Saturday, September 29, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
This is a rare Saturday when I do any postings.
Quint and I usually are off on excursions, having adventures.
Today, however, I'm going to catch up since we
stained the deck late yesterday afternoon and I painted a couple of big cement containers after I took the old, faded
marigolds out and put in some perky dark pink/lavender mums. Then the mosquitoes invaded us and we came indoors.
The honeysuckle I transplanted a few weeks ago has really taken hold. They were a gift from our kind neighbors across the
street. Same is true of the blackberry bushes that were moved from another neighbor's yard. They were growing practically
under the foundation of her garage. Kind of puny, if you ask me. But they got their little tippy toes down in dirt now and
I think they'll be in good shape before the first frost which is weeks and weeks away. (I hope.)
looking for fall colorations, the Farmers Almanac has a really neat interactive map at this site: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather/a/fall_foliage_dates
From the information in the states I clicked on, the fall colors are going to be fully loaded in the next week
or so. Good time to pack a picnic basket with sandwiches and fruit and head out on the open road with a camera. I know, gasoline
prices are horrible. Might even add all of $3 - $5 to your trip. Unless, of course, you're driving a SUV.
have a little Focus. Gets 35 MPH on the open road. And since we've retired, a tank of gasoline lasts at least two weeks.
That compares to filling up every about every 5 days when we were working up north. There are actually days when we don't
even start the car.
According the Farmers’ Almanac’s outlook, tropical storms are likely to
threaten the East Coast over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the first week of October holds the possibility of flurries for
the Great Plains. Early snowfall is also expected visit New England and the Great Lakes region during the opening weeks of
November, with cold, damp, unsettled conditions looming over the Thanksgiving holiday in most areas.
interactive map on the Farmers Almanac site is located here: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/home_garden/a/average_frost_dates
I guess our daughter and her husband in Sandpoint, Idaho, have already had their first frost. It was predicted
for September 17. They're about the farthest north living relative we have.
The Chicago area can expect its
first frost on November 2 -- while we're supposed to have our first frost 200 miles south of Chicago around October 21.
Guess Lake Michigan helps the folks up north delay the frost.
So today we're going to put a weather-proofing
clear coat on the deck. The stain should be dry by late in the afternoon.
I am going to make a cheddar cheese
soup this afternoon. It has vegetable chunks in it so it's not like eating a cheddar cheese sauce. That's always been
my objection to the cheddar cheese soup that's served in restaurants. It's more like eating a sauce. If this new recipe
turns out okay, I'll share it with you.
So we have two more chapters in Deuteronomy before finishing
this book of the Bible. We were supposed to finish Chapter 34 on Friday in order to keep up with Pastor Rensner's schedule.
I've noticed that he doesn't include each and every chapter on his assignment list, but I've included them anyway --
mainly for our friends and readers in the far east who have more of a challenge getting their hands on Christian reading
materials. Don't want to leave anything out for you folks.
Speaking of the far east, I especially want to ask
each of you to keep the people in Burma -- now renamed Myanmar -- in your prayers. The people have risen up to end 45
years of military oppression. Myanmar is a country nestled in between Thailand and India, with China on its northern border.
Lots of bloodshed and 48 fatalities, according to government released figures. The protesters make the claim of over
Deuteronomy 33: 1-29
In this book,
Moses blesses each of the tribes -- twelve sons borne to Jacob and two sons of Joseph.
In the land of Canaan,
each of the Israelite tribes settled a different region after they crossed the Jordan River.
are Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Gad, Issachar, Joseph, Judah, Levi, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulun.
in the eastern area were: Judah, Issachar and Zubulun.
The southern tribes were Reuben, Simeon and Gad.
In the west, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin settled down.
And to the norther, the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali
made their homes.
The sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Menasseh, were also given the status of independent tribes, according
to the Jewish Virtual Library.
Hold your thoughts about the twelve tribes of Israel for a moment because
I want to tell you a little story that you can read about at a site that will be supplied in a moment of two.
so the Israelites are just about all packed and ready to go across the Jordan River -- their camels are probably moaning and
groaning under the loads and the kiddos are probably running around chanting, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
before they had actually stepped off on the final leg of their journey. You know how that goes. Probably some wise mom even
devised a game about identifying license plates from the different tribes on each camel. Who knows. But they hadn't left
My story, though, fast forwards into a later period of time for the Israelites. This would be the time
after King Solomon died. The tribes were split, both politically and in these territorial pockets that had just been outlined.
Remember -- God draws the boundary lines on countries and continents and states, right?
of mighty battles and wanderings about will reveal more answers, but for the point in time of King Solomon's death, realize
that Judah and Benjamin were in the southern areas.
These two tribes make up the Jewish people that we know today.
The other ten tribes? Don't know. They got lost. Kind of scattered to the ends of the earth. There is still hope,
to this very day, that all the lost tribes of Israel will be found.
The prophet Ezekiel dreamed of this when he
said: Behold I will take the children of Israel ... and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their land.
And they shall be divided into two kingdoms no more.
Many Bible scholars believe that the Jewish Messianic
Age will be ushered in when these ten lost tribes are found and rejoined with the children of Israel. For Christians, the
Messiah has come to earth in the celebrated birth of Jesus Christ even though the lost ten tribes have yet to rejoin
the tribes in the Holy Land.
If you want to read more about these lost tribes and where some believe they have
settled, go here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/
But for now, let's go back to our 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy.
In verse 8, the distinction about
the Levites is made. They are to watch over the word and guard the covenant ( from verse 9b-11), teach the laws, offer incense
and burnt offerings on the altar.
So they Levites were going to live in the temples. They were not going to get
into the agriculture of shepherding or animal husbandry.
And in verse 12, we learn that Benjamin is ...the
beloved of the Lord...for he shields him all day long, and the one the lord loves rests between his shoulders.
Moses announces to all the tribes of Israel just who was going to get what and how God would bless each one of them.
Deuteronomy 34: 1-12
In this chapter, we learn of the death of Moses at the age of 120
Before his death, Moses had laid his hands on Joshua who was then (verse 9) filled with the spirit
of wisdom ...so the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.
a special place in God's eyes down through history for we read in verses 10-12: Since then, no prophet has risen in
Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do
in Egypt -- to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed
the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
Note that until Jesus came, no one had ever been
superior to Moses. A distinction is made in Hebrews 3:5 between Moses as the servant, and Jesus as the son (Hebrews 3:6).
THE UNITED STATES IS GOVERNED BY AN IRRESPONSIBLE CONGRESS
Many of you may
not be aware that the fiscal year for the United States begins on October 1st.
So what happens when new fiscal
years begin? Well, for starters, new budgets go into effect. At least that's what's supposed to happen.
Apparently the 110th congress hasn't quite gotten around to passing any of the 12 spending bills. What they did
get around to is passing an emergency package that will let the business of the taxpayers continue until they can get around
to resolving whatever differences they have with each other and maybe -- just maybe -- debate a compromise that will bring
an end to their suffering from do-nothing-itis.
Remember, folks, these congressionals are making $162,500
a year to take care of the business of the taxpayers in the United States. All 435 of them, plus 100 senators, although spending
bills do not originate in the senate. Or the White House either for that matter. And that doesn't include the cost of
running their offices -- either in Washington or in their districts, or the salaries for all their employees.
legislation started such as spending bills is strictly a function of the House of Representatives.
So for now,
a stop-gap measure ended up at the White House and President Bush signed it. That will allow the taxpayers' business to
continue for 7 more weeks.
The wrangling continues because the politicos have proposed bills that would increase
the budget request by the White House by an extra $205 billion.
Here's what that would mean in tax increases:
Taxes would rise $500 for each child.
For a family of four, making $60,000 a year, taxes would increase
For a single mother with two children, taxes would rise by $1,000
Small business owners would
have a tax increase of $4,000 for payroll taxes
In his radio address this morning, President Bush also pointed
out: These are not the only taxes Congress wants to raise. They're proposing higher taxes on dividends and capital
gains. They're proposing higher taxes on cigars and cigarettes. They're proposing to raise taxes on domestic oil and
natural gas production. They're proposing new taxes on stock and bond transactions. And they refuse the make the Internet
tax moratorium permanent. If this tax ban expires, it would open the doors for State and local officials to impose new taxes
on your access to the Internet.
To read the entire text of this morning's radio address, go to this link:
[Note: in the coming weeks, you're going to hear a lot from Congress about Bush's threatened veto on the
children's health matter. The reason he says he's going to veto this bill is because it has tons of other spending
dollars stashed in amongst the nooks and crannies, hidden from view unless you really get in there and read each item. Since
we don't have line item veto in the federal legislation, Bush has to veto the entire package and send it back to congress
with the message: Fix this.
You also need to know that Hillary wants to fund her proposed $5,000 bond for each
new baby born with a 61 cent increase on each package of cigarettes sold in this country.
ROAD RAGE (AGGRESSIVE DRIVING) -- IT'S NOT OKAY
There are 41,907 people
killed every year on our highways. Of those, nearly 2/3 can be attributed to road rage -- or aggressive driving.
That's 27,658 human beings. In essence, that's wiping out an American small town every year. Men, women and children.
An entire town! Poof. Gone.
So what's happened to our once safe highways?
There's a lot of part
For instance, there's been an increase of 11% in the number of drivers in the last ten years.
In that same length of time, people now drive 35 miles farther to get to and from work every day.
and this is an important distinction -- there have been only 1% more road lanes added to the nations' highways.
That adds up to some serious overcrowding, folks.
Then there's the stress factor. Okay, the roads are overcrowded.
We've got a lot of things on our minds. We're juggling kids' schedules. Getting to work.
enough to make you want to hibernate.
Especially if you think you're the only truly safe driver
on the road. Then, you notice that the driver in the next lane is eating a cheeseburger. Or talking on a cell phone. Or writing
notes while using the center of the steering wheel as a mini-desk.
And all the while, you're going down the
interstate or toll road at 70 mph because anything less would have drivers blasting horns at you. And they're 20 feet
off your rear bumper. Or less.
Just in case you aren't quite sure if what you're doing is road rage,
take a look at this list of what defines aggressive driving:
Running red lights and stop signs
Passing on the shoulder of the road
Cutting off another vehicle
Slamming on brakes in front of
Improper hand or facial gestures at other drivers
Repeatedly honking the horn
If you are the victim of road rage, my suggestion is that you do some immediate cognitive restructuring.
For instance, you could say to yourself that the road rager is on the way to the hospital for a medical emergency
-- either for a family member or for himself/herself.
Add to that an attitude of Make A Difference Day.
We need to do this more than one day a year.
Remember: courteous driving is safe driving. And when you're
out there, you're going to run into people who are either 3-year-olds disguised as adults, or just plain old imbeciles
who have no business with a drivers license in their wallet.
So here's how you can play your own private game
of Make A Difference:
Always be patient and courteous.
Don't drive when you're upset or tired.
Give yourself at least enough time to get where you're going, for crying out loud. It would be better if you padded
your schedule with a safety net of fifteen minutes. I remember getting stuck in a horrible traffic jam on the way to
the office one day last winter. Traffic was blocked at the intersection of 142nd and Harlem Avenue, and we had to go all the
way to 167th Street. At this point, Harlem Avenue cuts through the Cook County Forest Preserves so there were no side street
intersections where we could turn. We just had to sit there and wait it out, practically cheering every time we
could go forward three feet. So I decided that I'd just time how long we were stuck. And then at about 150th
Street, there was the carcass of a burned out car and the ambulance was just leaving. But get this: the total time we were
stuck was only seven little minutes! After we got to the point where the broke car was being loaded onto a tow truck,
traffic opened up again. So don't cut your schedule too close to where you can't even accommodate a ten minute emergency
When possible, change your schedule to avoid congestion. Traffic 'copters are giving updates all
the time in urban areas. There are usually alternate routes that you can take. Unless, of course, you live in Cook County,
Illinois, where forest preserves block construction of any new reasonable roadways.
Listen to relaxing
music or books on tape. Or here's an even better idea: use your driving time for prayer time. You do have
a list of people who need your prayers, don't you? If you don't, then start one today with at least your immediate
family on the list. Pray also for our leaders, and our military service personnel. And pray for all your fellow
drivers, especially the aggressive ones. They are somebody's mom or dad, son or daughter, brother or sister -- they are
somebody's loved one. Pray for them. And pray for God to bless your day and everything that you do.
drivers the benefit of the doubt. And no, they did not wake up this morning with the idea that they wanted to make you, or
any other driver, miserable just for the fun of it.
Most of all, avoid conflict. Even if you're in the right.
A lot of road ragers carry guns and knives or other pointy things. Morgue slabs are cold steel -- don't become a
Friday, September 28, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Good morning, Vietnam! And Singapore. And,
of course, everyone in the United States who is logged on this morning. It's going to be a beautiful day where we are.
A great day to go pick out stain for the deck. Maybe this afternoon, we'll get it stained and sealed.
says he doesn't care about the color -- I'm thinking color -- he's thinking seal. Him protect wood. Me want pretty.
Fortunately, we can get both. In the same application.
Better living through chemistry, says Quint the chemist.
We were the guests of Midland States Bank here in Effingham -- and Stan, our new friend from church -- at a dinner
honoring the work of the Family Life Pregnancy Center.
Jill Stanek was the guest speaker. She is a nurse who used
to work at Christ Hospital until she got fired. She shared some of her experiences with abortions at Christ Hospital in Oak
Lawn, Illinois. She's been a guest speaker on the Bill O'Reilly Show at Fox News, was present when President Bush
signed into law a bill protecting all babies who are born. It's called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act
and the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.
The Family Life Pregnancy Care Center serves people who are facing
unplanned, unprepared pregnancies in Effingham. If you would like to assist this wonderful group financially, the organization
is located at 605 Eden Avenue, Effingham, IL 62401. All donations of any size would be most welcomed.
their important work around 2 Corinthians 4:1 -- Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do
not lose heart.
We are going over to the Silk Purse today. It's a resale shop that raises money for the
Center. We have lots and lots and lots of stuff that someone can probably use. We'll be glad to donate our "extras"
(by the carloads).
You'll be happy to know -- and maybe surprised as I was -- that Indiana has added a co-designation
for state beverage. It's water. So, for those of you who live in Indiana and anybody asks you what your state beverage
is, just tell them "water."
And in South Dakota, the newly named state fossil is the triceratops.
This was a horned dinosaur that roamed South Dakota some 65 million years ago. See, nice things come to all who wait. And
wait. And wait.
Our trip to Altamont yesterday was fruitful. Quint got his money for the chairs so he's happy.
All's well that ends well.
Deuteronomy 32: 1-52
Our homework assignment
for this chapter is to figure out which of the verses of Moses' song means the most to you today. We are challenged by
Pastor Rensner to read this song often and remember all that God has done for you. I would suggest that you download this
and put it in your wallet. Seriously.
Also -- the homework reading assignments for this week take us through Chapter
34 and since today is only Chapter 32, check back tomorrow and Sunday for the final two chapters of this important book of
the Old Testament.
I am glad to hear from you about the book of Deuteronomy. It finishes off the Pentateuch,
which is a collection of the first five books of the Bible. It also is known as the Torah. The Torah was written
on kosher animal parchment. Because of its central part in worship services, the Torah is dressed or wrapped in silk and often
has a crown placed at the top. Even today, the Torah is stored in the holiest part of a synagogue. For sure, there is no longer
an Ark of the Covenant, but synagogues have a very revered place where the Torah is kept when it is not being used in worship
Bible scholars generally accept that Moses wrote the Pentateuch -- Genesis, Exedus, Leviticus, Numbers
and Deuteronomy. This is one of the reasons why the Pentateuch is considered a literary unit.
My view is that
all of the Bible is the Word of God. For me, it matters not who actually picked up the pen and dipped it in the inkwell.
Peppered throughout the first five books of the Bible are words like, "God said to Moses: write this down."
There are even references in Joshua, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel and Malachi that make the claim that Moses
wrote the Pentateuch.
One source of contradiction that the Pentateuch, in its entirety, was penned by Moses are
the inclusions of references to Moses' death and burial. Some scholars believe that these references might have been added,
perhaps by Joshua.
Here's a link to the Song of Moses that will, no doubt, interest you. It's well worth
the time to study. There are some beautiful pictures also at this sight: http://www.revelation-today.com/song1.htm
This is the Song of Moses that is found in Deuteronomy 32:1-43 --
Listen, O heavens, and I
hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
I will proclaim the name
of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
They have acted corruptly toward
to their shame they are no longer his children,
but a warped and crooked generation.
Is this the way you
repay the Lord,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is he not your Father, your Creator,
who made you and formed you?
Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past,
Ask your father and he will tell
your elders, and they will explain to you.
When the Most High gave the
nations their inheritance,
he divided all mankind,
he set up boundaries for the peoples
according to the number of the sons of Israel.
the Lord's portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted inheritance.
In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste,
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
them on its pinions.
The Lord alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.
He made him ride on
the heights of the land
and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
and with oil from the flinty crag,
with curds and milk from herd and flock
and with fattened lambs and goats,
with choice rams of Bashan
and the finest kernels of wheat.
You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
filled with food, he became heavy and sleek.
He abandoned the god who made him
and rejected the Rock his Savior.
They made him jealous with their foreign gods
and angered him with the detestable
They sacrificed to demons, which are not God --
gods they had not known,
gods that recently appeared,
gods your fathers did not fear.
You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
The Lord saw this and rejected them
because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
hide my face from then," he said,
"and see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children who are unfaithful.
They made me jealous by what is no god
and angered me with their worthless idols.
I will made them envious by those
who are not a people;
I will make them angry by a nation
that has no understanding.
For a fire has been kindled by my wrath,
one that burns to the realm of death below.
It will devour the earth
and its harvests
and set afire the foundations of the mountains.
I will heap calamities upon them
and spend my arrows against them.
I will send wasting famine against them,
consuming pestilence and deadly plague;
I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,
the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.
In the street the
sword will make them childless;
in their homes terror will reign.
Young men and young women will perish,
and gray-haired men.
I said I would scatter them
and blot out their memory from mankind,
but I dreaded the
taunt of the enemy,
lest the adversary misunderstand
and say, 'Our hand has triumphed;
the Lord has not
done all this.'"
They are a nation without sense,
there is no discernment in them.
only they were wise and would understand this
and discern what their end will be!
How could one man chase a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the Lord had given them up?
their rock is not like our Rock,
as even our enemies concede.
Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison,
and their clusters with bitterness.
is the venom of serpents,
the deadly poison of cobras.
Have I not kept this in reserve
it is my vaults?
It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip,
their day of disaster
and their doom rushes upon them.
The Lord will judge his people
and have compassion on his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
and no one is left, slave or free.
He will say, "Now where is their
the rock they took refuge in,
the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their
Let them rise up to help you!
Let them give you shelter!
See now that I myself
There is no god besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
no one can deliver out of my hand.
I lift my hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever
sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand grasps it in judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
those who hate me.
I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
while my sword devours flesh:
the blood of the slain
and the captives,
the heads of the enemy leaders."
Rejoice, O nations, with his people,
he will avenge the blood of his servants;
he will take vengeance on his enemies
and make atonement for his land
Moses and Joshua came together before the children of Israel while Moses recited these words that
had been dictated to him by God.
Moses then warned the Israelites in verses 46-47: Take to heart all the words
I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law.
They are not just idle words for you -- they are your life. By them you will live long.
This is the passage
that I hold most strongly when I counsel parents to get their children to church and Sunday School -- and not to fall folly
to the notion that they ought to let their children "decide" someday what they want to do about God. Oh no -- to
the contrare -- God was very specific about what he means when he says "...command your children to obey carefully all
the words of this law."
How are you going to instruct your children about the Laws of God if you don't
introduce them to God?
Turns out this Song of Moses is one of the last "official" acts before the leadership
of the Israelites is turned over to Joshua.
Now God tells Moses to go up on Mt. Nebo and take a look at the promised
land because he's not going there. Instead, Moses is going to die before the Israelites take off to cross the Jordan River.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Welcome readers from Chile, China, the
Russian Federation, and, of course, the United States. I guess it's too early -- or late -- for my niece (Karen) who lives
with her husband Alex in Kuwait City. Alex is some kind of computer genius.
Greetings to you all!
going to be an "abundantly sunny" day, says the weather channel. But cool autumn breezes and not too much humidity.
I can tell fall is coming because the leaves are starting to come down. Not too much, but just enough to remind me that the
seasons are about to change.
We are going over to the big town of Altamont this morning. We had a couple of wing
chairs that just would not fit anywhere in the house, but we brought them down from the condo anyway and had a consignment
person sell them. So he says he has our money for us. Altamont is all of 11 miles away. That will be a nice after-lunch excursion.
This evening we are going to a fund-raising dinner with a group from church. The occasion is a right-to-life organization.
Quint and I are very much in favor of pro-life activities.
I read yesterday that one state -- I believe Oregon
-- is introducing legislation that will require doctors to show mothers who want to abort their babies an ultrasound of their
baby. There are other states that have enacted such a law and the abortion statistics drop quite a bit once mom sees her helpless
little baby inside her.
Well, well, well -- Captain Marmalade went back to Iran. Says he felt very insulted by
comments made by the president of Columbia University. Hugo Chavez didn't come to the United Nations big-mucky-muck meeting.
Probably afraid that if he left Venezuela, a coup might have grabbed power. Especially since he's socializing everything
in sight down there. So he stated home and entertained Kevin Spacek from Hollywood. Now all that's left in the United
Nations besides the country regulars and movie stars who think they are roving ambassadors of some type or another.
As for me, I stayed home and cleaned my kitchen floor. That takes care of my priorities. Clean house -- clean mind.
Deuteronomy 31: 1-30
When you read this chapter, keep these questions from Pastor
Rensner in mind: Moses warns the people that this covenant will fail because human beings cannot fulfill it. Who ushered in
a new covenant that will never fail? What was that covenant sealed with?
In the early verses of this chapter, Moses
admits to being 120 years old. He also tells them that he is unable to lead them anymore.
Then he adds that he's
not going to cross the Jordan River with them. But the Lord God himself will cross over with the children of Israel. That
must have been a tremendous relief to the Israelites.
It reminds me of one of those ancient maps of the world.
Probably one like Christopher Columbus had to use when he sailed away from Spain. At the edge of the known world, there was
written "There be dragons."
The children of Israel must have been very afraid with the possibilities
of what lay ahead of them. Either that or they relied totally on their faith in God who promised that he would go on ahead
of them and take care of the armies that needed destroying.
Oh, yeah -- Joshua was going to head on over ahead
of the Israelites too.
I always wonder when I read this chapter of Deuteronomy whether Joshua and God walked along
together. We shall see. There just weren't all that many people who actually saw God. But God could have been a presence
who walked along with Joshua.
In verse 6, we read: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
We have some
logistics to clear up at this point. I guess the children of Israel were packing up their tents and loading up their camels.
The Levites -- the priests who were the sons of Levi -- got to carry the ark of the covenant. This is where the laws
of the covenant were contained. Moses told them that every seven years, in the same year for cancelling debts, and during
the Feast of Tabernacles, the laws were to be read out loud to the Israelites again.
Everybody was to
come around for this reading. Even the aliens who were living among them. And the children who hadn't heard the laws would
hear them as they were growing up.
Then God said something to Moses that must have made his blood run cold. God
said in verse 14: Now the day of your death is near. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, where
I will commission him.
And that's where God presented himself. But not so they could see him. No, the
Lord was inside a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent.
And the Lord, who knows
everything -- past, present and future -- said to Moses in verses 16 - 17a: ...You are going to rest with your fathers,
and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and
break the covenant I made with them. On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them...
that the children of Israel had gone through as they made their long, long trek through the desert, wouldn't you think
they would have figured out that they won't supposed to disobey God?
Each and every time they disobeyed, God's
wrath rained down on them. Then they developed insight again real quick, repented, and God forgave them. And they repeated
the cycle of disobedience again and made God mad at them.
It takes disasters and difficulties to make us realize
just how weak we really are. Our strength comes from God and he walks among us -- even to this day. He watches us and sees
how we are living our lives.
He wants to make sure that we are careful to put him first. Absolutely #1 in our
God will not accept second place. Never has. Never will. Be careful with that one. He doesn't want you
to lie. He doesn't want you to cheat. He doesn't want you to steal, or murder anybody. He doesn't want you to
go off flirting with someone's spouse (or worse), or take their car (we don't commute by horse anymore).
If you do any of these things, he watches and thinks, "I really wish you hadn't done that."
knows that we are all sinners. He knew that from the early days when he banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
But just knowing that we are helpless to resist the powerful pull of sin does not mean that we can go ahead anyway,
thinking that all we have to do is confess our sins, say we're sorry and ask for forgiveness, without trying with all
our heart to resist the very sins that separate us from God.
Resist sin. Don't think for a moment that you
can sin freely, then ask for forgiveness and God won't know what you're up to.
who ushered in the new covenant?
None other than our Lord Jesus Christ. This new covenant was sealed by the blood
of Christ. Otherwise, we wouldn't have had any hope of salvation.
BE COURAGEOUS -- from
2 Timothy 1:7 -- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,
and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear is not of God. Have the courage to step out on faith and do
the seemingly impossible. Start your own business; go into the ministry; apply for that promotion. Anything that you've
been afraid to do and you know that God has called you to do -- JUST DO IT!
Philippians 4:13 -- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
greater is He that's within you than he that's in the world. You have the power of the Most High God working in you,
and you have His Son steadily making intercession for you. You have nothing to worry about! Walk with your head up! You say
you have low self-esteem -- somebody told you that you'd never amount to anything; the devil is a liar! Know that you
are somebody -- not because Jesus said it, but because you are a child of The King!
WALK IN THE VICTORY
Romans 8:28 -- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them
who are the called according to His purpose.
Does anything else need to be said? The jury has been
out and the verdict is in -- YOU WIN!
In your finances -- YOU WIN!
On your job -- YOU WIN!
In your relationships
-- YOU WIN!
In your health -- YOU WIN!
God has already worked it out for you. It may not come out the way
you think it should (or when you think it should) but remember -- CALM DOWN, SHUT UP, AND QUIT TRIPPIN'! He's working
it out for YOUR good -- in HIS time.
Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move
your feet! Have a blessed day.
POLITICS AS USUAL -- HERE COME NEW TAX PROPOSALS
"I'm trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it's going to have
a measure of pain that you're not going to like," Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress,
said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press.
Dingell will offer a "discussion draft"
outlining his tax proposals on Thursday, the same day that President Bush holds a two-day conference to discuss voluntary
efforts to combat climate change.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/26/AR2007092602127_pf.html
Here come taxes on taxes. Get ready to call your representative. Or fax. Or e-mail. Let him/her know that this
is just not acceptable for a couple of reasons.
First of all, global warming is a cyclical phenomenon. It's
not caused by man. So say the scientists who have bigger brains than I do. No matter how much they raise taxes, it's not
going to reduce global warming.
But to put a 50 cent tax on top of the gas taxes that are already there is
outrageous. It's nothing but punishment for people who have to put gas in their cars.
not to be in the business of punishing the very people who vote them into office. They're supposed to be managing the
business of government for the people who elected them -- not figuring out new ways to tax the socks off of us.
that make you angry enough to register to vote in 2008 if you aren't already?
Doesn't that make you angry
enough to keep a tally of how your congress persons are voting on issues that affect your pocketbooks? Don't rely on the
media to give you that information.
If you are reading this, then you are on the internet. You can get information
about how your congressman voted on each and every bill in congress.
Go to www.house.gov or www.senate.gov.
Look for voting records. They're recorded by law.
What I'd like to see is a list of
members of congress who fly on commercial flights, in the coach section, just like the rest of us.
Get off those
private jets and stay out of first class. You're just a human being like the rest of us -- you know, your taxpayers!
FABULOUS RECIPE: HONEYED PEARS ON GREENS WITH FETA CHEESE
3 T. olive
4 T. fresh lemon juice (I used red wine vinegar)
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
Dash of salt
2 ripe but firm pears, cored, unpeeled and cut in chunks
3.5 ounces (5 cups) greens
feta cheese, crumbled (I used blue cheese)
1/4 cup crushed almonds (optional)
In a small saucepan, combine
oil, lemon juice, honey, thyme and salt. Add pears, while gently stirring, and bring to a rapid boil. Simmer at high heat
for 1 minute. Pears should hold their shape and not be mushy. Refrigerate until cool.
To assemble, divide greens
on 4 plates. Top with pears, including liquid. Add cheese. Garnish with thyme and almonds.
Nutrients: 259 calories,
7 g. protein, 19 g. carbohydrates, 19 g. fat (6.7 g. saturated), 21 mg. cholesterol, 3 g. fiber, 40 mg. sodium
NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
It's a British study released
about a week ago.
There were 10,000 government employees in a 17-year analysis.
"Not enough sleep"
is less than seven hours of sleep a night.
Those people who cut their sleep from seven hours of sleep a night
to five hours or less faced a 1.7 fold increase in mortality from all causes and more than double the risk of cardiovascular
The findings were presented by Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University
of Warwick's medical school.
Other studies have been presented in the past that correlate health risks and
lack of sleep, but this is the first study that links duration of sleep to mortality rates.
Curiously, there is
a higher mortality rate for people who sleep more than nine hours a day.
In the United States, 40% of the population
regularly sleep less than five hours a day.
Read article at: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSL2462796020070924
BINGE DRINKING ON THE INCREASE IN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES
and years and years -- probably eons -- binge drinking has been relegated to Anglo-Saxon cultures.
This is primarily
due to the fact that Mediterranean cultures have historical and social roots. Mainly wrapped around wine, with meals and with
friends, at a moderate level every day. Drinking to the point of drunkenness has not been a Mediterranean norm.
cultures add drinking without food, and drinking without the company of friends.
A recent study presented
by José Lorenzo Valencia-Martín, a medical doctor at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and corresponding
author for the study, shows that binge drinking is on the rise in Mediterranean countries.
The study looked at
more than 12,000 people -- both male and female -- and noted that drinking patterns appear to be changing.
drinking seems to be an 'imported drinking pattern,' based on spirits -- such as gin, whisky, vodka, etc. -- which
are not culturally rooted in Spain," said Valencia-Martín. "We think that spirits are mainly used in binging
because drinkers may seek the psychoactive effects of alcohol in a relatively short time."
Binge drinking was
defined as consumption of eight or more standard units of alcohol (about 3 shots) for men, and six or more (about two shots)
for women during any one drinking session during the previous 30 days.
Keep in mind that there is an ounce of
alcohol in a 6 ounce glass of wine or in a 12 ounce bottle of beer or in one shot of distilled spirits.
the world could drink eight glasses of wine? Or eight cans of beer? Or eight shots in one sitting?
Answer: a binge
Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070924163108.htm
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Welcome back to our readers from South
Korea and China -- and, of course, our regulars here in the United States. Let's see, what time is it in the far east?
In the first place, it's across the dateline -- so it's Thursday, and Quint's recollection is that the far east
is about twelve hours ahead of us.
That's fascinating. We're just starting our day and you're probably
just finishing dinner and getting ready for your evening devotionals and catching up on the day's events.
are still enjoying a slow, warm, gentle rain here in central Illinois. Reminds me of the time we were in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Humidity was about 94% and the temperature was in the high 70s. Made the rain seem very warm and comfortable.
like the bone chillers that are coming in November. Just enjoy what we have today.
And our readers in South Africa
and Australia are getting ready for spring.
We don't have anything ambitious planned for today. I'm still
trying to come out of my self-imposed period of rest. I may just concentrate on clearing off some horizontal surfaces. And
get this, Quint. I will be throwing some stuff away.
I'm telling you early so you can get the drum line ready.
I want to see crab walking from one end of the basement to the other, and lots of clickety clack of the drums to keep momentum
with my newly acquired tossing arm.
is loaded with promises from God.
We read in verse 3: ...then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes
and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished
to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back.
only that, but in verse 5b: ...He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.
verse 7 there is vengeance: The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you.
The children of Israel must have been thrilled to realize that the Lord God of their fathers and grandfathers
was still willing to take them under wing and help them get settled, overcome their enemies and bring their labors to prosperity.
Just like he promised in verse 9: ...The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted
in your fathers, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law
and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Now I don't know about you folks,
but that doesn't seem to be all that hard to do.
Breaking even one of the ten commandments is not on my list
of things to do today.
I choose life -- to live in the glow of God's eternal love. I do not want the Decider
to become the Destroyer, like he threatens in verses 17 - 19: But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient,
and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be
destroyed. ... Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to
his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life...
It's easy to slip back into
this thought that the words of Deuteronomy are old bits of history that just had to do with the Israelites coming up out of
If that's your rationale for not making God the centerpiece of your life, then you ought to take great
care. You see, when Jesus Christ came down to the earth from heaven, he brought the good news that through him, each and every
one of us become the children of God.
God gave up his son to die for our sins. All that is required of us
is to make God the Lord of our life and to keep his commandments. This good news brings Deuteronomy out of the ancient
times into the present day promises of God.
He's here -- blessing up with prosperity today!
CALM DOWN -- from Brenda Moore
Psalm 46:10 -- Be still and know that
I am God.
So many times we make situations more than they are due to our anxiety.
CALM DOWN --
God has your life under control. He knows how to handle even teh seemingly complex situation with ease.
-- Stop having pity parties and talking about your business all the time. Don't you know that the power of death and life
is in the tongue. Stop speaking negative things into existence in your life and in others.
When you look at your situations through your eyes, you often read more into the situation than what is there. It's not
as bad as you think particularly if God is in your life. Stop over-analyzing your life.
GOOD NEWS FOR THE McCANNs
A tourist siting may just well be that of four-year Madeleine McCann. The tourist
in Morocco was so certain that a woman carrying a little girl on her back was the missing four-year old that she snapped a
picture and took it to the police.
It's now in the hands of Interpol and experts are studying the photo to
determine whether the little girl is, in fact, Madeleine.
Keep in mind that Morocco is not all that far from Portugal
-- only about 30 miles by ferry across the Straits of Gibraltar.
Want to see the photo? Check this out: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL2635078520070926
I pray that it is Madeleine and that she will soon be returned to her parents. And if it is, what an ordeal! I'll
bet they never let her out of their sight again.
AUTO WORKERS SETTLE STRIKE WITH GENERAL
That's it, except for the details which will probably be released today sometime.
At 3 a.m. this morning, the strike ended when both sides bargained their way into a contract agreement.
news for the economy. The stock market opened higher.
SO BI-POLAR LOOKS LIKE A GENE MISSES
ITS CUES IN THE SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE
We've known for a long time that people who are depressed have different
sleep patterns, with sleep disturbances being the big complaint.
But now comes new research reported by Dr. Michael
Craig Miller, a practicing psychiatrist who is also an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, in addition
to his teaching duties in the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program.
New research has identified a gene
they are calling the Clock gene.
This is the gene that helps regulate the body's circadian cycles
-- those ups and downs of the body functions that cycle about every 24 hours.
Okay, so it's another rat study.
But we can't ethically put human beings through the rigors of scientific research just to find out whether or not different
chemicals work for this or that, and whether serious side effects (if present) lead to death.
In the world
of scientific labs, human beings get preferential treatment over lab rats.
In the continuing study of bi-polar
disorder, it appears that this clock gene that was identified in mice showed similar signs in human mania.
scientists gave the mice lithium. That's the oldest treatment that's been used for bi-polar (used to be called manic
depression, and before that was called cyclothymic disorder). When the mice got their little dose of lithium, then they settled
down and behaved -- well, ordinary.
When we take that story out of the lab and put it into human context,
we get refusals for treatment that sound like, "I don't want to take drugs. I like the way I feel. I don't feel
like myself when I take the medicine."
To which I say, "When you're in your manic phase, you are
not behaving like you ordinarily would. The manic you is not the real you. You're out of step with the rest of us and
it isn't our job to run and keep up with you while your mind is racing. It's your job to cool down and keep pace with
the rest of the population.
"If you can't do that on your own, then medication will bring you back to
what we'd call ordinary behavior."
Bi-polar people who refuse to take medication sometimes think
they can diet their problems away, or wish them away.
To which I say, do you have any idea how challenging
it is to re-engineer the genetics of your body?
So just relax and take advantage of some multi-million dollar research
that is being done with your best interests at heart.
Now, just for review, here's a brief list of what bipolar
Extremes in moods. These can be good highs (euphoria) or uncomfortable highs (rageful behaviors)
Bipolar people have a pretty grand idea of how great they are. And wonderful. And smart. And beautiful/handsome. And
They talk, talk, talk, talk. My grandmother used to say that trying to get a word in edgewise with some
people was like trying to thread a sewing machine with the needle running. She was describing a conversation with a bipolar
person who's in a manic phase.
Bipolar people have so many many unfinished projects that they embarrass themselves.
Then these embarrassments get redefined as unproductive failures. Then their self-esteem gets eroded when they start to think
of themselves as useless and hopeless.
Then their manic phase plummets to the bottom of their mood swing into a
Lots of bipolar people go for help. They get prescriptions. They take them for a while, then they
want their old used-to-be selves back because they think that's their normal behavior.
But it isn't.
It's themselves when their brain is delivering up a high, elated mood. They have lots of jumping chemicals at their disposal
when that happens and they become addicted to all these euphoria driven compounds floating around in their brains.
They long for the chemicals they have become addicted to. The quit taking their medicines and they become non-compliant
patients when they need their "fix" of bipolar euphoria chemicals.
But what goes up, comes down. The
misery of those depressive lows scares the bipolar and this is when they come back for help.
So thanks a lot, Eve.
You had a perfectly perfect body with everything synchronized until you messed it up with that little conversation with the
devil. Remember that one?
They should rename the clock gene "Eve."
If you want to
read Miller's entire article, click on this link: http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/35320/63153/558561.html?d=dmtHMSContent
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
It isn't that we're getting a
slow start this morning -- but we had a nice, gentle rainfall before sun-up and we just sat and lingered over our morning
There was a cooled down breeze. It was sending us whispers of the fragrance of rain coming across the
front yard that Quint mowed yesterday afternoon.
Our dining room has windows on the south wall and the west wall.
It's the favorite room in the house for the succulents. They compete with each other as they try to elbow their way up
to the windows. Guess they like to peek out at the blackbirds chowing down on something of interest on the lawn.
We welcome readers this morning who are logged on from Brazil, South Africa, Vietnam, China and South Korea, plus our regulars
in the United States. And it looks like we're going to go over 63,000 hits by the end of the day. I just find that truly
amazing for a site that runs on a Bible study, some politics if our politicos in Washington try to get away with something
you ought to know about -- or once in a great while if they do something interesting -- and psychobabble.
part of the columns usually come from topics suggested in your e-mail questions, or matters of interest from the telephone
As a side note, I have to say this again if you are a new reader. If you send an e-mail,
be sure you identify yourself somehow as coming from this website. You can do this in the subject line of your e-mail. It's
real easy. All you have to do is type in "jane reinheimer web site." If you've sent e-mails in the past, you
don't need to be concerned because the computer will recognize your address and put your message through.
do enjoy reading your e-mails, so please identify yourselves somehow.
Have you been reading the "quotes"
that I've been adding? Am trying to add some every day. I have bags and bags of little slips of paper from years of writing
down things that caught my eye. Hope you enjoy them too.
are a couple of questions to think about as we read this chapter. The first is: The Christian life is a process of continual
repentance and renewal. Where are you in that process today? Though we break God's covenant with us all the time, he never
And -- When God made you, what do you think he had in mind for you to do with your life?
If we have learned nothing else about the children of Israel in reading this book of the Bible, we realize that the
Israelites are a bunch of world-class grumblers. They moaned and they groaned.
Early in this chapter, God speaks
to them again through Moses.
He just wants to remind them of everything he's done for them -- they've
not had to go hungry -- they've not been besieged by enemies when they've been in flight out of Egypt.
in verse 5, God gives them a pretty good reminder of how well off they are: During the forty years that I led you through
the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented
drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.
Hmmm. Imagine that! They've been
walking for forty years and their sandals haven't worn out. And you'd think that if they were still wearing their
Egypt duds that they'd be pretty raggedy by now, wouldn't you?
Nope. According to this verse, they're
still looking pretty spiffy. Yes, this was a miracle. And just like the miracles that Jesus performed in later days, the miracles
were to make sure the Israelites knew they were straight from the Lord.
Apparently they didn't pick up on
that right away, because the Lord had to remind them that these miracles had a purpose. And that was to make them realize
that all these miracles came straight from God, not from some magician sent by Satan.
Then there's that reminder
again in verse 9: Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.
Continuing in verse 12, he pretty much spells it out, just in case they missed his point: You are standing here
in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with
an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers,
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And what of this covenant? What's that all about?
Did they forget?
God wanted to make sure they didn't forget that there is one thing that God absolutely despises. That is, starting in
verse 18: Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God
to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. When such
a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, "I will be safe even though
I persist in going my own wy." This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. The Lord will never be
willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon
him, an the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. The Lord will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for
disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law."
Oh boy. That's
pretty plain to me!
I think if I were standing in this assembly that Moses had gathered together, if I had any
creepy little golden gods hidden away in my tent, I'd run back and melt them down. I certainly would give up worshiping
them -- or anything else that interfered with my worship of the Lord God.
It may be that as you read these ancient
passages, you think of this book as just a history book of how the Israelites came up out of Egypt.
But make no
mistake about it -- the warnings are just as real to us today and they were back then. That is: don't go making any idols.
So what's an idol? Simple. It's anything that you make more important than God.
It could be your
anger. It could be your insisting that you are not a lovable person. It could be a spouse or a child. It could be your job.
And yes, it might even be your car. Or your house or your farm. Or money.
Whatever you worship and adore is your
Be careful with that. Make God and worshiping him the most important thing you do every day of your life
-- not just on Sunday or Sabbath -- but every day.
So we go back to the question of how I break God's covenant
-- and I have to watch myself all the time.
I have to watch that I don't give in to the temptation of being
I have to make sure that I reserve time to study God's word and hear what he has to say to me.
I have to make sure that I also talk to God throughout the day -- not just at mealtimes, or only in the morning or
at night before I go to sleep -- but all through the day, I try to keep a running conversation going in my head with the very
God who created me. For sure, they aren't big fancy prayers filled with all the glowing words I could muster up, but rather,
they're pretty simple little sentences like, "Thanks for keeping me safe," when I get back from an excursion.
Or "thank you for blessing my life with wonderful family and friends," when flowers arrive or cards or letters come
in the mail (or e-mails).
MENTAL HEALTH: GUARD IT AND GET RX IF YOU NEED TO
is going to be short and sweet.
If you are clinically depressed or fall victim to bi-polar disorder, go straight
to your doctor for an evaluation. If your doctor recommends medication, take the advice of this health care expert.
Doctors do not prescribe medications frivolously, and if you think you'd rather not be medicated, you'd most likely
get an echo from your physician.
But if you need some medication for assistance, don't be ashamed of that.
If you don't think you can follow the regimen of remembering to take your medication, quit making excuses
and get one of those 7-day plastic things. That way, if you wonder whether you took your medicine, just see if today's
bin is empty or not.
I have Graves Disease and had my thyroid removed in 1985. That means a replacement hormone
for the thyroid. What a nuisance! It took the endocrinologist about a year to get the dosage to where it needed to be.
Quint discovered about ten years ago that he has Type II diabetes. We were wondering if this genetic marker would
show up later in life because his mother was diabetic. It did. Now he takes several medications to control his blood sugar,
not to mention a diet that no longer contains his beloved sweets. There are lots of sugar free choices so he's no cookie-deprived.
But hey, I will be the first to admit that taking medications every day is a big fat nuisance. We couldn't deny
the need for thyroid and diabetes medications.
For people who are depressed, the need is just as powerful. I believe
there are over 200 medications now available to treat depressions. So if one doesn't "fit," talk to your doctor
about it and see if a switch will work better for you.
But don't avoid seeing your doctor if you meed the criteria
for depression. Not being diagnosed doesn't mean that you are not depressed.
And if you are being treated for
depression, good for you. There does seem to be a genetic element to depression so don't be ashamed of the genes you inherited.
Adam and Eve were the last human specimens who were perfect. And since their eviction from the Garden of Eden, we've
all had to live with faulty genes of one sort or another. Depression is one of those faulty genes. Embrace it and get treatment
for it and get into cognitive therapy so you can get it into remission (that is, become symptom free).
CONGRESS PASSES ANOTHER NON-BINDING RESOLUTION -- THIS ONE DENOUNCES AHMADINEJAD -- SO WHO'S DOING THE COUNTRY'S
Members of congress are elected to take care of the country's business for the American
That means lots of real business needs tending to -- like making sure the country is defended and that
our military doesn't dwindle away -- like keeping our borders non-porous so that terrorists can't sneak across and
people -- same goes for people who are not legitimate immigrants -- and taking care of a lot of actionable pieces of legislation.
But non-binding resolutions? Even if it is for denouncing Ahmadinejad from Iran -- the big bloviator who
took the mike at Columbia University and started whining about being insulted by the university president.
Academic freedom or not, he should not have been allowed to touch one square inch of American soil. The
United Nations is one thing. He's a member nation who was making a speech. That was forum enough. That should have been
No "tour" of Ground Zero. It's hallowed ground and Iran can't go there. We may never
know for sure if Iran played a part in the terrorist activities that brought down the World Trade Towers.
of any terrorist/rogue nation have no business at any burial place honoring America's loved ones. This is especially true for
Americans who have died because of the murdering brutality of terrorists.
PUT THE DEVIL OUT, BUT DID YOU LET HIM LEAVE HIS BAGS? -- from Brenda Moore
You got out of a bad relationship
because it was bad, but you are still resentful and angry. (You let the devil leave his bags.)
You got out of financial
debt, but you still can't control the desire to spend on frivolous things. (You let the devil leave his bags.)
You got out of a bad habit or addiction, but you still long to try it just one more time. (You let the devil leave his bags.)
You said, "I forgive you," but you can't seem to forget and have peace with that person. (You let the
devil leave his bags.)
You told your unequally yoked mate that it was over, but you still continue to call. (You
let the devil leave his bags.)
You got out of that horribly oppressive job, but you are still trying to sabotage
the company after you've left. (You let the devil leave his bags.)
You cut off the affair with that married
man/woman, but you still lust after him/her. (You let the devil leave his bags.)
You broke off your relationship
with that hurtful, abusive person, but you are suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet. (You let the devil
leave his bags.)
You decided to let go of the past hurts from growing up in an unstable environment, yet you believe
you are unworthy of love from others and you refuse to get attached to anyone. (You let the devil leave his bags.)
When you put the devil out, please make sure he takes his bags!
Happiness keeps you sweet.
keep you strong.
Sorrows keep you human.
Failures keep you humble.
Success keeps you glowing,
God keeps you going!
Monday, September 24, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
And welcome, right now, to readers from
Australia, Brazil and South Korea, plus all our buddies here in the good old United States of America!
news at church -- well, not the big news -- but the news everybody was talking about while we were standing around in the
vestibule before church was about the farmer who was harvesting his bean field. It caught on fire. All 30 acres.
The fire was attributed to bearings going out in his machinery and it got hot. The bean field was super dry because,
well, that's the way you want bean plants to be when you drive your harvest machines down the rows -- all dried up. Didn't
take much of a spark to set it off.
So the guys were standing around computing how much yield per acre times what
the going rate for beans is times the number of acres. Comes to about $10,000.
Farming is risky business.
On a much, much smaller scale, we started turning over part of the back yard for a garden next spring. One of our newest
toys is a small cultivator which will be great for weeding in between the rows. But to get the garden ready, spade is the
best answer. Quint says we need to just go rent one of those big, turbo-charged cultivators to do the turning the first time.
But I'm doing this, at least 90% of it, for the exercise. That means using a lot of muscles and spending a lot
more energy than just guiding a cultivator around a little 8x10 garden to turn the dirt over.
is good. So is gardening. And getting ready for the spring gardens is part of my autumn ritual.
Moses, once again, is telling the children of Israel that if they fully obey the Lord, blessings
in abundance will be theirs. Even when it comes to fighting their enemies.
In verse 7: The Lord will grant
that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from
you in seven.
Well, that's pretty plain. I'll bet there's many a kiddo on a playground that would
love to see the bothersome bullies run off in seven different directions!
But in verse 20, the consequences are
pretty much spelling out if the rules aren't followed: The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything
you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.
Much of this chapter spells out all the different ways that the Lord will punish the children of Israel if
they mess things up and disobey God.
In this chapter, we realize that God is not to be teased with such vague
promises as "I'll just do this one time, and after that, I'll plead for forgiveness and promise to be good again."
But heed the words of verse 63 carefully before you enter into such a trifle: Just as it pleases the Lord to make
you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are
entering to possess.
And in verse 65b: ...the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing,
and a despairing heart.
We need to take these words of Deuteronomy very very seriously. Don't think that
just because this is an ancient Old Testament book that it has no relevance today.
Time flashes by quickly for
God. In the blink of an eye he goes from one millennium to another. He zipped past the children of Israel after they crossed
over the River Jordan, watched with great joy as the Christian faith budded and opened into full blossom in the early days
following Christ's ascension into heaven, then zipped through the Dark Ages, skipped across the Renaissance and watched
the great scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century.
Now we are in the 21st century. And he is watching
us fervently right now.
Has he slowed down a bit to see what we're doing down here on earth?
he reading our hearts to see who his believers really are?
I believe that he is watching each and every one
of us. I believe that he cares about what we are doing each and every day of our lives.
MECHANISMS -- HOW WE TRAIN OURSELVES TO COPE
Each and every one of us has an ego. Some egos function better
The ego is that part of your mental processing that allows you to make good choices -- choices that
serve you well.
If your ego weren't working all that well, then you'd give in to each and every temptation
that comes across your path. You'd fill up your grocery cart with cookies and goodies from the candy aisle. And ice cream.
That would be the whimsical miniature 3-year old that lives inside us. It's the ego that says "Put that back!"
You could say that the ego is the executive. The boss.
Our fun-loving, kidscreeching 3-year-old needs
a boss to keep us from getting into trouble. Oh, sure, there are times when it's appropriate -- even needful -- to
have a ton of fun.
We go on vacations. We take mental health days from work. We have all sorts of ways to pamper
our 3-year old and let this little tyrant have its way. For just a while.
And if this little whimper wort doesn't
get its way, there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth.
If the three-year-old gets too outlandish,
then the executive -- the ego -- steps in and puts this little tyke in a time-out.
You over-indulge on the ice
cream that you managed to sneak into your cart anyway. And you ate half of the half-gallon container at one sitting. Now the
executive gets wind of what you've done. But since you've already gotten away with it, the ego/executive starts to
This fretting comes from the lame excuses that the 3-year-old offers up as excuses for misbehavior to the boss
and leads to anxieties. The boss does not like to suffer the pangs of anxieties.
So, in order to reduce the
anxieties, the boss has a powerful mental mechanism available for its defense. In fact, they're called Defense Mechanisms.
And there are a few of them. Some are healthier than others.
It often happens on the way to maturation, when
the 3-year-old starts to own up to its misbehavior and take some responsibility for misdeeds.
It could be
when the 3-year-old gets caught stealing one time too many and finally recognizes that this isn't a good idea. Continued
stealing just gets the tyke in trouble. Every time. So instead of coming up with an alibi, eventually the 3-year-old will
figure it out and take one big step toward becoming a rational being -- that is, the inbound message from the boss takes
root and starts to grow into a healthy, rational plant. The 3-year-old starts to resist the impulse of stealing when temptation
There are all kinds of alibis to make the 3-year-old part of our mind think stealing might be
okay. For instance, "It's the only way I can get what I truly want because no matter how hard I try -- no matter
how hard I work, I never get what I want, so I'm just going to take it. It's my turn."
would call that rationalization.
But the defense mechanism I want to talk about today is called projection.
Projection happens when the 3-year-old in all of us recognizes some very unpleasant, even scary, thoughts about himself/herself.
These thoughts are trying to come up to the surface from deep inside. The thoughts need to find a way to be safely expelled.
Well, the child inside us -- this 3-year-old -- doesn't have the reasoning skills of an adult and certainly
hasn't developed a repertoire of thought processes that will guarantee successes.
So when the 3-year-old recognizes
that he is, in fact, stealing, he will eventually recognize it as something he shouldn't be doing. That is, if the ego
has been doing its job successfully. Otherwise, the 3-year-old is going to come up to someone else and accuse that person
There -- got it all out in the open. Stealing. Stealing. Stealing. I hate that word. Glad it's
you and not me. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for just walking up to someone else's stuff and taking it. Shame on
That might work except that the boss knows what the 3-year-old did. And this causes the boss to become anxious.
Try as it may, the boss will continue and continue and continue to keep after the little tyke.
use projection as a defense mechanism when they accuse others of whatever is going on in themselves that they find either
unpleasant or unacceptable. They blame innocent people of the very thing that they're thinking or doing. Or thinking about
For the most part, defense mechanisms are alibis that a person uses on the way to maturing. Or the alibis
provide a safe harbor for a brief respite, like a moratorium, when a person just wants to "sit on the bench" for
a while and gain more strength.
The most dangerous projection of all is when a person fears they are capable of
harming themselves and accuses someone else of threatening behaviors. A paranoid person has incorporated the projection defense
mechanism into its rationale to the point where it teams up with the delusional defense mechanism -- the delusion.
Now we have a person who is potentially harmful to himself/herself or to others. In all likelihood this person is
suffering enormously and professional intervention should be a top priority.
IN MUNICH, IT'S OKTOBERFEST
In a big ceremony in Munich, the mayor tapped the season's first barrel
Now the festivities will begun -- and from now until October 7th, under a tent that houses 100,000 of
your favorite friends, beer will flow and flow and flow.
With its 12-gun salute, it's "mass" time.
That's what they call the two-pint mug. Gee, we call it a half-quart on this side of the pond.
Want to know
what the cost for the half-quart is? A rather prices $10.30. At least that seems pricey to me.
WE GO -- UAW WORKERS ARE ON STRIKE
The deadline was 11 am this morning. No contract. No workee.
The last time the UAW struck General Motors was in 1984. Strike lasted 13 days and affected 25 plants.
one ends sooner than 13 days and that both sides can reach an agreement.
First they'll have to take another
vote to see how far apart they are. That's just Negotiating 101. Then they'll go back inside the "situation room"
where contracts are hammered out.
Then they'll send out for sandwiches and pizza.
recess and take naps.
Then tomorrow, if they didn't get a contract, they'll see how far apart they are,
This could amount to a lot of sandwiches, salads, and pizza.
Friday, September 21, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Welcome to our readers in Great Britain
this morning. Or, I should say good afternoon. I believe it's after lunch over there.
We were in Great Britain
in 1997. Loved the tour of Windsor Castle, and seeing Stonehenge, and shopping at Harrods. We went down to the seashore at
Bournemouth and spend a night there, then carted ourselves around Wales. Quint is part Welsh so we are interested in
the Lewellyn family name. Didn't find anyone who would claim -- or admit -- to being related to us, so we just moved along.
It was our big congratulations trip on Quint's retirement.
Yesterday was our 29th anniversary.
know -- that was the day we spent in Bloomington at an all-day workshop about bi-polar disorder. We're probably the only
people you know who go to libraries, museums and educational workshops for entertainment. After I digest what I learned, I'll
be sharing with you in the psychobabble part of this blog.
Someone sent us flowers. There was a tag on the door
when we got back home last evening. So Quint called them this morning to let them know the flowers could be delivered today.
When he hung up, he said, "This is why I love living in a small town." -- turns out the flowers were from daughter
Sharon, husband Ron, and grandkids Jerry and Heather. They're very pretty. We love flowers.
There was no button
to push for speaking English. The lady at the other end of the phone said, "We'll get those right out to you this
morning." He didn't have to give her anything but our name. She still knew where we lived and we didn't
have to repeat it back to her or spell it. And then, before she hung up, she wished us a happy anniversary. We feel like we're
surrounded by neighbors. Everywhere.
I am going to put another coat of polyurethane on the linen closet door after
I sand it lightly. Then we'll hang the door when it's dry enough to touch. After that, I'll hang up three wire
shelf basket type thingeys I bought. Thought they'd be great for holding all those envelopes of Windex cleaning wipes,
and Pledge dusting wipes, and bottles of Old English scratch cover.
I have eight bottles of Old English -- six
dark, two light. They're great for touching up hardwood floors. I'm not sure I remember how I got eight bottles. I
had some in the office for furniture nicks. And some in the condo. With dark furniture, I use it like a furniture polish.
Anyway, it works. And people think my furniture is all new! Not. It's thirty-five years old. Many of the pieces
pre-date marrying Quint. Except for my cedar chest. It was a wedding present from Grandma Stubbe. She had gotten it as a wedding
present from Grandpa Stubbe in 1924. Clearly, it's one of my treasures.
Oh -- I want to share with you a really
quick and easy dessert. All you need is a package of refrigerator crescent rolls and a can of prepared pie filling. You
put a little bit of the pie filling -- not too much because it will squoosh out the sides of the crescent rolls when you're
rolling them up. So just put some of the pie filling kind of in the middle of the crescent roll. I make a line that goes the
length of the crescent roll. Then roll them up and put them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven.
Sprinkle with a bit of sugar -- or Splenda for us who are sugar free. We've even been able to find the reduced sugar cherry
pie filling. Bake them at whatever temperature is on the package.
Then put the rest of the pie filling in a plastic
storage container and stick it in the refrigerator for tomorrow's dessert. Warning: they disappear into thin air
when you get them out of the oven.
The children of
Israel were getting closer and closer to going across the Jordan River.
The anticipation must have filled the air
with electric anticipation.
Now comes Moses with some final marching orders from God: The children of Israel are
supposed to set up two big rocks and put a coating of plastic on them. That way, they can write the commandments on them.
These rocks are to be placed on Mount Ebal.
Not only that, but after they had crossed over the Jordan,
they were supposed to build an altar on Mt. Ebal. But they couldn't use any iron tools to make the altar. They have
to use fieldstones to make this altar. God was very particular about these instructions.
There was another mountain
in the area: Mount Gerizim.
The two mountains were in close proximity to one another. Beyond them lay the Shechem
This Shechem valley is quite historic for it is here that Joseph's bones will be buried (Joshua 24).
It was here that Abraham camped (In Genesis 12:6-7, God said to Abraham: Unto thy seed will I give this land.
And He builded there an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
It was here that Jacob camped and bought
a piece of the land (In Genesis 33:18-20 we read: And Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land
of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram; and encamped before the city. And he bought the parcel of ground, where he had spread
his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for a hundred pieces of money. And he erected there
an altar, and called it God, the God of Israel.)
And it is here that God wants tribes placed on Mt. Gerizim
to pronounce blessings. These tribes are (verse 12): Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin.
Mt. Ebal to pronounce curses were (verse 13): Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zubulun, Dan and Naphtali.
These are the curses
that are outlined:
Cursed is a man who carves an idol,
Cursed is a man who dishonors his father or his mother,
Cursed is the man who moves his neighbor's boundary stone,
Cursed is the man who leads the blind astray,
is the man who sleeps with his father's wife,
Cursed is the man who has sex with any animal,
Cursed is the man
who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother,
Cursed is the man who sleeps with
Cursed is the man who kills his neighbor secretly,
Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill
an innocent person,
and Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law.
Just as a sidenote, this
Mt. Ebal is the higher of the two mountains. It rises some 3,000 feet above sea level, and is about 1,500 feet above Shechem's
valley floor. From Mt. Ebal you can see the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and the Jordan River is in plain view to the east.
Actually, we don't get confirmation of this until we read in Joshua, but it was Joshua who actually led the
Israelites to build the altar on Mt. Ebal. This was done according to the instructions handed down from God through Moses,
although we won't see the transition from Moses to Joshua for a little while yet.
Read more at: http://ebal.haifa.ac.il/ebal01.html
This web site will give you an archaeological perspective of the Shechem area where the Israelites had been
camped from 1250-1000 B.C.E.
The digs at the Mt. Ebal satisfied three criteria that are necessary to identify a
1.) chronological (beginning of the Israelite settlement;
2.) geographical; and
of the site (a center with a burnt-offering altar)
HSU HELD WITHOUT BAIL
he jumped bail to go to Colorado.
In Colorado he was picked up for failure to appear in court in California. He
forfeited the $2 million he used to bond out of jail.
Then he was extradited back to California to face the music.
Then the feds in New York filed charges for campaign funding violations. Seems he had a reputation as a heavy hitter
in Democratic power circles. Want money -- call Hsu!
Now he's in California and wants the $2 million bond forfeiture
back since he's now willing and able to go to court there.
But wait. It's highly likely that the $2 million
may just belong to all those people you rooked out of some heavy duty greenbacks in your $60 million Ponzi scheme. The money
wasn't yours to begin with.
So, no bail for you, Mr. Hsu.
You don't have any money. You're
broke. Get it?
BI-POLAR BRAINS ARE DIFFERENT
And yes, children can be
This web site has a 22 minute video you can watch with lots of good information.
Any discussion of
bi-polar will talk about the importance of what's happening in the brain -- particularly in the prefrontal lobe. If you
aren't sure about where this part of the brain is, go here: http://www.brainexplorer.org/glossary/prefrontal_cortex.shtml
People often ask me what the symptoms of bi-polar children are. I've found a really good web site that has
a list of the common symptoms. This site is: http://bipolar.about.com/cs/kids_diag/a/red_flags4.htm
But back to the brain. When a bi-polar person has a manic episode, it's like their prefrontal lobe just clicks
off like a light bulb. From that point and for the duration of the manic episode, you're going to get information straight
from the "bowels of the brain." This could be potty mouth. It could be paranoid accusations. It could be an irrational
tirade. It could be a lot of things that would ordinarily be filtered by the rational, executive prefrontal cortex.
After the tirade and things calm down, you need to know that the chemicals in the prefrontal cortex are going to be "curing"
for a month or so. Maybe six to eight weeks before the prefrontal area is back to where it was.
So just what is
the duty of the prefrontal area?
To put it simply, this is the Captain Executive Smarty Pants. Captain can
see what I'm thinking and decides whether I'm going to say it or not. That is, ordinarily. When I'm
not in a manic or depressed state. Captain can only do his job well when moods are stable. That means the lights are on in
my prefrontal lobe.
Prefrontal activities are the highest of the mental functions. That's why it's referred
to as the "Executive Function." This type of thinking/behavior usually kicks in when kiddos get to mid-adolescence.
Prior to that time, they were limited to a cognitive mentality. That blooms when kiddos are five or six. It could
be earlier for some, later for others. That will be when your first memory is experienced.
Before then, we were
running on mammal mentality. This is strictly a stimulus response mentality. I get hungry -- I want food.
mammal mentality goes shopping with me too.
I go into the produce section of the supermarket and I pack a half-watermelon,
a couple of cantaloupes, more bananas than we can eat in a week, apples, bananas, oranges, bags of lettuce types, cucumbers,
mushrooms, onions, potatoes. That fills up an entire cart. And it's just for Quint and me.
My mammal mentality
must think I'm a monkey or something. "Better get some of these," it whispers to me. "There might not be
fresh strawberries until next year." So I get two quarts. Maybe I'll have time to make some strawberry jam, or a
shortcake or something.
But then I think, thanks to my prefrontal lobe, I've got some apples in the crisper
drawer. And I don't need three pounds of oranges. Nobody likes them but me, so why not just get two? And put all that
other stuff back too. A serving size of banana is one-half a banana. You don't need twelve bananas for 2 adults for a
week. That would be 24 servings!
Somehow I manage to convince myself that I can get by with only one bag of lettuce,
one cantaloupe, and the watermelon.
So I just hope my prefrontal lobe gets control of my mammal mentality
before I hit the cookie aisle.
If you'd like to read an article by Jay Carter, PsyD., click on this link: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0838/is_n70/ai_14710478/pg_1
It's about the contagiousness, generationally, of verbal abuse. He's also written books about nasty people,
bullies, etc. And if you ever get a chance to go to one his workshops, do it. He's very informative and fun at the same
Thursday, September 20, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Good morning, all you insomniacs --
that is, for those of you who live in the United States. If you live a long, long way away -- it might even be good evening.
In any event, welcome to my world.
It's very early. In fact, in the corn country here in the United States,
it's only 4:25 am and it's still dark outside.
The crickets who have decided to move into my basement are
shreiking! Don't they ever sleep? Oh, but I love the sounds of summer.
I'm usually turning over about this
time. Time for the last nap of nighttime. But today Quint and I are headed for a workshop. New research about bi-polar disorder
will be presented. We have to be on the road by 5:30. so I'm not sure how far I'm going to get with today's blogs.
But we'll be back in the early afternoon. Check back if you like.
Today I'm going to reverse the order
of things and put the Bible discussion at the "top" of the discussions. That seems to make more sense anyway.
In the early verses of this chapter, we hear again that
the Lord heard the prayers of the children of Israel when they were living under the oppressive rule of the Egyptians.
They were able to see firsthand what the might wonders of God can do. Verse 8: So the Lord brought us out of Egypt
with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders.
is the chapter where tithes are first talked about, I believe. In verse 12 we read: When you have finished setting aside
a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless
and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.
This tithe is to be a sacred portion
of what they produce.
And like the man, Jabez, many years before them, they looked up to the heavens and
prayed, in verse 15: Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have
given us as you promised on oath to our forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.
God heard the children
of Israel, for Moses brings this messae to them from God in verses 16-19: The Lord your God commands you this day to follow
these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared this day that
the Lord is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands, and laws, and that you
will obey him. And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that
you are to keep all his commands. He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations
he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.
Wow! Don't you think
that if you were living back in those days and heard Moses as he preached to them about what God wanted them to do, that all
these things would be pretty high up there on your "things to do" list.
They would be on mine, I can
tell you for sure. I mean, this was the very God who had parted the waters of the Red Sea just so they could hightail it out
of Egypt -- the land where they had thought God had forgotten about them.
So now here they were -- just about ready
to put their little tippy toes onto the dirt of the promised land and once again Moses is reminding them that God has blessed
them as his chosen people.
Well, we may not all be Israelites but I can tell you one thing: We are all children
of God and because we are his children, we share in that blessing of all blessings -- the inheritance that God gives his children.
That was the whole point of God sending Jesus Christ, his son, to earth. (But that wouldn't happen for another
1400 years or so.) By Jesus' death on the cross, each one of us who believes that by his very death, this inheritance
became a gift to all mankind.
By this act of belief, we become the children of God. This inheritance that
God gives is not just a piece of real estate anymore. We don't have to go to Israel and walk about in the desert to claim
ownership in the land of milk and honey.
All we have to do is bring Jesus into our own hearts. And by this very
act of believing, we become the children of God.
It's 6:15 pm and we just got home. Long day.
Four hours of it was spent driving but the workshop about updated bi-polar research was well worth it. The workshop facilitator
was Dr. Jay Carter.
WE GET TO CHOOSE WHO WE'RE GOING TO BE WHEN WE GROW UP
is key. Nature plays a part but it doesn't cause us to become who we are.
The nature vs. nurture debate
has been flaming for generations and generations. And even now, after the genome project has reached its level of success,
the nature/nurture question has not been answered except to say that both play an important part.
plagued me all through my undergraduate and graduate school years. I think that was because of two daughters who shared the
same parents, the same home growing up, even the same schools, church and Sunday School.
So how, I wondered, could
they be so very different? They were only 15 months apart.
Or even in my own family of origin. We were dirt poor.
All four of us kids shared that same unfortunate experience. We shared the same two parents. We went to the same school, church
and Sunday School.
What made one of the brothers become the black sheep of the family?
And where did
I ever get the idea that I could even get an undergrad degree much less a masters. Nobody in the family had ever done that.
After a while, after going to enough workshops and seminars and reading the research, I learned the answer to the
It isn't what we all share when we're growing up that makes us turn out different.
No no. It's not that easy. If that were the case, we could come up with some kind of a cookie cutter formula that would
pretty much guarantee success. Then successful parents could write books on how to raise successful kids.
get filthy rich, believe me.
But the truth of the matter is, absolutely lousy parents raise some pretty incredible
kiddos who go on to become valuable members of the communities they grow up in.
And the converse of that is also
true. Parents who, you'd think, would have the financial, educational and emotional resources to raise wonderful children
end up with spoiled brats who don't even know how to say "please" and "thank you."
makes people different from one another is the unshared experiences they have while they are growing up.
While it was true that my sister Cookie and I both went to the St. Paul Lutheran School. We were even in the same classroom
even though we were in different grades. Small schools often doubled up like that.
Cookie was the compliant
one who followed instructions, turned in her homework on time and paid attention to every word the teacher said.
I, on the other hand, was a daydreamer who looked out the window, wrote little poems, talked to my neighbor across the aisle
and other naughty gabby things.
So my experience with the same teacher as my sister was a different experience.
Mr. Wentzel yelled at me. A lot. He never yelled at Cookie. To her credit, he didn't need to.
me, Cookie was not a tattler. But then, she didn't need to be. Mr. Wentzel could report to my mother about me all by himself.
So my sister and I had unshared school experiences. As we grew up, we had many other unshared experiences -- job experiences,
dating experiences, girlfriend experiences, boyfriend experiences.
It was those unshared experiences that shaped
That's a big determiner of who we become -- we take our genes and the shared experiences and make
them different by molding different dreams of our future.
HSU CHARGED BY FEDS IN
NEW YORK -- POLITICAL GAME WAS A HUGE PONZI SCHEME
Don't you just know that the Democrats are wishing
they'd never heard of Mr. Hsu, the money bundler!
He's been arrested in New York for running a giant Ponzi
A Ponzi scheme (see Wikipedia), distilled down to its bare bones of ugly fraud, simply means that you promise
a big payout. Really big payout. Abnormally, out of your mind with glee payouts.
Problem is, all these payouts
come from future donations or money you don't have yet. For a Ponzi scheme to be truly successful, you have to have a
continuous flow of cash coming in so that you can pay all those outrageous claims you promised.
It's been around
since the early 1900s, thanks to an Italian immigrant named Charles Ponzi.
Unlike a pyramid scheme where new investors
are brought in by already-in-investors, the Ponzi scheme revolves around a central schemer. And because the returns are so
green and juicy, very often investors want to re-invest.
I mean, if you were promised and received a 20% return
on your money, wouldn't you want in for more?
If your answer to either of those questions was "yes,"
then Mr. Hsu would be glad to make your acquaintance.
Problem is, Mr. Hsu, who was extradited to California from
Colorado on a 15 year-old felony theft charge.
Today, Mr. "Ponzi" Hsu was named in New York in
a federal complaint of campaign violations and running a huge Ponzi scheme. According to the complaint, he bilked some $60
million out of people.
Fraud fraud fraud! Not good, Mr. Hsu. Now you've done it. You have tarnished your ancestors'
Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8RPBQJO1&show_article=1
SENATE CONDEMNS MOVEON.ORG AD ABOUT GENERAL PETRAEUS
First it was a
play on words -- General Petraeus was likened to "Betray-us." That's a name even a 7th grader could have
come up with as a bullying taunt. And the ad accused the general of "cooking the books" to come up with the numbers
that the White House wanted.
Problem is, this is the general who is leading the United States fighting forces in
a war against terror in the Iraqi deserts.
So at the very least, it was in horribly poor taste even if this is
seen by some as just mean-spirited political rhetoric.
Then there were the senate hearings. If any of you have
ever watched a half hour of senate hearings about anything, you'll quickly learn that they're basically photo ops
for the august ones who come to the mikes with prepared speeches and distilled talking points. Very few questions.
The senate hearings were no exception. Hillary Clinton went on and on and one for seven minutes, then closed her diatribe
with this statement which is a stolen quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1817) which she didn't bother to acknowledge.
She just kind of lifted it as if it were her own stroke of genius when she looked at General Petraeus and said that what he
was telling the senators required the "willful suspension of disbelief."
On that very same day, the New
York Timesran the ad about General Petraeus. It was a full page ad. It was greatly discounted. I think the charge to
Move On.org was $65,000. So what's a full-page ad usually going for these days? $160,000?
And is that $95,000
difference kind of like a soft money campaign contribution of sorts since it was heavily supportive of one political party's
point of view? So do the Republicans get a shot at a full-page ad for the same price?
Giuliani thought so. And
the New York Times kind of sort of had to agree. They sold him an ad at the same rate. And now we have the war of
the words going back and forth on the pages of the New York Times.
So today the United States Senate
passed a resolution condemning the ad about Gen. Petraeus. It passed handily with a 72-25 vote.
Hillary voted against
Christopher Dodd voted against the condemnation.
Obama didn't vote on the condemnation.
Biden missed the vote to condemn also.
Read the play-by-play at this site: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297498,00.html
and at: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8RPBHO80&show_article=1
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We don't need to go the cat store to
get a cat; the one next door seems to have adopted us. She belongs to Mr. Grumpy but it doesn't seem to have bothered
her disposition much. She likes to walk on our car and leave her little footprints in the morning dew.
when we got back home from an errand, we found her lying in the cool shade of the Impatiens by the back door. I mean, she
wasn't curled up beneath the flowers. Oh no. She was stretched out the full length of her. All the more flowers to squash.
Even when Ms. Kitty saw us, she just laid there as if to say, "Yeah, and what are you going to do about
The neighborhood is her regal realm.
She struts down the middle of the street, crosses into
the yard across the street and checks to see if there are any new bugs under one of the evergreens at the corner of the house,
then hops up on a ledge and saunters from one window to another until she reaches her jumping off place by the front
By this time the Border Collie who lives in the house across the street is going full throttle bow wow berserk.
Ms. Kitty taunts him when she stops by the big window in the living room to stare at his yapping face.
lick his face an inch away on the other side of the glass if she wanted to. But she doesn't. She just gives him a
"ha ha" stare and moves on to her next big adventure.
We like cats. Even when Ms. Kitty does her
figure eights around our ankles.
P.S. I have three coaching/therapy telephone calls coming in today, so if the
entire set of columns isn't all here, please check back throughout the day. I'll get to everything eventually.
AND WHO IS CONGRESS TO TALK?
According to the latest approval ratings, the
approval for the way Congress is handling things in America has dropped to a low of 11%!
mind that most of the little presidential wannabees are part of this congressional set of 11% flunkies. So how is
it that they can run around the country lambasting a president who nearly triples their approval ratings?
a word for that -- arrogance.
Here's the poll: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070919/pl_nm/usa_politics_poll_dc
One reason given for the low ratings is the public's fear of the economy.
But since the feds lowered
interest yesterday by a half a point, the economy ought to get a boost -- at least for lots of people who were going to have
their ARMs and/or other loans coming due to re-set. Lower interest rates ought to help the auto industry too. And home equity
loans that are tied to the prime.
SEND YOUR TWO CENTS WORTH TO YOUR CONGRESSIONAL POLITICO
Believe me, it only takes a minute and you get the satisfaction of being involved with the political process.
Does it matter?
You bet it does. Go to this web site and fill in your name and address and the computer
program will figure out who your elected politicos are in Washington. You can even send a short message to tell them what
you want them to do and how you want them to vote on a particular bill.
Get involved. Go here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/alert/?alertid=10319386&type=ML
SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY
I've used this story as
an example of communication skills many, many times. And I might add that I have the individuals' permission to share
the story with you.
It involves a young couple who came for marriage counseling. They had a three year old boy.
A very busy, "Dennis the Menace" type three year old who could not be left along for a microsecond.
had a part-time job as a playground/recess monitor at a nearby school. Her mother could be counted on to babysit in the mornings
when she went to work.
But Mom was not happy with her rate of pay. She complained often. And finally her husband
said, "Look, if you're that unhappy, get another job."
He thought that was pretty plain.
So she did. She got another job working at a telephone answering service from 4 pm to midnight. And she kept her playground
Now she was making more money but she was more tired. All the time. Couldn't keep up. Her little darling
was wearing her out. He wouldn't keep quiet. Lots of kidscreech. Life was horrible.
Then her husband asked
her, "Why are you working so much?"
To which she said, "You told me to get another job!"
You saw that one coming, didn't you?
What he meant was for her to get another job instead
of the low paying playground job. Not another job in addition to the one she had. Besides, they finally agreed that
it wasn't the best of ideas for her to work in the evenings when their threesome could be together as a family.
Is this a credibility problem? Yes, in a way it is.
Credibility is a context matter.
the context of this couple's discussion of her part-time job, there had not been a clear idea of what one little word
meant. And that word was another. The husband was finally able to convince his wife that there was no way he'd
ever want her to work an eight hour and be away from their home and family every night of the week.
Not with their
three year old who needed close supervision. And her working for minimum wage when he was making over $100,000 was another
Language requires credibility.
Language shares meaning between two or more individuals.
If one single word means two different things, there could be a problem. And there was with this couple until they came to
a shared definition.
They learned a lot about how they valued each other within the context of their roles
in each others lives.
Her playground job was a social outlet, she realized. She just needed to be away from her
son for a few hours a day. After supervising a bunch of little runaway tykes, her one didn't look so bad.
But the money was not the object. It was part of her rationale to justify leaving her son to got to work. As it turned out,
she quit the low-paying job and, instead, volunteered at her church's preschool for a few hours a day. She said she felt
more valued at the church.
And that's often the case. Volunteers will feel like they're making an
incredibly valuable contribution when there isn't a dollar figure put on their time.
If there had been a television station in the desert, the children of Israel would probably have
had a Desperate Housewives show. Why else would Moses give them instructions from God about how a man could divorce
his wife if she wasn't pleasing to him. Then if she married another guy and didn't please him either and he divorced
her, the first husband was not allowed to remarry her.
In verse 4b: That would be detestable in the eyes of
the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the Land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
In this chapter,
the children of Israel are supposed to remember those less fortunate than they are. God wants them to think of the times when
they were slaves in Egypt and were rescued by God.
God does not want them to go over their grape harvest a second
time, or their olive picking, or their sheaves in the field. Instead, they are to leave these behind for the people who are
fatherless, the aliens and the widows.
How a man gets to be known
as The Family of the Unsandaled.
It goes like this: If a man and his brother are living together and one
dies and leaves a widow without a son, that man's brother is to marry the widow so that they can have children.
But then, if the brother says, "I don't want to marry her," then she can go to the elders and report him.
If he still refuses, then she can take one of his sandals off, spit in his face and say, "This is what is done to the
man who will not build up his brother's family line."
And that brother's line will then be known
in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.
There are some other interesting edicts that God passes down insofar
as fair fighting rules that you will want to read.
However, if you are in a country where the Bible is not widely
available and you would like me to e-mail the text to you, please send me an e-mail at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org-- and be sure that you put "Deut study" in the subject line.
This chapter closes with a favorite passage
in verse 19: When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess
as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!
The reason I
find such comfort in this verse is that I am reminded, again, that the Lord is always with me. He watches over me and he gives
me comfort and rest. And most of all, he protects me from evil and from people who bear false witness against me.
And my inheritance? It's all the accumulated blessings that God has prospered me with.
The Lord protects
me and those I love.
Always has. This, I believe.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We send happy, healthy greetings to all
our readers in Canada and South Korea -- and the United States, of course -- who are logged on and reading right now. Isn't
that amazing? From Canada and the U.S. to places halfway around the world. Must be the middle of the night in South Korea.
I don't know about you but I'm not ready to give up summer yet. I was just starting to get summer organized.
Now, the next thing you know it, leaves will be falling and you know what that means!
We have lots of leaves. I
mean, lots of leaves. If you've ever seen a thirty foot maple tree you know exactly what I'm talking about. We have
a big maple in the front yard and two in the back yard, plus the box elder. They drop a lot of leaves too.
paint the lattice on the deck. Now I just have to figure out how to get at the lattice that's underneath the steps. Maybe
spray paint what I can't reach by hand. It looks like it's not going to rain by the end of the week so we'll be
putting a waterproof stain on it.
And Quint is absolutely thrilled that two beautifully bright yellow finches
stopped by for lunch yesterday. He's been patiently putting thistle into the finch feeder but had only had other
little brown birds eating all the thistle. Then Mr. and Mrs. Finch showed up to dine. They are very pretty. And quite
a splash of color too.
WHY WOULD PEOPLE DO THAT?
First of all, don't
go swimming in lakes if alligators live nearby. Like in South Carolina.
A snorkeler just that and guess what? The
500+ pound alligator bit his arm off. (see: http://news.aol.com/story/_a/huge-alligator-tears-snorkelers-arm-off/20070917212609990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001)
The man is in critical condition at the hospital. The alligator was shot dead and quick surgery removed the man's
arm from its stomach but even so, doctors aren't sure the arm can be reattached.
Then there was this man who
put the head of his pet Eastern Diamondback into his mouth. Guess what happened? You guessed it. There was enough venom in
his system to kill 12-15 people. The man will survive but only because of a miracle and apparently one very kind guardian
angel. (see this video: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/offbeat/2007/09/18/burton.snake.bite.kgw)
Don't try this at home!
Besides, you may not know this but a rattlesnake is moving at 90 mph when
it's striking. So don't ever think you can get out of the way fast enough. You're so much better off not going
into their territory. But it happens accidentally anyway when walking paths in nature preserves.
Just be careful.
I personally do not swim in anything but a chlorinated pool. That's for several reasons. The first is that I had
a healthy fear of snakes instilled in me from my father. He was of the opinion that you should never get close enough to a
snake to even worry about being bitten.
There were times when he'd end up watching my sister and my younger
brother. I think my mother may have been pregnant at the time, or maybe just sorely in need of a break from the three of us.
We tended to run around and jump up and down a lot in the yard. She probably got tired of all that kidscreech.
So off we'd go with dear old daddy to run his trotlines on the Red River. The mosquitoes down in the bayous were huge
and there were always snakes lurking in the shadows. We just knew that. Mainly because he kept reminding us. He'd chide
us, "Watch where you put your feet!" And he was not kind and gentle about his advice either. The paths through the
woods weren't very wide and there were big black water mocassins or rattlesnakes around every turn, we feared.
If it was getting late in the day we'd have to stay in the car with the windows rolled up. That way we were safe
from the four-legged creatures that scared us out of our wits. We could hear them off in the distance. And yes, they do sound
like a woman screaming. Daddy said they were panthers. Nobody would argue that point as we sat there eyes wide open with
our silver dollar size eyeballs.
WANT TO SEE A 310 MPH CRASH (DRIVER SURVIVES)
you're one of our readers from Australia, you've probably seen this on the news over and over and over. But for those
of us in the United States who are amazed at how any driver could survive something this fiery, here's a video: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/sports/2007/09/17/vo.aussie.drag.race.crash.ap
It reminds me of Purdy, a neighbor from across the street, when I was growing up. For weeks and weeks he'd
be busy at the curb putting what he said was a jet engine on hit hot rod.
We all came out to give him advice after
school, and basically just watched, and told him he was craze and then told him he was going to get killed. But all to no
avail. The day finally arrived when he said he was going to start 'er up and give us a thrill of a lifetime just to watch
history in the making.
It was very noisy. Guess he didn't have a muffler on the thing. We just stood there
like the dumb kids that we were. Probably had our mouths hanging open too.
Then Purdy put the thing in gear. It
didn't go anywhere. Unless you count vertical. It stood up on its rear tires, then fell back to the ground. It was all
over in seconds. I don't think he ever did anything else to it, except pick up the pieces of his wounded pride and go
back in his house across the street.
It was fund growing up in Paducah, Kentucky. We never knew what was going
to happen next. The town was just big enough so that we didn't know everybody, and small enough so that everybody in the
neighborhood knew everybody else's business.
KNOW WHAT YOUR TALENTS ARE
Each and every one of us has a talent -- and probably a bunch of talents. It's up to us to find out what those
Becoming aware of our talents will lead us to relationships.
build on the honesty of who you are. So if you have created these masks that you hide behind, don't be too surprised to
learn that your relationships are going to continue to falter.
One disappointing relationship follows another.
If you're lucky, you'll have one of those "hmmmm" moments. These are different from the "aha"
moments that provide bursts of insight.
The "hmmm" moments force you to see dilemmas. Maybe you find
yourself at a fork in the road. On the one path you can follow your usual techniques of relationship building -- whatever
those may be. You know -- the ones that didn't work.
Or -- and this is a biggy -- you can follow a different
path. Instead of doing things the same old way, you may just come to the conclusion that it's time to do something different.
Maybe this time you're going to focus more on the other person, rather than on yourself.
time you're going to put the mask you've been hiding behind in the closet in your head. If you're really really
brave, you'll toss the mask, but it may take a while to do that.
Maybe this time you'll go after the
truly emotionally intimate relationship -- the healthy kind you've yearned for all these years.
time has finally come and you are going to take the courageous leap of doing something about embracing a truly honest relationship.
If that's the case, then you are going to need to be absolutely and truly honest in all your communications. If
you don't, then intimacy and fulfillment will evade you once again.
Instead you'll have communication
that is, well, just noisy.
Better to go after a good, old-fashioned healthy relationship that's built on the
solid virtue of honest communication.
Deuteronomy 22:1-30 and Deuteronomy 23:1-25
There are primarily social concerns addressed in Chapter 22. I find the first one interesting. It says that if
your brother's ox or sheep run off, don't ignore the animal -- take it back to your brother. But if your brother doesn't
live nearby or if you don't know who he is, then take care of teh animal and hang onto it until your brother
comes looking for it. Same holds true if it's a donkey. Even if its his coat.
But even if you don't
know who your brother is?
And I thought our present day nuclear families were becoming more and more disconnected.
But then, the children of Isral were spread out all over the desert, I guess.
Other concerns are also addressed
in this chapter.
Like in verse 5: A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing,
for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
Several concerns in this chapter have to do with chastity,
and what to do in those instances where adulteries are committed.
God said to stone both parties -- that way the
evil would be purged out.
I wonder what God thinks when he sees people watching TV shows like Desperate Housewives.
Or Dallas a few years ago. Or movies that show sleeping around as something glamorous and titillating.
probably would have been at his wits end with J. R. Ewing.
God would have had Ewing taken out to the gate and stoned.
Him and all his girlfriends.
In Chapter 23, the children of Israel got strict orders about who they could worship
with in their weekly assemblies.
That would be the Ammonites and Moabites. And why? Because they did not come to
meet the children of Israel with bread and water when they were coming out of Egypt. (verse 4) Instead, they hired Balaam
to put a curse on the children of Israel.
But God turned the curse into a blessing for the children of Israel.
So the children of Israel were not to worship with these people for 10 generations.
This chapter has an
interesting note about how the children of Israel are to relieve themselves.
They are to go outside the camp and
dig a hote, then cover their excrement (verse 12). But, get this, in verse 14 Moses says For the Lord yoru God oves about
in yoru camp to protect you and to deliver yoru enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you
anything indecent and turn away from you.
In other words, God is watching them.
In other words,
God is watching us, so we ought to watch our Ps and Qs.
Monday, September 17, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
And here we go into another glorious week.
Hope your day will go well for you. Today is the day I get up off my you-know-what and get busy again. Enough of this sitting
around. There are things to do outside and a limited amount of good weather that's comfortable in just shirt sleeves.
Quint wants to replace the downspout on one of the gutters. He says he doesn't really want to tackle it until
I get the lattice painted because the gutter will be brushing up against it.
That makes sense. So he's off
to Menards for some of that plastic downspout. I think he plans on diverting the rain water gush-off in another direction.
He did pick up three of those accordion-looking extensions for downspouts, so I'm not sure where the water will end up
after he's done.
Oh, and we bought a battery-powered cultivator. It's charging now so later on, after I
get today's writing taken care of, we're going to turn the soil for our new garden next spring.
not a farmer-size cultivator but it digs down four inches. That ought to do it. The plants roots can do the rest if they want
to dig their way to China. -- For all our readers in China -- if you're ever out there digging in your back yard and see
some roots that look very unfamiliar, they would be mine. You can clip them if they make it that far. They would obviously
be too long.
So there will be no HGTV for us today. I really like those programs. Get lots of good ideas of how
to do things. I also get the courage to think "out of the box" and do things I might not otherwise have had the
guts to try.
Problem is, I can spend an entire afternoon watching design shows. Then I don't have any time
left over to do anything except cook and eat.
That is not a good thing!
BLIP AND SNIP -- AND THEY CALL THIS NEWS?
I watched the news for a bit this morning to see about the airline
crash in Thailand. Instead I got the best part of an hour watching what the news people were trying to feed us. It included:
The Sopranos got the best drama series at the Emmy's last night. CNN has a whole fistful of other winners
and losers at: http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/16/emmy.night/index.html
Sally Field was censored when she started a rant about war. Chances are, her speech would have been carried in
its entirety if the language had been cleaned up. I thought I saw her lips purse the word "bastard" but I couldn't
be sure. But the cameras went to a picture of the glittering globe without the audio of her speech.
To which I
offer this from Voltaire: It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are to be punished unless they kill in large
numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
There -- fixed it.
There was lots of coverage of that OJ
thing out in Las Vegas. So far, OJ has been charged with 6 felonies. I listened to the tape and am wondering if one of those
charges has to do with holding someone against their will, at gunpoint. Could that possibly be called kidnapping? OJ said
later that he was just conducting a sting operation to get his stuff back. Aren't you supposed to be a law enforcement
person before you can sting somebody? If you want to hear the audio tape of what was said as OJ and a few of his buddies stormed
the hotel room in question, TMZ has the filthy, unexpurgated version at: http://www.tmz.com/
So to get the latest on what is really happening in the real world, I had to go to the internet.
"news" shows wonder why viewers are running away.
Incidentally, some forty people survived the fiery
airplane crash that killed ninety passengers. The black box recorders have been sent to the U.S. for interpretation as to
what happened to make the plane go down. Early prognostication is wind shear.
Michael Mukasey has been named by
the White House as the nominee for Attorney General to replace Gonzales. We'll see how the confirmation hearings go on
Capitol Hill. Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/ATTORNEY_GENERAL?SITE=NCBER&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
And then there was another headline about Britney. Guess she's going back to court today. Things don't
look good for her and her baby custody fight. A new surprise witness is supposedly coming forward. This witness might just
blister Britney. If you have any interest, here's a link: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296969,00.html
And that's about all the non-news I can take for one morning.
TO LIKE YOU MORE? BE CHARMING
This is going to be a bit different today.
Guess I'm waxing
poetic when I think of all the people, myself included, who want little more than to love and be loved in return.
Here's a clue: your attractiveness increases greatly when you express interest in something that your intended is interested
in. That's not hard to do if you want to be a charming person.
Charming people don't use psychological
weapons against other people. And it doesn't matter if you're the most unkempt person in the room -- if a charming
person is also in the room, that person will approach you and engage you in conversation and make you feel like what you have
to say is valuable. And that you are valuable.
Charm. So what is it?
It's like love. It moves along
without being forceful and it doesn't try to dominate other people.
The poet John Donne said this: No
man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main...I am involved in mankind and
therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
Recognize Ernest Hemmingway? He must
have been a fan of Donne's if he named a book after one of Donne's quotes, wouldn't you think?
people don't have any interest in "owning" other people. They don't want to destroy others.
Simon wrote a sad poem that he and Garfunkel made into a hit song:
I've built walls,
A fortress deep
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain
and loving I disdain
I am a rock, I am an island.
Don't talk of love
But I've heard the word
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber of the feelings that have died
If I never
loved I never would have cried
I am a rock, I am an island.
My goodness -- what a sad song.
Paul Simon apparently had never read the poetry of Khalil Gibran when he wrote in Under the Sun:
if in your fear your would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover
your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-like floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but
not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears...
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
Charm is like love but not quite. Again, Gibran says: Love is sufficient unto love. When you love you should
not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
Anyone who loves
and loves deeply feels that unmistakable pull towards God. Love brings you in contact with that quiet little voice within
you that is the voice of God.
Charm, on the other hand, provides a vehicle for you to interact well with other
people here on earth. Charm allows you to find something acceptable and worthy in people you meet, no matter where you meet
Charm lets you get passed the flaws in other people. Then you can take heart with the words of Leonard Cohen,
the musician, who said: There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
If charm isn't
working for you, then remember the words of this writer, Anne Lamott: You can safely assume that you've created God
in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Not much inner peace for you
when you do that. And you'd hardly be considered charming by people who meet you on the path of your life.
The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. That's an old Indian proverb.
this from Sarah Breathnach: Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry
seasons of life do not last. The spring rains will come again.
I personally think that what makes charming
people so attractive is their lack of deceit. They bring harmony and balance to life around them because their lives are not
lies. They are not fakes who are just trying to be charming. They are genuinely interested in other people.
Wow! This chapter opens with the discovery of a dead man.
What if a man died and no one saw who did it? He was just laying there, alone and dead.
What were the Israelites
supposed to do?
Were they supposed to go to the nearest city of refuge and see who the newest "citizen"
No. Moses said that God wants the children to Israel to go out to the highway and measure the distance of
the body from the towns around him. Then, it would be the responsibility of the people in the town nearest the corpse to find
a new heifer and take it out to a stream and break its neck. Now this was to be a heifer that had never worked in a field,
had never plowed a field.
Then all the elders were to come out from the nearest town and wash their hands over
this heifer and say, "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see if done."
Then the death
of the dead man would be atoned.
God addresses another social concern starting at verse 10. This has to do with
rules of engagement again. But this time it has to do with captivating, charming, beautiful women who were the spoils of war.
Moses said that God would allow the Israelites to take such a woman but first the woman had to shave her head, clip
all her fingernails off, and take all her clothes off. Then she was to have a month to grieve leaving her mother and father.
After all that was done, then the guy could take her as his wife. But if she wasn't pleasing to him, he had
to send her on her way. She could go anywhere she wanted to go. The Israelite couldn't sell her after he had
This chapter also includes some rights of inheritance that may be of interest to you. The section
about the rebellious son who is a drunk (verses 18-21) was a way of purging evil from the children of Israel. We don't
haul the drunk out of town and stone them to death anymore. They have to go to detox and we pray that it will work. Sometimes
an alcoholic has to go again. And again.
And finally, in verses 22-23, come the instructions about what to do
with the body of someone who has died. This is the Biblical verse admonishing the children of Israel to bury their dead the
same day that they died.
Keep in mind that these verses were talking about capital punishment by hanging someone
on a tree. The children of Israel were not to leave the body hanging overnight.
God says that this is more to
keep the land pure and not desecrate it. God wanted this land he was giving to the children of Israel to remain pure.
I liken this admonishment to another verse in the Bible that says I'm not supposed to let the sun go down on my wrath.
Coming to grips with anger and extending forgiveness before I go to sleep is one of the ways I try very hard to keep my heart
as pure as I can.
Mind you, I'm not saying I'm always successful, but I try hard. And if I have difficulties
managing forgiveness, then I ask God to help me. He does promise to send the Holy Spirit to us to counsel us.
Friday, September 14, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We welcome readers from Australia who
are logged on this morning. Let's see -- it's got to be springtime down under. Right? Happy tulips and daffodils,
We are getting ready to mow the grass one final time. It feels more like we should be gathering up the leaves
to make our towering inferno except that the leaves are still green and on the trees. Only the air feels like autumn.
I do plan on painting some lattice on the back of the deck on Sunday afternoon, so while you're enjoying yourselves,
just think of me slaving away with my thera-brush making all things white and new again.
I am happy to report that
I finally found the marigold seeds that my sister, Cookie, gave me a year ago. She packed them ever so carefully in a plastic
baggy then mailed them. I have been chasing them from the condo which we sold, to the office which we vacated, to the house
where great mysteries abound.
Well, today when I was moving out of my summer purse into another one, there were
the seeds at the bottom of the summer purse. What makes this a stupendous find is that I also know where allof my
seed packets are. They're in a really big basket hanging above my craft table in the basement. Into this
basket went envelopes of vegetable and flower seeds that I've been corralling as I've found them. Now they are all
in one place. And the marigold seeds are going into the basket to wait for next spring.
Marigolds are one of my
favorite summer treats. I plant them among the tomato plants. It keeps those little wormy looking things off the plants and,
more importantly, off the fruit. Dill also works. So between the marigolds and dill, I have a pretty critter free crop of
tomatoes and green peppers. The Tabasco peppers are kind of on their own. If the creepies eat any of those, they deserve what
they get -- indigestion.
THE HSU DONATION SCANDAL RAISES MORE THAN ONE QUESTION
He was a pretty heavy hitter until the scamola hit the front pages. The Democrats loved him. He could be counted
on to come up with mountains of cash. $50,000 here -- $100,000 there. Pretty soon it got to be big money.
not the problem I have with Mr. Hsu. He represented politics as usual for the Democrats and who knows, maybe even some money
found its way into Republican piggy banks.
It's the money, folks. That's why the Democrats head out to
California. The Hollywood types splash cash. And lots of it. Don't know what they think they're buying. The elitist
intelligentsia don't go to movies. Rather, they stand around at cocktail parties in the Hamptons, Marthas Vineyard and
Up-High-Places-In-Manhattan and listen to their own voices singing accolades of "How great I am!"
don't really care about the boorish Hollywood types. They just like their money. If the glitterers didn't donate a
dime, the politicos wouldn't give them the time of day.
The Democrats are playing the Hollywoodies. Just like
they're playing the mediarites. And everybody plays along because they all think they're getting something back.
No. What bothers me about Mr. Hsu is that he was a fugitive. Since 1992 he has been a wanted man.
question I have is this: How does a man who donates heavily to political campaigns stay under the radar? When I say "donates
heavily," I'm talking millions of dollars.
But then, maybe I just answered my own question.
this out: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hsu13sep13,1,5486953.story?track=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true
NEW WAY TO CALL SOMEONE A LIAR: SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF
It was Hillary Clinton's twisted, convoluted
attempt at disguising vocabulary. She had listened to General David Petraeus' report to congress for hours. He had given
his assessment, based on his experiences in the field -- his military successes in the Anbar Province where blood stains the
desert sands west of Baghdad.
Then Hillary, sticking her tongue into the mouth of her noose, looked the general
straight in the eye and told him that all he had told congress so earnestly and truthfully required a "suspension of
What arrogance to insult a 4-star general who has removed himself from his battlefield to come
to Washington, D.C. to give his report! Here's a man who has a masters degree and a PhD (1987) in international affairs
from Princeton University (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1896503/posts)
What arrogance to call this man a liar -- a man who bravely and valiantly leads our fighting men to the conclusion
of the military need to be in Iraq! A man who has service records in Haiti, Kuwait and Bosnia. He has five Oak Leaf Clusters
and a Bronze Star.
What arrogance to insult this general and all the service personnel he represents -- men and
women who put their lives on the line every day.
What arrogance -- that's Hillary and her ilk. Her best pal
looks like the leader of moveon.org, Eli Pariser. He's a graduate from Simon's Rock College and moved up the ladder
to executive director of Move On.org. His claim to fame is being a web page designer and is politically connected to everything
NEW RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER APPROVED
The vote was 381-47 in Russia's lower house of parliament. The new prime minister's name is Viktor Zubkov.
But wait. I read only just the other day that Mr. Putin had dissolved his parliament.
Guess now. He
only kicked out the former prime minister. This new guy is promising to clean house and get rid of corruption.
Is he borrowing from Nancy Pelosi's playbook? Isn't that what she said when she got the gavel from Dennis Hastert
as Speaker of the House over here?
read more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6994582.stm
BEING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
There is a war going on in each one of us
between our true selves and the masks we wear.
Becoming authentic is not just psychobabble. It's
the search deep inside ourselves for what's real.
We're no longer defining ourselves with what we acquire
-- power and riches.
Rather, we fine ourselves with who we are.
How do you define yourself?
By your job? How much you have in the bank? How many people love you? How many friends you have? How many kids
you have? How many grandkids you have?
Defining yourself in the abstract is difficult. But when you do, you are
strengthening your Authentic Self.
When you break habits that do not serve you well, you authenticate yourself.
When you behave well, even when no one is watching you, you authenticate yourself.
Simply put, your authenticate
self is your character.
Your authentic self may well be at war with those masks you wear.
if you prize honesty and you are asked to "look the other way" at work if some numbers need a bit of fudging just
so a report looks good, our authentic self gets a temporary suspension. That will need some un-doing to get back to authenticity.
We are all authenticas-in-training.
We will meet up with suspension opportunities as we go through life.
Each and every time that you resist these suspensions will strengthen your authenticity.
Your authentic self means
that you are who you say you are.
Every time you just sit still for a few minutes and listen to that voice deep
inside you -- your inner voice -- you strengthen your authenticity. This voice is the manifestation of your soul breaking
into your conscious layers.
Your soul is where God lives inside you. When you listen to your soul, you are listening
to God. You are becoming more authentic. Take the time to get to know and strengthen your inner, most authentic self.
You can do that in little five minute excursions into your psyche. Just take a few moments wherever you are at and
focus on a tiny little spot. Then take quiet, relaxing breaths and say to yourself, "Oh Spirit of the Living God, let
me hear you."
Just be quiet and feel the mighty roar inside your head calm down. Many people have trouble
becoming quiet. They say they "can't" get there; that they're too busy to take the time. I say "bologna."
It's what you choose to do. It's your choice if you want to keep a noisy head where you have all these little thought
critters running back and forth between your ears. Tell them all to sit down for a moment and just be quiet.
authentic is the best psychic work you can do, so get to it. At least two or three times a day. Hit the mute button when you're
watching TV and stare at the screen during commercials. That will get you 20 minutes out of every hour of television, for
instance. But you certainly have the time if your choose to do it.
The question for today is: When was the last time you felt truly afraid? Remember that during these times
that God is with us and no one can stand against us.
Pastor Rensner skips over Chapter 19 in his Bible
study assignment for Deuteronomy. This Chapter 19 talks about cities of refuge.
The children of Israel were to
name three cities of refuge. They were to be spread out over the new promised land with new roads built to get to them.
It was to be a place where people could go if they had accidentally killed someone, like if they went into a forest
to cut down trees and the head of the ax accidentally flew off and hit someone in the head, thus killing him.
call that manslaughter in some states, or justifiable homicide. In other words, you have a dead person but not killed on purpose.
The killer could make it to one of these cities of refuge and he'd be safe. Vengence could not be meted out against
But then, there are the other kinds of killers. The killers who lie in wait and then think they can run off
to one of these cities of refuge. Uh uh! When that happens they get extradited back to where the murder took place. He goes
back to be executed.
This chapter closes with verse 21: Show no pity, life for life, eye for eye, tooth for
tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Moving on the Chapter 20, Moses tells the children of Israel that when
they get into this new land and when they see these huge big armies coming at them, they are not supposed to get scared because
God is going to be with them.
Fainthearted is the word Moses uses in verse 3. Oh, and don't panic.
The rest of this chapter outlines the rules of engagement, so to speak. For instance, the children of Israel
are instructed as to the proper way to conduct a siege against people who start a war against them.
they are not supposed to leave behind anything that breathes.
Then, at the end of the chapter, there's talk
of which trees that can be cut down and which ones can't. If it's a fruit-bearing tree, leave it standing. That could
be good for food.
If it's not fruit-bearing, then it could be cut down because the Israelites could make siege
works out of those trees.
So I don't really remember that last time I was truly afraid. I know God is in my
corner. And I know he takes care of me and the people I love and pray for.
But I admit to being human. And every
one in a great while, a tiny little interrupting thought invades my peace. Usually this happens in the quiet darkness of night
and it wakes me from slumber. I pray myself back to sleep and whatever problem or fear I had during the night is answered
with a billboard thought when I open my eyes the next morning.
Glorious God has given me a new day and with the
dawn comes a new supply of good answers. Not my kind of answers that are flawed with my humanness, but good answers. His answers.
They work better than mine.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We made a very quick trip north to attend
the funeral of Rev. Jonathan Strand. He died at the tender age of 27 after having been ordained a little more than a year
ago. He was the fifth generation pastor in his family. Besides his parents, he is survived by a brother, Joshua, who plans
to attend law school after graduating from Roosevelt University in May 2008.
Joshua lost his big brother. That's
a difficult loss for Joshua, because Jonathan was also his buddy. Jonathan has also been part of Joshua's life. Jonathan
was a toddler when Joshua was born. No doubt, they had some good romps around the living room when they were both young, playful
There were probably a thousand plus who came to pay their respects and extend the embrace of consolation
in the hours of profound grief for the whole Strand family.
It was fun to watch both the boys grow up from 5th
graders -- or thereabouts -- to exquisite young men, each pursuing their educational/career goals with deep passion.
Words can't express the depth of sadness we feel only because losing someone we know leaves a gap that won't be
filled. It will just be, well, a gap. And every time we look over at that gap, we'll say, "Oh, yes. That's where
Pastor Jonathan lives in my memory."
And as Quint and I have gotten older, we seem to be accumulating more
and more gaps to the point where our memory looks like slices of Swiss Cheese. It's a function of aging, Quint says.
I will give you a corn report though. As we zoomed up and down on I-57, we noticed that a great number of Illinois
farmers have harvested their corn crop. Not sure why some did and others didn't. I mean, we're talking next door neighbors
Some of you fellows need to get out there and crank up the old combine or whatever that big monster machine
is that you use to pick ears of corn off the plants. It's going to be a wet, soggy end of September, I predict.
Not that I'm a meteorologist, but all you have to do is look at the outer bands of hurricanes down there in the Gulf
of Mexico and recall that the Mississippi River is one huge pipeline for gulf moisture. So put your big umbrellas on
your tractor-mobiles if you wait too much longer.
PELOSI WOULD HAVE US ABANDON THE PEOPLE
She says "it's not enough," when talking about a troop draw down suggested by the
military leaders and George Bush in the White House. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20070911/pl_usnw/pelosi__president_s_policy_is_a_path_to10_more_years_of_war_in_iraq)
I'm not big-brained enough to come to the same conclusion as Pelosi, but I would like to only say one thing
to her, and it's not about Iraq, per se. It's about a principle. That principle is protecting people from genocide
in their countries.
I would like for Pelosi to read Left To Tell, a story about six women who survived
the genocide in Rwanda because a pastor helped them remain hidden in a bathroom that was so tiny that they couldn't all
sit down at the same time, much less lie down to sleep. And they stayed in this tiniest of little spaces for months! The people
of Rwanda had begged and pleaded for some international peace-keeping forces -- from anywhere -- to come over to Rwanda and
help them. The UN peacekeepers had either left or been murdered, so they weren't any help at all.
So then go
from Rwanda to Iraq where hundreds of thousands of Kurds were massacred. You may think, "They were just mountain people
-- just Kurds -- nothing to see here, move along."
Then go back to Germany at the height of the death camp
popularity. Can you, likewise, say, "They're just Jews." And clank went the oven doors and the chemical jets
opened up. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Have we truly become a nation of people who believe that as long as
we've "got ours" we don't need to concern ourselves with victims of peril at the hands of bloodthirsty tyrants?
I sure hope not.
TRUSTWORTHINESS -- IT SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT WHO YOU ARE
Trustworthy people have integrity. They don't lie. They don't steal.
They have moral courage
and will do the right thing even when other people are not looking or watching them.
So is trustworthiness a learned
skill or an inborn trait? Or both?
I go with trustworthiness being a learned skill. I say that because trustworthiness
rises up out of honest behavior -- and behaviors are learned.
Honesty must be reinforced.
you reinforce the behavior you want to continue. If you want honest behavior, then you most certainly have to reinforce it.
On the contrary, one way to reinforce dishonest behavior is to have your children lie for you. Although it may seem
relatively innocent at the time, if you're very busy and you get a phone call, don't ask your child to lie and say
you went to the store or you are in the shower or are taking a nap.
Trustworthiness is complicated, though. Trustworthiness
is a three-legged stool that rests on honesty, sincerity, and respect.
In addition to walking along a path free
of deception, a person also lives up to expectations of people who are important in their lives. When that happens,
then we say that another person trusts us. We are no longer little mysteries that cause wonder if others can rely
on us to behave in ways that they expect of us.
When we are trustworthy, people are willing to cut us a bit more
slack because they expect that we are saying is honest.
Lack of trustworthiness can cause great harm to relationships.
Honesty, or truthfulness, also shares the stage with another leg of this three-legged stool. And that is sincerity.
Sincerity says we're genuine, authentic human beings. We don't live our lives under false pretenses. Sincerity
advertises to the world around us that we are who we say we are. Sincere people say what they mean and mean what they say.
And the last leg on my three-legged stool is respect.
We'd have no problem at all with being a respectful
person if we all lived by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
When you're faced
with a dilemma, this is easy. Just ask yourself how you'd feel if the other person had the same opportunity to exercise
the choice that you're facing. What would you want that person to do?
When we're respectful of others,
we are tolerant. We accept them without judging them. True, we may not put them on our Christmas card list, but we can tolerate
and accept them in our lives simply because their lives have crossed paths with ours.
And that quite frequently
is God's doing. I believe that with all my heart. I believe that God puts people in my path and he watches to see how
I respond to that person, or those persons.
That thought alone often keeps my stool from falling down.
The study question in today's reading is: How is it that
Jesus Christ bore the office of Prophet?
This chapter reiterates that the Levites are to be the priests and as
such, they are to have no inheritance with Israel. Their lot in life, if you will, is to live on the offerings made to the
Lord (verse 1).
Moses then proceeds, in this chapter, to divide up the bulls and sheep, and grains and wine and
oil, and wool. Looks like the Levites were not going to want for anything.
Then Moses goes on to warn the children
of Israel about sacrificing their kiddos. This would be a big no-no. And they specifically were not to practice witchcraft
or cast spells or consult the dead for anything (verse 11).
And why would that be? Well, in verse 14, Moses says
that God was going to select a prophet for the Israelites. This prophet would be one of their brothers.
the person God wants the children of Israel to listen to. In verse 18 God says that he will put his words in the prophet's
mouth. This is the person that God wants the Israelites to listen to.
And how would they know if the person prophesying
to them was really speaking from God?
That's the easy part, God said. Because what the prophet says will come
true. In verse 22: If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message
the Lord has not spoken.
And so, because everything that Jesus said was going to happen, did happen. He died
and rose again. That's the biggest prophesy of all.
And when he was ascending into heaven, he promised to come
back for us.
Because all his promises had come true, we can believe with full assurance that the promises yet
to come will happen.
Jesus is the epitome of trustworthiness. His word is truth.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
I guess because I wrote about moratorium
the other day, I decided to give myself one. Maybe I just got tired of putting stuff away. Who knows -- but whatever the reason,
I'm taking a break from finding places to put things.
Actually, now that I've found my two favorite copper-bottom
saucepans, the desperation to go looking for things has greatly diminished.
I thought I'd be inspired by my
friend, Joyce, who retired and moved to Wisconsin a few years ago. I asked her how long it actually took her to find everything.
I thought, because she was always super organized when we were in Rotary together, that she'd say something like six months.
Nope. She said five years. She was a lot more organized than I was, so I guess that might mean ten years for me.
That means, in earth years, that I'll be 74 years old by the time I actually find everything. But, she laughed, it's
like Christmas all over again when I find things.
No wonder moving is so stressful. The problem I have is I don't
know what's missing. Isn't that awful? That clearly means I have too much stuff.
I think what I'll
really do is find one of those charity resale shops. I don't mind getting rid of little treasures as long as I know they'll
be in a good home. There is a resale shop over in Vandalia for a battered women's shelter. That might be my next big effort.
MOTHER NATURE IS WIGGLING AGAIN
Hurricanes are not the problem this morning.
Two powerful earthquakes rattled Indonesia again.
The big one was 7.9. It was about
385 miles WNW of Jakarta, while another one in the Sunda Strait registered 5.1. It was 90 miles WNW of Jakarta.
believe I read that tsunami warnings were issued for the Indian Ocean. Not a whole lot of risk for us in the United States.
But there was an earthquake in Colombia in this hemisphere.
And if that isn't close enough for you, how about
Arkansas and southern Missouri -- like south of St. Louis. Now that's getting too close.
If you want to look
at the world map where all the wiggling and shaking is going on, take a look at this link: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/
PUTIN DISSOLVES RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT! CAN HE DO THAT?
It's an earthquake
of sorts. And a massive one at that, if it's true.
Putin's term of office is up in the spring of 2008 so
this move could be viewed as replacing the prime minister with someone that Putin would prefer to succeed him.
man would be Sergei Ivanov. Supposedly he will be replacing Mikhail Fradkov. Fradkov is out. But wait, there's someone
else waiting in the wings. His name is Dmitry Medvedev.
He wants to be prime minister too.
there's only two. Not like here in the United States where we have the 7 Dwarfs running on each of two tickets. Then there's
this giant from Tennessee, Fred Thompson, who towers over everybody at 6'5". I can just hear the jokes starting about
Thompson's cabinet being likened to a basketball team.
Read more at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296505,00.html
If you aren't all that interested in world politics, you ought to be a little bit curious because Russia is
now claiming to have field tested the world's biggest non-nuclear bomb.
It's even bigger than our MOAB,
which has been affectionately called the Mother Of All Bombs. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296441,00.html)
Russia says it has the Daddy. And Russia is making supportive sounds for Iran's side of the conflict in the
Middle East. Something like the United States is being mean to Iran.
This sounds very real, folks. Get interested.
GET RID OF POWERLESSNESS
It's an old wound that you brought forward
from a long time ago.
It's a learned program that set your way of thinking and it's perpetuated by years
of finger pointing.
Powerlessness is kept alive by the ego's little trick of bricklaying -- you know, building
walls around personal pain and suffering.
It goes like this: I feel powerless because I learned early on, when
I was a tiny little person, that I was not lovable.
Well, kiddos can't survive that kind of thought. That's
mainly because children -- all children the world over -- are lovable. That's what makes them worthy and deserving of
getting good things. Like new toys and love. Mostly love. Kids can survive rather nicely without a bunch of toys, but they
have difficulties surviving without feeling loved. It makes them feel unworthy.
As we grow and mature, that feeling
of unworthiness gets an existential wrap put around it. Now we have a problem just feeling worthy of "being."
When it gets to that point, we're going to be even more challenged with overcoming feelings of powerlessness.
That's because by this time, we've become adults.
We're no longer the kids on the playground who feel
unloved -- unlovable -- unworthy -- powerless.
We have become full-blown powerless adults.
ego, in its very sincere and earnest attempt at keeping us safe, has built a huge wall around us so that we will feel safe
We may not feel emotionally safe anywhere else on the planet, but there is one place where we will, thanks
to our very overprotective egos. That's within our self.
And if anyone wants to get through that wall, they
have to be like-minded thinkers. We don't want any spies getting inside who's going to make us start thinking
about maybes and other possibilities like emotional growth and changes.
But the ego only sees our pain. The ego
doesn't know how much we yearn for those deeply satisfying intimacies that everyone else seems to be enjoying in their
relationships. The ego's only concern is protection of my self. It doesn't give a rip about human emotional growth.
That's just too intellectual for the ego.
Nope. In order for us to grow and keep on growing, we are absolutely
required to challenge our library of negative self-messaging. Oh, and by the time we get to be adults, we have lots of little
snippits. You know what I mean. They're those fast little phrases like, "I'll never amount to anything,"
or "I can't do this," or "I always let everybody down."
You can recognize the failure-building
snippits as part of the negative self-messaging because they are superlative type messages. You know -- the words always
and never run through the negativity like a river. Those are the messages that need to be challenged. They don't
serve your purposes anymore because you've outgrown this need to hide behind the wall that your ego has helped you build.
And how do you know this? How did you get to this point where you even recognized that what may have served you once
is not working anymore?
Somewhere along the line you got to be emotionally taller -- and on those occasions when
you get the emotional courage to stand up all by yourself, you realize that the wall is not as tall as you are. But because
you have this existential negativity going on, you actually believe you can't cross over the wall.
ever did, well, you know what would happen. There are people over there who will recognize your wound and make you come back
because you are defective.
Congratulations! You have reached the very important -- all important first step of
overcoming powerlessness. You have identified yourself as being powerlessness.
Now you're on your
Is it going to be easy? No.
Will it be worth it? Absolutely.
What's the next step?
Step 2 is undoing the faulty programming. That's a cognitive thing. That's making a list of all your faulty
self-messages. No, you don't have to write them down, but it makes it easier if you do.
Then take every
negative message and replace each one with a positive message. If you can't come up with something, then just use a standard
one like, "I can do this. I can definitely do this." Or "I am good to go." Or "I am a good person."
You get the idea.
Re-programming your internal messages are not any harder than changing the channel on
your TV set. You just slip the switch. For instance, if I sit down to watch my favorite do-it-yourself design program and
get wrestling instead, how long do you think I'm going to watch wrestling?
Clue: about a microsecond. Don't
think for one minute that I'm going to torture myself with watching wrestling when I have the clicker in my own hand.
That clicker gives me the power to make a choice. That is, if I want to.
You're getting closer and closer
to the last step. That step is recognizing that you are not defective. And you are not limited in your associations with others
only because they are people you trust because they have a similar wound as you do.
Now you're at the point
where you can access your own feelings of personal empowerment.
You can overcome that feeling of being wounded.
You don't have to perpetuate feelings of woundedness that leads to powerlessness because you're going to re-program
your internal messages. Then you can get access to your real self.
Getting access to your real self comes in getting
to know yourself. You're going to have to spend some real quality time with your self in order to do this. This will require
some rummaging around in your spiritual attic. That's where you've really hidden the good stuff.
works. That's when you talk to God.
Meditation works. That's when you listen to God.
going to need to recapture this sense of your spirituality if you want to access your feelings of personal empowerment.
Karl Jung, the psychological guru of world renown, said that no one ever truly healed until they realized cosmic fidelity.
By cosmic fidelity he meant recognizing that there is an intelligent force out there in the cosmos that's bigger and smarter
than you are.
I say, get access to that and let it bloom within you. It's your spiritual nature -- your spiritual
Our study questions for this text is: How
do you know God and how do you obey Him?
Actually, Chapter 16 is a description of the Feast Days that the Israelites
are to observe. A good review.
In this chapter, there are warning and warnings and more warnings for the children
of Israel to purge the evil that was among them.
In fact, if they have any questions about legal wrongdoings, they
are supposed to head for the Levites and judges who have been appointed to hear such matters.
Important: they are
supposed to do what the Levites and judges tell them to do.
In verse 11, they are told: Act according to the
law they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.
The children of Israel are being prepared psyched up to into this land that God has been promising them.
They're thinking that maybe they'd like to have a king to rule over them. After all, the lands that they are
taking over were ruled by kings. Now they want kings.
Ah, but be careful, Moses warns. You'd better be sure
that you have a king that God approves of. It had better not be a foreigner though. God specifically says in verse 15: ...He
must be from among your own brothers.
There are other instructions as well. For instance, in verse 19, we
learn that this king is to read the laws every day so that he will learn to revere God.
And in verse 20, the king
is warned not to consider himself better than his brothers and he is not to turn from the law.
So if this king
does all this, then the promise of God is that he will reign a long time over his kingdom of Israel.
And how do
you know God? And how do you obey God?
Just by reading these Bible passages will help you to know God. Reading
the Word of God is as important for you to do every day as it is for you to eat breakfast.
Simple, if you read
the Word of God, then you'll know what God wants you to do.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
And good morning to you, readers who are
logged on right now from the Russian Federation. Would love to hear how you found this web site and what you like about it.
Well, today marks the 6th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. 9/11 is one of those watershed
days in our lives. It divided our lives into a before and an after.
It also brought defining moments from
a rag tag group of little monsters who thought they could take down the United States government. We have the mightiest
weapons in all the world. We have the best trained fighting military. We have humvees. We have smart bombs that can be dropped
from miles away, or shot off big boats, and hit a target within an inch or so. Maybe dead-on for all I know.
came these monsters who, at best, had box cutters they probably bought for a couple of bucks each. There were five or six
guys on each plane -- so, for less than a hundred dollars, the terrorists stole our planes that had just been loaded up with
fuel and exploded three of them into highly symbolic buildings.
They did it with box cutters. But that wasn't
their only weapon on 9/11. Fear was the biggest weapon of all.
The fourth plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania
when the passengers on board took matters of counter-terrorism into their own hands. We may never know the destination of
that fourth plane, but we do know for sure where it ended up.
FDR said it, "You have nothing to fear but fear
itself." For the passengers on the plane in Pennsylvania who learned of the fate of the three other planes, and looking
down the barrel of their own deaths at the hands of hijackers, fear was replaced by a collective act of bravery.
Terrorism can only succeed if fear can be aroused. Terrorism succeeds when monsters are willing to die and take a whole
bunch of innocent people with them.
In Pennsylvania, terrorism was halted because the monsters who held the box
cutters weren't the only people who were willing to sacrifice their lives.
We may never know if there were
other hijackers out there that day. But supposedly the cleanup crews on the grounded airplanes found other box cutters that
had been stashed prior to flights.
And the United States of America lives on. We live on because we are a
God-fearing nation. As long as we have God with us, we will continue to live as a nation.
FOR THE CENSORS: KATHY GRIFFIN'S NEW GOD IS HER EMMY, SHE SAYS
Whatever we worship -- whatever we
put before God becomes our idol.
For Kathy Griffin, she could have just been thankful for her Emmy for her role
in "My Life on the D-List." Now she's censored for her in-your-face put-down of the role of Jesus Christ in
Or should I say, lack of Christ in her life.
She picked up her Emmy and said, "This is
my god now."
Hey, Kathy, want to see your life on the F-list -- "f" for flunky, for failure, for
flopping in the ratings.
Now your comments are going to be edited down to something that won't be so offensive
to all of us Christians who will not be watching your show anymore.
Maybe then, you'll be "o" for
off the air.
read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296382,00.html
AMERICA STILL GRIEVING
Mourning is time limited. Grieving is not.
Bereavement, by definition, is that time period following a tragic event in our lives. That first anniversary of an
event marks an end of mourning. We've gone through all the "firsts" and passed them as milestones in our health-building
But we still feel horrible and we wonder why. We dont' feel like we've put ourselves back together
That's because we still grieve. Grief and mourning are two different things.
a behavior. Grief is an abstract -- a feeling that houses many feelings that we don't necessarily act on.
we stop mourning. We begin to move on. Widows and widowers often remarry to fill a huge cavernous empty spot in their lonely
lives. How many times I've heard an explanation like, "I just want a friend again." Or "I'm so tired
of being alone." Mourning stops. We hear the sound of our own laughter once again. We like that sound. We like the way
laughter feels as it ripples through us.
And then there are those moments of quiet grief when the shadows pull
us back into the darkness of our pain. We remember the suffering. We try to talk ourselves out of the anguish that we feel.
We become pretenders and put on a mask when we're around other people.
For all the days
of our lives, we grieve the loss of so many loved ones. Brothers. Parents. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. A grandchild. They'll
be listed in our obituaries as "predeceased loved ones."
We grieve all sorts of things. Anything that
caused us to suffer a loss brings us grief. We grieve the death of a marriage. The end of childhood. The end of carefree days
of high school or college. The loss of a body part -- yes, even that. The loss of the way things were.
forces us to adopt a new perspective. Otherwise, we end up in a situation where we are unable to make the adjustments necessary
for our own mental wellbeing.
Grief. It's part of the human condition. That's because we live on this side
of heaven's shore -- not over there.
Over here, we have to meet our challenges wrapped in a shroud of faith.
We have to believe that we are not alone in our suffering. We are invited to unburden our weary hearts with someone who promises
to get into the yoke of all that weariness with us.
People of faith are less haunted by their grief.
Our study questions today are: When was the last time you halfheartedly
served God? Do you see your service to Christ as a burden or a blessing? Have you said to your Master, "Pierce my ear?"
This is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It is rich with God's promises -- not just to the children of
Israel but to all of us.
For instance, in verses 4b-6: ...he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey
the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you
as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none
will rule over you.
God also reminds the Israelites that they had once been slaves in Egypt. And they were
approaching the seventh year which is the year for cancelling debts. For Israel, it meant that if slaves had been in bondage
to them, they were to cancel that slaves debts.
But even more than that, when it came time to release the slave,
the Israelite was supposed to load him up with enough money to tide him over so he could make a fresh start, give him some
animals and chickens and some seeds, then send him on his way rejoicing. That went for female slaves too. The end of bondage
came with the seventh anniversary.
But then, the slave could say, "Wait a minute here. I don't really
want to go out there. I've got what I need here and you've been more than generous to me and my family. I don't
want to be freed. I want to stay here and continue to live as I always have, as your servant."
what happened then?
The slave owner would take the slave and with a pointy thing -- like an awl -- pierce the slave's
ear up against his door. The slave's pierced ear meant that he had once been a slave but, once freed, had chosen to stay
with his master as a servant.
The chapter ends with a restatement about the animals that are to be sacrificed and
which ones the children of Israel can eat and which ones they can't -- such as the firstborn creatures. Those belong to
God and they are to be sacrificed at a place that God appoints.
And animals that are flawed -- for whatever reason
-- are not to be sacrificed. The children of Israel could eat the flawed animals, but they couldn't offer them as sacrifices.
Above all, though, they were not to drink the blood of the animals. That blood was to be poured out on the ground.
So back to the question about my halfheartedness to serving God. That would be doing anything with a minimum of enthusiasm.
For sure, I see opportunities to serve God as blessings, not burdens. I just need to do more. I never do enough, do you?
Every day of my life I open with the prayer that God will send his Holy Spirit with a little mini-vac to dust out
the cobwebs of my heart and replace them with a strong servanthood. In my humanness, I never measure up to what I think I
ought to be doing.
And yes, I have asked God to pierce my ear. My life and everything I do belong to God.
Monday, September 10, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
It was sad news that came to me on Sunday.
Our young friend, Rev. Jonathan Strand, lost his battle with cancer and went home to his Heavenly Father at about 7:30 on
Saturday morning. His had been a long regimen with chemotherapy and radiation.
We lift our hearts in prayer to
his family, Rev. Paul and Mrs. Connie Strand, and his brother, Joshua Strand. And prayers also for grandparents, cousins,
aunts and uncles. Not to mention many, many friends who will miss his earthly presence.
Surely a new light shines
in heaven. If these days of mourning that lie ahead seem filled with dark and gloom, then Pastor Jonathan will shine a light
forward for us to see in this trek of loneliness without him. His brief life will make small things big again.
I believe that God looks down on the rest of us here on Earth and wonders why we are so saddened when he calls one of his
faithful home to be with him. Sometimes I wonder if God doesn't want to say to us, "Look, Jon is very happy. He's
here with me. Doesn't have a care in the world. Besides, I have important work for him here. If you only knew the enormous
joy he feels since he's come home, your tears of sadness would quickly turn to tears of joy. He did not die. His soul
will live forever -- here, with me."
Well, Jonathan, for those of us here on Earth whom you left behind, I
say, "Congratulations! You fought the good fight and now victory is yours. Your best ministry is yet to be on the other
side of heaven's shores."
We will all be saddened, for sure. For our loss. Your earthly death left a little
hole in our hearts that will be empty because you are gone.
FOR OUR READERS WHO ARE LOGGED
ON IN LITHUANIA THIS MORNING:
This might be an interesting read for you, although I realize that Pope
Benedict is in Austria and not Lithuania.
However, his garment has been compared to wheat beneath a sky of blue. It's yellow and blue and the curious
purists in this country are wondering about how these combined colors in one vestment tie in with the colors that
go through the church year.
THE McCANNs ARE BACK ON BRITISH SOIL; MADELEINE NOWHERE TO BE
But then, that's the point of the whole story.
Where in the world is Madeleine McCann?
The Portuguese would certainly like to know. And they'd especially like to get more information from her
parents. But even though both parents were named "persons of interest," then "suspects," they were allowed
to leave Portugal and go on back home to England.
With their other surviving children.
Now comes the
headline that they plan to use the one million pound "find Madeleine fund" to pay for their mounting defense legal
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=480963&in_page_id=1811&ct=5
And now I hear, on a quick trip by the TV, that the police in Portugal are saying that they have enough evidence
to charge Kate McCann with manslaughter.
It gets curiouser and curiouser as the plot thickens. Read this account
for a hint of Madeleine's disappearance: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2165469,00.html
MORATORIUM -- FOR TIMES WHEN WE ALL NEED A "TIME OUT"
Erikson, that world renowned guru of psychological development, said that in the course of human development, individuals
take a break to catch up with their identity development.
Identity occurs in those years between childhood
Some call the stressors at this time "adolescent angst."
Sometimes the pressures
to perform, to develop, to become a unique person become so enormously stressful that the individual kind of coasts for
a while. During this time, they enjoy being on a plateau where they can walk along on level emotional ground.
here, at this time, that they recuperate enough psychological energy to get ready for the next burst of development to an
even higher plateau.
We all keep reaching for higher psychological ground in our developmental march through
life. We reach plateaus when we're pretty satisfied with the new vistas we enjoy. We rest up, thinking that we've
That satisfaction doesn't last too long, though. We give ourselves a moratorium for
one purpose, and one purpose only -- to build strength for the next push upward.
In the case of identity development,
we take pieces of admirations for our heroes. We're going to sew all the psychological descriptions of what we admire
into a kind of metaphorical quilt. It takes a while because it's a time of tossing out what we thought we'd like,
but might have discarded if the piece wouldn't "fit" into who we want to become.
we end up with a beautiful, seamless quilt. We call it our identity. It's what makes us unique.
We become aware
of the permanence we feel in the world.
We develop our own sense of personhood.
We become an individual.
We can have separate views from others. We drive the adults in our lives to distraction because we think we have finally learned
everything we need to know.
And so, for now, we give ourselves a moratorium since we've reached this place
of "pretty good." Or mildly awesome. No, make that "grandly awesome."
We're going to stay
in this moratorium -- neither going forward nor going backward. We kind of like it just fine that way we are. For now.
But the moratorium won't last long. We have yet to develop some more. Mainly because we look around us and figure
out that maybe -- just maybe -- we don't quite know everything yet. Adults seems to be annoyed at our grandiosities. Something
inside our psyches nag at us because the puzzle pieces don't quite fit together all that perfectly.
In a couple
of years we'll be ready to take another step toward climbing up to a new plateau. We'll become less challenging in
our pontifications. We'll develop more conciliatory behaviors. We'll reach for new heights.
respond differently to our parents who have expectations of us to behave more responsibly.
We'll throw off
the mantle of our moratorium and start moving forward again.
Even in counseling, clients work through tremendous
challenges in their quest to reach higher ground. And even though they've passed the developmental milestones and come
to counseling as wounded adults, they also reach plateaus when a moratorium is a well-deserved respite where they can take
a break, give themselves a time out and recupe their strength for the next spurt.
We have to keep telling ourselves
that we will continue to grow as we go through life. We never really finish completely developing.
Even as we
retire, Quint and I enjoy the changes we make in our lives and the ways we respond to the world around us. And yet, we continue
to grow. We aren't perfect yet -- never will be.
The best we can hope for is that we will be the best that
we can be. And that view of the self changes as we climb onto a new plateau and enjoy a new horizon with wider vistas.
We can only imagine the wonder as we reach the next plateau, and the one after that, and so on. And since our goal
is to live until we're well into our centenarian years, we're set for some pretty exciting vistas.
far it's working for us. How's it working for you? You didn't think you'd ever get finished, did you?
The homework assignment from Pastor Rensner asks these two
questions: 1) Have you ever been confronted with a false prophet in your life, and 2) Where is that you go to know the truth?
Moses warns the children of Israel to be careful if they ever run into people who claim to tell the future through
dreams and then demand some kind of allegiance.
You know the type -- some people read their horoscopes every day.
Wouldn't go out their door before reading the horoscope. Or people who claim they can tell you what's going to happen
Moses warns in verse 3b: The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all
your heart and with all your soul.
Oh, for sure, there were prophets who were gifted. They specifically were
able to bring God's message to kings and false prophets. Their gift of prophesy came straight from God.
false prophets were supposed to be executed because they were preaching rebellion against God. The children of Israel were
warned not to follow such false prophets.
And we're not supposed to either.
This Old Testament
Book of Deuteronomy is not just a piece of ancient history that we're supposed to read and endure. Quite the contrary,
God's message that he sent to the children of Israel through Moses is as valid for us in the year 2007 as it was for them
It's the same God. It's the same message. It's the same warning. We'd better behave.
God warns the children of Israel to purge the evil from their communities. Even from their families.
have I ever been confronted by a false prophet? I can't say that I have. But I will say that as a professor on a very
diverse college campus that I had students whom I knew worshipped differently than I did, and when subjects of religion came
up -- and they did manage to spark through no invitation from me -- I made it very clear that I am a Christian.
The thought, or fear, never entered my mind that making it known that I was Christian would get me fired. I must have
given the appearance of not moving from my steadfastness. No student or colleague ever challenged my beliefs.
where do I go to know the truth? That's easy: the Bible.
From the Gospel of John: 8:31b-32: If you hold
to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
This Bible verse is the cornerstone of my alma mater, Concordia University.
Friday, September 7, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
It's Friday! We finally got rain --
nearly a quarter of an inch overnight. Hardly enough to end any drought. But then, we're not in a drought. We're just
precipitation challenged for now.
The crops will be harvested so we won't have to eat weeds during the winter.
As long as I can get to Kroger or IGA, I'll be okay. Don't buy food at Wal-Mart anymore. The produce never
lasts more than two days in the refrigerator no matter how gorgeous it looks in the store.
And the eggs are stuck
to the container. It's bad enough that I have to check to make sure there are no cracked eggs. But now I have to make
sure that the eggs aren't stuck to the carton itself. That means twirling each egg.
I shouldn't complain,
though. We're a long long way from going hungry.
We have an electrician coming over this morning. We're
going to finally have receptacles everywhere to plug things in. It's amazing that we need so many outlets.
is getting moved in to his workshop area. It's starting to look like a real shop instead of a tool bin where things just
got tossed. He actually was able to put his new radial arm saw onto one of the tables. But I guess he calls that a workbench.
I expect to see him "become" his father who was a world champion putzer. His dad could sit and ponder the
inner workings of a carburetor for hours. And hours. And now Quint, his only surviving son, has taken on his mantle. Maybe
as a labor of love. Maybe because Quint now has time to become a ponderer.
Either way, he wears it well.
AN INTERESTING STUDY IN NON-VERBALS: THIS GUY SAYS HE CAN TELL IF PEOPLE ARE LYING
people look different when they smile. That's just PSYCH 101 stuff. My psych students were fascinated by just how different.
For instance, those little lines that appear at the corner of the eyes? Some call them "crows feet." They're
a good indication that it's a sincere, honest smile. Just having a "lip smile" without the eyes smiling is supposed
to be a sure sign of an insincere person.
Now comes a writer who spends a lot of time examining politicians and
he thinks he can pick out the fakes.
His article appeared in this website: Here's a fascinating article: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20070903-9999-1n3facecue.html
Basically, he says the politicians are trying to convince the voting public about two things: their expertise
HSU TOOK TRAIN OUT OF CALIFORNIA -- WAS RE-ARRESTED IN COLORADO
A judge in California had already forfeited his $2 million bond. He was on a charter flight out of Oakland,
California. Then he took a train but got sick on board. So the Grand Junction sick people team got him off the train and took
him to a hospital.
Then someone asks, "Hey, isn't that the guy they're looking for?"
Sure enough, it was the boy named Hsu.
The train eventually would have made it all the way to Chicago. From there,
who knows? By car to St. Louis for an international flight to Hong Kong? Not that he couldn't get an international flight
out of Chicago's O'Hare Field. But that would be just too obvious.
I hope he's heavily guarded and
on a suicide watch. He needs to talk. He especially needs to talk about heavy money he's handed over to Democratic candidates.
Especially people he could have relied on for a presidential pardon if they made it all the way to the White House.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/09/07/MN9OS10B5.DTL
BI-POLAR DISORDER IN CHILDREN
Used to be that diagnosing bi-polar in
children was practically unheard of.
The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) published by the American
Psychiatric Association has a list of criteria in its fourth edition but it's for adults. What about the kiddos?
A recent study conducted by Demitri Papolos, MD, and Janice Papolos has outlined a list of symptoms that are common to the
childhood version of bi-polar.
These researchers have also outlined behaviors that are exhibited by bi-polar children.
These red flags are included in this web site: http://bipolar.about.com/cs/kids_diag/a/red_flags4.htm.
I am looking forward to attending an all-day workshop later this month for counseling therapists that will address
this very topic.
I applaud parents who persist in seeking treatment for their children who suffer deeply from
bi-polar disorder. Yet, for some, the first line of defense is to get a diagnosis of some form of attention deficit disorder,
especially the hyperactive variety.
Maybe this is because one of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD is the child's inability
to "stay on task." Yet the bi-polar child will show symptoms of learning difficulties also and excessive daydreaming.
Sometimes the child will get keyholed into an OCD diagnosis, that is -- obsessive/compulsive disorder. Yet these two
behaviors are also on the hot list of red flags for bi-polar children.
And then other children who claim they hear
or see things that aren't there, or have other delusions that do not stand up to the rational light of day, will get put
underneath the schizo umbrella -- either as schizoaffective, schizotypal, or schizophrenia.
All the while, these
children are suffering deeply. They are dragged from one doctor to another. Specialists have attended their lives so frequently
that they are at risk for developing what we call the "white coat syndrome." They are very uncomfortable when they
have to see yet another doctor.
And yet, the one doctor who can help them the most is never consulted. That is,
a pediatric psychiatrist or a neuropsychiatrist.
And why would that be?
Do you suppose it could possibly
be that about 80% of the children who are bi-polar are born into families where mood disorders, and/or alcoholism on
both sides, are present?
Now we're getting too close to the parents and the grandparents and aunts
and uncles. It was different when it was just the kid who had the problem.
But I leave you with this thought:
not diagnosing bi-polar in children doesn't mean they don't suffer from it. And this sobering thought: untreated bi-polar
increases the risk of suicidal thinking.
So why in the world would any loving parent not want to reduce those
Pastor Rensner says that three times in this
chapter Moses commands the people to rejoice. This day and everyday, no matter what the circumstances we face we are to rejoice
in the Lord. What ways can you rejoice in the Lord today?
Oh my goodness. We are closing another week in our walk
through the book of Deuteronomy and we aren't halfway through it yet. But not to worry, by the time we get through the
34th chapter, Joshua will be leading the children of Israel after Moses' death.
And the next book of the Bible?
It's called Joshua.
In this chapter, God is telling the children of Israel -- again -- to destroy
all the idol places and altars and everywhere that those other guys were worshiping their idols.
Smash it, burn
it, cut 'em up -- do whatever they needed to do -- but get rid of all the reminders of idolatry.
after all that, they are to built an altar to God. But here's the kicker. They can't just build a temple or a synagogue
any old place they want to.
Oh no. They will get very clear instructions about where God wants this place of worship
to be. And that will be that.
God makes a distinction about the animals that the children of Israel kill for their
own food when they are hungry for meat. They can eat the meat. That's okay.
But they cannot drink the blood.
They are to pour the blood out on the ground.
They are told that the blood is life. They can't drink that.
Doesn't that sound a bit like one of the trees in the Garden of Eden that was forbidden to Adam and Eve? Namely,
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:17)
Now God is saying in this chapter of Deuteronomy,
verse 24: You must not eat the blood: pour it out on the ground like water.
That's a pretty clear
order, don't you think?
But -- and this is an important distinction -- when you bring your animals to the altar
to worship me, then bring both the animal and the blood. (Verse 27)
In verse 31 God instructs further:
You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable
things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
now, to think of the instructions of God, through Moses that the children of Israel are to rejoice: in verse 7: ...you
and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to; in verse 12: And there rejoice
before the Lord your God, you, your sons and daughters, your manservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns,
who have no allotment or inheritance of their own; and in verse 18: ...and you are to rejoice before the Lord your
God in everything you put your hand to.
So we are to rejoice in everything we put our hand to. Guess that
says a lot about sloppy workmanship or just "getting by" with doing the minimum. When we rejoice, we do the best
we can do.
We're supposed to critique our work because it identifies itself just as surely as if we'd
signed it or put our fingerprint on it.
If it's the best we can do, then it will be pleasing to God. God wants
us to understand that just as surely as he commanded the children of Israel to rejoice in the work that they did.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
A special welcome goes out to our new readers
this morning in Lithuania. If I knew how to do this broadband thing better, I'd send you some coffee cakes for your
morning coffee. But I guess it isn't morning where you're at. It would be more like a snack for afternoon tea. Welcome
We're still bone dry here in mid-central Illinois. We didn't even get the 30% chance of a sprinkle.
Maybe later. We're supposed to get rain from now until Sunday evening. Oh well, that's why we have hoses to bring
water out of pipes.
I swear we have lots more than one cricket now singing to us in the basement. The one we heard
a week or so ago must have been pregnant. It sounds like a chorus. If a cricket in your house means good luck, does luck multiply
when they do?
Quint will be moving into the set of shelves we put up yesterday in his
workshop. They'll help him get organized and get some of the stuff off one of the worktables. He has two worktables, neither
of which he can use for his radial arm saw. It's on a makeshift "table" that he devised with boards across two
We went to the Dollar Store and bought cobalt blue plastic baskets that he can use to corral stuff.
Like surge protectors. And hopefully, after the electrician finishes up tomorrow, there'll be lots more surge protectors
that will not be needed as electrical extensions.
The electrician is also going to take out the two-thing outlets
and give me quads -- on three different walls. And they'll all be on different circuits so they won't trip circuit
breakers when I launch my cooking lab into low orbit. The man is a genius to be able to read my mind like that.
He just stood in the kitchen yesterday afternoon and asked, "Is this all the juice you've got coming up here?"
(Up meaning the kitchen up from the basement where the circuit breaker box is.)
LOSES LUCIANO PAVAROTTI
And now he moves to a bigger place across the great divide between heaven and
earth. Pavarotti will sing on heaven's other shores. Surely he will join the heavenly hosts with new, more melodic hosannas!
Pavarotti was 71 years old when he died early this morning in the town of his birth, Modena, Italy. He had pancreatic
For a quick read of his singing career, go to: http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/06/pavarotti.dead/index.html
FRED THOMPSON IS NEW REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
Yes, he announced his intention
last night on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.
And what's wrong with that?
Some say he's
too late because the field is already crowded. Are you kidding me? Since when do we need a two year campaign to run for president?
Some of these candidatepeeps have been out there raising money for presidential campaigns for months and months and months.
I agree with Fred Thompson -- we don't need that long of a campaign. They're all starting to be b-o-r-i-n-g.
Now they're starting to say the same thing using different words. Their campaign speeches -- all of them, whether Democrat
or Republicans -- will be straight out of thesaurasville. Like we're not supposed to be able to tell the difference! After
all, what do voters know?
Now comes Fred Thompson. Everybody will be listening to him because it will be new and
fresh. Oh, there I go again, using synonyms.
Go Fred! I'm all ears.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295900,00.html
SOCIAL APPROVAL IS A SKILL WE ALL NEED
Each and every one of us
is looking for validation and affirmation.
We need to believe that we are a valuable part of someone's
In our human experience that gets sandwiched in between birth and death, we need to believe that what
we are doing is worthwhile. It doesn't necessarily have to be something gigantic like finding a cure for polio or
cancer or Alzheimer's.
Doing something worthwhile could be walking your kiddos to school, helping them with
homework, taking them to Sunday School and worshiping with them on Sunday mornings, or countless other ways that we help children
bring those golden memory nuggets into their adult years.
Doing something worthwhile could be making warm, squooshy
Brownies served up with ice cold milk.
Doing something worthwhile could be doing that little extra something
at work that makes a project shine.
Whatever it is that you do, it has your fingerprint on it. You authored it.
It's yours. Cherish what you do well and claim it. It's your way of seeking social approval in socially redemptive
Seeking social approval does not mean, though, that you are looking for applause. Rather, it means that
you do things that get you social approval from others.
When this need for validation gets satisfied, then a person
finds the place where they fit in. They become part of a social group. And when it comes to the dynamics of a group, each
individual plays an identifiable part, or role. Those roles are valued because they guarantees the success of the group.
Children learn, at a very early age, that there is a role which they are expected to play. That role changes, at least
according to some of the psychological gurus, in accordance with the birth order. In other words, the first born child has
a different role to play than the second born child, and so on.
Be very careful that you don't minimize the
importance of getting social approval.If you don't learn how to do this effectively when you are a little tyke, you will
come into your adulthood with holes in your soul.
Your psyche will look like swiss cheese until you are able to
figure out how to get the social approval that you, and every other person on the planet, requires in order to become a good
psychologically adaptive individual.
In a sense, we are all becoming who we are.
So don't ever
say to yourself, "Oh no, I don't need applause for what I do." If that's what you're thinking, then
you've changed the context of what I'm talking about because social approval is not about getting applause.
It's about being recognized as a valued part of someone else's life. In some cases, for really psychologically hungry
individuals, we have to start way back to the point where a person doesn't feel like they are a valued part of their
We don't ever want to feel like that -- useless, worthless, psychologically hungry while others
around us are feasting, disempowered.
It's so much better to believe you have value in the lives of other people.
Chapter 9 is not in this study guide, but I went back
and re-read it anyway. It's basically a restatement of God's messages from before and that is for the children of
Israel not to get too uppity about getting all this land for free.
God wants them to know, in no uncertain terms,
that it is God who is going to drive these leaders off their lands and then hand the lands to the Israelis. It is because
the leaders of those lands were wicked. There's a warning here too.
That is, the children of Israel had just
better watch out for their own righteousness or else the same thing could happen to them. Then God, through Moses, reminds
the children of Israel of the times when they had been rebellious and doing all sorts of things to tick God off.
Even building a golden calf, for heaven's sake. I mean, if you really want to make God angry, just go out in your backyard
and build an idol.
Who says dirt can't burn!?
But in Chapter 10, we are to reflect on our obedience
as we read this chapter -- both our outward show of obedience and our inner obedience as well.
It's kind of
like the need for social approval I was talking about above. We need to do things that get us social approval from others.
But more importantly, we need to feel like we are valuable, even to ourselves.
Well, we need to do things that
people will see us do and recognize that we must be God-fearing people.
And when we put our heads on our pillows
at night, the last person you need to be talking to is God himself. It's just you and him in those last few mini-seconds
before you drift off to sleep and rely totally on God to keep you safe through the night until you wake up the next morning.
This inward obedience that you feel is just between you and God.
The world can't see you. The world can't
hear you. It's just you and God. And only God knows what's truly in your heart and mind. Are you coming up short because
you just can't quite get there, no matter how much you want to?
God can help you with that. Ask God for some
help from the Holy Spirit. Then, bingo, peace flows through you in wonderful waves of quiet rest. It's God soothing your
This is, after all, the very God who owns everything in even the highest heavens, it says in
verse 14. And the earth and everything in it.
And he loves you. And me. Talk to him when you're driving. When
you're playing. When you feel bad. When you feel good.
He thinks you're pretty awesome. After all, he did
create you. Even when you were in your mother's womb, he put his fingerprint on you. Now he's watching you to see
what you're up to. Every day of your life.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Good morning, Lu Lu -- and also a very
big welcome to new readers from Thailand, and we welcome back our "regular" readers in Germany. That's not to
mention, of course, the many of you in the good old USA!
I had a student in a psychology class at Moraine Valley
College who was from Thailand. Very studious young lady. She was always prepared for class discussions and had her writing
assignments ready to turn in on time. That was generally true of the foreign exchange students.
is coming over today to let us know how much it's going to cost us to correct some wiring situations. When we moved in,
the basement was just one big empty room. It was lighted with hanging light bulbs from overhead junction boxes. So we need
outlets and a dedicated line running to the deep freeze so that the lights don't dim whenever it kicks on.
I can tell that Quint is going to need lots of juice to his very electric workshop area. Not to mention the computers and
printers and lamps and fans in the office area.
Then there's my craft area. And the laundry area.
But mainly the garbage disposal in the kitchen. It's been plumbingly installed but not electrically.
the whole electrical system was upgraded when the air conditioner was put in.
After the electrical guy works his
magic, the house will be upgraded. Then what? You can bet there'll be something. Just please, dear God, make it little
TERRORIST PLOT FOILED IN GERMANY
They had big plans to bomb
the U.S. military base in Ramstein (Germany) and also do some major damage at Germany's busy airport in Frankfurt.
Germany arrested three master terrorists who are supposed to have links to Al Quaeda. They were two Germans and a
Turk. They were going to blow up clubs and discos and other places that Americans like to go to.
The group had
hoarded over 1500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide to use in their explosive devices. If the bombs had been completed, it would
have been the biggest ever on German soil.
See story in CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/09/05/germany.terrorarrests/index.html
Authorities have had their eyes on these guys for some time, apparently. They were just days away from creating
chaos. "Days away" -- as in the 9-11 anniversary just days away?
Just goes to show you that these masterminds
aren't quite the geniuses that they think they are. And who knows how many other terrorist plots have been frustrated
but never made the big time press.
And why were they going to blow everybody up? Well, they said they just hate
Like that's a reason. And why do they hate Americans? If we're so bad, and we're so successful
and we're the richest country in the world, then why do they want to come to our universities? Why don't they stay
in their own countries and go to their own schools if America is so awful?
Maybe we ought to make foreign exchange
students stay home unless they can convince us that they mean us no harm at least when they are on American soil.
FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY ARE REALLY SHOUTS FOR APPROVAL
Alfred Adler defined inferiority
back in the early 1900s. The overwhelming feeling of inferiority is one of the wounds of childhood that needs to be healed
if adulthood is going to be productive and successful.
It seems to me that people who have inferiorities are stuck
in a narcissistic time warp that is a result of old psychic injuries. These injuries are spawned from a history of being humiliated.
Eventually, humiliators will erode a child's sense of self-acceptance. Then the child no longer likes himself or
"I don't like me." All I can think about is that I don't like me. This is my narcissistic
bubble. It encapsulates me and blocks all my potential growth. Instead, I'm stuck in this prison of humiliation and I
don't know how to get out.
So goes the internal dialogue of a person who feels inferior.
therapy comes rushing into your life, lights ablazing, like an ambulance filled with lifesaving tools. These psychic
plugins will help you unbundle the pain you tied together with humiliation and lack of self-acceptance.
When you say, "I'm stuck in this bubble of humiliation," cognitive therapy says, "No you're
not. That bubble is pretty fragile. All you have to do is give it a good little poke and you're free."
you say, "I don't like myself," cognitive therapy says, "I'm going to start to like myself for all
the little things I do well. Then I'll grow some bigger ideas. I can get things done."
When you say,
"My growth is blocked," cognitive therapy says, "Shoot for the moon. No one makes it the first time, so don't
expect that you will either. But you'll be successful if you fall down seven times and get up eight." (That's
an old Japanese proverb, I believe.)
Cognitive therapy is about challenging your mental processes. Those mental
processes are wrapped around old, worn out messages that you've been sending yourselves for years. They probably got started
when you were a little kiddo.
It's time to throw away that tape and replace it with something that will be
helpful for you.
It's as easy as getting new thoughts -- these are called cognitions. But it's also hard
to throw away something familiar, even if the "familiar" is a negative message.
Throw it away anyway,
and put something bright in there in its place. Then you'll start to like yourself more.
Next challenge is
to get other people to like you. But that's a subject for another time.
Today's Bible reading is supposed to make us think about how our lives have equal shares of troubles
and blessings. And the question is whether these draw us closer to God or push him away?
Moses reminds the children
of Israel that God took pretty good care of them while they were wandering around in the desert. In fact, he says in verse
2: Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in
order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
Okay, so the children of
Israel might have wondered if all those things that happened to them were just tests.
wanted to see if they would obey him anyway. Even if things started to go bad for them. That's how God would know. Oh
sure, they might say they were going to do what God wanted them to do, but when it got right down to it, they faltered.
When the food dried up, they got hungry. God told them not to worry about it; he'd send them food at sundown and
they could pick it up off the ground and eat it for supper. It would be nutritious and power-packed with vitamins and minerals.
Just don't go hoarding it.
Well, guess what the Israelis did? You guessed it. They started stockpiling it.
Guess they thought God might forget his promise.
Didn't do them any good though, because the food (manna) got
worms in it.
God warned them that after they got into their new land and build their fine, new
homes and took care of their huge herds, they'd forget God and how he'd brought them up out of slavery.
Somehow, God thought the children of Israel would eventually forget to give God all the credit for their blessings, and
instead, think that they did it all by themselves.
But at the end of the chapter, Moses warns the children of Israel
that if they ever did forget and started worshiping other gods, making idols of them, they'd be oh so sorry. God would
Yep. We have to be really careful not to worship anything or anyone but God. Sometimes we make our
jobs our gods. Sometimes a parent will make a child a god. Sometimes we make our bank accounts our gods. Sometimes we make
our beautifully sculpted, fitness-centered bodies our gods. Sometimes we even make an idol out of our pain and suffering.
Sometimes we make old sins an idol.
Whatever we hold onto instead of God could be our idol.
Don't do that. God says. And God says he's watching.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
I'm late. I'm late. I'm late.
Who said that? Someone from Alice in Wonderland.
But getting up at a quarter to eight seems so much more
civilized. And to think, I used to be in the office at 8:00 am. Now we're just sitting down to breakfast at 8. We are
I didn't get much done yesterday. It was, after all, a holiday. What I intended to do --
paint some of the wicker furniture -- didn't get done at all. I did manage to put away a bunch of stuff that had kind
of gotten tossed into the basement in the final hurried days of moving in.
I just kept looking at the piles of
stuff and had no idea what was in the bags and boxes. So it was time to take stock again. Just to see. I think I put away
one ton. The rest of the stuff got moved to a corner in the basement. Kind of reminds me of the movie Holes because I know
the day will come when I'll forget what's in the boxes and go through them again, sorting and putting away another
"batch" of stuff. At the rate I'm going, it will be a ten year project.
Haven't even contemplated
the stuff in the spare bedroom upstairs. But if I close My eyes, I can't see it.
This is how I get to live
to be a hundred. My things to do list is at least that long.
THE MOVIE MAKERS ARE
FINALLY FIGURING IT OUT
People are staying away from the movies. How's that for rocket science.
One movie big shot says TV and the internet are killing the movie industry.
Not really, guys.
It's the movie industry that's killing itself off. In one word, I can tell you why a lot of people are staying away:
Too much nudity. Too much filthy language. No good plots or stories.
Oh, and that makes
me a prude? Well, me and millions of my very best friend-prudes are staying away from your garbage by the boatloads. Why in
the world would I want to pay you $10 so I can go sit in a theater and have my eyes and ears and my morals assaulted?
See, Quint and I are in that very low majority of 25% of adults who still read books. At least
a book a year. We read a lot more books than that. We also like to just sit and talk to each other. For hours. Without
Read more: http://news.scotsman.com/entertainment.cfm?id=1399142007
WELL, WELL, WELL. RUMOR HAS IT THAT FRED THOMPSON IS GOING TO ANNOUNCE HIS RUN FOR THE WHITE
HOUSE ON JAY LENO ON 9/5
Okay, so he's been chided for waiting so long to announce. "It's
a mistake," they say.
And his response? He actually admits to being not perfect. I like this guy already!
But wait, if he'd come on in a long time ago when everybody else was throwing their hats into the ring, he could
have participated in the debates.
Are you kidding me? Those simultaneous monologues that these politicos call
debates are jokes. They are nothing more than opportunities for them to parade out their sets of talking points.
They get points in rhetoric, not in whether they out-persuaded another candidate. And the logic of premises
doesn't even have to flow from major premise to minor premises. That's because they don't have minor premises
flowing out of their first points. After watching one or two of these stand-up politico presentations, I'd heard enough
to last me a lifetime.
Frankly, I want to hear someone talk about solutions, not nitpick the other candidates to
death. Or the president. They can't seem to find anything right that the president is doing either. Everything that comes
out of their mouths is what other people are doing wrong.
THE CHALLENGE OF PARENTHOOD: BONDING - DEBONDING - REBONDING
to even discuss bonding, we need to get on the same page and agree that bonding means forming a close relationship
with another person.
Initially this happens between children and parents.
In the first twelve years
of a child's life, this bond is incredibly powerful. The parent is perceived as just about all-powerful. Parents have
twelve years or so to convince the child that he or she cannot live without the parents.
That's called dependence.
Nothing new here.
But along comes the teen years. During this time period, the teenager starts to debond emotionally.
There's this feeling that the teen can stand alone, but reminders come along now and then that they aren't quite as
independent as they thought they were.
For instance, sixteen year olds don't pay mortgages. They may make car
payments but the title to the cars are probably still held in the parents' names. Unless a teenager has reached the ripe
old age of majority, they can't enter into a legally binding contract, so mom and/or dad have to go along to the car dealer
to sign documents.
We call that interdependence.
That parents are getting that first gut wrenching
pang that the teenager is pulling away from them.
It does not feel good. I don't care if you've gone through
it a half dozen times. It never feels good even though it's kind of a natural order of life.
Kids grow up and
in doing so, they debond emotionally from their parents.
But if -- and this is an important if -- they are not
allowed to debond, they will not be able to come back and rebond as an adult friend.
It's kind of like the
old song that says, How can I miss you if you won't go away?
Kids grow up. They get their own place
where they can start feathering their nest. They buy furniture or maybe they raid the basement or grandma's attic. They
buy their own food although it takes them a while before they realize just how much they are used to eating.
And then after they've got themselves settled in and they're feeling pretty proud of the nest they've
made for themselves, a gnawing feeling starts to grow inside them.
Something is missing. What could
it be? They look around and everything appears to be just about the way they like it.
But still --
it occurs to them that they're just a bit homesick, or more to the truth, peoplesick.
The time comes when
they want to go back to rebond with people who love them. But as adult friends, not as needy children.
parents will welcome them back into the fold and see this rebonding as part of a bigger process of growing up.
So let your kiddos debond. Otherwise, they won't be able to rebond.
Think for a few moments -- as you are reading this passage -- about the fact that you are precious to your
Lord and how this changes your purpose for living. And does this change your attitude toward other people in your life?
In today's reading, Moses tells the children of Israel that God is going to deliver up seven big nations to the
Israelis. They are not supposed to take any prisoners. They're not supposed to intermarry with any of them. They are not
supposed to make an treaties with any of them -- the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and
These nations are bigger and stronger than Israel. But it doesn't matter because the Israelites
have a secret strength that the other nations don't have. They have God.
God makes the rules. The Israelites
are supposed to tear down their altars and burn their idols in the fire.
In verse 6 God tells them why he's
doing all this for the Israelites: ...The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the people on the face of the earth
to be his people, his treasured possession.
How about that? I tend to think that everything that was
happening on earth was happening over there in the land where the children of Israel were wandering around in the desert.
But the other night Quint and I were watching a program about some group of now extinct plains Indians in the
American southwest. Someone had found a bison skull in a river and embedded in the skull was a spear tip. Turns out the
spear tip had been made by a particular group of Indians that dated back 5,000 years.
that Moses came out of Egypt about 1400 BC, and here it is 2,000 years later. So that means that these plains Indians were
hunting bison here in North America before Moses even left Egypt.
When God says that he chose the Israelites
out of all the people on the face of the earth, it tells me that God had a lot of choices. Including Mayans. And dynasties
in China. And people living in many other places around the globe, for the world was inhabited.
In verse 7, we
learn that God didn't pick the children of Israel because there were more of them. Quite the contrary. There weren't
as many of them.
No, God picked them because he loved them. God had made a covenant with their forefathers to redeem
them from slavery. And God promised to keep this covenant for a thousand generations.
Now, statistically, a generation
is considered to be a twelve year period. So if a person wanted to be serious and literal about this covenant, we could say
that he is talking about 12,000 years before this covenant runs out for the children of Israel.
That would be 12
But we can't say that because we don't know what God means. He could just be using a big number,
like I do when I say zillions when something is too big to be measured. Like when I run out of fingers and toes for
Moses was quick to point out, though, that the children of Israel had just better follow the decrees
and commands and laws. Or else. Because if they didn't it would be just too bad. God's anger would burn into them.
But if they did obey God, then God promised to love and bless them. How much? In verse 14, God promises You will
be blessed more than any other people...The Lord will keep you free from any diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict
them on all who hate you.
So right here, in this very chapter, God promises to build a hedge around the people
who love him and live according to his commandments.
Just as an aside, that's one of the complaints that Satan
had about Job. Satan said to God, "Well of course, Job loves you. You've built a hedge around him. You've given
him everything he ever wanted. Why in the world wouldn't he love you?"
Maybe hedge isn't a good analogy.
Maybe it's more like a mirror. Maybe all the negative energy that people were trying to dump on the children of Israel
was going to be reflected back to where it was coming from.
In verse 15b, Moses says that God promises: ...[to] inflict
them on all who hate you.
Oh, and one other thing. In these particular instances, the children of Israel were
not to take any plunder. Whatever gold and silver they came upon as they were taking over these new nations, they were to
Everything bad had to be destroyed.
It would take the birth of Jesus Christ 1,400 years
later before all people would become children of God. That's because God sent his son to earth to make a new covenant
with everybody living on the face of the earth.
Everybody. Even you and me. So we ought to embrace others because
we are all God's redeemed children. And we ought to live our lives according to the Ten Commandments. I personally believe
that God still puts a protective hedge around those who ask for his help and his blessings.
Monday, September 3, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We welcome readers this morning from Germany,
Japan and China.
Today is Labor Day in the United States and Canada. Big holiday for workers in these countries.
Steaks on the grill -- barbecued ribs -- hot dogs -- hamburgers. What else do you want? Anything that can be cooked on an
open flame is fair game!
Labor Day is also the unofficial end of summer -- although autumn doesn't really arrive
until the 21st of September. When I was a little kid, it was the last day of summer vacation because the day after Labor Day
was always the first day of school. Now a great many schools start in August, so Labor Day just kind of gets tucked in there.
We planted a Red Bud yesterday. It's one way of keeping mother's memory alive. The Red Bud was one of her
favorite trees, if not the favorite. But then, she liked the Dogwood too.
We also planted a Butterfly Bush. The
butterflies practically followed us home from Rural King. Since the flowers are a pretty blue, I may plant three or four more
next to the patio. Besides, I adore butterflies.
Did you know that the Monarchs migrate back to Mexico. I always
wondered what kept them from getting so tired flapping their fragile little wings all that way. Then I read that they go way
up high and hitch a ride on the thermals. That way they can just coast along until they reach their getting off point. Then
they glide on down to their winter vacation spot in old Mexico.
Quint is making things today. He got a radial arm
table saw over the weekend. It miters and does many other tricks. It will take a while for him to train the saw
but I have every confidence that he will be successful.
The patio furniture is completely painted with its second
coat. It's installed on the patio and -- wonder of wonders -- I even found the cushions that go on the chairs. They had
been packed separately and were hiding out in the coat closet, of all places.
Today he's going to put up a
couple more shelves and I'm going to start painting the wicker furniture that's on the deck. It will be white, of
I'M SHOCKED THAT BILL'S SHOCKED!
In the first place,
anyone who has ever worked in a politics -- whether as a precinct worker or way on up to the "inner sanctum" --
knows one thing for sure. Politicians know all about the people they let rub up next to them.
Maybe they think
they're like Jesus Christ and so they turn to the crowd of sycophants and ask, "Who touched me?"
know. Oh, they may not know all the hangers-on who pay $1,000 a plate for a photo op and a signature copy of an 8x10 glossy,
but they know who's in charge of their fundraisers and they know who the heavy hitters are who are handing over $25,000
and raising money for them.
Bill, of the HillandBillary Show, says you could have knocked
him over with a straw when he found out that Fundraiser Mr. Hsu was a fugitive from justice. Well, there's probably a
lot of things that would knock Bubba over with a straw because, frankly, he's not that grounded.
The only thing
the man has going for him is his charm. And he slathers that on to women like butter on toast. A great many women gobble
it up as if it were Wheaties.
Watch You Tube "Hannity & Colmes Show" about Hsu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMIOcdfE_QM&NR=1
and Hillary's knowledge about the fundraising efforts of Paul: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qcbg72tK_ks
EXCESS GUILT AND SHAME -- THEY'LL TURN YOU INTO MUSH
two emotions try to lock you up in a hand-to-hand battle deep down inside your psyche.
Guilt comes from feeling
bad because you did not live up to expectations -- either your own or someone else's. You did something wrong that caused
someone else pain.
Shame, on the other hand, usually comes about because we feel bad that causes someone pain when
we didn't do something that was expected of us.
First of all, let me clarify something. I'm not talking
about guilt in a legal sense where people run around breaking laws. Like robbing banks. Or scaring people half to death by
holding them hostage. Or even killing someone.
In those instances, you didn't live up to the expectations
of a law-abiding society for sure. If that's you, I hope you feel really really guilty for what you did. The problem is,
the professional criminal type is generally an antisocial person who does not feel remorse when he/she ought to.
Rather, I'm talking about the people who live their lives besieged by guilt. And shame.
Of the two -- it's
easier to go after shame. That's mainly because shame comes from inactivity -- of not doing something that we believe
we should do or should have done.
Shame springs up out of a sense of worthlessness.
Know how to start
working at overcoming that? Go back and check your self-esteem. People who have a good sense of they self-esteem don't
fall into the pool of quicksand called shame.
Take some time to understand what it would take to feel better about
Grow some self-esteem. If you're new to this website and want to know how to check your self-esteem,
go back a couple of days ago when I printed a rubric on how to do this.
The better you feel about yourself, the
less shame you'll feel.
The better you feel about yourself, the more initiative you take to do things you
think you ought to be doing. That sounds like ambition starting to come back to you, doesn't it?
what a great feeling to just feel like you want to get up out of your easy chair and do stuff again!
Shame is easier
to go after because it starts with you. You've got it self-contained. It's built out of the nothingness of thin air.
When you start to move to the right on your number line, then "poof" -- shame starts to evaporate.
on the other hand, has a lot to do with doing something wrong. You caused someone pain and you meant to. We have violated
our own standards of behavior.
Guilt brings an internal message that keeps repeating itself over and over. It says,
"I'm no good."
We definitely want to change that tape. When you feel this guilt starting to
come over you, just say, "Stop that!"
Let me put it this way: Guilt is imprinted by emotional abuse.
It is a learned way of thinking. If you allow yourself to continually be victimized, then you will continue to feel pangs
The worst kind of guilt is the kind that we push off on ourselves. When we say, "I can't change."
Or "I can't do that," then we have built our own cage. It is no longer someone else victimizing us, because
we're doing it to ourselves.
If you do something wrong, then say you're sorry. And go forward.
But if you stay back there where guilt has a grip on you, then you're cheating yourselves of your future because you
can't go into your future if your feet are stuck in the concrete that's your past.
I say "concrete"
because you can't change the past. What happened is what happened. But you can react to is in new, healthier ways that
let you walk into your future.
Do some cognitive thought-stopping. When these guilt-ridden thoughts come to you,
say something like "Stop that." Or "That was the past, this is my now."
Remember, you need
to say you're sorry only once. Not over and over and over for the same thing you did. But you are the one who has to let
something go. When you do that, you have forgiven yourself.
Emotionally healthy days are coming your way.
"Write these rules down," Moses told the children
of Israel. He wanted the Israelites to write the rules down everywhere -- on their hearts,on their children's hearts, on
their foreheads, on their door frames. Everywhere.
In verses 15-17, Moses warns the Israelites -- and it's
a warning that carries truth today too -- ...for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will
burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Do not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah. Be
sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you..."
is indeed here among us. He watches the politicians spew forth their lies.
What else do we lie and cheat about?
Look on the west coast toward Hollywood. Look at the trash and filth that comes out of the movie houses. Look at the adulterous
trash. Look at the murderous gore.
God is here among us. And he's watching us.
This is the same
mighty God who did miracles back in the days when the Children of Israel were summoned out of Egypt.
believe that God parted the Red Sea? You think it might have been just a freak of nature that happened at about the right
time? Just a coincidence?
And you say you'd believe if you could witness a modern, all-powerful earth-moving
miracle? Well, you don't have to go back too far to the ocean rift in the waters of Indonesia. It was a tear in the ocean
floor that was great enough to nudge the island of Sumatra over a few hundred feet. (Sumatra is an island about the size of
Is that a big enough miracle?
Moses wanted the Israelites to tell their children about the
miracles of God bringing them out of slavery in Egypt. And he wanted them to tell the story over and over and over so that
the children would not forget.
And most of all, the wanted the children to remember that God walked among them,
just as he walks among us today.
He's watching. He's walking. He's listening.
Obey his commands.
Moses closes this chapter in verse 25 with this thought: ...if we are careful to obey all
these laws before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.
The study question for this reading is this: Christian parents have a very big responsibility and influence for the spiritual
life of their children. How is the faith of your children? Ask and find out.
I truly believe that each of our four
kiddos believe in God and they believe that Christ died for their sins.
-- from Kim Lysen
A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he
spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop.
The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come
take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage: "Hey, Doc, want to take a look at this?"
The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on a motorcycle. The mechanic straightened
up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So, Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair
any damage, and then put them back in. When I finish, it works just like new. So how come I make $79,000 a year and you get
the really big bucks (over a million) -- when you and I are doing basically the same work?"
paused, leaned over and whispered to the mechanic, "Try doing it with the engine running."
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.)