"Hey Benny," said Lou, "I just bought me a brand new hearing aide. It cost me $4,000, but it's state of the art."
"That right?" answered Ben. "What kind is it?"
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Now, I'm not a deer hunter. I think I was brainwashed by "Bambi" a long time ago, but I tell you, something incredible happens in a lot of parts of the country when deer season opens. Some places they close school for a few days because of the deer, and in many places, it's just understood that workers aren't going to show up for work. They're going to be somewhere in the woods on Operation Buck. Unfortunately, sometimes the hunt can end in tragedy - for the hunter, I mean, not the deer.
This past year, on the day deer season opened in one state, two hunters were killed in accidental shootings. One was shot by another family member, actually, who apparently fired two shots at a deer that ran in front of him, and one of those bullets struck the victim in the chest. They say he was a victim of what they call "buck fever." For example, a hunter spots what he believes to be a deer, fires as soon as his sights are lined up on the target, but in reality the target is another hunter with leaf-bare arms that look like antlers. Hunters know that things turn deadly when someone decides to fire before they see everything clearly.
You don't have to be a hunter to make that mistake. In fact, it's quite possible that you and I have wounded way too many people because we fired before we saw everything clearly.
We all need the reminder of our word for today from the Word of God in James 1:19. I actually nominate this as one of the five most disobeyed verses in the Bible, and I don't even know what the other four are. Here's what God says - take note of this. "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry." Now, all too often we just turn those words around, don't we? "Be slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to become angry." We fire at someone before we see everything clearly.
You can't see everything clearly if you're quick to speak: as a parent, as a husband or wife, or a friend or a counselor, an employer or an employee - speak fast, listen little. We can't possibly see everything that way. We start shooting before we really understand what a person is feeling; where they're really coming from. We may listen long enough to hear their words, but how about their heart? To hear the surface issue maybe, but not long enough to hear the real issue. We make some of our most hurtful mistakes, and we say some of our most damaging words when we just react to a person's deeds instead of stepping back and looking for the need that is causing the deed.
So many of our arguments, our blowups, our misunderstandings, the broken relationships, the walls are pretty much because we don't hold our tongue, fire off a prayer to God for patience, and listen before we speak. Proverbs 18:13 says, "He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame." When we don't listen and ask questions and back off to get our feelings under control, we end up scarring people we care about with this ugly weapon described in Proverbs 12:18, "Reckless words pierce like a sword."
We talk way too soon and we talk way too much. We listen way too little, and we do way too much damage - usually to the people we love the most. And often, anger comes because we didn't listen. Don't you think it's a better idea to hold your fire until you've taken time to get the whole picture? Because when you fire too soon, someone you love is going to get hurt. Ron Hutchcraft
-- Andy Griffith - June 1, 1926 Actor. Griffith taught high school music for three years before setting out, with his new wife, Barbara Edwards, a fellow actor at UNC, on a career as an entertainer. They developed a traveling routine that included singing, dancing, and monologues performed by Griffith. When he and his wife moved to New York, he made his television debut as a guest monologist on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1954. Later that year, he earned the role of Will Stockdale in the TV version of Ira Levin's play, "No Time for Sergeants." His film debut came in 1957, in the provocative "A Face in the Crowd." He was also a regular, with Don Knotts, on the NBC variety series, "The Steve Allen Show," from 1959 to 1960. His own sitcom, "The Andy Griffith Show," in which he played the gentle, philosophical small-town Sheriff Andy Taylor, was a huge success. After the show went off the air in 1968, he appeared in a number of feature films and several short- lived attempts to recapture the success of "The Andy Griffith Show." In 1986, Griffith reunited with his co-stars, including Knotts and Howard, in "Return to Mayberry," which became the highest-rated TV movie of the 1986 season.
Pay close attention to what you are reading and saying!
The bandage was wound around the wound. The farm was used to produce produce. We must polish the Polish furniture. He could lead if he would get the lead out. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. I did not object to the object. The insurance was invalid for the invalid. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. They were too close to the door to close it. The buck does funny things when the does are present. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. The wind was too strong to wind the sail. After a number of injections my jaw got number. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
The worldwide "Spanish Flu" epidemic which broke out in 1918 killed more than 30 million people in less than a year's time.
*** Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.
There are more statues of Sacajewa, Lewis & Clark's female Indian guide, in the United States than any other person.
Vermont, admitted as the 14th state in 1791, was the 1st addition to the original 13 colonies.
THE GRAY HOUSE?
The White House, in Washington DC, was originally gray, the color of the sandstone it was built out of. After the War of 1812, during which it had been burned by Canadian troops, the outside walls were painted white to hide the smoke stains.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING
Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5 p.m. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize 'this' was the day of the changeover.
Dan Brown has broken many records with the sale of the exceedingly popular novel The Da Vinci Code. The book has sold nearly 7 ½ million copies. It has been a top seller, usually in position #1 or #2, for over a year, and is a top seller in over a dozen nations. It has caused Brown’s earlier novels to also become bestsellers. In addition, Ron Howard, Mayberry’s Opie Taylor, will be directing a movie based on The Da Vinci Code, to be released in 2005.
Forbes magazine has recently reported that when you add up the projected retail sales of The Da Vinci Code, along with the additional sales of Dan Brown’s earlier works, the spin-offs, sales of Brown’s nearly completed new novel, and estimated revenues from Sony Pictures movie, it totals a whopping $1 billion – that’s billion – with a “b.”
Some Christians cite this information with a look of panic. But there is no need to be so inclined.
The Kingdom of God cannot be measured by how many books are bought, but by how many lives are being changed. Yet, even if one looks at “bestsellers” as some indicator of people’s desires, believers still have reason to be encouraged.
While 7 ½ million purchased Dan Brown’s book that slams Christianity, twice that many – 15 million – purchased Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life in order to become more passionate followers of Christ. Over 9 million read Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez. But even more amazing is the reading hunger of Americans regarding End Times. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind series (when one includes the spin-offs) tops 63 million.
I have listened to the response from persons regarding the fact that Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is being translated into so many languages. Secularists gloat. Believers seem worried.
Admittedly, The Da Vinci Code is in 40 languages. But the Bible – in its entirety – is in 400 languages. And portions of the Bible are in 4,000 languages.
I have only been quoted once in People Magazine, and I suspect it will be the only quote I’ll ever have in that magazine. I was interviewed regarding The Da Vinci Code. I pointed out that in a few years, Dan Brown’s writings will be forgotten, but the Bible “will still be the bestseller.” The Bible will still be – globally – the most printed and the most read book in the world. And it will still be by far the most impacting book on human culture.
Am I concerned about The Da Vinci Code? Not really, because the Bible will outlast all its critics. As believers we are involved in a bigger “business,” and by “bigger” I am not referring to more books sold. I am referring to the fact of lives changed on this earth by the power of Christ and to the fact that we are assisting people towards eternal decisions – things that will matter one million years from now! Now that is big business. Jim Garlow
Once a State Trooper was pulling off an expressway near UNC. When he turned onto the street at the end of the ramp, he noticed someone at a chicken place getting into his car. The driver placed the bucket of chicken on top of his car, got in and drove off with the bucket still on top of his car.
So the trooper decides to pull him over and perform a com- munity service by giving the driver his chicken. So he pulled him over, walked up to the car, pulled the bucket off the roof and offered it to the driver. The driver looks at the trooper and says, "No thanks, I just bought some."