Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's All About Attitude and Effort

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

I remember many years ago Robert Schuller saying how “Attitude determines your Altitude”. A positive attitude will help you fly high and achieve great things. A bad attitude will keep you down and hold you back. Right now in today’s world there are so many terrible things taking place, our ability to maintain a positive attitude is being assulted. Read the headlines, watch the news on TV, listen to the radio, we are being bombarded with so much doom and gloom that it can ruin our day if we let it.

Well John C. Maxwell wrote a book Called “Today Matters” in which he offers 12 daily practices to guarantee tomorrow’s success. The very first practice he talks about deals with our attitude. Here’s what he says:

Why Attitude Matters Today

While it is possible for people with great talent or drive to achieve with a bad attitude, it doesn’t happen very often, and it takes an incredible amount of effort. And even if they do achieve some degree of succes, they aren’t happy. And they usually make the people around them miserable too.

On the other hand, even barely average people can do great things when their attitudes are great. In The Winner’s Edge, Denis Waitley observed, “The winner’s edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ, or in talent. The winner’s edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for success. But you can’t buy an attitude for a million dollars. Attitudes are not for sale.”

Here’s why your attitude makes such a difference as you approach your day:

1. Your attitude at the beginning of a task affects its outcome more than anything else
2. Your attitude toward others often determines your attitude towards you
3. Your attitude can give you a winner’s perspective
4. Your attitude – not your achievements- gives you happiness
5. Your attitude is contagious

Next Sunday, we’ll talk about how you can consciously make the decision to choose and display the right attitudes daily.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fine Food and Interesting Tales from Afar

The Internet provides us with so many wonderful opportunities to connect with people all over the world. I am particularly interested in bloggers who are age 55 to 100. I'm in that age group and I thoroughly enjoy these blogs. Since we have set up our Pinterest account I've found some good ones that I'll share. For now, here is one of my all time favorite blogs along with some of the pictures I have accumulated over the years.

Rita and I have been friends for several years even though we live in different countries--me from the U.S. and she from Canada.

In fact, when tornados were roaring through the Dallas area, and the sirens were blaring, I came in to my office and read several posts from Sage Cuisine to get my mind off of the insanity that was going on around me!!

She says on her blog, "Food is my passion and instead of a novel I much prefer reading a cook book, recipe book anything to do with food. I post once a week about things that make me Happy. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and a friend to a few special people.

Family, memories, food, recipes, gadgets, chefs, cooking, restaurants, herbs, markets, travel etc. will be my focus. Rita"

I agree with Norman Kolpas who said, "Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort." So does this website. Filled with excellent quotations, travel memories, sweet graphics and delicious recipes, this is one you'll love.

You will find posts about such things as Paninis and Daffodils, Food for Thought, and A Surprise Visitor. Be sure and scroll down to "older posts"...there is so much there to love!

Another lovely aspect of this blog is the people who follow Rita. There are 202 of them and they are from all over the world. Here are a couple that I liked:

Cooking Varieties-Food and Health Benefits
Kitchen Basics
Love the First Bite
A Brit in Tennessee

Sage Cuisine and many of its followers adhere to Fernand Point's marvelous quote where he said,
"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

Enjoy Rita's charmer at:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Have a High Appreciation for Life

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

I’m going to continue sharing excerpts from John C. Maxwell’s book, Today Matters because when we wake up in the morning, God has/ blessed us with a brand new day and how we handle His gift really does matter.

Have you ever known people who complain about everything? Their soup’s too hot. Their bed’s too cold. Their vacation’s too short. Their pay’s too low. (There are a lot of people today who would be grateful to just have a job at any pay level.) Such people simply don’t appreciate life no matter how good it gets.

John Maxwell tells the story of a friend who emailed him the story of a very “together” and independent ninety-two-year-old lady who was moving into a nursing home. Since she was legally blind and her husband of seventy years had passed away, the move was her only option. She waited in the lobby of the facility for a long time before finally being told that her room was ready. As she was escorted down the corridor, her attendant started describing the room, down to the curtains hung on the windows.
“I love it,” the elderly lady enthused.
“But we’re not even to the room yet. Just wait,” the attendant responded.

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged. It’s how I arrange my mind.”

Appreciation isn’t a matter of taste or sophistication. It’s a matter of perspective. John Wooden said, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” The place to start is with the little things. If you can learn to appreciate them and be grateful for them, you’ll appreciate the big things as well as everything in between.


"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
- John Wooden

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

May all of your weeds be wildflowers!

The word serendipity is defined as the faculity or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. Does that sound like a wildflower or what?

Frank Fandrick has been a contributor to our blog since we started in 2009. I was delighted to hear from him after a trip he had made to Austin, Texas where he had taken some pictures of one of my favorite things--wildflowers! I emailed him immediately and asked if we could use them on our blog, and he graciously agreed.

What a pleasure these images are. I did some browsing on the Internet and found quotations, music lyrics and an essay that fit right in these pictures such as:

"Love is like wildflowers; It's often found in the most unlikely places.”

Or remember this song:

Hey, I’m a wildflower, growin’ in the sunshine
Soakin’ up the way of life I was raised in
Runnin’ barefoot bloomin’ in the summer shower
Ponytail dancin’, I can’t help it. I’m a wildflower.

The next image is a repeat of the first one with the addition of some Photoshop filters--looks dreamy!

Here is part of an essay called Wild Flowers, written by Richard Jeffries:

Before I had any conscious thought it was a delight to me to find wild flowers, just to see them. It was a pleasure to gather them and to take them home; a pleasure to show them to others--to keep them as long as they would live, to decorate the room with them, to arrange them carelessly with grasses, green sprays, tree-bloom--large branches of chestnut snapped off, and set by a picture perhaps. Without conscious thought of seasons and the advancing hours to light on the white wild violet, the meadow orchis, the blue veronica, the blue meadow cranesbill; feeling the warmth and delight of the increasing sun-rays, but not recognizing whence or why it was joy...the various hues of the petals pleased without any knowledge of colour-contrasts, no note even of colour except that it was bright, and the mind was made happy without consideration of those ideals and hopes afterwards associated with the azure sky above the fir-tree. A fresh footpath, a fresh flower, a fresh delight. The reeds, the grasses, the rushes--unknown and new things at every step--something always to find; no barren spot anywhere, or sameness. Every day the grass painted anew, and its green seen for the first time; not the old green, but a novel hue and spectacle, like the first view of the sea.

A special thank you to Frank for bringing us this breath of spring!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

We Are Easter People

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

A friend sent me an article written by David Burchett that is very appropriate for this Easter Sunday.
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through

A couple of years ago I saved an article from USA Today . The title, We are Easter People, was intriquing enough to merit a second look. Here is a portion of the piece written by Diane Cameron.

One of the lowest points in my life occurred years ago when I was living in Washington, D.C., at Easter time. My older sister had recently died and both of my brothers were seriously ill; my best friend was leaving town, and on top of that I was questioning my work. In my journal that April I wrote, "Am I depressed?" When I read those pages now I laugh and shake my head. "Depressed?" That I even had to ask. In that long year I thought I'd never laugh again, just as I thought I'd never again feel love, the joy of easy friendship, or the satisfaction of good work.

I went to church that Easter out of both habit and desperation. I had grown up in a church-going family. It was what we did. And so to honor the family that I was losing I went. Easter after all, is the centerpiece for Christians, honoring and recalling Christ's triumph over death.
I chose a big downtown church for Easter services — one with hundreds in the congregation — not daring to visit a smaller church where I might have to speak to people or be embarrassed by my own tears. I wanted the paradoxical safety and anonymity of being in a crowd.

The minister that Easter Sunday said many things that I don't remember, but one sentence has stayed with me all these years. He said, "We live in a Good Friday world."

That I understood. A Good Friday world is a world full of suffering, questioning, unfairness, trouble, mistakes, hurts, losses and grief. Good Friday in the Christian faith is the day Christians commemorate Christ's suffering and death on the cross. So that certainly made sense to me at that difficult time in my life.

"But," he continued, "We are Easter people." Those words stopped me cold. I was stunned to be reminded that painful morning that there was something other than what I was feeling.

Wow. What an amazing message as we head into the Easter week. We do live in a Good Friday world. How easy it is to stop right there, just short of healing, not realizing the hope of resurrection. The story of Easter week did not stop on Friday. The hope of this season is all
about Sunday.

And as always, our special Easter greetings and heartfelt thanks to our armed forces, whether overseas or at home!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Mind/Body Connection

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.

The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years…
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

For the next few weeks I would like for us to take a look at the Mind/Body Connection. No, we won’t be studying any hocus-pocus, but rather some sound scientific research. Being aware of the Mind/Body Connection is very important, especially as we age.

The belief that our thoughts and actions can influence our health–the Mind/Body Connection–is not a new concept. Over the years, in certain circles, this notion was an accepted fact. Research in the latter half of the 20th century, however, has shown that this long-held belief is actually true.

But what does this belief really mean? It’s probably safe to say that wishing for a gold Rolls Royce won’t suddenly make one appear in your driveway. But there is significant evidence to suggest that coordinating the interaction between our minds and bodies can result in amazing things. Lifelong learning plays a major role in this because it helps balance both your mind and body. And when things are in balance, you feel better and have the ability and desire to create a rich and satisfying life.

Technically, the study of the Mind/Body Connection goes by several intimidating labels certain to demolish anyone playing Scrabble with you. Among these names are such polysyllabic nightmares as psychoneuroimmunology, psychophysiology, neuropsychology, and psychoneuroimmunology. We’ll opt for a much shorter abbreviation of the last one: PNI.

In the 1960’s, one of the early pioneers in the study of modern day PNI was psychiatrist George Solomon. He observed that depression seemed to make rheumatoid arthritis worse. He then began investigating the impact of emotions on immune function in general. His research was responsible for the development of the new field of PNI.

Then in the late 1960s and early 1970s, cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson began studying the effects of meditation on blood pressure. He developed the term “the relaxation response,” which today is recognized far and wide. Finally in the mid 1970s, psychologist Dr. Robert Adler’s studies demonstrated that cognitive and emotional cues could affect immune response. Thanks to his research PNI was finally recognized as a legitimate medical specialty.

Since these early discoveries researchers everywhere have been studying PNI. Over the ensuing years, PNI has demonstrated its value in three different research areas – physiological research, epidemiological research and clinical research.

More on this very interesting subject next week…

John C. Lilly, American physician, psychoanalyst, philosopher and writer said, “In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.” Well, if that’s the case, then we all have the ability to create meaningful later lives for ourselves – lives that are enriched and far more exciting than we ever thought possible. Lifelong learning is one important tool that can help us create that life.

Till Next Time…

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Find it with Zuula!

Here is another tip from one of the wonderful teachers I had when I took classes at a local community college. Can't beat tips from a pro!

Does it bother you that the results from search engine to search engine can be very different? As
I sometimes do, you probably run an important search in various search enginesjust to make certain you did not miss anything. Take a minute and experiment with Zuula!

Zuula is really one part metasearch engine and one part time-saver! It searches other engines and brings you individual lists that you can compare and contrast without running multiple searches or opening multiple windows.

Zuula’s real power is not as much in its search but in its functionality and customization. Run a
search in Zuula and you will get a series of results tabs. Each tab is a results list from a different
search engine. Simply click the tabs to compare and contrast the results.

Want to specify which engines are being searched and in which order? No problem! Zuula can be customized to poll only the search engines you trust and in an order ranked by you. You can even set your preferences by type of content (web, images, video, blogs, etc.) being searched.

Visit and give it a try!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Maxims With Meaning

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian authors. He is a minister, author and the daily speaker of the radio program UpWords.

He has a special writing style that captures your heart and your head. He's got a great imagination, a keen wit and a gift for communicating the Word of God.

In his book When God Whispers Your Name, he talks about his writing style and shares some "Maxims"...

We learn brievity from Jesus. His greatest sermon can be read in eight minutes (Matthew 5-7). His best known story can be read in ninety seconds (Luke 15:11-32). He summarized prayer in five phrases (Matthew 6:9-13). He silenced accusers with one challenge (John 8:7). He rescued a soul with one sentence (Luke 23:43). He summarized the Law in three verses (Mark 12:29-31), and he reduced all his teachings to one command (John 15.12).

I love the short sentence. Big-time game it is. Hiding in the junlgle of circular construction and six-syllable canyonms. As I write, I hunt. And when I find, I shoot. Then I drag the treasure out of the trees and marvel.

Not all of my prey make their way into chapters. So what becomes of them? I save them. But I can't keep them to myself. So, may I invite you to see my trophy case? What follows are cuts from this book and a couple of others. Keep the ones you like. Forgive the ones you don't. Share them when you can. But if you do, keep it brief.

Pray all the time. If necessary, use words.

Sacrilege is to feel guilt for sins forgiven.

God forgets the past. Imitate him.

Greed I've often regretted. Generosity-never.

Never miss a chance to read a child a story.

Pursue forgiveness, not innocence.

Be doubly kind to the people who bring your food or park your car.

Don't ask God to do what you want. Ask God to do what is right.

Nails didn't hold God to a cross. Love did.

You'll give up on your self before God will.

Know answered prayer when you see it, and don't give up when you don't.

Faith in the future begets power in the present.

No one is useless to God. No one.

Succeed in what matters.

You'll regret opening your mouth. You'll rarely regret keeping it shut.

As much as you can, give thanks. He's already given us more than we deserve.