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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!"

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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".

  • Psalm 53:1, Psalm 14:1, April 1

    calendarAn atheist was quite incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays and decided to contact the local ACLU about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while the atheists had no holidays for them to celebrate.

    The ACLU jumped on the opportunity to once again pick up the cause of the downtrodden and assigned their sharpest attorney to the case.

  • Quality of Life

    man restingMy wife and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

    She got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of my beer!

  • Reaching the Unchurched

    church1While serving as church usher, I was carrying out our tradition of escorting parishioners to their seats before the service began. After I returned to the entrance of the sanctuary to escort the next party, I greeted two strangers and asked where they would like to sit.

    Looking confused, the young man smiled and said, "Nonsmoking, please."

  • Reasons Why My Children Do Not Need More Toys

    toys copyBy Tammy Rosenfeldt

    ~ They started off as babies who found my Tupperware drawer much more fascinating than their toy box.

    ~ The days I change the paper towel roll in the kitchen bring great excitement as they claim their new sword or telescope.

    ~ Their current toys are only exciting when I either reorganize them/put them neatly away or when I start my garage sale pile.

  • Reconciliation, Divorce, Remarriage

    newspaper1After four years of separation, my wife and I finally divorced amicably. I wanted to date again, but I had no idea of how to start, so I decided to look in the personals column of the local newspaper. After reading through all the listings, I circled three that seemed possible in terms of age and interest, but I put off calling them.

    Two days later, there was a message on my answering machine from my ex-wife. "I came over to your house to borrow some tools today and saw the ads you circled in the paper. Don't call the one in the second column. It's me."

  • Savor of Christ

    Charles Spurgeon once told of a young preacher asking for feedback from a sermon, and who asked what an older pastor found wrong with his sermon. This was the old preacher's response:

    "There was no Christ in it."

    The young man defended himself, objecting, “Well, Christ was not in the text. We are not to be preaching Christ always; we must preach what is in the text.”

    In response, the older pastor drew this analogy:

    “Don’t you know, young man, that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London? Just so from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ.

    Your business is to ask of a text, ‘Now what is the road to Christ?’ and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis - Christ.

    I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it.

    I will go over hedge and ditch to get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there be a savor of Christ in it.”

  • Self-Consciousness at the Gym

    exercise copyI was self-conscious about going to the gym, because I thought the pounds I had put on would make me stand out among the spandex-clad regulars. I chose a treadmill in the corner so I'd be inconspicuous.

    However, as I exercised, my worst fears came true. At least a dozen people turned to stare at me periodically. I thought it might be my imagination, but then one woman even squinted to get a better look.

    Mortified, I stepped off the machine to leave. When I turned around, I realized that the gym's only wall clock had been hanging just inches above my head.