Articles written by Lou Vickery


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  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jul 23, 2020

    A given in this country over the years is how Americans rally when faced with crises. We have a propensity for taking care of each other when the chips are down and the results are high. Possessing a “servant’s heart” is never more evident than at this time. How we react in time of need says something about each of us, doesn’t it? This time in our lives reminds me of a story that is entitled “The Servant.” Here it is: A servant of the Kingdom was walking through the forest late one summer day, when he happened upon what looked like a lantern....

  • The Sunshine REport

    Lou Vickery|Jul 2, 2020

    One of the more difficult things for assertive people to do is to take a “pause for the cause.” There are times when we actually become victims of our circumstances. Events seem to rush us, press us, move us along at a pace that is injurious to emotional and physical health. Taking a self-restoring timeout is as much about a mental gain as it a physical gain. This "timeout" gives our creative juices a chance to flourish. It gives us a chance to think through ideas and solutions buried under the hustle and bustle of daily activities. A wise mov...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 25, 2020

    I met Alexander Hart in the year 2000. I was part of a volunteer program for prisons. At the time Alexander was in his 46th year in a maximum security prison. He was convicted at age 20 to life without parole. His crime? He was an accessory to murder. Alexander was one of four young black men from Detroit who headed south during the segregation days, with no real purpose in mind. The two young men in the front seat talked about how they would like to “stir up the waters,” without going into any detail. Much to Alexander’s surprise, stir it up t...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 11, 2020

    Emil lived in a small village in Southern France. He was employed as a stone cutter, toiling daily at the task of reducing huge boulders to brick-size stones. Steadily he would cut and chipped with a wooden mallet at the mountain of boulders, stacking the bricks he created carefully as he went. For twenty years Emil labored at his job, and each year he grew more and more weary of the drudgery. Chip…cut…stack, chip…cut…stack, and on it went each day. As soon as one boulder was reduced to a brick, there stood inevitably the challenge of the nex...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 4, 2020

    Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience! Here is one of his stories. “One day, my wife and I were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, ‘You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Haw. You were sho...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Mar 19, 2020

    There is an old story about the Touchstone, a small black pebble that could turn common metal into pure gold. The Touchstone was located on the shores of the Black Sea, lying among thousands of other pebbles which looked exactly like it. But there was one physical difference between the Touchstone and an ordinary pebble: the Touchstone would feel warm while the ordinary pebble was cold. One day a man, who had heard the story about the Touchstone decided to sell his belongings, buy some supplies and a tent, and dedicate his time to trying to...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Mar 5, 2020

    One of the more difficult things for assertive people to do is to take a “pause for the cause.” There are times when we actually become victims of our circumstances. Events seem to rush us, press us, move us along at a pace that is injurious to emotional and physical health. Taking a self-restoring timeout is as much about a mental gain as it a physical gain. This "timeout" gives our creative juices a chance to flourish. It gives us a chance to think through ideas and solutions buried under the hustle and bustle of daily activities. A wise mov...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Feb 20, 2020

    One of the more difficult things for assertive people to do is to take a “pause for the cause.” There are times when we actually become victims of our circumstances. Events seem to rush us, press us, move us along at a pace that is injurious to emotional and physical health. Taking a self-restoring timeout is as much about a mental gain as it a physical gain. This "timeout" gives our creative juices a chance to flourish. It gives us a chance to think through ideas and solutions buried under the hustle and bustle of daily activities. A wise mov...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Feb 6, 2020

    Quency B. Adams (not his real name) was a Prisoner of War during the Viet Nam conflict for five years. He shared with me the inhumane treatment that his captors inflicted on all the prisoners. It was horrific to say the least. I met Quency, several years after his return from Viet Nam. He had taken a position with a firm I worked for in Chicago. While a prisoner-o-war, Quency, learned to play the piano without the benefit of a piano. Let me explain. Learning to play the piano had been a lifetime desire of Quency’s. He approached a fellow p...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jan 16, 2020

    The Sea of Galliee and the Dead Sea both have the same water source. The water that flows into both of these seas originates in the Hermon Mountains among the roots of the cedar trees in Lebanon. It flows down clear and cool to form the Jordan River. Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea have the same geographical climate. They both are surrounded by similar soil. Yet, they are completely different bodies of water. The Sea of Galilee is a vibrant, life-giving source of water. It receives to give. It pours out its riches to enrich and...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Dec 24, 2019

    The letter in Ruth’s mailbox was unusual to say the least. There was no stamp on it and no return address. Immediately upon entering the door to her home, Ruth began to open the letter. The letter read: Dear Ruth: I will be stopping by for dinner tonight. I look forward to dining with you. Love, Jesus Is this some kind of hoax, she thought? Then again, what if it is true? For certain the letter had arrived with no stamp. “I will be prepared just in case he does show up,” she spoke out loud to herself. With that thought, Ruth remembered her empt...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Nov 28, 2019

    Our emotions are our best servant when they act on our own behalf. When our emotions are on our side, we learn to take life in stride. Personally, I battled emotional extremes much early adult life. What you find below are some things that have helped me to fight emotional extremes: Think realistically. Learn to put things in perspective. Not getting too high or too low when confronted with a challenge, can bring your stress level down. Manage time wisely. Controlling your time rather than having your time control you, aids greatly in...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Nov 21, 2019

    Recently, I was in Oklahoma visiting with the grand kids. It brings to mind the thoughts of raising children. Talking about raising them now is easy. Doing it fifty years ago, was anything but easy. Many of you know what I mean. Let’s just say, I have turned out to be a much better grandfather, than I was a father. The truth be known, there are a lot of others burning rubber right behind me. And they certainly not all males, either. May I begin by reminding those who have young children, they grow up only once. I have younger friends who s...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Nov 7, 2019

    What is your deepest fear? There is the fear of an ability to cope, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of poverty (lack), fear of inferiority, fear of intimacy, fear of control, fear of success, and a fear of “they,” just to name the more prominent ones. When our fear comes from a place of insecurity in ourselves, or uncertainty about the future, courage may not always be the answer. What happens when our search for courage turns up empty-handed? Could the ultimate answer to managing fear be found in faith? Responding to...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Oct 31, 2019

    I trust you are having a great week. I am working on a new book on developing and building social capital and ran across this in my data base. I thought it might be something that you would enjoy. Thank you for being my internet friend…wish we had a time and place to get to know each other better. Enjoy. A Friend A friend is a person who reaches out for your hand and instead touches your heart. A friend is a person whose major concern is what can be brought to the relationship… not what can be taken from it. A friend will ask you only to be...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery|Oct 17, 2019

    Are you ready for this one? Do you believe offering and receiving words of appreciation makes for a healthier brain and body? The feelings of gratitude we experience or provide create an ever-increasing sense of well-being. Studies have proven that gratefulness enhances health. Those of us who feel thankful and regularly express gratitude tend to appreciate our health more. This leads us to take better care of ourselves and as a result, we feel more energetic and full of life. Gratitude helps us sustain a high energy thought pattern that...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Sep 19, 2019

    POSITIVE PEOPLE are healthy folks. They are not only positive because they are healthy, they are healthy because they are positive. POSITIVE PEOPLE take things as they come. They don’t stew over situations they can’t do anything about. They accept things as they are and get on with doing something about those things they can control. POSITIVE PEOPLE put out positive vibes wherever they are. They are grateful for what they have…excited about where they are and what they are working on…and hopeful about the possibilities of the future. POSITIVE P...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Aug 29, 2019

    It was not a perfect trip…but it was an excellent one. After 92 days, 13 states and 7,200 miles I am home. What awesome sights. What a beautiful country we live in. Thinking of excellence got me to thinking about how that is generally not good enough for some people. Nothing short of perfection will do. Are you like that? Do you tend to be a perfectionist? Perfection is something to shoot for…but somewhere along the line most of us learn that things rarely come off as planned. Untimely things happen and performance suffers as a result. When thi...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Aug 22, 2019

    Do you realize that every time we speak, we speak twice? I don’t mean that we speak with a “forked tongue.” What I mean is that the words that come out of our mouths convey our thoughts, while our tone of voice reflects our attitude. What we say is important, but the way it is said is more important, wouldn’t you think? Think from your own experience. You sense when someone is telling you something, and the tone of voice isn’t backing the words up with feelings, don’t you? Sure, you do. How often have you been on the other side of the equatio...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Aug 1, 2019

    In a previous book entitled: Traveling Tips Along Success Road (Upword Press, 2008), I wrote this about the anatomy of success: SUCCESS IS not everything but striving to succeed is. It is having a badge of honor of giving the most we have and being productive to the peak of our capacities. SUCCESS IS mentally painting big pictures and then working to turn those pictures into reality. It is setting ‘stretch’ goals and working relentlessly toward their accomplishment. SUCCESS IS built on following a process to success. This process entails thi...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jul 11, 2019

    As you read this, I am in the midst of a 4-month, 6,000 mile trip through 19 western states. Presently, I am in the beautiful state of Utah. I am traveling back to all the cities west of the Mississippi River where I played pro baseball. I have been blessed to have been in all the states with the exception of Alaska. Over the years, my travels have taken me to every city in our great country with over 150,000 people. I have seen some beautiful sights along the way…many of which will mean a great deal more to me now as I revisit them. As I t...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 27, 2019

    As I write this I am in the middle stages of a 100 day, 7,000 mile motorhome trip across the western states. My goal is to revisit those cities where I played during my professional baseball career. Obviously, I will visit many great sights and locations on this trip, as well. Going back into the past reminds me that it is easy to look back at yesterday and the days before that and say, "If I had only…," isn’t it? But where will it get us? We know that we can't go back in time. We know that we can't live our “yesterdays” again. But there is a t...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 20, 2019

    Things we did as youngsters can have a way of weathering the years and stay in our minds as if they happened yesterday. One particular occurrence that has remained with me all these years, occurred in a science experiment in elementary school. The basic ingredients used in this experiment were a jar filled with clear water, some mud and a water faucet. The mud was placed in the jar of water and stirred enough to completely permeate it. The jar was then placed under a dripping faucet. Drop-by-drop, the muddy water began to become clear water...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 13, 2019

    As I write this I’m in the 16th day of my 100 day trip. Making my way across west Texas, headed to Carlsbad, NM. Excited about the trip ahead. Beautiful sights…and meeting some great people. Life is good!! I’m blessed. Lou Most of us would like to think reason and sound judgment play the dominant role in how we conduct our daily affairs. But in truth, almost everything we do is interpreted at the emotional level. In a very real way, we see – and do -- things through the eyes of our emotions. The word "emotion" comes from the Latin word, "...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 6, 2019

    I believe it is not all bad when beginning something new and different to use the performances of others as a means of measurement. Others in similar situations establish the ground rules. They provide a yardstick. But once we know the rules, we should turn our attention to what we are doing, not what others are doing or have done, don’t you think? When the focus is on the performances of others, we lose sight of what we are capable of doing. I have discovered that champions don’t waste time and energy concerning themselves with how others are...

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