Beware of the Swamp Lands

I was driving around a park in Toney, Alabama.  The park was built on top of swamp land, so the ground is soft.  Also, it has been raining the past few weeks, which made the area even worse.

I parked by the playground and Mom got out to smoke a cigarette.  We were chatting and I was playing on the swings.  After a few minutes, we decided to leave.  However, my Jeep was stuck.

I tried everything to get it out, but was not successful.  After 30 minutes, I called AAA and a tow truck arrived to help me.  However, the tow truck driver also got stuck.

He tried to free the Jeep, but to no avail.  Then he went to work on his truck.  The ground was so soft, that everything just sunk deeper into the dirt.  He even used concrete blocks, but the blocks just ended up being imbedded into the ground.  I was thinking, this is like trying to get out of quicksand.

The tow truck driver had to call for another tow truck, in order to get himself out of the mud.

Three hours later, we finally were able to leave that park.  We called Gwen to let her know we were on the way home and she volunteered to make spaghetti for dinner.  It was nice to have a warm meal after that ordeal.

The whole situation was historically funny and I will probably be laughing about this for the rest of the week.  There is also an important life lesson in all of this, “Beware of swamp lands.”

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

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This book is one of my favorites.  It’s about a magical book that allows the reader to actually enter the story.  As a book lover, I find the idea intriguing.

The main character reads the magical book and enters the neverending story.  His adventures teach him several valuable life lessons.

  • Actions have consequences, regardless of the reason for those actions
  • Listen to the advice of those you trust
  • Discern who is truly your friend and who is trying to use you
  • A prideful heart is dangerous
  • Learning to love is the greatest gift

This is an excellent book and one that I have enjoyed numerous times over the years.

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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After finishing The Zombie Survival Guide, I decided to read Pilgrim’s Progress.  What can I say?  I have strange reading habits.

John Bunyan wrote this book in the 1600’s.  The story is a classic, because the lessons found in this book are applicable even to this day.

The main character is Christian.  He felt convicted by the Word of God, so Christian leaves his hometown, family, friends, and everything he owns behind to find peace, forgiveness, and release from his burdens.  He begins his journey to the Celestial City on Mount Zion.

While traveling, Christian meets other pilgrims.  He finds some of them to be helpful and encouraging.  However, he also encounters people that try to discourage him from his journey.

Christian also faces various attacks, trials, and tribulations.  He struggles to pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and the Slough of Despond.

At times, Christian stumbles and wanders off of the path to the Celestial City.  In spite of all that happens to him and in spite of his own mistakes, Christian is determined.  He never surrenders.

In the end, Christian completes his journey and arrives at the Celestial City.

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

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Jones is one of the main characters in the book.  Jones notices things about people and helps them in times of trouble.  He teaches people how to gain a new perspective on their life.  He shows them how to be the person they want to be.  Many lives were dramatically changed, due to Jones.

A few of the principles taught by Jones are:

  • The struggles of life give us the strength we need to succeed in the future.
  • Read about the lives of great people, read about their struggles, their failures, and their success.  The experience of others is the best teacher.
  • If you continually focus on your needs, you will continually find things you need.  Instead, focus on the blessings you already have in life.  Gratitude will fill your life with happiness and abundance.
  • Happy and enthusiastic people are able to influence those around them.

This was a fun book to read and it’s defiantly a book worth reading multiple times.

The Cars Trilogy

The whole family went to see Cars 3 at the movie theater last week.  We all enjoyed the film and had a great time.  The Cars movies are fun to watch, but they also teach valuable lessons.

Cars 1

Lightening McQueen starts out rude and arrogant.  As a result, he had no friends, his pit crew abandoned him, and he lost the most important race of his life.

During the movie, he learned humility.  He learned to treat others with respect.  He also learned actions have consequences.

Cars 2

Mater is a rusty tow-truck.  He loves being silly and he is a loyal friend.  Unfortunately, other cars tend to make fun of Mater.  They call him an idiot and a fool.

However, Mater knows more about car engines than anybody else.  That knowledge allowed him to solve the case and find the mastermind criminal that was trying to destroy the race cars.

Lighting McQueen and Mater learned everyone is different, with different personalities, and different skills.  It’s important to accept our differences and be kind to everyone.

They also learned fights happen among friends.  However, friendship is valuable and we should make amends after a fight.

Cars 3

Lighting McQueen is getting older and struggling to keep up with the rookies.  He learns a lot about motivation and asking for help when it is needed.

At the end of the movie, Lighting McQueen learns another valuable lesson.  Helping someone else achieve their dreams is extremely rewarding.  Teaching others the skills you have learned throughout your life is a great way for your legacy continue, even when you are no longer able to compete.