From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Christmas 365 days a year

 Highslide JS

It always seems that the Christmas season makes people nicer than at other times of the year. Somehow I wish that people could make Christmas last 365 days a year, but unfortunately, that doesn't happen does it?

You walk down the isle of the store and people smile. You stop at a stop sign and the other driver motions for you to go first. You get ready to enter a store and someone holds the door open a little longer. The store clerks seem a little friendlier and there is just a good feeling in the air no matter where you go.

Unfortunately, we somehow lose the Christmas spirit -- let's see??? Usually, the day after when people go back to the stores to return certain presents that didn't fit, or they didn't like...and then you know what happens. Or -- when the stores have those ridiculous after Christmas sales that cause people to fight and scratch for items on tables that are priced almost free.

I know that the older I get, the less importance receiving gifts has become to me. Ever since I was a little boy, I always found it much more exciting to give. I still remember shopping for my parents and little brother for Christmas. I couldn't wait to see their face when they opened my treasure -- keeping in mind that all three presents cost around $5.00 total. (See how old that makes me?)

One year, I bought my dad a package of handkerchiefs that had an embroidered letter on them. I asked the lady if they had some with the letter 'D' for Davis and she said they were out of them. I asked for the letter 'J' for John, but they didn't have that letter either. Finally, I settle for the letter 'F' and took them home to wrap and put under the tree.

On Christmas morning, I couldn't wait for my dad to open up my gift. When he did, he smiled and thanked me for the handkerchiefs. He couldn't resist asking, "David, what does the 'F' stand for?" Without blinking an eye I said, "Well, Father, of course."

My dad never did use those handkerchiefs. They always stayed on his dresser. I heard him share the story of my gift with others at church and as I grew older, I realized that the reason he never used them was they were a precious reminder of a simple gift from his son, and he didn't want them to be tainted in any way. He told me that just a few months before he died.

Somehow, while he suffered with Alzheimer's, that simple little present found its way through the cobwebs of his mind to surface after over 40 years that brought a smile to his face as a reminder that his son loved him very much.

Some presents don't cost money, but they are perhaps more valuable than any gift that money can buy.

One such gift is forgiveness.

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. The little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. For all these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick, and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents.

"When we were to be married," she said. "My grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily."

The little old man was so moved he had to fight back his tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years living and loving. He said, "But what about all of this money? How did you manage to save all this money?"

"Oh," she said. "That's the money I made from selling the doilies."

So what are you going to do when you get angry or upset? You could forgive or make doilies. Both are beneficial.

Old friend Robert said, "He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”

X (formerly Twitter): @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Thanksgiving is a blessed time of the year

I believe Thanksgiving can be a time of reflection for all the blessings we have received over the past year. I trust you will be able to think about some things that have deep meaning in your life.

As I get older -- I still am amazed at the wisdom of some of our young future leaders. Consider this:

   "The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but enjoy it less.

   We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but fewer solutions; more medicine, but less wellness.

   We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values.

   We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

   We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years.

   We've been all the way to the moon and back but have trouble getting along with our neighbors.

   We've conquered outer space, but not inner peace; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice.

   We have higher incomes, but lower morals; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

   These are the times of tall men, and short character, steep profits, and shallow relationships.

   These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

   It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom."

No matter how old we get -- there are still lessons to learn from others. I read this in an article.

   "I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."

   "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

   "I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."

   "I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'."

   "I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."

   "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."

   "I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."

   "I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."

   "I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."

   "I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

   "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

These are words of wisdom that deserve our serious consideration.

Old friend Robert said, "I AM too blessed to be stressed! The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything."

May you each have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

The Art of Graciousness

It seems to me that our society has lost the art of graciousness. There was a time when we had an unwritten law about this—when graciousness was an integral part of our culture.

Do you remember the old cartoon, "Chip and Dale"? In almost every episode, the two chipmunks found themselves being chased by a dog. As they neared the entrance of their hole, they would stop briefly and have the same discussion every time about who would enter first: "After you!" "No, I insist, after you!"

Back and forth, back and forth the argument would go. About that time, the dog leaped into the air, ready to pounce on them. Finally, one of the two gracious chipmunks would give in and enter the safety of home.

Very early in my life, my parents taught me to respect and honor elderly people or at least anyone over 30. These habits were so ingrained in my life that they became second nature.

I remember hearing my mom tell some of her friends, "David has always been loved by our older people in the church because he always is so gracious and respectful to them. The just love him to death."

Yes, I am also one of those people who opens doors for ladies and who says, "Yes, sir," or "No, sir," without even thinking about it.

By the way, my parents had a very practical way of building graciousness into the life of me and my brother. If we were not gracious or respectful, or if we failed to show good manners, my dad would take us to a "board meeting" where he graciously introduced us to the "board of education." The lessons of graciousness, like many good lessons, can sometimes be painful.

One of God's qualities is that He is always gracious. He was gracious to Sarah: "Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what He had promised" (Gen. 21:1).

He was gracious to Israel: "But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day He has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from His presence" (2 Kings 13:23).

He is gracious to us: "The LORD is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love" (Psalm 103:8). Jesus was also gracious: "All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips. 'Isn't this Joseph's son?' they asked" (Luke 4:22).

Yes, teaching your children graciousness is teaching them to be like their heavenly Father, so of course, it is teaching them to be like Jesus. But there are other reasons you want your children to be gracious.

Graciousness enlarges their reputations. It works like a magnifying glass to enhance and intensify the good things they do.

For example, being known as a diligent worker is a good thing. Being known as a gracious and diligent worker is even better!

How do you build this quality into your children's lives? Begin by modeling it in your home and family. Graciousness, like many other character qualities, is more caught than taught. Being gracious with your family members is one more way of saying, "I love you."

Second, give your children practical skills for living a gracious life. Have your children make follow-up calls or write notes to thank someone for a gift or an opportunity. This will help them begin to learn the language of graciousness.

Finally, teach your children - the two cousins of graciousness: respect and manners. Practice these alongside your children and watch them grow.

I am very proud to say that my children are passing this characteristic to their children. All of my grandchildren know what to say when they hear, "Now what do you say?"

The world we live in is so full of hate that I'm afraid that we are losing the lessons of good manners. May we never lose sight of what it means to be respectful and appreciative in all things.

Old friend Robert said, "And you know, when you've experienced grace and you feel like you've been forgiven, you're a lot more forgiving of other people. You're a lot more gracious to others."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Time and Treasures

Time is a beast that will either chase you toward or away from the better things in life.

When I was growing up, television was just coming into its own. Geez...I can't believe I am that old.

I spent my earlier years listening to the radio. With the radio you can do other things: build model cars (who does that anymore?) or work on a puzzle.

The radio station in Oklahoma that everyone listened to was KOMA which was powerful enough to go all across the Sooner state. Every teenager across the state listened as it played the most popular music of the day.

Chubby Checker brought us "The Twist." And the most legendary music group that is still going today, the Rolling Stones who belted out, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" as well as other songs that they have in their arsenal of hits that are still being played today.

Mick Jaggar (80) and Keith Richards (80) still represent us old folks as they prance around on stage to a packed audience. I can imagine one day Mick will be prancing across the stage with the aid of a walker.

Looking back, I'm caught off guard by what I used to deem important and by the things I treasured. I don't treasure possessions as much as I used to, unless you count my highly prized 45 r.p.m. records, cassettes and CDs which number more than 700. (Some of us will have to explain to the digital generation the difference between 33 1/3s and 45s).

Now I have become a time-grabber. I treasure friendships, old and new. Time has taught me that friendships are the spice rack of life. Some of them you see every day and others only on occasion, but they are nice to have when needed.

Time has not only taught me the value of having friends, but of being a friend. When someone needs me, I'm not in as much of a hurry as I was in the past. Over the years, I've learned that the things that I thought were demanding and important will still be demanding and important -- next week.

This past summer, I made it a priority to spend time with some of my grandchildren on a personal basis. My 7-year-old granddaughter Abby (AKA - My Sack of Sugar) and my 5-year-old granddaughter Leighton (AKA - My Little Princess) made it a weekly event to go to Old McDonald's, Firehouse Subs in Silverlake, and Chick-fil-A.

They would sing "Old McDonald Had a Farm" as we navigated to the restaurant to get their Happy Meal and play in the playroom. They made it a point to have one of my daughters to "call Pops" to remind me of our weekly date.

Two of my grandson's went with me and the girls this summer before they had to return to Qatar where they now live as my youngest son is an Engineer with Chevron/Phillips and he's building a refinery in that country.

I have learned to treasure relationships above worldly things. But I still have lots of things I hold near and dear to my heart.

One can't come into my office at home without seeing old, yellowed papers with pictures my kids drew in school, with the word "Dad" scrawled below them in crayon. I have various drawing with the words "I love you daddy" pinned to my bookshelf. Now -- art work from my nine grandchildren have joined by collection of treasures.

When it is time for me to leave this earth, they will find the many Father's Day cards stuck between books or in the shelves that I deem as important papers. They will also find some valuable baseball cards that I have treasured since I was a young boy that includes several of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, etc. that have some monetary value.

Among my treasures include my Eagle collection (about 25 figures), newspaper clippings of my high school and college football and baseball games as well as my travels across America when I was speaking to thousands of young people in our public schools regarding choices in life. Remnants of my 15 trips to India. They will also find in my bookshelf close to a dozen books that I have written.

My kids have accused me of being a hoarder, but they will find that I have kept a lot of their things -- baby teeth, report cards, birthday cards to dad, school pictures, etc.

I guess what I want to say to all young people is to take it from those who are closer to the end of the road than you: Let time take you not to the good things of life but to the best: Relationships and God.

Old friend Robert said, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Enjoy the coming year of sports

It is hard to believe that the start of school has begun and that the football season will begin shortly. Hundreds of area athletes have already reported to their various high school sports programs preparing to do their very best as they represent their family, school, and community.

It seems like only yesterday when my son, Landon, was getting his first taste of competitive football at the Jr. High level. Now, he is married, a successful engineer, and a father of three wonderful boys.

When he first decided to participate in the PHS football program -- I told him that he was going to have to work hard and make it on his own. He did and was an All-District tight end for the Oilers.

I made a commitment years ago that if one or more of my four children wanted to participate in competitive sports, I was going to be totally supportive of their decision, but I would remain silent and supportive to the respective coaches.

I guess that comes from the example my parents set when I played in high school and college. My mom and dad would attend each game, watch me play, and then go home. They were never vocal, they never chastised a coach, nor did they ever berate a coach when I got home. I can honestly say that my folks never criticized any of my coaches at any level.

There were people who watched me play who didn't even know who my parents were. Only their close friends knew where they sat and who their son was on a given Friday night in high school or on a Saturday in college.

I took the same stance with my son, and he knows that I never uttered one word of criticism regarding the Pearland coaching staff.

As the 2023 sports season gets underway, it would be a good idea for parents to be totally supportive of their children. This also includes being supportive of the coaches who are committed to your student-athlete.

While all of us want to see our teams win, it is equally important to maintain a consistent level of support for each student-athlete and their coaches. No team goes out to intentionally lose. A strong support base of love and faithfulness is essential for all involved. You will be a lot happier if you look at the whole picture and maintain a sense of decency and self-control.

Also - don't forget about those who participate in the band, cheerleaders, drill team, cross country, volleyball, and tennis. They also sweat in this sweltering heat and spend countless hours preparing for their time in the spotlight or competing for their respective high schools.

I am excited as the fall sports season begins. I want every student-athlete to be successful. But remember -- they are students, first -- and then athletes. So wear your team's colors and spirit clothing with pride -- support each of the young men and women who are participating -- and enjoy this time of the year. There is nothing better than being a part of the high school sports scene.

I think I can hear the band playing now! Won't you join me?

Old friend Robert said, "I am too positive to be doubtful. Too optimistic to be fearful. And too determined to be defeated."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

When you drop the ball

This is the time of the year when football fanatics are in the prime of their life. Football season is just around the corner, and we are excited about what the future holds for our favorite team -- whether it is high school, college, or the NFL.

There seems to be one thing that happens during the course of a game that really gets to me. That's when a quarterback throws a perfect pass to his receiver -- only to watch him drop the ball.

Or to see a defensive back who breaks on a pass and has a pick six, but fails to catch the ball and misses an opportunity to score a touchdown for his team.

The reason I mention this is because we are all going to drop the ball in life. I'm talking about making mistakes. Doing the wrong thing, usually with the best of motives. And it happens with remarkable regularity.

What really bothers me is when someone points out our failures, but then expects you to be more forgiving when they fail. Ever meet anyone like that? I can assure you I have!

In a book entitled: The Incomplete Book of Failures by Stephen Pile -- the author shares such things as: the least successful weather report, the worst computer, the slowest selling book, the worst aircraft, the ugliest building ever constructed, and some of the worst statements...proven wrong in time. Some of those statements were:

"Far too noisy, my dear Mozart. Far too many notes" ~ The Emperor Ferdinand after the first performance of The Marriage of Figaro.

"If Beethoven's Seventh Symphony is not by some means abridged, it will soon fall into disuse." ~ Philip Hale, Boston music critic, 1837.

"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out." ~ Decca Recording Company when turning down the Beatles in 1962.

"You will never amount to very much." ~ A Munich schoolmaster to Albert Einstein, age 10.

The truth is -- all of us will blow it at some time or another. Instead of being the designated critic -- be the one who helps pull someone up when they fall. We must take the risk to make mistakes. We must have the courage to start again. It is better to get up when knocked down! Some anonymous writer penned these words:

To stand up than to stay down!
To keep on than to give up!
To hold on than to drop out!
To move on than to roll over!
No one is beaten until he quits,
No one is through till he stops.
No matter how hard failure hits,
No matter how often he drops,
A fellow is not down till he lies
In the dust and refuses to rise.
Fate may bang him around
And batter him till he is sore,
But it is never said that he's
down While he bobs up for more.
A fellow is not dead till he dies,
Nor done till he no longer tries.

Old friend Robert said, "So then - whenever one of us blows it and we can't hide about a little support from those who haven't been caught yet?"

Oops - correction. How about a lot of support?

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Phases when you enter senior adulthood

I've said quite often and heard others say the same thing. "Getting old is the pits!"

I find this season of my life very interesting, and I have observed a pattern among my friends: the phases of senior adulthood.

Phase 1--Senior Adult Discounts: This phase occurs when we start telling our friends where to find senior discounts. We become almost giddy when we learn that most Goodwill stores give us between 15-25 percent off on Tuesdays.

The 10 percent discounts at IHOP, Waffle House, Arby's and Burger King are our staples. Did you know you can get up to 20 percent off at Jack-in-the-Box? Yes, you can find a covey of senior adults flocking to any one of these locations on the appropriate day at the appropriate time.

Phase 2--Reruns: The next level of senior adulthood is watching your favorite TV shows from the past. You start out with old color TV shows such as "Happy Days" or "The Carol Burnett Show." Later, you shift to black-and-white programming: "Gunsmoke," "Perry Mason" "I Love Lucy" "Bewitched" and my favorite "The Andy Griffith Show."

This is also the stage of life where you quit watching the Oscars because you don't recognize any actors or movies receiving awards. And you certainly don't watch any of the music awards because you have no idea who any of the rappers are or you don't know their music -- at least that's what they call it. I told my youngest son, "There won't be a golden oldie Rap station in 30 years."

I lived in arguably the greatest era of music in the 60's which also includes the cars during the 50's and 60's. You used to be able to identify a car driving down the street. Today -- good luck!

Phase 3--Birdwatching: Outside of my office window I have a bird bath and a small bird feeder that I put bird food out for my feathered friends. They arrive on the edge of the bird bath and bathe themselves and then drop on the bird feeder bowl to fill their little bodies. They are not bashful about running off the squirrels who try to steal their food and water.

Brazoria County has some of the largest species of birds in the state and the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Sparrows, etc. are most welcome visitors to eat, drink, and bathe in my little sanctuary.

Phase 4--Obituary Watching: I'm now of the age when I get the email or call asking if I knew that so-and-so had passed away?" I never hear from a high school classmate until they send out an email that a classmate has died.

This past week I received notice that one of my former football college teammates had passed away. He was two years younger that me which really gets my attention.

Phase 5--Labeling Everything: I hear as we get older, we will put names on these items to indicate which person gets what when we pass away. For the last several years, my kids have made it clear that they have no desire to get the China, the every day dishes, furniture, etc. This is a different generation so they would rather not be included in getting that stuff.

Phase 6--Discussion of Prescriptions: Getting older involves discusses of the latest pills we are taking with our friends. We compare ailments, medications, and general aches and pains due to getting older. I told someone that "I am officially old because I have a small dog and I take pills."

I will admit that getting older beats the alternative. So I guess I'll continue to enjoy whatever "state" I'm in physically and mentally and hope for the best each day.

Old friend Robert said, "Not everyone understands that old age simply means your body looks old, but your soul is still that vibrant young twenty something."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Life is measured by what you have learned

One thing I have a hard time with is being around people who seem to be so miserable. Do you know what I mean? When I think of that first sentence -- my mind immediately goes to a couple I saw a little over a year ago at a sporting event. I don't know their names - but I have never seen them smile, but I sure have seen and heard how miserable they are by the way they have talked to others -- especially people they don't know.

I am a firm believer in laughter and making others laugh. It seems that no matter where I go -- I find myself around people who feel the same way. Yet - when those who are miserable enter the room -- they continue to wear that scowl on their face and it doesn't take long for them to feel uneasy in their surroundings and leave.

Someone once said, "If you say you are happy -- then make sure you tell your face so others will know it."

I love the word "joy" and it should translate into happiness. But I have also learned that "joy" is an inside job. There is no way that you can express outward joy unless it begins inside your heart. You can't manufacture it. You certainly can't be in a room full of people who have joy and try to fool others because those who have inside joy can spot a fake a mile away.

My late mother-in-law was named Joy. My oldest daughter is named LeJoy - which means "The Joy!" And both have been a joy to my life for many years.

I have spent years collecting things that "I've learned..." Perhaps a few more will bring joy and peace to your life.

   * I've learned...That money doesn't buy class.
   * I've learned...That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
   * I've learned...That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
   * I've learned...That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
   * I've learned...That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
   * I've learned...That love, not time, heals all wounds.
   * I've learned...That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
   * I've learned...That there's nothing sweeter than holding your grandbabies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
   * I've learned...That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
   * I've learned...That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
   * I've learned...That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
   * I've learned...That I can choose how I feel.
   * I've learned...That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.
   * I've learned...That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs in the valley.

Life is full of great lessons if only we remain open to learning no matter how old we get in life.

Old friend Robert said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Paying respect to our flag and national anthem

Each time that our high school athletic teams participate against an opponent, we take time to honor our flag, country, and national anthem. Whether I am in the press box during football season, courtside at a basketball game, or standing out in the open for baseball, softball, track, etc. -- I always stand and place my hand over my heart during the presentation of the colors and the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

It is something I have done beginning in a catholic kindergarten in Duncan, Oklahoma. When I began first grade, we were taught to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while putting our right hand over our heart. Each and every day, we did this from the first grade till I was a senior in high school.

Patriotism was engrained into our lives and only when I left home to live on a college campus did I see my patriotism challenged -- due in part to the Vietnam War. I happen to believe that patriotism is something that should be taught in America at a very young age.

I was at the age where I could have been drafted to go to Vietnam. Going to college and making good grades allowed me to stay at home, though I had some high school classmates who served our country in Vietnam only to return home in body bags.

There was Bobby Frost and Patrick Robirds who gave their life for our freedom. Another classmate, Keith Werner, returned home severely wounded where he lived a short time and then died.

One of our Pearland elder statesman, who graduated from Pearland High School, approached me following the national anthem at a sporting event. He asked, "Do some of our adults and students not know how to honor our flag and national anthem?"

He went on to say, "I was taught to stop talking, take off your hat [if you were wearing one], place your hand over your heart, face the flag, and stand at attention at the playing of the national anthem. Where is the respect?

According to some research, here is the proper etiquette regarding our flag and national anthem.

The US Code (Titles 4 and 36) specifies four circumstances for rendering the hand-over-heart salute:

    1. When the US flag is raised or lowered
    2. When the US flag is carried past in a review or parade
    3. When reciting the pledge of allegiance
    4. When the national anthem is played

The saluter should face the flag in all cases. If the national anthem is played when the flag is not displayed, the saluter should face the source of the music.

Whether you agree or not, keep something in mind. There have been thousands of men and women who have given their lives so you and I could stand for a few moments and give respect to our nation's flag and anthem. In essence -- we are also giving respect to them and their sacrifice of dying for our freedom.

Sure, I know we have players in the NFL that kneel during the national anthem in protest of something. But consider this -- 99.9 percent of them have never nor will they ever put on a military uniform and put their lives on the line for our freedom.

In past days -- we had athletic heroes who exchanged their ball uniforms for military uniforms and went to war in service of our country...only to return to be sports heroes again. Ted Williams is one who immediately comes to mind.

The next time you attend an athletic event and they play the national anthem, please stop talking, take off your hat, stand at attention with your hand over your heart, say a prayer for the men and women who are serving our country in the military, and be reminded that our freedom has been paid for with the ultimate sacrifice -- the life of a fellow American.

Old friend Robert said, "This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Bringing home vacation souvenirs

I was visiting with someone this past week and we were discussing vacations -- particularly souvenirs that people bring home for themselves and others.

It seems that one of the favorite souvenirs that people buy for themselves, and others are T-shirts. Especially those that tell you where you went on vacation.

But one headline recently caught my attention. American nabbed leaving India without souvenirs.

Since I have been to India 15 times -- I can assure you that I have returned home with plenty of things from that country. But the story I saw said:

An American woman was detained at Oakland Airport when she attempted to return from an India vacation without any souvenirs.

"I went to Jaipur on business," protested the woman. "I checked into a hotel, had my meeting and left."

I've returned from India with hand-carved elephants, leather goods, hand-painted brass, peacock feathers, etc.

Anyway - there are a couple of things that have always disturbed me regarding souvenirs.

As you are reading this - you are either a collector or you know someone who has collected these items.

One is a state silver spoon. You walk into someone's house and there they are - displayed on the wall in a wooden container.

Those silver spoons have no purpose. You will never use them to eat food. Even if you did -- you would only get a bird's helping.

Which reminds me of a story.

A pastor had dinner at the home of a couple in his church. After he left, the wife said to the husband, "I think he stole our spoon!" This bothered her for a while. A year later the couple had the pastor for dinner again. Unable to resist, the wife asked, "Did you steal our spoon last year?"

The pastor said, "No -- I put it in your Bible."

One of the other souvenirs are the state plates that people buy. Same thing -- you will never use them -- they wouldn't hold enough food to feed a rat -- and they are simply worthless.

For my money -- buy a mug. It can show what state you visited - what amusement park you went to - what restaurant you ate at - what museum you toured. Doesn't that make more sense? You can use your mug at any time. It doesn't fade - it doesn't lose it's size -- and it will last a lifetime unless you break it.

As an example -- I made a brief tour in my kitchen and I found mugs from the Carlsbad Caverns, Roaring River Restaurant in Cassville, Missouri, a mug with the flag of India, an IHOP mug (No I didn't steal it), Blue Bell Ice Cream mug, a "Yeah Man!" cup from Jamaica, a cup that reads, "You're the bestest Daddy!" a cup from Kawai, Hawaii, a cup from The Alamo, a D.A.R.E. mug from Wisconsin, a mug from the Excalibur in Las Vegas, and a beautiful mug from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

These are just a few of over 150 mugs that I have collected over the years. Many are in boxes, but I can get them out at any time to serve a lot of people.

My latest mugs have pictures of my nine grandchildren on them. I like those!

Spoons and plates -- naw! Give me a mug any day. You know - it just dawned on me -- I have been around the world and in 36 states -- but I don't have a Pearland mug. I need to do some hunting around to see if I can find one.

Old friend Robert said, ""A mug of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Advertise in the Dawson/Pearland football media guides

The 2023 high school football season is approaching for Pearland and Dawson High Schools.

It is also time for area businesses to plan on placing an ad in the award-winning football publications. Since I produce the media guides for Dawson and Pearland, there is still space available in these full-color publications for the 2023 football season. But the deadlines are soon approaching. Deadline is Friday, August 11.

For the ninth consecutive year -- both media guides finished in first place in the nation at the National High School Sports Media Publications Contest with winning the Gold Award in two different categories.

Both publications can be seen on the home page of this website, -- just click on a cover and turn the pages.

Each booster club manages 100 percent of the money, and they account for every dime spent in these ventures. Plus - each school has a first-class media guide to present to their fans and visiting teams. The money is used to support the scholarship funds for each school through the booster clubs.

If you are interested in placing an ad in these media guides, please give me a call or Email me and I will send you the details of what you need to do. You can also find the forms at the same address above.

Both communities need to realize that they can support their individual teams while knowing that all of the money stays at home. Every check is made out to the right organization of each school, and they control all finances without any funny business.

I can be reached at 281.997.6800 or 713.449.7474 or E-mail me at to let me know of your interest.

Here are the following E-mails to let us know of your interest in placing a business ad.



Also -- if you are a parent and want to place a personal ad for your son or daughter in any of these football media guides -- you can use the same E-mail addresses to contact us for the information sheet for each submission.

Make plans now as space is limited. Don't wait until the final deadlines in August. Old friend Robert said, "Texas has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and football."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

A lasting influence

Some of life's greatest lessons are learned as a result of being on an athletic team -- especially in high school. I can still recall my days of playing in high school and college -- especially the coaches that influenced my life.

While winning was a vital part of the experience -- it would be the little things that I learned from various coaches that would have the lasting impact on my life.

I remember my college football coach, Elvan George, who was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame, would share various principles from the Bible as part of his coaching philosophy that carried over to my life experiences and not just football.

One of his favorite illustrations was pointing out that if there was a barrel of apples and somehow a rotten apple got in the barrel -- it wouldn't be long before all the good apples would turn rotten.

His point was that we should be careful in who we allow to influence our lives -- not just while we are on the football team -- but in life on an every day basis.

That simple illustration has come to mind to me for decades as I would meet lots of people, and some would try to influence me in a negative way, and I would look at them and say silently -- "They are nothing but a rotten apple trying to get in my barrel of good apples (friends)."

There are those that seek to provide a positive influence -- especially some of the coaches that influence our young people.

While I can give you the names of dozens of coaches in our area schools that I believe are the good apples -- I recently was touched watching a couple of our coaches in two different arenas.

One was Pearland softball coach Laneigh Clark who led her girls to the Class 6A state softball title. She won a state championship in 2010 and now has done it again in 2023. She has also led the Lady Oilers to state in 2009, 2011, and 2016.

Clark is the winningest 6A coach in the state and yet she remains humble and shows her girls unconditional love and respect and her girls return the same.

But I saw another one of our coaches on the same stage just last week in Round Rock but the results were different.

Pearland head baseball coach David Rogers led his young men to the Class 6A baseball state finals in Round Rock. After the Oilers dismantled Austin Westlake 11-1 in the state semifinal contest -- he experienced the pain of coming up short for a state championship when Pearland lost 6-4 to Flower Mound.

The most impressive thing I saw was what he did when they lost -- not when they won.

As each player receive the silver medal as a state runner-up -- coach Rogers went to each player and hugged each one and had words of encouragement just for that player.

I wasn't close enough to see any tears -- but I could tell there were some as I watched them wipe their eyes.

It was at that moment that I realized that in 10 - 20 - 30 years from now -- that will be the moment that many of those players will remember when they think of coach Rogers.

In both cases -- I greatly admire coach Clark and coach Rogers -- and can say without hesitation that our kids are in good hands. Thank you coaches for showing our future leaders of America what is really important in life as you flesh-out unconditional love and respect to them.

Old friend Robert said, "If you have love and respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

You're not a failure until you quit

I think as you get older, you begin asking the hard questions in life. Most young people want to zip through life and ignore the various stop signs and roadblocks that we encounter. Instead, so we think, it is easier to look for the detours in life.

But sooner or later -- we must all take time to see life as it really is and not as Hollywood portrays it to be.

For instance. How are you with interruptions? How do you deal with irritations? How about inconveniences? Or how about stress? Many are all stressed up and no place to go.

It is estimated that the average person spends one year searching for misplaced objects, six years eating (I like that one), eight months opening junk mail (punch the delete button on your computer), four years trying to return telephone calls to people who never seem to be in the office. Five years waiting in lines (especially at Wal-Mart), and six months sitting at traffic lights.

Students at Pittsburgh University timed Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger King at least 100 times to see who was the fastest. Wendy's won - taking an average of 46 seconds to serve a hamburger, fries and soft drink. It took 1 1/2 minutes at McDonald's and three minutes at Burger King.

Which causes me to ask the question: What is patience?

It is not just putting up with something. Patience is more than just endurance, though endurance is part of patience. You are not a failure until you quit -- but if you quit -- you are always a failure.

I must confess that patience has not always been my strongest virtue. But I believe the older you get -- the more you learn about patience and dealing with stress in life.

But the strange thing is -- Patience is the child of tribulation. There is not maturity without patience and no patience without tribulation.

Trials and tribulation in life help us become more patient. With life in general and people in particular. We are all alike when we want all honey and no bees. We just want to sail through life with ease.

But real life isn't like that is it?

I believe that we need to learn that tribulation will give you patience in life. When a trial comes you mature -- and then you endure.

That's why laughter is truly a cure for life's illnesses. While we don't laugh during tragedy...there are many things in life that we can smile about while we are facing the stress mess of life.

Old friend Robert said, "One thing I have learned in life. An impatient person is always an unhappy person. You cannot be happy and impatient at the same time."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Is it just me?

I had some reflective moments this past week. What started it was when I was scanning the internet and saw something I hadn't thought about in over 50 years.

I clicked on an old show on YouTube - "This Is Your Life" with Ralph Edwards as the host. I'm not sure what the year of the show was, but I know it was around mid-1955.

The show actually honored two lives - Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. That's right! The comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy who brought laughter into my home as a young child on a black and white TV.

I later saw that Hardy died of a stroke in 1957 and Laurel died in 1965. Both were born in 1890. If you never saw them, then you missed some great humor which made me realize some things in the past.

I'm a Baby Boomer. I've lived through the birth of rock-and-roll, the Jesus Movement, hippie culture, the invention of color television, the birth of FM radio, records, cassettes, CDs, MP3s, and satellite radio. I was around before the Internet and cell phones. My grandparents had a party line and growing up all our phones had cords.

I learned to drive with a stick shift, we didn't have seat belts, and the dashboard was metal. We didn't use car seats, and we didn't lock our doors at night. The streets were fairly safe for kids to play in, and we knew our neighbors. Most of us went to the same kind of church our parents and grandparents attended.

The Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the birth of the drug culture, teenage rebellion, and the catastrophic change in attitudes in our land about social, moral, and ethical issues. I've lived through 14 presidents so far.

When I started driving -- gas was 24.9 cents (that's right -- cents!) per gallon and when I went to Texas from Oklahoma when I was in college -- I would take advantage of a gas war between neighboring gas stations and get gas for 16.9 cents per gallon. Yes -- you read it correctly -- I could fill up my 1960 Ford Falcon for $5 bucks!

All that being said, I think I've learned a few things. I've been around the block a few times as well as around the world and I've learned from my experiences, my mistakes, and my mentors. I'm now in my eighth decade, and I'm still learning.

Most of what I've learned in life, I've learned from people older than me. Most of the books that have profoundly impacted my life have been written by people older than me. As I've gotten older, that fact has somewhat changed, but it still is prevalent. Most of the time in life, we learn from people who have been down the road farther than we have.

While my generation rebelled against our parents, many of us have come to realize that our parents weren't as stupid as we thought they were. They had wisdom; we just had some form of limited knowledge. They fought for their freedoms; we took ours to excess. While a person can mature physically and have many birthdays, it doesn't guarantee they are wise or worth listening to.

I've said all that to ask, "Is it just me -- or is our world still the same as it was 40, 50, or 60 years ago? Have we, as a nation and a society, not learned anything?

Quite frankly -- I don't watch the news much anymore because I get sick and tired of turning on the TV and all I hear is the news media taking advantage of social media to criticize and blast anyone and anything they want because they now have the social tools to do so.

Is there something wrong with this picture? The news is constantly filled with bitterness and hate that seemingly only reports about murders or injuries to innocent people. We have more hate in this country than at any time I can remember -- and I grew up in the 60's where racial hatred was actually real!

Never in my wildest imagination did I ever dream that one day I would have a license to carry a gun out of the need to protect me or my family.

Is it just me?

I am curious what others think? Am I the only one who has seen the decline in our moral behavior as a nation? We would rather chastise those who try to make a difference and criticize their message or method for doing good -- and yet -- those who seek to infiltrate and influence our society with negative and hurtful actions go unnoticed without anyone raising a voice to their demonic behavior.

Is it just me?

Laurel and Hardy came to American TV with an innocence that made people laugh. Quite frankly -- there isn't much to laugh at anymore. Or is it just me?

Old friend Robert said, "Real change requires you to change your behavior - not just your attitude. Behavior is the substance of religion. Belief is the substance of a Godly relationship."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Patience sometimes pays off...

There were two women in a grocery store approaching the cashier at the same time. One had just a few items and the other -- a truck load of groceries.

Since the store was in a very small town, they didn't have separate checkout lines for 20 items or less.

So, the issue that immediately faced both ladies was, who was going to go first?

The lady with the groceries getting ready to fall off her cart forged ahead of the other lady while glaring her down as she moved to the cashier.

The young lady with the few items didn't say a word, kept her composure, and managed a smile throughout the whole ordeal.

After the rude woman was checked out, bagged out, and carted out -- the other lady set her few items on the counter and waited to find out how much she owed.

The cashier looked at the young woman and said, "I am amazed at how many rude people there are in the world. But I am even more impressed with the way you handled her rudeness. You kept your sweet smile and waited patiently without a fuss."

Once the few items were placed in a bag, the cashier said, "Thank you very much."

The young lady said, "How much do I owe you?"

"Not a thing," was the reply.

"But I know groceries aren't free," said the young lady.

"You are right, they aren't," said the veteran cashier, who had seen many rude people in her years at the store. "But I watched you very closely. You had such a sweet smile, never said a word, and waited patiently. Besides, the lady was in such a big hurry, I just added your few items to her ticket and let her pay for them."

See -- patience does pay off!

And then, there are times when it is just satisfying to know when you've exercised patience for your own self-preservation and peace of mind.

Recently, I made my weekly trip to Wal-Mart. I really do like Wal-Mart. After traveling for more than 30 years, I always seemed to find one no matter where I found myself on the speaking circuit.

I had a basket full of great stuff -- peanut butter, powdered donuts, ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, Goldfish, Vienna sausages, Ore-Ida tater tots (no other will do), chips, dip, wieners, chili -- well, you get the idea. I was going to stock up on diet coke, but didn't want to waste the money.

I pulled in behind a woman to check out -- she too had a huge load.

That's when I experienced a first at Wal-Mart.

As the cashier was ringing up her items, she looked back and saw her son behind, looked at me and said, "He is with me, hope you don't mind."

Her son was 6-6, 280 so I shook my head and said, "Well, no, I don't mind -- go ahead."

A second truck load moved in front and I just looked in amazement.

But that's not all.

While the cashier continued to ring up another record load -- big mama saw a second son standing in another line -- yelled out, "Honey, over here!"

It was obvious he was the smaller of the two boys, 6-4, 265. And of course, a third load moved in front of mine with the whole family gathered at the bag rack loading up the groceries while the rest of us just stood there gazing at what had just happened.

No -- the cashier didn't add my items to her ticket -- I had too many and there wasn't enough time, so I had to pay for mine.

But, I will tell you there are times when we are tested in life.

For example, if I had a lemon, cut in half, and squeezed it -- what would come out of it? Juice? Seeds? Rhine? The truth is -- everything that is in it.

So when you are put in the squeeze of life -- what comes out of you? Everything that is in you!

If you are filled with patience, love, joy, happiness, and encouragement, then those are the things that are most likely to come out of you.

If bitterness, jealousy, hatred, and anger fill your life, then that is what will usually surface first.

I love to go to Wal-Mart -- and the train of groceries by Goliath's brothers didn't discourage me, nor did I get mad at the innocent cashier. Actually, it was a first for both of us -- we chatted and laughed while she was ringing up my health food, and we vowed that we would never forget this rare sight of rudeness and insensitivity. I also made up my mind that I would be a little more sensitive the next time I get around fellow shoppers. It really doesn't stunt your character if you allow someone else to go first. Try it! It might make you feel good.

Old friend Robert said, "Replacing rudeness and impatience with the Golden Rule may not change the world, but it will change your world and your relationships."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

State of mind

I have called two states "home." I grew up in Oklahoma, where I was born and educated. I then moved to Texas, where I continued my education and where three of my four children were born.

Recently, I got an e-mail from a friend entitled, "You know you're from Oklahoma if . . ."

After having lived in Oklahoma for 24 years, I recognize the peculiar differences that belong only in Oklahoma.

This e-mail pointed out several things that are quite true.

You know you're from Oklahoma if:

   1. You can properly pronounce Eufaula, Gotebo, Okemah, and Chickasha.
   2. A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the front yard and look for a funnel.
   3. You know in which state Miam-uh (Oklahoma) is and in which state Miam-ee (Texas and Florida) is.
   4. You aren't surprised to find ammunition and bait all in the same store. (I am proud to live in a state that pioneered the "all-in-one" convenience store concept).
   5. You know that everything goes better with ranch dressing. (As long as I have lived in Texas, everyone knows that everything goes better with ketchup or Chick-fil-A sauce).
   5. You know you are an Okie if you have used the word "fix'n" in the last 12 months—plus a hundred other one-syllable words.
   6. It doesn't bother you to use an airport named Will Rogers after a man who died in a airplane crash.
   7. You believe "Little Smokies" should only be served on special occasions.
   8. You know that cowpies are not made from beef.
   9. You have seen people wearing bib overalls at funerals.
   10. You know a couple who has used an OU, OSU or high school football schedule to plan their wedding date.
   11. Last but not least, you know you are from Oklahoma if you refer to the capital of Oklahoma as "The City."

There is a Bible verse that says, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

I don't think that was referring to the state you live in, but it does remind us that no matter what state or situation in life we are facing -- we need to develop a sense of contentment in life.

When I was growing up -- there used to be an expression - "If the creek don't rise." That was a mild type of contentment.

But the phrase "If the creek don't rise" was also related more to the commitments we were willing to make in life.

In other words -- I'll do a certain thing "If the creek don't rise."

I found out early in life not to count on people who are not willing to make a more meaningful commitment than this.

For creeks do rise -- you can count on it!

In order for life to be meaningful -- we are to honor our commitments that will lead us to contentment.

The Texans at the Alamo made a life commitment. They took their stand despite the odds and the outcome. They were willing to stand together regardless of what the creek did.

The above words certainly apply to all who have been on a journey for a long time.

You can't buy integrity, character, and honesty. Those three words can be greatly tested when we are facing a rising creek.

In the end -- it is commitment that will either win out or be compromised. And above all - our integrity, character, and honesty should never have a price tag!

Old friend Robert said, "I believe in integrity. Dogs have it. Humans are sometimes lacking it."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Teenage Virus

If you have a computer or a phone -- you are quite familiar with a virus or a threat of a virus.

Quite frankly, I have enough problems without worrying about someone across the globe infecting my computer. Usually, the evil is hidden in a message that arouses our curiosity -- like -- you just won one million dollars -- open to claim your money.

People are so anxious to receive the money that they quickly open the message, only to find themselves infected with something awful. (Somewhere in that last line lies a message for your teenager).

Teenage viruses can be just as dangerous as the computer kind. If your teenagers become infected, your best approach is to quarantine them and surround them with love. Here are the current versions:

The Teenage Disney Virus:

When this virus attacks, teens get Goofy. One moment, they sound like an adult; next, they switch back to their pre-adolescent days of nonsensical laughter and jerky body movements. This incurable virus strikes when you least expect it. The best thing to do is to walk away from the infected teenagers, acting as though you have never met them.

The Teenage Hard Drive Virus:

This virus attacks young people soon after they receive that magical piece of paper legally unleashing them upon society. Males are most prone to this virus, but females are not immune. It primarily affects the foot, causing it to get heavier. At the same time, a feeling of power sweeps over the afflicted teen. A teenager struck by this dangerous virus will drive hard and crash . . . unless maturity intervenes. Sadly, this virus tends to repeat itself.

The Teenage Mall Virus:

This virus causes your teenager to leave his or her domicile and look for a large building containing other infected teenagers. They know when and where to find each other. After several meet, they wander aimlessly, trying to make contact with other, similar groups. When this virus strikes, your teen will whine about "needing to get out of the house."

The Teenage Soft-Wear Virus:

This virus targets mostly females. Whatever they buy today will be obsolete tomorrow. This virus causes a great desire to look like...other teenagers. It was responsible for bell-bottoms, miniskirts and other unspeakable things during the 1960s. It replicates every few months. A newer and more devastating strain caused the outbreak of body piercing and tattooing.

The Teenage Reboot Virus:

This occurs when you try to communicate with teens. The audio file gets corrupted en route, so the teens hear only half of what you say. For example, you tell them, "Go to the store and get some milk." They go to the store, meet their friends, buy some "Red Bull" energy drink, and come home with . . . no milk. When you ask, "Where is the milk?" they look at you quizzically, as if to say, "What are you talking about?" They heard "Go to the store," but the "get some milk" somehow failed to download. This is when you need to . . . reboot.

No matter which virus your teenager has, be confident the Master programmer is in control. He is running His debugging program even as you read these warnings! Old friend Robert said, ""Laughter is the best medicine." It not only lightens your kid's day but also brings you closer to them. Laughter is one way to make your place in your kid's teenage world."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Time and Treasures

Time is a beast that will either chase you toward or away from the better things.

When I was young, television was just coming into its own. I spent the early part of my life listening to the radio. My constant companion was the music pumped in by KOMA in Oklahoma City. The DJs who cranked out the top-40 hits called themselves the World's Happiest Broadcasters. Everyone listened to KOMA.

The radio station followed me home, where I lay in bed at night, smiling as I waited for the graveling howls of Wolfman Jack and knowing that life was good.

Looking back, I'm caught off guard by what I used to deem important and by the things I treasured.

I don't know if we all go through this process, but God has used time to point me to the more valuable things of life.

I don't treasure possessions as much as I used to, unless you count my highly prized 45 R.P.M.'s "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells or "Hey Little Cobra" by The Rip Chords records. (Some of us will have to explain to this digital generation the difference between 33 1/3s and 45s.)

I treasure friendships, old and new. Time has taught me that friendships are the spice rack of life. Some of them you use every day and others only on occasion, but they are nice to have when needed.

Time has not only taught me the value of having friends, but of being a friend. When someone needs me, I'm not in as much of a hurry as I was in the past.

Over the years, I've learned that the things I thought were demanding and important will still be demanding and important … next week.

All in all, time has taught me to treasure two things.

First, I have learned to treasure relationships above worldly things. But I still have lots of things I hold dear.

Old, yellowed papers and cards with pictures my kids drew in school, with the word "Dad" scrawled below them in crayon, or the first time they wrote the words, "I love you."

The Hopalong Cassidy lunch box that my mother bought me as a young child which is on display in my kitchen at home.

I value these items, but I treasure the relationships with my family and friends more.

Time has also taught me to treasure the things of God and His blessings in life.

As we get older -- the more I realize that time is fleeting, and I don't have as much time as I did when I was 40 years younger.

I guess what I want to say to all young people is to take it from those who are closer to the end of the road than you: Let time take you not to the good things of life but to the best: relationships and God.

Old friend Robert said, "What really matters is not what we bought but what we built; not what we got but what we shared; not our competence but our character; and not our success, but our significance."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Born without ears

A new father was so thrilled that he and his wife were the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy...healthy in every way...but there was a problem. Their new¬born was born without ears.

The boy had auditory openings and all the inner ear parts necessary to receive sound, but no fleshly part out¬side which we commonly call the ear.

The doctors assured the parents that the problem would be corrected when his growth was complete and a donor was found.

School was tough! Many times he came home weeping, "I'm a freak!"

He became aware of the stares, whispers, and taunts of the other kids. He grew up learning to live with this.

He became an excellent student...entered college to study geology. One day- he received a call from his father saying, "Well, son, we've finally found a donor. The opera-tion will be this summer."

Following the operation...he was so happy! His new ears were beautiful. He graduated with honors, moved to the Midwest to work.

After a couple of years, he received a call from his dad saying, "Son, your mother has had a heart attack, please come home."

The boys soon arrived to his home, only to learn his mother died before his arrival.

At the funeral home, his dad called him over to the casket, pushed back his dear mother's hair to show his son...his mother didn't have any ears!

The mother had made the decision to sacrifice the fleshly part of her ear to give to her son as she knew her hair would cover her ears after the surgery.

This moving and true story made me think of the great dimension to the love of God.

This mother gave a part of herself to her son who had a deep need. God, however, chose not to give ears...but His all to us through His blessed Son.

As I look back on my childhood, I was not always as thankful to my parents as I should have been. As a parent and now a grandparent with nine grand critters -- I try to speak positive words to them about appreciating their parents.

It isn't easy being a parent in this day and time -- especially with social media and technology. Besides -- my kids have never been parents before, so I try to impart advice when asked but remain quiet when not asked for my opinion.

But we all should never take God's blessings and sacrifice for granted no matter who we are.

Old friend Robert said, "Sometimes we focus so much on what we don't have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!"

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

The Healing of Memories

For the past 40-plus years, I have collected eagles in my office. I have approximately 40 eagles from the United States and some from other countries made of wood, porcelain, and brass.

As I was sitting in my office this week, I began to think about how every seven years an eagle goes to the highest peak to beat his beak to a pulp...break his claws and shed his prize feathers that enable hlm to fly the fastest and furtherest while being reduced to a helpless creature Instead of the majestic picture of superiority in the animal kingdom.

That may seem strange to some, but a further study shows that when the eagle Is fully restored...his beak is stronger...his talons are sharper...and his feathers are streamlined enabling him to fly even higher and faster.

I think Easter is time to reflect on our lives lest the day goes by as just another holiday.

The reason I believe we need to take this time seriously is because of a book I have recently been reading entitled "The Healing of Memories."

Here is a meaningful quote which says, "People who carry hurtful memories will allow them to come into conscious recall (remembrance) only under certain trust conditions. Christ's sufferings on the Cross for us and as us provide the trust conditions into the light of conscious¬ness so they can, not only be faced, but healed.

The creation of these trust conditions needs to begin In the very atmosphere of our churches.

Why Is It, then, that so many people do not feel free to open themselves up to the healing grace of God? Why are they still hiding behind all manner of defenses? The reason is that all too often the atmo¬sphere In our churches, the attitudes of other Christians, and the very way we proclaim the Gospel do not create the trust conditions which are necessary for healing.

I thought of the great preacher D.L Moody's words to his preacher boys, "Preach to the brokenhearted...for there's one on every pew."

As I have been reading this book, I began to reflect on the element of healing that Is needed In our society. No, I'm not just talking about spiritual or physical healing - as I believe God certainly does that. I'm referring to emotional healing.

I began to ask the question - I wonder how many people enter our worship ser¬vices each week carrying a load of emo¬tional hurt and guilt; anger and hostility; resentment and bitterness?"

Even as you are reading this - you might think of those things that are af¬fecting your relationship with our God in heaven.

As I reflect on the condition of our country and our society in general, it is my firm belief and conviction that we are in need of a great healing as never before and I've been around a good many years to see how our country has gone through so many negative changes that affect us all.

Easter is also a time to reflect on a future home in heaven as I believe everyone wants to go to heaven some day. After all, that's why Jesus died on the cross so that those who would believe in Him would have eternal life in heaven with Him.

I once heard this description of the Lord - Jehovah.

"The Lord -- the One who made the world and everything that is in it -- the One who lit the sun and put the stars in their places. The One who threw a carpet of green grass upon the earth and tacked it down with the flowers. The One who scooped up the valleys and piled up the hills.

The One who took the song of the angel and robed it with feathers and gave it to the nightingale. The One who took the rainbow and wove it into the scarf and threw it about the shoulders of a dying storm. That's my Shepherd. At evening time, He pulls down the shade of the night and shoots it through with sunset fire. That's my Shepherd.

Old friend Robert said, "There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing that we can do to make God love us less. Thank goodness for Easter!"

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Odds and Ends

Have you noticed that when people are trying to sell you something, they start quoting statistics? It's as though numerical data has suddenly become irrefutable. If you don't heed statistical wisdom, you will suffer from ingrown toenails, endure the heartache of psoriasis and be rejected by your mother for having bad breath.

The other day, I read that a 10-year, $6 million government survey revealed that three-fourths of the people in America make up 75 percent of the population. Of course, you know that when 81 percent of people use the word "government" and "statistics" in the same sentence, they are making up . . . something to prove a point.

That same government survey, in fact, said that 51 percent of the people are in the majority. I even read the other day that 87.333 of all statistics are improperly done.

People have become so caught up in statistics that lists an entire book filled with them. Statistical Abstract of the United States: The National Data Book costs $39, including free shipping. To save you some money, allow me to share a few statistics about being an American:

    • Your chance of getting hemorrhoids: 25 to 1.

    • Your chance of experiencing an IRS audit: 175 to 1.

    • Your chance of catching a baseball at a Major League game: 563 to 1.

    • Your chance of picking a four-leaf clover on the first try: 10,000 to 1.

    • Your chance of becoming a professional athlete: 22,000 to 1.

    • Your chance of being hit by lightning: 576,000 to 1. (I read where a guy was hit by lighting, an act that simultaneously melted his zipper and made him a local hero).

    • Finally (especially for my youngest son before he got married), your chance of dating a supermodel: 88,000 to 1.

As if those are not enough, statistics also tell us only 7 percent of women trust their husbands to do the laundry correctly. Half the people who attend a movie sneak in snacks to avoid concession stand prices.

Twenty-two percent of people leave a glob of toothpaste in the bottom of the sink after brushing their teeth. Three out of four of you keep your money in rigid denominational order. Ninety percent of us use an alarm clock to get up in the morning.

As we approach Easter...what are the odds that God knew you before the foundation of the world? That would be . . . 100 percent!

What are the odds that even while we were sinners, God would send His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us? That also would be …100 percent.

What are the odds Jesus will come back? That also would be…100 percent.

What are the odds God wants you to raise your children in the right way? Again, that is…100 percent.

In a world of uncertainty, wouldn't it be wise to connect your children with the Certain One? Trust God with their lives.

Old friend Robert said, "The odds that He will keep His promises are always…100 percent."

May everyone have a happy and blessed Easter celebration!

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

When the String Snaps

When a violin string is not tight enough -- the sound is flat and dull. If it is too tight -- the sound is shrill and high pitched. If it is more tight -- the string will snap.

One of the major obstacles in the home is "stress" -- "tension" -- and "strife."

Did you know that every 15 seconds in America -- domestic violence occurs?

About 50% of all homes -- violence takes place -- 1/4 of all marriages experience some sort of violence.

20% of all murders are inside the family and 13% are committed by spouses.

Too much stress is dangerous to the home -- to our health -- and to our happiness.

I believe that a person should have a merry heart and joy in their heart. Have you ever thought about the difference in a Merry Heart and a Heart of Joy?

If you have a merry heart -- it's going to show up on the face.

"The spirit is broken" means the string has snapped.

Joy is that constant presence of God no matter what happens.

A Merry Heart is the ability to capture those wonderful times of life and turn it into laughter.

Someone once said, "Laughter is the mind sneezing."

Did you know there are three things animals cannot do?
    1. They don't blush.
    2. They don't cry.
    3. They don't laugh.

Laughter is a gift from God. You don't, for instance, have to teach children to laugh. You have to teach children when not to laugh.

"A cheerful countenance" means a smile.

What a Smile Creates

It costs nothing but creates much.
It enriches those who receive it.
Without impoverishing those who give it.

It happens in a flash, and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich that they can get along without it.
And none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It fosters good will in business.
It is rest to the weary.
Daylight to the discouraged.
Sunshine to the sad.
And nature's best antidote for trouble.

So what is it?
A Smile of course!

There's a time to weep. There's a time to laugh. Laughter is a way to break the tension when the string gets too tight.

A good laugh is sunshine in the home.

Three things you ought to give your children.
    1. Life
    2. Love
    3. Laughter

Three simple rules for raising kids.
    1. Be fair.
    2. Be firm.
    3. Be fun.

That will take the tension out of this awful world we live in.

There are three other things we need to strive to do in making our lives much better.

We need to Cultivate Contentment -- Alleviate Anger -- and Walk in the Wisdom of God.

Old friend Robert said, "Strife comes about because we attack one another instead of dealing specifically with the problem."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

The exclamation point of life

I recently read an article that the exclamation point was not put on a typewriter key until 1970. Bet you didn't know that.

I graduated from high school in 1967. In my formative years, how did I ever express my joys, my life, my dreams and hopes if I didn't have the exclamation point?

Maybe that's why my generation became rebellious and turned to smoking pot and taking drugs. We didn't have an exclamation point to help us release our frustrations. All we had were periods, commas and question marks, and they're either boring or annoying depending on which day of the week it is.

We had to find ways other than punctuation to express our exasperation and discontent. But the exclamation point is the salsa of writing; it adds a zing to anything!

Here's one example. Which of these makes you feel better: "Happy Birthday" or "Happy Birthday!"? See, the exclamation point makes all the difference. You can almost hear the little guy singing, "Happy birthday to you!"

But let me make sure I haven't confused or misled you. We had exclamation points when I was growing up, but they were as rare as a pimple-free teenager.

In order to type an exclamation point back in the days of the manual typewriter, you had to create one by first typing an apostrophe, then hitting backspace and typing a period underneath it. I don't think that's even possible on today's computers. Who would want to go to all the trouble of writing "Hi!!!" if you had to go through such gymnastics to do it? It would take you five minutes to type, backspace and type again. It just wasn't worth the trouble.

I'm one of those guys who has a tendency to overuse and slightly abuse the exclamation point!

To me, it's the cheerleader of all punctuation marks, and the more of them you use, the more they rally together to communicate your true sense of excitement. I bet scientists will one day discover that the exclamation point is the only punctuation mark that actually engages the happy cells in your brain. Even a simple little, "Get well soon!" brings about a quicker recovery.

Of course, there are times when using the exclamation point is inappropriate. You wouldn't want to say, "Just got a call from Uncle Phil. Your Aunt Jane passed away!"

The only time the exclamation point would be appropriate in that context would be if she had left you "a million dollars in her will!" (and you were going to give some to your friends).

The famous novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald once complained about writers using too many exclamation points. He wrote, "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own jokes."

I hate to offend any of Mr. Fitzgerald's followers, but if an article I'm writing doesn't make me laugh, it isn't worth printing. Besides, I think his statement would have been more profound if he had written, "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own jokes!" (And yes, I laughed at that, too!)

There is even a blog where people complain about the overuse of exclamation points. To all of you naysayers, I proclaim, "I spent the first part of my life without these exclamation points! So let me enjoy them in my later years of life!"

As we near Easter -- I thought of another exclamation point in my life. His name is Jesus. No, He isn't Jesus. He is Jesus!!!

He has been my exclamation point since I was eight years old and I've never been ashamed!

Ever since then, my heart always adds an exclamation point at the end whenever I see, hear or talk about Jesus!

If I need hope, He is my hope (Jer. 29:11)! If I need peace, He is my peace (John 14:27)! If I need direction, He is my direction (Matt. 7:7-8)! He is the Lord of lords, King of kings, Prince of Peace, The I Am, Redeemer, Savior and Friend of Sinners!

I trust you will find Him as your exclamation point in your life? Maybe this Easter!

Old friend Robert said, "There would be no Christmas if there was no Easter. Blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed. If Easter says anything to us today, it says this: You can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Simple solutions for everyday problems

I am known by my family as Mr. Gizmo Man. Through the years -- I have found most kitchen products known to man.

To mention a few Gizmos that I don't see how you can live without...I have an Egg Cooker that works great for boiled eggs or poached eggs.

Without boring you, there are many other items that have been discovered that make great helpers in cooking a delicious meal.

But there are other things that I have discovered that might become a helper to you in ordinary activities around the house.

Trust me -- you will find some of these quite useful if you think about it so here goes.

   * If you take an ordinary comb -- you can use it to drive a nail into the wall instead of your finger. Just take a nail, place in between the teeth, hold where you want the nail to go and presto -- you can drive the nail into the wall without hitting your little fingers that would cause you to say, "Dad gummit!"

   * If you have scratches on, let's say, the leg of your wooden chair, you can rub walnuts over the scratches to cover them up. It does work!

   * Do you use those power strips? Are they full of different plugs? Do you want to know which plug goes to what? All you have to do is take one of those little plastic bag clips -- write which plug goes to what -- and wrap it around that cord...and presto! You now know which cord goes to the TV, DVR, clock, computer, printer, phone, etc.

   * Want a small speaker to listen to your music from your iPhone? Get a glass bowl, place the iPhone in the bowl, and turn on the music and you get an instant amplifier without having to pay money for speakers.

   * Want to know how to go non-stop in an elevator without stopping? Hole the close door button till the doors close. Keep holding. Select the floor and do not let go of the number and close door button till elevator moves. This will allow you to go straight to that floor without stops. This is used by police, so they can get to floors quicker. Works on every elevator.

   * Cardboard tubes work great for organizing cords.

   * Did you know you can use a wooden spoon to prevent water from over-boiling? Just lay it on top of your pan of water -- works every time.

   * Use a hand can opener to safely open those pesky plastic packages that are always so difficult to open.

   * If you wrap Christmas lights around a clothes hanger -- they will never tangle.

   * Don't waste your money on Swiffer towels. Regular kitchen rags work just fine...and you can wash and use again.

   * Rubber band an old sock over a vacuum to find small lost items.

   * Last, but not least -- A Pringles container is the perfect size to store spaghetti.

Old friend Robert said, "All is big, until it is solved to become small. God does not reveal His secrets just to satisfy our curiosity but to bring solutions on earth."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Knowing where to tinker is the key

Perhaps you have heard about the man who was traveling on a dinner flight with a major airlines. When he opened his pre-packaged meal, right on top of the salad, he saw an enormous roach. When he got home, he wrote an indignant letter to the president of the airline. A few days later, a special delivery letter came from the president. He was all apologies.

"This was very unusual, but don't worry. I want to assure you that that particular airplane has been completely fumigated. In fact - all the seats and the upholstery have been stripped out. We have taken disciplinary action against the flight attendant who served you that meal, and she may even be fired. It is highly probable that this particular aircraft will be taken out of service. I can assure you that it will never happen again. And I trust you will continue to fly with us."

Well, the man was terrifically impressed by such a letter he had written, until he noticed something. Quite by accident, the letter he had written had stuck to the back of the president's letter. When he looked at his own letter, he saw a note at the bottom that said, "Reply with the regular roach letter!"

I recently bought a Field's Pecan Pie from Food Town. This pie is made in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and the first time I ever had a slice of this delicious pie was in 1967 in Ada, Oklahoma where I went to college and played football. It became my favorite of all time.

When I opened the box, I noticed there was a foreign object in the middle of the pie that quality control had somehow missed seeing.

I took pictures, sent them a letter and waited...though I still had a slice of pie regardless.

When they got my letter with the pictures -- they called me within the hour of receiving my letter. They deeply apologized and said that someone had missed seeing the object and they had already addressed the situation.

Turned out it was a piece of cardboard from the pecans that had somehow dropped in the pie and went unnoticed.

With their apology, they followed up with a letter of apology that referred to our phone conversation and they sent me some FREE coupons to get my favorite pecan pie. What a great response. I'm glad this company hasn't lost their great customer service.

I'm afraid that we have gotten so caught up in our positions, our notoriety, our image...that we have forgotten how to deal with those that honestly seek our help?

I spoke in the schools in Wichita Falls and a 14-year old girl came up to me to visit. She had already had an abortion...had attempted suicide...and had recently lost her father in death as he was successful with his suicide attempt. There was no standard "roach" letter to be given to this girl as she was honestly searching for some answers.

We live in a hurting world. No matter where we walk in life - we are constantly running into people who are going through some traumatic times.

As we go through life -- I am often reminded of those that I call my friends. It may not occur very often, but occasionally I will run into a situation that I don't know how to handle and I will call on one of them to help because they know where to tinker in life that makes things run smooth again.

Old friend Robert said, "True friends are those we can count on that will help us make it through life." Perhaps you will have an opportunity this week to be one of those true friends.

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Pet peeves of life

Do you remember when you were in school, and someone (usually girls) would walk in the classroom and take their nails and run them down the blackboard? Gives you chills just thinking about it doesn't it?

I think we all have little things that people do that bother us. Some things may not bother others, but you know that you have your pet peeves.

I was standing in line in the Pearland Post Office waiting to mail a package last week and there were two women being helped by a postal worker that I have known for a long time.

While I was waiting, one of the women was doing something that I haven't heard in a long time -- but it revived some old memories of when someone had done it in the past that totally drove me crazy.

Now this may not serve as an irritant to you -- and you may be one of the few that still does this...but keep in mind that there are those around you that would like to punch your lights out!

When the two ladies finally got their business done and my nerves were almost frazzled...I was happy to learn that the postal worker was also going crazy. It took just a couple of seconds of silence to finally bring us back to a calm.

So what was it?

One of the ladies had some gum in her mouth and she was making that popping sound with the gum. But she was going way overboard with a pop about every two seconds. Some were louder than others.

It reminded me when I was an eight-year-old boy and a friend of mine and I were sitting together in church on the third row. He was chewing gum and my pastor's wife, Mrs. Epton, left her seat, sat down on the pew behind us, reached around with a Kleenex tissue, covered my friend's mouth and said, "Spit it out!" Which he did.

I can guarantee you that he nor I never chewed gum in church again.

It made me want to do the same thing at the post office, but I remained silent thinking this is really a pet peeve with me.

Do you have a pet peeve?

One of the last times I went to a movie theater, someone sitting behind me had a big soft drink that cost a fortune at the concession stand. You can always tell when the cup is empty because the final slurping noise is made with the straw. Which means there is nothing but ice left in the cup.

Once again -- I braced myself as the sound of the lid came off the cup and then the chomping of the ice began. It sounded like this guy had a hollow head. I tried to remain calm until a guy two rows back said, "Hey dude! Enough already with the ice!"

Do you have a pet peeve?

I've been on an airplane when someone pulls out their own bag of Pork Rinds. You know what that sounds like don't you. And there really isn't a quiet way to eat them -- and it can really drive you nuts -- making you want to jump out of the plane!

Do you have a pet peeve?

Or I've been in a waiting room when someone unwraps a piece of peppermint candy and puts it in their mouth.

Peppermint candy is meant to suck on until it evaporates in your mouth. But leave it to some -- and you begin to hear the chomping sound -- with the empty head effect.

Do you have a pet peeve?

If you do -- send me some of yours. Would be interesting to find out other pet peeves that we share together.

Old friend Robert said, "My biggest pet peeve is someone who uses the word 'like' in every other word of a sentence."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Did you ever stop to think about UP?

The Super Bowl has come and gone, and everyone was anxious to see the commercials which are shown at a premium price.

I think my favorite was the Doritos commercial with the characters from Breaking Bad. However, I thought the halftime show was one of the worst they have ever had. Back to the commercials.

Going way back to 2006 -- the biggee was the guy that would walk in a bar and say, "Whazz Upppp?" Before long, everyone was trying to copy him. It involved a certain technique. To do it right, you had to stick your tongue out when saying "Upppp?"

Which leads me to ask you to consider the following:

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meaning than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awake in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends, we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this is confusing:
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP.

To be knowledgeable of the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In a desk size dictionary, UP takes UP almost one-fourth the page and definitions add UP to about thirty.

When we were in school, we were taught to hold UP our hand if we wanted to speak. One of my chores as a youngster was pulling UP weeds. I was also urged to not stay UP too late. The sun would come UP in the morning and the moon came UP at night.

We also work our way UP in the business world. We seal UP the package, a lost item turns UP, or we bring a matter UP in a conversation. We put UP the groceries, put UP the boat for winter, or give UP when we are tired. You tear UP paper, blow UP a bridge, stir UP a fire, or button UP your coat. We catch UP or keep UP with the news. We pull UP at the curb or drive UP to the store. We stand UP or stay UP.

The team was UP for the game. Time is UP, the prices are UP, or we just need to find out what is UP. A politician is UP for re-election, or a criminal is UP for trial. What are they UP too? Or it is UP to me?

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for a while, things dry UP.

Old friend Robert said, "One could go on and on, but time to wrap it UP, for now -- time is UP, and it is time to shut UP."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

What is true friendship?

I recently was visiting with a man who was a superintendent of a school and had done a tremendous job in seeing his school system become one of the leading schools in the state of Texas.

My first encounter with him came when I was invited to speak to all of the students in his school district during national "Red Ribbon Week" -- the week set aside by schools to educate and motivate their students regarding the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse while stressing right choices in life.

I received a call from him informing me that he had changed schools and then he began to fill me in on what had happened to him during the past year.

You see -- he had learned that he had cancer this past year and instead of his former school officials rallying around him and giving him the necessary support that he needed during his treatment -- they showed their true colors by putting pressure on him to resign with little compassion regarding his health and recovery.

He said to me, "David, I found out who my true friends were during this entire ordeal. It shocked me that they would treat me the way they did -- especially while I was going through treatment -- I had written a grant that was approved by the federal government for $500,000 to fund a special program for our school."

I could sense in his voice the hurt and the pain -- not from the big "C" (which is now in remission), but what I believe was an even greater pain -- and that is to experience the reality of finding out who people really are when you need them the most. A moment when people could have responded at his greatest point of need in life...he experienced rejection. I certainly could relate, though not to the same degree, but none the less, I understood.

In past years -- I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of people. I was introduced to many of them through the reading of this column.

This form of communication, for the most part, has been an attempt to convey positive words and support to others. Of course, there are times that one has to take a stand when an unjust accusation has been made toward someone when the accuser(s) haven't taken the time to look deep enough into who they are seeking to criticize.

I remember a girl in Del Rio, Texas who gave me a slip of paper with these words written on it after speaking at her school. She wrote: "A real friend is someone who understands your past...believes in your future...and accepts you today just the way you are."

Not bad from a sophomore in high school. Whether she wrote it herself or read it somewhere and copied it from another source -- this young lady had etched in her heart the true meaning of friendship.

I am thankful for real friends and their encouraging words.

Mark Twain once said, "I can live three weeks on a compliment."

People who have friends and easily make friends are usually very happy people. Have you ever noticed that? When they walk in a room -- people naturally smile and wave at them -- glad to see them -- delighted they are a part of the festivities. They light up a room.

On the other hand, those who are filled with: "I'm always right" - "You're always wrong" -- type attitudes can ruin a happy occasion. They have a lot of baggage that they want others to carry for them that is usually labeled critical, unhappy, and bitter.

I would hope you would take the time today to think about the friends you have in your life. Someone once said that you are a very rich person if you have a trusted friend in your life. Treasure that friendship and in turn also be a friend.

Old friend Robert said, "A real friend is someone who walks into your life when the rest of the world has walked out."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

If Only

I am currently reading a book entitled: "If Only!" The whole premise of this book is dealing with those times in our lives when we have said, "If only I had done this or that. If only I had made better choices."

I read the story of a young man who reflected about opportunities that his dad had in life.

He wrote, "My dad was approached by the founders of Service Master, which is of course, a huge multi-million dollar corporation in America. And they were neighbors, and they came to him when they were just starting and they said, 'Hey, would you like to get in on the ground floor and help us get started?' He said, 'Well, guys, why don't you just go clean your carpets, um, no thanks.'"

Well, that wasn't all. Another one of their neighbors was a man named Ray Croc. You might recognize that name; he was the founder of McDonald's! He came to dad and said, "Would you be interested? We're opening our fourth little hamburger thing called McDonald's Golden Arches. Would you like to get in on the fourth store?" "No, I'm not into hamburgers." He came back to him another time and said, "Hey, it's going pretty well. You know we're opening our seventh one. Would you like to get in on it?" "No, I'm not interested."

How many times do you think about, wow, what did I miss? I guess you just add those to the list of life's "If onlys," huh? Of course, you've got your own list. Maybe not opportunities to make a million, but a lot of missed opportunities of things in life in general.

This man in the story missed some golden opportunities with golden arches. But that was only to make money. We're talking about the opportunity to touch lives here. And it happens in the little golden moments that don't seem that important at the time. "If only I had taken the time."

Perhaps we might think about some of the simple things that occur in life. Those situations that happen in an instance and if you don't take advantage of that inward tug of your heart -- you know it will pass you by and you will say, "If only..." but it is too late.

One of the things I like to do most is knowing when I am in an "If only" moment. When you are very young, life happens to you and you just forge your way through. With age comes the ability to know when you are in an "If only" moment and savoring the time and knowing that you are savoring it.

I like to collect these "moments" and revisit them. I want to be a person who will know how to enjoy life and savor as many moments as possible. I want to be flexible and adventurous, yet I want to know how to unwind and enjoy relaxing.

There are those special "moments" that we older folks need to capture in our mind and heart and never let them go. And if possible -- to allow those "If only" moments to bless others.

Old friend Robert said, "Perhaps you will run into one of those "If only" moments this week. Don't let it pass you time is fleeting. We aren't getting any younger. It is now or never -- and you will never have that moment back."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

My cup runneth over

Do you remember when it was all right to fill your cup with coffee -add all the ingredients, then to tip the cup at an angle so the coffee could spiII over into the saucer and slurp your coffee?

You say - "I haven't seen that lately." Well, neither have I because that is not a "proper" practice of etiquette in today's society, but how I remember my grandma and grandpa sitting in their small house, playing cribbage and slurping their coffee.

That used to drive me nuts. I'm sure some of you sophisticates would have to be honest to say you remember the same slurping noise when you were growing up.

As I got older and became familiar with the Bible, it caused me to think about the words of the Psalmist in Psalms 23:5 - "My cup runneth over."

How I am reminded of the overflowing blessings of life as I think about the precious gift of children and what they mean to each of us as parents.

Yes -they may slump - slurp or slouch - but they are still blessings that cause our life to overflow with love and gratitude and a new dedication to help them through the slurping years. Who knows? They might even turn out refined, polished and proper like you and me.

Of course, now my four children have presented me with nine precious grandchildren. Shucks! If I had known the grandchildren were so much fun -- I would have had them first.

I have been amused to hear my children say, "Dad, I can't believe my kids are getting so big so fast."

I told them, "The older you get -- the faster time goes by. You had better enjoy every minute you have with them because one of these days they will be grown and gone and you will ask, 'where did all the time go'"?

When I think of my grandparents, I think about these words. Maybe the following will express how I really feel. I'll bet you might say "me too!"

I've never made a fortune.

And I guess it's too late now.

But I don't worry about that much

Cause I'm happy anyhow.

As I go through life's journey

I'm reapin better than I sowed,

I'm drinkin from my saucer,

Cause my cup has overflowed.

I don't have a lot of riches,

And sometimes the going's tough

But I got four kids that love me

And that makes me rich enough.

So I just thank God for His blessings

And the mercy He's bestowed,

I'm drinkin from my saucer,

Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when everything went wrong

My faith grew kind of thin

After while those old dark clouds broke

And the sun peaked through again.

So, Lord, help me not to gripe

About the tough rows I've hoed

I'm drinkin from my saucer

Cause my cup has overflowed.

And if God will grant me strength and courage

When the way grows steep and rough

I'll not ask for other blessings

I've already been blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy

To help another bear his load

And I'll keep drinkin from my saucer

Cause my cup has overflowed.

Old friend Robert said, ""I have found that, rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Life is measured by what you have learned

One thing I have a hard time with is being around people who seem to be so miserable. Do you know what I mean? When I think of that first sentence -- my mind immediately goes to a couple I saw a little over a year ago at a sporting event. I don't know their names - but I have never seen them smile, but I sure have seen and heard how miserable they are by the way they have talked to others -- especially people they don't know.

I am a firm believer in laughter and making others laugh. It seems that no matter where I go -- I find myself around people who feel the same way. Yet - when those who are miserable enter the room -- they continue to wear that scowl on their face and it doesn't take long for them to feel uneasy in their surroundings and leave.

Someone once said, "If you say you are happy -- then make sure you tell your face so others will know it."

I love the word "joy" and it should translate into happiness. But I have also learned that "joy" is an inside job. There is no way that you can express outward joy unless it begins inside your heart. You can't manufacture it. You certainly can't be in a room full of people who have joy and try to fool others because those who have inside joy can spot a fake a mile away.

My mother-in-law, who passed away in August, is named Joy. My oldest daughter is named LeJoy - which means "The Joy!" And both have been a joy to my life for many years.

I have spent years collecting things that "I've learned..." Perhaps a few more will bring joy and peace to your life.

    • I've learned...That money doesn't buy class.
    • I've learned...That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
    • I've learned...That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
    • I've learned...That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
    • I've learned...That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
    • I've learned...That love, not time, heals all wounds.
    • I've learned...That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
    • I've learned...That there's nothing sweeter than holding your grandbabies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
    • I've learned...That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
    • I've learned...That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
    • I've learned...That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
    • I've learned...That I can choose how I feel.
    • I've learned...That when your newly born child holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.
    • I've learned...That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs in the valley.

Old friend Robert said, "I trust that you are experiencing great blessings at the start of a new year. May 2023 be your greatest year ever as you continue to learn life's lessons."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Our conversations are going to the dogs

I don't think you realize that we probably use dogs when expressing ourselves.

I've got a Yorkie named Tank. He has a yappy bark and thinks he is big and tough until he meets a much bigger dog and then he runs for dear life to escape getting bit.

And for all you cat lovers out there -- as a reminder - what do you get when you spell "dog" backwards?

No wonder a dog is "Man's best friend" -- where 'man' is generic - man or woman.

We sometimes find ourselves at a game and when one team is beating the "dog" out of another team -- we cry out to the coach, "Call off the dogs!"

Or we might cheer for our team "Go Dawgs!"

You might hear a coach yell at a particular player - "Would you stop dogging it?"

You also hear someone at work say, "I have been working like a dog."

    1. "I'm dog tired" - which means what you just said.
    2. "My dogs are barking" - which refers to your feet hurting.
    3. "You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog" - which was an Elvis song that drove my dad crazy when I would crank it up as a teenager.
    4. "This hole has a dog-leg" - golfing term meaning the hole turns sharply to the left or right from the tee box.
    5. "When you lie with dogs - you get up with fleas" - which refers to the bad company you keep.
    6. "He's in the doghouse" - the wife is not a happy camper.
    7. "They are underdogs" - a team expected to lose.
    8. "They fight like cats and dogs" - describes a married couple or their kids...or both!
    9. "He's a lap dog" - refers to a man who has no backbone.
   10. "Every dog has his day" - a person finally has their shining moment.
   11. "He's sick as a dog" - which means you might be hugging the toilet.
   12. "It's a dog-eat-dog world" - refers to living in a tough world.
   13. "The tail wagging the dog" - something smaller is controlling something bigger.
   14. "We need a doggy bag" - bringing home leftovers from the restaurant.
   15. "They have a dog and pony show" - not much quality.

Well - I guess those are all the doggone expressions I can give to you at the moment. I hope you aren't going to the dogs or putting on the dog at work. If you are - then remember that every dog has his day. And if you are currently reading a book - remember to dog-ear the page when you stop so you can remember where to start reading again.

Old friend Robert said, "And remember that most people's bark is worse than their bite. Especially the big dog you work for. As Jeb of the Beverly Hillbillies would say, "By doggies - that's something!"

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Lessons we must learn in life

I think that it is important that we realize that we never get too old to learn valuable lessons in life.

One day, a teacher gave her class a test. She listed the first part of some famous sayings, asking the students to fill in the rest. The responses were varied as well as humorous. Here are some of the more interesting answers.
  * You can't teach an old dog new . . .math.
  * The pen is mightier than the . . .pigs.
  * An idle mind is . . .the best way to relax.
  * A penny saved is . . .not worth much.
  * Two's company, three's . . .the Musketeers.
  * Where there's smoke, there's . . .pollution.
  * Children should be seen and not . . .spanked or grounded.
  * A rolling stone . . .plays the guitar.
  * A bird in the hand is . . .a real mess.
  * It's better to light one candle than to . . .waste electricity.
  * It's always darkest before . . .I open my eyes.
  * You have nothing to fear but . . .homework.
  * If you can't stand the heat . . .don't start the fireplace.
  * If you lie down with the dogs . . .you'll stink in the morning.
  * The squeaking wheel gets . . .annoying.
  * We have nothing to fear but . . .our principal.
  * I think, therefore I . . .get a headache.
  * Early to bed and early to rise . . .is first in the bathroom.
  * There is nothing new under the . . .bed.
  * The grass is always greener . . .when you leave the sprinkler on.
  * Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and . . .you have to blow your nose.
  * Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and . . .someone yells, "Shut up!"

Well - perhaps today's young people have a little different perspective on life than us older folks. But it doesn't hurt to take a look back and realize that some of the greatest lessons we learned in life came from the simple times of life.

But one thing should never change and that is our appreciation for those that we love the most. Those who are there for us no matter what. Being loved has a greater importance.

Old friend Robert said, "A real friend is someone who walks into your life when the rest of the world has walked out."

Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

We need to be kinder in 2023

When President George Bush was inaugurated as President of the United States...everyone waited to hear what kind of challenge he would give to the nation in his Presidential address. You know what he said? "The United States needs to be a kinder and more gentler nation."

That's the need for the United States today. That's the need for your home and your life. Could it be said about you that you are a kind and gentle person?

I like what the little girls prayed -- "Dear Lord, Make all the bad people good and all the good people kind."

We have a lot of people who are good, but they have the need to learn how to be kind.

There is even a guy on Shark Tank, Daniel Lubetzky, who has a snack bar named KIND. Lubetzky was so committed to spreading kindness and giving back that he called the new brand KIND.

To be honest -- America is an angry nation. With social media and the access to spew anger to the those who will listen -- our first response to people is to be negative and hurtful through a text or other forms of social media platforms.

I began years ago deciding that I wasn't going to allow someone to ruin my day through negative interaction.

I realized that many of the people that cross our path in a negative way are people we will never see again. So why let them have their time to ruin your day?

Actually, we all do this on an occasional basis.

We go shopping and someone gets our parking spot. Instead of getting so worked up, go to another spot and say to yourself, "You are not going to ruin my day."

Get self out of the way and begin to think of how you might bring a smile to someone else.

One way I have been blessed is going through the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A and paying for the car behind me while telling the person at the drive-thru to tell the car behind me to "pass it on."

With 2023 underway, there are some other suggestions on how we can be a kinder and gentler nation and community.

Hold the door open for someone if they have their hands full. Or, even if they don't.

Let someone standing behind you in line at the grocery store go ahead if they have fewer items than you. Or, even if they don't.

Tell someone they look 10 years younger with their new hairdo. Even if they don't.

Never miss a chance to tell a kid you are proud of them when they accomplish something they've been working hard to achieve. Don't forget to do the same thing when they fail.

Give the man on the side of the road holding the sign that says he's hungry a few dollars if you can. He might be a scam artist, but you might also be the only reason he eats that day.

Let God sort it out. If you get scammed for doing the right thing, just know God is watching and giving you credit in the column side of kindness.

Send a note to a teacher or coach thanking them for loving your kid and wanting them to succeed almost as much as you do.

If a kid is selling something for school or for their youth sports team, buy it. If a kid is selling lemonade from a stand in their front yard, buy some. If a kid stops by your house and offers to do some work for a few dollars, find them some work.

And, don't forget to tell them you are proud of them.

Old friend Robert said, ""Treat everyone with kindness, even those who are rude to you — not because they are nice, but because you are."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Time for New Year's Resolutions

It is that time of the year once again when people all around the world go through the process of making New Year's resolutions and we joke about how they won't last very long. The truth is -- we may joke about various resolutions, but deep in our heart, we long to change or adjust some attitudes, actions, or habits that we don't like about ourselves.

Over the past few years - I have noticed that the french fries, greasy hamburgers, and such like have decided to hang around me...if you know what I mean.

When I was traveling 35 weeks out of the year -- I burned a lot of energy...but you don't burn as much sitting in front of a computer eating potato chips.

As 2023 approaches -- I have decided that I am going to exercise. Certainly not the same way I did when I was playing college football -- but I am going to do more than lift a fork to my mouth.

My kids bought me a new bike a couple of years ago. I haven't ridden it much -- so then they decided that I needed a stationary bike. That way I can't make excuses about the elements being too hot, too cold, too wet, etc.

I did ask them to get the kind where I can hang a bag of chips on the handlebars on one side and a bag of candy on the other...OK - I'm just kidding.

I have listened to those who are believers about exercise and diets. Have you ever noticed the first three letters of the word "diet?" DIE!!!!

Here are a few questions with answers that someone sent me.

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life - is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

And remember: 'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - donut in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'!

AND.....For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

   1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

   2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

   3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

   4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

   5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

The good news is, in all seriousness, I have lost around 35 pounds in the last year and feel great! I have nine grandchildren now and would like to be around to watch them grow up.

Old friend Robert says, "Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you."

Here's to a most blessed New Year and watching Judge Judy while riding on my indoor bike!



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

A time to reflect and be thankful

One cold winter morning in the city of Birmingham, a woman noticed on the street a small boy with newspapers under his arms. He was without shoes and stood in his bare feet on the grating of the hot air vent outside a bakery.

Seeing his red, chapped feet, she was moved with pity and compassion. "Son, where are your shoes?" the lady asked. "Lady, I ain't got no shoes," was the simple reply.

The woman invited him to go with her to a store where she bought him some heavy shoes and socks. The little fellow - proud of his gifts - ran joyfully from the store without so much as thanking his benefactor.

She was somewhat disappointed at his lack of gratitude, but as she left the store, he came running back and exclaimed breathlessly, "Lady, I forgot to thank you for these nice warm shoes!" Then he continued, "Lady, I want to ask you a question. Are you God's wife?"

The lady was taken back and stumbled for a reply, and stuttered, "Why,! I'm just one of his children."

The little boy said, "Well, I knowed you must be some kin to Him!"

Christmas Day is upon us - it is a time of sharing and caring. Our lives must reflect a spirit of giving and love that goes beyond this time of the year.

In fact - we all should maintain the Christmas spirit every day of the year because our paths cross those, like this little boy, who have needs.

It is also a time when an old year will soon come to an end and a new year approaches. A time of reflection and a time of renewal. A time to learn from the past and a time to press on to the future. We are never sure what a new year holds for each of us. There will be times of great joy and moments, perhaps, of sorrow and disappointment.

My mother, who passed away a couple of years ago, used to remind me that she still had what I bought her for Christmas during my growing up years. I think she said it was a red pin cushion in the shape of an apple and something else. But my excitement to see the faces of my mom, dad, and little brother when they opened the small gifts that I personally selected was more valuable than the few dollars that I spent.

To be honest - I still have a problem of giving "gift cards" as a gift. I know it allows a person to get what they "really" want -- but it takes the thrill out of actually picking out that special gift for the loved ones in your life.

Today - we live in a world with our children of laptop computers, iPods, X-Box, and cell phones. I still cherish the Hopalong Cassidy lunch box that I still have at my home. The Fanner 50 toy pistol or the Roy Rogers rifle was pretty special. Or the new red bicycle that had two lights on the front is still vivid in my mind.

And I still remember the ribbon candy and the chocolate candy with the white filling that I found in my stocking. Some of you old timers remember that don't you?

But when it was all said and done -- and the presents had been opened and there was nothing left under the tree but a few of the bows that my mom would leave under the tree -- Christmas wasn't about "things" -- but about love and sharing. You can't wrap up love and put a bow on it. You can't purchase integrity, character, and honesty and give it as a gift.

As you unwrap your gifts this year -- remember the "reason for the season" and cherish those special moments that you have with people that you love who are near and dear to your heart. Those who offer unconditional love without a price tag. If you have someone in your life like that -- you are a most rich person.

Old friend Robert and I wish you a very Merry Christmas!



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Dr. David Davis

Life isn't a dress rehearsal

I love to listen to jazz music. Not the traditional New Orleans jazz, but the new age, contemporary smooth jazz that has a modern fusion of many kinds of sounds and instruments. Some traditional and some modern sounds that will uplift you during the day.

I recently bought three CDs by Mars Lasar and Paul Hardcastle and they present some amazing sounds of beauty and total ambiance for relaxation.

One of the songs that Hardcastle presents is entitled, "Life isn't a dress rehearsal."

He reminds us through his music that life is real and you can't afford to treat life lightly. Life is short and it is quickly passing us by.

I was recently thinking about my time in south India where I have been a dozen times. I have walked along the sand on the bank of the Indian Ocean. It is one of the most beautiful spectacles you will ever see.

It was almost dark, and I was walking along the edge of the water, playing a little game of dodge-em with the waves. As I looked back, I noticed the long trail of footprints I'd left behind me.

I said, "Hey, I'm making a mark." Well, I had a distant jetty in my eyesight; that was going to be my goal. So, I walked that far, turned around and came back. I looked for that bold trail of footprints in the sand. Of course, there were no footprints. They were gone. I thought about that Hollywood theatre where celebrities put their hands and footprints in cement instead of sand. Maybe that's what I should try if I want my mark to last.

So many of our efforts are poured into, well, things that are like prints in the sand. A man or woman rises to a top position in their company, and everyone's looking to them, and they've got power, and they've got influence, and they've got importance. And then they retire or they're replaced. You know what - it's amazing how quickly that hole closes up. It takes about one day to change the name on the door. And the waves come in and wipe out all the years of footprints.

Or an athlete breaks a record, only to see someone else's wave to come in and wipe it out. Awards, titles, victories, great speeches, recognition, things we work so hard, sacrifice so much for. But those things come, and they go. The marks that last are not your achievements, but the people you touch.

Your children - they're wet cement. Don't be so busy making your mark at work that you don't give them your full attention. The people you teach, the people you manage, they are wet cement. You're marking them with your influence.

Old friend Robert said, "Put your prints in cement, where they'll last, not in sand where they will disappear."



Twitter: @drdavis111