Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

The 35 little random truths I’ve encountered along the way

It’s hard for me to believe but in less than six months, I hit the big “5-0”.  Wow!  So, here are a few of the gems I’ve had to learn the hard way. The 35 little random truths I’ve encountered along life’s highway:

 

1. In any of my relationships, there have been highs and there have been lows and just one single high in each is greater than all the lows put together.

2. The worst truth is better than the very best lie.

3. In my Jaycee career, our local chapter in Rock Hill was recognized at the National Convention as the #1 Jaycee Chapter in the Number #1 Jaycee State (South Carolina) in America for two consecutive years in a row. That didn’t suck.

4. You cannot be successful standing on the sidelines watching the game of life played without you.

5. I’m not afraid of dying. I would be more afraid of never having fully lived. I have.

6. The most spectacular sight in the world is to see the sun rise on the horizon at South Beach (Miami). If you are a late riser, you can still see a spectacular sight at 2 pm out by the pool.

7. I was sixteen years old before I found out that Robert E. Lee was not the third member of the Holy Trinity.

8. The greatest reward for a person’s toil is not what they gain but what they become by doing it.

9. There was a couple of girls in high school whose kisses could make the world stop spinning. Congratulations to the men that married them.

10. Why is it easy to say “I do” and so damned difficult to say “I’m sorry”?

11. Dogs love you unconditionally. Cats are another story.

12. We could have saved a great deal of national anguish if Lee and Grant would have just stepped out the back of the tent and settled things. Give Ulysses a fifth or two and then just beat the crap out of him.

13. Dixie isn’t a black or white thing. It’s a state of mind. And if you don’t get it, you’re not from Dixie.

14. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But try explaining that to the dead guy’s family.

15. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. However, you can sure as hell make him wish he had.

16 Love what you do, do what you love, and deliver more than you promise – and my apologies to Gene Martin for stealing that line I’ve used for 20 years.

17 Anybody who does not think I’m patient did not sit with me in the stands at Williams Bryce for two years when the Cocks went 1 and 21 over two seasons.

18 We weren’t born racists.

19 The innocence of a child is God’s gift to humanity.

20 Speaking of God, I’m convinced he made me a Gamecock fan to keep me humble.

Go cocks!

Go cocks!

21 If there is a hell, and I believe there is, I would share it with 82,000 obnoxious fans dressed in purple and orange watching their team play for a national championship over and over for eternity. And did I mention that damn song? Go cocks!

22. Democrats believe government can solve any problem. Republicans believe people solve problems.

23. Those northern folks who always made fun of my accent are going to be real shocked when they get to heaven, and “She say’s ya’ll come on in.”

24. I’ve been a winner and I have been a loser. Trust me. Winning is a whole lot better. Coming in second sucks.

25. Some of us reach maturity faster than others. Some have maturity forced on them. And then there’s the rest of us that have to be whomped on top of the head.

26. If you are around long enough, bad things will happen to you. How you respond to those bad things reveal your character.

27. And when those bad things happen, remember – God never allows anything to happen that he (or she) does not expect you to be able to handle.

28. Life is a brief candle. Burn as brightly as possible and be thoroughly used up when you die.

29. Live life such that your friends and family say when you pass, “The Good Lord gave him the talents and abilities to change the face of the world – and he did.”

30. There was a elderly lady named Mrs. Trumbell who used to teach bible classes in second and third grade at Finley Road Elementary School in Rock Hill before the courts said we couldn’t have prayer in schools. She gave us all little red Bibles and recounted all the Old Testament stories that kept us in awe and made our imaginations race. God bless you Mrs.Trumbell.

31. Between Jeannie or Samantha – I’ll take Jeannie. That is if I can’t have both. And oh yeah, Mary Anne.

32. I cried when Dale won the Daytona 500. I wept again when he died there. And I still get tears in my eyes when I think about Junior going to the front six months later. Try and convince me God isn’t a NASCAR fan.

33. I’d love to have five minutes with Osama Bin Laden. I think God would forgive me.

34. I have always loved my mama, respected my daddy, and I sure miss my grandmamma Russell’s biscuits.

35. and I still believe the only limitations we have are those we place upon ourselves.

There endeth the lesson.

 

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April 6, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unanswered Prayers

001_1I am, as my favorite author Lewis Grizzard said, fortunate to be an American by birth and a Southerner by the Grace of God.  As a student of history, I recently ran across a prayer recorded from a Confederate soldier many years after the “War of Northern Aggression”.  Some times we all wonder why bad things happen to good people.  We wonder why God allows misery and misfortune to be a part of lives.  Why does he or she given your perspective not step in and improve our lot in life when we pray so hard for his intervention.  This prayer written so long ago really puts so much in perspective.  I hope you find it as enriching as I have:

 

I asked God for strength that I might achieve

I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked God for health that I might do greater things

I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy

I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life

I was given life that I might endure all things.

I got nothing that I asked for

But everything that I could have hoped for…

Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am among all men most richly blessed.

 

On this beautiful day

 

God bless     

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Prayer to Keep

3rd Grade Finley Road
3rd Grade Finley Road

Not long ago, I picked up the paper to find that one of our regional towns was wrestling with the issue of an invocation before Town Board meetings.  In a majority vote, the town decided to observe an invocation or moment of silence before each meeting.

It comes when there seems to be so much controversy in our society about the role of religion in public venues.  Prayer in school, innovations at sporting events, and references to the Ten Commandments are being challenged by the ACLU and those who are offended at the thought of religion threatening their freedoms.  Separation of church and state is their battle cry.    I don’t claim to be an expert in constitutional law.  However, I do pride myself to be a student of history and from everything I have read I am led to believe the founding fathers envisioned a country based on freedom of religion…not freedom from religion.

When I was in third grade, a retired lady would visit our school once a month.  She would hand out little green Bibles to the children and spend half an hour telling Bible stories.  Our parents had to sign an approval form before we could attend her story telling sessions.  Those who did not want to participate could go to the back of the room and take a nap or play with some of the games and puzzles kept there.  Many of us chose to listen to Mrs. Trumbell’s stories of David and Goliath and King Solomon’s Mighty Temple.

Today, nearly forty years later, children do not have the choice between taking a nap and Bible stories.  Religious displays have been banned in public buildings and on municipal grounds.  Nativity scenes are not allowed but Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is still welcome.    I recently attended a meeting in which the discussion centered on the declining work ethic in today’s employees.  Last week I read about an offensive marketing campaign by a major retailer with strong sexual images in storefront windows.  We hear the news reports daily about heartbreaking stories committed against children by their parents.

The state of our workforce, our families, and our communities tell me that people like Mrs. Trumbell are sorely missed.  I agree you cannot legislate morality, however we as parents, community leaders, and volunteers can work with children and help them understand and appreciate simple values.  The education the children receive at home, through the examples set by parents, are stronger than any instruction they can receive at school.

The students educated today are the business and community leaders of tomorrow.  I applaud our elected leadership who insist God still has a place in our society.  To whom we pray is less important than the fact we should pause each day and give thanks for the blessings from above. We are so fortunate to live in a country founded on strong principles and paid for by the blood, toil, and sweat of the generations who came before us.  Let us never forget the sacrifices made by so many so that we could enjoy the privileges we have today.  Let us pause and give thanks while America still has a prayer.

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , , , , | Leave a comment