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Phil's Rules for Life


Last updated 10/14/2020 at 2:02pm

We had plenty of rules when I was growing up. No throwing cheese into the ceiling fan. Stop pouring ketchup on your pancakes. Obey your parents, that it may go well with you and that you may live past Thursday.

Mom taught me other rules too: Love God with everything you've got. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. Make the bed when you wake up. He who starts the day cleaning his own messes will learn responsibility and make a fine husband one day.

Through the years I've learned a few other maxims as well.

The one thing that unites all humans is that deep down inside we all believe we are good drivers.

Don't worry about what other people think of you. Chances are, they aren't even thinking about you.

Never ever say anything to a woman that remotely suggests you think she is pregnant unless you are in the delivery room with her, and she is your wife.

Going to church won't make you a Christian anymore than sitting in McDonalds will make you a hamburger.

Far more important are these rules for life.

Rule 1: Stop focusing on what you do not have.

When Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints set the NFL record for longest field goal-63 yards-with no toes on his kicking foot, a reporter asked, "How does a handicapped guy kick a ball that far and that accurately?"

Dempsey said, "I don't look on myself as handicapped. You can't worry about what you don't have. You've got to add up what you do have. You've got to bloom where you're planted!"

Count your blessings, you'll be amazed at what you have."

Rule 2: Friends are like books: You can't read them all, but you can choose the best ones.

A young guy told me, "My parents are always after me about my friends."

I said, "That's great. They love you. Your friends will make or break your life."

First Corinthians 15:33 says, "Bad company corrupts good character." If you hang out with goats you'll smell like them.

Rule 3: Be the kind of person you'd want your daughter to marry.

Are you honest, trustworthy, and righteous? Live so that when your children hear words like integrity, compassion, commitment, generosity, and gratitude, they just might think of you.

One of my prayers is that despite all my faults, my kids will know I love their mama, I love them, and that God is number one in my life.

Sometimes I get it right, and it's kind of nice when they're around to see it happen.

Phil Callaway is host of Laugh Again radio ( His latest book is Laugh Like a Kid Again (Harvest House).


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