Big Ideas to Live By

For the last three years or so this list has been hanging around my desk, on my bulletin board, pasted to my fridge-you get the idea. Just some key words to encourage me and keep me moving forward in anticipation:

My Apple Tree Philosophy – Just Plant It!

The Basket Philosophy – gather up the pieces that none be lost

Mom’s Taxi – Be about the business of getting people where they need to go – including yourself.

Learning is Exponential – Every bit of knowledge integrates and facilitates mastery of something seemingly unrelated.

The Apple Tree philosophy has to do with one’s tendency to say, “Maybe I shouldn’t waste time and money planting a tree, I probably won’t even be living here in 5 or 6 years when the tree bears fruit.” Just plant it!

Sometimes the experiences of ones life seem fragmented, little bits and pieces of unrelated stuff.  Gather them up, every experience is useful and has purpose.  Maybe you will end up with 12 extra baskets full of good stuff as in the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitudes.

I love my kids and I love being part of getting them where they need to go.  I’ve been doing this for over 30 years.  Most recently I realized that I also have a responsibility to get my self where I am supposed to go.

Almost daily I experience the sensation of some new bit of knowledge creating a metaphor that applies to several other areas of comprehension. May I never stop learning; never stop believing that each puzzle piece I pick up has an entire puzzle somewhere out there, and may I always have the eagerness to keep searching and thinking and learning.

Voo Doo Prayers

Voo Doo Prayers; I hate them. I refuse them. They release way too much negative energy into the world through thoughtless, selfish, controlling words. You know what I mean. Voo Doo prayers go something like this:
Dear God, please make Jane trip and skin her knee right here so I can help her up and be her hero.
Dear God, please help Joe’s plane to have mechanical problems so it never leaves the ground because he shouldn’t be going on that trip anyway. Dear God, do something bad or scary in John Doe’s life so he will have to call on God for help and know that I have been right about God all along…….
How much better it is to pray a recovery style prayer, “Dear God, please give Jane, or Joe, or John, knowledge of your will for their lives today and give them the power to carry it out.” Oops, I forgot to ask God to keep me in the loop and tell me what his will is for Jane’s life – how will I ever know to pray heartily for that will and what I can do to make sure Jane does that will (are you smiling?).
Voo Doo prayers; I hate them, I reject them. Someone has been meddling with my car and my computer with voodoo prayers. I reject them. Onward, straight into the wave of what positive and good (tho sometimes hard) things God has for me.

Some things……

Last Thursday I caught a ride with my office mate to pick up my car at the garage (new clutch-thousand bucks).  As I buckled in I attempted to put on my sunglasses and found they were missing a screw. The temple came off in my hand.  Being in somewhat of a hurry and distracted by the necessity of giving directions, I stuffed the temple in my purse and balanced my sunglasses on my nose.  This proved fruitless and I hopped out of the car at the garage clutching my purse and loose glasses.  In order to drive home in the waning sun, I wore the spare sunglasses I keep in the car.  Later I dumped my purse out and searched for the temple to no avail.  On Friday I checked the floor of my office mate’s car.  Still no temple. I was disappointed.  Sure it was just a cheap pair of fashion shades, but, they fit well and it had taken me several months to spare the $14.00 for something a little nicer than the castoffs I had been wearing.

Saturday I did some shopping for necessities of existence.  On the way home, I  chanced to drive past the garage and on a whim, I swung into the deserted parking lot.  There on the pavement was my missing temple.  I rejoiced as I returned home. I felt very blessed to find what was lost.

Later, when I took out the glasses and optical screw driver to complete the repair, I was concerned to find that the parts did not line up and slip into place.  A closer look revealed that the temple had been run over and the connecting piece bent.  I tried to pry it gently, but, my optical experience told me that the odds of righting it without ruining it were very slim.  I was sad.  “God,” I said, “You gave me back what was lost and it brought me a lot of joy, but it is useless and it is probable the only thing I can do to help will instead break it beyond repair.  What is your purpose in even giving it back?  What is going on here that I need to learn?”

Very swift came the answer:  Some things just cannot be fixed.

Will I try?  You bet!  But, I will not think less of myself if my efforts fail.  I will be at peace.

Rules are the answer, or, Rule number 2

If the thought of trying to persuade or influence others fills you with anxiety; I have a solution for you:  Learn what the rules are.  Memorize them.  Once you have them memorized and you commit to doing them religiously; all you have to do to persuade or influence (or control) others is to remind them what the rules are. 


Then, instead of conversing and convincing, weighing information, sharing ideas, engaging in deep thought, you just decide everything by the rules.  You say, “You can’t do that!”  The other person says, “Why?”  You say, “Because it is against the rules.”  If you find yourself in a situation where you really want someone to do something for you or you want someone to do something your way, don’t bother to ask them (they might feel the freedom to say no) just make a new rule- a new application of one of the older rules.  This saves an incredible amount of discussion.  You will no longer have to waste time thinking things through. You will never have to weigh decisions; just consult the rules.


Example: Everyone knows that murder, stealing, adultery and the like are sins. But, what if you see me (or I see you) doing or about to do something you don’t want me to do?  Well, instead of telling me directly, “I don’t want you to do that,” it is easier to say, “The Bible says to flee the very appearance of evil; and THAT appears (appearances are terribly important here) to be bad to me, you don’t want to go against God’s rules, do you?”


Don’t talk about it.  Don’t engage in discussion. Of what use is discussion and talk?  Discussion might lead to compromise; and compromise, of course, is wrong, evil, a sin to be avoided. Decide what you think is right and then…Make another rule.


Hey, if everyone just lives by the rules; you might not even have to engage in relationships. Your character will be set for life.  You won’t have to grow or learn anything new –as long as you know the rules and simply live by them.