Banning Bad Hair Days!

Remember first impressions have and always will count.

Banning Bad Hair Days!

How often have we said “I’m having a bad hair day”? It
probably doesn’t happen often, with any luck at all,
however we can all identify with that ghastly feeling of
looking in the mirror and seeing a nightmare of sorts in
the hair department. What’s really a crash in a day is when we
look like that just before an important meeting or
interview!!

Why not go into this with a hairstyle you like and more importantly
one you can manage at a moments notice. It does absolutely
nothing for your own personal image and self esteem factor if
you are constantly at war with your hair. Visit a good hairdresser
(but not John Edward’s $400.00 barber) and at least have
an initial consultation to see what options you have.
Remember simplicity is often the key and allow yourself
time to make your decision about how you want to look.

Remember first impressions have and always will count.

Preparation is the key to self confidence and the
projection of the right image.

Let’s ban the Bad Hair Day right now!!!

Avoid Being Your Own Worst Enemy

“We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.”

Avoid being your own worst enemy:

“Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein.” –Proverbs, 26:27

“Debt is a trap which man sets and baits himself, and then deliberately gets into.” –Josh Billings

“We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.” –Henry Miller

Avoid false humility:

“Humility is the embarrassment you feel when you tell people how wonderful you are.”
–Laurence Peter

“They are proud in humility, proud in that they are not proud.” –Robert Burton

“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights.”  –Paul Getty

The Adulterous Woman

God loves us perfectly, that our weaknesses and our mistakes when we are trying to obey do not anger Him.

I have a question: How does God really feel about us? I mean, after all – we’re weak and fallen creatures prone to make mistakes. It seems to be a part of our fallen nature to be ungrateful and forgetful of all that He’s done for us. So with all of this, what are His feelings towards us, His unworthy children? There are many stories of the love of God, but there is one in particular that strikes a resonating chord with me.

It is early in the morning. The Savior has come to the Temple to teach. A small group has gathered to listen to Him, when suddenly they are interrupted by a commotion. A group of men, scribes and Pharisees, approach the Savior dragging woman in obvious distress. They place her in the midst of this small group, and with a certain arrogance declare,

“… Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but, what sayest thou?” (John 8:4-5)

It was a trap, an ugly ill-conceived trap. If He says ‘stone her,’ he will incur the wrath of the Romans who rule Jerusalem, and He will also be contradicting His own teachings about forgiveness, love, and a higher law. On the other hand, if He says, ‘release her; let her go,’ He will appear to be contradicting Moses, the revered lawgiver of Israel, and He will incur the wrath of the people. The accusation they are leveling against the woman was insensitive and illegal. They had no right [n]or authority under Moses’ law to do as they did. But in their mind, who cares? They have Him. There is no way for Him to get out of this one.

For a moment, step back and consider this woman. There is evidently no doubt of what she has done. But does she deserve this? I can imagine her broken in spirit, disheveled, and weeping at the public humiliation she is being forced to endure by evil men.

Well, to the surprise of the scribes, Jesus doesn’t answer. He simply stoops down, and begins writing on the ground as though He didn’t hear them. In so doing He draws all attention from the woman to Him. They gather around Him and press for an answer. Finally, at their dogged insistence, He raises Himself up and says,

“… He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

His meaning is crystal clear – He that is without this same sin, adultery, among you, go ahead and stone her. Convicted by their own guilty consciences, each slinks off leaving only the woman. Jesus raises Himself up again, and seeing none but the woman he asks,

“… Woman,” – which by the way is a title of respect – “where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? … No man, Lord,” she said. (John 8:10-11)

I love His answer, “… Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

And the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on His name. ( John 8:11)

My dear friends, it is a principle of highest priority in our faith to know – and I mean ‘to know’ that God loves us perfectly, that our weaknesses and our mistakes when we are trying to obey do not anger Him. They draw forth His grace and mercy. I promise you, no matter what you have done, you are not beyond the boundaries of His love.

Remember what He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Adapted from John 8:2-11

Massacre Rocks State Park

“Daddy, I wish I’d never crawled up on that rock.”

On a recent family camping trip, one of my daughters learned a painful lesson. We came one afternoon to a beautiful camping spot along the Snake River. No sooner had we pulled in than my youngest daughter and one of her older sisters took off exploring. Now, you got to picture this: I could see a four-year-old girl, a ten-year-old girl, and all these cliffs and monstrous boulders. I may be a doting father, but I was a little concerned. So I warned them.

“Now promise me you won’t be climbing around on these slippery rocks.”

“Okay – yeah sure, Dad – whatever you say.” was kind of like the response I got. So I looked at the older girl and I said again, “Now, please make sure that Shaina stays off those rocks. Okay?

“I will, Dad,”

Well, I knew I couldn’t follow them around forever, so I left them and went back to camp. It wasn’t too long later that my son came running up to me and said in something of a frantic tone,

“Dad, Shaina’s hurt.”

Well, I bailed out of my chair and I ran to find her. I met her mother carrying her back to camp cradled in her arms. Even from a distance I could tell that she was hurt. She wasn’t just crying, she was screaming. I ran and gathered her in my arms. When I looked down at her face, I was nearly sick. Beginning at the bridge of her nose and spreading outward was this horrible swelling and discoloration, and it had just barely happened. I asked them what had happened and was told that when her sister hadn’t been with her, she had – yeah you guessed it – she had climbed up on a rock, slipped, fell, and struck her nose on that same rock.

Well, her mother and I worked over her for a long time until we were finally able to get her to calm down and determine the extent of the injury. As I held her in my arms and she writhed and screamed in pain, I wanted to scream too. I don’t know how to say this but I felt her pain. I would have done anything at that point to have transferred that injury and pain to myself, or at least have lessened it for her, and I would have done it gladly.

Near the end of the ordeal as she was finally able to find her voice, she whimpered, “Daddy, I wish I’d never crawled up on that rock.”

All I could say was, “I wish you hadn’t either, Honey.”

Now I’ve thought about that since it happened. I wonder if that’s what it’s like for our Father in Heaven. I know that repeatedly He warns us to stay off the rocks, but some of us don’t. And if it brings joy to Him when we repent as the Savior said it did, then so too it must tear at His heart when His children suffer. How could it be otherwise?

Now, if you’re one of those like me who has slipped on the rocks, or even been pushed off by someone else, I invite you not to suffer alone, but to return to that Father who was called by John ‘love,’ and curl up in the arms of His mercy. Let Him cradle you. Cry unto Him in your hour of pain, and I promise you if you do, that your suffering will last only as long and be only as painful as is necessary for your eternal education, and it will then end. He will see to that!

Glenn Rawson’s experience at Massacre Rocks State Park in April 15, 1998.

Only God Gives A’s

With a sneer the professor replied, “Only God gives ‘A’s’.” The professor then added that a paper would have to be suitable for publication in order to get an “A” in his class.

Only God Gives A’s

You know, sometimes life would be so unfair if we didn’t have an omnipotent friend for a friend, as this story illustrates.

Bret entered the university majoring in English with his eyes set on going to law school, but he would have to get straight A’s in order to get in. Well, that’s all well and good, but unfortunately one of his professors was on a personal crusade to combat grade inflation. Not only that, but Bret was the only religious person in a class full of agnostics.

On their first writing assignment, Bret worked for two weeks, outlining, writing, and rewriting his paper. But when it came back, the grade was a “C.” Bret was sick. He approached the instructor and asked what it would take to get an “A.”

With a sneer the professor replied, “Only God gives ‘A’s’.” The professor then added that a paper would have to be suitable for publication in order to get an “A” in his class.

Now, that’s encouraging. With the next assignment they were given one week to analyze a novel. It couldn’t have come at a worse time in Bret’s life. He had commitments for the rest of the week; every day was tied up; there was no free time. And he had too much integrity to renege on the commitments he had made. Even Saturday, he spent the day doing yard work for an incapacitated family. By Sunday, he was in trouble and he knew it; he had done absolutely nothing on the paper. Surely, this was a classic example of the ox being in the mire. The Lord would understand if he wrote the paper on Sunday, wouldn’t he? He was sorely tempted. But then, he remembered the promise he had made to the Lord that he would never do homework on the Sabbath. He set the paper aside and made plans for Monday morning. As he did so, he asked the Lord to strengthen and help him. Monday morning he had a scant two hours, one of which he spent brainstorming, and the other typing. There was no time for revisions or corrections, or even a hello as he gave it to the professor. He turned it in fully expecting to get it back with a failing grade, but at least there was this assurance that he had done his best. No matter what happened, he was square with the Lord.

The next week he came to class. The essays were on the corner of the teacher’s desk. As usual, the professor waited till the end of class to pass them out, which was just fine with Bret; he was in no hurry to get it back. As the class closed though, the professor picked up the stack of papers, and then just stood there flipping through the pages of the paper on top of the stack. Finally, he looked up. “Class,” he said after a moment, “I suppose I have a reputation for being a hard grader. Well, I want you to know that today, for the first time in my teaching career, I have awarded a student an A+.”

He handed out the papers. Bret looked down at his grade. It was an A+.

“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; …“

“Perhaps the professor was right after all,” Bret said, “only God gives A’s.”

The story of Bret was shared with Glenn Rawson in March 1999.

Learning Good From Bad Examples

… we can all choose to learn positive lessons even if the situations in
which we are placed are sometimes negative.

LEARNING GOOD FROM BAD EXAMPLES
by Brad Wilcox, Associate Professor, Brigham Young University

Parts of my responsibilities at Brigham Young University have included
supervising student teachers in their public school assignments.  Most
Students have wonderful teaching role models, but one young woman was
extremely frustrated because the cooperating teacher to whom she had been
assigned was definitely not going to be winning any teaching awards in the
near future.

During one of my visits, the student teacher pulled me aside to comment
on dozens of things she felt the classroom teacher was doing wrong.

Admittedly, I had to cringe at some of the out-of-date practices of the
cooperating teacher, but with all the professionalism I could muster I
reminded the student teacher that she was a guest in that teacher’s
classroom.  I encouraged her to worry about her own performance only.

Several days later I checked back.  To my surprise, the student teacher
seemed happier.  “Has the teacher improved?” I asked her privately.

“No,” she replied, “but I have discovered that I can learn just as much
from a bad example as I can from a good one.”  Like this student teacher,
we can all choose to learn positive lessons even if the situations in
which we are placed are sometimes negative.

A boy I’ll call Mike acquired this technique of learning.  Mike grew
up with a dictatorial father he felt he could not please.  Mike was
continually being compared with his brothers and coming up short.  It
seemed that nothing he did was good enough for his father.  To make
matters worse, Mike’s father had a sharp temper, and any disagreement
usually ended in a heavy-handed whipping.

As Mike grew up, he made several promises to himself that when he had
children of his own he would not repeat his father’s mistakes.  Mike
determined that although he could not change what had happened with his
father in the past, he could learn from the experiences.  Coming from a
dysfunctional home did not mean he had to be dysfunctional himself.

Mike had children, and remained true to his private promises made as a teenager.
Mike was sensitive to his children’s feelings.  He accepted their individual differences and did
not compare them with each other.  He praised positive behavior, and when
a child’s behavior was not so positive, he talked to that child privately
rather than exploding in front of everyone as his father had done.
Remembering how he had craved approval and affection as a child, he
hugged and kissed his own children daily and attended one child’s musical
concerts as often as he attended another’s sports events.

Now, many years later, children and grandchildren who have been blessed by
Mike’s good example are thankful he learned so much from a bad one.

Bad Vision

‘I was very bowled over by their size and everything, but when we talked about the product vision it was just strange. They weren’t really thinking about it.'”

Bad Vision (Bill Gates)

In August 1979, young entrepreneur Bill Gates visited Dallas-based Electronic Data Systems, the computer service company run by H. Ross Perot. With Microsoft’s annual sales just topping $1 million, Gates was thinking an EDS buyout could take them to the next step.

“After meeting with EDS executives, Gates thought that ‘these guys can help take micros into big corporations….and really proliferate the micro-based idea.’ But later he balked. ‘I was very bowled over by their size and everything, but when we talked about the product vision it was just strange. They weren’t really thinking about it.'”

EDS president Mort Meyerson, who met with Bill for those August talks, agreed that his company’s lack of vision unraveled the deal. “I think Bill expected a lot more at that phase of the game, and I think we did not have the leap of faith. Nobody had the vision of where it would go.”1

Nobody, of course, except Bill Gates. EDS had the money. But Bill Gates knew that vision, not just money, is the key to success.

1Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews, Gates (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), p. 139.

You can’t test courage cautiously

Many people today don’t want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing. They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety. – Louis Kronenberger

One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again. – Judith Viorst

You can’t test courage cautiously. – Annie Dillard

The best discipline, maybe the only discipline that really works, is self-discipline. – Walter Kiechel III

Pride is tasteless, colorless, and sizeless. Yet it is the hardest thing to swallow. – August B. Black

A place is yours when you know where all the roads go. – Stephen King

Many people today don’t want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing. They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety. – Louis Kronenberger

Many people feel “guilty” about things they shouldn’t feel guilty about, in order to shut out feelings of guilt about things they should feel guilty about. – Sydney J. Harris

“I must do something” will always solve more problems than “Something must be done.” – Gil Howe

Lying Awake!!

He made fear his friend and used it to motivate him on to success.

Lying Awake (Andrew Carnegie)

When the young Andrew Carnegie, later to become the richest man in the world, started his first real job, he had the same fears and insecurities we all have.

“Fearful during the first few days that he might make some error or appear too young and inexperienced for the job after all, the boy zealously learned every trick that would make him the most efficient messenger obtainable. He would lie awake at night now, trying to remember the names of every business establishment on every street in downtown Pittsburgh, and then trying to recall the faces and names of those men to whom he had already delivered a message. It proved to be an invaluable memory exercise, not only for the delivery of telegrams, but for later associations in the business world.”1

Carnegie didn’t let fear get in his way. He made fear his friend and used it to motivate him on to success.

1Joseph Frazier Wall, Andrew Carnegie

Evil Good and Good Evil

Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God, and been found by God, he begins at no beginning and works to no end. – H.G. Wells

Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God, and been found by God, he begins at no beginning and works to no end. – H.G. Wells

As it is said of the greatest liar that he tells more truth than falsehoods, so it may be said of the worst man that he does more good than evil. – Samuel Johnson

Yet those that call evil good and good evil shall one day have their way… and regret it for eternity. –  Gil Howe

If the blind put their hand in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see but have not faith or purpose. – Helen Keller

The very impossibility in which I find myself to prove that God is not, discloses to me His existence.  – Jean de La Bruyere

God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn… That is why it is no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness apart from Himself, because there is no such thing. – C.S. Lewis

It were better to have not opinion of God at all, than such an opinion as is unworthy of Him: for the one is disbelief, the other is contempt.  – Sir Francis Bacon