Sea Sick
A high-school student came home one night rather depressed.

“What’s the matter, son?” asked his mother.

“Aw, gee,” said the boy. “It’s my grades. They’re all wet.”

“What do you mean ‘all wet’?”

“You know,” he replied, “below C-level.”

                                                           Mom’s Survival List

To my kids who have left home and are on their own, I pass on a list of life lessons:
1. Avoid marrying anyone who deliberately flushes the toilet when you’re taking a shower..

2. If you are lavishly praised, enjoy the taste but don’t swallow it whole.

3. When a politician says, “Let me make something perfectly clear,” remember that he usually won’t.

4. If someone says, “I know what I mean, but I just can’t put it into words,” he doesn’t know what he means.

5. Don’t waste time trying to be your own best friend. You can’t pat yourself on the back, and it’s unsatisfying to cry on your own shoulder. Find a real friend instead.

                                                                            If the Shirt Fits

At the clothing store where I work, I make it a point of pride to give customers my unvarnished opinion. One day, when a man emerged from the fitting room, I took one look at him and shook my head. “No, no,” I said. “Those jeans look terrible on you. I’ll go get you another pair.”

As I walked away, I heard him mumble, “I was trying on the shirt.”

How much is that Barbie in the window?

A man was driving home from work one evening when he suddenly realized that it was his daughter’s birthday and he hadn’t yet bought her a gift.

So, the man rushed off to the nearest toy store and asked the sales clerk, “How much is that Barbie in the window?”

The sales clerk replied in a condescending tone, “Which Barbie? We have Barbie Goes to the Gym for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Ball for $19.95, Barbie Goes Shopping for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Beach for $19.95, Barbie Goes on a pic nic for $19.95, and Divorced Barbie for $265.00.”

The overwhelmed man asked, “Why is the Divorced Barbie $265.00 and all the others are only $19.95?”

“That’s obvious!” said the sales clerk. “Divorce Barbie comes with Ken’s house, Ken’s car, Ken’s boat, and Ken’s furniture.

                                                                     Bubba Has Shingles
Those of us who spend much time in a doctor’s office should
appreciate this! Doesn’t it seem more and more that physicians are
running their practices like an assembly line? Here’s what happened
to Bubba:
Bubba walked into a doctor’s office and the receptionist asked him
what he had. Bubba said: ‘Shingles.’ So she wrote down his name,
address, medical insurance number and told him to have a seat.

Fifteen minutes later a nurse’s aide came out and asked Bubba what he
had. Bubba said, ‘Shingles.’ So she wrote down his height, weight, a
complete medical history and told Bubba to wait in the examining room.

A half hour later a nurse came in and asked Bubba what he had. Bubba
said, ‘Shingles.’ So the nurse gave Bubba a blood test, a blood
pressure test, an electrocardiogram, and told Bubba to take off all
his clothes and wait for the doctor.

An hour later the doctor came in and found Bubba sitting patiently in
the nude and asked Bubba what he had. Bubba said, ‘Shingles.’ The
doctor asked, ‘Where?’ Bubba said, ‘Outside on the truck. Where do you
want me to unload ’em??’

                                                     Nobel Prize in Terminology
No dictionary has ever been able to define the difference between
“complete” and “finished.” However, in a linguistic conference,
held in London England, and attended by some of the best linguists
in the world, Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese, was the clever winner.

His final challenge was this. Some say there is no difference between
“complete” and “finished.” Please explain the difference in a way
that is easy to understand. His response was:
When you marry the right woman, you are “complete.”
If you marry the wrong woman, you are “finished.”
And, when the right woman catches you with the wrong woman,
you are “completely finished.”

His answer was received with a standing ovation
lasting over five minutes and it entitled him to receive
an invitation to dine with Queen, who decided to call him after the contest.
                                   4th of July Brush Strokes by Robby Dilmore

God has an amazing way of letting me know that my very life is resting in His love, moments when heaven touches me and I feel a love that surpasses my senses that I somehow knew but unaware of. Then as that awareness awakens, details that before seemed random come into focus as tiny brush strokes providing, light, depth and color purposefully portrayed by the Master to illustrate a depth of love I can not fathom.

At the age of 41 with a Lymphoma diagnosis and the on-start of chemo-therapy my wife Tammy and I were told that, besides fighting for my life the result would leave me sterile unable to have any more children naturally. This was definitely a heart break especially for my wife who always wanted a big family and we were really loving the two children we had, Robby and Tess who were at the time seven and six years old. My wife really shines when it comes to babies, in fact I would say it is the way that my wife reflects God’s glory, it’s her “awesome sauce”. Tammy can hold babies and get more out of it than anything I know. No doubt the story of my healing from Lymphoma and being crushed by a Jeep were miraculous for me, (as told in stories at my web site and published in “Divine Intervention: 50 True Stories of God’s Miracles Today.” The stories are titled “Who’s That Guy with the Knife” and “My Radical Rescue”), but for Tammy, especially, enlarging our family was a gigantic concern.

So we prayed, but like many prayers I wish I could tell you I had great faith that God would come through, but this was one, I honestly figured wasn’t happening. Two years later I was now forty three and Tammy was 35 one night Tammy asked me to take the whole family to Outback Steak House for dinner, including her brother and his family a little strange but I wanted to please my wife and I agreed . Once there she dropped a simple comment I thought, “You are going to be a dad”..

I thought, “well duh, isn’t that a bit obvious”. Then came, ‘The LOOK’, “oh you mean I am going to be a dad”, now, it was coming into focus. “What, How, You can’t be serious?” I reasoned, again, ‘The LOOK’. Now laughing and excited, we really were overjoyed. Once again God had come through way above and beyond my expectations.

Now came the task of naming the new baby, with a big brother and sister we enlisted their help. Our daughter Tess said she knew a great name. “Mariah”.

You see we live in North Carolina and for years we had loved taking our children to a ‘Wild West’ amusement park in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Boone, called, ‘Tweetsie Railroad’. A cowboy there found out my daughter’s name was Tess and every time he would see us, (which was a lot, we had season passes), he would sing a lyric from a song from the Movie, Paint Your Wagon; “They Call The Wind Mariah”. He would sing, “The rain is Tess the fire is Joe and they call the wind Mariah.” So perhaps Tess figured we would go on and have another child as well and call him Joe. None the less, Tess sold us all on the name Mariah.

Tammy’s due date was July 6th but as determined as Tess was that the name be Mariah or Joe, Tammy was as determined that this baby be born on the 4th of July. So when we went to a rodeo July 3rd 1999, Tammy had us go up and down the bleachers a few times to jostle the baby into position for a Firecracker Start so to speak. It worked and later that night she went into labor. We had purposefully never discovered any of our children’s gender ahead of time, (we like surprises) so we had decided on Noah if a boy or Tess’ choice, Mariah if a girl. Sure enough shortly after 1pm on the 4th of July, Mariah Notley Dilmore was born. Mariah’s birth was certainly a miracle, but God had some icing He yet wanted to put on this red, white and blue birthday cake.

That fall my other two children Robby and Tess were in a school play at Calvary Baptist Day school. The basic premise of their play was a historical trip through the Old Testament. Shortly into the story as you may imagine they were depicting the story of Abraham and Isaac specifically when Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac. I knew the story very well and could have almost narrated it, yet there was one detail that God still had for me. Gen 22:14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” Then the children said Mount Moriah.

Like a rocket going off in my mind was the significance of these before perceived random details that I now knew to be tiny brush strokes of the Master. I now marvel at the brush stroke of a daughter at an older age, like Abraham and Isaac and with me laughing at the thought of having another child after my bout with cancer and chemotherapy. The brush stroke of life itself as perhaps it looked like our family would be down to three, we now were five. The brush stroke of provision, God knew all along that He had provided and so it was with her name, Mariah, perhaps spelled differently but I got the point.

That moment sitting in the dark while everyone else was following the next scene of the play the tears were flowing in my pew as heaven touched earth in my heart my eyes were opened to the tiny brush strokes of the Master.