Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Cold Hard Word for Wednesday

Cades Cove...I can't wait! (I tweaked my photo just a little.)

Loving Others
We live in a time where, if we disagree with the worldview, we are labeled haters.  I readily admit that it can get pretty hard to “love my neighbor.”  In a world full of unlovables, what’s a deplorable to do?   I don’t have an answer.  Maybe loving them is based more on my actions toward them than my being able to say “I love you.”  I can do my part:  Help others, be kind, be happy, be a peacemaker, stay away from gossip, and listen more while talking less!  I need to show love, even when I don't feel it.

Personal Responsibility:
I’ve touched on this before, but based on recent news stories of the sentencing of rapists, judges apparently take into consideration how much alcohol was consumed before the attack (unfortunately, others do, too).  If a young woman is at a party where alcohol and/or drugs are rampant, she should assume that no one is looking out for her best interest, and remember that her personal safety is up to her.  If she is passed out drunk and is attacked, chances are when it’s all said and done, her rapist will get a slap on the wrist, and she will be dealing with the scars of being assaulted.  If you wouldn’t go walking alone in the dark in a seedy part of town, or even be alone after dark in a park, then you know enough to keep your wits about you at parties!  You are your responsibility, so take care of you!

Christian Responsibility:
As Christians, we are the voice of reason in a world of strong delusion.  We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5).  There are people who toss out biblical misinformation, and they feed on the praise and admiration of others.  Their actions are rooted in pride and arrogance, and they deceive others.

They take high offense when their words are challenged, and they are reaching America’s youth at an alarmingly faster rate than believers are.   Is it any wonder our children are so mixed up and distracted?  (The distraction part is also largely due to cell phones and electronic gadgets…and the problem is not limited to our youth…but I digress, that is a post for another day.) 

It is imperative that we study the Bible and be fully armed to help others understand and recognize when God’s word is being twisted. 

And finally….
My Public Service Announcement:  

This recently happened:   A girl walked into the public restroom with her vending machine cookie (still wrapped), her Dr. Pepper, and her phone.   She enters a stall, puts all three items on the floor, takes care of business, picks up her stuff, fiddles with her hair, and walks out of the restroom without washing her hands.   (Not that it would have done her much good, considering how quickly she put that phone up to her face after having it on the bathroom stall floor...and I don't want to think about the cookie).   That is why I don’t touch bathroom door handles…I also keep sanitizer on my desk and use it often.   (And if you think all of your co-workers wash their hands…they don’t.)    If the above story doesn’t make you more germ aware, it won’t be too long before flu season rears its ugly head…stock up on the sanitizer.   
You're welcome.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Musings: The Nothing of Substance Edition

The Sinks, Great Smoky Mountains
We are finally getting cooler weather!   I am ready for it, too.  This is one of the hotter Septembers I can remember.  I am tired of being hot!   Come on, Fall!   The Great Smoky Mountains are calling my name!
Great Smoky Mountains
 Maybe by the time (in January or February) that I type, “I am so tired of being cold, come on Spring!” you won’t remember that I was complaining about the heat just a few months before.

Are you planning to watch the first presidential debate tonight?  Will it be a debacle or will we finally see something of substance?  I hope it’s not just a night of hurled insults.  Even if I was a Hillary fan, I would be sick of her negative TV ads.  I will be praying that tonight will be a night of truth.  America needs truth. 

I am starting my 1,254,118,874th diet today.  I say “diet,” but really it’s not.  I can’t say I’m dieting if I’m not putting any effort into it, can I?  A few years ago, I grew weary of counting calories, fat grams, and/or carbohydrates, and decided I would never do it again.  Maybe I need to reevaluate.  There is something to be said about eating low carb though…so much easier than counting points, calories, or fat grams.  I do not have a plan, and that may be dangerous.  I’ll get a plan…just don’t have one yet.  I’m sure, eventually, I will go low carb.  Sugar has a way of derailing me every. single. time.  (I guess I should blame me for eating it, and not the sugar?)

My heart has been dancing around in my chest this past week, skipping beats and beating prematurely.   The doctor gave me a beta blocker.   Last summer, it did the same thing, and I felt pretty bad for a while.   This time, I haven’t felt quite as bad, but this morning, in addition to skipping some beats, I have a headache.  I’d like to go back to bed, but I’ll go to work instead.  Something I really shouldn’t admit is that last night, I couldn’t remember if I took the beta blocker, so I didn’t take another one….in case I did take one.  I am now doubting that I took one.  Over the past year, I have had several EKGs, a stress test, and an echocardiogram.   Nothing of concern showed up. 

Speaking of stress tests…they gave me a chemical one, and I did NOT like that.  I had to lie there quietly, reminding/convincing myself that I was not dying.  My chest told me a completely different story.   If I never have to do that again, GOOD!

It’s time to hop in the shower and start my day.  
I sure hope yours is a good one.

By the way, I haven’t “hopped” in some years.  What I’ll actually be doing is dragging myself into the shower…but afterwards, I will feel refreshed, and sometimes, a nice, warm shower helps my headache, too.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday's Thoughts: The Committed Considerations Edition

Nashville, TN
My first thought when uncomfortable things happen to me is normally not, “Why me?”  But I do get frustrated every now and then.  Not so long ago while grocery shopping, I wondered why I couldn’t eat certain things without having to deal with a month-long binge afterward. As I shopped, I considered more serious “Why?” questions:  Why do children die of cancer? Why does anyone have to die because of cancer?  Why do horrific accidents happen that render people unable to function…at no fault of their own? Why do parents die, leaving young children motherless and/or fatherless? Why are some children indescribably abused, and some have loving parents and supportive families?  None of us have answers!

Why did Job, Joseph, David, and Paul (just to name a few) face such trials and persecution?

It made my “Why me?” food question seem mighty selfish. So I asked myself, “Why not me?” While I deal with an over-eager appetite, others deal with a life-threatening diagnosis, death, or a catastrophic accident.  Thank You, Lord, for your patience with me when I whine!

(I do understand that over eating, over time, is life threatening.)
Then I begin to wonder why God placed me in America instead of a country where women are shot to death because they show their face in public. Why do I live here, where I can worship, drive, work, learn, and wear what I want, all without fear?  The United States of America…not a war-torn, third world country, or a land where people are not free.  We are not persecuted for being Christian, though sometimes we act like we are when we do not like how we are treated.  Most of us thankfully have not faced real persecution because of our faith.  We have so much, but we can be an ungrateful nation…forgive us, Lord.

I know our country is not perfect. I know the devil wants to destroy us, to take away our freedoms, and I'm sure top on his list is our freedom to worship as we choose.  But I also know the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and He is faithful, loving, and merciful. No matter what we face…and we will know pain in this life…He will give His children the grace and strength to endure what He allows.  With all of my heart, I believe God wants to bless His children.  Justice.   I need to write more about Justice because no one believes we really want justice!

For today, I will endeavor to adopt a more thankful attitude and be less self-absorbed, to help others when I can (helping others goes hand in hand with receiving Justice), less negative, less judgmental, and the most difficult of all…to talk less!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday's Completely Uncommitted Thoughts....

On Lunch…We have a new burger joint on campus:  256 Burger (named, I am guessing, in honor of our area code).   Our food court is getting a complete overhaul, and right now, things are a little disorganized.  Last week, while eating a burger at my desk, I kept thinking it had a “wang.”  The fries did, too, and I wasn’t real impressed.  The taste wasn’t horrid, but I decided I wouldn’t eat there again.  Well, that was until I realized what I thought was ketchup was actually barbecue sauce.  Not sure if the dispenser was labeled wrong or if I just had a pre-senior moment.

On being deplorable…am I missing something, or is it deplorable to label a whole group of people “deplorable” because they are not voting for you?  The only way to “be America” is to vote for Hillary?  Meh.  She didn’t apologize, she just said, “I regret saying 'half' – that was wrong.”  Perhaps she meant to say ‘all?’  I'm pretty sure Trump supporters ARE America, and definitely not deplorable.

On Hillary’s illness…I thought political rags were just garbage and that most likely there was a reasonable explanation for her supposed medical issues.  After yesterday’s “spell,” I believe it may be more than hype.  Maybe the dishonesty surrounding it bothers me more than the (possible) illness.  I do not think she will be elected POTUS, but on the slight chance she might be, she needs to be healthy for a very stressful job.  Or not.  We'd be just as sunk with her healthy...and I am not sure Kaine wouldn't be even worse.

On comments…Y’all, it’s not nice of me to repeat this!  On one of the stories I read yesterday about Hillary’s fainting incident, a commenter posted, “If she thinks 74° is hot, she’s really going to have a problem in hell.”   I giggled.  Does God get frustrated with people laughing at others?   (I don’t know where HC will spend eternity…just tossing that out there so I look a tiny bit less judgmental.)

On Facebook…yesterday, I took a look at the wall of a Facebook “friend” I had unfollowed (but not unfriended) a long time ago.  Ugh!  I shouldn’t have.  This person seems so nice in person, but I was appallingly reminded we are as different as night and day…on everything!  I then posted, “If you've already put it behind you, don't go back and revisit...ever.  I meant that.  I just hope I remember it next time!

On Pixabay.comtons of completely free images, illustrations, and photos to use any way you like!  You’re welcome! Today’s images are from Pixabay.

On Mondays…aren’t they bad enough without all this Hillary talk??  I promise it wasn’t my intention.  Last week I said I didn’t think I’d click on any more political links…but obviously, I have.

I sure hope your week is a good one.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Smutball...the growing fungus of the NFL

I chimed in on a Facebook discussion concerning 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision to sit down during the national anthem. My response is below. I don’t usually get into public discussions such as this, I save it for my blog.  I notice those who obstinately defend Kaepernick’s actions as “his right” want to silence the free speech rights of those who disagree.  From our founding fathers to today's new military recruits, freedom is never free:  the cost is a great price, and it comes with great responsibility. 

If the chatter I see on FB is true, Kaepernick’s action is now having a copycat effect with other players/teams joining him in his stench. I can’t help but be dismayed at how the NFL could have used their voices in a constructive way to initiate change, but instead are just adding to the ugly division that had been growing over the past eight years. 

Jesus said, "Every kingdom divided 
against itself is brought to desolation..."
(Luke 11:17)
Is anyone foolish enough to think satan 
doesn't know what he's doing?
He is destroying America, and his pawns are helping him.
Sweet Jesus, America needs You.

My response:

Colin Kaepernick has a right to show his contempt for a country that has treated him well…the freedom to do so bought with the blood, sweat and tears of those he disrespected to state his opinion. He claims he wanted to “bring awareness” to oppression, but it backfired…as contempt and disrespect always will… bringing yet more division to our great nation.

What he did was irresponsible, and whether he intended it or not, it was also hateful. Actions like his show that he cares much about himself, but not so much about others.

Instead of acting spoiled and self-entitled, why not use his voice to bring unity instead of his butt to bring division? How about spending some of those millions he’s made in all his alleged oppression to help the communities where crime is so high? How about pushing for education and incentive programs? One may think perhaps it is not his responsibility to spend his “hard earned” millions to make positive changes…but if he can’t put his money where his backside protests, he needs to stand up and shut up.

He completely disregarded the feelings the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our flag, and it was a slap in the face to those who bear the scars of injury. Those who served without physical injury…I assure you, they are scarred as well.

If people really wanted to make things better, to heal disparities, they would do things to unite, not tear down. There are constructive ways to initiate change, and there are destructive ways to further divide a divided country. Kaepernick chose unwisely and selfishly with a platform that could have been used to generate real and positive changes. What a colossal waste of the opportunity God gave him.

If the 49ers had any spine, we would be finished with Colin Kaepernick, and they would have less one mediocre quarterback.  Don’t rant to me about his free speech. He got to choose his irresponsible deed; he does not get to choose the consequences of those actions. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday's Committed (and uncommitted) Thoughts

Great Smoky Mountains...I can't wait to go back this fall!
…on backaches:   My aching back kept me from sleeping in the wee hours of the morning, I finally gave up and decided to write a post.   I hope you enjoy the fruits of my pain.

…on Justice:  Since my last post (and subsequent) comments, I have been formulating another Justice post in my head (and in my journal) but have yet to put it together.  I didn’t disagree with my commenters…but there is more about justice I would like to explain.

…on being busy:   The last few weeks have been busy!   This past weekend, Ole Boy and I celebrated our 20-year anniversary.  We snuck off to Nashville for a little while and just enjoyed each other’s company.   (We did not go to the National Mustache and Beard Convention, which was Ole Boy’s suggestion.)  The weekend before we took a quick trip to Louisville, Mississippi, to celebrate my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary.   I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my family.  

…on family:  We aren’t perfect, but we are blessed.   I appreciate God’s great gift to me in the family He gave me.   I do have some of the best people in the world right in my own family!

…on diets:  If only I had $10 for every diet I’d started!  I could pay a personal trainer and a chef for a year!  I haven’t blogged about weight loss in a long time…and I would have nothing new to say.   Of course, I haven’t lost any weight, so there is that.

…on Creation:  There are people who consider themselves Bible-believing Jesus followers…but they believe the earth evolved.  Their belief is the seven days mentioned in Genesis are not literal 24 hour days, but thousands of years.  I guess it’s easier for them to believe in a God who can’t create the heavens and the earth, and all that is within them in mere days.   I suppose they paid more attention to their professors than they do to God’s word, because the Bible is sprinkled with references to creation, not evolution.  Sometimes you have to choose what you believe.  I choose the Biblical account.

…on mistakes:  When we feel those we love are making a big mistake, sometimes our first reaction is anger.  Out of that frustration, we say things that make our loved one feel alienated, and they may even feel our love is conditional.  It’s hard to sit by and say nothing, but sometimes that’s what we have to do.  Praying for them would be a much better option than closing the door to communication.  I hope one day I learn to listen without tossing in my own unwanted “pearls of wisdom.”  I am not saying that we can’t gently point out they may not be making the wisest choice, but they either already know that, or they don’t believe it.  You won’t change their mind.  They will have to figure out for themselves that we can’t believe everything we feel. 

…on talking too much:  I admit that I talk too much.  Afterwards, I think to myself, “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”  (Psalm 141:3)   I need to remember that I will give an account for every careless word I speak on judgment day, and that I am defiled by what comes out of my mouth (Matt. 15).  Lord, help me this day to listen more and talk less!

…on typos:  I hate typos.  Sometimes when I reread my post and see glaring typos, I cringe.  I correct it on the post itself, but for all you subscribers who get my posts delivered via email…you are stuck with my careless errors!   I really, really hate typos!  I hope this post is typo-free, but considering the hour and my aching back, it may not be!

I hope your day is a grand one,
and your week even grander!

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