Don’t give up on yourself

Between my junior and senior year in high school, my parents decided I could get a town job. It would help my college fund. I went to the employment office and businesses in town. Al Muggli looked at me and said, “You know, I was just thinking I needed some help. Come back next week. I will think it over.”

Lois Olmstead


The next week I went back. I got the job. It was Muggli Machinery Company, an International Harvester dealership. Mr. Muggli taught me excellent bookkeeping skills, for which I have always been thankful. In a short while, I got the bookkeeping skills down pretty well. I could even sell tractor parts when I had to. I loved the job.

One day I had to call the bank. The lady said, “Good morning, Livingston State Bank.” I thought that was real professional so I went back to my desk practicing over and over, saying “Good morning, Muggli Machinery Company.”

I couldn’t wait for the phone to ring. I kept practicing. Finally it rang. I nearly knocked Mr. Muggli over in my race to get to the phone first and be professional. I professionally said, “Good Muggli, Morning Machinery Company!”

He burst into laughter and so did I, with a very red face. He took the next phone call when the customer called back. We have laughed over that since.

It is my delight to tell you the rest of the story. Nowadays Al Muggli lives in Clyde Park and is 103 years old. He is still smart and he still enjoys telling stories about our good old days at Muggli Machinery Company.

These days it helps me to remember I made mistakes when I was younger. Maybe many of you need to think about that, too. We can get so down on ourselves when we forget to do something — or we’d like to forget something we did do that was wrong. We blame it on our age. Sometimes we practice and practice and still make mistakes. Peter in the Bible was like that.

I believe Jesus knew who Peter was and what he was like before he chose him to be a disciple. As a matter of fact, that whole group of disciples were pretty regular people just like us. Yet those are the ones Jesus chose to walk with Him while he was here on earth.

Sometimes we dwell more on our failures then we do on the things we get right. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Be willing to try again. I do. Peter did. You can read about him in Acts, chapter 12. The best part of the story for me as a child was when the angel “zapped” his chains and led him out right through the bars of that cold dark dungeon.

 I studied it again recently. Something else caught my attention this time. Verse 6 says, “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.” Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with chains. Peter was sleeping!

Think about that. Peter’s trust in God was so strong that he could sleep while chained between two soldiers in jail. He was secure in the knowledge that God was in charge of the situation. Which means He certainly is able to take care of my situations, mistakes, failures — and yours as well. It is a new good lesson from an old story. Don’t give up on yourself. God doesn’t.

Peter believed God’s Word when He said, “Cast all your cares on Him, for He careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7) And take a lesson from me and Al Muggli … laughter is still good medicine!


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker who has spoken at more than 1,700 events in the U.S. and Canada. She has also published six books and writes a weekly column. She lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at or visit