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Perspective Illustrations

  • "What Is Your Address?"

    lucy m montgomeryThere is a family nobody likes to meet,
    They live, it is said, on Complaining Street.
    In the city of Never-Are Satisfied,
    The River of Discontent beside.

    They growl at that, and they growl at this;
    Whatever comes there is something amiss;
    And whether their station be high or humble,
    They are known by the name of Grumble.

  • 14 Letters

    paper penRobert and Peter had applied for jobs at a large company and had to take an intelligence test as part of the application process. Though both of them found the test a breeze, they also both admitted to being momentarily stumped by the final question: "Name a 14 letter word for someone in charge of a plant."

    "How did you answer that last one?" asked Robert. "I thought it was tough at first... then I thought of Superintendent."

    "I think I got it right too," Pete said. "But I wrote down Horticulturist."

  • A New Day

    sky raysThis is the beginning of a new day.

    You have been given

    this day to use as you will.

    You can waste it or use it for good.

    What you do today is important

    because you are exchanging

    a day of your life for it.

    When tomorrow comes,

    this day will be gone forever;

    in its place is something that

    you have left behind...

    let it be something good.

    - Author unknown

  • A Place and Time for Everything

    Movie theater etiquette.While watching a movie recently, I couldn't hear the dialogue over the chatter of the two women sitting in front of me. Unable to bear it any longer, I tapped one of them on the shoulder.

    "Excuse me," I said, "I can't hear."

    "I should hope not," she replied sharply. "This is a private conversation."

  • A Special Place

    hand shakeThere is a special place in life,
    That needs my humble skill,
    A certain job I'm meant to do,
    Which no one else can fulfill.

    The time will be demanding,
    And the pay is not too good
    And yet I wouldn't change it
    for a moment -- even if I could.

  • Abuse of the Courts

    policeA police officer arrives at the scene of an accident, in which a car smashed into a tree. The cop rushes over to the vehicle and asks the driver, "Are you seriously hurt?"

    "How should I know?" the man answers, "I'm not a lawyer!"

  • Attractive First Impressions

    military manWhen my best friend James came home on his first Army leave, my little brother asked him what he did in the service.

    "I do calisthenics, shoot guns and follow orders," James replied.

    Walking in town that day, James and I ran into a buddy who also asked him what he did in the Army. James gave the same reply:

    "I do calisthenics, shoot guns and follow orders."

    A while later, we met a former classmate, an attractive woman, and she asked the same question. This time, James said,

    "I'm studying communications, learning foreign languages and traveling around the world."

  • Be Thankful

    mountain pathBe thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

    Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

    Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.

    Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

  • Brighten Your Corner

    fireplaceWe cannot all be famous 
    or be listed in "Who's Who",
    But every person, great or small,
    has important work to do.

    For seldom do we realize
    the importance of small deeds,
    Or to what degree of greatness
    unnoticed kindness leads.

  • Cakes and Ale and Legalism

    writingHere is a purported-to-be-true story someone found regarding exams at Cambridge University. It seems that during an examination one day, a bright young student popped up and asked the proctor to bring him cakes and ale. The following dialog ensued:

    Proctor: I beg your pardon?

    Student: Sir, I request that you bring me cakes and ale.

  • Cell Phones, Manners

    restaurant meal3Friends and I were chatting over dinner in a restaurant. A man at the next table told his cell-phone caller to hold on. Then he stepped outside to talk.

    When he returned, I said, "That was very thoughtful."

    "I had no choice," he nodded and said to me. "You were making too much noise."

  • Chavez Prayer

    prayer3Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
    So I will know my people's plight.

    Free me to pray for others;
    For you are present in every person.

    Help me to take responsibility for my own life;
    So that I can be free at last.

  • Childhood Impression

    doorbellI was accompanying my eight-year-old daughter who was selling cookies door-to-door for the Girl Scouts. After visiting several homes, she commented on the different styles of doorbells: some buzzed, some rang, some warbled. We made a game of guessing what the next bell would sound like.

    At the precise moment she touched the doorbell at one house, the church tower began to chime. She wheeled around with a look of amazement on her face. "Now that's a doorbell!"

  • Childhood Innocence

    A joke about a little boy lost in a the women's locker roomA little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women’s locker room.

    When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover.

    The little boy watched in amazement and then asked,

    ‘What’s the matter, haven’t you ever seen a little boy before?’

  • Children Shopping

    Children ShoppingMy first-grade daughter and her friend both needed new boots as winter approached. Not many days passed before her friend got in the car one morning sporting brand new boots.

    "Beth," I commented, "I see you got new boots. Where did you get them?"

    "At the store," she answered.

    "Which one?" I asked.

    She began looking at her new boots and after a pause said, "Both of them."

  • Christianity, Faith, Righteousness

    manA preacher and the president of a soap manufacturing company went for a walk together.

    The president said, "What good is Christianity? Look at all the trouble and misery of the world! Still there, even after years, thousands of years, of teaching about goodness and truth and love and peace. Still there, after all the sermons and teachings. If Christianity is good and true, why should this be?"

  • Color Blind

    shoppingChecking out of the grocery store, I noticed that the bag boy was eyeing my two adopted children curiously. They often draw scrutiny, since my son's a blond Russian, while my daughter has shiny black Haitian skin.

    The boy continued staring as he carried our groceries to the car.

    Finally, he asked. "Those your kids?"

    "Yes, they are!" I answered proudly.

    "They adopted?" he asked.

    "Yes," I replied.

    "I thought so," he concluded. "I figured you're too old to have kids that small."

  • Criticism, Feedback, Judgement

    letterA minister was opening his mail one morning and drawing a single sheet of paper from an envelope he found written on it only one word: "FOOL."

    The next Sunday he announced, "I have known many people who have written letters and forgot to sign their name.

    "But this week I received a letter from someone who signed his name but forgot to write a letter."

  • Culture

    rice bowlA young man, while bringing flowers to a cemetery, noticed an old Chinese man placing a bowl of rice on a nearby grave. The young man walked up to the Chinese man and asked, "When do you expect your friend to come up and eat the rice?"

    The old Chinese man replied with a smile, "Same time your friend comes up to smell the flowers."

  • Curiosity

    bike pumpWaiting for an elevator at a local hospital, I was standing next to a maintenance person holding a bicycle pump.

    Noticing my curious stares, he looked at me and remarked with a smile, "It's the newest HMO oxygen program."

  • Disappointment with Parents

    grandma grandkidsLaura and Freddy are cousins, and their grandma is babysitting them for the day.

    Although Freddy's mom is the renowned chef in the family, Laura's mom prepared lunch earlier, including potatoes in the oven. But one fell and got badly burnt. Grandma jumped on the occasion to show the kids how to draw with it on a piece of paper.

    Sad, Freddy observed:

    "My mom would NEVER burn potatoes for me!"

  • Facts of Life, Birds and Bees, Children

    laundry machinesIt was 6 p.m., and I was about to leave the coin laundry where I was employed. My boss called me over and asked if I would mind dropping off someone's laundry on my way home.

    "It's for my cousin," she apologized, "who's eight months pregnant and can't get out much anymore." I cheerfully agreed and, driving to the address, knocked at the door. A little girl, the sister-to-be, answered.

    "Hi, there," I said with a big smile. "Is your mommy home?" Holding up the white bundle of clothes, I explained, "I have a delivery for her."

    The child's mouth dropped, and her eyes went wide.

    "Mom!" she shrieked. "Come quick! It's the stork!"

  • Faith and Suffering

    blind caneI was listening to a lady who called a radio pastor. The pastor was a wise, grandfatherly gentleman who has that calm reassuring voice that can melt all fear. The lady, who was obviously crying, said, "Pastor, I was born blind, and I've been blind all my life. I don't mind being blind but I have some well meaning friends who tell me that if I had more faith I could be healed."

  • First Impressions Passenger

    parachuteA passenger is in a plane enjoying the view of the clouds when a man in a parachute appears at the window. The man says "Would you like to join me?"

    The passenger responds with, "No thanks."

    The man says, "Suit yourself, I'm the pilot."

  • Getting Rid of the Monsters

    doctor3A man visited a psychiatrist to talk about his dreams. "Every night," the man said, "I dream that these three hideous monsters are sitting on the edge of my bed, ready to attack me."

    "Hmmm," said the doctor. "I feel sure I can cure you of this problem. But the treatment will cost you somewhere between twenty-five and thirty thousand dollars."

    "Thirty thousand dollars!" the man gasped. "Never mind getting rid of the monsters, Doctor. I think I'll go home and try to make friends with them!"

  • God's Cake, Trials

    cake eatSometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why did God have to do this to me?" Here is a wonderful explanation!

    A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away. Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

    "Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers.

    "Yuck," says her daughter.

  • Going Back, Progress

    children playI want to be a kid again. I want to go back to the time when...

    * Decisions were made by going "Eeny-meeny-miney-mo."

    * Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Do over!"

    * "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

  • Grandkids

    man oldA wealthy old man looked around the table at his two sons and five daughters and their spouses gathered for a family reunion.

    "Not a single grandchild," he said with a sigh.

    "Why, I'll give a million dollars to the first kid who presents me with a little one to bounce on my knee. Now, let's say grace."

    When the old man lifted his eyes again, his wife was the only other person at the table.

  • Gratefulness

    GratefulnessBilly Brown decided it was time to buy a new house, so he decided to sell his old house and put the matter in a real estate agent's hands.

    The agent wrote up a sales blurb for the house that made wonderful reading.

    After Bill read it, he turned to the agent and asked, "Does my house have everything your ad says it does?"

    The agent said, "It certainly does. Why do you ask?"

    Bill replied, "Cancel the sale. It's exactly what I'm looking for."

  • Great Value in Disaster

    fire building2Thomas Edison's laboratory was virtually destroyed by fire in December, 1914. Although the damage exceeded $2 million, the buildings were only insured for $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof. Much of Edison's life's work went up in spectacular flames that December night.

    At the height of the fire, Edison's 24-year old son, Charles, frantically searched for his father among the smoke and debris. He finally found him, calmly watching the scene, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind.

  • Hard Work

    What a farmer might do if he won 10 million dollars.I saw an interview on TV with an old farmer who won ten million dollars in the lottery.

    Naturally he was asked what he was going do with all that money.

    He scratched his head and said, "Not sure as I know right off. Guess I'll keep farmin' till it's all gone."

  • Helping Family

    Helping FamilyMy husband Ronnie volunteered to strip the bricks from the exterior of my parents’ house. One morning he was out front chipping away when a man came by looking for my father.

    "He's not here," Ronnie said.

    The man thanked him, watched him remove a few more bricks, and said, "I'll bet next time they'll leave the key for you."

  • How to Fast

    bread slicedFast from judging others;
    Feast on Christ dwelling in them.

    Fast from apparent darkness;
    Feast on the reality of light.

    Fast from pessimism;
    Feast on optimism.

  • Innocence

    baby feetIn the maternity ward of a hospital, newborn girl baby looks over at newborn boy baby and asks, "Are you a girl baby or a boy baby?"

    The boy baby quickly chirps up, "I'm a boy baby!"

    "How can you tell?" asks girl baby.

    "Easy," says boy baby. And, with that, he threw off the blankets, hoisted up his itty-bitty nightshirt and proudly pointed downward. "See.....blue booties!"

  • Integrity

    tax returnThe owner of a small deli was being questioned by the IRS about his tax return. He had reported a net profit of $80,000 for the year.

    "Why don't you people leave me alone?" the deli owner said. "I work like a dog, everyone in my family helps out, and the place is closed only three days a year. And you want to know how I made $80,000?"

    "It's not your income that bothers us," the agent said. "It's these deductions. You listed six trips to Bermuda for you and your wife."

    "Oh, that," the owner said, smiling. "I forgot to tell you - we also deliver."

  • Integrity Ref

    ball basketI was playing in a golf tournament with a longtime Big Ten basketball official who just retired.

    He was recollecting the first time he refereed in Bloomington, IN at Indiana University. As he told it:

    “I was very nervous. It was my first time in Bloomington and my first time refereeing a game with Bobby Knight. I was very nervous and was trying so hard to make every call right and equitable.

    “At the start of the second half, Indiana’s #23 positioned himself right next to me as we started play. I felt crowded so gave myself some extra room, but he stayed right with me! This went on for over 5 minutes…#23 closer to me than any opponent. I couldn't seem to shake him.

    “At the under 16-minute time out, I approached the Indiana bench and said, ‘Coach Knight, I couldn't help but notice that #23 stays very close to me - it’s like he’s guarding me!"

    “Coach Knight looked at me and said, ‘Son, at half time I told that player to guard the man who was giving us the most trouble... AND THAT’S YOU!'”

  • Intimidation

    fistA big hulking hooligan walks into a bar, slams his fist down, and yells "Give me a beer, or...!"

    Scared, the bartender serves the man his beer. This happens everyday for a week straight, and the bartender turns into a nervous wreck. He asks his wife for advice, and she tells him he should stand up for himself. Easier said than done, he thinks, but he decides to try it.

    The next day, the hooligan returns. "Give me a beer, or...!"

    "O-o-o-o-r-r-r w-what?" stammers the bartender.

    "... a small Coke."

  • Judging Rounds

    doctor4While making rounds, a doctor points out an X-ray to a group of medical students.

    "As you can see," she says, "the patient limps because his left fibula and tibia are radically arched. Michael, what would you do in a case like this?"

    "Well," ponders the student, "I suppose I'd limp too."

  • Leading by Example

    office womanWhen I take a long time, I am slow.
    When my boss takes a long time, he is thorough.

    When I don't do it, I am lazy.
    When my boss doesn't do it, he's too busy.

    When I do it without being told, I'm trying to be smart.
    When my boss does the same, that is initiative.

  • Legalism 3

    jewish scrollA Rabbi was walking home from the Temple and saw one of his good friends, a pious and learned man who could usually beat the rabbi in religious arguments.

    The rabbi started walking faster so that he could catch up to his friend, when he was horrified to see his friend go into a non kosher Chinese restaurant. Standing at the door, he observed his friend talking to a waiter and gesturing at a menu. A short time later, the waiter reappeared carrying a platter full of spare ribs, shrimp in lobster sauce, crab rangoon and other treif that the Rabbi could not bear to think about.

  • Management vs. Solutions

    woman angryAfter moving into our new office space, I was given the job of completing an Occupational Health and Safety report about the building. I discovered that the building had been built with no fire exit!

    If a fire starts at the entrance, the only way out would be to smash through the manager's office window. So I put these comments down and submitted my report to the manager before it got sent to head office.

    In all seriousness, he added the following comment to the head office about smashing the window:

    "Please confirm that this is an acceptable option by returning your approval."

  • Military First Impressions

    helicopter pilotMy youngest brother Tony had just completed Army basic training and was on leave prior to his first tour in Germany. I am an Army National Guard pilot, and my other brother is my crew chief. Since we were headed to the air base where Tony was to catch his overseas transport, we offered to take him.

  • Moments

    womanIf God brings you to it,

    He will bring you through it.

    Happy moments, praise God.

    Difficult moments, seek God.

    Quiet moments, worship God.

    Painful moments, trust God.

    Every moment, thank God.

  • Oneliner #1117

    dog cat"In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him."

    - Dereke Bruce, Taipei, Taiwan

  • Oneliner #1131

    woman4Perspective is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Opportunity, Optimism, Entrepreneurship

    Teenagers see the opportunity.Someone in our neighborhood put a huge sofa out by the curb for trash collection.

    Since it was in good shape, many motorists slowed down for a look. But when they saw how enormous it was, they'd leave.

    Eventually, a sports car pulled up, and two teens got out.

    "This I've got to see," I thought.

    They removed the cushions, turned the sofa upside down, and shook it hard. Then they picked up all the coins that tumbled out and drove off laughing.

  • Philosophy

    glass waterA friend of mine was a philosophy major during his first semester in college. One day in class, they spent a great deal of time debating whether the glass was half full or half empty.

    After the class, my friend was feeling pretty good about himself and what he was learning at university, so when he went home, he tried to continue the discussion with his family.

    With maximum drama, he took a 12-ounce glass from the cupboard and poured in 6 ounces of water. Then took it into the dining room and placed it in the middle of the table.

    He proudly asked his family, "Can anyone tell me whether this glass is half full or half empty?"

    Without missing a beat, his grandmother replied, "Depends if you're drinking or pouring."

  • Poor Health

    doctor fileI sat there waiting for my new doctor to make his way through the file that contained my very extensive medical history.

    After he finished all seventeen pages, he looked at me and said, "You look better in person than you do on paper."

  • Pot-bellied Stove

    cabinAn engineer, a psychologist, and a theologian were hunting in the wilderness of northern Canada. Suddenly, the temperature dropped and a furious snowstorm was upon them. They came across an isolated cabin, far removed from any town. The hunters had heard that the locals in the area were quite hospitable, so they knocked on the door to ask permission to rest.

  • Prayer Drawl

    trees lanewayA quotation from an invocation delivered by Rev. J. McCoy opening a prayer meeting in Georgia Camp Meeting.

    "Oh Lawd, give thy servant dis mawning de eyes of de eagle, and de wisdom of the owl, connect his soul wid the gospel telephone in de central skies.

    Luminate his brain wid de sun of heaven; turpentine his imagination, grease his lips wid possium oil, loosen his tongue wid de sledge hammer of thy power, lectrify his brain wid de lightenen of thy word, put petual motion in his arms, fill him plum full of de dynamite of thy glory; noint him all over wid de kerosene of thy salvation, den deah Lawd, set him on fire".