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A Little Learning

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.
Alexander Pope – attributed early 1700’s

This quote which was often hashed around by my dear absent-minded professor Dr. Ellis in 1971 basically tells us if we dabble in a subject, we endanger ourselves into a false humility and state of egotism. On the other hand, if we imbibe into deeper knowledge, we come back to know our real selves.
I am sure you have been to the doctor in the last three years and he or she made a comment about a diagnosis or medication and you went straight home and hit Google. The next day you were babbling out medical terminology and had visions of a stethoscope around your neck and a new diploma on your wall.
Well, go ahead and confess at least to yourself . Ha!

Francis Bacon said something similar to Pope, but he alluded to the fact that  a little knowledge may lead man to atheism, while a fuller helping would lead man to religion. (My interpretation)

I believe God has a fuller wisdom for man. Paul speaks of the secret wisdom that will be revealed to us through the Holy Spirit.
You can Google the wisdom of God and learn, but some things will never come to you through your computer.

Drink deeper!

Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 2 and 3 for a fuller knowledge.

NOW WE DID NOT RECEIVE THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD, BUT WE RECEIVED THE SPIRIT THAT IS FROM GOD SO THAT WE CAN KNOW ALL THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US. 1 Corinthians 2:12

Uh Dr. Ellis …Here is your hat you left in class on Friday!

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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Keep The Change!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a neat poster in my classroom several years ago. It had a picture of a baby with his nose wrinkled and the caption said, “If something stinks, change it!”
That poster was a great starting point of discussion for students who needed advice.
Sometimes change is good.
Changing jobs and moving to a new location are high up on the list of major stress factors, but some change may be needed in your life in other ways.
I am never proud to say I smoked for a few years back in the 1970’s through the mid 1980’s.
I stopped in 1986 when Anthony was getting ready to turn 15. I decided that if I saw Anthony smoking, then I would have no grounds to preach to him about the dangers of smoking. It was very hard to do because I have an addictive nature, but I quit cold turkey in June of that year and never looked back… until I got my tumor diagnosis this year and all my medical records were suddenly glowing with the words, “history of smoking.”  The proudest part of that statement is the word “history.”

What do you have in your life that needs to be filed under the word “history?”
Maybe it is greed, jealousy, or something addictive that takes you away from the good vibes of healthy living.  Maybe you are addicted to a hobby that takes you away from your family.
I know I still have some stinky things to change, but God will help me.  again.
He will help you too.
“…GOD IS BEING PATIENT WITH YOU. HE DOES NOT WANT ANYONE TO BE LOST, BUT WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO CHANGE THEIR HEARTS AND LIVES.”   2 Peter 3:9

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Premium Sodie Crackers

My dad was from Brevard, NC and grew up in a home without running water or a bathroom. Both of my parents  grew up in large families and they had little to eat.  Mother’s family farmed, but Dad’s family depended on the wild of nature very often, so squirrel and dumplings was a staple in their home.  In his early twenties, Dad served our country in the army and was in the invasion of North Africa where he was captured by the Germans. He spent 22 months in Stalag II B as a POW.  He  worked on a farm detachment raising crops to feed the Germans. He told his children very little about his hardships there. I recently ordered a report on the conditions of Dad’s Stalag and cried as I read it.
Dad told us of the brown mystery soup they were fed and told jokes about how they would steal potatoes from the ground and eat them raw.
As I grew up, Dad and Mother made sure we were well fed. I went with Dad every week to cash his $89 mill check and then on Saturday he would take me to Winn Dixie (He called it the Dixie Store) and we would buy groceries for the week. He also bought his children treats – a multi pack of Hershey Bars and a multi pack of Juicy Fruit Gum. I never felt hungry like  my mom and dad did as children.
After I was married, Dad and Mom would visit us weekly. They always brought us canned goods, toilet paper, and saltines. (Dad called them sodie crackers.)
I am thankful for the love of my parents. I still love sodie crackers and eat them daily. I just wish Dad had some when he was a child and a POW.

It doesn’t matter where you come from, or what you grew up eating, Jesus came for all people in all situations.

YOUR HEART WILL BE WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS  Luke 12:34

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Sometimes we are all better at giving advice than we are at observing and listening.  As parents, we are experts at this. My mom and dad gave me lots of advice, but were always eager to hear what I had to say. They made me feel comfortable telling them what was on my mind. They never belittled me for having thoughts and theories.
I often reflect on my own parenting and listening skills. Anthony was our “buddy” and friend as he was growing up and we did a lot of things under that scenario, but certainly knew when to draw the parenting line.
One story from which I learned is this one.
Anthony, as a young boy and into his teens often came to us rubbing his neck saying that he felt like he had two adam’s apples. We would brush it off and tell him that it was just a natural knot in his throat.
We learned from this, that even a child really knows his or her own body and how it feels. When Anthony was 19, he went in for pre-surgery for his tonsillectomy  and asked the surgeon to check his double-knotted adam’s apple. The surgeon was quick to say, “You have a thyroglossal duct cyst and that needs to come out. I suppose you have felt that for a number of years.”
Needless to say, Joy and I were shocked to hear that he would now have two surgical procedures,… and he had quite a hard time of recovery.
I also think of things that students would try to tell me, and I would learn later that maybe I  had not really heard the real message they were trying to get across.
Are you hearing, or are you listening? They are really two different things.

LISTEN CAREFULLY TO WHAT WISE PEOPLE SAY; PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I AM TEACHING YOU. Proverbs 22:17

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever created that often quoted bit of advice was…WRONG!
If you had an open discussion with anyone about this topic, I think you would find any 3 year old,  30 year old , or 90 year old would totally disagree with this proverbial error.

I have a scar on my forehead where a neighbor girl named Janice popped me with a rock out of anger one day when I was about 8 years old.  I laugh at the little crater scar now as a fond childhood memory.  As I remember it, it hurt very much and blood ran down my face as I ran home to Momma for comfort. But even though it left a scar, it did not leave a resentful or hateful feeling in my heart or mind.

On the other hand, I have stirring memories of being picked on a few times and remember the words that were said. Their long-term forces are deeper than the scar on my head. One particular boy, rode his bike through our yard and yelled out calling me a bad name. The pain of those words seemed to stay with me in a more influential way than being hit with the stone thrown by Janice.

I don’t have any lifetime psychological issues with any of these childhood memories, but as I analyze over the last few decades regarding people I have dealt with, I find words that were said in many ways left a  deeper impact than any physical pain that could have been inflicted.

I am sure, that as you think about it now, you may agree with this.

My wife Joy offers this bit of advice on a banner in her classroom. “Think before you blurt!”

I’m starting with the man in the mirror.

WHEN YOU DO THINGS, DO NOT LET SELFISHNESS OR PRIDE BE YOUR GUIDE. INSTEAD, BE HUMBLE AND GIVE MORE HONOR TO OTHERS THAN TO YOURSELVES. DO NOT BE INTERESTED ONLY IN YOUR OWN LIFE, BUT BE INTERESTED IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS.  Philippians 2:3-4

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Are You a Potato, or a Rutabaga?


In my 60 years, I think I may have eaten one whole rutabaga…If you add up all the bites.

I guess I think of it as an “old-fashioned” vegetable that Mama Runion, Mama Gravley, Memon (My wife’s mom,) or my mom would find as a treasure if someone gave them some. They would dream up a table full of food to go with the rutabagas. And I, along with most young people of that day, would find a way to only eat the chicken and macaroni…and, “No thanks to the rutabagas.”

In researching, I found that rutabaga literally means, “root bag.” Now who wants to eat a root bag? It seems that it comes from Sweden and there along with parts of the UK and Australia, it is called a “swede.” I believe if Mother had said, “Son let’s eat some swedes today.” I may have dug in.

But think about the potato. We have a brand new bag of great looking russets right now and I am thinking of all the possibilities…Baked, boiled, french-fried, hash browned, mashed, or just lightly peeled and thrown in the crock pot with a junky-lot of good items….mmmm.

My dad always said he was a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. My dad was a potato and I think he taught me to be a potato too.

When I tell people I have a degree in English, they think that is all I know. They think I will correct their pronoun usage, but can’t discuss the founding of the thirteen colonies, or can’t plant great tomatoes.

Maybe you are proud to be a rutabaga surrounded by well-seasoned others. But my wife, and son, and his wife,  and I are teaching our grandchildren to be potatoes. And they are delightful ….No longer “tots” though. I had to throw that in. They are so quick on wit and humor, we will be talking about potatoes all afternoon.

God I thank You for rutabagas. They are feeding and sustaining life for some people, somewhere today.

But I thank You for my potatoes and those who taught me to be versatile, and useful to many in many ways.

MY CHILD, LISTEN AND ACCEPT WHAT I SAY. THEN YOU WILL HAVE A LONG LIFE, I AM GUIDING YOU IN THE WAY OF WISDOM. AND I AM LEADING YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH. Proverbs 4:10-11.

Would you need salt and ketchup with that?

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Family Matters!

I had a bad evening of pain yesterday, but the love and support of my family brings such great peace.

I will feel better soon …and write more.

Psalm 142:7

…Then good people will surround me, because you have taken care of me.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Uncategorized