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Thoughts from Jim Perkins
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(2007 Archive)

Time to Count Our Blessings

With the Economy in the tank, 401K's loosing 50% of their value, Chrysler about to declare Bankruptcy, Car Dealers around the country quickly following, Companies like U.S. Steel idleing 3 plants, People losing 1 or 2 of their incomes in their family, it is very easy to get down. Having lost my job on multiple occassions for different reasons, I can relate.

You start in denial and run up credit card debts knowing that next job is right around the corner. After maxing your credit cards, you take the second or third mortgage on your house and start trying to spend less. In the mean time, you start regretting not taking those jobs that were 50% of your old job, but at least meant there was income coming in instead of only expenses going out.

But it is Christmas time. We need to focus on what is good in our lives for at least this month. There is an old saying, God only gives us what he knows we can handle. I just wish he did not have this much respect for me.

If you have no money, then please go volunteer some where. Most organizations this time of year need money, but if you can at least offer your time. Helping someone else that may be in worse shape than you will give you a better perspective on life. If you have a little extra, then give both your time and funds. There is no greater feeling in the world than the feeling that you made a difference in someone else's life.

Have a great Holiday Season.

Humor Corner (Sponsored by: Cartoon Bank)

Are You Going to Vote?
Unfortunately, we are not in the middle of Brewsters Millionsand there is not a choice of "None of the Above". You will have to choose between Barack Obama and John McCain.
There are a lot of countries that fight for the right just to vote. With all the financial problems that we are experiencing, please make a decision today that you will go out in November and vote and feel American.

Humor Corner (Sponsored by: Cartoon Bank)
Questions to a Computer Help Line
Sites of the Week(Sponsored by Belcor Home Furnishings):
Top Environmental Web Sites - EPA, Tree Hugger, We Can Solve It, and

What is Your Dream?

We all know what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream was from his speech on August 28, 1963. Is it being achieved with a Black Man on top of one ticket and a Woman 2nd on the other ticket? No, it is not achieved, but it is a step. Jackie Robinson put up with a lot becoming the first black baseball player. Without him, no one could follow.

Each of us must decide who to vote for on November 4th. Over the days leading up to November 4th, we have to listen to what Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain, and Sarah Palin have to say and make a decision. In schools, politics will be discussed and each of you must also decide in your classrooms who you would vote for. No matter who you vote for, you will be making history.

I worry about my 2 kids in College. This will be their first election, but they are right now registered back home. They will be away at college on November 4th. They need to learn how to do absentee ballots or register where they are going to school. But if they register there, they are subject to jury duty there. Visit today to learn how you to file an absentee ballot.

Humor Corner
The father asked his Kindergarter Johnny, "How was school?" Johnny replied, "Dad, I do not like school." "Why?" asked his father. "Well, the teacher asked me if I knew Colors, and I named all of the colors. The teacher asked me if I could count to ten, and I did. The teacher asked me to spell Cat, and I did. The teacher asked me so many basic questions, I started to wonder what am I going to learn from someone that has to ask me for everything.

Site of the Week:
Speaking of Faith is a great inspirational site that offers a lot of information free.

Preparing For School

I know it is depressing for children to be thinking about school (parents love it), but for many of you, you are starting a new journey. Some are going on to the Junior High, others High School, and still others Freshman at College. Wow, what an adjustment.

You go from the oldest kid in the school, to the youngest. You start taking on responsibility. Junior High means teenage years. High School means that you have to start challenging yourself to find what you like to do.

College means making decisions on your own. You can chose not to get out of bed and get to that 8am class. You can party all night. All of these are choices. But what is the conclusion of all of those decisions, you drop out and either have to find a job or join the military.

I dropped out and tried working. I then saw no opportunities their, so I joined the Navy. The second time I went to college I did not let the opportunity pass me by. I stayed for my Masters and love what I am doing today.

So please, enjoy your summer, but get prepared for that next step in your life. It will be the most important step so far.

Things you do not know about Lightning in the US

Summer Tips

Summer is here, but are you ready for summer? The following tips will help you get through the summer.
In honor of Father's day, we have come up with...
10 Things Dad Would Never Say (unless he wants something)
  1. "Don't worry what time you bring my daughter home."

  2. "Your Mom knows sports better than I do."

  3. "I love you so much that I can not think of anything but you."

  4. "No problem going to the opening of the Opera on opening day of the NFL season."

  5. "I was thinking of playing golf today, but if there are some projects I can do I will just stay home."

  6. "Is there any way possible that I can go to school and help out."

  7. "Can we just sit home and watch Chick flicks all night."

  8. "Don't worry that it is the 4th quarter of Game 7, I like the blue dress better."

  9. "Hey honey, can I stop what I am doing and get you a glass of wine so you can watch your TV show."

  10. "Who wants the TV remote?"

What is Your Work Ethic?

Charlie, a Master Carpenter, was very well respected in his community. Everyone knew that if they wanted the best, they would call on him. Of course that meant that Charlie would never be rich. His fellow carpenters always told him that if you used inferior materials and cheap labor then you could make a lot of money. Charlie would not hear of it.

One day, John, the richest man in town came to Charlie. He said that he had just purchased the best piece of land in town. It overlooked the entire city. He was going to Europe for 4 months and wanted Charlie to build him the best house in town. Spare no expense and give him the best.

Charlie thought about this and decided finally he would make some money. He did not get his usual great crew nor his normal suppliers. He built the house and covered up the flaws. After 4 months he had spent about 50% of what he usually spends on a house.

John came back from Europe and immediately called Charlie and asked him to meet him at the house. When they met, John asked him if he had used the finest materials and spared no expense. Charlie said absolutely. John said that he was glad. He paid Charlie, then told him that he knew he was not rich and had always struggled. So he wanted to reward Charlie for all of his years of service to the community by giving Charlie this house.

There are many times in our lives where we let down a little bit. When you do, you never know what is going to happen.

Humor Corner (In Honor of Our Mothers)
Things Mom Would Never Say

Visiting My Daughter at College

Why do parents get so nervous when their kids finally leave home. The number 1 item is that so many things are unknown. I know having both of our kids at College, is exciting to be empty nesters, but is extremely nerve wracking not knowing what is happening every minute.

We got lucky with our daughter. After trying multiple different organizations, she joined Georgia Southern Christian Campus Fellowship. CCF operates on a shoestring budget that is funded from Christian organizations and private donors. Only $600 of their annual budget comes from the University itself. I highly recommend checking them out at your local school. They offer a place where the students can feel welcome and offer various volunteer opportunities in association with other groups, such as Habitat for Humanity.

Humor Corner
And now, here is how kids view marriage and other related matters.

A Weekend in Memphis

What an emotional weekend. We drove to Memphis, which sits on the Mississippi River with the M Bridge and famous for Beale Street and all of that Jazz and BBQ (pictures 1 and 2). My favorite Memphis BBQ places are the Rendezvous, Corky's, and Pig-n-Whistle.

Picture 3 was at the end of a wedding where Elvis was present. The Bride and Groom's previous spouses had both died. They had found each other and there were a lot of emotions at the wedding. My wife and I talked about it. After 25 years of marriage, if either of us died, would we get remarried. The answer is that we would both want happiness for our spouses. So the answer would be yes.

Picture 4 was of the Civil Rights Museum. 2 of the 3 Presidential candidates also visited the Museum on Friday. It was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. The Civil Rights Museum is the former site of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King got shot. You can see the White Wreath on the second floor outside of Room 306 where Dr. King was coming out to deliver yet another speech in support of the Sanitation Workers.

Finally, the last picture was taken of a poster on the trolly that we took. It stated, "It all started on a bus." That was what brought Dr. King to Memphis the first time. A bus strike that was caused by a very important Lady that was too tired to walk to the back of the bus where "she had to sit."

Let us never forget.

Your Bracket is Not Looking Good

So you didn't pick Western Kentucky, Davidson, and Louisville. Well no one else picked all of the games either. Since my son goes to Western Kentucky, of course we picked them, but not very far. We still want to win after all.

Why do we enter the pools. Not to win certainly. Somebody that knows nothing about basketball usually wins. It is fun just to talk on Mondays about something interesting besides what did you do this weekend.

Face it, most of us are dull and live an OK life. But if you are happy, you can simply come in Monday and say, I told you Western Kentucky would win. Our moment in the sun until Memphis is forced to only make free throws.

Site of the week - stimulates thinking by business people.

Jokes for Kids This Week

Easter Remembrances

We are thinking this week about the one who gave the ultimate sacrifice. He healed the soldier after one of his followers cut his ear. He simply said, I could save myself if I wanted to, but this is why I came down to earth.

Last week I said goodbye to a co-worker. She was fighting Cancer and her heart gave out. What was great were the words from the two baptist preachers at the funeral in rememberance of Brenda.

Who Should You Donate To

Yes it is that tax time of year. This is when you look at how much you are giving to the government and say, why not give it to someone who needs it more. However, how do you really know it is helping someone.

What I like to do is see how much of each dollar you donate actually goes to the object of the charity. When you see those emotional charities late night on TV, most of those organizations only give 5 cents of every dollar to the actual person in need. The rest goes to paying for the ads, the salaries of all of the administrators, and the promotional material that they send you. Do you wonder if someone else gets to sponsor the same little boy that you are sponsoring?

What gets me really mad are the religious groups that are not very religious. The preacher is decked out in diamonds and fancy clothes asking someone that is barely surviving to send them all of their money.

What I believe is that the charity should be giving at least 50% of their money to someone in need. We endorse Charity Navigator as the best site to visit before you ever write your first check. They provide comprehensive details listing all of the facts about the charity of your choice. For example, United Way of Atlanta, despite paying its CEO $350 per year, is a good charity.

Next time, before you donate, check out Charity Navigator before you donate. You will feel better about your contribution.

And now for some humor from the bible...

Why Valentines Day?
Is Valentines really for lovers? Contrary to popular belief, Valentines was not founded by Hallmark, the Jewelry stores, or women in general.

The most common legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. St. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

...and now for the Best of Valentines Humor:
Some Fun Sites to visit this week.

Just Have Fun
Everyone watches the Super Bowl for their own reason. Some football fans watch it for the game. Some watch it for the Commercials, since it is the Super Bowl of Advertisers. Others, just go to Super Bowl parties for the fun of it. Most people at those parties do not even know who the two teams are.

Regardless of the outcome, it is guaranteed that people will do some crazy things. I remember going to the 85 Super Bowl. That was the only Super Bowl the New England Patriots lost. They had a magical year and ran into my Chicago Bears.

It was fun painting our face and dressing up in all Bears outfits. Then after the game, we were trying to find as many souvenir cups and Up With People pennants from the half time show that we could so that we could give them to our friends and students back home. We then dragged this bundle down on Beale Street in New Orleans and watch 4 grown men get on top of the table next to us and sing the Bears Fight Song.

Some times we just need to do fun things that make no sense whatsoever. We let our hair down and just want to have fun. Find something you are passionate about and just enjoy it to the fullest.

Fun Story

After Forrest Gump passed away, he went up to St. Peter. St. Peter told him that he has to answer 3 questions before he can pass. (1) How many days begin with the letter T? (2) How many seconds are there is a year? (3) What is God's first name? Forrest stated that he would have to come back after thinking about it for a while.

Forrest came back to St. Peter and told him that he was ready to answer the 3 questions.
(1) How many days begin with the letter T? There are two days that start with T, Today and Tomorrow.
(2) How many seconds are there is a year? There are 12 seconds in a year. St. Peter had to stop Forrest. I understood Today and Tomorrow, but 12 seconds in a year. Forrest stated, there is January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd,... St. Peter replied, Ok. Now that is unique, but I now understand. How about the third question?
(3) What is God's first name? Forrest stated that God's first name was the easiest. It is Andy. St. Peter was very perplexed with Forrest. How do you arrive at Andy Forrest. Well, replied Forrest, I know from Bible Study that, Andy walked with me. Andy Talked with me. Andy said I was his own.
St. Peter looked at him and said, come on in Forrest. We have no one else like you. Please seek out St. Theresa. She can help you make the transition. She has a lot of patience.

Best Children's Books

The ALSC is the Association for Library Service to Children. Each year they award the best and brightest. We are providing the 2nd installment of the 2008 ALSC Literary and Related Award Winners. You can see all of the winners at the ALSC web site.

Have We Achieved the Dream?

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation." The first words Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in his I Have a Dream speech.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Are we there? No. Are we better than we were on August 28, 1963 when Dr. King gave this speech, Absolutely. Just ask Barack Obama. He is fresh and attracting a wide diversity of people to his camp. He is endorsed by the most powerful force in the black community Oprah Winfrey. Will he win? Who knows. But he is no joke and that is what Dr. King prayed for.

A friend of ours, Felicia, cares for her two kids while working. She lives at the bottom of the income scale. It would be easy for her to accept welfare and take a free ride. But she doesn't. Every day she fights to survive. Felicia, you are something special. You make everyone around you respect you "not for the color of your skin but by the content of your character." Dr. King would be proud of you.

Best Children's Books

The ALSC is the Association for Library Service to Children. Each year they award the best and brightest. Over the next few weeks, we will be providing the 2008 ALSC Literary and Related Award Winners. If you want to look ahead, you can see all of the winners at the ALSC web site.

One New Years Resolution Worth Keeping

So many lists of what was the best of 2007 and upcoming for 2008. What are the best colleges, what were the best movies, best books, best of the celebrities that left us, best songs, best whatever. Well, I will not disappoint. We have provided each of those lists for you to have fun with.

However, what was really the best of 2007? It was not any of these lists. This is a great time to think about what was the best things that happened to you and your family during the year.

My Uncle died in 2007. During his career he ran a Municipal Bond department for a major brokerage house. He was very wealthy. However, when he took his savings and lost it all in the Internet boom, he actually became a better person. He was down to earth because the possessions that he had owned no longer got in the way.

Possessions do not determine who you are, you determine who you are. Showing off that new Big Screen TV for the Super Bowl while barely affording the payment on your credit cards is not what it is all about.

Please make one New Years resolution. Resolve to spend less than you earn. Resolve to lower your debts by year end. It can be done, just ask Alan Corey. Then 2009 will really be something to celebrate because you will have a lot less stress in your life, you will be much happier, and isn't that what it is all about.

...and now for the best lists:

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