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JOE’S NOTEBOOK: Richard Branson & His Notebooks

From an interview in the Wall Street Journal, 5.24.21 —

What’s your most useful work habit?


If I have a meeting with people, I’ll take notes. If I’m traveling on a Virgin plane, I’ll take notes. I’ll listen to the staff, to the customers.

If you’re not taking notes, I think it’s offensive.

A staff member will give you an idea or tell you a frustration or make a suggestion for improvement, and they will know straight away that if you don’t write it down, you’re not going to deal with it. 

I’ve taken notes on all the fun things my grandchildren and children have said. Looking back on them, if you’ve got an 18th or a 21st birthday party for your children, it’s wonderful how one can embarrass them with some of the things they’ve said in the past. One of my favorites is, when Joan and I got married on Necker Island, when Sam was four and Holly was seven, friends of ours in front of Sam said that they were getting married. This was the day after the wedding, and Sam turned to them and said, “You can’t be getting married, you haven’t had children yet!”

If you don’t write it down, you’re not going to remember it.

My Other Favorite, part 4

My Other Favorite Bible verse is John 10:10b. We may well have learned in the King James Version as I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

J.B. Phillips, in his version of Scripture, has it like this —

I came to bring them life,

and far more life than before. 

— Appetizers are nice.

Long ago, Patty introduced me to “Fried Mozzarella” in the Dogtown part of St. Louis. They’re great, and one can easily make a meal out of a basket of them at Seamus McDaniel’s.


There’s far more on the menu.

By the grace of God, may this very day be one in which we find far more life than before.

Reliable sources indicate its even better than Dogtown’s “Fried Motz.”

And that’s pretty good

JOE’S NOTEBOOK: Division in Church

I have never yet known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord’s people were divided. — D. L. Moody

My Other Favorite, part 3.

My Other Favorite Bible verse is John 10:10b, which you and I might have learned in the King James Version as I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

See what nuance this offers you —

My purpose

is to give life

in all its fullness.

(The Living Bible)

— I can remember when Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life book became a merchandising cash cow franchise.

Amid the many excellent points he made in his book was an element that caused some people I served at the time as pastor to question the weight he gave to his Baptist/Calvinist heritage.

I admit I’d not noticed that…maybe it’s become so prevalent in what passes for Contemporary Christian Culture…but that’s another thought for another time.

The Living Bible version quoted above could certainly qualify as our Lord’s Purpose Statement.

In light of His, what’s yours?

Would love to hear from you as always, and also as always, hope to see you back here tomorrow.

JOE’S NOTEBOOK: Time with Dogs

Blessed be the person who takes and loves an old dog, for their time with us is more important that our time with them. — Rain City Rescue

My Other Favorite, part 2.

My Other Favorite Bible verse is John 10:10b.

You and I might have learned it in the King James Version as I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. That’s already clear and simple.

Even so, it gets enhanced a bit if we pull a New International Version off the shelf —

I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.

— Life to the full, not just lots of it, but all of it.

St, Irenaeus said, “God’s greatest glory is a human being fully alive.”

Are we?

JOE’S NOTEBOOK: Nick Saban after Losing

Rick Karle of WVTM 13 wrote this on Sunday, 10.10.21 —-

You know that I’m a half glass full kind of a guy, and in light of Bama’s loss last night, I bring you a hunch.

It’s just a hunch, but a hunch it is.

First, let me bring you words from the two greatest college football coaches in the history of the game.

Years ago, Coach Bryant met the media after a loss and gave Bama fans some great advice, saying:

“It’s awfully important to win with humility. It’s also important to lose. I hate to lose more than anyone, but if you don’t lose, you don’t know how to act.

“If you lose with humility, then you can come back.”

Last night, Coach Saban met the media after the loss and gave his players and fans some great advice, saying:

“Obviously this is a very disappointing loss for us. I know the players are very disappointed. I think everybody needs to remember how they feel, and not forget it. When I talk about having respect for winning, that’s what I mean.”

While Bama fans are certainly disappointed, I remind you that in 15 seasons as Bama’s head coach, Coach Saban’s teams have gone unbeaten only twice, and he’s done pretty good over those 15 seasons.

Coach Saban will use this loss to motivate his players for the rest of the season, and his team will be better for it.

As Coach Bryant once told his players when trailing at the half, “This is just perfect. We’ve got them right where we want them.”

Bama fans might just see their team run the table from here on out, and last night’s loss might be a big reason for it.

Of course, that’s just a hunch.

My Other Favorite.

Quick Review: Having been asked for my favorite Bible verse, John 3:16 tops my List. But there’s a tie for First Place.

My Other Favorite you and I might have learned in the King James Version as I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)

It was already a beloved of mine before my father’s funeral. After that, especially the graveside service, it sank its roots deep into me.

Or maybe I sank my roots deeply in it.

Or both.

I choose option Three, because it works both ways.

More tomorrow, back here.

Meanwhile, what’s your Favorite Bible Verse? Maybe you’re like others of us and have more than one. I’d love to hear from you about this.

JOE’S NOTEBOOK: That Most Recent Shooting

You know the worst part about today’s shooting?

That we have to use the word, “today’s”. — Elizabeth Brick

My Favorite.

I was asked recently for my favorite Bible verse.

Good question.

Not an easy answer.

There are two that tie for First Place on my List.

One’s generally understood to be Gospel in one sentence and the other I’ve come to understand as its application.

The former is John 3:16

God so loved the world

that He gave His one and only Son,

that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish

but have eternal life.

— What’s yours?

I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to hit me up in any of our usual ways these days, anytime.

And I’ll see you back here tomorrow.


JOE’S NOTEBOOK: Too Much for Adults

There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book. — Philip Pullman