Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Do One Thing Better Today

"Tomorrow hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
~John Wayne
Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56, Arizona

As I've said before, I like to work my way into the day nice and slow.  There was a rule in my store even twenty-five years ago, that you wait until I've got my coat off and I've had my coffee before you ask me anything--and I won't be responsible for what happens if you fail to follow that simple rule.  A friend of ours, Susan, likes to tell the story about how Valerie and I went on a trip with her and her husband Jim once, and the four of us stayed in a cabin.  One morning, there was no coffee.  Her version of the story is that I threw a shoe at her head and barely missed.  My version of the story is that if I meant to hit her in the head with a shoe, I would have hit her in the head with the shoe.  Fortunately, there was a convenience store nearby--her husband Jim took me there, and 24-ounces later all was well with the world.  That's the way I used to be in the mornings.

I've mellowed over time, I'm not nearly as cranky in the mornings as I once was, but let's just say I've never been a morning person.  These days I'm less angry and more reflective in the mornings.  I'm a list maker.  I start my day off sipping on my coffee, and working my lists.  I look over my lists from the day before and mark a few things off, and add a few things I need to do.  I learned a long time ago that I get a lot more done during the day when I go into it with a plan and the days I leap into without a plan are the days I don't accomplish very much.  I have all kinds of lists.  I have a to-do list for work, and I have a to-do list for personal stuff (like getting the oil changed).  And I have a big white board on the wall of my office with a list of ongoing projects I'm working on which I break down into smaller tasks.  I update them all every morning and outline my plan of attack.

But one of the most important things I do during that morning "quiet time" is that I look back at the previous day to see if there's any lessons to be learned.  We all make mistakes, it's just that some of us don't like to admit them and others try and learn from them.  I like to learn from them.  And there's always some example from the day before of something I did . . . well, less than gracefully.  So one thing that goes on my list every day is one thing to focus on.  Today, I'm working on listening.  Apparently I wasn't doing a very good job of that yesterday during a meeting, and I missed an important point.  Had I been paying more attention, I could have saved a member of our office a lot of work.  But I wasn't. 

It's not always easy for us to admit we aren't perfect--that we are all flawed.  But if you take a few minutes and really look at yourself and how you go through life, it can be an eye-opener.  You may find something there glaring at you that you should have seen a long time ago.  But the benefit of doing this exercise, is that once we see something in ourselves that needs improvement, we have the power to change it for the better.  And the cumulative effects of spending just a little time each day working on improving just one part of our personality that need some attention can be transformational.

It's so simple, and yet it has worked miracles on me--you know, it's been nearly twenty years since I threw a shoe at anyone!

~Todd E. Creason

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Scripture: Matthew 5:15

~Todd E. Creason

Thursday, July 20, 2017

An Evening With The Odd Fellows

As the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199, one of the things I wanted to do during my term was to make our meetings better, which includes having a robust education program.  So each month we're working to line up a special guest, a speaker, or offer a presentation for the good of the Brethren.  And we invite local lodges to join us.

WM Todd E. Creason, Homer Masonic Lodge No. 199 (seated) and Noble Grand Ainslie Heilich, Tuscola Odd Fellows Lodge No. 316 (standing)
The last month, we invited the Odd Fellows to join us.  There is a new Lodge of Odd Fellows in nearby Tuscola, and their Noble Grand, Ainslie Heilich, joined us for a discussion about the Odd Fellows, their history, and their new Lodge.  It was a terrific presentation, and a lot of really great questions and answers followed.  

Our organizations are very similar in some ways and very different in others as we learned.  Both have been around since the 18th Century.  And both have been helping to build strong communities for hundreds of years--each in their own unique way.  

You can learn more about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows here. And they have a blog, much like The Midnight Freemasons except for Odd Fellows called the Heart in Hand: The Modern Odd Fellows Guide.  You'll find a lot of really interesting pieces there.  In fact, I've been invited to write a little something for their blog, which I definitely plan on doing.  Don't worry, you'll be the first to know when it goes up.

~Todd E. Creason

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Little Masonic Humor

"All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner."

~Bro. Red Skelton

Late Night Mischief

There's a man, walking down the street at one o'clock in the morning--he's loaded.

A policeman stops him and asks him, "where do you think you're going in that condition?"

"I'm on my way to a lecture on Freemasonry," the man slurred.

"Where can you possibly get a lecture on Freemasonry at this time of night?" the officers asks.

"From my wife, when I get home!"

And here's a math problem for you . . .

Q: How many Masons does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Three. One to screw it in, one to read the minutes of the previous light bulb replacement, and one to sit on the sidelines and complain that this wasn't the way they USED to screw in light bulbs.

Sadly, of all the jokes and humourous quotes I've received over the last few months, these were the only ones I could post on here--but keep them coming.  I enjoy them!

~Todd E. Creason

This one is reposted from quite a few years ago--back before anybody had heard of the Midnight Freemasons.
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