Ad Slogans – What We’re Really Thinking

It’s shopping time again! From Black Friday (though this year it’s more like Black Everyday), to Cyber Monday, to infinity and beyond! Along with the emails we get from advertisers we never subscribed to (click ‘unsubscribe’ and give them your email address so they can sell it to still more advertisers). It’s hard not be cynical, when we’re inundated with advertising slogans. It’s time to slogan back at ’em! These faux ads do just that!

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Forever Grateful


Because we’ve each received the gift that makes all other gifts possible – our very existence – may we adopt the persistent and unshakeable habit of offering thanks every day for as long as we live.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
~Marcus Tullius Cicero

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” ~Tecumseh

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
~Maya Angelou

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
~Meister Eckhart

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”
~Kahlil Gibran

“If I do not feel a sense of joy in God’s creation, if I forget to offer the world back to God with thankfulness…I have not yet learnt to be truly human. For it is only through thanksgiving that I can become myself.”

~Kallistos Ware

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The Common Threads That Connect Us All

CaptureMy Featured Blogger this week is Laura M. Bailey of All the Shoes I Wear, “my attempt,” she says, “to write down the bones of a crazy, random, uncharted life.” Indeed, this engaging, down-to-earth writer-poet has also been “a construction worker, grease monkey, public speaker, tattoo studio owner, music promoter, and race horse owner,” among other things. Her purpose here is to uncover “the common threads that connect us all.” And this brief gallery of life-affirming poems does just that!

All The Shoes I Wear

You never know what your going to get. Random, I know but….today, I’m a poetry rebel and challenge you to explore beyond the acceptable tends.

There are a lot of poets out there and I can’t help but notice the trend remains as it had for the last 20 years. Poetry MUST be free form. Patterned and rhyme is darn near criminal, in fact, almost extinct! I do see a few rebels like myself who post a haiku, tanka or drop a rhyme from time to time so I’ll pitch my penny in the round with a few seldom seen. Octo, Cameo, Laurette, Quatrain Sequence, Free Verse, Cinquain

Daddy’s Little Girl

The first time that I danced with you
My tiny feet upon your toes
Tearing eyes say you remember

Our dance tonight ends far too soon
You hand the dance to my new groom

Tearing eyes…

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The Year I Almost Believed

My Real Memoir

My life as a kid was earth-bound. Our home was secular, as were those of my two best friends. Christmas was about getting presents and eating a lot. Easter was about hunting for eggs and eating a lot. Have I mentioned I liked to eat a lot?

I knew some people went to a place called Church on Sundays. Men wore suits, ladies wore little pill box hats, and they dressed their kids up like tiny business people. I went to Church with my cousins once. We put a dime on a plate, and then stood up, sat down, and kneeled a lot while some guy in a long robe spoke in a foreign language and handed out little crackers.

And then there was the Religious Lady on my paper route. She always gave me a tip and talked about Jesus when I collected her monthly subscription fee. If Jesus was anything like her he must be pretty nice, although hopefully a little less pushy.

My main exposure to religion came from seeing The Five Commandments ten times–I liked the special effects–and Ben Hur–I liked the chariot race, but wasn’t sure why those Roman guys crucified Jesus because of it. And then the Religious Lady paid for me and my buddies to watch the longest movie ever made at a second-run movie theatre. It was called The Robe, Demetrius, and the Gladiators. I had no idea till years later what it was about, or that it was actually two movies. But my absolute favorite Bible-y movie was Spartacus, except that I was confused when they crucified him instead of Jesus. Was Jesus a gladiator?

Then the YMCA stepped in. At ages eight and nine, I went to a local YMCA-run summer camp, and on the last day we got to sleep under the stars! Sky. Eternity.

I finally got to thinking about God, who our camp leaders referred to in vague, inoffensive ways. So I asked Mom, who’d been raised a vague, inoffensive Catholic, and she gave me her childhood Sunday missal, which until then I’d thought was a rocket ship. It had a prayer in it that began, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” I tried saying that for a while, but there were no cool special effects, so I quit.

But the year I turned ten, I was finally old enough for big kid’s camp in the actual mountains, instead of the city next door! At Camp Osceola, between singing silly camp songs and hiking (I burned off a lot of that Easter candy), we heard stories about being honest and talking to God. And I suddenly realized I wanted to do that, talk to God. In fact, it seemed I always had…

I just hadn’t realized it.

To be continued.

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Let’s Grow Wise and Surprise Everyone

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Thought for the Week

“The older we get, the faster we were” (printed on t-shirts at a college runners’ reunion). We can’t buy wisdom, we can’t inherit it, and we certainly can’t download it. Yes, it’s based on experience, yet even time and experience don’t guarantee it. We must constantly hold our experience up to the light of truth tempered by forgiveness, and force ourselves to conclude what’s inconvenient and downright painful. It means being more honest with ourselves every year, until the honesty has finally burned away all the delusions we once held dear, especially those about ourselves. Wisdom is hard work, the hardest there is. No wonder it ages us. Still, it leads to the sweetest and rarest of rests–and when we awaken, we’ll be faster than we ever even pretended we were.

“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
~Maya Angelou

“Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.”
~Brian Rathbone

“At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”
~George Orwell

“Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul like you.”
~Shannon L. Alder

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
~Langston Hughes

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
~Albert Einstein

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.”
~Elbert Hubbard

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What Do You Live For?

Heaven and Earth..

“If I find myself in a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage.”

~C.S. Lewis

Posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith | Tagged , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Attack of the Out-of-Control Kid Brother!

Mysterious Chest ( by Dhanasekar Ajay

The Wishing Map is a full-length fantasy that is being posted episodically at this site. To read the previous episode, click here. To read the entire novel, begin here.Wishing Title (logo only)

Thetoy chest was in Zack’s room for two reasons: First, because it was “massive and creepy” (his sister Gina), which made it “extremely cool” (Zack). Second, and mostly, because the mysterious objects that it contained (courtesy of Aunt Aloysia) moved around all by themselves. Constantly. Which Zack had gotten used to and Gina hadn’t.

Why the Objects did this and what they were for, no one knew. Dad said they had “hidden motors.” Aunt Aloysia said they would reveal their purpose “when it was time.”

Half an hour after coming home, Zack opened his bedroom door. Gina was still in the hallway. He slinked over, squatted down, and offered a piece of paper to her back.



“I drew a new Zachary Zinn picture.”


“I think it’s really good.”


“But maybe it’s not.”


“Maybe it’s stupid.”

Gina hated it when Zack fished. In one continuous motion, she reached behind her, took the picture, placed it in front of her, scanned it, handed it back, and said, “Cool.”

Zack stared at her expressionless back. Gina used to love his artwork, and told him so—all the time. Now she ignored him—all the time. All she ever said was, “Cool,” which meant roughly the same thing as a dial tone. Mixed emotions flittered across his face, then some dam of resentment that had been building for months broke. He sprouted a perverse little grin and said, “And I touched a big, hairy dog!”

Gina instantly went into alarm mode. She was allergic to animal fur.

Now you’re paying attention! thought Zack. And then, before she could roll out of the way, he dove onto her back and began rubbing his hands all over her. Gina was the reason Zack had to have hamsters instead of dogs; he was only allowed to have small animals that lived in cages, and had always suspected her of having allergies “on purpose.”

“Get off, Zack!”

The Dore home wasn’t exactly a hot-bed of violence, but Zack and Gina’s frustrations did sometimes take the form of angry “play.” And while Zack would have insisted that he was only playing now, he wasn’t, he was desperate. So he slathered Gina all over with hair-cooties, braying, “I have a flesh-eating disease!”

And like a fool, Gina laughed. She routinely alternated between wanting to hug her kid brother and squash him like a bug—like when he flailed his arms and made idiotic noises he thought were funny. The problem was sometimes they were, so she would laugh, and then he would do the crazed dork routine another 250 times!

But this outbreak was different. Something was literally in the air. For the air around the Dore house had begun to shimmer like a mirage, and the Objects in Zack’s room were flailing and crashing about…

Out of control.


Thoughts: Are their mysterious Objects in your life, things or people whose purpose has not yet been revealed?

Wishing pix-Map

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I Am of the Sky

I am of the earth say my feet

I am of wood and stone say my hands

I am of sky and clouds say my eyes

I am of the stars says my heart

I am of eternity says my soul

You are because I am

says my Creator

~Mitch Teemley

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My Life Without Opposable Thumbs

'What the...' (

I’ve had persistent left thumb pain for a month. But before rushing to see a specialist, I figured I should try resolving the issue myself. So I began avoiding using my left thumb–no easy task. Finally, a few days ago I took an all-out approach and started using my left hand as if it had no thumb. Result? It feels much better. But only as long as I completely avoid using it. I can’t help but wonder what will happen if I keep this up. Here’s one possible outcome:

  • Journal, Day 26 – So, it turns out it’s easier to do everything fingers-only if I do so with both hands. I’m actually quite proud of how adept I’ve become at accomplishing tasks without opposable thumbs.
  • Journal, Day 43 – My left thumb seems to be healed. But I find I actually like, no prefer, doing things this way. Why did I ever think I needed opposable thumbs?  
  • Journal, Day 67 – More and more, I enjoy using my knuckles when I walk. It’s so satisfying to get around this way. In addition, my arms are much stronger now, so I frequently choose to swing rather than walk from place to place.
  • Journal, Day 89 – I’ve started sleeping in the tree outside. I find human beds, I mean, my bed (?) so restrictive. The tree limbs cradle me gently. Plus, there are lots of tasty things crawling in the branches — yoo-oo-oo-oo should join me-ee-ee-ee!
  • Journal, Day 106 – Mitch’s wife here. The neighbors were complaining about him breaking their tree limbs and staring in their second-storey windows. Plus, he doesn’t talk or wear clothes anymore, so I … I’m sorry, this is hard for me … I finally had to call the zoo.
  • Journal, Day 237 – Mitch has been proclaimed a new species, “Troglodytus ex-humanus mitchelli.” He’s being studied intensely, and is in the headlines daily. Which seems to make him happy. He always did like attention.

Back to the present. Of course, things might not go this way. Still, consider yourself warned. If you have a persistent condition, see a professional! Unless, you know…

You’re really, really fond of bananas.

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A Haunted Lake?

CaptureMy Featured Blogger this week is Gary Fultz, outdoorsman and photographer, “lover of God and family and total strangers.” Gary’s beautiful nature photography alone should be enough to draw you to his site, but be sure to stick around for his stories, humor and insights.


I will admit my impulses are not always thought through completely. When I decided to capture pictures of ghosts at a local lake as a prank, I should have known the pandoras box possibilities. Consider my reasoning here as if I was influenced by our present culture.

I don’t believe in ghosts so if one or more gets in the picture, its not real. This allows me to prank people who think they are (this is not even a strange sentence in our present culture)

I decided the ultimate prank possibility would be a “haunted” lake shore area known to spook people who were susceptable to this kind of thing. The rains quit, the dark clouds hung around, the sun was trying to peek out and highlight some clouds on the way out so I grabbed my camera and went.

what do you think happened?

Aside from getting photo bombed…

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