Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 24, 2010

Hit the Aspirin in the Air!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

For many years I taught at Ridgecrest and Glorieta Baptist Conference Centers and led conferences across the states in church growth.  One of the tools we used on several occasions was a motivational film.  It was a demonstration by a woman who had learned the art of hitting an aspirin in the air with a shot from a BB gun.

As a motivational expert, she would seek to convince the viewers that even things that seem impossible can be accomplished.  It was a well communicated message.  Those who participated in the conferences felt they could return home and reach those dreams they had for their churches.

After having seen and used this film on many occasions, I wondered if I could do what she did.  Could I throw an aspirin in the air, raise the BB gun and hit that aspirin before it fell to the ground?  I also thought if I could do it, then I would not use the film, but give a demonstration.

In our backyard I prepared for this accomplishment.  I owned a BB gun from my boyhood that was more powerful that the Red Ryder.  I also believed that I was a fair shot with a rifle, and I could accomplish this feat after some practice.  I must confess that I never hit a single aspirin.  In fact, I remember in my frustration and exhaustion, trying to hit those fallen aspirin as they were on the ground.  I couldn’t even do that!

I have since learned of Leon Measures in Texas.  He has taught for many years the art of shooting the aspirin in the air.  He uses this as a training to be more accurate with other guns.  He believes that this is the best preparation for instinctive shooting.

His training has enlightened me greatly.  I had assumed from that old film that it was just a matter of practice.  The motivational speaker in the film never explained how she was able to accomplish it.  Now I know she probably used the suggestions of Leon Measures.

Leon has certain steps that need to be obtained before hitting the aspirin.  He suggests a variety of accomplishments.  Begin with a paper target and get proficient at hitting the center of the target.  Then move to hitting tin cans.   From there, use a tennis ball swinging on a string.  When you can hit the swinging tennis ball consistently, begin throwing a tennis ball in the air.  When you can be accurate in hitting that falling ball, then begin to throw an aspirin in the air.  He will have you hitting the aspirin and breaking it into dust within a few hours of practice.

No wonder I could not hit the aspirin.  I started with the last step.  I had blamed the BB gun, my eyes, and my inability to hold the gun steady.  Perhaps all those  contributed, but I do not need to get down on myself and feel that it is impossible.  I just had not understood that to hit a certain target  I needed to take some steps to be successful.  Perhaps there is a good lesson for us about our lives.

Many of us have certain goals for life.  There is a target we have set.  In may be  a certain career field, a custom-built home, a particular education degree, a purposeful adventure in travel, or even in spiritual maturity.  Most of those goals cannot come at the moment we desire.  For many of them it will require some prior accomplishments.  We should wisely consider what steps we need to accomplish one by one before we can hit our target!

Whatever your goal, remember how to eat an elephant.  You eat an elephant one bite at a time.  You cannot swallow the whole elephant.   Your goal must be approached with that understanding. For me, I will state openly that I have a desire to be more like my Master.  I will move closer to that goal if I accomplish certain steps, one at a time.  I need to study His Word to know more about Him.  That is a good first bite.  Then I can seek to openly do those things that He has indicated believers should do.  And I can move on from there.  I wish it was easy just to reach that goal today.  But it is not possible for me, and I know I will not obtain that desired goal in my earthly lifetime.  Yet, I will seek to move toward that ultimate goal one step at a time. And my God will be my Instructor!

“With your help I can advance or run through a barricade . . . with my God I can scale a wall.”  (Psalm 18:29)  “The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm.”  (Psalm 37:23)




  1. Oh, this is great encouragement. I wrote my first book because of your “elephant eating” advice! I know this will encourage many.

    Comment by jjr — February 24, 2010 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  2. Miracles Happen
    There is a simple cure for all that is wrong in the world!
    “If My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
    God- 3000 years ago II Chronicles 7:14
    (Notice He didn’t say anything about those “other folks”. Just My People.)
    If you don’t believe in miracles, I’d like to meet you so you can shake hands with one! January 18, 1991, I contracted Bacterial Meningococcal Meningitis. My temperature exceeded 107 degrees. The learned doctors told my wife, “People who are 57 years old just don’t survive this disease.”
    The Lord wasn’t through with me yet, so I survived!
    I think it’s only fitting that I testify- my God is still in control and does answer prayer.
    I’m sorry the doctors will have to rewrite their books but I’m sure thankful to be looking forward to next season!
    Leon Measures June 12, 2010

    I can teach you to shoot a BB out of the air. That is simple.
    I can also, tell you how to have the Peace that comes by having Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. That is miraculous.
    Call toll free, send an email, write or come by.

    Comment by Leon Measures — June 12, 2010 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  3. I saw that film in World History class in 1979. Loved it.
    What is the title?

    Comment by W. A. "Cotton" Dickson II — May 28, 2011 @ 8:51 am | Reply

    • Wish I could help you with title. I used it in the 70s and early 80s. I have no old notes to refer to. And I cannot remember the name of the lady that did several motivation films like this one. If I do come across the title–and I will try to locate it–I will let you know. Leon Measures may know. He can be reached at or You might find other information in comments posted under this blog.

      Comment by lawsonjolly — May 28, 2011 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  4. Hi

    I too remember this film. Do you have any idea who the woman was? I’m trying to find a cooy.

    Comment by Ben — November 30, 2015 @ 11:54 pm | Reply

    • Ben,
      Sorry I can’t help. I used the film in the late ’70s and early ’80s. I have no memory of the name of the film or the lady. I looked at old materials from those days, but have so few items and none contain that information. The best clue might be to trace it from searching Leon Measure and see if there is a clue. I doubt the film was undated to more current systems. Again, sorry and hope you have success.


      Comment by lawsonjolly — December 1, 2015 @ 10:47 am | Reply

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