Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise|
A friend, William Taylor, took this picture. He visits Surfside Beach with his dogs almost every morning, watching the sun rise while the dogs prance about at the water's edge.
This is only about ten miles from where I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. Sadly, I only visited this beach about four times in the six years I lived nearby.
Each day is a challenge. A challenge to get by without thinking about the fibromyalgia pains. A challenge to stay awake when chronic fatigure wants to take over. And a challenge to navigate through fibro fog.
I haven't been writing as much as in the past. For years, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Now, I'm lucky if I write 500 words in month. Sigh.
For more information about what my day (or life) is all about with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, IBS, depression and everything else thrown in, check this out:
|As you may recall, May was Fibromyalgia Awareness Month. I ran two contests, one for sufferers of fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue, and the other for everyone else.
There were only five entries in one contest and only one in the other, but I appreciated all the entries and entrants.
Here are the results. The winners for
First place -
Second place -
Third place -
And the only entrant - and, of course, winner for
Do read these entries so you can understand what fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue are all about.
Someday, we're all hoping that the words, "but you don't look sick..." will be words not spoken.
|It always amazes me that people who claim to be writers also claim no time to read the works of others. That makes no sense to me. Just as I think that to be a Christian one must visit with God throughout the day, I think that to be a writer one must read to be informed and to learn and grow.
I was thinking quite a bit about that the other day when I came across this story.
Here's a book shop owner who is burning books...since he couldn't even give them away. http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/books/05/28/bookburning.ap/index.html
The profession of book writing makes horseracing seem
like a solid, stable business. ~ ~John Steinbeck
When I arrived at the church this morning, the pastor asked me to review some free materials he received about a new ministry program. Our pastor has been trying to help us focus on loving each other within the church, with the idea that if the outside world sees that love, they'll want to be a part of it.
The materials he gave me to review were meant to do just that, plus to reach out to the community.
You can see what it's all about at http://www.arkalmighty.org.
The idea is that our church will have its own web page as part of arkalmight.org where our members can go to list their needs. Other members can decide to help. The postings are anonymous - until the administrator approves both the request and response. Then just the administrator and the two parties know each other's identities.
Once the members are on board with this idea and helping one another, the next step is to let the community know that "help is here." (That's one of the slogans.)
Basically, it's an act of kindness program that matches needs and talents (or time) available.
The free materials that our church received were great. 4 t-shirts, 4 hats, about 50 pins, flyers, door knob hangers, bulletin insert pages, a DVD, and a huge banner.
The DVD shows clips from the movie coming out - Evan Almighty - and talks about how God uses each of us, even when we don't understand, or when God's urging in us seems too small to matter or too huge to make any sense.
I think our pastor was testing me. He could see that I got excited about the ministry opportunity in this, especially since it goes along with what he's been trying to get our church to understand and do.
So, guess what.....
He has asked me to write a sermon about this new ministry - to be ready in two weeks. I came home with a copy of the DVD and materials. Plus the book that inspired this idea. Something that was published about fourteen years ago.
Conspiracy of Kindness: A Refreshing New Approach to Sharing the Love of Jesus with Others by Steve Sjogren.
You know...I haven't prepared a sermon myself in...six years. Well, I did do some children's sermons just four years ago.
Anyway, if I'm not here you'll know that...
I still don't have my own computer up and running. (Yes, it's just the monitor.)
And...I might be working on that sermon.
|...and I decided that the sermon notes would definitely be a separate item. Here it is for those who are interested. It's a shame that one cannot talk about how God designed a marriage to be without worrying about the rating of the item. Oh well...
|It's Monday morning and I could share the sermon notes I took yesterday as I usually do on Monday or Tuesday. But I have a dilemma and I would love your input.
Our pastor continued his series on Building Character. Before he started speaking, he told parents that his talk would not be rated G and suggested that they might want to send young kids to children's church. Most kids were already in children's church, but there were a few who sometimes like to sit with their parents in big church. One mom kept her kids with her....until the pastor did start talking. Then she quickly took her kids to be with the other kids.
The topic? Purity.
And that's my dilemma. The sermon was a good one. But I'm not sure if the content falls under the 13+ rating of my blog.
As hubby and I were talking about this, we came up with the following solutions:
I could just change the rating of my blog to 18+. That would be the simplest solution. BUT... I know that there are a few teens (13-15) who read my blog on a regular basis. They are Christians and it's highly likely that the don't read anything above the 13+ rating. In fact, one has said so to me. If I changed my blog it would mean that regular reader could not read any other blog entries.
I could make a separate static item for this particular item.
I could try to tone it down a bit to make it fall under the 13+ rating.
And...I could ask you for your opinion and help. So that's what I'm doing.
|While waiting for Derek to get out of work, I heard a singer/song writer interviewed. The interviewer reminded us that there is often a story behind a song.
I wish I knew the name of the song or song writer. But here's what he said:
"A girl visited our church when I was a youth pastor. It was a small town and everyone knew about the troubles she had.
Unfortunately, on her way to Jesus, she stumbled upon us. We saw her with human eyes and not with Jesus eyes.
I wonder what happened to her."
Boy those words hit me. We see people with human eyes, not Jesus eyes. How often are we the an obstacle to people on their way to Jesus? Are we a hindrance or a help to those who are lost?
|One day last week, I observed a mom and her kids at the grocery store. Later that day, a childhood memory started to bubble to the surface. Behind that thought came the realization that I don't remember visiting grocery stores when I was a kid. Hmmm.
I lived in one home in Pittsburgh from about 3 to 12 years of age. I lived in the next house from about 13-15, another all during high school years. It wasn't until we moved to the Crafton area of Pittsburgh after I graduated from high school that I can even remember the location of a grocery store. I also realized that I have no memory of a Post Office nearby during my early years.
Back then, we had a milk man who delivered milk and eggs to the house. The bread man delivered bread and rolls. The local beer distributor delivered beer and soda pop to the house by the case.
There were other door-to-door salesmen. The Jewel Tea truck held all kinds of grocery items. The Fuller Brush salesman sold...brushes. There was a direct sales company for cleaning items and one even for jewelry. I suppose we could have kept shopping outside the home to a minimum.
I think since my grandmother lived with us (except for when she was visiting her other kids and grandkids) and that we had two teen babysitters, that my parents did the grocery shopping without us. I doubt back then that my father actually went inside. Most likely he sat in the car. In fact, I have a few vague memories of sitting in the car with him once in a while. Perhaps it was while Mom shopped (if Grandma was not available). It couldn't have taken very long, since so much was delivered to the house.
Odd, isn't it? When Derek and I lived in Texas, we avoided the local Wal-Mart on Friday nights. I never could understand why whole families made the weekly grocery trip a family affair. Sure, there was a hair salon and barber shop inside. There was a fast food restaurant inside and a hot tamale stand outside. One could have pictures developed, make color copies at the customer service desk, buy lots of stamps. Most folks, though, just did their grocery shopping as a huge family event. Perhaps it was because my parents obviously thought kids and grocery stores didn't mix that the concept seems so odd to me.
Oh, and the Post Office? I never did know where one was - except for the big one in downtown - until I was in high school. Who needed a Post Office when the mailman (they were all men then!) sold stamps, weighed packages, etc.?
Change is good. Right?
I mentioned this to an older cousin who grew up in Oceanside, NY. While he remember where the grocery stores were located near his house, he had no idea which one(s) his mother frequented. He never shopped with his mother (or parents) either.
|The tech at Gateway was wrong. I didn't need a new video card. I need a monitor. We have a couple hanging out in the basement, but they're really old with the wrong connection. I checked the newspaper and Craigslist.com. Nothing available. I'll call our favorite computer repair guy in a little while to see if he might have one. I don't want or need a brand new monitor with a computer that I've had for 8 years.
My computer really has been good to me for those years. The tech mentioned that in 8 years I have called them 16 times - and about 6 of the calls were about 6 months after the computer arrived and the monitor kept going blinking and flashing. After the 6th call, they ordered a new monitor for me. They never did get the old one picked up and I ended up tossing it in the trash.
I'm on hubby's computer right now. I guess we'll have to share until I can get a monitor. That means no late nights, 'cause his computer is in the bedroom. (Mine sits in the kitchen, remember?)
|In my Writers Weekly newsletter, there was a link to a message that made me want to dance and sing. It seems that Google has decided to ban the ads of essay writing companies.
I know we have at least one writer here at WDC who regularly writes essays for one of these companies. I'm sure she does a great job of researching and writing those papers. Personally, I don't think anyone should essays for a student. I also know this has been going on even before formal companies were formed. Back in my collge days, everyone knew that there were a few kids who made money writing papers for those who wanted to pay. That doesn't make it right.
Should these ads be banned? They have joined the ranks of unacceptable content, along with weapons, prostitution, drugs, tobacco, fake documents and "miracle cures". Do they really belong on a list with those kinds of products?
I think they do. No matter what these companies claim, most students do not use the papers they have purchased to write their own essays. They use them just as they are written. That's cheating.
And, if the "writer" who cranks out essay after essay (and some do crank them out), merely hijacks information from web sites, there is more than cheating at stake here. The issue of copyright infringement comes into play as well.
|Sometimes I wonder... Where was I 15 days ago when this showed up in USA Today? Why didn't the local news folks pick up something about it? I think it's pretty news worthy.
Did you know that when you go to Wendy's in Middletown, Rhode Island, your order is probably being taken by an operator in Deleware? The same thing can be said of someone ordering in Florida or Massachusetts. What?
I guess some folks think that fast food clerks have too much to do, and having the orders taken by a phone operator in another state will alleviate some of the stress and mistakes. Weird, huh?
Here's the link: http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2007-05-14-drive-through_N.ht...
I had an entry that I was working on and just as I was about to hit Save and Edit, my computer monitor screen went black. The power button was red too - something I had never seen before.
I called Gateway, since I have lifetime phone technical support and they walked me through a few things.
We determined that it was NOT the monitor. And since my computer runs Windows 98 and is OLD, the tech thought it was probably the mother board.
He put me on hold to see if there was anything else we could try, then informed me that he was wrong. Even though it's an old computer, it does have a video card. He said that he's 99% sure it's the video card, which is only a $65 cost as opposed to a new mother board - or, more likely a new computer since that expense would be too great to put into this 'ol thing.
So I'm on hubby's computer right now.
What I was writing about was my doctor's appointment today. It was just a routine exam so that I could get my meds all filled. So, there's nothing to worry about.
Well, except for the health of my computer. You CAN worry about that.
Part 7 of Building Character
How to Grant Grace to the Guilty
Why Grant Grace to the Guilty:
See Matthew 18:10-35. Three parables on forgiveness.
Because I was one of the lost.(Vs. 10-14)
Matthew 18:14 NIV In the same way your Fahter in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
Ephesians 4:32 NIV Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
God loves all of His sheep. The person with whom I am frustrated is/was one of the lost as well. I am forgiven. And so I have to forgive.
If you don't experience forgiveness, it's hard to be forgiving...
The most destructive emotions: resentment, anger, bitterness, being unforgiving...
Because resentment doesn't work. (Vs. 15-20)
Matthew 18:15 MSG If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him - work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've made a friend.
Job 5:2 NIV Resentment kills a fool.
Did you know that in Ronald Reagan's diary he mentions that he forgave John Hinckley, Jr. for trying to kill him? And that he prayed for the shooter?
Because I'll need forgiveness in the future. (Vs. 21-35)
Matthew 18:33 NCV You should have showed mercy to that other servant, just as I showed mercy to you.
Matthew 6:14-15 NIV For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Bue if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Hmmm. Did you read that last line? "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." That's what it says. We're not often reminded of that.
Forgiveness is Not:
Minimizing the offense.
Instant renewal of trust.
Restoring of a relationship without restitution.
Forgiveness is supposed to be given immediately. (We can forgive in secret.) Forgiveness is for intentional hurts (not accidental ones, or it cheapens the act of forgiveness). Forgiveness is something we do with God's help. Whether or not a relationship is restored depends on the actions of the one to whom we are offering forgiveness (and God). Just because we have forgiven, doesn't mean that a person doesn't have to do something to make things right. He/she does.
Giving Grace Happens When I:
Admit to my own short comings.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 NLT There is not a single person in all the earth who is always good and never sins.
Abandon my right to avenge.
Romans 12:19 TLB Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it.
Allot good for evil.
Luke 6:27-28 NCV But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you.
Ascertain God's plan for my life.
Job 11:13-16 MSG Still, if you set your heart on God and reach out to him, if you scrub your hands of sin and refuse to entertain evil in your home, you'll be able to face the world unashamed and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless. You'll forget your troubles; they'll be like old, faded photographs.
Life is not fair. This is not heaven. There will always be pain on earth. It is not a place of perfection.
|"Rich people have big libraries. Poor people have big TVs.” - Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn? Who? I found that quote somewhere and wondered about the author. When I searched, I discovered that Jim Rohn has been a motivational speaker for about 40 years. How in the world did I miss that? Especially when I was in direct sales for years.
I've read books by Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy, listened to audio tapes by both of them and Earl Nightengale and Wayne Dwyer. I've attended Tom Hopkins seminars. But until yesterday I had never heard of Jim Rohn.
One site lists more of his quotes:
A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.
Character isn't something you were born with and can't change, like your fingerprints. It's something you weren't born with and must take responsibility for forming.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
Don't just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it.
Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better.
Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.
Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.
Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.
If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn't need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.
If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.
If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. For some reason, I like this one. I'm not a tree.
Miss a meal if you have to, but don't miss a book. Another good one.
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.
Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.
Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.
The book you don't read won't help.
The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.
The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.
The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.
The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.
The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.
The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized - never knowing.
There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; its what we do with them that's important.
To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask?
We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.
Whatever good things we build end up building us.
Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness - great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy.
Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.
Words do two major things: They provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness.
You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.
You don't get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.
You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.
All of those are Jim Rohn quotes. He's like most other motivational speakers, from the information I gathered about him. These quotes aren't really saying anything new. Perhaps they're saying an old thing in a new way. (And I imagine his delivery makes them sound really profound.) Sometimes, though we just need reminders of what is true.
And that's a great segue.....reminders of truth...
Our pastor's sermon today was actually a re-run - about forgiveness, or as his sermon today said, "granting grace to the guilty."
One of the notes I made in the margin was:
We have all said the words, "I never want to be like __________" Fill in the blank. But as we focus on NOT being like _______________ we become just like him/her. You can become just like the person you do not want to be like, because that is your focus.
|Did you watch that video clip I provided the other day? Well, did you? If not, here's the link again. Sigh.
I found another one that interested me. It's a brief discussion with some non-Christians about how they see Christians. What do you think? Do 75% of Christians come across as being "holier than thou"? Do 75% of Christians attack their friends and acquaintences who are not Christian for being wrong and destined to hell?
I remember a time when every ministry was using the words, "win them to Christ." My pastor at the time told us that the only way we could help those around us was to pray for them, then love them into the Kingdom. His words stuck with me.
I wondered why no one commented about my sister's promotion a while back. Well, duh. I had the entry marked private.
"And two for today too"
Then I started searching and found another I had marked private. Go figure.
And still another. This was a sermon notes entry. "Monday, Monday"
And another!!! NO WONDER no one commented on this stinky poem I entered in that crazy contest. "Love is artistic? Of course!"
And another???? "No, I never said that..."
You know...maybe this fibro fog grabs hold of me more often than I realized.
I also don't feel so bad about not always getting bunches of comments. How can anyone comment on something only I can see???
|Did I ever share this? I am a member of quite a few online survey sites. Some pay in points. With one of those sites, I get a Target or K-Mart gift card every few months. Some pay real money - anywhere between $2 and $40, depending on how much time is involved. Usually interactive online surveys pay more - the $20-40 range. I'm also a member of an investment panel. They pay a $25 Amazon gift card each month that I participate "enough." (That's just logging on 3-4 times a month and doing a survey or participating in a brief discussion.)
I also am signed up with a bunch of local marketing research companies. I participate in the in-person panels any time I qualify and have the time (which is almost every time they ask ).
What's fun about the local panels is that they always recruit more people than they need for a panel, knowing that life happens. Some who have committed to attending just won't show up. But if everyone that they recruited DOES show up, they have too many for the panels and someone has to go home. What's so great about that? You still get paid as if you had participated.
I have had that happen a few times. Once, I was contacted about doing a 90 minute panel discussion for $75. It was raining and nasty that day and I really figured I'd have to participate that day, since some folks just wouldn't show up. Nope. Everyone they called showed up and three of us got to leave with $75 in our pockets for doing nothing.
Being part of a panel discussion or a one-on-one interview is fun. Our voices are heard. The newer cereals you see on the shelf with both kids' favorite goo (marshmallows) and parents' desires (whole grains) are the result of panel discussions and market research.
In one instance, I got to test out a brand new blender. What fun that was, and I have to admit I was impressed with its capabilities. You could just dump your entire recipe in the blender and press the button (as opposed to putting in one item and blending, then adding the next, etc.). Another time, I got to taste a new coffee being developed that has a smoother taste and less acid. It's on the grocery store shelves now.
Today was supposed to be a three-hour discussion about sleep habits for $150. We had "homework" to do beforehand. (Usually that means clipping magazine pictures about how you feel about something.)
If I have a choice of times, I usually prefer going at 10 or 11 a.m. or at 2 or 3 p.m. so I avoid rush hour traffic. (The panels and interviews are usually about 20+ miles away.) Today, the only time available was at 9:15 and they asked us to be at the hotel (nice hotel!) at 9 a.m.
I left my house at 8 a.m., figuring that would give me plenty of time to arrive on time. Normally it would have, but there was something happening on the Interstate. I figured there was an accident. While I was sitting in that Interstate parking lot , I called to let them know that I might be late. Perhaps others would be too. Fortunately, the day's coordinator was also stuck in traffic.
When I did arrive, I wasn't really late. I think I squeaked in at about 8:59 and 30 seconds. The coordinator was still putting her sign-in sheets on the table, so she must have arrived right before me.
In the meeting room where we gathered, there was quite a spread. Coffee, of course. Hot or cold tea. Bottled water. Orange or pineapple juice. There were huge bagels and cream cheese, big banana or blueberry muffins, and a yummy assortment of pastries.
A heaping plate of fresh fruits also greeted us: pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, orange and apple slices. Mmmmmm.
At exactly 9:15, the coordinator called out three names. Mine was among them. We met Judy in the hallway, and I said, "So, we've been rejected, huh?"
She smiled and explained that they always recruited more people than they needed. In this case, they had recruited five more than needed and only two didn't show up. But that meant they had three too many people. They had already assigned us to tables, so they randomly selected one name from each of the three tables with too many people. I was one of the lucky ones.
So today I earned $150 for driving across town, having a cup of coffee and a delicious banana muffin, talking with other women who have sleeping problems for 15 minutes while we waited, and holding an adorable six-month old baby.
Oh? You want to know about the baby?
Well... One of the women arrived with an adorable baby. The woman was probably about 36 years of age, white, and a personal trainer. Talk about toned. The baby was the most beautiful black baby I have ever seen. She was tiny. Her name was Aramani (is that how you spell the clothing?) and she loved her new Grandma Kenzie. Seriously. When she saw me, she made the cutest giggle sound and reached out her arms to me. Of course I had to hold her, even without a burp pad.
Teresa (that was the woman) and her partner (no, not husband - partner) are foster parents. Armani is the 8th child they have had in their home. (They also have three of their own adopted kids.) Since Armani just arrived in their home about three days ago - an emergency foster care situation - and she didn't have a sitter lined up, she brought her along. And I was blessed by that adorable child today.
It turns out that Teresa actually lives just down the road from me. She and her partner have not lived here long, but she was quite pleased with how accepting the neighborhood has been about their living arrangements. In fact, when the neighbors heard that they were getting a six month old baby, they donated a car seat, diapers and clothes.
Teresa was also one who was "rejected" so she and I stayed to chat for a few minutes after the selected folks had gone off to do their panel discussion, and the other reject had left. The foster mommy had to use the restroom, so Armani and I got to visit a bit more. She loved the hotel's huge waterfall.
When we started to part so we could each head on home, Armani made a the cutest little pouty-lipped face. Awww.
Will I ever see them again? Well, I might. I know where and what time they shop. Like the rest of our township, they end up at the Kroger store on Friday nights.
|Hubby and I tried to buy some reconditioned computers a few months back, but that didn't work. We're both still running Windows 98SE. That means, of course, that there are no longer any Windows updates available.
So how did I end up with a new "tool" on my word program?
I used spell check. I know it's not the most trustworthy tool for checking spelling and grammar errors, but it catches some of them. Lately, after running a spell check, a new tool has been popping up afterwards. It has a list of about 20 items that it proudly reports. Frankly, I have not paid one bit of attention to any of them except the last one on the list. That one tells the grade level for which I have written.
I'm fascinated with that. When the tool first popped up, it told me that my writing was for 12.9 grade level. Well, I'll be...
I shortened a few sentences and changed a few words, and the tool declared it written for grade level 9.3. Amazing. A few more changes, and I had written in the language of 6.1 grade level.
I played with that stupid tool all afternoon. (Okay, I'm easily amused. ) Try as I might, I could not write anything for less than grade level 4.1 or higher than grade 12.9. Perhaps those are the upper and lower levels of the tool.
Either that or I'm not supposed to write kid's picture books or college text books.
Does anyone know what I did to get this tool working on my computer???
|I was blessed with having one grandmother living with my family most of the time from the time I was three to thirteen years old. Yes, sometimes she did visit her other kids and grandkids spread out all over the country, but our house was her home base. She always returned there. Having her in the house might have caused a bit more work for my mom, but it also meant she and dad had a built in baby sitter. And we kids got the benefit of her wisdom.
Back then, we valued the elderly more than we do today. And, although Grandma's advice might not have been always wanted when it was given, her responses to my childish questions are some of my fondest memories.
Something happened to our society, though. We no longer welcome the adivce of our elders. As a result, those who retire - often forced out of the work place - who have the resources to do so flee to retirement villages in Florida and Arizona. Those who don't have those same resources end up living in local retirement villages. Later, when their bodies are not functioning as well, we ship them off to assisted living centers or nursing homes.
When I have visited these places - the assisted living centers and nursing homes, and sometimes even retirement villages for those still physically and mentally fit - the elderly have appeared to hunger for someone to listen to their stories and wisdom.
A few days ago in doing some research for my son about something, I discovered a site called Elder Wisdom Circle.
I ended up volunteering to help them promote their site by sharing about it in my blog and by telling church members and neighbors (and anyone else who might listen).
Here is some of the information they provided:
Elder Wisdom Circle (EWC) is a web-based non-profit (IRS #20-0609575) with a national network of volunteer seniors (ages 60-105) who share their hard-earned knowledge and wisdom with advice seekers worldwide at no cost. About half of the Elders participate individually from their home computers and the other half participate via groups (Circles) at retirement communities. The majority of seniors participating in a group-setting are frail or disabled and the EWC provides their only outlet for meaningful volunteer work reassuring the elders of their value to society.
Anyone with internet access and a problem can use the EWC to obtain free, anonymous and empathetic advice. Any senior over the age of 60 with a desire to share their life-experience with others may apply to become an Elder.
Click on the “Seek Advice” from the homepage and follow the simple instructions. A personal reply will arrive via e-mail usually within a few days. Please seek advice yourself and encourage others to do the same. A consistent flow of advice requests ensures work for our existing seniors and helps create an opportunity for new seniors to join.
Do you know of someone over 60 who is online and would enjoy participating in our program? Do you know of a retirement community where the residents would enjoy the EWC as a weekly activity? Please refer to the “Offer Advice” page of the site for more information.
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Their home page asks, "Looking for a Cyber-Grandparent?"
And they proclaim their mission as, "...to promote and share elder know-how and accumulated wisdom. We also have a goal of elevating the perceived value and worth of our senior community."
Won't you check out this site? Ask a question or two? And tell others?
In just a few short years, my hubby and I will be able to join this group of folks offering advice to younger generations. Meanwhile, I know that I will certainly think of a question or two to ask. I think I'm still teachable.
|I have been a bit "faaatoootsed" lately, ya know? Not exactly normal for me. Oh well...
Today as I was searching for something , I stumbled upon a site that sells video clips for sermon illustrations.
Here's one that's called, "I Was Here."
That made me think a bit. What will I leave behind?
On to Sunday's sermon notes. I know. It's about time.
Page 6 of Character Building
Some margin notes:
I'm at the end of my _________.
My life is falling __________.
I'm so tired and worn ______.
I'm about ready to throw in the ________.
Did you get all of those? Rope. Apart. Out. Towel.
God designed our 11 body systems to work together, balanced and in harmony. When they're not working that way, it isn't because He designed a faulty product. Maybe we're stressed????
You know you're a workaholic if your family calls you occupant.
You know you're a workaholic if your only Christmas cards come from business associates. You know you're a workaholic if the only reading material in your bathroom is business related.
A recent CNN survey said that 69% of people want to slow down.
How about a joke? The guy called his pastor and said, "Where were you yesterday? I tried to call you.
Pastor: I was taking day off.
Guy: Satan didn't take the day off.
Pastor: Satan is not my model.
Irribable? The external is stealing your soul.
On to the fill-in-the-blanks...
I WILL get centered in Christ.
Our pastor suggested that when we look at a clock that says 6:33, we should remember Matthes 6:33 NLT. "And He will give you all you need form day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."
Perhaps you have memorized the King James verison of this. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Remember, Matthew 6:33 is like having God say to you, "Here I am!"
Daily question: Who or what is my center? Whatever my life is centered on is what I will think about most.
I WILL get refreshed through resting.
Mark 2:27 NLT, "The Sabboth was made to benefit people."
Sabboth means day of rest.
a) I will rest my body.
b) I will recharge my emotions.
c) I will refocus my spirit.
I WILL find fuel for the fire.
Psalms 132:4-5 MSG "I'm not going to sleep, not even take time to rest, until I find a home for God, a house for the strong God of Jacob."
Matthew 4:4 NASB "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
I will read: _______________________________________________________
(Fill in your own goal. What, when, how often? For instance, I will read the Bible every morning at 7:15 a.m. for 15 minutes. Remember, if you just read the Bible for 15 minutes each day, you'll read the through the entire Bible in a year.)
I WILL sacrifice my schedule TO THE LORD.
Psalms 31:15 NIV "My times are in Your hands."
Repeat: "I am NOT the general manager of the universe."
My plans must include flexibility.
I WILL learn to live in the moment.
Matthew 6:34 MSG "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow."
I like the NIV of that: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Check that out. When you wake up and see the clock says 6:33 a.m., you should think about Matthew 6:33 and remember that God is right there. Then you should remember Matthew 6:34 right behind it. Pay attention to what God is doing NOW. (It's okay to remember these things at 6:33 p.m. too - or instead, if you don't wake up that early.)
My goal in life:
a) to know God.
b) to serve others. Why was I created?
How am I serving God and others? How am I getting to know God better?
Resting is important. Even God rested. Genesis 2:2 NIV "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work."
Proverbs:14:30 TLB "A relaxed attitude lengthens a man's life."
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and larn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
The first part of that makes sense to us. But maybe the second part doesn't, at least not right away. When an animal is placed in a harness and expected to pull a load, the work is hard. But if we are doing the work that God designed for us - in the world and in ministry (if they are different) - then we will find that the load is not heavy, but light.
|I don't have my sermon notes ready yet. It was another good one, though. About...a balanced life.
But I'm grrrrr-ing today. Having a pity party.
Yesterday, I read the classifieds as usual. There were a few interesting jobs. I guess I was feeling better - emotionally, if not physically - than usual and thought, "Well, maybe I could apply..."
For one of the jobs they were only accepting applications today. And, it figures today was not a good day for me.
Doggone it. I don't look sick, even to me!!! And I can - have - gotten used to being in pain all the time. I think I present an almost sunny disposition, even with the pain. Most of the time.
But I cannot control when the bouts of fatigue attack. And attack it did today. There was no way in the world I was going to be able to stay awake for an interview today.
Oh, there are other jobs in the paper. But you know...I'm beginning to understand my son's dad's attitude. He had been a computer geek when computers took up entire buildings. He worked for NASA back when they were using monkeys to see what would happen to them at certain speeds...before they would subject humans to those speeds. Well, he worked for...oh, heck, I can't remember. One of the companies contracted to work with NASA.
When he semi-retired, he had a few inventions which he patented and actually had some success with selling one of them. Problem was that the company wanted way more than we could produce and his patent had not gone through yet. So, he passed on that opportunity, although it would have earned him about $250,000 at the time.
While doing that, he was also a pretty "famous" piano bar player in Houston.
And then he had a small stroke. That was 20 years ago, and until recently he has not done much entertaining anymore.
When our son and I have suggested he get a part time job, he refused to do anything like...being a cart person at Wal-Mart because he had been something and done something important in the "old days."
That's what I'm starting to understand.
I never minded working at Dillard's because it was a "better" department store. They don't hire any part time workers for only 3 or 4 hours shifts here, though, like they did in Texas. And even if I could get a part time job with short hours at a...fast food or a convenience store, I really don't want to do that.
I guess I'm just as much a snob about that as my son's dad was. It's hard to think that you've lost some of your usefulness.
Can I write? Sure. And I do. But getting a regular gig wouldn't be too smart. I'm really not good with deadlines anymore.
Heck, I can't even guarantee I'll be able to volunteer at the church once a week for a few hours.
Why do I even care about this? Because our finances suck right now. Things just keep getting worse and worse and I don't know what magic that hubby thinks he can perform.
Selling those pianos is really a must.
I guess I'll add the sermon notes later today or tomorrow.
|How strange. I was reading a column that Ann Coulter did about Rev. Jerry Falwell's life and death, and in it she mentioned the death of Milly Ivins earlier this year. I wondered how I missed that. Sure enough, I did a search and learned that she died on January 31, 2007 of breast cancer. She had been battling it on and off since about 1999.
When I worked at a mid-sized Texas newspaper, they published Molly's syndicated column. Boy did that cause folks to fuss. And to write letters to the editor. I remember after one guy wrote a heated letter to the editor, then called me on the phone about a half dozen times, I asked the managing editor, "I guess you enjoy the controversy?"
"Well, of course. That guy who threatened to stop his subscription might do that. But we'll probably gain three more because they've heard all about her last column. And we'll gain some advertisers because they see the fussin' and fightin' in the letters."
My boss once explained to me that the advertising department's job was to try to solicit new ads and to solicit bigger and more ads from existing advertisers. But he said the job of the newsroom was much more complex. We had to report the news in a way that would attract both readers and advertisers. Hmmm.
Some of Ivins' quotations:
About breast cancer: "Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that."
From her last column: "We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war."
I didn't always - or maybe often - agree with Molly Ivins. But I did like that she got some of the Bible-thumpers, especially in Texas where her career began, to think at least for a minute. At the newspaper where I worked, we learned that we had lots of literate people in our county who were thrilled to comment on her columns. I guess that meant they were reading the newspaper every day, or at least her column. They also learned to write letters to the editor, and many even learned how to be succinct. Not me. Unless I'm being paid.
I have been reading a book about Easter - proving whether or not Jesus died and rose again. I don't have the book right here and with my fibro fog, I can't remember the title. Grrr. I'll mention that another time.
Anyway, the writer went to a number of different kinds of experts. Historians, for one.
I thought it was interesting that one said, that the fact that the Gospel has discrepancies is a good thing. The core facts are the same. But like with witnesses in court, if they told everything exactly 100% the same, wouldn't it look like they collaborated?
I was pondering that, and that fact that some would jump in there and say that if God was writing the Bible, how could there be discrepancies?
And that reminded me of something another Christian writer and I agreed upon just recently.
Sometimes God does guide our hand. Sometimes the writing flows so quickly, so succinctly , so flawlessly that it has to have had heavenly intervention. At those moments, the Christian writer goes back to read what he/she wrote and is in awe at the words.
Sometimes, though, God nudges us toward a story. Guidance is certainly given, especially if we continually seek it. But as people with our own free wills, sometimes the words are more ours than His.
Isn't it possible that those parts of the Gospels that are totally identical were totally authored by the Creator, with the Gospel writers being merely the instruments? And where some think there are discrepancies - where the writer's own personalities and life experiences and free will might have crept into the story, God was still there nudging and guiding, but with a lighter touch? And most certainly for a God reason.
As someone pointed out, if they - the guys named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - wanted to write stories about Jesus, they probably would have changed things quite a bit. Like not having women see the risen Christ first. Not lowly women.
Remind me to check on that book title later...
This morning started like many others. I sat outside drinking in the peace that comes to me from talking with God while I'm listening to the birds.
But you know, last night I realized how different it is at night. While I was waiting for my son to finish getting ready for work, I sat on the porch and listened to the night sounds.
The sounds carried quite a distance last night. Far away, I heard two girls - young girls - screaming. I listened intently, but finally discerned that they were probably screaming because an older brother was teasing them. It was that kind of screaming.
Dogs heard them screaming, though. And dogs all around, in streets behind and in front of me, barked. Big and small dogs. I could tell by the sounds.
There's a fairly new baby on our street and the baby was crying, that newborn kind of cry. Next door, a 16 month old was crying because he was so tired that he couldn't get to sleep. That kind of cry.
Instead of birds (I guess it was too late for even night birds), I heard katydids. That screeching sound. (I looked it up and it's the males who make the sound. Figures. Quite irritating. )
There was so much going on that I have to admit I looked up into the sky to see if there was a full moon. Nope. Just a sliver of a moon. It was rather dark out there.
I suppose I should check on hubby. I hope he's getting some much needed rest. He has more aches and pains today than usual. But he wants to try tuning up the antique baby grand player piano in our living room. We have had a nibble, at least someone interested in seeing and hearing it. Y'all pray about that, okay? We really need to sell that piano. For two reasons. The money will help our financial situation. But it would really be nice to have a living room.
Charm is the ability to make someone think that both of you are wonderful. I wonder who said that. I found it listed as a quote in a few places, attributed to that famous "author unknown" guy. Wonder who he/she is???
|....but boy is it COLD outside. Seriously. When I got up this morning, I turned on the local news and saw in the bottom corner that it said 38 degrees. Right. It can't be that cold on May 19th, can it? It can. It is.
As I sat outside enjoying the sunshine (but not the cold), the birds were singing. But it really didn't sound like their hearts were in it. I think they're tired of the temperatures bouncing around too.
Here's something my son's dad sent to me to view. He's quite a dog lover and his heart just melted at seeing this one.
Think a dog can inspire you? This one was born with no front legs and learned to walk upright on her hind legs. Her name is Faith, and she's been called The Most Amazing Dog. This clip includes a Montel show piece, so maybe you've already seen her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLXHvBFG-CI&mode=related&search=
Yahoo! is my home page, and I always glance quickly at their headlines before going anywhere else on the net. This morning, I was surprised to find that the top story (for that moment, anyway) was about JFK's assassination.
Here's a part of the article:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bullet analysis used to justify the lone assassin theory behind President John F. Kennedy's assassination is based on flawed evidence, according to a team of researchers including a former top FBI scientist.
Writing in the Annals of Applied Statistics, the researchers urged a reexamination of bullet fragments from the 1963 shooting in Dallas to confirm the number of bullets that struck Kennedy.
Official investigations during the 1960s concluded that Kennedy was hit by two bullets fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. But the researchers, including former FBI lab metallurgist William Tobin, said new chemical and statistical analyses of bullets from the same batch used by Oswald suggest that more than two bullets could have struck the president.
"Evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," the researchers said in their article. If the assassination (bullet) fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely."
For years, I read everything I could find about Kennedy's assassination. As TV shows have emerged like CSI and NCIS, I have wondered if anyone thought to re-examine the evidence collected back in 1963. We have better scientific methods for analyzing now. But..perhaps we don't really want to know what happened back then. There were so many rumors and theories flying around for years and some of them were about our own government. Perhaps we really don't want to know...
I'm off. I need to get find some garage sales in the area with furniture listings. Maybe some will have a table and chairs. If not, I did find some excellent choices at craigslist.com. Ever been there?
Bye for now.