Friday, August 31, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We welcome our reader in the Philippines
who joins us this morning. Glad to have you with us.
Quint is upstairs waiting for the gravel man to bring his
big dump truck with 5 tons of gravel for the driveway. That ought to keep us busy for today, tomorrow and the rest of next
Oh, life comes at us in stages. We have to move a few tools -- like rakes, shovels, yard brooms, etc. --
that are standing at attention against the carport wall. Once they're moved out of the way, then we can put the gravel
down in the carport.
In order to really be efficient about it, I need to go ahead and put the springloaded hooks
onto the walls in the storage closet at the end of the carport. And in order to do that, I need to move the lawnmower out,
and Quint's wheelbarrow, and my little red wagon that has a bag of dirt and a bag of mulch in it. They need to come out
of the closet so that I can walk around in there with my handy dandy little Dremmel that I use to make pilot holes, and my
cordless Black & Decker super screwdriver.
After all that, I'll be able to hang up the tools. I bought
a dozen of the springloaded things. That ought to do it. I've been waiting for a day when it wasn't 110 degrees in
the closet. I'm not kidding. It's been too hot to work in there.
Everyone knows that ladies aren't
supposed to -- well, you know -- perspire.
It's only 60 degrees now. So it will be a good time to start hanging
things up. That is, after I finish painting the patio furniture.
PERFECTIONISM -- IT JUST
DOES NOT EXIST
Perfectionism is a cognitive distortion.
In the real world, it doesn't
In a world of magical thinking, perfectionism is a much sought after goal. It ranks right up there with
the princess being rescued by the dragon slaying prince and they ride off to his castle where they get married and live happily
That's perfectionism. Walt Disney made millions and millions just by repeating this simple, magical
plot to so many of his stories. And through these stories came a serious flaw in thinking because there is no Prince Charming.
He lives, with his dragons, within our imaginations.
Most of us can survive the reality check that puts
magical thinking back in the little jewelry box that has the dancing ballerina. She stops dancing when you close the lid,
So where does all this need for perfectionism come from?
Probably from different places for different
people. If you grew up in a family where it was not safe to be flawed, then you're going to strive to be perfect.
Being perfect was the expectation that you picked out as you were growing up.
Maybe you weren't really expected
to be perfect, but you may have thought that was the expectation. And it's possible that you packed that mindset into
your mental tools that you brought into adulthood.
Well, I have a liberating thought for you. Anywhere along the
way and certainly by the time you cross the threshold into adulthood, you can throw that old thought away. The thought of
perfectionism, that is. It will not serve you well. Ever.
All you can ever hope for is to be the best you can be.
Accept the very real fact that your psyche has little chinks in it. And that's okay. Those little chinks were earned from
the lumps you took on the hard road of life.
During one of my rest breaks the other day, I was watching a design
show. One of the designers had made a really nice bench for a newly redone room. Then he came onto the set with a chain
which was wrapped around his hand. When asked what the chain was for, he said, "I'm going to put some stress
marks in this bench so it will fit in with the antique decor." Then he started beating up on this poor little bench.
To my way of thinking, he ruined a good little bench. But he wanted the look of "distressed" wood.
Huh? I think I missed something. I guess because everything we had in our house when I was growing up was old hand-me-down
pieces of distressed furniture. I longed for the day when I could grow up and have smooth wood and unstressed furniture. I
do have a few antiques that have been handed down to me, but they are pieces that have been cherished and well cared
But that's as far as the analogy to human imperfections and furniture imperfections go. In real life,
imperfections with my peeps don't mean a loss of love.
Quite the contrary, acceptance and forgiveness undo
any preoccupation with perfection.
And maybe that's the root where perfectionism comes from. Just maybe, we
need to feel like people who love us will love us anyway. Even when they realize that we are less than perfect.
Keep this homework thought in mind as you read verses 29 and 33: What
do you read about the heart of our loving God?
Once again, Moses has gathered all the children of Israel around
him. It was speech time, for sure. There were no PA systems -- no jumbotrons so everybody could get a good view -- it
was Moses and God and the Israelites.
But somehow, through the powers of God himself, the voice of Moses could
be heard by everybody who was standing around him. And they were all there.
Wouldn't every pastor alive
today just love to have 100% of their members sitting in the pews every Sunday morning?! You bet they would. And wouldn't
it be great if people everywhere just couldn't wait to get in the door to hear more about God's love and
acceptance and forgiveness?
It was time for Moses to remind the children of Israel that the Ten Commandments
were a covenant between them and God. This covenant wasn't between their forefathers and God but between them and God.
And the only reason God got in the middle of the children of Israel and God was because they kind of got freaked out
with that burning bush and the big booming voice that was talking to them from the bush. That was when Moses got into the
picture between them and God at Mount Horeb, otherwise known as Mount Sinai.
As if Moses, who was only human, could
stop anything that God, who was and still is almighty, intended to do to the Israelites.
In this chapter,
we have the entire restatement of the Ten Commandments. Just in case any of the details had slipped their minds.
Then a thought occurred to the Israelites. It goes all the way back to the stories their ancestors had handed down. That
story was that if anyone even looked at God -- as if anyone could see him -- they would surely die.
burning bush scared them. Really scared them. Flames were shooting out of this bush all the way up to heaven. They knew
that it was God speaking from the bush. Would that possibly mean that if they heard God they would die too?
what form did God have to take for certain death to come? Sure, they were scared all right. Can't you just hear them murmuring,
"Does this mean we're going to die?"
At the end of verse 24 and through verse 27, they said to Moses, Today
we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him. But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us,
and we will die if we hear the voice the Lord our God any longer. For what mortal man has ever heard the voice of the living
God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever
the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.
Well, God heard them. God was listening to them. And
don't think for one minute that this same God does not hear every word you say. Hopefully, what you say will be pleasing
to God, just as the Israelites. But God gets very unhappy when he hears what people say sometimes too.
In the case of the Israelites, they finally got it. And God liked that. A lot.
So he tells Moses to
go on down there -- to the foot of the mountain and tell the Israelites to go on back to their tents, then come back because
I have a few things I want you to write down. Kind of like taking notes so you get the exact quotes right. Just so there's
no what I mean.
Moses brought this message from God to the Israelites, Walk in the way that the Lord your
God has commanded you, so that you may life and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
Wow! And there you have it. The secret of life from God himself.
In a more contemporary language, he could have
said, "Just behave yourself. These are the rules. Follow them. If you follow the rules you'll live long and you'll
How hard can that be? There are only ten rules. But they are rules, not suggestions.
JUST SO YOU KNOW -- The last of the Korean hostages have left the country. Afghanisan, that
is. Except for the ones who, unfortunately, were killed, all nineteen surviving hostages have been accounted for and are headed home.
The Taliban had killed two male hostages and released two women in the early days of the hostage-taking.
read more at: http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSCOL21739._CH_.2400
SO WHO REALLY IS THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFULL WOMAN?
to Forbes, it's Germany's Chancellor Angele Merkel.
Not HerMostWonderfullyRoyalSelf, Nancy Pelosi? Nah.
Pelosi came in at No. 26, just behind HerMostSmartestWonderfulSelf, Hillary Clinton. Hillary was No. 25.
Rice got bumped to fourth place. She was second last year, but the Vice Premier of China, Wu Yi, got her spot, and
then there was that guy from Singapore, Ho Ching, who came in at No. 3. Ching is the head of Temasek Holdings. I'll get
he's rich too.
Hey, Queen Elizabeth came in at No. 23. She even beat out Hillary.
Read the whole
Forbes list at: http://www.forbes.com
LESLIE VAN HOUTEN DENIED PAROLE
her? She was one of Charles Manson's "family." She stabbed Rosemary LaBiana 14-16 times.
Manson told her to.
She wasn't sent out the night before on the "stab Sharon Tate" assignment though.
In 1971 she got the death penalty but it was changed to life imprisonment the following year when California abolished
the death penalty.
Manson, who is 72 years old, was denied parole (again) last May.
of them will ever see life without a fence between them and us. Even if Van Houten was a cute little cheerleader. Looks can
be deceiving, can't they.
Read the entire Reuters article at: http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN3020841220070831?src=083107_1052_DOUBLEFEATURE_craig_tapes
Thursday, August 30, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
First of all, a cheery good morning to
our wonderful friends in Wisconsin -- Joyce and Rich. And we pray for safe travels for you in your journal to Colorado. We
also send a really big hi across the pond to our readers in Germany who are logged on right now, as we speak.
had rain -- finally -- yesterday. Though Quint reports it was only 0.3", the thirst grass really enjoyed their heavenly
We saw two deer at the back of the property yesterday. My good neighbor Anna called me and said, "Go
look out back. You've got two deer in your yard." She had a clear view of them from her kitchen window when she was
washing dishes. Her house is around the corner from our house but our back yards abut on the perpendicular, if you know what
And sure enough, there they were. I got some good photos. So today we're going over to Rural King and
buy a salt lick to enhance their dining pleasures.
We don't have a really ambitious day planned today. I'm
going to be painting the patio furniture (still). Will definitely get the second coat on the table and get it back onto the
patio when it's dry. And one chair is ready for its second coat. Then it's just the three other chairs to get both
Then we'll rest up for the gravel delivery tomorrow. Maybe go get the movie we wanted to see the
other day, "Remember the Titans."
I actually found some watermelon flavored Kool-Aid
so maybe I'll make a big pitcher of watermelon flavored 7-Up later. Then we'll just sit in the shade and talk about
how much we like retirement. Still.
OH, BROTHER. NOW IT'S SPINACH THAT'S BEING RECALLED
The culprit is salmonella. It's from California. And it's salmonella, not E-coli.
was named after the doctor who discovered it -- Dr. Daniel Salmon. It's a bacteria. There are three different varieties
in a subspecies of Salmonella enterica.
The first type of salmonella bacterium is "serovar
Typhi." This is the culprit that causes typhoid fever. It's not common in the United States. It can only infect humans
and comes from contaminated water. Don't drink the bad water and don't wash your fruits and vegetables with it
either. Boiling is a good way to get rid of salmonella. Because it's a bacteria, it won't survive boiling.
The second kind of salmonella is "servovar Typhimurium." This one causes a typhoid like disease in
mice and it can produce a discomfort like the Typhi type, but not as severe.
The third salmonella that we
concern ourselves with is "survovar Enteritidis." This is probably the most common cause of food poisoning in the
United States. It infects chickens and gets passes on to humans.
So what can you do to make sure you don't
get a good dose of salmonella? Two things right off the bat: wash your hands with soap and water. Before, during and after
cooking food. And keep your cutting board clean too.
I immediately rinse my cutting board with hot running water
from the sink right after I cut anything up. Then I wash it with hot, soapy water. If I've been cutting meats, I also
get out the salt shaker and sprinkle salt on the side that had been used for cutting meat. I let the salt sit on the cutting
board for a bit. Because I didn't dry the cutting board after running the hot water on it, the salt makes a brine that
deters bacterial growth. Then the cutting board gets another soap and water bath before it gets put away.
much trouble? Not really. Better to be safe than sorry.
Read more about salmonella at: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/08/29/tainted.spinach.ap/index.html
Fortunately, I don't have any spinach from my last shopping excursion. And another fortunate thing is that
about 90% of the bagged spinach was halted before it even got out the door.
But just in case you do have some spinach
in your house, you can check out lot numbers at: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/08/29/tainted.spinach.ap/index.html
40 ASSETS CHILDREN NEED TO SUCCEED
My name's not Oprah and ordinarily
I do not recommend books to read. There are a number of reasons why I don't, but that's another story.
however, I'm going to tell you about a book that every parent should have. It you have no other book in your home besides
your family Bible and a good cookbook, this book is the one to add.
It's called What Kids Need to Succeed.
It's available on line from www.freespirit.com. I believe it still costs $5.99, plus shipping, handling, taxes, etc.
It's written by Peter L. Benson, Judy
Galbraith and Pamela Espeland. It's based on a gigantic piece of research and covers kiddos from 6th grade through 12th.
These forty assets are nested within 8 topical areas that include:
1.) Support, including family support,
other adult relationships and a caring school climate.
2.) Empowerment, including community that values young
people and service to others.
3.) Boundaries and Expectations, including neighborhood boundaries and positive peer
4.) Constructive use of time.
5.) Commitment to learning, including school engagement and
reading for pleasure.
6.) Positive values, including equality and social justice, and restraint.
competency, including planning and decision making, cultural competence, and resistance skills.
8.) Positive identity,
including a sense of purpose, and a positive view of the future.
These forty assets are sibdivided into internal
assets and external assets.
But this is not just a learning book -- it has very specific things that parents
can do in the home to grow these assets within their children. There are also things that schools, churches and communities
can do to increase childrens' assets.
In each of the 40 sub-categories!
The authors also share
with you what the responses were from the kiddos to research statements. One such statement was "In my family, people
care about me."
Or, "In my school, rules are administered fairly."
Or "my family
has good boundaries."
The authors also tie the responses to school behaviors. That is, the more assets children
have, the less likely they are to engage in high risk behaviors such as drinking and drugging, sexual activities, and illegal
Conversely, the more assets a child has the better they do in school, at home and in their communities.
What struck me when I was going through the book was the low responses that the children gave for the categories.
It seems that there's a growing number of kids out there who believe they are adrift at sea without role models, without
good family boundaries, and adults who do not care about them -- either at home, at school or at church.
is not in language that requires a doctorate in psychology to be able to read it and understand it. Rather, the answers are
from children who are telling us what's gone wrong, and what's working.
Listen to the children.
In today's homework assignment, we are supposed to identify
what we can do better in proclaiming God's Word to our children or grandchildren.
Pay particular attention
to verse 9.
The children of Israel are getting the 10 Commandments restated to them in this chapter. Moses especially
wants the Israelites to know that God is a jealous God and will absolutely not tolerate worship of anything or anybody but
Moses is giving his big send-off speech and he tells his peeps that if they follow these rules and let
others know what the rules are that have been handed down directly from none other than God himself, then other people will
really look up to them and think they are hugely wise.
Not only that, but it is apparently obvious to everyone
that the Israelites have God very near to them and he doesn't go wandering off. The difference, at least to me, is that
people who have idols for Gods -- you know, things, are at a clear disadvantage because they have to pack up their
gods and take them along.
On the other hand, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob goes with the Israelites. These
people travel with God, not the other way around. To me, that's a big distinction.
Moses must have thought
so too because he reminds the Israelites that they are lucky to have God with them wherever they go.
He does bring
a warning to them in verse 9, and this is the verse listed in the homework assignment: Only be careful, and watch yourselves
closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach
them to your children and to their children after them.
And just in case the Israelites might be tempted
to minimize all that God was to them, Moses reminds them about the day when they were all gathered around the mountain and
there was this big giant fire burning all the way up to the heavens, and just this voice without a body they could see, giving
them the outline of what they should and shouldn't do.
How many other people could make the claim that their
gods actually spoke to them? Not just little speeches, but a big booming voice that could probably have been heard for miles
and miles and miles.
And the Israelites couldn't see where this voice was coming from. "So
you just watch yourselves," Moses said. "You'd just better be very careful that you don't go wandering off
to those other places where there are these little tin gods that other people are worshiping. They'll corrupt you and
you'll be in so much trouble. God will be angry with you and believe me, you do not want God to be angry with you."
And then, just to make sure he got his point across Moses told the Israelites that God had gotten mad at him. Mainly
because of the Israelites. And now, thanks to the Israelites having worshiped Baal, Moses wasn't going to be able to go
into the promised land.
And then comes the threat of future punishment -- all misbehavior carries consequences
-- and the consequences of future infractions would be that God would scatter the Israelites.
But even if,
in their scatteredness, they called out to God and asked for forgiveness, the mercies of God would be theirs because God said
he'd remember this very covenant he had with their ancestors. In verse 34, Moses says to the Israelites, "For
the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers which
he confirmed to them by oath.
At the end of this chapter, Moses talks about setting up Cities of Refuge for
people who unintentionally kill another person, like involuntary manslaughter. The sanctuary cities were Bezer in the desert
plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.
just in case the Israelites were starting to feel like Mighty Mites, Moses reminds about all those battles they had been in.
"It was God's doing -- not yours. You're not so big and brave as you might think you are. Just remember that."
So back to verse 9 and the homework question of what I can do better in proclaiming
God's Word to my children and grandchildren.
Our first thought is, As for me and my house, we will serve
Role modeling Christian faith is important. Our children and grandchildren know that we go to church
every weekend. We could tell them how important it is to go to church but if we don't do it, the words, like seeds, fall
on fallow ground and never take root.
With our adult children who are all at least forty years old, lecturing
is not appropriate at this point in their lives. But Christian-themed gifts and cards are welcome. They bring reminders of
the importance of the presence of God in our lives and their lives.
Speaking the words of affirmation and love
is very important. God is love. Each child was given a Bible when growing up, and now each grandchild has a personal study
And most important, as the grandchildren are growing up, let them know that there is nothing they can do
that would make God stop loving them.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Some of you may think that this part of
the daily blog is all there is. I was surprised to learn from some readers that this is so. But if you keep reading past this
part, you'll find an article about something psychobabble and after that, I've just started a devotional from a Bible
I am absolutely astonished with the growing Bible reading population. China and other places in the Far
East are particularly hungry for Bible truths. So welcome aboard. I pray that your visits to this web site will help give
you courage and strength in your daily walk with God.
We have a stowaway in our office downstairs (in the basement).
It sounds an awful lot like Jiminy Cricket. We had one in the condo a few years ago. He stayed with us a long time.
Does anybody know what the life expectancy is for crickets? Just wondering.
I have a call coming in at 9:30 CDT
so I'm not sure if I'll get all the segments of the blog finished by that time. But check back through the day when
you have time because I'll pick up where I left off.
And then I'll be painting again. Tra la la la la.
Makes my heart sing when a fresh coat of crispy paint goes onto things. The paint project now is the iron patio furniture.
It's going to be a beautiful bright white.
That will take a few days, believe me. Mainly because Quint and
I take a lot of breaks. When it's hot. Now that we're getting older, we rest more often and longer at a time.
Quint is headed out now to give the cute little pretties their morning shower since it's so hot. He says he has a basket
of tiny little bars of soap and itsy bitsy towels for each one of them. He says he can actually hear them giggling with delight
as they shower off the hot stickies from the 95+ degree temperatures of yesterday.
I wonder if they all sing separate
songs, or if they join together in a chorus.
GOOD NEWS: TALIBAN RELEASING SOUTH KOREANS
In an article just released to Bloomberg News, the Taliban has started to release South Koreans who were
being held hostage. For nearly six weeks, the fate of the South Koreans had been in question.
Eight hostages --
7 women and 1 man -- were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Three hostages had been released earlier.
The Red Cross was able to get the Taliban together with the South Korean government.
Four more hostages
are to be released later today.
And what did the South Koreans agree to?
According to the article,
the South Koreans promise to withdraw its military (some 200 strong) from Afghanistan by the end of the year -- and also promised
to put a halt to Christian missionary activities in Afghanistan.
The South Korean hostages were members of a church
group doing humanitarian work in Afghanistan.
Read article at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aV5LGdI3YV.M&refer=home
MAKE YOUR OWN RANCH DRESSING -- IT'S EASY! AND ALWAYS FRESH
the other day that I was going to make some Ranch Dressing for lunch. This prompted a whole bunch of requests for this
very easy recipe:
1 cup light or fat-free mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
T. chopped green onion
2 T. Equal, or 3 packets of Equal sweetener (I used 3 T. Splenda)
1 T. Dijon mustard
t. minced fresh garlic
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
Mix it all up and let it set in the refrigerator
for a couple of hours just to let all the flavors romp around and honeymoon for a bit. This also makes a wonderful dip for
I wish I knew where I got this recipe, but I don't. It probably came from one of those magazines
where I rip out half the recipes with the most earnest intent of actually cooking whatever it is.
a year -- usually around New Years when things have slowed down a bit, I go through all the recipes and too probably
half of them. But even so, if I live to be 200 years old, I'll never be able to make all the recipes.
recipe is easy to adapt. I've added salsa; also fresh crumbled bacon bits; tiny little cucumber bits, etc.
ALIENATION FROM OTHERS -- THE LONG, UNCOMFORTABLE ROAD TO SHYNESS
something that all shy people -- socially anxious people -- alienated people have in common: they don't mix with other
people for fear that they will be evaluated.
This fear of being evaluated, or judged, is an underlying theme that
runs through anxious peoples' psyches.
My psych students were having a rather spirited discussion about shyness
one day in class. The class had gone well and the semester's psych offerings had helped some students to start to come
out of the turtle shell they have built over the years.
They were absolutely amazed -- deer in the headlights amazed
-- when I told them not to ever worry about people at a social gathering evaluating them.
one reason why you don't have to worry about that," I said. "That's mainly because people in a group are
just not all that concerned about what you're doing. They're thinking about what they're going to do or say next."
"And," I continued, "If you're ever at a gathering and you don't know what to talk about,
just go up to someone and let them talk about their favorite subject. Themselves."
Works every time.
Think about it. We'd all be better communicators if we were really listening to what someone else is saying. But most
of the time, we're rehearsing what we're going to say next.
It's good therapy to make it a practice
to go up to someone you don't know, or someone you hardly know, and get into a short conversation with them.
Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it about them. Works every time. Unless, of course, they're on the phone. Don't
be a nincompoop who stands there waiting for someone to hang up. That'll make you look like you're eavesdropping so
don't be surprised if you get a quick, "Go away."
You do have to pick your moments, but you don't
have to be laborious about it.
Still can't do it? Then go all the way back to baby steps -- make eye contact
when you pass someone's desk, or someone in the hall. After you've gotten comfortable doing that, then try a "Good
morning." Now say it like you mean it. No mumbling.
Then you can advance to something like, "Have a nice
weekend." Unless, of course, it's Tuesday. In that case, "Have a nice day" will do.
to Dr. Phil Zombardo -- the clinical psychologist who wrote the book on shyness -- (yes, his book was literally called Shyness),
shyness is a prison that people build for themselves. And the doors are locked on the inside. So the good news is you can
get out anytime. Kind of like a cocoon. And just like the butterfly, you're going to have to come out all by yourself.
Don't worry. It's risky. But it's okay. You know that butterflies can't fly very well when people
help them get out of the cocoon. Somehow their wings get damaged when they are hurried out of the cocoon by well-meaning butterfly-grower-uppers.
You have to take the risk and just do it. That way, you get to own your own success. And no matter how uncomfortable
it is to take such a risk, it's not nearly as uncomfortable as those horrible feelings of alienation and isolation, is
IT WEDNESDAY: Deuteronomy 3:1-29
This is really an add-on to yesterday's
lesson. The question was "What are some of the ways that you use your hands during the day?" The most obvious answer
came to me just before I drifted off to sleep last night. Prayer. I use my hands when I pray because I fold them out of respect
for God when I'm praying to him. And of course I would think of this when my head hit the pillow, because that's the
last time of the day that I pray.
The question I'm supposed to ponder as I read today's Bible truth is
this: What can you do with the Word of God to increase the Kingdom of God?
Oh boy. And I just printed
something about the South Koreans agreeing not to do any more Christian work in Afghanistan in exchange for the release of
the hostages held by the Taliban. But I'm just curious: how is that different from denying Christ on the world stage?
Then again, getting the hostages released may be a part of God's bigger plan.
In this chapter, the Israelites
are on the move again. They had stopped briefly to beat up the Amorites and were richer for it, I might add.
they are coming up on Og, king of Bashan.
I always wanted to meet someone named Og. "Hello, Mr. Og. My name
is Ms. Blog. How are you today?"
The Israelites must have been showing some signs of wear and tear after
their last big battle because God told them not to worry about it; he had their backs.
But oh my goodness. Mr.
Og had sixty cities. They took no survivors. Just the booty. They destroyed everything except Mr. Og's bed. It was made
of iron. It was more than 13' long and 6' wide.
Actually, guys, it's not so much a bed as a room.
Maybe that's where the term bedroom came from.
And so, the Israelites came to a point in time where
things were going to start to be divided up. They were standing on the edge of a high plateau overlooking the vast lands that
were to be theirs.
Note the similiarites in verses 16-17: But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the
territory extended from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out of the Jabbok River,
which is the border of the Ammonites. Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah
(the Salt Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.
to Mark 1:16-17: As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus
said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
A footnote that my study Bible says that the Sea of
Galilee is fed by the upper Jordan River. It was called the Lake of Gennesaret in Luke 5:1 and the Sea of Tiberias in John
6:1; 21:1, and in Old Testament times it was known as the Sea of Kinnereth in Numbers 34:11.
I find it interesting
that this tract of land given to the Israelites was still being bestowed again in the New Testament to a new group of message
deliverers -- the disciples of Christ.
But back from the sidebar. The Reubenites got some land. And the heirs of
Manasseh got their acreage too.
Then it was time for everybody to rest a while.
They were free from
any outside conflict. There were no plagues to bother them. They had the promise of lands that the Lord God himself had bestowed
Now comes Joshua's time. It's his big commission. And God reminded him, just in case it
might have slipped his mind, that God was going to be right there with him, in the trenches so to speak. God promised to fight
for him. This was a most serious reminder that unless you have God with you, you're never going to enjoy any victories.
Before this chapter ends, Moses makes one last urgent plea. If he wasn't going to be allowed to go
into the lands that God was giving Israel, could he at least just have a peek at the lands?
Well, okay, then. God
relented just a bit and said in verse 27: Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look
at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.
It was going to be Joshua who
would lead the people of Israel across the Jordan River into the promised land.
The Israelites had come home at
And back to my question as to what I can do with the Word of God to increase the Kingdom of
Simple. I'll can share. I'll bring a contemporary version of this important Old Testament lesson
to people who might otherwise find the Old Testament a bit stuffy. I do not. Never have.
The Old Testament is
alive with battles going on everywhere. I mean, I always thought the Battle of Gettsyburg with its 58,000 casualties in a
single day was a bloodbath. That was nothing compared to what God could do when he wanted some ne-er do well king defeated.
Bam! You're done. And then he'd say to the Israelites, "Now go in there and get what you want. The
plunder is yours for the taking."
And it wasn't even looting because God had given the plunder to them.
When you think about it, everything in heaven and on earth belongs to God. He just lets us use it for a while.
you'd better make sure you have his permission to use it. He doesn't like looters. That's stealing. And "Thou
shalt not steal" is one of God's Big Ten. So don't do it.
We are here on earth to build God's
kingdom. We can build his kingdom by talking about who God is and sharing with people that we have God in our lives.
Reluctant to do that? You'd be surprised how easy it is.
For instance, the other day we went into the video
store to get a copy of Remember the Titans. It was out. The clerk said it was due back on Wednesday so we'll
go back for it. Then she pointed out that it was a fairly old video. I said it didn't matter because our pastor had used
a clip from it in the sermon on Sunday and it looked interesting so we wanted to see the whole movie. Besides, we're Denzel
Then she asked "What church do you go to?"
Bingo! We told her and she asked
for the address. I asked her if she went to church. She said, "Not regularly. But any pastor who uses movie clips sounds
like someone I'd like to hear."
So we left it at that. You know the standard, "Hope to see you there."
But I always add, "If you don't have anyone to sit with, look for us. We'd love to have you sit with us."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Welcome to 449 readers from the U.S., 1
from France, and 3 from China this morning -- as we speak. Don't know exactly who you are because I only get the country
from which you are logging in. But it's exciting. I hope you'll return often.
I will admit that I was very
surprised with the response I got from the devotional yesterday. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and prayers. Love
Just remember to put something that will tie you to this web site in the subject line of your e-mails.
Well, we got the patio painted with the second coat yesterday. The blue color is much more to our liking and will
look very nice with the patio furniture painted a crispy white. The furniture is today's project. Not that I intend to
get the table and all four chairs finished, but we shall see.
The weather here is holding out for us. Going to
be another dry, un-rainy day with low humidity. Good for painting.
There are thunderstorms threatened for tomorrow,
but they're "isolated."
We're actually finding triplicates of a lot of things. Mainly cleaning
supplies and first aid supplies. I guess we weren't nearly as organized as we appeared. But now we have all our stuff
under one roof and it's a lot.
I think I could open a little medical clinic in an undeveloped country somewhere.
We now have found no less than six tubes of hydrocortisone cream. Hey, it's good for what ails you. If scratchy is what
ails you -- like mosquitoes or poison ivy. I think we may be set for life.
And cleaning supplies -- well, I could
keep Molly Maids going for at least a month. I have just about every kind of new product that's out there. A lot of them
are just sitting collecting dust now that I've discovered a product called Awesome. I get it at the Dollar Tree. Have
never experienced anything like it. If you're looking for an absolutely awesome cleaning product, this is the one.
But that's what happens when we had an office, a condo and a house. Then, all of a sudden, we only have the house.
We do go through an awful lot of dish detergent since the house doesn't have a dishwasher yet. And dishes aren't allowed
to stand in the sink for more than, say, ten minutes.
Actually, I don't mind not having a dishwasher as much
as I thought I would.
In short, we love being retired. Quint and I have each worked more than 50 years. The hardest,
longest jobs we ever had were when we worked for ourselves. We are absolute slave drivers.
Even Anna, my kind
neighbor lady, tells us to slow down. We're wearing her out just watching us.
QUICK -- from Alice Stubbe
Teacher: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
Maria: Here it is.
Teacher: Correct. Now class, who discovered North America?
Teacher: John, why are you doing
your math multiplication on the floor?
John: You told me to do without using tables.
Teacher: Glenn, how do
you spell "crocodile?"
Teacher: No, that's wrong.
Glenn: Maybe it is
wrong, but you asked me how I spelled it.
Teacher: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
H I J K L M N O
Teacher: What are you talking about?
Donald: Yesterday you said it's H to O
Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
Glenn, why do you always get so dirty?
Glenn: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground that you are.
Millie, give me a sentence starting with "I."
Millie: I is...
Teacher: No, Millie. Always say, "I
Millie: All right. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.
Teacher: George Washington not only
chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louis, do you know why his father didn't punish
Louis: Because George still had the ax in his hand.
Teacher: Now, Simon, tell me frankly. Do you say prayers
Simon: No. I don't have to. My mom is a good cook.
Teacher: Clyde, your composition on
"My Dog" is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
Teacher: No, teacher. It's the same
Teacher: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
A GOOD WOMAN -- from Brenda Moore
A good woman is proud of
herself. She respects herself and others. She is aware of who she is. She neither seeks definition from the person she is
with, nor does she expect them to read her mind. She is quite capable of articulating her needs.
A good woman not
only protects her children but she protects the men in her tribe.
A good woman is hopeful. She is strong enough
to make all her dreams come true. She knows love and therefore she gives love. She recognizes that her love has great value
and must be reciprocated. If her love is taken for granted, it soon disappears.
A good woman has a dash of inspiration
and endurance. She knows that she will, at times, have to inspire others to reach the potential given to them.
good woman knows her past, understands her present and moves toward the future.
A good woman knows God within by
her character. She knows that with truth, the world is her playground, but without truth, she will just be played. Or continue
the cycle of abusing what balances her. A good man. A good woman does not live in fear of the future because of her past mistakes.
Instead, she understands that her life experiences are merely lessons, meant to bring her closer to self-knowledge and unconditional
self-love if she displays Truth, Honesty, Love and Freedom.
REGISTER YOUR CELL PHONE ON "DO
NOT CALL LIST" -- from Alice Stubbe
In a matter of days, all cell phone numbers are being released
to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.
You will be charged for these calls.
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:
It is the National DO
NOT CALL list. It won't take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years.
call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked.
You cannot call from a different phone number.
Tell all friends. It truly only takes about 20 seconds.
SELF-ESTEEM -- GET SOME!
Actually, we all have self-esteem. Some just have more of it than others. That is, some people enjoy a greater
Today, I'm going to show you how to measure your self-esteem using the Reinheimer Self-Esteem
The first thing you need to do is identify yourself.
I mean, if you can IDENTIFY something, you
can MEASURE it. And if you can MEASURE something, you can MANAGE it.
When it comes to identifying who you are,
you ought to be able to identify at least 15 different roles that you plan. These roles might be:
1 - Spouse
2 - Adult child
3 - Parent
4 - Sibling
5 - Grandparent
6 - Other adult relative
7 - Employee (or
8 -Job (different from being an employee)
9 - Driver
10 - Money manager
11 - Housekeeper
12 - Friend
13 - I have fun
14 - I take care of myself
15 - I am cheerful
I like to add those
last three in, no matter how many other identifiers people come up with.
Yes, you can use phrases to identify
Besides, these last three items go a long way in helping you increase your self-esteem.
1: On a scale of 1 - 5, with 1 being pretty much the lowest mark you could give yourself, and 5 is sailing along pretty
satisfied with how you're doing in this identifier, you'd have a total of 75 maximum points.
Step 2: Draw
a number line. Make a mark at the midpoint -- and write "50%" at this point. Then divide the midpoints again and
write "25%" and "75%" in their places.
Step 3: Review the list again. This is where you evaluate
how you're doing in each of those identifying categories. I'm going to evaluate a fictitious person so you get the
idea. I like to add the last three categories into everybody's list. These are three items that really drag down self-esteem.
They're a challenge for people to work on -- but they need to.
Spouse - 3 (I stay at the office sometimes too
late, miss too many dinners at home, and sometimes don't call when I'm running late)
Adult child - 3 (This
is a hard one. I think I'm doing okay in this category but deep down I think I could do more -- maybe just sending a birthday
card once a year isn't enough, or Christmas presents)
Parent - 4 (I work hard at this one -- never miss a birthday,
keep in touch mainly by internet because the kiddos are spread out all over the country. But there's always room for improvement
so I'm going to leave it at "4.")
Sibling - 2 (Oh brother. My brothers and sisters are spread out
all over the country. Sometimes it seems like I've lost track of them. I really need to work on this item more.)
Grandparent - 3 (This one is a mess -- there's blended families where the kiddos have 6 grandparents, divorced kids
where the mom won't allow contact with our son's kids, illegitimate grandkids, some just disappeared because of a
divorce. We have 7 grandkids but we're only connected with 1 of them.)
Other adult relative - 2 (I'm an
uncle so I evaluated this one. I only have two nieces and a nephew. One niece told me she hated my mother at my mother's
funeral. She hasn't contacted me since. Another niece lives in Europe. She changes her cell phone every other month so
it's difficult to keep up with her. The nephew who lives in this country is a workaholic and never answers his phone.
It always goes to voice mail so he's either too busy to engage in family conversations or he's screening me out.)
Employee - 1 (I rated myself low because I've been written up twice at work for spending too much time on
the internet during working hours. If I get caught once again, I'll lose my job, so I'm feeling pretty nervous about
that right now. I try to stay at work to make up for the time I use on the internet but my boss says that's not the point.
I'm supposed to be working while I'm at work.)
Job - 5 (I'm an accountant and a darned good one. I
go to seminars every year to keep up with changes in the tax codes, etc. But I really need to buckly down and finish my degree.)
Driver - 4 (I got a speeding ticket last year, otherwise, I'd have given myself a 5)
Money manager - 2 (I've
been spending a little too much time at the boats, so I'm giving myself a low number here. Mainly because I've let
some credit card payments go just so I have a little extra cash to use for my new gambling hobby.)
- 3 (I guess I'm about average. I don't get around to running the vacuum as often as as I like. I'd definitely
need more than two hours notice before I'd want friends to come over. Drop-ins would definitely be an embarrassment.)
Friend - 5 (I think I'm a good friend. A very good friend that you can count on.)
I have fun -
3 (I'd like to have more fun but I'm worried about my job and my family.)
I take care of myself - 2 (I
thought I was doing okay until I started talking about the different categories. I need to work on this one. Big time.)
I am cheerful - 1 (Are you kidding? The wolf is at the door. I may get fired next payday. Especially if my boss finds
out what web sites I've been going to. Can they find that stuff out? Sure hope not. I really need to cut that out.)
Step 4: Add up the total of your evaluation points. In this case, the total comes up to a raw score of 43.
Step 5: Divide the total evaluation by the perfect score of 75. In this case it's 0.57333.
Step 6: Multiply
this number by 100 to get a number you can put on the number line. This person's evaluation would be the number 57.333.
Okay, so this person's self-esteem is just barely more than the halfway point. My experience with clients over
the last seventeen years or so tells me that people feel much better about themselves when their self-esteem scores at the
75 point or better.
So, for this person to get up to a "75," a raw score of 56.25 is needed.
Subtract the real raw score of 43 from 56.25. This gives a number of 13.25.
In other words, if your real raw
score was 56.25, you'd place yourself at 75 on your number line. You'd feel a whole lot better about yourself if you
were way up there.
So how do you get there? Remember, I said if you can identify something (we did with the list
of roles), you can measure it (we did that too by evaluating how this person was doing in each of the categories).
And if you can measure something, you can manage it. That means that you can start to grow your self-esteem.
person needs to pick up about 14 points. Where could 14 points come from?
Well, for starters, I'd strongly
recommend curtailing those trips to the boat. That would bring up the Money Manager category. Over time, that "2"
could grow into a 4 or 5.
The potential disaster looming across the horizon is the "employee" category.
It is clearly time to have a heart to heart talk with the boss. The fact that this person wasn't fired on the spot says
that there's still some thought of being a valuable employee. There's clearly a compulsion going on here with some
internet sites that could, in fact, threaten the job. Some of these sites can be addictive and I think employees have to look
at them like that. You can't smoke at work anymore, and you can't look at some off limit internet sites. This person
needs to get into some kind of behavior modification program. Fast. Doing so could raise this score up a couple of points.
Going back to college to finish that degree will also help.
By doing so, this person could also pick up a point
for "taking care of myself."
Being a more considerate spouse will get another point.
child can become more accessible. That's worth a point.
Same is true for the sibling category. What could you
do to bring that score up one point?
Think baby steps. Little changes make life changes.
can do to make your score on the number line start moving to the right will help you manage and grow your self-esteem.
I suggest re-evaluating and adding to the list every couple of months. Keeps us on our toes.
BIBLE STUDY: Deuteronomy 2: 1-37
The Israelites are on the move again. And they have their marching
orders, so off they go. Back to the desert.
Their instructions are very clear. They are not to pick on anybody
along the way or go stirring up any wars with the Ammonites.
They're just supposed to pass through the Ammonite
land and stay on the roads.
Somewhere along the line, the Israelites got ahold of some silver. I'd have to
do some research to find out where their money came from. I mean, when they left Egypt, they were slaves.
don't get paid. So where'd the moolah come from?
Anyway, God told them -- through Moses -- that if they
used any food or water while they were passing through, they were to pay in silver.
The Israelites are walking
around on land that their ancestors had tred before them. They hadn't been born in this land though, so it didn't
look familiar to them.
I mean, they didn't have any photo albums or videos to look at. Don't even know
if some of the old folks remembered anything that might have been familiar.
But you can be sure, God was watching
out for the Israelites. That is, as long as they obeyed him and did what they were told. That is, they were supposed to bypass
Edom, Moab and Ammon because these people had a blood relationship to Israel.
God has already given the land of
Edom to Esau.
Lot's descendants got the lands of the Moabites and Ammonites.
And while they
were marching along over hill and dale and across the Zered Valley, and across the Arnon Gorge, God put fear into the
hearts of people they met along the way. When they crossed the gorge, God brought them face to face with Sihon the Amorite.
He was the king of Heshbon.
God said they could have this land. Fighting Sihon would be okay. Oh, they tried to
be nice to Sihon. They offered to pay him for the food they ate and water they drank when they passed across his land. Just
like God told them to do.
But Sihon was not going to let that happen. Mighty kind that he was -- and a doomed one
at that -- he was being pretty ungenerous. In verse 30 we learned that God had made him stubborn and obstinate.
Then God told the Israelites that they could go on ahead and have a fight with Sihon.
It was conquering time!
But it was God's conquest, not the Israelis. God delivered Sihon and all his lands, and his towns to
the Israelites. They destroyed everybody -- men, women and children. No survivors. Just the livestock.
they took some plunder too. They carried everything off.
In verse 36, we're told that not one town was
too strong for us. The Lord our God gave us all of them.
So see -- you don't go making war with other
people just because you want to. If it's meant to be, God will make it happen. In this case, the lands of the Amorites
were handed over to the Israelites. This land on the other side of the rim of the Arnon Gorge was east of the Jordan
River -- the territory known as Transjordan and Canaan.
And if he doesn't bless what you're
doing, you are doomed.
Back to verse 7 for the homework assignment: The Lord your God has blessed you in all
the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through the desert. These forty years the Lord your God has been
with you, and you have not lacked anything.
The question is: What are some of the ways that you use your hands
during the day? Today think of one way you will use your hands to bless someone who needs the touch of the Savior's love.
I am blessed with typing abilities. So as I sit here sharing this Bible Study with you, I believe this is one of the
ways that I can use my hands to serve God today.
Also, this afternoon I am going to catch up on my correspondence
and sent notes to people who live far away.
Isolation is dreadful to people who feel lost and alone. Today I can
bring a cheery message to others.
What can you do?
Monday, August 27, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We enjoyed the refreshment of spiritual
renewal yesterday, Sunday. We went to a new church and enjoyed ourselves so much! Quint and I believe that we have our new
One of the things we like right away was Pastor Rensner's "homework" assignment. What
a novel idea. In the worship bulletin was an insert that had assigned Bible readings for the week, with questions to ponder
I'm so enthused about it that I'll be adding a section each day as part of this blog.
I hope you enjoy the readings. I know there are many of you living in countries around the world who do not enjoy the religious
freedoms we have here in the United States. For that reason, any kind of Bible study is most like a very welcome treasure
for a great mean of you.
Sad to say but we tend to take things for granted when we have them so readily available.
I suspect that we'd all have a deeper yearning for Bible study if our Bibles were all confiscated and we were told that
we wouldn't be allowed to study the Word of God anymore. It's one of the faith practices that we ought to engage in
on a daily basis.
What a way to start the week. And a new reader from Macedonia -- and yesterday, a new reader
from Puerto Rico joined us. Welcome aboard. Help you come back every day.
Quint and I painted the patio in back
of the house. It's really just a concrete slab -- about 8 feet wide by maybe 12 feet long. It's a nice size and has
plenty of room for a round table with four chairs. I do believe the furniture is made out of iron. It's very heavy. That's
going to get a coat of crisp white as part of the patio project.
We had painted the patio last fall. Unfortunately,
the color we picked out didn't dry exactly like the swatch color we'd selected. So instead of a deep blue, it looked
like a very fake swimming pool aqua. The new color is more a deep federalist blue.
Better. Better. Better.
And the jasmine that I planted on next door neighbor Mr. Crabby's side of our yard will hopefully get very tall and
block out his negativity. I'm hoping the jasmine gets about 8' tall. And 20' wide. If not, then I'll add some
honeysuckle. That grows in profusion and wanders about. If all that doesn't work, I'll put a trumpet vine over there.
Then we'll have a blooming jungle with lots of little flowers serving up gleefully giggling little smiles all day. Kind
of like a foliating choir.
And we'll continue to pray for him.
THROUGH THE $4 BILLION BARRIER THIS SUMMER
We tend to go ga ga when it comes to billion dollar items.
Like that's a whole bunch of money.
And indeed it is. The price tag for repairs for Hurricane Katrina is now
set at $75 billion.
I remember reading somewhere that we spend $1 billion on our favorite beach and beach
bum cuisine -- the hot dog.
But $4 billion on summer movies? That's a bunch of zeroes.
it took the Simpsons, another pirate show in the Caribbean, another Shrek show, another Bourne ultimatum, Harry Potter and
another mission impossible to get it done.
But even with all those millions, how come the glittering ones out there
in Hollywood are so unhappy?
They can't seem to make marriages work -- or even relationships if they kind of
step over the marriage stage of their definition of permanence. But the kiddos start coming along anyway.
God my mother had zero tolerance for all those shenanigans. I remember in days of yore when every Christmas yielded me another
boxed set of underpantsies. With the days of the week embroidered on them. Remember those?
Woe be unto me if the
laundry had some days missing. I can't even imagine how much trouble I'd have been in if there wasn't a pair in
the laundry for each day. I would never have gotten away with skipping the underwear department when I went out on a date.
But that's not the case for the Hollywood types these days.
Even Bruce Willis made a recent statement calling
for the "ladies" to put their pantsies back on.
Horrible, cheap, trashy role modeling for the young people
in this country. Every time we turn around, some glittering one is being held for a DUI, or going to jail for misdemeanor
drunk driving. Or serving 23 days out of a 60 day sentence.
Can't they find anything useful to do?
THE 3 Rs OF ANGER
We'll come back to relationships, but today I want to talk
Anger can wreak havoc for relationships so in a way, it's appropo to speak of the two of
them in the same sentence.
The 3 Rs of anger are: Resentment, Revenge and Rehearsal.
Your mind can snap
up resentment for just about anything that someone does to you that you don't like. If you let it, that is.
small-minded people just aren't able to let things go.
They're not worth a diddly squat when it comes to
a powerful cognitive process called thought stopping. They can't change that old, worn out tape that keeps going
around and around in their minds -- you know, the one that says "everybody is mean to me."
jump out of bed and say, instead, "This is going to be a great day. I am going to meet someone today who is going to
challenge me. Maybe even challenge my sense of Christianity -- like my ability to forgive as God has forgiven me. Thank you,
God, for another wonderful day and for giving me an opportunity to serve you."
Nope. These unhappy people
jump to revenge-baking thoughts. They, unfortunately, think of ways to bring misery -- even harm -- to the person to whom
they have handed over the power to control their psyches through all this resentment.
Their mantras seems to be
something like, "They're going to be so sorry for messing with me. I'll figure out a way to get even -- big time!"
That kind of thinking leads to the third stage -- which isn't really a final stage at all, but rather, a fork
in the road -- but I'm getting ahead of myself.
At the left of the fork is the choice to start rehearsing ways
to put your vengefulness in motion. I would pray that you never take this fork in the path, but I know that some of you often
When you choose the rehearsal fork in the road, you start writing your script, or developing a scenario that
may not be fit for man or beast.
The reason you don't want to take this fork in the road is because every time
you write the script that has you rehearsing your revenge, the resentments just get bigger and bigger.
your resentments are too big to live inside you. And try as you will, they will sneak out sideways on you. You may think you
have all of them under control and on a tight leash, but the first time you get distracted -- like in an argument about something
else completely unrelated -- all those old resentments find cracks in your psyche and they start oozing out.
of like pus coming out of a wound. It's toxic. It's where your wounds are.
So if you take the fork in
the road to the other path, what's it like?
That's the path that leads to repairs and resolutions. You
know, the wounds that forgiveness puts a balm on.
Healing. Ah -- healing. Feels good when the fevers of resentment
start to heal.
You have to watch out for that left fork for another reason. It's filled with idolatrous thoughts
of whatever caused your resentments.
Don't make the pain of your resentments your idol. Oh, yes. You certainly
can make an idol out of your pain and suffering.
TODAY'S DEVOTIONAL: Deuteronomy 1:1-46
Moses is generally thought to the writer of the Book of Deuteronomy. Probably around 1400 B.C. They're
all still out there in the desert, just east of the Jordan River. In the land of Moab.
You might think that once
Moses led the Israelies out of slavery in Egypt back to the land of Canaan, that all they had to do was walk over there put
their big toes in the sand, and the land would be theirs.
Because God had told them so.
it was and it wasn't. First of all, they had to do battle with some people -- the Amorites -- to get land to travel through.
Oh, God had every intention of getting them safely back to Canaan. But it wasn't going to be some little Sunday
afternoon stroll through paradise. All they had to do was trust in God to get them through it. To trust in God to show them
Oh, there were troubles all right. "Travails," I think the Bible calls them. And there were
more than just a few. Sometimes it seemed like every time they turned around, the Israelies were in some kind of trouble or
And just like today, 1400 + 2007 years later, we're all still going through our personal troubles.
But God is with us. He never abandons us. Even when we're going through our troubles, he's watching over us. Hoping
we pick the right path. Hoping we say the right thing. Hoping we make the right choice.s
And when we do all those
things, he smiles at us with a big, huge approval.
But back to Moses.
Moses is getting ready to transfer
his leadership of the people of Israel to Joshua and we have a farewell message from Moses. This farewell address is a kind
of restatement of the laws that he had delivered earlier in his life -- those laws were very matter of fact, kind of like
"here's what you have to do, because God said so." And who knows -- maybe Moses was the first lawyer to walk
the face of the earth.
But now, here comes a new, improved Moses. He's speaking warmly from his heart and is
really quite personable when he is talking to the Israelis.
And that's what we see in Deuteronomy -- the warmth
of the love of God to the people of Israel. It's a reciprocating love because the people of Israel started showing their
love back to God.
So God says in verse 8 -- See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the
land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers -- to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- and to their descendants after them.
In this very first chapter of Deuteronomy, God has the children of Israel divide up into different tribes with
the instruction that each tribe was to choose a wise person to run the show for them. These smart persons, or tribal leaders,
would have authority over the individual tribes.
But, in verse 18, these tribal leaders were told in no uncertain
terms that judgment belonged to God. So if there were any particular cases that were too hard for them, they were to bring
the matters to God and he would hear them.
Has it ever occurred to you that even today, you can bring any troubles
that are too hard for you to figure out straight to God? God answers us when we do this and he helps us sort things out and
he kinds of nudges us in the direction he wants us to go.
Are we lucky, or what!?
So there went the
Israelites -- out into the desert again. You'd have thought they'd become good at nomading their way through deserts.
But they didn't like it one bit.
This land of the Amorites -- that was a big "oh no" moment.
Pretty soon, here came the tribal leaders. They asked, "Don't you think it would be a good idea if we sent spies
out to see what the Amorites are up to?"
And they were right. It did seem like a good idea to God. So he picked
twelve men -- one from each tribe. (The tribes are named in Numbers 13:4-15.) They kind of went sneaking into the hill country
and found some pretty luscious fruit. That's what they brought back to Moses. When they brought these samples back, Moses
said in verse 25, "This is good land."
You could tell right away that it wasn't desert land. Not
if it grew stuff this good!
Then Moses kind of adopted an "I told you so" attitude because he reminded
the Israelites that they had been secretly grumbling in their tents about going on this little spy mission.
their defense, the Israelites came up with the old blame trick -- something that has been going on since the Garden of Eden
-- they said "their brothers" made them grumble. After all, these Amorites were bigger and taller. And they built
huge cities with walls that went all the way up to the sky.
Moses reminded the grumblers that none other than God
himself had promised to go before them -- kind of pave the way for their successes.
Moses said, "Open your
eyes, folks. Don't you remember that God has done this for you time after time after time? All the way back to when we
left Egypt? Then you got your grumbling suits on again and God said to you, "Okay, now you're gonna wander around
the desert for forty whole years."
Counting up the years, Moses must have figured out that they had pretty
much come up against the forty year deadline that God had pronounced in his anger a long time before.
But now the
Israelites had gone and done it again. They had lost faith and sat around grumbling in their tents, trying to figure out how
not to do the very thing that God had told them, in no uncertain terms, what to do.
It was that old "Woe is
Then God told Moses to tell them not to go fight the Amorites because nothing good would come of
God said, "Fine. Now you're not going to see the land of Canaan. Ever. But your children will,
because they're still innocent to where they haven't been contaminated by your moaning and groaning. You're not
going to see it either, Moses. But Caleb will. And Joshua will.
As for the rest of you, I want you to turn around
and head on out to the desert. I told you not to go fight the Amorites but you went anyway. In your arrogance, you thought
you could do it on your own without me. Bad move. The Amorites came after you like a swarm of bees. You can cry all you want.
I'm not hearing you."
Just a reminder here, folks. We don't want God to ever get angry with us.
So we'll pick up with Chapter 2 of Deuteronomy tomorrow.
Back to Pastor Rensner's questions for
my own enlightenment. The first question is easy: We skipped church for two weeks. No good reason. We weren't sick. I
don't know what we did, but I vaguely remember sitting around drinking coffee saying things like "We should have
gone to church today."
So this Sunday we went to church. A different church this time. We found a wonderful
group of fellow believers. And it will be a joy to assemble with them every week.
The church is people.
The second question is, "Recount evidence of God's faithfulness even when you were unfaithful."
except for this gentle nagging at the back of my head that I had intentionally been disobedient to God's express rule
that his followers are to meet in assembly with each other once a week, no great mishaps came to us. We were a big de-energized,
not like our usual selves. We just got through the days feeling like something was missing in our lives.
Worshiping God. We're back on track now.
Thankfully, we didn't sit around grumbling about how horrible
life is and how dare God desert us.
He never has. Not once. Never will.
Thank you, God.
Friday, August 24, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Boy, the folks up north are getting it.
I talked with my sister this morning. She says that the sky turned an ugly dark last evening, with a greenish cast to it.
Then the winds started. The tree branches started falling in her front yard.
There were 80 mph winds in the Chicago
area -- caused lots of damage -- but the meteorologists are saying it was a "straight line wind" not a tornado,
even though some folks saw twisters. Technically, it's not a tornado until it touches the ground.
Technical damage still looks an awful lot like real damage.
We drove out to take a look at a church we want to
attend on Sunday morning.
It was a Thursday so we thought we could just drive out and walk around the building,
maybe peek into the windows and just generally be a bit snoopy. But lo and behold, the pastor was there and we got to talk
with him. He gave us a tour of the building and we talked for probably the best part of a half hour or so.
really welcomed and we're going back on Sunday for sure. We'll definitely transfer our membership if the rest
of the congregation is as open and friendly as the pastor is. It'll be another "moving into the neighborhood"
milestone. Worshiping is a big part of our lives. And being part of a community of fellow believers is important to us too.
It's that "gathering in an assembly" that God kept talking about in the Old Testament.
But for today,
while the temperature prances its way up to 97 degrees, with a heat index closer to horrors, we'll be doing inside work.
Inside and air conditioned, that it. Except for dashes out to water the poor little pretties who are languishing in the hot
WE LIVE ON A BUSY TOP LAYER OF THE EARTH
There are earthquakes everywhere.
Here's a web site that gives you the listings by day and time,
magnitude intensity, etc.: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php
There were even four earthquakes out in the middle of the Atlantic off the shores (NNE) of Brazil several days
I have a curiosity about rumblings and goings on when there's a biggy anywhere in the world. I like to
draw a line through the earth and see if there will be earthquakes in a week or so on the opposite of the earth.
It's just one of the ways I keep my thoughts occupied. That way I'm prepared with something interesting when Quint
asks me what I'm thinking. He hardly ever expects me to give him a miniature earthquake report.
YOU'D THINK CONGRESS COULD PUT A SLIGHTLY MORE POSITIVE SPIN ON REVENUE RECEIPTS
are working. And because unemployment is low, people are paying more taxes. When people pay more taxes, the deficit gets paid
Is that good news or what?
According to their own report, the Congressional Budget Office is now
saying that the deficit for 2007 will be $19 billion lower than they originally expected.
Isn't that good news?
Well, yeah. But there's still that huge deficit out there on the horizon. It $158 billion. (Read article in The
Hill at: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/cbo-long-term-budget-outlook-still-daunting-2007-08-23.html)
Here's a thought. Quit spending money on stupid pork projects. Guess you call them earmarks these days.
Pay attention to the deteriorating infrastructure in this country and let some of those projects like sports stadia,
art museums, etc. find ways to fund themselves locally. Those projects ought not to be federal concerns.
Providing for the common defense and keeping our infrastructure -- that is, the federal interstate system -- ought to be
Take a clue from the bridge collapse in Minnesota. I read a headline that there were thousands
more overpasses in this country that are in at least as bad shape as that overpass.
So, congressionals, if you
want to keep your jobs, you'd better start taking care of federal concerns and stop licking the bootstraps of high rolling
constituents in your districts.
I think the 2008 election is going to be the year of the big disconnect. And since
the congressional approval ratings are in a free fall -- from 14% to 18% depending on which poll you read -- you can get a
pretty good portent of which way things are gonna go.
FOCUS ON THE GOOD THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT
And while you're at it, say something nice to your beloved.
I don't care
if you've been married 50+ years, it's still nice to hear "That color looks good on you." See if you can
focus on making nurturing comments like that. Who cooked dinner? Did you like it? Did you say "thank you" to the
Don't waste your time doing catharsis kinds of venting. Venting doesn't work, you know. All it does
is transfer discontent from one person to another. Besides, if venting or cathartic screaming truly did work, you wouldn't
need to keep on going over the same old stories over and over and over.
Charles Darwin once said that when we
express our anger, we multiply it.
I know people who are still moaning about things that happened to them twenty
years ago. They wonder why they've lost their friends. Why people won't return their phone calls for days -- if then.
Why people avoid them.
It's like people are saying to the harper, "Excuse me, but I've heard that
story about 400 times now. Haven't you figured it out yet?"
Staying stuck is not a nurturing thing
to do. Forgiving is. Going forward is. Giving up grudges is very nurturing.
Those are all attitudinal things that
Somewhere along the line, people have this inner plan that when things get better, their attitude will
change and then their behavior will change for the better.
The exact opposite is how things really work. If you
want your attitude to change, then change your behavior first.
If you want a warm, nurturing relationship with
your partner, be more forgiving. Be more open. Be more friendly. Go out of your way to do nice things.
nurturing means filling the needs of someone else. That's one sure-fire way to get your own needs met because chances
are, when you are nurturing to your true love, you'll get a lot of nurturing in return.
So toss the negativity
and think positive. The positive energy comes back to you. So does the negative energy. Which do you want?
you said you want more positive energy to come your way. If that's the case, then you're just going to have to
start project positive energy out from yourself. Then sit back and feel it flow back to you.
Do something nurturing -- that is, fill the needs of someone or something else -- no less than ten times
today. Make this a daily routine.
I have news for you. This is a big secret that happy, contented people
know. But I don't think it ought to be a secret so I'm telling everybody to be nurturing if you want to get nurtured.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
It's going to be a sitting-in-the-shade
kind of day today.
I don't know about you folks but I'm growing a bit weary of living in a broiler. And
to our friends this morning in Germany, Finland and Norway who have signed on, you can take some of this heat away, thank
But I shouldn't complain. The people in Oklahoma and Ohio are deluged with too much water. I guess Wisconsin
needs to be in that list too. Things look pretty soggy up there too.
I will definitely not be canning today. Or
baking cookies. We'll just have to suffer through -- somehow.
Actually, it looks like today is the last of
it. Tomorrow morning, hopefully, will break the 90s threshold and we'll just coast on into September with highs in the
80s during the day and 60s at night.
Quint thinks we ought to go exploring some today. That wouldn't be bad.
Air conditioned car. Driving about. Dart into a cool (literally) restaurant for lunch. Then do some grocery shopping before
heading for home.
Quint nearly panics -- not really -- but I did say nearly -- when he runs out of ice
cream. And we're out of 7-Up too. I have been using the 7-Up to make carbonated Crystal Light beverages. Talk about refreshing!
Wow! It does tend to expand a lot when you stir the two together so you don't want to put a lot of 7-Up into the pitcher
until you've mixed the flavor packet in and stirred it around a bit.
We just absolutely adore the peach flavored
7-Up. I'm going to look for other flavors to taste test when I'm at the store.
We haven't incorporated
all our books into the office yet. We're using 5-shelf bookshelves as room dividers. They won't hold all of the 3,000+
books we have in our collection, but we're getting really good at putting up shelves. But in the meantime, I'm at
least trying to get the books put away onto the empty bookcases.
It's cool down here in the basement. We have
a tower fan and a ceiling fan in our basement office. It's a good place to camp out on hot, sultry days. Even better than
being under the shade tree out back.
SO IS BARE CHESTED THE NEW DRESS CODE FOR WORLD LEADERS?
Russian President Vladimir Putin goes fishing without his shirt on. And the world watched. In an AP article
posted in the International Herald Tribune, a description of Mr. Himself goes like this: The 54-year-old Russian
leader, who is married with two daughters, has long cultivated an image of machismo and manliness. Well-known as a downhill
skier and black belt in judo, Putin has appeared on national television driving a truck, operating a train, sailing on a submarine
and copiloting a fighter jet.
You can read the entire article at: http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?id=7208732
The actual photo of him isn't included in that article though. I did find the photo of him wielding his fishing
rod at this site: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070822/ap_on_re_eu/putin_s_image
Then the BBC ran an article about French Presidenteur Nicolas Sarkozy in a canoe without a shirt on. Except that
the BBC article shows a slight maneuvering of Himselferino with love handles and without. I want one of those photo repair
kits that would allow me to instantly look like I want to look like. At least in photos.
Here's the site for
the BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6959180.stm
Today's Drudge Report (http://www.drudgereport.com/) had the fixed up photos.
So I tell my kids they'll know when my diet is finished because they'll start
to see more photos of me. And when Quint learns to snap the photo when my eyes are open! Nobody wants to see pictures of a
slightly overweight grandma with her eyes closed.
So if the BBC can't supply me with their magic wand to fix
my photos, I'll just have to stay on my calorie reduction lifestyle.
HERE'S A GOOD
ONE YOU MAY NOT HAVE SEEN BEFORE -- from Alice Stubbe
Three women go down to Mexico one night to celebrate
college graduation, get drunk, and wake up in jail, only to find that they are to be executed in the morning, though none
of them can remember what they did the night before.
The first one, a redhead, is strapped in the electric chair
and is asked if she has any last words. She says, "I just graduated from Trinity Bible College and believe in the
almighty power o f God to intervene on the behalf of the innocent." They throw the switch and nothing happens. They all
immediately fall to the floor on their knees, beg for forgiveness, and release her.
The second one, a brunette,
is strapped in and gives her last words. "I just graduated from the Harvard School of Law and I believe in the power
of justice to intervene on the part of the innocent." They throw the switch and again, nothing happens. Again they all
immediately fall to their knees, beg for forgiveness and release her.
The last one (you know it), a blonde, is
strapped in and says, "Well, I'm from THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN and just graduated with a degree in Electrical
Engineering, and I'll tell ya right now, ya'll ain't gonna electrocute nobody if you don't plug this
NURTURING FAMILIES PRODUCE UN-WOUNDED CHILDREN
So how do you
know if your family is a nurturing one?
Simply put, nurturing just means that you are filling the needs of a living
For a child, it could mean you don't drown out your ant farm. For a gardener, it means you keep the
weeds pulled and you feed your cute little darlings. You can't just plant a flower and leave it alone and expect
beautiful blooms all season long.
Every time you walk past your flower bed and you hear that
little chorus singing, "Over here, we're dying over here. Give us some kibbles and bits. Please, please, please."
But if you're one of those people who says, "God put them there, God can take care of them," that's
okay if you want a garden filled with wildflowers.
There's nothing wrong with wildflowers. I admire them growing
by the side of the road. Do I want them in my flower bed? No.
I want flowers that have been cultivated by horticulturists
down through eons. Flowers that have the good, decent manners to bloom in double and triple profusion. I want flowers that
immediately send up another flower shoot when the old blooms are picked off. I like civilized, well-mannered flowers.
In exchange for their profuse beauty, I feed them and water them. And I admire them. Do I talk to my little beauties?
Yes, but I wouldn't tell anyone else but you, lest people think I'm the old kook who lives down the block.
Nurturing others is also a big requirement in relationships that thrive. And, like plants, if the nurturing isn't taken
care of, the relationship withers.
Take for instance, nurturing children.
One of the most powerful
ways that parents can nurture children is to set boundaries. Boundaries are rules. Rules that are enforced.
there are rules, it tells youngsters that there are adults who are in charge. When there are adults in charge, then it's
safe for me to be a child.
If there aren't rules, children become fearful and filled with a gnawing sense
of unrest. They develop anxiety disorders. Deep down inside them, children know they don't have the resources to cope
with all that life throws at them. That's what the adults are responsible for.
Deep down, children know they
can't take care of themselves -- whether it's learning in school or learning social skills or learning how to live
in a nurturing family. Children need parents who love them and care about them and care for them. Children need parents who
fill their needs.
When parents don't fill the needs of their children, then the children become anxiety-ridden.
So the first thing parents need to do is set boundaries.
But don't expect these boundaries to be met
with "Oh, this is great. I've been wanting rules for so long now."
Rather, it's like the rancher
out on the plains. The rancher builds a fence to keep his herd from straying over too close to the mustard patch -- or too
close to the cliff that would be dangerous if all the cows and cowlets fell into the ditch and broke all their leggies.
Do you think the rancher just sets up a fence and goes back to the ranch house and watches TV all day? Nope. He rides
the range all the time. He checks out his fence to see where his four-legged herd pieces have breached the fence and left
gaping holes in the fence.
The fence is a nurturing thing for the herd. It protects them from their own inabilities
to take care of themselves.
Not too long ago, Diane Baumrind did some excellent research on the types of parenting
and which parenting style produced the most settled down, well-adjusted adults.
Was it the permissive parent?
Definitely not. Children can't be allowed to run amok. They can't be encouraged to be narcissistic little tyrants
who have no regard for the rules.
Was it the authoritarian parents -- you know the ones who have tight-fisted rules
that are unbending, no matter what? Authoritarian is not the answer either.
Was it the authoritative parents?
Yes. Authoritarian parents teach children respect for authority. They teach them, by role-modeling nurturance, how children
can eventually nurture themselves.
Baumrind is a prolific writer and a well-seasoned researcher who has devoted
a life study to how children and parents look in nurturing and not-so-nurturing relationships. Do yourself a favor and google
She was an absolute favorite among my psychology students.
But not every relationship
is a parent-child one, so tomorrow, we're going to take a look at nurturing the man-woman partnership.
I have to tell you that I just got an airmailed article from the person who sits at the desk next to me. He's reading
his latest issue of Science Magazine. The article is entitled "Missing Gene Makes Mice Compulsive."
I'm getting behind because last week he gave me an article entitled "Clinical Depression Linked
to Abnormal Emotional Brain Circuits." This article is from Science Daily.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Now that Hurricane Dean is not a threat
to the southern United States, the weather attention has shifted to something potentially more damaging -- there are
We watch the weather in the morning. It's one of the habits I picked up from Quint
in the early days as our marriage morphed. That, and watching the news. I can't believe that days and weeks would go by
before I'd pick up a newspaper -- those were the days before the internet.
Now, we have become those statistical
people who rarely look at TV news. We get 99.5% of our news from the internet. It's a lot easier to go to our favorite
web site and click on the headlines we want to read about. No commercials. Just the facts, ma'm.
So CNN was
interviewing this big cattle rancher in Oklahoma. The news reporter was asking this guy standing out in his field about what
happens to cows when they get wet. The rancher said it's definitely not a good thing because the cow hooves get soft.
And they have to be fed.
Well, looking at those big black angus on the hoof, I'd say they get fed a lot. Then,
when it was time to move on to another mini story, the reporter thanked the rancher whose ranch was about 40% under water
at the time. "I'm sure you speak for a lot of people out there in Oklahoma."
Yeah, right. The guy
has a 7,000 acre ranch in Oklahoma and several more in other states. Sure. A lot of people can relate to that. I can't
even fathom how big a 7,000 acre ranch is.
Two city blocks? More? A half mile? Don't know. If it's bigger
than my back yard or the block I live on, you lost me.
Speaking of back yards, we definitely will not have
to mow this week. We're having a little mini-drought here in the middle of the state. That orange rain that was promised
for yesterday turned out not even to be a spit. And there's nothing on the radar for the entire state today.
Going to be hot, dusty and dry. Unlike our friends in Ohio who are under water too. Kind of like the people in Oklahoma
except you're not standing out in the middle of flooded fields.
I read yesterday that a seven mile stretch
of I-75 was closed because of flooding. You know things are serious when they start closing the interstates.
going to get up to 92 again today. Time to bake cookies since we've burned the whole the yard trash pile. Sometimes it
doesn't seem like we have good sense.
I'LL TELL YOU WHY PEOPLE AREN'T
READING MUCH THESE DAYS
In the first place, people are either too tired, too bored, or too sleepy to
be reading at night before they go to bed.
And 25% of Americans said they had not read any books last
year -- not a single, solitary book.
People who do read are women and senior citizens. They read religious material
or romance novels. Oh, and southerners read more books than their northern counterparts.
So big, long, windy books
don't seem to be popular. Is the return of the short, quick composition now the norm? You know -- the essays or compositions
that we now call blogs.
Blogs are short versions of long stories. Most blogs are three to five hundred
words. That's something you can read on the run. Blogs are real people talking to other real people. They're not usually
celebrities and their blog spaces aren't generally big commercial enterprises.
Some could say that the short,
quick compositions are refreshingly entertaining. Not exactly O. Henry who was the master of short stories. But short and
well-written compositions have become the genre of choice again. Especially if it's entertaining and informative at the
Read this AP article that was filed by CNN this morning: http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayoflife/08/21/reading.ap/index.html
FEELING GUILTY CAN FRUSTRATE FEELINGS OF FORGIVENESS
I will admit that
these little compositions are quick and to the point. And they could all be deepened and expanded.
I am going to pursue forgiveness a bit more in response to many, many e-mails wanting to hear more.
of the e-mails started out talking about the frustrations of understanding this notion of forgiveness not being a learned
but rather -- a choice. Then the e-mails drifted into talking about powerlessness and not having feelings of self-control.
It's good to express those thoughts, but keep in mind that we think in perfect logic. It's only when the
thoughts become out-loud-words that gaps in the logic appear.
And we feel unbalanced when our inner and outer worlds
are not rational and logical.
So how could powerlessness or lack of self-control tie in with forgiveness?
Imagine those three elements as part of a chain -- all tied together. Heavily tied together. Strong when they're together.
If you get enough of these heavy chain pieces, you can lift an anchor to a huge, big ship.
Bonded pieces of a chain.
Ties together years and years of feeling powerless, out of control, and unforgiving.
And the ship? It's called
the I Don't Have To If I Don't Want To. It sails the seas of torment and unhappiness. Can't find a port
to put into that doesn't require at least some forgiving spirit. So this boat stays afloat -- just out there slightly
visible against the horizon.
If it's your boat, you reckon that it'll head back to port someday. And maybe
when it heads back, you'll be ready for it to dock.
So much for metaphors.
The easiest way to break
a chain apart is to either eliminate or destroy its weakest link. Which link in our chain is the weakest, do you think?
Does powerlessness lead to self-control? Or is the opposite true?
One of them is a behavior -- the other
is a cognition.
If you guessed self-control as the behavior, you are correct. The sense of powerlessness is a
cognition, or a thought process.
You can change your sense of powerlessness without even getting up out of your
easy chair. You can change it all by yourself. It doesn't require any interaction with anyone else in your life. This
notion of powerlessness is a thought that exists only in that space between your ears. That's territory you can control
all by yourself.
So work on changing that powerlessness tape that keeps playing throughout your days to something
I can fix this.
I can ignore insults.
I can learn more about this... (whatever the subject
I can rise above this.
I am strong.
I am a good sport.
I am an ethical person.
I like myself.
I am in charge of me.
Repeat that list to yourself throughout the day. Every day. Add your own power messages
to the list. Just be sure they are positive and active.
What I mean is to not say things like "I'm not
a bad person." That's a negative thought. Instead, say "I'm a good person."
keep you in charge of your thinking. Saying "I can do this," is so much more powerful that saying something like,
"Good thoughts will help me." No no no. Change that to "I will have good thoughts."
in charge of your thinking. Start today to build a positive framework on which you are going to construct the new building
These thoughts of powerlessness and lack of self-control lead to feelings of guilt. And shame. Everybody
knows that, right? Stay away from guilt and shame. If you've done something you regret, remorse is okay. Then you probably
owe somebody an apology.
But shame and guilt? They'll keep you in a perpetual state of needing forgiveness
-- both from yourself and maybe from others.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We have orange-red rain headed our way.
It looks like it's going to get to us in about an hour. I can already hear the rumbling around up there so it will probably
be a real frog strangler.
I love the internet. I know -- I know. It contradicts my small town comfort zone. But
just think about it -- right now, while you are reading this -- and there are 254 people in the United States clicked on to
this site right at this very moment. And so is one reader in Germany and another in Norway.
I just find that truly
amazing. How in the world did all of you find this site? Just curious.
Did I tell you that I found a Crystal Light
peach flavor here? It says southern joy to me. So you know what I did? Dissolved it in a big pitcher of 7-Up! We drank that
up in the heat of the afternoon. Then I did the same thing with pink lemonade last night.
I also made a kind of
strawberry shortcake quesadillas for dessert. Talk about "outside the box." But they were delicious. Just smeared
cream cheese on two flour tortillas, then sprinkled with Splenda and covered one tortilla with sliced strawberries. Then put
the top tortilla onto it and heated them up. Yummy.
For lunch today I'm going to made tomato/provolone/basil
Quint's poison ivy seems to be getting better. He got into a mess of it when we were burning
the other day, but it was nothing like last year. That was bad. If you ever get into poison ivy trouble, we highly recommend
Zanfel. It clears it right up. We got a tube of it from a nurse friend. Last year she took one look at Quint and said, "Whatever
you're doing, stop." Then she turned and went out the door to the office and said, "I'll be right back."
See, it pays to listen to people who know what they're talking about. She came back with a tube of Zanfel. It's
a scrub that Quint used for washing the poison ivy spots. It brought immediate relief for Quint's itching. The healing
started right away. Within a week, his hands and forearms were back to normal.
If you live near woods or go hiking
or go camping, you ought to have a tube of Zanfel in your first aid supplies.
Today is a day for more indoor projects.
I'm still looking for two of my favorite saucepans. I thought I had all the kitchen supplies kind of corraled but somehow
these two pans snuck away from the rest of the herd. I know they're in this house somewhere so today's the day I'm
going to find them.
SHUTTLE SCHEDULED TO COME HOME EARLIER THAN PLANNED
not so much that the weather in Florida is bad for a landing, but rather, NASA isn't so sure about the weather at Mission
I mean, we don't want to hear something like "Houston is a problem."
to be safe than sorry. Truthfully, though, I'll feel much better when the shuttle is on the ground safely. I don't
like the look of those tiles that have gouges in them. And NASA says "We don't need to fix that right now."
A thought just struck me though. How come we can communicate so well with the astronauts way up there in the sky,
flying around in orbit, docked in the space station, and we can't make a cell phone during a flight here on earth for
fear of messing up the pilot's communications abilities?
I mean, a number of people aboard Flight #93 on 9/11
made cell phone calls and it didn't cause the plane to crash. Okay, so the plane crashed. But cell phone calls weren't
the culprit. Bad guys were the cause of that crash.
Read more at: http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/08/21/space.shuttle.ap/index.html
TOXICITIES IN A RELATIONSHIP
When I talk about toxicities,
I'm thinking about those little pockets of poison that people keep under lock and key. That's where they hide all
the details of everything painful that's ever happened to them.
It's where scripts and scenarios are filed
away. Over time, those little pockets of poison become giant file cabinets because of all the accumulated junk that doesn't
amount to a hill of beans.
That is, unless you're one of those persons who needs to feel pricks of pain in
order to feel vital and alive. It isn't that you want to feel uncomfortable and in pain. It's just that you never
learned how to write your own original scenario that has happy endings. These are scenarios that bounce around inside you
with gleeful, hopping-about joy.
These scenarios are a lot more fun. They reward you with belly laugh moments.
They calm down to a wonderful feeling of well-being deep within your soul.
So, you may ask, how do you switch from
toxicity to these feelings of wonderment?
I will tell you, but I'm not sure you're going to like the answer.
You have to be willing to choose to forgive.
Forgiveness is a choice. It's not something you
learn. I cannot teach anyone to forgive. No one can teach you how to make a choice. It's something you decide you need
What I can do is help you add up the reasons you ought to choose to forgive, versus the reasons you would
continue to invest in your misery. Any good counselor could do that. But the choice of whether to forgive or not is yours
Here's the rub: Forgiven people find it easier to forgive others.
So without getting
in here too deep -- I mean, after all, this is just a column -- not a book -- I would want to know what an unforgiving person
still feels guilty about.
Ah, there's that "g" word again. Guilt is an toxic thingey.
is that all about?
I mean, there's nothing you could do that would ever make God stop loving you. And he promises
forgiveness to each one of us. So if God is willing to forgive you, then whatever you did is erased from the heavenly scoreboard.
That only leaves your little pus pocket of toxicity that needs to be washed out, cleaned out, and doctored up so that
healing can take place. First you forgive yourself. It's the beginning of loving yourself.
what God mean when he said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." It starts with forgiving yourself.
There are other toxicities that plague us in our daily lives. And make no mistake aobut it -- it's our daily lives as
human beings. We are not robots who can be expected to do the same thing exactly the same way each and every time. We are
not perfect creatures who never make mistakes. We hurt other people as we walk through life. Other people hurt our feelings.
It's all part of our humanness. This is not paradise. There was a time when life on earth was paradise. But
Adam and Eve messed that up for all of us. Since that time, we've all suffered from being sinful humans beings.
We cannot expect ourselves to be perfect. And we have no right to expect perfection in other people either.
we must all strive to make good choices. Choosing to forgive is one of the choices you must make.
tell me I don't "get it" when you hold onto those old pains. When you choose not to forgive.
I do understand. It goes like this -- self-mutilators slash out at their bodies. They continue to run shards of glass across
their arms or legs. Or scissors. Or knives. And they continue to slash away until the very moment they feel physical pain.
By that time, they are a mess. They mark their bodies with lines of pain and suffering.
Maintaining an unforgiving
heart is similar except that the pain is toxic and psychological, not physical. An unforgiving person runs shards across their
heart and soul. They continue until that moment when they feel their own psychic pain.
Forgiving others is
better and healthier and more loving.
Monday, August 20, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
There is a huge big blob of green on the
weather map and it's headed straight for us out of St. Louis. Should be here in about 90 minutes.
cue enough for Quint to head to Menards and get downspouts that have not been replaced since the carport was repaired.
He has just enough time if he hurries.
We were sorry to learn that Quint's sister, Frances, passed away quietly
in her sleep last Tuesday in California. A memorial service was held yesterday afternoon but we didn't learn of the death
in enough time to head out there. She had Alzheimer's for a number of years. No matter how much you anticipate --
no matter how imminent death seems -- it's never the same as the reality of the finalness of a dear one's passing.
Fran was the quintessential big sister who took care of -- and cared for -- and cared about everybody in the family. We'll
miss her. She leaves a big open space in the family tree that can never be filled.
Yesterday was burn day. We finally
finished the project of getting rid of years and years and years of twigs and pruned out tree parts, even some little trees.
The fire pit was full of burning timber -- rotten timber -- dried out woody things for a good eight hours yesterday.
We even went down a little ways into the ravine and dragged out an old, rusty oil drum and watched the garbage men squash
it this morning. I'm going to dig up some rooted upshoots of my trumpet vine and put back there. Trumpet vines will grow
anywhere and the hummingbirds just love the trumpet shaped blooms. Maybe the trumpet vines will choke out the poison ivy that's
growing in abundance back there.
First we have to get rid of all the ashes from yesterday's inferno. But no
matter. We have moss spaces that need to have the acid level of the soil reduced. Ashes will do that nicely. And we have a
pine tree that also has some spaces underneath it where nothing will grow. The ashes will fix that problem too. Ashes, I am
told by my chemist husband, neutralizes the acidic soil. Go Quint! Thanks for that tip.
I know the ashes work because
we already did that in the "no grow" spaces beneath what had been spruce trees before we cut them down. The spruces
had become scraggly, starving and diseased. We probably used up all our carbon credits by cutting them down, but they were
starting to go bad from the inside out.
So today is going to be an indoor work day. And from the looks of things,
the rest of the week is going to be soggy too. We are getting the remnant rains from Erin's outer bands.
you just wait until Hurricane Dean comes ashore. It looks like it's going to be a giant hurricane. I did not know that
the water temperature out there in the Gulf of Mexico is 80 degrees all the way down to about 500 feet. That's going to
be a real strengthening factor for Dean which is already a Category 4 hurricane.
It may not make landfall in the
continental U.S. but its outer bands are wide enough to make a big mess with flooding and tornadoes and all kinds of wet disasters.
So for all our readers throughout Texas and the southwest, stay safe. And please stay out of the water that rises
in your streets. It's called a flash flood and the water can float a car or truck even if it's only a foot and a half
to two feet deep.
Besides, there are often big bad snakes in those waters. Even people walking around in Katrina's
street floods got bit by water mocassins. Taking care of yourself means staying on dry land!
LAWMAKERS GIVE THEMSELVES A HEFTY LITTLE RAISE -- 9.6%
But schools and hospitals that were waiting for
the release of funds they believe had been promised to them -- as far back as 2002 -- learned that there is a slight little
boondoggle (my word) that means their funds aren't coming this year.
According to an article in the Quad
Cities Times, "Money for the pay raises, schools and hospitals is contained in a supplemental spending package that
is separate from the main budget legislation lawmakers sent to Blagojevich last week. The separate legislation was approved
by the General Assembly two months ago and was intended to be used by schools and hospitals in the fiscal year that ended
See, the schools and hospitals didn't fill out some additional paperwork that had a July 1 deadline.
Well, to the amazement of the agencies that were waiting for the release of the funds, they didn't know there
was more paperwork that was required.
Read more at: http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2007/08/15//news/local/doc46c281123bdc5585392400.txt
Emotional bonding is a learned partnership skill.
It relies on friendship and cooperation -- not luck.
Too much investment in the thought that good marriages are
the result of good luck means someone in the partnership is engaging in magical thinking.
Truth is, there's
nothing magic about plain old hard work, and building a good marriage is often hard work. Just like building a friendship is
And there's nothing magical about having a sense of cooperation. This spirit of cooperation
is what I call a partnership imperative. We choose to cooperate.
Consistently being coopertive
builds trust between partners.
The oppostive of cooperativeness is argumentativeness. People who are argumentative
are hostile, angry people -- but that's another story. Hopefully you aren't in a partnership with an argumentative
This spirit of cooperation starts to build early in a relationship. It starts from the first moment that
we notice someone who interests us.
First thing we want to know is whether or not this person is going to be available
to us -- are we going to have access to this person?
From the start of a wonderful relationship that may bloom
into a partnership, there is an attraction that pretty much confirms there are going to be interesting things happening.
We're going to be finding out things about this person who has captivated our interest. It's fun to share
our personal history with someone who's doing the same thing.
We even find ourselves getting more and more
candid with this other person. Maybe it's at this point that we realize we're becoming more and more emotionally intimate.
This person likes us -- warts and all.
And we didn't even know there was such a thing as emotional intimacy.
And then something else starts to happen. It's so subtle that we may not even be aware that it's going
on. But it is. Right there in front of our noses. The relationship is starting to develop what I call the rules of engagement.
"Oh no, not rules again," you may say.
It's true. Every relationship we have is a covenant
relationship. That is, there are promises to keep. And there are consequences when those promises get trampled on.
These covenants make up the rules. The rules set the structure or the boundaries of the relationship. Suddenly there appears
to be a definition of what the relationship is going to look like.
For instance -- is this a relationship that
is utimately going to lead to marriage? Give yourself nearly a year to make that decision. No less than nine months, for sure.
And no more than a year and a half.
You don't know enough about a person in less than nine months to decide
whether you're ready to commit to this person for a lifetime. And you need time to develop a friendship building on the
spirit of cooperation. It's not something that can be hurried.
On the other hand, if you're taken almost
a year and you still can't decide, maybe you have decided. Maybe you know you aren't going to marry this person but
just can't say it out loud just yet. Especially to the other person.
I'm not saying you have to be married
within this time frame, but the decision to marry ought to be made within this nine month window. Very often, the people who
do get married in less than nine months, or prolong the courtship to four or five years, are the very couples who show up
for couple counseling. They want some help in finishing the social engineering process of building their relationship.
If this relationship is headed for marriage, will there be children? I've done a lot of premarital counseling
with couples using a test called PREPARE/Enrich. The pastors I work with like this test instrument -- and I do too
-- because it highlights a couple's strengths and identifies areas that could be a challenge to the marriage.
There is also an opportunity to answer some very personal questions, like "how many children do you plan to have?"
I remember getting the computer printout/answer guide for one couple where the bride-to-be had answered that she planned
to have two children and the guy said none.
Prior to coming in for their premarital counseling, they had never
discussed the number of children they planned to have until they took that test. They came for more than the required four
sessions. They continued counseling after their returned for their honeymoon.
Eventually they worked it through
and I got an invitation to a christening a couple of years later. I still get Christmas cards from them. They now have four
I'll bet they had some very interesting conversations over the years. They removed the barriers
they had placed on their relationship. It's easy for a couple to do this if the barriers were put there by one person
or another. Or both.
Is this relationship going to be a "let's take a look and live together first"
type of relationship? If that's the case, you need to know that the research says the failure rate of cohabiting prior
to marriage is about 87%. Those aren't good odds and they do not duplicate the commitments of a marriage relationship.
Is this a relationship that is going to have a strong faith base? If that's the case, are you practicing your
faith together now? You don't have to wait until you walk down the aisle to go to worship every week. And I have to tell
you another piece of research that says couples who become active in a church home have a divorce rate of 6%! Those are incredible
odds for success. Becoming active in a church home means that you do more than just warm a pew or a chair on Sunday or Saturday,
as the case may be. You go find yourself a job to do in the church whether it's teaching Sunday School, working in a church
library, helping out with folding the worship folders, etc.
Cooperation with one another -- builds trust.
Trusting your partner -- builds intimacy.
Building intimacy -- lets you find yourself back to each other. Remember
-- it's the partner who left who has the responsibility of building the bridges back.
Need help? Ask your
partner for help.
See if you can recapture that feeling of something wonderful happening between the two of you.
Tuesday -- we'll talk about getting rid of the toxicities in a relationship. Warning -- forgiveness plays
a big part.
Friday, August 17, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Hah! We thought we were gonna sneak out
to lunch yesterday after we updated our cell phones.
Then we looked at the sky. There were these huge dark clouds
swirling about overhead that looked as if they could pick up our house and whisk it away. We made a mad dash back across town
-- mainly to shut the windows -- then watched the blustry mess blow over. It left us slightly less than a tenth of an inch
But it did cool things down a bit. I'm grateful for that.
Not sure what we're going
to do today. We still have a five-page Things To Do List. Problem is, whenever we finish one thing, three other things get
added on. But no matter. That happens to be how we remember to get things done.
If I didn't have my paper and
pencil brain, I'd never remember half this stuff.
THIS WOULD NEVER FLY IN THE UNITED
Beijing is getting ready for the Olympics in all sorts of ways.
Not just building projects
or stadia at various venues.
Nope. They're going to clean up the air. And how, you may ask, are they going
to do that?
Well, they aren't going to scrub it, that's for sure. The game plan on the table right now
is to cut number of drivers way back. Way way back.
Today is the first day. If you are a Beijing driver and your
car ends in an odd number, your car is allowed on the road. What a great idea! Think it would work on our snarling interstates
here in the U.S.?
Sure. Would anyone ever dream of doing it? Never gonna happen.
We'll see how happy
the Chinese are after a few days and the novelty has worn off. There's a growing middle class of people over there and
they have gotten pretty used to having their little car cars. Just like us in the U.S.
Don't mess with our
Read more at: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8R2QIGO1&show_article=1&catnum=0
DID YOU BRING YOUR CHILDHOOD WOUNDS INTO YOUR MARRIAGE?
We all bring the unfinished business of carrying childhood wounds around for a while. Eventually they get too heavy a
burden to cart around and if we can't make them get off our backs, we go see someone who can help us do just that.
There are a great many people who are able to clean up these wounds on their own after some good, cognitive nudging
that leads them down a different path.
Cognition distortions are ways that a wounded self can
confront reality that may be too threatening.
Cognitions are mental processes -- how we put things together
in our heads. We are always trying to make 2 + 2 = 4. If our thought processes don't get distorted along the way into
adulthood, things work out. Otherwise, we may get 5 or 6 for the answer. That's just a mathematical error. But when we
come up with what looks like the right answer (4) by adding the wrong things together, we could have a distorted thought process.
So you say it doesn't matter as long as you come up with the correct answer. That's not necessarily a true
statement in the real world of human relationships.
For instance, two children plus two parents equals one American
pie family. But one child plus three parents also gives you four people. But see how things changed? In the first place, what
did you do with the other kiddo? And having three parents? Do they all live under the same roof? Are we talking about a blended
family where the "odd parent out" is a part-timer who gets visitation rights?
So it's true, though,
that you ended up with four people who are interdependent on each other for nurturance, but the picture of how they interact
with one another is quite different from my simple version of 2 + 2 = 4.
Perfectionism is one
of these cognitive distortions. These kiddos grow up with the notion that they can't ever do anything right -- they never
They don't get much nurture or affirmation as they race toward adulthood. But they keep trying.
Harder and harder, they try. Eventually, lack of perfectionism just can't be tolerated.
They make exacting
partners. Woe be unto you if you leave your cute little socks by your chair in the living room -- planning to pick them up
in the morning. That just will not do.
And if you don't pick up your socks, you'll get a very unpleasant
label tagged onto you -- something like irresponsible.
But it's just a pair of socks. I've always done
Well, not in my house, one partner says.
Oh, so now it's about your house. Funny,
I thought it was our house.
There, now you've got a little mini-war on your hands. Now it's become
a matter of territory.
Actually what has happened is that one partner has gotten too close to the
wound. The wound, in this case, is perfectionism.
Can't fight about that. The parents always won that
battle. But we can fight about territory. That kind of flattens the playing field a bit. We can kiss and make up about the
territory thing. It's not a wounded part of my psyche.
But perfectionism? Never. Must never fight about that.
The house must always be perfect -- like a magazine picture. No mess. Nothing out of place. Always dusted. Less than perfect
is too stressful. Leaving your socks on the floor upsets my perfectionistic sense of order.
my mom said so. Or my dad said so.
Doesn't matter who said it. The problem is, you believe it. Time to clean
out that wound, put some antiseptic in there and let it heal. All the way down to the psyche where the wound is resting. Just
feel the soothing balm of the medicine reaching all those little outer edges of psychic pain as you let go of the perfectionism.
On Monday, I'll talk about another wound, though not necessarily a cognitive distortion. That is: having trouble
bonding with your partner. It's kind of like lack of emotional intimacy but slightly different. Maybe deeper.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Yesterday was an adventure day. We drove
over to Altamont and had lunch at the Dairy Bar. It has a nice salad bar and pizza slices and meatloaf and fried chicken,
plus many side dishes.
Then when we were watching the news last night, some channel was doing an investigative
report on salad bars in New York City. The cold dishes are supposed to be sitting there at no more than 41 degrees all the
time. But all the salad bars that were tested -- there were seven of them -- had salad bar items that ranged in the 70 degree
Our salad bar at the Dairy Bar must have been okay because we didn't even get sick.
several big moments when we got back from Altamont -- registered to vote at the county building, filled out a homestead exemption
form, got our library card, changed our address at the Secretary of State's office, and came home for some iced tea and
burned more of the pile of yard rubbish that was piled up at the back of the property.
I've been writing about
that pile of rubbish for some time. It was a good seven or eight feet high when we bought this place. No kidding. Well, we've
been whittling it down little by little when we were coming down here on weekends. We are almost finished. That will be one
project that we'll be glad to also have finished.
On the other side of the rubbish pile is a fairly deep ravine.
Don't know if it had been a creek that is now dried up or just erosion or something else. But we are re-claiming the land
that's underneath the pile of limbs that must have been accumulating over a long time.
It's hard to believe
that we actually took ownership on this property one year ago today and that we've been living here full-time -- not just
on weekends -- for an entire month.
And the referring insurance companies have found me and are sending new
clients. So I guess the vacation is over. There went my short-lived retirement. At least I don't have to commute very
THAT WAS SOME EARTHQUAKE IN PERU!
So far there are 337 souls perished.
Unlike the huge earthquake in 1970 that killed 60,000 owing to a landslide that was triggered by that earthquake which buried
an entire village.
This earthquake's epicenter was out in the Pacific a little ways, nearly 90 miles south
We lift our prayers for safe rescues for all the survivors.
OF BEING CONNECTED
No matter what kind of relationship we're talking about -- whether marriage, dating,
work, or the like, we need three different elements that will make us feel connected to another person.
are: empathy -- sensitivity -- reciprocity
Big words. Lots of meanings. So I'll talk about them one at a time.
Empathy -- When we have an empathic relationship with someone, we are able to figure out
what they mean when they say something.
Doesn't that sound easy?
It would be nice if it were. But
it isn't all that easy. Different words have different meanings for different people. And we attach meanings sometimes
when the words get filtered through feelings of discomfort or pain.
We need to really listen to the other
person to see what they mean, so that we can figure out what we think they mean. Best way to figure this out is to
say something like, "Let me see if I understand what you mean." Or "See if I got this right."
Now keep in mind that you aren't going to get it right 100% of the time unless you're one of those persons who can
make the claim of being infallible. So far as I know, there aren't any perfect people walking about anymore, so you're
going to have to give yourself a "check off" and at least be willing to say "Correct me if I'm wrong."
Keep in mind that the only person who really knows what the other person means is that person.
area of connectedness is sensitivity.
We all like to think we're sensitive people.
We like to do nice things for people we like.
We like to comfort people who are suffering.
we are sensitive to other people, we try to accommodate their needs. If, for instance, a person is crying, we can offer them
a hanky -- or embrace them.
There are many ways to show someone we care. Sensitive people seem to know how to do
this really well.
The third area of feeling a connection with someone is reciprocity.
Couples who are surviving well are reciprocating in their relationship. A lot.
It's what my grandma meant
when she said, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." Or "one hand washes the other."
If you do something for me, you're far more likely to get something back that you want.
And if I do something
for you, I expect something in return. It's part of our humanness. It's the way we play the game in relationships.
A sidebar here: a game is defined as a set of transactions. It's not checkers or chess or football, etc.
In human relationships, it's an mental outline of how things are done.
This outline has a lot to do with what
my expectations are and whether you are meeting them.
If they aren't, I'm gonna think you've
hit me a foul ball. I will not be happy.
We all make emotional investments in our relationships. The longer the
relationship, hopefully the more emotional coinage there is in the piggy bank.
But I can tell you one thing for
certain: when you are feeling depleted adn you go to that piggy bank to get some more emotional coins, you bet you expect
some increase to be there. Reciprocity adds emotional coinage to what's in your piggy bank.
relationships just kind of sit there and stagnate.
For instance, going to longwinded, sometimes boring (mainly
because I don't know much of what the lecturer is talking about) speeches with Quint is how I get him to take me to the
ballet or a concert.
Reciprocity. Powerful, powerful stuff.
On Friday, I'll pick a topic from an
e-mail to respond to. So if you have a burning question, send me an e-mail (remember to put something about my blog in the
subject line so I'll know you're coming from this blog). Please do not leave the subject line blank.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We are done with the ceiling fans. Last
one went up yesterday in the laundry area.
That was a really big project -- kind of like getting ready for a big
holiday and then, suddenly, it's done and you sit around waiting for family members to come over to help you celebrate.
So we'll sit around for a bit and see which one of our projects on the list we want to tackle next.
we'll just decompress a bit. You know, be good to ourselves. Have an adventure. Go check out one of the towns nearby.
Transplant a blackberry bush that the next door neighbor is giving me. (The nice neighbor to the south, that is. Not Mr. Grumpy
who lives just north of us.)
Quint says he's going to mow the back yard. So that means I need to make lots
of iced tea.
Today is supposed to be the day when the inferno breaks and we get back to just plain old summertime.
Don't know about you but this 95+ degree temperature is a bunch of nonsense.
Check up on your friends and neighbors
to make sure they are staying cool and have plenty of water available to them.
IS THE RUDEST OF THE RUDES
Okay, so he's a politicians. We're not supposed to expect good manners
from them, I guess.
But to leave a crowd standing and waiting for an hour and twenty minutes on concrete is ridiculous.
Was it hot yesterday in Des Moines, Iowa? You bet it was.
But a concrete parking lot? No trees for shade?
Who were these people who would stand out there for that long?
AARP members, that's who. I would
have left after about fifteen minutes, folks.
So who are AARP members? Seniors, that's who. The very ones we're
supposed to be concerned about when it's riproaring hot!
Shame on Mr. Edwards.
KINDS OF INTIMACY
There are basically four kinds of intimacy that make a relationship really, really work
The first of these is physical intimacy. If it weren't for physical interest, people
wouldn't even get together in the first place.
First you meet somebody. Then you figure out that this may be
an interesting person to get to know. Or maybe it's a person who is just plain old drop dead gorgeous. Or maybe it's
a soothing tone of voice when you listen to this person.
No matter what, there is something physical that draws
you to this person. When you are using your physical senses -- sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste -- you are developing
Just wanting to be together. A telephone call. Meeting for coffee. Going to a movie and scrunching
down in the seat to fit into each other's embrace. Measuring yourself up next to this person -- how well do you fit together?
That's getting a sense of physical intimacy.
Next is intellectual intimacy. Okay, so now
you've been introduced. And you like each other enough to at least go to lunch or dinner together.
do you do?
You sit around and talk, that's what. And talk some more. And then you said ...
intimacy involves sharing ideas. It could be writing letters or e-mails if you aren't very close to each other -- or talking
on the phone if you aren't able to actually be within hand-touching physical contact.
It's talking about
people, places and things.
Couples who are interested in each other want to eat, drink and sleep each other. They
chatterbox all the time. "What did you think of..." they ask.
Or, "You want to know what I think
When this is going on, we have a couple in the midst of developing intellectual intimacy. This
kind of intimacy will seek a new level of understanding that I call perspective taking.
is one of the most powerful things that can happen to a couple from an intellectual standpoint. It's being able to look
at another person's point of view. Doesn't mean you have to agree with it. Doesn't mean you have to change your
own point of view.
But eventually we all reach a level of maturation where we realize that not everyone on the
planet holds the same point of view that we do. And even in our most cherished relationships, there are actually times when
we disagree with what our true love says.
Hopefully, in those times, you can at least be willing to look at the
other person's point of view. If you think you're really good and maturely grounded, I'd suggest you flip your
points of view and discuss them. I sometimes have couples try this in a counseling session.
Is it easy? My goodness
no. Is it a learning experience? Profoundly and powerfully so.
Third on the list is spiritual intimacy.
This is where you find out, as a couple, where God fits into your lives.
It isn't about religion, specifically.
Although it could be. Spirituality has to do with your relationship with God.
You definitely want to get this
one powerfully embedded into your relationship before you start bringing children into the world. Parents are supposed to
be spiritual lighthouses for their children. You don't want to launch your children into a free fall in space and let
them find God on their own.
Spiritual intimacy, for you as a couple, works best when you both recognize that God
is in control of your lives and that you are living within that God part of each of you -- your soul.
is alive deep within you. It's where God takes up residence within you. Believe in God. Live for God. As a couple, and
And finally, there's emotional intimacy.
If you didn't build
in emotional intimacy, it's going to cause unrest for all your days.
Emotional intimacy is where you become
willing to be really risky with your relationship. You can finally feel like you can take a chance in confiding how you feel
about yourself. Warts and all.
And all the time, you're hoping against all hope that your true love will still
love you even when you divulge your flaws.
When you are able to do this, you have achieved emotional intimacy.
You need all four types of intimacies if you are going to head for the "run for the gold."
which intimacy gets set aside? Emotional intimacy. It's the one that couples either don't work on because it's
too difficult for them. Or they think it will just fall into place because they love each other so much.
of magical thinking will get you in trouble fast.
You have to think of yourselves as structural engineers when
it comes to building a relationship. Good solid relationships take time. They take a lot of work and effort. And if you're
going to get married, or stay married, you'd better be willing to put in a lot of time and effort building and nurturing
Otherwise, you're just wasting time.
On Thursday, and while we are talking about
relationships, I'll share with you three different ways that say you're connected with each other.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
I doubt if you're going to be thrilled
to know this but we are planning on installing the very last ceiling fan in the laundry area of the basement.
we will be done with our hanging ceiling fans career -- as in "stick a fork in me" done!
had an adventure. Went to Mt. Vernon to the nearest Lowes. Mt. Vernon is about an hour south of us. We needed another gallon
of sand colored concrete paint to match the basement floor that we're half done painting.
Got it. Had
lunch at Chilis and came back home.
Well, actually I stocked up on some other items. I'm going to try my hand
at staining the linen closet door and frame that was recently built in a hallway. If that works out well, then I'll tackle
window frames. But first I'll try refinishing a little step stool. That will give me practice in removing some pretty
When we got home I put up the trellis at the back of the carport and put up some very nice flowers we
had gotten the other day at Wal-Mart. The yard is filled with color -- some real plants that are blooming profusely -- like
the Impatiens and Petunias and Roses -- and others that are "planted" on the trellis and here and there.
I'm not trying to win a garden walk competition so I don't mind admitting that lots of the flowers are designer
originals, the others are God's creations. Both types have been planted by me.
RECORDS ARE GOING TO STAY LOCKED UP UNTIL AFTER THE '08 ELECTION
My, oh my, oh my! Where did the Freedom
of Information Act go? And whatever happened to the "the public has a right to know?"
There are some
2 million pages of Hillary documents from her days at the White House that are locked up at the Clinton Presidential Library
and they aren't going to be released until after the election.
Now, any adviser who's worth her salt would
surely tell Herhonore the Hillaryness that hiding behind all that secrecy just makes the American voter salivate all the more
to learn about what's been hidden away.
Schedules and calendars and documents galore. Hiding behind all that
secrecy will cost her votes, doesn't she know that?
I mean, if she's got nothing to hide, then why hide?
Read more details in this LA Times article: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-clintondocs14aug14,1,1086895.story?track=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true
KARL ROVE RESIGNS EFFECTIVE AUGUT 31st
I just cannot resist a comment
here. Everyone else is speculating and they probably don't know any more than I do so here goes.
First of all,
Rove has a reputation for being the architect of Bush's success to the White House.
And then, there was all
that scuttlebutt to keep tamped down.
Now, Rove is resigning.
What is it about the end of August?
Well, the speculation with a capital "S" is that Fred Thompson will be announcing his White House run in
early September. Let's see now, Labor Day would be a good time to connect with the American workers, er taxpayers.
So who could he get -- who could he get -- who could he get to be his vice presidential nominee?
other than Jeb Bush, of course.
What a team that would be!
Karl Rove, the Magnificent, gets the work
with another Bush dash for the Oval. Sort of.
There, fixed it. End of rumoring.
INTIMACY -- OR LACK OF IT -- THE ULTIMATE IN PASSIVE AGGRESSION
Well, at least, one of the ultimates.
You can have twin peaks. I saw a movie about that once.
But seriously, there are basically four kinds of
intimacies: Physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional.
Today I want to talk about the emotional intimacy
because it's the one type that get's shoved aside, ignored, or just plain old denied.
If you've got
emotional intimacy in your marriage, then you've got a really good chance of going for the gold. If you don't, chances
are your marriage is going to dry up on the vine of good faith and die out.
So what is emotional intimacy?
It's a willingness to be vulnerable to the one you love. It's a willingness to take a really big risk and share
all those feelings you have about yourself that you thought you'd never tell another living soul.
even owning up to admitting that you're less than perfect. And hoping against all hope that your partner will love you
Now, do you think a passive aggressive person can do all that?
aggressive person operates on a day-to-day basis from a pallette that has shades of fear around the outside edges. If you
start to get too close to the PA, they're going to feel like you're invading them. Meddling in areas that don't
concern you. Trying to get on their good side. Must be up to something.
Start to sound just a teensy bit paranoid?
Of course! Where do you think that fear gets triggered?
Old, old fears. Reaches back across huge gulfs
of time. Goes all the way back to times the PA would just as soon not remember, except that the memories keep getting pushed
up to the surface anyway.
It's all those good feelings that are underneath the bad feelings. The good feelings
are pushing the bad stuff up to the surface. Has a velocity of its own. Maybe one of these days all the bad feelings will
come to the top and get blown away.
That's mostly what happens during lovers' quarrels. Most of the bad
feelings get tossed overboard and what's left is a euphoric moment or two when life is absolutely wonderful. Just the
two of you. Ah, it's so great to finally be understood and accepted and loved.
Then the cycle starts all over
again because the psyche of the PA wouldn't let all the bad emotions get sorted out and tossed out.
some, didn't you?
Well, hang onto the memory of those wonderful times. Life -- all of life -- can be like that
when you finally are able to let the good memories come up the surface and stay there.
When you are finally able
to say, "Just let it go."
When you finally allow yourself a mafioso moment and utter, "Just forgetaboutit."
When you finally decide that you will choose to forgive all those mean people who have been mean to you because they
did mean things.
When you finally realize that you don't want to be passive anymore. Take full and complete
charge about what that 3-pound organ sitting at the top of your neck is doing. Your brain will believe exactly what you tell
it to. It's the most gullible organ in your body.
So just announce to your brain that you are in charge and
it can just settle down and behave.
No more passive stuff. "I'm in charge here." Say it. And say
Passivity is hostile. It's a quiet retaliation against all the shadows that live in the cave of your
head. Aggression is hostile. It's an outward retaliation against anything and anybody that threatens to harm you, whether
those threats are real or perceived.
Passive aggression is a ridiculous combo that does not serve you well. So
put a leash on it and train it to just sit there and behave.
NOTE: Unless I hear otherwise, on Wednesday,
I'll talk about the other 3 kinds of intimacies in a relationship.
Also, I've had a huge number of e-mails
in the last several days that did not have anything at all in the subject line. They were deleted without being opened.
So if you are sending me an e-mail, give me some clue that you are coming from my web site, or, you can use my maiden
name: HALTOM. Then I'll know for sure that you got it here.
When I was teaching psychology at Joliet Junior
College. I used to tell my students to make sure they put the class in the subject line, whether it was Abnormal Psych, Intro
to Psych or Life Span Development. But there would always be one in a class who wouldn't do that.
student disturbed me and I was tempted to open the e-mail. It was from a person who called himself "suicideattempter."
So in the next class period I put his "name" on the board and asked the him to see me after class. It turned
out to be a male student and why didn't he put the class in the subject line?
"Oh, yeah," he remembered.
I also suggested he change his name. He didn't. His choice.
Monday, August 13, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
It's still hot, hot, hot! Quint
got the new thermostat installed so we kicked on the air conditioner to give it a test run. It was so successful that we decided
to leave it running through the night.
We actually had rain in the wee small hours. More rain is forecast this
morning. The lawns really need it. Those poor little parched blades of grass must be feeling pretty abused right now.
The big project of the day is to install the last of the ceiling fans in the laundy area of the basement.
I promise not to buy any more ceiling fans.
It's hard to believe that we moved in just a couple of days shy
of a month ago.
The place is starting to reflect our fingerprint. That would mean lots of flowers. I had planted
a border of bright pink petunias out front. I can just hear their happy little giggles when we pull into the driveway. Poor
little things have nearly died of thirst though. On some days when it was over 100 degrees in our yard, I gave them a drink
twice a day. They've survived nicely and the added watering kept them from dying off, I think. Plus, I feed them with
a "blooming plant" food.
Yesterday we got two trellises at a wonderful store called Rural King. They
were season closeouts and since I couldn't make them for the amount being asked, I grabbed them. Promptly installed them
two minutes after we got back to the driveway. I have a handy dandy Black & Decker power screwdriver and I use a Dremmel
to make the pilot holes. They're on the ends of a work area on the outside back wall of the newly repaired carport.
I have some 2x12 shelves where I'm putting my clay pots. I also have a table for a nice flat work area for gardening stuff.
I went to Wal-Mart after supper and picked up eighteen bunches of flowers that I'm going to arrange on the new
trellises. I have no shame. Artificial flowers are just fine -- especially when it's this late in the year and there's
no way I could get anything planted in time to bloom.
Next year, I'll put some vining roses on the trellises
and all will be well. In the interim, my roses' silk cousins will do just fine.
HEAT TILE GOUGES ON SPACE SHUTTLE
This time it's the Endeavour which is already out there circling
Now, some spectacular photos of Endeavour's belly shows three heat tiles that may have to be replaced.
NASA hasn't decided what to do about the yet, or even if the gouges are a problem.
They are contemplating the
possibility of sending astronauts up there to fix them.
For the rest of the story and some spectacular photos by
AP/NASA, go to: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070812/D8QVP7SO0.html
BIG SURPRISE: WOMEN DON'T VOTE AS OFTEN -- BLAME MOVING MORE
yet, women have a lot to lose by not voting as much as their male counterparts.
They say they aren't as politically
connected. I say get connected.
They say they don't know who to vote for. Find out. Research the candidates.
They say it doesn't matter. Oh, but it does. It matters a lot -- maybe especially to women.
me make something clear here -- I am not a feminist. I don't believe women should have more rights than men, but I do
believe both men and women should have the same opportunities available when they are equally qualified to do a job.
Women need a voice. If you don't vote, your voice will not be heard. Don't believe for one minute that
all the politicians running around out there on the campaign trail have your best interests at hearts.
are more than a few who are just collecting campaign money and will fade away when they lose this election. You won't
hear from them again until it's time to vote again.
So ask yourself: what has any of these politicians done
for society to make it a better place?
Do they go to church regularly. For me, this is a big factor. I simply
will not vote for a politician who can't even get up off his/her you know what once a week to go to church to worship
God who provides all the bounties under heaven. If they aren't thankful to him for that, they don't get my vote.
I want to vote for someone who worships God, not themselves.
Learn to recognize talking points. Most of
these can be ignored. Talking points are idle promises that politicians can't deliver. They either do not have the constitutional
authority to deliver or they would need a majority in congress to deliver.
But talking points sound good. And they're
very persuasive. They are meant to be believable. Mostly, they're B.S. Don't fall for the talking points. They were
written by people who have been hired by the politicians.
PASSIVE AGGRESSIVES (PAs) THINK
EVERYBODY'S PICKING ON THEM
Passive aggressive people perpetuate a feeling of victimhood. That is,
until they get pretty sick and tired of being sick and tired.
PAs know they don't feel good about themselves.
They'd like to but no one has shown them how to do that.
And I mean going all the way back to being a little
kid when feelings of victimhood of set up in a child's psyche.
For instance, a child may make a mess. A big
mess. Instead of letting the child clean it up -- or requiring the child to clean up the mess -- one of the parents will berate
the child for making a mess.
It doesn't take too long before the child will get the idea that they can't
do anything right. And that's a very short psychic distance from the thought of "why bother. I never get it right
And so the early threads of passive aggression start to weave themselves together. Pretty soon, PA,
Jr. starts to look outside himself or herself for someone to blame when things don't go right.
Look, in a functional
(as opposed to dysfunctional) family, when a 3-year-old spills a glass of milk, it's just something pretty cascading out
of a glass.
When an adolescent makes a mess, the first thing the adolescent does is to look around and see who
When adults make a mess, they start looking for solutions to the problem.
Children who have
been trained to be PAs could stay stuck in emotional adolescence for all their lives. They may be leading productive, successful
lives within their careers. And doing very well, at that.
But their emotional lives are filled with heartaches
When they come for couple counseling, my first challenge is to describe what is going on in their relationship
-- without making a blame statement about the partner.
Oh, that's hard for some to do.
make psychic statements either. That's another crutch that PAs use. They want to convince you that they "know"
what's really going on, what makes you tick, why you do things, and what motivates you.
Well, if they're
so good about being psychic, they ought to go hang out in a restaurant and charge people $40 for a fifteen minute psychic
session. The truth is, they don't know what their partner's motivations are unless they ask. They don't know what
their partners are thinking unless that information is shared.
I am always amazed at what Quint is thinking. When
he's been quiet for a while, I usually ask him what he's thinking about. Once, on the way to the office, he responded
to that question with, "Oh, I was just wondering how much debris is trapped in the Arctic Shelf and where it came from."
Another time it was "How'd they ever figure to use horses as a gauge for measuring the power of cars."
Passive aggressive people can most certainly become good problem solvers. And in passive aggressive homes and families,
it's just not possible to simple make a mistake. There's something more sinister going on that requires blaming.
But there's a better way.
Learn to be self-forgiving and practice saying "Oops, wish
I hadn't done that. I'm sorry."
Since passive aggressive people form magnetic relationships with other
passive aggressive people, they have to both decide to re-engineer their inner psyches -- preferably at the same time.
The first step?
No more blame statements. That's where the faulty foundation is. It needs to be repaired
with lots of love and acceptance.
On Tuesday, I'll talk about the passive aggressive's fear of emotional
intimacy. Big surprise -- it comes out of today's message.
Friday, August 10, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Success! The ceiling fan in the downstairs
office (the basement) is duly installed. And the magnetized screwdriver worked like a charm. It reduced our installation time
by at least an hour because we did not have to spend any time on our hands and knees looking for dropped screws and washers.
Oh, the marvels of modern technology.
My big deal project today is to can about 6 pints of Salsa. That's been
on my agenda for at least two or three days. Then I'm going over to the farm stand and get a whole bunch of green beans
to put in the freezer.
We like green beans. A lot. I microwave the frozen green beans and when they're ready, put
in a 3 oz. package of cream cheese. It makes a nice gravy and tastes delicious. The first time I prepared green beans
that way, the grandkids kept asking for more. It's a good way to get both a green vegetable and calcium from the cream
Fortunately, the hot weather has relented a bit. I just may be able to get outside today and weed some
flowers. I think the Impatiens and Petunias are a little perturbed at me because of the interloping weeds that decided to
grow in amongst them.
And that should just about run me out of ambition for the day.
RESEARCH CONFIRMS WHAT WE SUSPECTED ALL ALONG
That is, the American public does not trust the news media
-- 64% says the news organizations' reporting is biased.
Too much editorializing (columnists) and not enough
And 53% of the people polled say that the news organizations don't stand up for America. To me,
that's the worst of the worst. When did news organizations get to be so un-American?
Can we really put our
fingers on the tipping point of when things started to change?
I don't know the answer to that, but I do know
this: the old-time newspapers are bleeding red ink on their balance sheets. Readers are running away as fast as they can.
When the readership keeps dropping, advertisers run away too. Then newspapers start laying off reporters.
The internet has played a part, for sure.
We don't watch TV news at all anymore. Can't tolerate the
16 minutes of advertising pumped into ever hour of broadcasting. But then, that's why we don't watch TV all that much
either. And then, have you noticed that just before the advertising break, the commentators promise to have a news story that
you may have been interested in, but you have to wade through all those commercials?
Don't do that anymore.
If they can't report the news when they have it, throwing in a teaser is just another game they play.
did I put that clicker?
Breitbart ran the story this morning: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=070809222839.jzdcwmy8&show_article=1
MERV GRIFFIN NOT DOING SO HOT
Two things I did not know about Merv Griffin:
(1) he has had prostate cancer since 1996 and (2) he is 82 years old.
He is now in the hospital in southern California
in "grave" condition.
That does not sound very hopeful.
We need to pray for Merv Griffin and
all who love him and care for him.
PASSIVE AGGRESSION HAS ITS ROOTS WAY BACK THERE IN CHILDHOOD
In a perfect world, there would not be any passive aggressive (PA) people running around.
world is filled with fears -- fears of being intimate, fears of being called on to take responsibility for what they've
done -- fears of being viewed as inadequate -- fears of being unable to deliver on promises.
And that's just
a small little list of some of the things that plague the PA.
PA manifests itself in a lot of ways.
what appears to be innocence and helplessless, a PA begs and pleads quietly. If they've somehow gotten the "right"
partner, their lives appear to be blissful. Their partners seem to just know what the little darling hopes for and will
do just about anything to alleviate the PA's frustration.
Here's where the roots start to emerge. The PA
doesn't know how to set goals to get what they want. They spend much of their time and energy getting other people to
recognize what they want and just, well, supply it.
Being psychic should help a lot when it comes to
living with a PA. If not psychic, then being extremely intuitive will be helpful.
So if all behavior has a meaningful
goal in mind, what in the world would be the goal of a helpless PA?
Simple. This is how they get their dependency
Oh, for sure, the PA yearns for independence and somehow equates this independence with having enough
money to buy anything and everything out there. But somewhere along the line, the PA realizes that it isn't about money,
or shopping their way through all those negative feelings about themselves.
The PA doesn't really want
to be dependent on others but they don't know how to become truly independent and autonomous. That is, self-governing.
And if they can't have autonomy, they'll settle for control.
Remember that word -- "control?"
People use control methods to make their lives predictable. And if the PA can't be autonomous, they'll try every trick
they know to control their environment and the people in it.
Autonomous people can make their lives pretty predictable
without having to resort to passive aggressive methods of controlling others.
Remember -- aggression is a
hostile act. Passive aggression is hostile too, even though it appears that the PA may be agreeing with you. The PA may
just be taking a recess and marking time for a while.
By the time the PA gets to be an adult, there's
a whole menu of opportunities that have brought success in the past. For instance, these are the young adult whose parents
have always been right there to solve all the problems and hand out a few bucks for emergency cash.
an interdependence going on here. The young adult becomes a full adult, but not an autonomous one. He's still hitting
up on mom or dad when the car payment didn't quite get paid, or the rent. Mom and Dad don't mind. They shrug
their shoulders and say, "Will he ever stop needing us?" or "What's she going to do when we aren't here
The payoff for Mom and Dad is the continuing feeling of being needed.
The payoff for
the PA in training is the continuing supply of needs and wants.
That's just one example of how the PA-in-training
becomes a full-fledged PA.
But there's another aspect of passive aggression that's murky. They tend to
be really good at sabotage. In a work environment, if another worker gets noticed by the PA's boss, you can bet that the
PA is going to figure out a way to undermine all that. It might be an important message that didn't get delivered.
Or a project only got finished halfway and sloppily at that. Either way, the PA is going to figure out how to make the
other person look bad without it ever being traced back to the PA.
After all, PAs don't take responsibility for their mistakes. There is no accountability
for the PA.
Their lives are driven by fears. And the primary #1 fear in their minds is that of being discovered
for what they are. They are absolutely terrified that someone will see them as imposters.
fear of intimacy (another passive aggression) -- and I can tell you that at 1 pm, there have been a lot of other questions
about passive aggression in general, so we may stay on this topic for several days.
DE-BUGGING GLOBAL WARMING
it turns out, 1934 is the warmest year on record. In fact, according to new data supplied from NASA five of the top ten hottest
years on record all occurred prior to World War II.
Turns out that
a Y2K bug showed up in the reporting software that NASA uses.
on the website littlegreenfootballs.com broke the story this morning.
Steve McIntyre of Toronto, who operates
the website www.climateaudit.org began to investigate both the data and how they were arrived at. McIntyre discovered a discontinuity in the data in the year
He then challenged NASA and, although NASA does not reveal its methods or its source code, the agency did
quietly correct the data on its web site. The big news is that 1998 is not the warmest year on record. 1934 is.
the blog here: http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/1998_no_longer_the_hottest_yea.html
So, do you think Al Gore is going to quietly correct his inconvenient truth? Or is he just going to fade away
with all the other snake oil salesmen that rode into town during the frontier days?
Guess the answer to that question
depends on which way the money tree is shaking.
I sure am glad all this came to light before congress made summer
illegal, what with it getting hot during that time an all.
We just can't have any of this global warming. It's
too hot. Someone make the sun cool down, will you?
Maybe we could send a giant space ship filled with ice cubes
to the sun! Al Gore would be my recommendation for pilot.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Supposedly this is the last day of really
hot steamy weather. Truthfully, though, I can't tell the difference in subtle changes in temperature when it gets into
Then there's Quint who keeps saying, "These are the days we long for when it's 10 below
in the winter."
And how about that tornado in Brooklyn this morning? That's something you never expect
to see in the Big Apple. An F2 at that.
Well, let's see. We crossed off two things on our Things To Do List
and added four more this morning.
We did get the pegboard hung up in the craft area of the basement and am using
the back side of bookcases as a room divider with the pegboard above them. Then we put shelves on the pegboard -- two shelves,
but we need one more. We already have the table for crafting, wrapping presents, etc. It came from the office.
on the priority list today is installing a ceiling fan in the office area downstairs. We've been talking about it for
days now. But today is the day when it comes to the top of the list and stays there. Then there will only be one more ceiling
fan -- in the laundry area. Hopefully we will never need to put up another ceiling fan in our entire life.
we are trying out the new magnetized screwdriver. It ought to save us about an hour since we, hopefully, won't be dropping
any more screws on the floor. Black screws going into the black housing of a fan motor to fasten blades onto the fan was a
By the time the last one gets installed, we will have put up seven. There were two in the condo before
we sold it: kitchen and dining room. Then, in the house: one in the office upstairs, one in Quint's workshop area in the
basement, one in the kitchen at the house, now the office downstairs, and one in the laundry area.
I am forever
grateful for my handy dandy Black & Decker cordless screwdriver. Got it for Christmas last year. And I have a cordless
Dremmel which I use to make pilot holes. Quint and I can put shelves up in practically no time.
WIND BLEW THROUGH BROOKLYN
It was 135 miles an hour of ferocious fatality. Trees uprooted. A lady died
in deep water at an underpass she probably ought not to have been driving in.
Scary stuff for Kansas, huh?
But it was terrifying for Brooklyn. One neighborhood lost some 40 percent of its trees. Lots of them fell on
cars. Winds blew off roofs. Even JFK Airport was in the line of fire. More than three inches of rain fell on JFK in less than
an hour. That put a damper on landings. Same was true of LaGuardia Airport.
See the story on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/08/08/nyc.weather/index.html
THE MINERS MAY GET SOME RELIEF THIS MORNING
According to an article
on Fox News, rescue efforts have a lifeline -- a 2" pipe that could bring fresh air -- within 200 feet of where the miners
are believed to be. Another pipe that's about 9" in diameter ought to reach the chamber by Friday.
pray that the miners will be found alive, and we pray for the anguished family members who are holding onto the thinnest thread
of hope for their loved ones who are trapped in the mine.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292669,00.html
TIRED OF PAYING NEARLY $4 FOR A BOTTLE OF SALAD DRESSING?
If so, try
this recipe for ranch dressing. It makes 16 servings.
1 cup light or fat-free mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. chopped green onion
3 T. sugar substitute
1-1/2 t. minced fresh garlic
1/4 t. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
Mix all the ingredients
together but the buttermilk. After everything is mixed really well, then add the buttermilk and whisk really well. Then refrigerate
for a couple of hours to let all the seasonings get to know one another. Kind of like a little party going on in your refrigerator.
It's absolutely delicious. You can add your own variations to the recipe, like bits of bacon, or bits of finely
chopped cucumbers. I've even added a little salsa and some ground red pepper to add some zip.
But if you look
at the recipe, can you see anything mysterious that would warrant a huge price at the supermarket? I don't think so.
MARITAL EXPECTATIONS -- YOU BET WE ALL HAVE THEM
couple ought to have a list of expectations -- an understanding of what they expect a partner to do and how they expect a
partner to behave.
That list of expectations ought to be in two parts -- a short list and a longer list.
Newlywed couples coming back fresh from honeymoons will absolutely swear that they love their partners so much just the
way they are and don't have any expectations of them.
Somehow or other, that list of expectations gets re-translated
into "how I want my partner to change."
That is not the same thing as a list of expectations.
For instance, would you condone your partner's physical abuse? Of course not. So one expectation would be a marriage
free of domestic violence.
And would you condone your partner's having sexual relations outside your marriage?
Of course not. So another expectation would be fidelity.
And would you condone your partner's running up $25,000+
in Visa cash withdrawals to maintain a cocaine addiction? Of course not. So another expectation would be freedom from drug
There you have it. In less than five minutes, I've listed three biggies.
be enough for your short list.
The long list might include such things as expectations of being prioritized, of
being told at least once every day that your partner loves you -- and is glad to be married to you. Another expectation on
the long list might include some effort on both your parts to at least pick up after yourselves so that the house doesn't
Your long list might have ten or fifteen things on it. But you can be sure that you do have expectations
when you live in a close, emotional, passionate relationship called marriage.
It's a really good idea
to get the list of expectations nailed down before kiddos start coming along.
It makes no sense to bring children
into a war zone -- even if it's a "cold war" where words never quite erupt into a full-blown disagreement. They
just sit there and smolder. And become snipe attacks during an argument.
Keeping disagreements out in the open
for discussion would be a good expectation to add to the list above.
What's on your list?
Passive aggression (unless I get e-mails requesting some other topic for discussion)
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
And we have another whole day of these
It got as high as 100.6 yesterday afternoon. We're staying cool but we aren't
doing much. We did manage to hang some pegboard in a craft area that I'm setting up in the basement.
area is right in front of the deep freeze, lest there be any doubt as to who owns that little piece of basement real estate.
Today our big project is to install one of the two ceiling fans we have left. This one will go into the office
downstairs. Hopefully the problem is solved about losing the screws and having to crawl around on the floor looking for them.
We got a screwdriver with a magnetized head on it.
As far as those teensy tiny little washers
are concerned. A teensy tiny bit of rubber cement ought to keep them attached just long enough until the screw gets started.
Sometimes our genius absolutely astounds us. Quint and I together make one good brain.
Yesterday I made
a kind of peach dessert. The peaches I bought from the Amish ladies were so ripe and sweet. Tastes like childhood memories.
Anyway, I had some pizza dough that I had bought to make a kind of crispani where you roll out the pizza dough,
brush it with olive oil, spread some sliced mushrooms and chopped onion on it, then some shredded parmesan cheese and pop
it in the oven for about a half hour. (Got the idea from Panera Bread. We used to stop there on our way home from Monday night
church services when we still lived in the Chicago area.)
Well, when I popped open the pizza dough, it wouldn't
unroll. It just layed there on my cookie sheet like a defiant three-year-old saying, "What are you going to do about
That called for an instant change of plans. So I rolled out the dough as far as my hands could push it,
then put thinly sliced fresh yummy peaches (didn't need any sugar at all) all over the dough. I then very carefully and
tightly rolled up the dough as if it were going to be a cinnamon roll. Worked out just fine, especially after I had sprinkled
Splenda all over it. I baked it for about 35 minutes and kept a close eye on it after that.
Do I mind heating
up the kitchen when it's 95 degrees out? Nope. When it gets above 90 degrees, I can't tell if it gets hotter or when
it starts "cooling" down a couple of degrees so who cares!
I mean, you can't stop living your life
because of the weather.
And for that matter, a big blob of pizza dough can't determine who runs my kitchen
either. If you don't want to be a pizza dough, then you are going to become something else. Either way, you're going
to get eaten, so there. (I had this conversation with a blob of dough, I know.)
THIS IS LIFE
-- NOT HEAVEN
If you're one of those people whose goal in life is to get to a point where there's
no more stress, I have sad news for you.
It's not going to happen.
The best you can hope for is
that somewhere along the way, as you matured, you were picking up a whole trick bag of ways to maneuver around stressors,
digging under them, flying over them, or just blasting your way through them.
But in any event, stress appears
to be part of the human condition.
Stress doesn't have to shipwreck you, though.
stress can be measured by how far apart reality is from your expectation of how you want things to be. Changing your expectations
is a lot easier than changing reality. That's especially true if your expectations border on wanting a perfect world.
It's just not going to happen. There was a time when it did. But Adam and Eve screwed that up for us. The rest
of us down through the ages have had to learn to cope.
For instance -- if you lived in a little village of hunter-gatherers
and your life depended on sending Bwana Husband out every day to catch a steak for supper, there would be stress. Especially
if you had ten little kiddos to feed.
So after you get up, tidy up around the house, feed breakfast mush to the
babies, then plant a good luck kiss on Hubby's cheek, then you could put your feet up for a couple of hours and maybe
get a chance to watch the Weather Channel on the community TV out in the middle of the hut circle.
That way, if
it's raining out on the plains, you'd have an idea of whether you ought to make a nice tossed salad to go along with
the steaks. Or if there's a huge thunderstorm going on out there, it's not likely you're going to see a side of
beef coming back to the village on a pole between two hunters.
In that event, you start looking around the pantry
hut and try to figure out what you could make a big pot of porridge out of. Make it taste good too!
the stress of never knowing for sure what you're going to have for dinner, you might daydream about moving into the big
city of giant huts. That is, if you could talk Bwana into settling down in a condo.
That would be a big change
Or you could lower your expectations of what to prepare for dinner in a variety of ways. Like having
an alternative plan of a vegetarian dinner when Bwana comes back empty handed.
Either way, supper's on.
GOOD NEWS FOR BUSH -- APPROVAL RATING ON THE RISE
Last time Gallup measured
how well Bush was doing, his approval rating was 29%.
It seemed to have bottomed out there.
measurement shows he's at 34%. Not a big jump but certainly going in the right direction.
And the economy is
steaming right along. It even broke records not too long ago by closing at over $14,000!
Another good reason to
have an MBA in the White House. America's economy is pretty complicated and it helps to have someone who understands finance
and economics sitting in the Oval Office.
Not like, for instance, the Most Powerful Woman in the World -- Herself
the Pelosi -- who says the $14,000 Dow is obscene and it's just one more reason (she says) to start levying some really
big taxes on rich people.
"The rich get richer" will just not be tolerated on her watch.
wait, your highness, lots and lots of working class people have 401(k)s that are invested in the stock market. If you start
putting big taxes on those kinds of gains, aren't you undermining the future well-being of the plain old folks who are
working toward retirement?
Doesn't matter, she says. It's just another way for the rich to get richer and
I won't have it.
This woman is not your friend, folks. She wants all of her money. And all of her husband's
money. And now she wants your money too.
But not to worry about her -- she'll get hers in the polls when the
Republicans take back the majority of the house.
Back to President Bush. The surge is working. It's not just
a perception. It's really working.
And people who read the tea leaves are saying that because of that, Bush's
approval ratings are starting to swing back up.
So Bush is now at 34%. Congress is at 14% the last I saw.
The congressionals blame Bush for just about anything. It is not in their genetic makeup to take responsibility for
anything. There's no wonder that their approval ratings appear to be in a freefall.
Why would anyone -- least
of all voters -- have confidence in the congressionals?
Here's the link to the latest poll: http://blogs.usatoday.com/gallup/2007/08/a-hint-of-more-.html
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
The watch word for today is "stay
cool." Even if you have to sit in front of a fan all day, stay cool. Even if you have air conditioning and don't
want to turn it on, or can't because the cost of electricity is so prohibitive, stay cool. And if you really want to do
something refreshing, sit in a cool bubble bath. Guaranteed to cool you down.
We are under a heat index until 7
pm Thursday. Since today is only Tuesday, I can tell you that I'm going to be making many pitchers of iced tea. Which
reminds me -- I'll be right back.
I'm stocking up on ice for the weekend bounty again. I got a big bag
of green beans when I bought the canning tomatoes from the Amish ladies. When they were all snipped down and cut into bite
sized pieces, I got eight bags out of the whole deal. I like to put them into snack sized baggies for just the two of us.
That provides a serving size for two people. Then I put the snack baggies into a gallon sized ziplock freezer bag.
Double bagging the freezer stuff goes a long way toward preventing freezer burn. Especially when I lay the snack bag on
its side and push the air out before I put it into the second gallon sized freezer bag.
And, of course, you know
I date all the freezer bags.
I do not have an inventory of what's in the freezer, though. It's easy
enough to just open the lid and say, "Wow, that's a lot of stuff." Then close the lid real quick before too
much cold air escapes.
EVER HEARD OF "ORPHAN EXIT" CHARGES FOR YOUR E-PASS?
If you have one of those electronic gadgets that let you zoom on through toll booths without having to slow
down, come to a stop, toss coins into a coin catcher, then you can applaud yourselves for being efficient.
us dinosaurs who wait in line at toll booths for our turn to play "hit the bucket" with our quarters, dimes and
Quint and I very seldom use the tollways. So we never really felt all that inconvenienced because we didn't
have the electronic gadgets.
Then there is this lady out in Pennsylvania who makes a weekly 20-mile trip on the
Pennsylvania tollway. She figures it ought to be a 75 cent charge against the amount that gets reduced each time she drives.
Imagine her surprise when she learned that she was being charged $5 per trip for what is called an "orphan exit."
It works like this. If you get on the tollroad at mile marker 100 -- but the gadget doesn't reflect where you
entered the tollroad -- and you get off at mile marker, that ought to have been a 75 cent charge.
But because the
gadget doesn't know where you got on, it uses a different formula. Kind of like charging you for the entire mileage across
the state's system if you happen to lose your ticket.
In the case of this lady in Pennsylvania, the tollway
authorities said that since noone knew exactly where she got on, but they do know where she got off, they only charged her
for 1/4 of the total ride across Pennsylvania.
Never mind the fact that she was only on the tollroad for 20 miles.
And not only that, but they didn't even send her a bill. She really had to go digging to the company's web
site to find out what charges were gobbling up her fees so fast.
It's a very interesting story that's reported
on today's Red Tape Chronicles, published by MSNBC: http://redtape.msnbc.com/2007/07/millions-of-dri.html
What I also learned as a result of reading this article is that the Indiana tollroad is operated by an international
consortium headquartered in Spain -- Cintra-Macquarie.
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE IPHONE
Consumers waited and waited and waited. Then, reminiscent of the 100-yard-dash from high
school days, they hurried off to get one of the latest electronic toys available -- the iPhone.
Problem is, the
battery that powers this iPhone will only survive 300 to 400 recharges. This battery is in a sealed compartment of the iPhone,
so you'll be needing to send it back to the company for a new battery to be installed.
This will cost you $79
or so. (plus shipping)
If you can't wait for the three or four day turnaround time, then you can rent an iPhone
Apple didn't mention this in the fine print of the much touted iPhone's advertising. So even
if you'd read the mouse print, it wouldn't have mattered much. You pay anyway.
Read more: http://redtape.msnbc.com/2007/07/why-was-iphones.html
Quint says Apple was really thinking ahead on that one. Mainly because all those millions of iPhones will probably
go dead about the same time. And Apple has an automatic second market -- the sale of batteries.
Not to worry though.
No doubt, this iPhone will be updated and replaced by some new improved gadget.
I guess we're neanderthals
since we don't have any PDAs, iPods, iPhones, or pagers. We do have cell phones though. We use them a lot.
darling grandson Jerry has a cell phone that he takes photos on. So one day I thought I'd go to the cell phone store where
I got mine and ask them to show me how to take pictures.
I was told that I need to upgrade my cell phone because
the one I have isn't programmed to take photos. So I'm due for an upgrade. Maybe tomorrow.
Or maybe I'll
just wait until the next time I'm going to see Jerry. He has a lot of patience with his grandma. I think he may secretly
giggle a little with my lack of electronic abilities. He did try to explain text messaging to me one time, which I still don't
have the hang of.
I still don't know what "bluetooth" technology is. But then, it took me a while
to get the hang of what a "blue dog democrat" is.
Hmmm. Wonder if they anything to do with each other.
LIGHTEN UP ON THE "CONTROL" WORD
The truth of the matter is that
at a very early age, children learn to manipulate their environment.
They do this when they begin learning what
happens if they do "this" or "that."
Pretty soon, even the littlest of kiddos have some
idea that if they ask mom or dad for a drink of water, the request will most likely be answered. Now, you could put a negative
twist on that simple request and say that little Susie has learned how to manipulate her parent into doing what she wants
just by asking for a drink of water.
Like there's something sinister going on in the mind of a three-year-old
that says, "I can make mom give me a glass of water. Watch this." That's just generally not the way most three-year-olds
Instead, the three-year-old builds a repertoire of successes. The kiddos grow and mature and add to this
repertoire as they go through their young lives.
And my goodness, by the time they've reached early adulthood,
there's a full range of behaviors that form what we could call "If ..." statements.
a 20 year old might say, "If I want this job, I will have to fill out an application and prepare for an interview."
"If I want good grades, then I'll have to study for the exam."
"If I want to get married,
then I'll need to at least go on some dates."
We learn that we can make things happen in our world. We
learn that people respond to us when we behave in certain ways. So, in that respect, we learn to control our world -- our
environment -- and the people in it.
Each one of us does it.
And why is control important to us?
Because it makes our lives predictable. We need to think with some certainty that if we want to get a raise at work,
then we may need to get out our job description and make certain that we're measuring up to our boss' expectations.
If we want to be happily married, then we need to learn to live in a give-and-take relationship with another person.
You bet we like to have predictable lives. Because of that, we are all controlling persons. The question becomes
how much control we allow someone else to have over us. And how much control over other people do we think is fair.
And yes, controlling our environment and the people in it, is a manipulative device. It's this manipulation that
makes our lives predictable.
Monday, August 6, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Knock, knock, knock -- it was the sound
at the back door late Saturday afternoon.
"Would you like some corn?" asked my neighbor.
you kidding! Fresh corn grown in Illinois fields? You bet I would."
So in she marched and set a big bag of
corn in the middle of the kitchen floor. She was followed by her son with another bag. Then her husband brought in a bag.
As they were leaving, she said, "We'll be right back. There's more. Hope you weren't planning on doing much
of anything tonight."
They came back with a big box of corn that was still warm from the fields. You
could smell the fragrance of sweet corn goodness rising up out of the box.
In total, there were 106 ears of corn.
They made a big mountain on top of the table. Quint dashed out to get big bags of ice and I started the water bath for our
Plans changed. I had been to the Farmers Market in town on the way back from the supermarket
and picked up twelve pounds of tomatoes that I was going to make sauce out of.
Tomatoes could wait 'til tomorrow.
Corn couldn't. Easy choice.
The repairs to the carport are finished, complete with a fresh coat of exterior
paint. Our carpenter neighbor is now working on a linen closet in the hallway just outside the bathroom.
to church Sunday morning. That always feels like we've found our community. Don't know anybody by name yet. But that
We're going to install a ceiling fan in the basement office. Little by little we're reclaiming
pockets of stuff we'd move in haste. It's starting to feel really nice and settled in for us.
dog days of summer are still with us. Probably will be for another week or so. Quint tells me that it's called the "dog
days of summer" because it's the annual time when the dog star does something. Don't remember the rest of the
story. The ancients sure liked their cosmos lore to solve all their mysteries in life.
And now I have to make
a quick dash upstairs to get my seven quarts of tomato sauce out of the water bath. Maybe after I turn off the 21-quart canner
the humidity on the first level will start to go down. Do you think?
Hey, listen, some people pay hard cash money
to go to a spa and sit in a sauna. I can get a steam bath for free and can the summer's glory all at the same time.
CONGRESS PASSES REFORMS TO SURVEILLANCE LEGISLATION
It's called FISA
-- short for Foreign Intelligance Surveillance Act, according to an article published in The Hill this morning.
Since the surveillance act was first established decades ago, there have been technological advances on top of advances.
Electronic surveillance used to be just about telephone conversations. Mainly because that was just about all that
was out there to listen in on.
Then there came the microwave transmissions. And faxes. And cell phones. And wireless
laptops. And PDAs. Did I miss anything?
Terrorists, it seems, sit in those internet cafes all around the world
pushing their evil little buttons in their evil little minds while waging war on anybody who disagrees with them (infidels,
they call us).
Guess they thought they were protected by wiretap laws.
Now comes congressional legislation
that says, "Yep, we can listen in. And if you're plotting to blow us up, you're going to be in so much trouble,
because we got that on tape."
FISA now goes to President Bush for signature. It's a sure think because
he says he's going to sign it.
Read more: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/house-passes-fisa-bill-boehner-blasts-dems-2007-08-04.html
CONGRESS REWARDS ITSELF WITH A MONTH LONG VACATION/RECESS
itself for all the hard work it did passing this one piece of legislation (FISA) by giving itself a vacation --
called the August recess.
That's another piece of work that needs to be updated. The August recess has no place
in a congressional building that luxuriates in central air conditioning for its inhabitants.
don't see the construction industry shut down in August. You don't see courts adjourning, or hospitals shutting down.
Why in the world do congressionals think they can just shut down because it's August. They get way too many vacations,
as far as I'm concerned.
I know -- I know. They'll say they're out there working in the district.
Who do they think they're kidding? They're out there pumping their little hands up and down. You know, those
hands that keep coming back for more and more handouts. Political donations, in other words.
Do golf outings and
hosting fundraisers constitute working in the district?
I don't think so.
SECRET -- from Mark Stubbe
One day, one friend asked another, "How is it that you are always so happy?
You have so much energy, and you never seem to get down."
With her eyes smiling, she said, "I know the
"What secret is that?"
To which she replied, "I'll tell you all about
it, but you have to promise to share the Secret with others."
"The Secret is this: I have learned there
is little I can do in my life that will make me truly happy. I must depend on God to make me happy and to meet my needs.
When a need arises in my life, I have to trust Go d to supply according to HIS riches. I have learned most of the time I
don't need half of what I think I do. He has never let me down. Since I learned that 'Secret', I am happy."
The questioner's first thought was, "That's too simple!" But upon reflecting over her own life
she recalled how she thought a bigger house would make her happy, but it didn't! She thought a better paying job would
make her happy, but it hadn't.
When did she realize her greatest happiness? Sitting on the floor with her grandchildren,
playing games, eating pizza or reading a story, a simple gift from God.
Now you know it too!
depend on people to make us happy. Only GOD in His infinite wisdom can do that. Trust HIM! And now I pass the Secret on to
you! So once you get it, what will you do?
YOU have to tell someone the Secret, too! That GOD in His wisdom will
take care of YOU! But it's not really a secret... We just have to believe it and do it...
Really trust God!
OUR BANK ACCOUNT -- from Mark Stubbe
This is AWESOME...something we
should all remember.
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each
morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally
blind, moved to a nursing home today.
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny
room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
"I love it," he stated
with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
you haven't seen the room; just wait. "
"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.
"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't
depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It's a
decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the
difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the
ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day
and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life.
Old age is like
a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a
lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!
I am still depositing. Remember the five simple rules
to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
Friday, August 3, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
This is going to be one of those days when
I'm not moving around too much. We're expecting another day of 90+ degrees.
But I do have a trip to the
local farmer's market planned. Depending on what I can find will determine how much I move around. Maybe I'll be canning
some more with a fan blowing on me.
I was nice to myself yesterday though. No painting when it was so hot. But
it's only 75 degrees now so I could paint a little bit. Maybe finish the wall that we're going to hang the bikes on.
But that may interfere with Quint's putting in those little shelves that I want to store plant food, weed killer,
Sevin and a whole variety of other necessities for the flowers and garden.
And we didn't burn any trash. My
most ambitious project was watering my little pretties about six last evening. I could hear them giggling and slurping when
I turned the hose on them.
Then I gave my dancing little roses some of their very special rose food. Well, I'm
telling you, it must have been a T-bone the way they carried on. I am amazed at how well the roses are doing. This is my first
year at attempting roses.
Having lived in a condominium for 29 years, my gardening has been severely limited to
what would grow in containers. Quint called me the Queen of Jade.
I also had a Ficus Tree that I was very proud
of. Bought it at the supermarket right after Quint and I got married. It cost $1.69 and was about six inches high. It grew
and it grew and it grew. Got all the way to the ceiling. We cut it back a couple of times. Then it kind of held at about 5
and a half feet. It's now found a new home in our daughter Sharon's living room. Looks real nice there.
Hope you all stay cool today. Remember -- keep drinking lots of water or iced tea.
CONGRESSIONALS ARE GETTING STEAMED -- WITH EACH OTHER
If they aren't careful with how they're
doing things, all the congressionals are going to end up in big pickles on election day.
And I do mean all of them.
Take yesterday, for instance. It was time for the agricultural spending bill to come up for a vote.
a legitimate matter. Taxpayers have been noticing that the lawmakers haven't been legislating all that much. Instead,
they've been conducting those congressional investigations that appear to be little more than photo op grandstanding.
So it was a good thing to hear that they finally were going to get about the business of legislating.
And good for them.
The problem is the agricultural spending bill just happened to include a lot of federal funds
for handouts for undocumented immigrants. Gee, would that be the same thing as illegal aliens?
In fact, they were thisclose.
Details remain fuzzy, but numerous Republicans argued afterward that they had
secured a 215-213 win on their motion to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any federal funds apportioned in the agricultural
spending bill for employment or rental assistance. Democrats, however, argued the measure was deadlocked at 214-214 and failed,
members and aides on both sides of the aisle said afterward.
If you want to read a description of the whole
sordid event, you can go to this site and take a look: http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0807/House_erupts_in_chaos.html
Guess the lawmakers didn't get down to making any compromises on this one. Taxpayers from back home are keeping
a very close eye on how the congressionals from their districts on voting on things.
The subject of "undocumented
immigrants" has become a hot topic for taxpayers. Lo and behold, taxpayers are calling their representatives and their
senators. And we're sending e-mails and faxes.
Just to let you know, all you people up there under the Dome.
We're paying attention. And we're going to the polls with slips of paper in our pockets that have your voting results
If you don't vote the way we think you ought to, then we consider ourselves as not being represented
by you. In that event, I'll bet you have an opponent running against you who'd like to have my vote.
MURTHA HAS THE MOST BACON OF ALL
In an article this morning in The Hill, Rep.
Murtha managed to earmark some $150 million in pet projects for his district.
"Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.),
chairman of the House Appropriations defense panel, has secured the most earmarked dollars in the 2008 military spending bill,
followed closely by the panel’s ranking member Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.)."
Just got under the wire there,
guy. The new Ethics Reform Package goes to the White House for signature. Hopefully, after that, you're going to have
to spell out exactly what you intend to spend the money on.
And who knows -- maybe spending matters will somehow
manage to get on the floor of the House for debate.
Apparently Bill Young didn't exactly earmark chump change
either, coming in with a little more than $117 million. Read more at: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/murtha-nabs-150m-pork-2007-08-03.html
The problem is -- bacon frying smells like breakfast to me.
Then congressionals got greedy. Really
greedy. Now it all smells like BS. From the top where Nancy Pelosi sits, all the way down to the Running of the Pigs in Balogna,
SURE DIDN'T TAKE LONG FOR SOMEONE TO BLAME BUSH FOR THE BRIDGE COLLAPSE IN MINNESOTA
U.S. Senator Patty pointed her finger at Bush for not supporting the Democrats for spending more money
on critical infrastructure.
But hold on just a minute. Neal Boortz developed a list of pork projects/earmarks for
Curious that bridge repairs isn't on that list anywhere.
a look at Citizens for Government Waste's "The Pig Booklet" for the state of Minnesota for the year 2006. Take
a look at all of the "pork" projects. I'll give you a taste of a few:
Is it Bush's
fault that the congressionals from Minnesota didn't ask for some money to be appropriated for bridge repairs?
- The state bailout of the Minneapolis
Teacher's Retirement Fund, which puts state taxpayers on the hook for $972 million in unfunded liabilities
new $776 million Twins Stadium to be paid for with a Hennepin County sales tax increase -- (approved by state legislators
with no voter referendum)
- $97.5 million for the Northstar Commuter Rail line
- $34 million in subsidies to
ethanol producers that have seen a 300 percent increase in profits in the last year
- $30 million for bear exhibits
at the Minnesota and Como Zoos
- $12 million to renovate the Shubert Theater in downtown Minneapolis
- $1 million
for a replica Vikings ship in Moorhead
- $500,000 for a skating rink in Roseville
- $310,000 for a Shakespeare
festival in Winona
- $129,000 for state art grants for North Dakota museums and theaters
Should Bush had walked over to the Minnesota delegation and stuffed some good old cashola into their pockets and said, "Here's
some money for you folks in Minnesota. You need to really look at the safety of your bridges."
Next time you're
pointing fingers at the White House, think about how cozy and cute the new bear exhibit is going to be at your zoo.
Add that to the new sports stadium and you could have an additional $776 million.
Wake up all you people who
are elected. You took an oath of office to look after things for the taxpayers. When you let bridges fall on our heads, you
aren't looking after us.
Maybe your next campaign motto ought to be "Buy Bolts Not Bears."
Shame on each and every one of the politicians who could have brought up a budget request for bridge and road safety.
I think when taxpayers get killed because you don't look after public safety, you ought to be able to be recalled.
Immediately. Clean out your desk and get out of town. You have funerals to go to.
Read more: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1875744/posts
Thursday, August 2, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
The carport construction is done. Now I'm
doing guess what? -- Painting!
Got the interior nearly half finished yesterday. Then Quint convinced me that it
was too hot to be painting the inside of a closet. It was 93 degrees out.
Good for the pores, Quint. People pay
hard cash money to get this kind of pore cleansing at spas. Didn't you know that?
Well, I stepped out of the
carport into the shade of the backyard and walked over to the patio where he had brought me an ice cold tea. I was convinced.
I'll paint this morning after I finish my blog for today.
But what we did after I stopped painting makes even
less sense. We burned more rubbish. We inherited this giant pile of old limbs that have been pruned from trees, twigs and
all manner of dead tree parts.
So when the temperature reaches 94 degrees outside, it must be time to burn.
Me and my handy dandy little power saw make pretty quick work of little limbs. We has a lopper and a bow saw. For
really big jobs, he can always go get his chain saw but he hasn't seen fit to do that yet.
One of the neighbors
walked across her yard to our backyard and asked if we wanted some more trees to burn. We could have some of hers. I looked
over to her yard and sure enough -- she's got a good little pile started. Her name is Anna. She brings me tomatoes and
cucumbers. So maybe I will burn some of her yard trash.
But only if the temperature gets over 90 degrees, mind
Otherwise, I'll be somewhere on the premises painting something.
My motto is: If it doesn't
move in about 5 minutes, I either dust it or paint it.
BRIDGE COLLAPSE IN MINNESOTA
First of all, CNN has this video footage from a security camera:
According to the latest news we heard this morning, four souls are reported dead, many injured, and 20 missing.
The bridge collapsed at 6 pm last night. That would be about the time when the evening rush hour was in full bloom.
Terrorism has been ruled out. Not sure how the powers that be figured that out. But apparently they know things that
we don't know.
Please pray for all the wounded and for the families who have lost loved ones.
FISHER-PRICE RECALLING LOTS OF TOYS
No, it doesn't have anything to do with itty bitty
parts that could choke itty bitty babies.
This is worse.
These are toys coming in from China. At least
a million of them, says Fisher-Price. They are painted with lead paint.
Fisher-Price listed all the toys at this
Guess I won't be getting the Giggler Grabber Chef Cookie Monster for Christmas.
But be warned:
the toys carry the Fisher-Price label so if they go on sale just in time for Christmas -- seriously -- make real real sure
they didn't come from China.
EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 50 -- from Mark Stubbe
Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you h ave plenty of room at each side. With a 5-lb potato sack
in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Tryto reach a full
minute, and then relax.
Each dayyou'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks. Then try 50-lb potato sacks and then eventually try
to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack > in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full
minute. (I'm at this level.)
After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each
of the sacks.
EPHESIANS 2:10 -- YOUR BIBLE WATCHWORK FOR TODAY
we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
If you don't think you have something specific that you're supposed to be doing, go back and read the above verse
Each and every day of your life, there will be things required of you to do.
There will be people
who cross your path whom you are supposed to meet. For some reason that you do not know yet.
God prepared these
things in advance for us to do.
Okay, so maybe you're in tune with this verse and you think you've
been doing all the right things. But you still get these angry people popping up in your life.
Maybe -- just maybe
-- you haven't learned the lesson of this verse yet. Maybe angry people keep intersecting your path because your response
to them is not yet what God wants.
Since I can't read God's mind, I would not know the answer to that.
Becoming angry at or because of another person's anger is not exactly the peacemaker God has
Peacemakers are the people who are able to de-escalate conflict. They do not respond to other people's
anger with anger of their own. Peacemakers do not live on an island called "Bad Vibes."
up! As you go through today, be ever mindful that you may meet someone or may get into a situation that will challenge
you. Ask yourself if you are having an Ephesians 2:10 moment.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
The repairs to the carport are coming
along nicely. Don, the carpenter, has all the right tools, his measurements accurate so he bought the right amount of lumber
So my question is: Can I paint yet?
Painting is almost like a yoga experience for me,
except for the repetitive motions. I guess it's not yoga though unless I keep still and stay in one spot.
going to happen.
Quint and I both have noticed that our clothes are fitting differently. Not quite as snug. We
attribute that to going up and down a lot of stairs. All day long.
We don't need no stinkin' stairmaster.
And we have our cell phones when we can't find the other person. Or when we're getting ready to put up
a ceiling fan and need to turn off the power from the main switchbox which is in the basement.
Even I know that
it's very important to get the right switch so he can cut the juice. Cell phones come in very handy for that.
"How about this?"
"Is this it?"
One of his next projects is to put a schematic on the
inside door of the breaker box. That way he'd be able to tell right away. As it is, one wall of the dining room and the
ceiling in the kitchen were on the same switch. Who would have ever guessed?
I did get my peach preserves made
yesterday afternoon. I took a jar over to a neighbor, Anna, who had come up behind me at the checkout counter at the IGA.
She asked me if I needed some tomatoes to can.
You bet I can use some tomatoes. That was going to be tomorrow's
adventure -- driving out to the country and looking for farm stands to get a bushel of tomatoes. One bushel will give me eight
quarts of good old tomato sauce. Low salt and sugar free. No bug parts or the FDA allowed number of rat pellets or little
also allowable worms.
Just pure tomato sauce made in my own clean kitchen.
Today I planted yellow squash
in one of my very big containers. The experiment with the squash on the clothes line didn't work. The containers were
too small, but they were doing okay. I had some very little squashes. The problem was the watering. That was when we were
still driving back and forth and I have learned that container gardening requires some diligent, daily watering. Can't
just do it on weekends.
I'm hoping there's still time to get a few squash before frost. It doesn't
usually frost until the end of October so maybe there's time. We shall see.
It's an experiment. Life is
an experiment and for Quint and me, life is also an adventure that we're enjoying together. Hope you can say the same.
But you have to find your own adventurer.
OBAMA IS AN INSULT TO U.S. MILITARY
He runs his life as if he thinks life began here on earth the day of his birth.
He runs his political
campaign as if he thought the Oval Office is where the King of the World operates.
Obama says he's going to
invade Pakistan and hunt down terrorists. That's out of one side of his mouth. Out of the other side of his mouth, he's
been known to criticize George Bush for not respecting the sovereign power of Iraq. Seems like I recall at least on one occasion
where he thought Bush was being heavy handed in the Middle East.
He's operating as if he has the power to do
all these things.
He seems to forget that he would need some approvals along the way from Congress.
I don't think the President of the United States can just start running across borders of countries to ferret out terrorists.
In an article for Associated Press written by Nedra Pickler, Obama said, "... Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf must
do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters under an Obama presidency, or Pakistan
will risk a U.S. troop invasion and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid."
entire article at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070801/ap_on_el_pr/obama_terrorism_1
Oh, that's a good idea, Obama. Threaten to invade a sovereign nation.
And while you're at it,
threaten to withhold military aid.
Such threats will not endear you to your buddies on the left and certainly won't
earn you the respect of conservatives on the right.
Besides, I thought you were supposed to be a centrist.
When did you jump off the fence and become so hawkish? Or is this how he plans to "sit down with dictators" and
talk about stuff. That's what he said after one of those silly "debates."
IT ISN'T SO, GRANDPA
Now it seems like old Grandpa Hilton is saying all those threats of disinheriting
his blonde bombshell Paris were taken out of context. The inheritance is still intact and supposedly Paris will get hers,
just like the plans were originally written.
Can't these people make up their minds?
Hopefully he'll still give the bulk of his fortune to charities that help people get back on their feet. Maybe
that will be enough of a kick in the you know what to get Miss Priss Paris off of hers and start doing something useful with
We welcome July readers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, India, Latvia, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden,
Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam and United
This video is the most beautiful depiction of what happens
in the womb when the baby is developing and growing. The video was developed by Yale professor Alexander Tsiaras. Just beautiful.
Warning, though. Some of the images are graphic. But nothing gross. It is just a reminder to me that life is a beautiful baby
and life is absolutely precious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70&feature=player_embedded#!
July 29, 2012
Update on Quint: He
is making an incredible recovery. The skin cancer is essentially gone. When we met with the surgeon for a post-op appointment
on Friday, we learned that the biopsy of the frozen section shows all the cancer was removed. The incision is healing nicely.
It's about a 6" incision down the side of his face in front of the left ear. The doctor put so many stitches in that
any scar is hardly visible. Thanks to all for prayers you have been lifting up for his health. The surgeon says there are
dissolving stitches in three levels of tissue. We also met with our oncologist last week and he says the lymphocitic/leukemia
will continue to make Quint vulnerable to skin cancers. Please keep him in your prayers so that all his cancers, and mine
as well, will remain in remission.
I received the following about a child's reason for why he believes in God
from our friends, John and Sherre, in Wichita, KS:
Little Boy's Explanation of God
He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment,
to 'explain God.'
I wonder if any of us
could have done as well?
'One of God's main jobs is making people.
He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there
will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't
make grownups, just babies. I
think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up
time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'
'God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some
people, like preachers
and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to
the radio or TV because of this. Because
he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in
his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'
'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you
shouldn't go wasting
his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you
'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista [California]. At least
aren't any who come to our church.'
'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles
and trying to teach
the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him
preaching to them and they crucified him.
But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his
father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive
them and God said O.K.'
'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him
he didn't have to
go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps
his dad out by listening to prayers
and seeing things which are important for God to take care of
and which ones he can take care of himself without having
to bother God. Like a secretary, only more
'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of
them is on duty
all the time.'
'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to
Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And
sun doesn't come out at the beach untilnoon anyway.'
'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your
parents can't go everywhere
with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when
you're scared, in the dark or when you can't
swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big
'But. . .you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can
take me back
anytime he pleases.
And...that's why I believe in God.'
July 13, 2012
Quint is recuperating
from surgery on July 11, 2012. Surgeon removed a growth on left cheek that turned out to be squamous cell cancer. Prognosis
is good because doctor says he got good margins. Please continue to pray for him. He has a 4" incision on left cheek
from about the corner of his eye all the way down to jawbone. Looks worse than it is.
In another matter, this
link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2172551/Art-genius-Nine-year-old-painter-tipped-greatness-buyers-world-snap-work.html shows some incredible artwork that a young, 9-year old in England, artist has painted and his work is beginning to sell
July 1, 2012
I'm a Lutheran
and I sure wish the Lutheran Church had authored this video or one like it: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=D9vQt6IXXaM&hd
No matter, it's a message that needs saying so hats off to the Catholic church!
On another subject,
the temperature here in Middle Illinois at 6 p.m. as 102.8 degrees. That's really hot.
Stay safe out there. If
you do not have air conditioning, or if your AC goes out in this heat, sit in a tub of cool water. It will do wonders pulling
heat out of your body. And let's remember in prayers all those folks on the eastern seaboard who don't have electricity. They
don't even have fans to plug in.
Kind of reminds me of going to church when I was a kid. Oh, was that hot. And
remember those hand fans that funeral homes gave out free to churches? We wore ours out.
June 24, 2012
The heat is
the story here in the Midwest part of the United States. I can't tell you when the last time there was rain, but the corn
stalks are starting to look pretty wilted. The word "parched" comes to mind. The beans don't look any better either.
So the big conclusion that some people have arrived at is that God is punishing the United States because so many
people have turned away from Him?
And how many?
and doomers pontificate about how we're all going to die and go to hell can't give any numbers. Can't offer any hope.
Well, folks, don't you believe it. God is a God of love. He wants all of us to be saved.
And to those people
who think they can define the reasoning of God are being sacrilegious. They are talking when they should be listing to God.
My God is a God of love. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for our sins. Because of that, we are
assured of salvation and life eternal.
But there are those who are going through these crises of faith. They're
noisy. When God talks to you, listen to Him. It's that still, small voice inside you. And don't believe the naysayers who
think they have he last word on what means and what God intends to do. They don't know. They just don't know.
faith is what will bring you closer to God. Let Him into your hearts and listen to Him.
June 6, 2012
We don't laugh enough.
We are not light hearted enough. Way too serious. Oh, there are times when serious is good for you, but there are many more
days when we just are not enjoying a good laugh.
So someone sent me a link to Mark Lowry. He's a Christian comedian
and good for a real belly laugh, I can guarantee you.
Here's the link: http://jesus-loves-you.org/?p=6641
I'm going to You Tube and search for him and see if he's got other material. He's really funny.
May 15, 2012
Our U.S. Constitution
is not flawed. It's not dead. It's not irrelevant!
Those who think it's out of touch with today's "modern
thought" fail to realize that the U.S. Constitution is modernized each time the United States Supreme Court reviews a
law or an incident and decides whether the rights of our citizens are abridged or impeached.
The language of the
U.S. Constitution does, in fact, reside in a little book small enough to fit inside a man's jacket pocket or in a lady's handbag.
However, volumes and volumes of interpretive material fills libraries. Interpretation by the sitting Justices keeps our Constitution
May 12, 2012
Our God is awesome!
God controls the waters and the seas. Take a look at this video of the angry sea. http://www.dump.com/angryseas/
May 10, 2012
I am in the process of researching the involvement and the role that the National Road (U.S. 40) played in military
activities -- specifically troop movements. If you know of any such movements, please email me at email@example.com and put "National Road info" in the subject line. I'd be ever so grateful. If you do not want your name used, be
sure to tell me. Otherwise, I'd like to share that you found the information. This is for a funding opportunity for Effingham
County and it will focus on the role that the National Road has played in the significance of Effingham.
April 27, 2012
Well, that was
a nice little rest.
Since I've last posted, I've fretted that frost would get my lovely irises. It didn't. Nor
did the frost chip away at my roses. I have never had roses blooming in April before. They have exploded into full bloom.
Bright red blooms against our white house. Wow!
And the irises are just as beautiful. I have some really deep purple
irises, light lavender, some two-toned purple and white, bright yellow, a lighter lemon chiffon color, a pink iris and a peach
colored one that is a double.
The spirea finally decided it would bloom too.
All in all, considering
that I did absolutely nothing last year in the flower bed, it's amazing that my little troopers have done as well as they
have. The irises apparently are no longer upset with me for snipping them back at the end of January and early February. Again
in March when they started sending up things that looked like they'd bloom.
We've still had frost tucked in between
80 degree days but nothing serious enough to hurt my darling little flowers.
Quint and I are doing well. We continue
to see our oncologist every three months and get blood work to check markers for cancer that might have decided to invade
us again. So far, so good. Platelet counts are coming back to normal and we're working on our stamina.
I do have
to take some medication for five years -- well, four years now -- that inhibits estrogen. It will keep breast cancer from
recurring. Problem is, it makes the long bones in my legs and muscles in the thighs really ache. Nothing that can't be tolerated
though. Compared to the benefits of what the medicine does for me, I'd say I came out the winner at this point.
lymphoma is still in remission too, so we're pretty health for the shape we're in.
And now I'm going to fix us
a snack of yogurt, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas and walnuts. Then we're going to watch some spy thrillers on Netflix
Nice to be back and thank you for not giving up on me.
April 10, 2012
I am getting
over the grandaddy of all colds. I expect to be better by morning, after having laid around all day today. Finally just gave
it up and stayed in bed.
Until now, that is.
And you know how I love kids and their entrepreneural spirit.
Well, here's a video of a young lad in east LA who build an arcade out of cardboard boxes in his dad's auto parts store. His
name is Caine and he's 9 years old. It's just precious! http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/unplugged/nine-old-cardboard-arcade-launches-college-fund-182844242.html
Oh, and one other thing before I head back to my comfy easy chair. We have frost warnings for tonight. 30 degrees!
My irises and roses are blooming. Wonder how that's going to set with them.
I just thought I'd mention something
about all those spam emails and telemarketer calls you may be getting. Even if you're signed up for "do not call"
lists, you still can get calls. Here's how. If you take part in an online voting request, or if you call to participate in
a TV vote, you are setting up what is known as a "special relationship." Special relationships with a state allows
any advertiser of that station of promo outfit to put you on their callers who are exempt from the "do not call"
If you live in Illinois and you get a telemarketer call, just tell the caller that Illinois is a "do
not call" state and you do not want to be on their lists. They are required to hang up at that point. I've tried it and
Also, here's a tip for getting rid of all those preapproved gimmicks that find their way into your mailbox.
When I get the offers, the first thing I do is draw a big diagnonal line through the offer and write VOID on it. Then I stuff
the document back into the self-addressed postage paid envelope that they provide. The advertisers are going to stop sending
you stuff pretty quick rather than pay postage twice.
April 5, 2012
Thursday - the first part of the Easter trilogy.
Maundy Thursday was the night when Jesus shared bread and wine
with his disciples and commemorated the event that we've followed in the Lutheran Church for ages since that time.
When I was confirmed on Palm Sunday many years ago, Maundy Thursday was the first opportunity I was given as a new confirmant
to take my first communion. It was an awesome experience then, and it continues to be every chance I get.
that it is the same for you as you draw near to the Easter story.
Tomorrow is Good
Friday. Part 2 with the significance of Christ dying on the cross for our sins.
And then, of course, there's Easter
Sunday when we celebrate Christ's resurrection.
Sin and death no longer have a hold on us because Christ died for
April 4, 2012
Ready to watch
a miracle? Here's a video showing a woman in an SUV sinking. She couldn't swim. The SUV sank. But the miracle is not that
she was somehow pulled from the SUV but the after-story: http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2012/04/woman-drowning-in-her-suv-is.html --
May the blessings of Easter catch you up in the miracles going around you every day. Life is a miracle.
God brings miracles to us today just as He did thousands of years ago when Jesus died and rose again. I pray that you will
get caught up in the miracle of the Easter story all over again. Christ died for our sins and rose again, and because He rose
again, we have eternal life guaranteed to us by our Heavenly Father.
April 2, 2012
Want to know what
video of a couple of famous dancers has gotten more than 118 million hits? None other than the big routine from Dirty
Another trivia question that some of you may know the answer to has to do with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's
failure at sea. April 15 is the date of this tragedy. If you thought most of the folks on board perished in the icy waters,
you'll be surprised to learn that only half died. Well, maybe "only" is not a good word. One would be too many on
a ship that was touted as unsinkable. There were 2,223 passengers and crew. 1,517 died. A little more than half.
April 1, 2012
If you haven't
heard this song by the Barn Again Gang -- On My Father's side -- am sure you'll enjoy it. And thanks to you, Joyce
from Frankfort, IL for sending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ddoyfn6g4
And here's Kaitlyn Maher, a 4-year old, singing in America's Got Talent. Mind you, she's had 26,585,501 hits on
her debut on the national stage. She is absolutely adorable! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwAbtizFCzo&feature=related
Kaitlyn Maher again, this time singing Ave Maria - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR0AXNtwqZE&feature=related
And she got to sing for President and First Lady Laura Bush: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpt_UU96EG8&feature=related
Here she is singing the National Anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhD9kKb3hSM&feature=related
I have not ever heard the story about the "Praying Hands" so I am especially thankful to
Cody in Warrensburg, MO for sending Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with
eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob,
the father and head of the household,
a goldsmith by profession, worked almost
eighteen hours a day at his tradeand any other paying chore he could find in
Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder children, Albrecht and
Albert, had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew
full well that their father would
never be financially able to send either of them
to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.
After many long discussions
at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally
worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down
into the nearby
mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy.
Then, when that
brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he
would support the other brother at the academy, either
with sales of his artwork or,
if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.
They tossed a coin on a Sunday
morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and
went off to Nuremberg.
Albert went down into the dangerous
mines and, for the next four years, financed his
brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation.
etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his
professors, and by the
time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees
for his commissioned works.
When the young
artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive
dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant
homecoming. After a long and
memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored
at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the
years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht
to fulfill his ambition. His closing
words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn.
can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream,and I will take care of you."
All heads turned in eager
expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat,
tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head
from side to side while
he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no....no ..no."
Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long
table at the faces he loved, and then, holding
his hands close to his right cheek,
he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me.
... Look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every
finger have been smashed at
least once, and lately I have been suffering from
arthritis so badly In my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass
to return your
toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush.
No, brother ....for
me it is too late."
More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful
pen and silver-point sketches, water colors, charcoals, woodcuts, and
copper engravings hang in every great museum in
the world, but the odds are great
that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works.
More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction
hanging in your home or office.
One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer
painstakingly drew his brother's
abused hands with palms together and thin fingers
stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands,"
but the entire
world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed
his tribute of
love "The Praying Hands."
March 30, 2012
I have to
share with you that the operators of this web site have become increasingly frustration to work with. The way I see it, I
have two choices: (1) shut down the site altogether and discontinue the blogs, or (2) find a site that is more responsive
to what I want from a web site.
In the meantime, one of the questions that Jesus asked is #80 -- If you do not
believe Moses' writings, how will you believe me? (John 5:47)
Old Testament writings often come under fire as being
"irrelevant" or "out of date" or just "too old."
All of those excuses are flawed,
in my view.
In the first place, the Word of God is eternal.
Because the Word is eternal, it transcends
time and space.
For that reason, when you read the Bible, the breath of God is still on the paper; still on the
words. The Bible is the Word of God. It will never get "too old" or "out of date."
the Word. Absorb it; take it in. If you find any challenge whatsoever about understanding what some passages mean, then the
Counselor will be sent to you, just for the asking. Just pray that Jesus will send you His Counselor to assist you in your
Blessings to you in your spiritual journey through the Word of God.
March 27, 2012
Here is one
of the most precious tapes I've ever heard of a child: http://www.maniacworld.com/stay-calm-dad.html From my friend Shirley in Arizona. It's just precious!
This is a video I found on my own. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rtt-TmReaw&feature=related I love the innocence of this little girl. I pray that she will hold onto her dreams all her life and never let anyone
snatch them away from her.
God keeps the dreams of children in his right hand pocket. And woe be to those who
steal the dreams of a child.
Today I am going to discuss Question #66 from Luke 18:7 -- Will not God then
secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?
In the first place, I consider myself
one of God's chosen ones because I claim the inheritance of being a child of God.
And how did I get to
be a child of God? Simple. I believe that Jesus Christ, God's only Son, died for my sins and offered me salvation. By doing
this, He names says that I share in the inheritance of God's richest blessings.
And you most certainly can enjoy
this same inheritance and become a Child of God by believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins too.
that simple. You have only to believe.
This is my right, in God's own words. He says: Will not God then secure
the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? I believe that because I know that God does not lie.
He's good for His promises and when He says He's going to secure my rights, what do I have to fear?
And do I call
out to God day and night? Yes. In my car when I head out to work. I pray that some idiot does not plow into me head-on. I
pray that I don't get tee-boned by someone running a red light or a stop sign.
I pray that when I enter that miraculous
place of empty thoughts of what seems to be unconsciousness, that the veil will be lifted in the morning and I will re-awaken
to a new day. Sleep itself is a miracle. We fall into a mindless abyss every night and awaken refreshed to a new day. Is that
a miracle or what? How does God do that?
I remember reading or hearing this "what if" thought that when
you awaken in the morning, what if the only things you had in your life were the things you thanked God for yesterday! Kind
of put a new perspective on things for me. Instead of just nagging and nagging -- which I can be pretty good at -- for things
I think I want, or things I think I need -- I stop every day and thank God for what He gives me. The gifts are enormous and
I only get them because He is a gracious God. I certainly deserve nothing.
But all day and all night I talk to
God. We have an ongoing conversation. Help me with this, please. Oh, and thank you for that. Or how about all those problems
that you just can't seem to solve. Then He says, "I can help you with that." Or, after the problem is solved and
I nod a quiet thank you, He says "All you had to do was ask."
God is my friend. This King of the Universe
took notice of me when I was about four years old. That's when I started talking to Him in my head. I knew it was God because
I learned about Him in Sunday School. My Sunday School teacher told me I could just talk to God simply like he was an ordinary
person. I took her at her word and have never thought of God as anything but.
Even though I know for sure, now
that I have a few more years on me, that God is nothing ordinary at all. But I also know that He is never too busy to secure
my rights as one of His chosen ones.
Enjoy your day and rest easy in your sleep, dear friends. God is watching
out for you.
March 26, 2012
#32 that Jesus asked was, "Could you not watch for me one brief hour?" -- Matt. 26:40
There are lots
and lots of ways to travel through the Lenten season on the way to Calvary. And the reasons for doing things differently are
many and varied.
People offer up the thought that they can worship anywhere. They feel just as close to God, they
say, when they are listening to a beautiful piece of music, or walking through the woods in the late afternoon.
things are true.
But it seems to me that if you want to go down that path to Calvary, you ought to do it the way
that Jesus wants you to do it. Not the way you think, in your not-so-infinite pseudo-wisdom of coming up with these cute
little excuses. Cute, you think.
Truth is, Jesus wants you to go to your church, or your temple and watch
with him there, in that place.
This question that Jesus asks from Matthew sounds like a plea to me. Couldn't
you watch with me one hour?
Well, sure you could, if you thought it was important enough.
and I go to Lenten services and the church is not even half full. Where is everybody? Working? Playing? Doing homework? Driving
around? Out to dinner? Where are you? Those who couldn't come to this worshiping place to watch with Jesus one hour.
What if I told you that I had learned that Jesus was going to make one of those rare earthly appearances for one week only.
He was actually going to come to church because He wanted to talk to me.
I'd move heaven and earth to get there
on time. I want to meet this man while He's still alive. You bet I'd watch with him an hour. In fact, I'll stay up all night
if he stuck around to talk to me.
And talks to me He does. When I'm sitting in that pew, I can almost feel his
eyes burning a hole in my skin. Kind of at the back of my neck. I can almost feel his hand on my shoulder while he bends around
to look at me and whispers to me, "I'm so glad you came tonight. I'm doing this all for you, you know."
He's my Savior. We're connected. It must break His heart to see so many empty pews when they should be overflowing with
people who are willing to give Him one hour of their busy schedules.
"Why couldn't you watch with me one
hour?" He asks. It's a question you'll have all of eternity to answer Him one day.
March 25, 2012
Now this is precious!
It's a two year old dancing to Jailhouse Rock. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wt824D1Bqg He's got some good moves too.
March 24, 2012
At this time
of year, one of my favorite places on earth is Kentucky when the dogwood and redbud are in full bloom -- and nowhere are they
more beautiful than my home town -- Paducah, Kentucky.
Just look at these gorgeous photos and you'll see what I
These quips come from my cousin who lives in a small town not too far from Houston -- well, in Texas, 200 miles
is a "small distance" I think: THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE:
Living on Earth is expensive,
but it does include a free trip
around the sun every year.
How long a minute is
depends on what side of the
bathroom door you're on.
Birthdays are good for you;
the more you have,
the longer you live.
Happiness comes through doors you
didn't even know you left open.
Ever notice that the people who are late
are often much jollier
than the people who have to wait for them?
Most of us go to our grave
with our music still inside of us.
If WalMart is lowering prices every day,
how come nothing is free yet?
You may be only one person in the world,
but you may also be the world to one person.
Some mistakes are too much fun
to only make once.
Don't cry because it's over;
smile because it happened.
We could learn a lot from crayons:
some are sharp, some are pretty,
some are dull, some have weird names,
and all are different colors....but
they all exist very nicely in the same box.
A truly happy person is one who
can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Have an awesome day, and
know that someone
who thinks you're great
has thought about you today!..
"And that person was me.".....
Please don't keep this message
to yourself.....send it to those
who mean so much to you.... "NOW".
Thank you, Frances. I love the one about some mistakes. Hope you don't have too many people
out there who are all to eager to point each and every little mistake you make. Those, I think, are the ones who go to
their graves with the music still living inside them. It's just too much "vinegar energy" to look for flaws in people.
And God knows I have more than my share, it seems. But here's the thing: I don't make mistakes on purpose and I never
make mistakes with the idea of making someone's misery index go up. I just thank God that I am surrounded by true
friends who cut me some slack. You know the ones. They really care about you. I like the idea that we are all living in a
big crayon box. That has to be one of those lessons learned in kindergarten. But then, I'm old enough to realize that
we didn't have kindergarten when I started school.
I celebrated kicking off my educational pursuits by going down
the big slide on the playground with a somersault from the top. I was grounded from recess for the rest of the week.
These beautiful thoughts also come from Frances:
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW THAT IT IS CHRISTIAN
PERSON WEEK AND YOU SHOULD SEND THIS TO
ALL BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN PEOPLE
When I say that 'I am
a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living. I'm
whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'
When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that
I stumble and need Christ
to be my guide.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm
need His strength to carry on.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have
failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws
are far too
visible, but God believes I am worth it.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting
of pain. I have my share of
heartaches, so I call upon His name.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier
than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who
received God's good grace, somehow!
Today is Beautiful Christian Person's
Pretty is as Pretty does but, Beautiful is just plain Beautiful..
I'm supposed to send this to Beautiful
and you are one of them!!!
March 21, 2012
sermon text at our 5th Midweek Lenten Service in Matthew 28:16-20 comes the command of Jesus that we are to go into all the
world and make disciples of all men.
Well, I don't know about you but I can't go to the airport and get a ticket
to go to some faraway place and work in a mission field. But those very words are the marching orders of the church.
What I can do is partner with the Lutheran Women's Missionary League and be a supplier of stuff that missionaries
can use. Quilts, for instance. Quilts are made in Lutheran churches all across this country. They find their way into orphanages.
In hospitals. In remote villages where they are placed over a low branch and become the roof of a home. If the villager is
lucky, a second quilt could be a floor. We need more quilts -- more than the 355,000 that have been made this winter. That
means there will be an unmet need.
Our church is going to put baby kits together. These baby kits will have a few
diapers in them. Some tee shirts. Some tiny little caps. Diaper pins and little sleepers. We're making the receiving blankets
and it will have a bunch of baby supplies in it, then pinned with the diaper pins. Missionaries can take these baby kits and
go into villages and give them to new mothers who often don't have clothes for newborn babies. And if they have a receiving
blanket at all, it was made from their old clothes that were too worn out to use anymore. Imagine the joy when a new mom gets
a bright, colorful receiving blanket that has been made with so much love and joy and prayers!
Yes, the women of
the Lutheran Women's Missionary League can partner with missionaries who are in a position to tell others first-hand what
Jesus has done for them. They can ground others by bringing them the Word of God.
And how long are we supposed
to do all this?
Jesus says "Until the end of the age." That is, we're supposed to keep on keeping on
until Jesus comes back for us.
In the meantime, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of ways that
I can reach out to people around the world and spread the wonderful message that Jesus Christ died for our sins and because
of his death on the cross, we can claim salvation as a child of God.
So this is the reason I write this blog. It's
my way of going around the world to talk to people about what Christ has done for each one of us. That would be you. And it
would be me. My computer is my magic carpet and on it, I can ride through cyberspace to reach you in 23 countries so far this
God bless each and every one of you.
March 20, 2012
results in Illinois: http://www.wthitv.com/subindex/elections/results Not all results are in at this writing.
If you are anywhere near middle Illinois on March 23, you could do
yourself a favor and go to the Effingham Performance Center at 8:00 p.m. and catch the show headlined by Scott Wattles of
Blue Suede Crew. Tickets are $5. He's an incredible performer for those of us who wax nostalgia over Elvis, Roy Orbison, Marty
Robbins, and a host of others. What a voice!
We had an opportunity to hear him for the first time on Sunday evening.
All Gospel songs. And a standing ovation for How Great Thou Art!
If I tried that it would come under the
category of making a joyful noise, but I am filled with appreciation for anyone who can sing really well. We are fortunate
because own Pastor Rensner is also a wonderful vocalist. I love listening to someone who loves to sing. And both these gentlemen
Earthquake near Acapulco registers 7.6! That's a really hefty earthquake even if it is about 200 miles
from Acapulco. God is sure rattling the earth these days. Two hundred miles is nothing when an earthquake ripples its way
through the earth.
It is still 78 degrees in the house. And Quint mowed the grass -- or part of it -- yesterday
afternoon. Don't remember that happening in March. Ever. We sure do enjoy having the windows open and soft warm breezes blowing
across us when we're sleeping though.
We pray for God's blessings to all of you. Some of you are living in dangerous area and you are especially in our prayers.
And we thank you for prayers too.
March 19, 2012
quote: PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU
SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM
It's time for a patriotic song and this just arrived from Shirley, my favorite snow bird who has not
returned from Arizona yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TPgJSZf5Vw&feature=youtu.be
And here's a cute little story sent by our friends John and Sherre in Wichita:
Subject: A New Pet
A single guy decided life would be more fun if he had a pet.
So he went to the pet store and told the owner
That he wanted to buy an unusual pet.
After some discussion, he finally bought a talking centipede,
(100-legged bug), which came in a little white box
To use for his house.
He took the box back home, found a good spot for the box,
And decided he would start off by taking his new pet
To church with him.
So he asked the centipede in the box,
"Would you like to go
To church with me today?
We will have a good time."
But there was no answer from his new pet.
This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes
And then asked again,
"How about going
To church with me
And receive blessings?"
But again,there was no answer
From his new friend and pet.
So he waited a few minutes more,
Thinking about the situation.
The guy decided to invite the centipede one last time.
This time he put his face up against
The centipede ' s house and shouted,
"Hey, in there!
Would you like to go
ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ......
Came out of the box,
"I heard you the first time!
I ' m putting my shoes on!"
March 17, 2012
the day when the whole world is Irish. That includes my cousin, Mark, who sends this blessing. It's beautiful poetry by Phil
Coulter and narrated by Roma Downey. I thank you Mark for this beautiful blessing and, in turn, send it along to all my friends:
http://www.andiesisle.com/ThisBlessingIsForYou.html Looking at the beautiful photos, I am reminded of a wonderful vacation that Quint and I took to Ireland a few years
ago. It's a beautiful country and I got an answer to why the green grass is so vibrant and emerald colored. Supposedly it's
because of the high level of minerals in the soil, most particularly calcium. And that's one of the reasons why Queen Elizabeth
sends here pregnant horses to Ireland to deliver. Munching on good Irish green grass makes for healthy bones for the baby
horse in the mom's womb, and also when the little baby horse starts to grow and develop. The grass really is emerald colored.
They aren't just kididng.
Ready for a little humor? This comes from my friend Cody in Warrensburg, MO:
Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his
Plane arrived there was a limousine
there to transport him to his home.
As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.
'You know' he said, 'I am 87 years old and I have never
Driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove
it for a while?'
The driver said,
'No problem. Have at it.'
Billy gets into the driver's
seat and they head off
Down the highway.
A short distance away
Sat a rookie State Trooper operating his
first speed trap.
The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.
The trooper pulled out
And easily caught the limo
And he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.
The young trooper walked
up to the driver's door
And when the glass
Was rolled down,
He was surprised to see
Who was driving.
He immediately excused himself and went back to his car
And called his supervisor.
'I know we are supposed
To enforce the law....
But I also know that
Given certain courtesies.
I need to know what
I should do because
I have stopped a
The supervisor asked,
'Is it the governor?'
The young trooper said,
he's more important
The supervisor said,
'Oh, so it's the president.'
'No, he's even more
Important than that.'
The supervisor finally asked,
then, who is it?'
The young trooper said,
'I think it's Jesus,
Because he's got Billy Graham
for a chauffeur!'
Smile - God loves you! I ask the Lord to bless you, as I pray for you today;
To guide you
and protect you, as you go along your way
God's love is always with you, God's promises are true.
you give God all your cares, believe with all your might that God will see you through.
March 16, 2012
I see a lot
of anxious people who come for counseling. And even though anxious people want very much to not be anxious anymore, they resist
doing the very thing that un-anxious people know all about. That is, un-anxious people live their lives on a foundation of
faith. Christ lives in their hearts. The Holy Spirit is used as a daily ever-ready counselor.
In going down the
list of 100 Questions That Jesus Asked, I come to Luke 12:26 which asks: If even the smallest things
are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?
It's a humbling thought that we don't
have all that much control over the external events of our lives. For instance, there's that old Liar, Satan, who likes to
poke his nose into every facet of our business. He'd like to think we're easy pickings for his nasty little harvest. And beware
that you say such things as, "I'd give anything ..." Satan is the one who will seize that opportunity and yes, he
can grant your wishes, too. Many times he does. Then he comes back for payment from you a nickel at a time.
want wealth? Satan will give it to you. Then what? How many lives have been ruined by winning the lottery? But you say you'd
like to just try it? Don't bother. Satan doesn't play fair. He wants to own you, lock stock and barrel.
on the other hand, says, Do my work and I will prosper you. God is not against prosperity. It's not money that gets
people in trouble. Rather, it's the love of moneythat leads to sin. The love of money leads to greed and corruption.
People who are thousandaires strive to become millionaires. Millionaires strive to become billionaires. No matter how weather
they are, they are never satisfied with what they have. Prosperity, on the other hand, comes with contentment.
we are prosperous we thank the Lord that we have enough to spare and some left to share.
Lots of people are anxious
about money because they have this idea that they want more and more and more, and never realizing that they don't have enough,
and probably will never have enough to suit them.
But money isn't the only thing that causes so much anxiety. It's
the fear that we're never going to be in control of situations or events in our lives.
When you look at your life,
what is it that you think you do have control over? Your children? Your addicted spouse? Your job? Your ability to drive down
the street and not have an accident? Your shopping for food and making the assumption that the food hasn't been tampered with
by an idiot who has figured out a way to slip a poison into your food without it being detected until you get sick and are
rushed to a hospital? Or you order and egg at a restaurant and get a dose of salmonella.
How's that control thing
working out for you?
But here's what you do. First of all, get down on your knees and pray to God. Pray to Jesus
Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and help you figure things out better. God likes our prayers better when
we are reverent, I've found. That's why kneeling is best; it's humbling.
Don't want to do that? Well, you don't
have to. Life can continue the way it's been going for you if you are filled with fears and anxieties. But if you want your
life to change, let Jesus Christ into your heart. He has solutions for you that you can't even imagine.
Master of the universe and it's Jesus Christ who is the agent of change in your life, not you.
March 15, 2012
Oh my, what
a beautiful day we had today. It warmed up to a perfect 74 degrees. Soft, gentle breezes. Then there was this dark, ugly row
of clouds that I had my eye on as I drove to work. It was about twenty miles away. Never did get a drop of rain. The clouds
scooted east and stayed out of my way. The storm must have hit Detroit. I saw some pretty ugly video of tornadoes over there
late this afternoon. Lots of damage and rubble. Hope there were no casualties.
On another subject, I have been
thinking about compassion a lot these days. The people who are able to express and share it with others are so welcome in
my world. Here's the deal. We all have to fashion our responses to other people similarly to what our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ, would do.
Compassion and gentle tenderness. And love and kindness. And helping one another.
comes from good friend Shirley all the way from Arizona:
This is SIMPLY AWESOME!I’ve never seen this
before! Whoever put “The Resume of
Jesus Christ” together is surelya blessing to us all! Please share
it! The last
sentence says it all...
The Resume of Jesus Christ
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible . Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior
My name is Jesus -The
Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my resume because
I'm seeking the top management position in your
heart. Please consider my
accomplishments as set forth in my resume.
I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)
formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)
I breathed into man the breath of life,
(See Genesis 2:7)
I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)
The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See
I've only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49 ).
never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
My employer has nothing
but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15 -17)
Skills Work Experiences
Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering
the poor to be poor no
more, healing the broken hearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick,
sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See
am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell
safely and shall not fear evil,
(See Proverbs 1:33 ).
Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to
cleanse you of your
sins, (See I John 1:7-9)
I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge,
wisdom and understanding,
(See Proverbs 2:6).
In me are hid all of the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).
My Word is so powerful; it has been
described as being a lamp unto your feet and a
light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).
I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).
I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting
of all times, (See
Genesis 1:26 ).
I laid down my life so that you may live, (See
II Corinthians 5:15 ).
I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind and made a
show of them openly, (See
Colossians 2:15 ).
I've miraculously fed the poor, healed
the sick and raised the dead!
There are many more major accomplishments, too many
to mention here. You can read
them on my website, which is located at: www dot - the BIBLE. You don't need
Internet connection or computer to access my website.
Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing, salvation,
deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.
Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate
qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly
direct your paths,
(See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See
John 6:47 ). When can I start? Time is of
the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15 ).
Send this resume to everyone you know,
you never know
may have an opening!
Thanks for your help.
March 14, 2012
I just got
this link from my friend in the Quad Cities area in northern Illinois. It's an eagle mom sitting on her nest. And the article
points out that the nest if seven feet in diameter! http://www.alcoa.com/locations/usa_davenport/en/info_page/eaglecam.asp
Got this from Mary, a friend who lives in Springfield. It comes to her from an attorney. And just an aside, when
your credit card is stolen, you do know that you have to file the report in the police department where the fraud/theft took
place, don't you? There's lot of good advice here and I thank you, Mary, for sending this. I'm going to write "photo
ID required" on each card as I receive new ones. That's a great idea!
All Credit Card Users Advice
Advice for all credit card users posted by Bluwolf at Caps Corner
Sunday morning 03/11/2012
bluwolf] Read this and make a copy
for your files in case you need to refer to it
we should all
take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent
the following out to the
employees in his
1.Do not sign the back of your credit cards.
Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'
you are writing checks to pay
on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the
line. Instead, just put the last four
numbers. The credit card company
knows the rest of the number, and anyone
who might be handling your check as it
passes through all the check processing
channels won't have access to it.
3.Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box use that instead
of your home address. If you do not have a PO
Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.
You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get
the contents of your wallet on photocopy machine. Do both sides of each
license, credit card, etc. You will know what
you had in your wallet and all of
the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in
a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here
or abroad. We've all heard horror
stories about fraud that's committed on us in
stealing a Name, address,Social Security number, credit cards..
Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my
wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the
thieves ordered an expensive
monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line
to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my
driving record information online, and more.
But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
5.We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately.
But the key is having the toll free numbers and
your card numbers handy so you
know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
6.. File a police
report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc.,
were stolen. This proves to credit providers you
were diligent, and this is a
first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). But here's what is
most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)
Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations
immediately to place a fraud
alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had
heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an
application for credit was made over the Internet
in my name. The alert means
any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they
to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I
was advised to do this, almost two
weeks after the theft, all the damage had
been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves'
purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no
additional damage has been done,
and the thieves threw my wallet away this
weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about
your wallet, if it has been
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289 1-800-680 7289
4.) Social Security Administration
(fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along
just about everything. If you are willing to pass this information along, it
could really help someone that you care
March 13, 2012
It has been
a really long day at an all day board meeting for Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML). The location of the meeting is
some 95 miles from home. We passed a resolution for mission grants in the amount of $75,000.
The women of the LWML
are amazing. They collect small amounts of change on a regular basis and add them all together and pretty soon, there are
thousands of dollars in our district, and almost two million at the national level. Then the money is sent all around the
world to help feed hungry children, start new churches, help church workers go to school, and a wide variety of projects that
One of the member groups, called Societies, is finishing up some 170 quilts they have been making
this winter. Another group, from my zone, has made 127 quilts. These quilts will be sent to Lutheran World Relief and shipped
to people around the world wherever they are needed.
It's a long day to meet for quarterly board meetings but
it's refreshing to partner with so many other women of faith who share a single commitment to help make the world a better
place to live in.
We had a mission pastor speak at our church last Sunday and he tells of the horrible poverty
in Central America. Did you know that there are children who do not have clothes to wear. And they eat maybe once every two
or three days?
Why aren't more people on fire with a passion to join in a partnership with churches that are working
hard in these poverty-stricken countries? These are the groups that make sure almost 100% of any money that's collected goes
right where it's needed. And much of that money is spent distributing the goods that are collected.
Pray for the
hungry and the naked children who live in squalor and poverty.
God bless you, each and every one.
March 11, 2012
the day when it feels like we've moved into another time zone -- one just to the west of us because the sun stays up longer.
My dear friend Joyce sent me this link to a video that is nothing short of adorable.
It's about a mother black bear and her three newborn cubs getting tagged in the wilds of Ontario. The commentator
is pretty funny too. Thank you, Joyce.
Here's another one from Joyce. It's about a young woman who's talking to
her grandpa about the ipad she gave him. He assures her that he's using it and knows all about the apps, etc. Watch this:
-- See, don't tell fibs.
And this comes from my cousin, Frances, in southern Texas:
How children perceive their Grandparents......
1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under
eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before.
After she applied her lipstick and
started to leave, the little one
said, "But Grandma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!" I
probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about
kissing the toilet paper good-bye....
2. My young
grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday.
He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 80. My grandson was
for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"
3. After putting her grandchildren
to bed, a grandmother changed into
old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she
children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience
grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed
their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left
the room, she heard the three-year-old
say with a trembling voice,
"Who was THAT?"
4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter
what her own
childhood was like. "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing
made from a tire; it hung
from a tree in our front yard. We rode our
pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods."
The little girl
was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said,
"I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"
5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you
know how you and God are alike?" I mentally
polished my halo and I
said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.
6. A little
girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's
word processor. She told him she was writing a story.
it about?" he asked.
"I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."
7. I didn't know
if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I
decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color
was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I
continued. At last, she headed for the
door, saying, "Grandma, I think
you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"
When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept
the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting
insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I
did, Billy whispered, "It's no
use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are
coming after us with flashlights."
9. When my grandson asked me how
old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm
not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised "Mine
I'm 4 to 6."
10.. A second grader came home from school and said to her
guess what? We learned how to make babies
today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep
her cool. "That's interesting." she said... "How do you make babies?"
replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."
11. Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence
about a public servant,"
said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder
The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you
know what pregnant means?" she asked.
said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child."
12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren
to their home one
day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the
fire truck was a Dalmatian
dog. The children started discussing the
"They use him to keep crowds back," said one child.
"No," said another. "He's just for good luck.."
A third child brought the argument to a close."They
use the dogs," she
said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."
13. A 6-year-old was asked where
his grandma lived. "Oh," he said,
"she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her.
Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to the
14. Grandpa is the smartest
man on earth! He teaches me good things,
but I don't get to see him enough to get as smart as him!
Grandparents are funny, when they bend over, you hear gas leaks
and they blame their dog.
March 7, 2012
Got this earnest
prayer from a dear friend, Diane, who lives in Hidalgo:
Hi Lord, its me.* *We are getting older and
things are getting bad here.*
*Gas prices are too high, no jobs, food and heating costs too high.* *I
have taken you out of our schools, government and even* *Christmas,
but Lord I'm asking you to come back* *and re-bless
America .* *We really
need you!* *There are more of us who want you than those who don't!* *Thank
Lord,* *I Love you.* *If you agree, send it on---if not just delete.*
*Only you & the Lord will know.*
*"Life without God is** **like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."*
As a side note, there
is a prayer group that stops to pray at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. The prayer is for America to return to its Christian
roots and rid Washington, D. C. of all corrupt politicians. People all over the country are joining together in this common
prayer. Join in if you can.
Last night was Ladies Aid at church. What a privilege it is to meet with other women
of like Christian values and to share God's word in a Bible Study, then our hostess for the evening, Melissa, made a wonderful
spread of fresh fruit. She also made cookies but I didn't have any. It seems that sugar has become my enemy since learning
that I have gout that settled in my lower back and my right thumb. The medicine that I now take is for people who specifically
took Cytoxan as a chemo treatment for breast cancer. So, no sugary desserts. But then, since Quint is diabetic,
Splenda has become my friend. And I can also get chocolate covered cherries from Figi's and have them shipped to me. Yummmmmmy!
It's really windy here. So bad that the windmill has blown over twice in the last day or so. I also heard that
there were 90 mph gusts in Las Vegas. Not that anybody who goes to Las Vegas goes outside to stand on the sidewalks to enjoy
the weather. I mean, they don't even have clocks in the casinos. They'd probably like it if people took their watches off,
but that's not happening much either.
Got this from both cousins, Mark and Alan, so you know it's serious
Can't eat pork,
Can't eat chicken,
Can't eat Beef, Mad cow
Can't eat eggs, Salmonella.
eat fish, heavy metal poisons in their waters.
Can't eat fruits and veggies E coli, insecticides and herbicides.
I believe that leaves Chocolate
and ice cream!!!!!!!!
Remember - - - 'STRESSED'
March 5, 2012
Got this poignant
story from cousin Mark. Enjoy! Gratitude is a acquired pleasure.Have a great day full of love and happiness.
Change Your Thinking
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed
to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain
the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next
to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked
for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement
military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could
sit up, he would pass
the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world
would be broadened and enlivened
by all the activity and colour of the world
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young
lovers walked arm in arm amidst
flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city
skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by
the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the
other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine
this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye
as the gentleman by the window portrayed it
with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
water for their baths only to find the
lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate,
the other man asked if he could be moved next to
the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making
sure he was
comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to
take his first look at the
real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had
described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not
even see the wall.
She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'
is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but
happiness when shared, is doubled.
And these quips from "kids in church" comes from dear friend,
Cody, in Warrensburg, MO:
A little boy was in a relative's wedding.
As he was coming down the aisle, he would
take two steps,
stop, and turn to the crowd.
While facing the crowd, he would put his hands
up like claws and roar.
So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the
As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard
by the time he reached the pulpit.
When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,
"I was being the Ring Bear."
Sunday in a Midwest City ,
a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour.
The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew
but were losing the battle.
Finally, the father picked the little fellow up
and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.
Just before reaching the safety of the foyer,
the little one called loudly to the congregation,
me! Pray for me!"
One particular four-year old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A little boy was overheard praying:
if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."
School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church
service, "And why is it necessary to
be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."
A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination,
at the old pages as he turned them.
Then something fell out of the Bible.
He picked it
up and looked at it closely.
It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between the pages.
look what I found," the boy called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered,
"I think it's Adam 's suit".
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,
and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,
the mike cord as he went.
Then he moved to one side,
getting wound up in the cord and
nearly tripping before jerking it again.
After several circles and jerks,
a little girl
in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,
"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in
Joel giggled, sang
and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,
those two men standing by the door?
My grandson was visiting one day when he
"Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?"
polished my halo, while I asked,
"No, how are we alike?"
"You're both old," he replied.
A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother,
was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.
Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking,
"Which Virgin was the mother
of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin ?"
A Sunday school class was studying the
They were ready to discuss the last one.
teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.
Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and
"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."
March 3, 2012
your hearts in prayer for the victims of this horrible rash of tornados today. These are killer winds. In addition to fatalities
reported, there's dangers with houses being lifted off their foundations. It's a good night to stay in, be safe, and
pray that God will embrace all those people who are suffering with heavy losses. Harrisburg, in southern Illinois, was particularly
hit, it seems to me. But there are other areas, with just as deadly outbreaks. I heard on one of the news channels that this
year would be as bad as the tornado season in 1978.
We pray steadfastly, also, that our nation will return to
its Christian roots on which it was founded.
I look forward to going to church on Sunday and hearing a message
from the Gospel lesson that, at least in part, says For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and
sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
I think there are a whole bunch of people out there who have kind of postponed thinking about what
they're going to do with all this Christianity stuff. "I'll worry about all that when I get older," they seem to
Well, think of Andrew Breitbart, who now lays cold and quiet at the tender age of 43.
He was one of my favorite reads. He was the kind of journalist that Pulitzer hoped to reward for courage through the printed
word. I pray that he was okay with God before he took his last breath. I have a feeling that he was.
But what about
all the other people out there? You know the ones -- they don't want the children to pray in school. They don't want to say
the word "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. They don't want to hear anything that sounds like Christian talk. Woe
be to those who turn their backs on God. This verse in Mark tells them exactly what God will do in retaliation. And don't
think for one minute that they can appease God with some half-witted excuse like, "I didn't mean it. You know I wasn't
serious, don't you?"
It's time to pray like you mean it. It's time to spend your days thinking about God.
Oh, you don't have to jump up out of your chair screaming "Hallalujah." But you can think about the Great and Wonderful
Creator of the Universe who allows you to take each breath throughout every day of your life. Be thankful for that.
I have always wondered about the people who want to go to heaven. Don't they realize that they will spend their time praising
and worshiping God? If they are looking forward to the time when they are able to do that, wouldn't you think they could spend
more time worshiping and praising God every day, in some way?
There are so many things a person can do to worship
God. He sees us when we are kind to others. He sees us when we are compassionate and generous. He sees us when we try with
all our heart to lead a life as free as sin as we possibly can - not that we'll ever be totally sin-free, what being human
and all. But we ought to try as best as we can to avoid temptation and sin in our lives.
God likes it when we strive
to do that.
February 29, 2012
to ask yourself --
Can you tell the difference between being tested and being tempted?
When you're tempted, it involved a sin of some sort.
Being tested is a form of discipline. Discipline makes
you grow in faith. It enriches you and tempers your faith into a tool as strong as steel.
The passage that started
all this thinking about being tempted was from the Epistle lesson a week or so ago. It's from the Book of James, and
says: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and
he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. -- James 1:13-14
So if you feel like you're being tempted, who do you think might be the culprit?
Another easy answer
-- Satan himself.
Satan is the author of evil. Not God. God does not tempt us, Satan does. Temptations involve
sins. Testing involves love through discipline.
This notion that there is a person named Satan reared its head
out on the campaign trail a few weeks back. Santorum made the comment that "...Satan had his eye on Washington."
What a firestorm that set off. Here came the spindoctors who tried to make Santorum look like a religious kook. Until some
organization did a survey and found that 70% of Americans believe -- truly believe -- that Satan really does exist.
Remember way back in Sunday School days hearing that the best trick Satan has going for him is that he convinces people
that he does not exist. Well, that doesn't happen in the United States.
We're a Christian nation and we know he's
real. And his favorite game is Gotcha!
If you want an inkling about who Satan is, take a look at the Book of Job.
In the very first chapter, in verse 6, we read: One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord,
and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"
Satan answered the
Lord, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
Then follows a conversation
recorded between the Lord and Satan. So if the Lord recognizes Satan and calls him by name, who are we to even think that
he does not exist?
Rest safely in the arms of the Lord, my friends, and pray fervently for his protection from
Satan and all that is evil.
February 28, 2012
I go off in a different direction, you have to watch this video of the Daytona 500. Talk about races, burning cars, fast bumps,
and one big brewhaha. One spill took out six cars: http://news.yahoo.com/video/turnerweekendtop5-20497430/weekend-top-5-daytona-28446636.html#crsl=%252Fvideo%252Fturnerweekendtop5-20497430%252Fweekend-top-five-homestead-27337497.html
Here's a video that is precious. It's about Pastor Ed Dobson, who developed ALS. He talks about his new role as
a different kind of pastor now that he no longer has an active church. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/18/tending-the-garden-one-person-at-a-time/
Pastor Rensner talked about how come God, who has the power to stop the storms in our lives, doesn't do that.
Pastor said that sometimes God calms the person going through the storm rather than calming the storm. And why would He do
that? His reasons are his own and they are not my ways.
I am working on a thesis of the difference between being
tested and being tempted. I hope to have it finished by this time tomorrow, so I hope you'll come back to read it.
Blessings, prayers and hugs,
February 27, 2012
This story comes from
Connie today. She says it will give you the chills....... GOOD chills. See if you agree.
A young man had been
to Wednesday Night Bible
Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice
The young man couldn't help but wonder, 'Does God still speak to people?'
After service, he went out with
some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed
the message. Several different ones talked about how God had
led them in different ways.
It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in
his car, he just began to pray, 'God...If you still speak
to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop
and buy a gallon
of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, 'God is that you?' He didn't get a reply and
started on toward home. But
again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.
The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice
and how little Samuel ran to Eli. 'Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.' It didn't seem
like too hard
a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the
gallon of milk and
started off toward home.
As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, 'Turn Down that street.' This
is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street
At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh.
Half jokingly, he said out loud, 'Okay,
God, I will.'
He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop He pulled over
to the curb
and looked around. He was in a semi- commercial area of town. It wasn't
the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods
either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were
already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, 'Go and give the milk to the people in the house across
the street.' The young man looked
at the house. It was dark and it looked like the
people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open
and then sat back in the car seat.
'Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake
them up, they are going
to be mad and I will look stupid.' Again, he felt like he should go and give the
Finally, he opened the door, 'Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I
will give them the milk.
If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want
to be obedient. I guess that will count for something, but if
they don't answer
right away, I am out of here.'
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could
hear some noise inside. A
man's voice yelled
out, 'Who is it? What do you want?' Then the door opened before the
young man could
The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got
of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some
stranger standing on his
doorstep. 'What is it?'
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, 'Here, I brought this to you.' The man
took the milk and rushed down a hallway.
Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.
was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming
down his face.
The man began speaking and half crying, 'We were just praying. We had
some big bills this month and we ran out of
money. We didn't have any milk for our
baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.'
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, 'I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you
young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him
and put in the man's hand. He turned and
walked back toward his car and the tears
were streaming down his face.
He knew that God still answers prayers.
This is so true. Sometimes it's the simplest things that God asks us to do that
cause us, if we are obedient
to what He's asking, to be able to hear His voice
more clear than ever. Please listen, and obey ! He will bless you (and
February 25 -- 26, 2012
adding this video at the front. It's from my cousin Mark and it's a video showing an owl coming in for a landing on a security
tower. http://www.dogwork.com/owfo8/ It's unbelievable footage showing the owl "putting on the brakes," so to speak. And look at those wing maneuvers!
It's only a minute long, but fascinating.
Beautiful photograph by Paul Bunyard, set to music -- called Chasing
the Light. It's a four and a half minute respite! http://www.dogwork.com/bnpcduk8/
One of my favorite videos -- this is a dog in a contest -- apparently the judges don't give him very high marks
because he can't seem to get it right. But then, just wait until the amazing end! http://www.dogwork.com/tconmv8/
This is a video (1:40) of cranes flying over Venice, Italy. Fascinating photography of the landscape below, but
also of the cranes communicating with one another while flying: http://www.dogwork.com/crafly9/
Here's a video, also from dogworld.com that shows a little bird coming into a bluegrass festival and sitting on
the lead singer's guitar. Too funny! http://www.dogwork.com/blugrs9/
Now, before you watch this next one, please realize that dogs are not supposed to stand upright and walk, much
less dance. But here's a cute little dog doing a Paso Doble. Yes, dancing: http://www.dogwork.com/psdqwk8/
Danica Patrick crashed intot he wall at Daytona today: http://www.breitbart.tv/danica-patrick-crashes-at-daytona/
Oh dear. This video shows someone getting creamed by an oncoming traffic. Just another reason why I don't do any
road ranging during ice and snow and black ice weather: http://www.breitbart.tv/nissan-frontier-shattered-into-bits-by-oncoming-semi/
Here's a recently discovered amateur video of the shuttle that exploded. After watching it, the videographers
didn't really understand what had happened. It seemed like they thought the crash was the booster rocket separating. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/02/24/vo-challenger-amateur-video.newscientist
And this final video is about a man named Omar and his seeing eye dog Salty. Omar was working on the 71st floor
of the World Trade Center when the building was hit. Watch this video of this remarkable dog rescuing and saving his best
friend, Omar: http://www.dogwork.com/arfp8/
February 24, 2012
know that 2012 is a leap year, don't you? Just thought I'd bring that up, in case you overlooked the fact that February has
29 days in it this year.
So it's Friday night here at home. It's cold outside with the wind whipping around the
corner of the house. And we're about ready to settle down to a good old mystery on Netflix streaming and Quint asks from the
kitchen, "You want popcorn with that?" Who could say no? Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks.
3-2-1 cakes for dessert. If you remember, I have a big plastic bag into which I mixed together a sugar-free yellow cake mix
and an angel food cake mix. Really mix them well. Then, whenever you want a quick little cake, you mix 3 tablespoons of this
cake mix and 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave that for 1 minute and you have this unbelievable little cake.
I got fancy, I did. I put about 1/2 tablespoon of margarine and 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar blend (with Splenda). Microwave
that for about 5 seconds until the butter is melted. Stir that up and put in 1/2 tablespoon of crushed pineapple. Then add
the mixed up 32-1 cake mix and microwave that for 1 minute. Yummmy!
I'm going to see if sliced strawberries in
the bottom of my little dish (which is about the size of a ramekin), then put the 3-2-1 mixed up cake mix and see if it passes
for a strawberry short cake. It might. Or it might be close enough to pass for a suitable substitute.
the subject, the weather here has taken a dive down to 36 degrees. This time yesterday it was almost 60 degrees. For those
of you who just joined us from the United Arab Emirates, it probably doesn't matter that much. You have heat all year round.
But you also have sand. I don't know if I could really get used to living on a sand hill. It just looks - well, dry.
But since readers are from all over the world, it's probably a curiosity for some who never experience snow. (You're not
missing much at all.)
And as a side note, I'm so glad that you liked the blog from a few days ago about the man
praying the Lord's Prayer. It's unbelievable how many emails I've gotten in favor of this prayer. And how it's made you pause
and think about what you're saying when you pray. You know, God really is right around you every minute of the day. And he
cares about you, so keep on praying.
My prayer for you is that you will be blessed with many wonderful people
and opportunities that God will put in your life today. Enjoy each and every one of them.
February 23, 2012
was Ash Wednesday service at church. It marks a time when we begin a remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection
three days later at Easter. It's a somber time and as I sat in church and looked around me, I saw the usual faithful worshipers.
I felt closer to them than I do at other times of the year. The imposition of ashes reminds us that we came from dust and
it is to dust that we will return. In the meantime, we are to live our lives as Christians and walk through life behaving
as if --
...as if Christ were right beside us, visibly point out pitfalls,
... as if Christ were steering
us around the misdeeds we might otherwise get ourselves into,
... as if we remember that we are never alone,
... as if we realize consciously that Christ is watching us,
... as if we remember that it is Christ who
sits at the right hand of God interceding for us on our behalf,
... as if we remember, also, that it is Christ
who will judge us when we catch up with eternity,
... as if we always remember that we are to pray to God, our
heavenly father, and we can only get there through Jesus Christ,
... as if we want more than anything to please
God and Jesus Christ,
and finally, as if we are truly sorry for all our sins.
This isn't one of the
questions that is listed as having been asked by Jesus, but sometimes, when I do really silly stuff, I have this vision of
Jesus asking, "What in the world did you do that for?" It helps me not to do things anymore that I really don't
want to do and know that I shouldn't do.
February 21, 2012
feel the earthquake this morning? It registered 4.0 on the Richter Scale. I'll have to tell Quint that it wasn't the wind
that was rattling the windows that woke him at 4:00 am, but rather, the temblor shifting around close to the New Madrid fault
line. Here's a map that shows exactly where the earthquake was: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US10/32.42.-95.-85.php
But if you really want to see something, take a look see at this map of the United States -- 806 earthquakes in
the last 24 hours. California and Alaska are always feeling a lot of shaking going on.
Stay safe out there, my
Changing the subject, back to the List of 100 Questions that Jesus Asked:
Question #79 -- How
is it that you seek praise from one another and not seek the praise that comes from God? John 5:44
this question with me for a moment. Remember the last time you went to get a new outfit? You found something that you thought
would look good on you. You looked in the 3-way mirror to make sure the outfit draped across your body just the way you wanted
it to. And why is that?
Simple. When we buy something new to wear, we're thinking of what others will think of
it. Then they'll tell us how nice it looks.
We'll get praise.
But hold on here for a moment. The question
that Jesus is asking is how come you're thinking about what others think?
How come you aren't all that concerned
about what God thinks of you?
I think there might be a couple of answers to this question.
One of the
thoughts I have is that because we don't physically see God, it's sometimes hard to imagine that he's right here, right now,
in this very room, reading over your shoulder. Maybe watching you curiously to see how you get through your day. But, our
humanness sometimes fails us spiritually because we aren't always consciously thinking that God is present everywhere
at the same time.
How can that be? I don't know the answer to that. My brain can't get wrapped around that possibility,
but I know it's true because the Bible says so.
I know that after Quint and I finish our breakfast and we join
hands for our daily prayers, God is in the room with us. And I also know that it pleases God when his children talk to him.
That's what we do. We let him know what we're thankful for because he does so much for us. We wouldn't have a thread to wear
if it weren't for God's grace. Oh, I don't mean that he puts a hanger with clothes on it in our closet. But he makes provisions
for us to get the things we need as we go through our lives. And it's been like that since the day we were born.
God has always been a stellar provider. He has never failed to provide us with what we need.
By the same token,
he puts situations in our paths to see what we're going to do about them. He brings people to us to see how we're going to
react to them.
We need to always think about what we are doing so that we live our lives in ways that please God.
To me, that's a lot more important than whether someone else likes a dress I bought.
I care what God
thinks. I most definitely care what he thinks. And I hope that anything and everything I do in life tickles him. He is
not a person I ever want to be displeased with at me!
February 20, 2012
couldn't use a bit of humor in these harried political days? Got this one from my cousin Al in Virginia Beach:
female journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going
to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day,
every day, for a long, long time.
So she went to check it out. She went to the
Western Wall and there he was,
walking slowly up to the holy site.
him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave,
using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him
for an interview.
"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith. What's your name?
"Morris Feinberg," he replied.
"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"
"For about 60 years."
"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray
"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims."
"I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop."
"I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults and to
love their fellow man."
"I pray that politicians tell us the truth and put the interests of the people
of their own interests."
The reporter then asked, "How do you feel after
doing this for 60 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a wall."
And our good friend Joyce sends us this cost analysis of how much it costs to run a
Volt. Can you tell that Joyce is a banker by trade?
Subject: Cost to operate a Chevy Volt
Take a few
minutes to read thru this analysis. This is truly an economic failure,
until technology improves to change these costs!
This is what the Obama
Administration is pushing in his new budget! Just another "cash sink hole", from our
taxes, and huge debt!
Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel's Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy Volt
the invitation of General Motors.
For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles
Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.
Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the
25 miles it ran on the battery.
So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is
It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to
charge the battery
and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.
In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time)
would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery hold 16 kwh
of electricity. It takes
a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.
The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned
so I looked up
what I pay for electricity.
I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons)
$1.16 per kwh.
16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.
$18.56 per charge
divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the
Compare this to a similar
size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg.
$3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.
The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.........
So Government wants
us to pay 3 times as much, for a car that costs more that 7
times as much to run, and takes 3 times longer to drive across
- I have a question. After the battery just up and dies, how much will it cost to
destroy it? I doubt if the batteries will be allowed in landfill. I mean, if you can't even put an old, dead cell phone in
the landfill, what are you going to do with the Volt battery?
But what if you keep the Volt and decide to replace
the battery. I read somewhere a couple of years ago that the battery alone cost $25,000. Can that be right? Does anybody know?
If you do could you shoot me an email. Please.
this from my dear cousin Frances in Broaddus, Texas:
We need to show more sympathy for these people.
* They travel miles in the heat.
* They risk their lives crossing a border.
* They don't get paid enough wages.
* They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do.
* They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a
* They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day
~ every day..
I'm not talking about illegal Mexicans ~
I'm talking about our troops!
Doesn't it seem strange that so many are willing to lavish all
kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don't support
Wouldn't it be great if we took the $360,000,000,000 (that's
billion) we spend on illegals every year, and spend it on
February 17, 2012
one of the best versions of an interactive Lord's Prayer that I've ever read. It's sent to us from my dear friend
Cody in Warrensburg, MO. I do pray that it will enrich your life today and that you will think about this when you pray the
THE LORD'S PRAYER- Rather cleverly done. This is in two parts,
The prayer(in blue
type) and GOD(in red type)-in response.
It is very, very good.
Father Who Art In Heaven.
Don't interrupt me. I'm
But -- you called ME!
No, I didn't call you..
Our Father who art in Heaven.
There -- you did it again!
"Our Father who art in Heaven"
Well, here I am..
What's on your mind?
But I didn't mean anything by it.
I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day.
say the Lord's Prayer.
It makes me feel good,
Kind of like fulfilling a duty.
Okay, Hallowed be thy name .
it right there.
What do you mean by that?
"Hallowed be thy name"?
It means, it means .. . Good grief,
I don't know what it means.
in the world should I know?
It's just a part of the prayer.
By the way, what does it mean?
means honored, holy, wonderful.
Hey, that makes sense..
I never thought about
what 'hallowed' meant before.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Do you really mean that?
Sure, why not?
What are you doing about it?
Why, nothing, I guess.
I just think it would be kind of neat if you got
of everything down here like you have up
There. We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
Yes, I know;
But, have I got control of you?
Well, I go to church..
That isn't what I asked you.
What about your bad temper?
got a problem there, you know.
And then there's the way you spend
Your money -- all on yourself.
And what about
the kind of books you read ?
Now hold on just a minute!
Stop picking on me!
just as good as some of the rest
Of those People at church!
you were praying
For my will to be done..
If that is to happen,
It will have to start with the ones
are praying for it.
Like you -- for example ....
Oh, all right. I guess I do have some
Now that you mention it,
I could probably name some others.
I haven't thought about it very much until now,
But I really would like to cut out
some of those things.
I would like to, you know, be really free.
We'll work together -- You and ME.
I'm proud of You.
Lord, if you don't mind,
I need to finish up here.
This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.
this day, our daily bread.
You need to cut out the bread..
You're overweight as it
Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
Here I was doing my religious duty,
all of a sudden you break in
And remind me of all my hang-ups.
Praying is a dangerous
You just might get what you ask for.
Remember, you called ME -- and here I am.
too late to stop now.
Keep praying. ( pause .. . )
Well, go on.
Scared? Of what?
I know what you'll say.
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
See? I knew it!
I knew you would bring her up!
Why, Lord, she's told
lies about me, spread stories.
She never paid back the money she owes me..
I've sworn to get even with her!
But -- your prayer --
What about your prayer?
-- mean it..
Well, at least you're honest.
But, it's quite a load carrying around all
bitterness and resentment isn't it?
Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get
even with her.
Boy, have I got some plans for her.
She'll wish she had never been born.
you won't feel any better.
You'll feel worse.
Revenge isn't sweet.
You know how unhappy you are --
I can change that.
You can? How?
I'll forgive you;
And the hate and the sin,
will be Ann's problem -- not yours.
You will have settled the problem
as far as you are concerned.
Oh, you know, you're right.
You always are.
And more than I want revenge,
I want to be right with You . . (sigh).
All right, all right . .
I forgive her.
How do you feel?
Well, not bad.
Not bad at all!
In fact, I feel pretty great!
You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight
I haven't been getting much rest, you know.
Yeah, I know.
not through with your prayer, are you?
Oh, all right.
And lead us not
but deliver us from evil.
Good! Good! I'll do that.
put yourself in a place
where you can be tempted.
What do you mean by that?
You know what I mean.
Yeah. I know..
Go ahead. Finish your prayer.
For Thine is the
and the power,
and the glory forever.
Do you know what would
bring me glory?
What would really make me happy?
No, but I'd like to know.
I want to please you now...
I've really made a mess of things.
I want to truly behave like Christ
I can see now how great that would be.
So, tell me .. . .
How do I make you happy?
February 15, 2012
a break from the questions that Jesus asked, I have to share with you that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) took Secretary (Health
and Human Services) Sebelius to task today about whether or not she had consulting with any bishops before drafting the contraceptive
order for the White House. Her response was that she had not, but assumed that the folks over at the White House must have.
Well, that wasn't quite good enough to Hatch who then made the statement that he believed all religious organizations
should be exempted from the contraception demand. (See article at: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/02/15/sebelius-didnt-consult-bishops-on-contraception-deal/)
There are several layers to this argument, if you ask me. One is that of whether you believe women ought to be
able to buy contraceptives.
The other is a question of honoring all religions who are opposed to abortion and believe
that abortion is about killing an unborn child. In that event, then the "morning after pill" would make the trip
down that slippery slope.
Then there is the constitutional camp which is inhabited by people who believe that the
government has no right in tampering with freedom of religion. Forcing organizations, whether directly with religious
organizations, or imposing on the insurance companies who insure employees of religious organizations makes no difference.
The question isn't about who pays for the contraceptives -- the religious organization or its insurance company. It's about
whether the government has the right to mandate any such behavior.
Clearly there is not a lot of wiggle room with
folks who believe strongly that they have a right to hold onto their religious beliefs without interference from the government.
And yes, of course, the fed have overstepped its constitutional boundaries.
Bet this one makes it to the Supreme
February 14, 2012
question that Jesus asked is in Mark 8:12 -- Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign?
was when Jesus was meeting with the Pharisees and they wanted to test him. Guess they wanted to see if he could really perform
some good magic tricks. They asked him in verse 11 for a sign from heaven. You know that Jesus must have been a bit perturbed
because verse 12 starts out with Jesus sighing deeply.
Well, if you were the Son of God and you knew you could
move a mountain if you just wanted to, wouldn't you get just a bit exasperated with people trying to put you on the spot all
Why couldn't people just believe that Jesus was the Son of God? Would you? If you were expecting the
promised Messiah to be more, well, kingly, would you still believe a person who arrived on the scene dressed in something
that looked like a homespun robe? So he went around doing miracles. These were real miracles. They weren't magic signs that
could be explained by a slight of hand.
No, no. Jesus healed the sick. He made the lame walk. He even touched the
leper and made him clean. And he saved his best miracle to last when he raised a dead man back to life.
Not really. Because the very idea that he had brought a man back to life was used to prosecute him.
If you were reading the Galilean Daily Chronicles and there was this banner headline about a dead man walking again,
wouldn't you call to get a ticket to this man's next event?
Of course you would. And you'd probably try to get
a front row seat so that when this guy Jesus asked if anyone in the audience would like to come down to the front and ask
for anything they wanted, you'd hop on down there. What would you want? Win the lottery? Cure for your arthritis? A baby for
your barren womb? A fairy tale, drop dead gorgeous superman for a husband? A shiny new Corvette to tool around the Galilean
countryside? A big fancy yacht to troll around the Sea of Galilee, catching fish and stuff?
If you could have anything
you wanted, what kind of a sign would satisfy you that Jesus is the true Son of God. In fact, he's the only Son of God.
Jesus must have grown weary of people who had to have this proof that he was who he said he was.
think it's any different now -- 2,000+ years later? Aren't people still looking for a sign?
Can you just accept
in your hearts that Jesus is Lord? No signs are needed for those who believe.
And for those who do not believe,
there aren't enough signs in the whole world to bring the proof that they require.
It's all about faith. And believing.
February 13, 2012
my hands on a wonderful list called 100 Questions that Jesus Asked.
What a wonderful
springboard for our conversations here on this thread.
Eventually I want to go all the way through the questions
that Jesus asked. And the first one is from Matthew 6:27 -- Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?
My recent - and I call the last two years of my life as recent -- bout with breast cancer jumps up and out of
the depths of that rusty barrel that houses my brain.
I will say that never during that entire ordeal did
I feel desperate and anxious about living or dying. That was because of a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the
verse quoted above. I know that somewhere in Jeremiah, there's a reference to the fact that God said he knew me when I was
still in my mother's womb. In another verse way back there in the Old Testament, probably from a psalm, there's a reference
to God knowing how many hairs I have on my head, and also how many days I will spend here on earth.
view those cancers for both Quint and me as God specifically not answering our prayers. I take a counter view because we have
both gone through that long, black tunnel of chemo. Radiation added for me. When we talked it through, all the way to the
core, we came to understand that God had, in fact, answered our prayer. You see, at our age, if there was to be cancer, it
was far better to get it out of the way, so to speak, before we got really old. Advanced age puts severe limitations on what
chemo you can get and what you can't tolerate. We are blessed to have gone through all that and are now in remission. In fact,
we just may be in better shape now than a lot of people who are incubating cancerous cells and don't know about it.
So, knowing that God knows all those details about my life, I have little to fear because I also know that he walks with
me through all my days.
Besides, God doesn't seem to put the same sense of desperation on dying that we humans
do. Perhaps that's because God thinks of death as the death of a soul. I figure that he's elated when a person's body dies
because those persons get to come back home to be with him in heaven. Who could cry about that?
It doesn't mean
we don't go through a grieving process when we lose our loved ones. And there might even be a few people who will be said
when my creaky old bones end up in the fiery pits of a crematorium. But I hope they will be overjoyed when death finds me
skipping through that tunnel that near-deathers describe.
After all, as Pastor Rensner says, "What are you
going to do, threaten me with heaven?"
So, no worries. Enjoy each and every little sunbeam as you travel down
the road of life. And get down on your knees and thank the good Lord above for all the blessings he has given you in this
life, right now.
February 12, 2011
Navy Seal quote
of the week
Dana Perrino ( Fox News) describing an interview she recently had with a Navy SEAL .
all the countries he had been sent to, she asked if they had to
learn several languages?
"No ma'am, we don't go there to talk."
February 9, 2012
ran over a hawk on the way home from work this afternoon. How could I ever explain how I could kill a bird on the wing! But
sure enough, the silly thing flew right in front of me about a foot higher than the hood of the car. He got real close to
the edge of the air.
That's Quint's reason for airline crashes. Planes crash when they go past the edge of the
Changing the subject, I'm making cookies for little kiddos at church. We have an after school program and
offer the kiddos a snack when they get off the bus and come into the play area with tummies that have caved in from hunger.
They get a half sandwich, a cookie and a piece of fruit. Then they go charging around the gym and burn it all off and go home
starved for supped.
I'm making cookies from a cake mix. To do that, you out two eggs into 1/3 cup oil and mix well.
Then, mix that into the dry cake mix. Makes a bit more than 2 dozen little cookies. The cookies are baked at 375 degrees for
6 - 8 minutes.
I got a confetti cake mix since little darlings adore confetti and sprinkles.
I got this beautiful story from my cousin Mark:
Tell me this one doesn't put life in perspective.
In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was
Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination.
Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all
his dreams. Now that was no longer possible.
The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's
dream to come true.
her son's hand and asked,
'Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up
Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life ?'
Mommy, 'I always wanted to be a
fireman when I grew up.'
Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can make your wish
Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona, where she met Fireman
who had a heart as big as Phoenix .
She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible
to give her
6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better
than that. If you'll
have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll
make him an honorary
Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire
station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls,
the whole nine yards !
And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform
for him, with a real
fire hat - not a toy one with the emblem of the
Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker
like we wear
and rubber boots.'
'They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix , so we can get them fast.'
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital
bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck.
Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it
to the fire station. He was in heaven.
There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy
go out on all three calls.
He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and
the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.
Having his dream come true, with
all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so
deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than
any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and
the head nurse,
who believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to
call the family members to the hospital.
Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so
she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would
be possible to send a fireman in uniform to
the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition..
chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will
you please do me a favor ?
When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce
over the PA system that
there is not a fire? 'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open
the window to his
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the
hospital and extended its
ladder up to Billy's third floor open window --------
climbed up the ladder into Billy's room!
With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and
him how much they LOVED him.
With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and
'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'
'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief
With those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's been
holding my hand all day, and the angels
have been singing.'
He closed his eyes one last time.
February 8, 2012
this mountain of mud sitting at the edge of the yard. It's the residue from the sewer line repair the other day. Rather than
spread it out flat with the rest of the yard, we were told that the spring rains would pound it down so that the trench would
eventually be filled in. Sounds reasonable to me, but I think I'll get out there with a rake one of these days, all of the
same. Otherwise, I'm going to go out there in the next day or so and find a ski lift with very little people using the little
mound for their winter fun.
It got cold in the last day or so. Even had a dusting of snow. We are woefully behind
with our snowfall. According to the old wives' tale, since we had our first snowfall on the 27th of December, we can expect
27 snowfalls in total. Last night's dusting was only #4. Now, mind you, I don't mind not having 27 snowfalls. It's not like
it's a goal or something.
Oh, another thing. Changing the subject, NASA says that the oceans are not rising, but
rather, the level of water went down a bit. According to the weather/climate change/global warming gurus, weren't we told
that because of global warming, the ice sheets would be melting and we'd have so much more water in the oceans that our eastern
coast would be flooded. So how come the water level is going down? Faulty theory = flawed results. But then, just maybe because
the Russians drilled a hole in the ice sheet in Antarctica to get to an underground lake, maybe water is draining down into
the hole. Hey, it could happen!
Quint took me to lunch at Cracker Barrel today. When we were coming out to go back
to the car, we noticed that there had been a bunch of pansies in bloom before they got frosted. Now, who would plant blooming
pansies in the middle of winter? Sure enough, they got frostbit last night. I love the meatloaf at Cracker Barrel. If I close
my eyes, I can imagine that I'm back at Grandma Stubbe's boarding house in Paducah. Cracker Barrel's meatloaf tastes just
like hers. Maybe they found her recipe somewhere. It's delicious. So is their Cream of Potato Soup which is my favorite soup
And now my client has arrived for a session. I see her pulling into the driveway now.
February 6, 2012
world to be a better place? Then do something. Think about joining the huge group of volunteers in America.
this is old data, but it's the source I found when I went looking. It's a research article on volunteerism in America written
by Richard D. Young. He cited a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that says 59% of people in the United States who are 16
years old or older volunteered for an organization in some capacity. And that was for the year way back in 2001 to 2002.
that was 27.6% of the American population.
most often donate their time to religious organizations (33.9%). Second on the list is educational organizations who get 27.2%
of the volunteers. But it's the old folks who are 65 and older who donate
the most time to churches -- 45.2%.
Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies several
activities in which volunteers engage in consistently. The list below shows which activities are most predominate.
or coaching (24.4 %).
Canvassing, campaigning, or fundraising (22.9 %).
making, serving, or delivering goods (22.2 %).
● Serving on a board, committee, or
neighborhood association (16.3 %).
Providing care or transportation (12.3 %).
● Consulting or
administrative work (14.0 %). So this ties in with the Gospel lesson at church yesterday.
It's from Mark 1:29-39 and tells the story of Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law from a fever. What's the first thing she
did when her fever went away? She got up and began to serve them.
Not because she had to, as Pastor Gillet said.
But because she wanted to.
When it comes to serving in the Kingdom of God, it's something we get to do.
We don't have to, but rather, we are allowed to serve.
In another article, again pulling data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we read that ... nearly 63 million Americans, slightly more than a quarter of the
population, volunteered for charities last year, providing services valued at nearly $173-billion. That’s down from
2009, when 63.4 million adults, or nearly 27 percent of the population, donated their time. The volunteer rate has not changed
significantly since 2006, hovering around 26 percent. Volunteerism reached nearly 29 percent from 2003 to 2005 and has been
as low as 20.4 percent in 1989, says a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is based on annual
and monthly surveys of roughly 100,000 Americans age 16 or older, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor
What's neat about this article is an interactive map of the United States that compares the percentage
of volunteers in a state and compares it to the national average when you move your cursor over the state. http://philanthropy.com/article/Volunteerism-Holds-Steady-in/128565/
So get out there and be a good neighbor. While you're at it, volunteer to help out at your church too.
February 4, 2012
and I headed over to Culvers after closing up the junior quilting shop at church. When we started looking for a spot to sit
down at, I heard a familiar voice say, "Jane." It was the vice president of the Effingham/Shelby Zone and she invited
us to sit with her and her husband. They were just finishing up the flavor of the month (chocolate eclair) ice cream, so we
After talking about a dizzying list of favorite subjects, Chris and I then started talking about cake
recipes. I told her I was going to start visiting churches in the Zone. Tomorrow is my first outing. It's at a church where
the church council is making soup for lunch. I told her I was going to make a yellow cake with a peach pie filling and after
sharing that quick recipe with her (it's on the recipe page over there on the left), she said, "I'll tell you how to
make a cake."
She explained, first you mix a cake mix with an angel food cake mix. It can be any kind of cake
mix you want, but it has to be with an angel food cake mix.
Then, when you get those two cake mixes mixed well,
mix 3 tablespoons of the dry mix with 2 tablespoons of water and microwave for 1 minute.
She says it's easy to
remember because it's 3-2-1.
When I got home I mixed a sugar free yellow cake mix with an angel food mix that I
picked up on the way home.
Sure enough, it works! So I have this cake mix in a ziploc bag ready to make a cake
in a minute.
I even bought one of those new cans of frosting mix that Pillsbury has. It looks like a whipped cream
container where you kind of bend a plastic tip a bit and out comes the frosting.
What an amazing age we live in!
I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother would send me to the bakery to buy two layers of a yellow cake
if she didn't have time to bake a cake for a church event. And she thought that was cheating. But no one ever knew. She always
covered it with her famous 7 Minute Frosting so who would have ever been able to tell.
One of my other favorite
memories of my grandmother was her little forest of African Violet leaves. She had a big pan of sand which she kept wet. Then
she would take leaves from her African Violets and stick them in the sand. After some mysterious length of time, she'd know
when to take the leaves out because they'd have roots developed. She'd plant them in little pots and after a while, little
baby African Violets would pop their little faces up through the dirt. Eventually, she'd cut the big leaf off and put it back
in the sand to make a new generation.
I got up enough nerve to try that this year. A nurse at the oncology center
assured me that this method would work so I gave it a try. I now have a beautiful purple and another pink African Violet and
when I get a little new plant, I give them to clients who want them.
Except that I only use African Plant Food
water. That makes them bloom like happy little campers. Pretty much all the time too.
February 2, 2012
groundhog can be believed, we don't have to worry about winter weather so much. We had fog as thick as pea soup. Not only
could the rat not see his shadow, I doubt if he could see his cute little paw in front of his face. Yay! Go groundhog.
I received this from my friend Cody in Warrensburg, MO:
One of the best I've seen lately........
Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we
carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?
if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?
This is something to make
you go....hmm...where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing.
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to
worry about our Bible being
disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think 'where
are my priorities? And no dropped calls!
When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you!
I read another article today on the web warning about yet another scam. This one has to do with jury duty. Supposedly someone
sends you an email or calls you to let you know there's a warrant for your arrest because you didn't show up for jury duty.
After you pick yourself up off the floor and start to explain that you never got a summons to appear for jury
duty, then the most helpful scam artist at the other end of the phone asks you for your social security number and birthday
so it can be double checked against the list of warrants. Now, we aren't going to give anybody that kind of information, are
Please say you won't.
Scam artists are mean. They're usually crooks who need to go where other criminals
If you live in Illinois, you need to know that Illinois is a "do not call" state. That means if
you get an annoying telemarketing call, immediately tell the caller that you are aware that you live in a "do not call"
state and want your name taken off the list he/she is calling from. The caller has to stop the conversation immediately.
Also, there's a link on the Links page on this website to put your phones on the "Do not call list." I probably
need to do that again because I'm starting to get calls again. Putting your phone numbers on the list is not a permanent solution
but when you start to get calls again, just go back in and renew your numbers.
February 1, 2012
through the Bible at an accelerated pace in our Sunday morning adult discussion class. It's an ambitious undertaking because
we're actually going to go from Genesis to Revelation in a 10-week segment. Oh, for sure, we aren't going to do any really
in depth stopping over points. We can always go back and focus on aspects of the textbook we're using individually at a later
One of the quick points that was made in an early chapter was that Genesis 15:1 was the first time that
the term "the word of the Lord came to..."
In this particular instance, the reference was to Abraham.
He was the first man to whom the word of the Lord came. Abraham was a prophet. In this particular instanc, the word prophet
means one who receives the word of the Lord.
Don't you think it would be exciting to pick up the Bible and get
into the Word? Page after page after page of the Word brings us richness and depth to our soul. It's a blessed journey to
walk every day with the Lord.
There's mending to be done when we weep from heavy grief. Our soul yearns for healing
and it's right there, in between the covers of the Book.
There's learning that jumps off the pages with so much
history. The Bible is not a complete history of what was going on in the world. For instance, from 1250 to 1190 BC the Greeks
and Trojans were fighting the famous Trojan War. It happened. We know that from recorded history. But it's not a Bible story.
And did you know that from 1750 - 1040 BC, China's Shang Dynasty had a system of writing. They organized a bunch
of armies too.
There were earthquakes too. From 1150-950 BC, earthquakes rattled the area around Cyprus.
Accupuncture was first introduced during the Chou dynasty at 1030 BC.
For sure, there were people in other places
doing other things. Their stories were not captured in the Bible.
What the Bible does bring us is the bloodline
of Jesus all the way back to Adam and Eve. The Bible traces this lineage through the House of David, through his line of history
to a little town of Bethlehem.
There's much in the Word to sift through and think about. Absolutely no other book
in the history of mankind has had the impact as the Word of God. Nor has any one single individual, save Jesus Christ, had
as much of an impact on civilization than the Son of God who came from heaven to become flesh and blood and to live among
us. Then he died as a sacrifice on the cross for the sins of each one of us.
This month we recognize Ash Wednesday
as the beginning of the season of Lent. It's a time when we stop what we're doing and ponder the miracle of God's great love
which he so graciously gifts us with.
Let the Word of God come to you. Pick up the Bible and just hold it in your
hands. Then open it and start to read.
Prepare to be amazed.
January 31, 2012
It's hard to
believe that here in Middle Illinois, it's 58.1 degrees. Highly unusual for January 31. Only two days 'til Ground Hogs Day
and this year, do I dare say, "Who cares?"
Actually, when you think about it, it doesn't matter whether
the rat sees his shadow or not. Spring is six weeks away no matter what. Just count the days on the calendar.
I left you last night I was talking about the bad rap that controlling and manipulating people have gotten over the years.
We've put a negative connotation onto those two words when, in fact, they can be life-saving.
I mentioned that
the reason people are controlling is because they want life to be predictable. And who doesn't want that?
we're asking for trouble in trying to control people, places and events that we don't have any business messing with. There's
all kinds of attempts at controlling that could even land you in jail. For instance, if you forged someone's signature because
you wanted to control your ability to get out of debt so you think stealing someone's identity and/or money is acceptable.
That's not even close to be included in this discussion.
What you can control, though, is your
behavior. How you react to events and people in your life can be a healthy way to control your environment.
for instance, who smile and giggle at you make it awfully easy and heartwarming to pick them up and cuddle them. They've learned
at a very early age that positive behaviors get more favorable attention from the big people in their lives. In a small way,
they've figured out how to control someone to come over and pick them up.
I remember when my daughter and her husband
were trying to get back to Los Angeles when, for some reason, their flight was abruptly cancelled. No new flights were
scheduled at that airline. So she went over to another airline and said to an already overstressed service attendant that
she realized the burden that this lady was under and she certainly didn't want to push her for help, but she was hoping ever
so much if there was anything that she could do to get them on a plane. She engaged the lady in a few light moments and the
next thing you know, she and her husband were on a flight, with a "Thank you so much. You are a lifesaver." And
off the went to the other end of the airport where the other airline's terminal was.
She learned when she was
a little girl that when you're reasonable, you're more able to operate on your environment and more often than not, get the
results you want.
Call it whatever you want, but being pleasant will get you farther along than being pushy and
ignorant and belligerent and demanding.
When you wake up in the morning, look at the daylight and say, "Today
is going to be a great day. I'm going to have some adventures and come in contact with people I enjoy being with." Then
get up, get dressed, and put your very best smile on your face as you out to operate on your environment. Make things happen.
But in a pleasant way that shows people you care about them.
January 30, 2012
in between clients right now, so this will be a bit brief. I'll finish my thought tomorrow in a bit more detail.
What I want to discuss before the thought goes too far away is this whole idea that controllingness and manipulation is
a bad thing. I say -- not necessarily.
The reason we need to control or manipulate things is to make life more
predictable. We all need predictability in our lives. So the question really wraps itself around why we feel insecure when
our lives are not predictable.
Jean Piaget, the psychological guru who developed the school of cognitive development,
says we all learn how to "operate" on our environment and the people in it.
It does not make you a bad
More about this after I've had a good night's rest.
About the time I think there's not
much new under the sun, this comes to my email. It's from Linda over in Lawrenceville. Thank you, Linda!
Monday Morning Message
This is SIMPLY AWESOME! I've never seen this
before! Whoever put The Resume
of Jesus Christ together is surely a blessing to us all! Please share it!
sentence says it all... Send this resume to everyone you know, you
never know who may have an opening! Powerful!
Have a blessed day!
of Jesus Christ
Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible . Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and
My name is Jesus -The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my
because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart. Please
consider my accomplishments as set
forth in my resume.
I founded the
earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19 )
I formed man from
the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7 )
I breathed into man the breath
of life, (See Genesis 2:7 )
I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See
Gal at ians 3:13 )
The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your
life through me,
(See Galatians 3:14 )
only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49 ) .
I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient,
slothful or disrespectful.
My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me,
(See Matthew 3:15 -17 )
Skills Work Experiences
of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be
poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting
the captives free, healing
the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are
(See Luke 4:18 ) .
I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6 ) . People
who listen to me
shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33 ) .
Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of
your sins, (See I John 1:7-9 )
I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom
understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6 ) .
In me are hid all of the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians
2:3 ) .
My Word is so powerful;
it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet
and a light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105 ) .
I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21 ) .
I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting
of all times,
(See Genesis 1:26 ) .
I laid down my life so that you may
live, (See II Corinthians 5:15 ) .
I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind
and made a show of them openly,
(See Colossians 2:15 ) .
fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
There are many more major
accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can
read them on my website, which is located at : www dot - the BIBLE.
don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.
Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing,
deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.
In Summ at ion
Now that you've
read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate
uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart.
I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6 ) , and lead you into
everlasting life, (See
John 6:47 ) . When can I start? Time is of the
essence, (See Hebrews 3:15 ) .
Send this resume to everyone you know,
you never know who may have an opening!
Thanks for your help.
September 26, 2012
one-liners from friend Cody in Warrensburg, Missouri:
Don't let your worries get the best of you;
Moses started out as a basket case.
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited
you try to sit in their pews..
Many folks want to serve God,
But only as
It is easier to preach ten sermons
Than it is to live one.
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose,
But mosquitoes come close.
When you get to your wit's end,
You'll find God lives there.
People are funny;
They want the Front of the bus,
the Middle of the road,
And Back of the church.
Opportunity may knock once,
But temptation bangs on the front door forever.
Quit griping about your church;
If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
If a church wants a better pastor,
It only needs to pray for the one it has ..
God Himself doesn't propose to judge a man until
he is dead. So why should you?
Some minds are like concrete
Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
starts with a smile.
don't know why some people change churches;
does it make
which one you stay home from?
lot of church members singing 'Standing
on the Promises'
Are just sitting on the premises.
Be ye fishers of men.
You catch 'em - He'll clean 'em.
Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
Don't put a question mark where God put a period.
fruits create many jams.
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
God grades on the cross, not the curve.
But probably prefers 'fruits of the spirit' over
promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
who angers you, controls
If God is your Co-pilot, swap seats!
Don't give God instructions, just report for duty!
The task ahead
of us is never as
great as the Power behind us.
Will of God never takes
you to where the
Grace of God will not protect
The message changes us.
You can tell how big a person is
it takes to discourage him.
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
+ 3 nails = 4 given .
Do you think the US Navy would ever name a ship after an army guy, even if he
is a Green Beret? Well, if your name is Roy Benavidez, it would. Benavidez got the Medal of Honor too. You have to see his
story to believe it. This comes from cousin Mark: http://biggeekdad.com/2010/01/tango-mike-mike/
Oh my goodness - what fun! This letter from a New Orleans attorney provides, in addition to a good
argument, a bit of history at the same time. Thank you, Mark:
You have to love this lawyer.......
Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task
of tracing home titles
back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich
with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have
been passed along
through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish
a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client:
A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for
a client. He was told the loan would be
granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered
as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer
three months to track down. After
sending the information to the FHA, he received
the following reply:
(Actual reply from FHA):
review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that
the request is supported by an Abstract
of Title. While we compliment the able
manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point
that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803.
Before final approval can
be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back
to its origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded
"Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received.
I note that you
wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present
application. I was
unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly
those working in the property area, would not know that
Louisiana was purchased by
the United States from France, in 1803 the year of origin identified in our
For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the
land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France,
which had acquired it by
Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of
made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had
been granted the privilege of seeking a new
route to India by the Spanish monarch,
The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost
as careful about titles as
the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold
jewels to finance Columbus's expedition...Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may
know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the
Son of God, and God, it is commonly
accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God
also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the
owner of origin and His origins date
back to before the beginning of time, the world
as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be
Now, may we have our loan?"
The loan was immediately approved.
September 24, 2012
I do another thing, I want to share a link with you from a friend of mine. It's an outstanding vocalist, a ten year old young
lady named Jackie Evancho. You know how I love to watch and hear people who excel at anything, regardless of their age. Just
listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foUrBztgzZA She was on America's Got Talent, and boy does she!
Changing the subject, today was the day when one of those
mega-mega-zoom-zooms arrived from our sun to lay havoc with the Earth's magnetic fields. Even Delta Airlines re-routed some
of its flights to dodge the solar winds from the Coronal Mass Eruption. http://www.space.com/12581-stunning-photos-solar-storms-flares-sun-weather.html
Wow! The northern lights must have danced quite a little Texas Two Step.
Now, on to other matters of
some import. It's all about retraining your communications ability so that you don't fall victim to people who want to get
and keep you on the defense.
In the first place, don't think you have to jump in and answer someone who demands
an immediate answer. No no no. Take a deep breath and give yourself a bit of time to send a response back over the fence,
so to speak.
Yes, it's more than okay to answer a question with a question. In fact, it's how you get out of all
those defense-intended maneuvers that are being shot at you. You simply do not have to answer with all that immediacy.
For instance, when someone says to you, "Why don't you want to talk to me?"
Your response could
be, "About what?"
Or, "Why didn't you call me?"
"Was I supposed to?"
"Who said that?"
Slow down a bit and give yourself time to frame
Try it. It will take some time to get in the habit of allowing yourself to proceed slowly. In the
long-run, it will help you set your boundaries and maintaining them. Especially if you get the inkling that someone is trying
to invade your peace of mind by demanding that you defend yourself.
And how can you recognize defense maneuvers?
Aside from your gut reaction, densive maneuvers usually start with the word "Why."
are not part of polite conversation. The intent is for one person to try to get and keep the upper hand over someone else.
September 23, 2010
is one of those off the beaten path pieces of information that you may not have known. I didn't either until today's issue
of American Profile arrived.
The there it was on Page 12. Yet another reason that Chicago can claim to
be a winner at something.
The Field Museum in Chicago has won the 2011 America's Best Restroom Award.
So what, you may ask, does a "best restroom" have going for it that would beat out other competitors? Well, for
starters, it has little people potties. And there's a nursing room complete with a sofa in it.
So congrats, Chicago.
'Nuff said about that.
Now it's official. Quint is in remission from his chronic lymphocytic/leukemia. We
made our trip to the oncologist today and learned that the results of the CT scan he had a couple of weeks ago show that the
lymph nodes have returned to normal. Thank you for answered prayers. We're both now on the once-in-three-months regimen. I
did have a new medication to the list of what the doctor has in my file. That's Allupurinol. So when I told him, he said,
"Oh, you've got gouty athritis."
Yep. That's me. The medication is specifically for people who has been
given Cytoxa for chemo with breast cancer.
But then I found out that eating cherries -- only 6 a day -- will help
out a lot. Sure enough, we found cherries in the produce aisle. Fresh from Chile. They are delicious. After only a week of
cherry snacks, I've seen an improvement. I can now bend my thumb with no pain at all. That's the only place, plus my back,
that seems to be bothered. Oh, it's just a nuisance. Nothing fatal. I'll take nuisances.
January 20, 2012
just jumping up and down for joy watching those pink icy, wintry mix patches float by on the weather map. And up north, oh
my goodness. I remember those days when a six inch snowfall was kind of sort of ordinary.
We do not miss it.
Here is a link to a beautiful young girl who is a prodigy -- Akiane Kramarik. She has been painting since
she was very young, age 4. Her paintings are incredible. And thanks to friends in Wichita, John and Sherre for the link: http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html
Here's a link to Gene Simmons of KISS performing for the troops: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5MtdIO23MKM Makes me want to stand up and march around the dining room. Thanks, Mark, for sharing.
January 20, 2012
just jumping up and down for joy watching those pink icy, wintry mix patches float by on the weather map. And up north, oh
my goodness. I remember those days when a six inch snowfall was kind of sort of ordinary.
We do not miss it.
Here is a link to a beautiful young girl who is a prodigy -- Akiane Kramarik. She has been painting since
she was very young, age 4. Her paintings are incredible. And thanks to friends in Wichita, John and Sherre for the link: http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html
January 18, 2012
so here's my ignorance showing. I don't know where either of these teams are from -- Trinity and Millsap -- but this link
that my cousins Al and Mark sent to me shows one of the most phenomenal football plays I have ever seen in all my born
Talk about teamwork! This one play won the game. Wow!
And Mark sends these tips too:
1. I think part of a best friend's job should be toimmediately clear your computer
history if you die.
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an
argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take
back all those times I didn't want to
nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know
how to get out of my neighborhood.
I especially like #7.
As for the second point, I'll have to see if Quint can even remember a time when
he was wrong. About anything. ha ha
Me? I try to keep my mouth shut unless I know pretty much what the answer is.
Reminds me of a fella in grad school who had a most unique form of discipline. He says it's more effective than time
outs and has been using it since his kiddos were real little. He makes them sit down so that he can tell them the entire
history of slavery. All total, it takes about 45 minutes.
January 17, 2012
from 61 degrees this morning to a cool 28 now. There's a raw wind blowing that makes it feel like 2 zillion below zero.
Thank goodness Ground Hogs Day is only weeks away. That's the day I first celebrate spring.
when I was a little girl the teacher would pass around those mimeographed pictures for our class to color. After I became
an adult, I realized that the ground hog is nothing but a big rodent and the whole thing used up all my brown color crayons.
My irises did die back again though. Poor little things. I can hear them shivering under their little
dirt shoes. I have a huge variety of colors. Some are yellow, a peach color that's really a double. Looks pretty and
frilly. Various shades of purple, one almost black. And finally a pink iris. I like irises. They remind me of Vincent Van
Gogh. He painted irises for the whole year that he was in the asylum. People sometimes comment about how they must have been
Van Gogh's favorite flower. The truth is, they were the only flower planted at the asylum. So of course he painted irises.
What else were there? Besides, by that time he was probably tired of doing self-portraits, being one ear shy of having a full
face and all.
Thank you for all your "as if" comments. It was very interesting to hear about how you
are using the same concept. Actually it's little more than positive thinking. But it works. People who are negative get dumped
on a lot. They aren't any fun and they suck all the air out of relationships, out of the sky and out of their hearts. So lighten
up everybody and live your lives as if you are the successful person you want to be!
January 16, 2012
Live your life as
It's a Biblical concept. Believe you will get what you pray for, and it is yours, we are promised.
It's the underlying principle of the best-seller The Secret.
So let's all put a whole bunch of
positive energy out there. The idea is that if you send positive energy out from yourself, it will come back to you.
That's where you embrace the idea that you'll do better in life if you live your life as if.
married couples who live their lives as if can somehow keep a vibrancy alive in their relationship. Remember
those days when you tried to do all the thoughtful, courteous things you could to attract this handsome guy, or gorgeous lady,
into your life? If you're going to be late, do you call and let somebody know you're being detained? If you're living your
life as if, then you're going to do such thoughtful things like making a call.
Or how about getting that
dream job? What happens when you are sitting in your cubicle doing some grunt project and wishing the clock would advance
a few hours so you could get out of there? Well, if you're living your life as if you'd just gotten into an interview
and were trying to convince a prospective boss that you really wanted the job, you'd go ahead and do the best you could do,
even if every day isn't always exciting and creatively challenging.
Or how about parenting. Remember those days
when you couldn't wait for Little Baby Ten Toes to arrive? Live your life as if those days beckon you and you back
to the days when you promised yourself that you'd be the best parent you possibly could be to the new baby yet to be born.
Living as if will help you get through long, fright-filled nights when you're waiting for an errant teenage to wander
on back home.
And most of all, live your life as if Christ were headed this way from the other side of
the universe and he is just about ready to come down out of the clouds. Living your life as if he were just about
here just may change your life choices.
Good luck with that. Think about ways you could live your life as if.
January 13, 2012
Yes, we got the snow. Not
much. Just a couple of inches. Then it stopped for a few hours. I reminded Quint that when the snow started up again, it counted
as a new snow. At least for my reckoning. He doesn't have to count the snows separately if he doesn't want to. It's just that
if you don't, you end up with some extra snowfalls anticipated by the end of the season.
Yesterday I saw a red
fox loping along across the neighbor's yard across the street. At first I thought it was a dog, but then, that tail is a giveaway.
Red fox it was. Pretty good sized one too. We have some woods behind our house. Figure he lives back in there with the deer
who come out every once in a while looking for good chow, like when the neighbor's beans are about ready to pick. I told her
to get a bottle of Liquid Fence at the hardware store, last year. It works. It's kept deer, squirrels and rabbits away from
my garden goodies ever since I planted a garden down here. Not too cheap, but it does the trick. You spray around the perimeter
of the garden, not on the veggies. A quart bottle lasts most of the season.
It even works on those naughty dogs
who like to hike up their legs and take a leak on my rose bush out front. Actually they're probably marking their territory.
Doesn't matter, me and my Liquid Fence go out there and give the bush a squirt where the dogs squirted. They don't come back
so much. Nothing to reclaim if they can't get a whiff of their aroma.
Tomorrow I'm going to my first meeting of
the Christian Writers Group here in town. Looking forward to meeting others who are plying their craft too.
anxious to see if anyone else uses what I call the Ernest Hemingway approach -- you know, three to four word sentences. He
was a master at it and I figured if he made it work, so could I. Problem is, my spell checker does not like fragmented sentences.
But hey, that's the way people talk. So I say I write "conversationally." ha!
Oh, changing the subject.
What do you think the stock markets are going to do on Monday morning, now that Standard and Poors has downgraded the financial
houses of Yerp? France and Austria lost their AAA ratings. A total of 15 European nations' ratings were cutting in the
S&P slash and burn come-uppance move. One of these days, the US is going to get downgraded again if we don't get a grip
You can't spend all your money!
I watched one of those news interview programs, maybe
a Jay Leno man on the street. Not sure. Anyway, the commentator was asking the people where they thought money came from.
One lady said she thought the president printed the money in the basement of the White House. Unfortunately, she was serious.
She even knew who the president was.
God said something about wasting the blessings He gives us. We'd better all
listen up and pay attention, folks.
January 11, 2011
glad that Netflix survived the stupidest marketing debacle yet -- raising money on top of money by doing a double tier charge
system. Never could figure out what they were going to charge so we canceled everything but the streatming, which we used
mostly anyway. We do get one video still, though. What we have both come to really like is the video of a fireplace burning.
That's all it is. Just a fireplace burning. It makes the living room seem warm and cozy. Okay, so it doesn't make the room
actually warm, but the crackling fire and licking flames do okay by me.
Just in time, too, for a winter storm heading
our way. I fear that this one isn't going to miss us. We might get several inches out of it. It's heading SSE out of Iowa
and looks to cut a big swath across Illinois as it heads east. I guess that's the end of our 40 degree winters.
well, it was nice while it lasted.
Now, on to Groundhog's Day which is February 2. Somehow I don't think the little
groundhog is going to be a harbinger of spring. This is going to be one of those winters where it's going to be snowing for
Easter, I'll bet. When the girls were little tykes I remember them hopping through snow on the way to the church on Easter
Sunday. Didn't do their little patent leather slippers any good.
Not much news going on except politics, in case
you haven't noticed. Politics in the US has become a mult-billion dollar business. So the ads and speeches and debates and
spin doctoring are going to continue until November.
One good thing did come out of the Supreme Court today. Believe
it or not, the justices reaches a unanimous decision that says churches can hire people of their own choice - whether it's
a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam. The supremes said the government had to "butt out" in so many words.
Well, it's about time.
And my cousin Frances in Texas says the jonquils are sprouting and the bluebells are really
thick, though not blooming just yet.
I will add that my irises are totally confused. I have cut them back twice
now and could cut them back again but I'm not gonna. If they decide to bloom when it snows, I'll take a photo for posterity.
And with that, no matter where you are, please drive carefully. I know that some parts of the midwest are supposed
to get 10" of snow or more, but the rest of us can expect 1 to 2 inches of the white stuff. I don't care if we only get
one inch of snow. If it's sitting on icy pavement, it can still be deadly.
Prayers for safety for all of you.
January 9, 2012
Had he lived,
today would have been my brother, Allison's, 67th birthday. His middle name was Wallace, probably named for some long lost
relative I've never heard of. So we called him A.W. because that's what people in the south do. There's usually at least one
first degree relative identified only by initials. So wherever you are, A.W., I hope you're enjoying the choirs of angels
and that at the last moments on your deathbed you begged forgiveness for a life filled with sins. I suspect that you did get
that idea as you lay dying of lung cancer. But I don't know that. I just pray that you did because I would love to see you
Changing the subject, I have received more than quite a few emails about this Mayan thing and what's
going to happen at the end of 2012.
In the first place, the Bible reference to the end of the world is very clear
about who knows what. I believe it's in Revelation where the verse says that no one knows when the world will end except the
Father. Even His Son, Jesus Christ, does not have that information.
Yep. It says so in the Bible. Look it up.
Or if you don't have a Bible with a good commentary that can point you to the verse, go to www.ask..com and type in a question like, "Where in the Bible does it say ............................................"
You'll get a reference.
That's exactly what I did this evening before I started this writing. I knew that somewhere
in the Bible, there was an answer to some prophet who asked God how he would end the world the "next time" since
he'd promised in a covenant after the flood that he would never destroy the population with a flood again. Then he put a rainbow
in the sky. To this day, when I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God's promise not to send a flood again.
about this point that the Mayans supposedly thought the world was going to end? Did they actually say that? Not really, unless
you interpret their writings to fit into that concept. But what if it'd the Mayan calendar, not the world, that is supposed
to end in December 2012? After all, we have Bible texts that say only the Father knows. If He didn't get around to telling
His much beloved Son, Jesus Christ, do you really believe He would have told some Indians out there on the Yucatan Peninsula.
So what did God tell the prophet?
In the New International Reader's Version, in Hebrews 12, we
25 Be sure that you don't say no to the One who speaks. People did not escape when they said
no to the One who warned them on earth. And what if we turn away from the One who warns us from heaven? How much less will
26 At that time his voice shook the earth. But now
he has promised, "Once more I will shake the earth. I will also shake the heavens."—(Haggai 2:6)
27 The words "once more" point out that what can be shaken can be taken away. I'm talking
about created things. Then what can't be shaken will remain.
We are receiving a kingdom that can't be shaken. So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him.
We will worship him with deep respect and wonder. 29 Our "God is like a fire that burns everything
There are also references to
God shaking the earth in Psalm 115:3 and Haggai 2:6.
I am reminded of the reference in Verse 28 that "...we
can worship God in a way that pleases him." That pretty much takes care of people who say they don't go to church because
they believe they can worship God in a forest, or somewhere else. In fact, God tells us that he wants us to meet in assembly
with fellow believers.
So get up on the Sabbath, get dressed and make your way to church where you can "assemble"
with "fellow believers." Just do it. Don't say "no" to God.
And then there's
this Tebow guy. Don't you love him?! Over the weekend he rushed 316 yards. That was the accumulated passes he threw and I
think he ran the ball some too. When he heard the stats broadcast with his last winning throw of the day that he was responsible
for 316 yards that won the game for the Denver Broncos, what does he do? Did he swell up and sing, "How great I am?"
Not on your life. He dropped to his knee and thanked God for his blessings. He later explained that when he heard that,
all he could think of was John 3:16.
January 7, 2012
I'm stuck at the weight
where I've plateaued so Quint and I headed for the gym today. That's how you get off those plateaus - either drastically cut
back on calories or step up the exercise.
Well, since our life is pretty sedentary as it is, just walking out
the door to get intot he car is an improvement on the sedentary lifestyle. So, since we're Silver Sneakers on our Humana insurance,
we headed for the gym where we used to go faithfully before all this cancer nonsense started. We walked on the treadmill for
a big fat 20 minutes. We got all the way up to a 27 minute mile. Then we did some work on the strength training machines.
I got on the machine that works the hamstrings. I personally think my hamstrings have completely atrophied, but that could
be just a bit hyperbolic. Truth is, I don't like needing to hang onto something just to stand up, for crying out loud.
Okay, so I don't expect to jump up out of my seat, but I would like to look less like an invalid. I'll work up to
walking for an hour, or get up to five miles. I remember when I was a Girl Scout leader I used to go on five mile hikes with
frequency. But then, those were called "all day hikes" for Brownies.
Oh well, we're expecting it to
take some little while to get some semblance of stamina back.
On our way home, we stopped at Walgreens where I
got my flu shot. The doctor only had one left when we were there for our last checkup, so Quint got it.
stocked up on sugar free candy. Russell Stover is my friend!
Changing the subject, I can always rely on my cousin
Mark to send the Darwin Awards for the previous year. And here they are:
THE 2011 DARWIN AWARDS
You've been waiting for them with bated breath, so without further ado, here are the
2011 Darwin Awards:
In Detroit , a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after
head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.
San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran",
accidentally jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on
his daily run.
While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an 8 foot hole for protection
wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom, when it collapsed, burying
him beneath 5 feet
of sand. People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying
to get him out but could not reach him. It took rescue
workers using heavy equipment
almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed as he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop
he was burglarizing.
Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his
mouth to keep his hands free rammed into the base of his
skull as he hit the floor.
Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed as he won a
bet with friends who said he
would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the
After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door, a man
walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the store. The shop was full of
customers and a uniformed
officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the
officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up and fired a few
wild shots from a
The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers also
their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics.
Crime scene investigators
located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The
subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified
rounds from 7
different weapons. No one else was hurt.
47, and his wife Bonnie were bored just driving around at 2 A.M. so
they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to toss out
the window to see what would
happen. Apparently they failed to notice that the window was closed.
Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew
a person who had
bungee-jumped from a local bridge in the middle of traffic. The
conversation grew more excited, and at least 10 men trooped
along the walkway of the
bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge, they discovered that
one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered
and pointed out that a coil of lineman's
cable lay nearby. They secured one end
around Bingham's leg and then tied the other to the bridge. His fall lasted 40
before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously
survived his fall into the icy
water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen.
Bingham's foot was never located.
AND THE WINNER IS....
Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt ( Paderborn , Germany ) fed his constipated elephant
22 doses of animal laxative
and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes
before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators
Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when
the relieved beast
The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr Riesfeldt to the
he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200
pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just
one of those freak accidents.
January 9, 2012
lived, today would have been my brother, Allison's, 67th birthday. His middle name was Wallace, probably named for some long
lost relative I've never heard of. So we called him A.W. because that's what people in the south do. There's usually at least
one first degree relative identified only by initials. So wherever you are, A.W., I hope you're enjoying the choirs of angels
and that at the last moments on your deathbed you begged forgiveness for a life filled with sins. I suspect that you did get
that idea as you lay dying of lung cancer. But I don't know that. I just pray that you did because I would love to see you
Changing the subject, I have received more than quite a few emails about this Mayan thing and what's
going to happen at the end of 2012.
In the first place, the Bible reference to the end of the world is very clear
about who knows what. I believe it's in Revelation where the verse says that no one knows when the world will end except the
Father. Even His Son, Jesus Christ, does not have that information.
Yep. It says so in the Bible. Look it up.
Or if you don't have a Bible with a good commentary that can point you to the verse, go to www.ask..com and type in a question like, "Where in the Bible does it say ............................................"
You'll get a reference.
That's exactly what I did this evening before I started this writing. I knew that somewhere
in the Bible, there was an answer to some prophet who asked God how he would end the world the "next time" since
he'd promised in a covenant after the flood that he would never destroy the population with a flood again. Then he put
a rainbow in the sky. To this day, when I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God's promise not to send a flood again.
So what did God tell the prophet?
In the New International Reader's Version, we find:
Be sure that you don't say no to the One who speaks. People did not escape when they said no to the One who warned them on
earth. And what if we turn away from the One who warns us from heaven? How much less will we escape!
26 At that time his voice shook the earth. But now he has promised, "Once more I will shake the
earth. I will also shake the heavens."—(Haggai 2:6) 27 The words "once
more" point out that what can be shaken can be taken away. I'm talking about created things. Then what can't be shaken
28 We are receiving a kingdom that can't be shaken.
So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him. We will worship him with deep respect and wonder.
29 Our "God is like a fire that burns everything up."—(Deuteronomy 4:24)
January 4, 2011
this could be the beginning of a developing article about recognizing saboteurs within an organization. You know -- they're
the ones we refer to as alligators. Every organization has them. And they show their true colors more prominently than you
Here's an old maxim as you start your new year: If you want people to like you, you have to make yourself
That takes care of the bossy ones. People run from these guys. They sit in their chairs and issue edicts
and "fetch orders." "Get me this," or "get me that" seems to be their motto. You don't see these
people surrounded by a big crowd of people, do you? Organizations are full of these little chiefs.
So what can
you do to make people like you? Easy. If you want something, go get it yourself. That's for starters. The world does not raise
citizens who wait for you to beckon them.
That is, unless you're a politician or a monarch, or something that
gives your blue-blooded attitude the self-imposed right to sit on a chair and make demands.
Tied to likability
is another maxim: Good leaders make good followers. You can spot the good leaders in your organization by looking around to
see who the workers are. They're the ones who make the good leaders. The people who don't want to do any real work in a group
are the same ones who will keep the organization at the status quo. No growth. They say, "I liked it better when we were
smaller." All too often, these little-minded people have a secret agenda of their own. They seldom do anything to help
the organization grow. Does the definition of passive aggressive come to mind?
Just remember, aggression
is always a hostile act.
And passive aggression is disguised as sabotage. Each and every time. Passive aggressive
people are on a perpetual search for power. And what do they want the most? Whatever strength you've got. They're
trying to run a little micro counter-culture in your organization.
But there's good news. You reward (reinforce)
the behavior you want to continue. That's behavior modification rule #1. If you find yourself surrounded by people who
don't share your values, then for your own sense of well-being, find another venue. There are plenty of organizations and
opportunities out there in this big, wide wonderful world that welcome hard workers.
It's even Biblical to shake
the dust from your sandals and walk away. Whatever happened between the "shake the dust from your sandals" theory
and the "turn the other cheek motto?"
Well, that thesis can be bridged with a good sermon. I'm
not a pastor so I'll leave that one for theologians to wrestle with.
January 2, 2012
be it resolved -----
I don't ordinarily make New Years resolutions. But this year is an exception.
can trace my weight gain all the way back to 1985 when my thyroid was removed. I had what's known as a "thyroid storm"
at work and was taken by ambulance to Northwest Memorial Hospital from the law firm where I worked. An endocrinologist diagnosed
Graves Disease, an autoimmune nuisance. Problem was I had my daughter's wedding gown about half done and was looking down
the barrel of her wedding in about two weeks. I finished the gown, had the thyroid ablated with a radioactive iodine. Quint
said I glowed in the dark. The doctor released me much earlier than he would have ordinarily because I promised to return
post haste after the wedding for quick checkups. That only entailed a quick cab ride over to his office from the law firm
where I was back at work.
The problem was, my weight started to slowly rise. At about a 60 degree slope upward.
I put on seventy pounds in a year!
I tried lots of diets. All the wrong ones. Low carb diets, for instance, are
never any good. I don't care who recommends them, they are not good for your body's chemistry. The human being is meant to
eat grains and grain products. Problem was, I wasn't eating anything differently than my pre-ablation days.
in 2006 Quint and I moved. We bought a Cape Cod. People thought I was nuts to move into a house that had three levels when
we had lived in a condominium that was all on one level. Not to mention that my knees were giving me fits. But after we moved
I started to lose weight. Slowly. Ever so slowly. After about six months my knees were not giving me any problems at all.
I wasn't doing anything much different except I was out from under the sedentary lifestyle that came with my counseling practice.
I was walking around more. I enjoyed the physical activity. At the end of a year I was 49 pounds lighter.
is the year I'm going to take off the rest of the 25 pounds that I packed on. And how am I going to do this? Simple. Give
up most of the flour products I eat.
Following a gout diet is not that difficult. Sugar is my enemy. Yeast products
are also my enemy. Meat is my enemy too. No more bacon with my eggs. No more smoky links that are stuffed with cheddar cheese
and jalapeno peppers.
No more cookies. At least not more than two at one sitting. Ice cream is okay so it's a
good thing that I really like Eskimo Pies -- sugar free that is. This afternoon I'm going to make a cookie that has a chocolate
turtle stuffed inside. The cookie dough is a Pillsbury sugar free cake mix and the chocolate turtles are sugar free from Russell
Stove. I'll cut the turtles into quarters to make them go farther. Does it cost more to make them? You bet. But it's cheaper
than all the medicines that you have to take if you're diabetic. I can have a couple of cookies with impunity.
cheeses and cottage cheese are also very good for me. And for some reason, tart cherries are also good for the gout diet.
They are low in purines. The lower the purines in the bloodstream, the lower the risk of too much uric acid in the blood.
Fresh apples and oranges and bananas are good for the low purine diet too. But I seldom eat bananas. Once in a while we'll
put them on cereal for breakfast. (Did you know that a serving of banana is only 1/2 of the banana?) It has too much sugar
in it. I learned that from Quint's diabetic diet.
Two weeks ago I started a lifestyle change that will allow me
to get control of the gout. I've now lost 5 and a half pounds.
I'm looking forward to being at least ten pounds
lighter by the end of January. That's the only resolution that I've made so far.
I'm thinking about slowing down
a bit. Especially now that I'm working at a job that I really enjoy in the afternoons. It's working for a dual parish church
office. Fortunately, the pastor I work with was a friend of mine before I started working with him.
I'm not willing
to give that up. But I am willing to give up my "over-do" list. It's too easy for people to mistake my generosity
with my time and energy. So I'm going to step back this year and let other people do some of the things that I used to
do. In the meantime, I have joined a Christian Writers Group that meets here in Effingham County. It's a group of about ten
people who are writing for publication.
And I have a couple of grants that I promised to write for some business
people here in the county. I like writing grants. It keeps my paralegal skills honed. And I like helping business people get
their enterprises off the ground.
I also want to continue with my own writing projects.
And that should
keep me busy and productive in the new year.
That's only two resolutions. They're two that I can commit to that
I know I will follow faithfully. That's the key to success when it comes to re-inventing yourself. Pick a re-invention project
that you are willing to commit to completely. And don't take on too many projects at the same time. You'll only frustrate
yourself. Pick a project that you are motivated to work on. For me, it was the dreaded fear that if I kept on gobbling away,
I'd hit 300 pounds. That's just something that I'm not willing to embrace. Besides, losing weight is all about math. If you
eat more calories than you use up, you'll gain weight.
I've watched people who claim that they "just can't
lose weight." They'd have you believe that they have tried everything. Yet, when you look at their plates, there's potatoes,
noodles, and bread and butter. Then there's the entree and maybe, just maybe a little bit of green vegetable. Never ever eat
potatoes and bread in the same meal. And I don't know what they think they're doing by dumping noodles or dressing onto the
plate. After all, you're not required to eat everything on the menu. So, if you're an adult, make a fist. That's about a cup.
Half of that amount would be a serving. If you're eating a closed fist size of mashed potatoes, you're eating too much. Oh,
you could have that much in green beans. That's for sure. But not if the beans are highly seasoned with butter and bacon bits,
I figure you've probably seen this letter that my cousins Mark and Al sent to me, but
it's worth another read through:
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.
The day after she
passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking
about how much she missed Abbey.
She asked if
we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God
would recognize her.
I told her that I thought
we could so, and she dictated these words:
Will you please take care of my dog?
She died yesterday and is with you in heaven.
her very much.
I ' m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will
play with her.
She likes to swim and play with balls.
I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will
know that she is my dog.
I really miss her.
We put the letter in an envelope with a
picture of Abbey & Meredith , addressed it
We put our return address on it.
several stamps on the front of the envelope cause she said it would
take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way
to heaven. That afternoon she
dropped it into the letter box at the post office.
A few days later, she asked if
God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped
in gold paper on our front porch addressed,
'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand.
Meredith opened it.
was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.'
Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to
God in its opened
On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized
Abbey isn't sick anymore.
Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.
loved being your dog.
Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your
so I ' m sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and
have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it
and sending it to me.
a wonderful mother you have.
I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that
I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find.
I am wherever there is love.
January 1, 2012
What a beautiful
message I've received from my cousins, Mark and Al:
WHAT HAPPENS IN HEAVEN WHEN
> This is one of the nicest e-mails
I have seen :
> I dreamt that I went to Heaven
and an angel was showing me around. We
> walked side-by-side inside a large workroom
filled with angels. My angel
> guide stopped in front of the first section and said,
'This is the
> Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.
> I looked around in this area, and it was terribly
busy with so many angels
> sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets
and scraps from
> people all over the world.
> Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.
> The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging
and Delivery Section.
> Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed
> delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how
> busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station,
> since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged
> for delivery to Earth.
> Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of
a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated
> there, idly
doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section, my angel
> friend quietly admitted
to me. He seemed embarrassed.
> "How is
it that there is no work going on here? I asked."
"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they
asked for, very few send back acknowledgments."
"How does one acknowledge God's blessings? "I asked.
> "Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord."
> "What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.
> "If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
> overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.
> If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish,
> you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy, and if you get this on
your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that
> "If you woke up this morning with more
health than illness.. You are more
> blessed than the many who will not even survive
> "If you have never experienced
the fear in battle, the loneliness of
> imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs
of starvation... You are
> ahead of 700 million people in the world."
> "If you can attend a church without the fear of
> torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three
> people in the world."
> "If your parents are still alive and still married.... you are very rare."
> "If you can hold your head up and smile, you are
not the norm, you're
> unique to all those in doubt and despair......."
> "Ok," I said. "What now? How can I start?"
> The Angel said, "If you can read this
message, you just received a double
> blessing in that someone was thinking of you as
very special and you are
> more blessed than over two billion people in the world who
cannot read at
> Have a good day, count your blessings , and if you care to, pass this
along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are..........
> ATTN: Acknowledge Dept .
"Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for
me so many wonderful people with whom to share it."
If you have read this far, and are thankful for all that you have been
> blessed with,
how can you not send it on?
thank God for everything, especially all my family and friends.
do you know how many pearly gates there are? -- If you guessed 12, you'd be correct. See Revelation 21.)
here's a profound story from my friend Linda, in Lawrenceville:
Read it before but just as powerful the second or third time.
GOD BLESS. Please do not forget the real reason for the
This is so beautiful!
A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people
were in and out of the cold.
The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell many
He walked up to a policeman and said, 'Mister,
you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could
find a warm place to sleep tonight would you?
You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down
the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight. Sure
would be nice to have a warm place to stay.'
The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, 'You go
down the street to that big white house and you knock
on the door. When they come out the door you just say John
3:16, and they will let you in.'
So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked
on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said,
'John 3:16 .' The lady said, 'Come on in, Son.'
She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker
in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off..
boy sat there for a while and thought to himself:
John 3:16 ....I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold
Later she came back and asked him 'Are you hungry? 'He said,
'Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days,
and I guess I could stand a little bit of food,'
The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't
anymore. Then he thought to himself: John 3:16...
Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry
She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub
filled with warm water, and he sat there
and soaked for a
while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16 ...
I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy
clean... You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my
whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in
front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room,
tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up
around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the
lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the
window at the snow coming down on that cold night,
he thought to himself: John 3:16 .....I don't understand it
but it sure makes a tired boy rested.
The next morning the lady came back up and took him
down again to that same big table full of food. After he
ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom
rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible.
She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face..
'Do you understand John 3:16 ? ' she asked gently. He replied,
'No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last
night when the policeman told me to use it,'
She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain
to him about Jesus . Right there, in front of that big old
fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there
and thought: John 3:16,“I
don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.
You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either,
how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how
Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the
agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched
and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept
Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it,
it sure does make life worth living.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life....
If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the
Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of
you before my Father.' Pass this on only if you mean it.
I do Love God . He is my source of existence... .. He keeps
me functioning each and every day. Phil 4:13 If you love
and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done
for you, send this on..
Take 60 seconds & give this a shot ! Let's just see if Satan
stops this one.
All you do is:
1) Simply say a small prayer for the person who sent you
this, 'Father, God bless this person in whatever it is that
You know he or she may be needing this day. In Jesus' Name,
Amen ! '
2) Then send it on to other people. Within hours many people
have prayed for you, and you caused a multitude of
pray to God for other people. Then sit back and watch the
power of God work in your life for doing the
thing that you
know He loves.
(This is a good example of what I call Network Prayers. It really makes me feel
great to know that people are praying for me, and I love to pray for others too. Thank you, Linda, for sending.)