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Friday Finds for January 7 2017
The start of each article is marked with an asterisk. Using the find/replace feature of your word processor, type in the asterisk (shift plus numeral eight) then hit enter to jump between articles.
1 Braille and His Music Code.doc
2 Donna’s corner.txt
3 The Noctograph.docx
4 smart toaster.docx
5 The Top 50 Acronyms of 2017 Every Parent Needs to Know.docx
6 Quick and Easy Designer Muffins.txt
7 Facts of the Week.docx
8 words of wisdom for the week.docx
9 Each day.docx
10 TOP TEN PREDICTIONS FOR 2017.docx
11 Bible Verse of The week.docx
Articles start next
*1) Braille: The Man and His Code for Music
By William R. McCann
The song is ended,
But the melody lingers on.
You and the song are gone,
But the melody lingers on.
These words of Irving Berlin were written about bringing an old love to mind. But we can apply them aptly to the important work of a genuine hero of the blind, Le Professeur Louis Braille. As we approach the bicentenary of his birth, it is a fitting time to pay homage to his memory and to his enduring legacy.
It is my privilege and my aim in this article to acquaint the reader with an aspect of Braille’s work that too often has been overlooked. I try to give a relatively nontechnical description of his system for music notation and propose that it is still relevant in our time.
The Man Himself
Once a comedian was trying to tell a joke but he kept interrupting himself by laughing. Someone in his audience asked him why he kept laughing and he explained that it was because he knew how this story was going to end. To properly appreciate the work of our benefactor or, for that matter, of any great figure in human history, we must engage our imaginations and transport ourselves back to a time when the story was not yet over. Nobody yet knew the ending or even whether that ending would be a happy one.
No doubt, some readers of these pages can relate quite personally to the youth of only 10 years whose loving father, in 1819, brought him from his happy home in the countryside to the strange surroundings of the school for the blind in the big city of Paris. How many blind people up to our own day have had to live away from home during their developing years to gain an education? At the world’s first school for the blind, Braille found not only a portal to the world of learning and ideas but also hours of study and labor in the various enterprises of the school such as slipper making. After his life-changing meeting with Captain Barbier, who shared the technique of “night writing” with the teenager, Braille forfeited many hours of sleep to study and design his significant adaptation of Barbier’s system.
At the age of 20, he published his system. But universal acceptance and recognition of his work had to wait for many years after his death. He worked diligently during his short life to teach other blind people not only music but also mathematics, geography, French and history. He took on many other duties aside from teaching such as serving as foreman for the school’s slipper-making operation. He played the organ professionally for masses and other liturgical functions. He encouraged and supported members of his extended family and his many friends. Yet he suffered real adversity. Not everyone believed in his work. There was a time when a new director of the school even burned all the books produced in Braille’s code! Add to all of this the fact that Braille contracted tuberculosis in his mid-twenties, the disease which ultimately took him from this world at the age of 43. Still, he kept on working, teaching and caring until the day he died.
But why even discuss these things? Precisely because we are the beneficiaries of the hope that Louis Braille never abandoned. Each time we read a braille book sitting outdoors on a sunny day, learn to play a piece of music from a braille score, or braille ourselves a grocery list; any time we read or write for school, work, or leisure, we are collecting the dividends of a life invested fully in the conviction that an idea, an inspired, innovative idea, has the power to overcome adversity, prejudice, indifference and even injustice. Let us never forget his example especially during those times when these obstacles appear in our own paths. May his example strengthen our own resolve to prevail over adversity, improve our own circumstances, and leave a legacy to those that follow us.
Braille’s System for Music
Until I founded a company 16 years ago to develop a braille music translator software, I was among the majority of people who did not know that Louis Braille invented braille music notation. Even though I had been reading and writing braille music for many years I somehow had the impression that the application of his system to music came after his death. To the contrary, he considered music notation from the very beginning. In 1829, he published his system under the title: Procédé pour écrire les paroles, la musique et le plainchant au moyen de points a l’usage des aveugles et disposés pour eux. So music and singing were in the mix right from the start.
Braille played the piano, the cello and the organ very well. He yearned to read music just as sighted musicians did. He tried using tactile representations of printed staff notation but rejected it as ill-suited to the needs of blind musicians. Such scores were bulky and expensive to create just as similar tactile editions of literary texts were. He determined that what was needed was a system that maximized the ability of the human finger to collect information. Instead of mimicking the method of input based on the human eye, he substituted a method optimized for the sense of touch.
Again, since we know very well how the story ends, we simply accept that the braille cell contains six dots. But why? In fact, Louis Braille experimented with using cells of 12 ore more dots. But he knew intuitively that a cell of six dots guaranteed that each dot was on an outside edge. Modern technology has brought us the marvel of paperless braille displays which have the option of showing an eight-dot cell. But anyone who has ever been confused by an 8-dot character that does not use dots 1 and 4 but includes a dot 7 or 8 knows why the six-dot cell avoids ambiguity.
But wait! The six-dot cell yields only 64 unique combinations. How can Braille’s system express equally well text, arithmetic and musical information with such a small number of characters? The answer communicates the elegance of his creative mind. He redefines each of these characters to carry a different meaning depending on the type of information to be written. For example, dots 1-3-4-5 represent the letter n in text, a variable value in mathematics or a half note to be played on the musical pitch C or DO. Braille and others since his time have developed rules of context that help readers know when which type of information is being shown in a document. The ability to change comprehension of the type of braille code being read is called code-switching. Experienced braille readers do it unconsciously and without confusion.
Braille’s system is quite well defined and permits the accurate transcription of minute details of a score of western music written in conventional staff notation. That is, the braille score shows not only the notes to be played and their rhythm (how long they should be played) but such details as the text for titles, lyrics, etc., when to play more loudly or softly, when to speed up or slow down, when to play passages smoothly or by leaving a bit of silence between notes (staccato). In short, Braille insisted that the blind musician have access to the same information conveyed to sighted musicians; every detail of the piece which the composer thought important to write down.
A part in braille music notation reads from left to right along a single line unlike print notation. Braille assigned the top 4 dots of the cell (1, 2, 4 and 5) to represent the 7 degrees of the western scale by 7 unique combinations. He uses the bottom dots (3 and 6) to indicate the rhythmic value of a note. Therefore, under the tip of a single finger, one can know the pitch to be played and how long to play it. A series of 7 octave signs tell us in which register the note should sound. For example, Middle C or DO is indicated by the fourth octave sign (dot 5) which immediately precedes the cell showing the note. The first note of a passage must be written with an octave sign but subsequent notes may or may not need one depending on their musical distance from that first note. Braille established a set order for other signs that must precede or follow a note. By following this logical presentation of information, a transcriber can clearly communicate the slightest nuance of musical performance.
But can’t blind people just listen to sighted musicians playing a piece of music from the score and thus learn to perform it? There is a global tradition of passing on music aurally and I myself have learned many a tune by listening. But if a blind musician learns a piece by mimicking the interpretation of the music notation read by a sighted player, he separates himself from seeing that specific information the composer wished to pass on in order to help musicians to faithfully realize the music to be performed. In other words, the blind musician can only follow and not lead. We know that the symbols on the page, whether print or braille, are not the music but a means of helping us to recreate the music heard in the mind’s ear of the composer. As the only blind member of our high school band, I would sometimes learn to copy perfectly the mistakes of the sighted trumpet player beside me until I received my braille scores and could play certain passages correctly with confidence. As blind people, we must often follow. Having the information available to sighted peers empowers us to lead if we wish. Success breeds success and points us in a positive direction.
Mrs. Bettye Krolick, the lady I lovingly refer to as the Fairy Godmother of braille music, once told me of how she got started in transcribing music into braille. It was 1970. She had studied hard and learned to transcribe her first assignment, some clarinet music for a local elementary school student named Jeff. Soon after, at an early morning band rehearsal, she observed the student, braille score on his music stand, playing one of the parts before practice began. A couple of the sighted students looked on, and one said to the other in admiration: “He plays from memory!”
On hearing this remark, Jeff sat up straight and tall in his chair and played on with greater confidence than ever. This simple but eloquent gesture by a blind fourth-grader motivated Mrs. Krolick to dedicate a substantial portion of her life’s time and energy to transcribing, standardizing and promoting the use of music braille all over the world. She quickly realized that memorization comes naturally to the blind and that she could provide in braille the unfiltered information the composer meant to convey to the player.
Just as we can more fully appreciate the grandeur and magnitude of a great mountain the further it recedes in the distance, as time passes we can look over our shoulders and see our hero’s stature grow as he towers over literary history in the company of innovators like Gutenberg, Edison and Helen Keller. In fact, Miss Keller traveled to Paris in 1952 to commemorate the centennial of the death of Braille. At that time, his remains were moved to the Pantheon of Heroes of the French people amid many special events and tributes. I myself am blessed and honored to be invited to speak about Braille’s system for music at our own generation’s tribute which will take place on the occasion of the bicentennial of Braille’s birth in Paris in early January, 2009. See the URL below or contact the Association Valentin Haüy in Paris for details. I hope to greet many of you there on that joyous occasion and to continue to add my own efforts to preserve and extend something to the heritage of this patron saint of the blind, Louis Braille.
About the Author
Bill McCann is the founder and president of Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology. He has authored numerous articles about his own work to automate production of braille scores with his company’s first product, the GOODFEEL Braille Music Translator software. GOODFEEL is now in use throughout the United States and in 40 other countries. With Richard Taesch, he is the co-author of “Who’s Afraid of Braille Music?”
Bicentenary of Louis Braille’s birth: http://www.avh.asso.fr/bicentenaire/louis_braille/louis_braille.php?langue=eng&
Dancing Dots: www.dancingdots.com
Music Education Network for the Visually Impaired: www.menvi.org
National Resource Center for Blind Musicians: www.blindmusicstudent.org
*2) Hi there! I am pleased to bring you two weekly features:
In the end zone with the entrepreneur and
You can listen to these two features plus more by visiting and downloading my weekly podcast at www.takeanother5.com as well as going to iTunes.
Donna J. Jodhan
In the end zone with the entrepreneur
Proprietership versus partnership
When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is a distinct differrence between the two and it is most important for you to be able to know the difference.
Here it is in capsule form. Proprietership is when you and only you own your business. Partnership is when you and others own a business. You can have one other partner or multiple partners in a partnership.
Entrepreneurship could be either a proprietership or a partnership and there is no fast hard rule as to when either would be best.
If you prefer to work alone, then proprietership may be better but if you do not mind working with someone else or others you can
definitely consider the partnership route.
In a partnership, more defining of responsibilities are necessary.
There needs to be a Defining of who does what, when, and how and the reporting of results to all partners is a must.
In a proprietership, all of this is not needed and the only person that you are responsible to and for is you and yourself.
A scam alert
You owe money to the Inland revenue services!
This type of scam comes in the form of a phone call and this call can occur at any time of the day. As early as 7 am and as late as 8 pm.
Your name is usually not announced by the caller but be prepared to hear your name announced by the caller.
You are given a file number and a phone number to call
and you are told that if you doo not call in a few days and a deadline is given for you to call,
You will be arrested.
The give away here is that the voice at the other end is a synthesized voice!
Just simply hang up and go about your business.
This is nothing but a hoax and a laughable one at that.
Until next week then!
I’m Donna J. Jodhan
*3) The Noctograph
Our object this week dates back to the days of Louis Braille. And Louis wasn’t the only person who was blind searching for better ways to write. Ralph Wedgwood, an English inventor credited with inventing carbon paper, was issued a patent for “An Apparatus for Producing Duplicates of Writings” in 1806. The device, as described in the patent, is similar to this object, an original “Prescott’s Noctograph.”
William Hickling Prescott (1796-1859), an American historian, was gradually losing his vision and invented this device for writing. The writing frame of the Noctograph is wrapped in fine green leather, and features a series of parallel brass wires. Measuring 10 1/8 x 8 3/8 in., it was used with a stylus, instead of pencil or pen.
Carbon paper–thin paper coated with carbon or another colored substance–was inserted between two sheets of writing paper that were placed beneath the writing frame. When the stylus was pressed into the top sheet of paper, the carbon paper transferred the writing onto the lower sheet. The user did not have to worry about inking a pen, or spilling the ink. And the brass guides kept the lines straight. As we’ve noted before, these writing guides were all the rage in the nineteenth century, but became largely obsolete when the typewriter became widely available toward the end of the century. But the dot system of Louis Braille is still going strong.
Micheal A. Hudson
American Printing House for the Blind
Source: Fred’s Head from APH,
Thursday January 5 2017
*4) smart toaster
The Internet of Things has officially hit peak stupid, courtesy of this smart toaster – ExtremeTech
The Consumer Electronics Show (now dubbed CES) has always been an event where companies large and small debut new products and demonstrate cutting-edge R&D. At its best, the show serves as a jumping-off point for the technologies, products, and services we’ll see throughout the year. At its worst, it functions as a dumping ground for bad ideas and garbage products. At the show this week, Griffin Technology debuted a smart toaster as part of their new Griffin Home initiative.
In fairness to Griffin, a smart toaster is the kind of fusion device you might expect from a mythological lion-eagle hybrid with no opposable thumbs, seven hit dice, and a brain the approximate size of a heavily mutated walnut. I’ll let the company explain from here:
The next step in making mornings as streamlined as possible is the Connected Toaster, a full-featured digital toaster that helps users toast smarter. This Bluetooth-enabled smart toaster is controlled by a companion smartphone app to offer personalized settings for the perfect slice, every time. Connected Toaster is a two-slot toaster with digital temperature adjustment and settings for bread type, darkness, even gluten-free breads. Once you’ve dialed in your preferences, the app remembers how you like it. Connected Toaster links with other Griffin Home products for seamless integration into your daily routine.
Hoo boy. Where to start?
When I was growing up, my parents had a toaster so old I think it might have been built by Jesus in his brief, unacknowledged foray into metalworking and electricity. Despite its age, it had an amazing feature — it could remember, without fail, precisely what setting you had used to toast bread previously. It even had a color-coded label above the lever, to tell you how toasty your toast would be, in colors ranging from “Irish person sunbathing” to “Not even both hands and a flashlight can save you now.”
Now, I admit, this analog lever had some limitations. It could only remember one setting at a time and it had security flaws — a mischievous sibling could easily slide the lever to one extreme or the other and leave you fuming over your slightly crisped wheat bread or furnace-blasted hockey puck. Both issues could be solved by the application of the Mark I Eyeball and a post-it note for remembering which of your artisanal, free-range, quinoa-and-kale sorrow-loaves should be toasted at which setting.
The biggest problem with the Internet of Things, generally speaking, is that no one has figured out how to build products that actually do anything useful enough to justify their price tags or enormous security flaws. Silicon Valley has been a tremendous source of innovation over the past few decades, but not all innovations actually improve the product. And if that wasn’t enough, what use is a toaster with Bluetooth, given that Bluetooth’s effective range has been empirically measured as six feet less than you need it to be, no matter what the circumstances?
No, Griffin. I demand my smart toaster use 802.11ad. Save the Bluetooth for the optional pairing with Apple’s AirPods, so I can record and listen to the sound of my bread toasting while I’m searching for apps to install on my toaster’s LCD. And maybe pack some LEDs in there while you’re at it.
Source: Joel Hruska writer for Extrem Tech Magazine 2017
*5) The Top 50 Acronyms of 2017 Every Parent Needs to Know
NetLingo The Internet Dictionary
the Ffollowing article is ment to inform parents and Grandparents what to watch for on computer screens used by youth. There a few offensive that AI thought about omitting. However, it is important parents are kept aware of current lingo used by our children. It is for their protection and ours as caretakers trying to encourage wise choices.
8 – it means ate, it also refers to oral sex
Elite or leet
143 – I love you
182 – I hate you
1174 – Nude club
459 – I love you
ADR – Address
AEAP – As Early As Possible
ALAP – As Late As Possible
ASL – Age/Sex/Location
CD9 – Code 9 – it means – parents are around
F2F cp – – Sleepy
F2F – face to face
GNOC – – Get Naked On Cam
GYPO – – Get Your Pants Off
HAK – – Hugs And Kisses
ILU – – I Love You
IWSN – – I Want Sex Now
JO – – Jerking Off
KOTL – – Kiss On The Lips
KFY -or- K4Y – – Kiss For You
KPC – – Keeping Parents Clueless
LMIRL – – Let’s Meet In Real Life
MOOS – – Member Of The Opposite Sex
MOSS – – Member(s) Of The Same Sex
MorF – – Male or Female
MOS – – Mom Over Shoulder
MPFB – – My Personal F*** Buddy
NALOPKT – – Not A Lot Of People Know That
NIFOC – – Nude In Front Of The Computer
NMU – – Not Much, You?
P911 – – Parent Alert
PAL – – Parents Are Listening -or- Peace And Love
PAW – – Parents Are Watching
PIR – – Parent In Room
POS – – Parent Over Shoulder -or- Piece Of Sh**
Pron – – porn
Q2C – – Quick To Cum
RU/18 – – Are You Over 18?
RUMORF – – Are You Male OR Female?
RUH – Are You Horny?
S2R – – Send To Receive SorG – – Straight or Gay
TDTM – – Talk Dirty To Me
WTF – – What The F***
WUF – – Where You From
WYCM – – Will You Call Me?
WYRN – – What’s Your Real Name?
Zerg – – To gang up on someone
*6) Quick and Easy Designer Muffins
Tired of high-fat, high-cost fast-food breakfasts? I’ve got a fantastic solution: Quick and easy designer muffins.
With a little improvising, you can make and serve scrumptious muffins in a variety of flavors to make use of (and use up) ingredients you have on hand. Use this basic mufin recipe to get started then refer to the options that follow.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons applesauce
1/2 cup peeled and chopped fresh orange
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray or
with paper liners. .
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, honey, butter and applesauce. Mix
Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, add the oranges and stir to combine. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Yield: 12 muffins.
1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, or more to taste
1 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, or as needed
In a small bowl, whisk sugar with orange zest and orange juice until smooth.
Spread on muffins while still warm.
Instead of all-purpose flour: Use a combination of flours such as whole-wheat flour or cornmeal. You can also substitute up to 1/2 cup cooked bran or rice cereal
for an equal amount of flour.
Instead of buttermilk: Use low-fat buttermilk, soy milk, regular or nonfat sour cream, whole or skim milk, regular or nonfat plain yogurt, orange juice or apple juice.
Instead of honey: Use maple syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses or
frozen apple juice concentrate (may increase up to 1/2 cup if you like a sweeter muffin).
Instead of butter: Use reduced-calorie butter, oil or margarine.
Instead of applesauce: Use any pureed fruit or nonfat plain yogurt.
Instead of chopped oranges. Use chopped apples, mashed bananas, dates,
drained and chopped canned fruits, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, raisins, pumpkin puree, mashed cooked sweet potatoes, shredded carrots or zucchini, nuts or shredded cheeses. As long as you stay under 1/2 cup, the wetter
ingredients won’t throw off the wet-dry balance of the recipe.
Save yourself time and make double or triple batches of your favorite muffins to freeze and reheat later. Bake and cool the muffins, freeze them on a baking sheet,
then quickly transfer them to tightly sealed plastic bags. They’ll keep frozen for up to two months without losing flavor. Thaw muffins in the refrigerator overnight then reheat individually in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds or so, or until
Keep a batch of this dry muffin mix in the pantry and you’ll be able to turn out hot, homemade muffins in just 20 minutes flat!
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix in large bowl and store in air tight container.
To bake muffins, place 2 cups mix
in a large bowl. Add 2/3 cup water, 1 slightly beaten egg and 1/4 cup oil. With a fork, mix only until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill paper lined muffin cups 1/2
full. Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes until muffins are puffed and pass the toothpick
Rachael Ray Oven Lovin’ Non-Stick 12-Cup Muffin and Cupcake Pan
Silicone Muffin Pan / Tin Cupcake Mold by Daisy’s Dream
Natural Parchment Baking Paper
Make Your Own Tulip Muffin Papers
Muffins So Great They’re Insane!
Facts of the Week
- Every day, nearly 4000 teens in the U.S. smoke their first cigarette while 1,000 startsmoking on a daily basis.
- Chameleons can move their eyes in two directions at the same time.
- Speed dating was invented by a Rabbi in 1999.
- Tom Hanks has an asteroid named after him: the “12818 Tomhanks.”
- A single Google search requires more computing power than it took to sendApollo 11 to the Moon.
- In 2008, a real man called Walter Whitewas among Alabama’s Most Wanted list thanks to his thriving meth business.
- Witold Pilecki, a Polish soldier, volunteered to be imprisoned in Auschwitz in order to gather information, escape and let the world know about the Holocaust.
- In 2007, a man faked his own death tosee how many people attended his funeral.
- In 2002, the average user spent 46 minutes on the Internet per day. In 2012, it was 4 hours.
- There are about 3 million first dates everyday.
*8) Words of Wisdom for the Week
“With podcasts and other audio programs, you can not only take advantage of your cleaning, driving, or walking times when your brain is usually filled with nothing, but you can also feed your mind with positive messages and knowledge.”
Monday, January 2, 2017
“Honor your commitments with integrity.”
Les Brown – Commitment |
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
“Everyone who reads the health pages already knows there is a strong and definite link between stress and illness, so it follows that if you’re not stressed – in other words, if you are happy and relaxed, you will be healthier.”
Angel Greene – Health |
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
“But, I still firmly believe that a little humor goes a long way in life. We need to not only be able to laugh at ourselves, but to take a deep breath when we get far too serious far too often.”
Byron Pulsifer – Humor |
Thursday, January 5, 2017
“With podcasts and other audio programs, you can not only take advantage of your cleaning, driving, or walking times when your brain is usually filled with nothing, but you can also feed your mind with positive messages and knowledge.”
Marta Tuchowska – Knowledge |
Friday, January 6, 2017
“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”
Benjamin Disraeli –
*9) Each day, each year, we all get fresh start by Sharon Randall
Each day, each year, we all get fresh start
by Sharon Randall
family section, arkansas democrat-gazette 1-4-2017
Each day, each year, we all get fresh start . Every year, in some quiet moment as
the new year starts, I reach into my heart and pull out a memory. The summer I was
7, my mother and stepfather decided we needed a fresh start. So we left the town
where I had walked wherever I pleased (to school or church or my grandmother’s house)
and moved miles away to a house in the middle of a cow pasture, or as my grandmother
said, in the middle of nowhere. Talk about lonely. Have you ever tried having a civilized
conversation with a herd of sullen-faced cows? That fall, I climbed on a bus, waved
goodbye to the cows and rode into town to start second grade in a new school where
I knew no one. Twenty minutes later, in a room filled with strangers, I began to
miss the cows. Then I heard a voice. “Good morning, class! Her name was Mrs. Harrison.
She was tall and thin with silvery hair and a smile like my grandmother’s — the
kind of smile that makes you feel, all at once, safe, happy and good. If I knew nothing
else about her, I knew this: She liked me. I was sure of it. And that was that. From
that day on, I soaked up every word she said, everything she tried to teach us. She
told me I was smart, and I was glad to let her think so. But mostly, I just wanted
to make her proud of me. The best teachers always seem to have that effect. One day,
on the way out of class to catch the bus for home, I ducked in the bathroom to wash
something sticky off my hands. (I hate sticky.) And when I ran out, the bus was gone.
Mrs. Harrison saw me and realized what had happened. “Can you call your mother to
come pick you up? she asked. My stepfather was at work and my mother had no car.
“It’s OK,” I said. “I can walk. “No, no,” she said. “I’ll drive you. I have a few
things to finish up first. You can help me. Talk about a dream come true. She let
me clean the chalkboard. I don’t recall what was written on it. Spelling words, probably.
Some numbers, maybe. Then I saw, up in the corner, that she had written the day’s
date, and the names of some boys who had gotten in trouble, mostly for being boys.
“Should I erase the date and those names? I said. “Of course! she said. “Today is
past. Tomorrow’s the future. We all get a fresh start! I had to stand on a chair
to reach the names, but I scrubbed them extra hard. I wondered if the boys could
feel it, their sins being wiped away. While Mrs. Harrison worked on lessons, I took
the erasers outside to clean them. When I came back, she laughed and wiped chalk
dust off my face. Finally, she gathered up her purse and the stacks of papers that
teachers always carry, and turned to leave. But first she looked at the chalkboard.
“You did a fine job! she said, lighting me up like Christmas. “What a nice, clean
slate! Can you imagine what wonders we will write on it tomorrow? Then she drove
me home. That was a lifetime ago. But I remember it clearly each time I take down
the old calendar to hang up the new. I turn the pages, month by month, recalling
things we did, places we went, people who came to visit us, and birthdays, anniversaries
and doctor’s appointments galore. I give thanks for the blessings and the blessings
in disguise. Then I leave both calendars on the table for my husband to transfer
all the dates we want to remember from one year to the next. His handwriting is a
lot more legible than mine. The old calendar is past. The new one is the future.
We all get a fresh start — a nice, clean slate.
Sharon Randall can be reached at
P.O. Box 777394, Henderson, Nev. 89077, or on her website:
*10) TOP TEN PREDICTIONS FOR 2017
- The Bible will still have all the answers.
- Prayer will still work.
- The Holy Spirit will still move.
- God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
- There will still be God-anointed preaching.
- There will still be singing of praise to God.
- God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
- There will still be room at the Cross
- Jesus will still love you.
- Jesus will still save the lost.
God whispers in your soul and speaks to your mind. Sometimes when you don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It’s your choice: Listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick.
— Author Unknown
*11) Bible Verse of The Week
Proverbs 8:32 (NKJV) 32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways.
How do we hear God’s voice? This is a question that we get asked a lot.
God is God and He speaks to us in many different ways. We don’t know
exactly how He will speak to you. But, we can say that He will
communicate with you in a way that works for you. He is faithful!
Developing a relationship with Him is the main thing that helps us
understand God when He speaks to us or prompts us. If we don’t know
Him, it will be hard for us to discern if it is truly Him speaking or not.
The first things to do is learn about Him. The only way to do this is
through reading His word. We learn His personality, His likes and
dislikes, etc. Everything about Him is in there.
As we read the scriptures, communication with Him begins. We become one
with Him as we open up and let His Words penetrate and change our heart.
It takes time, and even some trial and error on our end. But don’t give
- Keep going to Him and keep trying. We can even learn from our
mistakes if we miss what God was saying to us.
Praying plays a big part in hearing God’s voice as well. We don’t have
to spend hours doing this. Start by going to Him for small things that
maybe we’re not sure about. Ask Him for His advice and what He wants us
to do even in the small things. He loves to be included.
I’m amazed that even those small things that seem insignificant to us,
He will take the time and help us through them.And when we pray, we need to be sure we’re doing as much listening as
we are talking. Many times we make the mistake of thinking that praying
is only about us telling God what we want. We can fail to take the time
to listen after we’re finished making our requests. And this is a big mistake.
It’s never too late to start learning God’s voice.If you are involved in something today and you’re feeling like
something’s not quite right, stop what you’re doing. Pull back and go
to God. Ask Him to help you.He will meet you there.
Pastor Curt & Pastor Ellie
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“This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” —Peace Pilgrim
“God is the mind that imagines physical reality. We are each like a cell in that mind.” —Peter Shepherd