Thursday, October 22, 2009

A God Filled Day

God is so big
My mind is so little
What do I know of Holy?
God’s will can be such a riddle.

One day at a time, sunrise to sunset.
In my ignorance I strive to do my best.
I visit Him from my heart,
And pray for peace, thankful I am blessed.

I want to be of service.
“Well done” I hope He will say.
Today I take a step closer to Him
Oh how I need a God filled day.

There is a song that says "what do I know of Holy?" At first, I felt brought back into a place of awe. My first thought was - God is so much more than I could ever embrace with my little mind. What a heavy assignment we have, to find and do God’s will. Is it presumptuous of me to believe I could ever know what God’s will is? What do I know of Holy?

On the other hand, I must live by what I believe it to be. For me, I do this in 24 hour increments. Sunrise to sunset….waking up to laying back down. Asking for directions, praying for peace of mind, looking for ways to be of service, visiting with God - from my heart.

I want a God filled day, and to get that I must draw near to him.
I wish all of you a God filled day as well.

Peace to you all.....Ric

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dawn of a New Day

I like mornings. I am not in such a hurry and the day is new and bright and everything seems fresh. Today, this morning brings more than just a new day. This morning brings a new year. Today is my birthday. 

Today marks another new beginning for me. 

Today feels good. I feel I can do what I want, not a wild freedom, but freedom that comes from life experience. Some may understand, how you have figured out what is important and what is not. You give up trying to put up with things that make you miserable. It is the red-hat thing isn’t it? Making others happy, at some point, loses its power over you, and I think that is a good thing. So, I no longer allow people to rent space in my head. 

I believe stronger than ever that beauty comes from within. I look for it, I watch for it, and it thrills me when I uncover it and behold it. I love to be surrounded by beautiful people, those with the “inside” beauty. These beautiful people are the true blessings in my life. 

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I have recognized in myself that I have become more serious about living. I don’t want to miss a chance to laugh, a chance to sing, a chance to enjoy an evening with friends. I find giving my best makes the day better. When I do, I feel better and happier, it puts a pep in my step and a zip in my day. 

I am thankful my life is still continuing. I have heard that more people die in their fifties than any other decade. So, if I can make it through this decade, I figure I am good to go for the long haul. That is what I am hoping for. Let’s do it. Lap 55 is in the books, 56 HERE I COME! I’ll be kicking off my new year with a good dose of intensity. As my friend Phil told me the other day, “I am motivated.” I’m loving life. Of course there are problems, there always will be, and I’m not saying I have a problem-free life. We all have challenges. Yours are different than mine and mine are much different than yours. But we have what we have and we use all of our resources to face our challenges the best we can. And that is where I am at. Moving forward, hoping to have some simplicity this year balanced with accomplishments, learning more and helping people in their own personal growth without losing sight of my own. 

I feel like I am in a good rhythm right now. I enjoy using this space to stay in touch with friends. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy discovering life along with me. Thanks for that. I am glad you are here. 

Seniordom! Maybe I should be eating at Denny’s today and getting that Senior Discount. Hey, why not? What do you think Michelle, you up for Denny's tonight? 

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes...I appreciate it so much.

Love you....Ric

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paul McCartney Concert

We all knew it would be great. How could it not be? It was a feeling akin to being a child on Christmas Eve. Will it be as magical as I imagine? Will it really live up to the hype? McCartney delivered the goods, and then some. It was unforgettable. To hear our favorite Beatles songs from Paul McCartney himself, the legend, was nothing less than mesmerizing. His voice was as perfect as ever. He was full of energy. He so made everyone feel like there was no place he would rather be than right there singing for us. Between delivering songs old and new, he interacted with the audience and lived up to his reputation as the cute, charismatic Beatle. He would charm us all with his winks and big smiles. When his band left him alone on stage for an acoustic portion, McCartney cheekily said, “Now they’ve gone and left me here alone with you. I kind of like it.” I know I was witnessing the greatest stage personality I have ever seen. He transforms an empty stage into a spectacle. I told my wife Michelle that I felt a glimpse of what heaven must be like, musically. It just could not be any better. I am not embarrassed to say I cried, more than once, hearing the greatest songs ever written, performed by the legend of legends. It filled my heart. I, along with everyone else, had a 2 an a half hour injection/transfusion of love and peace and happiness.

Upon seeing Paul McCartney step onto the stage, I knew this was one of those unforgettable musical moments. And he gave to us completely - all that he could. He brought a coziness to the stage. He almost made you feel like you were alone with him. All along the way, after each song, he would make facial expressions to show his disbelief at the crowd's immense enthusiasm. He would take the time to “take in” the audience’s applause and love. The guy was so humble in the face of so much acclaim that it was impossible not to fall in love with him a little. He gave each song his very best. How often do we see other performers mail it in and sing through songs rushed and bored by them? I felt like he loved singing them for us as much as we loved hearing it.

Every single song within the set list was just as good - if not better - than the next. Whether it was a Fireman song, Wings song, or Beatles song, the sound was so good and McCartney's voice was impeccable. The crowd stood on their feet, swaying their hands, dancing in their seats, singing along with the familiar words. All ages were represented, young and old, and all were touched and moved to smiles and tears, and then to more smiles and then more tears. I loved hearing the thousands in the audience singing along. I know he did too.

And then, he added a song to his normal play-list for this tour. He sang Buddy Holley’s “It’s so easy to fall in love.” His way of showing his love and respect for Texas.” He had never performed it before, and he gave us a first. Again, showing the kind of guy he is.

He played his familiar bass, his ukulele, played lead guitar, the mandolin and of course, his great piano. He switches from one to another with ease, showing his skill and mastery of each.
In the end, what we got was rejuvenation and joy. What a great experience…a priceless memory …I will never forget it. Thank you Paul McCartney.

A footnote. Arlington police this morning said the hour and half delay in opening the doors at concert was caused by the worthless opening band showing up late. I hope those who passed out in the 102 heat will sue the startup band, Cowboys stadium and Arlington. And Jerry Jones, you can keep your $13 hamburgers, your $14 margaritas and I’ll just watch my games at home. Thanks anyway!

Unlike Jerry Jones, Sir Paul truly seems to make a conscious effort to give people value for their money, and recognizes what they’ve come there to see and here. In spite of Jerry Jones and his “I got-cha now” prices, I am left with the greatest appreciation of Paul McCartney, the Beatles, Paul’s lifetime of enduring music, and his unselfish love for sharing with fans worldwide. It was a pleasure and a thrill to be in the audience on this night.
Give Peace a Chance…………..Ric

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grandfatherly Advice

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.

I have struggled with these feelings many times." He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.

"The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pain and Suffering

Pain comes in all forms – the small twinge of pain, a bit of soreness, the random pain, the normal pains we live with everyday. Then there’s the kind of pain you can’t ignore. A level of pain so great, that is blocks out everything else. It makes the rest of the world fade away, until all we can think about is how much we hurt.

How we manage our pain is up to us. Most often, we need medicine. Excedrin – Vicodin – Morphine. Sometimes we have to ride it out and push through it and somehow overcome it without any medicine.

Pain. You can hope it goes away on it’s own; hope the wound that caused it heals. There are no solutions, no easy answers. You just breathe deep and wait for it to subside. Sometimes the pain can be managed with medicine, but sometimes the pain gets you when you least expect it and it doesn’t let up. You just have to fight through, because the truth is, you can’t escape it.

Pain can be physical. Pain can be mental or emotional. And life always makes more.

I have known excruciating pain. Some close to me in my life have known much more. Very much more. I know some suffer great and terrible physical pain. It is severe and will not stop. Some are tortured only mentally and emotionally. I knew a mother that lost her son, and the grief was devastating, over-whelming and long lasting. I knew a wife that lost her husband and it almost killed her. I knew a son that suffered greatly in his life after he lost his dad.

I don’t know why some have more than others. It doesn’t seem fair or right. But suffering comes to everyone, in one form or another. I do not know why God permits layoffs, illness, cancer, family fighting or mean, rude and hateful neighbors. I can’t explain the meanness of some teachers, bosses, peers or family members. But I do know that suffering in all of it’s forms is a universal human experience.

Last night I stood at the pharmacy counter to pick up medicine for my wife. She suffers more than anyone knows. I know, I see it everyday. And I respect her more than anyone else I know because I know how bravely she faces her pain and suffering. I try to help her as best as I can, but mostly I’m just left feeling helpless when all I can do is not really helping that much. But as I stood there waiting at the pharmacy counter, up rolled a young girl in a motorized wheelchair, with no legs. It was clear she had many problems. And then up walked another lady that was her caregiver. I later watched as she helped the sick girl from the wheelchair back to the car, and was reminded of how so many have it worse than we do. Someone recently told me that if we could all put our problems out on the table in a pile, where we could see everyone else’s problems, we would reach out and take ours back.

Some smart people tell us of the good that can come from suffering. Gold is refined by the fire which heats it, until the impurities come out. In the same way, suffering somehow makes us better people. Pain and suffering can test us to show what we are made of. Sometimes it takes pain and suffering to turn a person’s life around and head it in the right direction. Finally, we turn to God.

Besides cheerfully carrying our own daily crosses, our children need to learn the value of suffering in their lives. There will be times when friends desert them, a job may be difficult to find, or the "perfect" spouse eludes them. If we do not teach our children how to handle the disappointments and sufferings of life, when suffering comes, as it comes to everyone, they will try to escape it through drugs, alcohol, sex, divorce, and/or suicide.

The book of Job tells of how Job lost everything: the love of his wife, the lives of his ten children, all his possessions, his health and the respect of his community. Job's friends even thought that he was suffering because deep within his soul he must be a very wicked man. They were 100% wrong. Job was suffering, unbeknown even to himself, to prove to the universe that he truly and sincerely loved God. Satan had accused the Almighty of favoring Job; by trying to gain Job’s worship by bribing him with cattle, goods and material wealth. Of course Satan was totally wrong. So God allowed Job to suffer the loss of virtually everything - including his health to prove that Job’s love was genuine and unselfish. And what was Job's reaction to his terrible suffering? He said this of the Almighty:
Job 13:15
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him...

Helen Keller said, "although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."

C.S. Lewis reminds us: "God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing."

No one is born happy. Happiness is something that comes to you. Despite the message we get from TV and movies, we were created solely to grow in holiness by knowing, loving,
and serving God in this world so that we can be happy with Him forever in eternity.

We may need medicine and sometimes we do – we may need the help of psychiatrists and sometimes we do – but mostly what we all need is God’s love in our heart. God is love. When we come to God, he fills us with His love. And this love endures all things. Love endures the suffering that comes to us. Love endures the injustice that comes to us. Love endures the evil that confronts us. Love endures because Love is the power of the life of the suffering Christ. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Christ in us is the secret to enduring all things. Filled with God’s Love and Holiness, we find a measure of peace and happiness that will bear us through the really bad times.

If we are nudged to seek the good of another, purely for that persons sake, we have been moved by God's Love. If we have the impulse to help someone, forget our self-interest, and act solely for another, with no regard for any reward, we are in touch with God’s Love. If we are driven by a desire to heal or help and are glad when that person is helped, even if no one knows it was we who helped, we are under the influence of God’s wonderful Love. When we take someone in to help in this way, we are being seized by the one power that never runs down or wears out – God’s Love. This love never dies. It endures all. And it will get us through our problems, our pain and suffering too.

God has a million-fold reward waiting for his saints. It is beyond imagination, just how great it is. And remember these are God’s promises to you.

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Memorize these two verses. They will carry you through times of seemingly unbearable suffering. Millions of believers in past ages have endured suffering with great courage. None have endured more than Jesus himself. Even as much as you have suffered, Jesus suffered more.

Quite frankly, Satan would love to destroy you and your faith however he can. It was Satan who instigated all of Job’s suffering. Satan is always prowling, looking for a way to bring you down, looking for a Christian to destroy. When we respond to suffering with humility towards God, praying with faith, God is able to take pain, suffering, injustice and all manner of junk and use to bring about good in your life.

Do like Job….do like Jesus himself, and never stop loving God, no matter the amount of suffering sent your way.

Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalms 91: 1-4 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

We draw close to our Lord Jesus Christ and rely on Him to be our refuge and fortress in times of trouble.

God bless you richly. Ric

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It Is So Hot!!

It is so Hot…
...the birds had to pick up the worms with potholders.
...I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walkin'
...Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs.
...I saw two trees fighting over a dog.
...It is as Hot as love in August
...It's hotter than a firecracker lit at both ends

It is so Hot...
...that we didn’t buy ice cream at the store, we just drank it.
...the French Poodle across the street is now a French Fry potatoes baked while still in the garden.
...the cows are giving evaporated milk.
...I wore my wrinkled clothes outside, and got them steam pressed only takes 2 fingers to steer your car. water now comes out of both taps. Right Guard left!
...that even Rednecks won’t go fishin’ !
...that the birds are flying South for the summer! ice cubes have a heat rash!
...Who, in HELL left the door open?

It is so hot... think they’re having hot flashes.

Ya’ll be cool…….Ric

Jon and Kate Plus Eight

Jon and Kate reportedly filed for divorce yesterday.

Their show has been a smash hit. We all watched in awe as they showed us how it could done, raising 8 little kids. Parents everywhere just get tired thinking about having 8 of them. Lunch time, play time, bath time, just every activity, how could you ever keep up? Feedings, diapers, crying kids...there would be no end and no rest. We have been captivated by them.

Now we see and learn that they forgot to leave time for themselves. They were consumed by the kids. Consumed by the stardom and attention. They forgot to be attentive to each other. They neglected the most important ingredient in any home. Every home should be built on the foundation of God's word, a home built upon faith and truth and love. Every home should be a place of harmony. This they neglected.

Today's world can be taxing, and in order for a marriage to be the source of strength and renewal that it should be, there is a responsibility that we each have to nurture its source. A couple should view their home as their sanctuary and a source of nourishment for their relationship. Their home should be seen as holy, and choices made carefully as to what is brought in and decidedly left out. A happy home is ruled by kindness, honesty, mutual respect, a desire for one another's happiness, and a reverence for the sacred space that is yours on both a physical and spiritual level. It should be free from judgment, allowing mistakes that humans make, and thought of as a safe harbor, deep enough to weather any storm.

The commitment of a marriage is not only a commitment to stay together, but that you will both work together to ensure that you will live in a home, warm and glowing with love and memories, and not just a house; a home physically strong to protect and provide shelter, but also filled with a loving family who come and go from their interactions with the world.

Bringing the world into their home didn't work. It made them rich, but not happy.

Estimates are they are bringing in around 3 million a year. They get $75,000 per episode, 30 per year. They get church "love offerings." Book sales. Book signings. Speeches and appearances. Tons of free stuff on top of that.

Financially they are good. Emotionally they are bankrupt.

I like them. They seem to be good people. I wish they could of seen this coming. It all just makes me very sad, for them and for their family. This sort of thing always does.

Wishing you the best....Ric

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The things we parents have to watch out for.

Note sent the next school day with 1st grader...

Dear Ms Davis, That is not a dance pole on stage in a strip joint! ...I work at Home Depot, ...that's me selling a shovel. Mrs. Smith

you gotta love it...Ric

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Little Misunderstanding

A doctor examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, took the husband aside, and said, 'I don't like the looks of your wife at all.'

'Me neither Doc,' said the husband. 'But she's a great cook and is really good with the kids.'

Patriotic Retirement Plan

Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money onlavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. - Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the followingstipulations:
1) They MUST retire. Forty million job opening s - Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - AutoIndustry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

It can't get any easier than that!P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress and theirconstituents pay their taxes..

Do people actually live like this?

Painted Bathroom Floor

IMAGINE YOU ARE AT A PARTY ... Tenth floor of a hi-rise building.....

reno 911 season 5 clip - The Lottery Misprint

When Grandma Goes to Court

Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?'

She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, ' Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'
Have a good day...Ric

Wednesday, May 13, 2009



Genius…..ahhh, how the word has a magical ring about it.

Club Genius is so exclusive a club that only very few great men or women ever manage to knock on its doors and enter.

Genius is the rare phenomenon. There is about one genius in a million. The majority of psychologists divide people into the ordinary people, talented people and geniuses. The majority of people are ordinary. But a rare few are geniuses. They are destined to the lonely and hard life. They develop the progress, make interesting inventions, make the great discoveries in their field, write books and open doors for all the rest of us. But they will be lonely.

The world is built in such a way that the majority of people don’t like most other people. Most of our communication with each other takes place on an emotional level, but this emotional level is not developed in geniuses. That is why the real talented genius is doomed to loneliness. Talented people must study at schools where they will be surrounded by other talented children and where specially educated people will take care of them.

“Genius” is a much-abused term. We abuse and overuse a great number of words and terms. For example, the word “awesome” connotes a thing or event that leaves a person wide-mouthed with awe, like a hurricane or a house-fire (or maybe a very significant other). Calling a cheeseburger “awesome,” may elevate the cheeseburger, but it deflates the word.

A cold-blooded murderer or corrupt politician may indeed cause outrage in the community, but to call an excellent order of fajitas “outrageous” stretches things a bit, don’t you think? The words “fabulous,” “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “phenomenal” are also widely overused.

But on to “genius.” Genius must transcend mere excellence. Doing a very good job at something is nice and sometimes important, but it is not genius. The genius sees what the rest of us can’t see.

We yearn for genius – to be reassured of the vastness of the human potential.

But maybe, just maybe, it is not that rare. Maybe it is in each of us, but we just have to get to it, discover it, uncover it. Maybe there is a genius in you, trying to get out. Maybe there is a beautiful pearl hidden deep within the shell. Have you ever experienced a brief moment when the vault opens and a glimmer of your brilliance is released? In these rare moments, you feel fully alive – energized, connected and in the flow. You don’t know where it came from but you do know it was rare, and special. You could feel the energy…you knew you were in the zone…you knew this is exactly what you should be doing. And then the vault slams shut again. You feel like a bird grounded, unable to fly. You don’t know how to get it back or where to turn. So you return to the comfort zone, settling for the ordinary existence.

Don’t let it just disappear never to be heard from again. Bring it back. Evaluate your life. Think about the times when you were at your best. Rekindle the fire, unleash the enthusiam and access the brilliance that lies hidden within you. Only you can unlock the door. Open the door and let your light shine. We need your genius.

Ya’ll be safe out there….Ric Justiss

“The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.”
William James

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Want to Hold Your Hand

Why do couples continue to hold hands, even after many years of being together? In a word - Connection! In a better word - Love! Holding hands has long been thought of as a first romantic step between a couple. And it may be. But it is also the last step for the old-timers. On their last day, you will find them still, till the end, holding hands.

To hold someone’s hand is to offer them affection, protection and comfort. It is a way to communicate and tell them silently “I am here, with you.” Usually it suggests something innocuous and sweet about a couple and their relationship. In some instances, it takes on added potency being an act of respect, like a handshake.

But, over all, few things are more innocent than a child grabbing the hand of a parent, for protection, direction and connection. And with many children these days closer and more outwardly affectionate to their parents, chances are you have spotted a mother and her teenage daughter and perhaps even a father and his adolescent son ambling through a mall, scurrying through a crosswalk or strolling along, hand in hand.

Likely, it was your mother or father who first held your hand when you began taking baby steps. Having a parent hold your hand while you were out in the world made you feel safe, protected from any harm. Later, hand-holding was likely done in friendship with your friends or family. Hand-holding during the dating scene was a whole new experience that made your heart skip a beat or two. Holding hands is definitely a heart-connected activity! Adult children and their elderly parents also hold hands, for balance, support and as a sign of love.

As for romantic couples, the opinions about hand-holding are as varied as fingerprints. But most people agree that it has not lost favor. If they do hold hands, it is likely only after they are deep into a relationship — not in those early days of budding romance, when a touch of hands was the first act of intimacy between a couple. That was the hand-holding that the Beatles wrote about.
Today, holding hands has become more significant than other seemingly deeper expressions of love and romance. Reaching for someone’s hand these days has more potential for rejection than leaning in for a smooch at a party where alcohol is flowing.

Whatever degree of hand-holding may be happening, there are good reasons to cultivate the habit. When we get more physical intimacy we get better relationships, whether a mother and an infant or a couple. Studies have shown that monkeys hold hands in reconciliation after a fight. We have learned that hand-holding relaxes the body. Put someone in a M.R.I machine, or other stressful situations, where they might at first be tense and afraid, and they will relax and start to feel more secure if allowed to hold their spouses hand.

Perhaps it is why so many people crave it. Holding hands remains a sign of intimacy between friends and lovers, couples and family, keeping two people together as they navigate the world around them. It as powerful a gesture today as it ever has been.

Holding hands strengthens your marriage relationship, creating a comforting and calming atmosphere in your home. It builds more trust between the two of you, and deepens your intimacy with one another. Holding hands is like a hug, sometimes friendly and some times loving.

Personally, I hope it never goes out of style! When was it the last time you held your dear ones hands and said silently “I care for you, and I am here for you no matter what?”

Have a good one…Ric

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings is a saying, essentially meaning that one shouldn't assume the outcome of some activity (frequently a sports game) until it has actually finished. It compares to "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched." I think I've heard somewhere, "The fight's not over till the last bell."

Never give up. Never, never, never give up.

The expression, “until the fat lady sings” gives us a sense of hope when we are behind or losing a contest.

And the contests in which we participate in life teach us valuable lessons about life itself. A particular car may lead the Nascar race the whole way, but have a wreck or lose a tire or run out of gas right at the end and lose the contest. Who would of thought Romo would fumble the extra point snap that would of won the game a couple of years ago? How many times have I seen my opponent miss an easy 8 ball shot? Remember Staubach’s now famous “hail Mary” pass? Though one may appear to be the obvious winner, it doesn’t always work out that way.

People get down on their luck, things don’t go the way they expected or hoped, but they keep working and doing their best, and then when they least expected it, something gives. Something happens and then there it is. Maybe after many tries, or many years, or many disappointments and lots of pep talks to yourself, it happens, and that for which you have been working, comes true. Graduating from college is one thing, but making use of that education is another. Sometimes it is the one who didn’t have the opportunity of a college education that finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

God has a purpose and a calling for us. It may not be clear yet what that purpose is. All of us seek those mountaintop experiences. We all want to be blessed. We sometimes feel we deserve God’s blessings. We feel life hasn’t been fair because someone else we know has blessings that we don’t have. But maybe, just maybe, we have to learn to be a blessing for someone else.

Listen to God’s word:Matt. 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Matt 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Jesus was traveling with his chosen 12 apostles and they began arguing among themselves about which of them was the greatest. Jesus said to them, (Mark 9: 30 -35) If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Remember the story of Jesus insisting he wash the disciples feet and Peter refusing to let Jesus wash his feet. (John 13: 1-16) It was a time in which they could not conceive of washing each other’s feet. Foot washing was something reserved for the lowest of servants. They would argue about who was the greatest among themselves, an attitude that precluded them stooping to wash each other’s feet. But Jesus took a towel and washed his disciples feet. They were shocked. Jesus was trying to teach them a lesson about selfless service, a lesson followed up with his death on the cross.

Learning to be a blessing for others, is a hard lesson to learn. It goes against everything we have ever been taught. We are pushed to be the best, to be the winner, to be the top gun. “He who dies with the most toys wins,” I have heard it said. So much so that we feel like a big ole loser if we haven’t been able to keep up with the Jones or with our friends. We may not have the prestige, the money, or the status of someone else, but we just may have something much better. We have humility, we have compassion, we have patience.
Remember we are told, But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4

The feet washing Jesus did for his disciples was at its root an act of love. Christ made it clear he would not expect anything of us he was not willing to do himself. We are to love each other. We are to love each other just as he has loved us. And being a blessing for others involves acts of love. It may mean lending a helping hand when needed, or just being there, or having the right words to say when they need to hear them. It may mean waiting on them, or lending money or having a strong shoulder for them to lean on. It could mean so many different things. But you will know it. You will recognize it. The love you have in your heart will lead you to what you need to do.

I remember Paul Simon sang, “one mans ceiling is another mans floor.” And I have lived long enough to see that people’s positions in life changes. In the news just recently we saw one who was a millionaire-billionaire one day, and in jail the next and had lost everything. Affluence today but bankrupt tomorrow. You have seen it too. So you know, things can change. They usually do. The hard times you are having today can turn around and be much better later on.

But you can take confidence and have contentment and have full assurance that Gods purpose for you and your life is unfolding according to plan and it will all work out, maybe not like we first thought or hoped it would, or imagined it might, but it will do so according to God’s will for our life. Believe me when I say, “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

God bless….ric justiss

Friday, March 27, 2009

Notes from Grey's Anatomy

Practicing medicine doesn't lend itself well to the making of friends. Maybe because life and mortality are in our faces all the time. Maybe because, in staring down death every day, we're forced to know that life, every minute, is borrowed time. And each person we let ourselves care about is just one more loss somewhere down the line. For this reason, I know some doctors who just don't bother making friends at all. But the rest of us, we make it our job to move that line, to push each loss as far away as we can.

and then

It doesn't matter how tough we are. Trauma always leaves a scar. It follows us home, it changes our lives. Trauma messes everybody up. But, maybe that's the point. All the pain and the fear and the crap. maybe going through all that is what keeps us moving forward. It's what pushes us. Maybe we have to get a little messed up. Before we can step up.

Great Story of One who beat the odds

Read Story

Thomas Kinkade

This is a Thomas Kinkade painting It's rumored to carry a miracle!

They say if you pass this on, you will receive a miracle. I am passing this on because I thought it was really pretty, and besides, who couldn't use a miracle?!

A Trillion Dollars

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Movie Review

We watched this movie last night.
It is called YOU KILL ME.

I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because it portrayed the struggle of a man to overcome his being an alcoholic and how the people in his life helped him to become a person he wanted to be.I thought it was great. ]

Watch trailer:

Stars Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni

I say....Must See TV

yall enjoy, Ric

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ole Man Winter

DALLAS – Winter came barreling into town last night with temperatures dropping to 25 in the metroplex, with wind chills chilling to the bone. Some lost power to their homes, some experienced flight delays, and most everyone enjoyed the morning rush ice covering roadways, bridges, parking lots and sidewalks. There was a glaze of ice left everywhere as old man winter left his mark last night.

As I drove into work this morning, there was little traffic, but I could not go over 25 mph without losing control of my truck. The ice was everywhere, not just bridges and overpasses. My truck was covered with ice as I went out to start it up, and when I parked it at work it was still covered in ice. The ice sickles and the ice on the hood were not melted by my hour long drive into work. My truck looked just as frozen when I arrived as when I left.

My friend Melissa says she has a big ole bruise thanks to the ice. That ice is so unforgiving. It was 13 years ago in January when my wife fell on the ice on the sidewalk as she was walking into her office. She suffered a hip injury that even today still gives her problems. I have had all the adventures I hope to have in the ice on either sidewalks or the highways.

The roads looked clear but it was deceiving. I couldn't do over 25 or 30 mph. There is a lot of black ice, I noticed, as I slipped and slid all over the place in my drive to work. My office at Jones Day did not open until noon today, but I tried to get in by 10:00. It was something out there this morning.

Thankfully, the sun will come out tomorrow. It always does in Texas.

Ya'll be safe out there....Ric

Friday, January 23, 2009


There is a new study recently out that discusses how long women spend getting ready to go out. It's a figure which will surprise even the most impatient husband - women spend nearly three years of their life getting ready to leave the house.
Men, according to the study, spend months of their lives waiting on their women, from last-minute outfit changes, choosing shoes, twirls in front of the mirror and rummages in the handbag, to the normal showering, shaving, fixing hair and doing makeup, nails, choosing accessories and such. From 50 minutes to get ready for work, to and hour and a half or more, for an evening out is normal.

This got me to thinking.

If you spend that much time getting ready, you surely want someone to notice. Compliments are expected, right? Or are they?

You can’t compliment a girl at work anymore. Someone will take it the wrong way and make a federal case out of it. Just out and about, it is awkward to compliment a stranger.

I always feel good when I receive a compliment, but it also makes me feel good to give a compliment. You cannot give a sincere compliment without feeling great. You focus on someone else and try to make them feel good by saying something very nice to them, and it somehow makes you feel good too. Let’s face it, everyone loves a compliment. It makes us smile. We feel good about ourselves. It’s a lovely thing. Lovely to receive, and feels good to pass em out.

I keep finding myself in positions where I’d really like to compliment someone but am afraid of coming across as creepy and/or a thousand other awful things, and it’s annoying me. What do you think are the rules, if any, of giving compliments?

Nevertheless, at the risk of coming across as a weirdo, I still just go forward and try to be most sincere. I don’t say if I don’t mean it. I try to be brief, and go on to something else right away, or just walk away. It’s not a line used to get a date. It is just a sincere compliment. Nothing more.

And I don’t just compliment pretty girls. I compliment anyone and everyone that does or has done something that impresses me. Do a good job at work and I will tell you so. Make a good pool shot, and I will tell you so. Do anything special, and if I notice, I will congratulate you on it. That is just the way I am.

Have a great weekend....Ric

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

The American Presidential Inauguration Day ceremony, with it's speeches and festivities, has always represented both national renewal and continuity of leadership. It is always intended to honor the incoming leader.

This is my 12th time to witness Inauguration Day. Once again, the events brought to my mind thoughts such as: transition of power, classy, pomp and circumstance and royalty. I am reminded of the great burden of being President. And also the price they pay. Most often, they ride into town on a big white horse. The country is usually proud and happy for them with great words of praise. And then years later, pushed aside with yesterdays newspaper. They almost never live up to expectations, because the expectations are so high and grand.

The celebration today seemed bigger than ever. And rightly so, in one respect. It is the 1st time in the history of our country that the hand on the bible was not the hand of a white man. Certainly a historic day.

Regardless of our vote last Nov., today is a day to enjoy, a day to savor. Our new leader brings words of hope and optimism. And Lord knows we need some of that. Times are hard, the challenges are great, and four years from now, when the oath is repeated, we will know just how these things played out. I for one, do hope, that great and better things do indeed lie ahead for all of us.

God bless our leaders and God bless you and yours.....Ric

Monday, January 19, 2009


Know that although in the eternal scheme of things you are small, you are also unique and irreplaceable.

Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may be the next Shakespeare or Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel.

Look at you. You have a special gift. There is that thing that you get, that others don’t. Math or music or designing. Art or maybe Sales. Maybe you have a heart that beats for fairness. It is something different for everyone. But you have been equipped with a talent that is unique. Someone probably noticed it in you when you were growing up, your hidden strength. Look back over your life. What have you consistently done well? What have you loved to do?
Take a good look at your successes and your affections. This is where you will find it. Say hello to your “you-nique-ness.”

We have each been given something special. Don't worry about the skills you don't have. Don’t covet others strengths. Just enjoy that which is uniquely you. Go to your place. Unleash your abilities. We need you. And I am betting you will find an uncommon joy.
Why are you trying to fit in, when you were born to stand out?

Wishing you the best, Ric

Friday, January 16, 2009

Need Some Advice?

No man is an island. There will be times when we don’t know what to do. We know we need help. But we seldom seek help. We usually keep our problems to ourselves.
Men especially, but also people in general, are much to proud, macho, invincible and reluctant to appear vulnerable or weak.

Many are brought up in an unrealistic environment. We are led to believe that strength is good. We are supposed to be successful at everything and failure or weakness are not allowed. To be honest I don't know at what age most of us imbedded these beliefs.
Men may have a harder time with seeking advice than women do. The pressures that are created for the male start at a very early age. Playing at home with siblings or friends, then at school, our male world continues to develop until we arrive to the business world. By then we are hardened as "most males should be", and the business world continues to prolong the myth of the male toughness to never show weakness or emotions. We like to be in control.

How then do we seek advice or help if needed? Very simply we don't. We don't utilize the support system around us.

It is about time that we become more human, that we recognize not only our weaknesses, but that seeking help is not a shame. If we stop putting ourselves in this difficult position we may discover that being vulnerable is part of being human, and that seeking help is not a shame.

We go to the doctor when we need medicine. We go to the plumber when the water is leaking everywhere. We go to the lawyer when we are facing tough legal issues. We should look at more everyday issues the same way. Talk to someone who has been there, one who has gone through the same thing. More than likely they will be glad to help and you can have saved yourself more and bigger problems.

I will occasionally have someone come to me with a question or a problem. If you really believe I have some unique insight, and you’d like to probe my brain on a particular topic, then please do seek me out. I love focused discussions with specific intent. I love investing time with people who’ve thought long and hard about a topic or problem. I love it when you’ve at least attempted a point of view. That is when engagement becomes meaningful. That is when I’m motivated to interact and help.

But go to someone you trust. And then when they give you advice, take it.

I am amazed at the number of people that, no. 1, don’t seek advice at all, and no.2, those that ask for specific advice from someone they trust, and then reject it or fail to follow through and do what was advised. I see it in our pool matches each week. Some players don't need or want any advice, they are good. And then, some ask for advice, then decide not to take it. But whether it is something as small as a game of pool or something more important, it is ok to ask for help. It is OK! The best minds do it all the time. My kids, not so much. But the smart and successful are always asking for advice, the more advice the better.

Don’t take any wooden nickels and don’t put all your eggs in one basket……Ric

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Goodbye George Bush

I will miss George Bush. The people of America will miss him too.

I don’t know the man. I don't know fully why I will miss him-I'm still trying to work it out. It might take me some time, some considerable time, perhaps. The American public - friends and enemies-will miss George Bush, their president, in ways that they do not yet know and in ways that they do not yet understand. And it will take them years to realize this and, or, to admit it to themselves.

He took us to war. Yes, he did. Back then, how we wanted the war.
I feel safe with Bush. I don’t know I will feel the same after he is gone.

The people of America do not like or want George Bush any longer, they tell the pollsters. Not as their president, not as a friend, not as anything much. Not even as an enemy? But back then, they wanted him! How they wanted him. Go hear the names they call men who do not defend their own.

Along came Iraq. It was the war his people wanted. He gave it to them. Try and deny that. Things did not go according to plan, and the world has changed forever. But he would not let up on taking down the bad guys. Not ever.

Bush was just one of us. An ordinary guy. Sort of, in spite of his wealth. The intellects called him stupid....his regular slips of the tongue, fudged sentences, point-blank statements that sent shutters through anyone that ever even had an English college course. No other leader talked like him. Plain, succinct. The language of the man! To watch him work the crowd during election campaigns was to marvel at where he got his joviality-and utter professionalism-from. Didn't he always always show how much he cared and how much he enjoyed being out with the people?

He was the friendly guy in the corner with the ready, funny joke, great sense of humor, the trait of appreciating the humorous, always ready to buy you a drink, always first to ask if you needed one, even if he had to tell you how he had given it up.

I always appreciated his problems and how he was trying to deal with them despite the appalling odds. I found him interesting, he didn’t seem to care what the talk shows were saying about him. There was a fierce intelligence blazing away, well hidden. A great confidence.

How do I explain, on the eve of his departure, that I liked George Bush? Why should I, who is going to understand? He is a man who will be one of the most studied in American history. His place there is assured. And not for the easy reasons. He was America for what America was. Time to bring down the final curtain. Good bye, Mr. President, I for one, will miss you. I do know that much…I’m sure all the reasons will come to the top in time.

Have a good day....Ric

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.
Remember - Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
with love.....DRJ