

The Ant...

Brenda wanted to learn to mountain climbing so she went with a group to climb a high and steep cliff of rock.

In spite of her "beginner's nerves,", Brenda put on climbing gear and started up the face of that rocky precipice.

After nearly an hour of hard climbing, the group stopped to rest a few minutes. Still tied to the rope that connected all the climbers, Brenda sat down on a small ledge, thankful for the chance to catch her breath.

As she sat there, whoever was above her made a mistake and jerked the rope. The taut line struck Brenda's eye, knocking out one of her contact lenses.

Blurry-eyed and fearful, Brenda felt all around the ledge, hoping beyond hope that she might somehow find her lost contact. But it was nowhere to be found. Sadly. Brenda faced the likelihood that her contact lens was forever lost among the rocks and rubble that lay below her.

As Brenda sat there she suddenly thought of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." Brenda recited that verse aloud to God, then prayed, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every single stone and and grain of sand that's on those mountains and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me find it."

Hours later, after the group reached the mountain's summit and began the long descent back down, they encountered a new party of rock climbers coming along. A woman in the group shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Did anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, wouldn't it? The woman had found Brenda's contact lens! But the truly amazing thing is HOW she came to discover it. While climbing, the woman had spotted an ant, moving slowly across the face of the rock that she was clinging to. To the woman's amazement, a contact lens was grasped firmly in the ant's mandibles.

So Brenda's lost contact was found -- by an ANT!

That evening Brenda told her dad, a cartoonist, about her amazing experience. Her dad drew a picture of that ant lugging the contact lens and saying, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, so be it."

If ever your burdens seem heavy and meaningless, remember that ant and pray, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, so be it."

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise (Proverbs 6.6, NKJ)

The Parable of the Cracked Pot

A water bearer had two large water pots. Each pot hung on each end of a pole which the water bearer carried across his shoulders.

One pot was perfect. It always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house.

The other pot had a hairline crack in it and leaked. Each time the bearer arrived at the master's house, the cracked pot was only half full.

For many months this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master's house.

The perfect pot was quite proud of its accomplishments.

The cracked pot, on the other hand, was deeply ashamed that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been designed to do.

One day the cracked pot could no longer bear with its imperfection and asked the water bearer to discard it from use.

"Why?" asked the water bearer.

"I am a leaky old failure," the cracked pot replied in a sad voice. "No doubt the master is angry with you because you bring him only one and a half pots of water each day. Yet this tragedy is my fault, not yours. Please -- throw me aside and use a new pot."

"Presumptious little pot!" the water bearer said angrily. "By calling yourself a failure, you are calling our master a failure. After all, it is he who assigned you to this job."

"But I'm cracked!" the bewildered little pot responded.

"Ah, now you are calling the master ignorant! Will your impudence never cease? Of course he knows you're cracked. He knows everything about you!"

"Then why...?" said the pot, his potty little voice trailing off in complete astonishment.

Giving no reply, the water bearer filled both pots with water and began the trek back to the master's house. By and by, as he walked along, he said, "Look now at the flowers on each side of the trail."

"I see them," the pot replied. "They are very beautiful."

"Do you see any flowers yonder in the fields?"

"Nay, sir, only along the sides of the trail," answered the pot.

"So now you understand," the bearer said.

"Understand what?" the pot asked plaintively.

"Ay, have you no brains a'tall?" the bearer said. "Well, I suppose not. After all, you're only clay. Well then... try and think, you silly little pot. This is a harsh, dry land we live in, right? And flowers need water to live, right?"

"Er... yes sir."

"So then," the bearer continued, "where you go, there's flowers. Where you don't go, there's only sand and cactus."

"My leak waters the flowers!" the cracked pot exclaimed.

"You've finally got it," the bearer muttered, rolling his eyes. "Yes lad," he went on, "when I discovered the crack in you and reported it to the master, he told me to plant flower seeds along the trail rather than throw you on the scrap heap. Because of you and your crack, the master not only has water to drink, he also has lovely flowers to grace his house and land."

* * * * * * *

Teaching point #1 -- You can't call yourself a failure if you don't know what your Master has in mind for you.

Teaching point #2 -- Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all of us cracked pots. But if you keep on keeping on, God will fix some of your flaws, little by little. Other flaws He may leave with you for a while -- to water the flowers!

And He (God) said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12.9-10, NKJ)

Lessons You Can Learn from Your Dog

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
  • Take naps and stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends again.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you've had enough.
  • Be loyal, even unto death.
  • Never pretend to be something you're not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

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