The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom of Barnyard Bruke: Compassion; Motherhood; The Gift; The Heart; Thoughts of Wisdom; A Lesson From Politicians

Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill".


A next-door neighbor in town had just lost his wife after over 60 years of marriage. Five year old Debbie saw the old man crying as he sat in his car in front of his garage. She sprang over to the car, gently opened it's door and climbed onto his lap.

When she came back to her house her mother asked her "What did you say ta our neighbor man?" Debbie replied, "Nothing, I just helped him cry." So it is with the hearts of our young'ns. Wouldn't it be nice if'n we could keep their heart in that state whilst they grow into adulthood!


So what is a mother? She knows her children better than anyone. She has carried them in her arms and in her heart. She is the woman who bore them, who loves them, who teaches them, who inspires them, and who sometimes disciplines them, she rocks the baby. She reads the stories. She hears the prayers. She sets the standards. She teaches of God, of scriptures, of prophets, and of commandments. She is a mother.

She is wisdom, common sense and patience. She is tenderness, loveliness and kindness. She is a source of safety, hope and comfort. Her smile lights the way. She is faith, perseverance, and courage. She is a refuge. She is love, duty and devotion. She is a healer, a nurse and doctor. She is a cook, a chauffeur and a counselor. She fashions genius and awakens intellect. Her heart is her children's schoolroom. She shares their victories and softens their losses. She is faith, perseverance, courage. She is a mother.

She is no stranger to grief. Her children are not perfect. No one knows it better than she. Their errors give a double blow. One to themselves and one to her.

She bears. She nurses. She rears. She teaches. She protects, then she lets them go.

Her love is that strong. For her teenagers, her lamp is always lit. Her love defends them from temptation. She is there when she is needed. Always. She is a mother.

She is the loom upon which they weave their character. She teaches the lessons of the past. She beckons them toward new horizons. Because she dreams, they dream.

She is a civilizer, a builder of homes, a keeper of communities and a shaper of nations. She is not a woman of riches, but she is a woman of great wealth. Her children are her jewels. She delights in their triumphs and in their character. She is a mother. She is a partner with her husband and with God.

A mother knows ta enjoy the little things in life, fer one day you'll look back and realize they were the BIG THINGS!

This Christmas season here are some thoughts a mother taught years ago:

The Gift

God's gift came in a such a simple way, in such a quiet manner, and in such a lowly place. The crowds and busyness were at the inn at Bethlehem, not at the stable where Christ was born.

Who would look there for anything to happen? At the manger were no flashing lights to get the crowd's attention, no sale signs to attract the shopper and no bands to stir up some passersby's excitement.

But out of town, on a peaceful hillside, the heavens opened. A few humble shepherds, whose hearts were ready to listen, heard the most remarkable message that had ever been spoken.

I believe God hasn't changed. Today He still is drawing us back to the quiet lowly place of worship, to the peace of His presence, to the simplicity of the cross, to the beauty of His face and to the only gift that Love could ever give God's only begotten Son, Jesus.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.


And this can be said about our Savior, the mother taught her young'ns: He never taught a lesson in a classroom. He had no tools to work with such as blackboards, maps, or charts... He used no subject outlines, kept no records, gave no grades, and His only text was ancient and well worn...

His students were the poor, the lame, the deaf, the blind, the outcast, and His method was the same with all who came to hear and learn...He opened eyes with faith...

He opened ears with simple truth...and opened hearts with love, a love born of forgiveness. A gentle man, a humble man.

He asked and won no honors, no gold awards of tribute to His wisdom...And yet this quiet teacher from the hills of Galilee has fed the needs fulfilled the hopes, and changed the lives of many millions...

For what He taught brought Heaven to earth and revealed God's heart to mankind.

The Heart

That heart revealed can be exemplified in the follow'n story of a young lad years ago in "hard times":

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coin in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table. The waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There , placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

The little feller had a heart fer do'n what was right!

Ta end this year's column up, here is some additional year end wisdom fer ya:

Thoughts of Wisdom...

Author Unknown

The most destructive habit


The greatest joy


The greatest loss

Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work

Helping others

Ugliest personality trait


Most endangered species

Dedicated leaders

Greatest natural resource Our youth

Greatest "shot in the arm"


Greatest problem to overcome


Most effective sleeping pill

Peace of mind

Most crippling failure disease


Most powerful force in life


World's most incredible computer

The Brain

The worst thing to be without


The deadliest weapon

The tongue

Two most power-filled words

"I Can"

The greatest asset


The most worthless emotion


The most prized possession


The most contagious spirit


The most beautiful attire


You may never know who is looking up to you for guidance or encouragement, so SMILE at everyone and always keep an open heart!

Oh, I almost forgot ta end this column with some humor-A lesson from politicians;

The kids filed into class Monday morning. They were all very excited. Their weekend assignment was to sell something, then give a talk on salesmanship.

Little Sally led off. "I sold Girl Scout cookies and I made $30," she said proudly. "My sales approach was to appeal to the customer's civic spirit and I credit that approach for my obvious success."

"Very good", said the teacher.

Little Debbie was next. "I sold magazines," she said. "I made $45 and I explained to everyone that the magazines would keep them up on current events."

"Very good, Debbie", said the teacher.

Eventually, it was Little Johnny's turn. The teacher held her breath. Little Johnny walked to the front of the classroom and dumped a box full of cash on the teacher's desk. "$2,467", he said. "$2,467!" cried the teacher. "What in the world were you selling? "Toothbrushes" said Little Johnny. "Toothbrushes" echoed the teacher. "How could you possible sell enough tooth brushes to make that much money?"

"I found the busiest corner in town", said Little Johnny. "I set up a Dip & Chip stand and I gave everybody who walked by a free sample." They all said the same thing: "Hey, this tastes like dog poop!" I would say, "it is dog poop. Wanna buy a toothbrush?" "I used the political method of giving you some crap, dressing it up so it looks good, telling you it's free and then making you pay to get the bad taste out of your mouth."

Little Johnny got five stars for his assignment

Thats all there is from the Bruke Clan fer 2018. Hope'n ta see ya in the church of yer choice this week.

Happy NEW Year ta you and yours from Mrs. Bruke, the boys, and I.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke