Monthly Archives: November 2021

Diving Into A Sea of Books–People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”—one you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys, by Mike Bechtle, is a book I would have liked to have read years ago. That would have saved me considerable frustration, with myself and with others. It explains some things I’ve wondered about for a long time (like why I can’t come up with a quick reply in a conversation). 

As the title suggests, this is not a textbook (read “dry and boring”) type of book. Instead, Dr. Bechtle uses personal illustrations, humor, and stories to make his points about dealing with difficult people, whether they be family members, co-workers, bosses, or others you spend time with regularly. You know—those people who just DRIVE YOU CRAZY!

Some points which jumped out at me are:

  1. You can’t change other people; you can only change yourself. You can influence other people, but it has to be their decision to change.
  2. Change comes slowly, whether to you or the other person. “Crazy people” learned those behaviors over time, so it takes time to change.
  3. Crazy people may drive you crazy, but they are still human, still made in God’s image. The craziness  isn’t all there is about that person. 
  4. The “old-fashioned” virtues of kindness, humility, patience, and gratitude are still needed as you deal with your crazy person.
  5. Set boundaries and be prepared to sound like a broken record to defend your boundaries. You will need to defend them.
  6. A person’s basic temperament—whether introverted or extroverted—doesn’t change, so don’t try.  To try just puts a lot more stress on the relationship, and neither one of you needs that.
  7. What you can’t change, you can often adapt to. 
  8. Be proactive, not reactive. Dr. Bechtle suggests ways to give thought to situations, and then act upon what you’ve considered, instead of having a “knee-jerk” reaction. This one point alone made the book valuable for me, a person who tends to react, but wants to move away from that tendency.
  9. Thoughts lead to emotions, which lead to behaviors. A change in thought patterns means a change in emotions, which means behaviors change.
  10. There is quite a difference between expectations, and expectancy. Expectations about people often lead to bitter disappointment; expectancy means you are operating from a position of hope. You know there are no guarantees that your crazy person will change, but there’s the possibility.
  11. This book is about relationships; it’s really about the importance of faith and hope in relationships with difficult people.

People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys is one of the most helpful books I’ve ever read about personality and relationships. It’s a book I’ll read again, probably soon; this time, to take notes. 

©P. Booher


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Filed under Diving Into A Sea of Books, Faith Matters, Life Issues, Tips to Manage Stress

Friday Photos–More Pictures of Fall

Autumn along the River
My mother’s forsythia bush. Believe it or not, it blooms in October-November, as well as in the spring.

All photos from author’s collection.

P. Booher

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Re-blog: How to be Happy

I came across this post on Mitch Teemley’s site. Hope you enjoy it, too.

Mitch Teemley

happiness-under-his-feet-in-public-domainMy Thanksgiving holiday sketch GrrAttitude is about a married couple having one of those nothing-to-be-thankful-for days. Ever have one of those? (The incident below really happened to my wife and me.)

The setting is a laundromat:

“So,” he observes, “our marriage outlasted our washer and dryer.”

“What are the odds?” she snarks.

“Of our marriage lasting?”

“No! Of our washer and dryer dying within two days of each other!”

“Actually, I think it’s kind of touching, like when old couples die so close together because they can’t bear to live without each other.”

Like them, my wife and I drove to the laundromat every week back when we were first married. We thought it was pretty great just having a partner to–literally–share the load with. But that was then. This is now. Have you ever noticed how your happiness baseline constantly shifts? It’s based on what you’re currently used to…

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Re-blog: What I Have in Common with the Bodie Island Lighthouse

Thought this was worth taking the time to read.

Sue A. Fairchild | Editor, Writing Coach, Speaker

I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t love a lighthouse. I’m not sure what it is about these stately structures that draw us in, but I am no different. When we recently took a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, I made a list of lighthouses we had not yet seen there and made it my mission to see at least one.

Although the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is probably the most iconic of this area (and has its own unique history), we had seen it many times before. But this year, on a trip north of our beach house, we decided to detour to the see the Bodie Island Lighthouse.

According to the National Park Service website, the Bodie Island Light Station that stands today is the THIRD lighthouse erected for that part of the banks. The first was erected by a man who had no lighthouse…

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Favorite Recipe for Thanksgiving

My mother and I generally have meatloaf for Thanksgiving. It’s a non-traditional meal in this area, (traditional=turkey) but we enjoy having it. You can make it as large as you want by adapting the ingredient amounts; the recipe we use doesn’t take anything we don’t usually have on hand, and there’s leftovers for the next day, (YUM!) so one meatloaf gives us a couple meals. As the saying goes, “It works for us.” I am getting hungry for meatloaf just thinking about it!


1 pound ground meat (we use ground beef)

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 2/3 cups evaporated milk

2 cups bread crumbs

Mix meat, egg, salt, onion, milk, and bread crumbs. Turn into a well-greased baking pan, shape into a loaf and bake 30 to 45 minutes in a moderate oven (350° F.) Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

There are many recipes for meatloaf around; we rely on this one. It’s simple, as plain a recipe as you can get, but it always turns out well.

P. Booher



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A Prayer for Service Workers During the Holidays

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on


I am thinking of those who served me today as I did my errands. First off, there were the owners of the service station, who took the summer tires off my car and put the winter tires on; the cashier at the convenience store; the deli worker who sliced the Colby cheese for me at the grocery store; the vendors at the same store, who, although they didn’t directly serve me, ordered their items so another customer could get what he or she wanted. There was the young man doing some “weight-lifting” as he filled the potato display with big bags of potatoes; the man filling the milk display so I could get some; the cashier at the front end with her smile and cheerful attitude. Then there was the man at the post office, the cashier at the pharmacy, the cashier at the dollar store, and the man picking up our garbage. 

Lord, here in my country, the stores are already busy with people shopping for Thanksgiving meals and Christmas get-togethers. Having worked in stores at the holiday season, I know what it’s like. You worked with people as well, as You walked this earth. You know what it’s like. People can be polite, cheerful, rude, impatient, angry, or miserable.

Lord, bless those who are service workers this holiday season, particularly those in close contact with customers. Help them believe and know their self-worth doesn’t come from how well they do their jobs but from the fact they are human beings—made in Your image. Help them get their breaks at work when they should. Help them get rest for bodies and souls. Help them get warm baths for tired, achy muscles and sore feet. Bless them and may they not be considered expendable by either customers or employers, but even if they are, help them remember that’s not the real story. The real story is they are precious and treasured by You.

Lord, thank You for Your awesome love for us. Help us treat one another as precious and worthy because we are made in Your image. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

©P. Booher

Scripture references: Genesis 1:26, 27, 31; Genesis 2:18-23; Psalm 139:13-18; Romans 5:6-8

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A Prayer About the Past

Dear Lord,

Tonight I’ve been beating myself up about the past–lost opportunities, changes I should have made, but didn’t because I was stubborn, didn’t see any other feasible alternatives, afraid of what going after feasible alternatives would mean, or afraid of what other people would think or say.

It’s an old story, so old the pages are brown and tattered. I am tired of it.

Tonight I give it to You. I give all of what I could have done, should have done to You. I can’t handle the past. I can’t do anything about it. I will literally go crazy if I think more about it. So I give it to you. Whatever You can do with it, it’s Yours.

I should be afraid to give it to You, because You are the Righteous Judge. You see the motives of my heart. You see what lies behind those lost opportunities. But I lay it in Your blood-stained hands anyway. Strangely, once I do, I feel safe.

©P. Booher


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Friday Photos–The Glories of Fall

Fall colors are so exuberant, so glorious, I keep coming back to them.

All photos: author’s collection.

P. Booher

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Re-blog: The Year My Conscience Awoke

Mitch Teemley

My Real Memoir

My modest brush with “persecution” seemed to kick loose some new level of awareness in me of when I was in 4th Grade. To be honest, there were lots of things that occupied more real estate in my brain: my paper route; improving my spelling and perfecting my signature (see above evidence); making out my Christmas wish list in September; adventure movies like The Swiss Family Robinson and Journey to the Center of the Earth, plus the best comedy ever Some Like it Hot, as a result of which I developed a major crush on Marilyn Monroe; TV shows like The Twilight Zone (“Submitted for your approval…”) and Rawhide (“Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…”); and singing along with the Chipmunks on “Christmas Don’t be Late” (“Me, I want a hula-hoop!”).

Still, I did deliver newspapers. So I heard that some guy named Fidel was the new…

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November 16, 2021 · 10:29 pm

Clothes Don’t Make the Person–AKA–What Attitude Am I Wearing?

Several years ago I attended a few Christian women’s conventions. Sometimes I bought a T-shirt at the event–for some reason, I got the idea that was expected of Christians. I fell into the trap of thinking that because a person wears Christian-themed clothing, that makes the person a Christian.

But the clothes don’t make the person; it’s what inside that matters.

A couple years ago I was in a store waiting behind a customer. The man had a couple transactions to take care of, so I had time to read the back of the man’s T-shirt. (Yes, I do things like that while waiting in line; words draw my attention! 🙂 )  Various questions and Biblical answers pertaining to the gospel were printed on the shirt. It was certainly supposed to draw people to the Lord.

That’s why the words I overheard coming from the man were such a shock. He was obnoxious, belittling the cashier and asking if she could handle his transactions—or, should he do it? She politely assured him that she could do it. I cringed at his sarcasm; it was in such stark contrast to the message on his clothing. His attitude shouted louder than the message he thought he was getting across with his choice of clothing. To make the situation worse, he said to the cashier, “Here’s your spiritual dessert”—and handed her a tract. I almost gagged.

After the customer left, I spoke to the cashier about the incident. Not surprisingly, she remembered his rudeness far more than the words written on his shirt.

As you can see, that episode left a big impression on me. I look on it as an object lesson. How am I treating people?  Am I kind, or am I sarcastic, biting, rude? What’s my demeanor while I’m being waited on? Are cashiers and salespeople glad to see me, or are they glad to see me leave?  Do I reflect the love of Jesus Christ, or is something else showing? 

©P. Booher

“Love is patient, love is kind….It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.” Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, I Corinthians 13:4a., 5. (NIV)


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