Let's see how good you are on “COMMON KNOWLEDGE.” ....No cheating!
Can you beat 18?, 19?, 20?. Write down your answers to check them at the end.
On a standard
traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?
2. How many states are there? (don't laugh, some people don't know)
3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?
4. What 6 colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?
5. What 2 letters don't appear on the telephone dial? (no cheating!)
6. What 2 numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?
7. When you walk does your left arm swing (forward) w/your right or left leg?
8. How many matches are in a standard book?
9. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?
10. What is the lowest number on the FM dial?
11. Which way does water go down the drain, counter-clockwise or clockwise?
12. Which way does a “no smoking” sign's slash run?
13. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?
14. Which side of a women's blouse are the buttons on?
15. On a NY license plate, is New York on the top or bottom?
16. Which way do fans rotate?
17. Whose face is on a dime?
18. How many sides does a stop sign have?
19. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?
20. How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?
21. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?
22. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc... Who's missing?
23. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?
25. On which playing card is the cardmaker's trademark?
26. On which side of a venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening Between the slats?
27. On the back of a $1bill, what is in the center?
28. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?
29. How many curves are in a standard paper clip?
30. Does a merry-go-round turn counter-clockwise or clockwise?
2. 50 (please tell me you at least got this one!)
4. Blue, red, white, yellow, black, and gold
5. Q, Z
10. 88 (really 88.1, the lowest frequency assigned)
11. counter-clockwise, (unless you happen to be South of the equator).
12. Towards bottom right
13. 12 (there is no channel 1 and 14 is in the UHF band)
16. Clockwise as you look at it from the front
23. 6 or 8. Either is “standard” nowadays.
24. Did you notice there wasn't one?
25. Ace of spades
28. *, #
30. counter clockwise
How well did you do..., without cheating?
How Old Is Your Memory
KEEP COUNT OF HOW MANY YOU REMEMBER
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles
5. Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Elgin 5-2459)
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H Green Stamps
17. Metal ice trays with levers
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulbs
20. Beanie and Cecil
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
25. Wash tub wringers
remembered 0-5 = You're
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!
What we sow
Let's see, I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare complained She didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school, the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor yourself.
And we said, OK..
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said, an expert should know what he's talking about so we won't spank them anymore..
Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. And we accepted their reasoning..
Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said, that's a grand idea..
Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, that's another great idea..
Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them, we said it doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good..
And then someone said let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said we have no problem with that.. And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of children and then stepped further still by making them available on the internet. And we said they're entitled to their free speech..
And the entertainment industry said, let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes.. And we said it's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead..
Therefore, now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with... "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."
If you discard this thought process, then don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is VOICE YOUR OPINION HOWEVER YOU CAN!
Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.
When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches.
And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.
Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.
We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, and all sorts of cruel jobs.
I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do. She always insisted on us telling the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds. Then, life was really tough!
Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While
everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.
Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.
We never got drunk, took up smoking, stayed out all night, or a million other things other kids did.
Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults.
We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was. I think that is what's wrong with the world today. It just doesn't have enough mean moms anymore.
The Ant and the Contact Lens
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock.
She got to a ledge where she would take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.
Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.
Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.
When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found.
She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?" Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it!
Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "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, I'll carry it for You."
At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say,
"God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."
"God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called."
After living a "decent" life my time on earth came to an end.
The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table. As I looked around I saw the "prosecutor," he was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me, he definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen.
I sat down and looked to my left and there sat my lawyer, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed very familiar to me. The corner door flew open and there appeared the judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as he moved across the room and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. As he took his seat behind the bench he said "Let us begin."
The prosecutor rose and said "My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell." He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole and in the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other terrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't look at anyone, even my own lawyer, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about. As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at my representative who sat there silently not offering any form of defense at all. I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life - couldn't that at least equal out part of the harm I've done? Satan finished with a fury and said "This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.
When it was his turn, my lawyer first asked if he might approach the bench. The judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned him to come forward. As he got up and started walking I was able to see him now in his full splendor and majesty. Now I realized why he seemed so familiar, this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.
He stopped at the bench and softly said to the judge, "Hi, Dad," and then he turned to address the court. "Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won't deny any of these allegations. And yes the wages of sin is death and this man deserves to be punished." Jesus took a deep breath and turned to his Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed "However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has accepted me as his Savior, so he is mine." My Lord continued with "His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from me. Satan still does not understand yet, this man is not to be given justice but rather mercy." As Jesus sat down, he quietly paused, looked at his Father and replied "There is nothing else that needs to be done, I've done it all".
The Judge lifted his mighty hand and slammed the gavel down and the following words bellowed from his lips "This man is free - the penalty for him has already been paid in full, case dismissed."
As my Lord led me away I could hear Satan ranting and raving "I won't give up, I'll win the next one."
I asked Jesus as he gave me my instructions where to go next, "Have you ever lost a case?"
Christ lovingly smiled and said, "Everyone that has come to me and asked me to represent them has received the same verdict as you...Paid in Full."
In this world of terrible hurt, pain, suffering, and extreme self centered focus to the exclusion of everyone and everything else there are times when logic, thought, discussion, etc., do nothing. It is in these times I have learned that I have only one place to turn to ease the pain. THAT IS GOD!!
F A M I L Y
into a stranger as he
"Oh, excuse me Please" was my reply.
said, "Please excuse me too;
Wasn't even watching for you."
were very polite, this
stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said good-bye.
home a different story
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
that day, cooking the
My daughter stood beside me very still.
turned, I nearly knocked
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
walked away, her little
heart was broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.
I lay awake in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,
dealing with a stranger,
common courtesy you use,
But the children you love, you seem to abuse.
on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
are the flowers she
brought for you.
She picked them herself: pink, yellow and blue.
stood quietly not to spoil
and you never saw the tears in her eyes."
this time, I felt very
and now my tears began to fall.
quietly went and knelt by her
"Wake up, little girl, wake up," I said.
these the flowers you
picked for me?"
She smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.
picked 'em because they're
pretty like you.
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."
said, "Daughter, I'm sorry
for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."
said, "Oh, Mom, that's
okay. I love you anyway."
I said, "Daughter, I love you too, and I do like the flowers,
especially the blue."
you aware that:
If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family - an unwise investment indeed.
what is behind the story?
You know what is the full word of family?
(I) (L)OVE (Y)OU!
Fill life with love and bravery and we shall live a life uncommon.
Book of Names
a list of folks I know..
all written in a book,
And every now and then.
I go and take a look.
is when I realize
these names.. they are a part,
not of the book they're written in..
but taken from the heart.
each Name stands for
who has crossed my path sometime,
and in that meeting they have become..
the reason and the rhyme.
it sounds fantastic..
for me to make this claim,
I really am composed..
of each remembered name.
you're not aware..
of any special link,
just knowing you, has shaped my life..
more than you could think.
please don't think my
as just a mere routine,
your name was not..
forgotten in between.
when I send a greeting..
that is addressed to you,
it is because you're on the list..
of folks I'm indebted to.
whether I have known you..
for many days or few,
in some ways you have a part..
in shaping things I do.
but a total..
of many folks I've met,
you are a friend I would prefer..
never to forget.
Thank you for being my friend!
Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, the mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert.
After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."
When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing.
Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."
Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligatio.
Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. This audience was mesmerized.
That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.
Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are playing the concerto of your life.
Remember, God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. And He will always be there to love and guide you on to great things.
- Author unknown
How to install love
Customer: "Customer Service?"
Customer: Service Rep: "Yes, Ma'am, how can I help you today?"
Customer: "Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process?"
CS Rep: "Yes, I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?"
Customer: "Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready to install now. What do I do first?"
CS Rep: "The first step is to open your HEART. Have you located your HEART ma'am?"
Customer: "Yes I have, but there are several other programs running right now. Is it okay to install while they are running?"
CS Rep: "What programs are running ma'am?"
Customer: : "Let's see, I have PAST-HURT.EXE, LOW ESTEEM.EXE, AFRAID.EXE, and perhaps RESENTMENT.COM running right now."
CS Rep: "No problem. LOVE will gradually erase PAST- HURT.EXE from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory, but it will no longer disrupt other programs. LOVE will eventually overwrite LOW-ESTEEM.EXE with a module of its own called HIGH- ESTEEM.EXE. However, you have to completely turn off AFRAID.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM. Those programs prevent LOVE from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ma'am?"
Customer: "I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?"
CS Rep: "My pleasure. Go to your Start menu and invoke FORGIVENESS.EXE. Do this as many times as necessary until AFRAID.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM have been completely erased."
Customer: "Okay, done. LOVE has started installing itself automatically. Is that normal?"
CS Rep: "Yes. You should receive a message that says it will reinstall for the life of your HEART. Do you see that message?"
Customer: "Yes I do. Is it completely installed?"
CS Rep: "Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other HEARTS in order to get the upgrades."
Customer: "OOPS. I have an error message already. What should I do?"
CS Rep: "What does the message say?"
Customer: "It says "ERROR 412 - PROGRAM NOT RUN ON INTERNAL COMPONENTS." What does that mean?"
CS Rep: "Don't worry ma'am, that's a common problem. It means that the LOVE program is set up to run on external HEARTS but has not yet been run on your HEART. It is one of those complicated programming things, but in non- technical terms it means you have to "LOVE" your own machine before it can "LOVE" others."Customer: "So what should I do?"
CS Rep: "Can you pull down the directory called "SELF- ACCEPTANCE"?"
Customer: "Yes, I have it".
CS Rep: "Excellent. You're getting good at this."
Customer: "Thank you."
CS Rep: "You're welcome. Click on the following files and then copy them to the "MY HEART" directory: FORGIVE- SELF.DOC and REALIZE-WORTH.TXT, and ACKNOWLEDGE- LIMITATIONS.DOC. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching any faulty programming. Also, you need to delete VERBOSE-SELF- CRITIC.EXE from all directories, and then empty our recycle bin afterwards to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back."
Customer: "Got it. Hey! My HEART is filling up with newfiles.=20SMILE.MPG is playing on my monitor right now and it shows that PEACE.EXE, and CONTENTMENT.COM are copying themselves all over my HEART. Is this normal?"
CS Rep: "Sometimes. For others it takes a while, but eventually everything gets downloaded at the proper time. So, LOVE is installed and running. You should be able to handle it from here. One more thing before I go."
CS Rep: "LOVE is freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everybody you meet. They will in turn share it with other people and they will return some similarly cool modules back to you."
Customer: "I will. Thanks for your help. By the way, what's your name?"
CS Rep: "You can call me the Divine Cardiologist, also known as The Great Physician, but most call me God. Most people feel all they need is an annual checkup to stay heart-healthy, but the manufacturer (Me) suggests a schedule of daily maintenance for maximum efficiency. Put another way, keep in close touch... A little love goes a long way. Be blessed."
One Thousand Marbles
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about "one thousand marbles."
I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."
And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years."
"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part."
"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."
"So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to roundup 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away."
"I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 75 year Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss.
"C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."
"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND MAY ALL SATURDAYS BE SPECIAL!
A Teacher's Lament
Let me see if I've got this straight, Mr. Clinton and my fellow Democrats;
You want me to go into a schoolroom full of kids, and fill their every waking moment with a sense of being nurtured, and a love for learning.
Not only that...I'm to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior and observe them for signs of abuse, drugs, and T-shirt messages, all while television is teaching them that sexual perversion is okay, and killing people is cool.
I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons, and raise their self-esteem, without damaging their fragile egos by telling them that such behavior is wrong.
I'm to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, while answering their snickering questions about how it is okay for you subvert the Constitution, take illegal campaign contributions, molest women and bomb innocent people to death to divert the media attention from your own unlawful behavior.
I'm supposed to tell them how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job, even if I know they are in this country illegally.
I am supposed to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, and provide them the sound advice and guidance that used to come from their parents and pastor. I am to be held responsible for deciding who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school, and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions to those in authority.
I'm supposed to instill the idea in them that respect for cultural diversity means being a clone in dress, achievement and political philosophy, and that it is wrong to excel over others or be different by working harder or being innovative. In short, that individuality and personal liberty are bad things. I'm to write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, and, oh yes, to teach them the three R's, in two languages, always making sure to equally distribute my attention according to sex, race and ethnicity.
I'm to demonstrate my school spirit by sponsoring the cheerleaders or some other collateral class activity, and after school I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training in order to maintain my current certification and employment status.
I'm required by my contract to be working on my own time, at my own expense, summers and evenings, towards advanced certification and a master's degree, so that the school I work for can maintain its accreditation and reputation, and continue to receive federal dollars.
I am to collect personal data on students and their families, and maintain all records to support and document our progress in the state-mandated program to "assess and upgrade educational excellence in the public schools."
I am to be a paragon of morality, larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the basics, and loyalty to the National Teachers Union and your administration, even though you and your "progressive" entertainment and media friends demonstrate none of these virtues.
I am to take time away from teaching the basics to incorporate Internet technology into their learning, but I'm to monitor all Web sites for appropriate content, while at the same time providing a personal one-on-one relationship with each student.
I am to make sure ALL students pass all classes, and state- and federally mandated tests, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis, cooperate with me, or complete any of the work I assign them. I am to communicate frequently with each student's parents by letter, phone, newsletter and grade card.
I'm to accomplish all these duties with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books and a bulletin board, in a 50 minute class, while exuding a friendly, non-threatening smile, on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states.
I'm to remain loyal to you in all ways, never breaking ranks or disparaging the party line, even though I have to sign this lament as "anonymous" in order to protect my job and my future.
Is that all?
AND YOU EXPECT ME TO DO ALL OF THIS WITHOUT PRAYING?
Symbols of Our Nation
Take out a one-dollar bill and look at it. The one- dollar bill you're looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We've all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know.
It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look. If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top you will see the scales for balance - a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter's T- square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury.
That's all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know. If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.
If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could> do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is un-capped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.
"IN GOD WE TRUST" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, "God has favored our undertaking." The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means, "a new order has begun." At the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral for 1776. If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway At the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most heroes' monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks; yet no one knows what the symbols mean.
The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: first, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation.
In the Eagle's beak you will read, "E PLURIBUS UNUM", meaning "one nation from many people." Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away.
Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.
They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But, think about this:
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,
13 stripes on our flag,
13 steps on the Pyramid,
13 letters in "E Pluribus Unum",
13 stars above the Eagle,
13 plumes of feathers on each span of the Eagle's wing,
13 bars on that shield> 13 leaves on the olive branch,
13 fruits, and if you look closely,
13 arrows. And for minorities: the
I always ask people, "Why don't you know this?" Your children don't know this and their history teachers don't know this. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all. Tell everyone what is on the back of the one-dollar bill and what it stands for, because nobody else will.
Filling the jar
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students. To drive home a point, he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers and said, "Okay, time for a quiz."
Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Next he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed these large rocks into the jar one at a time.
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class said "Yes."
"Really?" he asked.
Next he reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He then poured some of the gravel into the jar and shook the jar so that the gravel worked itself down into the space between the big rocks.
Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"
By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.
"Good!" said the time management expert.
He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. When poured into the jar, the sand it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.
Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Once again he said, "Good."
He then grabbed a pitcher of water and filled the jar until it was filled to the brim.
Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"
"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."
"What are the 'big rocks' in your life? Your family, your friends, your faith? "
"It's up to you to decide what big rocks go into which jar, but just remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all."
The Christmas Envelope.....
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending ... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.
Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church.
On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.
For each Christmas, I followed the tradition---one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.
You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up.
But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.
Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.
May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always.
Times of Perfection
Take five and read this story, it has a lesson for us all! In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.
At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, " Where is the perfection in my son, Shay? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?"
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered,"that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that He seeks is in the way people react to this child." He then told the following story about his son Shay: One afternoon, Shay and his father walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they will let me play?" Shay's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shay's father understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shay's father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shay could play.
The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."
Shay's father was ecstatic as Shay smiled broadly. Shay was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base. Shay was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the chance. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. One of Shay's teammates came up to Shay and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay and his teammate swung at the ball and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shay run to first. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shay, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were, so threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head.
Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second." Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third."
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming,"Shay run home." Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a grand slam" and won the game for his team.
That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."
Funny how this is so true! Funny how simple it is for people to trash different ways of living and believing and then wonder why the world is going to hell. Funny how people can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when one starts sending messages regarding life choices, people think twice about sharing. Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of morality is too often suppressed in school and the workplace. Funny how when you go to forward this message (if you choose to forward it), you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what we think of ourselves.
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice.We have higher incomes, but lower morals; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
these are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference or just hit delete.
Keep reaching for that level of perfection.
The Death of Common Sense
Today I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.
Common Sense lived a long life but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was. Since the birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He selflessly dedicated his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness.
For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, the early bird gets the worm, and life isn't always fair.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second.
A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends>including feminism, body piercing, whole language and "new math."
But his health declined when he became infected with the "If-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus. In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal regulation.
He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers and enlightened auditors. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero tolerance policies, reports of six-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student.
It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but cannot inform the parent when the female student is pregnant or wants an abortion.
Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional sports.
As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations for asbestos, low flow toilets, "smart" guns, the nurturing of Prohibition Laws and mandatory airbags.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers: Rights, Tolerance and Whiner.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
Six year old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor.
He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten.
Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad. He didn't know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, (and he didn't know how the stove worked!).
Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky.
And just then he saw Dad standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was something good, but he'd made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking.
But his father just watched him. Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process. That's how God deals with us.
We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend or we can't stand our job or our health goes sour. Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can't think of anything else to do. That's when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him.
But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to "make pancakes," for God or for others. Sooner or later we'll get it right, and then they'll be glad we tried.
you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the the facing night?
You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short
The music won't last.
told your child
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say "Hi"?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short
The music won't last.
you run so fast to get
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift...
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The road to success is not straight.
There is a curve called Failure.
A loop called Confusion,
Speed bumps called Friends,
Red lights called Enemies,and
Caution lights called Family.
You will have flats called Jobs.
But if you have a spare called Determination,
An engine called Perseverance,
Insurance called Faith,and
A driver called Jesus,
You will make it to a place called Success!
Thompson (forwarded from an
don't believe in Santa Claus,
but I'm not going to sue somebody for
singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin, but I
go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking Him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
"But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna? If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer. If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome ...
"But what about the atheists?" is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer. Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us just to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well ... just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long ... it's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don't care what they want .... it is time the majority rules.
It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray ... you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance, you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right ... but by golly you are no longer going to take our rights away ... we are fighting back ... and we WILL WIN!
After all the God you have the right to denounce is on our side! God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him ...
God bless America, despite all her faults ... still the greatest nation of all ... God bless our servicemen who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God...
May 2003 be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. Keep looking up ... In God We Trust.