This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Try Something New

A woman who loved soufflé decided to make some for her family for a special occasion. But she became nervous when she read the recipe for the light, fluffy cake. Soufflé is not easy to make, and it has to be served quickly to keep it from falling. So as the years, holidays, and birthdays went by, she continued to save the recipe, not quite ready to attempt it. 

Her family grew up, and she grew old. Finally she gave the recipe to one of her children with this wise counsel: “Take the risk. Make the soufflé. If it falls, it falls. But you’ll never have it if you don’t try.”

Many of us have trips we wish to take, talents we want to develop, even friends we’d like to make, but our plans get caught in the inertia of daily living. And then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, the window of opportunity closes. 

Perhaps we hesitate because we fear failure. Yet the greatest risk is refusing to risk; the greatest failure is refusing to try—it means we will never taste that soufflé, see that dazzling vista, or enjoy that grand accomplishment. 

So how do we break free of our self-imposed limitations? We can start by trying something new. We can say hello to the withdrawn co-worker we’ve never spoken to. We can try a new food, or read a book by a new author. We can sing a song that has always seemed outside our range. We can sign up for a class we always wanted to take. We can use the vast offerings of the Internet to research a famous artist, find out about a recent scientific discovery, or start to learn a new language. 

Don’t wait until “someday.” Today is what we have. As a wise mother once said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Joni Hilton

Like the soufflé, if we fall, we fall. But we’ll never know if we don’t try.

- from the broadcast "Music and the Spoken Word", March 29, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hang On 'Til Daylight

Image result for tractor tipped overSome years ago, a good friend of mine, a great person and fine doctor, finding himself sort of fed up for the day, decided to cut out for the rest of the afternoon. Without saying a word to anyone as to where he was going, he left the office and drove north into Georgia, ultimately to the edge of Lake Seminole, where he owned some land. He spent the afternoon communing with nature, as we say, clearing his head of the thoughts of a busy physician and enjoying the solitude of the lake.

A light rain had set in, and the road down to the lake was hard pan, south Georgia clay. After dark, as he tried to drive back up to the main road, his car would not budge. Remembering that an old man, a friend of his, had a tractor in a shed a mile or so back off the road, my friend walked in the mud to the shed, where he found the tractor and the key. Not wanting to walk the other mile to his friend's home and knowing there would be no problem with permission, he cranked the tractor and rode down to the lake. He hooked up the tractor to his car, climbed up into the driver's seat, put it in gear, let out the clutch, and in a microsecond found himself on the ground with the tractor on top of him, 8,000 pounds of steel punching him into the cold, hard clay.

Two classical blunders had left him hopelessly pinned, with the circulation cut off in his shoulder and arm and the feel of broken bones against the dirt. The first blunder was in not telling a single soul where he was. The second was taking on, without help, a difficult, dangerous task for which he had neither the experience nor the training.

Pinned, alone, near shock and in terrible pain, there was almost nothing he could do. After running through the things we all would -- crying a little, cursing a little, yelling a little, praying a little, perhaps even offering God a little deal, he settled down to the reality that he was helpless, alone, and in very grave danger, all because of those seemingly insignificant errors: not telling a soul where he was going and taking on more than he could safely manage alone.

Now my friend had one enormous advantage, provided after a while to all of us: age and experience. He had been down before, and he believed, "crazy" as it seemed, that there had to be something he could do.

Finally, it came to him that there were three things he could do, and he put all of his energy into doing them. He found that he could wiggle his fingers just a bit; that with a small stick he found on the ground, he could ... hang on 'til daylight; ... that and nothing else. So throughout the night, cold, wet, in pain and totally alone, he kept at it: wiggling around a little, picking at the problem a little, and ... hanging on until daylight.

Now in fact, my doctor friend does not live alone in the world. He has a family, friends and colleagues. And there are a whole bunch of helpers -- police, sheriffs, forest rangers, medics -- literally a room full. You are never truly alone. Unknown to him, shortly after dark, first on the subdued scale and then with a rising crescendo, the real people in his life began to fan out and search...

Still believing he was alone and that it might be hopeless, my friend, because he had been down before, maintained the pace: he wiggled around a bit, picked away at the problem clay under his elbow, and ... hung on until daylight.

Finally, just at dawn, it all happened at once -- tractors, wreckers, ambulances, medics, pry poles, cables and wrenches. And then, it was all over -- a warm bed, bone surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons; and not just a bad dream, a joke to tell on yourself when you feel particularly cocky. But life, future, friends, family, dreams, plans and responsibilities were all his because of those three trivial things -- wiggling around to keep the juices flowing, picking at the problem, and most of all, through pain, shock, cold, darkness and aloneness ... hanging on until daylight.

Now if, God forbid, somehow you find yourself having made the two classic blunders of isolation and taking on the heavies, and it turns over on you, just remember to do two things: remember something can move a little, so wiggle around; remember all problems can be pecked at a little, so peck at the problem; but most of all, remember to ... hang on until daylight.

-from Lee J. Colan, quoting an address delivered by Wallace A. Kennedy, Professor of Psychology, Florida State University, 1981

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Positive Messages (Real Hidden Agendas) in the New Disney's "Cinderella"

In today's world there seems to be way too much criticism about fairy tales sending wrong messages about life.  I believe in most cases you find what you are looking for, good or bad.  So here's a great interpretation of how there are lots of right messages that can be found in the new Disney movie "Cinderella":

You can be a light even when surrounded by evil

There is evil and darkness everywhere (and sometimes, it seems like all I ever see is doom and gloom!) However, that doesn’t mean that you have to resort to that. No matter who you are, or where you are, you can be good. You can show kindness, love, and gratitude, regardless of what the circumstances are. No matter how dark things are, even the dimmest light can make a difference.

Everyone deserves respect, kindness, and generosity

Cinderella was kind to all – right down to the tiny mice in her home. When there appeared to be a homeless woman outside her home, she didn’t bat an eye finding her some milk. Obviously, that haggard old woman turned out to be her fairy godmother, and that’s not going to happen with every person you are kind to. However, in my short 25 years on this earth, I have discovered that being kind to people always pays off – even when you don’t want to be.


Cinderella’s mother said that she “believed in everything” when Cinderella asked if she believed in fairy godmothers. While you probably shouldn’t really believe in everything, it’s important to believe in something. Believing gives you something to hold on to when the going gets tough. Cinderella believed in being kind, as it was taught to her by her parents, and that got her through hard times. Be willing to stand up for those things that you believe in. I certainly believe that you are a stronger person when you are steadfast in the things you stand for and believe.

It’s okay to want a happily ever after

And you know what else? It’s okay to believe in happy endings and enjoy fairy tales. Life isn’t perfect, and you shouldn’t expect it to be. However, you can expect for there to be happy endings and beauty in all things, even when trials arise. I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with hoping one day you’ll find your prince charming. My life was just fine before I met Forrest, but you know what? He was my prince charming, and my life was so much better with him in it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling that way. [From Forrest – Katie has been more of a blessing in my life than I have been to hers. In Cinderella, Prince Charming is saved from being coerced into a loveless marriage by Cinderella. Her natural goodness motivated him to raise his marriage standard and seek for her. It is clear in the movie that they are a blessing to each other. It is clear in the movie that Kit doesn’t see himself as better than Cinderella.]
To my son, I hope that you’ll be chivalrous, and that you’ll be someone’s knight in shining armor someday. It’s good to respect women and want to treat them with respect and kindness.
It’s good to be realistic, but it’s also good to believe in a little magic.

See the Good

The beginning of the movie starts by showing a scene of Cinderella’s mother and father in a field, with baby Ella. It says something how she always saw the world not as it is, but as it should be. I loved this! While I don’t think you should be totally naive to the world around you, sometimes, it’s just better to look for the good. For a long time, I followed tons of news stations on Facebook. The news media thrives on sadness and controversy. It really was negatively affecting me! So, I unfollowed most of them. I started feeling more uplifted as I focused less on the negativity in the world. I felt like I was able to see more of the good side of situations and people, instead of feeling like everyone had a hidden agenda. Sometimes, it’s good to see the world through rose colored glasses.

A  Parent’s Influence Runs Deep

Cinderella was born into a wonderful family. Her parents obviously loved her very much, as well as each other. Sadly, tragedy struck when her mother passed away when she was young, and then, years later, her father passed away as well. However, the goodness that her parents instilled in her lasted her throughout her entire life, even when she was being treated so horribly by her stepmother.
The influence that the step-mother had on her children was obvious as well. They were unkind, ungrateful, and materialistic, which appeared to be traits their mother had as well.
This isn’t to say that if you had a bad upbringing, you are doomed as well. Anyone has the power to change. However, I do believe that parents can have the greatest influence on their child, for good or bad. Often I see people talking about how fairy tales and princesses are horrible role models for children. But I think back on my life growing up – where I watched many, many fairy tales…and you know what ended up affecting me more? What my parents taught me. External influences can often have a strong effect, but I do believe the influence of a parent can be more powerful than anything else.

You Can Choose Misery or Happiness in Any Situation

There were two “tragic” tales told. Cinderella lost her mother at a young age, and then her father – left to the care of a step mother who mistreated her and step-sisters who only cared about themselves and material objects.
Then, there was the step-mother. She had lost her first husband – the love of her life. I can only imagine how hard that would be.
However, they both handled tragedy differently. There’s no way you aren’t affected by the death of a loved one. However, the way you handle it can affect your life forever. Cinderella chose to follow her parent’s example of kindness and optimism. Her step-mother chose another path – misery, deceit, and anger. Although both experienced tragedy and hardships, the way they chose to handle it made all the difference. Facing adversity with optimism, while hard, is worth doing.

Marry for the Right Reasons

In this movie, the idea that you should marry for advantage was perpetuated. The prince was told time and time again that he needed to marry a princess that would be advantageous toward the kingdom. At the end, the step-mother said she married Cinderella’s father for her daughters. She also wanted to make sure her daughters were married to well-established and recognized men in the city. Although I certainly believe that your spouse will hopefully make you a better person, you shouldn’t marry them simply because they have money, power, or because they are good looking.
Marry someone because you love them. Marry them because you can’t stand the thought of going a day without them. Marry them because they will help you become better than you could have been on your own. It’s more of an advantage to marry someone you love, than to marry someone who has an advantage attached to them.


As Cinderella walks out the door with Prince Kit, she turns around to her step-mother and says, “I forgive you.” I don’t think she was just saying it because she knew she never had to go back. I truly believe that she showed Christ-like love and forgiveness toward someone who had wronged us. There’s so much revenge in this world. If someone wrongs another, it seems like the first thing that comes to mind is to make them pay for it or sue them. What happened to forgiveness without making the other person pay? One of the most beautiful themes of this film is that of forgiveness, and it’s one I hope everyone will remember. No matter how much someone has wronged you, you should forgive. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends, or even associate with them…but in my experience, not forgiving someone hurts you more than it hurts anyone else.

Be Kind and Have Courage

You didn’t think I’d get through this post without sharing this, right? Be kind and have courage – this is what Cinderella’s mother told her as she was dying. It was something that stuck with Cinderella throughout her life – and I believe it’s one of the reasons why the prince fell in love with her. He saw her good heart. I absolutely loved this motto – and it’s something I hope to instill in Jack. Being kind is always the best choice, and it’s so important to have courage to not only stand up for yourself, but for your beliefs and for others (especially for those who don’t have a voice.) I believe that if more people took this motto to heart, then the world would be a better place.
- from the blog at

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Your Plan vs. God's Plan

If Plan "A" didn't work, there are still 25 more letters left in the alphabet! Stay cool.

See also:
Life Is All About How You Handle Plan B

6 Rules of Success by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How to Fail Successfully

The Message on "Music and the Spoken Word", Sunday, March 8, 2015
"Fail Forward"

At the start of a new semester, the president of a large university advised his students: “We will all fail. More than once. Every day.” Not exactly the inspiring pep talk they may have expected. But then he added: “My plea for you today is to learn how to fail successfully.”1

He recounted a failure from his own background as a young lawyer, when a partner at his firm pointed out errors in a document he had carefully prepared. The criticism hurt, but he reworked the document and solved the problem. The law partner then shared this wise counsel: “Good judgment comes from experience. And experience comes from bad judgment.”

Of course, no one seeks out failure, but no one can completely avoid it either. So we may as well learn from it. In fact, it could be said that if we’re not failing from time to time, we’re not learning all that we can. A child who doesn’t fall—a lot—never learns how to walk. A dancer, athlete, writer, or singer who never stumbles or makes mistakes never improves and never achieves greatness.

The key is the way we react to our setbacks and failures. Instead of becoming frustrated, ashamed, or discouraged, we can choose to go forward with new experience, broader perspective, better judgment, and renewed determination. We may continue to fail, but we can ensure that when we do, we fail forward.

The road of life is not a smooth highway paved with happiness and success. Potholes and detours along the way are meant to teach us and enrich our experience, if we are willing to learn from them. This is what it means to fail successfully—to not let life’s failures set us back but propel us forward.

- Lloyd D. Newell

1. Kevin J. Worthen, in Valerie Johnson, “Learn to Fail Successfully, BYU President Tells Students,” Church News, Jan. 13, 2015,
2. In Valerie Johnson, “Learn to Fail Successfully.” 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Prayer of St. Francis

Imagine if we all had this prayer in our hearts and carried it through in our actions:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has said, "This is not a prayer; it is a technology. It is about being an alchemist and converting hatred to love, doubt to faith, despair to hope, and sadness to joy."