Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Hogmanay Today.

Happy Hogmanay Today.
I would like to wish you all a very happy Hogmanay today/ tomorrow. But just in case (like me) you had no real idea what Hogmanay is, I will share with you briefly some of what the on-line dictionary says about it.
“Hog`ma*nay"\, n. The old name, in Scotland, for the last day of the year, on which children go about singing, and receive a dole of bread or cakes; also, the entertainment given on that day to a visitor, or the gift given to an applicant. [Scot.]”
Apparently, up to the 1960s, Scotland did not officially recolonise Christmas/Boxing Day as official Holidays etc, and so Hogmanay became their time of gift giving etc.
They also have their own unique way of bringing in the New Year. Whilst we tend to wait up till midnight and then having seen in the New Year, head to bed. There, Midnight is only when the celebrations Begin.
According to “” they have many customs depending on the locality but the main custom is called “first footing;” I quote: “There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of 'first-footing' which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses until 3 January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year, so it is important that a suitable person does the job. A tall, handsome, and dark-haired man bearing a gift is strongly preferred. According to popular folklore, a man with dark hair was welcomed because he was assumed to be a fellow Scotsman; a blond or red-haired stranger was assumed to be an unwelcome Norseman.”
Well tonight, I am going to leave the “First footing” to someone else. And if I do make it up to midnight, well then that will be enough for Me! Still, whether you party on to the 2nd or 3rd or not, I do hope a dark haired Stranger will cross your doorstep in the New Year and with good cheer too.
So as I started this Blog I close: Happy Hogmanay and also a very, very Happy New Year too!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don’t Hint. Be specific.

This “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston is similar to the Hagar one about the dangers of not being specific enough. This one has the mother talking on the phone to her friend saying, “ Sure I gave him some hints Anne! I said - buy me something frivolous and expensive – something I can show off to my friends…” She then says, “ I guess it was just a failure to communicate … I was thinking suede coat – while he was thinking Dish-washer.”
Again this highlights the fact that many, and men in particular, (and me, specifically), just don’t take hints very well at all, and if you really want something specific from them/us, then you just have to be very specific up front and not bemoan the fact afterwards when your ‘Hint’ was misinterpreted.
So as we face another New Year, let us all, male and female alike, resolve this New Year to drop the hints and to be more specific about what we do and don’t want. Again let there be no doubts at all as to what we require or desire, but to be plain and polite about everything. What say you?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Be More Specific Please? 29/12/2008

In this Hagar the Horrible cartoon by Chris Browne 29/12/08, Hagar is told by a monk, “You must change your sinful ways, Hagar.” Hagar has a little think about this after the monk has gone and says, “ I’d like to cooperate… But I don’t know which of my ways are sinful.”
As a preacher I could go into the whole sin thing in a big way, but for here, I would like to suggest that all of us in the coming New Year, really focus on what we say and rather than just generalise like the monk in this Cartoon, get more specific in detail and let the Hagars of this world really know exactly what it is that you are talking about.
Yes rather than talk in generalizations and expect them to understand, be specific and leave them in no doubt as to what you meant. That way, although they still might not do it, they will at least be in no doubt as to what you meant and what you really expected of them. So again as we approach this New year let us not only mean what we say, but also say exactly what we mean but as nice as we can too, hey?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do You Have The “Authority” To Comment?

In this Garfield Cartoon, Garfield points and says, “ Here comes Santa Claus!” Then Santa comes up to him and says, “Boy, are you fat!” To which Garfield replies, “Coming from him that hurts.”
Sometimes we hear or even say comments that although true enough, do not carry any real weight or influence, because we have not earnt or gained the right to speak authoritatively on the subject. Thus the message never gets through to those who need to hear it. But when we speak with some acknowledged authority behind us, the message gets through even if not always appreciated. Yes, like with this cartoon, someone who is obviously authoritative on the subject, will be listened too with acknowledgement even if not with appreciation.
So before you try to be authoritative on subjects you don’t know or are not really authoritative on, please either keep quiet or make yourself an authority on the subject, if you really wish to be both taken seriously and to have your advice accepted by those who really need to hear it.
And while you are at it, perhaps you could be a little bit more diplomatic than this Santa and his, “Boy, are you fat!” comment. True as your comments may be, sometimes they too will be more acceptable if restated in a less offensive manner. Again, what say you?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Crackers And Their Cheap Toys.

The other day, my wider family (Brothers, sisters, nieces, Nephew and Grand Nieces), were here for our turn to host the Family Christmas Dinner. We have this usually the weekend before Christmas and share the hosting around, thus allowing us all to get together at least once a year, but also leaving us all free to go/have our own actual Christmas Dinner with other family.
As part of a long held family tradition, as well as the traditional meal with the $ meats etc and Christmas Pudd, we must have Christmas Crackers with their Party hats, and also we must have Christmas Crackers with jokes and toys in them. (No matter how corny the jokes or how chintzy the toys!)
Because there were 18 of us, and the day nice, we ate outside on the patio and after the meal sat around in the shady side of the Yard, as the sun became hotter & hotter. As the day progressed the shady area got bigger, but at first it was small and people were basically sitting in two rows facing each other with less than a metre between the two rows. Not a great deal of room but enough for some one to bounce a small yellow fun ball that had come out of one of the Crackers. And as you would expect it wasn’t all that long before all the kids joined in. All the Kids from those under 10, to those over 60 that is! And all were having fun laughing at each others attempts to try and pre-empt which way the ball would bounce and catch it at their first half dozen attempts. It was quite amazing to watch all ages join in and have fun with such a simply thing as a cheap small yellow bouncy ball. It just shows that if you really want to, it doesn’t take much to have fun. Just a willingness to join it and to not be afraid that others may think that you look silly.
So today I would like to encourage you in what is left of the so called “Silly Season" to join in and have some good clean fun and be a kid at heart again, even if the Body is not young anymore. Don’t be afraid to look foolish in someone else’s eyes but enjoy the fun going around, or even make your own, and make it enjoyable for all. What do you?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yes, Sometimes All The rotten Effort is worth it.

This “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston has the family going through all the rigmarole and traumas of shopping for a Christmas tree, complete with young children fighting among themselves and the dog running around who knows where, and finally finding a suitable tree, having to pay more for it as it is one of the dearest ones. Then because they left the rope behind, have to carry it uncomfortably in the car with all of them. Then being told exasperatedly by the wife not to get needles all over the rug, the husband says, “Every year, we suffer through a day like this! … “And as his eyes saw the end result and the joy it brought all there, he added:” and… every year it is worth it!”
Yes just like with annually putting up and then taking down a Christmas tree, there are many things we do, that have a relatively short life, and lots of hassles involved in doing them, but then, in the long term, the benefits are well worth the extra hassles and frustrations and even short-term hardships.
Perhaps now in the business of Christmas, whether it be with the tree, or with obtaining suitable presents or even just in preparing the Christmas feast, you are feeling exasperated and frustrated by the whole thing and ready to call it quits? Well, do bear with the short-term handicaps and frustrations and remember the joy and long-term memories such a successful and happy event will muster. Some such memories last a lifetime too.
So this Christmas, don’t worry too much over the hassles and enjoy the end result. And also in all the enjoyment of the trappings of Christmas, don’t for get the main event and reason for the season. After all it isn’t called Christ-mas for nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The occasional need for positive Reinforcement.

This “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston has the mother staring into the mirror and sighing loudly and than her young son comes up and says, “ Know what mum? On parent night at preschool, I thought you were the prettiest of all the mums there.” To which she replied, “ You did?” Hugging him, she says, “Honey, that is so sweet! … What made you say that? “ To which he replies, “ I dunno …. Sometimes, you look like you need some positive reinforcement.”
Sad but true isn’t it? Yes, as much as we hate to admit it, all of us need some positive reinforcement at times don’t we? And often it is not even much but just the thought that someone else appreciates either us or what we are doing for them.
And just as we need some positive reinforcement form time to time, so do others. So if you see someone a bit down a or someone doing a good thing but getting no recognition for it, don’t be afraid to acknowledge them and their efforts, even if it just a simply verbal pat on the back like this cartoon character gave His mum.
So today, this Christmas season even, have a look around you and not into the mirror and see who else needs some positive reinforcement and then give it to them if you get the opportunity. What say you?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Cards? You get what you give!

Recently read where a Bishop (or Archbishop) in England suggested people shouldn’t spend too much on themselves for Christmas and spend more on people who have less, a sentiment I heartedly agree with. However he also went on to say that people should also cut back on sending out Christmas Cards and especially to people they hardly know or haven’t heard from for some time. A sentiment I am not quite in agreement with. I certainly would agree that we shouldn’t waste a lot of money on expensive cards, but with so many cards on the market at the moment, one can pick them up quite cheaply; especially if you buy after Christmas and save them for next year, like I try to do! If you buy the cheaper ones that way, you can get a reasonably nice card for almost the same price as it would cost to photocopy your own Christmas Letter.
Thus I find Christmas Cards not only cheap, but a cheap way of keeping in touch with people you don’t have a lot of contact with but would still like to keep in touch with, even if only once a year. Hence I/we send out a few Christmas cards each year and receive a few too!
In fact visitors occasionally remark on how many cards we have, as compared to how many they have themselves. And of course when I ask how many they personally sent out, the answer is always, "Not many!" And there is the problem, with not only Christmas Cards but also with most things in Life. We only get back a proportion of what we put in and if we put in very little, we will get even less back. Yes we get a few Christmas cards every year, but then again I probably sent out about twice what we receive back.
So today, whether it is Christmas Cards, presents or only compliments and best wishes, if you are not getting as many as you think you should, ask yourself how many you have been giving out yourself, as you really will only harvest much, if you sow much.
So this Christmas and the New Year, whether it be cards or compliments, get out there and sow much, and wait for the harvest to come in, in its due time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try A Different Angle.

This “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston has the Visiting Uncle arrive with his suitcases. To which the Young son says, “: Which suitcase has my Present in-MMMFF?” as his mother quickly muffles his mouth.
Daunted not one bit from his desire, he proceeds with “Ok…. We’ll just help you unpack” and grabs a suitcase and proceeds to open it.
One may query his manners but not his commitment to his cause. But what about you and me? Do we have that same commitment to all our tasks and obligations? Or do we let the first little set back, knock us off of our path and deflect us from our Goal and cause us to settle for something, often far less rewarding and fulfilling?
So as we head for a New Year and all its promises and prospects for us, will we truly follow those goals and objects, even to finding alternative ways to reach our goals when the most obvious are blocked to us? Or will we falter and fall at the first obstacle in our path?
So will you be more like this cartoon character (but also like many excited real life people to), who will you not be daunted by the obstructions but look to new approaches and ways to achieve your goals for the coming New Year? Will you? It is over and up to you now!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Experiencing Both Sides.

This “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston has the wife talking to her friend on the phone, “ My Brother’s coming for Christmas, Connie.” “Yeah He’s still in the theatre, still playing the trumpet…” “Married? No! - He leads a crazy life of late nights, women, travelling! Somehow he still likes to visit us with our kids, dog and Mortgage.” And then she adds the closer: “ ….I think it convinces him he’s been doing the right thing!”
Yes it may be funny in a comic strip but often in real life it is not so funny is it, to be on the one side looking at the other and being wistful or wondering what it is like, but not ready or willing to commit just yet?
Yes there are times when it is good to temporarily experience what the other side has to offer. (If it is not illegal, immoral or harmful that is!) So when you get the chance to mix with people living differently to you, like as in a single person verses a married couple with children etc, such as at Christmas time weddings, funerals and another family gatherings or the like, how do you react to them? Do you go along to fully experience, even if not outright enjoy it, yet determined to make the most of it? Or do you go along mournfully and unwillingly, if you go at all, that is?
I would just like to encourage you this Christmas Season to go out and make the most of the opportunities that the Christmas season offers to see and experience what the other side has to offer, even if just as an interested observer and not an outright active participant.
So yes this Christmas enjoy yourself and view the other side objectively: either to see what you are missing out on. Or to really appreciate how lucky, even blessed, you really are with your current life style. What say you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Are You Prepared To Take The Good With The Bad?

In an earlier cartoon from the “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, we find the mother, after having just been sweet talked into taking home a puppy from the neighbours much to the great delight of her young son, carrying it when it wets itself and her at the same time, much to the ladies disgust. And her husband didn’t help much by saying, “Didn’t you say you might like another baby?”
However, whether a pup or baby, or any other thing, there will always be aspects of having such things, that we would rather do with out. Having had 3 children of our own now, I can quite honestly say I could have quite happily done without all the wet and dirty nappies etc, (even if my wife did most of them ---- Sometimes working away from home can have its benefits, hey!) But anyway, dirty nappies or not, I would never have not had our kids just because of that and a few other problems associated with bringing up children.
So I would like to try and encourage you today, that if you are feeling a little discouraged by the extra dirty, messy, smelly work involved in your life though some recent addition to your life, just remember that there are many, many more better times too, and that you just need to learn to be able to take the bad times with the good. And as you are going through those bad timed to focus not on them, but on the benefits and rewards of the good times instead.
So if you are feeling down today, will you try that? Will you?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just call me the Kilometer Kid now.

Now I know that at the time of writing this, I am (Literally) only a few days away from my 58th Birthday, but now I feel like calling myself the “Kilometer Kid” as I have just managed to swim that distance. Albeit in a 50 metre pool and not in the ocean, or in a river like my friend in Papua New Guinea had to do recently, but I did it; even with a few moments rest occasionally at the end of each lap.
Not bad considering that when I started swimming again barely 10 months ago, I couldn’t even swim 25 metres without stopping. I still can’t say my swimming style is marvellous, nor fast, but I have improved, albeit only a bit. My mate who I go swimming with once a week, is also not the fastest swimmer around and swims in the slowest slow lane, (While I swim in the Public section.) yet he used to do two laps to my one. Now, he does 3 laps to my two: so you see I still have along way to go, just to be at his low level; but at least I am getting some distance in now.
Although a couple of weeks back I had done 16 laps, my normal distance had been between 12 & 14 laps in the 50 minutes or so, we spend swimming, so I was somewhat surprised the other morning to realize that I had just done 14 laps and still had heaps of time left and was travelling well, so went out to break my 16 lap record which I did, but just after I started on my 17th lap, I was struggling so badly that I thought I would just finish it and hopefully the 18th and call it quits, but then I recovered and having done my 18th and seen that my mate was still swimming, went for the round number of 20, which I comfortably achieved in the end.
When I had finished and told my mate how many I had done, even though he had done that day (and often does 30 laps himself), he was more pleased for me than I was myself. Isn’t it great to have someone to try yourself out against without have to actually compete against them too?
So today I would just like to encourage you to learn from both myself and my mate.
1. When you first start out on something new, don’t give up too easily. Even if it is hard or difficult and seemingly impossible, hang on in there and keep plugging away.
2. If you don’t have the speed, go for endurance; just don’t give up, but look to your strengths, and finding them, work to them.
3. Set yourself mild goals and not unrealistic ones. My first goal was to swim the full length of the pool. And them to get back again! And then, when time and energy allowed, trying to beat my previous best. Even though that was not always possible each week, it was something to aim at in the back of my Mind.
And from my mate I have learnt:
1. To know your limits. Even though he has been swimming sometimes up to 3 times a week for the past couple of years, He has learnt that 30 is his limit, even if some mornings he only does 24 or so, sometimes.
2. To encourage others, rather than to compete against them.
Well that’s me and what I have learnt from my swimming experiences. What about you? What have you learnt, and what can you learn, from your own personal experiences? Even from something as mundane as swimming?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Advertising Christ Or Santa this year? 6/12/2008

In a recent “For Better or For Worse” cartoon, Lynn Johnston has the 6-year-old boy ask his mum, “ If Christmas is more about God than Santa ….. How come people talk more about Santa than God? “ His Mum replies, “ God does less advertising.”
And when you look around at all the Christmas paraphernalia on the market, at first glance, this may appear to be true. But is it? To answer that question properly, one needs to properly understand how God advertises and how that differs from the Santa and Christmas commercial advertising.
God does indeed advertise, but he does it not through some expansive and expensive advertising blitz of all the available Media outlets. No God advertises quietly but no less expansively thorough the lives and witness of ordinary everyday believers in Him. People like you and me, if you claim to be a follower of Christ!
Yes God uses word of mouth advertising and this is the best method of all, as if a person is truly happy with a product they can’t help but share that news with any that will listen and even with some who won’t listen! Should we do any less with the great News of Jesus Christ this Christmas and every day too, for that matter? So, whom are you really advertising for this Year? God or Santa?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Are you too quick to Blame too?

Another blog inspired by a “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston and about a recently acquired pup and the joys of such ownership. This one has the mother exasperatedly looking at a puddle in the Hall and then, even worse, finding another in the kitchen and then mop in hand, finding yet another puddle elsewhere. Well this is more than she can bare, so she unceremoniously scoops up the pup and quickly bundles him into his cage. She then walks back into the kitchen, only to find her toddler quite happily squirting apple juice out of its box all over the place.
So it was not the pup at all but her daughter and apple juice! However the pup got the blame first. Do we too often operate like that? And jump at first conclusions, without checking them out first? It may just be that often our first conclusion may be right, but it may also be wrong too and great harm can come from false or incorrect conclusions too. Yes in the case of a pup being falsely or wrongly accused, there will probably be no serious repercussions, but in the home or workplace with family, friends or associates, great harm can come simple because we jumped to the wrong conclusion and then acted upon that conclusion without first seriously checking and con firming that our original conclusion was right.
So today before you jump to any conclusion, please check your facts carefully before speaking or acting. And then act appropriately and responsibly. OK?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Camera Moments are worth it.

In this “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, the mother after previously defending herself from her neighbour’s haranguing for getting her children a Pup, is now starting to have some self-doubts herself saying, “I didn’t want a puppy. Heavens knows, the last thing I need is a DOG!!. But here you are… And I’ve bought all the necessities: A cage, a fence, a bed, shampoo. Toys, food… Now I am looking after another baby! … Why in the world did I agree to this?!!! “
At this point the sight of her two little children playing extremely happily with the pup breaks her moment of doubt and self-pity. To which she exclaims, “ Whoa! … lemme get the camera!!’
Yes with every extra item we add to our routine, there will be extra costs and commitments, and yes there will also be times when we wonder, “What was I thinking when I said yes!” But there will also be many other moments when we also say, “ Whoa! … Lemme get the camera!!’
So today if you are struggling under the load of extra burdens of something that was cute at the time, but now you are wondering, think again of the “ Camera times” and other such Happy times that this extra Burden has brought. And then hopefully you too, will be able to take your eyes off of the extra work and focus on the extra benefits this extra addition has brought you. What say you?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Work Or Cute?

In this “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, The mother has her neighbour haranguing her for getting a puppy for her two children, saying “ A puppy!?- Elly you’re crazy!! I though you wanted more freedom. I thought you wanted less work! You’re got enough to do without adding a puppy to the list!!!”
All logical responses and arguments I believe, but what was the Mother’s (Elly) response? “But Connie…. He’s so CUTE!”
Yes sometimes some extraneous extra thing, like a pup/dog may tie up our plans for more freedom! Yes they may even make much more work, at least to start with! Yes you may already have plenty of work to do! But sometimes it is to our advantage to take on something that is cute. Something that will give us a different and even an “outside” influence (Note to dog lovers; Pun not originally intended!)
So today even if you have a heavy load already, don’t exclude something extra because it has no intrinsic meaning or purpose other than cute, but consider it anyhow, even if it is only for “Cute”. Because although Cute can be extra work, it can also have extra benefits too. Such as relaxation and happy memories. So in closing don’t just reject something out of hand just because it is only cute, but consider it because it is cute.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How to recognize Phony things?

Recently read a comment, which said, “Counterfeit money is only recognised by those who know how to identify the real thing”. And from my time behind the counter selling newspapers where I often to late, found coins from other countries being used, either accidentally or intentionally as Australian currency, I know this is true. When things are busy and you are not watching very, very carefully the non-genuine article often slips through leaving you unaware until it is too late. I didn’t (that I know of) have any problem with counterfeit notes. Or even counterfeit coins for that matter, but every now and then foreign coins would come through passed of as “real” Australian currency.
In some cases you had to see the other side of the coin to tell the obvious differences, because often the “Heads” side was very similar as many Commonwealth countries also have the Queen of England on one side of their coins.
What is true of money is also true of many other things too. Just like there is a lot of phoney money (both coins and notes) floating around, so is there a lot of phoney things floating around being passed off as the real thing and you need to know the real thing if you wish to avoid being tricked into buying into the inferior and often dangerous alternatives being offered around as the “Genuine article”.
This is true of religions too. There are many phoney religions floating around including many phoney so-called Christian ones too! And just as with religions in general, so as with Christianity too that we have to both know and pay attention to the real thing, so as to be able to distinguish between the phoney and the real thing.
So this year as we fast approach the Christmas season, let us all keep an eye out for the phoniness of the festival, and remember the true reason for the season. And the only way we can safely do that is to know the real thing from the phoney when we see it and to take our time in analysing and checking out what we accept, so that we don’t get “fooled” in our hurriedness, like I did a few times with non-Australian coins being passed off as the real thing.
So it is my prayer that even in the busyness of the fast approaching Christmas Festival, that this year at least, you will remember the real Reason (Christ) for the 9Christmas) season and spend quality time and prayer over the word of God; and then know and show the full and whole Christ to the world. Let there be nothing phoney about you or the message of God that you share, this Christmas and beyond.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Knowing Which Buttons To Push And Doing So Wisely.

In the repeat series of the “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, there has been an ongoing push, much against the mother’s will, by both her son and husband to get a dog, However the neighbour’s dog had pups and at the right age to find new homes for them, both the son and father went over “Just to admire them”. After a long time over there, the mother goes over to bring them home. When she gets there, the Neighbour plops a Pup in her arms and says, “ He’s a runt, you see… We couldn’t sell him and I’d hate to put him down.” "The poor little thing has been rejected. He’d need warmth and love to survive!”
Then she turns to the husband and whispers, “ Give me another shot at her mother instincts and you’ve got a dog.”
And that is how they got their first dog, which they happily had for years. All because their neighbour knew them well enough to know which buttons to push, and how long for and when. So whilst this approach should not be used on all and sundry, it does show what can be achieved when one uses the right approach and reaches out to a person’s real feelings.
Today I would like us to look at the reverse side and think of all the good things we have missed out on, all because we did not take into account the other person’s inner feelings.
So today when you are trying to promote or sell an idea or even an object, do take into account the long term effect and don’t reject the personal feelings of the person you are dealing with, in your haste to ‘sell” something, again whether it is an object or an idea.

Monday, November 17, 2008

In defence of all average singers. 17/11/08

A lot has been made in the Papers lately, on how one recording artist with sales of around 1,000,00 albums thinks another Singer with sales of around 40, 000,000 albums, is not a good singer.
Someone else replied that Kylie Minogue, despite all her success, was not a singer but an entertainer and would not have been successful had she not been on “Neighbours” and left OZ for Britain to build on that success.
Be that as it may, what many people forget, is that in the Entertainment Business, it is not always the best that succeed, but those who are versatile and adapt their limited talents to the market at Hand, and hang on in there in the good times and bad, and then proceed to make the most of the opportunities presented to them, which is what Kylie did constantly.
On a recent TV documentary about Australia’s original “Rock & Roller” Johnny O’Keefe, it was also claimed that he was not a great singer either, yet where would the Music scene in Oz be, without Him. Similar claims have been made about the singing abilities of Johnny Cash and even Elvis Presley on the International scene.
So my advice to all the Kylies and Kyle wantabees out there, and you do if the cap fits, is don’t worry if your singing voice meets the approval of Cate Cebrano or not. But go out there and entertain and make the most of your opportunities and also of your so called “liability” of not being as good as a minor celeb thinks you should be, and “knock them dead!”

Friday, November 14, 2008

Would you obtain your hardware from Mitre11?

Apparently, in these tougher economical times, more and more people, and particularly in the Bush, are obtaining a lot of very useful things, and even more useful raw source material, from Mitre 11 these days.
Now, perhaps you, like me, and although you may have heard of Bunnings and even Mitre 10 Hardware stores before, you have not heard of Mitre 11 until now? Well if so, don’t worry too much. It is just a rebranding/naming of an old, old previous Supplier: The Local Tip.
Yes! What once used to be called “scavenging”, now it has the trendier name off “ Recycling”. I don’t know about where you are, but here it is technically illegal. Not that that stops anyone though, especially where street Hard Rubbish Collections are concerned.
In our shire, we used to have twice annual Hard Rubbish collections where people would put unwanted “stuff” out on their front nature strip twice a year on a designated day and sometime in that week (or the next), a truck would come along and pick it all up and remove it all for recycling at their plant. That was the perfect fit in theory.
However two things happened to make it a lot less than perfect in practice: People often started putting stuff out a month or more before the pick up date and professional scavengers used to drive around the collection area before the pick up, ‘stealing' the best stuff and scattering everything else to get at the good stuff underneath.
Well as I said our Shire/Municipality used to do that too, but have now come up with a new system to try and beat the professional scavengers and the ugly eyesore of scattered rubbish sitting on nature strips for weeks, if not months. With this system you can still get two pickups a year, but you are supposed to ring them first and arrange a pick-up date and then and only then, on the weekend before that date, put your junk out the Front with a lovely big Pink sticker that says “BOOKED” on it.
However, so far two people have used this system in our court, and it still hasn’t stopped the scavengers, and in one case the rubbish was still there a week later.
However the point of this blog is to again point out that often we waste a lot of valuable and precious commodities, all because something no longer has value to us, although still valuable to someone else, but not profitable for us to personally sell or recycle, so we just throw it out, rather than trying to find someone who really wants or can use it.
Sometimes I have visited someone and seen something really great and learnt that it came from a tip, or nature strip recycling attempt, In other words it was junk until this person reclaimed it and restored or reshaped it into something more valuable again.
At times like that, one wonders at the amount of good things constantly thrown out, simply because the person who has it, no longer wants it and can find no other way to get rid of it.
So today before you discard anything as rubbish, please make sure that it is rubbish and not something that can be reclaimed or restored or even sold at an “Opportunity Shop” and not only be used again, but able to make some funds for a worthy Cause. Thus you not only get rid of your unwanted things and help someone else, you also help our environment in conserving valuable resources and reduce the need for massive Land Fill Projects.
What say you now? How much of your own junk could you yourself reclaim with a little thought and effort and help both your own pocket and the environment in general? Over to you for now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Unrealistic restrictions.

Another thought inspired by the “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston. This one has the mother dressing her two young children and herself for the wet weather, with the children getting the full works: Gumboots, waterproof Coat and even umbrellas! After their walk, before going back inside, her young son asks, “ Mom? Can I play out-side in the rain by myself for a while?’ To which His mother says, “Sure Honey.” Then ads "Don’t go getting wet!” All this, leaving her son with a look of stunned amazement on his face.
Sounds funny, but I wonder how many of us leave others with a look of stunned amazement on their faces with our own unrealistic restrictions and expectations?
So today I would like us all to, not so much look at ourselves, but to at least “Listen“ to ourselves and really hear what we are really saying and whether it really is realistic and achievable and helpful to others? Or whether we simply confuse, and even amaze them but sadly not in a good way. So today before you set restrictions to those under your control, whether your own children, someone else’s children, or work mates, please think about what you say and make sure it is realistic please? For their sake as much as your own!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are You A Curmudgeon?

Was reading an article in the Paper recently, where it called a former Prime Minister of Australia, an “old curmudgeon”. Now according to an on-line dictionary, a curmudgeon is an ill or bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person, full of resentment and stubborn notions.
Now, any one with a little more than a base Knowledge of the former Prime Minister, would say that that description pretty well sums up Paul Keating to a tee. But what of you? Does it also sum up you, or even me, too? Yes are we too, more often than not, bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous and full of resentment and stubborn notions as seen by others, even if we ourselves tend to think we are the only intelligent people around?
I guess what I am asking today is, do you really see yourself as others really see you? Or are you a curmudgeon without even knowing it? Over to you for now.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Do you resile?

Victoria’s current police Commission has announced her pending resignation; and in the tributes and comments about her reign as Chief Commissioner, I came across the following comment on page 26 of the Nov.6 edition of the Herald Sun Newspaper, by Robert Aldine: He wrote “She wasn’t perfect, but she was having a real go. She didn’t resile from the tough decisions, nor was she easily distracted.”
Now, till then at least, I thought I thought I knew what “resile” meant, particularly as it is the root or base, for the word “resilient”, but that base meaning and the meaning of resilient didn’t quite fit with the sense of the above comment, so I checked “resile” up on the Internet and found that “resile” is one of those words that have two, almost opposite meanings and if used/ or understood, in the wrong sense, the Writer could have been though of as saying, the soon to be ex Police Commissioner did not, “spring back; rebound; resume the original form or position, as an elastic body.” Which is one meaning of the word resile.
The other, which the writer meant (I believe), was that she did not, “shrink back; or recoil.” So now having resiled, or bounced back from my partial knowledge of the meaning of the word ‘resile, I wonder, what about you when you resile? Do you spring back, rebound, & resume your original position? Or do you shrink back and recoil ‘ from the tough decisions.
Yes when you face the problems, hindrances and brick walls of life, do you let them turn you aside, or do you bounce right back at them and not let them defeat you unnecessarily?
Sure there will be obstacles and walls that no matter how much you resile, you will never overcome them; and you need to be able to recognize them when they come! However, a lot of the time we let little obstacles overcome us, when with a little more thought and effort on our part, we can overcome them and triumph. Again perhaps not always as easily as we would like, but often they can usually be overcome, if we don’t get into the habit of becoming a resiler in the negative since, one that shrinks back but by being a resiler in the positive sense, one who springs back and continues on strongly.
So as I close today, I again ask, “How do you resile today? Negatively or positively?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Way To Look At Recessions.

The letter of the day, written by Colin Wheeler, in the Herald Sun’s “Your Say” page on November 6, had a different take on Recessions.
According to Colin, “Recessions are society’s cyclical flushing of the non-essentials of life. They bring us back to reality. First to go are beauty parlours, fast food outlets, pet accessories, personal trainers, cable television, punting, credit card salespeople, 24hour news, fashion, gadgets and non essential air travel.”
Colin also lists a heap more extraneous things that, in his opinion will go in a credit squeeze, before ending with, “ Society will get back to basics for half a generation – until the inevitable rise again of wasteful pampering.”
Now while I humbly think Colin is guilty of Hyperbole and even of overstating his case a tad, he does have a valid point in that there are a lot of things in our lives now, that are largely just ”wasteful pampering” and things that we really could survive quite comfortably without, even to using the funds spent on these things for more beneficial purposes.
So today, even if you are not really being squeezed by the current financial crisis, do have a look at the things you spend your income on and see what is just ”wasteful pampering” and what is really essential and beneficial to your life.
After all would one really need a personal trainer, if one ate the proper foods and not to excess, in the first place? So again, where are you wasting your finances to the detriment of the more beneficial and helpful and even your own health? Again, what say you?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blake Shinn On Being in front too early.

In Horse racing occasionally you will see or hear of a horse who led the race from the beginning to end, but more often than not, the front runners, run out of puff before too long and end towards the rear of the Field. This was seen in the 2008 Melbourne Cup where the three hot fancied Irish runners, led very early and set a very fast pace but then faded quickly before finishing by occupying 3 of the last 4 places in a field of 21 starters.
So generally, Jockeys don’t like to find themselves at the front too early, but sometimes it happens, whether they like it or not. The other day, Jockey Blake Shinn unexpectedly found his horse well in the lead and was extremely worried that His horse had peaked to early, but as the horse was traveling easy and as he felt the horse still could find a couple of lengths if he had to, he maintained his race game. Sure, his ride was nearly run down in the finish and only won by the narrowest of margins in the race’s 148-year history, but he still won.
Why? Because he didn’t give up or panic and try and dictate things mid-race but maintained the race he found himself in. Sure it was not what had been planned, hoped or even expected, but he kept going and won because of it, (and a whole heap of luck too.)
Yes, he was worried, but didn’t panic. In the after race interviews he was asked how he felt about winning and he repeatedly said, “relieved”, because He knew that he had found himself at the front too early but there was little he could do then about that then, and as the horse was traveling easy and as he felt the horse still could find a couple of lengths if he had to, he maintained his race game, and history shows Blake Shinn to be the Winning Jockey of the 2008 Melbourne Cup at the age of 21.
Often we will find similar situations to Blake in our own lives and race-plans. Sometimes, whether through bad planning, or just pure circumstance, we will find ourselves in situations we don’t really want to be in and we can be tempted to pull our horse up or try and change tactics mid-race, when in fact all we should be doing is continuing on and making the best we can of a bad situation. Sure, unlike Blake in this situation, we won’t always win the Melbourne Cup on our first try. But we will have more successes than failures, if we make the most of what life serves up in every race, rather than if we only try when conditions suit us.
So, how is your horse running today and are you making the most of what each race throws at you? Or are you still waiting for perfect conditions to even begin your ride?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Melbourne Cups King.

Well the Melbourne Cup has been won and lost for another year and life can return to normal again till next year. Before this year’s race, there was a big Brough-hah over the number of Foreign or overseas horses in it, with some wanting the number restricted to around five foreigners per race, to give the Aussie horses a better chance to win their own race. {Completely forgetting that before the other Foreign Horses were allowed to enter Australia, Kiwi Horses were often the winners, & with some even wanting to ban horses from there* too. (*New Zealand/Kiwi land!)}
Anyway, before this race, the Media was full of the prospects of these foreign horses and particularly three from an Irish Trainer’s stable. There was hardly any mention of the other horses, except that one writer, Ron Reed, in the Melbourne Herald Sun on the morning of the race, headlined his article, ”Ignore Bart at your peril”. He then went on to say such things as, “The cup is at the mercy of the invaders. Bookies and punters alike agree. Only history might have a different take on it.” And, “Respect the History.” He then went on to detail the history of the past 50 years since Bart Cummings as trainer, sent out his first runner in the race, way back in 1958.
Ron Reed then went on to play up the winning chances of Bart’s first runner, but also said this about Bart’s other runner in the Race, Viewed. “Viewed, the Brisbane cup winner, is not out of calculations either, and in fact the more you look at the field the more the Bart influence comes into play.” Well the race has run and History shows that Bart Cummings, 10 days short of his 81st Birthday, trained his twelfth Melbourne cup Winner with “Viewed” in 2008.
When asked for the secret of His success, Bart replied rather deadpan along the lines of, well you have the best staff and the best horses, feed them the best food and look after them right and the rest takes care of itself.
All this goes to show that to win you have to be genuinely in the race, and not give up mentally just because there are supposedly better horses from elsewhere in it too.
It means that you have to have confidence in yourself and your own horses, even if the rest of the world doesn’t.
It means that sometimes sheer class will win but at others, local knowledge and experience will also show out over the more showy prospects.
And it shows that taking care of the small details, like good staff, good horses a good food and Good conditions, help take care of the big things like winning the big races too.
So what can you learn from the "Bart Cummings” factor?
Things like, not letting your age stop you from trying one more time if you have the goods.
Like not resting on your laurels and saying eleven is enough. But going for number 12 anyway.
Like both giving and using the best.
Like using your experience, expertise and local knowledge.
So in closing, what do you need to adopt from Bart’s attitude and put into your own life experiences? Over to you for now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First Tuesday In November.

Well here we are at that time of year that has been rolling around for 133 years now on the first Tuesday in November, even though it actually began in 1861. And even though the Cup itself was not presented until 1916.
Yes, that’s right! I am talking about the Horse Race that stops a nation, (even our Parliament stops for 3 minutes every year,) and the Horse race that we in Melbourne at least, get a public Holiday for: even if some only get half a day for it.
Of course, “The Melbourne Cup” is not the only significant event happening today either. Some people in the world are even having an election today! Yes that is right; today is the day that New Zealand get to elect their Leader/Prime Minister, for the next term of their Parliament!
Oh and of course the US of A is also having an election too, aren’t they?
However, not counting America, there will be more interest in Australia and even in New Zealand in the Melbourne Cup Winner, (especially if it is from New Zealand,) than in the New Zealand Elections themselves.
Sad isn’t it, that a country so close and so tied in with Australia, can be having such an important event and yet for most people, it has been lost in the brough-hah of the Melbourne Cup and US Elections? But how often do we do similar in our own daily lives and let the showy but unimportant things deflect and side track us from the less showy but more significant things in our lives?
So today, on this first Tuesday of November, despite your personal distractions, 9whether horse races or elections,) please don’t forget to look around and see all the other things happening on this significant day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

How prepared are we for the task at hand?

Recently read in an –mail that Abraham Lincoln was quoted as having said, "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe." Considering that as a young man Lincoln had split rails with an axe, I would say He knew the value of what he was saying and he knew the value of staying sharp. The article then went onto say that, “ Wisdom always prompted him to prepare - whether he was getting ready to cut wood, study law on his own to pass the bar, or lead the nation.”
Now I am not going to claim that I too was an expert axe man in my younger days, but I have used enough axes to appreciate the value of a sharp one and to appreciate Abe’s word’s of wisdom here. And of course as the above article indicates, this applies to mental ability and plans as well as just physical axes, doesn’t it?
So today as you plan to go about your normal every day business, just how much time have you spent in the sharpening of your “axes”?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Well here we are and it is almost time for Halloween again. Halloween is a funny thing in Australia. Till about 30 years ago it never really existed but then started to take off as an American Holiday and because of all the sweets involved became very popular with Children. But what is, or perhaps even better, what was Halloween all about?
It originally was a religious festival that has now become largely a non-Christian event in practice. Which may indeed be quite appropriate and right. After all it was a pagan religious festival and not Christian in the first place, but built on Celtic pagan festivals.
According to an item on the NET: “By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.”
So that is how Halloween got its beginnings and its name. But what does it mean to you? And is it worth trying to reclaim it’s intended Christian beginnings? Or should we happily let it return to being a simple pagan event?
There is nothing wrong with using existing events or objects and giving them Christian significance. As long as that Christian significance is properly maintained and not allowed to degenerate or disappear completely until one is left with an empty “religious Shell” Like Halloween now seems to be.
What say You though? Should we try and reclaim Halloween for Christian celebrations and remembrance? Or should we in fact allow, if not strongly encourage, its demise? Over to you now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Harmony and the Everly brothers.

The Everly brothers were very big on the popular Music scene in the 50’s & 60’s and were popular for their famous harmonies together, so much so that they set the trend for many imitators. Unlike some, like the Righteous brothers, the Walker Brothers and our Very own Allen Brothers; the Everly’s really were brothers and not just a group of strangers pretending to be Brothers. And unlike the Allison’s (also not real brothers, but who sounded like the Everly’s) the Everly’s didn’t sound like anyone else but had their own unique sound. A sound that also inspired and influenced many others including the Beatles and the Beach Boys, just to mention two.
Yes the Everly brothers were an inspiration to many with their own harmonious sound. Yes the Everly bothers sang harmoniously together but sadly did not live in harmony together and eventually split up and went their own separate ways to little real later solo successes. They did reform a time or two, but always for the money and thus the reforms never lasted for long.
How about you? How harmoniously are your really living/working with those around you, whether real family or not? Are you in true harmony in all aspects of life or are you too just coming together for the money? If so, no matter what success you are currently having it too will not last. What say you now?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Taking A Break Now!

Here is some wisdom from the “Wise Words” selection that I receive daily. This one from 01/09/08 called: “Learn to walk away!” It says the following:
“One of the hardest things to do is 'take a break' without feeling guilty and selfish; or worse, feeling like a failure because everything on your 'to do' list didn't get done. Here's a news flash: there will always be more to do! One of your biggest challenges will be learning the difference between setting high standards for yourself - and setting unrealistic, impossible ones.
We claw our way to success then discover we don't like the pressures that go with it. So what should we do? Learn to walk away! Jesus did. "The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.' So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place" (Mk 6:30-32 NIV). Jesus understood that if you don't take a break - you'll break!
So: (a) make a list of the things that only you can do, then delegate the rest or let them go; (b) learn to take small steps and celebrate small accomplishments for that's what life is made of; (c) don't allow the stuff that's still undone, to undo you. (d) Strive for balance; don't become addicted to what you enjoy; (e) don't allow overachievers to put you into overdrive. You're in for the long haul. You win when you pace yourself; (f) take time for the people who matter, otherwise you'll lose them. Busyness is a destroyer of relationships. All the success in the world won't compensate for the joy and treasure of your family and your loved ones!”
All the above, shows that we all need a break sometime and so I am heeding that advice and taking mine now, and I am walking away for a couple of weeks for a break and will be back regularly early in November with the blogs, but maybe intermittently in between, but not till next Sunday at the earliest.
Hopefully I will return refreshed from my time away. But whatever, that is enough about me for now! What about you? Do you too need to learn from the above advice and walk away from some things now?
Remember, even Jesus took his disciples away from the crowds to have a rest. Let us all learn from his example and rest before we burn out. Even if our work isn’t as physically exhausting as some others, it still does not make it any less exhausting, so learn from others and walk away yourself some times, even if only for a week or two, before it is too late and you unnecessarily burn out. Over to you now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Looks Or Qualifications?

This “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, has the Husband, who is a Dentist, talking to his wife about the possible replacement of His “Oral Hygienist” who has just resigned. He said that he has narrowed the 5 applicants down to two. And “One has great references, loads of experience, & is making a career of her work ...” His wife asks, “And the other one?" To which the husband becomes all hot and bothered under the collar, and replies, “… Looks like Shania Twain ...”
Again very funny in a cartoon, but how often do we take this same mentality over into life? Not just with people but with objects too, where we take the pretty over solid and reliable, and end up paying for it later when the pretty does not always last, and falls apart, while the solid continues on, giving solid and reliable service?
So today, if you too are tempted to go for the pretty over the reliable, please think again. The ultimate choice is yours and yours alone, but do think seriously about it before you make the choice, for you will have to bear the consequences for your decision.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Moving on from Melodrama.

Another blog originating from my original blog asking, “Are You A Tad Over Melodramatic Too?” and its follow up, “A Tad Too simplistic, perhaps?”
In the follow up blog, I attempted to deal a little more fuller with how to deal with someone who was a tad over melodramatic, in a little more detail than I did in the original, but again, in my attempt to keep these blogs simple, did not go far enough and thus I received the following response.
“Hi Walter: It's me again. The next statement which needs unpacking is the part where you say, " but eventually, we will have to try and move them on, even if not as quickly as my original simplistic view indicated."
The critical question is, "Whose best interest is being served by 'trying to move them on"? Yours or theirs?
That will take some very careful thinking, best done with a loving and critical (in the best sense of the word) friend. This is the stuff of Clinical Pastoral Education. Cheers again: ***”
These blogs do not allow me the space to go into in any real detail in what is obviously a very complex matter, and one in which, in extreme cases should be left to professionals, who know more on the subject than me.
However, in ordinary everyday work case situations, one may have to deal with someone who is habitually, a tad over melodramatic and bringing everyone else down with them.
In such a case, it would be in everyone’s interest, theirs, yours and the work place’s, for some attempt to be made to help them deal with their problem. And if this can be done on an informal friendly basis, rather than in some clinical sessions, the better it would be for everyone I believe.
That said I would still agree that their welfare, rather than your, or anyone else’s, should be the number one priority, and also that your help will be limited by your own abilities. Again my advice is really only for mild situations, rather than trying to make you a professional councillor. Again over to you.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Tad Too simplistic, perhaps?

In my previous Blog, I asked the question, “Are You A Tad Over Melodramatic Too?” Even though I was asking about yourself, I did also offer some simple advice on how to deal with such people when you come across them. However, in keeping my advice simple, I have over compensated somewhat, as has been pointed out to me by someone who has been in the business longer than me. So to correct my over simplistic advice from yesterday, I offer His advice to you with my complete endorsement and appreciation.
“Hi Walter: This goes to the heart of a philosophy (or theology) of pastoral care. There is much that could be said and I will try not to do that.
The caricature of pastoral care is the Catholic priest saying to the newly pregnant 15 year old, "I know how you feel!"
I am sure you will know that this is wrong and unhelpful. Empathy - which you hint at by saying 'Don't laugh at them.' is certainly the right first response. However, moving too quickly to "try and show that there are worse situations than that, that they could be in etc." insults their intelligence and mostly shows you are not listening well enough to them. You are more likely to be on about your own agenda, which is probably that you are uncomfortable at their pain or too busy laughing at their perceived stupidity to care properly.
Here endeth the lesson! Cheers: ***”
As we both pointed out clearly, we do have to take their responses seriously, and to listen to them fully, but eventually, we will have to try and move them on, even if not as quickly as my original simplistic view indicated. As My friend correctly pointed out, our agenda has to be in helping them get through and over their perceived problem as quickly and as painlessly as possible, and not for any other reason; and certainly not from any personal agenda. What say you now?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Are You A Tad Over Melodramatic Too?

This “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, has the Husband, who is a Dentist, lamenting to his workmate over a cup of Coffee that, “This is it Ted … It’s finally happened …After all this time.. & all we have been through … she’s leaving me. I tried to treat her well … I thought I’d given her everything!”
At this point Ted, quite concerned for him, and with tears in his eyes, puts his arms around his friend to comfort him, then his friend continues on with, “ Where am I going to find another oral hygienist like Marie?’ To which Ted just gives him an exasperated look.
Yes I know from personal first hand experience how hard it is to find, let alone replace good staff, but it is not the end of the world either. Yes I do know that this is only a comic strip, but I have also experienced quite a few over melodramatic responses like this one too, so it is a real experience that you will face one day, even if you have been lucky enough to escape it so far.
So how should you respond to someone in this situation? Firstly don’t laugh at them, but don’t feed into their melodramatic moment either. Secondly, try and show them that there are worse situations than that, that they could be in and that they should be thankful it is not worse. Thirdly, try and show them both, an example of someone in a worse situation than them who needs real sympathy, and then finally try and point them in a positive action to get them moving again and focusing on the future and not the present problem.
Now I think the above advice wise but if you don’t wish to follow it, that is up to you, but this blog is not meant to be about others who may be over melodramatic, but as the title indicates, what about You?
Are you also one of these naturally over melodramatic people, like in this comic strip? If you are then my advice to you is basically the same as that given above. Realize and accept that things that you won’t like, happen all the time, and also accept when they do, that they are usually not half as bad as you initially imagine. Then move on with some positive action to remedy the situation without dwelling on the problem itself.
Yes, if life deals you a curve ball, deal with it and move on positively.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A little quiz about the music of Tommy Roe.

Come on everybody, it is time to get jam up and jelly tight about one of my earliest Music favourites, Tommy Roe. The folksinger/ pop star had a string of classic and not so classic songs and covers of other people’s hits, during the 50’s, 60’s & early 70’s. In the music arena Tommy was a working class hero and well known as a stir it up and serve it musician. Likewise, Tommy was also known to have had an eye for, and becoming quite dizzy over the ladies and was well known for having said hooray for Hazel. And he thought Pearl and Heather honey was yummy, yummy, yummy, but is perhaps best known for the liaison he had with that sweet little Sheila, Sweet Pea. He also hung around with for a while with Stagger Lee and even Jack and Jill for a while, until it was suspected the latter two got into some hanky panky in the fields of crimson and clover. He was also known to like some sugar sugar in his coffee.
Okay how many song titles were you able to pick out? If you know anything about Tommy Roe you should have been able to get 2 or 3 of his songs, and if you know anything of the music of that era you should also have picked out at least two covers, plus a couple of other titles are fairly obvious, so see how many you can guess. I took these titles from some of my CD’s and even I didn’t know all of them originally. As a fan of Tommy’s I knew 7, and could guess at least 3 covers. So see if you can top ten of the seventeen titles hidden in the first paragraph here. No prizes for doing so. Just the pleasure of knowing you beat me. If you can? Answers only available upon answering.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do you take credit for others efforts?

This is another inspired by a “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston. This one has the mother hand their toddler over to her husband with a “stinking” smelly nappy for him to change. Which he dutifully does, all the time with his nose screwed up and His eyes running from the stench. When the change is completed, he dutifully hands her back to her mother who cheerfully states, “Amazing, isn’t it - how changing someone else’s baby is so unpleasant…. But it doesn’t bother us to change our own!” To which her husband just stares at her in stunned silence!
Very funny in a cartoon but not so funny in real life when someone unfairly takes the Credit for you hard work is it? But how often do we, you and me, do that to others I wonder? So today I ask, is there something that you have taken credit for that you now need to give due credit to the real person or person’s responsible? Yes before we can accuse or criticize others for doing something like that to us, we first need to correct ourselves don’t we? So to whom today do you have to give true credit to, and will you do it now?

Monday, October 13, 2008

How to cheer people Up.

On the way home from Church yesterday afternoon, we stopped in briefly on a family away sick with the flu. And I must say that it has been a while since I have seen a sadder and sicker bunch. Their son who had been away house sitting for a week didn’t look too bad and seems to be the only one who has avoided the flu so far. The rest all looked terrible, and this, 3 weeks in for most of them!
Still you should have seen how their faces lit up as they read the Cards that the Sunday School Children had done for them, during Sunday School. It was a real joy to behold and watch their faces light up as they read those simple hand drawn cards done by children from 3 to 10 years old.
This led me to wonder at the marvel of our human spirit, that no matter how sick and lousy we may feel, it takes little more than a simple gesture to lighten up someone’s world again, albeit sometimes, ever so briefly.
So today’s question is, “Who do you know now, that you could brighten up their lives, even if only for a brief moment, with a simple Card or phone call, or even a quick visit?” I will leave that thought with you for now.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The “Real” Passion in Passion Fruit.

Now some of you may not know what passionfruit is as it is also called in some places Granadilla, (which is technically another type within the same species).
However although there are over 500 subspecies within its Genus and found as natives all over the world, (Including at least 4 sub species unique to Australia), the Passionfruit is native to South America and the word, nor the fruit, has anything to do with love and romance of the Human kind, but rather of the love of God in sending His son to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind.
For you see, the early Spanish missionaries there used the flower of the plant as a teaching aid when explaining the crucifixion of Christ. The filaments in the centre represent the crown of thorns, the plant’s tendrils were whips, and the petals and sepals were the disciples, etc.
So the passion fruit is another everyday item that was named for a purpose long forgotten and because of other meanings of the word, the original name is often interpreted with the wrong motives and objectives altogether.
Again just another warning to us not to jump to conclusions when we hear a word and think of only one meaning for that word, when like the passion fruit, it may have a completely different and even almost opposite meaning.
So, what words or pictures are you currently “seeing”, through just “one eye” and what words or pictures do you now need to look at with both eyes to get the full picture? Over to you to answer that one now.

* Extra From Wikapedia: "Passion" does not refer to love, but to the Christian theological icon of the passion of Christ on the cross. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries discovered this flower and adopted its unique physical structures, particularly the numbers of its various parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus Christ and especially the Crucifixion. For example: the radial filaments which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower were taken to represent the Crown of Thorns. The ten petals and sepals can represent the ten faithful apostles. The top 3 stigmata can represent the 3 nails and the lower 5 anthers the 5 wounds. The flower has been given names related to this symbolism throughout Europe since that time. In Spain, it is known as Espina de Cristo (Christ's Thorn). In Germany it was once known as Muttergottes-Schuzchen (Mother-of-God's Star). Popular culture being what it is, however, passionflowers and especially passionfruit are frequently used with sexual or romantic innuendo, giving rise to such uses as a one-time soft drink named Purple Passion.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Are You Guilty Of Hypocrisy Too?

This is another inspired by the “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston. This one has two mothers talking together, and one says to the other what a good husband the other has, to which the other replies, “I know. I just wish I could get him to do more of the chores.” To which the other lady asks, “Like what?” to hear, “I dunno … Dishes, laundry.” To which the fist lady replies, “ But you HATE the way he does dishes and Laundry.” To which the other replies, “Yeah – but I appreciate the gesture.” To which the first lady just stands there stunned.
I personally don’t find this particularly funny, because I have seen it happen in real life, more than once, where people complain about others never offering them help, and then been there when help was indeed offered, only to be refused. So the next time you complain that someone won’t help you, make sure that they really won’t help you, and that it is just not that you only want their help if it is done your own way, otherwise you too run the risk of looking like a hypocrite to your friends and/or workmates.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Do you take credit for others efforts?

This is another inspired by a “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston. This one has the mother hand their toddler over to her husband with a smelly nappy for him to change. Which he dutifully does, all the time with his nose screwed up and His eyes running from the stench. When the change is completed, he dutifully hands her back to her mother who cheerfully states, “Amazing, isn’t it - how changing someone else’s baby is so unpleasant…. But it doesn’t bother us to change our own!” To which her husband just stares at her in stunned silence!
Very funny in a cartoon but not so funny in real life when someone unfairly takes the Credit for you hard work is it? But how often do we, you and me, do that to others I wonder? So today I ask, is there something that you have taken credit for that you now need to give due credit to the real person or person’s responsible? Yes before we can accuse ort criticize others for doing something like that to us, we first need to correct ourselves don’t we? So to whom today do you have to give true credit to, and will you do it now?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Do not Leave the leaves alone.

Another inspired by the “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston. This one has the husband just finished raking up a huge pile of leaves in the backyard and while his back was turned, his young son crawled into the pile of leaves to play.
When his father saw this, he screamed at his son angrily to get out of there, having gotten down on his knees to yell at his boy. His son guiltily flicks a few leaves at his angry father, who suddenly relents and the next thing you know both are tussling and having fun rolling in the leaves.
Yes I know that it will mean extra work for the father to re-rake the leaves etc, but I think sometimes we too need to learn a lesson from this cartoon dad, and just relax sometimes and have a little fun, even if it does mean a little extra work for us later. So as you go through life today, are there some leaves in your life that you should perhaps happily let get scattered again, even just for a few moments?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Always Something To Do.

This is another inspired by the “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston. This one has the husband standing out in the yard with the wind blowing a few leaves around and sniffing the air, and thinking to himself, “Aaaahhhhh – what a wonderful time of the year! Crisp, cool winds, colorful leaves …. No planting, no weeding, no mowing, no bugs, no … “ At which point his wife walks up and silently hands him the leaf rake.
Yes it seems that just when we think that there is nothing for us to do, it seems that someone can always find something for us to do, can’t they?
Forgetting for a moment about finding something for somebody else to do, what about yourself? Even though you may have caught up with all the other seasonal things, what else is there that you could or even, should be doing now? I will leave it to you now to think about that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blowing Raspberries.

Another blog inspired by the same “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, as yesterday’s blog. Remember that one had a Mother & her 5-year-old son, walking with her toddler girl in a stroller, and meeting an elderly neighbour who immediately made a big fuss over the little girl in the stroller, completely ignoring the boy.
Then as she walked away, the little boy blows her a large raspberry to display his annoyance at her ignoring him completely.
Now I wonder how many of us feel slighted every day and wishing we too could blow raspberries at those who slighted us, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Well if you do, I would like to encourage you to stop and think carefully before you do. As it may be that they are totally unaware of their slight in the first place, and then simply blame your response as being an example of your rudeness and share your rudeness with others and thus it will be you and not they, that come out of this with Mud all over you and your good name. So if you really cannot ignore their slight of you, go to them privately and explain the problem and try and work it out, before going to someone else, like a parent or supervisor, to try and work things out, if necessarily.
Likewise, what about those you may have slighted too, again whether intentionally or unintentionally? So today, I again ask you to just stop for a moment and to take your eyes off of your own situation and just look around at those that you might have offended along the way, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and whether you, instead of having them blowing raspberries at you, can reach out to them and try and resolve the problem between you both, without either side needing to resort to raspberries. What say you now?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Do you have selective focus too?

Another blog inspired by the “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston. This one has a Mother, & her 5-year-old son, walking with her toddler girl in a stroller, meeting an elderly neighbour, who immediately makes a big fuss over the little girl in the stroller completely ignoring the boy. Then as she walks away, the little boy blows her a large raspberry to display his annoyance at her ignoring him completely.
Now I wonder how often we are like that older lady, and become so completely absorbed on one object or person, so that we totally, even if unintentionally, ignore all others and all other things around us, to our own and even their, oblivion?
So today, I ask you to just stop for a moment or two and to take your eyes off of your own "special obsessions” for a few moments, and just look around at the other things also happening right now, right around you. By all means, be involved in your own special interests, but do share some of your time and enthusiasm for the other things around you too. You may be surprised at all the other “Special things” that you may have missed right around you. Both to your own hurt and to theirs too! Have a great day as you lift up your eyes and look around you anew!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Does your child or Family member need to borrow $25 off of you?

Recently received the following e-mail with the title, “Daddy, can I borrow $25??” I pass it on as is and untouched and with no following comment other than to add here that I hope that you are as encouraged by it as I am. Walter
“Can I Borrow $25?
A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.
SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'
DAD: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the man.
SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'
DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the Man said angrily.
SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an Hour?'
DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.'
SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.
SON: 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?'
The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish.... I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.'
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions..... How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.
'Are you asleep, son?' He asked. 'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.
'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.'
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. 'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled.. Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied.
'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.'
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.
It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love..
If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours, but the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.
From my house to yours. From my home to yours - enjoy. Thanks.”

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Counting your age by days and not years.

Recently stumbled across a site on the Web: On it he mentioned that: “A few years back I began counting my age not in years, but days.
The day is the natural cycle of our lives. The cycle of light and dark, wakefulness and sleep, has more significance than the cycle of the seasons. Indeed, in equatorial latitudes, you hardly notice the passing of the seasons. The day is what counts.
Each day is a complete unit in itself. At the end of each day I can look back and take stock. How have I been? What have I learned? What can I be grateful for?
I can hold a day's experience in mind quite easily. Trying to go back and take stock of a whole year is much harder. Numerous incidents and discoveries are inevitably forgotten.
I also find it far more meaningful to think that I have lived through nearly twenty thousand days this life, rather than 50 years. And it reframes the future. I have -- probably -- thousands of days still to come. Thousands of new days to discover, enjoy and learn from. “
Further he added about, “Living Each Day in the Present. It is easy to go through our days on semi-automatic, caught up in doing and thoughts about the past and the future, not experiencing the present moment in its fullness.”
This mindset has a lot to recommend itself as a general principal, but I am not too sure that I actually like the thought of going around telling every body that at the time of writing/posting this, I am /was 21,1106!
However I do feel that it is probably good for us to take stock of our present situations a little more often than we do, even if not every single day. And that sometimes the time to change things is now, today, rather than waiting for another birthday or year, to come around before we consider things again. Because by that time, we may have forgotten or it may just be too late then to do anything meaningful or helpful.
Likewise I too think that sometimes we do “go through our days (& our lives) on semi-automatic, caught up in doing and thoughts about the past and the future, not experiencing the present moment in its fullness).
So tonight, when you come to the end of this day, will you look back and take stock of not only your day but of your life too? And ask yourself the following questions? How have you been today? What have you learned today? What can you be grateful for today?
Often we look back at the negativeness of our day and even our Life, but forget to think about and give appreciation for all the good things too. Often, numerous good things, incidents and discoveries are inevitably forgotten and unappreciated as we only focus on the bad things that have happened. So starting today, won’t you start living each day, one day at a time and focus on the good things and go out and discover, enjoy and learn from the new things in your life, leaving the past for the past. Again what say you?

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Town called Chicken.

I know that a time or to I have been called Chicken but this was the first I have of a town being called Chicken, but there you are. On the Alaskan side of the Canadian Border on the appropriately named, “Top Of The World Highway”, stands the small town of Chicken with its population according to a census 8 years ago of 17 people.
It is an old gold rush town, which was named back in 1902 after the ptarmigan fowl that was very common then. Originally it was intended to call it Ptarmigan*, but the founding fathers could not agree on how to spell the word, and so the compromise was reached and hence it has been called Chicken ever since.
Now I know that sometimes compromise is a good thing, but somehow in this case I think it would rather have taken the chance with the odd misspellings of Ptarmigan, than the more spellable, but plain ”chicken”.
What say you? Sometimes compromise is good and wise but sometimes it is also the easy way out, and thus sometimes should be avoided too, for the slightly harder but more preferable alternative, don’t you think.
* From the Net.
“Ptarmigan, common name for three species of bird that make up a genus of the grouse subfamily, found in mountain and tundra areas around the northern hemisphere. One bird, the white-tailed ptarmigan, is confined to high mountains of western North America. The willow ptarmigan and the rock ptarmigan are circumpolar, and are among the very few nonmigratory birds of the Arctic. Ptarmigan are notable for having a moulting cycle unique among birds, in that they assume a white plumage in winter, in addition to the usual spring and autumn plumages. Their toes, which are at best sparsely feathered at other times, become heavily feathered in winter, creating efficient “snowshoes”. One population of willow ptarmigan—the red grouse of Great Britain— does not develop the white winter plumage.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Innovative Shower suit.

Reading in the Herald Sun on Sept. 23, I came across an item about a new Australian invention: A suit that you can clean while you are in the shower! There is no need for soaking, dry cleaning or even soap, thanks to the revolutionary design of this shower suit created by the research and marketing company, Australian Wool Innovation.
I have not heard of this product before, but apparently the Japanese have taken a yen to it and orders for 170,000 have been taken and it is expected to sell well through out Asia. Sadly if you want one, you will have to go to Asia to get one, for despite being made here in OZ, it won’t be released to our market for another 18months or so.
A classic case of going where a ready-made Market is available before trying the local Market. Is that what you do? Seek out the proper markets for your product? Or simply try to sell it where you are? In good times or when things are scarce that may work, but when you are facing a tough or tightening market you have to use a little more strategy in your marketing don’t you?
So in closing, how are you going now? Are you selling to the correct, even if only a niche, market where your product would be desirable? Or are you trying the open market where there is little genuine interest in your product amongst everything else on the market? Something for you to chew over for now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nannies Facing Hard Times Now.

Recently glancing through the paper I came across an article in their financial section stating the plight of some Nannies in the U S, now that financial hard times have hit the financial sector and many people in it are being laid off and so are their Nannies, and/ or their pay package/structure is being lowered. However even in this, it states that it is the lower grades of Nannies that are suffering most, but the higher quality nannies and especially the British ones, are still in high demand The article in the Herald Sun on Sep.23 said, “ The market changed three or four years ago. The newly rich with eye watering mortgages didn’t come shopping for nannies in this country, they went to Eastern Europe…. The nannies from there are cheaper but not nearly as good as ours. It is those people who will suffer first…. The whole world still comes to Britain shopping for the great British Nanny.”
This bit of information highlights a general rule in life, in that when things are scarce or money plentiful, anything will pass the muster, but when things are plentiful or money is scarce, only the best will survive. Which are you? Cheap and available? Or great but slightly more valuable?
Remember to give of your best at all times and if you do that even if you loose your job in Hard times you will have the advantage in getting another. Keep smiling.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Think before You speak.

In a recent blog, "Can We Rightly Discern The Truth When We Hear It?" I recorded an incident told to me by a close family member. Upon showing her the article that she inspired, she wrote, “Great food for thought, although next time I will have too rethink what I say in case I get quoted again.! Ha Ha!!”
Although only jokingly said here, again I think it is really good advice for all of us at all times too, don’t You? For we never know when something we have said, whether correct or incorrect, will be passed on to others as correct, even If not.
So just how carefully do you weigh up and assess the things you say or even do? Something to think on, hey?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Are You an asset or just an expense?

As you go through your life right now, how do you truly see yourself? Do you se yourself as an asset for other people to have around them? Or are you more of a liability and expense for them to have you around? In other words do you contribute to the well being of others, or do you make others contribute to your own well being only, without giving anything back?
So whether at work or at home, whether doing it for money or for nothing, ask yourself, "Did I do a good job today? Was I an asset and not just an expense?" Author Richard L. Evans remarked, "It's priceless to find a person who will take responsibility, who will finish and follow through to the final detail - to know when someone has accepted an assignment that it will be effectively, conscientiously completed."
So again, are you one of those priceless people? Again whether doing it for money or any other reason, are you someone who can be trusted to be left alone to get the job done, knowing that it will be done and done properly and on time too? Or are you someone that everyone has to keep an eye on all the time, just to make sure that you even do the bare minimum required, let alone do it fully? Again, what say you now?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Comparing God to A Diet.

I hate to compare God to a diet, but it seems that a lot of people treat God a bit the way they do diets at times, doesn’t it? We become overweight and suffer from it and are put on a strict diet, which achieves the desired, required goal, but then!!!!!!!!!
Then, we decide, well now that I am down to the required weight I can go off the diet can’t I? Oh yes, at first we will not stray too far from the diet, but. But before long we are back to our old eating habits aren’t we?
Now as I said above, I don’t like comparing God to a diet, but for many of us, we do treat God the same way we treat diets don’t we? Good for when we need them but unnecessary the rest of the time. Well that may be how we treat God, but that is not how it is meant to be. And like when we break our diets and go back to our old ways, the problems return don’t they? So it pays in the long run for us all to stick to our diets of healthy living in the first place, doesn’t it? And the same is true for our relationship with God too. It is far healthier for us to continue to walk in God’s path, or if you like, in God’s diet, for you now, rather than pay the consequences later, isn’t it?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Do You Need To Walk In Someone Else’s Shoes For A While?

How often in life do we see things from the outside looking in, and without seeing or knowing all the facts, make judgments and form opinions about other people or things? Sometimes we may be right too, but many times we really do need to just stop and think and try and see things from the other side too and not just from our own small worldview, before we form those opinions, don’t we?
Back in 1970, Joe South wrote and sang, “If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour. If we could find a way to get inside each other's mind. If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego. I believe you'd be surprised to see that you'd been blind. Walk a mile in my shoes walk a mile in my shoes Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse. Walk a mile in my shoes.”
I think that this is very sound advice for, as Joe goes on to say further in the song, “So unless you've lived a life of total perfection. Mm-mm, you'd better be careful of every stone that you should throw. Yet we spend the day throwin' stones at one another. 'cause I don't think or wear my hair same way you do. Well, I may be common people but I'm your brother. Ad when you strike out and try to hurt me, it’s a 'hurtin you.”
So I urge you today, even if you don’t know the song or even Joe, to learn from his words of wisdom in it and learn, even if for only “one hour” to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes and see life from their perspective too. For as Joe also says, when you are hurting others. you are only ultimately hurting yourself too, so, “Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse. Walk a mile in the other person’s shoes.” Yes, just not mine please, you might just stretch them!!!!!
Now seriously, yes we all need to walk in other people’s shoes for a while too! Will you do that before you speak next time?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Are You A Manga Fan?

Yes, are you a Manga fan or what about Anime? Are you a fan of it as well? Or are you like me, who had never heard the word before, let alone know what either is?
Well according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006. Manga is "Japanese comic books or graphic novels," c.1984, from Jap. "cartoon, caricature," lit. "involuntary pictures." Term said to have been coined 1814 by artist Katsushika Hokusai to "convey a sense of free-flowing composition and quirky style."
And Anime is a Japanese style of motion-picture animation, characterized by highly stylized, colorful art, futuristic settings, violence, and sexuality. [Japanese, short for animēshon, animation, from English animation.]
My how the times have changed since my youth. In those days you had comics and then on TV Cartoons. And then you had those quirky cheap japans styled ones. And now? And now they are an Art Form in their own right with their own following and individual names.
What else has changed by development since your youth and although once despised now is valued in its’ own right? And what other things are you currently rejecting as useless that perhaps you should be having another look t to see their true value now, rather than later?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can We Rightly Discern The Truth When We Hear It?

Today’s query is, can we really discern the truth when we hear it? Or can we only discern the truth that fits in with our current pool of understanding and experiences? We went to Tea/Supper, with a close family member the other night and were again reminded that she had actually gone to the same High school as my wife for one year during their school days. Also I found out that although they hung around together through a mutual friend, she did not particularly like my wife then, because she found her to be a terrible little liar. In something like her own words she said, “What a liar. How could anyone possibly have 14 brothers and sisters? It can’t possibly be true, and the funny names that she calls them too! Maybe if they had been proper English names, I might have believed her.”
Little was she to know then, that in a few short years, she was to meet and marry one of these brothers, and the one with the weirdest sounding name (To Aussie/English ears) too!
Yes, even though there was a family near us with eleven Kids*, (that we went to State {Primary} School with), fifteen Kids in the one family with non-familiar names was just too much for a twelve year old to believe, so therefore the other person must be a liar.
Well enough of her here and what about you? Yes how do you honestly act when you first hear something outside of your normal experience parameters? Do you automatically dismiss it as untrue? Do you also dismiss the bearer of that information as a liar? Or do you accept it Holus Bolus, without checking, either? Both responses are equally wrong and hurtful often, even if not outright harmful, to all concerned.
So when you hear something that doesn’t fit into your current level of understanding or experience, check it out and find out what it all really is about. Today, and especially for those with access to the Web, it is so much easier to do just that when you come across something that sounds weird, like I did recently when I came across the phrase/concept of Manga. I had no idea what it was or whether it was just a simply mistake and they actually meant a Mango, so I checked it out. But I will save that for tomorrow now.
In the meantime, please do not be too quick to either dismiss, or too quickly accept all that you hear, but where you have doubts, check them out. And check them out as soon as possible too, so that if you are wrong, you can correct yourself, before making a complete fool of yourself by passing around incorrect information. Will you do that now? I hope so!
* Although she states that she only knew of the 7 or 8 younger ones then, this again warns of the danger of basing an argument or view only on partial knowledge, even if only young at the time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Action or inaction, which is usually best?

Was glancing through the paper the other day and something in the financial section caught my attention, as it was headed, “Take action in right direction.” And it opened with; “Inaction can be as destructive to our wealth as poor investment decisions. Especially as we often approach investing with anxiety and concern.
Seeking the right advice, making a choice to implement a plan and then persisting with it can be the difference between achieving a healthy retirement or not.”
Whilst I am not quite in the position to take action in regard to financial investments, more the pity, I do think that what is true of investments is also true in our lives too I believe. So is there some decision or action currently in your life that you really should make a decision about but have been putting it off? Maybe now is the right time to reassess that what you need to do or not do, and making some decisions on that, then put those decisions into action? Remember, just thinking about it, will not make it happen. If you want something to happen, you have to make the decisions now, and then follow them through fully. It is no good, and often totally wasteful and expensive to only go half way with your decisions. You have to follow them through fully to the end.
It is a bit like going to a nursery and buying a beautiful and expensive plant to plant in your garden in just the right spot, but then taking it home and leaving it for another time to plant and then forgetting to regularly water it, only to find that when you are ready to plant it, it is dead through neglect and lack of water.
So whether it is a plant, a financial or even a personal matter, if there is something that needs a decision now, make it now at the right time, and then stick to it and follow it through properly. What say you?

Monday, September 22, 2008

How Bad Do You really Want anything?

Saw the following item on an –email: There's a story about Socrates in which a proud young man supposedly asked, "Oh great Socrates, I came to you for knowledge." Socrates led him down to the sea into waist-deep water. "Tell me again what you want," he said. "Knowledge." Socrates pushed him down under the water, holding him there for 30 seconds. "Now, what do you want?" The young man spluttered, "Wisdom, oh great Socrates." Again the philosopher pushed him under. When he let him up again he asked, "What do you want?" "Knowledge, oh wise and." he managed to spit out before Socrates held him under again, this time even longer. "What do you want?" repeated Socrates. The younger man coughed and gasped. "Air!" he shouted, "I want air!" Socrates replied, "When you want knowledge as much as you want air, you'll get knowledge." Then the old man returned to the shore. Bottom line: be passionate!”
Which leads me to ask, just how passionate are we about most things in our lives? Oh sure, we all want various things, but often only if given to us on a platter, so to speak, but if we find that we have to put ourselves out somewhat to get it, we often loose enthusiasm don’t we? So again, just how passionate are you about the things you desire? And what are you doing to bring them about?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Too much to do to whine!

Recently forwarded a chain e-mail to a dear friend of ours from our Transkei (South Africa) Days. To which I received this reply: “Thank you for excellent material on the Lord's Prayer, just received and read. Trust you and the bairns all doing fine. Our quarterly newsletter due out soon - so I will not lengthen this one - other thank to mention that these two "old-timers " - **** 84 and me 85 this week. **** - gall bladder removal two weeks ago, healing well - though exhausted! My shingles - now 16 months old, continues to demand medication and pain pills but there is too much to do to whine! Sharing in crusade in Gamalakhe Township (26 Sepot -4 Oct) followed by arrival of group of Americans for rural outreach. My job supply of tracts and training of counsellors.”
I couldn’t help but think, well here I am at my age, thinking I am struggling on, but here they both are, at an age well past retirement and with health issues that somewhat debilitate them but still they continue on as ever. This is the same man who 8 years ago was still on 6 or 8 different committees all over his area, and finding it hard to keep up with them all then and was thinking of trying to drop them all. I encouraged him to choose the most important and just try and drop a couple of the less urgent ones each year. At the time he thought it great advice, but somehow, knowing him, I suspect he didn’t and is probably still on most of them.
Anyway enough of him and even me, what about you now? Are you still actively involved in doing the things you love. Either for Money, or like my friend above, out of Love for the cause?
Perhaps like me and them, you have a few health ailments that curtail somewhat all that you would really like to do, yet hasn’t stopped you completely, if you want to do something?
So as I close, what about you now? Are you moaning and groaning and whining? Or do you too have too much to do to whine? It really is an attitude situation, so do you need an attitude adjustment? Or are you too busy doing, to whine?