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Friday, January 26, 2018

God cares for small prayers


 
 
God answered a small prayer for me today. I had a large box of photo matte paper I had gotten from work. The paper was high quality, 4ft. by 4 ft. I only wanted four sheets, but had to take the entire box. I had set it outside with a big “FREE MATTE PAPER”.

No one took it. The box fell over, was rained on, and too heavy for me to bend and lift into my trashcan. Yesterday, as I thought about how I would cut it down to get rid of it, I asked God to touch the heart of the trash man to pick up the box for me.

This morning, I heard the recycle truck. When I left for work, I saw that the person had lifted, folded, and placed the box into one of my trashcans.

I smiled, and thanked God. He really does care about even the small details of my life.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Aging's Smile








Aging is coveted by small children,
Tall enough to ride, or walk, or simply reach.
Then reaching seems easy and aging turns
Mastering math, catching a ball or boy, and beauty,
Aging is distracted by desire, dreams, goals,
Lost in achieving, gaining, raising kids,
Regaining momentum in attainment, and watching babies
Turn to tall children.
Then somewhere in the mix, age becomes a distance,
Disregarded, and conversations skip.
Unseen, unknown, aging is creeping always on the young,
Bending them into worn wisdom, advanced by small children.
Cycling, aging, beauty, achievement, master, wisdom
And a small sly smile.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trump invites shame as well as violence


Donald Trump is not presidential. He does not fairly represent the thoughts, attitudes, and morality of the general American population. He may have a political agenda, but his heart is not unity in America.  To dismiss the brutality of the Charlottesville, VA protests by saying there is ‘blame on both sides’, by not giving voice to the audacity of the neo-Nazi movement is to accept this behavior by his silence. “Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality.” (President John F Kennedy, 1963)
America is not new to racial conflict. We fought a civil war. In the 1960s, America faced an extreme movement for civil rights. Our country and citizens have not reached perfection in this area, but we do not hold to the twisted beliefs of these subcultures.
I witnessed the early 60s civil rights movement as a young teen. This was the first reality TV I saw, filled with brutality. In 1963, President Kennedy addressed the nation concerning the unrest and violence. One statement stuck with me.  “Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality.”
As I watched the CNN New Day program this morning, all I could think is that this nation must move to dump Trump as President. CNN presented a clip of Trump “blaming both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, VA. The program then presented interviews with the leaders and relatives of the white supremacists and neo-Nazi movements. As I listened to the men from these groups speak, I was horrified at their words. They slandered Jewish and African Americans as less than human.
The New York Times wrote, “President Trump reverted Tuesday to blaming both sides for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. …“I think there is blame on both sides,” the president said in a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
What Trump did not say is that the violence is wrong. He did not call for a moral high ground. As President, he did not take a stand against the brutality. He did nothing to address the principles and basic respect that is the backbone of American society. He did nothing to speak to the American citizens.
We have President Trump who says nothing. He shows his heart by his silence. Trump’s lack of leadership is showcased when compared to President Obama’s address on the violence in Ferguson, and President Kennedy’s address on the violence of the civil rights movement. America has seen great Presidents. Donald Trump is not one of these.
President Obama’s response to the protests in Ferguson, MO.
Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority. I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred. There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That’s part of our democracy. But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law, basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest, a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us, and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.
So now is the time for healing. Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson. Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done. And I’ve asked that the attorney general and the U.S. attorney on the scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward. They will be reporting to me in the coming days about what’s being done to make sure that happens.
John F Kennedy’s address to the nation concerning the violence of the 1960s civil rights protests.
We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and as a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives.
It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this is a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the fact that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.
Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Yard work beats a trip to the gym


Don’t worry if you can’t make a trip to the gym because of yard work. Yard work burns calories and uses your abs, strengthens your arms, and is a killer workout for your legs. Yard work provides a great workout, burns lots of calories and increases muscle strength and definition. So mow, rake and plant. You will get a great work out, and a sense of accomplishment at the same time.
The internet exercise site Exrx has an excellent guide to calculate the calories burned during yard work.  Calculating the calories burned in one hour doing heavy yard work (based on body weight and number of minutes):
Weight 125 pounds = 425 calories
Weight 155 pounds = 527 calories
Weight 200 pounds = 680 calories
Heavy yard work burns 3.4 calories a minute (choose any weight above; divide the calories burned for one hour (60 minutes) by the weight. If you want to see your results instantly, try an inexpensive fitness tracker. The fitness tracker lets your monitor your heart rate and view the calories burned as you work.
So what is heavy yard work?
Lawn mowing
Mowing the lawn is equivalent to walking on the treadmill. If you have a hilly yard, the workout is even better. Mowing uses the major muscles in the upper body and legs. If you use a bagger on the mower, the trunk and arms benefit from bag removal and emptying. If you rake and bag the mown grass, you receive the same benefits as raking the yard.
Rake and clean the yard
During the early spring, raking up leaves and debris is equivalent to a workout on a rowing machine. Raking uses the entire upper body, the chests pectoral muscles, the shoulder muscles and the back muscles. Picking up leaves and debris works the quads, the hips, and the buttocks.
Digging
Digging with a shovel or a spade is equivalent lifting weights. The digging action uses the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, the buttocks, biceps, and triceps. Maintaining balance as you exert the muscles provides a palates workout for the trunk.
Weeding and planting
Planting and weeding is equivalent to a cross trainer, with the added benefits of arm, shoulder and back muscles as you pull up deeply rooted growth. Planting and weeding use the back, shoulder, and arm muscles, the buttocks, and thigh muscles. Whether you kneel or squat to weed and plant, the trunk muscles are engaged for balance.
Fun fact: If you are carrying and spreading bags of mulch or top soil, the addition weight and action can burn 7 calories a minutes.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Submission to God-What does this mean?


Submission to God
Submission to God is an ongoing process in the Christian walk. Submission means to come underneath God, to abdicate your thoughts, plans, and ideas to God’s Word, and His plan for your life. This can be confusing as we move through life, faced with choices and challenged by the desires of our hearts.
As a noun, submission is the condition of being submissive, humble, or compliant; an act of submitting to the authority or control of another. As a verb, submission is to yield oneself to the authority or will of another; to permit oneself to be subjected to something; to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.
Submission is not a natural concept. We are taught to be independent, think for ourselves, and rely upon our own resources. Submission has negative connotations: giving in, backing down, servitude, and cringing.
Submission to God is first to trust God and learn that He is loving, kind, and has a good plan for your life. As you grow in God, you begin to understand His Word is not written to hurt you. God understands the human nature; He has given wisdom in the Word to help us live well.
As we come to understand God’s Word and trust Him, we begin to see the opposition that exists in our hearts towards living a Christ centered life. It is our natural desire to hurt someone who hurts us, but God asks us to forgive. In our quest for success, we often look for ways to get gain an advantage over another person, to promote ourselves, and contrive methods to achieve our own ends.
David, a man after God’s own heart, contrived a way to be with a woman who was not his wife. Then, when she became pregnant, tried to find a way out of the situation.
God does not look for our strengths. God looks at our hearts. 1 Samuel 16: 1-13 tells us how David was chosen to be Kind. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
What does this have to do with submission to God? David trusted God and knew Him as his strength and his source. He accepted that God had anointed him, and set out to learn to be a king. However, the power clouded his judgment, and he carried out his own agenda.
What is amazing is that when David was confronted with his sin, his inner man immediately went to his knees. He was, in his inner most being, submission to God. (Psalm 51) What impressed me the most about David’s submission was verse 16:  For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it.
God is not looking for us to perfect ourselves. He is looking for hearts that are imperfect, yet willing to trust Him and try. God will create smooth paths within us. He will reason with us, and show us the wisdom in living a life modeling His Son Jesus. Submission is trusting God and letting Him change our heart and our life.
Psalm 51:1-19 (ESV)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.