Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spread It Around

It seems to me that in the long run it is impossible to maintain a democractic society unless you can spread the benefits and burdens of being an American citizen reasonably evenly. -Felix Rohatyn

In our relationships, in our work and play, do we assume an equal share of the burdens, and do we get a reasonable amount of benefits in exchange?

There's no way to calculate the burdens and benefits of living. But our own inner awareness is a pretty accurate measure: if you feel ripped off and resentful, then something's wrong; if you feel guilty, as though you were getting away with murder, something's wrong.

Often we are reluctant to track down the source of our guilt or our resentment; we're afraid that what we find may force us to change the way we live and work, and change is painful.

Letting go of a source of pain can be as difficult as losing a source of pleasure.

Affirmation: I am the only one who knows just what is going on in my life, and all such choices are mine.
(The Promise of a New Day, 31 January)

Mr. Dickie's Banking Report

There are three banks within walking distance of our house. Much to our dismay we have relationships with all of them.

Bank of America used bailout money to buy Merrill Lynch where we have a stock market account. So without even thinking about doing business with Bank of America we are.

Chevy Chase Bank, a local bank, was purchased by the rather shaky credit card company, Capitol One, again using bailout money.

This morning The Washington Post business section published an article announcing that yesterday the federal government seized our local Suburban Federal Savings Bank and then promptly sold it to another bank in Virginia. As luck would have it Melva has a CD in this bank which matures today, January 31, 2009.

It's hard to get your mind around what is happening.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Battle Rages On

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Our house after the recent first snow of the winter - January 2009)

We have only to read the newspapers, watch the late-night news, or look around our neighborhoods to see that the battle [between good and evil] continues today. The forces of evil still strive to undermine Christians, still continue to disrupt lives, split congregations [and families], [foment wars among nations] and destroy peace. Rather than moving toward one powerful body of Christ, we find ourselves fractured and splintered into smaller and smaller groups of self-interest and self-righteousness.

Where will it all end? We don't know. All we can do is continue to fight the powers of darkness, oppose evil, stand up for what we know to be true, and hold out against the darkening world around us. The victory will be ours; this we have been promised, but the battle is far from over.(adapted by REH from Patricia Wilson in The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 29 January)

  • Yesterday I spent time making additions to my Google blog. I modified the information that appears in the sidebar. I added a photograph of one of our poinsettias, I installed a second slide show of balloon photographs taken by others, and I made a list of "Books I Enjoy Reading." I was prompted to make these changes after reading the chapter on Blogger in a book I checked out of the library.

  • My friend, Susan, in Kentucky, posted twenty-three photographs to a Facebook album. She took the pictures after the recent ice storm at her house. She was without power for 48 hours. What does all this ice have to do with global warming?
Mr. Dickie

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Check Out Your own B.S.

Photo: Cyndi (Mr. Dickie at Cyndi's apartment, Fall 2008)

"Check out your own B.S." - Jewel Diamond-Taylor.B.S. refers to Belief System - those things you hold to be true about yourself and others. Your B.S. is a product of your experiences and perceptions. Those things you have come to believe are true. Those things buried in the back of your head. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 25 January)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Computer Problems

Today I will start to work at eliminating my negative behaviors. I will avoid being critical of others. I will avoid being judgmental, defensive, angry, short-tempered, vain, and self-involved. I will pay attention to the way I treat the people I come in contact with on a regular basis. I will focus on becoming a person I feel good about, knowing that ultimately I will change and be happier. As I do so, my world will become more serene and peaceful. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, p. 37)

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something I can do. (Edward Everett Hale, in Body, Mind, and Spirit, 26 December)

Do not act as if you would live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good. (Marcus Aureluis, Meditations, IV.17)

  • I'm having some computer problems. Apparently there was excessive paging going on. During the day I ran a defragmentation and did some other hard drive housekeeping. By 4:30 p.m. I was ready to sign back on the Internet to see if there was any improvement.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let It Snow!

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Souvenir of my tour of duty with the 11th Transportation Battalion, at Cat-Lai, Vietnam, 1967-68)

In "How We die," Sherwin Nuland calls addiction, "Chronic habitual suicide." (Susan Cheever, Desire, p. 38)

You must be willing to challenge virtually every behavior pattern in your life that involves food, and be open to new ways of coping with challenges. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 140)

Blaming others is an entertainment which some people like and cannot restrain themselves from. When you see all the harm this blaming causes, you see that it is a sin not to stop people from practicing this entertainment. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 27 September)
  • Today it started snowing before dawn. This is the first real snow of the winter. Schools either closed or shutdown early. Ice and rain on top of the snow is predicted. What winter fun!

  • Yesterday I went to the library to drop off some books and CDs that were due. I found other books and CDs to checkout. Almost all of the computers were in use. I reflected on how lucky we are in this country to have free public libraries. My reflection reminded me of my youth in Bellevue, Nebraska when we lived a block away from the park where our small library was located in a little adobe building that for a time housed the firetruck on one end and the library on the other.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, January 26, 2009


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Mola made by San Blas Indian women of Panama)

[Many people flounder.] By that I mean that many people fail to focus their efforts in a single direction. The reason usually is that they don't have clear-cut goals in mind, so they don't establish any momentum toward specific objectives. They are like a pilot flying without compass, radar or landmarks. ...

When you reduce your goals to writing you crystallize your thoughts. Instead of a generality like "financial security," you write down a net worth of a certain amount or a certain level of income; instead of a banal goal like "happiness," you write down the specific things you want that would make you happy, such as a particular kind of work, or achieving a specific objective; instead of an all-encompassing but imprecise goal of "good health" you direct your efforts to specific targets, such as a weight loss of so many pounds, or getting your blood pressure to a certain level, or establishing a certain schedule for exercise.

Do your goal setting in writing. A pencil and a piece of paper are two of the most powerful tools of time management. Incidentally, I recommend making separate lists of life-time goals and short-range objectives.
(Edwin C. Bliss, Doing It Now, p. 152)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Keep alive in yourself the faculty of making efforts by means of little useless exercises every day; that is to say, be systematically heroic every day in little unnecessary things; do something every other day for the sole and simple reason that it is difficult and you would prefer not to do it, so that when the cruel hour of danger strikes, you will not be unnerved or unprepared. A self-discipline of this kind is similar to the insurance that one pays on one's house and on one's possessions. To pay the premium is not pleasant and possibly may never serve us, but should it happen that our house were burnt, the payment will save us from ruin.

(William James in Doing It Now by Edwin C. Bliss, p. 96)

  • Yesterday I created another photo album on Facebook. This one contains pictures I took at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE.
  • Last night Melva and Cyndi attended the NRECA party in Arlington, VA. They had a great time. They brought home a nice photograph of the two of them taken by a professional photographer.
  • I stayed at Cyndi's apartment waiting for Melva's return. I made free long distance phone calls to: Fran, Dave, Thad, and Tom. I was still talking to Tom when Melva and Cyndi came in the door. This was the first time I used Cyndi's phone since she bundled her cable, Internet and phone. We got home about midnight.
Mr. Dickie

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Way We Were

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Melva's Christmas Cactus - December 2008)

Negative thinking holds me back, love and positive thinking moves me forward. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 10)

Waste not the remainder of your life in thoughts about others, except when you are concerned with some unselfish purpose. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditations, III, 4)

I can choose when - and when not - to share some of the dramas in my life. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 20 January)
  • In the morning paper there was an article about the firing (I don't like the term, layoff.) of twenty-six employees of the Albritton television station, WJLA. The company also owns the New Channel 8 and some of the on-screen people were shared by both stations. WJLA is the number two rated station in the Washington, DC area.

  • Earlier I read an article that stated that one of the local stations was cutting back the size of the news teams working in the field. I didn't understand how that was going to work. As I understood the cutback the on-camera reporters were to be their own cameraman. Maybe they were supposed to hold their camera phone out at arms length while they talked. I always liked the saying, "No news, is good news." Now it seems that the expression should be changed to "No news, isn't good news."

Mr. Dickie

Friday, January 23, 2009

What's That Ringing I Hear?

Just because your home telephone is ringing or there is a knock at your door doesn't mean you have to stop what you're doing to answer it. If you're too busy with other things or simply don't feel like talking, let it ring. The world won't come to an end. If the call is really important, the other person will [leave you a message or] will try [to reach] you again.

Affirmation: When my telephone [or doorbell] rings, I can decide to answer it or not. My privacy is important to me.
(Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, day 22)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New Venture

Every day is a new venture in an adventure called life! (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 10)

There are two ways not to suffer from proverty. The first is to acquire more wealth. The second is to limit your requirements. The first is not always within our powers, but the second is always in our power. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 30 October)

Spiritual growth requires us to take action and to take responsibility for what we do. (Touchstones, 13 January)

I won't panic, and I won't give in just because I am encountering normal challenges of day-to-day life. I am in control. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 123)

Over and over again, ask yourself, "Does this really matter in the long run, or doesn't it?" Then act accordingly. (Edwin C. Bliss, Doing It Now, p. 183)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Helping Others

"Wanting to help others" does not prove that one understands the requirements and responsibilities of guiding others. (Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Nourishing the Soul, p. 45)

Until today, you may have found it easier to provide others with guidance in their time of need than to help yourself. You may not have realized how truly wise you are. Just for today, listen to and heed your own advice. Anything you can tell anyone else probably applies to you too! (Iyanla Vanzant, Just For Today! 20 January)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change of Direction

If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. (Ancient Chinese proverb, Courage to Change, 17 January)

  • Today, at long last the eight-year nightmare brought on this country by President George W. Bush, Vice-president Dick Cheney and their cronies comes to an end. The record has been written and goes into the history books. Mission Accomplished!
  • Millions of people in this country and around the world now look to the new President Barack Obama and his Vice-president Joe Biden as they begin the long arduous task of ending the wars, freeing the war prisoners and repairing the economy. May God be with them.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, January 19, 2009


A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

You can hardly make a friend in a year, but you can easily offend one in an hour. (Chinese Proverb, in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 285)

You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you. (Dale Carnegie in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 285)

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. (Ralph Waldo Emerson in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Pect, p. 273)

I have no trouble with my enemies. But my goddamn friends ... they are the ones that keep me walking the floor at nights. (Warren G. Harding in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 284)

We make our friends, we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbors. (G.K. Chesterton in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 291)

Friendship will not stand the strain of very much good advice for very long. (Robert Lynd in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 290)

I pretend ivry man is honest, and I believe none iv them ar-re. In that way I keep me friends an' save me money. (Finley Peter Dunne in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 284)

I had only one friend, my dog. My wife was mad at me, and I told her a man ought to have at least two friends. She agreed - and bought me another dog. (Pepper Rodgers in Abounding Grace, M. Scott Peck, p. 293)

Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead; do not write them on their tombstones; speak them rather now instead. (Anna Cummins in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 272)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Reality of it All

...the realitiy of it all is that I am forever young, forever a child who is growing, learning and discovering every day - no matter how many years I have invested in growing up. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 346) must get real about the fact that your pleasure-seeking behavior could be destroying your health and your life. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 135)

Self-centeredness causes us to take everything personally. (Touchstones, 12 January)

Thanks to Cristine, Linda, Wanda, Ruth, others who remembered Melva's birthday yesterday.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What's Important?

Money may be the husk of many things but not the kernel. It brings you food but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; days of joy, but not peace or happiness. (Henrik Ibsen in The Art of the Possible by Alexandra Stoddard, p. 51)

Over and over again, ask yourself, "Does this really matter in the long run, or doesn't it?" Then act accordingly. (Edwin C. Bliss, Doing It Now, p. 183)

Silence invites us to be introspective. It challenges us to go within, to confront our fears and examine our dreams. (Jonathon and Wendy Lazear, Meditations for Parents Who Do Too Much, 19 December)

Living ... like studying, needs a little practice. (Octavia Waldo in The Art of the Possible by Alexandra Stoddard, p. 23)

... imagine what wonderful changes would occur to human lives if people would stop poisoning themselves with brandy, wine, tobacco, and drugs. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 1 September)

  • Today we wish Miss Melva a Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, January 16, 2009

Computer Club Meeting

Photo: Cyndi (Dick & Melva at The Gaylord Hotel, Prince Georges County, MD - Dec. 2008)

Concentrating on solving the problems of our lives leads us away from apirituality and moves us into a secular mechanical way of thinking. (Thomas Moore in Nourishing the Soul, p. 14)

One of the greatest mistakes we can make is to concern ourselves too much with what was and what might have been, instead of what is and what can be. (Edwin C. Bliss, Doing It Now, p. 160)

Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you: Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours. (Marcus Aurelius in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 259)

The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. (H.L. Mencken in Family Feelings by Vanceburg and Silverman)
  • Yesterday I went to the computer club meeting. The speaker was a computer forensic expert. He gave a very nice talk. I volunteered to be a committee member of a group established to come up with recommendations on how to continue the club website. The person who had been doing the website maintenance is no longer available.
  • I finished reading the book, "Doing It Now," by Edwin C. Bliss. The subject matter is "how to cure procrastination." It took me quite some time to complete the book, because other things kept coming up.
  • I made several attempts to upload photographs I took during my trip to Nebraska and Kansas to a Facebook album. Yesterday I was able to use the "fast" upload method to post sets of three or four photos at a time. I'm pretty sure the reason this process doesn't work well is because my access to the Internet is via the telephone.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Gift of Life

I will start today to appreciate the gift of life. I will pay close attention to the wonders before me: the beautiful sunrise, the morning symphony of birds singing, the smell of fresh coffee, the touch of my ... [significant other's] skin, the sounds of ... children's voices, the good fortune I have been given, the lessons I have learned, the love I have and continue to experience. I will live each moment as though it were my last, because it might be. (adapted from Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 18)

"Busy yourself with but few things," says the philosopher, "if you would be tranquil." "Do what is necessary, and whatever the reason of an animal naturally social requires, and as it requires." For this brings not only the tranquility which comes from doing well, but also that which comes fro doing few things. For most of what we say and do is unnecessary, and if a man leaves them out, he will have more leisure and less trouble. So on every occasion a man should ask himself, "Is this one of the unnecessary things?" Further, a man should leave off not only unnecessary acts, but also unnecessary thoughts, for thus superfluous acts will not follow after. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, IV-24)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Truth

Photo: by Cyndi (Mr. Dickie at The Gaylord Hotel - Prince Georges County, MD, Dec 2008)

We are all like children who first repeat the unquestionable "truth" told to us by our grandmothers, then the "truth" told to us by our teachers, and then, when we become older, the "truth" told to us by prominent people. (After Ralph Waldo Emerson in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 12 January)

The more you understand about why you behave in the ways that ... [you do], the more equipped you will be to fix your behavior. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 135)

To try to change outward attitudes and behaviors does very little good in the long run if we fail to examine the basic paradigms from which those attitudes and behaviors flow. (Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 28)

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give. (Eleanor Roosevelt in The Art of the Possible by Alexandra Stoddard, p. 23)

      • We enjoyed seeing the photographs posted on Facebook by Alfonso and Cecelia in Panama. Social networking is fun.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Too Much Information

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Christmas at The Gaylord Hotel, Prince Georges County, MD)

For the most part, we receive too much information. We're bombarded with print, sound, images. Many of us cultivate a healthy skepticism: we consider the source. What does this person, this agency, this network, this advertiser, or this elected official stand to gain from telling me this information? (The Promise of a New Day, 8 January)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Practice Letting Go

Photo: (Mr. Dickie, Boys Town, NE - 2008)

... practice letting go of dissatisfactions and appreciating goodness. ... pray for serenity to a power greater than yourself, to which you can turn over your cares and anxieties. And ... meditate on the many wonders in your world. (Vanceburg and Silverman, Family Feelings, 30 December)

What is not clear should be cleared up. What is not easy to do should be done with great persistence. (Confucius in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 5 October)

Today, I will participate in life to the best of my ability. Regardless of the outcome, that makes me a winner. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 10 January)

One of the great arts in life is to learn what to forget. (William Barclay in his discussion of The Letters to the Corinthians, p. 136)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Other People's Thinking

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska - 2008)

Our individual serenity, or lack of it, relates directly to the way we practice the spiritual principles we have come to value. (A Time to be Free, 19 December)

The more upset a person is with other people, and with circumstances, and the more satisfied he is with himself, the further he is from wisdom. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 13 September)

Our lifelong project of growth takes us through many changes. Some we seek, and some happen to us. (Vanceburg and Silverman, Family Feeling, 26 December)

Illnesses of the mind are much more dangerous than illnesses of the body. (Marcus Tullius Cicero in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 6 October)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pay Attention

The more you pay attention to your intuition, the more you'll find yourself in the right place at the right time. (Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Susan Smith Jones, Day 3)

When the inclination toward perfectionism becomes obsessive, we become driven by our narrow view of what is important. ( The Art of the Possible, Alexandra Stoddard, p. 6)

Perhaps you fear the changes that death will bring? But a similar great change already happened at the time of your birth, and nothing bad came out of it. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 10 October)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Telling The Truth

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. (Mark Twain in Abounding Grace, by M. Scott Peck, p. 250)

The exposure of a lie is as valuable to a community as a clearly expressed truth. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 15 September)

A state system, no matter what kind of state system it is, functions at a far remove from the requirements of Christianity. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 13 October)

In those countries where wise, people are in power, their subjects do not notice the existence of their rulers. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 13 October)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Music

Most of us know exactly what it is that creates the pain, confusion, stagnation and disruption in our lives. Whether it is a habit, behavior, relationship or fear, we know. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 5 January)

Though right or wrong, you're bound to find relief in making up your mind. (Thornton Burgess, in Do It Now by Edwin C. Bliss, p. 155)

... a wheelspinning person can carve out a big gap in a day without achieving much. (Edwin C. Bliss, Do It Now, p. 153)

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident. (Arthur Schopenhauer in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 255)

  • The little manual that came with my Oasis player isn't very comprehensive. It doesn't say anything about creating sub-directories (folders) to categorize how the music is stored on the device. Yesterday I decided to take a chance and experiment. I used the computer to create a folder called "Dement." I put the songs from two albums by Iris DeMent into the new folder. I was very pleased with myself when it worked. As usual I had some difficulty understanding what buttons to press to move around in the folders on the device. This morning when I went to the dentist I took the player along and played my music through the tape player in the minivan. Cool!

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. (Calvin Coolidge in Do It Now by Edwin C. Bliss, p. 158)
  • Daily vigilance will turn out to be a small price to pay for my peace of mind. (Courage to Change, 4 January)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Food For Thought

A person dies as he lives his spiritual life, alone. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 11 August)

Real happiness can be built only by harmonizing your life with the will of God. (Lucy Malory in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 12 August)

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut. (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey, p. 27)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Some Thoughts

I won't make promises that I don't plan to keep. (Family Feelings, Vanceburg and Silverman, 9 December)

I choose relationships that are mutually respectful and beneficial; I choose to avoid or end relationships that are degrading and harmful. (A Time to Be Free, 16 December)

One of the ironies of addiction is that it tends to destroy healthy friendships while it creates unhealthy ones. (Body, Mind, and Spirit, 21 December)

Is there an action I can take, right now, to enhance my well-being? (At My Best, 27 December)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Poinsettia

Photo: Mr. Dickie, trying to learn how to avoid getting lost. The training didn't stick.

Our next door neighbor, John, works for a nursery company. At Christmas time, in 2006, he gave us a lovely poinsettia with beautiful red bracts. After the holiday season we continued to grow the plant in our diningroom on the east side of the house. We were amazed at how long the plant kept the red bracts. We were careful never let the plant go without watering.

During 2007 the plant continued to grow bigger. The green foliage was very dark and healthy looking. When the 2007 Christmas season arrived we were taken completely by surprise when the plant again set the red bracts. This was very unusual. For the bracts to set requires a certain number of hours of darkness each day. In the past we have tried to set the bracts on other poinsettias by growing them under lights and covering them in a black box. That never worked. This time our plant and mother nature set the btacts without us even thinking about it.

In 2008 Melva made three plants from the one large plant. At Christmas time the two newest plants set the red bracts and once again, for the third year in a row, we didn't have to buy a poinsettia. The older and larger plant wasn't as close to the big diningroom window. It didn't show any signs of setting the bracts. Later, Melva moved it closer to the other two plants. It now looks like we will have more color from this plant in later on in January.
We wish you could enjoy the display.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Do The Right Thing

  • The most important question to keep before ourselves at all times is this: Do we do the right thing? During this short period of time which we call our life, do our acts conform to the will of the force that sent us into the world? Do we do the right thing? (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 3 January)
  • Excellence requires order, the first law of prosperity. When you are committed to excellence you must think orderly, behave orderly, conduct yourself in an orderly manner and perform your tasks in order. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 22 December)
  • I've shut the door on yesterday and thrown the key away -- Tomorrow holds no fears for me, since I have found today. (Vivian Yeiser Laramore in Body, Mind, and Spirit, 31 December)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Inner Peace

We've all been given a mission of healing ourselves and learning more about love and our connection to God. Inner peace is the result of self-healing. The inner peace of self-healing can restore our connectedness to God and to all other humans and, in accomplishing this common goal, we will bring world peace into reality. We are all responsible for working very hard on ourselves and sharing our discoveries of our personal healing paths with others. (Susan S. Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, page ix)

Some positive results of daily devotional practice that I've observed over time in my own life are these:

  1. I consciously connect with God at least once a day.
  2. I am more grateful.
  3. I receive support and encouragement in tough times.
  4. I am held in a more grounded, peaceful place.
  5. I am nudged to be a kinder, more faithful, and more fruitful person.
  6. I am reminded who I want to be.
  7. I am coming to know God more deeply.
(Susan W.N. Ruach, The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, p. 12)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Books and Reading

Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.

What a great treasure can be hidden in a small, selected library! A company of the wisest and the most deserving people from all the civilized countries of the world, for thousands of years, can make the results of their studies and their wisdom available to us. The thought which they might not even reveal to their best friends is written here in clear words for us, people from another century. Yes, we should be grateful for the best books, for the best spiritual achievements in our lives. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

There are too many mediocre books which exist just to entertain the mind. Therefore, read only those books which are accepted without doubt as good. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

Read the best books first, otherwise you'll find you do not have time. (Henry David Thoreauj)

The difference between real material poison and intellectual poison is that most material poison is disgusting to the taste, but intellectual poison, which takes the form of cheap newspapers or bad books, can unfortunately sometimes be attractive.
(All of the above quotations are from "A Calendar of Wisdom," by Leo Tolstoy, 1 January)

  • Today I selected twenty books that I plan to read from each day in 2009. The idea is to read a page each day and finish all of the books on 31 December 2009. Some of the books selected I have already read more than once. Most of the books are formatted for reading one page each day. When I find something that speaks to me I'll share either in my Arrow Prayers or Mr. Dickie's Blog.
  • If you've never tired this approach to reading I highly recommend it. It even works well for reading books that aren't designed for daily reading. You'll be surprised at how many books you can read in a year using this approach when some of the books have less than 365 pages.

Mr. Dickie

In the New Year

In the new year, I will live one day at a time. I will make each day one of preparation for better things ahead. I will not dwell on the past or the future, only on the present. I will bury every fear of the future, all thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all my dislikes, my resentments, my sense of failure, my disappointments in others and in myself, my gloom and despondency. I will leave all these things buried and go forward, in this new year, into a new life.
  • I pray that God, as I understand Him, will guide me one day at a time in the new year. I pray that for each day He will supply the wisdom and the strength that I need.

(Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 1 January)