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It’s easy to get discouraged and depressed in today’s world. We’re faced with strife and discord every day. On a simple trip to the store we’re confronted with rude angry people.

I was shopping at Aldi yesterday, standing at the produce, and one of the workers almost knocked me over as she hurried along. She never missed a step, never said ‘excuse me,’ or ‘sorry.’

I was driving out of the Wal-Mart parking lot and a man in a white pickup truck almost ran over me. He was busy talking on his phone. I don’t think he even saw me.

Everyone is so engulfed in their own lives that they have no thought of the person right next to them.

I find myself more and more despising my fellow-man. I find less redeeming qualities as time goes by.

A Scripture that helps me push back my ill feelings is –

Psalms 31:23-24 “Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.”  NKJV

This reminds me to love God, and not pay so much attention to ill-mannered people.

I hope it may help you too, as you read this.

Have a blessed day!

On Thursday July 17, 2014, WashingtonTimes.com posted their Question of the Day: “What has been the biggest debacle on Obama’s watch?”

Our choices are Benghazi, Obamacare, VA problems, IRS targeting, and Border problems.

I found it difficult to pick just one among the given choices.  Each one of these topics has its own merits as the “worst,” with far-reaching effects. Dan From Squirrel Hill’s Blog lists over 700 examples of Obama’s “lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc.”  I’m sure a list such as this could be gathered on any President. They all lie, cheat, and push the envelope of the law. They all do favors for their friends.  The biggest complaint I have with Obama is that he seems to hate America and all it stands for.  He seems to hate Democracy, free markets, religious liberty, freedom of speech, states’ rights, etc.   He hates the legal and procedural limitations put on his position.  He seems to believe he may act like a dictator or monarch instead of an elected official.  And under Obama’s tenure, the radical Liberal minority seems to have a greater influence than the other 85% of the population.  The majority no longer rules.

I’ve created my version of the Washington Times poll below.  I added “other” so you can add something else that might concern you more.

 

 

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

20APR2~2

 

Since I’m not expecting to win the lottery any time soon, (you gotta play to win) I’ve decided that I must find joy in what I have, here and now. Count my blessings, you know?

I have a good Christian husband, that doesn’t run around. He goes to work and comes home, and I don’t have to worry about where he is or who he’s with.  I have two good kids who’ve both accepted Jesus. They are smart, talented, and have plans for their futures. I also have good Christian family and friends.  I have good neighbors.  I have a comfortable home, albeit small and old but it has good bones. It’s dry and warm in winter, and cool in summer.

My post from yesterday got me to thinking about money, and what we could do when we don’t have enough. What sort of activities can we find that don’t cost much or anything?  Then I realized, how stupid of me, I live in Kentucky! I’ve got one of the most beautiful places on Earth just outside my door.

Sure if I lived in a big city I’d have museums, galleries, theaters, etc. to visit – all man-made things. But here in Kentucky we have the works of the greatest creative mind ever! God Himself!

There is natural beauty everywhere. Art. History. Mysteries. Ghosts and goblins.  We can go for a walk in the mountains, in the woods, go fishing in a lake or river, listen to a concert, or get away from it all.  You’re only concern is how to get there – car, 4×4, boat, RV, ATV, bicycle, or your own two feet.

And the people of Kentucky are the best!  I have to admit that the world has had its influence on the larger cities and towns.  But the small towns are still bastions of Christian fellowship.  You can go to any small town in the state and walk into the local gas station or grocery store and feel right at home. I feel blessed to live in a place like this, where I can go into a restaurant or store and hear Christian music playing over the sound system.  You may not be Christian, and may be offended by that, by it means the world to me.  I feel richly blessed to live in a place where you can walk down the street and still hear, “Have a blessed day,” “God bless you,” “I’ll pray for you,” or “See you in church.”  If your car breaks down in a small Kentucky town in the ‘middle of nowhere’ you’re likely to have to turn people away who are eager to help you.  I imagine there aren’t too many places like that in the world today.

I may not have a lot of money to spend on entertainment and activities, but thank God I live in a place that offers so much for po’ folks to do.

 

 

 

We’ve all heard the idiom, “Money can’t buy happiness;” and it’s true that there are many very wealthy sad people. If one is inherently sad, money won’t change your attitude. There is a level of happiness that transcends money. But I also think that idiom is invoked by poor folks to keep the specter of hopelessness away, or by people of means who are just insensitive to the plight of the less fortunate.

Most everyone can find others who are worse off, if they look hard enough. And everyone can find things in their life to be happy and thankful for, if they look hard enough. However, to attribute all sadness, hopelessness, depression, and worry to an attitude problem is just wrong. Many people have good reasons for feeling sad and hopeless.

Don’t you think the unemployed person who is losing their home to foreclosure would be happier with more money?

What about parents who have to feed their children cheap processed foods rather than fresh organic produce and lean meats? Don’t you think they’d be happier with a little more money?

What about the child who has never had a birthday party because her parents can’t afford it? Do you think money would make her happier? And how do think her parents feel, knowing they can’t give their child a birthday cake or presents?

Look at photos on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc. How many sad faces do you see in those photos of Caribbean cruises, Hawaiian vacations, guided Alaskan hunting trips, fishing trips to the Great Lakes, new homes, new cars, new clothes?

I’m not promoting materialism. I do believe ‘stuff’ alone can’t make everyone happy, but it can certainly add a new dimension to our lives. It greases the gears.

Would I be happier if I had plenty of money to easily pay for things such as our electric bill, water bill, insurance bill, gas for our cars, medical bills, school clothes for our kids, healthy food for my family? Well, do I really need to answer that?

Every time I hear someone say, “Money can’t buy happiness,” I think, “Do you know what it’s like to not have the money to pay for basic things like electric, water, and groceries? Do you eat processed crap because fresh produce costs too much? Do you not take your children to the doctor when they get sick, because you don’t have the money to pay the doctor and put gas in your car to get there and back? Do you have to borrow money when your car breaks down and it’s $400 to get it fixed, and then wonder how you’re going to pay back that $400? Do you sit at home all summer, or do you go on vacation with your family? Do you wear old worn out clothes just so you can buy school clothes for your kids? Is it 85 degrees in your house because you can’t afford air conditioning? And do you sit wrapped in blankets in a cold house during the winter because you can’t afford to pay the electric bill?”

I really didn’t intend for this post to be political, but politics and the decisions our politicians make effect everything we do. In the USA today the people who are suffering most from inflation and taxation are the hard-working lower middle class. This is the ‘hidden poverty class’ in our country. People who qualify as ‘poverty-level’ get help from everywhere. Here in Kentucky an annual income of $50,000 will provide a family with their basic needs plus a little extra. In 2011, I would have said $40,000. So in a matter of three years families need an extra $10,000 per year to just maintain their standard of living. That extra $10k is going for more expensive food, fuel, electric, insurance… things we can’t do without.

I’m not a materialistic person. I don’t need or want to be rich. I just want to have enough to maintain what I’ve got.

Can money buy happiness? Sometimes. It certainly makes life easier. It brings opportunities. I’m angry that wealthy politicians in cushy jobs continue to take away the dreams that my family has worked so hard for.  I’m tired of Socialists trying to kill the American middle-class.  We need politicians who love the American dream, who strive for a free market economy, who want to see a strong independent middle-class, and who support our Constitution.

Whether you know it (or want to admit it) or not, we are in a war for our way of life. The time is closing in when we all will have to choose which side we want to stand with, there will be no neutral ground. If you think politics is distasteful and you want to just sit back and watch, then realize that in the fight for America — if you’re not for her, you’re against her.

 

It’s been a long time since I wrote one of my Question of the Day posts, so I thought I’d do a short one today.

Question of the Day #6:  What Is a Judgmental Attitude?

First of all, Scripture tells us, ” Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” (I Timothy 5:20.  Merriam Webster defines “rebuke” as “to criticize sharply, reprimand.”

Jesus said in Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.”  Merriam Webster defines “judge” as “to form an opinion about (something or someone) after careful thought.”

I think folks get rebuking and judging mixed up sometimes.  In rebuking we stick to the facts, considering someone’s actions compared with Biblical examples. For example, “you did a bad thing.”  In judging we express an opinion of the person in light of their behavior.  For example, “you are bad because you did this thing.”  Let’s not get our rebuking and judging confused.

Hate the sin, not the sinner.

Most people have heard the adage, “I think, therefore I am.”  I believe Rene Descartes was speaking about the sentient nature of Mankind.

I have a slight adjustment to Descartes’ statement:  “I think [X] therefore I am [Y].” The [X] is the variable that represents each person’s individuality, and the [Y] represents the results of [X]. For example, “I think [Jesus is the Messiah], therefore I am [a Christian]. Or, “I think [there is no God], therefore I am [an atheist].”  Who I am determines what I think. What I think determines who I am. There is no separating the two, no matter what you’ve heard.

Each of us comes to an opinion from our own unique perspective. Everything we are colors that perspective. Our lifestyle. Our upbringing. Our relationships. Our religious beliefs. Our friends. Our family. Our heritage. Our culture. Our social status. And a thousand other things that make us unique. When we dismiss others’ opinions we are also dismissing everything that makes them who they are.

Yes, I am a Christian. I consider that a fundamental and intrinsic part of Me; but I don’t force my beliefs and opinions on others, though I speak them readily.  As Americans, we have a right to our own opinions.  And I believe many doctrines from various Christian denominations are merely people’s opinions on what the Bible means.  I’ve heard some folks say, “If you aren’t a member of the ******* church, then you’re going to Hell!”  And I say, God is the Judge of all; let Him do his job.

When we take away a person’s right to an opinion, we strip away their humanity.  Individual opinion/belief is a basic human right.  I am so very thankful that our United States Constitution recognizes that right.  I strongly believe the drafters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were guided by God in their endeavors, as God also grants us free will.

My fondest wish is for people to respect each other as individuals with differing beliefs, opinions, situations, and habits.  We are all God’s children, all citizens of the same Earth.  Look past hate, see the person.  We don’t have to agree on everything.  We can agree to disagree, and respect diversity.

mjmky:

Thanks Stephani, much good advice in this post.

We all, adults and children alike, need reminding that God is always at work in our lives. We just need to trust that He is doing what’s best for us, as long as we are living for Him. Living in a way that shows our children how we trust God is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

Originally posted on Investing in a Child:

It is so easy to fall into the trap of “fixing” things with our children. Our interactions can easily fall in to “Do this” and “Don’t do that.” And while our children do need guidance, they need so much more than that.

I love Paul’s letters to his spiritual children. They give so much wisdom and insight. They surely have a lot of guidance on what to do and what not to do. But have you ever noticed how they all begin?

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.” Colossians 1:3
“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3a

Notice a pattern?

In each letter, Paul…

View original 430 more words

Educate Yourself!!

In this election year, millions of us will vote one way or another for millions of reasons. There are almost as many reasons as there are voters. Each of us has one or two main reasons for choosing our candidate. Foreign policy. Domestic policy. Defense policy. The candidate’s voting history. Social issues such as marriage and abortion. The candidate’s financial status. What Jon Stewart or Glen Beck had to say about the candidate. Who Brad Pitt or Oprah is voting for. Who’s more attractive. Who has the better website.

WAKE UP AMERICA!! Don’t let some talking head or some celebrity tell you how to vote. Educate yourself. Don’t trust the liberal media, or the conservative media. (Yes there are still a few out there.) Learn about the issues that are important to you, then learn what the candidates’ positions on those issues are. Yes, this way is more labor intensive than just doing whatever your favorite celeb tells you to do, but this is YOUR country and YOUR election. An uninformed vote is a wasted vote.

I recently celebrated my 50th birthday.

I think to myself, “I don’t feel 50.” But what is 50 supposed to feel like? I guess I thought by the time I reached 50 I’d feel different. Old. Crotchety. I actually feel better than I did 10 years ago. I began Weight Watchers in January and have lost 45 pounds. I get more exercise now and I feel more energetic.

Most people guess that I’m 35,  just a few fine lines around my eyes. My doctor says my oily skin ages more slowly. Thank you Dad.  And thank you Mom for my darkish complexion, which protects me from sun damage.  I reckon I’m blessed with good skin genes.  My parents both died in their 80s, and looked 20 years younger.

It’s flattering to look younger than my real age, and good genes are part of it; however I think the biggest factor is my lifestyle.  I trust God.  I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs.  I’ve been happily married for 25 years, my only marriage.  I’ve been pretty healthy.  I don’t have any chronic conditions, and take no long-term prescriptions.  We’ve been blessed with little tragedy, good kids, steady income, and good friends.  We’re not rich, but have what we need.  The face really is an indicator of the state of one’s soul. Stress related aging is a problem for many folks.

There was a time in my life when I let people drive me crazy.  I tolerated disrespect and abuse. I suffered with constant drama. I believed the bad things I was told about myself. I worried about EVERYTHING. But no more. Those people and bad habits are chaff in my life.  They blew away with the wind, and the quality stuff remains. I am happy, content, and loved.

Perhaps the twinkle in my eye, the pep in my step, and the smile on my face just makes me seem younger, rather than look younger.  It makes no difference to me. I’ve learned that what happens on the inside is more important than what happens on the outside.

Thank you God for the wisdom I’ve gained from 50 years on this Earth.

Pet Peeve: Mean Dogs

We have new neighbors. Our new neighbors have two very large, very loud German Shepherds.  They are beautiful dogs. They remind me of the German Shepherd I had as a kid. He was big, and vicious, and he would have gone through Hell fire for me. I loved that dog, as I’m sure my neighbors love their dogs.

I don’t love my neighbors’ dogs. I almost hate them. Every time I step out into my backyard, I am assaulted with loud, aggressive barking–times two.  One dog is tied on a chain, which is another pet peeve of mine.  The other dog is restrained simply by an underground fence. So when I go out to check on my tomatoes, or my daughter goes out to retrieve her bicycle from the garage we see an eighty pound German Shepherd running toward us snarling and barking with nothing visible between us.  Then it stops and continues to bark, while the other lunges against its chain.

I worry because my Shepherd was on a chain, back 35 years ago before people had kennels, and underground fences.  He broke his chain and heavy duty collar several times. He came close to attacking people several times. Viciousness was in his blood. His grandparents were junkyard dogs. His parents were feared guard dogs.  His brothers and sisters left many scarred.  I finally had to find him a new home, because the risk to others was too great.

I worry because my parents’ neighbor had a German Shepherd. She was a friendly dog that liked people. He got her an underground fence to keep her from roaming the neighborhood.  She liked to roam, so she just ran through the “shock zone” of the fence. To prevent this, her owner got a “stubborn dog” collar, with much more shocking power. The first time she approached the underground fence the power of it brought her to her knees. Did this stop her? No. She just figured that she had to get a bigger run at it next time. And so she did. He finally had to put her in a 10 x 12 kennel in their back yard.

Such is the nature of a German Shepherd. They are fierce in everything they do. They are fierce in loyalty and love and defense of their human families. They are equally fierce in aggression toward any perceived threat. They are fierce in their playtime. They will never give in or give up once they focus on a task.  This is why they make such excellent police dogs. The only way to stop a German Shepherd attack is to kill it, unless you are its master and command it to  stop. Even then, it’s not a certainty. I don’t think underground fence is a proper restraint for a dog like that. I believe it’s just a matter of time before it escapes.

So what are we going to do about these scary, vicious animals? How are we going to prevent them from possibly getting loose and attacking one of us?

Build a fence.  Soon.

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