Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Quilt

The QuiltThe Quilt by T. Davis Bunn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought the "little" book at Goodwill. I've read several T. Davis Bunn books. My Mom participates in a Prayer Shawl ministry. The ladies knit a shawl for a shut-in and while they knit they pray for that person. Well, this book's storyline is similar except the ladies in the book are helping a very elderly lady, Mary, make a quilt. Mary teaches the ladies the importance of prayer especially the giving of thanks. The following story is told by Mary after one of the ladies find a poem written on a sheet of paper stuck in one of Mary's old Bibles (George Matheson was the author of the poem):

"George Matheson was a man of the Lord, born and raised in Scotland. I forgot when he lived, but I know it wasn't in this century. He fell in love with a beautiful young lady, and they planned to marry. Not long before his wedding day, George Matheson discovered he was going blind."

Mary waited until the room quietened, then continued, "He did what he had to do, went to his young lady and told her the news. Told her she could break off the engagement if she wanted, but that he still loved her and wanted to marry if she would have him. The woman thought about it for several days, then came back and said that though she loved him, she did not want to spend the rest of her life with a blind man. And the wedding was off. Soon after this,  George Matheson wrote a hymn."

Mary turned back from the window. She lifted the brittle page with trembling hands, looked at it for a long moment, then handed it over to Lou Ann. Her voice was as shaky as her hands when she said, "Read that first verse for me, honey, my eyes aren't what they used to be."

Lou Ann studied the ancient script, read in a halting voice.

O Love that wilt not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

"The Lord holds me always in His love, Dr Caswell [this was her preacher who had given her this poem/hymn shortly after her baby had died) told me," Mary said to the silent room." Always there, always loving, always giving, always healing. At my weakest, the Lord is strongest."

Mary paused a moment, kneading one hand with the other, then said, "George Matheson went blind, and he didn't marry the girl. He lived a full life for his Lord, and toward the end of his time on earth he wrote a prayer. I think more than anything these words were what saw me through my own dark times." She looked at Lou Ann, said, "Just read that section there at the bottom that starts, 'My God,' please child."

Lou Ann cleared her throat, wiped her eyes, read,

My God,

I have never thanked thee for my thorn.
I have thanked thee a thousand times for my roses,
But never once for my thorn.
Teach me the glory of my cross,
Teach me the value of my thorn.
Show me that I have climbed to thee by the path of my pain.
Show me that my tears have made my rainbows.

"There's lessons right along to the end of the road," Mary said, her eyes back on the window. She sighed, shook her head, said softly to the world outside, "What strength that man must have had."

If you enjoyed this story you will enjoy the book!

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales

Dead Lawyers Tell No TalesDead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Randy Singer is one of my favorite fiction authors. This book is no exception. He does a good job telling the story. A well known Southeastern quarterback that was set to prison for fixing games he was quarterbacking. He came to know the Lord in prison and felt called to study law. The law firm he joins has a lot of interesting problems. The only thing I didn't enjoy about this book was the jumping back and forth between scenes. If you enjoy mystery and lawyer books you will enjoy this one.

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The Andy Griffith Show BookThe Andy Griffith Show Book by Ken Beck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful book. Ken Beck and Jim Clark write this book as if the characters on the Andy Griffith Show were real live people with real lives. Of course, those of us who love the show feel that they are real. There are biographies of several of the shows main characters, a sort history of the town (Mayberry), lots of fun facts (like all of Barney's nicknames, Barney blarney  (how is mispronounces words), Barney's songs, his letters, what he may say when he gets mad at Andy, etc.). There is a section listing all of the cops and robbers (Sheriffs, Deputy Sheriffs, State Police, Federal Agents, Detectives, Judges, Lawyers, Justices, Attorneys, Prisons, Organizations, Crooks, etc.). mentioned throughout the series. An interesting chapter deals with codes and cases in Mayberry.There are lots of quizzes that many people will not be able to past without a good study of the show. Lots of great pictures!!! A chapter listing the music lyrics from the show, songs like "Mayberry High Alma Mater,"  "My Hometown," etc. A list of cast credits. Episode Summaries. A Mayberry Town Directory and a Mt. Pilot Directory as well as Yellow Pages for both cities. A List of all the TAGS Rerun Watchers Club. And a top twenty 1983 and 1994 of favorite episodes.

If you are a fan of this show this a must book for you!

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Founding Myths: Stories that Hide Our Patriotic Past

Founding Myths: Stories that Hide Our Patriotic PastFounding Myths: Stories that Hide Our Patriotic Past by Ray Raphael
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is the first book I have read by Ray Raphael and will probably be the last. He tries to make a case for the following well known American founding events:

That Paul Revere's Ride was not as significant as most people believe
The Molly Pitcher incident never happened (I can go along with this one)
That Sam Adams was not as significant in America's founding as many believe
The Shot heard 'Round the World is a myth
The Winter at Valley Forge was just a normal (average) winter
Jefferson borrowed from lots of sources to write the Declaration of Independence
That the Founding Fathers were just ordinary men and that many other average people had their hands in founding our nation
The "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech never happen but was written several years after the fact
"Do Not Fire Till You See the Whites of Their Eyes" was a myth and could not have happen
Their were very, very few Patriotic Slaves
The British were not more brutal than the Americans
The final battle of the war was not at Yorktown
The Americans were brutal on the Indians in taking the west

The book is like a He says, She says. He tells first the popular "stories" of the founding of our nation then explains why it could not be true, sometimes quoting other people.

I'm glad I read his book but I do not believe much of what he says.

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Gifted Hands

Gifted HandsGifted Hands by Ben Carson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hope that Ben Carson will run for President. This is the type of person we need to lead America back to our foundation. In his book "Gifted Hands" he shares his life story and what a story it is. Raised by a single Mom, he grows up without much of material things. He worked very hard to become a world renowned neurosurgeon. This book was also produced as a movie. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:

“You’ve The Captain of Your Ship”
If things go bad for you-
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often you will find out that
You have yourself to blame …
Swiftly we ran to mischief
And then the bad luck came.
Why do we fault others?
We have ourselves to blame …

Whatever happens to us,
Here are the words to say,
“Had it not been for so-and-so
Things wouldn’t have gone that way.”

And if you are short of friends,
I’ll tell you what to do-
Make an examination,
You’ll find the fault’s in you …

You’re the captain of your ship,
So agree with the same-
If you traveled downward,
You have yourself to blame.  ~Mayme White Miller

Remember this as you go through life. The person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you! You make the choices; you decide whether you’re going to give up or ante up when the going gets tough. Ultimately, it’s you who decides whether you will be a success or not, by doing what is legally necessary to get you where you want to go, You are the captain of your own ship. If you don’t succeed, you only have yourself to blame.  ~Sonya Carson

When she (Sonya Carson) believed in something she held on and wouldn’t quit. I didn’t always like hearing her say, “You weren’t born to be a failure, Bennie (Ben Carson-Sonya’s son). You can do it!” Or one of her favorites: “You just ask the Lord, and He’ll help you.”  ~Ben Carson

What’s inside counts the most. Anybody can dress up on the outside and be dead inside.  ~Sonya Carson

That job [the one Ben Carson had between high school and college at the Ford Motor Company; his high school counselor helped him get the job] taught me an important lesson about employment in the world beyond high school. Influence could get me inside the door, but my productivity and the quality of my work were the real tests. Just knowing a lot of information, while helpful, wasn’t enough either. The principle goes like this: It’s not what you know but the kind of job you do that makes the difference.  ~Ben Carson

The kind of job doesn’t matter. The length of time on the job doesn’t matter, for it’s true even with a summer job. If you work hard and do your best, you’ll be recognized and move onward.  ~Ben Carson

There isn’t anybody in the world who isn’t worth something.  ~Ben Carson

As I think of Black youth, I also want to say I believe that many of our pressing racial problems will be taken care of when we who are among the minorities will stand on our own feet and refuse to look to anybody else to save us from our situations. The culture in which we live stresses looking out for number one. Without adopting such a self-centered value system, we can demand the best of ourselves while we are extending our hands to help others.  ~Ben Carson

Learn to recognize and accept your God-given talents (and we all have them). Develop those talents and use them in the career you choose. Remembering T for talent puts you far ahead of the game if you take advantage of what God gives you. ~Ben Carson

T also = TIME
Learn the importance of time. When you are always on time, people can depend on you. You prove your trustworthiness. Learn not to waste time, because time is money and time is effort. Time usage is also a talent. God gives some people the ability to manage time. The rest of us have to learn how And we can.  ~Ben Carson

Don’t go around with a long face, expecting something bad to happen. Anticipate good things; watch for them.  ~Ben Carson

H also = HONESTY
When you do anything dishonest, you must do something else dishonest to cover up, and your life becomes hopelessly complex. The same with telling lies. If you’re honest, you don’t have to remember what you said the last time. Speaking the truth each time makes life amazingly simple.  ~Ben Carson

Listen and learn from people who have already been where you want to go. Benefit from their mistakes instead of repeating them. Read good books like the Bible because they open up new worlds of understanding.  ~Ben Carson

Be nice to people – all people. If you’re nice to people, they’ll be nice to you. It takes much less energy to be nice than it does to be mean. Being kind, friendly, and helpful takes less energy and relieves much of the pressure.  ~Ben Carson

Knowledge is the key to independent living, the key to all your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. If you are knowledgeable, particularly more knowledgeable than anybody else in a field, you become invaluable and write your own ticket.  ~Ben Carson

I emphasize that active learning from reading is better than passive learning such as listening to lectures or watching television. When you read, your mind must work by taking in letters and connecting them to form words. Words make themselves into thoughts and concepts. Developing good reading habits is something like being a champion weightlifter. The champion didn’t go into the gym one day and start lifting 500 pounds. He toned his muscles, beginning with lighter weights, always building up, and preparing for more. It’s the same thing with intellectual feats. We develop our minds by reading, by thinking, by figuring out things for ourselves.    ~Ben Carson

Superficial learners cram for exams but know nothing two weeks later. In-depth learners find that the acquired knowledge becomes a part of them. They understand more about themselves and their world. They keep building on prior understanding by piling on new information.  ~Ben Carson

Never get too big for God. Never drop God out of your life.   ~Ben Carson

Mother Teresa’s profound words are surely true of me and true of you: “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”  My prayer is that He will use you to write His next love letter.  ~Richard Stearns

The meaning, purpose, and significance of our lives are found only by aligning our lives with God’s purposes, in lives committed to following Jesus Christ.  ~Richard Stearns

Here is the trailer of the movie:

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Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?Where Have All the Leaders Gone? by Lee Iacocca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lee Iacocca wrote this book to take out his frustration on President George W. Bush in my opinion. What is so ironic is most of his points really could apply to President Barak Obama. As you read through the quotes below see what you think:

Hey, America, wake up. These guys [the government officials] work for us.  ~Lee Iacocca

I’ve figured out nine points and called them “Nine C’s of Leadership.”
A leader has to show CURIOSITY. – If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn’t put his beliefs to the test, how does he know he’s right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you just don’t care.  ~Lee Iacocca

A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. You know, think outside the box.  ~Lee Iacocca

A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I’m talking about facing reality and telling the truth. ~Lee Iacocca

A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you want to test a man’s character give him power.”  ~Lee Iacocca

A leader must have COURAGE. Swagger isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t courage. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk. If you’re a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know it will cost you votes. ~Lee Iacocca

To be a leader you’ve got to have CONVICTION – a fire in your belly. You’ve got to have passion. ~Lee Iacocca

A leader should have CHARISMA. I’m not talking about being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It’s the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him. ~Lee Iacocca

A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’ve got to know what you’re doing. More important than that, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing.   ~Lee Iacocca

You can’t be a leader if you don’t have COMMON SENSE.  ~Lee Iacocca

The Biggest C is CRISIS.
Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis.  ~Lee Iacocca

Who do you think Lee is describing?
“So here’s where we stand. We’re immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We’re losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.”  ~Lee Iacocca

Here’s what management is about: Pick good people and set the right priorities.   ~Lee Iacocca

Teamwork is what makes the Green Bay Packers great. People who work together will win – period. And that applies to companies and governments.  ~Vince Lombardi

One of the most important lessons I learned in business was that if all you’re getting from your team is a single point of view – usually your point of view – you’ve got to worry. You can get your own point of view for free.  ~Lee Iacocca

Of all the talents bestowed upon men, none is so precious as the gift of oratory. Abandoned by his party, betrayed by his friends, stripped of his office, whoever can command this power is still formidable.  ~Winston Churchill

Words can inspire. They can lift us to heights we never dreamed possible. Words can also provoke fear and rage. They can pound people into the ground. A true leader always strives to inspire.  ~Lee Iacocca

Democracy thrives on two factors: free elections and open discourse.  ~Lee Iacocca

The Constitution is a tool, and a blueprint, and a process that we have to use every day to preserve our great democracy.  ~Lee Iacocca

Through the Constitution, we intrinsically understand who we are. We say, “This is what we stand for.” Its meaning should be imprinted on every heart. It should come to mind every time we vote.  ~Lee Iacocca

A leader has to know who his true friends are, and it’s not always the ones who agree with everything or follow you blindly. With a true friend, there’s got to be equality. You share the good times and you share the bad times. There’s got to be respect. If your friend takes a principled position for the other side, you don’t have to like it, but you don’t call him names either.  ~Lee Iacocca

Ronald Reagan once said, “Facts are suborn things.” He actually got that quote from John Adams.  ~Lee Iacocca

When advertising slogans are better known than the Ten Commandments or the Bill of Rights, when shopping malls are our places of worship, when bad behavior is justified as long as it leads to profit, when debt is justified as long as it leads to a plasma TV, and when the measure of a person is the kind of car he drives, maybe it’s time to ask whether we’ve corrupted the very notion of capitalism.  ~Lee Iacocca

Innovation can be much more important than size. Often, when companies get big they tend to grow sluggish. It takes a constant infusion of fresh ideas and leadership to prevent that.   ~Lee Iacocca

We saved Chrysler for one reason. Everyone shared in the sacrifice – starting with me. You see, it wouldn’t have gone down too well if I’d asked the rank and file to tighten their belts while I was putting extra notches in mine. So I cut my salary to one dollar a year. That is an example of leadership, born in a crisis.  ~Lee Iacocca

I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.  ~General George Patton

So, if when you retire you think, "I'm tired. It's time to relax," think again. As the saying goes, you've got all eternity to catch up on your rest.  ~Lee Iacocca

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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012