While on a car trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, the elderly woman left her glasses on the table, but she didn't miss them until they were back on the highway. By then, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around. The elderly man fussed and complained all the way back to the restaurant. He called his wife every bad name he could think of. When they finally arrived at the restaurant, and the woman got out of the car to retrieve her glasses, the man yelled to her, "And while you're in there, you might as well get my hat, too."
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Two UNC grads are walking through the woods and come across this big deep hole.
"Wow...that looks deep."
"Sure does... toss a few pebbles in there and see how deep it is."
They pick up a few pebbles and throw them in and wait... no noise.
"WOW. That is REALLY deep... here.. throw one of these great big rocks down there. Those should make a noise."
They pick up a couple football-sized rocks and toss them into the hole and wait... and wait. Nothing.
They look at each other in amazement. One gets a determined look on his face and says, "Hey...over here in the weeds, there's a railroad tie. Help me carry it over here. When we toss THAT sucker in, it's GOTTA make some noise."
The two drag the heavy tie over to the hole and heave it in. Not a sound comes from the hole.
Suddenly, out of the nearby woods, a goat appears, running like the wind. It rushes toward the two men, then right past them, running as fast as it's legs will carry it. Suddenly it leaps in the air and into the hole.
The two men are astonished with what they've just seen...
Then, out of the woods comes a farmer who spots the men and ambles over. "Hey... you two guys seen my goat out here?" "You bet we did! Craziest thing I ever seen. It came running like crazy and just jumped into this hole!"
"Nah", says the farmer, "That couldn't have been MY goat. My goat was chained to a railroad tie."
Athletes Behaving Badly What Happened To America's Olympians?
Every two years, America looks to its Olympic athletes for an unparalleled display of drive, sacrifice, team spirit, and patriotism. Unfortunately, this year, many of our country's best athletes provided us with a very different kind of display.
Drive and sacrifice? Much-hyped skier Bode Miller barely managed to step out of the local bars long enough to participate in his events. Not surprising, then, that he didn't win a single medal.
Team spirit? Speedskaters Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis provided a whole new twist on that concept, with their very public bickering.
Patriotism? How about figure skater Johnny Weir attending practices in a jacket with the old Soviet Union logo on it? Weir downplayed the outfit, explaining, "I just admire Russian culture." Apparently, no one ever educated Weir on what the Soviet government did to Russian culture (and would have liked to have done to our own culture).
The list goes on: Aerialist Jaret Peterson was expelled from the Games for punching an acquaintance. Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis decided to show off on her way to the finish line, resulting in a fall that cost her the gold.
Hockey player Mike Modano skipped his final team meeting after the U.S. team was eliminated, and then publicly blasted USA Hockey for forcing him to make his own travel arrangements.
It wasn't just about winning or losing gold medals either. Figure skater Sasha Cohen and mogul skier Toby Dawson didn't manage to win gold, but both were honored by the U.S. Olympic Committee for their fighting spirit and mature attitude. And there were plenty of other examples of inspiring behavior, like speedskater Joey Cheek's donating his entire winnings to refugees from the Sudan. But it seemed as if, for every feel-good story to come out of the Olympics, there were at least four or five that made us cringe.
True, it's not the first time an Olympic athlete has embarrassed himself and his country. But it's difficult to remember a time when so many of them were doing it all at the same time. The American media and the public were understandably disgusted with the behavior of some of our best and our brightest. As the Washington Post reported, "As a whole, the U.S. Olympic Committee learned that its athletes need some lessons in comportment and team play. . . . So many American athletes seemed consumed with their own self-fulfillment."
Self-fulfillment . That certainly rings a bell. Isn't that the very same idea that so many American parents and teachers have been instilling in their kids from their earliest days? We have been telling them, in effect, that life is all about doing whatever will make them happy—go after their own desires, unmindful often of what happens to other people. This idea of exalting the self has so permeated our culture that now even some of our most disciplined and hardest-working citizens—our athletes—have fallen prey to it. The old Olympic ideals we once took for granted now seem like a foreign language to much of this generation.
America may have been left with a bad taste in its mouth as the Olympics ended. But maybe these athletes are just reflecting the values we have embraced. And if so, we have no one to blame for this sorry display but ourselves. BREAKPOINT with Charles Colson & Mark Earley
Here's a speech we would like to hear from an Academy Award winner:
I thank you for this wonderful award. Receiving an Academy Award gives the recipient an almost unique opportunity to speak to hundreds of millions people around the world, so I would like take this once-in-a-lifetime moment to say this:
First, I want to thank my country, the United States of America. Every one of us here has this country to thank for enabling us to live lives of unprecedented freedom and unimaginable affluence. Too many of us forget that no other country in history has offered such opportunities to people in our profession or in any other profession, for that matter.
Second, I want to thank the men and women of the armed forces of the United States. While we bask in freedom and spend a good part of our lives going from party to party and award show to award show, tens of thousands of my fellow Americans are confronting a menace to our world as great as that fought by previous generations fighting Nazism and communism.
At the same time, I also want to apologize to these troops for my profession not having made even one motion picture about any of the heroic American fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq. This country is fighting a war, Hollywood. You may think this war is unwise, waged under mistaken, or even false, pretenses. And as an actor in Hollywood, you are overwhelmingly likely to hate this commander in chief. But even the men and women of Hollywood must recognize that America is fighting the worst people of our time, people who hurt every group Hollywood claims to care about — minorities, women, gays — people who engage in the sins Hollywood most professes to oppose — intolerance and violence — far more than anyone else on the planet.
In another era, when what many have labeled "the greatest generation" fought the German Nazis and the Japanese fascists, Hollywood made movie after movie depicting that great war and our great warriors. And Hollywood showed freedom's enemies as the cruel and vicious people they were. We have not produced one film yet depicting this war in positive terms or one depicting this generation's enemies of freedom as the cruel and vicious people they are.
In fact, the only nominated film about people who slaughter children at discos, blow up weddings, and bomb pizzerias and buses filled with men, women and children is one that attempts to show these murderers in God's name as complex human beings. Just imagine how the Academy would have reacted 60 years ago to a film depicting Nazi murderers as complex human beings. We have descended far.
We in Hollywood walk around thinking we are very important. That is why this year's nominated films for best picture are largely pictures with messages, pictures that relatively few people actually see. But although Hollywood was always concerned with politics, we have let ourselves be taken over by those for whom their message is more significant than the primary purposes of film — to illuminate life and to entertain. Yes, entertain.
You know, entertainment is actually a noble pursuit. Life is difficult for almost every human being on earth. And if we can offer people an elevated way to divert their attention for a couple of hours from their troubled child, their marital tensions, their ill parent, their financial woes, we have rendered the world a greater service than by making another message-film against racism in America, the least racist country in the world.
My fellow actors, we walk around feeling that we are very important. But we do so only because we confuse fame with significance. We do have more fame than any other human beings in history. Far more people have heard of any actor here tonight than of any of the discoverers of any medication saving billions of lives, of any teacher of the disabled, of any nurse tending the aged, of almost any national leader.
But the truth is that, as noble a calling as acting can be, all we do is make-believe: We portray other people, and we speak words written by other people. Everyone knows our names, but almost no one knows us. All they know are the characters we play.
Thank you again. I hope I haven't ruined your evening.
(If you did hear this, it would indicate an acor now out of work)
When my friend Larry isn't running his business, he can often be found riding his bicycle. We're talking serious biking here, not just the leisurely around-the-block stuff. He and his friends have covered a lot of America on the their bicycles, conquering all kinds of challenges. Like big hills, for example. Now, any of us who has ever ridden a bike knows that it' s the hills that bite your leg muscles. As you're riding, you see this mountain looming in front of you. OK, it's a hill, but your mind is thinking "mountain." My friend told me a fundamental "big hill" principle that he has discovered - and that he passes on to other bikers. "The longer you look, the bigger it gets!"
You may be facing one of life's big hills right now - financially, medically, in your family, or your ministry, your work. And right now you've stopped pedaling, you're looking at how big that hill is - and the longer you look, the bigger it's getting. And the weaker and more paralyzed you're feeling.
That must have been how God's ancient people felt when they looked at the challenges of the land God had promised them - walled cities, barbarian armies, intimidating giants, and a big piece of occupied ground. God knows how we feel when we're staring at those big hills. In our word for today from the Word of God - Deuteronomy 7, beginning in verse 17, God says: "You may say to yourselves, 'These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?' Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.'"
OK, first, you have to remember Who's going to conquer that hill - it's not going to be you - so your limitations are not an issue here. It's going to "the Lord your God." I love that phrase. "The Lord" - that's the One who created and controls over a hundred billion galaxies! Then, "your God." Yes! The Lord who rules the galaxies is my God. He is so big - and He' s so close!
Secondly - as you're staring at that hill you've got in front of you, remember how God is going to help you conquer this challenge - "little by little." He's not going to do it all at once. He's asking you to take it in bite-size chunks. Now, my bicycling friend says that rather than looking at the top of the hill, he looks at the short distances in front of him. That's how you conquer your hill. Jesus asks us to take up our cross, not all at once, but "daily." (Luke 9:23) Your job is just to do today - faithfully and positively.
The size of life's hills often keeps us from facing what we need to be dealing with - issues in our family, our marriage, our spending, the care of your body, that habit, or even something Jesus has been asking you to do for Him. And the longer you look at the hill, the bigger it gets. But the longer you look at the God you belong to, the bigger He gets. You've been looking at the wrong thing - fixated on the problem or the challenge, or the people, and missing the awesome size of your God!
Let today be Day One of you tackling that hill. Just look at the short distance immediately in front of you - this one day. And open yourself up to the strength of God that we only experience when we know we can't do it. Look at the size of your Lord, not the size of your hill! Today's looming challenge is going to be tomorrow's amazing conquest! --------------------------------------------------------------------- Discuss today's "A Word With You," post your comments, or encourage others in our discussion forum! http://forums.gospelcom.net/view/rhm/awwy
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