“He Is Sleeping, Mr. President”

John Kenneth Galbraith, in his autobiography, A Life in Our Times, illustrates the devotion of Emily Gloria Wilson, his family’s housekeeper:

It had been a wearying day, and I asked Emily to hold all telephone calls while I had a nap. Shortly thereafter the phone rang. Lyndon Johnson was calling from the White House.

“Get me Ken Galbraith. This is Lyndon Johnson.”

“He is sleeping, Mr. President. He said not to disturb him.”

“Well, wake him up. I want to talk to him.”

“No, Mr. President. I work for him, not you.”

After Galbraith woke up and found out LBJ had called, he immediately returned his call, fearful he would be angry. Galbraith wrote, “When I called the President back, he could scarcely control his pleasure.”

Johnson said, “Tell that woman I want her here in the White House.” —John Kenneth Galbraith, A Life in Our Times, Houghton Mifflin, Reader’s Digest, December, 1981

“For your obedience is come abroad unto all men” (Romans 16:19).

Emperor Titus

Roman Emperor Titus became known for his generosity. Suetonius states that upon realising he had brought no benefit to anyone during a whole day he remarked, “Friends, I have lost a day.” —Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Titus 8

“Be ye kind” (Ephesians 4:32).

Hard Times

One of the largest tributaries of the River of Greatness is always the Stream of Adversity. —Cavett Robert

“The trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3).

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. —Arthur Somers Roche

“Take no thought for the morrow” (Matthew 6:34).


Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace.—Thomas a Kampis

“Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9).

Makes You Stop and Think

  • Be nice to your kids. They’ll choose your nursing home.
  • Why is “abbreviation” such a long word?
  • For people who like peace and quiet: a phoneless cord.
  • I used up all my sick days, so I’m calling in dead.
  • Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • There cannot be a crisis today; my schedule is already full.
  • Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
  • A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
  • I don’t have a solution, but I admire the problem.
  • Don’t be so open-minded; your brains fall out.
  • Diplomacy–the art of letting someone have your way.
  • It’s not hard to meet expenses; they’re everywhere.
  • Budget: A method for going broke methodically.
  • Car service:  If it ain’t broke, we’ll break it.  —Glenn Hitchcock

“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not” (Proverbs 8:33)

Edward VI

I’ve read that when Edward VI, the king of England in the 16th century, attended a worship service, he stood while the Word of God was read. He took notes during this time and later studied them with great care. Through the week he earnestly tried to apply them to his life. That’s the kind of serious-minded response to truth the apostle James calls for in today’s Scripture reading. A single revealed fact cherished in the heart and acted upon is more vital to our growth than a head filled with lofty ideas about God. One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it. —Chambers, Our Daily Bread, March 4, 1993.

“Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22)

Recipe for a Good Day

  • One cup of friendly words,
  • Two heaping cups of understanding,
  • Four teaspoons of time and patience,
  • A pinch of warm personality,
  • Add a dash of humor.—From Glenn Hitchcock
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