Sunday, October 26, 2014

I can't believe that you said that!

I have made a new acquaintance. I write acquaintance because the chances of the two of us becoming, in any way, shape or form, friends will most likely never happen.
We are truly opposites. I can't think of one thing that we agree on. My acquaintance is Anti-Abortion and I am Pro-Choice. We differ on our views about same-gender marriages and on whether or not folks ought to live together without a legal union. Our religious differences are huge. We are on opposite sides when it comes to the definitions of missionary, heaven and doctrine. Our political views define the words "polar opposites". Oh and duh, we don't think the same jokes are funny.
Interestingly enough, I do not dislike this person. We are just not in agreement, on anything.
In spite of our differences, I really believe that meeting my opposite is a positive thing. By listening and discussing different points of view, my faith is going to grow. I will learn to be more tolerant and hopefully become more educated about all manner of subjects.
I hope this positive attitude is reciprocal.

Gracious God: Thank you for creating different kinds of folks. I am thankful for those who make me think and cause me to question. My faith grows daily, because you are my constant. You challenge me. I will strive to become a better Christian.
I am thankful and humbled before you.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Look at ME, NOW!

I am annoyed and slightly troubled by the trend of "selfies". When did we get so absorbed by our own likenesses that we began to take our own pictures, seemingly, incessantly?
I remember thinking, several years ago, that it was kind of cute to see teenage girls taking phone pictures of themselves with their friends. It's not so cute anymore. It's gotten downright Narcissistic., and I think it might actually be harmful to young psyches.
Common folk are taking "selfies". Celebrities are taking them. Politicos are taking them.They are being posted everywhere and I don't want to see them.
Think about the real celebrities of the past. (Now I do realize that the technology didn't exist years ago, but....) Can you imagine Jesus taking a "selfie"? How about Lincoln? For that matter how about Frank Sinatra or Elizabeth Taylor? Would they? Well, I just don't think so.
As a teenager, I think I probably spent more than my share of time in front of a mirror. As I got older, I didn't have much time for that kind of nonsense, and I became more confident in my own skin.
Today, in this, "Look at ME world" folks are obsessed with their own images. We should be loving ourselves a little less and loving others more.
Cut it out!

Dear God. We are really a bunch of silly beings. We worry too much about our own appearance and how we look to others. You have told us to Love God and Love each other. That is so hard to do, when we spend so much of our time worrying about who we are and how we look.
Lead us toward the right goals and create within us a thankful and worthy servant of God.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

One Megabyte, Two Jules, Three Amperes, Go!

One of my favorite TV Commercials (I enjoy Commercials more than most current programming) is the one which promotes some type of insurance that takes 15 minutes to save 15% on your bill. This particular commercial features an older woman speaking to her two friends about her vacation photos that are "posted on her wall". She shows them that they are, in fact, taped to her living room wall. During her 60 seconds of air time, she also verbally "un-friends" her one listener, for questioning her computer skills. The former friend then says, " This isn't how any of this works!"
I'm not doing it justice here, so believe me when I say it's pretty funny.
My thought is, we are often confused about how "things work".
I am computer literate. I can type, send and receive email, play games, create a decent spread sheet and make a darn good greeting card. However, if you start talking to me about Cookies and bytes and bits, forget it. I am probably at a fourth grade commuter literacy level.
The same goes for electricity and gasoline engines. I know just enough about a great many subjects to be slightly dangerous to others.
All folks may be created equal, but we were sure separated at birth when it comes to knowledge and life experiences.

All Good and All Knowing God: We would accomplish nothing without your Divine Intervention.
Lead and guide us as we go through life. Show us how to do your will. Allow us to recognize our limitations.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Make like a tree and leaf!

Remember the Joyce Kilmer poem, "Trees"? As young children, most of us read it and perhaps we were even asked to memorize it. "I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree."
As I write this post, I am looking out our front window at the two huge ash trees, which are the total landscape features of our double-width front yard. Tomorrow, they will be gone.  They have become the first victims, in our neighborhood, of the dreaded ash bore. Tree experts predict that 90% of the ash trees in the Midwest will succumb to the disease and most of the older neighborhoods, in our area, will be "ash-trees-less", in 5-8 years. Our trees are infected and because we can't afford to risk having them fall on our home or cars, or us, they have to be removed.
The tree-man and his crew are coming tomorrow. They have promised to remove all traces of the two, nearly 60 year old trees. They are even going to grind the stumps.
We will miss their shade and protection. We'll be sad about losing the sight of their brilliant yellow beauty in the autumn. However, we will be able to quit losing sleep over the possibility of a smashed car and/or house roof, by their absence.
Yes, we will certainly miss them.
The trees teach a lesson and it is a lesson that we all learn as we grow older. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing remains the same. Diapers are a phase. Cranky and moody teenagers grow up. Jobs come and go. We live, we die. Change is a fact of life.

Gracious and all knowing Lord. Your steadfast love endures forever. You are the constant, in our ever changing existence. Our lives are never going to stay the same. However, our faith in You sustains us, as we experience our ups and downs. Life is a cycle. Watch over us and keep us strong.

Now what did I do with my car keys?

Each and every time I meet with a group of my contemporary boomers, the conversation seems to drift toward the subject of forgetfulness. We all seem to spend a great deal of time talking about how we are always forgetting our car keys or how we are continually misplacing everyday items.
When we talk about such things, so often, it really means that we are genuinely afraid of the onset of  Alzheimer's and or dementia.
Let me be truthful with you. Forgetting where you put your car keys is normal for just about everyone. We all forget day to day things. Our lives are so busy with the trivia of life that our minds are full and our brains are on overload. Forgetting happens..
It's the next step that should have you concerned.
If you forget where you placed your eyeglasses, don't worry, they are right where you last put them down. You'll discover them, sooner or later. Now, if when you find them, you cannot remember how to put them on your head, or if you can't remember what you use them for.......then you should start worrying.
The same thing goes for your car keys. You will find them, eventually. However, if upon finding them, you do not know that they are used for starting your car, or if you can't remember how to may have a problem.
So, chances are, if you are forgetting to remember things, it's probably okay. Just forget about it.

Great and Powerful God. We are not perfect. We can never be perfect. Help us to accept our own short comings and the faults of others. We get frustrated when we don't do everything just right. Teach us how to love and honor you with our own humble abilities.
You are perfect in every way.