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.
What never eats at Christmas time? The Turkey. It is usually stuffed (leftover from Thanksgiving)
What did the cow say on Christmas morning? Mooey Christmas
Why did Ken keep his trumpet in the freezer? Because he loved cool music.
Why should you be careful at Christmas? Because there are Mince Spies around.
What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinselitus.
What do you have in December that you don't have in any other month ? The Letter D.
What happened to the man who shoplifted a calender at Christmas? It got 12 months.
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
Can you tell me where the "Any Key" is located on the keyboard?
A woman called the help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows." The woman then responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine."
Tech Support: "How much free space do you have on your hard drive?" Customer: "Well, my wife likes to get up there on that Internet, and she downloaded ten hours of free space. Is that enough?"
Overheard in a computer shop: Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please." Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety." Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"
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 Vote411.org today to learn how you to file an absentee ballot.
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
There are 25 million lightning bolts recorded each year.
The odds of you being struck by Lightning are 1 in 3,000.
There are 58 lightning related deaths each year.
A lightning bolt can hit 10 miles away from you and you can still be struck
Summer is here, but are you ready for summer? The following tips will help you get through the summer.
Sunscreen - SPF indicates how long you can stay in the sun. If it takes 20 minutes for you to get red, if the SPF is 20, then it allows you to stay in the sun 20 times longer or 6 hours before you burn. Avoid paying extra for green tea, viatmins A, C and E. Those added ingriedients only help to add price since they have not been proven to add value in sunscreen. Only use Children's sunscreens if your children have alergies. Those sunscreens protect equally with the adult sunscreens.
Plan Your Trips - With Gas prices going over $4.00/gallon, we can no longer afford just to get in the car and drive. Work with your family and plan trips to the store, friends, out to eat, and other activities. If one spouse is not working during the summer, plan one day to drop the other spouse off at work and do activities while they are at work. It may be fun for the family to see the parents routine.
Visit the American Red Cross web site to learn more about Water, Boating, Sun, Hiking and Camp safety.
In honor of Father's day, we have come up with...
10 Things Dad Would Never Say (unless he wants something)
"Don't worry what time you bring my daughter home."
"Your Mom knows sports better than I do."
"I love you so much that I can not think of anything but you."
"No problem going to the opening of the Opera on opening day of the NFL season."
"I was thinking of playing golf today, but if there are some projects I can do I will just stay home."
"Is there any way possible that I can go to school and help out."
"Can we just sit home and watch Chick flicks all night."
"Don't worry that it is the 4th quarter of Game 7, I like the blue dress better."
"Hey honey, can I stop what I am doing and get you a glass of wine so you can watch your TV show."
"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
"Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too"
"Don't worry about that speeding ticket...You have 2 more til they take your license."
"The key to the liquor cabinet is above the fireplace...Feel free to use it this weekend when we are gone."
"Just ask your father...He knows more than I do."
"I don't have a tissue with me...just use your sleeve"
"Let me smell that shirt...Yeah, it's good for another week"
"Just leave all the lights on...it makes the house look more cheery"
"How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?"
"Turn up the volume on the TV so you can hear it...It will not cause any damage."
"Don't bother wearing a jacket - the wind-chill is bound to improve"
"Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I'll be glad to feed and walk him every day"
"Well, if Samuel's mom says it's OK, that's good enough for me."
"The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It's not like I'm running a prison around here."
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.
And now, here is how kids view marriage and other related matters.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. Alan, age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. Kristen, age 10
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. Camille, age 10
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don't want any more kids. Lori, age 8
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure?)
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. Martin, age 10 (isn't he ready for the world of dating?)
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON A FIRST DATE THAT WAS TURNING SOUR?
I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. Craig, age 9
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
When they're rich. Pam, age 7
The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. Curt, age 7
The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. Howard, age 8
IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED ?
It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. Anita, age 9 ( bless you child)
HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? Kelvin, age 8 (I like this kid)
And the #1 Favorite is ...HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. Ricky, age 10 (He'll be married forever)
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.
Why did the Tomato blush? Because it saw the Salad dressing.
Why did the Banana go see the Doctor? Because he was not peeling well.
Why is the Math book so unhappy? Because it is full of problems.
How do you get straight A's? By using a ruler.
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.
The dates on your grave marker do not mean anything, it is just the hyphen in between that defines you.
We are all sorrowful at this time, but that is contrary to what God wants for us. He wants us to be jubilant because we are coming to join him pain free.
Brenda just stopped by on this earth on her way home.
God answers all of our prayers, we just don't like some of the answers.
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...
Who was the greatest financieer in the Bible? Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.
What kind of man was Boaz before he got married? Ruth-less.
What kind of car was in the Garden of Eden? Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury.
What kind of car did David have? David's Triumph was heard throughout the land.
What kind of car did the Apostles drive? Honda...because the apostles were all in one Accord.
Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible? Samson. He brought the house down.
Where is the first baseball game in the Bible? In the big inning, Eve stole first, Adam stole second. Cain struck out Abel, and the Prodigal Son came home. The Giants and the Angels were rained out.
What is one of the first things that Adam and Eve did after they were kicked out? They really raised Cain.
What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden? Your mother ate us out of house and home.
Who is the greatest babysitter mentioned in the Bible? David. He rocked Goliath to sleep.
What do they call pastors in Germany? German Shepherds.
What is the best way to get to Paradise? Turn right and go straight.
Which servant of Jehovah was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible? Moses. Because he broke all 10 commandments; at once.
Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy? The area around the Jordan. The banks were always overflowing.
Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible? Pharaoh's daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.
How do we know that Job went to a chiropractor? Because in Job 16:12 we read, "I had come to be at ease, but he proceeded to shake me up and he grabbed me by the back of the neck and proceeded to smash me." (Just for you Denise, Debbie and Dr. Lisa)
Where is the first tennis match mentioned in the Bible? When Joseph served in Pharaoh's court.
Why was Goliath so surprised when David hit him with a slingshot? The thought had never entered his head before.
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:
What do farmers give their wives on Valentine's Day? Hog and kisses!
What would you get it you crossed Forest Gump with the God of love? A stupid cupid!
Why did the pig give his girlfriend a box of candy? It was Valenswine's Day!
Do skunks celebrate Valentine's Day? Sure, they're very scent-imental!
What did the chocolate syrup say to the ice cream? "I'm sweet on you!"
What did the paper clip say to the magnet? "I find you very attractive."
What did the French chef give his wife for Valentine's Day? A hug and a quiche!
What did one pickle say to the other? "You mean a great dill to me."
Why do valentines have hearts on them? Because spleens would look pretty gross!
Why didn't Cupid shoot his arrow at the lawyer's heart? Because even Cupid can't hit a target that small!
Four-year-old Jason loved candy almost as much as his mom did. He and Daddy had given her a beautiful heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine's Day. A few days later Jason was eyeing it, wishing to have a piece of it. As he reached out to touch one of the big pieces, his mom said to him, "If you touch it, then you have to eat it. Do you understand?" "Oh, yes," he said, nodding his head. Suddenly his little hand patted the tops of all the pieces of candy. "Now I can eat them all."
Some Fun Sites to visit this week.
Girlsense.com - Number 1 this week because you can design your own clothes and then your friends can buy them from you. Just have some fun.
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.
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.
"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.
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz - The book was inspired by the necessity of creating a play suitable for a classroom where "no one wanted a small part." Each of the 23 characters (between 10 and 15 years old) has a distinct personality and a societal role revealed not by recitation of facts but by revelation of memories, intentions, and attitudes.
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis - Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. The adventures start when a former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt - On Wednesday afternoons, while his Catholic and Jewish schoolmates attend religious instruction, Holling Hoodhood, the only Presbyterian in his seventh grade, is alone in the classroom with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, who Holling is convinced hates his guts.
Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson - "Stepped through that door white and softly as the snow," notes sixth-grader Frannie, on the arrival of a pale, long-haired boy to her predominantly black middle school on a winter day in 1971. He is dubbed the Jesus Boy by the class rowdy, and the name seems to suit the newcomer's appearance and calm demeanor.
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.