Friday, July 29, 2011

Information Please

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall.  The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box.  I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person--her name was "Information, Please" and there was nothing she did not know.  "Information, Please" could supply anybody's number and the correct time.  
My first personal experience with this genie-in the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.  I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, Please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.  
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear, "Information."
"I hurt my finger," I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.
"Nobody's home but me." I blubbered.
"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.
"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open your icebox?" she asked.
I said I could. "Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your
finger," said the voice. 
After that, I called "Information, Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk, that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.  
Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary died. I called  "Information, Please" and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child, but I was inconsolable.  I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring  joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."  Somehow I felt better.  
Another day I was on the telephone. "Information, Please."
"Information," said the now familiar voice.
"How do you spell fix?" I asked. 
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information, Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. 
As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy. 
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking
what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information, Please." Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well, "Information."
I hadn't planned this but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft-spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed. "So it's really still you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?" 
"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me? I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls." 
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sally." 

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, "Information."

I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she asked.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally has been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?"   "Yes," I replied.

"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you."

The note said, "Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in.  He'll know what I mean." 
I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. 

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today? 

Friday, July 29, 2011 by Oland · 1

The Carpenter's House

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.  The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

by Oland · 1

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's a wonderful world

 In spite of the fact
We complain and lament,
And view this old world
With much discontent

Deploring conditions
And grumbling because
There's so much injustice
And so many flaws

It's a wonderful world

And it's people like you
Who make it that way
By the things that they do.

For a warm, ready smile,
Or a kind, thoughtful deed,
Or a hand outstretched
In an hour of need

Can change our whole outlook
And make the world bright,
Where a minute before,
Just nothing seemed right

It's a wonderful world

And it always will be,
If we keep our eyes open
And focused to see

The wonderful things
Man is capable of
When he opens his heart
To God and His love

Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Oland · 0

Don't Quit

When things go wrong,
as they sometimes will,

When the road your trudging
Seems all uphill,

When the funds are low
And the debts are High ,

And you want to smile,
but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with it's twists an turns,
As everyone of us must sometimes learn,

And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it our,

Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you cannot quit.

Unknown Author

by Oland · 0

Saturday, July 23, 2011


This is pretty strange how it worked out this way.
Even if you are not religious you should read this.

Q. What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
A. Psalms 117

Q. What is the longest chapter in the Bible?

A. Psalms 119

Q. Which chapter is the center of the Bible?

A. Psalms 118

There are 594 Chapters before Psalms 118
There are 594 Chapters after Psalms 118

Add this numbers up and you get 1188

Q. What is the center verse in the Bible?
A. Psalms 118:8

Does this verse say something significant about God's perfect will for our lives?

The next time someone says they would like to find God's perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, just send them to the center of His Word!

Psalms 118:8 (KJV)
"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

Now isn't that odd how this worked out... or was God in the center of it?

When things get tough, always remember...
Faith doesn't get you around trouble,
It gets you through it.

When you relinquish the desire to force
the path of your future life....
that is when you obtain happiness.

"Preserve me, Oh God
For in You I put my Trust."

May God Bless You!

May you find some time to share this with your family, friends and other people you know.


Saturday, July 23, 2011 by Oland · 0

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ice Cream is good for the Soul

Last week I took my children to a restaurant.  My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.
As we bowed our heads he said,  "God is good. God is great.  Thank you for the food,  and I would even thank you more if  Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all!

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark,  "That's what's wrong with this country.  Kids today don't even know how to pray.  Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!"
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me,  "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"
As I held him and assured him  that he had done a terrific job and  God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said,
"I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer."
"Really?" my son asked.
"Cross my heart," the man replied.

Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her,
"Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes;  and my soul is good already."

Thursday, July 21, 2011 by Oland · 0

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life Doesn't Just Happen

Today I learned that life is carefully or carelessly designed by us. We choose happiness, sadness, decisiveness, ambivalence, we also choose success, failure, courage, and fear. Just remember that every moment or situation provides a new choice, and it gives us a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.

Be proactive is about taking responsibility for our life. We can't keep blaming everything on our parents or grandparents or our boss. Is your terrible childhood or genetics or work environment controlling your life? Or how about growing up poor? - that's a great excuses for all of our problems, isn't it? We do have the freedom to choose-all of us do.

Proactive people recognize that they are response-able. They don't blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. They know they choose they behavior. Reactive people, on the other hand are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. if it isn't it affects their attitude and performance or behavior.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward 
what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than 
allowing it to master you.”
- Brian Tracy
So, which kind of person are you? 

From the book of:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by Oland · 0

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Greater Than God

Here is a simple riddle.  
Only 17% of Stanford University Seniors got the right answer when asked.

What is greater than God,
More evil than the Devil,
The poor have it,
The rich need it,
If you eat it, you will die?

By the way, Jacob (age 7) got the correct answer. No pressure though!
Think about it (dont cheat) and then scroll down for the answer.


The answer to the riddle is "nothing"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 by Oland · 0

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Stranger Passed By

I ran into a stranger as he passed by.
"Oh, excuse me please" was my reply.

He said, "Please, excuse me too,
Wasn't even watching for you."

We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said good-bye.

But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My daughter stood beside me very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked her down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.

She walked away, her little heart broken
at how harshly I had spoken.

While I lay awake in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,

"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
But the children you love, you seem to abuse.

Look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.

Those are the flowers she brought for you.
She picked them herself, pink, yellow and blue.

She stood quietly not to spoil the surprise,
And you never saw the tears in her eyes.

"By this time, I felt very small,
and now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by her bed;
"Wake up, little girl, wake up," I said.

"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"
She smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.

I picked 'em, because they're pretty like you.
I knew you'd like'em, especially the blue.

I said, "Daughter, I'm sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."

She said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay.
I love you anyway."

I said, "Daughter, I love you too,
And I do like the flowers, especially the blue."

Saturday, July 16, 2011 by Oland · 0

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

If I had My Life to Live Over

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rambling about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculped like a rose before it melted

in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more

while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment, realising that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's" and more "I'm sorry's"

. . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . .

look at it and really see it . . . and never give it back." 

In memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer. "Be courageous and bold. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did." 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by Oland · 0

Monday, July 11, 2011


Cancer is so limited
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot destroy confidence,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot shut out memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the Spirit,
It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection.

Monday, July 11, 2011 by Oland · 0