THE COMPANY YOU KEEP – February 14, 2016

The Company You Keep

~ Author unknown


It Is Better To Be Alone, Than In The Wrong Company.

Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are.

If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl.
But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.

A mirror reflects a man’s/woman’s face, but what he/she is really like is shown by the kind of friends he/she chooses.

The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate—for the good or the bad.

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.

Anytime you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.

An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative-acting people.

As you grow, your associates will change.

Some of your friends will not want you to go on.  They will want you to stay where they are.

Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl.

Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream.

Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider This:
Never receive counsel from unproductive people.

Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how.

Not everyone has a right to speak into your life.

You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person.

Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.

With some people you spend an evening; with others you invest it.

Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life.

Wise is the person who fortifies his/her life with the right friendships.

Happy moments, Praise God
Difficult moments, Seek God
Quiet moments, Worship God
Painful moments, Trust God
Every moment, Thank God

If you see people without a smile today, give them one of yours.

Choose to rise…Don’t settle…and go for your dreams!

And most of all, let God lead you in everything you do!!


If you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.

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A World Without the Inventions of Black People

~ Author Unknown

This is a story of a little boy who woke up one morning and asked his mother, “Ma, did black people invent anything for the world?”  Well, his mother thought about that for a moment, and then said, “Billy, follow me around today and let’s just see what it would be like if there were no inventions by black people.  Now go get dressed, and we will get started.”

Billy ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes.  His mother took one look at him and said, “Where are your shoes? And those clothes are all wrinkled, son.  I must iron them.”  However, when she reached for the ironing board, it was no longer there.

You see Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board, and Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lasting machine.

“Oh, well,” she said, “please go and do something to your hair.”  He ran in his room to comb his hair, but the comb was not there.  You see, Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Billy decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone, too.  You see Lydia O. Newman, a black female, invented the brush.

Well, this was a sight:  no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess.  Even Mom’s hair, without the hair care inventions of Madam C. J. Walker. . .well, you get the picture.

Mom told Billy, “Let’s do our chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store.”  Billy’s job was to sweep the floor.  He swept and swept and swept.  When he reached for the dustpan, it was not there.  You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan.

So he swept his pile of dirt over to the corner and left it there.  He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone.  You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop.  Billy yelled to his Mom, “Ma, I’m not having any luck.”

“Well, son,” she said, “Let me finish washing these clothes, and we will prepare a list for the grocery store.”  When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer, but it was not there.  You see, George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer.

Mom asked Billy to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the market.  So, Billy ran for the paper and pencil but noticed the pencil lead was broken.  Well, he was out of luck because John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener.

Mom reached for a pen, but it was not there because William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen.

As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge, a black man, invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Lovette, a black man, invented the advanced printing press.  Billy and his mother decided just to head out to the market.

Well, when Billy opened the door, he noticed the grass was as high as he was tall. You see, John Burr, a black man, invented the lawn mower.

They made their way over to the car and found that it just wouldn’t go.  You see, Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, and Joseph Gammel, a black man, invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines.  They also noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other and having wrecks because there were no traffic signals.  You see, Garrett A. Morgan, a black man, invented the traffic light.

Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries, and returned home.  Just when they were about to put away the milk, eggs, and butter, they noticed the refrigerator was gone.  You see John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator.  So, they just left the food on the counter.

By this time, Billy noticed he was getting mighty cold.  Mom went to turn up the heat, and what do you know?  No heat!  Alice Parker, a black female, invented the central heating furnace.  And in the summertime, they would have been out of luck trying to cool the house because Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner.

It was almost time for Billy’s father to arrive home.  He usually takes the bus, but there was no bus, because its precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

He usually takes the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator.

He also usually dropped off the office mail at a nearby mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop mailbox, and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.

Billy and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their heads in their hands. When the father arrived, he asked, “Why are you sitting in the dark?”  Why?  Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Billy quickly learned more about what it would be like if there were no inventions by black people in the world, especially if he were ever sick and needed blood.  Dr. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world’s first blood bank.

Well, what if a family member had to have heart surgery?  This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the firstsuccessful open-heart surgery.

So, if you ever wonder, like Billy, “where would we be without the inventions of black people?” think about these inventors and their inventions—and these are just a few!


If you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.

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MY CUP HAS OVERFLOWED – January 31, 2016

My Cup Has Overflowed

~ Author unknown

I’ve never made a fortune,
and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much,
I’m happy anyhow.

And as I go along life’s way,
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
’cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven’t got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going’s tough.
But I’ve got loving ones all around me,
and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for His blessings,
and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
’cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong.
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and the sun peeped through again.

So God, help me not to gripe
about the tough rows I have hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
’cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,
when the way grows steep and rough,
I’ll not ask for other blessings,
I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy
to help others bear their loads.
I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,
’cause my cup has overflowed.


If  you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  Paperbacks from $7.99 – $12.99;  eBooks from $1.99 – $2.99.

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TODAY: WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE? – January 24, 2016

Today:  What Will You Choose?

~ Author unknown


I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight.  I have responsibilities to fulfill today.  I am important.

My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can wail because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored that God has entrusted treasures into my care.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.  And here I am the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me.  I get to choose what kind of today I will have!



A brief description of the 11 delightful books that are available at!

If you love to read, and know others who do, you–and they–will love these books!

Sibling authors, Joyce Fields and Anita Jones, are “BOOK BOSSES, FOR REAL!”

Note: Order today and don’t forget to go back to Amazon and post YOUR review!  Thanks!

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THE OAK TREE AND THE REEDS – January 17, 2016

The Oak Tree and the Reeds

~ Author unknown

There is an old fable in which the mighty oak tree, which stood for over one hundred years, finally was blown over by a storm.  The tree fell into a river that floated it downstream until it came to rest among the reeds growing along the riverbank.  The fallen giant asked the reeds in amazement, “How is it that you were able to weather the storm that was too powerful for me, an oak tree, to withstand?”

The reeds replied, “All these years you stubbornly resisted the winds that swept your way. You took such pride in your strength that you refused to yield, even a little bit.  We, on the other hand, have not resisted the winds, but have always bent with them.  We recognized the superior power of the wind, and so, the harder the wind blew, the more we humbled ourselves before it.”

Always remember to bend with the wind, and you won’t be blown over by the storm!


If  you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.

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TEACH THE CHILDREN WELL – January 10, 2016

Teach the Children Well

~ Joyce Fields

It starts with manners.

Even before they learn to read and write, children should be taught manners.

How do you teach manners to two-year-old children?  By being polite to them.  When appropriate, say “thank you,” “please,” and “excuse me” to them and, when appropriate, prompt those responses from the children.  Praise them for being polite.

They’ll learn.

There are other things that are considered part of “manners.”

Children should be taught to greet other people when they enter a room; to not pass gas or pick their noses in the presence of others; to say “excuse me” when they burp or belch or when they accidentally step on someone else’s foot or bump into another person or otherwise violate someone else’s space; to say “good morning” and “good night.”

Good manners make for a more harmonious household, neighborhood, community, city, state, nation, world!

As parents or guardians, it is our job to teach children to stand on their own two feet.  Don’t do for them things that they can do for themselves.

Two-year-old children are quite capable of picking up and putting away their own toys.  (When my granddaughter, Medina, was 18 months old, I had her putting away her own toys.)

Three-year-old children are quite capable of learning to tie their own shoe laces.

And don’t forget chores.  Children should have chores.  Their parents/guardians should not be confused as their maids and butlers.

Five-year-old children are quite capable of sweeping a kitchen floor.  Get a small broom.  They can help with the dishes and the laundry and any other chores their parents/guardians think appropriate and safe.

Chores help to teach responsibility.

Children should not be allowed to have temper tantrums.

A tantrum is a display of impatience or dissatisfaction because they did not get their way.

The first time a child throws a tantrum should also be the last time.

Short of physical abuse, there are several ways to stop a tantrum:

  1. Ignore it.  Leave the room.  A tantrum needs an audience.
  2. With eyes of steel and a face set in cement, tell the child to stop it.  You may have to say it more than once.
  3. Tell the child that you will take pleasures away.
  4.  Make the child sit down or go to bed until the tantrum stops.

#1 worked for me.  It happened once, then never again.

If none of these work, hopefully, you’ll find something that will.  Just don’t allow the tantrum to be repeated.

Children must learn to be patient.  They must learn that they will not always get their way.

How do you teach two- or three-year-old children to be patient?

You don’t rush to do things for them.  You don’t hurry to give them cookies or other “treats.”

You teach them to wait.

You engage them in the lesson by saying something like, “You can play your video game in a little while.  Just wait.  And don’t say anything else about it or you won’t play it at all today.  Do something else until then.”  Or. . .“I’ll give you a cookie when I finish doing the dishes.  Just wait.  And don’t say anything else about it or you won’t get it.”

Then, you proceed to make them wait.  But, don’t overdo it.  Ten to 20 minutes is enough.  And praise them for doing a good job of waiting when you let them play the game or give them the cookie.

They’ll learn to be patient.

If we teach children “The Golden Rule,” that would go a long way toward solving the problems of our world!!

Treat others the way that you would want to be treated.  Very simple.  Very easy.  Very true.  Very good.

Not only do we need to teach it to children, we all should dust off “The Golden Rule” and put it into action in our lives.

What do YOU think?

How do you teach children the lessons of “The Golden Rule”?

At around four or five years old, children can conceptualize and vocalize about being treated fairly or unfairly.

Deliberately treat “Little Johnny” fairly and ask him how it felt to be treated fairly.  Ask him if he would like for his sister, brother, cousin, friend to be treated fairly.  Ask him if he will treat them fairly.  Ask him why.  His response should make for an interesting conversation.

Deliberately treat “Little Susie” unfairly and ask her how it felt to be treated unfairly.  Ask her if she would like for her sister, brother, cousin, friend to be treated unfairly.  Ask her if she will treat them unfairly.  Ask her why.  Her response should make for an interesting conversation.

Continue with these lessons on a regular basis.

If we teach the children well, their lives will be easier and more fulfilling!  And so will ours!!


This is an excerpt from my 48-page book, Mother’s Dozen:  An Easy Recipe for Raising GREAT Kids!—available as an e-book for $1.99 (printed book is $7.99) at

This book makes a wonderful addition to a baby shower gift!!


If  you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.

“Book Bosses, for Real” Video:


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YOU MUST NOT QUIT – January 3, 2016

You Must Not Quit

(Author unknown)





When things go wrong; as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow.
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem the worst that you must not quit.


If  you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.

“Book Bosses, for Real” Video:

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THE TEDDY – December 28, 2015

The Teddy

~ Jay James

After a car accident put me into the hospital, I felt very angry about a lot of the way my life was turning out.  The doctors repaired the major damage done to my body.  And after all, the car was just that, a car.  But I was laying there feeling pretty sorry for myself.  I didn’t care to see anyone or talk to anyone.

I had been there about a week.  The nurses had been good about leaving my door closed.  But one bright morning I was awakened by sounds of people out in the hallway.

Since I was still feeling sorry for myself, I didn’t wake up in a pleasant mood. As I pushed the button to call the nurse, I saw a little boy in the hallway.  A cast completely covered his arm, from fingers to shoulder.  His face was covered with a smile.  In his other hand he was holding a teddy bear.

I heard his mother telling him to sit and wait until she was done.  He looked over to me and I had the permanent scowl on my face, but he smiled at me. Then without warning, he came running into my room.  As I was silently cursing the nurses for leaving my door open, the smile upon his face widened.

He came right up next to my bed and stood there smiling at me.  Then with his good arm he held out his big brown teddy bear.  It was missing an eye, but I had to admit it was cute.  I laid there and stared at him for the longest time. Not knowing what he was wanting from me.

He said, “This is Teddy.  He’s still sick.  He needs to stay here.  Could you keep him here till he gets better?”

I reached out and took Teddy from his hand.  I promised I would take care of Teddy until the time he got better.  I also promised to keep him from harm afterwards.

Just then the little boy’s mother called to him.  He looked back at me and said, “Bye, mister; bye, Teddy” and ran out of the room.  His mother smiled down at him, and the nurse wheeled him away.  I sat there hugging Teddy for the longest time.  The nurse responded to my call just in time to catch the tears rolling down my cheeks and the biggest smile on my face.

I will never forget what that little boy gave to me that day.  It was so much more than a well-loved, one-eyed teddy bear.  I have kept my promises to that little boy, too.

I have kept Teddy close to me ever since that day in the hospital room, and I have kept that little boy close to my heart.  Just recently I sent Teddy to the most special person in my life.  She has the most incredible love.  I will join her soon and we will keep Teddy for the rest of our lives.

Teddy will always be very well loved.


If  you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.


“Book Bosses, for Real” Video:

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The Paradox of Our Time in History

~ Jeff Dickson

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 have less;
We buy 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 more problems;
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 crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space;
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 times of world peace, but domestic warfare;
More leisure, but less fun;
More kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are 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;
A time when technology can bring this letter to you,
And a time when you can choose either to make a difference
Or just hit delete.


If  you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.

Good, Short Books – All Books’ Video:

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A JOURNEY CALLED “LIFE” – December 13, 2015

A Journey Called “Life”

(Author unknown)

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

“What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered.  He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning:   “There is a mousetrap in the house!  There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me.  I cannot be bothered by it.”

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.  Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse.  I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap. . . alone.

That very night, a sound was heard throughout the house—the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught.  In the darkness, she did not see it.  It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap.

The snake bit the farmer’s wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital.

When she returned home, she still had a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup.  So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient:  chicken.

But his wife’s sickness continued.  Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.  To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well.  She died.

So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provideenough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.

And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem, and you think it doesn’t concern you, remember:

When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.  We are all involved in this “Journey Called ‘Life.’”  We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.



If you’re going to buy gifts, remember that books make great gifts—ANYTIME!!  Get some from!!  Something for adults AND children!!  $7.99 – $12.99.  eBooks $1.99 – $2.99.

Good, Short Books – All Books’ Video:

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